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: http://wrightpercy.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/questions-the-ondp-dont-want-asked/

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: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455
Let's try and break 300 likes before nomination day!

Anita on Twitter: http://twitter.com/anitavandenbeld

And Anita's campaign website: http://www.electanita.ca/

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: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=153624181348800

And make sure to support Anita on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455

And Twitter: http://twitter.com/anitavandenbeld

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: http://youthforanita.blogspot.com/2010/11/carleton-equal-voice-chapter-launch-and.html

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: http://www.marxist.ca/content/view/613/47/
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): http://youthforanita.blogspot.com/

Becoming a fan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455

Following her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/anitavandenbeld

And of course, visiting her website: http://www.electanita.ca/

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