This is a case of “free speech for some but not others”. Mob rule and the threat of violence defeated free speech in Canada this week. How ironic that our soldiers are in Afghanistan right now fighting for the right of the Afghan people to freely express their opinions without fear of harm. Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick was just 21-years-old when he died on Saturday. He succumbed to injuries he suffered in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan on March 6th. Cpl. Fitzpatrick, a member of the 3rd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, fought to live long enough at a hospital in Edmonton to say good-bye to his family. Coulter delivered a speech at the University of Western Ontario on Monday and was scheduled to speak at the University of Ottawa the next day. Instead, threats of violent action and protest by those who disagree with her views, forced the cancellation of her appearance. Her opponents should not view this as a victory. – Advertisement – Our soldiers serving in Afghanistan ARE HEROIC! And I find the views of these professors offensive and insulting. However…they have the right to express their opinion. Do they not see the irony in the fact that they owe their right to this free speech to the willingness of our soldiers to fight for fundamental freedoms.While the professors’ right to air their views is respected by their employer, the University of Regina has refused to capitulate and the scholarship program will remain in place. MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.“The Fight for Free Speech Continues in Afghanistan…and here in Canada” And yet….in Regina, a group of professors published an open letter asking for the withdrawal of Project Hero, a scholarship program for the children of our fallen soldiers. Apparently, these “learned” individuals who influence the minds of their pupils every day, think “this program is a glorification of Canadian imperialism in Afghanistan” and they believe that the Afghan mission is “a military occupation of sovereign country.” They don’t even like the name of the scholarship, Project Hero, because it might imply that Canada’s military activity in Afghanistan is heroic. Unfortunately, the issue of freedom of speech has played out much differently in another province. Ann Coulter’s views are offensive to many in Canada and around the world. I don’t agree with her controversial approach nor many of her opinions. However, she has the right to speak her mind. That’s not just the American way…it’s the Canadian way and it’s enshrined in OUR laws. According to his commanding officer, Cpl. Fitzpatrick’s family’s one request was that “his sacrifice be acknowledged”. I know that I join the residents in Prince George and ‘most’ Canadians in recognizing Cpl. Fitzpatrick’s bravery and honouring his willingness to sacrifice his safety to help bring peace, security and freedom to the people of Afghanistan. Today of all days. Today, as I was contemplating how to best convey my sympathies to the family of Prince George’s own Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick. There in my morning paper was an article outlining the actions of 16 professors at the University of Regina that offended me and is an affront to every Canadian soldier!
Chandigarh, Dec 3 (PTI) The Punjab Cabinet Monday gave its approval to the merger of 20 district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) with an aim to strengthen the state’s rural credit system and facilitate farmers taking credit from cooperative banks.With the Cabinet giving the green signal to change the state’s three-tier Cooperative Credit Structure into two-tier, by amalgamating the DCCBs with the PSCB, the latter has now become a larger entity bank.This has paved the way for PSCB to play a greater role in the area of rural credit, according to an official spokesperson.The spokesperson said the decision had been taken in view of RBI guidelines, which mandate that all DCCBs should have a Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 9 per cent.Although at present the DCCBs are adhering to the required CRAR of 9 per cent, there is hardly any space for majority of these DCCBs to enhance their business and to increase their profitability. Without further capital induction the CRAR stipulation given by the RBI cannot be met. Hence, the Cooperative Credit Structure in the State is facing severe hardships.To meet the CRAR stipulation mandated by the RBI for the cooperative banks, the state government had to infuse capital amounting to Rs 307 crore in the past. With this merger, the Cooperative Bank in the state will emerged a financially and structurally stronger entity.After amalgamation, the single entity will have capital adequacy in the range of 13- 14 per cent, allowing cooperative banks to increase their business while meeting RBI’s stipulation of capital adequacy.advertisementIt would increase the profitability of the bank and help it to adopt the latest technology and give better delivery services to its customers as well as the farmers of the state. There are around nine lakh farmers who are holding Kisan Credit Cards of the Cooperative Banks in the State and are dependent on credit in the prevalent Cooperative Structure.Notably, the amalgamation of the DCCBs with the Apex Bank would be largely beneficial for ensuring maintenance of Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) on regular basis, enhance the profitability of the Cooperative Banking Structure in the state, increase regular flow of credit to the farmers, curtail the cost of computerisation and other administrative expenses besides better tax compliance and human resources management. Meanwhile, the Punjab Cabinet also took a slew of decisions related to various cadres and servicemen in different departments, including approval for filling up of 185 vacant posts of doctors and paramedic staff in ESI hospitals and dispensaries.The filling up the posts will help ensure the best healthcare services to nearly 12.92 lakh insured persons covered under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme across the state, said spokesman.The Cabinet has also accorded sanction for creation of four Dying cadre posts and inclusion of names of one Inspector and three Sub-Inspectors as Sports Persons, to ensure the overall efficacious administration of Punjab police, besides raising the morale of its force. PTI CHS MKJMKJ read more