Friday, April 29, 2005

Exploding Liberal Toads!

A undistinguished pond near Germany's second largest city would seem an unlikely place to uncover clues concerning political corruption in Canada. However, the mutilated corpses littering the grounds around the newly christened “Pond of Death” tell a sordid tale Canadians are altogether too familiar with.
“Amphibians in a previously obscure German pond have reportedly been blowing up in their thousands, leaving a grisly trail of innards stretching several feet in their wake - and observers desperately trying to work out why.”

“The bizarre phenomenon has prompted a full-scale environmental investigation of the pond by researchers at the nearby Institute for Hygiene and Environment in Hamburg.”

“In the wake of the confusion, reports have also emerged of toads meeting a similarly gruesome fate in Denmark.”
The link to Denmark is the key. The toads are infected by the same disease that has decimated the federal Liberal party of Canada. Scientists now have conclusive evidence that Alfonso Gagliano, former Canadian ambassador to Denmark, was indeed the zeroth carrier who brought the wretched Liberal disease across the ocean.

The German toads appear to inflate to three times their normal size before splattering their internal organs in a ghastly display of self-destruction. The bloated amphibians make easy picking for the crows eagerly waiting on the edge of the macabre spectacle.

When asked to comment on the shared fate of his federal Liberal party and the German toads, Prime Minister Paul Martin flatly admits that “clearly, in fact, the symptoms are the same.” Obviously delighted by these new scientific findings, the official statement from Stephen Harper's office was: “Caw. Caw. Caw.”

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Flying High

The Canadian military has announced a plan to purchase dozens of A380 super jumbo airliners to replace its aging fleet of Sea King helicopters. After yesterday's successful maiden voyage, the largest civilian airliner ever built has clearly impressed Canada's top defence brass.

“The A380 will once again make the Canadian anti-submarine aircraft force the envy of the world,” Defence Minister Bill Graham said. Prime Minister Paul Martin claims that he has already secured NDP support for the one hundred and eleventy billion dollar deal.

“This deal is a shining example of the comprises needed for a minority government to function,” NDP leader Jack Layton said in a prepared statement. “Canadians want to breath clean air, but they also need affordable housing. While I do have concerns over the A380's emissions, it's 853 seat capacity means 853 less people living on the street. Now we can pack all the homeless people into a plane and send them back to France where Paul Martin won't be able to kill any more of them.”

Canada's geriatric fleet of Sea King helicopters, “flying coffins” that are unavailable for operations 40% of the time and require 30 hours of maintenance for each hour of flight, are employed in the defence of Canada's coastline as submarine hunters. Their primary tactic involves hovering above suspected submarines until something breaks and the helicopter crashes. Normally this is enough to compel enemy subs into leaving Canadian waters for fear the racket will alert American subs already in position to attack Canada.

The A380 airframe will be modified to carry two Sea King helicopters under each wing and will be able to drop them on targets in order to scare them away. “It's like having four helicopters in one,” gushed a giddy Bill Graham, who deferred a question as to what will happen when the A380's run out of Sea King ammo. “That depends on how often we're attacked,” he said.

A technical marvel though it may be, some question how well suited the A380 is to the role. In particular, there are doubts that pilots will be able to safely land the oversize plane on the deck of naval destroyers in the tempestuous Atlantic ocean. “Sticking the landing on a patch the size of a double car driveway might push the aircraft's performance envelope a little,” one Sea King pilot was quoted as saying. Reached for comment Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard stated simply that this is “complete bullshit.”

The $3.2 billion dollar plan to purchase 28 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters, announced in July 2004, will be cancelled. This marks the second time the federal government has scrapped a contract to buy new helicopters. In 1993 Jean Chrétien's newly elected Liberal government followed through on a campaign promise to annul a Tory contract for 50 EH-101 helicopters, paying a $500 million penalty fee as a result.

Asked how the Liberals planned to pay for the deal, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said that the government will simply “print more money,” but became rather confused when told that the Airbus invoices would actually be real.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Moving at the Speed of Bureaucracy

Three hundred and twenty nine people were killed when Air India flight 182, en route to India from Toronto, exploded off the coast of Ireland. The families of the victims have long called for a public inquiry into the terrorist bombing. After the crown's case against the primary suspects fell apart earlier this year, the voices calling for a renewed investigation have grown louder and are finally being heard.

The federal government today released a statement confirming the fact that they'll be taking a closer look into the possibility of commissioning a public inquiry into the bombing. “The Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced that the Honourable Bob Rae will be providing her with independent advice in respect of the terrorist bombing in 1985 of Air India flight 182.”

There's nothing like a good public inquiry to serve as fodder for Canadian bloggers and mass media alike, however The Maple Lounge is compelled to ask this simple question: Do these people not realize that the Air India bombing took place 20 years ago?

How could a public inquiry be effective? What hope do they have of shedding new light on a tragedy already two decades old? At the Gomery inquiry we've had to suffer Jean Lafleur answering “I don't remember” 22 times, while Jacques Corriveau blamed his porous memory on his wife's Alzheimer's disease. Are we willing to endure testimony from witnesses who after 20 years have a justifiable reason to be even less reliable, if indeed they are available to provide testimony at all?

An increasing belligerent train of thieves, lead by Jean Chrétien, has succeeded in making a mockery of the Gomery inquiry despite the scandal being fresh in the public's collective conscious. One can only imagine what a bunch of murderous terrorists might be able to achieve at a futile public inquiry that's 20 years too late. These guys blew up a commercial airliner, killing hundreds of people, and they got away with it. Explosive testimony indeed.

There's only one thing to do. Before commissioning a public inquiry into the bombing of Air India flight 182, we need to hold an inquiry to determine the feasibility of such an inquiry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Paul Martin's Speech to Canadians

The Maple Lounge has obtained an advance press copy of Paul Martin's speech to the nation scheduled for tomorrow. Although this is only a draft, our always reliable source inside the Liberal party confirms that mere cosmetic changes will be made for the final televised version of the speech.

--------------------

Greetings fellow Canadians.

I want to begin today by expressing my appreciation, on behalf of all Parliamentarians and indeed all Canadians, for the fine work being done by all those involved in Justice Gomery's inquiry. The elected members of Canada's government must be held accountable for all their actions, and nowhere is this more clear than when it comes to how taxpayer's dollars are spent.

The Liberal government has recently introduced sweeping changes for the future of Canada's foreign policy, with a special focus on defending our nation. The threat of terrorism is very real, as much for us as for our American neighbours to the south. Recently there has been a lot of talk about tightening the borders between our great nations, turning our continent into a veritable fortress.

I have engaged in talks with our NAFTA partners, and we came to the conclusion that the best way to protect North America is to simply get rid of the rest of the world. Effective immediately, any landmass that is not part of North America has been terminated. Of course a special provision was made for Great Britain due to Canada's ties with the monarch and English support for America's invasion of Iraq.

Hopefully now it is clear to Steven Harper's Conservatives why we didn't enter the proposed American ballistic missile defence shield: The only country left able to shoot missiles at the USA is the USA.

With that out of the way, the main reason I have chosen to address the nation today is of course the inquiry into the federal sponsorship program and how the political fallout is affecting the business of Parliament.

When I began the official inquiry into the federal sponsorship program, I knew we would uncover details of the sordid and scandalous behaviour of prior federal regimes. I knew this would harm the political reputation of both my party and myself. Yet I believed, and continue to believe, that this was necessary for the good of all Canadians. The people of Canada have a right and a need to get to the bottom of this mess, which is why I called the Gomery inquiry.

I want to assure all Canadians that the work of the inquiry, while far from over, is both thorough and professional. This inquiry will go a long way towards ensuring that this type of thing never happens again in Canada.

As we anxiously await the results of this inquiry, a new threat has arisen. Steven Harper's Conservatives want to stop Justice Gomery's work before it is complete. Steven Harper and I both knew that the findings of the inquiry would hurt the Liberal party more than any other party, yet unlike Steven Harper I believe that this public inquiry is more important to Canadians than the political aims of any one party, or any singular person. Steven Harper, on the other hand, would use the Gomery inquiry as a slingshot towards seizing control of the country.

The opposition have threatened to force an election, which would bring a premature end to the inquiry into the sponsorship program. The Conservatives would deprive Canadians of the truth they deserve and so desperately long for. Steven Harper would use Justice Gomery's work as cheap political capital, which when spent is lost forever.

The federal sponsorship scandal has stung Canadians. We want the truth, we want our government to be held accountable and we want justice. Steven Harper, by erasing everything the Gomery inquiry has achieved thusfar, cannot be said to want anything near what Canadians want. Steven Harper is just another person trying to profit from the sponsorship program.

Despite several promises to cooperate and to always keep the best interests of Canadians in mind, the opposition parties have instead decided to create a partisan Parliament incapable of any real progress.

It is clear that the minority government is failing.

I have chosen to speak directly to each and every Canadian tonight because I have an important promise to announce. I will dissolve Parliament immediately following the conclusion of the Gomery inquiry. This is the only way to ensure that the people of Canada get the truth and justice they seek. Canadians will get their say once they know all the facts. I will not allow the opposition parties to perpetuate the cycle of shameful federal governments.

I understand if this scandal has tainted your impression of the Liberal party. Rest assured that we are the only party interested in discovering the full truth about the sponsorship program. The Conservatives would strike down the public inquiry for their own benefit, whereas the NDP will continue to form their policy around whatever happens to slip out of Jack Layton's mouth. Of course, nobody else listens to Jack Layton because he eats babies.

My fellow Canadians, I bid you a good night.

Paul Martin to Address the Nation

The Prime Minister's office has announced that Paul Martin will address the people of Canada on Thursday evening. Although he will not disolve Parliament, he will talk about the sponsorship scandal and the current political logjam in Ottawa. The Maple Lounge has obtained an advance press copy of Martin's speech but we're holding off publication until we can confirm it's authenticity. This is just a formality, so please check back later tonight...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Hit the High Hard One!

Interest in baseball is at an all-time low in the great white north. The Montreal Expos have been replaced by the Washington Nationals, leaving fans in Quebec little choice but to cheer for the burning of Jean Charest in effigy rather than root, root, root for a team from Toronto. Canadians are more interested in the upcoming 2005 World Hockey Championship. (Word around training camp is that some players have completely unpacked their equipment! Scintillating news!)

In order to drum up a little Canuck support for the great American pastime, The Maple Lounge is proud to annouce the starting lineup for MLB's next Canadian expansion team: The Ottawa Scoundrels.

  • Pitcher: On the mound is the one, thankfully the only, Jean Chrétien! Whether it's throwing curveballs at the Gomery inquiry or tossing a monkey wrench into Paul Martin's re-election plans, the little guy from Shawinigan has a golden arm to match his golden parachute.
  • Catcher: Nothing gets past Auditor General Sheila Fraser, and that's the reason she's behind the plate and ready to catch all of Chrétien's Canuckleballs.
  • Outfielders: In center field we have Patsy the pissed-off cow. Cut from the Yankees roster on the final day of spring training, she's out for revenge and to prove she belongs in the league. Believe me, she's one mad cow. Putting the edgy cow in center is clearly a strategic move to keep separate left fielder Martin Short and right fielder Tom Green, at least until they settle their feud.
  • First Base: Although presently under contract, Ben Mulroney is expected to be out of a job and looking for work soon. A new helmet prototype is expected before the all-star break to contain his massive head of hair. (Thanks Expat!)
  • Second Base: That fabulous fielder and potential switch hitter Svend Robinson is the logical choice here. The Pink Ninja is expected to contend for the league stolen base title this year.
  • Short Stop: This spot will alternate between Tim Horton and Ben Johnson. After all, what's a baseball team without a bit of drugs? Since Tim Horton is in fact dead and so is Ben Johnson's career, this is one position management might try to improve before the trade deadline.
  • Third Base: Batting cleanup and needing no introduction is the man who swings the most ferocious club in all of Canada:

Batter Up!

Prime Minister Paul Martin was a surprise cut by the Ottawa Scoundrels. Manager Steven Harper defended the choice, insisting that Martin was cut based on his poor performance on the field and not due to allegations of misconduct. "Paul Martin was cut from the team because he kept striking out. He always checked his swings; he never hit anything. Event when he did manage to get on base he kept getting caught in the pickle because he dithered too much."

Asked for a comment about his not making the team, Martin said "Let's talk about health care."

Puzzled by this reply, The Maple Lounge phoned Paul Martin. The following is a transcript of our conversation.

"The rumour is that you showed up to spring training with a little extra baggage, if you know what I mean. What do you say to that?"

"I will protect the Health Care Act from Steven Harper."

"What about being cut from the team?"

"Let's talk about the Conservative's lack of a health care plan."

"No. I want to talk about baseball you asshole."

"See? That's what I'm talking about! Steven Harper has a hidden agenda!"

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Feuer Frei! Bang! Bang!

If a neo-nazi is shot dead in Toronto's east end and no one is around to see it, does anyone care?

After immigrating to Canada from Germany in the 1970's, Wolfgang Droege joined the Klu Klux Klan and tried to found a local chapter in Toronto. He was given a three year prison sentence in 1981 for organizing a failed attempt to invade and overthrow the government of Dominica. Just four years later he was busted in Alabama for cocaine possession and a weapons offence, and after serving his U.S. prison sentence was deported back to Canada. Immediately thereafter he created the Heritage Front, an infamous network of neo-Nazis led by Droege himself.

Droege was a known associate of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, who was defended in Canadian court by notorious white-supremacist lawyer Doug Christie. The Maple Lounge can't help but wonder how Christie will attempt to twist the shooting death of Droege to benefit David Ahenakew, the most recent racist hate-monger to enlist Christie's services.

And we thought the Liberals were the most despicable people in Canada.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Burning of the Midnight Lamp

It's a good thing that the price of oil has started to tank, because we here at the Maple Lounge have been burning quite a bit of it recently ... especially the midnight variety. Real life has a funny way of interfering with the frequency of blog updates (just when we were starting to get some real traffic)! More news at 11 (or so).

Friday, April 08, 2005

A Grimace from the Grave

A timid sun springs alive from its long hibernal slumber. The snow melts as the frozen ground bathes in an aura of rebirth. The backyard rinks, the battlefields of our nation, retreat to legend and legacy once more until next season.

There is no snow, and there was no NHL. This means there are only two things left to talk about in Canada: the Gomery inquiry and Tim Hortons. Everyone else is discussing Jean Brault and the other thieving sacks of shit, but The Maple Lounge believes in moderation. We mustn't forget that doughnuts are part of a healthy diet according to Canada's Food Guide. (Go ahead and check for yourself, you know you want to. They're right there above the loaves of bread, next to the upside down chocolate éclair.)

Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton was killed in a vicious car crash on February 21, 1974. As if chasing a puck into the corner with his trademark reckless abandon, Tim drove his Pantera sports car off the road at a speed in excess of 160 km/h. (Please note that some of the less reputable blogs erroneously claim that Tim drove his sports car into a ditch while rocking out to Pantera.) Tim died of a crushed skull and a broken neck, two fatal injuries amongst a grisly host of others.

Tim may have been drunk and stoned when he wrecked his car, but that doesn't mean Canadians love his coffee any less. In fact, rumor has it that plans are in place to use police footage of his mangled car in a “Don't fall asleep at the wheel” public service campaign. Municipal police have already begun distributing maps showing the fastest morning and evening routes to the local Tim Hortons drive-thru.

Tim died a rock star's death, and recent languid sales figures have prompted the company to begin using his star power to reinvigorate the brand. Soon we should expect new Timbit flavours: vodka, beer, crack and speed. The coup de grâce is an updated Tim Hortons travel mug that includes titanium impact beams and gyroscopic anti-spill mechanism for those drunken police getaways.

“Dave Thomas may have died from eating his own hamburgers, but has that stopped Wendy's from using him in their ads?” a prominent company official was quoted as saying. Wendy's is of course the parent company of Tim Hortons.

It's a little known fact that before starting his popular chain of doughnut and coffee shops, Tim was involved in a failed string of hamburger joints. Tim Horton just wasn't the happy meal type. He would have cross-checked Ronald McDonald in the face and then smoked a phatty with Grimace.

Maybe that's what happened on that fateful night. Maybe Tim, despite driving 177 km/h, wasn't focusing on the road or even the police cruiser chasing him. Could it be that he was deep in thought after stumbling onto one of life's deepest mysteries: What the fuck is Grimace anyway?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Mutiny on the Gomery

Justice Gomery is expected to rule on the lifting of his publication ban Thursday morning. Unfortunately Quebec Superior Court Justice Lise Côté has postponed the criminal trial of Jean Brault and Chuck Guilté, which means that in all likelihood Gomery's farcical muzzle will stay in place for at least another month. While everyone wants to see these two scoundrels get a fair trial, the publication ban has proved useless in this regard. In fact, it only served to incite a rabid curiosity amongst the great unwashed.

Had Gomery really wanted to temporarily conceal the details of Brault's testimony he would have moved the inquiry behind closed doors. Instead, he has focused international attention on the very details he purported to keep secret. Does anyone else think Gomery is a little too enamoured of the spotlight?

Of course, if Gomery lifts the publication ban we won't know about it. He'll probably place a publication ban on his ruling concerning the publication ban, no doubt to see if the Captain has any quarters left.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Gomery Code

If you want the secret leaked details of Jean Brault's damning testimony, then you've come to the right place. The publication ban is broken, the truth is out there and it must be told. We have cracked The Gomery Code and now present it for you, dearest reader.

It is a story of deception, cover-ups, fraud and international intrigue. Brault's yarn threatens to bring down the Liberal government, who held an emergency conference call to prepare for the inevitable political fallout.

The story begins on September 26th 2002, when U.S. Naturalization and Immigration officials detain Canadian citizen Maher Arar. Traveling alone and returning from a vacation in Tunisia, Arar is accused by the Americans of having ties to al-Qaeda. Despite holding a valid Canadian passport, Arar is deported to Syria where he is tortured.

The Americans had unfortunately reacted too quickly to faulty wiretap information obtained via ECHELON while investigating the alleged mob ties of former Liberal minister Alfonso Gagliano. The mafia has long been suspected of fixing the outcomes of sporting events, including some funded by the federal sponsorship program. Brault played back a noisy, static-laden tape for the inquiry where the name "Maher Arar" is clearly mistaken for the phrase "hurry hard".

Although justice Gomery did not allow it as evidence, today's victory by the Americans over Randy Ferbey's rink at the World Curling Championship is clear evidence that the USA made good use of this secret information. Brault's testimony, however, proves that Arar is innocent and despite being tortured in Syria did not reveal any Canadian curling tactics to the enemy.

It is at this point where Brault's story takes a turn for the surreal. Fearing the disclosure of our classified curling and hockey strategies, the government dispatches secret agent Svend Robinson to assassinate a high-ranking Syrian official on a state visit to Norway. Robinson, who has since been relieved of his political duties, is both a highly trained ninja and a kleptomaniac.

Only meters away from his intended victim and with gun drawn, Svend Robinson diverts from his mark and steals Edvard Munch's famous painting “The Scream”. This resulted in the failure of the mission.

Canadian intelligence officers decided that the best place to hide the priceless piece of artwork was next to a Canadian Idol poster in Ben Mulroney's living room. In an amazing stroke of luck, the painting was damaged during a party when a fistfight broke out after Ben grabbed George Stroumboulopoulos' ass.

The painting was sent to a Liberal-friendly art restoration company in Quebec where a frightening secret was uncovered embedded inside Munch's brushstrokes. Brault then detailed several other covert operations conducted by the Canadian government to steal and examine additional works by Munch.

At this moment Brault unloaded his bombshell on the Gomery inquiry. The Canadian government, acting on the credible intelligence extracted from Svend Robinson's missions, issued a priority 7 alert to their most fearsome secret agent: Neil Young. An elaborate scheme involving surgery to repair an alleged brain aneurysm was concocted to get Young out of his Juno performance contract. The Neil Young splinter cell went into tactical assassination mode. Their target: The pope. That's right: Neil Young smoked the pope! (A direct assault on the Vatican was dismissed because of the ease in which the popemobile could dispatch Canadian tanks.)

The exact nature of the secret code hidden in the works of Munch will be explained in the second part of Brault's testimony Tuesday morning. Since he is protected by a publication ban we should expect to know the full details by Tuesday afternoon.

The debate is on as to whether publication bans make any sense in the Internet age. Despite just such a ban, the details of Jean Brault's damning testimony at the Gomery inquiry are spreading like wildfire throughout the blogosphere. Officials must now scramble to decide what, if anything, they can do to plug the leak. If this turns out to be the final update ever for The Maple Lounge, you should assume the worst.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Tim Horton's to Stop Selling Coffee

It has long been a rumour feared by many Canadians, but today the axe has finally fallen. Wendy's, the American owner of Tim Horton's, has announced that they are planning to “strategically re-target the Tim Horton's brand to focus on the undervalued fresh and healthy alternative market.” The new menu doesn't include coffee or doughnuts! Not even Timbits were spared! New additions to the menu include Tim's smoothies, salads and an expanded selection of soups and chillis.

Citing “increased competition from industry juggernaut Krispy Kreme” and the recent “extremely successful restructuring of the Dunkin' Donuts brand,” Wendy's has scheduled an aggressive rollout that will begin upon completion of the 2005 “Roll up the Rim to Win” campaign. Eventually the plan is to completely eliminate the Tim Horton's brand and fold everything under the Wendy's umbrella, part of their strategy to compete with McDonald's new focus on healthier fare.

I feel sick. Is nothing sacred? We need a Canadian company to step up and buy Tim Horton's back.

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