Radio talk show host Glenn Beck has promoted the kind of political camps he criticized

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Radio talk show host Glenn Beck criticized the notion of summer political camps for kids like the one in Norway where 68 people were killed last week, even though he has promoted similar camps in the U.S. where children are taught tea party principles.

Beck’s criticism earlier this week was directed at Norway’s Utoya Island summer camp for the youth wing of Norway’s ruling Labor party. On his radio show Monday, the former Fox News Channel host said the Utoya camp “sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or whatever.”

“Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing,” he said.

However, Beck has promoted similar camps called vacation liberty schools in the U.S. that teach the “virtues and morals” of the Founding Fathers. Lisa Abler, one of the founders of the liberty camp concept, said she appeared on Beck’s TV show a year ago to discuss the schools.

“We originally had made it just for our community, but when I was able to go on his show, others heard about it. … We had so many contacts after that from people all across the country,” Abler said.

Beck didn’t respond to an email request for comment.

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Abler said the program is modeled after vacation Bible schools hosted by many mainline churches, and are different from the Utoya camp because they aren’t affiliated with a political party. Instead of teaching the Bible, the estimated 130 liberty school programs teach children about politics from Beck’s perspective. The camps are independently run, but Abler said she has written a curriculum that she shares with other schools.

Abler said the program does no harm and teaches the children who attend about history, freedom and civic responsibility.

“Responsibility stems from virtues and morals and education, and that’s not necessarily happening with our children,” Abler said.

The Utoya Island camp was targeted by a gunman who claimed he was trying to save Europe from what he said is Muslim colonization.

Torbjorn Eriksen, a former press secretary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, told The Daily Telegraph in England that Beck’s comments were a “new low” and were directed at a program that for more than 60 years has enabled children to learn about and be part of democracy.

Beck made his comments on his syndicated radio program during a discussion about problems he predicted Europe would face because of a growing Muslim population. He denounced the gunman, who he said “is just as bad as Osama bin Laden.”

England’s Paul Daley looks to fight his way to another Strikeforce title shot

Love him or hate him, Paul (Semtex) Daley rarely fails to put on a show when he enters the cage.

The brash English welterweight has 39 bouts under his belt, with only eight going to a decision. When Daley fights, it’s usually lights out for somebody.

Daley (27-10-2) takes on Tyron Woodley on Saturday night on the undercard of the Fedor Emelianenko-Dan Henderson fight at the Sears Center in suburban Chicago.

Last time out Daley was involved in a slugfest with then Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz. Both men were in trouble at different times of the fight but Diaz prevailed and eventually won by TKO with three seconds left in a wild first round.

“It was crazy . . . it was a lot to fit in four minutes 57 seconds,” said Daley.

There is plenty at stake for Daley on Saturday in that Diaz has given up the Strikeforce title so he can challenge Canadian Georges St-Pierre for the UFC championship in October.

A win and Daley would be in prime position to contend for the vacant Strikeforce title, possibly against the winner of Scott Smith-Tarec Saffiedeine fight also on Saturday’s card.

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While Daley recognizes that his April loss to Diaz was a popular scrap with the fans, it’s not one of his personal favourites. He didn’t win and reckons he did not perform to his potential.

“I think the fans just enjoyed the excitement. It was a bit of an old-school Wanderlei-type brawl you used to see back in the Pride days,” he said, referencing Wanderlei (The Axe Murderer) Silva.

The fight was all-action with both men suffering knockdowns.

According to FightMetric, Diaz landed 44 significant strikes – that’s one ever seven seconds – and connected on 65 of 103 strike attempts. Daley connected on 20 significant strikes (he was good on 26 of 69 total strikes).

“It made for a wonderful and entertaining fight,” Daley said. “I’m just happy the fans were entertained, to be honest with you. I’ve had nothing but great feedback.

“Obviously I wanted to be the champion but I gave Nick Diaz a lot of respect as a fighter coming into the fight. I was an admirer of the fact that he does come to fight.

“I think a different ref on a different day, it could have gone any way. But he came off better this time. It was that close of a round. … It would have been nice for me and the fans to go into the second round but we didn’t have that luxury.”

Daley, 28, was originally slated to fight Evangelista Santos on Saturday but the Brazilian was forced out due to injury. Enter Woodley, a former all-American wrestler at the University of Missouri who has won all eight of his MMA fights including six in Strikeforce.

Woodley comes from a good camp in Florida’s American Top Team.

“I know a few of the guys at American Top Team so I kind of know what he’s capable of and what he’s not capable off,” said Daley.

The English fighter is 4-1 since he was cut by the UFC in the wake of a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 in Montreal in May 2010.

A frustrated Daley lashed out after the bell and caught Koscheck with a sucker-punch. UFC president Dana White promptly released him.

Daley agrees the incident didn’t do much for his image but says there’s more to him that what happened that night.

“Yeah I do get a bad rap but I don’t blame those people for their opinions because they can only hear it one way. They’ve never met me, they’re not able to draw their own opinions on me so they only know what other people tell him.

“But you’ll find nine times out of ten, people that actually meet me, socialize with me, train with me, are actually very shocked at the type of individual that I am. I’m really much more different than people expect.”

Daley signed with Strikeforce, only to find himself under the Zuffa banner again when the UFC’s parent company bought Strikeforce.

Daley would welcome another UFC shot but says he has enjoyed his time in Strikeforce.

“I’m just happy to fight, to be honest with you. I’m happy to be able to wake up in the morning in my own house and be able to pay my bills and go to training and do a job that I loved doing. At this present point in time, it’s just Strikeforce.

“They treat me good. (CEO) Scott Coker’s been a cool guy. Since the UFC’s taken over, things haven’t changed that much,. As long as things stay as they are, I’m more than happy to continue fighting for Strikeforce as long as they want me to.”

Canfor pursuing opportunities to grow Canadian lumber exports to India

Forest products producer Canfor Corp. (TSX:CFP) is hoping India becomes the new China and eventually delivers explosive demand for Western Canadian lumber.

Lumber shipments have begun to trickle into the world’s largest democracy since trade barriers were lifted last December, but volumes are low for now and Canfor CEO Don Kayne says India is where China was a decade ago.

In May, China overtook the United States as the largest export market for B.C. lumber. In the second quarter, Asian shipments led by China increased by 71 per cent from a year earlier. Kayne said he believes the industry can double the volume going to China over the next five years.

Looking at its next emerging market, Canfor is at the very early stages of a 12-month effort to determine what parts of India provide the greatest opportunities and on which products it should focus its efforts.

Like China, India has a culture of using wood in home construction, but maybe not as much for quality SPF, or spruce, pine and fir, timber produced in Canada. Besides domestic rivals, European producers are the largest competitors in India, says Kayne.

Late Thursday, Canfor reported that its net profits dropped sharply in the latest quarter as revenues fell on weak lumber prices.

The Vancouver company said earnings fell to $26.2 million for the second quarter, down from $43.7 million from the year-ago period.

Sales decreased to $619.1 million from $634.7 million.

Canfor said it saw little change in the underlying factors hurting the recovery of North American lumber markets.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Canfor’s shares lost 18 cents, or 1.76 per cent, at $10.02 in early afternoon trading.

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Almost 3 dozen charges laid in Alberta stage collapse that killed woman

EDMONTON – Almost three dozen charges have been laid after a stage collapse that killed a woman at a country music festival in Alberta two years ago.

Donna Moore, 35, was crushed by falling scaffolding when a fierce storm tore through the grounds at the Big Valley Jamboree near Camrose on Aug. 1, 2009. The single mother from Lloydminster, Alta., was sitting near the stage.

Another 75 people, including members of Hollywood actor Kevin Costner’s band, were injured.

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The 33 charges under provincial occupational health and safety legislation are against three companies involved in putting on the show.

Premier Global Production, which was responsible for the stage, and event organizer Panhandle Productions face a total of 27 charges. Most of them relate to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers. Premier faces two additional charges of failing to ensure that stage equipment and rigging could withstand any stresses it might face.

A contractor directing Premier’s activities also faces six charges of failing to ensure compliance under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

All three companies are due in Camrose provincial court Sept. 28.

The maximum penalty is $500,000 and/or six months in prison for each charge.

Panhandle Productions declined comment when contacted Friday. Premier Global and the contractor could not be reached.

A lawsuit on behalf of Moore’s sons, who are 10 and 16, was filed last week. It names the City of Camrose, the concert’s promoter, the company responsible for security and several companies that built the stage. None of the allegations has been proven in court.

This year’s jamboree with headliners Gary Allan, Jason Aldean and Toby Keith began Thursday. Barrie Harrison, a spokesman for occupational health and safety, said the site was inspected two days ago and everything appeared to be in compliance.

“We are hopeful that this will be nothing other than a good weekend for the Big Valley Jamboree,” he said.

Earlier this summer, three people were injured when an outdoor stage collapsed in Ottawa at the annual Bluesfest.

New Brunswick premier appeals to Harper to stop Canadian Blood Services move

FREDERICTON – The premier of New Brunswick wants to know if Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the power to help prevent Canadian Blood Services from moving blood production from Saint John, N.B., to Halifax.

David Alward said he has asked Harper who has the final say on the move – the prime minister or Canadian Blood Services.

“The Canadian Blood Services say that they have the final decision, so I have asked the prime minister who has the final decision,” Alward said Friday.

Amanda Cullen, a spokeswoman for Canadian Blood Services, said the non-profit charitable organization operates at arms-length from the government and makes its own decision on operational matters such as consolidating production facilities.

“This is not a regulatory decision,” she said. “This is an operations decision so we don’t see how the federal government would have jurisdiction over this particular matter.”

Alward has discussed the issue with Harper a number of times before and during their most recent meeting a few weeks ago sought an answer on who has jurisdiction over the operations of Canadian Blood Services. Alward said he has yet to get an answer.

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“We have a responsibility not to leave any rock overturned,” Alward said. “We’ve said that in the past and we’re continuing to do that work going forward.”

A request for comment from the Prime Minister’s Office was not returned.

But the federal government has previously said that decisions on where Canadian Blood Services bases its operations are not theirs to make.

“Decisions on relocations are made by the CBS board of directors as well as by the provincial and territorial governments, which are at arm’s length from Health Canada,” Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq told the House of Commons in April 2010.

Canadian Blood Services announced in March 2009 that it planned to consolidate some of its facilities across the country as a means to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Three production facilities in Toronto, Hamilton and London, Ont., are being replaced with one facility in Brampton, Ont. That facility is expected to be complete in a few weeks.

The next change would involve the move of most blood production work from Saint John to a new regional facility in Halifax.

“Halifax is the greatest user of blood products in the Atlantic region, so we decided to locate our production site there,” Cullen said.

“It also has the largest airport in the region which gives us much more flexibility in getting our test samples to our facility in Toronto which does donor testing.”

The agency would keep blood donation, storage and distribution in Saint John.

There are currently 120 employees in Saint John, and Cullen said it isn’t known how many jobs might be lost with the change.

Cullen said the facility would store three to four days’ worth of blood supply for hospitals, just as it does now. She said the agency is testing an air service out of Halifax to get blood to hospitals in northern New Brunswick, and the Saint John facility would also serve as a backup for them.

“So what we’re building into the system today is a redundancy,” she said.

Despite the assurances, the New Brunswick Medical Society says that in order to guarantee public safety, Canadian Blood Services should maintain and enhance blood production facilities in New Brunswick.

Alward said that remains his first choice, and provincial Health Minister Madeleine Dube said she’ll fight the removal of the production unit from Saint John “to the limit.”

A review commissioned last July by the provincial government and the New Brunswick Medical Society looked at the plans by Canadian Blood Services as well as options by the province to start their own blood agency or partner with another agency such as Quebec’s blood agency, Hema-Quebec.

The report by KPMG examined factors such as cost, efficiency and patient safety. It evaluated the three options and gave the highest grade to the Canadian Blood Services move to Halifax.

While the report doesn’t make recommendations, it says 85 per cent of the doctors, blood bank specialists and hospital staff that they interviewed felt that staying with Canadian Blood Services was the best option.

The report was given to the provincial government at the end of March but only released by the health minister this week.

“She should have released it four months ago,” said Liberal health critic Donald Arseneault.

“There’s a lot of rhetoric coming out of the government ministers and the premier but we’re seeing little or no action on these very important files.”

Arseneault said his party also wants blood production to remain in Saint John.

The consolidated operation in Halifax is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

Dube won’t say when she’ll make a final decision on how the province will proceed.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous story said there were only 22 employees in Saint John.