NDP is creating jobs… well, sort of

The NDP is hiring! For all of you wide-eyed Jack Backers out there, you could score your dream job of a lifetime working as Jack Layton’s legislative assistant for example.

Writing memos, fetching coffee, coming up with witty one-liners to summarize the Pacific Rim impact on the national trade deficit… YES!

While he’s “Jack” to the whole country, he could be “yes Mr. Layton, sir” to you!

Among the key duties listed:

  • “Research, maintain files, prepare strategy and policy proposals and brief Leader on matters relating to his critic areas”
  • “Liase with labour movement”
  • “answering telephones, reception, sorting mail”

Among the qualifications listed:

  • “Strong writing abilities and editing skills”
  • “Ability to work well in a creative team environment”
  • “Knowledge of the New Democratic Party, the labour movement, government departments, NGOs and agencies as well as riding priorities”

The job posting also states:
“A collective agreement is in effect between the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (Local 232) and the Federal New Democratic Caucus. A ten working day appeal period outlined in article 15.03 applies to this position. All terms and conditions in the Collective Agreement apply to this posting and this position. All applications will be received and held in confidence. Present and former members of CEP Local 232 or PASS should so indicate on the application.”

And while the posting concludes with “The NDP is an employment equity employer”, the posting also boldly states: “NOTE: THERE IS A PREFERRED CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION”


9/11 Commission Report

The 9/11 Commission report was released at 11:30am EST today. It is 585 pages in length and contains some shocking revelations at the overall unprepared state of the FAA and the military to address the situation. I will not comment at length because I don’t believe that I have more than a common knowledge about 9/11.

You can download the report here

So far, here are some of the more shocking paragraphs that I have found:

At 9:36, the FAA’s Boston Center called NEADS and relayed the discovery about an unidentified aircraft closing in on Washington:�Latest report. Aircraft VFR [visual flight rules] six miles southeast of the White House. . . . Six, southwest. Six, southwest of the White House, deviating away.� This startling news prompted the mission crew commander at NEADS to take immediate control of the airspace to clear a flight path for the Langley fighters:�Okay,we�re going to turn it . . . crank it up. . . . Run them to the White House.� He then discovered, to his surprise, that the Langley fighters were not headed north toward the Baltimore area as instructed,but east over the ocean.�I don�t care how many windows you break,� he said.�Damn it. . . . Okay. Push them back.�

The time of notification of the crash of United 93 was 10:15.174 The NEADS air defenders never located the flight or followed it on their radar scopes.The flight had already crashed by the time they learned it was hijacked… As it turned out, the NEADS air defenders had nine minutes� notice on the first hijacked plane, no advance notice on the second, no advance notice on the third, and no advance notice on the fourth.

More than the actual events, inaccurate government accounts of those events made it appear that the military was notified in time to respond to two of the hijackings, raising questions about the adequacy of the response.Those accounts had the effect of deflecting questions about the military�s capacity to obtain timely and accurate information from its own sources. In addition, they overstated the FAA�s ability to provide the military with timely and useful information that morning.

Martin cabinet

Prime Minister Paul Martin announced his cabinet yesterday. His ministers were sworn-in at Rideau Hall.

Here is a list of the liberal cabinet ministers and their responsibilities:

Paul Martin: Prime Minister
Jack Austin: Leader of the Government in the Senate
Stephane Dion: Environment
Ralph Goodale: Finance
Anne McLellan: Deputy prime minister, public safety and emergency preparedness
Lucienne Robillard: Intergovernmental Affairs
Pierre Pettigrew: Foreign Affairs
Jim Peterson: International Trade
Ujjal Dosanjh: Health
Andy Mitchell: Agriculture
Joe Volpe: Human Resources
Claudette Bradshaw: Human Resources (minister of state)
John McCallum: Revenue
Stephen Owen: Western Economic Diversification, Sport
Bill Graham: Defence
Reg Alcock: Treasury Board
Geoff Regan: Fisheries and Oceans
Tony Valeri: House Leader
Jean Lapierre: Transport
John Godfrey: Communities and Infrastructure.
Irwin Cotler: Justice, Attorney General
David Emerson: Industry
Joe Fontana: Labour
Judy Sgro: Immigration
John Efford: Natural Resources
Liza Frulla: Heritage
Scott Brison: Public Works.
Ken Dryden: Social Development
Tony Ianno: Families and Caregivers
Andy Scott: Indian Affairs
Joe Comuzzi: Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
Albina Guarnieri: Veterans Affairs
Joseph McGuire: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Mauril Belanger: Deputy Leader of the Government in the House
Carolyn Bennett: Minister of State (Public Health)
Aileen Carroll: International Co-operation
Raymond Chan: Multiculturalism
Jacques Saada: Francophonie, Quebec Economic Development

Every time I look at a new Liberal cabinet, I swear that there must be about half of the liberal caucus sitting in the “front row”. There really are too many cabinet posts and many have been handed out either as a political reward or for the purpose of mending Liberal fences.

One might also find it ironic to see Scott Brison in cabinet. Not because he’s a turncoat Tory, but because he now represents the very ministry he so viciously railed against as an opposition MP.

The re-emergence of Reg Alcock is also puzzling. His declaration that the sponsorship scandal was a fraction of its actual size was a significant Liberal gaffe before the election. The civil service was also shook-up by Mr. Alcock, and by doing so, he suspended a problem rather than fixing it. The bureaucracy may not end up functioning as well as Mr. Martin may require in his minority government reality. But there he stays… Reg Alcock is the minister responsible for the Treasury Board.

The appointment of Ujjal Dosanjh to the Health portfolio moves Martin’s policy in this department to the left. Is this a pre-campaign measure to stake a clear difference on healthcare from the Conservatives?

Also, what’s Jean Lapierre doing in cabinet? Didn’t this separatist lose Quebec for the Liberals? Is he really going to help the Liberals break through in that province the next time around?

Hockey Star Ken Dryden also makes the starting line in his rookie year. Dryden is another example of how Martin is crafting a campaign cabinet.

I guess we’ll see how this one goes…