Kooky British MP George Galloway won't be coming to Canada. A federal judge has upheld the ban.

Last time I was ranting about this I said it was ridiculous to bar Galloway when we were welcoming George W. Bush, whose administration endorsed torture, flouted the Geneva convention, launched a massive domestic spy program, bombed and invaded Iraq (a country that has never attacked the U.S.), bankrupt the U.S., denied global warming, undermined science while pandering to faith-based psychopaths and, why not, probably killed and cooked goddamn kittens.

But why focus on Dubya? Surely we must've let other thugs into Canada.

Well of course we have. One such thug is the late, unlamented Indonesian dictator (oops, soory, leader sounds much respectable) Suharto, welcomed into Canada for the 1997 Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. You might remember the event: RCMP pepper-sprayed protestors (and jouralists, including, famously a cameraman) who were quite reasonably miffed that their country let a (western-backed) tyrant implicated in genocide in east Timor in.

Remember? Then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien joked about pepper spray at a press conference. At the time I fully expected the government to fall. I was so silly and naive.

You can read more about Suharto, and the West's relationship with him, here (the Guardian).
You can revisit the CBC's coverage of APEC here.

So, to review:
Warmonger/torturer/idiot: that's okay.
Tyrant/genocidal dictator/good old-fashioned imperialist puppet: that's fine
Obnoxious, belligerant pacifist politician who criticizes Israel and sometimes pretends he's a kittycat: NOT ALLOWED IN CANADA!

Even the United States let Galloway in. This is ridiculous and unacceptable and unbelievably selective. And if it turns out Minister Kenny Vs. Spenny directed officials to restrict Galloway's entry, he'll need to resign.

At least the judge recognized there are problems with the prohibition on Galloway, which is sort of a partial victory, I guess.

But overall: not cool, Canada. Not cool.

Tune In!

Mitch Diamantopoulos, head of the U of R School Of Journalism and a founder of prairie dog, is on the CBC right now, defending the need for a well-funded independent public broadcaster. Go listen! Links to follow.

UPDATE: Listen online here.
UPDATE 2: Listen old-school at 540 a.m., 102.5 FM.

Hilarious moment: a caller (a CBC supporter) was just asked by Blue Sky host Garth Materie to take a guess at the average salary of local journalists. The caller guessed $80K. (Possible correction: publisher Terry says the guy said $60 K.)

And everyone working in local journalism laughs, and laughs and laughs.

I don't have numbers but I guarentee if we're talking about average, we're looking at well south of $40 K. I wouldn't be shocked if it was under $30, on average.

UPDATE 3: Some stupid asshole caller is calling the CBC biased against conservatism (oops am I using loaded, non-impartial language here?) and is using as his example the CBC industry's alleged non-coverage of a recent phoney scientific conference in New York denying man-made global warming. Uh huh. Well, maybe consensus theories about global warming are incorrect. Also, maybe Jesus rode dinosaurs, evolution is just a crazy hypothesis and gravity is all wrong--we're really held to the planet by underground magnets buried 2000 years ago by angels.

Apparently CBC opponents = global warming deniers. By the way, that conference was briefly blogged about on dog blog, here.

The CBC is a lot more polite to anti-fact terrorists than prairie dog will ever be, let me tell you.

UPDATE 4: Well, the show's over. If I can find out about a re-broadcast time, I'll let you know.

This Week at City Hall

Tuesday, March 31
Board of Revision (9 am)
Development Appeals Board Hearing (5:30 pm)

Wednesday April 1

Executive Committee (11:45 am): Considering a submission by Jason Hall (yes, this Jason Hall), a Regina landlord who has issues with the way the city's Maintenance Bylaw is being applied. Alongside this, the committee will look at a report from staff regarding bylaw complaints (4,000 of them) made by the Regina Landlord's Association. Also, the committee will reconsider a new Housing Incentives Policy in light of the provincial budget.
Regina Urban Environment Advisory Council (5:30 pm): Considering a volunteer water monitoring program.

As always, you can download complete reports and meeting agendas on the city's website.

Six In The Morning

1 MULRONEY'S MONEY The public inquiry into the former prime minister's relationship to a bags-of-cash-lobbing German arms dealer is underway. First up: Former defence minister Bill McKnight. (CBC)

2 FOXY HARPER The prime minister who's content to let 800 jobs go down at the CBC appears on the cartoonishly right-wing American broadcaster, and brags about Canada's bank regulatory regime which (it says here) he would've probably dismantled had he had the chance before it all blew up.

3 CHYRSLER ME A RIVER Under pressure from the White House, GM's CEO resigns while another automaker is told its recovery plan needs a do-over, this time with more Italians. Meanwhile, the market tumbles. It's all here. And here. (New York Times, the Guardian)

4 JUNO WHAT'S BORING? Nickelback's last record was allegedly the best album released by Canadian musicians last year. Yawwwwwwwwwn. (Toronto Star)

5 MOVE IT OR LOSE IT Canada's biggest city is divided over the fate of an urban coyote. (Toronto Star)

6 BUS BOO-HOO (This one's from Friday but we haven't posted on it yet so I'm putting it up now.)

In a California-esque display of a la carte democracy, University of Regina students voted down a $69/semester bus pass fee (or $17.25/month) that would've been a huge step forward for a functioning transit system in this city.

I understand where they're coming from. I understand how transit funding failures in this city have fueled an unsustainable car culture. I fully recognize that students are being asked to pay to fix a problem that they didn't create. I know--I know--there's a lot of blame to go around for the disaster that is Regina transit's grievous under-funding.

And I realize that high post-secondary tuitions have really fucked student's futures up, so every time they're asked to pay more, they balk. I sympathize.

But the fact is, that fee would've made this city a better place and would've improved connections between the campus and the rest of Regina. It would've been a step forward.

it also would've helped a lot of students get through the year without cars, which would save them piles of money.

Bottom line for me: students who voted "no" to the pass have many legitimate points. But this was a chance for them to show some vision and civic leadership. And, they failed.