NDP HQ emailing their talking points for twitter?

Momentum is building!

Here, it seems, the NDP collective is tweeting what they are being told. The following tweets are not retweets, they are “independent” singular tweets:

Conservatives acted where Tony Genco refused

Tony Genco is the Liberal by-election candidate in Vaughan. He was appointed CEO of Downsview Park in a patronage spree by Paul Martin’s government in 2005:

Jack Aubry’s May 28, 2005 piece:

OTTAWA – With a snap election hanging over their heads, the Martin cabinet quietly oversaw a patronage spree during the last month as it neared a too-close-to-call vote in the House of Commons that threatened its hold on power.

The Liberal government hurriedly approved about 450 orders-in-council starting around the time in April when Prime Minister Paul Martin prepared to address the nation in a televised broadcast to plead his case for a delay in holding a federal election.

In the flurry of orders, Martin approved such patronage appointments for Liberal supporters Robert Fung, Hope Sealy, Tony Genco, Margaret Weir, Jean-Louis Hamel, Guy Saint-Pierre, Peter Clark, and the well-connected Marcel Aubut.

Genco landed the Downsview park gig.

One issue that challenged Genco when he was CEO comes to us via Rabble.ca,

After hearing complaints from the LGBT community about the controversial performer’s violently anti-gay lyrics (sample: “Queers must be killed!” “Give me the Tec-9/Shoot dem like bird”), Parc Downsview Park CEO Tony Genco has refused to pull dancehall act Elephant Man from an upcoming show scheduled for this Sunday Oct 10 at the federal park.

This is Elephant Man’s (real name O’Neil Bryan) second scheduled performance in the Toronto area this year. Back in August, he was scheduled to perform at Circa nightclub in downtown Toronto but the club decided to drop him from the concert after club officials received complaints and were informed of his homophobic lyrics. Word of the show had spread to the LGBT community via Twitter and Facebook and only hours after announcing the show, Circa sent this tweet: “Circa stands for peace, love and equality. Elephant Man has been removed from the Celebrity Ball.”

Now, over a week after receiving complaints and being fully briefed about some of his lyrics (eg. “Log on and step pon chi chi man/Log on and step on a queer man”), PDP CEO Tony Genco refuses to pull Elephant Man from the show at the federal venue even after a privately-owned club decided weeks ago — in the spirit of “peace, love and equality” — he should not perform on their stage.

So, what happened? John Baird, the federal minister in charge of Downsview Park was alerted to the controversy by Olivia Chow. The article continues,

[UPDATE]: An official release is expected from Parc Downsview Park but a spokesperson has confirmed that Elephant Man has been pulled from the show, saying “we have been directed by Ottawa to pull Elephant Man.” Earlier today after this article was posted to twitter and spread by dozens of users, MP Olivia Chow also shared it with her followers – adding: “Protest now & copy to Minister Baird #cdnpoli” (#cdnpoli is a popular Twitter hashtag amongst political tweeters). Her tweet with the link to this page found its way to Minister Baird and soon after the announcement was made by the Park that Elephant Man had been pulled. Later, Chow tweet: “From Downsview Park: directed by Ottawa to pull Elephant Man. Min Baird listened.”

Responding to Paul Wells…

Today Paul Wells wrote a piece in which he supported the thesis of a post I wrote back on July 22. However, he thought he noted a bit of an inconsistency between my post and later tweets,

I’ve been mystified by Stephen Harper’s willingness to squander so much political capital on an issue as trivial as the long-form census. Only slightly less so by the media’s piling on, treating this as a matter of great national importance, and by the level of emotional investment so many apparently attach to census-gathering.

The opposition? They’re just reveling in the unexpected bounty of low-hanging political fruit, and Tory self-inflicted injury.

I don’t get it. It’s just not that big a deal – either way.

— Charles W. Moore, New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, today

Stephen Harper seeks to diminish or destroy the Liberal Party to replace them with the Conservatives as Canada’s default choice for government. His greatest challenge is to dismantle the modern welfare state. If it can’t be measured, future governments can’t pander.

— Blogger Stephen Taylor, July 22.

That’s the choice, I suppose. Either what the Harper government is doing with the long-form census doesn’t matter, or it does. Obviously Moore has a lot more company than Taylor does. Indeed, lately Moore’s company includes Taylor: since July 22 this whole business has gotten too hot for Stephen’s liking and in his blog and on Twitter he’s joined the nobody-cares crowd, arguing that this whole business is an invention of the “push media,” by which he means news organizations that cover a story he doesn’t like for longer than he likes.

There is obviously a bit of confusion because after I wrote that blog post, I took to twitter and wrote this:

When members of Parl ConCensus Gallery aren’t push reporting stories on Census/Prorogation, they’re auditioning for Iggy’s PressSec on #lpcx — @stephen_taylor

I noted a similarity to that earlier sleepy story of the year called prorogation when the Toronto Star breathlessly plastered its front page describing a “fury” of Canadians against prorogation because 20,000 people had joined a Facebook group! Sure enough, while 20,000 people seeded interest in the story, the media took the ball from there and covered it and covered it for the next three weeks and it wasn’t too surprising that the millions of dollars in free media coverage netted that Facebook group over 150,000 members!

To address Wells specifically, he sees a bit of a disconnect between my suggestion that the PM is really using the census issue to dismantle the welfare state and my assertion that “nobody cares” about this story.

However, in my original article I wrote this:

QMI’s David Akin exclaimed surprise that from his cell within the beehive of special interests that is Ottawa, he was shocked to find that a full half — that other half — of Canadians aren’t upset about the changes to the census when it seems that’s the only thing the other bees seem to be buzzing about. The story that “just won’t go away” is a flurry of activity “inside the beehive”, because until you go outside, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Two things: I still standby my thesis that I believe that chucking mandatory nature of the long-form is a move to dismantle the welfare state (and that this is a move in the right direction). And two, nobody cares outside of the beehive. It’s the media that is pushing the story outside of the beehive walls propelled by the loud buzz of special interests.

If you were to poll typical Canadians and asked them, “what is the biggest issue facing you and your family”, I’d venture a guess that most would not respond that “the changing of the long-form census to a voluntary survey” ranks high on their list.

“Nobody cares” is a simplification; nobody cares outside of the beehive. The swarm of special interests sure does care. Other Canadians? They’re at the cottage, or BBQing on their decks. Does bugspray keep bees away too?

As for my trouble-making behaviour, I make no apologies. Sometimes it’s fun to throw rocks at beehives.

You should see Tony Clement’s Ron Maclean impression

Tonight, industry minister Tony Clement had a bit of an experience helping in a rescue of a woman drowning in a river. Clement tweets about the experience,

True story & happy ending: we were having dinner when a young woman knocked on our door, hysterical. Her friend was drowning in the river…

We rushed out & dove in. She was just too far away & I felt the undertow working on me. I had to get to the riverbank. Fortunately…

Fortunately Jennifer somehow figured out she could float on her back. Two others got her to shore. Another would-be rescuer then went into..

Went into shock, so we kept him conscious & warm. Our perimedics then arrived & took over. Folks: don’t swim in unfamiliar waters. Swim…

Close to shore. Rapids mean undertows. If a friend is in trouble get help & call 9-1-1. Be well & give your loved ones a hug. I know I am.

Post script: my wife Lynne and her father Doug got to Jennifer first. Another two locals jumped in too. It was a team effort.

It was an intense evening but it shows how community works together, even in the face of danger. All you need is love…

Now I’m totally knackered, as the Brits would say…

Clement’s first tweet on the event.

Let’s hope that we all have similar clarity of mind when we’re called to help. It’s good to hear that everyone’s safe. Now, back to the treacherous census undercurrents in Ottawa that Clement will brave next week. (amazing segue I know…)

CNN fires senior editor and on-air personality over pro-Hezbollah tweet

From Mediaite:

In the latest case of new media (or oversharing) gone wrong, CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr is leaving the company following the controversy caused by her tweet in praise of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah

Mediaite has the internal memo, which says “we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised.”

Nasr tweeted this weekend: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

Maybe Nasr will go to Al Jazeera?

It’s nearly midnight in Doha, and we are in a cafe on a pier jutting out over the shoreline of the Persian Gulf. The cafe is empty and the night air quiet—except for the insistent ring of mobile telephones. Al-Jazeera Managing Director Mohammed Jasim Al-Ali takes a call from an American TV network executive. The airstrikes are well underway, and the Qatar-based satellite news channel, by now well known to TV audiences and Washington decision-makers alike, is the only TV presence in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Washington, in early October, asked Qatar to rein in the satellite channel, claiming it fans anti-American sentiment. American broadcasters, though, want Al-Jazeera to make them a deal.

Across the table from Mr. Al-Ali is Octavia Nasr, CNN senior international editor. She’s on a mobile too, with an Arabic-language satellite channel which is wooing her in the same way that Western networks have been courting Al-Jazeera over the last several weeks. But a deal has been made between the giants of English-language and Arabic-language TV news, and both sides say they would be hard-pressed to find another partner that could serve them better.

Speaker ruling on use of twitter in the House

Today, Peter Milliken gave his ruling on a Bloc point of order that was made earlier last month regarding Conservative MP Royal Glaipeau’s tweeting in the House of Commons. The Bloc member believed that Galipeau crossed the line when describing how many MPs were not present in the chamber from each party via his twitter account.

Galipeau tweeted,

“In the House now: 20 Conservative MPs, five New Democrats, four Liberals, zero Blocs”

Parliamentary rules state that a Member may not reference missing Members in the House while speaking. However, with the advent of new technology, the conversation perceived by outside observers is no longer limited to a Member addressing the chair.

Milliken ruled that while Galipeau’s tweet was regrettable that it is becoming impossible to police personal devices within the chamber and recommeded that the House of Commons study the use of such devices and services in a committee.

The Kindle was also spotted making its debut in the House during March gracing the desks of Ministers, replacing the larger tabbed green “answer” binders that they carry. With the Apple iPad hitting Canadian shelves later this month will we see another point of convergence of the useful and distracting in the House of Commons?

Jumping into today’s climate hoax

Many of you have now heard of the well-organized hoax against Environment Minister Jim Prentice this morning that involved a fake Jim Prentice Twitter account, a fake Wall Street Journal Article, a fake follow-up press release and now an “accusation” by the Prime Minister’s Spokesman Dimitri Soudas as reported by the “accused”, Equiterre:

Equiterre’s reaction on allegations from the Associate Director- Press Secretary of Prime minister Stephen Harper, Dimitri Soudas

Copenhagen, December 14, 2009- Equiterre reacted in the following terms regarding allegations made today by the Associate Director- Press Secretary of Prime minister Stephen Harper, Mr. Dimitri Soudas. Mr. Soudas accused Steven Guilbeault, cofounder and Deputy Director of Equiterre, to be the source of the spoof on Environment Canada that promotes an important change in the federal government’s climate change policy, The information can be found at the imitation website: www.enviro-canada.ca/index.php.

“Mr. Guilbeault clearly indicated that he is not the source of this spoof. Neither is Equiterre. It is shameful that Office of the Prime Minister is making such accusations without any proof. Mr. Guilbeault and Equiterre are asking Dimitri Soudas to retract his accusations and to present his excuses.

We also deeply regret that Canada’s position on cilmate change is nowhere near the one presented on Environment Canada’s fake website.

Equiterre suggests that the Associate Director, Communication/Press Secretary, Dimitri Soudas, from the Prime Minister office, should stop throwing baseless accusations. A better way to use his time would probably be to advise the Canadian government to change its deeply flawed position on climate.”

– 30 –

Source :
Marie-Eve Roy
Équiterre
À Copenhague
+ 45 41 63 37 95

Éveline Trudel-Fugère
Équiterre
À Montréal
514-605-2000

Where did the “accusation” come from? Soudas had send this email out to the media regarding the Prentice/WSJ spoof:

Dear media,

You may have received a release entitled:

“CANADA ANNOUNCES REVISED FIGURES FOR EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS, RELIEF FUNDS”

This is not a government of Canada press release.

We’re told it may have been issued by mr. Guilbault from equiterre.

If that’s the case, time would be better used by supporting Canada’s efforts to reach an agreement instead of sending out hoax press releases.

More time should be dedicated to playing a constructive role instead of childish pranks.

What made Soudas suspect Guilbault? Apparently, Guilbault forwarded the spoof press release to people and press attending the Copenhagen climate change summit.

UPDATE: A group calling themselves the “Yes Men” have claimed responsibility for the elaborate hoax.

Ujjal Dosanjh on getting to the truth on Afghan prisoners

Some diplomats are more credible than others according to Dosanjh?

On Twitter, we learn of Mr. Dosanjh’s opinion of Richard Colvin’s testimony:

“Colvin was absolutely honest ystrdy. He risked his all. #lpc #cdnpoli #roft” — Ujjal Dosanjh, November 19th 2009

What is Mr. Dosanjh’s opinion of the testimony that David Mulroney would give?

“The government expects us to go into that committee blindly and Mr. Mulroney sits there and tells us this happened and we have no way of knowing whether it happened or not.” — Ujjal Dosanjh, November 23rd 2009

David Mulroney is the current ambassador to China who ran the Afganistan Task Force for the government of Canada. Richard Colvin was a senior diplomat who served in Afghanistan.