Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tim Hudak says Ontario is protecting too many endangered species?

Bit of an odd priority for a leader looking to be taken more seriously, but here we are. Hudak's already on the record as wanting to eliminate full day kindergarten and put 10,000 education workers out of a job, but I guess we can add endangered species to Hudak's chopping block. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Elephant in the room: Hudak continues to flip-flop on power plants

The literal elephant in that picture is from a PC photo op stunt done in Mississauga on September 28th, in an attempt to attack the Liberals over the power plant issue. The bigger elephant though, are the numerous statements made by Hudak and local Mississauga Conservatives in favour of scrapping the plant.

Hudak, who has flip-flopped on issues like the tax reform, health care funding, protecting the rights of Ontario citizens and a triple flip-flop on full day kindergarten has ironically now built up a pretty consistent track record of flip-flopping and making up policy on the fly. Hudak and the PC's can go after the Liberals, but the facts are simple; while the PC's talked and played politics, the Liberals took action. I'd say Bill Clinton's quote about it taking some brass for attacking someone for doing what you did would be a good fit, but all Hudak has actually do is vent hot air and continue to flip-flop.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hudak wants a $300 million election, vows to vote against a budget that hasn't been written yet

Yesterday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa started his first round of pre-Budget consultations in Mississauga, listening to the concerns of everyday Ontario families as he works to prepare a budget focused on creating jobs, lowering youth unemployment, and fostering growth and opportunity as the way forward.

"My hope is that the members of the Opposition have heard how closely I've listened to their concerns and the concerns of people around the province," Wynne told reporters.

Sousa, meanwhile, said he will get in touch with Opposition parties as he prepares the budget.

"Premier Wynne wants to work with members of the Opposition and I'm certainly going to have consultations (with them) in regards to the budget," said Sousa. "I think it's critical for us to work together."

The minister believes a number of the initiatives that were revealed in the throne speech, which included a $300-million venture capital fund, achieving labour peace with teacher unions, a commitment to eliminate Ontario's $12-billion deficit by 2017/18 and tackling gridlock, should appeal to "both sides of the House." He believes it will be enough to stop an early election.

Sousa will be meeting with businesses and stakeholders across the province to hear their concerns heading into the budget process. He couldn't confirm when the budget will come down, but some pundits have suggested it should be sometime in April.

Tomorrow, Sousa will be in Mississauga to meet with Peel businesses and groups for pre-budget consultations.

But while Minister Sousa and Premier Wynne want to work together for Ontario families, Tim Hudak is playing politics, demanding an election 16 months after his agenda of slashing cuts to education and health care was rejected.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is itching for an election even though voters only went to the polls 16 months ago.

His burning desire for a general election at a cost of $300 million appears at odds with the constant message of slashing government spending. The last provincial election was in October 2011.

Hudak is feeling the pressure from a party that knows he's a drag on their chances of winning the next election, so he's willing to play reckless games with Ontario's stability and economic growth. By pledging to vote against a budget that hasn't even been written yet, Hudak is demonstrating his unreliability as a leader.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Check out the Ontario throne speech live at 3 pm!


Kathleen Wynne's first Throne Speech as The Premier is starting in just a few minutes! Watch at the link and see Premier Wynne's Way Forward for a better Ontario!

Friday, February 15, 2013

24 hours to go before the GTA Liberal leadership debate!


I'll be there volunteering, but if you can't make it, you can watch live at Liberal.ca/Live and join thousands of Liberals from across Canada on the live chat. The race is getting more and more heated, so you won't want to miss all 9 candidates debating each other 1 on 1 and talking about how to rebuild our party and make Canada a better place.

And of course, don't forget that you can have your voice heard and help choose the next Liberal leader for free by signing up as a supporter! http://www.liberal.ca/supporter/

Hope you'll tune in, watch the debate, participate in the live chat, and sign up as a supporter or member if you haven't already!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Want to have your say in choosing the next Liberal leader? You gotta register! Check your email now!

Registration emails have started going out to LPC members and supporters so check your email and follow the instructions! If you don't register, you don't get to vote! Interm leader the Hon. Bob Rae registered today, and it only took him a minute. The deadline to register is March 14, spread the word!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hudak would end support for students from low income families with attack on 30% tuition rebate

Tim Hudak rolled out his latest double down on right-wing policy, announcing he would end the 30% tuition rebate for Ontario post-secondary students.

Hudak and his post-secondary education critic, Rob Leone framed the tuition cut as not helping mature students or single parents (ironic, given the not so high regard single mothers have been held in historically by conservatives).

They also seem to want to restrict the way students could use the use any financial assistance they would receive:

"The Tories say student aid should be given to students who are getting good marks and can show they're using the money to improve their education."

What does "improve their education" mean, exactly? I, like many other students, used my 30% off tuition rebate to help pay the rent on my apartment, would Hudak force students like me to spend it on textbooks I could check out of the library and worry about a place to live?

The idea of tying student aid to performance seems attractive on the surface, but is in fact highly problematic and regressive. Under Hudak, would a student from a low-income New Canadian family, perhaps the first in her family to attend a post-secondary institution with a B average receive less financial support than a student from a high-income family with who had an A average? If a student from a low income family in first year university was finding the transition to university difficult to deal with, and their marks were lower than expected be cut off from financial aid, thus dramatically increasing the risk of this student dropping out? If a student were struggling with depression or another mental health issues and it affected his or her grades, would Hudak slash aid for this student?

The 30% tuition cut was designed specifically for full time undergrad students from low income families to help ease the financial burden of post-secondary education. It helped me and students across Ontario like me to focus on education and preparing ourselves for the global economy. Any move away from a system in which income is the main qualifier for student aid is deeply regressive and shows how out of touch Tim Hudak is with working families, students, and youth across Ontario.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Your new Ontario cabinet, and some facts and firsts

Excited to see the new cabinet sworn in today. In particular, I'm very happy to see Charles Sousa and Yasir Naqvi as Finance and Labour Minister respectively. I started this blog in 2007 in large part to help support the local campaigns in Mississauga South and Ottawa Centre, so seeing them both in cabinet is fantastic.

Here is the new cabinet of Ontario:

Kathleen Wynne-Premier of Ontario, Minister of Agriculture
Deb Matthews-Deputy Premier of Ontario, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Jim Bradley-Minister of the Environment 

John Gerretsen-Attorney General of Ontario
Michael Gravelle-Minister of Northern Development and Mines 

Ted McMeekin-Minister of Community and Social Services 

Laurel Broten-Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister responsible for Women's Issues
Brad Duguid-Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Linda Jeffrey-Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Chair of Cabinet

Jeff Leal-Minister of Rural Affairs
Madeleine Meilleur-Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs
David Orazietti-Minister of Natural Resources
Liz Sandals-Minister of Education
Harinder Takhar-Minister of Government Services, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet

David Zimmer-Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Michael Chan-Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Minister responsible for the 2015 Pan and Para Pan American Games
Reza Moridi-Minister of Research and Innovation
Yasir Naqvi-Minister of Labour
Charles Sousa-Minister of Finance
Eric Hoskins-Minister of Economic Development, Trade & Employment 

Glen Murray-Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure

Bob Chiarelli-Minister of Energy
Michael Coteau-Citizenship and Immigration 

Tracy MacCharles-Minister of Consumer Services
Teresa Piruzza-Minister of Children and Youth Services
Mario Sergio-Minister responsible for Seniors
John Milloy-Government House Leader
And some facts and firsts:   As well noted, Wynne is Ontario's first female premier, and the first openly LGBT Premier/non municipal head of government in North America and the Commonwealth   Reza Moridi is the first Iranian-Canadian provincial cabinet minister in Canada   Women control the Premiership, the Deputy Premiership, and the ministries of Health, Education, Intergovernmental Affairs, Municipal Affairs and Housing, Community Safety and Correctional Services, Francophone Affairs, Consumer Services, and Children and Youth Services   9 members will be new to cabinet, with 3 being elected in the 2011 election. On the flip side, Mario Sergio was first elected in 1995.   Madeleine Meilleur in Francophone Affairs is the only Minister to have held the same portfolio from 2003 on.   I've personally volunteered on election campaigns for Meilleur, Hoskins, Sousa, Naqvi, Murray and Chiarelli.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Check out my new tumblr for all my political graphic design projects!


Featuring graphic design projects done for the Charles Sousa leadership campaign, Anita Vandenbeld's campaign for Ottawa West-Nepean, various Young Liberal clubs, and more. I'll be updating it from time to time as well.