Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's cold out there & other notes

1. How cold is it? Try Simcoe-Grey for an answer. Scoop at the Enterprise Bulletin has been tracking some interesting goings on in the Conservative nomination brouhaha to replace Helena Guergis. In his report yesterday, he noted that 50 Conservative MPs and Senators have endorsed the perceived front-runner, Kellie Leitch. No pangs of conscience about their former colleague for those folks, whose legions include a big chunk of the Ontario caucus. Cold, baby!

There's a hiccup in the Leitch express in the form of a Leitch endorsement letter sent to Conservatives by the Simcoe County Warden who is also a mayor up there. Only problem is that he didn't approve of it. (See BCL too.) The aforementioned endorsements on her site had some funny business that Scoop caught as well: duplicate endorsements that were later pulled. Sounds like it could be the heavy hand of the Ottawa team that is reaching down and mucking it up in many interesting ways.

2. The UAE/Canada dust-up rolls on. The Star has a report on Wikileaks cables that shed light on the role that the UAE has played in Afghanistan, sending military personnel to serve with Canadian and other NATO troops there along with financial contributions for Kandahar schools, etc. Kind of puts PM Harper's remarks in a different light: (“That’s just not how you treat allies, and I think it tells us you better pick your friends pretty carefully in the future,” he told the QMI Agency earlier this month.") In terms of what should be done going forward, this former PM has a view and might get the current PM's attention.

3. The Star also has a good editorial on the Atomic Energy Canada Limited situation and the federal/Ontario battle that re-surfaced last week. Jim Flaherty essentially berated Ontario for putting the Darlington nuclear upgrade on hold. Ontario did that because AECL is up for sale and for cost reasons, Ontario doesn't want to buy from AECL now when the federal government's backing may imminently disappear. That's a stalemate that affects AECL's attractiveness to buyers. Buyers who seem to have backed out, although that situation is yet to be confirmed by the Harper government. Still not looking any better on this one.

4. Finally, the Conservatives are trying to be oh so careful with the Quebec City arena situation. There's a huge professional stadium funding trial balloon in the Globe today. There is lots that could be said about this but let's just leave it at...good luck with that one, Harper brain trust!