Thursday, June 03, 2010

NO to the sound cannons at G20 Summit in Toronto & other notes

1. Common sense out of the RCMP on this one: "Mounties shun ‘sound cannons’ in urban settings ahead of G20." A few points here...the RCMP reviewed the use of the "Long Range Acoustic Devices" and decided they weren't for crowd-control. The Vancouver Police also committed for the Olympics not to use the alert function on these cannons. Further, the Globe report contains another warning from a doctor at Sick Kids about the prospect of hearing damage. As this writer put it, "...there but for a cool-headed officer at the controls, the entire grassroots of our city could be chancing hearing loss." I think we can fairly offer up a resounding NO to the use of these devices at the G20 and beyond. The risk is too great for citizens to bear.

2. For all those wondering why the Conservatives retain their lead in the polls, here's one theory: "The power of shazam," worth a read today.

3. But about that Conservative EKOS today has it shrunken. That's a shame. Cons 31.7, Libs 26.2, NDP 17.4, Greens 11.5. Conservative support a bit off from last week (33.9), maybe due to the G20 $1.1 billion security boondoggle. 31.7 for a governing party with all the resources, public and private, they throw at their public presentation. Amazing.

4. Jim Travers is suggesting today that David Johnston could be on the short list for the Governor General succession. Travers devotes his column to the role Johnston played in narrowing the terms of reference of the Oliphant commission to exclude overt consideration of the Airbus affair. The PMO must want political clearance for Johnston as the name will now be vetted publicly. But the PMO hasn't played politics at all with the Governor General's succession, have they?

As for a view...irrespective of the involvement by Johnston in framing the Oliphant commission, he is by all accounts someone of high integrity, a legal scholar to boot. It's a leap to think that there would be any possibility of bias if he were to become Governor General, with all the sensitivity that position now holds in this era of minority governments. He would be a satisfactory pick to be sitting in the Governor General's chair whenever Stephen Harper might come calling.

5. Finally, Harper's in Britain today. Scanned the British press but there's nada about the big bank tax trip. How much public money is he spending to campaign on behalf of the banks anyway? Shouldn't there more properly be a bank logo of some kind on the side of his plane? His visit will be overshadowed, likely, by the major incident of gun violence.