Monday, April 30, 2007

To Al Gore - Flick Off, eh?

Does anyone else out there resent Al Gore telling Canada what to do about the environment? I can barely tolerate David Suzuki's squawking, but the sanctimonious Goracle???

Well Mr. Gore, stick this in your global warming pipe and smoke it.


One thing you've got to give Lorrie Goldstein - he doesn't play favourites! This is probably the most balanced editorial I've read to date on the Afghan detainee story.

But let's put the blame game aside, ferret out the truth and get on with a responsible solution. And while I'm at it, where's the rest of NATO? Why are we left hanging with all these problems?

* * * *

Update: As promised, here is a response from Lorrie Goldstein, sent after I advised him about some of the comments regarding his column today (especially the one at 12:53:00 PM):

Surely the person who best knows if Gordon O'Connor was wrong is Gordon O'Connor.

Please note what I wrote in today's piece: "At one point, O'Connor said the Red Cross was inspecting the prisoners for Canada. Wrong."

I wrote it that way for a reason. (O'Connor Apologizes to Commons)

On your reader's point that there are now allegations the Liberals may have known about similar torture allegations and ignored them while in government is, if the allegations are accurate, relevant, but it would only show that the Liberals are hypocrites. Like THAT'S a surprise?

It doesn't change the incompetent - at best - Conservative response to this controversy, which has been going on for months and which was simply re-ignited last week by the Globe because of its interviews with actual detainees.

This isn't the first time the Conservatives have had a crack at addressing this issue, so they can't claim to have been caught off guard.

Well, thanks Lorrie, for clarifying this for us. As I have said before, I'm conflicted on this one.

Tuesday Update: CTV has an updated story which also addresses rumours of O'Connor's resignation - Afghan politician rejects prisoner abuse claims.

Wednesday Update: Good on Lorrie Goldstein for exposing the Liberal hypocrisy here.

Celebrating Stephen Harper's Birthday

I would like to join Dr. Roy in wishing our Prime Minister a very happy birthday today. The previous post also contains some birthday wishes from various readers towards the end of the thread.

Like Dr. Roy, I must admit I had my doubts about Stephen Harper at the beginning. Even when canvassing in the last election I ran into people who said they didn't think Mr. Harper was the right man for the job.

However, over the last few years I have not only had the pleasure of hearing him speak in person several times; I have even shaken hands with him, had my photo taken with him and had that photo personally signed by him with my favourite gold Sharpie. It doesn't get much better than that for a Blogging Tory.

So today I want to thank Stephen Harper for following his inner convictions and trying to do his best for our country. He's here to get the job done. No, he's not perfect. None of us are. But I truly believe that he is working for Canada; not for his own glory. That is why I support him and respect him.

Happy Birthday, Prime Minister!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dion is good at running meetings

I just want to thank Lorrie Goldstein for his column this morning - What Did You Decide, Dion?

At first I thought he was going to talk about whether or not the opposition will attempt a motion of non-confidence since the recently-announced environmental policy is a "scam".

But no, Lorrie was referring to the Liberal ad where Dion is celebrated as having "led 182 countries to a long-term agreement to fight climate change."

The actual meeting results were a bit more sketchy according to Robert Henson's account in The Rough Guide to Climate Change. Goldstein does give credit to Dion for keeping the meeting process from falling apart. But what else did Stephane Dion accomplish as Environment Minister, other than running meetings with flair and watching "Canada's greenhouse gas emissions increase at almost twice the rate of the U.S."?

I can't think of a thing.

But that's not actually why I'm so grateful to Lorrie for this morning's editorial. The real reason is that he finally deciphered what Dion said in the end of the commercial as he triumphantly pounds his gavel on the desk to the thunderous applause of those around him. - "Decided".

I honestly thought he said "Silence". Silly me.

Thanks Lorrie.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is Dalton's Mom Out of Touch too?

Yesterday Premier Dalton McGuinty defended the FLICK-OFF campaign by saying that some people are being 'a bit too FLICKING sensitive'.

But McGuinty, who proudly donned a bracelet emblazoned with the slogan earlier in the day, said he can't understand how it could offend "the modest sensibilities of some Ontarians."

"I might expect my mother to complain about this," McGuinty told a gathering of radio and television news directors in Toronto.

So I wonder if Dalton's mother has also joined Liberal media strategist Ben Chin's list of Ontario residents who are "out of touch"?

* * * *

Update: Lorrie Goldstein tells McGuinty to flick-off (with respect). I second the motion.

Wednesday Update: Colle-gate a sorry affair.

Liberal cover-up?

Joel-Denis Bellevance relates a story in La Presse that suggests that the former Liberal government was keenly aware of warnings of torture in Afghanistan (H/T National Newswatch).

This is a translated version of the article, so it reads the way Stephane Dion speaks English, and is therefore somewhat difficult to follow, but well worth the effort.

Bellevance makes the point that the present government is surely to blame for a lot of confusion this week, but the Liberals may not have been lily-white in the affair themselves.

* * * *

Et en français: (Bourque) - Torture en Afghanistan: les libéraux savaient.

SDA: Michael Ignatieff - Call Your Office.

And here's your weekend quiz courtesy of ChuckerCanuk: Am I a Liberal..?

Should dental care be included in medicare?

This is a gut-wrenching story from the Star - Plunged into darkness.

Simply put, Moses Han went blind because he didn't have the $1,300 to fix an infected tooth. The infection eventually caused him to lose his sight.

Dental care is not included in Canada's medicare system so provincial health insurance does not cover it. There are some options for treatment. For those on social assistance and the Ontario Disability Support Program, there's basic coverage, but no preventative treatment.

I have long wondered why basic dental care is not covered by the public health care system; especially for those who can't afford it and have no private insurance. An infection can not only cause blindness, but other major problems such as affecting cardiac function. Preventative treatment could save a lot of money in the long run.

Canadian citizens should not have their health compromised due to major dental problems.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Green Plan Fall-out

No surprises with John Baird's environmental plan. He had no choice but to straddle that difficult line between trying to please the environmentalists and safeguarding the economy. Of course he received few kudos for his efforts.

I concur with Chantel Hebert, Don Martin and the incredibly insightful ChuckerCanuk that now is the time for the opposition to either put forward a motion of non-confidence or forever hold their flicking peace.

Speaking of Dalton, one wonders what climate-change nightmare is in store for us:

“It falls short of Canadian expectations. I think we can reach further and we intend to do that here in Ontario when we put out our climate change plan,” he said at the opening of the Green Living Show at Exhibition Place.

Gulp! With that let-them-eat-tofu majority government of his, there's no telling what might happen to this poor province's economy.

* * * *

Saturday Update: Here Lies Kyoto; Dead and Unloved. (Not the dog)

And from the Goracle:
Al Gore says Tories' Green Plan 'A Fraud'.

Mr. Gore acknowledged he is not a Canadian citizen and said he has “no right to interfere in your decisions.”

- Then don't!!!

Baird fights back.

WHO'S out of touch?

Lotto-gate, 'Corner Store Trust'-gate, Colle-gate, 'FLICK-OFF'-gate...

The Ontario majority Liberal government is having to spend a lot of bothersome effort trying to divert public attention away from these pesky nuisances.

Accountability? Who needs that when you have a majority? You just vote down any attempt to be examined for questionable actions.

The public? They're so self-absorbed they don't even care what you do right, Dalton?

The first rule of politics for the McGuinty government is when confronted with an attack, fling back any mud you can grab. Anyone watching Oral Questions in the Ontario Legislature yesterday would know what I'm referring to. The government refuses to be accountable to the opposition and therefore by extension to the taxpayers.

But I always thought that being in charge of the public purse is a sacred trust - That it should be respected; not used as a party coffer.

However, I digress. In today's Sun Christiana Blizzard relates how she was told by former CityTV reporter-turned Liberal media strategist Ben Chin that she was "out of touch" as was radio host Bill Carroll and the entire CFRB audience; the overwhelming majority of whom felt that Minister Broten should resign. Chin later apologized and said that he meant that John Tory was out of touch.

Well here's a wake-up call, Ben. You can add a lot of MSM pundits and bloggers across the whole political spectrum to that list of folks who are out of touch. Also the National Post. I'm sure there are others.

So who's really out of touch? I'll let you decide. I'm just a dumb taxpayer who probably can't be trusted.

* * * *

Update: From the Globe - John Tory's worst day at Queen's Park ("Tories in Uproar over Grants").

Ontario, do you care???

And under the headline of 'How low can you go?' we have this.

Oh-oh. SDA has picked up on it. (Now your goose is cooked, Dalton!)

Y2Kyoto: The Moron is the Message. Heh.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Disgusting Antics in Queen's Park today

The McGuinty Liberals have used their majority to prevent an investigation by the Auditor General regarding the process of grants being doled out by Citizenship and Immigration.

I watched Question Period this afternoon and I was absolutely astounded and angered by the obfuscation and snide attacks by George Smitherman and eventually Minister Colle when he finally decided to show up at 3 p.m.

What a travesty of democracy! Every Ontario citizen should be watching this disgusting display of antics before they vote in October. I am appalled.

* * * *

Background: Star - Let Auditor Probe Provincial Grants.

Globe - "Colle-gate" affair has managed to put Liberals in a box. (Subscriber only).

Long live the mole

CTV reports that "according to insiders", Sudbury MP Diane Marleau cautioned the Liberal caucus yesterday in a closed-door meeting, against loose-lips and how this can adversely affect party polling results.

The elephant in the room, of course, is that a few members obviously didn't quite understand the substance of the message.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Your Ontario Tax dollars - Hard at work

It seems that the Ontario opposition parties are a tad upset that $500,000 has been spent to help tell Canadians to Flick Off!

Yes, Ontario. You have paid to be told to Go Flick Yourself.

Perhaps you would like to mention that to Dalton in October's election.

* * * *

Thursday Update:

Christina Blizzard calls this a Brilliant flickin' idea. Actually she makes a good point. This is what the Ontario Liberal government thinks about our youth; that we can only reach them by using innuendo and potty talk. It really is an incredible example of Liberal arrogance when you think about it.

Lorrie Goldstein tells us of more idiocy emanating from Queen's Park - Canada's Dumbest Politician. Can you guess who?

ChuckerCanuk has waded into the scary world of Ontario politics with this gem! Anyone from really should check it out.

And as much as it pains me to do this, I must direct your attention to Red Tory's recent post on this subject - Flicking Stupid. (What's flicking scary is how much we are agreeing lately!)

From the Western Standard's Shotgun - Check out this pic!

Angry has another angle - The Cost to Flick Off.

Good point here - "Have we lost the ability to be creative without appealing to the absolute lowest levels of communication? If so, let's leave the lights on. Perhaps this culture is not worth saving." Well said.

Something's starting to stink in Queen's Park

The Ottawa Citizen has just provided a handy explanation of recent alleged Ontario Liberal scandals that should prove quite useful when election time draws near this fall.

Lottogate and "Colle-gate" are the latest, and could prove deadly to the Grits. Voters will overlook incompetency to some degree, notably the way Caledonia has been handled, but don't mess with public trust and the taxpayers' wallets!

Pollster Greg Lyle is quoted at the end of the piece as saying that he doesn't think that "the average person is spending all that much time talking about this."

Do you agree? Is the average Ontario resident just so complacent that potential government scandal isn't even on the radar?

Do you care?

Dark Night for the Government

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, there was probably a bit of a storm in the PMO when David McGuinty revealed yesterday that the opposition had accidentally received a Government speech by fax.

Part of the document disclosed a plan to ban 'inefficient' light bulbs. I'm sure David was quite pleased to see that his brother's recent initiative is being copied.

Now would the combined political brain trust of Ontario and the ROC please come up with a plan for fitting lamp shades over those new CFL's? Or do we all have to go out and buy new lamps? And what do we do with the old ones? Throw them in the landfill?

David McGuinty was concerned about how the 'leak' would affect stock markets today.

In the short-term, I would suggest investing in any company involved with the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs.

I'm sure I won't be the only one planning to hoard them.

* * * *
Update: Just caught Environment Minister John Baird on Canada AM. Good for him for taking responsibility regarding the administrative mistake with the errant fax.

I can think of many times during the previous federal Liberal government, and the present Ontario Liberal government when ministers in question buried their heads in the sand and played the 'see no evil' game.

A find example, Minister Baird. Mistakes are human, but they must be owned. Well done.

Upperdate: Official unleaked version - CBC. Looks like I've still got til 2012 to accumulate my cache. Whew!

A few other Blogging Tories are not greatly impressed with this latest government edict.

Phantom Observer puts a positive spin on the so-called 'leak'.

Wednesday Evening Update: Gary Lunn shed some light on the situation on Mike Duffy Live tonight, by saying that only 'inefficient' lighting will be banned - not necessarily incandescent bulbs.

Good background here from CTV regarding inefficient light bulbs.

Thursday Morning Update: A very interesting behind-the-scenes account of the slip-up.

Ms. Caron may want to redo that fax listing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Entitlement vs. Responsibility

This is just disgusting.

So His Blondness cries poor to Dalton, who cries poor to Harper...

How does the ROC feel about paying for those green fees?

* * * *

Update: More entitlement - Just between us girls. This is a wedge issue that John Tory could really use to his advantage. Check out the link that Glenda provides to the National Post's Full Comment.

Is it time to pull the plug on Catholic Education in Ontario?

Lifesite's John-Henry Westen has written a thought-provoking editorial questioning the value and role of publicly-funded Catholic education in Ontario today.

It would seem that thanks to the influence of the powerful Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, Catholic education today is almost indistinguishable from the public alternative. If the current trend to distort Catholic dogma is maintained, Westen wonders why Ontario taxpayers should continue to fund the apparently redundant Catholic system?:

...However, were the political battle to be fought and won, and the status quo of OECTA-stlye 'Catholic' education to continue, you may find myself and other Canadian Catholics wishing that the so-called 'Catholic' system were abolished.

With an anti-Catholic system masquerading as a Catholic system in place, parents are deceived and the spiritual and moral formation of their children will continue to be severely harmed. At least with a secular-only system parents are not deceived and must make appropriate arrangements for faith formation of their children...

I'd love to hear from parents of children who are attending Ontario Catholic schools, as well as anyone from other provinces who has some interest in the subject of Catholic education.

Personally, I find myself wondering how we can continue to support Catholic education in an increasingly multicultural society?

Meanwhile, Premier McGuinty states that the Ontario government has no plans to scrap publicly-funded Catholic schools, despite recent pressure from some public school board trustees:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty denied that the government had any plans to scrap the Catholic system whose existence is protected under the Constitution. Section 93 of the 1982 Constitution Act guarantees to Roman Catholics in Ontario the right to have a publicly-funded separate denominational school system.

Not surprising, since the teachers' unions appear to be huge McGuinty fans, and Catholics in general seem to vote Liberal.

Why would Dalton want to rock that lifeboat?

* * * *
Other posts on this subject: Just between us girls - Single School System.

Doggerel Party - Merging school boards. 'Mike' in comments says why not 'Fund the Student'? Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

I think Sarah should pick up on this one.

Also, thanks to Tomorrow's Trust for posting a link to this blog.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CTV Reality Check

Does anyone else have a problem with the following paragraph by CTV's Beijing Correspondent Steve Chao?

...Chinese cities are also feeling the stifling effects of global warming. If it's not sand storms choking Beijing and other cities, it's heavy pollution causing problems. Many airports have been forced to close for hours at a time because pilots couldn't see through the soup of haze.

No wonder the public is so confused!

* * * *

Update: Luke has just put up a great post - The Science behind Global Warming. A long read but well worth the effort!

What does the LPC REALLY think about Liz?

From this morning's Globe (H/T National Newswatch):

“Environment is the only issue,” said one of the leader's key strategists, who asked not to be identified.

“It is exploding in the public's imagination. We need people to know Stéphane understands the issue … [now] the Green Party Leader says he should be prime minister. We are getting our shit together…part of it is Elizabeth May.”

Double heh.

* * * *

Update: Speaking of bathroom talk, check this out. And to think that I actually used to like Sheryl Crow. Sad.

Tuesday Update: We've been had, folks! Turns out little Sheryl made a funny.

I wonder if that was before or after she couldn't find a public washroom with toilet paper? H/T to Dust My Broom (All I wanna do is wipe my bum).

Double McGuinty Smackdown

This was sweet: (QP, Hansard - Friday, April 20, 2007)

Mr. David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, now the country knows that the Minister of the Environment is trying to scare Canadians with a report based on bogus assumptions and extreme views of the Kyoto accord.

But the minister's actions we now know were far more devious than that. He claimed that five independent economists support his report, but that is not true. Don Drummond supposedly was a supporter, but now we find out his support was only
grudging. David Keith, the Calgary researcher, said: “I think the report overstates the difficulty of implementing policies in the short term”.

Why did this minister ask for expert opinions, but only used what suited his brazenly partisan purposes?

Hon. John Baird (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we tabled a report yesterday before the committee, a report that set out the implications of a private member's bill brought forward by the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party has been very clear. It does not believe that implementing the protocol would cost anything. It is a Kyoto without any price.

If it were so easy to do, if there were no price, no cost to Canadian industry, why is the member's own brother begging us not to bring in car emission standards in the province of Ontario?


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Atoning for our environmental sins

This being both Sunday and Earth Day, it seems appropriate to once more visit the religious fervor regarding environmentalism; especially that of the Kyoto Quacks.

I'm not the only one to have ever made this comparison, but it needs to be considered in the following perspective: Even if man has significantly contributed to global warming, can we do anything to realistically reverse the process in any meaningful way?

This line of thought was crystallized when I checked out a reader's comment this morning:

"Anonymous" said...

I'm getting tired of the assumption that politicians can 'control' the climate. There is a problem with saying 'climate control' so many times that people aren't thinking about what they are saying. Yes we can affect the environment, but climate...???
c'mon people...give your head a shake.

David Suzuki often spits out warnings like 'we can't afford not to', but just throwing a fear-mongering statement out there doesn't necessarily make it true. Sure we can all try to keep our environment healthy and clean, but if we channel so much of our available spending in only one direction, what else are we shortchanging? Great to be concerned about the future, but health care in Canada is still a mess. Why not focus more on that? Improve our quality of life now. As Lorrie Goldstein reminds us today, we're all going to die at some point anyway.

Here's my suggestion. For those who have any kind of traditional religious faith, don't let yourselves get hoodwinked into this manufactured hysteria.

Sure, go clean up the garbage on Earth Day, but also go to church and pray. Ask your God for help and guidance to keep this precious gift of our world clean and safe.

But let's not give credibility to the notion that man has the power to control climate change.

* * * *

Update: Check out the current results on today's CTV poll - Will you be making an effort to go green for earth day?

H/T to Springer who is guest-blogging for ChuckerCanuk.

More food for thought - From the inside cover of State of Fear by Michael Crichton:

"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

- Mark Twain

Friday, April 20, 2007

Caledonia #2

I've been trying so hard to stay out of this, but I just have to interject one thought here. If we don't learn from our past mistakes, aren't we doomed to repeat them?

H/T Halls of Macadamia.

* * * *

Saturday Update: Lorne Gunter - Easy for Natives to Break the Law.

Just heard on a local news station that the bus blocking the track has been moved. Apparently this was done due to a fear of violence as local citizens started gathering. I commend the native protesters for taking this action, rather than digging their heels in. If anyone finds links to this latest development, please post them in comments. So far nothing on MSM sites.

Here we go. Now may I suggest the next blockade venue? How about Dalton's office?

On second thought, why not put up a blockade preventing any politicians from entering the building? At least that way they won't be able to vote themselves another raise.

Star update: Next Target Chosen, Mohawks Warn.

Wanted: Straight Talk on Kyoto

I am growing weary of the massive propaganda ploys from both sides of the Kyoto divide. Canadians want the facts; not political spin or self-serving obfuscation from lobby groups with major vested interests.

John Baird's gloomy forecast of what complete Kyoto compliance would actually mean is probably a worst-case scenario. David McGuinty accuses Baird of ignoring the economic benefits of green technology development.

I would really like to see some actual figures from both sides, and have them analyzed by a group of truly objective and non-partisan third parties (if there is such a thing).

Buzz Hargrove may be on the right track with his op-ed in today's Financial Post (Kyoto Impossible). Of course he has a stake in the success of the auto sector, so his bias is obvious. However he does advocate for a cleaner environment, as I expect we all do.

Even the Globe is taking a moderate stand in this controversy in today's editorial, Those Kyoto Costs:

...The opposition MPs, led by the Liberals, have let crass politics trump their policy judgment. The federal government cannot and should not take such drastic action to meet Kyoto goals.

None of this lets Ottawa off the hook. Global warming is real. The Tories have a duty to produce a substantive package of market-based policies that would foster real reductions, albeit at a slower pace. But the federal government cannot destroy Canada to save it.

Deliberate fear-mongering from either side is not acceptable. Canadians want the truth. We deserve nothing less.

* * * *

Update: In case you're interested, there's a parallel discussion going on at Jack's Newswatch.

And at Canadian Blue Lemons, Brian slams the 'deniers of the deniers'. Boy I wish I had thought of that one.

Dr. Roy reports that Buzz calls Harper and Bush too green!

Environment Canada update here.

Mike Duffy Update: David Suzuki is telling us that we Canadians all want action now. Thank you, David. I didn't know that. It's great to have someone from the Nanny State do your thinking and talking for you.

Saturday Update: Andrew Coyne - Listen to Baird: This Wolf may be Real.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How many Queen's Park idiots does it take to ban a lightbulb?

Ugh. The Nanny State Of Ontario has just announced a ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs and other inefficient lighting technologies by 2012. Apparently that wasn't even earlier enough for the opposition parties.

Coming soon to a province near you.

What's next? A National Light Bulb Registry?

* * * *
Friday Update: A voice of sanity from the Star of all places!!! - Banning light bulbs not such a bright idea.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Breaking News

Virginia Tech killer had sent package to NBC between shootings.

* * * *

Thursday Update: Upon reflection, I suppose I'm wondering how Virginia Tech harbored such a psychopath without anyone having enough concern to really take some action?

Will Afghan mission vote force an election?

The Star reports that the Liberals are putting forward a motion demanding Canada's withdrawal of troops by February 2009 (H/T National Newswatch).

If this motion is passed next week, Canada will have to serve notice to Nato immediately. If the government makes this a confidence vote, we may be into an election, depending on how the other two opposition parties vote.

It would seem that the latest poll has emboldened the Liberals.

* * * *

Thursday Update: The Ottawa Citizen reports that the government has decided not to consider the Liberal motion a vote of confidence.

Sifting through the carnage

As with all frightening and seemingly senseless events, we seek answers so as to try to learn lessons and thereby protect the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. The first question regarding the Virginia Tech massacre is why?

A profile is emerging of a very disturbed young man; a loner. I refuse to use his name because I don't believe in giving these types of maniacs any kind of misplaced glory or notoriety, for fear of encouraging other loose cannons to take similar action out of desperation or whatever happens to motivate them.

However, we have learned that the killer was reported to have issues that should have set off warning bells long before this tragic event. The Sun gives us the background of a very worrisome student who had set off a fire in his dorm, was difficult to get along with, and who wrote very violent fiction. None of these might have been enough to cause his expulsion, but it did seem that there was a lack of follow up when he was encouraged to seek therapy by teachers and school officials.

There will be much discussion in colleges and universities everywhere regarding the need to be aware of such dangerous students, and the proper way to deal with them so that they don't fall through the cracks.

So many other issues arise as well, such as should the entire campus been shut down after the first two murders? Lorrie Goldstein seems to give the administration the benefit of the doubt.

Should students, or at least campus police have been allowed to carry concealed handguns? This and more will be debated in the weeks and months to come.

I believe that the one overriding lesson that is very self-evident however, is that each of us has to start becoming more aware of what is around us; more attentive to the people in our lives and on the periphery. We need to start taking responsibility for those that seem on the brink of despair and alert the appropriate authorities rather than turning a blind eye.

It's so easy to get caught up in our own little world of misplaced priorities, but the tragedy at Virginia Tech reminds us of the danger of that kind of attitude.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Testing the wind

I am still absorbing the full impact of yesterday's horror at Virginia Tech, so I won't even attempt a comment at this point, other than to say that I can't imagine what family and friends of the victims must be feeling.

So for now, I decided to check out the Nova Scotia dailies and see what local folks are saying about the new Red Green show. It would appear that the editors at the Halifax Daily News are scratching their heads just like the ROC.

However, Halifax's Chronicle Herald provided an interesting sampling of letters.

My favourite was the one by Marcel Falkenham of Halifax, who refers to the Green-Liberal discussion as the Watermelon Talks. Brilliant! It really was a seedy situation when you think about it.

I read the last letter (by Robert MacDonald) about 10 times and still can't figure out what he was trying to say. Translations are welcome.

In any case, if all those letters are indicative of the general population in Central Nova, it would seem that Peter MacKay can breathe easy. NDP candidate Louise Lorefice may have a good shot at second place.

Meanwhile, the Star reports that the outcome of the Watermelon Talks has disenchanted some of the green rind as well as the seedy red pulp. Perhaps it's time for Central Nova to send the whole stinking mess to the compost heap.

* * * *

Update: Liberal Outsider - An Actual Argument Against the Liberal Lapdogs...

Great post by ChuckerCanuk - Breaking News!! (Cherniak learns life lessons from the Gulf War.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dump Dion - Now or later?

With Stephane Dion apparently auditioning for a lead role in a remake of "Dumb and Dumber", the Liberal party appears to be on the brink of some kind of schism.

Pierre Bourque was on the Jeff Allan show this morning, discussing the Liberal feud that has erupted like an oozing pimple. Among some higher-up party strategists, it's not a matter of if, but rather when to dump Dion.

(Humorous side note: Jeff mentioned something to the effect that when Stephane Dion announced he was going to ensure that a third of his candidates were female, we didn't anticipate that some of those women would be from other parties!)

With election chatter continually increasing, one wonders if disenchanted Grit MP's and strategists will somehow conspire to engineer their own defeat - i.e. initiate some kind of situation that plummets the country into an election and thereby hasten the inevitable leadership confrontation and resolution.

Never a boring moment on the Hill.

* * * *

Update: Jason Cherniak talks about Liberal "nincompoops" and "senior wimps" and crybabies.

Ya just gotta sit back and smile.

Also please check out the Star's Linwood Barclay - Dion inspires others to acts of boneheadedness. (H/T Christian Conservative).

Interesting angle here at Angry in the Great White North - Steve asks if Gerard Kennedy knew about the Red Green deal when he was collecting donations from Central Nova on March 22.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Will crime be a wedge issue in Toronto?

If the Government falls over tough-on-crime legislation, the opposition may very well find that they've lost Toronto's support.

First-hand account here by Jeff.

* * * *

Note: Comment moderation has been enabled for the weekend because I am taking a few days off. Please feel free to continue to leave comments, and I'll check them when I can.

McGuinty tries to pass the environmental buck

O.K. Now I'm starting to understand this, because I just read this.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Griberal Deal

So Stephane Dion and Elizabeth May have now decided to prevent the constituents of Central Nova from being able to vote for one of the two main parties in Canada (H/T Dust My Broom).

Not all Liberals are happy about the move. Privately, some expressed fear that the pact reinforces a slew of negatives for Dion: that he’s weak and needs to be propped up by another party, that he’s a one-note leader fixated on climate change, that he’s abandoned the political centre and is allying himself with a left-wing, one-issue party.

As well, some Liberals are loathe to give up their historic boast that they’re a national party that always runs candidates in every single riding across the country. Dion himself was still making that boast as little as three months ago...

CBC suggests that the Griberal leaders will likely defend the decision as necessary because "they believe Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't take climate change seriously and that he must be defeated."

I can think of a couple of politicians that I'm having trouble taking seriously...

* * * *

Update: Dion and May: aka The New Red Green Show.

Also, Woody notes how good Elizabeth looks in red!

But Joan wonders if it isn't resembling more of a French farce.

Here's some more humour, but I almost feel sorry for this poor Liblogger. He is delusional:

I sincerely believe this move is mutually beneficial for Dion and May. For Dion, it gives him badly needed green credibility, since his record as Environment Minister is open to criticism. For May, she has a more clear shot at a seat in the House of Commons, and clout with a leader who in theory has a shot at becoming Prime Minister some day.

So according to John, Dion is weak on his own and has poor credibility, but still has a shot at being PM??? And if May wanted a seat so badly, why not pick an easier riding? The poor liberal bloggers are desperately trying some kind of rationale here, when in fact there isn't any.

It's just plain insanity!

* * * *
Further Update: And this Mr. Dion, is an example of the kind of company you are keeping now.

And at Angry in the Great White North (which BTW, was one of the first 'blogs' I ever read) - Stephane Dion Sells Out Liberal Voters in return for an endorsement).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Back from the nomination meeting

The Kitchener Centre Conservative Riding Association held its nomination meeting tonight. I won't go into details because then I'd have to kill you, but it was a bittersweet experience.

Bitter, because my guy didn't win. Sweet though, because it was my first nomination meeting and quite a thrill to see democracy in action.

Also, I met a fellow blogger (Back off Government), so that makes three Blogging Tories that I have met in person. It's always fun to put a face to the blog, so to speak.

Ran into a few other great people and got the scoop on some inside stuff that again I can't share with you because, well, you know the drill.

Oh, and thanks to Luke from Queen's for the ride and interesting discussions. It was a pleasure to meet you.

We are a different breed, we political junkies. When we are finally cloistered with our own kind, we unleash our pent-up pontifications and revel in the number of kindred spirits all around us that actually understand and share our excitement.

But tonight I'm feeling a little sad, and thinking that if I'm feeling this way about a local nomination meeting, I can't imagine how hard it would be to see your candidate lose a leadership race. We were on either side of a big divide. Now we have to come together.

It might be harder than I thought.

* * * *

Thursday Update: I forgot to mention that another huge highlight for me last night was talking to Matt Austin, who recently returned from a stint in Afghanistan. Matt and I did some canvassing together in the last election, and I ran into him several times during the campaign.

What an honour to know such a brave young man! Matt, I salute you.

Bye-bye Belinda

Cherniak and company lament the announcement that Ms. Stronach is flying the coop.

One comment puzzles me though:
Wow. I didn't see this coming. Pretty big blow to women in politics.
-("The omniscient one")

* * * *

Update: Clive has written an obit. Hilarious!

AngryGWN - Steve wonders how much heads-up time Stronach gave Dion.

Thursday Update: Clive's back at it again. He has a hidden camera exclusive!!!! You won't want to miss it.

Under columns I wish I had written...

(...with apologies to Norman Spector.)

Today's National Post op-ed by David Menzies is one of the best pieces I've read lately. It encompasses the whole convenience store wine-Lottogate fiasco and points out the underlying influence of the LCBO.

The entire column is well worth the read, but he sums things up here:

Bottom line: State-sanctioned wine sales in Ontario translate into less choice, questionable security and dubious policies that damage the domestic wine industry. Much of this would've been addressed with the passing of Craitor's bill. Alas, for Ontario oenephiles craving more choice and Ontario wineries hoping for a new distribution channel, it remains business as usual under the McGuinty Liberals.

The Red Star's Ian Urquhart has also written an interesting column (Queen's Park Blows Chance on Lottogate).

But there are still unanswered questions surrounding when the government first learned of the problem and what it did about it. Such questions were not the purview of the ombudsman's inquiry, nor are they subject to the OPP probe.

Are these questions worth the time and trouble of a multi-million dollar judicial inquiry? No. But they could certainly be posed by a legislative committee in a timely manner – that is, before the fall provincial election. Conservative Leader John Tory proposed this option to Premier Dalton McGuinty in the Legislature yesterday. Unfortunately, the premier rejected the idea.

Urquhart goes on to explain why he thinks that Dalton made a mistake here and how the Legislature is little more than a 'shell', as Conservative House Leader Bob Runciman refers to it.

The system sure does seem broken. As an Ontario taxpayer and voter, are you happy with the status quo? Are you satisfied with the way things are going?

Or would you like to see some real change? If so, get involved. You can start here by checking out this website, "You Deserve Better Results".

Talk to friends and coworkers. Get involved in the political process. Write letters to the editor.

Otherwise, it won't be just the Legislature that is a 'shell'. It will be the whole province.

* * * *

One more question - Why all the secrecy about what we Ontario taxpayers are spending on hospitals?

Gunning for Grackles

Does anyone else out there have problems with Grackles?

They are horrible, noisy birds that seem to become a bigger nuisance each year in Southern Ontario. Last summer I witnessed a gang of them attack a baby bird and mutilate the poor thing.

There are lots of websites with tips. Just wondering if anyone has had personal success getting rid of them?

They are distracting me big time. Thanks.

* * * *

Update: The grackles are now staging a tree reclamation right outside my window.

Should I:

(a) - Try to chase them away?
(b) - Call in the OPP to keep the peace? or
(c) - Feed them baby birds and worms while we negotiate?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Inconvenient Ethanol Irony

If your food bill is higher this summer you can put some of the blame on the Kyoto Kultists who are pushing ethanol and biodiesel production.

Terence Corcoran explains the ironic sequence of events that will eventually hurt the 'poorest of the poor' in terms of food supply and prices; i.e. those very nations that the IPCC is fretting that global warming will impact the most.

In Mexico, for example, "corn-based tortilla prices have doubled." We're not talking gourmet food here.

I happened to catch a news clip on a local CTV station where a farmer talked about the cost of his feed doubling due to the rising price of corn. Of course this is going to impact the price he has to charge for the milk that goes to market.

It seems that no matter what we do, there are consequences. Even planting trees outside of the tropics may not necessarily be effective in reducing global warming.

Which makes me think that we should all just take a deep breath here (while we still can), and really think this thing out. Just running around like chickens with our heads cut off could very well end up being counter-productive.

What is a 'Tory'?

Just nosing around in National Newswatch this morning when I came upon this article by the Star's totally unbiased Tonda MacCharles.

One headline caught my eye - "Tory secrets go for $6.48 on eBay". The article then proceeds to explain how a Star employee got a hold of a laptop containing "secrets" left by a Canadian Alliance party organizer from back in 2003.

In these days of identity theft, this type of thing is inexcusable to be sure.

But it was the title that intrigued me. The term Tory is thrown around so casually now, that it seems to encompass a whole range of ideologies. I mean, if anyone from the Canadian Alliance was considered to be a Tory, how do we differentiate from the now defunct PC Party of Canada?

Surely Ms. MacCharles wasn't actually intending to cast aspersions on the current party in government, was she?

No, never. Not the Star!

* * * *

Update: Right on Course - The Toronto Star: Invading People's Privacy...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Brief Time-Out

Just a little note here to say that I have to take some time to concentrate on urgent family affairs.

No disasters - Just real life interfering again.

Please feel free to use this thread for any issues that you would like to discuss. Thanks.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Logical Progression of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism

Continuing with the theme of religion on this Easter weekend, George Jonas has a very thought-provoking column in today's Post (Throwing the Holocaust down a memory hole).

It actually ties in very nicely with yesterday's discussion about Michael Smith's essay, Religion in a Secular Society. If I can simply Smith's argument, it is that a true secular society allows the free discussion of all viewpoints; not the exclusion of faith itself.

This is all related to political-correctness and multiculturalism, which George Jonas seems to feel has gone way over board trying to appease the ever-increasing influence of Muslim immigration and population growth. And if we look to Britain, we can see the writing on the wall for Canada.

Jonas points to a recent Daily Mail article citing a study that shows that British schools are "dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils".

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

Jonas likens this situation to Orwell's famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where "past events that didn't sit well with Big Brother went into a memory hole".

Michael Smith notes:

The trend in our country and elsewhere to consign religious communities to the private realm is, in fact, a drift toward intolerance, despite claims to the contrary.

Religious communities must continue to speak and act in the public realm and to propose policies for the common good.

Will Britain's problems become ours someday?

If we allow ourselves to be goaded into silence, I fear that may well be the case.

* * * *

Related: Dr. Roy - CBC mocks Christians on Good Friday.

Update: More at Fox News.

-Just picked up a copy of George Jonas' "Reflections on Islam", which was highly recommended by Lorrie Goldstein. Looking forward to catching up on my reading.

Have a great weekend, whatever you are celebrating.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Great Good Friday Essay

The Star surprised me with this excellent essay (Religion in a Secular Society - by Michael Smith).

Lots of food for thought. I am heartened by his argument that secularism does not necessarily mean that religion must be excluded from society. Indeed, quite the opposite, as long as everyone has the freedom to discuss their viewpoint.

WHO can't be trusted?

Convenience store owners and workers who have been maligned by Dalton McGuinty will get a chuckle out of this one.

It seems that a Sault Ste. Marie man will have to pay a hefty fine for helping himself when he discovered that the door of a Beer Store was unlocked!!!

Remember this? "McGuinty said he didn't trust convenience stores – especially in light of the recent scandal over retailers scamming customers out of winning lottery tickets – to do as good a job as the LCBO and Beer Stores do in making sure alcohol doesn't fall into the wrong hands."

As good a job? Gee, I'm fairly certain that most convenience store folks would remember to lock up...

* * * *
Saturday Update: V.P. of Mac's weighs in here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Corner Stores request apology

Late last night I received a heads-up from John Perenack of Room 40 Communications, regarding a press release issued yesterday by Dave Bryans who is the President of Ontario Convenience Stores Association. This morning I scoured MSM for a reference to this story and have yet to find a single report.

The letter asks Premier Dalton McGuinty to apologize for his recent remarks suggesting that corner stores cannot be trusted to handle the sale of Ontario wine and beer. Bryans states:

It's not often that a Premier unfairly questions the credibility of an entire industry and its 140,000 workers...

There are many levels of legitimate outrage to be examined here. First of all, McGuinty is tarring an entire industry and all related workers with the same brush; painting them as irresponsible and trustworthy just because of the few that were involved in the Lottogate fraud.

If the Premier had made a similar sweeping generalization about everyone belonging to a particular religious faith or culture, he might very well have found himself facing discrimination and hate-speech charges.

And in the case of Lottogate, it appears that the OLG has to take some responsibility for the scandal with its apparent enabling culture of 'nose-holding' and looking the other way.

Bryans also points out that the industry is handling the sale of other age-related products in a very responsible manner, and that alcohol is actually already being sold in certain situations:

In fact, you can buy alcohol at convenience stores in over 200 locations throughout Ontario through the LCBO's agency store model. At each of these locations, conscientious convenience store clerks sell beer, wine and spirits at standards that meet or exceed those of the LCBO itself.

(BTW, OPSEU is not very happy about that!!!)

Ottawa Suns' Geoff Matthews (Lunacy drives you to drink) points out this morning that things are tough enough in the convenience store business these days without the Premier questioning the credibility of each and every corner store worker in the province.

I think Dalton McGuinty owes these folks an apology.

Politically, it would be the smart thing to do, because these 140,000 workers have families and friends who will likely be very motivated to get out and vote this fall.

* * * *
Update: Warren Kinsella's name was mentioned in the Legislature today. I actually heard the comment while watching QP and was wondering how Warren would react. Well, wonder no more. (H/T National Newswatch)

It now seems that "Tory Nobody" John Yakabuski and "Big Baby" Howard Hampton are both in Kinsella's crosshairs.

Friday Update: Globe reports that OLG's Security Chief is stepping down.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nanny State Knows Best

By now my readers outside of Ontario must be sick of my constant harangue against the Ontario government. I apologize and hope to soon expand my tirades to be more inclusive of all Canadians.

However, Dalton McGuinty just keeps providing fodder. What else can I do?

And when you think about it, our problems become your problems by extension. If McGuinty buys up land to appease native reclamation conflicts and spends a fortune on policing, all he has to do is whine loud enough and then you guys have to help pick up the tab.

Now I'm not sure how our being forced to buy booze only in government-approved unionized venues affects you, (other than if you happen to visit this bastion of state-controlled socialism), but our underlying malaise will no doubt manifest itself in a self-fulfilling prophesy of increasing dependence on anyone other than ourselves. That means you guys out west.

Anyway, Dalton McGuinty obviously thinks that convenience store clerks and owners are some kind of subhuman species that can't be trusted:

"It's much easier for us to maintain security through the (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) and the Beer Store than to give that power to thousands of convenience stores," Mr. McGuinty said in response to a question. "Just look at the business with the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.)"

Dave Bryans, president of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association is not amused:

Mr. Bryans said it was "unfortunate" that Mr. McGuinty linked the proposal to the lottery scandal because it involved a minority of retailers. Convenience store clerks regularly sell more adult products than any LCBO clerk and ensure they don't end up in the hands of minors, he said.

But never let facts get in the way of a good obfuscation, Dalton.

Meanwhile, the stink is leading us ever closer to the Big Cheese, with John Tory releasing ads of an alleged coverup, and confronting Dalton in Question Period about secret meetings:

For a second day in a row, Conservatives released information they say implicates staff in Premier Dalton McGuinty's office.

Mr. Tory said someone tipped him off to a meeting between Wilson Lee, chief of staff to the minister responsible for the OLG, and David Caplan, months before Mr. Caplan says he learned of the problems.

Representatives from the Premier's office told Mr. Caplan's representative that the insider wins issue was a public relations issue, "essentially saying, 'Don't worry your pretty little head about it,' " Mr. Tory said.

Mr. McGuinty did not acknowledge the meeting when it was raised during Question Period...

Well, obviously whatever actually happened was done for our own collective good. No doubt these issues are far more complex than our little minds could appreciate.

Now I'm waiting for the first state-regulated, heavily-unionized Popcorn Control Board of Ontario to be opened. I just hope it's near the Beer Store.

* * * *

Update: McGuinty fights back.

More at Jack's Newswatch.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

McGuinty's Convenience Store Clerk Smackdown

Those nasty little corner store clerks have caused poor Dalton so much trouble with Lottogate!

Now a Liberal backbencher is proposing a bill to allow beer and wine to be sold in convenience stores just like Quebec.

But our Mom & Pop stores obviously cannot be trusted with so much power. Good grief! They might start watering down the booze!!

Because it's always someone else's fault, right Dalton?

* * * *

Update: ChuckerCanuk has jumped on this one all the way from enlightened Quebec!

Upperdate: O.K. Just to be clear, MPP Kim Craitor has clarified that he is only talking about 100% home-grown Canadian wine, or beer from Ontario microbreweries, in order to promote Canadian industries. Now I really don't have a problem with this.

But His Daltonness seems to think that would be too much power in the hands of the convenience store riffraff.

Another interesting situation - Guess who prefers the status quo and who doesn't?

It's enough to drive you to drink.

Wednesday Update: Christina Blizzard seems to agree with the Premier that convenience store folks are not trustworthy!

Lottogate's David dies as Goliath becomes more implicated

A true Canadian grassroots hero has just passed away.

Lottery whistleblower Bob Edmonds died of cancer yesterday - just days after the OLG finally issued a "formal written apology to Mr. Edmonds and agreed to compensate him for $72,000 in legal expenses that were not covered by the settlement agreement."

The Star has a lengthy tribute including glowing words of praise from Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin:

"He'll be remembered as the guy who just wouldn't go away," said Marin, crediting the 83-year-old's David-and-Goliath battle with the lottery corporation as the catalyst for an investigation that accuses unscrupulous retailers of bilking millions in lottery winnings from unsuspecting customers.

Meanwhile, things are starting to heat up as the focus inches ever closer to the office of the Premier. David Caplan and Dalton McGuinty had been denying any government involvement with the OLG's public relations offensive to counteract the fraud fallout.

Yet John Tory seems to suggest a link:

Tory revealed yesterday that Don Guy, McGuinty's former chief of staff and the chairman of his upcoming election campaign, attended a meeting with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. officials who were doing damage control following a report by the CBC's Fifth Estate into insider lottery wins.

And it gets worse:

Documents obtained by Sun Media show that Bob Lopinski, another key McGuinty adviser who left the premier's office for a job with the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, was also invited to the Oct. 29 meeting with former McGuinty communications director Jim Warren and Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella.

The OLG eventually launched a media relations campaign claiming retailers win more lottery prizes because they buy more tickets -- an argument later destroyed by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin, who found the shopkeepers and retailers won more because they likely defrauded their customers.

Marin said the OLG knew at the time that retailers could have corrupted the system.

Yesterday in the Legislature's Question Period, John Tory said of Don Guy that "We are not dealing here with just some guy off the street. This is your main man, the big cheese."

Well that cheese must be Limburger, because it's starting to stink.

Mr. Guy has confirmed his involvement.

Let's hope that John Tory pursues this matter so that we are able to find out the truth - for our sake and for the memory of Bob Edmonds.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Issues on the Voting Radar

There are a few unpleasant issues that may stick to the McGuinty Liberals as they face the electorate this fall.

One is Caledonia, which according to a recent Innovative Research Poll suggests that this ongoing conflict is very much on the minds of Ontario voters.

Managing director Greg Lyle "won't release details of the private polls, citing client confidentiality" but states that they "have been circulated among government policy makers".

The results suggest respondents see the ongoing conflict in "very simple terms," Lyle said.

"They can't go around and put a blockade up in their neighbourhood and not have the police come take it down and put them in jail," he said.

"They don't see why aboriginals should be able to do that. There is a lot of sympathy for aboriginals . . . but there is a sense that there are basic rules that we should all live by."

I see that as the sticking point. John Tory has said all along that negotiations shouldn't have occurred until the disputed land was vacated. Otherwise this type of 'hostage' situation can be expected to happen again anywhere in Ontario - or Canada for that matter.

The Feds are now picking up some of the tab for expenses (note this report from Fort Frances), which again shifts part of the problem onto the shoulders of all Canadian taxpayers.

However, the general outlook may possibly be more optimistic with the Federal Government's expanded mandate at the talks.

The other big issue of course is Lottogate which David Caplan is obfuscating with protestations of ignorance about the details. (Heh)

Politically this may or may not have traction, but there is little doubt that the Ontario government is so addicted to the lottery cash cow that political fallout may be the least of their problems as they try to shore up public confidence.

* * * *

Update: R.I.P. Bob Edmonds.

Tuesday Update: Native Protests Just Cause Anger.