Monday, October 6, 2014

Why I'm supporting Alvin Tedjo for Mississauga Ward 2



I haven't had too much opportunity to blog lately, but it certainly hasn't been as a result of not being politically active - indeed, I've been working every day for the past month or so helping run the campaign of Alvin Tedjo, who is running for City Council in Mississauga's Ward 2.

I haven't written too much about municipal political on this blog since I started writing it all the way back in 2007, but I am making an exception, because Alvin is an exceptional candidate.

This municipal election is the most important Mississauga has faced in a generation. Mayor Hazel is retiring, and so is Pat Mullin, who served as city councillor in Ward 2 for decades. It will mean a lot of change for the city, but it is also an opportunity for a new generation of leadership to emerge, and Alvin wants to be a part of that change.

He's committed to community. He's raising his family with his wife Rebecca in Sheridan Homelands, 2 kids with a 3rd on the way soon, and he's running because he wants his family, and all families in Mississauga and in the community to have the opportunity to grow, learn, work and play in a strong Mississauga. A Mississauga that expands its transit network to help commuting families spend more time at home and less time in traffic. A Mississauga that protects the valuable green space and waterfront it has, to preserve and protect Jack Darling Park and the Rattray Marsh for today and tomorrow. A Mississauga with great community infrastructure like parks, playgrounds and paths, so all families can enjoy community space and come together as a community.

And he's got the experience to get the job done, having worked with the City for several years as a training and development consultant and most recently, serving as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities in Ontario's Liberal government.

With election day just a few weeks away, if you live in Ward 2 (Clarkson, Sheridan Homelands, and Lorne Park), I hope you will support Alvin!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Donna Tiqui-Shebib for OWLC President



Now, I will preface this by saying that obviously I won't be able to vote for Donna, but I encourage all Liberal women attending the LPCO convention to support Donna Tiqui-Shebib for OWLC President. Donna has been a very strong supporter of local Young Liberals, and has the political experience and community background to be an excellent President for the Commission and keep it moving forward. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Brunswick Conservative's pull out of leaders debate - don't want to talk about the David Alward record?



I'm in New Brunswick for a couple weeks, so might as well take a shot at the Tories while I'm here. With the writ formally dropping tomorrow, and signs going up across the province (I've seen probably about a dozen already driving around Saint John) Conservative leader David Alward is running away from the CBC leaders debate. The Conservatives claim they don't want to participate in the debate because they are inviting the leaders of the Green Party and the People's Alliance, but Alward was happy to participate alongside them in 2010. Maybe he just doesn't want to talk about the the facts? The above graphic comes from Telegrah-Journal, showing the result of four years of Conservative rule in New Brunswick. David Alward might not want to be accountable for his failures of leadership, but these are facts he can't run from.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Limiting information" on oilsands probe demonstrates Harper government problems with both openness and the environment

This story out of The Star hits at two major problems of the Harper government - an inability to take environmental concerns seriously, and a desire to limit access to critical information by the media and citizens.

"Environment Canada’s enforcement branch asked a spokesman to “limit information” given to reporters about how long it took to launch a federal investigation into a serious Alberta oilsands leak last summer.
The comments were included in more than 100 pages of emails obtained by the Star that were generated in response to questions from journalists last summer about the mysterious leak in Cold Lake, Alta., that now totals about 1.2 million litres of bitumen emulsion, a mixture of heavy oil and water.
The incident itself was not publicly disclosed until a report by the Star in July 2013. More than 100 animals died near the site of the spill, which continues to release heavy oil above the surface, one year later....
Liberal environment critic John McKay said the case seems to be another example ofHarper’s government favouring one industrial sector over others, while attempting to keep news about spills and environmental damage “secret” for as long as possible.
“It is upsetting that the Harper government’s lack of transparency and disregard for our wildlife, water and environment is something we have come to expect,” said McKay, who represents Scarborough-Guildwood in Parliament."
It is absolutely critical to develop Canada's and Alberta's natural resources in a responsible way to help grow the economy. But stories such as these do nothing to help the Harper government's reputation as uncaring towards the environment, which has had a significantly negative impact on Canada's trade relations with the United States and the ability to market Canada as a responsible energy power. Canada will not see it's full economic potential from natural resources until we have a government that doesn't see the economy and the need for strong environmental regulations and social licences as enemies, but as complimentary to ensure prosperity for all Canadians. 




Monday, July 14, 2014

CBC article on Ontario budget mentions my youth voter registration policy



Yes, this is shameless self-promotion on my part, but hey, my Mom thought it was cool:

"The Liberals also plan to revamp the Grade 10 Civics curriculum to get students more involved in their communities and introduce voter registration in high schools."


Saturday, July 5, 2014

What can the results of the last Ontario PC leadership race tell us about the current one? That Elliott could be hard to beat



Long-time readers will remember when I did some fairly in-depth coverage of the 2009 Ontario PC leadership race. I was reading over some blog posts from that era, bit of a trip down memory lane. I kind of forgot Hudak's big selling point to grassroots conservatives was pledging to eliminate Human Rights TribunalsChristine Elliott running on a flat tax to increase her appeal beyond just red Tories, and of course Hudak Bingo!

The map at the top of this post shows the first round results from the 2009 leadership results, coloured in by which candidate won plurality support in each riding. As a reminder, the PC's used a weighted one member one vote system, so every riding had equal support, from Conservative strongholds in rural Ontario to weak seats in downtown Toronto that even during a leadership race might only have a few dozen members. Hudak is in dark blue, Klees is in light blue, Elliott in green, Hillier in red. You can expand the map by clicking on it.

So, looking at these results, (and my analysis from 2009) what can we learn from the 2009 race that might be applicable to the current Ontario PC race?


  • Elliott, the presumptive front-runner has an advantage in the 905/416, since no other serious candidate from the area seems likely to enter the race. Looking at the results from 2009, Frank Klees was very successful in signing up new members from cultural communities in the 905, as he dominated Peel region, his home York region, and the suburbs of Toronto. Elliott did well in most of the downtown core and her home base of Durham region, but was unable to make gains in a lot of the inner 905 belt. With no other serious candidate likely to emerge from Toronto/905, Elliott could dominate much of the GTA, which would go a long way to help establish her front-runner credentials
  • Breaking into the GTA will be the challenge for any of the other potential candidates, who would all have somewhat of a regional base, but would likely have to dominate their home bases. Lisa Macleod, Vic Fedeli and Monte McNaughton would have home bases in the East, North and Southwest respectively. Now, in 2009 Tim Hudak was able to win the leadership without doing particularly well in the GTA (he won a few scattered seats and split Halton region with Elliot) because in large part he dominated his home base of Niagara/Southern Ontario, but he also had strong results in Northern Ontario and in more rural ridings across the other parts of the province as well. Having favourite sons/daughters from each of the North, Southwest and East could make it difficult for any of them to establish province-wide movements, although I could see Lisa Macleod, who has toured the province pretty extensively and has been fairly high profile as opposition MPPs go being perhaps best suited to pull it off. 
  • If Macleod might be the strongest candidate against Elliott, she'll have to take some caution from looking at these maps. Presumably she would be the Eastern Ontario favourite daughter, and that means she would need to build a coalition of PC supporters ranging from downtown Ottawa moderates to Randy Hillier supporters from the rural areas. Macleod might have to tack to the right both to rally the non insignificant numbers of very conservative conservatives in Eastern Ontario, but also to try and establish a solid Blue Tory vs. Red Tory match-up against Elliott to establish her credentials as the main right-of-Elliott candidate. 
  • Monte McNaughton, who could be a Southern/Southwestern Ontario favourite son was also a champion of right-to-work legislation that caused Hudak some headaches but also could endear him to the more conservative minded activists who are important in leadership races. With Monte needing to dominate Southwestern Ontario to establish himself as a legitimate contender, and Macleod needing to target rural Southwestern conservatives to establish herself as the main right-wing contender against Elliott, the membership sign up and organizational battles that could happen between Macleod and McNaughton in that part of the province could be interesting
  • With that in mind, Elliott has the clearest path to victory: Dominate the GTA, and hold her own in other parts of the province. MPP endorsements don't mean everything  (MPP endorsements can have a pretty big range of importance on the local membership base, sometimes big, sometimes not so much) but that she has endorsements already from MPPs from her home competitors bases (Norm Miller from Northern Ontario, Todd Smith from Eastern Ontario, Jeff Yurek and Michael Harris from the Southwest amongst others) bodes well.