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.