The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Manitoba Tories to the poor: Freeze

Manitoba's Conservative Party demonstrated this weekend why they will never win an election in Manitoba.

More to the point, they demonstrated why they should never win an election in Manitoba.

Manitobans who heat their homes with natural gas are facing a 30 percent increase in their bills this coming winter. Heating is a necessity in Manitoba, not a luxury. The poorest Manitobans already have their thermostats turned as low as possible in the winter; a 30 percent hike in their heating costs will be devastating.

NDP leader Gary Doer wants to ease the blow, maybe by using record Hydro profits to subsidize natural gas users.

The Manitoba Conservatives, under leader Hugh McFadyen, say let the poor freeze. The Tories are opposed to helping them cover their heating bills by diverting Hydro money.

"We should not be using a renewable resource to promote a fossil fuel. It's unforgiveable," former NDP premier and universally ignored crank Ed Schreyer blazed to the Winnipeg Free Press.

To which Tory MLA and deputy Hydro critic Bonnie Mitchelson added; "That goes against everything environmental, every part of Kyoto."

In a deluded effort to attract left-wing voters to his dying party, Mcfadyen thinks becoming more fanatic about global warming is the way.

The poor, the weak and the elderly have no place in the P.C. vision of a green Manitoba. If you can't afford to cut your carbon output you deserve what you get. That's the Conservative way.

Manitoba Hydro is a publicly owned utility. The profits belong to the people of Manitoba, not to the government. If the people want to use their profits to pay for a portion of their heating bills, so be it.

But to Manitoba's McFadyenites, the little people are the enemy. An enemy which wants to take money away from the government. And the Tories will tell you the government is the rightful owner of Hydro profits.

Once Manitoba Conservatives would have called this reasoning lunacy. Under Hugh McFadyen, it's become policy.

Forget Stephane Dion, another of McFadyen's role models, the Manitoba Tories now have their own Green Shaft.


The only way politicians are able to dupe voters with fears of global warming is with the willing compliance of the press. Nothing proves this better than the coverage of economic news in the past week.

"Layoffs rock Manitoba's airline industry" screamed the headline on the Winnipeg Free Press business page Friday.

* 145 Air Canada flight attendants laid off.

* 78 maintenace workers laid off.

* 10 baggage handlers laid off.

* Concern is rising for the jobs of 83 Air Canada pilots stationed here.

And why?

"...rising jet fuel costs."

Air Canada is reducing its flights to cope.

Woe. Gloom. Sadness.

"Energy takes record bit out of consumer spending: report" topped the story from Canadian Press another day.

"The pain Canadians feel when they fill up at the gas pump or open their electricity or gas bills will only get worse as energy now consumes a record seven percent of Canadian household spending, says a new report."


"While consumers are trying to find ways to pay for the higher fuel costs, the big loser is Canadian industry, which is being hammered both from higher production costs and from the slowdown in the world and U.S. economies struggling to cope with the high fuel costs."

Looming layoffs. Depression. Fear.

"Job data reveals net loss" was how the Winnipeg Sun headlined its Saturday story on Canada's latest unemployment numbers.

"While the energy-rich western provinces continue to grow strongly, Ontario and Quebec have been battered by troubles in the forestry and auto sectors, which have been squeezed by the high loonie and the slumping U.S. economy. As well, a softening housing market is affecting construction employment."

"Reality may finally be catching up with the Canadian job market," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets.

But reality is exactly what's missing from these stories.

Not one of them includes any accountability from Stephane Dion, or Gary Doer, or any of the "green" priests who insist Canadians be forced to use less carbon fuels.

Not a single reporter thinks it is illuminating to ask these devotees of the "green" movement for their opinion of the unemployment, poverty and depression their policies are creating.

Why cry crocodile tears over Air Canada layoffs in Manitoba when the destruction of the air industry is exactly what you want to achieve.

Why decry unemployment in Ontario when destruction of the auto industry in Ontario is an inevitable outcome of what you preach.

The country's press doesn't ask these questions because they don't want the answers.

Here's a question you'll never see asked or answered in the Winnipeg Free Press or the Winnipeg Sun, or on CBC or CJOB.

Why is the NDP embracing anti-carbon measures that are guaranteed to raise costs, raise prices, raise heating bills, damage the economy, and worsen everyone's lives?

To save the planet, they'll say.

But the impact of everything the NDP intends to do in Manitoba will have exactly zero impact on world temperatures. Zero. Absolutely zero.

Everything that Gary Doer intends to stick Manitobans with, and Stephane Dion wants to hammer Canadians with, will be offset many times over in a single year by China, India, Brazil and every other developing country that wants to see economic progress and isn't bound by any artificial Kyoto limits.

So why hamstring Manitobans and Canadians when the end result is zero?

Because it's not about the climate of the Earth.

That's what reporters don't want to report.

All the "green" policies will be useless in affecting the Earth's climate, and politicians know it. King Canute knew he couldn't control nature a thousand years ago.

Have political leaders changed in a thousand years?

Dumber, maybe.

But their power over the earth, the wind, the sea and the stars is just the same. Zero.

So what's the game? It's age old.

Raise taxes and spend, spend, spend.

The Left has been chafing at the bit for a dozen years. Ever since they were forced to give up running deficits, they've been searching for a way to recover their control of the public purse. They've finally found a way.

Kyoto King Stephane Dion cloaks himself in "green" rhetoric. He wants to impose a carbon tax to force people to use less carbon fuels, he says.
It's necessary to save the planet.

But in the meantime, he'll just use the extra billions he'll raise from a carbon tax on social programs like:

- a universal child benefit (aka re-introducing children's allowances for the rich and middle class families);
- public transit (good high-paying union make-work construction jobs); and
- job programs to help the thousands who will be put out of their jobs in the private automobile, airline, and tourist industries for starters.

What a coincidence.

Who would have thought that saving the planet could fund left-wing social programs? Who, indeed?

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