Monday, December 02, 2013


This new Rogers deal may be the death rattle for the cbc. I am not going to shed any tears for the state broadcaster. The deal removes some of cbc advertising revenue and they still have to pay 100 million a year to broadcast the games. HM Canadian government has already said there are no plans to bal out the CBC. Indeed I hope HM Canadian Government cuts even more! Let the cbc cut its operations to the bone. Get rid of cbc television or better yet survive on a pbs model!! English cbc appeals to a tiny audience. Why should I have to pay for something Irarely if ever watch? For many reasons, Radio-Canada TV maintains a robust presence in the lives of its target audience, while the English service’s audience share has crumbled from 34 per cent in 1967 to 5 per cent today. Faced with exploding competition and a dwindling subsidy, the English CBC clung to hockey as to a life raft, putting up with higher costs, the schedule distortions inflicted by the playoffs, and the erosion of its hockey monopoly. Even before the deal announced on Monday, NHL games could be seen via Sportsnet, TSN and U.S. broadcasters, and the proliferation of outlets will accelerate under Rogers’ control. “The Hockey Night in Canada brand will be tremendously weakened over the next four years,” says Barry Kiefl, a former CBC research director and an independent media analyst. He sees no chance that HNIC will continue after that.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I was born in Kerala, India, but I have now lived in Canada for 50 years. I still have many familial and even economic ties to the land of my birth. I somewhat despair of Indian politics. There will be federal elections next year. It will be a clash between the dauphin Rahul Gandhi of Congress against the Chief Minister of Gujarat Modi of the BJP. Normally I would support the centre right BJP party, but I have grave reservations about both parties. Congress under current Prime Minister Singh has not been that bad. The PM has expanded markets and liberalized trade. However Rahul seems like a tax and spend, big government liberal. I have heard fairly unsavoury rumours about this pampered son of a wealthy , powerful family. On the other side I despise the ethnic and religious nationalism of the BJP. Modi is also accused of not protecting Muslims who were murdered by rioting Hindus in Gujarat. Indian voting patterns are on lines of Caste , religion and ethnicity to the extreme. I urge the BJP to focus on their centre right politics and embrace all Indians!!! The other new issue is a third party , a coalition of smaller regional parties that may actually win. Indian growth has sputtered of late and bold moves to further liberalize the economy and trade need to be taken. It is my profound hope that India and Canada will soon sign a free trade agreement. Im not sure what I want for the Indian elections. I hope that people who are interested in more and freer trade, lower taxes and an India that respects all its citizen regardless of ethnicity, creed or any other difference. I also hope that violence is minimized.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

HM PM Harper in Montreal

I attended a speech given by HM PM Stephen Harper at the Montreal Board of Trade last Friday. The subject was the newly signed Canada EU free trade agreement. It was great to see HM PM Brian Mulroney also at the head table.  The speech was well received and lavished praise on Brian Mulroney. HM PM Harper was playful and funny.
 I had a chance to speak to HM Pm Harper , HM Pm Brian Mulroney and HM Minister of Trade Ed Fast. It was a great event!!! There were a few protesters, but no one seemed to notice.
The speech was mostly in French, but here is the translation:

Thank you very much. “Thank you for your introduction, Michel. “I must tell you that my book is not just a history of hockey in Toronto. “Indeed, it also looks at the very early decades of hockey in Montréal as well. “And I’d just like to remind you that all the profits from this book are being donated to the Fund for military families. “I urge everyone to support these families. “Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney; federal colleagues; Ministers Denis Lebel and Ed Fast; former Quebec Premier Pierre-Marc Johnson; representing the Government of Quebec, Minister Alexandre Cloutier; and the newly sworn-in Mayor of Montréal who is applauding me for the first time today, Denis Coderre. “Distinguished guests. “Members of the business community. “Ladies and gentlemen. “It’s always a pleasure for me to be back in Montréal. “And before I go on, I’d like to thank the Chamber of Commerce and your members for your kind invitation today. “I am here to answer questions about the Canadian economy, but first I’d like to say a few words about our Government’s latest masterstroke, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. “As many of you know, for decades now – since the seventies, in fact – successive Canadian governments have wanted to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with Europe. “So, obviously, the Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement is a big deal. “It is a very big deal. “Now, I have said that it is the biggest deal in our country’s history. “A claim which I understand has been disputed in some circles. “So, allow me to frame my remarks by addressing this question directly. “My friends, for several weeks now a number of journalists have been comparing the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the negotiations that we have just concluded with the European Union. “Which is the bigger deal? “It’s a good question. “The original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Deal, Agreement, which of course, led to the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, or the negotiations that we have just concluded with the European Union? “Now first, let me just make the case for the original Canada-U.S. deal. “Needless to say, the United States is our largest trading partner. “Right now, we do a lot more trade with the United States than we do with all of the countries of the European Union combined. “And the Canada-U.S. agreement could be described as a historic achievement for everyone. “NAFTA marked the first big step toward economic globalization in the post-Cold War period. “Of course and most important for the history of our own country, that trade agreement with the United States was not only first, it was revolutionary in a way that only a trade agreement between ourselves and our colossus of a neighbour really could be. “I’m sure you recall that the agreement with the United States came under serious fire. “It led to some incredible rhetoric. “There were claims that the automotive industry in Canada would sink into oblivion, that our culture would be destroyed, that our water would be stolen, that it would even end Canada’s independence. “These forecasts of course turned out to be wrong, not just somewhat off the mark, but completely wrong, even embarrassing to this day. “And today, this type of naysaying continues to be heard only in the most extreme fringes of the Canadian political landscape. “But at the time, it was rampant, and that is why free trade with the United States was an incredible victory for Canada. “In fact, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement not only proved the naysayers wrong. “It has become one of the sturdiest foundations upon which the unprecedented strength of the Canadian economy today is based. “And, without that achievement, the truth is ladies and gentlemen, we could not have concluded and I could not be here with you today to celebrate our latest historic achievement, free trade with the European Union. “So as far as free trade with the United States and all of North America goes, we are all really indebted to the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. “Now, the case for why the free trade deal with Europe is the biggest. “The European population pool is even bigger, at 500 million. “Europe is also a bigger trading market; in fact, it is the largest market in the world. “And the agreement covers a much broader range of fields. “The topics on which one would have thought that an agreement would be completely out of reach. “Beyond the elimination of tariffs, the treaty also covers investment, public procurement, services and labour mobility. “That is why The Economist wrote that this Canada-Europe agreement is a new global model for future trade deals. “And, of course, perhaps even more importantly this accord with Europe expands our free trade relations in the world, and does so in a really substantial way. “And that is something that is essential in these times of global supply chains. “The agreement with the European Union gives us as Canadians an opportunity, a unique opportunity we have long sought. “The ability to lessen our dependence on the American market and to diversify our trade beyond the United States. “A trend, I should mention that has become evident during the life of the government I lead. “But, friends, if we are to truly compare the Canada-U.S. deal with the European Union agreement, we should also talk about what they have in common. “And, first and foremost, it is this: “In the case of both the original U.S. and North American Free Trade Agreements, and the recent European negotiations, Quebec and Quebecers, and, in particular, Montréal and this business community, have played a crucial role. “Of course, Brian Mulroney fought for free trade with the United States. “But the idea was also supported by political parties of all stripes in Quebec. “Similarly, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest was eloquent in his vigorous support of free trade with Europe right from the start. “He appointed a former Premier of a different political bend, Pierre-Marc Johnson, as Quebec’s negotiator. “And I have to say that Pierre-Marc was one of the most effective negotiators throughout the process and should be heartily applauded for his role! “And of course the new Marois government has also been a constructive partner. “So, once again, we had a broad Quebec consensus behind these historic negotiations, a consensus that, this time, has also been strong across the country. “But, again, a consensus that was likely stronger and broader in Quebec. “And such broad political consensus is a sure sign of work by other actors, especially actors in the business community, and in particular the Montréal business community, as may be seen by everyone here today. “And in this regard, I would like to pay special tribute to a captain of industry, one of the first Canadians to look to Europe was also one of the leading French-Canadian financiers of our history. “Unfortunately, he passed away recently, but his vision will remain a source of inspiration for business people across the country. “I am referring of course to the great Paul Desmarais. “In summary, I would like to thank the businesses and the men and women of Quebec who encouraged us to embark on these adventures, these adventures, as Michel mentioned earlier, that will forever change the economic landscape of our great country. “Now, ladies and gentlemen, the rest is up to you. “Over the next couple of years, legal and technical work will be completed. “The deal will be translated into the 24 languages of the European Union, and the ratification process will begin. “But, it will be for you, as business people, to see the opportunities and to take advantage of them. “And those opportunities are enormous. “We are talking about virtually duty-free access, mostly without transportation barriers, to a well-established market with a GDP of $17 trillion. “Free trade with the United States has already proven that Canadian companies can go up against the best and emerge victorious. “And now, more than ever before, we, Canadians, are in a position of strength thanks to our competitive tax rates, relatively strong balance sheet, political stability and the number one, most secure financial system in the world. “As I said in the Throne Speech, with all of these things lining up, it is Canada’s moment, and it is the time to seize that moment. “We hope to see you, business people such as yourselves in the next two years take off to Europe, engage in new business partnerships and open new markets. “And our Government will be working with you. “We can become the backbone for trade between Europe and the United States in the short and medium terms. “So let’s take advantage of that. “In the meantime, I can assure you that the economy is and will remain priority number one for our Government. “A priority that I believe is reflected in our country’s outstanding performance, performance that will only get better when Montréal and all of Quebec are fully represented at the very heart of our Government. “But that is a question for another day. “Today, dear friends, I draw your attention to these landmark trade agreements as a perfect example of the extraordinary things that we can accomplish when we work together. “And it is by continuing along this path that we will ensure job creation, economic growth and long term prosperity for Montréal, Quebec, and all of Canada. “Thank you very much.” - See more at:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our Brother in Christ: HRH Prince George Louis Alexander

A joyous day today . Today HRH Prince George has become part of the Christian family. One day he will be Supreme Governor of the Church of England. A wonderful message By Justin, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Christening

Other Royal Christening HRH Prince William

HRH Prince Henry

HRH Prince Charles

The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen two hymns, two lessons and two anthems for the christening of their son, Prince George. The Hymns are Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision. The lessons are from St. Luke ch. 18, verses 15-17, read by Miss Pippa Middleton and St. John ch. 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry. The anthems are Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand (Richard Popplewell) and The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter). Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand was written for Prince William’s baptism on 4th August 1982. The anthems will be performed by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal. The Processional Organ Music will be J. S. Bach’s Fantasia in G (BWV 572). The Recessional Organ Music will be C. M. Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No 5. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will baptise Prince George. He will be supported by The Dean of The Chapel Royal (The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres) and The Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal (The Reverend Prebendary William Scott).  Prayers: for HRH Prince GeorgeWe thank almighty God for the gift of new life. May God the Father, who has received you by baptism into his Church, pour upon you the riches of his grace, that within the company of Christ's pilgrim people you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory. Amen.

 Prayer for TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Faithful and loving God, bless those who care for this child and grant them your gifts of love, wisdom and faith. Pour upon them your healing and reconciling love, and protect their home from all evil. Fill them with the light of your presence and establish them in the joy of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

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