Handy Headlines for May 26 2006

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The Article

Governor General warns against sensationalism in Canadian journalism

HALIFAX (CP) – Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean cautioned Thursday against sensationalism and gossip replacing critical news reporting, urging an audience of journalists to remember their civic responsibility.

…Without narrowing in on specifics, Jean painted a bleak picture of the dangers of transforming journalism into a commodity, where sales figures and deadline pressures erode the quality of reporting.

…“As though the name of the game were to entertain at all costs-which is, after all, where the money is – and to think as little as possible,” Jean told The Canadian Press annual dinner in Halifax.

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Gov. Gen. skipping next Press Gallery dinner

…The annual Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner is looking like it might be a bust this year, as the list of politicians and dignitaries who won’t be attending the event continues to grow.

..Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean is the latest to add her name to the list of those who won’t be in attendance.

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PM presses on in his feud with the news media
Most people just not interested in stories about reporters’ issues, Harper says at news conference

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PM not committed to injection site

VANCOUVER (CP) – Proponents of Canada’s first safe-injection site for heroin addicts say they don’t understand why Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn’t committed to the facility that appears to have saved lives and slowed the spread of diseases such as HIV.

,,,Harper told a news conference Thursday the Conservative government is still deciding on the fate of the site where addicts are allowed to shoot heroin or use other injection drugs under the supervision of health-care workers.

,,,“I’m not committed to it,” he said in Vancouver.

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Harper struggles with realities of governing
May 26, 2006. 01:00 AM
RICHARD GWYN

…A useful rule of life — right up there with that to restaurant-goers of never tipping on the tax part of their bill — is never to allow yourself to want anything too much.

…The risk is that you might get it.

…This has just happened to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

…Harper once said he wanted very, very badly for Alberta to be surrounded by “a fire-wall.” Without this protective barrier, he declared, the centralist Liberals in Ottawa would steal away some of Alberta’s oil revenues, claiming this was to help widows and orphans across Canada, but in fact it was merely to buy votes.

…Harper, though, is no longer an alienated Albertan but Prime Minister of All the Canadas. These days, his biggest policy challenge is dealing with Canada’s “fiscal imbalance.” His plan involves taking money from Alberta, and from Ontario, and re-distributing it across the rest of the country.

…In exchange for this, Harper will get two benefits. Because Quebec will be by far and away the biggest beneficiary, he will be able to claim to have Saved Canada (yet again).

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Ottawa to make final call on equalization, Harper tells squabbling provinces

VANCOUVER (CP) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to be losing patience with provinces’ squabbling over equalization, including a threat by Alberta Premier Ralph Klein to “opt out” if energy revenues are included in the formula

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Fight is on to make Harper’s fall cut for five priorities

OTTAWA – Conservative cabinet ministers are putting the final touches on legislative pitches for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in hopes of making the cut when he selects his second round of five priorities for the fall session – a crucial period that could set the stage for the next federal election.

…Another Conservative suggested a large military spending initiative, likely airplanes to carry soldiers and equipment to international missions, could make the cut for the fall priorities.

…A number of high-ranking Conservatives acknowledged in interviews a widely held consensus that the top spot is reserved for beleaguered Environment Minister Rona Ambrose. Under fire for chopping a number of Liberal initiatives and casting doubt on the effectiveness of the Kyoto protocol in reducing greenhouse gases, Ambrose is expected to roll out her promised ‘‘made-in-Canada’’ plan to cut emissions and pollution when the House returns in September.

…The government has made overtures to the military since taking office in February and last week committed Canada’s troops to the Afghanistan mission until 2009. Harper has also been bullish on foreign policy leaving many with the impression that Canada could find itself engaged on other international fronts.

…’‘Defence procurement was big in the platform,’’ the aide said. ‘‘That, I imagine, is going to be there. We’ll follow up the commitment to the troops and to the mission in Afghanistan.’‘

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O’Connor: Review options for Afghanistan in 2009

FREDERICTON —With the casualty toll mounting in Afghanistan and public support wavering, Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor says the Canadian government’s exit strategy from the war-torn country involves staying put until 2009 and then reviewing its options.

…He said he wants to increase the Armed Forces by a total of 23,000 troops _ 13,000 more in the regular forces and 10,000 in the reserve.

…However, he said the forces lose about 5,000 people every year, so as many as 8,000 a year have to be recruited to start building the numbers.

“The biggest problem in training is we don’t have enough staff to train the recruits,’’ he said.

…“That was caused by downsizing in the 1990s. Today, we are missing many sergeants, warrant officers and junior officers who should be in the training system. It is taking effort to overcome.’‘

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