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Blunt Objects Blog: Goodbye, for now

I’m minutes away from leaving Toronto, and wanted to make one last goodbye post. It may be my last post until August, or even September.

A few things to keep in mind until then

1 – The NDP was always “could win”. That includes a Majority. All 3 parties remain “could win” a majority. and all 3 parties could be reduced to 40 or in some cases, fewer seats.

2 – The Greens could win 60 seats, the Bloc could win 50. Neither of these are terribly likely, but then again the NDP sweeping Quebec was not very likely 15 (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Maybe That’s Why It Was Buy First, Fly Later.

Lockheed’s F-35 joint strike fighter is one for the books.  In fact there’ll be several books written examining how it was conceived, developed, built and sold and they’ll be studied in aviation circles for generations to come.

To call the F-35 counter-intuitive is a massive understatement.  It’s what you might expect of a George w. Bush and Dick Cheney love child.  One quick mistake in the middle of a boozy night and the rest took care of itself.

The idea was to build a new ground attack light bomber that would be not one but two generations ahead of anything (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: Socialist barbarians at the gate of Fortress Liberal


Jennifer Hollett, the former MuchMusic VJ and now digital strategist, and Linda McQuaig, journalist and author, are the NDP candidates in the two federal ridings located in the heart of downtown Toronto – and right now, they are basking in an orange glow emanating from Rachel Notley’s Alberta.  

Canvassing in their ridings of Toronto Centre and University-Rosedale, both women have noticed a change in the reception at the door since the New Democrats’ upset win in the Prairie province in May.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jen during the (rather unpleasurable) Chow campaign a (Read more…)

Stuart Mackinnon: BetterParks for Vancouver: Vancouver man raising a stink about dog waste going into landfill

Dedicated bins like those in Pacific Spirit Regional Park urged Doo’s & don’ts:  By Cheryl Chan, The ProvinceJuly 1, 2015 Raymond Greenwood is hounding the city to fix a crappy situation. He has a bone to pick with all the plastic-bagged dog feces discarded in garbage containers in Vancouver.

With more than 100,000 dogs in the city, each producing an estimated average of 370 grams of feces a day, that amounts to a lot of smelly stuff that needs disposing.

“You see bins absolutely full of dog poo in bags and that’s just the way it’s done,” said (Read more…)

mark a rayner: Fiction: At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, following up on these posts about the possibility the Cons might decide to ignore their own fixed election date and delay the election expected for October 19. 

For further reading…

- The Canada Elections Act is here. And for an interesting comparison, see Saskatchewan’s fixed election date provision from the Legislative Assembly Act, 2007: 8.1(1) Unless a general election has been held earlier because of the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, the first general election after the coming into force of this section must be held on Monday, November 7, 2011.(2) Subject to subsection (Read more…)

The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: July 2: this will probably be a short blog because…

…I have to be at the shore at noon, sitting on a bluff overlooking either the salt water (if the tide’s in) or the sandbars (if it’s out) while I languidly eat a magnificent lunch, perhaps served to me by my granddaughter.

Meanwhile, I have received a URL from a reader that is very timely because it illustrates a point I made yesterday. The news is not usually much help in understanding what’s going on. To understand it, we need analysis to give it context and meaning. This one is exactly what I was talking about – an analysis offered (Read more…)

kirbycairo: Minimum Wage and the Laughable National Post. . .

The National Post Editorial of June 30th which argues that the performance of Rachel Notley in Alberta is a good reason not to vote for the NDP in October is a excellent performative demonstration of just how thin the arguments of the rightwing are when it comes to attacking the centre left. I only offer the link because it reminds me of how overwhelmingly weak the right’s talking points have become and how dramatically the neo-liberal discourse has broken down. Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that NDP governments actually have the best record of balancing budgets in (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Shaming Those Who Deserve It

Many of them probably sleep quite well at night in the belief that their unethical, criminal behaviour is likely never to see the light of day, and even if it does, it will at worst be exposed on a somewhat obscure Ministry of Labour website. Taking advantage of people seems to come naturally to them; denying workers their rightful wages perhaps even gives them some pleasure. They are employers no one should ever have to deal with. And now, some of them are finally being exposed.

Guided by the Atkinson principles (A strong and united Canada, civic engagement, individual (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Another Way to Deal with Butts

Cigarette butts are usually aren’t disposed of properly (why do smokers think it’s OK to litter?) and this is a problem for many cities. Earlier this year we looked at the Pick Up Your Butts campaign and now a new strategy of dealing with butts has taken hold.

A restaurant in Toronto has put up special bins in their neighbourhood to collect cigarette butts. This waste will then be converted into something useful: pallets.

Café staff will be in charge of emptying the boxes and shipping the butts to a TerraCycle plant in north Toronto, where they’ll be shredded (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Alone At Last


Stephen Harper’s allies are abandoning him. At last count, 46 of the 166 Conservatives who rode into Ottawa in 2011 have left the Harper stable. Andrew Coyne writes:

It isn’t just the half-dozen ministers who have, just months before the election, announced their retirements, in some cases (John Baird) without so much as a day’s notice, in others (James Moore) without a word of acknowledgment from the prime minister. It isn’t the two (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: ‘Times Have Changed’ at 40 Wellesley St.E. #HIVnow

The latest ambitious awareness campaign by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), #HIVnow, “asks big questions, puts forward honest answers and issues clear calls to action”. The “Times have changed” theme comes to mind as I watch the slow demolition of 40 Wellesley Street East, a medical offices building where I learned of my HIV […]

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Feminist Quote of the Day – Sheila Jeffreys on Gender

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Feminist Quote of the Day – Sheila Jeffreys on Gender

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Excuse Me Mr. Mulcair. Kyoto, Really? Is That Your Final Answer?

The story of how Thomas Mulcair was going to run for Harper’s Conservatives has resurfaced, leaving the NDP leader with no choice but to answer for his actions.

Instead of simply admitting that it was over money, he has decided to soften the impact, with images of himself on a white horse, championing the Kyoto Accord.

If you are going to fabricate a story you’d better make sure that fact checkers can’t call you on it, because the fact is, it’s a bold face lie.

Before getting to the real gotcha moment, by 2005, anyone politically engaged in this country (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Outsiders need not apply.

If there was ever a closed shop in Ontario, it is that bunch of bozos ruling the roost down at the Ontario Legislature today. As an insider in all of this, you have to be embarrassed by it. While we might have fallen a bit out of favour over the years, we can still remember the day when you could hold your head high as a Liberal at Queen’s Park.

What annoying act of pomposity that is stuck in the craw today is the permanent appointment of TD Bank’s Ed Clark as grand poobah of everything important at Queen’s Park. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Creeping Militarization of Canada

In my last post I showed you yet another example of how Stephen Harper is trying to militarize our culture.By having such gentle and iconic Canadian traditions like the RCMP Musical Ride, compete in the same arena with a sinister SWAT show…

Complete with armoured cars, explosions, and even a prisoner to carry off in handcuffs.And yesterday's Canada Day show on Parliament Hill was more of the same. With more soldiers and police officers than you could count. A twenty-one gun salute.And this thundering message from Great Warrior Leader. Read more »

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Great War and Newfoundland Political Memory #nlpoli

“It is sobering to think,”  historian Sean Cadigan wrote in the Telegram on Tuesday, “that the memory of the casualties of war has been used partially for later political purposes for almost a century.”

Cadigan was recounting the history of the ceremony on July 1 that started in 1917 to mark the anniversary of the battle in which hundreds of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians died in a few short minutes.

It is possible that, in the process of "remembering," we may be in danger of forgetting the real aspirations of the men of 1916 when we gather on Memorial Day tomorrow.

Of course, Cadigan had no trouble using the corpses at Beaumont Hamel for his own purpose and that is where we begin.

(Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: "Canada has an American president …"

For the occasion of Canada Day, CBC News, aided by the International Council for Canadian Studies, surveyed 7,000 or so academics outside Canada who teach courses about our country. They printed the responses of 15 of them in the recent online article “How Canada is perceived around the world.”

The comments were generally flattering although the flattery often focused more on the past than the

Cowichan Conversations: Harperman- It’s Time For You To Go!

Council of Canadians Ready to Heave Steve


They have a HEAVE STEVE banner and are planning to meet under the City of Duncan sign just south of

Read more…

CuriosityCat: Election 2015: Incredibly, 28% of Harper’s Conservative MPs are not running

The numberof non-runners is staggering: Stephen Harper is losing incumbent lawmakers at one of the highest rates in decades, and history suggests that weighs heavily on the Canadian Prime Minister’s chances of winning another term in power later this year.

 Of 166 Conservatives elected to the House of Commons during Harper’s first majority in 2011, at least 46 are not running for the party this fall. It’s the third-highest dropout rate since the Second World War and the highest since 1993, according to data compiled by Bloomberg… Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the first Prime Minister since Louis St. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Election 2015: Incredibly, 28% of Harper’s Conservative MPs are not running

Accidental Deliberations: Worth considering

Shorter National Post: Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP are keeping their campaign promises. For some reason, we think this should be a warning rather than a beacon of hope for the rest of Canada.

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Harper Police

Well as you know, Stephen Harper has turned the RCMP into the Harper Police. And sadly the Musical Ride isn't what it once was. Is there no place now where Canadians can be spared the Conservative government’s jingoistic militaristic bleating with its conjured-up images of dangers lurking around every corner, nurturing the fear that “others” are out to rob us of our freedoms?”But every now and then the Mounties still do get their man.Read more »

A Different Point of View....: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

…and will we follow Dutch court &

challenge Harper on climate change?

Two remarkable developments during the past week that could have a significant impact in many countries have been pretty much ignored in Canada and the United States.

First, a major research document published by five top economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted that the strong pro-capitalist policies at the centre of its activities in developing countries for the past 30 years do not work.

One of the IMF’s main roles in recent years has been to bail out countries during financial crises. In return for loans, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

Bill Longstaff: The Pope, the Prime Minister and Naomi Klein

Pope Francis has made it very clear that he is profoundly concerned about what we are doing to life on our planet. He has particularly made it clear to Canadians. Earlier this month he gave an audience to our prime minister. It lasted all of 10 minutes and ended with an awkward photo op. The brevity of the meeting and the sour look on the pope’s face were, I suggest, directly related to Stephen

Scripturient: It’s Official: Collingwood is Closed for Business

As I predicted, Collingwood Council officially closed the town to business, growth and development, last Monday night. And just for good measure, council sprinkled the ground with the salt of malice, just to further deter a particular developer from building here. Which sends a message to everyone about how this town respects and values development. Anyone […]