Friday, May 16

LETHBRIDGE FEDERAL LIBERAL ASSOCIATION’S RESOLUTION ON WATER

Though there are many important issues on the go of recent I believe water tops all. It's not only key to everything we do most of us realize now it's key to our survival. Of course, what I'm talking about is clean or unpolluted water and unfortunately most of us have abused it as well as allow others abuse it without thinking. However, the time of reckoning has come and we realize we need to be much more considerate not only of water but our whole environment and with changing climate and diminishing supplies we need to conserve and respect it. Water being part of our environment is as necessary to the earth as our lungs are are to us. It not only quenches our thirst, it grows our food and helps us keep healthy and we all need to take action in every way we can.

I’m pleased to announce that in response to questions raised with respect to what Liberals are doing with respect to growing concerns about water and it being so important especially in the region the Lethbridge Federal Liberal Association held a policy session on 'water' in March. Because the U of L is developing a Water Institute on campus we decided to take advantage of its resources to further educate ourselves.

Our guest speaker was renowned U of L professor, Dr.Jim Byrne. With Dr. Byrne's assistance, we drafted a background and policy resolution for consideration by the Board and I'm very happy to announce that the resolution was unanimously adopted by the Lethbridge Federal Liberal Association. The resolution has been forwarded to the Policy Chairs of the Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta and the Liberal Party of Canada. It is hoped that we will see elements of our policy in the future Liberal Party of Canada policy platform and I'm pleased to provide both the background and resolution as follows:

LETHBRIDGE FEDERAL LIBERAL ASSOCIATION’S RESOLUTION ON WATER

Preamble

Canadian Scientists specializing in water resource issues have clearly expressed that Canada’s water resources are under serious threats due to climate change, pollution and over allocation; and without action to counter this problems, Canada’s fresh water and associated ecosystems will continue in serious decline in the coming years. These threats are documented in the Water under Fire Television Series available for all Canadians, and broadcast on five Canadian Television Networks. Given the severity of these concerns, the Lethbridge Riding Association provides the following resolution.

Whereas; there is increasing concern amongst Canadians with respect to pollution and our environment, especially with respect to water; and,

Whereas; much of the pollution and degradation of our water resources has become readily apparent and visible and is believed by experts to contribute to increasing health problems and declining quality of life; and,

Whereas; Canada’s Community of Water Scientists confirm, corroborate and verify publicly the need for action with respect to diminishing water supplies, declining water quality and a greater need for conservation and improvement; and,

Whereas; independent practicing Canadian and Global climate and water scientists have reached consensus that Climate Change is one of the greatest threats to our water resources, and that Climate Change will dramatically exacerbate current water resource pollution, allocation and management problems; and

Whereas; Liberals are concerned with respect to the extent and increasing pollution and diminishing supplies; and

Whereas; water, especially clean water is essential to survival of all species;


Therefore;

Be it resolved that LPCA and LPC take action, develop and institute policies that encourage individual and collective responsibility to:
• Stop pollution of water,
• Conserve water supplies;
• Improve the quality of water, and
• Establish Canada’s leadership role in Global Climate Change.

Be it further resolved that a Liberal government will ensure that regulations will immediately move to enforce compliance with regulations and provide practical guides and enticements to assure maximum compliance so that we, our children, grandchildren and future generations can live in security and safety.

Submitted by,

Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate
on behalf of Lethbridge Federal Liberal Association

Friday, May 9

Tidbits Update again

Since last update some interesting happenings and observations. On Saturday May 3 our local Liberal Association unanimously approved a resolution on water which will be forwarded to LPC and LPCA. My computer was down for a couple days but thanks to my comp guru it’s operating again. Also, May 8 I spoke as requested some months ago with the ‘Common Ground (ladies) Group’ at LSCO on Medicare Issues and Friends of Medicare. I like these ladies feel strongly that we need keep current on issues and latest developments, especially with respect to our prized Medicare system knowing it’s too valuable to take for granted. The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Urgent correspondence from the Council of Canadians, another long established independent public interest group that acts as a watch dog notified me of a planned demonstration set for the afternoon of May 8 to bring attention to potential concerns with Bill C51. The Bill has already gone through second reading in the House of Commons and has raised danger signals with some very knowledgeable people concerned with ramifications and potentially far reaching consequences if the Bill gets passed. Hopefully the public and our representatives have been alerted by the dozens that participated. Apparently, our MP, Mr. Casson denies any need for us to be concerned. However, given the current government’s performance in so many other respects can we trust it? There may be other issues of even more concern too.

Also, lest you had not seen my letter in the Herald expressing concerns with respect to the hundreds of ducks killed by the tarsands tailings ponds it was published. I was told at SACPA by one person that attends a regularly that I was too tough in my remarks about the Oil Company’s responsibility. However, I believe such concern is necessary and hopefully that was the last such occurrence. Also, our policy committee is working on arrangements for the latest timely topic – Food or Oil.

Also, if you are curious and want to understand the “In and Out Scandal’ some have called scam I urge you to check our www.Liberal.com website. Place your cursor on ‘Liberal TV’; Dominic LeBlanc, MP gives a clear explanation of the scandal. In fact there are all kinds of interesting glimpses from the House of Commons over the past couple of years.

Michael

Wednesday, May 7

The new ‘Victory Fund’ officially announced and under way

Hi Friends: The much anticipated and needed 'Victory Fund' is under way. It was officially announced by Mr. Dion on May 6th. I thought that in copying the announcement from the LPC site it would automatically route you to the site to make it easy for you since I anticipate you like the rest of us are anxious to see the details. However, it looks like you will have to check the Party on my website or go to the Party site at www.Liberal.ca to hear Mr. Dion. Otherwise below is the message from the site but I encourage you to check it out and sign on. The days of corporation sponsorship has long passed so we're dependent on grassroots funding; that means you and I and I trust everyone will give as generously as possible so we can tackle the Conservatives and get the country back on track again.

The new plan will be a great assurance for the party instead of getting a fraction of what the Conservatives have been getting, and it's fair all around for the party and Riding. Even at $10.00 per month when we consider the tax credit it only the price of a cup of coffee per month and since facilitated by credit card it gives us points as well. Oh! and by the way, it's also a reminder to update membership. Thank you for your support. We really appreciate it. See introduction to the plan as follows:

A Message from the Liberal Party’s National Campaign Directors

Dear Fellow Liberal,
We need your help. A federal election could come at any time and we must be ready.
Today, our Leader, St├ęphane Dion, launched the Victory Fund, an innovative new fundraising nitiative created as a means for all Liberals to participate in an inexpensive and meaningful way to finance Liberal victories at both the riding and the national level.

With an election on the horizon, our capacity to communicate our message is critical. New financing rules introduced by the Conservatives were designed to capitalize on the grassroots network they inherited from their Reform Party predecessors; due to this historical strength, Harper’s Conservative’s raised almost four times as much as the Liberal Party in 2007. If we are to compete on a level playing field in the next election, we need to develop similar commitment from our supporters.

If we all pitch in, it won’t take much to make a big difference. Your contribution of as little as $10 per month – shared equally between your riding association and the Liberal Party of Canada – will make this happen. In fact, after your year-end tax credit, your monthly contribution will be equivalent to just $2.50 per month !
Working together to build the Victory Fund, we can close the fundraising gap, build a stronger Liberal Party and be ready to take on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

In the coming days and weeks, you’ll be hearing more about the Victory Fund from other Liberals in your riding, but please don’t delay – join the Victory Fund today.
Together we can achieve victory.
Yours sincerely,
Gordon Ashworth,
National Campaign Director Greg Fergus, Deputy National Campaign Director

HUNDREDS OF BIRDS KILLED BY OILSANDS TAILINGS PONDS

Unfortunately my computer has been down for past couple of days. Here's copy of the letter sent to the Herald mentined in last.

I like to be positive but the sight of a few hundred dead birds on toxic oilsands tailings pond near Fort McMurray is just the iceberg tip. It could be people. Syncrude has apologized and know what needs to be done. We must note as noted in the papers and as long suspected this is not the first incident of loss of life there. It’s reported that up to “15 species of wildfowl and 22 other species of birds as well as other wildlife”, have been affected over the years. Hopefully this is the last sad occurrence.

The ponds’ size has been compared to Sylvan Lake and 50,000 sq. kms. Let’s not forget to add roadways and the affected outer perimeter. (Another comparison we could use is Ireland at 32,000 sq. miles approx. or 83,250 sq. kilometers which is well over half the size of Ireland which sustains over 5 million people). With continued development the affected area will expand. We need to be alarmed at hearing it’s not just the oil residue in the water but “clay, sand, bitumen, mercury, arsenic, naphthalene acids and other toxic chemicals” extracted from the tar sands. There’s also the inability of organisms to live or produce there.

One legal-mind noted the incident has legal as well as moral ramifications; a tragedy occurred and corrective action is needed. A question is; does our Provincial or Federal Government have the political will to enforce the law? Also, we all need to change how we think and act so we will discourage reckless abuse of our resources and environment. We need responsible governments whose major focus is not on the bottom line and profit but people and sustainability and please don’t think I’m against reasonable returns.

We need governments that lead from vision and look further than just deregulation and profit which can encourage disrespect for laws and regulations which were developed for good reason. It’s incomprehensible that a government would plan to spend 25 million dollars to convince the owners of the resources that they should speed-up development and sales. Such amount could almost take care of the library and two schools complex that will accommodate several thousand students in West Lethbridge. The dead birds are reflective of the Stelmach government’s full-speed-ahead oil sands development policy that fails to consider environmental consequences and tarnishes our reputation. It confirms the image of the oil sands as “dirty oil”. We need to be responsible however, self-reporting is “akin to the fox guarding the henhouse”.

The tragedy highlights major issues the Harper Government has little regard for, environment and water. I’ll address them in the near future. The kind of leadership Canadians want is that we ensure a richer, fairer, greener Canada that will sustain us, our children and grandchildren so that again we can be the light and example our troubled world looks to.


Michael Cormican,
Federal Liberal Candidate
Lethbridge Riding Association

Sunday, May 4

LATEST UPDATE TIDBITS

Hi again!

Keeping busy as you might surmise. Though not related to my campaign, there is a piece of great news from our Aboriginal Housing Committee which I want to share: on April 17 we crossed the final hurdle which cleared us to proceed with the much needed and long-talked of housing project. Detailed planning is underway and on May 9th we will be turning the sod for our next stage to make it a reality. Since the Kelowna Accord, it is the greatest sign of hope for opportunity and improvement our local Aboriginal brothers and sisters have seen in quite sometime and we all look forward to the public of Lethbridge joining us in our celebrations on the 9th. We believe this is only a beginning of more to come. I should also note that Siko-ooh-kotoki Friendship Center is working on plans for the 40th Anniversary of its formation. It was founded in 1969.

Recently, Leslie Vaala and I coordinated a review of the Provincial Election outcome locally and sent it to the ALP. This is not quite related but necessary, and an issue from which we federal Liberals might learn something. The big question is how to dispel the cynicism and apathy which has developed and to encourage people to take seriously their responsibilities to vote. Did another test-run in door-to-door campaigning; it looked as if people didn’t believe there was a great need for election. However, since then the Conservative In and Out Scandal has come into greater focus, with the RCMP raid on their offices. There are more encouraging signs and movement upwards for Liberals in the most recent polls.

Thanks to the Herald, my letter with respect to Mr. Casson’s recent questionable behavior regarding remarks about Stephane Dion got published.

Our local Liberal Association committee studying water issues has just concluded our work and presented a resolution to be forwarded to LPCA and LPC. It was unanimously approved at our regular Association meeting on May 3.

I also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Harper, Premier Stelmack, Health Ministers and Medical Associations on the long talked of concern with respect to inadequate numbers of physicians and spaces in med schools. I also raised the exorbitant cost of schooling but have not heard from any of them yet.

In a follow-up to our meeting yesterday I have just drafted a letter from myself and the local Association with respect to the very recent tragedy with the death of many hundreds of ducks on the Fort McMurray tailings pond and have it out for review before forward for publication.

Recently also I participated in a ‘Racism and Discrimination’ workshop at City Hall and was instrumental in organizing the Press Conference and presentation on ‘Seniors in Care Crisis’ featuring Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta to help increase awareness of the issue.

Also, I met with Dr. Surya Acharya, President of the local Ethnic Association and was invited to speak at their upcoming meeting.

On May 8, I will be fulfilling a longstanding request to discuss Medicare and Friends of Medicare with LSCO.

On April 29 I, Donna W. and my fellow candidates from Southern Alberta met Janine Krieber (Mrs. Dion) in Calgary It’s always buoys the spirits to be among friends.

‘Til the next update; cheers.


Michael