Wednesday, March 31, 2010
After all, they have shut up climate change scientists:
And now they've gutted vital environmental oversights:
Released thousands of censored documents on the Detainee Issue:
The Senator also quotes George Orwell, saying that "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear", which given Conservative actions, is also ironic.
One only has to look at the treatment the Tories have given to whistle blower Richard Colvin, or former CNSC head Linda Keen to see what this government thinks of those who speak truth to power.
Heck, the Tories will even ignore those who tell them what they don't want to hear when it is your tax dollars paying for it, such as how they have ignored the taxpayer funded crime research.
It's a little rich for the Senator to talk about telling people what they don't want to hear when:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has explicitly and publicly stated that his government does not accept peer-reviewed research on criminal matters.
In a 2008 speech, Harper flatly denounced research-based justice policies, accusing the pedlars of such policies of trying to “pacify Canadians with statistics.”
Yes, how dare such things as "evidence" and "facts" play a role when forming public policy on climate change and the environment. Despite Senator Finley's pleas, his government is doing a fine job of censorship.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Lawrence Joseph was acclaimed today for the federal NDP nomination for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Andrew Steele does a good job of pointing out the potential problem's with the roll out of Tim Hudak's first set of policy proposals here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/andrew-steele/cut-ontario-vs-open-ontario/article1511071/
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So let's take a look at what Janoscik could bring in terms of policy. He is a former staffer for, and has been endorsed by Rob Sampson, a former MPP and cabinet minister who was the point man for privatization of government services under Mike Harris, as well as minister of Correctional Services.
Perhaps Sampson's biggest "accomplishment" was the privatization of Highway 407. It's worth noting that the deal Sampson and Harris struck to privatize the road is generally held up as a textbook example (quite literally, we studied it in my 3rd year political science class) of what NOT to do in terms of public-private partnerships. Thanks so Janoscik, Sampson, and Harris, the 407 is operated privately under a 99-year lease agreement with the provincial government. The lease was sold to a largely foreign ownership group, dubbed the 407 International Inc. for approximately $$4.1 billion in 1999, far below the value of the road, which has been estimated at closer to $10 billion.
The cost given up, and the rapid gouging which happened at the road was a slap in the face to residents of the GTA West, and demonstrated a clear sign that the Common Sense Revolution had lost the sense, taking the citizens of Mississauga and other suburban areas for granted. Indeed, even former PC leader John Tory has been critical of the actions taken by the PC government of the day, and said that had he been Premier at time, he would not have leased the road.
The nomination of Janoscik would be a very clear sign that Tim Hudak fully intends on unleashing outdated and impractical slash and burn ideology on Mississauga South and across the province. The "10 for 2010" website rolled out by the PC's recently further demonstrates the backwardness of the Hudak PC vision of Ontario, amounting to little more than the tired, 15 years out of date Mike Harris trinity of slashing cuts to vital services, provoking discord with public servants, and attacking public goods which our province holds dear. In 2003, Mississauga South and Ontario turned away from these ideas, in 2007 we re-affirmed our commitment to moving forward together, and in 2011, we will show that we reward the politics of new ideas presented by the McGuinty Liberals, not the re-hashed politics of division the Geoff Janoscik and Tim Hudak want to bring.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The NDP nominated a candidate in Kelowna – Lake Country, with Tisha Kalmanovitch winning by acclamation. The riding is a Tory stronghold, with Rob Cannan collecting 55.9% of the vote last time around.
Saskatoon city councillor Darren Hill says he'll go after the Liberal nomination in Saskatoon-Humboldt. The riding has a bit of an odd history, being home to a legitimate 4 way race in 2004, with under 2,500 votes separating the winner, current Tory MP Brad Trost, and former MP Jim Pankiw, with the Liberal and NDP candidates losing by under 400 votes. Pankiw, who has a controversial history, is running for his old riding again after going over to Battlefords – Lloydminster in 2006 and finishing a respectable if distant third. Pankiw seems like he can carry a decent number of votes, if not win a riding, and if he can hold his own and either NDP or Liberal numbers spike, the race could get interesting.
Much has been out out of the tendency of Ontario voters to do a switch when it comes time to vote either federally or provincially. That is, they tend as a whole to elect the same party into government provincially as federally. I decided to take a closer look at election results from the late 60's to now, only looking at federal results from Ontario. Some interesting thoughts looking at the graph:
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Only one candidate has thus far declared for the NDP in Saanich-Gulf Islands, Edith Loring-Kuhanga, a first nations educator and conference organizer. Saanich-Gulf Islands is notably the riding in which Green Party leader Elizabeth May is nominated to run in, although she won't have the benefit of the Liberals sitting it out, as Renée Heatherington, the Liberal candidate, has strong environmental credentials of her own. Last election saw incumbant Gary Lunn hold the seat for the Tories narrowly over Liberal star candidate Briony Penn, a former Green Party supporter, and the strange case of Julian West, the NDP candidate (and also a former Green) drop out of the race after allegations of indecency (which included underaged girls and nude swimming).
Monday, March 15, 2010
Some Hamilton/Golden Horseshoe news in this article. The Liberals have a candidate in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, mental health counsellor Michelle Stockwell, who was acclaimed on Thursday. The NDP will have a contested nomination in Oakville, between activist Michelle Bilek and teaching assistant James Ede, with voting taking place on the 18th.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Colin Wilson, a federal civil servant, was nominated as Liberal candidate in Barrie last night. Mr. Wilson was acclaimed.
Lawrence Joseph, former Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is going after the NDP nomination Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. The riding has a bit of an odd federal history, being held by Liberal, Tory, and NDP in recent memory, and sometimes swings against the national tide, electing a Liberal in 2006 over a Tory incumbent.
Sticking with the NDP, social worker Bobbi Stewart will represent the party in Guelph next election. Guelph was the site of a 4 way race last election, with Liberal Frank Valeriote winning over Tory Gloria Kovach, Tom King for the NDP, and Mike Nagy for the Greens, who with 21% of the vote to Frank's 32%, was the Green candidate who came closest to winning a seat last election.
With Tory incumbent Rick Casson stepping down, local businessman Mark Switzer is stepping up to go after the nomination.
Monday, March 8, 2010
The Ontario Liberals unveiled the priorities and agenda for the coming year in the Throne Speech yesterday. It includes, as part of the Open Ontario Plan;
-A new Water Opportunities Act to take advantage of the province’s expertise in clean-water technology to create more, good jobs for Ontario families;
-A new Ontario Online Institute to give students access to the best professors in top university programs from their home computers;
-New legislation to improve accountability in our publicly-funded health care system;
-Improving services for patients by encouraging health professionals to work together; and
-Capitalizing on north-western Ontario’s chromite deposits, while working with Northerners and Aboriginal communities and continuing to protect half of the northern Boreal Forest (chromite is a key ingredient in stainless steel).
The five-year plan includes several initiatives already underway:
- A tax reform package, which will create nearly 600,000 new Ontario jobs;
-The Green Energy Act, which will create up to 50,000 jobs;
-$32-billion investment in roads, bridges, public transit and energy retrofits for schools that is creating and sustaining over 300,000 jobs;
- Full-day learning for four- and five-year olds, starting at schools across the province this September; and
- A strategy to make Toronto one of the world’s leading financial centres
And what was Tim Hudak's response?
Showing up late to the speech, missing Oh Canada, and then heckling the representative of the Queen, The Honourable David Onley while he delivered the speech. This was a shameful display for a man who wishes to be the next Premier.
What is also shameful is that Hudak continues to attack the government plan to move Ontario forward, without putting forward any ideas of his own. But don't take my word for it:
Go to the Ontario PC website and find me any indication what Tim Hudak wants to see in this year's budget? Would he sell assets if he was in charge? Would he cut any programs? Cut taxes? How about raise them? I honestly have no idea. (Robert Silver, Globe and Mail, Feb 20)
Outside of platitudes...Mr. Hudak made little effort to explain what he would do differently. (Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail, March 8)
What a PC government would do...remains a mystery. (Tony Spears, Ottawa Citizen, March 6)
And even PC's themselves are admitting they have nothing to stand on:
"It’s a byelection, it’s not about policy and platform” (Beth Graham, Ottawa West-Nepean by-election candidate, Ottawa Citizen, March 6)
The policy void even extends to the grassroots, which the PC's always like to crow is the core of the party:
Harvey Prudhomme, of Sarnia...declined to discuss potential policy, Gurmit Singh, from the Greater Toronto Area...couldn’t or wouldn’t name any concrete policies he hoped to see implented (Ottawa Citizen, March 6)
And the hypocrisy of his party campaigning against the HST, when the PC's (and Hudak himself) have both spoke in favour of it, and never committed to actually getting rid of it.
Hudak said they would continue to fight the tax, but could not repeal it (Metro Ottawa, March 8)
Making the HST the centrepiece of their campaign has its own challenges, not least because key Conservatives support it. Federal Tories led by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a former provincial cabinet minister — whom Hudak supported when he ran to replace Eves as Tory leader — and a bevy of Conservative luminaries including Harris and Bob Runciman have spoken in favour of harmonization. So did Hudak at one time. (Mohammed Adam, Ottawa Citizen, March 5)
Once the HST is implemented, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to undo. (Lisa MacLeod, MPP for Nepean-Carleton and the Revenue Critic for the PC's, National Post, November 19)
"…we understand how that (single sales tax) can help the economy.” —Tim Hudak, MPP (Niagara-West Glanbrook), March 24, 2009
“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, MPP (Niagara-West Glanbrook), April 23, 2009
"In principle, we think it's something that should occur." —Former MPP and PC leader Bob Runciman, (Leeds-Grenville), March 25, 2009
"…I am not saying that harmonization ultimately is a bad idea." —Peter Shurman, MPP (Thornhill), March 24, 2009
"I think right now (people) think of a harmonized tax as being an increased tax, you know, period, full stop. That isn't what it is." —John Tory (former Ontario Conservative leader), November 14, 2007
"Moving to a harmonized sales tax is very good for the economy and it's certainly going to help with our business competitiveness… It's in the best interests of the economy in the long term." —Janet Ecker (former PC Minister of Education), Toronto Sun, September 22, 2009
Tim Hudak and the PC's are the party of anger, nothing more. The people of Ontario deserve better, and have been making their voices heard by re-electing Liberal MPP's in every held seat since Hudak became leader.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I was very proud to be a part of the team that helped send Bob Chiarelli back to Queen's Park.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This is a bit of self promotion here, but I'm pleased to see this video, which shows that Beth Graham is just not up to the task of being MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean. The rest of the article gives some good examples of just how much in shambles the Graham's media campaign is. Here's a direct link to the YouTube video, for those interested:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I asked a friend of mine who holds a high-level position within the OPCYA if they would be going out to West-Nepean on Thursday, and they responded in the negative, saying that "That campaign doesn't look like a winner." John Baird and Mike Patton have delivered cameos on the campaign trail at best, and a look at the endorsements page on Bob Chiarelli's website reveals a significant blow:
"Bob Chiarelli's record of accomplishment is significant. Our community would be tremendously well served with Bob at Queen's Park.”
Former Mayor of Ottawa
Durrell has long standing ties to the Ottawa conservative movement, being part of the right-wing of city council while serving as a councillor, was elected mayor on a centre-right platform in 1985, and donated to the party in 1996. For him to cross party lines and endorse Chiarelli for mayor is a serious blow to Beth Graham's credibility as a serious conservative candidate. Expect lots of PC voters to stay home on e-day