Six In The Morning: Who’s Breaking The Rules Today?

6-in-the-morning1 POLICEBOOK We begin with a story about Facebook and the Regina Police Service. Our city’s law enforcement team has yanked its Facebook page because of an influx of abusive hate comments, in response to that pit bull shooting over the weekend.

2 HOUSING HULLABALOO Tomorrow city council is going to address our city’s housing crisis. Councilors will discuss the Comprehensive Housing Strategy, which will look at creating new strategies and revising old ones to spur rental housing starts. Then we can look forward to Mayor Fougere’s Housing Summit in May. Woo-hoo!

3 BREAKING BOUNDARIES Members of parliament will review changes to federal electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan today. The Saskatchewan Boundaries Commission is recommending that five new urban ridings be created. Conservative MP’s aren’t pleased with the recommendations because it could affect their stronghold in Saskatchewan come election time.

4 UNITED AND GAY Today the US Supreme Court will hear first arguments in the case to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Some are comparing it to Supreme Court cases in the past such as Loving vs. Virginia, in which the court lifted bans on inter-racial marriage.

5 FORD FIASCO It would seem he can’t go a day without the media spotlight shining down on him – good or most likely, bad. His escapades have become pure entertainment for the rest of Canada. It’s now being reported that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was kicked out of a gala for being intoxicated over the weekend.

6 BLAME GLOBAL WARMING! Scientists have linked this winter’s massive snowstorms and this freezing cold spring weather in North America, Europe and Britain to the dramatic loss of Arctic Sea ice – a symptom of Global Warming.

6 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Who’s Breaking The Rules Today?”

  1. #1: How could hate comments be anything other than abusive?

    #5: He won’t go, go, go…and it sounds like he definitely should.
    In re: the mayor’s comments about a trial going on in Toronto, it should be pointed out, for the historically minded, that Richard Nixon, while President, made public remarks about defendants’ guilt during an ongoing trial in California. That could have resulted in a mistrial and the kicking loose of the Manson Family. As a lawyer, he should have known better, to say the very least. Mr. Ford’s loose-lippery is minor in comparison: stupid, rather than criminally irresponsible.

  2. #3 Here’s a copy of the remarks Wascana MP Ralph Goodale made to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure & House Affairs today:

    Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee – thank you for the opportunity to appear.

    My objection has been circulated, so I won’t take your time to read through it all again. I support the report and the map produced by the majority of the Boundaries Commission in Saskatchewan — that is, Queen’s Bench Judge, Mr. Justice Ronald Mills who comes from a rural community near Prince Albert, and Professor Emeritus Dr. John Courtney from Saskatoon who is acknowledged to rank with the leading 3 or 4 political scientists in this country.

    Saskatchewan is proud of both of them. Through long years of experience and service they are steeped in the heritage and the values that characterize Saskatchewan. That, along with their reputations for intelligence and hard work, are probably the reasons why they were selected — by the Chief Justice and by the Speaker respectively — to serve on the independent, arm’s length, non-partisan, quasi-judicial Boundaries Commission for Saskatchewan.

    I stress all this about their background and their values because both have been under attack. By robo-calls and push-polls and the like, there has been a concerted campaign to discredit the work of Judge Mills and Dr Courtney, and this Committee needs to know that these two individuals are of high standing.

    There was a dissenting opinion in the Commission’s report, filed by the third member, David Marit. It is that dissent with which I respectfully disagree.

    What’s “at issue” here is the strategic approach underlying redistribution in Saskatchewan. Mr Marit argues for the status quo with minimal adjustments because he supports exclusively rural OR mixed rural-urban ridings, with NO clear urban voices

    The majority of the commission took a different view, consistent with much of the reasoned evidence before them. They noted that Saskatchewan’s population is growing and it’s becoming increasingly urbanized. More than 75% of the province’s people live in urban centers of all sizes — 40% live in Regina and Saskatoon alone. And yet not one single Saskatchewan riding is distinctively urban. Not one! All 14 are either purely rural or mixed.

    To address that, the Commission-majority produced a measured, reasoned, balanced plan. They have not gone whole-hog in the opposite direction. They have proposed a variety of ridings that accurately represent the vast diversity that is Saskatchewan’s reality.

    Instead of having a map that’s artificially stacked 14-to-nothing against ANY distinctive urban representation whatsoever, the majority proposed a realistic blend of 6 predominantly rural ridings (one more than exists today), 5 urban ridings (3 in Saskatoon and 2 in Regina, instead of none today), and 3 largely mixed ridings. It’s a fair balance.

    This configuration will allow both rural and urban voices to be reflected in the House of Commons, without one swamping the other, without communities of common interest being compromised or obscured. In other provinces, I note that other MPs from other parties — including the government — have underlined the importance of this same principle. I think of Mr Calkins from Wetaskiwin as one example.

    The key point here is reflected in the structure of Saskatchewan’s municipal organizations. There are TWO of them, not just one. One is distinctively rural, and the other urban. Why? Because the interests they represent are different and each deserves focused, full-time attention.

    They are both important. They need to work well together. But each has a distinctive voice that must be heard in its own right. That’s fundamental to fairness in our democracy. If voters in either urban or rural Saskatchewan find themselves muffled or muzzled by the way riding boundaries get drawn up, they will lose faith in the fairness of elections and drop out.

    And that’s why I disagree with the dissent, and strongly support the majority report of the Saskatchewan Commission.

  3. Conservatives know no shame. Personally, they’re trying to keep Saskatchewan redneck and proud, while “professionally” these do-nothing twerps are working hard to keep that majority govt in 2015, which they will lose, followed by total loss in 2017.

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