Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So it is almost tax time and nobody has any money to invest

So, soon it will be tax time and everyone will be searching through the cushions on their sofas looking for a way to maximize their tax sheltered retirement investments (if they still have jobs that is).
So here is my question, why should I pay the ridiculous fees that large bank based brokerages are charging these days when I can go to these guys. And guess what? If you open an account and refer a friend, they'll give you $50. I have not yet read all the fine print, but the big print seemed awfully appealing:

100 Free Trades
Fund in $2,000 or more Receive 100 commission-free trades.
$100 Transfer Rebate
Fund in $25,000 or more Receive 100 commission-free trades and up to $100 Account Transfer Rebate.
$100 Cash Back
Fund in $50,000 or more
This is one of the things I liked about ING Direct when they set up shop here a few years ago.

Has anyone heard of First Trade I'd like to know.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Conservative Kuhn guilty of slander in Etobicoke-Centre

The Conservatives are getting dirty and increasingly desperate in the final days of the campaign in Etobicoke Centre. Conservative candidate Axel Kuhn was found by Ontario Superior Court Justice G.R. Strathy to have libelled Liberal candidate Borys Wrzesnewskyj in a US style attack ad distributed in the riding over the weekend.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Strathy ruled that the Conservative candidate was guilty of making defamatory comments about Mr. Wrzesnewskyj by circulating misleading and inaccurate materials.

The Justice ruled that:

“The injunction sought is a serious interference with Freedom of Speech and
particularly in the context of a federal election. That right should only be
limited in only the most extraordinary circumstances.

In my view, the words in question are clearly defamatory. Based on the sworn evidence of the plaintiff, the words cannot be justified.”

As a result, there is a court order for Mr. Kuhn and his campaign to cease and desist. This is no small matter. The Canada Elections Act couldn't be more clear:

91. No person shall, with the intention of affecting the results of an election, knowingly make or publish any false statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of a candidate or prospective candidate.

486. (3) Every person is guilty of an offence who (c) contravenes section *91* (making false statement re candidate);
500. (5) Every person who is guilty of an offence under any of subsections 480(1) and (2), sections 481 to 483, subsections 484(3),
485(2), *486(3),* 487(2), 488(2) and 489(3), section 490, subsections 491(3) and 492(2), section 494, subsections 495(5), 496(2) and 497(3), section 498 and subsection 499(2) is liable
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

Does Mr. Kuhn recognize that his smear tactics may lead him to a stay in the big house and not the House of Commons after tomorrow's vote.?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stephen Harper exagerates

Today, Stephen Harper campaigning in Quebec had quite a whopper:

The average Canadian family has received a $300,000 annual tax cut from his government.

After muzzling his entire team, Harper muzzles himself

The Globe and Mail's Steve Chase reported lst night that in the wake of new polls showing that the more Canadians hear from Stephen Harper, the less they like him, that Harper's handlers indicated that he will no longer take questions from media

The Globe reported that Harper's muzzling of his candidates now includes Harper himself, as his iron bubble campaign is hunkering down to avoid responding to questions from Canadians and the media. The Con Man won't take any more questions from journalists accompanying his tour until election day.
They handed out a schedule that has no time set aside for talking to the reporters accompanying Mr. Harper on his campaign.
Unlike other party leaders, Harper only answers questions from the press on his campaign plane once a day.
The most recent CPAC-Nanos poll released Saturday showed that although the Tories are running at 32 per cent nationally only 29 per cent of Canadians surveyed said Mr. Harper would make the best prime minister.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Leadership is all about Teamwork"

That is the quote from Jack Layton. Jack has spent the campaign pretending that he is running for Prime Minister. One of the qualities that I look for in an aspiring PM are leadership, let's see how well Jack has reacted to some egregious situations involving his candidates:
Julian West (Saanich-Gulf Islands) - Exposed himself to underage girls and asked them to bodypaint his penis. Jack didn't fire him.
Dana Larsen (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast) - Filmed himself dropping acid and taking drugs before getting behind the wheel of a car. Jack didn't fire him.
Kirk Tousaw (Vancouver-Quadra) Did a video smoking and rating 10 kinds of pot. Jack didn't fire him.
Patti Gieni (Blackstrap) - who has faced allegations of violating policies around bullying in her workplace. Jack didn't fire her.
Bev Collins (Cariboo-Prince George) -9/11 conspiracy theorist,” made comments on talk shows regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York doubting the 9/11 commission report and espousing conspiracy theories. Jack didn't fire her.
Andrew McKeever (Durham) - Threatened to beat up people who disagreed with him, called an anti-war activist a c**t, said “I like the part in Schindler's List when the guard starts waxing the prisoners”. Once again, Jack didn't fire him.

They say a fish rots from the head down - if this is Jack Layton's "leadership" - I certainly don't want him running my country. I wonder what would have happened if there were video cameras back in Jack's day???

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Harper and McCain have something else in Common

A few years ago, the crew from the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) that saw Stephen Harper famously kick a chair in anger said that he gave it such a good, swift boot that it flew about five feet across the floor.

There were theories that the incident was provoked by Mr. MacKay's public attack on Harper's boy Scott Reid. As the story goes, Harper kicked the chair after it was suggested he add a line to his speech to reach out to Mr. MacKay at the founding convention of his Party. Didn't play well with others then, still doesn't now.

All this was witnessed by the CPAC crew, taking a break behind the stage.

Stephen does tend to copy his American idols...hmmn

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ukrainian President dissolves Parliament, Calls Elections

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved Parliament and called the third set of parliamentary elections since the "Orange" revolution in 2004.

Yushchenko satated in a televised address that he "declare(d) the activities of the Verkhovna Rada suspended and called an early parliamentary election."

Yushchenko was said to have held last-ditch talks with political leaders on Wednesday to try to form a viable coalition.

His governing coalition collapsed last month when his party quit its alliance with former ally Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her BYuT bloc. Tymoshenko said she has met all conditions set by the president for reinstating the government.

Tymoshenko is likely to challenge the call, as she has previously said calling an election before late November would be unconstitutional.

A parliamentary race, probably in December, is unlikely to bring much change to the political landscape.

From where I sit in Canada, Yushchenko's actions remind me of Harper's illegal early election call. Judging by the recent collapse in support for Harper, I hope that the Ukrainian people kick Yushchenko's ass as well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stephen Harper: Plagiarism

My guess is that Stephen Harper will be in deep, deep doo-doo over the following video which shows that he clearly plagiarized his famous speech on Canada's involvement in Iraq from Australian President John Howard.

How does Stephen Harper explain the coincidence that half of a major speech he delivered in House of Commons calling for Canadian troops to be sent to the War on Iraq was a word-for-word copy of a speech delivered by then Australian PM John Howard a day earlier? The same speech which he used as the basis for op-eds in the Wall Street Journal and the National Post.

The same speech which Paul Wells at the time called the best that Harper had delivered in his career.

The same speech which Tom Flanagan in his book Harper's Team called "eloquent" (Harper's Team, 89). Flanagan also says "we printed the speech in pamphlet form and mailed out thousands of copies. As far as - could judge, there was strong support from the grassroots of the party." (89)

How does the leader of a political party in Canada's Parliament, on such a crucial issue, give the exact same speech as any another country's leader, let alone a member of W's “Coalition of the Willing”?

How can Canadians trust anything that Mr. Harper says now?

At best this is plagiarism, an offense for which kids in school are failed, university students are expelled and reporters are fired. At worst, Harper is a Stooge for the Americans (along with Howard) and he has no credibility on foreign policy whatsoever.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NDP Candidate screening - out to lunch...AGAIN

When was the last time a candidate for public office threatened someone with violence who disagreed with them, dropped a C bomb, disagreed with their own party position and said oops sorry? If you're the NDP and theoffensive party is your candidate in Durham - the answer is today.


See Liberal release below:

NDP Leader Jack Layton must fire his candidate in the riding of Durham over inappropriate comments he made on the internet this summer on the subject of United States war deserters.

“Mr. Layton must fire his candidate in Durham, Andrew McKeever, who threatened people who didn’t agree with him with physical violence in a web posting,” said Durham Liberal Candidate Bryan Ransom.

The following quotes from Mr. McKeever’s Facebook posts are intolerant and demonstrate lack of fitness for public office:

“Answer a direct f**king question you c**t. I can guarantee, if I ever see you face to face I will make you squeal for the same authority you have such a baseless disdain for” [to a woman poster on the Facebook group]

“…one by one the TraitorCriminalDeserters [US war deserters] will be sent back down south to face the music”

“There is no room for this kind of vicious, threatening attack in Canadian politics. These comments are beyond the pale and Jack Layton must denounce them and fire his candidate immediately,” said Dan McTeague, Liberal Candidate for Pickering-Scarborough-East.

The Liberals have made public a pdf file of some of the offending remarks made in a Facebook discussion by the Durham NDP candidate.

Jack - do the right thing and ditch this chump.

Stephen Harper Bubble Campaign

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This video speaks volumes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just What is the NDP candidate screening process?

According to CTV, pretty much anything goes...

A direct quote from the story:

In a statement issued Sunday, Julian West - the NDP candidate for Saanich Gulf Islands -- said that aside from removing his clothes to go skinny-dipping, nothing inappropriate happened in the retreat.

But that is not the view of a woman who said she witnessed the incident and is
speaking out for the first time to CTV.

"He did skinny dip, which even if that was all he did, is still insanely inappropriate to do around teenagers,'' said Leah Jones, during a phone interview with CTV.

"We were doing face-painting and he decided he wanted to get his legs painted, and
some of the girls were painting his legs, and he took off his underwear and he had a partial erection and said why stop there girls,'' Jones said.
So let me get this straight, a then 35 year old dude goes to a youth camp and whips it out and asks minor tenaged girls to bodypaint his genitalia and he's a candidate for the NDP? and Layton is treating it as skinnydipping? Outrageous. The NDP must fire West immediately.

Gerry Ritz - Comedy Hits

A lost tape of the Gerry Ritz tainted meats comments fiasco has surfaced.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You Tube Video of the Day

Culture in Danger
This video, titled Culture en Péril (Culture in Danger) was created by a few Québec artists and posted on YouTube to denounce the cuts in cultural funding by the Conservative governement, led by Stephen Harper.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sarah Palin worries me too

They're talking about us South of the Border

Even Fox News has reported on Gerry Ritz's horrible and insensitive comments:

TORONTO — Canada's prime minister is standing by the Conservative party's embattled agriculture minister after he sheepishly admitted to making jokes last month about a deadly bacteria outbreak linked to processed meats that killed 17 people across the country.
Minister Jerry Ritz called the crisis "a death by a thousand cuts — or should I say cold cuts," during a conference call. When told about a new death in Prince Edward Island he said, "Please tell me it's (Liberal agriculture critic) Wayne Easter."

I've got a crush on Harper ???

This has been in the news the last 2 days - I am not sure that this is of the same quality as Obama girl. You be the judge.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So Tories are in trouble...

To say that Agriculture Minister and Conservative candidate Gerry Ritz' comments about the 17 Canadians who died of listeria were in poor taste is an understatement.

That the federal Cabinet Minister responsible for food safety joked about Canadians dying from listeriosis on a conference call with 30 people is remarkably insensitive and cause for his dismissal.

PM Steve says he's a leader. Let's see if he has the testicular fortitude to do the right thing and fire this sad excuse for a Cabinet minister.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ukrainian government falling apart

According to the BBC, Ukraine's pro-Western government coalition has officially collapsed, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament says. President Viktor Yushchenko has been involved in a long-running dispute with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The president's Our Ukraine bloc left the coalition earlier this month. Parliament now has 30 days to try to form a new ruling coalition. If those efforts fail, Mr Yushchenko can dissolve parliament and call a snap election.
The Our Ukraine party pulled out of the coalition on 3 September after the Tymoshenko Bloc sided with the pro-Moscow opposition Party of Regions to pass several laws that Mr Yushchenko saw as a threat to his presidential powers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Tube Campaign Video of the Day: PM Steve the Perv

Jack Layton's Al Gore moment

Jack Latyton has spent the first week of Canada's election campaign pretending that he is one American politician or another. Most recently in Montreal he was channeling Al Gore who once infamously claimed that he had invented the internet.

Now we know that Layton is also part of the conspiracy to make Steve Gutenberg a star. Jack, it isn't only the fact that your party does press conferences with puppets that undermines your credibility, it is whoppers like these as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Standing up for Canada?

Do you think it is easy to find a photo of a Canadian family?

A new Conservative television spot accuses Liberal leader Stéphane Dion of planning to scrap the Con's $1,200 child benefit. The ad features a photo of a young family on a beach, holding their baby girl.

A typical Canadian family enjoying their cheques? Not exactly.

As it turns out, the Tory ad features a photo by a California based photographer and was snapped on a beach near Malibu. And here's the kicker, the father in the picture is a Democrat.

How do you photoshop that egg off Harper's face?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tory Times are tough Times

Stephen Harper has wondered into an economic minefield in this election campaign with Stats Canada reporting the Canadian economy has reported the worsteconomic grothw and productivity since Brian Mulroney.

Canadian productivity, or output per hour worked, fell 0.2% in the second quarter of 2008, after declines of 0.6% in each of the previous two quarters, Statistics Canada reported. "This is the longest series of consecutive quarterly declines since 1990," StatsCan said.

And according to Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf, it's only though creative bookkeeping that Canada has not fallen into recession:

"It's been a long time since a Canadian federal government has had to choose between supporting the economy and balancing the budget. The winner of the imminent-looking election will very likely face this unfavourable decision."

Mr. Wolf said the only reason Canada avoided a technical recession -- defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction -- in the first half was due to a continued expansion in the public sector. However, he said growth in the public sector was unsustainable without further government stimulus, which would likely pull the budget into deficit for the first time since 1999.

Wow. Conservatives have managed to turn high growth and surpluses to deficits in 2 short years, lovely.

PM Steve doesn't take his own advice

That didn't take long...

Stephen Harper
"HARPER: I don't see any reason to go personal and nasty against the other leaders. I have good relations with most of the other leaders, and I respect all of them."
CTV News

A vulgar Internet ad forced Stephen Harper to hit the re-set button on his campaign Tuesday, prompting the prime minister into an embarrassing apology that buried his party's first policy announcement.

But the message was overshadowed by the case of the pesky, pooping puffin with a deadly aim and a dislike for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

The Tories posted an ad on their own website showing an animated airborne puffin dropping a load on Dion's shoulder. The offending image was pulled in the morning after complaints, but was regularly re-run on television news networks as part of the coverage on the controversy.

Adding to Tuesday's misery for the Conservatives was news that Rosamond Luke, the Tory candidate for the riding of Halifax, was quitting the race.

A Conservative party source confirmed late Tuesday that Luke has a criminal record, and the CBC reported she was convicted of uttering threats and received 18 months probation in July 2006.

As well, the CBC said, she was convicted of breaching an undertaking in June 2007 and was fined $50 and given an additional nine months probation.

Her departure exacerbates the difficulties the Conservatives have had finding suitable candidates in Atlantic Canada and prompted political observers to raise questions about the party's preparedness in Nova Scotia.

None of that was yet news at Dion's morning campaign stop in Montreal, where he appeared to be unaware of the puffin video when it came up in a question from the media.

Nonetheless, he pounced.

``This is saying more about them than about us,'' he said, drawing cheers from Liberal partisans. Then he rethought his first reaction.

``I want to clarify my answer ... not about them, about him (Harper). Because I know most Conservative voters last time will disagree with that. . . and they may change their vote.''

The prime minister began the campaign by predicting that the Liberals would target him with nasty personal attacks throughout the 37-day contest.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ukrainian Lullaby

For those of you with little ones or who like to be soothed with a lullaby after a hard day, the music and visuals of this one are absolutely mesmerising.

PM Steve - bribing you with your own money

Friday, August 29, 2008

I was wrong

My New Year's prediction for 2007, some 20 months ago stated that I thought that Barack Obama would be the Democratic Party nominee and would face off against John McCain. I got that part right. However, I blew it on the bottom half of the tickets.

With Obama's acceptance of the Democratic Party's nomination this week, the only significant event between now and the formal throw down is McCain's announcement of his Veep choice. Rumour has it that he will appoint Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Fasten your seatbelts folks, this will be one helluva ride.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Interesting article with Ukrainian President's Doctor

The context of this piece is speculation by his adversaries that he faked his poisoning!!! Check it out here - I like the fact that the deniers never mention that his medical team would be lancing boils off the guys body, draining and changing his bandages and shirts 4 times a day so they wouldn't get drenched in blood...some faker.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pick out your poisoner

The Russians are coddling the poisoner of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

Canadian Press reports that the Russians have refused extardition...why would this be?

Could it have something to do with this?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something's smelly about the Minto RCMP deal

According to the Toronto Star, John Baird, Mike Fortier and Pierre Poilievre were all tied to a move to relocate the Horsemen's headqurters to the Tory riding here.

"Senior Conservatives have taken almost $8,000 in political donations from two firms set to reap a windfall from the relocation of the RCMP headquarters." Whatever happened to Harper's promise to remove the influence of lobbyists?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Test your Ukrainian here

I just did the Nash Holos Ukrainian test here. I got this nifty certificate

Nash Holos Diploma
This certifies that
has completed the
Nash Holos Ukrainian Language School
Final Exam for 2008
with a score of 98%
onJune 18, 2008

I wonder what they used to call the Reuben...

The language police in China are back and the decisions on official English food names are, well, less colourful. Gone is the "Bean curd made by a pock-marked woman," as the Beijing Youth Daily rendered the spicy Sichuanese dish, is now "Mapo tofu." And "chicken without sexual life" becomes mere "steamed pullet." Oh well, read all about it here

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oil prices - Bush Iraq invasion to blame

Britain's Sunday Independent notes here that the US led invasion of Iraq has tripled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices.
Oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank, told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, had it not been for the Iraq war.
Goldman Sachs predicted last week that the price could rise to an unprecedented $200 a barrel over the next year, and the world is coming to terms with the idea that the age of cheap oil has ended, with far-reaching repercussions on their activities.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Harper Chief of Staff Brodie offed in advance of NAFTAgate report

Well it appears that Mr. Brodie's big mouth and intemperate comments about Barack Obama may be costing him his job as chief of staff to PM Steve.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How will high inflation impact the Ukrainian economy?

An EBRD conference in Kyiv says that growth predictions are being revised downward accross eastern Europe here.

Given a choice between a greenback and public service...

The McCain campaign lost its fifth senior staffer in a week. They are bleeding to thye lobbying indsutry badly.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Biden Calls Bullshit on Bush's Appeasement comments

On the same day that 2 Jewish American superdelegates endorsed Barack Obama, Senator Biden summed up my feelings and the feelings of many on the bush comments:

“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”- Senator Joe Biden (Dem-Delaware)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Conservatives gyp Ukrainian Canadians

In the category of too little, even later, comes a report from the Toronto Star, that the Canadian government is backfilling a previous agreement signed between the Liberal Federal Government and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in 2005 for $12.5 million and replacing it with a smaller agreement to be divvied up among other offended ethnic groups!

According to the Toronto Star the feds announced, "$10 million grant to recognize how Eastern European immigrants were interned in Canadian work camps during World War I."
The money goes to an endowment fund that will allow the community to better educate Canadians about the forced labour camps. The 1914-20 internment affected almost one hundred thousand Ukrainians who were stripped of their possessions and forced into work camps, while thousands more were labelled "enemy aliens" and required to report regularly to police.

The most shocking thing about this announcement is that the Ukrainian community can call getting less than 50 cents on the dollar of what they had under the Liberal agreements a victory. And this one will be shared with all aggrieved Eastern European communities.