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"You have said that the irrelevance of Christianity can be overcome only by passing through the darkness of existential despair. You have said that the faith which rises from this depth will embrace its own doubt. It will live as a perennial, unresolvable tension in us. My theory of knowledge takes this as its paradigm. It is shaped by the image of what I understand to be the Pauline scheme of redemption. Having to face the fact that no knowledge can be set free of conceivable doubt, and that an idea created by scientific originality is a solitary conviction, ready to face universal doubt, I conclude that it is of the essence of knowledge that it can be held to be true only by an unceasing mental effort.

Such is the nature of that active indwelling by which we make sense of the world. To know is a personal striving. It is a striving that responds to an obligation, imposed on us by intimations of a hidden reality that demands of us to grasp it. Knowledge is alive so long as it knows itself to be incomplete, by pointing indefinitely beyond its manifest content."
- Michael Polanyi, reply to Paul Tillich, Polanyi Collection Regenstein Library, University of Chicago. Box 25, Folder 4.

Bill Withers - Use Me


The new relationship between the Senate and the rest of Parliament is continuing to shift and evolve. The latest development is one of Cabinet Ministers individually lobbying Senators in order to secure their votes in the Red Chamber. It seems like the natural thing to do, and certainly necessary if (as a Minister) you want to ensure that a contentious Bill makes it through the Chamber unamended, but the change also brings both a shift of influence to the Chamber and the danger that Cabinet may try to engage in quid pro quo negotiations with Senators in order to secure their votes. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, if the influence is used force the Cabinet and PMO to water-down or adjust government Bills. The change could force PMs to recognize that they are still responsible to Parliament, even if they can ride roughshod over the House.

PUBLISHED : Monday, July 3, 2017 12:00 AM
Cabinet ministers’ “systematic lobbying” of Senators on government legislation could undermine the independence of the Red Chamber and it’s up to each Senator to ensure they maintain independence in their voting decisions, says a Liberal Senator from Quebec.

“You have to use that vote for the purpose for which you’re called in the Senate, which is to exercise, advise, and consent on the basis of an independent point of view and examination of the bills or measures that are put to debate,” Sen. Serge Joyal (Kennebec, Que.) told The Hill Times last week.

“We’re not [lobbied] because, as my mother would say, we’re blond, have curly hair, and blue eyes. … We’re there because we have a vote. That’s it. All the rest are secondary considerations.”

Sen. Joyal defined “systematic lobbying” by cabinet ministers as “a minister getting in touch in-person, in his or her office, or over the phone, with all Senators who sit on a committee studying a bill or debating an issue, where the minister does not satisfy himself or herself with her or his testimony at committee, but wants to persuade Senators on a one-on-one basis.”


He excluded from this definition briefings provided to Senators who agree to sponsor government legislation or provided to official opposition Senators—which are the Conservatives, who generally oppose the Liberal government’s legislation.

Sen. Joyal said if a Senator is a forceful opponent of a particular piece of legislation, and the minister behind the bill lobbies the same Senator to get his or her vote, that Senator could get into a “give and take” discussion and be “in a negotiating position.” He said this situation could affect how the Senator in question casts his or her vote...

Liberal Senator urges colleagues to stand up against government pressure on voting decisions - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

Lac McGregor

Chez Casa del Ghandis, Lac McGregor, June 30th, 2017. Meister Vee had me down to the lake to moot with the family (and apparently also to help drag a waterlogged boat out of the mir). The attendees included Tee, Mythlie & the boys, Mrs. Ghandi, Summa & Grant (the former being a former student of Maben's, now teaching philosophy at Memorial University, Nfld), Pauline and mother Jeanette, and spirit-strong memories of the departed. The latter-most are increasingly present in the rising monuments in the yard (not pictures): Vee has constructed a memorial shrine for Peter, and is constructing a second for Sunil Ghandi, his more recently departed patrios.

If you’re going to get into a mess with no idea when you’ll ever get out, there are worse places to do it. On Monday more than 400 Canadian soldiers stood in the midday sun on the parade square at Camp Adazi, a Latvian army base tucked into a pine forest northeast of Riga, the tiny Baltic nation’s capital. To the right of the Canadians stood about as many Latvian troops. On either side were smaller groups of Spanish, Italian, Polish, Slovenian and Albanian soldiers.

This is the Canadian-led battlegroup, 1,138 troops in full from the six visitor nations, plus their Latvian hosts, and Monday was the newcomers’ first official day on the job. On hand for a welcoming ceremony were Latvia’s president Raimonds Vējonis, NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Canada’s defence minister Harjit Sajjan, and the top soldier in every participating country’s armed forces, including Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance...

Canada's mission to scare off Russia - Macleans.ca
The Senate tests it's limits further by seeking to amend the budget - gets a swat on the nose by the House for infringing upon the rights and privileges of the Commons...

PARLIAMENT HILL—The House adjourned for the summer Wednesday evening after an acrimonious spring sitting, but the government’s 300-page omnibus budget implementation bill is still in the Senate.

On Parliament Hill, MPs were preparing to leave Ottawa for the summer barbeque circuit, however, Bill C-44, the government’s budget implementation bill is still outstanding in the Senate after the House rejected the Senate’s amendments to remove the so-called escalator tax increases on wine, spirits, and beer, and sent it back to the Senate.

Earlier Wednesday morning, the Senate had passed the bill, on division, at third reading with the amendments, sending the budget bill back to the Commons. The House then unanimously rejected the amendments, within the government’s motion to adjourn the House. When the Senate received that message Wednesday evening, it elected to put off dealing with it until the next sitting of the Senate, on Thursday.

If the Senate decides to send the bill back amended once again, House Speaker Geoff Regan (Halifax West, N.S.) could be forced to recall the House to deal with it.


Government House Leader Bardish Chagger (Waterloo, Ont.) said, in the motion to adjourn the Commons two days earlier than scheduled, that the House disagreed with the amendments made “because these amendments [infringe] upon the rights and privileges of the House.”

House adjourns for summer, government's budget bill still in Senate - The Hill Times - The Hill Times
Mr. Chong’s Reform Act (Bill C-586) amended the Parliament of Canada Act to require all party caucus members vote on such provisions as MP expulsion from caucus, reviewing or removing the leader, and electing their national caucus chairs. None of the three major parties in the House adopted all the measures.

But Mr. Chong remains undaunted and determined to give MPs a stronger voice, and is making his latest pitch through a recently published book he edited along with fellow reform-minded Commons colleagues NDP MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South, B.C.), and Liberal MP Scott Simms (Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, Nfld.).

Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy, published by Douglas & McIntyre, features chapters by all three MPs, along with those written by others, including Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.), who outlines a detailed case regarding “the ongoing erosion of the rights of individual MPs” and believes the “single most important reform” to ensure that MP rights are “respected and equal” would be to implement a “consensus-based voting system, under some form of proportionality,” to both reduce the “adversarial nature of Parliament” and “the excesses of prime ministerial power” and “enhance cross-party cooperation...”

Meet the three MPs who want to turn Parliament ‘inside out’ - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

Sons and Lovers

Most academics and public intellectuals, it seems, are yet to understand the difference between productive and unproductive arguments. A productive argument is like wrestling with your lover. An unproductive argument is like seeking to batter your rejector.

Building on mass-grave sites: the old-school gentrification that never goes out of style, apparently...

For five years, members of Montreal’s Irish community have been working on plans for a park to memorialize the 6,000 famine refugees who died here in 1847’s Summer of Sorrow.

Now, the sale of the site of the proposed park appears to have dealt a deathblow to the plans to commemorate North America’s largest Irish Famine burial ground.

On Tuesday, organizers learned the Canada Lands Company, a federal agency, has sold the land near the Victoria Bridge to Hydro-Québec.

Given that they had been working with all levels of government to bring the memorial park to fruition, the news came as a total shock, said Victor Boyle, national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a director of the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

“After all, we have met with every level of government, from the local borough mayor right up until the local MP, Marc Miller, so repeatedly that these guys know our shirt size. And they promised that they would keep us in the loop,” Boyle said.

Johanne Savard, a spokesperson for Hydro-Québec, confirmed that the utility is acquiring the lot at Bridge St. and Des Irlandais St. to build a new electrical substation.

Savard said the new substation is needed to supply the future Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) train as well as the growing population of Griffintown...

Land sale threatens dream of Irish Famine memorial in Montreal | Montreal Gazette

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