Watching too much TV can kill you!

Washington D.C, Oct 28 (ANI): Couch potatoes, you may want to lessen your TV-time as a team of researchers has linked prolonged TV viewing to 8 leading causes of death in the US.

On average, 80 percent of American adults watch 3.5 hours of television per day and multiple observational studies have demonstrated a link between TV viewing and poorer health.

The investigators reported an association between increasing hours of television viewing per day and increasing risk of death from most of the major causes of death in the United States.

Previous studies had reported a relationship between TV viewing and elevated risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. In this study, researchers at the National Cancer Institute looked at more than 221,000 individuals aged 50-71 years old who were free of chronic disease at study entry.

They confirmed the association for higher mortality risk from cancer and heart disease. In addition, they identified new associations with higher risk of death from most of the leading causes of death in the U.S., such as, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease.

The results fit within a growing body of research, indicating that too much sitting can have many different adverse health effects, explained lead investigator Sarah K. Keadle.

Keadle cautioned that although each of the associations observed have plausible biological mechanisms, several associations are being reported for the first time and additional research is needed to replicate these findings and to understand the associations more completely.

The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)

 

Coquitlam Mounties hand out reflectors to keep pedestrians safe

In the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in Autumn, pedestrians are more than three times as likely to be fatally struck by cars. As we get ready to set the clocks back an hour November 1st, the Coquitlam Mounties, local government, ICBC and volunteers are gearing up to help keep pedestrian safe by participating in an education safety campaign November 2nd in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam. The media are invited to attend.

“We are handing out the reflectors and safety information cards as part of a campaign to keep pedestrian safe. The reflectors make pedestrians more visible to drivers in the dark by reflecting vehicle headlights and the cards are great for reminding pedestrians about safety issues, like not crossing mid-block and the importance of making eye contact with drivers before crossing a street,” said Sergeant Terry MacDonald of Coquitlam Traffic Services. “Pedestrians are vulnerable road users because in a collision with vehicles, they are no match to 3,000 pounds of steel. This is why the police will focus their enforcement on unsafe behaviours that put pedestrians at risk in November.”

In B.C., 18% of or nearly one in five people killed in car crashes are pedestrians, and in the Lower Mainland, on average, 33 pedestrians are killed and 1,700 injured in crashes every year with 75 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians occur at intersections.*

“Crashes with pedestrians spike dramatically in fall and winter as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease,” said Kathleen Nadalin, local road safety coordinator. “When you’re walking, make eye contact, wear bright and reflective clothing, and stay focused on the road. When you’re driving, take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.”
Safety tips for drivers:

Focus on the road. Always leave your phone or any other hand-held electronic device alone while you’re driving.
Be ready to yield to pedestrians – especially when turning in intersections and near transit stops.
Look twice for pedestrians before turning especially in fall and winter when visibility is poor.
Give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street.

Safety tips for pedestrians:

Make eye contact with drivers as it’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in fall and winter. Never assume that a driver has seen you.
Focus your full attention on the road and traffic around you as drivers may not stop or obey traffic signals.
Remove your headphones and leave your phone alone while crossing the road.
Wear bright and reflective clothing or gear to make it easier for drivers to see you especially in wet weather, at dusk and at night.
Before you start to cross, look left and right for oncoming vehicles and make sure vehicles in all lanes are fully stopped. Then look left and right again for vehicles while you’re crossing.
Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic instead of also scanning for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Always cross at designated crosswalks, not mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and don’t cross on a yellow or red light.

Safety tips for transit users:

Make sure that you’re visible when you’re walking to and from your transit stop. Wear bright and reflective clothing or gear so drivers can see you in all weather conditions.
Be cautious at transit stops. Avoid running for the bus and taking shortcuts. Always cross at designated crosswalks, not mid-block.

 

Officer in Charge speaks about online exploitation at victim services conference

Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP, recently spoke at a conference for victim services personnel that focussed on the online exploitation of child and youth. This is a growing trend and the Surrey RCMP is encouraging parents and child/youth care workers to take an active role in educating children and themselves on how to stay safe in the online world.

The October 24th conference, entitled “Innocence Gone in Seconds: Responding to Child and Youth Exploitation”, was hosted by the Fraser Regional Training Committee in Surrey, and presented information to victim services personnel on online luring and the impacts of victimization.

C/Supt. Fordy spoke to delegates about the challenges police face with respect to the crimes that are committed online and the investigative requirements to bring forward charges against those who victimize some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“The internet is not a thing, it’s a place. It’s a place full of people doing a lot of great things, but also some extremely bad things,” said C/Supt. Fordy in his opening address. “But policing the internet, in short, is extremely difficult, as it is a place where anonymity reigns.”

On average, approximately 15% of the files investigated by the Surrey RCMP’s Youth Unit involve some aspect of social media. In addition, almost 10% of cases seen by the Surrey RCMP’s Youth Intervention Program are related to online activity.

“Young people and parents need to be aware of the heightened risks that come with using online technology and to be cognizant of what you share over the internet,” says Sergeant Neil Kennedy with the Youth Unit. “From sending explicit photos to threats and bullying, we have seen the negative impacts that these types of activities can have on both victims and perpetrators. “

The Surrey RCMP continues to highlight the importance of being online savvy through its website, social media, and school talks. There are also a number of resources available that can assist in navigating the evolving online world of smart phones, apps, websites, and photo/video sharing programs.

Tips for Parents and Child/Youth Care Workers:

  • Open dialogue – take a proactive approach to internet safety and discuss the benefits and risks of online activity. Cybertip.ca has age-appropriate resources for parents and educators.
  • Unplug – encourage time away from computers and smart phones. You set the example.
  • Stay informed – sign up for Cybertip.ca Alerts to stay informed on the latest trends.

Tips for Children/Youth:

  • Know the risks – Be cautious about the personal details you share online. Information you give online may later be used against you. People are not always who they say they are.
  • Think before you share – Once you take and share an explicit photo or video it is out of your control. There is a high chance it will be shared with others or posted online.
  • Seek help and report –If you can turn to a parent, guardian or school official, do so. Report internet-related crimes via our non-emergency number 604-599-0502. The website needhelpnow.ca can help navigate what to do if you are impacted by a photo or video that has been shared.

More information is available in the “Protect Yourself” section at www.surrey.rcmp.ca.

British Columbia’s government celebrates South Asian contributions to B.C.’s shared history

VICTORIA – The South Asian contribution to the province’s and the
country’s shared history will be on permanent display in the B.C.
legislature after today’s announcement by Premier Christy Clark that an
historically symbolic flag would be installed inside the Parliament
Buildings.

The 1874 version of the Red Ensign flag is one of the first Canadian
flags to display the emblem of British Columbia after the province joined
Confederation in 1871.

The flag was presented to the province by Steven Purewal, founder of
Indus Media Foundation Canada, in honour of the contributions made to
British Columbia, Canada, and the British Crown by the Punjabi community.

It is dedicated to Kesur Singh, a Risaldar Major Captain in the British
Indian Army who arrived in B.C. as one of Canada’s first Sikh immigrants.
It is the version of the Canadian flag that would have flown over
government buildings when he arrived.

“With Remembrance Day two weeks away, this is a meaningful time to
commemorate our history – and better understand how we got to today,”
said Premier Clark. “The prosperous, free, and multicultural province
we’re so fortunate to call home was built through the hard work and
sacrifice of people who came from halfway around the world in search of a
better life.”

Many early South Asian Sikh pioneers were veterans of colonial Punjabi
regiments that had served the Crown since 1849, when Punjab became part
of the British Empire.

They came to Canada looking for a better life, but faced difficult
conditions. In 1914, the Komagata Maru ship carrying 376 passengers from
India was turned away from the port in Vancouver. In 2008, the B.C.
Legislature formal apologized for the incident.

During the First World War Punjabi soldiers were fighting shoulder-to-
shoulder with Canadians. They suffered enormous losses – and in death,
100 years after the war, they lie beside their Canadian brothers-in-arms
in 17 cemeteries scattered across French and Belgian Flanders.

“This centennial is an opportunity to commemorate those who lost their
lives, but also to engage today’s youth and diverse communities about the
significance of the sacrifices that were made,” said Purewal. “During
WWI, nearly 500,000 Punjabis fought in a joint cause with Canada, despite
the discriminatory conditions prevailing at the time — their service and
notion of duty was truly remarkable.”

Premier Clark and Purewal were joined by members of Surrey-based 3300
British Columbia Regiment (Bhai Kanhaiya) Royal Canadian Army Cadet
Corps, along with leaders from B.C.’s Sikh communities.

The history and contributions of the South Asian communities to B.C. are
part of the province’s new K-12 curriculum being phased in over the next
three years.

“We’re not just talking about history, we’re talking about today,” said
Premier Clark. “B.C. is a place where we recognize and embrace the
contributions of all diverse communities, including South Asians,
including First Nations, including Europeans – and celebrate the new
generation moving forward.”

Quick Facts:

* B.C. is the most ethnically diverse province in Canada and welcomes
nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year.

* Sikhs are the largest South Asian ethnic group in Canada.

* Established in 2013, the 3300 RCACC is the first cadet corps in Canada
to embrace the Sikh culture and contribution to Canada’s military history
as part of their corps identity.

* One-quarter of the people in B.C. are self-identified visible
minorities.

* Since 1990, B.C.’s Multicultural Advisory Council has promoted cross-
cultural understanding and supports the British Columbia Multicultural
Awards.

Learn More:

Indus Media Foundation Canada: http://imfc.org

Arman Singh Dhatt pleads guilty to gun and drug charges in case linked to Surrey shootings

BY JENNIFER SALTMAN,

A young man who was arrested during the investigation into a series of drug-related shootings in Surrey has pleaded guilty to a number of gun and drug charges.

Arman Singh Dhatt, 19, appeared in provincial court in Surrey on Tuesday morning to enter the pleas. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Dhatt pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, possessing a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition, possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, possessing a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, possession for the purpose of trafficking and two breaches of an undertaking.

Most of the offences stem from a search warrant that was executed at his home in Delta on April 10, however the trafficking charge and one breach are from March 25.

Police seized guns, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and Canadian cash during the search of Dhatt’s home.

Police said Dhatt and others came to their attention during their investigation into a large number of shootings that have taken place in Surrey since March.

The gunplay is related to a low-level drug turf war between two groups of dial-a-dopers. One group already has control of the drug trade in the Newton area, and another group is attempting a takeover.

The most recent shooting that police have confirmed is related to the dispute took place in September.

The Province

U.S. VP Joe Biden rules out bid for president

Encouraged by Democrats seeking an alternative to Clinton, Biden had spent the past several months deeply engaged in discussions with his family and advisers but has finally decided not to run for president.

Vice-president Joe Biden ended months of speculation on Wednesday about whether he would run for president, appearing in a hastily announced White House address to say that his window of opportunity to “mount a winning campaign for the nomination” had closed.

Biden cast the decision in personal terms, saying that his family had only recently regained its feet after the death of his eldest son, Beau, from cancer in May.

“As my family and I have worked through the grieving process,” he said, “I’ve said all along that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president.

“I’ve concluded it has closed.”

The announcement marked a major shift in the presidential race, removing a potential threat to Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, who had been polling ahead of a hypothetical Biden candidacy but who was sure to lose support should the vice-president jump in.

It raised fears among White House loyalists that the legacy of the Obama administration had taken on a new vulnerability. And it added clarity for the career of the vice-president, 72, who was first elected to the Senate from Delaware in 1973 and whose time in the public eye has included two runs at the presidency, chairmanship of the Senate foreign relations committee, an unusually visible profile as the president’s No 2 and a public affection that has warmed over his seven years in the White House.

In an address announced about 10 minutes before he began speaking, a subdued Biden thanked the president for lending him the Rose Garden and spoke in personal terms about the loss of his eldest son to cancer in May.

“My family has suffered a loss, and I hope there will come a time … that sooner rather than later, when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.

“That’s where the Bidens are today.”

The vice-president called on the other Democratic candidates not to run from the president’s record and received warm applause from officials as the pair walked slowly back to the Oval Office.

“This party, our nation, will make a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy,” Biden said. “Democrats should not only protect this record, or defend this record – they should run on this record.”

Despite the crisp autumn sunshine, much of the garden was in shadow throughout the longer-than-expected speech by Biden and when he finished, he received a hug from Obama that spoke volumes about sympathy felt in the White House for Biden.

But there was also a tangible sense of relief among many staff who were also known to be concerned about the bitter civil war that could have re-erupted should Biden face off against Clinton.

Biden did repeat a criticism he has made in recent days of a remark Clinton made at the presidential debate last week that Republicans were the “enemy”.

“I believe that we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart, and I believe that we can,” Biden said. “I don’t think, as some do, that we should look at Republicans as our enemy. They’re the opposition, they’re not the enemy.”

Biden promised to be active during the campaign.

“I will not be silent. I will speak clearly and forcefully … on where we stand as a nation.”

In a statement, Clinton called Biden “a good man and a great vice-president”.

“Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people. Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise.”

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, now Clinton’s closest rival for the Democratic nomination called the vice-president “a good friend” who “has made the decision that he feels is best for himself, his family and the country”.

The Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, said Biden had made the “correct decision for him and his family”, adding that he “would rather run against Hillary because her record is so bad”.

The organizers behind Draft Biden 2016, which had sought to encourage the vice-president to join the race, said they were pleased with the work done by people on his behalf.

“While the vice-president has decided not to run, we know that over the next year he will stand up for all Americans and articulate a vision for America’s future that will leave no one behind.”

“It is what it is and we’re left with candidates that we’re left with,” said Jon Cooper, the national finance chair at Draft Biden 2016, now a “superpac without a candidate”, as he described it.

While disappointed the vice president is not running, Cooper said he was relieved to hear Biden say he would continue to make his voice heard during the campaign.

“Hearing Joe Biden speak in the Rose Garden today made me realize even more why all of us undertook this effort in the first place and his speech reminded me of exactly why I and so many others were hoping he would enter the race,” Cooper said. “It was his honesty and his authenticity. His eloquence and passion and love for our country. I also thought he was the one candidate best positioned to restore some civility in Washington.”

‘We can do so much more’
The hastily arranged event was notable most strikingly for its timing: less than 24 hours before an appearance by Clinton before a House select committee on the Benghazi attacks that could prove a turning point in her own campaign.

By squeezing in the announcement just before Obama’s helicopter took off for a long-scheduled trip to West Virginia, the vice-president effectively chose the last possible moment to announce his decision without it looking like it was in reaction to Clinton’s performance.

Biden listed policy priorities he would support in the upcoming campaign, including upward economic mobility for the middle class, more funding for education and the need for coalition building in foreign policy.

Analysis Joe Biden’s optimistic speech hints at campaign that might have been
Speech declining presidential run delivered message stressing merits of Obama presidency – and distanced Biden from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
Read more
“The argument that we just have to do something when bad people do bad things isn’t enough,” Biden said, in apparent reference to the Russian presence in Syria and Ukraine.

He also called, passionately, for a “national commitment to end cancer as we know it today” and vowed to fight toward the goal in his remaining time in office.

“I believe we need a moonshot in this country to cure cancer,” he said. “It’s personal.”

As a candidate, Biden might have been able to pick off supporters from Clinton or Sanders, but he seemed to have no natural constituency – no collection of voters as grouped by race, sex, education, region or income – that was not just as well served by one of the other candidates.

Only 17% of Democrats in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll said Biden would be their top pick as president, compared to 46% for Clinton. Almost half of Democrats said they wanted the vice-president in the race, however.

Biden has run for president twice before, with both bids ending early and poorly. He would seem to have retained some of his old weaknesses as a candidate, such as a tendency to go off message. In a new run, he would have brought old strengths too, however, including his formidable experience and ability as a retail campaigner.

Most significantly, for Biden backers, was the transformation they detected he had undergone since becoming vice-president in 2009. In the nearly seven years since he has become a widely loved national figure – if sometimes a figure of mirth – popular with his colleagues and respected on both sides of the aisle.

Biden had never cast his decision in terms of how well Clinton is faring, but as a question of whether the causes he has described as core – upward economic mobility and global stability – were being served.

On Wednesday, Biden said the core challenge facing the country was to relieve a feeling of familial doubt about the future.

“There are too many people in America, too many parents, who don’t believe they can look their children in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be OK,’” he said.

“That’s our responsibility. And I believe it’s totally within our power.”

The vice-president concluded with a hug for the president and a kiss for his wife.

“I’m telling you,” he said, “we can do so much more, and I’m looking forward to working with this man to get it done.”

Meet the Trudeaus: Who’s who in Canada’s first and only federal dynasty

By Tristin Hopper

Nationa Post
The United States has the Kennedys and Bushes, Bangladesh has the Sheikh-Wazeds and India has the Nehru-Gandhis. Until now, and the election of Justin Trudeau, son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Canada has not had a federal dynasty. So here’s a rundown of what Canadians can expect buzzing about 24 Sussex Drive.
Sophie Grégoire
To be sure, Laureen Harper was more comfortable in the spotlight than her husband, but between the Just for Cats festival and the occasional motorcycle ride, the former Alberta farm girl wasn’t seen all that often. By contrast, Sophie Grégoire, the wife of Justin Trudeau, is a former broadcaster and celebrity reporter who seems to share her husband’s love for public affection. She blew kisses during Trudeau’s acceptance speech, she’s posed for magazine covers, she’s given interviews about the “hardship” of a political marriage and the couple always seems to be dipping in for a kiss before the cameras. As a certified yoga instructor and occasional spokeswoman for women’s charities, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect Trudeau’s wife to use her newfound notice to roll out some kind of Michelle Obama-esque “wellness” initiative.
Margaret Trudeau
Justin’s mom, the former Mrs. Trudeau, could be forgiven for not having the fondest memories of her son’s new home. The prime ministerial residence, of course, was where her relationship to Pierre steadily deteriorated into the couple’s 1984 divorce. As a lifelong sufferer of bipolar disorder, the public eye hasn’t always been good to her. But on Election Night, the 67-year-old grandmother was all pride. “[Justin’s] always won whatever he took on … but this one he took on with such passion,” she told CTV cameras.
Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau
Just like his older brother, Alexandre has endured the subtle annoyances of being Pierre Trudeau’s son. Namely, showing up to Liberal events and having a bunch of Old Spice-wearing oldtimers asking him “when are you going to run?” But while Alexander has eschewed partisan politics, he has been known to champion lefty causes: opposing Canadian intervention in Afghanistan, decrying the Israeli blockage of Gaza and, in 2006, penning a glowing Toronto Star editorial for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. “He is an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion engines, on stock markets. On everything … he is somewhat of a Superman,” wrote Trudeau. But Alexandre also keeps a low profile. Unless he suddenly starts publishing paeans to Kim Jong-un, the younger Trudeau may eke out the new Trudeau era in relative obscurity.
The kids
In his Monday night acceptance speech, Trudeau addressed his children Hadrien, Xavier and Ella-Grace, who were all asleep. “There will be some tough times for you as children of a prime minister, but daddy will be there for you,” he said. Trudeau has been quite candid about how abnormal it is to grow up in 24 Sussex. In a 2010 interview on CPAC, he remembered misinterpreting the text on a box of Alpen cereal claiming it was perfect for “the men around the house.” Said Trudeau, “for me, the ‘men around the house’ were the night watchmen that wandered through the halls of 24 Sussex.”
The Coynes
The mother of Pierre Trudeau’s fourth child is Deborah Coyne, the Constitutional lawyer who unsuccessfully challenged Justin for the Liberal leadership in 2013. In fact, she just wrapped up an unsuccessful campaign for the Green Party in the Ottawa riding of Carleton. But Justin has been almost completely estranged from Deborah and his 23-year-old half-sister Sarah Coyne. And in this latest election, when a reporter inevitably asked Sarah about her own political ambitions, she replied “it’s not something I’ve thought about.”

Full Pundit: Canada re-embraces the Liberals.

Chris Selley

National Post

This will be interesting.
What happens next?
“Stephen Harper simply wore out his welcome,” Sun Media’s David Akin observes. “And MPs from his Conservative Party and from Thomas Mulcair’s NDP paid with their jobs.” Canadians wanted change; it seems they wanted it in even greater numbers than they did in 2006; Justin Trudeau was the “change agent” they chose. Sorry, Mr. Mulcair. Congratulations, Mr. Trudeau.
There are many ways in which Justin is not like Pierre Elliott. For one thing, Graeme Hamilton observes in the National Post, Pierre was “parachuted into one of Canada’s safest Liberal ridings when he entered politics in 1965,” whereas Justin slogged it out in Papineau. Whereas Pierre “famously proved his mettle when he refused to leave the reviewing stand at the St-Jean-Baptiste parade in Montreal as protesters hurled rocks and bottles,” Justin proved it “in batting aside the relentless negative messaging thrown at him” ever since he arrived on the scene. You have to give the man his due.
Oh, and extra points to Hamilton for not mentioning that stupid bloody boxing match, which obviously did not matter. Let us never speak of it again.
Alain Dubuc, writing in La Presse, cautions against selling Trudeau short. He did more than just exceed low expectations and tug at our hope-strings. “He scored points off seasoned opponents,” says Dubuc. And he displayed an “ability to occupy the centre,” where most Canadians want their prime ministers to be.
Now that he’s set to become prime minister, mind you, he’s got some agenda to fulfil from the centre. The Liberal platform was pretty ambitious; one wonders if its authors really thought he’d be in a position to implement all of it.
“The smile that spread across the lips of the Canadian elites during the last week of this election, when Harper was reduced to posing with Rob Ford and his brother , … was almost wolfish,” Neil Macdonald writes in a good piece at CBC. And the elites will no doubt have been chuffed with Trudeau’s very Obama-lite speech. But the fact is, as Macdonald says, “Trudeau now bears the weight of impossible expectations that he himself largely created.” And “it didn’t take long for Obama to hit a bog of reality once his public rapture wore off six years ago.”
The world is going to come at Justin Trudeau pretty fast now. This will be interesting
The Globe and Mail’s Campbell Clark observes there’s a G20 summit coming up in three weeks; he imagines Trudeau’s “plan to withdraw from the air strikes against Islamic State… will be of interest” there. (Indeed. While a few Canadian jets doesn’t make much of a difference either way, it’s a bit of a clunker as one of his first acts in office. Trudeau has never explained why the mission is sound, but not Canada’s role in it.)
Then there’s the climate change summit in December, after which Trudeau is committed to “hammering out a federal-provincial (emissions) deal within 90 days.” Back at home, says Clark, Trudeau is going to have to put together a cabinet and figure out how to conduct himself in such a way that honours his hopey-changey promises of politics-done-differently while also of necessity “imposing (his) authority.”
The Financial Post’s Terence Corcoran suspects Trudeau’s headline economic promises will soon fade into the background once he starts dealing “with the real drivers of the Canadian economy — the price of oil, persistent global economic uncertainty, Middle East conflicts, the international refugee crises, trade agreements, international and local debt, along with the great global monetary policy muddle and the future of interest rates in the United States.”
Climate is first on the agenda at next month’s Paris summit, and Corcoran doesn’t like the tight timeline. “There is therefore some risk of stumbling into an international carbon control regime that will damage the Canadian economy,” he argues. If so, hopefully it’ll be another regime the Liberals can just ignore.
Adam Dodek, writing in the Globe, explores Trudeau’s very ambitious democratic reform agenda: decentralizing power to his cabinet and letting members actually talk about their files to the media; liberating backbench MPs to be themselves and speak their minds; “reinvigorating” the public service and enforcing transparency upon it; and following through on some kind of non-constitutional Senate reform. It’s not just a matter of reverting to pre-Harper days, as Dodek says. “In many cases — like the concentration of power in the PMO — Mr. Harper did not create the problem, but continued and exacerbated it,” he reminds us.
In that regard, at Policy Options, Dan Gardner offers some sage policymaking advice to the Liberals: resist the urge to undo things or do the opposite of things just because Stephen Harper did those things; and recognize that Canada was not perfect before Harper came along. The status quo ante isn’t the goal; improvement is. (The obvious exception is home mail delivery, which achieved perfection late in 2003.) Criminal sentencing is a perfect example, as Gardner says. They could “simply go down the list of newly passed mandatory minimums and repeal them one by one” — but the Criminal Code has been “a mess” for decades. So address the mess!
Dodek doesn’t even mention electoral reform, incidentally, and on Tuesday Trudeau reiterated his commitment that Monday’s would be our last first-past-the-post election.Bernard Descôteaux, writing in Le Devoir, suspects the New Democrats will firmly be reminding him of that commitment as time goes on. We’d frankly be astonished if Trudeau made good on that promise, but depending on what they come up with we’re prepared to be pleasantly astonished.
Trudeau’s agenda is not an incrementalist one like Harper’s, the Post’s Michael Den Tandt observes. And a wide-open governance style would be at odds with his “disciplined and gaffe-free” campaign. “With glasnost, and the broad loosening of the PM’s grip on cabinet and caucus that would accompany it, will come opportunities for mistakes,” as Den Tandt says. “It remains to be seen to what extent Trudeau and his advisors will tolerate the risk of relaxing central control.”
Oh, dear. Richard Martineau is unimpressed. “So the new prime minister will be a former drama teacher who wouldn’t even be qualified to run a small-to-medium-sized enterprise,” he writes in Le Journal de Montréal. His misery-guts colleague Mathieu Bock-Côté is even less impressed, lamenting that Quebecers have returned in such numbers to a party and a family name with such a “morbid aversion to Quebec and hostility in principle to any constitutional recognition of its identity.”
“The Québécois people clearly have no political memory,” Bock-Côté concludes. It makes him question their survival instinct. But then, a rainy summer morning or a sub-par meal makes him question Quebecers’ survival instinct.
Given the history, you would have expected the Liberal surge to have driven some votes to the Bloc Québécois, Michel David observes in Le Devoir: if the NDP were on the way out, better for sovereigntists to park their vote somewhere safe and warm. Nope. David therefore asks: “Must we conclude that Quebecers are now ready to accept Canadian federalism, to wipe clean the slate on repatriating the constitution, the Clarity Act and the sponsorship scandal?”
Yup! We’ll never hear about those things again.
In La Presse’s editorial, Pascale Breton notes that Quebec in general and Montreal specifically now have far more clout in Ottawa than they have had in years. (Get readyfor your new toll-free Champlain Bridge, Montrealers!)
But the Edmonton Journal’s Graham Thomson wonders who will now speak for mostly blue-and-orange Alberta. “Is it the province’s Conservative MPs? … Is it the four Liberal MLAs? … Is it Premier Rachel Notley, who proudly and loudly backed the wrong horse?” Thomson sees some common ground between Notley and Trudeau on oil patch matters; it’s certainly better news for her than another Conservative government in Ottawa. But her counterproductive intervention still stands as “her first real stumble,” in Thomson’s view.
What happened
It’s a myth that governments usually defeat themselves, argues Postmedia’s Andrew Coyne. But Stephen Harper’s Conservatives? Yeah, they defeated themselves — with a “dull, purposeless” campaign amounting to little more than “a series of morosely staged photo ops featuring Stephen Harper with nothing really to announce.” Mind you, Coyne says, they were so unpopular beforehand — again largely thanks to their own actions — that only a minority was likely in play anyway, and “only if the opposition vote remained almost perfectly evenly divided.”
Tom Flanagan, writing in the Globe, argues the Conservative campaign was far too short on positive elements that hadn’t already been announced, such as the Child Care Allowance, income splitting and tax-free savings accounts — which the Liberals were easily able to counter with their own giant novelty cheques.
“At its best, the Conservative campaign was lacklustre. Where was the bold plan for the future? The new initiatives?” John Ibbitson asks in the Globe. “At its worst, the campaign was debased. The niqab debate. The Ford brothers.” Oh right. That actually happened.
The Tory base came out, Andrew MacDougall notes in the Ottawa Citizen. No problem there. “The problem for Harper is that was it,” he says. “As a result, the Liberals grew from 34 seats to form a majority government. It might have been Iggy who told Liberals to ‘rise up’ but it was Trudeau who produced the electoral Viagra that has put the Liberals back in pole position.”
OK, that was totally unnecessary.
Harper “could not articulate a single bold thing he wanted to do if given one last term in power,” the Globe’s Adam Radwanski observes. And while “the Tories were less guilty than the New Democrats of underestimating Mr. Trudeau,” he argues “they overestimated … the ability of Mr. Harper to win over swing voters in the absence of much resembling a forward-looking agenda.” Instead they spent all their times “attacking the alternatives.”
Jason Kenney delivered a quote for the ages in Calgary last night, as related by Susan Delacourt at iPolitics: “I think where we went wrong was on tone.” We think he’s dead right, and he can tell it to the mirror. At immigration he did any number of unpopular things the Liberals did as well, and created about 10,000 times the controversy they did, for the simple reason that he seemed to revel in doing them.
The Toronto Star’s Tim Harper suggests Kenney’s leadership prospects may have been seriously damaged Monday, so “inextricably tied” is he to “this night of infamy.” Indeed. No disrespect intended to the guy, but he is simply of the wrong temperament to be the next leader of this party.
Delacourt hopes the “consumers who went to the ballot box looking for discounts on their taxes in the past few elections may have remembered that they were citizens as well as ‘taxpayers’ in this one.” A nice idea, but there was no shortage of basic economic pitches in the Liberal campaign, was there?
The Calgary Herald’s Don Braid provides a little perspective: as thumpings go, this is hardly “catastrophic” for the Tories. “With victories in 99 ridings, they remain a significant political force that could easily revive with a popular new leader, one with some gift for human contact that Harper could never muster in public,” he writes. Kenney has that gift, no question. After Monday’s defeat he “almost immediately said the party needs a ‘sunnier’ and more optimistic conservatism,” Braid observes. But fairly or not, he’s also seen as a cartoon villain.
“Harper will wear this defeat for all time,” Chantal Hébert writes in the Star — and not just the defeat, but the epic Liberal comeback in reasonably good economic times. ”Whether the Conservatives can agree on a successor without tearing the party apart is not a given.”
Ibbitson, however, argues the stains will eventually wash out, leaving “much that Stephen Harper can be proud of”: uniting the conservative movement, bringing “the West into the heart of the federal government,” trade agreements, not screwing up the financial crisis, “a decade of peace … between Ottawa and the provinces,” putting more money back in our pockets and just generally making “the federal government mean less in our lives, which was what this most conservative of prime ministers wanted more than anything else.”
Uh huh. And then we all went out and elected Captain National Strategy, the first guy in yonks to campaign on running deficits. Ouch.
Oh, and just by the by, the Star’s Heather Mallick regales us with tales of her hard work against the Harper government, and of how ever so much she has suffered for her art.

Indo Canadian Sex offender who was living in Surrey back in jail

By Sheila Reynolds,

Surrey North Delta Leader

A convicted, high-risk sex offender who took up residence in Surrey when he was released from jail in early 2014 is back in custody.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann confirmed Narindar Pal Wasan was arrested Oct. 9 when officers were checking up on him.

While one of the conditions of a February probation order was to abide by a daily 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, he was not home when police dropped in after 10 p.m.

Wasan, 51, showed up shortly thereafter and was arrested.

B.C. Corrections issued a public notice when Wasan was released from prison in January 2014, warning he had a “versatile” pattern of sex offences as he had assaulted females of all ages. His lengthy criminal record dates back to 1986.

He served jail time for attacking a 52-year-old woman in a Vancouver park and for a prior assault of a 10-year-old girl outside an elementary school in Burnaby.

He also has a conviction for fondling a teen’s breasts in a SkyTrain station elevator.

The most recent curfew break is not the first time Wasan has not abided by his court-ordered conditions.

Records show he has breached his recognizance on several prior occasions, including in April, May, November and December last year.

He was also charged and found guilty of uttering threats last December, and with fear of injury/damage by another person just months before that.

His next court date is Oct. 30 for the probation breach.

(When he was released in January 2014, B.C. Corrections mis-spelled his first name as Narinder).