Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Horwath skips vote on Southwestern Ontario Economic Development Fund and runs Rob Ford supporter in Vaughan - what does her NDP stand for?

Kitchener-Waterloo NDP candidate Catherine Fife is running on a slogan of "Leadership that delievers", but a look at the actions of NDP leader Andrea Horwath and her fellow NDP candidate in Vaughan raises questions about what exactly she wants to deliver.

Yesterday, the Ontario Liberals gave new support to the Southwestern Ontario Economic Development Fund, to help create jobs for families across Southwestern Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo. And what did Andrea Horwath do? She walked out, not standing up for job creation in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Now, we already know that Hudak candidate Tracey Weiler has no qualms about flip-floping on supporting her leader, going from saying she ""supports the leader’s position on halting the rollout of full-day kindergarten in the province" to running away from Hudak:

But with Andrea Horwath running a Rob Ford supporter in Vaughan as Fife's candidate mate, will we see Catherine Fife start to back away from Horwath? Here's Horwath's NDP values on display in Vaughan:

With Tracey Weiler and Andrea Horwath's values all over the map, Eric Davis is the best choice for strong local leadership in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Students putting students first" - Ontario Student Trustees' Association calls Putting Students First Act "a fair deal", but will the NDP and Catherine Fife listen?

The NDP and Catherine Fife have already come out against the Putting Students First Act, but will they listen to the students of Ontario themselves or their big union money interests?

Here's what the Ontario Student Trustees' Association says about the Liberal government moving to make sure students are in class from day one of the school year in Kitchener-Waterloo and across Ontario

Hirad Zafari, OSTA-AECO President and Toronto DSB Student Trustee, called upon "provincial leaders and teachers' unions, specifically those who have not agreed to the OECTA framework, to ensure full-service education for all students this coming year."

Provincial leaders are calling on teachers' unions to take a two-year wage freeze as part of province-wide austerity in the face of a large deficit and growing Ontario public debt - "a fair deal, given the nine years of labour peace and the progress made in our schools" said Kevin Michael, Catholic Board Council President and Student Trustee at Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB.

Tim Hudak showed he can't be trusted to protect stability in schools when he flip-floped and "condemned" full-day kindergarten, and Tracey Weiler showed she is no Elizabeth Witmer when it comes to standing up for Kitchener-Waterloo families by weakly saying she "supported [Hudak's] position". If Catherine Fife and the NDP put big union money (Fife hasn't issued any news releases about education, but she has about getting a public sector union endorsement) before what students want, what does that say about Fife's and the NDP's real priorities on education?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why is Eric Davis running in Kitchener-Waterloo?

Here's a great piece by Kitchener-Waterloo Liberal candidate Eric Davis answering the most basic question that anyone running for public office has to answer: Why are you running?

Eric's two big reasons are simple but moving: Public service and family.

Eric has a long track-record of local leadership in Kitchener-Waterloo, and he'll be a fighter to build a better future for Kitchener-Waterloo families.

I was raised to believe that each of us has a responsibility to contribute to the vibrancy and success of our community. Everyone contributes in their own way. Until now, my way has been through volunteering with a number of local organizations, most notably as the vice chair of the local United Way, and recently as chair of the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

However, I have also long believed that public service is an important responsibility and an honour. I look to former representatives such as Herb Epp, Andrew Telegdi and Elizabeth Witmer, and I see how our community has benefited from leaders who have been strong local representatives of Kitchener-Waterloo first and foremost.

Witmer served our community for 22 years as MPP. Despite our many philosophical differences, I have a great respect for her dedication to Kitchener-Waterloo. She served with honour and distinction, and I hope to follow her path of strong local representation through hard work and a commitment to our community.

Eric's other big reason for running hits close to home for me: To protect the public services that helped his family, and to build a better future for all families like his in Kitchener-Waterloo.

In particular, Eric drawing inspiration from his wife surviving breast cancer thanks in large part to investments in health care and breast cancer detection made by the McGuinty Liberal government (just as my mother is a breast cancer survivor) shows he has a personal stake in protecting the gains Ontario has made in health care.

At the age of 24, my wife Cynthia was diagnosed with breast cancer. For 18 months she underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments, surgeries and countless doctor visits.
Today, we are thankful to say that she is a cancer survivor due, in large part, to Ontario’s health care system.

Though we will have to find efficiencies in our health care system to ensure its long-term sustainability, we must always ensure that it remains free, public and universal so that everyone experiencing a health challenge like my wife can avoid the worry of affordability and concentrate on recovery.

Our daughter Isabella is now two years old. As I have watched her grow, learning to speak and developing a love of books, I’ve gained an appreciation for the importance of early learning.
That’s why I fully support the Liberal government’s investments in education, including the introduction of full-day kindergarten and the strong commitment to smaller class sizes.

While the Hudak Conservatives and Tracey Weiler flip-flop on important issues like full-day kindergarten, and the NDP presents no real plan to balance the budget and ensure stability in schools, Eric Davis will be a strong fighter for the future of Kitchener-Waterloo families, motivated by the very best of concerns: The dignity of public service and protecting the health care and public education systems that have helped teach and heal generations of Ontario families.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

With education on the line, will Tim Hudak flip-flop on a wage freeze like he did on full day kindergarten?

We know Tim Hudak's position on full day kindergarten for Ontario families has gone from this:

To this

"Tim Hudak...condemned the program, which is to be fully rolled out by 2014"

with Hudak's double flip-flop backed by Kitchener-Waterloo Progressive Conservative candidate Tracey Weiler:

"Weiler said that she “supports the leader’s position” on halting the rollout of full-day kindergarten in the province."

With the Ontario Liberals introducing the Putting Students First Act, here is Tim Hudak saying he would support a wage freeze:

"We'll support a wage freeze legislation"

With his flip-flops on full day kindergarten, will Hudak stick to his word or not? And if he does flip-flop, with Tracey Weiler continue to "support the leader's position", or will she stand up for Kitchener-Waterloo families and put students first?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The family tree of Quebec political parties

Taking a break from talking about Tracey Weiler and Tim Hudak putting full day kindergarten at risk for Kitchener-Waterloo families by talking about some other kind of families: the family trees of Quebec political parties.

Those who know me know I'm a big Quebecophile, so I thought I would make a rough chart showing the evolution and relationship of the different major political parties in Quebec right now. Take a look at see how the Parti Liberal, Parti Quebecois, CAQ, Quebec solidare, and Parti Vert have come into being, and how many of them have family roots with each other.

A solid line indicates a direct merger, a dotted line represents that a part was a breakaway or formed by dissidents of another party. I've used logos where appropriate, and click to enlarge the images. Enjoy!

Tracey Weiler is no Elizabeth Witmer when it comes to local leadership

I wrote yesterday about Tim Hudak doing a double flip-flop on full-day kindergarten, and now let's take a look at the Tim Hudak candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, Tracey Weiler and her position on full day kindergarten. While previous Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer stood up for Kitchener--Waterloo families, Tracey Weiler is more interested in taking orders from Hudak's Queen's Park backroom boys in Toronto and not listening to the thousands of families in Kitchener-Waterloo depending on full-day kindergarten.

On the important issue of FDK and local leadership, Weiler standing behind Hudak, who "condemned the program" is a sharp and disappointing turn away from previous Progressive Conservative MPP, Elizabeth Witmer, who in her many years of service to the community, was also a strong advocate for full day kindergarten, and showed local leadership by standing up to Hudak over full day kindergarten:

"For two years, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak had railed against the ambitious new program being rolled out by Ontario’s Liberal government.

So how did Hudak come to see the light?...

Elizabeth Witmer, the party’s tough-minded education critic, told Hudak he was on the wrong side of the issue... Witmer, who wears her social conscience on her sleeve, acknowledged privately to her education contacts that Tory focus groups showed overwhelming support [for FDK]."

Witmer's local leadership got Hudak to commit to full-day kindergarten in the PC platform, as shown below from page 21 of Changebook:

But when Hudak took his third different position and did a double flip-flop back to opposing full-day kindergarten, and putting at risk the education of thousands of Kitchener-Waterloo children, how did Tracey Weiler stand up for families?

"Weiler said that she “supports the leader’s position” on halting the rollout of full-day kindergarten in the province"

If Elizabeth Witmer didn't believe in Tim Hudak's scheming cuts to education, why should Kitchener-Waterloo families? Tracey Weiler is showing how out of touch she is with Kitchener-Waterloo families by not continuing to support full day kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tim Hudak flip-flop on full day kindergarten shows Ontario PC's can't be trusted with education file

It's a little late for the Olympics, but Tim Hudak's triple flip-flop on Full Day Kindergarten would win a gold medal in showing how out of touch he is with Ontario families.

Hudak threw his own flip-flopper Tony Genco under the bus today, after Genco said this in regards to full-day kindergarten:

"Mr. Genco not only said he supported the kindergarten program, but added there was no use opposing it because "the ship had sailed" on the issue."

Makes sense for Mr. Genco to say this, after all, this was in the PC platform last year, right on page 21:

So even Tim Hudak thought it would be a mistake to distrupt FDK. Until now:

"Vaughan PC candidate Tony Genco was forced to backtrack on his support of the Ontario Liberals' all-day kindergarten program today after leader Tim Hudak...condemned the program, which is to be fully rolled out by 2014" 

 This comes after Hudak already flip-flopped on FDK once already.   "For two years, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak had railed against the ambitious new program being rolled out by Ontario’s Liberal government."   With education a looming issue for Ontario families, Tim Hudak's flip-flop on a flip-flop shows he can't be trusted with the education file.