Monday, December 7

Canada noted by the world as environmental laggard

Harper: environmental laggard
Ignatieff: environmental leader


While the Harper government is isolated at the Copenhagen climate talks for their inaction and leaving the provinces to pick up the slack, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has committed to a national project for building a cleaner, more prosperous economy.


Canada’s hard-won reputation as a progressive, fair dealer is being destroyed by the Harper government.

Four years, three environment ministers and zero progress is the Harper government’s environmental legacy – and now the world is taking note.

Canada is being left behind on both environmental and economic fronts. In this leadership vacuum, provincial governments are taking matters into their own hands, with eight provinces setting tougher targets than Ottawa.

And there’s still no plan in place to achieve the Conservatives’ meagre targets.

As Canadians, we have all the brains, knowledge and know-how we need to lead in the new world economy. What has been lacking is the political will.


In contrast to the Conservative record, Liberals are committed to ambitious carbon pollution reductions in line with other developed countries, with the goal of containing global warming to within two degrees Celsius.

Our verifiable and binding cap-and-trade system would be equitable to all regions and cover all industries, with hard caps leading to absolute reductions.

We are also proposing a historic investment in clean energy and energy efficiency jobs with an ambitious target of quadrupling Canada’s production of renewable energy by 2017.

Finally, our plan contains concrete initiatives to protect our air, water, forests and Arctic.

These are steps we can take right now. We can change course, restore Canada’s international reputation, and build a cleaner, more prosperous new economy that will create the jobs of tomorrow and improve our quality of life.

Wednesday, September 2

Wind-up after summer break, thoughts, observations and renewed hope in the air

With summer almost over, children winding-up in school again and likely most people feeling refreshed after a summer break I thought I too should share some thoughts, observations the latest news from Liberal perspectives. First, I trust you and yours had a nice break and feel refreshed though given the continued effects of recession and government inaction and games such may be difficult. However, let me assure you Liberals have been working hard in every respect. Admitedly it has been difficult dealing with a government bent of getting its way despite being a minority and representing a minority of Canadians.

Despite verbalizing intent to work with the other parties it appears to continue bent on retaining power at all costs as they continued their games as the economy and increasing numbers of Canadians continued to suffer the effects of economic down-turn.

It is obvious that Mr. Harper and the Conservative Government lack any vision or the wherewithall to assist the economy and people in need. Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Opposition kept their promise to work with the government that has made no effort to reciprocate, continues playing politics in every way possible, especially noted in the much touted "supposed" economic stimulus.

Apparently, in reality almost two thirds of announced funding has still not found its way as designated as well as observed to be largely directed to benefit ridings likely more Conservative-friendly in the event of an election.

You likely noticed from the newsreports etc Mr. Harper creating photo-ops at every opportunity as though in election mode though denying any such intent. I couuld keep going but the latest 'Talking Points' from the Party presents key points for consideration very succinctly. You may be also interested in Michael Ignatieff's latest address to the Party as follows:

Talking Points:

• The Harper Conservatives are resorting to fear-mongering in a desperate attempt to forestall an election.

• The Harper Conservatives have zero credibility to be preaching about elections causing economic instability or “screwing up” the economy’s recovery.
• Remember, the Conservatives provoked the last two elections, and caused a political crisis by putting forth an economic statement on the eve of a recession that offered no stabilizing economic stimulus.
• The real source of economic instability in this country is a Conservative government with no plan to guide Canada through the restructuring in the global economy.
• This is just like John Baird’s patently false claim that stimulus projects will be stalled by an election – when it’s their own cumbersome politicized process that delayed new construction jobs.
• No infrastructure projects will be jeopardized by an election. We have approved $250 billion in spending in Parliament, which means the government can continue to approve projects, even during an election.
• Next Stephen Harper is going to scare Canadians into thinking that an election would mean no home renovation tax credit. This is nonsense.
• Remember there would be no home renovation tax credit if we didn't force the Conservatives to rewrite the budget in the first place.
• Liberals support this tax credit. If an election comes, we will honour it.
• Canadians should now see this fear-mongering for what it is – a Conservative party afraid of Michael Ignatieff’s resurgent Liberals.

Michael Ignatieff, MP
Leader of the Opposition

Remarks to the National Liberal Caucus

Sudbury, Ontario September 1, 2009

Thank you. Welcome to Sudbury!

Last night we had 600 people out. You feel the energy here and you know we’re going to make Sudbury Liberal again.

Everywhere I’ve been this summer, I’ve seen the same enthusiasm—all while apparently remaining completely invisible. Hundreds of people didn’t notice me out in Victoria back in June. Or in West Vancouver. Or in Cape Breton.

I was perfectly invisible in front of nearly a thousand people at the Calgary Stampede. Ralph (Goodale) is still wondering how I pulled that off. Same story at National Aboriginal Day at Crawford Lake.

I was never in Quebec City for Saint-Jean-Baptiste, or in Miramichi and Caraquet for le Grand Tintamarre. Let’s not even talk about Edmonton, la Beauce or la Gaspésie.

The media like to say that I was invisible, but I’ll tell you one thing—I wasn’t. Everywhere I went, across eight provinces and the Northwest Territories, Liberals are energized and set to work hard to put Stephen Harper out of a job.

We should be proud of the work we’ve done this year. We’ve grown our Party—with new members, new ideas, and the best fundraising in recent memory.

We’re more united than we’ve been in a generation. We’re ready to fight in every riding in the country.

And we’re ready to bring smart, compassionate government back to Canada. I know it can be frustrating at times.

We’re working against opponents who make politics personal—who distort and deny the truth and put partisan gain ahead of the national interest. We’re working against a government that’s ready to sacrifice national unity to stay in power.

But we have a secret weapon: Stephen Harper’s own record. The worst unemployment record in two decades;

The worst deficit in our history; And last quarter, the worst performing economy in the G7.

Stephen Harper didn’t see a recession coming last fall. Now he’s missing something bigger: what we’re going through is more than a recession—it’s a fundamental restructuring of the global economy.

Stephen Harper doesn’t get that. He doesn’t get that Canada’s in a race—that we’ve got to position our country to compete in the twenty-first century. We’ve got to make Canada a world leader again, and we’ve got to do it now.

He doesn’t get what foresters in Northern Ontario and BC and Quebec understand—that we can’t just wait for the housing market to pick up in the United States; we’ve got to build brand new markets and deliver brand new products that the world wants to buy.

He doesn’t get what autoworkers in Windsor and Oshawa know —that we’re not just going to have to win back customers; we’re going to have to re-invent the car, with brand new technologies and brand new environmental standards.

He doesn’t get what the people of Sudbury know—that when our workers and our industries are under threat—when the choice is between defending Canadian jobs and Canadian technology—we need a strong government that will defend our interests. Stephen Harper doesn’t get it. We do.

For more than a century, we’ve built our prosperity on our natural resources. But if we’re to prosper in the next century, we have to turn our resources into products and technologies the whole world wants to buy. We can’t get there unless we have the vision and ambition to build a competitive, compassionate future for Canada.

We can’t get there unless we open up new markets for Canadian exports in countries like China and India. We can’t get there with Stephen Harper.

Stephen Harper has been prime minister for four years, and he’s never visited China. We’ll be there next week. After that, we’ll plan a trip to India.

That’s where we need to be as a country—if we want to secure markets for the next generation of our exports—if we want to compete with the best in the world—if we want to get out of the trade deficit the Conservatives have created, the first in thirty years.

We can do better. Next summer, Canada is hosting the G8 Summit in Huntsville.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate Canadian leadership, to shape the world’s agenda—the way Paul Martin did, and Jean Chrétien before him. Stephen Harper hasn’t even come up with a guest list.

A Liberal government would invite new members to that meeting. We’d use Canada’s G8 Summit to begin the process of evolving the G8 to a G20, as the world’s steering committee.

We cannot make progress on global challenges without China and India at the table. The G8 has served its purpose well, but its time has passed.

Instead of resisting change, Canada must be a catalyst for change. We must lead the world to embrace a more effective, more representative forum—where we can demonstrate global leadership that’s been Canada’s hallmark since Lester B. Pearson.

We must be ready to devote our own resources toward strengthening the G20—by funding and hosting a permanent Secretariat in Canada.

In Huntsville, Canada could set an agenda that furthers our interests and the world—starting with new frameworks for financial regulation, to prevent the sort of global collapse we saw this past year.

Canada can lead in a changing world, but only if we dare to act. Stephen Harper wants to keep us on the sidelines. We can do better.

Stephen Harper hasn’t just failed to stand up for Canada—he’s also failed to stand up for Canadians.

Suaad Mohamud. Omar Khadr. Makhtal. Bahari. Mohamed. Abdelrazik.

Being a Canadian must mean the Canadian government will stand up for you—no matter where, no matter when. This is at the heart of what every Liberal believes: a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

A Liberal government would stand by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We would stand by our citizens.

And we would bring forward legislation to protect Canadians abroad—to make it illegal for the government to pick and choose which citizens it protects—to make sure these abuses never happen again.

Stephen Harper leads a government that doesn’t care. A government that doesn’t believe in government. A government that refuses to govern—even in a crisis.

A Liberal government would stand by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We would stand by our citizens.

And we would bring forward legislation to protect Canadians abroad—to make it illegal for the government to pick and choose which citizens it protects—to make sure these abuses never happen again.

Stephen Harper leads a government that doesn’t care. A government that doesn’t believe in government. A government that refuses to govern—even in a crisis. Let’s remember how we got here.

A year ago this month, Stephen Harper told Canadians there wouldn’t be a recession in this country. He said a slumping stock market meant “good buying opportunities,” but no cause for alarm.

Last November, he presented a partisan economic statement that triggered a political crisis. And Stephen Harper escaped defeat only by shutting down Parliament.

In January, we put Stephen Harper on probation – and we’ve kept him on life support ever since. We forced his government to accept the toughest accountability standards in the G8—with full budget reports to Parliament each quarter.

After a disappointing June report, we set out four simple benchmarks Stephen Harper would have to meet. We said we were prepared to work with Stephen Harper to fix Employment Insurance—to make it fair for all Canadians, no matter where they live, for as long as the crisis lasts.

Not one single proposal came from the other side—only spin and deceit.

Second, we demanded straight answers about job creation and infrastructure stimulus.

Rather than answer, Stephen Harper spent the summer trying to hide his failure to create jobs—re-announcing projects that should have been underway months ago.

In fact, only two hundred of the twelve hundred infrastructure projects that the Conservatives announced in Ontario have actually received the funding they were promised.

Only Stephen Harper could count that as being 80% underway. Third, we demanded a credible plan to get Canada out of deficit.

Stephen Harper’s response has been: “Don’t worry, give it a few years, and the books will balance themselves.” You can put that next to his promise not to run deficits in the first place.

Or his promise not to tax income trusts. Or his promise not to appoint Senators.

For a decade, under liberal governments, Canada led the world in debt reduction. We had the best fiscal performance in the G8. But the conservatives put us back in the red, even before the recession.

And now they can’t even tell us how deep a hole they’ve put us in, let alone their plan for getting us out of it. That’s not good enough.

We’ve had four years of this—four years of a government that mismanages our public finances, and a prime minister who divides the country to score political points.

You can’t count on a government that can’t count—and a prime minister who’s only good at division. Finally, we demanded a plan to deal with the health care crisis. Twice on Stephen Harper’s watch there’s been a breakdown in the supply of medical isotopes.

Instead of acting, what did Stephen Harper do? He fired the whistle-blower on isotopes. Then he cancelled the MAPLE reactors that would have guaranteed Canadian leadership in isotope supply.

Two years later, he finally revealed his plan: To get out of nuclear medicine and let the provinces pick up the difference. That’s not good enough for the tens of thousands of Canadian families waiting for cardiac and cancer care for their loved ones.

And that’s not good enough for the millions around the world, who have relied on Canadian leadership for half a century. It’s simply unacceptable to have the world ask: “Where’s Canada?”

We can do better and we will do better. A Liberal government will restore Canadian leadership. We’ll stand up for Canadian research and Canadian families. We’ll stand up for Canadian know-how and ensure the world never asks again “Where’s Canada?”.

Right now, while Americans are fighting for a public health care system, Stephen Harper has refused to utter a word in defence of our own. Liberals proudly support public health care in this country—and, unlike the Conservatives, we’re not afraid to defend it.

In June, we set out four tests for Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper, you have failed all four.

You’ve failed to protect the most vulnerable. You’ve failed to create jobs. Failed to defend our health care. Failed to restore our public finances. After four years of drift, four years of denial, four years of division and discord—

Mr Harper, your time is up.

The Liberal Party cannot support this government any further. We will hold it to account. We will oppose it in Parliament. And if elections are called, we will be ready to offer a better future for our country. Canadians deserve better.

Over the past days and weeks, I’ve heard from our caucus, and we’ve all heard from Canadians: Our job as Liberals is to give them a choice. A choice between two parties. Two sets of values. Two visions for Canada.

We can choose a small Canada—a diminished, mean, and petty country. A Canada that lets down its citizens at home and fails them abroad. A Canada that’s absent on the world stage. That’s Stephen Harper’s Canada.

Or we can choose a big Canada. A Canada that is generous and open. A Canada that inspires. That leads the world by example. That makes us all proud. 2017 will be our 150th birthday.

We can be the smartest, healthiest, greenest, most open-minded country there is—but only if we choose to be. We can build a Knowledge Society, from pre-school to post-secondary, with quality early learning and childcare for every Canadian child.

We can ensure that every Aboriginal Canadian gets a world-class, not a second-class education—with the opportunities to match. We can create tomorrow’s job by investing more, not less, in research and innovation.

We can invest in our environment—and invent the clean energy technologies that will have the world beat a path to our door. That’s our Canada. A liberal Canada. The Canada we can believe in. The Canada that awaits us—but only if we dare. Only if we act. Only if we choose now.

Only with the smart, compassionate leadership this Liberal team can provide. Our country is waiting—Let’s get started.

Kindly submitted - Michael Cormican

Sunday, August 16

Where are the shovels, the jobs, the stimulus?

August 16, 2009
Hi Folks: I trust you are having a nice summer but lest you had not seen this article I thought you might be interested in it. It is by Carol Goar, TORONTO STAR, as follows:

Where are the shovels, the jobs, the stimulus?

Because no one else is doing it, Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy and his staff of four are attempting to track the $12 billion in new infrastructure funding in the government's January budget.

Their research is not complete, but Kennedy estimates that between 15 per cent and 25 per cent of the money has actually flowed. The rest has been promised, approved, allocated or announced – but municipalities don't have it.
Following the money isn't easy. Ottawa has 16 different infrastructure funds in play. Conservative MPs have announced a blizzard of local projects this summer. Even when a project has been authorized, municipalities still have to negotiate contribution agreements with Ottawa and their provincial government.

The federal finance department says 80 per cent of the stimulus is "already implemented." But that means the money has been committed, not delivered. Infrastructure Canada, which disperses the funds, has not released any figures on how much has gone out and where it is being spent.

To cut through the confusion, Kennedy is contacting every municipality that applied for funds and asking how much it has received. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have yet to see a cent. Smaller communities, especially in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, have fared better. Surprisingly, most municipalities in Alberta are still waiting.

"The government is going to underspend its target, there's no doubt about that," the Liberal infrastructure critic says. He also has concerns about what is being built. "We could be paying for a lot of shoddy stuff and sprawl. They (the Conservatives) know they'll never be held to account." One complaint that has cropped up repeatedly is that contractors are jacking up prices, knowing municipalities have little bargaining power.

To qualify for federal funding, work must be completed by March 2011. While collecting his data, Kennedy has been thinking about what kind of infrastructure policy the Liberals should take into the next election.
He can't speak in specifics because he hasn't presented his proposals to the party, but he outlined some of his priorities in an interview last week.

He believes federal infrastructure funding should serve two primary purposes: to make Canada's cities more sustainable and to renew the quality of life in northern and remote communities. This would make Ottawa less open to proposals to widen highways and accelerate road-building in urban areas and more open to proposals to find new uses for public buildings in towns struggling with depopulation.

He thinks the gas tax fund, through which Ottawa transfers a portion of its gasoline tax revenue to the municipalities, should be the principal vehicle for distributing infrastructure money. The Conservatives did add $1 billion to the fund in January's budget, but Kennedy would like to have seen most of Ottawa's infrastructure funding delivered that way.

As well as being more efficient, he points out, gas tax transfers allow municipalities to use federal money intelligently, rather than coming up with hasty proposals to take advantage of on-again, off-again infrastructure programs. He would like to break the link between infrastructure spending and political pork barrelling. It is hard to blame Canadians for being cynical, Kennedy admits.

For generations, politicians have used capital projects to reward their friends and pay back voters who supported them. "We need to convince Canadians we can use their money to make their lives better." He hopes to release his cross-Canada tally by the end of August. Kennedy knows voters will question his motives. He has a vested interested in discrediting the government, after all. He hopes skeptics will do their own scouting. They won't find many shovels in the ground or jobs openings for unemployed construction workers.

Carol Goar's column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

If you have any suggestions, please call me at (403) 381-7635. Michael Cormican

Tuesday, June 30

Happy Canada Day/Bonne Fete du Canada mon ami !!

Happy Canada Day/ Bonne Fete du Canada mon ami:
I trust you will enjoy our national Holiday, relax and enjoy with family and friends. No need toelaborate; Mr. Ignatieff's message to us says it all as follows:

Date: July 1, 2009

Statement from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff on Canada Day

“Today, Canadians across this great nation are proudly celebrating Canada’s 142nd birthday – and we have much to be proud of,” said Michael Ignatieff.

“After 142 years of accomplishment and leadership, Canada is a beacon of hope in a world of uncertainty and division. Since 1867, we have set an example for all others in our global community.

“We speak two official languages and countless others from every corner of the world. We are home to a wealth of diverse cultures and creeds and religious traditions. We look to different distant shores, or to different corners of our land, to find our families’ roots. And still we are one – one great people sharing one great country, strong and free from coast to coast to coast.

“As we gather with our neighbours today to mark our success as a nation, we also look to a future of greater unity, greater compassion, and greater prosperity for all.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I wish everyone – young and young at heart – a very Happy Canada Day!”

Click on the link below to see a video message from Michael Ignatieff:


Press Office Office of the Leader of the Opposition 613-996-6740

Au nom du Parti libéral du Canada et de notre groupe parlementaire, je souhaite à tous les Canadiens, les jeunes et ceux qui ont su le rester, une très joyeuse Fête du Canada ! Michael Cormican

Monday, June 29

Update and Continued Concern with respect to Alberta Government's approach to Public Healthcare

Amongst the many issues I feel concerned on as many know one of my big and continuing concerns is with respect to Health Care. As you might guess I support our prized Medicare system and believe we need to take a stand to assure that it will be there for generations to come. It also appears as though many Albertans are likewise concerned as judged by the number of people speaking out on the issue especially with respect to the government's thrust with respect to DAL (Designated Assisted Living) for Seniors. Though our tendency may be to take things easy for the summer I would like to caution that we need to be on the alert and to take an active stand in support of improved healthcare to assure hat it will be there for everone when needed.

Michael Cormican, Past Candidate

Thursday, June 25

Bon Jour Cheri:
Due to all my engagement I missed wishing our French Speaking Canadians the best on the ocassion of St. Jean Baptiste Day but hopefully better late than never. I wish you the best. I was waiting for a response from one of my new French Cannadian friends recently moved to Lethbridge but got too busy with the Health scene. Anyhow, I wish you and yours the best now and always. Bonne Saint-Jean !!
Au revoir,
Michael Cormican

Tuesday, June 2

Conservative Attack Adds backfiring - Canadians don't like negativity

Fellow Citizens --

Following a week of bad news for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, today it gets even worse. His one hope to divert attention away from his government’s incompetence—the personal attack ads against Michael Ignatieff—can be completely neutralized. We need your help to do it, it doesn’t take much effort and it won’t cost you a penny.

An independent Angus Reid study published today finds that Stephen Harper’s strategy is backfiring and that Michael’s honest and personal response to the attacks resonates strongly with Canadians. Stephen Harper is spending an estimated $750 000 dollars a week on this campaign, but you can help beat it with nothing more than a few clicks of your mouse.

Check Michael's response on the web @
Watch Michael's response to the attack ads and share it with your friends.

Let’s take this message Canada wide. Forward it to everyone you know and show Stephen Harper that Canadians won’t be distracted from the real story—the economy—and are ready for a new kind of politics.

Rocco Rossi
National Director, Liberal Party of Canada

Michael Cormican, Lethbridge

Monsieur, Madame --

Après une bien mauvaise semaine pour les conservateurs de Stephen Harper, aujourd’hui, les choses s’annoncent encore pires. Son ultime tentative pour détourner l’attention des Canadiens de l’incompétence de son gouvernement, à savoir les attaques publicitaires contre Michael Ignatieff, peuvent être totalement neutralisées. Nous avons besoin de votre aide pour y arriver. Cela ne vous prendra pas beaucoup de temps, et ne vous coûtera pas un sou.

Un sondage indépendant réalisé par Angus Reid et publié aujourd’hui** montre que la stratégie de Stephen Harper se retourne contre lui et que les Canadiens apprécient la réponse honnête et personnelle donnée par Michael Ignatieff à ces attaques. On estime que Stephen Harper dépense 750 000 dollars par semaine pour diffuser ses publicités négatives, mais vous pouvez le combattre en seulement quelques clics de souris.
Cliquez ici pour visionner l’intervention de Michael @

Faisons passer le message à tout le pays. Envoyez-le à toutes vos connaissances et montrez à Stephen Harper que les Canadiens ne se laisseront pas détourner de la vraie priorité, l’économie, et qu’ils sont prêts pour une nouvelle façon de faire de la politique.

Rocco Rossi
Directeur national, Parti libéral du Canada

** L’article est présenté dans la langue officielle de sa parution.

Michael Cormican, Lethbridge

Monday, May 25

Alberta Government talking publicly again about changes in public health services!

You may have noted recently increased reporting with respect to reporting in the media on possible changes to health services in Alberta. Also, I note that 'Medicare' as we know it has been officially with us in Alberta for 40 years, consequently Friends of Medicare that formed to ensure Medicare continues decided to clebrate and held a very successful support Rally on May 22nd. FOM deserves our support for their dedication to such a worthy cause. Guest speaker was Heather Smith, President, UNA (United Nurses of Alberta). Her message suggested that we all need to be on the alert since the government means business with respect to cutting which will result in increased privatization opportunities.

Michael Cormican, Past Federal Liberal Candidate

Saturday, May 16

Recent Nuclear Power Survey

Hi Whoever and Government of Alberta:
I refuse to complete this obviously slanted, so-called survey seeking my opinion but as in the opinion of the imminent Doug Roche in the Edmonton Journal on May 6, 2009 and to paraphrase him, it is obviously "slanted" to squelch the opinion of any of the public that might be against nuclear power so the industry and Government can say they sought people's opinion. As Mr. Roche further said - "It is not so much the technical feasibility of bringing nuclear power to Alberta that needs to be examined and commented upon, but the political, economic and ethical wisdom of such a move. I am against nuclear power. There are plenty of other, safer and much less expensive alternatives available to us to provide and enhance our power needs i.e. sun, wind, methane etc. as well as cell capture. Let's just remember that the half-life of spent rods alone is 500 hundred years (meaning they continue hot/radioactive for at least that long. Give us a break.
Michael Cormican

Wednesday, May 6

Report on an 'Exciting Liberal (Vancouver) Convention'

From April 30 to May 3, over 3,000 Liberals, in fact 3,143 Liberals from across the country descended on Vancouver for a much anticipated convention. It especially renewed our hopes for the future at seeing 8 young Liberals from the enthusiastic U of L group attending in addition to the regular delegates from Lethbridge, and; of course there was also great representation of young people from across the country including Calgary. Everyone felt ecstatic, many described it as an "electric" few days. I didn't meet anyone whose expectations were not met. Some seasoned folks even thought it somewhat reminiscent of ’68 as was even suggested in some of the speeches.
Though the first and second day was a mixture of some mundane yet necessary issues interspersed with speeches the highlight came on Saturday afternoon.

Topics ranged from policy to discussion of renewal and revitalization through commission meetings, policy think tanks, and election readiness workshops on issues including youth, women, seniors and Aboriginals to help us shape party policy, to help us increase issue awareness and to reach out to Canadians. Everyone felt re-invigorated and reassured that our party is in good hands and Saturday afternoon capped the week-end with rousing speeches by Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc nominated Michael Ignatieff.

While most Lethbridge delegates started traveling a few days ahead of the convention to visit family and/or friends along the way in interests of time and conservation, to lessen impact on our environment, to take advantage of a professional doing the driving and use the time to get to know other Liberals some of us joined some Calgary Liberals on a chartered bus. Unfortunately, though the return trip went without a hitch we started late as a rsult of waiting for a couple of delegates that went to the East Safeway instead of the West location.

[As you might guess we chatted, some read and later dozed. Shortly after midnight, North of Chase we were brought to a halt by a convoy of vehicles ahead of us forced to stop as a result of an accident. Earlier a large truck and trailer had jack-knifed on a turn leaving it straddling the road and the trailer in the lake and the road was narrow. Every time our driver checked he was told it would be another couple of hours before the road would be cleared. However, as soon as daylight broke our bus driver decided to attempt to turn the bus around and after careful maneuvering succeeded so we started on an alternative route.

In the mid-morning and in order to ensure having enough gas to get to our destination the bus-driver decided it was best to obtain same at the bus-terminal in Kelowna as well as to allow us passengers to fresh-up and fuel-up. Here we encountered our next delay; two of the three staff hadn't shown-up for work leaving the cook to do everything for an extra busload of hungry passengers. Over an hour later we were on our way again. However, you guessed it; another delay was about to occur.

Approximately an hour North of Merritt we were suddenly alerted by a loud bang and the immediate abnormal noise from it indicating a tire had blown. Another 3 hours was added enjoying the sunshine on the roadside before we got under way again. Surprisingly everyone remained composed as we waited for help. Needless to say friendly joking ocurred suggesting that the driver must have been tipped-off by the gov. to delay us. We arrived at the hotel 9 to 10 hours later than expected. Staff quickened registration and we were underway registering for the convention.]

Saturday saw us wading through well-organized sessions on constitutional policies, most of which passed without much discussion; however, some were a little contentious. The “one man one vote” issue though it generated quite a lot of passionate discussion passed overwhelmingly. At 2 pm the speeches and the crescendo started to build and the dynamism was palpable. The hall was packed; even the back of the hall was standing room only. It was great to see all the young people being show-cased including Justin Trudeau who did a super job co-chairing the session.

Next, we were treated to testimonials from across Canada after which Michael was ushered into the hall followed by hundreds of chanting young people. He had to push his way through the aisle to the stage, everyone near the aisle wanting to shake his hand.

Earlier Mr. Ignatieff and former Prime Minister Paul Martin both addressed a packed room of youth delegates, where they encouraged them to keep bringing forward the fresh ideas that keep the Liberal Party progressive. “Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Martin reminded us how many of the ideas at our party’s core started as youth policies – and how they got their start in the party as Young Liberals,” said Cory Pike, President of the Young Liberals of Canada. Mr. Martin also led a panel discussion on Aboriginal affairs as part of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission meeting. Delegates “engaged in frank and honest discussions about the unique challenges facing Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit people – and how we can fight for change from within the Liberal Party.” Policy from our changing economy to rural Canada, and from social justice to Canada’s place in the world. We also turned our minds to election readiness, sharing best practices on new techniques for successful campaigns to help ensure Canadian democracy continues.

Stephane Dion honored: On Friday evening, Liberals gathered to pay tribute to former Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion for his leadership and contribution to a more united, greener Canada. Mr. Dion spoke about his enduring love for Canada, and his vision for a richer, fairer, and greener Canada. Michael Ignatieff and former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin recognized Mr. Dion for his leadership and vision, including his lasting contribution to national unity. A cogent defender of a strong Quebec within a strong Canada, Mr. Dion worked alongside Prime Minister Chretien to pass the Clarity Act and defend Canada following the 1995 Quebec referendum. Mr. Chretien said, “Stéphane Dion came into my cabinet at a time of great need for the country … he withstood the attacks levelled at him with an unwavering defence of federalism, upholding the nation-building efforts of those who came before him.” It was noted that during his tenure as Environment Minister in Prime Minister Martin’s government, Mr. Dion spearheaded the creation of the 180-country Montreal Action Plan on climate change in December 2005 and how this experience inspired him to seek new ways to build a more sustainable economy, society and environment as Liberal leader from 2006-2008. It was noted, “Stéphane has fought for a progressive Quebec, defended Canada, fought for a better world, and I know for certain that everywhere in the world, Stéphane Dion will keep on fighting for the environment,” said Mr. Martin. “Stéphane Dion is a man of integrity and principle, who makes us proud to be Liberals and proud to be Canadians,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “All of us here tonight – and all Canadians everywhere – owe a debt of thanks to Mr. Dion for his tireless dedication to public service, to national unity, and to a richer, fairer and greener Canada.” Other prominent Canadians sharing new ideas for the country were; Eric Hoskins, President of War Child Canada; Madame Justice Louise Arbour, former United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights; Olympic medallist Charmaine Crooks; and Blaine Favel, President and CEO of One Earth Resources.

As noted by Mr. Ignatieff, grassroots Liberals voted to make their party more open, inclusive and democratic by giving all members a vote for choosing future party leaders. “Now all Liberals can have a say in choosing who they want to be their Prime Minister, … they have voted to open their party to Canadians by offering them the chance to make their voice heard on the national stage.” The new one-member, one-vote (OMOV) leadership selection process is regionally-balanced by giving each riding in Canada equal influence. Future Liberal leaders must obtain the support of over half of all Liberal members through preferential ballot voting.
“This simple new process speaks to the progressive nature of the Liberal Party,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, co-chair of the Special Committee on Party Renewal. “For the $10 price of one red Liberal membership card, all Canadians - regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances - can play a meaningful role in our democracy.” Liberals also voted on policy resolutions developed by grassroots Liberals through commissions and local riding associations. The resolutions were debated online through the community forum in the lead-up to the Vancouver convention. Policy resolutions passed at the convention provide the parliamentary caucus with a barometer of where grassroots Liberals are moving. Resolutions passed by Liberals at the convention include support for:
• An emergency convention resolution to express sympathy for the victims of H1N1 influenza and to show confidence in our public health system;
• A national water policy to conserve and protect Canada’s clean water supply;
• Boosting economic growth through investments in research and development;
• Implementing a national early learning child care plan;
• Improved education and economic development for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples;
• Aging with dignity through housing, homecare and learning enhancements for seniors; and
• Regional economic and business development through essential infrastructure

Calling for a new politics, Michael Ignatieff reached out to Canadians with his vision for the future of the country as Liberal delegates voted 97 percent in favour of confirming him as the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. “If you ask what I want for my Canada, it is this – that we surprise ourselves. Astonish ourselves. That we astonish the world,” Mr. Ignatieff said to a packed convention hall of over 3,000 delegates and observers. Mr. Ignatieff called for a new politics replacing spite and spin with civility and common purpose, laying out an inclusive vision of economic recovery that leaves no Canadian out in the cold by unlocking the creativity of every citizen. He spoke directly to Stephen Harper, condemning him for failing to unite Canadians by setting province against province, group against group, region against region, individual against individual. “All our efforts will be focused on one task – to unite our people again, to feel the strength that comes when Canadians know they are acting together,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “We will turn crisis into opportunity and become more competitive than ever, by becoming the most adventurous and entrepreneurial people on the planet.” Mr. Ignatieff called for measures to unite Canadians and treat everyone fairly, delivered by a government that is as competent, courageous, co-operative and creative as Canadians themselves:
• A common national standard of eligibility for Employment Insurance
• Investing in scientists, researchers and the green economy to create the jobs of tomorrow
• An equal start for every child with world class early learning
• A renewed commitment to women for equal pay for work of equal value
• A promise to every student that if they get the grades, they get to go to the best higher education in the world
• World class, not a second class education for every Aboriginal child
• Support for creators, artists and filmmakers to succeed on the world stage
• Hope and opportunity for farming communities, small towns, northern and remote regions.
“The Canadian way is a way for the whole world,” said Mr. Ignatieff, speaking of Canada’s longing to lead rather than follow on the world stage. “This is the moral purpose of our country – to teach tolerance diversity and citizenship to a troubled world.”
Following nominations by the Hon. Bob Rae and Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Young Liberals Mona Kassis and Yasmine Abdelfadel added their names to those of over 3,000 people who nominated Michael Ignatieff online before he was declared leader by convention chairs Justin Trudeau, Bobbi Ethier and the Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh.
“Let us dare to dream but let us also dare to act,” Mr. Ignatieff concluded. “Let us get back to the Canadian way. We deserve a government that does not make us feel any less than a great people with a great future - and to a great people, given great leadership, nothing is impossible.”

Mr. Ignatieff’s summary:
I am deeply honoured to be your Leader. I laid out my vision for a stronger, more united Canada – a Canada where we surprise ourselves, where we astonish ourselves. A Canada that astonishes the world.

I said that though the road back to prosperity may take time, we know which way will get us there. It is the Canadian way. We must build a society around fairness and opportunity, a society where every Canadian is able to contribute fully to the success of our country. A country that dares to dream. That dares to act.

We’re leaving Vancouver as a strong, united Party, with a renewed sense of purpose. We’re ready for the challenge ahead, and we’re ready to win the next election.

With your help, we will do better. Yours, Michael

Another media summary by Mr. Ignatieff:

"Friends; I had the privilige to speak at our Biennial Convention in Vancouver. What an incredible feeling! We had a room packed to the rafters with passionate Liberals, every one of us energized by the work we’ve done and ready for what’s still ahead".

[To hear and see Michael’s speech and some of the Convention proceedings and his introduction on]

A Summary:
Total number of participants at the Liberal convention: 3, 143 and hundreds of volunteers. Total number of former Prime Ministers in attendance at the Liberal convention: 3 – all Liberal and all policy sessions were open to members of the media. Total number of policy resolutions debated at the convention – 32. Total number of supporters who signed Michael Ignatieff’s nomination form - 3,516. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, getting better with age, was the best ever with jokes and quips; even applauded by a Conservative observer. Also, the latest poll shows our standing increased a few points and contributions to the party for the first quarter over last year are up at $977,801.58. Keep it up folks.

Another highlight - Mr. Ignatieff unveiled a new logo for the Liberal Party of Canada today during the convention in Vancouver. The new Liberal logo, in maple leaf red, symbolizes a re-energized Liberal Party emerging from a process of renewal engaging all Liberal members.

Let's continue the momentum and readiness preparation so like the good scout "we're prepared" and ready for the challenge when the call comes.

Michael Cormican

Thursday, April 9

Let’s Remember Vimy Ridge

Today is the 92nd Anniversary of Vimy Ridge. Though for may the word Vimy may conjure a vague thought of, “oh yes; I remember that from history” many of us may have forgotten the significance. However, some of us too realize history can teach us lots. Most of us know readily of some of the atrocities committed in the Second World War and realize that we certainly don’t want anything remotely similar to occur ever again.

However, atrocities and injustices continue to occur as still happening in many places in our world, whether in Afghanistan or Darfur even latest is Sri Lanka, and; they will continue unless we all talk about and remind ourselves and each other to speak up and to let our leaders know as well as our friends and neighbors that we don't want such and we need to ensure they take action on our behalf.

Some that will see this may not realize that their grandfathers or great-grandfathers may have fought and even paid the ultimate price at Vimy. So, let’s express our thanks by at least remembering their sacrifices and let’s remember and commit to do all in our power to minimize the possibility of such happening again.

Also, let’s support those brave men and women that defend us. We can do so by wearing red on Fridays or pins are available at the Royal Canadian Legion. Most of us wear a poppy on Remembrance Day but do we think further about the significance of it. Do we reach a hand and thank them for what they did? We need to keep vigilent and often remind ourselves to keep sensitive of the human tendency to forget. To help me, I joined the Legion and I’m aware that some kids are leaving this afternoon for Vimy in France. The following is a release and reminder sent yesterday from Denis Coderre, Liberal National Defense Critic:

Canadian soldiers remembered at Vimy Ridge

VIMY, France - Liberal National Defence Critic Denis Coderre will pay homage to Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War when they captured Vimy Ridge.

"In the name of all Canadian Parliamentarians, tomorrow I will lay a wreath of flowers at the foot of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, upon which are engraved the names of the 11, 285 Canadian soldiers who died in France and whose final resting place is unknown," said Mr. Coderre. "Because of them, we live in a better world today, and we owe it to them to honour their memories in this way."

Mr. Coderre's gesture is part of the Remembrance Ceremony marking the 92nd anniversary of the Battle of Arras, and the efforts of Canadian soldiers in the capture of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.

Of course, atrocities and inequities continue to occur throughout the world. Some of us realize they result from lack of consideration by those of us that are stronger intellectually when we allow ourselves to get caught-up in the race for survival and/or worldly things. Inequities result in low wages and/or lack of benefits and time thus limiting or allowing no choice for many of our fellowman, even neighbors and relatives. Let’s ask ourselves, is this right; and, if not what are we going to do about it?

I say it all looks much better if every member of our society, however close or faraway is doing relatively well. One guy sure can not need millions or billions to live and expect others to eke by on a pittance unnecessarily experiencing pain and wasting valuable time that she/he could be spend on improving his/herself and others; in essence, living decently. If you have any thoughts on such issues please contact me by email or phone me at (403) 381-7635. And, I wish you complements of the season again the greatest being peace and health.

Michael Cormican

Political Update – April 8th, 2009

I anticipate you have noticed from ongoing reports in our media that our economy continues to chug along, though it sounds like with lots of ups and downs, some occasionally suggesting positive signs. It's also great to hear experts and to see some industries taking the lead in greening.

One can not help feeling vindicated and reassured that the Liberal policies proposed during the last election would have been best for the colapsing economy that Mr. Harper was either minimizing or out-to-lunh on as we were obviously the last bastion only due to the good fortune of our resource riches. I keep hoping voters will remember that when it comes to voting next.

It's becoming clearer that the majority of experts concur that we can anticipate the recession being around for a long time regardless of how Canada may weather it. Keep up the greening everyone and hopefully we can change some of the even more scary changes occurring i.e. warming of our oceans especially the gross proliferation of the deadly jelly fish not to mention extinctions and other changes.

As we might expect Mr. Harper and the government continue to put a positive spin on the situation, which I will not fault him for; though none-the-less anomalies and signs of their real inclinations, especially in minimization, containment and cutting frequently break through. I suspect most like myself, hope they’re putting the emphasis on the right spots. In a sense, we’ve got to be condition ourselves like the farmer who quickly learns to hope that “next year will be better”.

I suspect others have observed too and find it interesting how the government has had to eat crow so much contrary to what they tried to make us believe right up to Election Day. Fortunately, we had a determined opposition that forced him to rethink and it appears as though Michael Ignatieff is doing a great job for us keeping Mr. Harper in check.

However, and as we hear from newscasts it is obvious that many of the so called achievements most recent in dispute again the so called ‘softwood lumber settlement’ is raising problems again. Apparently the U.S. has imposed a 10% levy on Canadian softwood lumber imports one more example of how the Harper Conservatives lack a coordinated approach with the new U.S. administration. As Liberal International Trade Critic Scott Brison and Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae said, “it is hurting Canadian industry ... and hurting our workers again.”

Other examples of mismanagement are “the auto sector, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the U.S. country-of-origin labelling regulations – known as COOL … yet another example of delays on the part of the Harper government and a lack of coordination with the U.S. and is hurting Canada,” said Mr. Brison.

On a brighter note, the latest opinion poll shows Canadians increasingly favouring the Liberal approach. Feel free to share your opinion with me at or phone me at (403) 381-7635. Have a great Easter!

Michael Cormican

Thursday, March 26

Government needing a message to get serious about 'Food Safety'

Hi Folks:
I just received this from Jim Thompson, Advocate on Food Security and because of the importance of food to all of us I thought you should have it.

Dear Michael,

I think you’ll be shocked when you read this message.

I attended yesterday’s first meeting of the Parliamentary committee that’s investigating food safety.

Before even beginning to work, the Conservative MPs on the committee totally hijacked the meeting with procedural tricks that allowed them, and only them, to keep talking until the clock ran out.

Please join me in sending a message to tell the Conservatives to stop playing politics with the safety of our food!

No one but the Conservatives got a word in and there was zero progress on getting on with the job of making our food safety system better.

As far as I can tell, the Conservatives plan to continue to prevent this committee from doing its job – ever.

I hope you will join me in sending a message to tell Prime Minister Harper to stop playing politics with our food safety system. Please send the PM a message to urge him to rein in his MPs so the committee can get on with the job of making our food safety system better.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Thompson

P.S. In addition to hijacking the meeting, the Conservatives seem to be trying to hide information from the parliamentary committee as well, according to a report in today’s Ottawa Citizen.

You may contact Jim at or email me and I will send you his letter and link.
Michael Cormican

Wednesday, March 25

Belated St. Patrick's Day Celebration and "Liberal Helpings" Event

Hi Friends - Liberals.

You are invited to come celebrate, meet new friends and hear the latest from Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader especially for such celebration. I’ll be linking by phone with Michael just before 8 pm so he can speak to us giving us the latest from Ottawa.

Place: Call Michael at (403) 381-7635 for directions
Date: March 27, 2009
Time: 6 pm

Theme - Belated St. Patrick's Day Celebration and "Liberal Helpings"

We will provide beverages i.e. pop, punch, wine and nibblies. Guests may bring own beverage of choice if they prefer other than provided. We will provide a main dinner dish, a tossed salad and "colcannon"; could you get more Irish than that? So; we'll have basics. (It's been suggested that a pot be in place for those wishing to contribute towards the food) A couple of people said they will bring something additionally and suggested others might do same i.e. nibbly or veggie, or salad or desert or whatever?

Since the event is a fund-raiser for those wishing to make a donation to the party $15 to $25 is suggested for which you will get a tax-receipt. This means that a $25.00 donation costs you $6.25 and you are helping the party to be ready for the next election. I've set the goal at $300.00 for the evening but I expect it to surpass that since as we all know it takes money to do anything, in this case run a credible party and to be ready. Also, please bring a joke or two and a story. A piano [layer is scheduled and we all look forward to a great evening and catch-up with the latest from Ottawa from Michael Ignatieff. I’m excited and looking forward to seeing you here. And, we've even got a professional piano-player.Until then; take care.

Michael Cormican

Thursday, March 5


A few of us from Lethbridge: Dianne King, President; Zack Moline, Youth representative; Everett Tanis and I as past Candidates, attended the LPCA Convention in Edmonton this past week-end. Although the coverage in the Edmonton Journal on Saturday was good, so often due to distance such events get little attention in the local media, so here is an update:
The banquet with Michael Ignatieff, Leader on Friday, Feb. 27 was a sell-out success with over 800 in attendance; and Mr. Ignatieff did not disappoint! He gave a rousing speech emphasizing Alberta as the leading province and stating how no government should take Alberta for granted. He also emphasized the need to assist the oil industry in the tar sands in their greening process and suggested that rather than sending it unprocessed to the US that we need to consider installation of up-grader plants. He also said he will not allow the Conservatives to do to him what they did to Mr. Dion and he emphasized the need for increased grassroots involvement and funding in order to be ready for the challenge if the government falls. (On Thursday, Feb. 27 I had attended and heard Mr. Ignatieff speak in Calgary. Several hundred attended).
The Women’s Commission meeting on Thursday afternoon discussed ideas on how to entice more women to be involved. The Renewal Commission followed chaired by Dr. Bennett, similarly seeking ideas from attendees.
Saturday began at 7 am for those of us interested in the Agriculture meeting with the former Liberal Agriculture Minister Wayne Easter. Senators Banks, Fairbairn and Mr. Hodgeson, the LPCA President, attended the session as well. The standing committee on agriculture is ably chaired by Bob Russell from St. Albert, and along with Don Thompson and the other members of the committee, includes many experienced and notable farmers from across the province. Bob presented a brief from the committee outlining issues and recommendations. Issues included WCB, grain, cattle and even the listeria situation that occurred this past year. Bob and Don regularly travel across the province to talk and support where necessary, and do this at their own expense. They also lobby power and other interests to use wasteland for industrial and transmission purposes, so as to maximize the use of good land for crop production.
The major session of the morning consisted of reports and Kevin Feehan directed the afternoon session focussed on reviewing proposed amendments for the party’s constitution. Kevin did a super job. The more contentious were identified first and dealt with individually before the final resolution was adopted. The final session was a ‘bearpit’ format on Renewal. Several spoke and emphasized the need for “one person one vote’.
Several including Rocco Rossi emphasized the need for fundraising to guarantee our sustainability. Whether we like it or not, the reality is money is needed, especially for advertising. I note that the Conservatives raised 4:1 the amount the Liberals raised this past year. They garnered over $ 21 million versus Liberals approximate $5.6 million. Apparently only 5% of Liberals have been donating versus 50% of Conservatives; so we must change this
If we want to survive as a party and to be a serious contender to get the Liberal approach we desire we must all get serious about increasing our numbers and funds. Given Mr. Harper’s and his government’s lack of progress and questionable practices, we need to be ready in the event of a possible early election call.
As we returned home from the Convention, discussing and reflecting on the weekend’s events and process, we realized that we must make sure that our concerns and recommendations reach the right people in time for the National Convention in Vancouver, so that we can assure the expected empowerment of the grassroots.
We are a keen and involved group. Our monthly committee meetings are lively, as are our committee discussions; and Lethbridge is one of the more active ridings in the country. During the previous leadership campaign we had 9 of the 11 contenders come to our city and we intend to keep that pace.
So please, I appeal to every individual to assist by getting more involved. It should not be too much to ask that each of us sign up at least one new member. If everyone got one new member we would double our membership. I have already signed more than one and continue to press for more. Please call me if you need help or a membership form and remember there’s lots of great information on our website at
Michael Cormican, Lethbridge EDA Liberal Candidate ’06 and ‘08

Sunday, February 22

Activity Update

Wow! What changes over the past couple of weeks!

Though the weather has remained cold, on the political level, attitudes across the country appear to have warmed and changed substantially. Whatever precipitated the change: the economy engaging everyone's attention, the fact that the government heard the wake-up call in the tête-à-tête with opposition parties, or the focus on the preparations for President Obama’s visit, Mr. Harper sure appears much more amenable. Mr. Ignatieff appears to have settled in fast to his role in leading the Opposition and appears totally comfortable with it.

President Obama’s visit, though very brief, is now history and it appeared as if he fulfilled everyone’s expectations. Hopefully he will be back again when he does not have so much demanding his attention at home and hopefully he will be able to remain as persuasive as he has been with respect to the economy, especially on matters that affect trade between Canada and the USA.

On the home-front I keep busy too. I very much enjoyed my involvement with the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki 40th Anniversary celebrations. It was great meeting so many from near and far, as it helped ensure the success of the overall celebration. I also attended the annual dinner of the Lethbridge and District Ethnic Association and the Gala introducing us to the Water Resources Institute at the U of L. In addition to the usual other committee meetings, I had a couple of meetings and contacts regarding the much talked of anticipated change in local fire and ambulance services.

I’ve also been in touch with some of my agricultural contacts to monitor the effects which the changing economy is having on them. It appears that some of the issues noted to me last summer and fall have intensified, while a couple of them appear to have less significance, i.e. oil and fertilizer costs. Nevertheless, they suggest that government and other authorities need to keep working on them. My contacts say the need is greater than ever for changes to facilitate trade in cattle with the USA. I have forwarded the information to Bob Russell, Chair of the Liberal Party Agricultural Committee to help us in our meeting on Saturday with Hon. Wayne Easter, former Liberal Agriculture Minister now Opposition Agriculture shadow-Minister.

Given the winds of change for our American cousins and the worsening economic situation for us too, we should not only to be ready if called upon to form a government, but to ensure that our policies are in tune with people’s needs. With this in mind, a number of us met this week and reviewed the recommendations contained in the Red Ribbon Task Force 2006 Report. We’ll be passing them on to the current ‘Renewal Commission’ preparing for the LPC upcoming Vancouver Convention.

It is high time that everyone, not just Liberals, needs to change their way of thinking and acting in order to change the Conservative grip, especially in Lethbridge area. I believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it. Who would have thought last year that the American people would have changed so fast to the point of electing an African-American to lead them? It restores my faith in the power of good. We too need to believe change can occur. Together we can do it!

Michael Cormican

Wednesday, February 11

Congratulations to Sik-Ooh-Kotoki (Medicine Tree) Friendship Center on your 40th Anniversary

This a copy of my recent letter to the Lethbridge Herald on Friday, Feb. 6, '09.

‘Thank you’ Sik-Ooh-Kotoki staff for the most successful Gala Evening last Saturday, February 1 commencing celebration of the 40th Anniversary of founding in 1969. It made my heart swell with pride for you seeing the huge El Rancho ballroom packed with representations of the community to share in the celebration and recognizing forty years of service to our community. It was also a nice surprise to renew friendships with several that came from across the country.

As we heard and some of us realize it has not been an easy road for you. We commend founders, Leroy Little Bear, Rose Yellowfeet and Rod McLeod for their foresight, dreams and determination as well as current President Roland Cotton, Jim Short and Lydia First Rider for their able leadership over the past ten years. We wish you continuing success.

We hope everyone will take the opportunity to come out and enjoy the many other celebratory events over the next month. There’s something every week; a pow wow this w/e, the following w/e boxing etc., and all funded without government assistance. Way to go! A great demonstration of what can be achieved when we believe in ourselves, reach out to each other and reach for the stars. It bodes well for our future.

Thanks Lethbridge for your continued support the dream of a home and mingling place for all regardless of status or colour. A special thanks to Travis and your team for the terrific emcee job, fun and friendly jibes both politically and with our friendly security colleagues. You guys looked superb!

Special thanks to guest-speaker, Mr. Elijah Harper, for your words of wisdom and encouragement. Many of us indeed remember you years ago speaking out as an MLA and MP. It was a real treat to meet you at last. As you suggested; let’s all soar like the eagle and our community will be the better for it.

It’s great to see the rubber hitting the road and everyone working together at last since it is the best way to achieve our best and human potential. Thanks again all. Keep up the great work. I look forward to the rest of the events and fun. Congratulations again for a job well done. Dream-on and continue to reach out and expand “The Spirit of Bridging Friendships”.

Michael Cormican

Thursday, January 29

Observations on the Budget of January 27, 2009

I thought I should provide a few observations with respect to the much anticipated budget upon which so many Canadians - individuals, families and business - pin their hopes, as they feel pinched as a result of the quickly shrunken economy.

Some will feel helped, but in listening to the budget and follow-up discussions I couldn’t help but feel as though some of it is “smoke and mirrors” and will take time to see if it all pans out as projected. Certainly it is much better than what we would have been treated to if Mr. Harper had not been stopped in his tracks. What a huge turn-around from the fiscal update he provided two months ago, an update which was obviously either misleading or naïve.

Even I was aware of the worsening world situation in early October. My brother in Ireland told me in a phone-call how the Irish Government had just broken ranks with the EU and said it was going to bail-out a couple of their largest banks. A few days later we saw British PM, Gordon Brown soliciting support in the Middle East and months before most of us were aware of Fanny Mae etc. in the US.

However, despite the severity of our situation, with thousands who have already lost jobs and many more cut to part time, I believe that Canada, with its resource wealth, will survive better than most. However, like a heart-attack or cancer the conditions were developing long before, this may take much longer to correct. My wish is that everyone will survive with the least hurt.

As Mr. Ignatieff has said, the main measures of the budget’s efficacy must be:
• Will (the budget) help business and industry survive?
• Will it alleviate the stresses of those affected by the downturn?
• What length of time it will take to get out of deficit again. (With the huge amounts involved, this is my biggest concern!)

Nevertheless, let’s think and talk positive like Mr. Obama, so that we can feel better and get back to normal again. Also, as suggested by Mr. Obama, we all need to do our bit, learn the needed lesson and become responsible in our day-to-day living. We need to realize the interconnectedness of all of us all and the universe.

We also need to realize that if we keep approaching issues and the future with the same approaches, undoubtedly we will get more of the same. We need to dream, take calculated risks; to reach for the stars and to expect the best from those who serve us. These are some of the traits we see in Mr. Obama. He has renewed our hope and trust. We need to listen and emulate them too.

And, now that circumstances have helped bring us some of the much needed reason and cooperation we expected of our politicians, let’s expect better from them from now on, and likely we will get what we expect. Of course, I would appreciate hearing your observations too. I can be contacted by email at or by phone at (403) 381-7635.
Michael Cormican

Monday, January 19

Justice needing to be restored in case of Omar Kadhr

I find it difficult to keep quiet when repeatedly hearing and now seeing evidence proving continuing injustice especially to someone who is unable to do anything for themselves. Shortly my last blog insertion I turned the TV to channel 15 to catch-up on Newsworld and happened on the latest update on Mr. Kadhr's case I suspect most people have heard about many times and like many people not believing such injustices and torture still occurs had not taken action to date. The reporters and Canadian Lawyer did a super job challenging and providing evidence that countered almost every piece of evidence attempted by the US defence in the case which is about to go to court. It spurned me to take action and the following is a copy of my action. To contact Mr. Obama I was directed to correspond on his facebook. You will also see that I have sent it to Prime Minister Harper and other significant politicians. Here goes:

Hi Mr. Harper, Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Casson:
Firstly, Mr. Casson since I have difficulty locating and address for Mr. Harper and since I anticipate you have one in easy reach I would really appreciate if you can forward this correspondence to him at your earliest convenience.

Following is a copy of my correspondence and request to President-elect Obama as he assumes the role of President of the US tomorrow. It is with respect to the Omar Kadhr case as noted above. Like many Canadians I expect our Government that appears to have been complicit in the injustices and torture as well to end the continuing injustices being perpetuated and restore Mr. Kadhr's Rights and Freedoms. See as follows:

Hi Mr. Obama:
This is my first attempting to contact with you. Though I had not done so until now and though I am Canadain I have been supportive of you from the start and when some that were supportive of other primary contenders were questioning or making statements that Americans were not ready for a black President I kept reminding them of your ease, sincerity and intelligence. Now I want to wish you well as you start your awesome responsibility. I suspect others may have made the same request of you. I just watched the iinvestigative report on Newsworld on Mr. Kadhr, Canadian being held in Guantanamo and being tried on what appears to be unfolding as the biggest concoction of lies attempting to frame him. Even the CIA and interrigators iinvolved question the evidence being given. I ask that you do whatever you can to end the injustice. I am also about to write to our own Canadian government on the matter. Thank you for your attention. Appreciatively,
Michael Cormican

Thank you in anticipation of positive action.
Michael Cormican

Happy New Year! May we and our Government be thoughtful of our future too!

I guess it never too late to wish good things, and the year is still young enough to do so. As usual, I always wish the best for everyone. It would be a much better world if everyone tried to cultivate a positive outlook, then no one would feel excluded. Unfortunately, it appears that for quite some time the majority has got into an exclusionary mode, focusing on themselves or their own group, resulting in less consideration for others. We all have a responsibility to consider others and how our thoughts and actions will affect them. Liberals, because of our philosophy, have a special responsibility to reach out and to ensure that others feel included and valued.

Fortunately, towards the end of the last year the sudden changes in the world economy, as well as the winds of change from the USA, forced everyone to re-evaluate. Circumstances forced an about-face to seek cooperation in the political sphere, once again proving that tough time and cooperation bring out the best in us. So let’s keep positive that the new attitude will hold.

Nevertheless, I hope that Mr. Harper will not be too soft under the pressure of trying to respond to everyone. I hope he will be cautious and prudent, since we don’t want a huge debt hanging over us for the long-term future; a situation which could easily happen. I trust he will be reasonable in his upcoming budget and ensure that some thought be given to plans for getting back to normal.

However, all of us have a responsibility to cooperate and be reasonable too, not only in our expectations but in our actions as well. Let’s all show we have learned the vital lessons of prudence and cooperation. We must be prudent with credit, as well as remembering that there will be many who hurt and need our help. In doing this we will realize the positive multiplier effect that occurs when we share.

Also, at this time I remind Liberals of the need to renew their membership and to donate, since the latter (other than increasing the numbers and fundraising activities) is the only way the party can survive. We should not leave all of this to the dedicated few who are the nucleus. We must all make it our responsibility to actively support and give our best to our party, since it is the best the democratic world has come up with. We need only listen to the news to be reminded of what can happen when a society is ruled despotically and tyrannically. We need to minimize the possibility of that happening here.

Our riding is one of the most active in the country, so there are many opportunities available. Monthly meetings are held and there is lots of committee work as well as other activities. Also, there are the upcoming conventions, through which much work is done. If you want to attend these you must have a current membership. For this, you can join or renew online at or; or you may contact our president, Dianne King, or myself and we will be happy to get a form to you. You can also keep up-to-date on those sites. Also, if there is any way in which I can help, or if you have concerns or suggestions please email or call me. My phone number is (403) 381-7635 and email is

Best regards,
Michael Cormican