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Vacation notice

Hey readers – a bit of bad news. I’m going
on vacation for a week, and will be largely without internet access for the
duration. That means no daily roundups and none of my sparkling banter over
the Twitter Machine. But it can’t be helped, and hey – it’s been almost four
years since I’ve actually had a vacation that was more than an extended weekend
in Toronto, and that one was for my sister’s wedding in rural Alberta, so I
think you’ll pardon me when I say that I really need a bit of time off. Going
cold turkey on Canadian politics, however, will be the hard part. In the
meantime, though, I have pre-loaded a few ranty blog posts that will be
released over the course of the week, so check back, and I’ll resume normal
blogging on Tuesday, Jan 17.

And now for today’s roundup:

Stephen Harper appointed seven more senators, including Betty Unger, another “elected” nominee from Alberta. (I’ll
have more on Alberta Senate “elections” as one of my ranty posts next week).
Also appointed was Ottawa Police Service Chief Vern White, who opposed harm reduction
programs for drug users in Ottawa, opposed the long-gun registry and worked
on the G20 security measures – all things Harper would have been fond of.

After touting their “get tough on coal
emissions” regulations, the Conservatives are quietly letting provinces get off
that hook
 by letting them work out separate regulatory agreements that would
lessen the impact. Because they’re totally taking greenhouse gas emissions and
climate change seriously! Ontario, however, is not amused and doesn’t want to
see a patchwork of different emissions regulations around the country.

The NDP nomination meeting for
Toronto-Danforth happens on Monday.

Paul Wells pays attention to Harper’s
end-of-year interviews and wonders just what “major” plans he has for 2012,
since the “sleeping” majorities of his predecessors produced some pretty major
things.

And here’s a look at some wacky office
games
 used to boost morale in the Privy Council Office.

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