Monday, August 4

Summary of Issues and Activity at the National Level in July

The following is a listing of recent key issues:
• Harper sought to keep Canada's negotiated climate change commitments to minimum at G8.
• July 10 - Bob Rae told Mr. Harper to “Engage, don’t rebuff China”
• July 11 - Demands again by Mr. Rae for repatriation of Omar Khadr to Canada
• Gerard Kennedy enlists Canada’s teachers to fight climate change and poverty by supporting the green shift
• Stéphane Dion discusses Green Shift with Alberta youth (and wins “Best Dressed” at Calgary Stampede)
• “In and out” scandal continues to plague Conservatives and they continue to see no wrong.
• Reports indicate that under the Conservative plan, the CFIA will, among other things, pull back from inspecting meat and meat products, animal feed, and commercial seeds.
• July 16 - Canadians Speak Out in Support of Stéphane Dion and the Green Shift. See on
• Also; I’ve got plenty of major newspaper ‘Third Party’ quotes applauding Mr. Dion and the Green Shift for his stance. If you’re interested please contact me.
• July 17 - Canada's Premiers and Territorial Leaders requested a meeting to revive and expand the Kelowna Accord
• July 17 - Conservative spokesperson confirmed that attacking Mr. Dion’s ‘Green Plan’ will be a key plank for next election
• July 17 – Benefits for rural and Northern Canada outlined in the Liberal Green Shift plan emphasized
• July 17 – John McCallum noted Economic woes, job losses and inflation mounts; Conservatives out of touch with global reality
• Tories' scurrilous attacks on election boss continue (and are ludicrous)
• Received a memo from a John Welsh saying Al Gore is using similar language now to Mr. Dion re “Green Shift’ i.e. "Tax what they burn, not what they earn".
• July 23 - Tory ad scheme in Quebec was illegal, watchdog says
• Brochure available on how Green Shift Plan will affect Seniors
• July 24 – Bevilaqua - Short-term workers not a long-term solution for immigration
• July 25 – Toronto Sun - Harper hits a snag: Who would've thought Stephane Dion could look like a winner?
• July 25 - Prime Minister Harper announces by-elections for September 8, 2008
• National Aboriginal Women’s Summit reinforces the need to address the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women.
• July 31 – National Post Editorial suggesting Elections Canada's Double Standard. And,
• The Green Shift continues to be well received.
• Aug 1 – Liberal Party response (also includes good news) to National Post misleading Editorial as follows:

Re: Elections Canada's Double Standard, editorial, July 31.

This editorial incorrectly states that, "Under the Elections Act, these [outstanding leadership] obligations should have been paid in full by June 3 of this year." In fact, June 3 was not a "repayment" deadline. Rather, leadership campaigns were required to report the status of unpaid claims and loans on that date, which then allowed them to be subject to a "binding agreement to pay." All our leadership candidates complied fully with the statutory requirements.

I also take issue with the statement: "There is little chance the remaining millions will be paid by the end of Elections Canada's grace period." In the past four months, the former leadership candidates raised a total of $977,381.97. As was reported today in La Presse, Liberal leader Stephane Dion raised $331,110 between April and June, and is on track to pay off the remainder of his debt.

On the other hand, the Conservatives seem to merit the special attention of Elections Canada. Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, appointed to his post under the current Conservative government, has stated that the Conservative party is the only one to have participated in the "in-and-out" financing scheme in the last election. As a July 15 Canadian Press story notes: "Marc Mayrand indicated that the transactions may eventually put the Conservatives in violation of election spending limits by more than $1-million."

Douglas Ferguson, president, Liberal Party of Canada, Ottawa.

Provided by: Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate, Lethbridge

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