Monday, December 24, 2012

Geoffrey Canada on Friday's NRA statement: "That was the most irresponsible...hurtful response to an American tragedy that I have heard"

n response to Friday morning's public statement by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre – the first public remarks by the National Rifle Association since last week's shooting in Newtown, Conn. – this evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" invites Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, to share his insight and reactions:

"That was the most irresponsible, and I think, hurtful response to an American tragedy that I have heard," said Canada, referencing LaPierre's suggestion of more firearms as an answer for the current epidemic of gun violence in the country. "He should be ashamed of himself to come and tell the American people 'I am not going to do anything reasonable – not one thing.'"

As the pro-gun lobby continues to laud the value of military grade weapons – the likes of which have been used in several recent mass killings – Canada voices his opposition:

"It is shameful because they can give you not one logical reason that an American citizen needs an assault weapon. Not one. They aren't good for hunting, they serve no purpose," says the 60-year-old social activist. "In the hands of someone really mentally ill, they can do damage that is inconceivable to us."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in this evening at 9 as Canada further explains the pressing need to address this issue through legislation, so as to better "protect our children."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Readers defend Canada's ties to the monarchy

Re: "Let's dump this outdated institution," Our View, Wednesday, Nov. 28.

I can't stand some reports on so-called "surveys."

Apparently, a Montreal-based "Association for Canadian Studies" (possibly funded by us taxpayers) claimed the majority of their phone canvassing resulted in negative views on Canadians' interest in our ties with the English monarchy.

Well, considering it was a Montreal-based survey, I think it questionable. Could we have expected anything different? I'm having a lot of questions on how Quebec is run, in light of past and current legal and political "irregularities."

A vast number of Quebecois continue to be disenchanted with anything, especially "English," outside their desire for independence. Let's do an Ontario-west survey, I say. Oh, by the way, how far afield did the canvass actually take them?

The monarchy has had its many problems with outrageous scandals, political and domestic, but what country, regime or family unit hasn't?

Our society was founded on the basis of Roman, Judeo-Christian ethic with the founding fathers of the British Rule of Law and political governance that has been questioned and criticized, but what other system is really that much better?

How many other societies have experienced the characteristics of what we have in the West and are not truly envious (inclusive of our English ties) - journalistic freedoms, transparency, democratic freedom of selection of government, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, etc.?

The monarchy is one form of the reflection of our society as to who we are and were and where we have come from as a nation.

Formally cutting links with our past for what? We are currently on a disastrous road financially, spiritually, fiscally and morally around the globe and we desperately need leaders, for sure. Let's not forsake what we feel is no longer important, when there are positive historical remnants of our past that we can be still identified with.

God save our Queen and country!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tories defend $4 million Olympic advertising tab

The Harper government on Monday stood by its decision to spend millions on advertising campaigns during the Olympics, after it came under attack from the opposition NDP for putting “propaganda advertising” ahead of this country’s athletes.

Last week, documents tabled in Parliament showed the government spent more than $4 million on advertisements that ran during the London Olympics, a total that was about 20 times more on than the amount paid out in bonuses to medal winners.

In the Commons, the NDP asked the government why there was more money spent to promote a commemorative coin for the Olympics than there was spent on medallists. The coin campaign through the Royal Canadian Mint cost more than $1.1 million, while about $214,000 was doled out in medal bonuses to Olympic athletes.

“We do indeed put our athletes first. If we look at the Own the Podium program and the investments we made there, certainly after the 2010 Olympics, we are very proud of our Canadian athletes,” said Heritage Minister James Moore.

“We take every opportunity to highlight the brilliance of our athletes. We have welcomed them here on Parliament Hill, supported their programs to ensure that our athletes do indeed shine on the international stage, and not only supporting athletes directly, but also supporting the opportunities for our athletes.”
Moore said the government would continue spending money to promote Canada’s history, which was at the centre of the costliest ad campaign run during the Olympics.

The NDP’s sport critic suggested that the government should have taken some of the almost $4.5 million from the advertising budget and used it to fund athletes or youth sports.

“It’s good to do a little advertising, but I think we’re reaching the point where the entire thing has been quite excessive,” Matthew Dube said outside the Commons.

In all, federal spending on advertising that ran during the Olympics was about $4.46 million, with the largest spenders being Canadian Heritage, which oversees War of 1812 commemorations. The Mint spent $1.13 million on television ads and a special page on the Mint’s website promoting the coin dubbed the “Lucky Loonie.”

The advertising spending also created television and online campaigns to promote tax credits from the federal budget and new citizenship requirements.

The $4-million-plus advertising costs aren’t complete. Canada Post, for instance, declined to reveal how much it spent on advertising a promotional stamp for the Games, saying it was “financial and commercial in nature and has always been treated as confidential.” As well, the final costs for some other federal agencies have yet to be tabulated and won’t be known for at least another month, according to Public Works and Government Services Canada, which tracks all government advertising.