Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zero means Zero...credibility on Mike Patton and the HST


As reported several times, but now confirmed, 2007 PC OW-N candidate Mike Patton will take another crack at it in the upcoming by-election. Patton, a former spokesperson for Larry O'Brien, got 30% of the vote in 2007, a drop of 10% from 2003. The article also mentions Mark MacKenzie as the Green Party candidate, MacKenzie ran in 2007 in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, winning 4% of the vote.

With Patton almost certainly going to be the PC candidate, lets take a deeper look at him. Patton was part of the communications team which got Larry O'Brien elected as mayor of Ottawa, in part by courting suburb and rural voters with a message of "zero means zero" for tax increases, which O'Brien promptly proceeded to break. Considering this record of flip-flopping and lowest-common denominator politics, it is interesting to see that Patton seems set to use the same beating a dead horse talking points on the HST. With Patton's association with an O'Brien administration which broke its signature campaign promise with breakneck speed, I am curious how he plans on campaigning against a tax reform which the PC's and Tim Hudak supported right up until it became Liberal policy (for all of Hudak's galloping around the province telling voters how terrible the HST is, he has said he would actually get rid of it a grand total of zero times)

As a reminder, here are some things the Ontario PC's have said about how terrible the HST is:

"...we understand how that (single sales tax) can help the economy." Leadership candidate Tim Hudak, March 24, 2009 - Don Valley West, Conservative Party Annual Meeting.

"I agree that there's little sense in allowing two separate governments to apply two separate taxes and policies and collect two separate groups of sales taxes." Tim Hudak, April 23, 2009 - Economic Club of Toronto.

"... our party is supportive of harmonization." Interim PC leader Bob Runciman, March 24, 2009 - Media Scrum

"...we think it's something that should occur." Interim PC leader Bob Runciman, March 25, 2009 - Media Scrum

"We've supported the principle of harmonization." Interim PC leader Bob Runciman, March 26, 2009 - Budget Response

In addition, following a report from the Task Force on Competitiveness authored by Roger Martin, that called for harmonization of sales taxes, he asked:

"Premier, will you commit to following Dr. Martin's good advice? - Then-PC Finance Critic Tim Hudak, November 26, 2008 - Hansard

"(Ontario is) further encouraged to harmonize (its) provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax, which already exempts business inputs. This would provide a double benefit by also reducing by one-half the paperwork required for businesses to collect and remit sales taxes." - Former PC Premier and Tim Hudak supporter Mike Harris, Fraser Institute: Building Prosperity in a Canada Strong and Free, 2006

"“The Official Opposition calls on this Government to heed the call of the federal government and take immediate action" (when the federal Conservative government was pressing Ontario to adopt the HST) - Ontario Progressive Conservative Party 2009 pre-budget submission

"We always said there should be one sales tax . . . we would like to work with the federal government to make that happen” PC Premier Mike Harris, Hamilton Spectator: June 7, 1995

Considering Patton may have fudged his resume to voters in 2007 (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ontariovotes2007/story/2007/09/18/ot-patton-070918.html) but he should know better to try and fudge the truth about his own party's record on the HST.

Bob Chiarelli to be Ontario Liberal candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean by-election

With Rod Vanier dropping out, Bob Chiarelli was the only candidate to put his name forward for the OW-N nomination cut off yesterday. Chiarelli will be formally nominated at a rally at Algonquin College this Sunday. Jim Watson, the current MPP, is expected to resign formally to focus on his campaign for Ottawa mayor sometime before the sitting of the Ontario legislature, which returns on February 16th. Given McGuinty's habit of calling quick by-elections, I think we can expect a voting date of mid-late March by my count, Chiarelli will almost certainly have the highest name recognition in the race, having previously served as Ottawa West MPP and Mayor of Ottawa. He is likely to face 2007 PC candidate Mike Patton, a former spokesperson for Larry O'Brien and assisstant to Jean Charest during his PC leadership days. Patton scored 31.7% of the vote in 2007, to Watson's 50.6.

The riding has a reputation for being a swing riding federally, being won by the party which formed government having been won by the party which formed government all but 2 times since 1963 (if we include the old but geographically similar Ottawa West riding) but has leaned Liberal more provincially, with the Liberals holding it since 1987 when Chiarelli was first elected, minus Alex Cullen crossing the floor to the NDP and the PC's winning the riding on a split vote in 1999.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bob Chiarelli to seek Ottawa West-Nepean provincial nomination


The former mayor of Ottawa and MPP for Ottawa West is set to declare tomorrow his intention to run for the Liberal nomination in Ottawa West-Nepean, soon to be vacated by another former mayor looking to return to city hall, Jim Watson. Chiarelli has some competition, however, as 2003 Nepean-Carleton candidate and lawyer Rod Vanier is actively organizing for a run at the nomination.

Meanwhile, 2007 candidate Mike Patton is almost certain to be the PC candidate for the by-election. My original blog post mentioned both Chiarelli and Patton at the top of the list for potential candidates, I'll remind you all.

On women Liberal nomination candidates

These pieces http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/the-hurdle-to-leap-in-the-next-election/article1426310/ and http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/where-are-the-female-politicians/article1426910/ talk about some reasons why women are underrepresented in Canada when it comes to elected office. One of the reasons debated is the nomination process, that women have a harder time actually winning a nomination in the first place, let alone winnng a riding. With that in mind, I examined the track record of female candidate in Liberal nomination contests during this cycle. I only examined ridings in which an actual vote took place, no uncontested wins/appointments. Some notes on scoring. In a riding in which one or more female candidates lost to a male, that was deemed a loss. If a nomination was exclusively female, it is scored a tie. If a woman won the nomination over a mixed-gender field, such as in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, it was scored as a win, and of course, a woman defeating one or more men counts as a win.

From coast to coast.

Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley: Tracey Parsons loses to Jim Burrows (loss)

Mirimachi: Véronique Arsenault and Robert D. Hutchison lose to Keith Vickers

Fredericton: Pamela Campbell beats Wendy Robbins

Laval: Eva Nassif defeats Alia Haddad and Jean Roussel

Pontiac: Cindy-Duncan McMillan defeats Greg Fergus and Georges Lafontaine

Ottawa Centre: Scott Bradley defeats Janet Yale

Ottawa-Orleans: Judith Cane and Rainer Bloess lose to David Bertschi

Glengarry--Prescott--Russell: Julie Bourgeois beats Ken Hill, Gilles Roch Greffe, and Maryanne Kampouris

Leeds-Grenville: Marjory Loveys beats Margaret Heather Rothgeb

Northumberland--Quinte West: Kim Rudd beats Andrew G. McFadyen and Christine A. Herrington

Oakville: Max Khan over Connie Laurin-Bowie, Mary Chapin, Stuart Howe, Darla Campbell

Sarnia-Lambton: Timothy Fugard beats Anne Gillis

Huron-Bruce: Charlie Bagnato over Maarten Bokhout and Deb Homuth.

Sudbury: Carol Hartman beats Réjean Grenier, Gary A. Holman, and Janet Gasparini

Calgary West: Jennifer Pollack over Ernie Corbett

Saainch-Gulf Islands: Renée Hetherington over Christopher Spence

All counted, that gives female nomination candidates thus far a record of 7-7-2, but we can break it down a bit more. The regionals are 0-2-1 in Atlantic Canada, 2-0 in Quebec, 3-6-1 in Ontario, and 2-0 in Western Canada. Something I would really to do is compare rural/suburban/urban ridings, but since a number of these ridings (such as Saainch-Gulf Islands, Ottawa-Orleans, and Sarnia-Lambton blur the lines, it's difficult.

I think this is the most telling stat. Of the above ridings which could be considered "winnable" (Liberal candidate came within 15% of winning in 2008, meaning that Liberal nomination voters had a decent chance of electing a candidate who would make it to the House), Saanich-Gulf Islands, Pontiac, Sudbury, Huron-Bruce, Oakville, Glengarry – Prescott – Russell, Ottawa Centre, Ottawa-Orleans, Laval, Fredericton, Miramichi, the record of female candidates is 5-5-1, meaning in the ridings that could potentially send new Liberal MP's to the House, Liberal nomination voters do not have seemed to have had a problem giving female candidates a fighting chance, with a solid .500 record (this number is particularly good considering the goal for next election should be a House with at least 30% female candidates.

As of right now, according to Pundits' Guide, the Liberals and NDP are tied for the lead in terms of female candidates, with 35.2% of both parties nominated candidates being female. However, the NDP lags far behind when it comes to actually getting women in electable seats. As shown above, the Liberals have had 5 female candidates outright win nominations in winnable seats, and thats not even including the various appointed/acclaimed candidates in other winnable ridings for the Liberals. In the NDP's most winnable ridings in which they have nominated a candidate (11 by my count), only 3 of them will feature a female candidate.

The numbers don't lie: The Liberals are playing a much bigger role than the NDP in advancing the cause of increasing the number of women in Parliament.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ProudToronto.ca: NDP candidate Cathy Crowe takes a page out of Pamela Taylor's book

I blogged earlier about Pamela Taylor's classless remarks at her nomination meeting that implied that Glen Murray was unfit to be Toronto Centre MPP because he hadn't lived in the area for long, and that he wasn't a " proud Torontonian."

To counter this snide remark, Glen Murray set up a section of his website, http://www.proudtoronto.ca/ , to demonstrate that to be a proud Torontonian, and a proud citizen of Ontario means it doesn't matter if you are new to Toronto, a city where 49% of the population was born outside Canada, and a majority was born outside the city.

Little did I expect NDP candidate Cathy Crowe to echo Pamela Taylor's comments. In a news article attacking Murray on her website, Crowe suggests that "I guess Glen Murray hasn’t lived in Toronto long enough"

Cathy Crowe has a long and respectable record as an activist and advocate, but this quote demonstrates that the NDP is just a happy to play dirty politics and sing from the same fear-mongering songbook as the Tim Hudak PC's. Ms. Crowe may want to run on the "real issues", but the NDP has no interest in anything but cheap shots.

ProudToronto.ca: Glen Murray's classy response to Pamela Taylor's classless comments

Toronto Centre PC candidate Pamela Taylor said at her nomination meeting that "Unlike some other candidates, I'm a proud Torontonian. I'm asking you to vote local."

49% of the population of Toronto wasn't born in Canada, and a majority of the population was born outside the city. Taylor's remarks showed just how out of touch and insensitive the Tim Hudak PC's are to both new Canadians, and the vibrant urban centres many of them call home.

In response to Taylor's comments, the Glen Murray campaign has set up http://www.proudtoronto.ca/, an innovate website that allows grassroots citizens of Toronto to tell the story of the Toronto they know, be they life-long residents or new Canadians. Glen Murray and the Ontario Liberal Party understand that to be an Ontarian, it doesn't matter where you are from, it matters what you can do for the province of Ontario, and help your fellow citizens. Pamela Taylor's comments are a clear sign that the Ontario PC's under Tim Hudak are once again the "nasty party", seeking room for growth not by appealing for a vision of a better Ontario, but by appealing to fear, by appealing to opportunism, by appealing to cynicism.

If you are from Toronto, send a message to http://www.blogger.com/www.proudtoronto.ca and show the world that Ontario Liberals are the party of hope in a better future for all citizens, not the party that seeks political gain by dividing our province with cheap politics.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ottawa West-Nepean rumour mill update


Mike Patton is "expected" to seek the Tory nomination for OW-N, while Bob Chiarelli is openly considering running for the provincial Liberal nomination, as per the predictions of this blog. Haven't heard any rumours from the NDP or Greens, but it wouldn't shock me if Marlene Rivier, who has ran for the NDP in the last 3 federal elections, as well as the 2003 provincial elections gives it a go.

Pamela Taylor sending mixed messages

Pamela Taylor, the Toronto Centre PC by-election candidate, said today that voters in the riding should "send a message."

But what messages are Pamela Taylor and the Hudak PC's sending to voters in Toronto Centre?

Taylor says she cares about job losses in Ontario, but she is running for the Hudak PC's, who have flipped flopped on the HST, which according to noted economist Jack Mintz, would create 591,000 new jobs. Columnist Andrew Coyne has described the PC's strategy on the HST as being one of "calculating that the voters are too stupid to understand the arguments" and "a numb devotion to the status quo, no matter how grotesque; and an appeal to the ignorant fear that any change must, by definition, make things worse", and that PC legislative protests against the issue were "beneath contempt".

Furthermore, Pamela Taylor, who in 2007 ran on a platform of "compassion and inclusiveness", described herself as a "proud Torontonian", by simple virtue of her length of time living in the city, a slap in the face to the 49% of the city who was not born in Canada, and the majority of citizens who were not born in Toronto. If Glen Murray, who has not only lived in the city for several years, but played an active role in Toronto civic society (serving as a Fellow at University of Toronto's Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Design, a lecturer at Massey College, as well as sitting on the boards of Artscape, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and the Toronto City Summit Alliance Greening the GTA task force and the Toronto District School Board) is not a "proud Torontonian", what is the PC message to recent immigrants and new Canadians in Toronto?

How is attacking proud Canadians who have been attracted by the multicultural and dynamic make-up of Toronto as not being proud of the city showing "compassion and inclusiveness"?

Pamela Taylor is sending mixed messages to the voters of Toronto Centre. She presented herself as a socially tolerant, truly progressive conservative in 2007, now she has flip-flopped to the hard-right to support the anti-jobs, anti-human rights agenda of the Tim Hudak PC's, whose vision of urban politics is firmly and proudly looking backwards.

Glen Murray offers the voters of Toronto Centre a wealth of experience in front-line politics, deep ties with civil society/NGO's, a progressive social values. Pamela Taylor offers flip-flops, broken agendas, and mixed messages.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jim Watson running for mayor: report (and bonus by-election speculation!)


Former Ottawa mayor and current provincial cabinet minister and MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean Jim Watson will reportedly declare his intentions to resign from cabinet and run for mayor. The Ottawa Citizen today said that Watson would be a front-runner, and I agree. Watson has high name recognition from his days as mayor (when he won 83% of the pre-amalgamated city vote) and currently serving as a MPP and cabinet minister. Watson won over 50% of the vote in his Ottawa West-Nepean riding in 2007, and increase from his 2003 election. With a strong record of socially progressive but fiscal responsible policies, Watson will have strong appeal both in the city core that gave him 83% of the vote pre-amalgamation, and in the more suburban and rural area. Watson has my thumbs up for mayor and I look forward to working on his campaign.

With Watson gone from provincial politics, lets open the door to one of this blogs favourite subjects: nomination speculation! With this by-election probably being a two-way race between the Liberals and PC's, I'll focus on them. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive.


Bob Chiarelli: A former mayor himself and a previous member for the Ottawa West area, Chiarelli will probably be in the conversation. Since his defeat as mayor, he has remained active in local Liberal circles, campaigning for Liberal candidates in the 2007 provincial election, showing interest in the federal Ottawa West-Nepean nomination, and getting involved in local nomination campaigns on the federal level for the next election. In his two runs for mayor, Chiarelli carried the Ottawa West-Nepean area in 03, but not in 06.

Rick Chiarelli: Staying in the family, Bob's cousin Rick, a current city councillor, is another possibility. Rick ran unsuccessful for the Liberals in 1999, after former MPP and current mayoral candidate Alex Cullen crossed the floor to the NDP. Chiarelli is popular in his local Nepean area ward, winning almost 60% on his inital run in 2000, getting acclaimed in 2003, and winning 72% in 2006. Bob has higher name recognition, but Rick might have less baggage.

Cyrus Reporter: Longtime Liberal activist and insider, as well as would be Dominic LeBlanc leadership bid head, Reporter was the subject of "Draft Cyrus" rumours last Ottawa Centre federal nomination that ultimately came to nothing. Reporter still has plenty of connections and hasn't hid intentions to run for something someday, could this be his chance?

Janet Yale: Defeated Ottawa Centre federal nomination contestant, Yale originally considered running in Ottawa West-Nepean and challenging David Pratt, but settled on Ottawa Centre, losing to Scott Bradley. Yale ran a solid campaign for the nomination and I've seen her at a more than a couple Liberal events since her loss, and her technocratic background could be a good fit for the suburban riding, particularly if she can appeal to female voters.

Lee Farnworth: Another potential female candidate, Farnworth ran for the federal Liberals in 2006 but was defeated by John Baird. Farnworth served as a Nepean city councillor from 1994-2000, and has been active in the NGO sector. In addition to this, she has taught at the in-riding Algonquin College for nearly 2 decades.

Nour El Kadri: Sticking with the professor theme, Kadri is a eBusiness and Computer Science prof at the University of Ottawa. Kadri had organized a run for the federal Liberal nomination in Ottawa West-Nepean last time around before the appointment of David Pratt. Kadri apparently sold several hundred memberships, and if he still has his contact network, could potentially be a formidable candidate.

Progressive Conservatives

Unlike St. Paul's and Toronto Centre, the PC's stand a fighting chance in this riding, so candidate selection will be crucial.

Mike Patton: 2007 PC candidate, Patton ran into a spot of trouble over his resume during the campaign, when he was accused by Watson and former Nepean mayor Mary Pitt of embellishing his resume during his run, which may have contributed to the PC's losing votes in the riding. Prior to his run, he served as a spokesperson for Larry O'Brien as well as working for then federal PC leader Jean Charest and a parachute campaign running for the PC's in Labrador in 1997. Probably still has local connections, but the rumours of his resume fudging could be baggage, and after running socially liberal candidates in St. Paul's and Toronto Centre, will the PC base be happy with another Red Tory candidate?

Sean Casey: 2004 federal Conservative candidate. Casey nearly defeated incumbant Liberal Marlene Catterall when he ran. He is currently a partner at True North Public Affairs, a public policy firm, (which on a purely personal note, also employs former BPAPM student Mark Ruban as a consultant, go Kroeger Kids) and was a Tory insider and staffer prior to his run. The Ottawa Citizen endorsed him in his 2004 run and he was generally expected to win before the Tories suffered a late campaign drop in numbers. He was generally seen as being more of a Blue Tory, and might fit the Hudak mold, although a relatively low profile post-2004 might hurt.

Walter Robinson: Potentially the biggest "star" the Tories could nab, assuming he doesn't run for mayor himself, as some have speculated. Robinson ran as a star candidate for the federal Tories in 2004, unexpectedly losing to Marc Godbout in Ottawa-Orleans. A former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Robinson also has big links to the O'Brien administration, serving as Chief of Staff to the mayor until stepping down in mid-2007, and is currently serving as a lobbyist.

Terry Kilrea: Before anyone says anything, yes, it is difficult to form a list of high-profile Tories who don't have connections to O'Brien in the Ottawa area. Former federal Tory nomination candidate, 2003 candidate for mayor, and 2006 city council candidate, Kilrea has obvious baggage but has name recognition.

With so many potential high-profile Ottawa Tories having baggage one way or the other towards O'Brien, I think the appointment of a candidate not listed above is certainly possible, or the PC's might hope that O'Brien's popularity is still decent enough in the suburban parts of the city that an association with him isn't a draw-back. McGuinty has a habit of calling by-elections quickly, so whenever Watson resigns from Queen's Park (I've only seen reports of him saying he will step down from cabinet, none explicitly saying that he will resign completely, but odds would be that pressure would be on him to step down sooner rather than later I think) the two major parties should be fast to get the campaign machines rolling.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pam Taylor on "Change"

PC leader Tim Hudak announced that 2007 candidate Pam Taylor will indeed be running for the PC's in the Toronto Centre by-election. In her candidate statement, Pam Taylor says she wants to bring "real change" to Toronto Centre. However, the only thing that Pam Taylor and the PC's offer in terms of "change" for Toronto Centre is her flop-flopping on social positions and running for an Ontario PC Party that wants to move Toronto Centre and Ontario backwards.

Let's review:

In 2007, Pam Taylor said "This party has absolutely nothing to do with [former Conservative premier] Mike Harris," she insists. "I would not have been knocking on doors for Mike Harris."

In 2010, Pam Taylor is running for a PC Party lead by the Mike Harris endorsed Tim Hudak, who proudly sat in the Harris cabinet when our schools were being shut down and our water was being polluted.

In 2007, Pam Taylor said Part of our strategy now is to be inclusive."

In 2010, Pam Taylor is now running for the Mike Harris 2.0 Tim Hudak PC's, who want to disband the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and put the rights of vulnerable citizens at risk. Tim Hudak voted for Bill 91 in 1996, which would have greatly interfered with a woman's right to choose.

In 2007, Pam Taylor said in regards to protecting GLBTQ youth schools should educate students about queer realities.

"We need education within education," she says. "Most of the behaviour we see that we find regrettable comes from ignorance. We need to have part of curriculum be a place to talk about these issues.

In 2010, Pam Taylor is running for the Tim Hudak PC's, when Tim Hudak was part of the Harris government that attacked our public schools and brought education in this province to the brink. Tim Hudak was a loud supporter of faith-based funding for private schools.

In 2007, Pam Taylor had this to say about trans rights: "I would like to see the addition of language to the Human Rights Code to protect the trans group," she says. "As for surgery, everything I have heard suggests it should be supported. The party hasn't taken a stand but in terms of relisting the cost of each surgery may be high but the numbers are low. You can't listen to the stories and not feel compassion. There was something inherently unfair about the delisting....We will need better long-term care, better drug plans. The trans population may need separate facilities."

In 2010, Pam Taylor is running for the Tim Hudak PC's, when Tim Hudak was part of the PC government that de-listed surgery. Tim Hudak is not only against adding trans rights to the Human Rights Code, he wants to abolish the Human Rights Tribunal.

In 2007, Pam Taylor said "We don't play favourites...The hallmark is compassion and inclusiveness"

In 2010, Pam Taylor is running for Tim Hudak, who was endorsed by Randy Hillier for leader. Hillier called the openly gay former MPP for Toronto Centre, George Smitherman, the anti-gay slur "bugger" during a debate. In Randy Hillier's and Tim Hudak's Ontario, public funded health care professionals would be able to reject providing public health services to the citizens of Ontario based on their own moral prejudice, and have tax-payer funded marriage commissioners to refuse services to same sex couples, a slap in the face to established equal marriage law. Hillier's leadership bid was managed by social conservative activist Tristan Emmanuel, who is in favour of the death penalty for eleven-year olds, organized a Canadians who Bush rally, which Tim Hudak attended, described gay men as "sexual deviants", and homosexuality as "the wrong choice, a bad choice", described Islam as being "as far from peace, as hell is from heaven". Hillier's reward for his 18th century views? Being named the PC Labour critic, giving him a platform to vent his homophobic views.

When Tim Hudak and Pam Taylor talk about "change" for Toronto Centre, what do they really mean?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How will Pam Taylor answer to...Pam Taylor?

Word is out that 2007 Tory candidate Pam Taylor is looking to run again for the PC's in Toronto Centre. Assuming no other candidate comes forward, this would be the second time the Hudak PC's have thrown a socially liberal female candidate into the mix in a Toronto riding, following Sue-Ann Levy's angry but unsuccessful campaign in St. Paul's.

Taylor is firmly on the Red Tory side of the party, being a close ally of John Tory and playing an active role in Christine Elliott's leadership bid. In fact, she was so critical of Blue Tories and the Harris Tories that she told Xtra.ca during her 2007 Toronto Centre bid that;


"This party has absolutely nothing to do with [former Conservative premier] Mike Harris," she insists."

Really? Mike Harris must be pretty terrible, I doubt she would run for a PC Party that took inspiration from him...

"Ex-premier says Hudak has 'common sense' needed to lead province"

Oh wait. I think this Youtube video says it well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9tvBfcoLjU

But thats not all Taylor said, not only did she consider the John Tory PC's much better than the Harris PC's, she said;

"I would not have been knocking on doors for Mike Harris. Part of our strategy now is to be inclusive. We don't play favourites, we don't fund things for political gain. The hallmark is compassion and inclusiveness."

So she won't knock on doors for the Harris Tories, but she plans to door knock for Tim Hudak, who has openly emulated Mike Harris at every turn, including a shining endorsement from the man himself?

She says part of her strategy is compassion and inclusiveness, but Tim Hudak wants to disband the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, was a loud supporter of faith-based funding, which would have set Ontario schools and multiculturalism back a generation. Tim Hudak voted for Bill 91 back in 1996, which would have greatly interfered with a woman's right to choose. Tim Hudak backed the Harris government de-listing from provincial health coverage sex reassignment surgery (which was disguised as being a tax-saving measure, but only saved mere cents from each citizens tax load).

On the last point, in 2007, Taylor had this to say:

"I would like to see the addition of language to the Human Rights Code to protect the trans group," she says. "As for surgery, everything I have heard suggests it should be supported. The party hasn't taken a stand but in terms of relisting the cost of each surgery may be high but the numbers are low. You can't listen to the stories and not feel compassion. There was something inherently unfair about the delisting."

The 2007 Pam Taylor was against moves to attack the status of human rights in this province, and was regretful of the de-listing made by the Harris Conservatives. The 2009 Pam Taylor evidently is going to cheerlead for her leader Tim Hudak to abolish the Human Rights Tribunal and use queer rights and activism as a fear-mongering tool to throw red meat to the Hillier/Klees social conservative wing of the party.

And thats not all.

Taylor says schools should educate students about queer realities.

"We need education within education," she says. "Most of the behaviour we see that we find regrettable comes from ignorance. We need to have part of curriculum be a place to talk about these issues. Supporting Our Youth will actually provide resources in doing that kind of work."

When it comes to queer seniors Taylor says the Conservatives would pay attention to their needs.

"I think we should be guided by what they tell us we need," she says. "One of the hallmarks of a John Tory government is listening. I've come and spent a lot of time at Church and Wellesley listening to people. We will need better long-term care, better drug plans. The trans population may need separate facilities."

The 2007 Taylor stood for gay rights. The 2009 Taylor seems to think the PC's should be setting an example by having the PC labour critic be Randy Hillier, who called Toronto Centre's previous MPP, the openly gay George Smitherman, a "bugger" during a debate at Queen's Park, and as Matt Guerin pointed out, has a long history of opposing queer rights:


It is of course relevant to point out, that in addition to Mike Harris, Tim Hudak was also endorsed by Randy Hillier.

The people of Toronto Centre deserve better than the socially regressive policies of Tim Hudak and the flip-flopping of Pam Taylor.

The Economist slams Harper over suspending democracy

With the words of Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber in mind; "Parliament and democracy are not being sidestepped - they are only suspended", these not one but two articles in The Economist, (that crazy left-wing rag which endorsed Harper in both 2006 and 2008) take on a special meaning:


The danger in allowing the prime minister to end discussion any time he chooses is that it makes Parliament accountable to him rather than the other way around...Canada cannot afford a part-time Parliament that sits only at the prime minister’s pleasure.


Never mind what his spin doctors say: Mr Harper’s move looks like naked self-interest. His officials faced grilling by parliamentary committees over whether they misled the House of Commons in denying knowledge that detainees handed over to the local authorities by Canadian troops in Afghanistan were being tortured. The government would also have come under fire for its lack of policies to curb Canada’s abundant carbon emissions. Prorogation means that such committees—which carry out the essential democratic task of scrutinising government—will have to be formed anew in March...He bars most ministers from talking to the media; he has axed some independent watchdogs; he has binned campaign promises to make government more open and accountable. Now he is subjecting Parliament to prime-ministerial whim. He may be right that most Canadians care more about the luge than the legislature, but that is surely true only while their decent system of government is in good hands. They may soon conclude that it isn’t.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 early nomination news


The Tories could have an interesting nomination battle in Sault Ste. Marie, with Bryan Hayes, a long-time city councillor saying he has his eyes on the nomination. This would bring him into potential conflict with city mayor John Rowswell, who has battled publically with NDP MP Tony Martin and has made his interest in the nomination well known. Rowswell isn't running for mayor again, which would free him up to pursue the federal nomination. This article: http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/full_story.asp?StoryNumber=43896 also gives a few more names for a potential Tory nomination battle, Dr. David Walde, the Director of the Oncology Program at Sault Area Hospital, and Ted Nolan, former NHL player and coach, who was rumoured to be considering a provincial run for the PC's back in 2003.

2008 Liberal candidate Dan Olson says that despite a health scare, he intends to run for the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission nomination again, and doesn't know of any challengers he could face.

Sticking in the same riding, Mike Bocking, who has ran 3 times federally, and once provincially for the NDP in the area and come up short each time, sometimes by narrow margins, confirms that he will not run again and that the area NDP is looking for someone, with no names confirmed, which conflicts with earlier news that David Murray, a parks and services employee with the City of Port Coquitlam was seeking the nomination.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

US study finds no impacts on property values from windmills: A boost for the Green Energy Act


Those who are opposed to the Green Energy Act (read: climate change denying PC's) have been hoping to damage the bold venture by relying on NIMBYism, the idea that people might be in favour of green energy tools like windmills on paper, but "not in my backyard". It is of supreme irony that NIMBYism was once in part associated with the environmental movement, but now has been hijacked by the other side of the debate. One of the trump cards of the anti-green energy movement has been the supposed impact of things like wind farms on local property values, and this in-depth report really takes apart this flawed concept. The report is well written and can easily be read by non-experts, so I think everyone who is interested in green energy development and programs should take a read.