Monday, February 19, 2007


The three stories featured on the front page of the morning Vancouver Sun have curious and circuitous links.

1)Some parents are angry about the new gay-friendly material that will appear in public schools.

2)An Iranian refugee was arrested in a local church sanctuary.

3)Former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer is advising the Prime Minister to stop trying to influence judges.

What makes these stories so interesting, and what at the same time, connects them is that they are again about Your Rights vs. My Rights in the context of a self-advertised multi-cultural society, and that all sides of all the arguments are reasonably defensible.

1)In a perfect world, toward which we may continually strive, people wouldn't hate or discriminate against gays, blacks, whites, Jews, Christians, Haitians and Rosicrucians. On the other hand (as Tevye, the Milkman, would say), if I am a parent, I have a right to take my child out of classes that I think are inappropriate for or offensive to me or my child.

2)Illegal refugee claimants who are hiding should and can be arrested. On the other hand, while it is not written into law, the notion of church sanctuary has long been an accepted practice, and, frankly, there is something disturbing to me about the police "invading" the quiet of a church to arrest someone.

3)The process of appointing people to the Supreme Court is deeply flawed and needs a modern overhaul. On the other hand, the Prime Minister, although he may be a bit wooden-clogged in his approach, is right to say what so many other and reasonable Canadians are saying. "Let's think a little more about the safety of the community in sentencing and not quite so much about the alleged rehabilitation of the convicted criminal."

Each of these stories id worthy of lengthy debate. The commentary below is OPEN and will have to do until places for discussion of public policy - once at the core of radio, television and print media -are returned.


If you ran a little neighbourhood coffee house - well, you couldn't, of course, because the taxes and red tape would kill you - and your expenses went up 40%, what would you do? I mean, besides fold your tent and get a job with the post office?

Well, if your little coffee shop is a government flagship and it's timed for unveiling at the famous Olympics, then hang the cost! Hey, it's only the hard-earned money of teachers and postal workers and doctors and street cleaners known otherwise and so cavalierly as TAXPAYERS.
So the Trade & Convention Centre expansion, tagged originally at a mere $565 Million is now going to cost tree pruners and dog trimmers and history professors and hospital cafeteria staff more like $800 Million. "Big deal," says Victoria.
And you can bet your SUV or your hybrid that the real cost will easily exceed a Billion Dollars when all is said and done.
Welcome to the ancient honorable world of Politics and Public Spending. And we've learned from history...exactly, what?


There are some headlines you need to read 5 or 6 times, and even then you're not quite sure you are dreaming or reading the morning paper. Here's one of the best and the latest: "AIR CANADA TO HALT ALL FLIGHTS TO INDIA."


Canada's official airline claims it needs all its aircraft now for service to China.

This is an "either/or" proposition?

Let me see if I understand this. I don't; but let's try.

Every flight I have taken in recent years from Europe back to Canada, whether through Heathrow or Frankfurt has been more than 50% occupied by Indians from India. My October 2006 flight was at least 80% so occupied.

So...people from India only want to come here? And people from here don't want to go to India? No. I don't think so.

India is the second most populous country in the world - second, of course, to China. It's very nice that Air Canada has woken up and realized that it should provide steady service to the major centres of China. But to do that by cutting off service to India??? What part of mismanagement do I not understand?

The aircraft pictured herein is for hire. Call me at 1-800-I-FLY-INDIA.