Weekly Commentary  

The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory celebrated its 50th year of operation.  (Photo: Astro-Canada website)
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory celebrated its 50th year of operation. (Photo: Astro-Canada website)

Up in space, down to earth

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This week's constit report to you goes to the stars and back.

'Space’, the last frontier was the focus at a great ceremony this week up in the hills of our beautiful White Lake region. Here sits one of the most sophisticated and active observatories in the world.

The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory celebrated its 50th year of operation with all the fanfare it rightly deserves.

Through intergalactic mapping they explore the infinite array of far flung planets, solar systems, black holes, quasars and every other type of existential reality in the great beyond.

NASA and others around the world are constantly downloading the info laden data which emanates from the array of satellite dishes and other technologies at this space age facility.

Congratulations to the renowned scientists and technologists who study the heavens from right here on earth.

Down to earth with sadness is how we all felt when we heard the news of Sindi Hawkins’ passing.

This young, remarkable woman has left us with a legacy of courage and real life examples of how to thrive in the face of the toughest challenges imaginable.

Thank you Sindi, you have changed our world forever.

In a seemingly mundane but actuarially invigorating report, figures were released this week which updated us on our progress through the world economic downturn and its fragile recovery.

With the words of the International Monetary Fund still ringing in our ears ("Canada is an economic miracle") or the OECD's similar declaration ("Canada's economy shines") the figures were a somewhat comforting confirmation.

Underlining the cautions and caveats which are necessary in a tentative global market place, the numbers were noteworthy for us.

The report shows that even though we are keeping federal taxes down, the revenues to the treasury are slightly up and our deficit reduction plan is basically on track.

We recognize there are many variables beyond our control which can change the economic landscape. We also continue to be focused on the fact there are still people who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

It is however somewhat reassuring to know that 439,000 new jobs were created from July '09 to July '10. I'll keep you posted on these economic developments.

This week Prime Minister Harper again took centre stage on an international platform- the United Nations. In his presentation he highlighted the need for countries to be united in their provision of resources to help the world's poorest.

It is true that poverty on a global scale is being reduced as hundreds of millions of Asians and millions of South Americans continue to move beyond subsistence living as their economies modernize.

However this is still not the case for untold numbers in politically and economically deficient nations. The Prime Minister was able to show some of the things Canada is doing to alleviate that suffering and challenged others to do the same.

Talking about political deficiency, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad also showed up in New York.

Unsurprisingly and depressingly, from his well known positions of denying the Holocaust and wanting all Jews exterminated he launched into his usual rant against evil Western democracies.

I never cease to be amazed at his boldfaced denunciations of our cherished freedoms while back home he presides over a frightening array of horrific suffocations of his own citizens' attempts at personal liberty. He labels as criminals and punishes with death those who are involved in anything from same sex relations to criticisms of the government. Being caught in adultery or converting to a religion other than his, is worthy of death by stoning.

These are just a few of the reasons that our PM instructs our UN delegates to not even sit and listen to the ravings of this degrader of human rights and human dignity.

A closing thought. The UN this week also named somebody to advise the world about talking to creatures from outer space when they arrive here.

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