Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A more local look at successors to Jack Layton

Plenty of speculation so far about potential successors to Jack Layton as federal NDP leader, but I haven't seen much about potential NDP candidates to follow Jack in Toronto-Danforth, so I'll take a look at some potential NDP candidates for a by-election that will be coming in the next 180 days.

-Mike Layton
Jack's son, following in his father's footsteps by sitting on city council. Would he follow Jack's steps further and make the jump to MP? It would be interesting, but I doubt it. Layton has been in office for under a year, and has built his powerbase up in Oliva Chow's Trinity-Spadina riding, not the East York area Toronto-Danforth.

-Paula Fletcher
City council member for the southern half of Toronto-Danforth and formerly a public school board trustee, Fletcher is solidly a member of the left wing of council, although she barely snuck into re-election in Ward 30 in 2010 over Liz West. Fletcher has name recognition (although not always positive) and plenty of government experience, but the other "formerly" in her resume might be problematic - Fletcher was the leader of the Communist Party of Manitoba back in the day. Considering the communications and image issues the party is dealing with with Nycole Turmel's associations with Quebec sovereignty, the optics of an ex-Communist campaigning to be an MP for an ex-soverigntist wouldn't be the greatest for the party (assuming the by-election is held during Turmel's interm leadership, as the NDP fed council has yet to hammer out the exact time table.)

-Mary Fragedakis
The NDP alligned councilor for the north end of Toronto-Danforth, only recently elected in 2010. I think she's pretty unlikely to run, but I'll include her on this list just for the sake of it.

-Peter Tabuns
Former city councilor & executive director of Greenpeace, Tabuns is currently the MPP for Toronto-Danforth and was a close friend of Jack Layton. Tabuns was the early frontrunner for the ONDP leadership when Howard Hampton stepped down, losing to Andrea Horwath, who has since taken the party significantly away from environmental issues, leaving the former executive director of Greenpeace in a somewhat awkward spot, being forced to advocate for Horwath policies like subsidizing gas guzzling SUV's and voting against the Clean Water Act. (see http://www.blogger.com/www.dirtyNDP.ca for more details) Tabuns running would probably depend on the NDP results in the provincial election, but with a mix of civic experience and environmental background, Tabuns would be a good get for the NDP if they could convince him to run federally.

-Marilyn Churley
Former MPP for Toronto-Danforth and a twice failed federal NDP candidate in Beaches-Easy York, Churley would bring experience serving in a provincial NDP government, as well as the attractiveness of recruiting a high-profile female candidate to fill Layton seat (Layton was good at promoting women in politics, something I will always give him a lot of credit and respect for). Churley was also a notable supporter of Layton's NDP leadership bid, which might give her some added credibility. She's currently serving as a justice of the peace, so she would need to give up that respected position for a shot at running.

-Brian Topp
I'm not the first person to point out that Topp would need a riding if he wanted to be NDP leader. Topp was born and raised in Quebec and has worked in Saskatchewan, but has been based out of Toronto for a few years, so he could use that to fight off allegations of being a parachute candidate. With the timeline for both the NDP leadership and the by-election still up in the air, one interesting possibility would be Topp both running for leader and running in the by-election to have a seat. I remember back during the 2006 Liberal leadership contest a brief flurry of speculation came up about either Gerard Kennedy, Bob Rae, or Martha Hall Findlay contesting the London North Centre by-election, as they were the Ontario based candidates without a seat at the time. Nothing ended up coming from that, and aside from that I'm not sure if a seat less candidate for major party leadership has ever run in a by-election. Be an interesting test of party unity if he did decide to run for both at the same time.

If anyone else has any theories about potential candidates, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hudak's municipal downloading scheme would stick Ontario families with a $500 million bill

The OYL had a very successful "Remember the 90's" campaign launch party last night, and Tim Hudak at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario meeting this week showed that he was ready to take Ontario families back to the 90's by cancelling the Dalton McGuinty plan to upload services back to the provincial level after Harris-Hudak downloading during the 90's.

Hudak won't honour the deal Dalton McGuinty signed with Ontario municipalities, and would stick families with a $500 million dollar bill to be payed for with property tax hikes. This would hit Ontario families in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

This is what they are saying in Barrie: "Ontario's mayors and other municipal leaders are right to be concerned...Local leaders need to listen very carefully to what Hudak is saying, because it could come back to bite them at budget time in the coming years"

This is what they are saying in Toronto: "Hudak's bad deal for cities"

This is what the mayor of Sault Ste. Marie said: "The [Conservative] downloaded services have never been revenue neutral."

This is what outgoing AMO president (and Conservative supporter) Peter Hume said: The first and most obvious is uploading of $1.5 billion in annual social service and court security costs by 2018. This is fundamental. Municipalities need to know that the 2008 agreement to upload these costs will be honoured, year after year, as scheduled.

This is what Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion (who knows a thing or two about running municipal government) said: Mayor Hazel McCallion was hoping [Hudak] would promise to keep taking social service costs off the municipal property tax.
When Hudak failed to make that commitment — saying he can't make such promises in the midst of economic uncertainty — she was disappointed...A disappointed McCallion said Hudak's position was all too obvious. "He was very clear. He is going to stop it, " she said.


This is what Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said: "If Mr. Hudak wins the election and reneges on that promise it will not only set back relations to the days when we had to deal with downloading but it will also mean a serious financial challenge for all 440 municipalities in Ontario"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Liberals built this!


Had a great time this weekend taking part in the province wide Ontario Young Liberal blitz showing the great investments that the Ontario Liberal Party has made in families and communities across the province. Be it new schools, investing in our local health care systems, enhancing our libraries and communities centres, or improving transportation systems to get families and our economy moving, Liberals are on the right track in ensuring a strong Ontario.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ONDP candidate mocks child abuse allegations in Catholic Church and posts dirty jokes on Twitter - Classy guy


Is this why Andrea Horwath is going to such extreme efforts to hide her "team"? Less than 3 weeks before the start of the writ, and the ONDP website still has zero mention of any ONDP candidate or MPP not named Andrea Horwath.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ontario Liberal announcements put Ontario families first

In the past couple of days, the Ontario Liberals have come up with some solid policy announcements that show how Liberals are committed to delivering results, not reckless rhetoric for Ontario families.

At Summer Fling last weekend, I was proud to stand behind Dalton McGuinty as he showed his commitment to families and youth by adopting a policy that started out as a Young Liberal idea - extending the grace period for paying back OSAP loans should a student choose to enter into the not-for-profit sector. This will help young Ontarians and their families be more financially secure as they transition into full-time work.


Liberals are also supporting families with the new Family Caregiver Leave


This would help protect Ontario families jobs when they have chosen to help take care of a loved one at home.

Families are at the heart of the Ontario Way, be they caring for one another, helping to create jobs, or providing strong social stability, and the Ontario Liberals are offering real ways to support them in all the things that they do.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proud to be a clean, green Ontarian


Great blog posted by the great Hillary Buchan-Terrell on her experiences as an Ontario Young Liberal in Copenhagen and how Ontario Liberal plans and ideas are creating green jobs and keeping Ontario on the right track.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dirty NDP

On the same day that we learn of massive cuts to Environment Canada coming from the federal Conservatives, it's important to remember that the ONDP is going off track on the environment in the same way.

Check out http://www.dirtyndp.ca/ for more info, and keep Ontario's green job growth and environmental progress on the right track.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What does Jack Layton's former chief of staff think about ONDP environment policy?

He think it is ''anti-environmental nonsense", "a serious disappointment", and "entirely the wrong direction"

Meanwhile, what do Rick Smith & Environmental Defence (of which he serves as executive director) say about Ontario's Green Energy Act?

They think it's "a great move", a "good initiative", "global best practice standard", that has made Ontario a "leader" in job creation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Say No to Andrea Horwath's dirty schemes

The Ontario Liberals are the only party that will stand up for creating new green jobs and a cleaner environment.

Phony Tony!


Follow all the adventures of Phony Tony Genco here!