Leading off stories with politics and Canucks in mind is the suicide bombing in Kabul which has claimed the lives of Six NATO soldiers, including Canadian Colonel Geoff Parker, 42, a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment who died when a massive car bomb struck a NATO convoy on the edge of the Afghan capital of Kabul. Included in the casualties are 12 civilians with 47 more wounded.
When Harper declares that everything besides the economy is a sideshow, does he include Canadians involvement in a shooting war on the other side of the world? All that blood and treasure a mere sideshow when little if anything is being acomplished?
That wasn't even the most objectionable thing he said at yesterday's little meetup with 120 members of the G8/G20 National Youth Caucus and host/Senate-appointee Mike Duffy. He stated that Canadians wanted non-controversial solutions to the maternal health care issue. Maybe he should look at the numbers and he'd realize that having abortion included as part of maternal health care program is controversial only to him and a minority of Canadians. To top it all off, the event was stage managed so as to avoid difficult questions about the Gulf oil spill. Brave, brave sir Harper bravely ran away!
This poll on the popularity of Canada's party leaders made me laugh, as it perfectly illustrates the current state of Canadian politics. It shows Harper's support to be at 29.5%, Ignatieff at 17.5, Layton at 15.6, and Elizabeth May at 5.5, you might ask yourself, "where do the rest of Canadians stand?" The answer to that is 14.5 don't know, and 11.3% don't care (technically unsure and none of them)! That means that don't know and don't care together only trail Harper by 4%, they lead Iggy by 7, Layton by 9 and May by 20.
I didn't mention Gilles Duceppe's results in the poll as his aspirations, of course, are strictly nationalist and deluded. This poll shows that the majority of Quebeckers believe the sovereignty issue to be settled. As I've tried to explain many times to non-Quebec residents, the Bloc is merely a place for Quebeckers to park their votes when they don't like or trust the leaders of the national parties. These poll results bear that out.
Some good news on the environment front in Canada: Timber companies and environment groups have unveiled an agreement aimed at protecting two-thirds of Canada's vast forests from unsustainable logging. This is massively importannt as Canada has actually been losing forests at a faster rate than Brazil!
The bad news for the environment is that the successful development of Canada's tar sands has triggered a rush by Shell and other oil companies to set up similar operations in Russia, Congo and even Madagascar.