Monday, October 03, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Namely we have a front page story in today's National Post about 62-year-old Linda Gibbons who has spent 10 of the past 17 years in jail for being too close to abortion clinics. She has just been released and is trying to behave long enough to be able to visit her elderly mother. Then she vows to continue her protests and civil disobedience and will probably end up back behind bars as a consequence of her actions.
And what happened to Brigette DePape as a consequence of her protest and advocacy of civil disobedience in order to 'Stop Harper'?
She was immediately fired from her job as a Senate Page which was due to end in two months anyway. Now the job offers are flooding in, including one from Public Service Alliance of Canada. and even one from Michael Moore! Well I guess that's not so surprising.
I would love to ask both women how they think their protests will accomplish their respective goals?
In Linda Gibbons' case I suspect she is hoping to save one tiny life at a time; possibly by offering counsel to women on their way in for abortions.
But Brigette DePape is not happy with the election results and wants to "Stop Harper". I assume she realizes that this is a majority mandate and that there won't be another election for four years.
So how exactly does Ms. Pape intend to "Stop Harper"? Is that not some kind of implied threat? I hope some brave journalist out there has the cojones to ask her that one.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
...Diplomats involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit said Ottawa had insisted that no mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders' final communique, even though most of the other leaders wanted a mention.
* * * *
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The pledge by Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak to roll back key provisions of the Ontario Green Energy Act is a courageous move and deserves to be applauded. It will likely spark intense debates as we head into the upcoming election. It is hard to say whether public opinion will be on his side, but the facts certainly are.
The Green Energy Act (GEA) was proposed as both an environmental policy and a job-creation policy. It is misguided on both scores...
Some of the money quotes:
...An industry that depends on subsidies for its survival is not a net source of jobs. The funds for the subsidies have to be raised through taxation, and the burden of taxes kills more jobs than the subsidies create. This is as true for wind power as it is for greenhouse cucumbers, and it doesn't matter if the taxes are visible or are hidden in the form of feed-in tariffs and artificially inflated electricity bills...
...expanding the renewables portfolio is redundant since 75% of Ontario's electricity comes from nuclear and hydro power, which do not generate emissions. Twenty-two per cent comes from coal-and natural gas-fired power plants. Ontarians have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for installation of advanced emission control devices on those plants. As a result, Ontario air pollution levels have fallen dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s, a point easily confirmed by consulting any edition of the government's annual Air Quality in Ontario report...
...Whether the goal is to create jobs or protect the environment, the GEA is a failure, and the provincial Tories should be applauded for taking on the challenge of phasing it out.
This is a MUST-READ column on so many levels (H/T Lorrie Goldstein via Twitter).
Now all that remains is for Dalton McGuinty to come clean on the penalty question in the secret Samsung deal. Does one actually exist, and if so how much is it?
* * * *
Matt Gurney: McGuinty, self-styled bargain hunter, will better any union offer - Full Comment
* * * *
PC Leader Hudak bringing in some big names - Adam Radwanski, Globe:
...along with Mr. Denley, Mr. Rossi and Mr. Gaudet are at least a few other high-profile candidates – among them former North Bay mayor Vic Fedeli, Hamilton television personality Donna Skelly and Ben Shenouda, the president of the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario. And it’s expected that there will be a couple more quasi-star candidates unveiled in the near future, including at least one member of the business community.
She explores the historic changes in the recent federal election and speculates on how they might impact the upcoming provincial elections - and the eventual working dynamics between the premiers and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
What particularly caught my interest in Hebert's column was her mention of an apparent mood shift against elitism and towards populism which could very well explain what happened in Toronto:
...Looking at the May 2nd results, it is impossible to completely divorce from Mayor Rob Ford’s victory the return of the federal Conservatives to the city after a two-decade absence.
An attraction to populism rather than an ideological swing to the right may have tilted the balance in both outcomes. But the fact remains that twice over a six-month period, a significant section of the Toronto electorate embraced a less elite-driven less activist approach to governance.
The NDP was not totally immune to lingering Toronto municipal dynamics either.
Jack Layton — who emerged as the main opposition option in the days leading up to the federal vote — is closely identified with the opposition forces at Toronto City Hall. He sat on the municipal council in a previous life; last fall he campaigned on behalf of son Mike and some of his left-leaning seatmates.
On May 2nd in Toronto, the NDP did well where Ford had not while the Conservatives made their biggest inroads in the periphery of the downtown core.
Hebert suggests that the McGuinty Liberals might therefore have reason to be fearful, but may also cling to the "hope that voters stick to their longstanding practice of not putting their eggs in the same basket at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa when they go to the provincial polls next fall."
This is where things start to get interesting though. First of all, the federal Conservative Party of Canada and provincial Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario are entirely different not only in jurisdiction but also in philosophy. I would argue that policy-wise the PCPO is very close to the OLP.
However what differentiates them is the Top-down elitist approach in which Dalton McGuinty uses/abuses his power. This is where I think Tim Hudak and the PC Party can make some traction.
Premier Dad has been telling us what to do for eight years now. The Nanny State of Ontario is a mess. There is little respect for the taxpayer and the average working family. It's all about secret deals like Samsung and financially-crippling environmental policy being shoved down our throats.
Tim Hudak needs to exploit Dalton McGuinty's arrogance and Father-Knows-Best attitude for all it's worth. The working people are getting sick and tired of elitists. It's time to rebel.
Eight years of Dalton McGuinty's stifling parental approach is enough!
Let's show him that we're all grown up now.
* * * *
Merriam: McGuinty's Liberals likely next victim of 'vote-against' wave - Toronto Sun:
...There's little likelihood voters will be in any better mood by then. And the Dalton Gang has provided an abundance of reasons why people will choose to show them the door.
The latest is the secret 1% deal with one public sector union, while government leaders were talking about wage and cost controls.
Not only is a secret deal anathema to a democracy, but this one also illustrates a government with the backbone of a garter snake. The Gang was willing to freeze the wages of non-union workers, where they knew they'd face little opposition.
But they ran scared of the unions doing nothing to control either negotiated or arbitrated wage settlements. The secret deal shows things were even worse than imagined.
The Gang has done other backroom deals, such as the one involving offshore electrical giant Samsung. The company is to bring green-sector jobs to Ontario, in exchange for sweetheart pricing and years of bonuses.
This deal is part of the green energy imbroglio in which the government finds itself. Even supporters of green energy don't understand the above-market prices paid for power that regularly is sold out of province at discount rates because it isn't needed...
Ontario's Liberals look for a way to win - Lee Greenberg, Ottawa Citizen:
...In framing the discussion about energy in terms of health and education, the Liberals are relying on their two core policy strengths, both areas where voters have traditionally favoured them over their opponents. (Conservatives are typically trusted more on economic issues, including taxes.)
But Nanos says those hard and fast rules of past elections should be thrown out the window.
According to his latest poll numbers, the Conservatives are nearly tied with the Liberals when respondents were asked whom they trusted on health and education. An additional 30 to 40 per cent are not yet sure who to turn to on those issues.
And the negative signs are mounting...
Toronto Tory has more.
Ontario Liberals helped hospitals hide embarrassing information: critics - Social Policy in Ontario
Obviously I am thrilled that we now have a strong, stable Majority Conservative government in Canada. The implications are excellent for our economic future.
But as John Ivison points out there are benefits for other parties as well - notably the NDP:
...This is the best of all possible worlds – our politics have been transformed by an energetic, young party and the election of the country’s first Green MP; the separatists have been reduced to a rump; and, the country is still in the hands of the most experienced and competent of the men who were running for the job of Prime Minister.
(John Ivison's back in my good books again.)
Yes it was a historic night for the NDP and Green Parties too.
And the Liberal party now has much-needed time to reinvent itself from the bottom up instead of constantly needing to be battle-ready, and lurching from one failed leader to the next.
Last night's biggest winner was Canada.
Lots more to discuss but I just want to savour the moment for now. Readers are welcome to share their emotions and stories as always.
Oh yeah. Congratulations Stephen Woodworth and other Conservative area incumbents. Woo-hoo! And a big shout-out to everyone who worked so hard on the campaigns. Every donation, every footstep, every phone-call, every sign - it's all so appreciated.
One big final thank you goes to the Coalition that caused this election in the first place!!!
* * * *
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
How this started out was my husband being at the local campaign office yesterday when they were looking for a few supporters to be at the event, and our names went on the list.
As we arrived this morning I was concerned we might be a bit late, but as it turned out the whole schedule was delayed due to bad weather last night which forced the plane to land at Pearson in Toronto instead of Kitchener.
We had no problem putting in the extra hour or so waiting for the Prime Minister because there good supply of coffee and pastries, and lots of animated discussion.
Gradually the press arrived and set up. We recognized Terry Milewski, John Ivison, Craig Oliver, Bob Fife, and some local CTV personalities.
This was a rare opportunity to see some behind the scene action as to how these pressers are set up, with CPC officials milling about and performing their various duties, RCMP keeping an eye on things, and the general stage area getting set up with lights and a backdrop of factory workers who seemed quite enthused to be there. Some of them were standing for well over a half hour waiting for the PM to arrive but they all seemed in good spirits.
It was also interesting to observe Terry Milewski and Dimitri Soudas share a few lighthearted words. That exchange made me think that maybe we are too quick to judge those media types that always seem to be slagging our side. For them these campaigns must be such a exhausting ordeal - as they would be for the leaders as well. That was just a bit of personal insight for myself to try to be a bit less judgmental.
While we were waiting I heard a crack of thunder and said a quick prayer that any power outage would hold off til after the event was over.
O.K. I don't want to make this an epic novel so I'll cut to the chase. Finally Stephen Harper arrived to his campaign theme song Better Now by Collective Soul. Everyone was so excited - clapping and cheering. Laureen accompanied him and she looked radiant in her fashinable outfit and long black boots (photo here.)
Even though she and Prime Minister Harper couldn't have had much sleep they both looked so fresh and energized. I won't go into his speech because the press will have covered it but the main points were about assisting business by minimizing red tape and creating a favourable environment for small businesses to prosper and create job opportunities.
PM Harper warned about the inherent risks involved with a "collection of oppositions" in charge of our country.
Questions from the press followed and to me they seemed a little less snarky than unusual. The finally it was over and Prime Minster Harper and Laureen were milling about shaking hands. It was hard to get near him so I just hung back and chatted with a few people including John Ivison who is very, very tall in real life and quite charming.
People were heading out so my husband and I made our way towards the door but it was really teeming by now. I'm talking floods. We headed outside but a huge fork of lightening appeared out of nowhere followed immediately by a deafening crash of thunder. We felt like sitting ducks in those giant puddles so we ran over to an open doorway leading to a loading dock bay and huddled against the wall to wait it out.
It was then that we realized we were standing in the area where the Prime Minister would be exiting. Only folks with accreditation were around. Nobody told us to leave so we just stood there watching as Stephen and Laureen posed for pictures with the employees in the factory. Laureen then smiled and chatted to a few other people before rushing off in her stylish boots through the puddles to the waiting bus.
Prime Minister Harper eventually made his way to where we were standing and we shook hands. As he released mine I told him I would pray for him. He looked back at me, smiled and asked if we wanted our pictures taken with him. Of course we agreed and thanked him. We were both still standing there stunned as he departed for the bus.
What a crazy morning. What an amazing time.
Oh yeah. One more thing. That same gigantic lightening flash also caused the power to go off just after the event ended.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
(Reposted from Blue Like You - April 14, 2011)
We are at a pivotal moment in Canadian history.
You can either vote for (A) a stable, competent government by giving the Conservatives a majority or you can vote for (B) the following:
- a coalition that would present a comprehensive alternative program that challenges corporate domination, putting the interests of working people and our environment ahead of the pursuit of profit.
- a platform based on the key objectives of peace, jobs, sovereignty and democracy.
- a federal strategy for full employment. This must include action to stop and reverse the loss of manufacturing jobs; a massive program to build new social and non-profit housing; expansion of health care, education and social programs; a major investment in urban mass transit.
- tax reforms that place the burden on corporations and the very wealthy.
- a foreign policy based on peace, disarmament and global environmental justice. in order to combat the frightening agenda of the Harper government which is determined to weaken and even remove the civil liberties of Canadians, under the guise of its so-called "law and order" campaign.
Broadly speaking that pretty much sums up the combined policies of the opposition parties, right?
Well if you find yourself agreeing with Option B rather than Option A, the Communist Party of Canada will be very happy to accept your vote.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Fantastic time this evening as Stephen Harper was warmly welcomed by a noisy and packed Tri-cities crowd in Kitchener
Incumbents Stephen Woodworth, Peter Braid, Gary Goodyear and Harold Albrecht were there as well as Guelph CPC candidate Marty Burke.
I'm just going to throw out my impressions here while they're fresh in my mind.
The excitement seemed to increase relative to the number of people pouring into the room. All available seating filled up in about 15 minutes and then it was standing room only. Music started to warm up the crowd and we played balloon volleyball for a while. People were shouting Harper, Harper and getting very excited. It was like waiting for a Rock Star to appear at a concert.
Finally Stephen Harper was introduced by the area MPs and made his appearance to a hugely enthusiastic pack of supporters. Thundersticks were booming and frenetic shouts of "Harper! Harper!" filled the room.
I glanced back at the media folks and their expressions were blank. This was all business for them.
But I reflected on what a great country we live in where we have the privilege of elections and the excitement of being with like-minded citizens who see Stephen Harper as such a competent leader.
His rally speech was warm, humorous and genuine. He seemed to really appreciate the enthusiasm of the supporters.
I'm not doing the experience justice here, but my message to you is to try to get to a rally this election - it's so incredibly energizing.
You will get so much out of it and appreciate how blessed we are to have had Stephen Harper for our Prime Minister these past five years, and how much we need him moving forward!
Please help us get that Conservative Majority.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
I'm just back from the grand opening of a local campaign office and want to mention a few things while they're still fresh in my mind.
Any Canadians wanting to see Stephen Harper's Conservatives get that majority need to ask themselves what they are doing to help achieve that goal.
Are you just sitting home getting angry at the bias on MSM and watching your blood pressure rise? Do you come to blogs like this to vent and rage, but never take that next step?
We are at a critical time in the history of our country. There is a very strong probability that the results of this election will either yield a Conservative majority or some kind of coalition involving the Liberals and NDP with the Bloc having tremendous influence. Realistically the chances of a Liberal majority are slim at this point, but that could change too.
So you have to make a decision. Can you afford to be complacent and hope that it all works out for the best?
I am begging you to call or visit your local Conservative campaign office right now. Find out how you can help - and there are so many ways. So much need. Or perhaps your assistance could be put to better use in a tightly-contested neighbouring riding instead.
But please get directly involved. Channel your rage and anger into constructive action.
Do everything you can in the next few weeks so that you can live with yourself after the election - Whatever the outcome.
* * * *
The Kitchener-Waterloo area is going to be the focus of two very tight campaigns. I plan to expand on that at a future time.
Meanwhile if you live near this area, please check out Stephen Woodworth's and Peter Braid's campaign websites.
Stephen Woodworth in particular is going to have a tough fight against Karen Redman who desperately wants to reclaim the seat she lost in the 2008 election.
If you can help Stephen Woodworth please contact his Kitchener constituency office at (519) 745-2700. Thanks.