Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hudak failing to attract female candidates

Taken from the "Team" section of the PC website, behold the diversity of Tim Hudak's PC Party

While the Ontario Liberals have done a pretty enviable job of attracting female candidates to run for office (something that I'm pretty personally passionate about), for example, having more women in cabinet than the opposition parties have MPP's, combined. The Ontario Liberals have also done a solid job of promoting policies that help women and families across the province, such as full day kindergarten.

However, while Tim Hudak and the PC's continue to attack such policies, he has also failed at attracting female candidates for his party for the next election. In a caucus that already has a lack of women (only 6 of his 25 MPP's are women) a look at the numbers of who has declared to run for PC nominations/have been nominated shows a distinct lack of women.

As far as I can tell from doing research from sources like the PC nomination thread on the Blogging Tories forum, here are the numbers by my count, so these might not be the exact numbers, but the trends are still visible:

Number of unheld ridings in which nomination meetings have already happened, or candidates have declared for the nomination: 27

Number of candidates who ran/are running for aforementioned nomination meetings: 51

Number of women who have run, or have declared to run, for a PC nomination: 13

Only 25% of the candidates who have taken a chance at running to be a candidate for the PC's have been women.

Number of unheld ridings in which no women have ran or declared for a nomination: 19

70% of unheld riding nominations have featured absolutely no women in the race.

Number of unheld ridings in which PC's have nominated a candidate so far: 17

Number of those ridings in which a woman has been nominated as the candidate: 3

Only 18% of unheld ridings have nominated a female candidate. It's worth noting that this 18% figure is significantly lower than the 24% of female representation Hudak's caucus currently has.

Number of contested nomination meetings which have featured a female candidate (so discounting appointments): 4

Number of women actually winning contested nomination meetings: 1

In only 25% of ridings in which PC voters had a chance to vote for a female candidate did they actually elect one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lots of nomination news for all!

Solid candidate recruitment for the Liberals in Eastern Ontario, with Peter Tinsley,
former chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, who will seek the Liberal nomination (and will almost certainly be the candidate) in Prince Edward-Hastings. Tinsley failed to be reappointed as chair after his investigations into the Afghan detainee file.

And a contested nomination is in the works in ADFW, with longtime municipal councilor and environmental activist Dave Braden seeking the Liberal nomination, alongside former Ancaster councillor Bryan Kerman, and Maple Leaf Foods vice-president for environmental affairs Anne Tennier of Waterdown.

Interesting race shaping up in North Vancouver for the Liberals, with municipal councilor Roger Bassam now facing Kevin O'Brien, a veteran MLA and former speaker of the assembly in Nunavut. No word on former Green candidate Jim Stepehenson, who seemed to have declared a run, possibly dropped out, and maybe jumped back in.

Read more:

This article on the Conservative nomination for Simcoe-Grey mentions a name I haven't seen mentioned before, Paul Throop, a longtime Tory activist and staffer to Peter MacKay, who will face off against Collingwood mayor Chris Carrier and the star candidate who seems heavily favoured by the party establishment,orthopedic surgeon Kellie Leitch.

The Kootenay-Columbia Tory nomination has gained a new contestant, Dale Shudra, a local businessman.

Rounding thing up, county councillor David Parker is looking for the NDP nomination for Central Nova. David is the brother of a local NDP MLA.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim Hudak faces PC civil war

The Landowners are getting loud. The Randy Hillier and Landowner backed Jack MacLaren failed in his attempt to take over the Carleton-Mississipi Mills (where MacLaren is going to be running for the nomination against party stalwart Norm Sterling, with MacLaren apparently dramatically outselling Sterling in membership) but the war of words continues.

Ed Kennedy, a higher-up in the Landowners movement and an exec on Hillier's riding association says:

This all goes to demonstrate that there are red tories in the party pulling strings, in my estimation. The left knows and fears that the landowner movement is and will effect changes for the better that embody rural rights and Conservative values but due to the success of Randy Hillier, they failed to stop his entry. They fear two honest men in the party and the more in line to come.

This was not unexpected, the same thing happened to Shawn [ED NOTE: This is in reference to the controversial disqualification of Shawn Carmichael, a Landowner backed candidate in the Leeds-Grenville PC nomination, which I covered extensively:] and is more of the same old, same old. The party had been giving Jack a hard time all along since it was known he was going to run.

The loser of course is the party, choosing bootlickers of questionable character over honest men.

And Norm Sterling has struck back, accusing Randy Hillier of supporting MacLaren out of his office, and going as far to suggest that Hillier, who was a strong supporter of Hudak for PC leadership and shares his goal of attacking human rights in Ontario, should leave the PC Party:

"I believe that (Randy Hillier) should either fish or cut bait," Sterling said Thursday. "He should either be a member of the team or he should step outside the team and run as an Ontario Landowner under his own party label...
He said Hillier's office was helping Mac-Laren sell party memberships, and thus votes in the riding-association election, in the run-up to Wednesday's meeting. "He's very much involved," Sterling said.

Sterling called Hillier and MacLaren "political opportunists."

"They want to use the good name of the Progressive Conservative party to push their very narrow and right-wing agenda into the provincial arena," he said. "They don't believe in conservation authorities, they don't believe in milk marketing boards, they go so far as to say let's abandon our planning laws in the province of Ontario."

Sterling says an "uncomfortable" rift has now opened up within caucus, given Hillier's continued desire to unseat him and others."

Hudak issued a weak statement calling for party unity, which was promptly rebuffed by Sterling:

"I really believe the party has to deal with this issue," Sterling said in an interview Thursday. "You can't be wasting your energies on annual (riding association) meetings. I understand in a nomination meeting, if someone wants to run against you that's fine and dandy. It's part of our process. But to take over our organization when you haven't really been part of it and turn it into the Ontario Landowners Party under the name of PC? That shouldn't take place."

What will Hudak do, support the radical right tendency that he himself has openly played to and had the support of for leader, or his party's longest serving MPP?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NDP loss in Winnipeg North shows Liberals can steal urban seats from NDP

The Liberal victory in Winnipeg North I believes symbolizes a shift in urban politics in this country. Hardworking Liberal teams can knock off the NDP in urban ridings, even ones where they have been in power for most of the last decades. The Harper Conservatives have ignored the economic and social needs of urban Canadians, and the NDP, divided on important issues like the gun registry, can't be counted on to protect the interests of urban Canadians.

The path to a Liberal victory in the next election will go through working hard and knocking off urban NDP MP's in a number of ridings, and the Liberals are well positioned to make gains. Here are just a few of urban ridings held by the NDP that I think the Liberal victory in Winnipeg North exposes a weakness for Team Orange

With Mulcair more interested in talk show apperances, and the Liberals running a star candidate, this will be the top Liberal target in Quebec. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

-Vancouver Kingsway
With an experienced candidate in Wendy Yuan, Liberals in BC will look to take back this seat from the NDP after the floor-crossing David Emerson didn't run again. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

Another riding with a great female Liberal candidate with local roots, Christine Innes, Oliva Chow can only get by on name recognition for so long. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

-Ottawa Centre
Of course, I must mention Ottawa Centre and Scott Bradley. Paul Dewar talks a good game in the House, but doesn't have much in the way to show for 4 years of being an MP for the actual people of Ottawa Centre. The Bradley Team has been working hard knocking on doors and listening to the real concerns of residents of the riding - exactly what helped get Kevin Lamoureux elected in Winnipeg North. NDP margin of victory: 14%

To note the scale of the switch in Winnipeg North, the Liberal campaign managed to raise the Liberal vote from under 10% to 46%, with the NDP vote declining over 20%. Liberals need to keep working hard and offering a positive vision for urban Canadians.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun times for the NDP in Ontario...

As a follow-up to my post on the youth wing of the ONDP being taken over by radical Marxists, an update on the drama.

Here is a message that got sent out to for a revote to elect the ONDP exec:

Subject: Call for Meeting to Elect ONDY Executive

Call for Meeting to Elect ONDY Executive

Provincial office has received a number of complaints from NDP members regarding the validity of the recent Executive elections at ONDY.

Upon investigation, the Administrative Committee of the party has established that:

A significant number of the attendees who voted, were not eligible to do so as they were not members in good standing, as stipulated in the ONDY and ONDP Constitutions
The conference was notified that the voting process for the Executive election must adhere to the ONDY Constitution to be valid
Ineligible ballots were cast, which affected the election results, and ineligible candidates were elected

Therefore, the Administrative Committee of the ONDP does not recognize the Executive election results for ONDY held on November 7, 2010.

The Administrative Committee is calling a special meeting on Sunday November 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm following Provincial Council at 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto with the specific purpose of holding an election for the ONDY Executive. ONDP members holding valid membership for 30 days or more, and who are under the age of 26 are eligible to run for election and to vote. Eligibility of valid membership in the ONDP will be verified and proof of age is required.

Administrative Committee

Ontario's New Democrats

And take a look at this website:

Apparently this is a list of questions that went out to delegates to at last weekends' ONDP convention by a group of insiders.


1. Why has the president continually evaded questions that relate to the finances of Cornerstone Corp.?

2. Despite the fact that boards of directors are required to provide shareholders with annual financial reports, the president has outright refused to properlty report to the party membership on Cornerstone Corp. Why?

3. Despite the fact that funds were raised to make provincial office accessible, the building remains inaccessible. How much money was raised for this purpose? Where is this money now?

4. Ethnic Liaison Committee co-chair Yvette Blackburn was the only member of provincial executive asking questions about Cornerstone. What are the detailed reasons Yvette Blackburn was pushed off provincial executive?

5. How many checks written by the party for the Cathy Crowe campaign have bounced and remain unpaid?

6. If so much money was raised during the Cathy Crowe campaign, why did so many checks bounce?

7. Why does Merv Richards no longer work at provincial office?

8. Are party members or provincial executive members liable for any default Cornerstone Corp. loans?

9. Why did the party donate over one million dollars, in estate bequeaths, to the United Way when we are in such financial turmoil?

10. Does the party have enough money to run a full campaign in all ridings in 2011?

Workers’ rights

As Organized Labour’s official political voice, it is revolting, embarrassing, and an insult to the founding principles of the party that we should preach against exploitation of workers while exploiting our own workers.

11. Until abuses were reported by staff, the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) was not aware of at least 12 employees at provincial office on contract for a period of years, in blatant violation of the collective agreement. How much in back-pay and benefits does the party now owe these employees?

12. Will the party contact provincial office employees who had left before COPE’s investigation, to back pay them what they are rightfully owed in wages and benefits? If not, why?

13. Why were labour practice violations, complaints, COPE’s investigation, and COPE’s resulting order against provincial office all kept from the party membership and executive?

14. Is it fair to party workers to be represented by COPE against the party’s management, when COPE is affiliated with the party? Is COPE more concered with the rights of party workers or the party when the two are in conflict?

15. How does the current Leader reconcile the exploitation of contract workers at provincial office and Queen’s Park, with her speeches across the province in which she speaks against the use of contract workers?

16. How many labour complaints are currently filed by provincial office or Queen’s Park staff against the party or members of the party?

17. Several complaints were lodged against the Horwath Leadership campaign by workers. What were the nature of these complaints and how were they resolved?

Hiring practices

18. What is Salome Cinqueira role at provincial office? Why was her title changed from special advisor to the Leader so suddenly? Did her duties also change at this time? If not, why?

19. Was Salome Cinqueira originally paid from public money through Queen’s Park? Was this money returned to the province? Why?

20. What was the hiring process for Salome Cinqueira? Was there a competition or was she appointed? Who made the decision to hire her?

21. As an employee of Queen’s Park, paid through public money, Deb Parent used her position to run the Leader’s Challenge fundraising project. Has the party repaid her salary back to the province?

22. Are riding associations who participated in the Leader’s Challenge potentially liable due to Deb Parent’s use of her Queen’s Park position to raise funds for the party?

23. What are the details of the process by which Darlene Lawson was hired as provincial secretary? Under what authority did the Leader’s office overturn the admin council’s nomination for secretary to be replaced by Darlene Lawson?

24. Was Penny Marno recently re-hired by the ONDP? If so, in what capacity and what was the nature of the hiring competition?

Resources and capacity

25. How did the party decide which municipal candidates it would assist and which it would not?

26. Did the party only assist municpal candidates Toronto?

27. Will the party provide a list of all municpal candidates that received NDP support in the recent municpal electsion?

28. Did the party consider how it might offend members it did not lend support to during the municipal elections in the lead-up to the 2011 provincial election?

29. What happened to the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Committee that was doing so much work?

30. How, and for what purpose, did the Ontario New Democratic Youth (ONDY) Committee de-charter the Toronto Young New Democrats (TYND) that was doing so much work?

31. Will the Party assist any candidates, including incumbent MPPS, with resources for the 2011 election?

32. Will the party assist some incumbents and not others? If so, which incumbents will it assist and how will these decisions be made?

33. How many Leader’s Challenges have there been, how many made money and how many have lost money?

34. Is it within the best interest of the party, considering its dismal state of affairs, to attack one of its youth wings (TYND) in the lead-up to a provincial election? Is this the best use of our time and resources before an election?

35. Who made the decision to target TYND?

36. How many members have left the party in the last year compared to how many have joined as first-time members?

Transparency and meaningful participation

37. How many members has the party lost since the 2009 Convention?

38. In 2004 the party had about 35,000 members, but by the 2009 Leadership Convention, we were below 20,000. What is the leadership’s explanation for this massive decrease?

39. How many Preauthorized Checking (PAC) memberships has the party lost since the 2009 Convention?

40. Has the party ever purged its membership list of members-in-good-standing, for internal votes – such as an AGM or candidate selection meeting – to assure a specific outcome?

41. Were unions supportive of Peter Tabuns in the 2009 leadership race prevented from affiliating with the party? If so, who was responsible for preventing affiliation? Was this does according to the constitution?

42. How does the party justify applying the constitution to the recent ONDY elections but not to the vote that postponed the 2011 convention?

43. Does the party believe that applying different rules when it suits the leaders is democratic and transparent?

44. Is it transparent and accountable to allow members with paid positions within the party to also hold offices on executive council or on riding associations?

45. Who is responsible for continually jeopardizing the good name, standing and legality of the party with acts like those described above? Are we as members liable for these acts?

Combine this with the horrible showing of the NDP candidate in Vaughan in the by-election, who won 1.7% of the vote by borrowing talking points on the HST from Andrea Horwath, and putting it at the forefront of his campaign, and it looks like the NDP in Ontario is having some rough times lately.

Comments on Ottawa Sun article show what we're up against in Ottawa West-Nepean

A look at the thoughts of the Tory base on Anita winning the nomination. I know seeing attitudes like this makes me want to campaign twice as hard to elect a progressive government:

"..feminism stands as an excellent example of a 1960's movement that blossomed from the seeds that Communist women germinated thirty years earlier"

"LMAO...the best you can come up with is yet ANOTHER Man Hating feminist? Like Global Warming, Radical Man Hating Feminism is dead. All western Nations are just now starting to reverse the damages to their populations because of that goofy "Feminst Experiment". Surely the Liberal Party is not SO OUT OF TOUCH that they cannot find a candidate with a bit more to bring to the fore instead of just RANTINGS of another ANGRY WOMAN???"

"Good lord not another rabid special interest taking a run at the windmill"

"... is not a woman's right expert another name for Lesbian"

You stay classy, Tory base

Eastern Ontario Liberals leading the way in nominating women

With the successful nomination of Anita Vandenbeld in Ottawa West-Nepean, she has joined a great Eastern Ontario Liberal team, and one that has great female representation.

The other ridings Liberals are running female candidates in:

Carleton-Mississippi Mills: Karen McCrimmon

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell: Julie Bourgeois

Leeds-Grenville: Marjory Loveys

Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke: Christine Tabbert

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry: Bernadette Clement

The Eastern Ontario female Liberal candidates are wonderful women and all are fantastic Liberal candidates, and have a fantastic range of experiences. We have women who have fought for women’s rights internationally, who have played leadership roles in our armed forces with distinction, who have upheld law and order and the principles of justice, who have ran small businesses, who have navigated the choppy waters of the legal business and shattered glass ceilings, and who have proudly represented their communities on local council.

We have women who have succeeded as businesswomen, in the legal community, in the armed forces, in international development, and in politics. And we cannot forget provincially such bright lights of Eastern Ontario as Leona Dombrowsky and Madeleine Meilleur, who both grace the McGuinty cabinet. Let’s get these and more great female Liberals elected!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Non-Ottawa West-Nepean nomination news

Now former BC Liberal MLA and cabinet minister Bill Bennett, who now sits as an independent after being expelled from the Liberal caucus, has left the door open for a run for the federal Conservatives.

Bennett also said the possibility of seeking the Federal Conservative nomination for the riding of Kootenay-Columbia wasn't out of the question.

"It was certainly something I thought about six months ago, and declined, and said that I wasn't interested. This whole thing has caused me to put it back on the list of options. But it's not at the top of the list at the present time. I think I need some time to think things through, and figure out what's best for me, my wife and my family, and frankly, what's best for the people of Kootenay East."

Further east, nominated Liberal candidate for Fredericton, Pam Campbell, is stepping down from her position as candidate. Campbell was nominated a little over a year ago.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One week to go!

Only one week remains before the vote for the federal Liberal nomination for Ottawa West-Nepean, and the energy around Anita's campaign is great. Anita had another of her successful Starbucks meet and greets yesterday, talking with lots of great Liberals and lots of interested non-Liberals who have been drawn to the positive energy of her campaign, and later today I'll be going to a campaign meeting to prep for the nomination day. We've got a great youth team, and I'm grateful so many people have volunteered time and energy for the nomination campaign to try and help to elect a real champion for youth engagement.

Stay tuned to the Youth for Anita Vandenbeld blog throughout the week for all your nomination info!

Support Anita on Facebook:!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455
Let's try and break 300 likes before nomination day!

Anita on Twitter:

And Anita's campaign website:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Great youth support for Anita Vandenbeld!

We've got more endorsements up from youth across Ottawa who are rallying behind Anita's campaign. Anita is a champion for youth engagement, and has been heads and shoulders above the other candidates in having youth play a leadership role in her campaign. Join our team and help get Anita nominated on the 28th!

FB event for the nomination:!/event.php?eid=153624181348800

And make sure to support Anita on Facebook:!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455

And Twitter:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carleton Equal Voice Chapter launch party a great success!

Anita Vandenbeld's youth campaign chair has her take on the event:

As an executive on the Carleton Equal Voice Chapter, I was thrilled with how well attended the launch event was. As guest speakers we had Hon. Michael Chong, Hon, Carolyn Bennett, and Niki Ashton MP, who all had interesting things to say about how we need to change Canadian politics and get more women involved. I'm honoured to be involved both with Equal Voice's Carleton chapter, and with Anita Vandenbeld's campaign to help elect a strong women to Parliament.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A great youth endorsement for Anita Vandenebeld

With the campaign getting into crunch time, it's great to see a campaign that not only reaches out and engages youth, but has them play a real leadership role. Anita's campaign and her efforts to involve youth in the political process have Young Liberals all across Ottawa talking! Join us on Nov 28th and elect a champion for youth, Anita Vandenbeld!

Bob Chiarelli's strong response Randell Denley's attacks on Ottawa's schools

The Ottawa Citizen's Randell Denly has been a pathological critic of the Ontario Liberals for years, but in his piece two days ago he dipped into John Tory style "University of Zero" territory by attacking Ottawa's universities and colleges. Ottawa West-Nepean MPP and cabinet minister Bob Chiarelli had this response to attacks on our schools and students:

Randall Denley uses the MacLean’s magazine 11th place ranking of the University of Ottawa to conclude that this is a fundamental failing of McGuinty’s government to provide the basic needs of Ontario’s hospitals, public schools, and universities.

Well, McGuinty is the Premier of ALL Ontario, not just Sandy Hill where the University of Ottawa resides. Denley clearly chose to ignore that Ontario universities hold four of the top ten places in the MacLean’s ranking.

What idiocy could lead to Denley’s conclusion and what “fair comment” could consciously ignore this information on the very page staring back at Denley?

His self-interested deductive reasoning knows no bounds when it comes to spinning a reason to criticize a McGuinty, any McGuinty, or a Liberal, any Liberal.

Denley does collateral damage to a great Ottawa academic institution by his obsession to damage McGuinty’s reputation at any cost.

The MacLean’s ranking is mainly a statistical analysis of various types of grants, research dollars, ratios, and awards. For a bean counter like Denley that would be a happy mother lode to subjectively interpret.

And he also uses it to be, as usual, more about polemics than principle, more about partisanship than perspective.

During the last several years I was a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. I was extremely impressed with the faculty and student excellence and commitment at the graduate and undergraduate level. University of Ottawa graduates excel at the highest levels of virtually every field.

Consider the facts, though. Through McGuinty’s Reaching Higher commitment to post secondary education there are an additional 17,000 spaces in Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions.

At the University of Ottawa, McGuinty government investments include $15 million to expand the Alta Vista campus medical school; $50 million for the new Vanier Building; $23 million to support research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. The building of the $170 million Royal Ottawa Hospital has benefited the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Mental Health Research. Significant investments at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have been a major contributor to its becoming one of the foremost heart institutes in the world.

The McGuinty government has invested more in quality health care and education in seven years than the previous two governments invested in thirteen years.

The Citizen should replace the high profile, drive-by smears by Denley with a columnist who can not only criticize but also occasionally champion Ottawa’s great institutions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ontario New Democratic Youth taken over by radical Marxists

No longer is it hyperbole to attack the Ontario NDP as unacceptably left-wing, after the Ontario NDP Youth wing was taken over last weekend by the so called "Slate for a Democratic and Activist ONDY" , an openly Marxist group linked with Fightback magazine, and the recently de-ratified and far-left Toronto Young New Democrats.
The far-left take on it here:
And lest you think the ONDP caucus is recoiling in fear at the Ontario NDP Youth turning to the Marxist left, here are two letters in support of the TYND from Cheri DiNovo and Michael Prue:

Dear ONDY Executive,

As the MPP for Beaches-East York, I add my voice in support of the Toronto Youth New Democrats

The decision to de-charter TYND came as a great surprise. This club has done phenomenal work in the past year, what comes to mind is the great work and support they provided in the Cathy Crowe Campaign. They have succeeded in building vibrant working communities, throughout the city, implemented a successful summer camp, strive to help the needy, and lend a voice to the silent... I am in support of the TYND being re-chartered, to allow them to continue their great work.

Yours truly,
Michael Prue, MPP
Beaches-East York

To Whom It May Concern

I am loathe to comment on ONDY activities as they are in every sense a separate organization but a letter has been brought to my attention that merits comment because it misrepresents the history of my party, the NDP, in shall I say, a Stalinist or McCarthyist manner (yes there are similarities).

We were founded as the CCF and the NDP on principles which have included socialism and one of our founders who was both a social gospel adherent and a Socialist, JS Woodsworth defined himself as such. So have Tommy Douglas, Jack Layton and Stephen Lewis among dozens of other in our history, using 'Democratic Socialism' as their descriptor.

The definition of what socialism is, whether socialism is our position, what kind of socialism etc.has also been part of our DNA as a party and ONDY has often been the appropriate place for such debates. That is simply democracy at work.

We are a big tent party with room for many different opinions and robust dialogue. This is also democracy at work.

To expel members or de-charter chapters of ONDY because we disagree with some opinions using as cover a skewed history of our party is not democratic. It is called 'red-baiting'. Put it to a vote under the rules of democracy we have always held dear.

We need unity yes, but never at the cost of democracy.

Wishing you all a wonderful and rich with debate, convention.

Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo
MPP Parkdale High Park

And from the most recent issue of Fightback, vocal words of support in favour of Andrea Horwath:

There is, however, an alternate trend developing within the NDP and in the labour movement that needs to be strengthened. The recently elected leader of the Ontario NDP Andrea Horwath, in her speech that won over the most trade union support and ensured her victory in the contest for new party leader, clearly stated, “We New Democrats won’t check our socialism at the door when it comes to building a better future.” Many unions, such as the CEP and Steelworkers, are also making statements criticizing the capitalist system. Given the economic crisis and the failure of capitalism, this is quite obviously the direction the party should be moving in.

Apparently now the ONDP administrative committee is looking into the election, saying that illegal voting occured. Let's see how this plays out for the newly elected comrades of the ONDY.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughtful and inspiring words from Anita Vandenbeld on her thoughts on Remembrance Day

An incredible post from Anita Vandenbeld discussing her personal feelings and connections to Remembrance Day, including her thoughts as a Dutch-Canadian on the 65 anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, her family connections to Canada's armed forces, and the value which Anita places on the role of Canada's military and peacekeeping tradition as someone who helped promote democracy in war-torn states. An amazing read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ottawa West-Nepean nomination called! Support Anita Vandenbeld on November 28th!

Regular readers of my blog know that I talk a lot about nomination news, and I have some big news today, the Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal nomination has been called!

I've been very involved with a great candidate for the nomination, Anita Vandenbeld. Anita is a long-time Liberal, and has worked for the United Nations and other international organizations to promote democracy and women's rights across the world, and is running to help defend and restore the value of democratic participation and women in government from a Conservative government that has abused our democratic institutions.

You can get more info on Anita's campaign by following the Youth for Anita blog (which I contribute to):

Becoming a fan on Facebook:!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455

Following her on Twitter:!/anitavandenbeld

And of course, visiting her website:

Let's elect a champion for Ottawa West-Nepean!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nomination news from PEI and Quebec

The federal Liberal nomination in Charlottetown has a declared contender, with lawyer Sean Casey jumping in. Casey has deep roots in the party and in Charlottetown, serving as past president of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island and the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Staying out east, former PC MLA and cabinet minister David Morse says he will run for the Conservative nomination in Kings-Hants. Morse had been the MLA for Kings South, but was defeated in the NDP wave which swept Nova Scotia in 2009. Interestingly, Morse confirmed what many have accused the Tories of, favouring government held ridings as part of government spending:

"It is increasingly obvious that Kings-Hants has paid a price as we have been left out of discretionary federal projects," Morse said in the release."

Interesting to see how those comments go over.

And a bit of a grab for the BQ in Montreal, with former NDP candidate in Hochelaga Jean-Claude Rocheleau running for the BQ in the east-end riding of La Pointe-de-l'Île, being vacated by Francine Lalonde. The riding is a BQ stronghold, with Lalonde generally winning by 40-50% of the vote over her nearest competition.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hudak loved lobbyists in government

In light of opposition attacks on the Ontario government over lobbying, it is worth taking a look at Tim Hudak's record.

During the Harris-Hudak years over 150 lobbyists were hired on behalf of organizations that received Ontario Government funds. These include Hospitals, Universities, School Boards and other organizations - all were allowed to use taxpayer dollars to hire Conservative insiders.
When Tim Hudak was Minister of Northern Development & Mines, several organizations that his Ministry funded hired lobbyists to approach him and his staff including the Northern Tourism Marketing Corporation and Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters. College Boreal (funding from TCU) and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital (MOHLTC) also disclosed efforts to lobby then-Minister Hudak.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Culture, Tourism & Recreation his Ministry funded the Royal Botanical Gardens which in turn, hired a lobbyist to approach him.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Consumer & Business Services, the TSSA [Technical Standards & Safety Authority] hired Conservative insider Bill King of Hill & Knowlton to lobby on their behalf. As Minister, Hudak made appointments to the Board and the TSSA reported to him as Minister. Important to note that the TSSA ended their relationship with King in 2004 and have not hired a lobbyist since. King ended up becoming Chief of Staff to federal Minister Tony Clement.

Tim Hudak will complain today about the use public funds to hire lobbyists, but the fact is, when he was in Cabinet he did nothing but encourage this practice.

From the Hudak's HST flip-flop, to calling for the scrapping of the Stewardship Ontario program he helped establish in government, Hudak hypocrisy surfaces once again as he "forgets" his own record in government.

Campaigns I've worked on

This list only includes federal/provincial/municipal campaigns, if I included student elections and OYL stuff that would add quite a few more.

2004 Paul Szabo federal Liberal re-election campaign, Mississauga South
2006 Paul Szabo federal Liberal re-election campaign, Mississauga South
2006 Stephane Dion federal Liberal leadership campaign
2007 Scott Bradley federal Liberal nomination, Ottawa Centre
2007 Charles Sousa provincial Liberal election campaign, Mississauga South
2007 Dave Caplan provincial Liberal re-election campaign, Don Valley East
2007 Yasir Naqvi provincial Liberal election campaign, Ottawa Centre
2008 Bob Rae federal Liberal by-election campaign, Toronto Centre
2008 Mark Garneau federal Liberal by-election campaign, Westmount-Ville Marie
2008 Frank Valeriote federal Liberal by-election campaign, Guelph
2008 Rob Oliphant federal Liberal by-election campaign, Guelph
2008 Penny Collenette federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa Centre
2008 David McGuinty federal Liberal re-election campaign, Ottawa South
2008 David Pratt federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean
2008 Mauril Belanger federal Liberal re-election campaign, Ottawa-Vanier
2008 Marc Godbout federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa-Orleans
2008 Dan Boudria federal Liberal election campaign, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
2009 Julie Bourgeois federal Liberal nomination, Glengarry-Presscott-Russell
2009 Scott Bradley federal Liberal nomination, Ottawa Centre
2009 Greg Fergus federal Liberal nomination, Pontiac
2009 Eric Hoskins provincial Liberal by-election campaign, St. Paul’s
2010 Glen Murray provincial Liberal by-election campaign, Toronto Centre
2010 Bob Chiarelli provincial Liberal by-election campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean
2010 Jim Watson municipal election campaign, mayor of Ottawa
2010 George Smitherman municipal election campaign, mayor of Toronto
2010 Chris Tindal municipal election campaign, Ward 27 Toronto
2010 Anita Vandenbeld, federal Liberal nomination campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean

Friday, October 15, 2010

Possible candidates for Liberals surface

With Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy not running in the next election, this article discusses a few potential candidates to replace him as Liberal candidate,
including provincial Liberal cabinet ministers Richard Brown and Doug Currie, UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan and Charlottetown businessman Sean Casey, the husband of MLA Kathleen Casey, who also serves speaker of the P.E.I. legislature.

And according to one of those wonderful nameless Liberal sources, Rocco Rossi is a possible if unlikely candidate for the Liberals for the Vaughn by-election to go head to head with new Tory candidate Julian Fantino.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prince George area nomination news

The Tory nomination in this soon to be vacant riding has a new contender, Tumbler Ridge Councillor Jerrilyn Schembri.

While several other candidates in the race have backgrounds in municipal politics, Schembri does bring a couple interesting dynamics to the race. First, in addition to being the only female candidate in the race, Schembri could potentially be the first centre-right female candidate to right in the riding ever. A look back at the candidates for the Conservative Party/Canadian Alliance/Reform Party/PC Party/Social Credit Party candidates for the riding (and counting the old riding of Cariboo) a grand total of zero of those candidates have been female, as far as I can tell. Secondly, compared to the old school Tory roots of the other competitors, she has only been a party member for a few months. Given that the riding is one of the safest for conservative parties in the country, (since 1945, it has had non conservative (Socred, PC, Reform, Alliance, Conservative) MP's only between 45-49 and 68-72) it might be safe to assume a fairly large and active party base, so unless she can sell a ton of new memberships she might have trouble cracking into the old boys club.

Keeping in the same area, this is a couple weeks old, but still has something:

The Christian Heritage Party will have candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, with 2006 Cariboo-Prince George CHP candidate Chris Kempling setting a target of 1,000 votes, but the article also says that former riding association presidnt Murray Todd has put his name forward for the Liberals.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BC nomination candidates for Liberals and Conservatives

Lot of news coming out of BC lately, it seems. Here we go.

Former District of North Vancouver councillor Roger Bassam who was rumoured to be interested in the Liberal nomination for the federal riding of the same name, has officially entered the race. The article also mentions former Green Party candidate Jim Stephenson as "an official federal Liberal nomination candidate", although I had heard that he had previously dropped out, unless he has decided to re-enter the race. Bassam was a former assisstant to previous Liberal MP Don Bell, and the article frames a potential race between Bassam and Stepehnson as perhaps being a battle between Liberal voters who want to continue in Bell's footsteps and elect a candidate with close ties to him, and more left-wing Liberals who want a candidate that can perhaps steal votes from the NDP and Green Party.

The already crowded race for the federal Conservative nomination in Jay Hill's seat has another contender, Cameron Stoltz, a city councillor from Prince George. An interesting side note of the race is that the 3 other candidates all have education backgrounds; longtime Tory organizer Don Irwin, a local municipal councilor and principal of a local Christian high school, Bob Zimmer, longtime Conservative activist and high school teacher, and Dan Davies, another city councilor and teacher. Zimmers's campaign if he were to win would be interesting for the federal party, as local anti-HST forces seem to have lined up behind his campaign. Zimmer is also active with the local upstart BC Conservative Party ( which has campaigned hard against the HST. With Hill stepping down from the House in a few weeks, it looks to be a fast and furious nomination campaign.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mark Bruneau new Liberal candidate in Jeanne-Le Ber

Mark Bruneau, who had previously run for the Liberal nomination in the riding in 2008, won a contested nomination for the nod this Sunday. Bruneau is a businessman and entrepreneur and will look to win back the riding for the Grits, which has seen some very close contests between the Bloc and Liberals over recent elections, being decided by 2.7% in 2008, making it one of the top targets for the Liberals in Quebec.

Monday, October 4, 2010

BC and Ontario nomination news

The Conservatives are continuing a push for former OPP commish Julian Fantino to run for the Tories in Vaughn.

Harper himself has apparently been in touch with Fantino to try and land him as a star candidate, with Fantino "leaning" towards taking a run. Only Kevin Bordian of the NDP (who are pretty much a non-factor in the seat) has been nominated, although
Tony Genco, who ran for the Liberals provincially in 1999 and has recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Downsview Park is looking at a run for the Liberals, and I've heard some rumours around a possible Liberal run by Steven Del Duca, a Director of the Vaughan Health Care Foundation and former EA to Greg Sorbara who is currently running for city council.

In BC, former Liberal MLA and cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom, who left the Liberal caucus saying his constituents were opposed to the HST (although noticably made no comment over his own personal position towards it) now says he will run again in his riding of Peace River South. Lekstrom had been rumoured to be interested in the federal Conservative nomination in Prince George-Peace River with current Tory MP Jay Hill stepping down next election.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ontario Women's Liberal Commission, featuring me

Second part of the newsletter features an interview with yours truly about women in politics and my new role as an executive on the Carleton Equal Voice Chapter.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Great new OYL recruitment lit

It's the start of the school year, and the Ontario Young Liberals have some great new lit for clubs around the province. I'm a big fan of this one in particular. For more info check out the OYL's education information site:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simcoe-Grey nomination news

Of course, the big nomination news from Simcoe-Grey today is that Kellie Leitch, who had long been rumoured to be interested in the Tory nomination will officially enter the race, with a campaign kick off event featuring such luminaries as former Ontario Premier Bill Davis (interesting that the Tories would roll out a high profile Red Tory) and Jim Flaherty. Collingwood mayor Chris Carrier has previously declared for the nomination, and it will be interesting to see if he gets any pressure to drop out in favour of a bigger name candidate. Considering that normally the mayor of Collingwood would be a decently "name" candidate in the riding (Collingwood is the 3rd largest town in the riding), it will be interesting to see how those dynamics work out.

Aside from the Tories, however, the local Greens also will be needing a candidate, as Stuart Starbuck, who had been nominated to run in the next election, has stepped aside to take a run at municipal office. With Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner running provincially in Simcoe-Grey, the party might try and find a strong candidate to help build up the Green brand.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nomination news from BC and Quebec

Haven't had a blog post on nominations in a bit, but here we go.

District of North Vancouver councillor Roger Bassam says he has been approached by the federal Liberals as a potential candidate in North Vancouver, and is considering taking a run.

"Bassam who worked as an assistant for former Liberal MP Don Bell is not discounting the possibility.

"As for your question, yes I have been approached by many local Liberals offering support if I run. I am exploring that option with the federal reps as we speak and should come to a decision soon. I will let you know how that conversation goes," Bassam said."

At last count, 2008 Green Party candidate Jim Stephenson, and former Liberal MP Don Bell were both considering going after the nomination.

Sticking with the Liberals but switching provinces, Jeanne-Le Ber will have a contested nomination meeting on October 3. The candidates are Mark Bruneau, a businessman who narrowly lost the 2008 nomination, Jean-Pierre Belanger, Kimberley Darlington, an events producer, and Pascal Zamprelli, media relations officer for McGill University. The riding has been a close Liberal-BQ fight for several elections, and if the Liberals want to pick up seats in Quebec, this should be a top target.

Also, in Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Jacques Cadieux who has previously ran for the ADQ was also nominated back in August.

Sticking with Quebec, but switching parties, this article: discusses some potential candidates for the Conservatives around Montreal.

2008 candidate in Laval – Les Îles, Agop Everekian, a chief of staff to Jason Kenney seems to be taking a run in Pierrefonds-Dollard this time around, and Mary Deros, a Montreal city councillor who lost the federal Liberal nomination for Papineau to Justin Trudeau is rumoured to be considering a run for the Tories this time, and in a move to get a potential star candidate, Montreal Alouettes president Larry Smith is apparently being lobbied to take a run for the Conservatives in his home riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

OLP on Twitter

The Ontario Liberal Party is now on Twitter! Make sure to follow for all your #OntLib updates and news.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hudak talking points on waste diversion taken out to the trash

Tim Hudak has for weeks now been out flip-floping on waste diversion, attacking the government for using the same Waste Diversion programs the Hudak-Harris government brought in. In 2007 campaigning on behalf of John Tory, Hudak claimed that “creation of Waste Diversion Ontario” was part of the “PC party’s legacy of environmental protection." And just last year, speaking to municipal leaders at the August 2009 AMO conference, Hudak called waste diversion one of “the most important public policy issues facing Ontario.

Hudak's claims of waste diversion being a tax and that he would scrap it if elected were put in the trash by Gord Miller's report on the program today:

"The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario supports the MHSW Program as a major step forward toward the better management of hazardous and special waste materials that we don’t want impacting the environment. Fundamentally it is a good plan that should not be scrapped..."

"...a necessary step forward for waste diversion in Ontario."

"The “eco fee” is not a tax."

Even fellow conservatives are taking Hudak's talking points to the trash. Peter Hume, Ottawa City Councillor, President of Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and a PC supporter, giving over $2000 to the party over the last decade had this to say on waste diversion:

"It makes perfect sense to divert as much hazardous waste from landfills as we can...Not 1 cent of these disposal fees goes to government coffers...It makes more sense to manage these costs openly where they start than it does to bury them in property taxes. And it makes more sense to create green incentives than it does to bury hazardous materials in our trash for now, and deal with more costly consequences later.

Shining a bright light on disposal costs and shifting them away from property taxpayers is a practical way to promote greater producer responsibility and greener consumer choices."

And here is what some others are saying about Hudak's flip-flop:

“Mr. Hudak in particular, needs to pay attention to the Environmental Commissioner. He needs to stop misrepresenting what eco fees are and who is responsible for them. If he doesn’t, he will undermine the system of producer responsibility and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Franz Hartmann, Toronto Environmental Alliance

"There is no profit, and the money goes nowhere near government coffers. But for crass political gain Hudak insists on misrepresenting it as a "tax grab."… There are now two options facing the province: we can scrap the eco fees, or we can fix the program. Hudak wants the former; Ontarians would be better served by the latter."
Toronto Star, July 15th 2010

For a party whose environmental legacy includes dirty coal and Walkerton, Hudak's politics deserve to be taken to the curb.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More on Kingston & The Islands

Good article that takes a pretty in depth look at the declared candidates for Liberal nomination in Kingston.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kingston and the Islands

The Hill Times profiles Kingston and the Islands post-Miliken, and takes a look at potential nomination candidates for the Liberals:

-Kingston Mayor Harvey Rosen, who isn't running for re-election

-Dean of Queen's law school Bill Flanagan

-Bittu George, a former city councillor

- Ted Hsu, the executive director of Switch, an environmental NGO, and the only candidate who has officially declared an intention to seek the nomination:

Friday, July 2, 2010

From the left and the right, praise for the HST

These comments coming on the eve of the HST:

  • “The HST is going to make us [Ontario] even better for manufacturing, more attractive for manufactures to invest here” (Buzz Hargrove, former National President of the Canadian Auto Workers – AM 640 Toronto)

  • “And what this will do is will bring all of that together and we’ll eventually save money for the consumer.” (Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce – CBC Radio Windsor)

  • “We do believe ultimately that this will be better for the economy…” (Catherine Swift, Canadian Federation of Independent Business – AM 640 Toronto)

  • “The single best thing you could do to build back up the Ontario economy which was faltering then was to harmonize these taxes and reform them so that they were better for business who might want to invest and creating new jobs, buying new equipment and so on.” (John Tory – NewsTalk 1010)

  • “The economic theory is that (the HST) will provide important benefits to larger and especially manufacturing businesses and that's probably a good thing.” (Kevin Gaudet, Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation – Canadian Press)

  • “In a nutshell, the HST is about ensuring that Ontario has a competitive business environment. But it will reduce costs for business, it should help business to succeed, grow, attract investment, expand, translating into jobs.” (Anne Golden, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada – CBC Ontario Morning)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HST webinar tonight

Just a reminder for all you out there to follow along at the Strong Medicine site for the HST webinar starting in just a few minutes. Hope to see you all tweeting along!

Friday, June 25, 2010

PC's want to increase long as you agree with them

Shameful behaviour by one of Tim Hudak's MPP's here, personally intimidating a constituent for daring to publicly voice an opinion that Murdoch disagreed with. Here's what Murdoch said to Ed King after he wrote a letter to the editor criticizing the decision of Mike Harris receiving an honourary degree from Nippissing University:

“I read your article that you put into the Toronto Star. My advice to you now would be not to run for council in Hanover. I’ve had at least 10 calls this morning criticizing you. I want to tell you, if Mike Harris ran today, he would win! And now you’ve dumped on him, you have just killed your prospects of winning in Hanover. Remember, Hanover is a Conservative town and always will be and now that you’ve shown your colours, you’ve sort of ruined your chances to run for council. So my advice is, don’t spend the money on it now. Sorry. I thought you might have done something. But you spoke out of turn when you went against Mike Harris in the Toronto Star.”

With Hudak saying he wants to look at democratic reform in this province, a good place to start would be to examine how he as leader can condone one of his frontbench critics personally intimidating and threatening a constituent for the high crime of criticism of a former public figure. This is what we can expect from Tim Hudak, a return to the bad old days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Strong medicine for Ontario, strong medicine for the UK

Good article by Andrew Steele here. The government of the UK is being proactive in realize the challenges the new economy faces, and how government can best respond to fiscal crisis and global economic restructuring, a tax reforms are a very big part of that. The Ontario Liberals have a tax reform plan, Tim Hudak has, to quote Andrew Coyne, demagoguery and hopes that the people are too stupid to understand the reforms. We need to ensure that Ontario's economy can move forward so we can maintain the high standard of public services Ontario families deserve.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moving Ontario's economy forward

The Ontario Liberals have a plan, the Hudak PC's have Tea Party rhetoric.

On July 1st, it will be easier for every business in Ontario to do what they do best; innovate, create jobs, and help move Ontario's economy forward. The word progressive gets tossed around a lot, basically at this point being just another word for "centre-left" without any actual meaning. But if you look at the real meaning of the word, which is to look forward, to change things, to challenge the status quo, the HST is the most progressive policy a government could do right now, and I am proud the McGuinty Liberals are moving forward with it.

Coming out of a recession, Ontarians know that the economy will not be the same as it was before. We cannot, to quote Andrea Horwath, "refuse to adapt." With a new economy, we need a new tax structure. The Ontario Liberals are moving forward with a tax reform plan that in addition to income tax cuts for 93% of the province, transitional cheques to ensure everyday Ontario families can benefit from the economic recovery, and the HST, will help ensure that we have the strong economy we want, generating the jobs and revenue we need, to provide for the world class public services the people of Ontario deserve.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hudak's HST flip-flop as popular with voters as faith based funding

The last poll numbers to come out from Ipsos-Reid:

Ontario PC's: 32%

Results of the 2007 Ontario provincial election:

Ontario PC's: 31.6%

So far Hudak's record is going 0-3 in unheld seats (and actually losing votes in the Toronto Centre by-election) and all his HST flip-flop and cheap politics has bought him is 0.4% in the polls.

BCer in Toronto has more here:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Liberals nominate in Nickel Belt

The federal Liberals filled out their northern Ontario slate last night, with communications entrepreneur Joe Cormier, who owns a company which operates 2 local radio stations. The riding is currently held by Claude Gravelle of the NDP who took the riding in the last election after the retirement of Liberal MP Raymond Bonin.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Liberals vs. PC's on the environment

I'm blogging here from the Collingwood Conference, and so far I've sat in on a number of interesting sessions, in particular one about clean water technology and how Ontario must be a global leader in green tech and creating green jobs. All this innovative talk of creating a 21st century green knowledge economy got me thinking about comparing the stands of the Liberals and the PC's on environmental issues. Let's take a look:


-Passed the Green Energy Act, a globally recognized move that will help creating 50,000 new green jobs in Ontario.

-Will bring in the Water Opportunities Act, which will build on the great private investment companies have made in clean water technologies in Ontario. The Conference Board of Canada estimates the global market for water technology at more than $400 billion US dollars per year and doubling every five to six years, and Ontario companies are already employing 22,000 people in good, high-paying Ontario jobs selling water technology around the world. We need to keep building on this.

-As part of Ontario's Clean Technology Mission to India late last year, McGuinty ensured Ontario green tech firms got deals worth over $250 million, expanding Ontario's green tech sector into one the world's fastest growing and most important markets.


-Don't believe provincial government's have a role in fighting climate change at all. PC environment critic Toby Barrett has said that efforts to adapt our economy and create jobs belong"in an international forum", absolving provincial governments of responsibility and opportunities.

-Barrett and the PC's have fought tooth and nail against the eventual closure of coal fired plants in favour of cleaner energy sources. The healthcare costs due to dirty air generated by these plants in estimated to be $4 billion annually.

-Barrett said that Ontario taking action to create green jobs and fight climate change were "provincial tinkering".

-PC frontbencher and endorser of Tim Hudak's leadership Randy Hillier told environmental activists to "stop breathing" in response to criticism.

-Hillier has openly denied climate change:

"Randy Hillier...isn't shy about casting doubt on the prevailing scientific theory about global warming...Mr. Hillier made the comments while arguing in favour of keeping Ontario's coal-burning power plants open...As to the greenhouse gases, don't worry about them, Mr. Hillier said"

-The Ontario Landowners association's (of which Hillier used to be the president, and which has declared plans to attempt to win PC nominations in ridings across Ontario for the next election) Glengarry branch sponsored a screening of the trash climate change denial "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle in August 2008.

-The Unanimous Declaration of independent Landowners Associations on the 25th day of February, 2006 makes explicit reference to "false environmentalism".

Who do you trust to create 21st century jobs?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Winnipeg North could be a contest for the Liberals

With MLA Kevin Lamoureux already in the race for the federal Liberal nomination, he could soon be joined by Winnipeg city councillor Mike Pagtakhan who says "People have been asking me to consider it. I’m giving it some further thought. At this point, it’s possible...I’m sort of in self-evaluation mode right now." Mike is the nephew of Rey Pagtakhan, who was the Liberal MP for the area from 1988-2004, when seat redistribution put him up against Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who he had originally defeated in 1993 but was elected in a next door riding in 1997. The new riding was more NDP heavy which lead to his defeat.

The article also confirms that Kevin Chief will go after the NDP nomination.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tories drop Guergis in Simcoe-Grey

Guergis has officially lost the Tory nomination in Simcoe-Grey. She, along with every other Tory MP, was automatically re-nominated last year. So far, 4 potential candidates have come up:

-Kellie Leitch, a Toronto surgeon and director of the Health Sector MBA program at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business with strong ties to the Ontario Tory establishment. Her potential appointment as a candidate has caused friction between Tory HQ and the EDA. The party says they won't appoint her, and Leitch has said she "has no intention of being a candidate", however, both these statements came before Guergis lost the nomination.

-New Tecumseth mayor Mike MacEachern is said he was "not ruling out the idea" of going after the nomination should it become available. He has served two terms of mayor.

-Also from New Tecumseth, Ward 5 councillor Jess Prothero, who has given it "serious consideration".

-Blue Mountains mayor Ellen Anderson is mentioned here ( as a potential entry into the race. Her running to replace Guergis would be ironic considering the green energy dealing Rahim Jaffer had with help from Guergis, and Anderson seconded a motion against wind farm development and the provincial Green Energy Act for Grey County. ( It's worth noting that the motion endorsed the junk science position taken by the Ontario PC Party against the "health risks" of wind power (which no independent study has ever found)

-Chris Carrier, mayor of Collingwood, has a "rumoured interest" in the nomination.

-Tory MPP Jim Wilson has apparently come up as a potential candidate, and says ""I'm obviously flattered by the suggestion,but I have not commented on the issue to date." It is worth noting that Wilson has already been nominated by the Ontario PC's for the 2011 election.

Given that members of the EDA have publically backed Guergis, it will be interesting to see if see considers an independent run.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More nomination drama in Simcoe-Grey

With 3 potential nomination candidates already established ( the local riding association is resisting efforts by Tory HQ to appoint a star (and parachute) candidate, Kellie Leitch, a surgeon and director of the Health Sector MBA program at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business. The riding association has uncharacteristically harsh words for HQ:

"...Head office personnel have deliberately interfered with, obstructed and circumvented our autonomy as an association, and our right to freely express our opinions...The concerns we express go to the heart of grassroots democracy, fairness, respect for the relevance and autonomy of EDA's that operate within the Conservative Party's constitution and their EDA constitution."

The article goes on to paint a scene of a riding association divided between Guergis diehards and party loyalists, which could potentially lead to a nasty split.

Also, in all this talk of Guergis loyalists fighting a "parachute" candidate, it is worth noting that Guergis was a parachute/sacrificial lamb candidate for the Ontario PC's in the 2003 provincial election in the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The HST: It's about innovation

Interesting article from the left coast:

At a time when we are getting into an economic recovery, introducing tax reforms like the HST, and the personal tax cuts for 93% of Ontario are the most important things we can be doing to improve our innovation. The HST, which will remove the tax burden from each stage of production to a much flatter and simpler system which will make us more competitive and help fuel innovation, by making it easier for companies to do business here and create jobs. The times, and the economy have changed, and it would be foolish to think, like the opposition does, that Ontario can go back to the way things were. The province needs to take action to make our workers more productive, our businesses more innovative, and our economy more secure.

The article gives a practical example:

A recent report from Statistics Canada shows we are moving in the wrong direction. Instead of helping us stay competitive by adding machinery and equipment, Canada had a record level drop in this kind of investment during the last recession. In the short run, this had a small benefit: companies that were not spending on improving productivity could afford to keep more workers on and minimize unemployment.

HST will make it easier to become more productive.

In the long run, not investing in the tools that will increase productivity is like not giving your child needed medical treatment because it will hurt. Less productive companies may end up with all their workers becoming unemployed as they lose their customers to more productive producers.

There are many things we can do to improve our economy and our job base. We can undertake research and apply new, innovative ideas. We can add human capital, training workers at all levels.

But the fastest and most immediate thing we can do is to apply more of the machinery, equipment and technology that already exists. By reducing the cost of investment for companies, the HST will make it easier for us to do this.

Find out more at

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tory and NDP nomination news

The Conservative nomination for New Brunswick Southwest looks like it will be a contest, with local vice-principal Rick Hunter has jumping in, joining former PMO Communications chief John Willamson in the race to replace Greg Thompson.

The NDP has a candidate in York-Simcoe, Michelle Smith, the executive director of the York region Women's Support Network.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yet more western nomination news

Former provincial NDP candidate Gwen O'Mahony was acclaimed to be the federal NDP candidate in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, currently held by Tory cabinet minister Chuck Strahl.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Conservatives starting to gear up for Simcoe-Grey nomination

In a sign that Helena Guergis might never sit as a Tory MP again, local Conservatives are already thinking about a potential nomination race, and 3 names have emerged as possibilities.

New Tecumseth mayor Mike MacEachern, New Tecumseth councillor Jess Prothero, and Collingwood mayor Chris Carrier are all possible candidates should a nomination open up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Will Tea Party Tim bow to his militant tendency on sex ed?

With new and needed reforms coming into the way sexual education is taught in this province, it is no surprise that the PC's are playing politics with the issue. The new curriculum is an accurate and progressive way to examine the role sex plays in our society, and allow children to comprehend and understand the responsibilities they have to themselves in society.

The new program is actually fairly moderate by the overall standards of the country, according to the Globe and Mail: but the Tim Hudak PC's look set to make the health of our children, and in particular, teaching children the reality of the GLBTQ community in Ontario an excuse to throw some red meat to the base. According to the Globe and Mail:

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak plans to use the new sex education curriculum as an opportunity to attract advocates for family values, party insiders say.

Indeed, these changes have been public since January, and have only become an issue since Charles McVety, a Christian right leader with very close ties to the Progressive Conservative Party raised the issue. Let's review McVety's positions on some issues and his ties to the PC Party:

-Organized an anti-evolution and anti-Darwin protest outside the ROM in 2008.

-Claimed that environmentalism and pro-environmental policies would "fund the one world government of the Anti-Christ."

-On a related note, he said that disgraced US Christian right leader Ted Haggard was punished by God for discussing the environment, saying that "God turned him over to his vile passions." So really, a two for one in extremism, since he says environmentalism is a tool of the devil and that homosexuality is "vile."

-Said that police should charge Pride Parade participants.

-Argued in favour of state censorship of films which feature any sort of sexual content, regardless of how mild, and said that films discussing GLBTQ issues "proselytize young people into homosexuality."

-Said that atheists do not have freedom of religion.

-Claimed that "Same sex education is commonly used as a proselytizing tool."

-Said Canada should "apologize to the world" for same sex marriage.

- Labelled the GLBTQ community as a "special interest groups with an agenda" including former education minister Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay.

And now let's review the ties of McVety to the PC Party:

-Both McVety and Tim Hudak spoke at a "Canadians for Bush" rally in 2003 in support of the Iraq War. The rally was organized by Tristan Emmanuel, another powerful figure on the religious right with strong ties to the PC Party (serving as Randy Hillier's campaign manager for his leadership bid) and who has called gays "sexual deviants", homosexuality as a "wrong choice", linked sex orientation to pedophilia, and agreed that Islam was a "evil and wicked religion."

-McVety endorsed and was a strong supporter of Frank Klees in the PC leadership race. Klees finished in 2nd in the race and current serves as a front-bench critic for Public Infrastructure and Transportation. Klees was also endorsed by the anti-choice Campaign Life Coalition.

-Supports faith-based education, which was the cornerstone of the last PC campaign.

-Has joined in attacking Human Rights Tribunals and Commissions with Tim Hudak.

-Allegedly used access to PC membership lists from Klees to try and raise money for his faith-based school.

-Has been an important financial donor to the PC Party.

If Tim Hudak and the PC's win the next election, the curriculum of public education in Ontario would be drafted by people who think teaching children about the existence of gays is "indoctrination", that to care for the environment means to embrace Satan (guess how many green jobs a Hudak government would create), that homosexuality is "vile", and that evolution is false. I often say that the times have changed but Tim Hudak hasn't, but on this issue, the PC Party is coming straight from the 19th century.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More nomination news from the West

A good look at the contenders for the Tory nomination in Lethbridge here:

And from BC, local businesswoman Rhonda Barter is going after the NDP nomination in Kootenay-Columbia, and 2004 and 2006 NDP candidate Brent Bush is considering going after the Liberal nomination.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nomination news from the West

Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux confirmed the rumours, and will run for the federal Liberal nomination in Winnipeg North. Roldan Sevillano Jr., who had been nominated as the federal candidate back in November, is stepping down to run for a provincial seat.
Saskatoon city councillor Darren Hill won the Liberal nomination in Saskatoon-Humboldt last night, defeating Susan Hayton, a local physician.

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks has declared his intention to go after the Tory nomination in Kootenay-Columbia, with incumbent Conservative MP Jim Abbott stepping down next election.

Staying in BC, local carpenter Kevin Ortner is expected to be acclaimed for the Green Party in Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo this Sunday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tory tax on jobs

Watch my Hudak Sales Tax video here:


With our economy still recovering, the last thing Canadian workers need is lost wages, but the Tory increases in EI premiums effectively punish hard working Canadians for having a job. According to the parliamentary budget office, the hike will mean per about $223 more being paid by the employee and $312 by the employer, punishing both those who work and those who run businesses. At a time when we need innovation in our economy, and to get more Canadians working, this Tory stealth tax on both business and workers is the last thing we need to get out of recession.

Tories once again try to use back door approach to re-open abortion

Watch my Hudak Sales Tax video here:


Robert Silver points out the flawed and flimsy premise behind the latest Tory attempt to nudge abortion into the discussion, regardless of any PMO talking points. Everything the bill proposes is already in the criminal code, so as always with this sort of anti-choice rhetoric, the issue isn't protecting women, it's to tie a woman's right to choose with criminal activity as a back door way to criminalize the act of abortion. This bill is a cynical move that has nothing to do with protecting women.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HST = Hudak Sales Tax?

The Hudak PC's have made a number of statements in favour of the HST, regardless of what they say now. Here's a video I made showing how committed the Hudak PC's have been to the HST:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

905ers and others not deserving of equal representation: Hudak

That's basically what PC leader Tim Hudak said yesterday. The new legislation being brought in to help balance the House of Commons would give, including more seats for Ontario, which is currently underrepresented. Provincial boundaries matching federal boundaries on the riding level was brought in mind you, by the Mike Harris government Tim Hudak was a proud member of and served as a member of cabinet in. With the new boundaries, it only makes sense to add more seats to better serve the fast growing and economically crucial suburban 905 area. Yet Tim Hudak dips into the Tea Party rhetoric again, basically saying "We don't need no damn gub'mint." and says that the fast growing areas of Ontario don't "need" to have equal representation.

A look at Pundits' Guide shows that, for example, 23 of the top 30 ridings in terms of population (and thus the most rewarding of redistribution) are in Ontario, as are 9 of the top 10. Ontario needs new seats on the federal level and the provincial level. Can Tim Hudak explain why the people of Brampton West, the riding with the largest population in the country (170,422, which is larger than PEI, as are 5 other Ontario ridings, all in the 905 belt) are, in the opinion of himself and the PC's, not deserving of equal representation? With many of the ridings which need reform in urban/suburban Ontario, this latest move by Hudak shows that he and the PC's have nothing to offer to these crucial areas of the province, and 21st century Ontario.

And that's just the shadow cabinet! The times have changed, but Tim Hudak hasn't.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ontario leads the way to recovery

Despite the naysayers like Tim Hudak, the McGuinty Liberals are leading the way to get our economy back on track, as Ontario's economy grew by 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009, which lead North America for growth rates. While the PC's want to slash and burn projects like the Green Energy Act which is helping to attract investment, create jobs, and move our economy forward. At a time when investors are looking for stability, the radical and out of date policies of the PC's are not what Ontario needs. The times have changed, and Tim Hudak hasn't. Ontario needs to be a leader in the green economy, in the knowledge economy, in the 21st century economy, and maintain the stability of our vital public services. At a time when our economy is on the road back to recovery, we can't afford a return to bad old days of strife in our hospitals and schools, of the elimination of programs to help our province create new and better jobs. We need leadership, not division.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"New Democrats, both federally and provincially have unwaveringly opposed the HST." Or Not.

The federal and provincial NDP, particularly the provincial NDP here in Ontario, have attempt to make gains off the HST issue. (That the ONDP has seen its vote decline or stagnate in every by-election pace Toronto Centre, in which the HST was a non-issue, perhaps says something about the ability of the party to connect with voters, but that is neither here nor there.) In particular, the NDP has emphasized that they oppose the measure, with the federal and various provincial parties issuing joint press releases, like the one I took the quote in the title from.

So under the NDP logic that the HST is variously "a tax grab", tax credits "a bribe" and other vitriolic rhetoric, I wonder how they will play this:

The Dexter government's budget includes a two-point increase in the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax, bringing the province's share to 10 per cent, and a 15-per cent HST in total.

It will be the highest harmonized sales tax in the country.

Wait, I thought the NDP was, in the words of Andrea Horwath "the only party to oppose the HST federally and provincially"? Is that why Darrell Dexter, who just last year was seen as the darling child of the NDP, leading his party to victory in Nova Scotia for the first time, has not only not abolished the HST, but has actually raised it? Given that under the NDP system, the federal and provincial parties are joined, does this mean either the entire NS NDP will be disowned by the party, or the federal NDP MP's from the province magically be in favour of the HST?

Or will the NDP, and in particular, the ONDP ignore the issue because it ruins a talking point? I'm betting on the latter.