Babel-on-the-Bay: Lead from your strength, Justin.

Please Justin, just shut up and listen. The other day, you told Campion-Smith of the Toronto Star’s Ottawa Bureau that the economy will decide the next election. You had better hope not. You have absolutely no credibility in that subject and the majority of the voters could care less. Stephen Harper even studied economics and look at the trouble it has got him into.

Your strength buddy is empathy. You obviously care. Stick to what you are good at.

You need to take a page from Jean Chrétien’s approach to the job of Prime Minister. In ten years as Prime (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Liberals we have heard on high.

It is only fair after introducing the local Conservative candidate, we mention that there is also going to be a Liberal candidate. We actually have a contest to determine the Liberal candidate. Somehow the Liberal party made a slip and approved two candidates in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. (That riding name has something of a country music connotation.) And it might be an interesting contest. Both candidates approved to-date have some good credentials.

The first to announce was Brian Tamblyn, a well-known educator and community leader. While still in his 50s, Brian has had a 30-year career with Georgian College and the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Well look, Mr. Mansbridge” said the Hair.

To be interviewed by his nemesises at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on a bad hair day was really more than the Hair should suffer. And what has befallen Michelle Muntean, the hairdresser the Prime Minister lured away from CTV three elections ago? There are more questions than answers at this time. All we know is that you can see for yourself on the CBC News Network show One on One on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 6:30 pm EST or on both the CBC and its News Network on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 12:30 pm EST.

Just look at the Hair’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mentioned in Dispatches.

We have heard from the front lines of the coming federal election. Our first of many big, full-colour brochures from our local Conservative candidate hit the door last week just ten months before the coming election. This elaborate missive told us probably more than it wanted to about our Conservative candidate in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. (When you cut the City of Barrie into north-south halves, that is what they call the new north Barrie riding.)

The brochure has something of a colour-by-numbers quality. You can imagine the original front page that said “Your picture here.” The print is big to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau’s “Free, open, transparent nominations.”

Do you want honesty or do you just want to get rid of the Harper Conservatives? That seems to be the conundrum facing members of Canada’s Liberal Party. The fact is that Justin Trudeau has lied to the party. He did not have much of a platform when he won the Liberal Party leadership but we all heard him promise open nominations wherein the individual party members in each electoral district would choose their candidate.

Here we are ten months before the election and the party has lawsuits, people tearing up memberships and bad feeling right across the country. It (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Causing premature election.

We always knew that having fixed elections in Canada would cause the same problems as in the United States. You end up in an almost permanent condition of premature election. Take right now in Canada. The pundits and pollsters are already in full election mode when we are ten months from going to the polls. They are making their lists and checking them twice to try to tell us which politicians are naughty and nice.

Frankly, there is no percentage in telling you who has the best odds of winning that election before Labour Day of 2015. That will be (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Harpernomics’ is in the dumpster.

Hold on to your hats folks. Mr. Harper’s chickens have come home to roost. We let Stephen Harper blow off our manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec. We let the Conservatives spend millions on fictional economic action plans that neither made sense nor worked. And they built this Canadian oil economy that cannot compete.

The mathematics are at a grade school level. It costs more than $20 to get a barrel of Canadian bitumen ready for a refinery. It costs as little as a couple dollars for Saudi Arabia to pump up a barrel of refinery-ready crude. Does it take a (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did you think Gordon Gibson was a Liberal?

Life is a journey and Gordon Gibson’s travels from the Prime Minister’s Office of 1968 to 1972 to being a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute in 2014 were unusual. Not that his ideas have improved much over the years. He wrote in the Globe and Mail last week that Canada can benefit from President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. The solution is far-fetched but the expectation of what the American President will do might be bang on.

Gibson thinks that it would be a serious mistake for the Americans to kill Keystone XL but beneficial for Canada. His (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Politically correct sex?

What is this sham we are presenting to younger generations of Canadians? Our federal politicians seem to have their heads in their pants as they “tut-tut” about human sexuality. With no meaningful debate, the Conservative’s twisted new prostitution laws have come into effect. Justin Trudeau has punished two Liberal MPs for having sex with New Democrats. In this parliament: hypocrisy rules.

And judging by the headline news in print and broadcast these days, some entertainers must have far greater sexual stamina than the rest of us. We have always known the casting couch is a real place and there is (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair helps with bigger bribes.

We are supposed to appreciate how the Hair helped Michaëlle Jean become the new head of the la Francophonie. While not outwardly supporting Canada’s former governor general, the Hair reminded everyone at the summit of the $500 million Canada will be providing over the next five years to vaccinate children in poorer countries. Could the countries of the other five contenders match that?

Jean, by the way, is the governor general who allowed the Hair to prorogue parliament in December 2008 to keep the Conservative minority government from being defeated by a coalition of the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The hard heart of the Hair.

You could barely hear over the running up of the A310 engines at Ottawa Airport. The Hair and his chatelaine stood at the door of the giant aircraft waving goodbye to their adoring throng from the Prime Minister’s Office. It sounded something like: “Suck it up folks. I’m going where it’s warm.”

And you can hardly blame the Hair for wanting to get out of cold and unwelcoming Ottawa. Those winds coming down the Ottawa Valley these days are winds of change.

And you really cannot expect the Hair, the hairdresser and the wife to travel all the way (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Okay, Global’s Tom Clark has been redeemed.

After receiving various complaints from readers about the recent critical posting about Global Television’s Tom Clark, it is time to recant. The truth is that this writer has always been a solid fan of Tom’s work. It also helps that his late father, Joseph A.P. Clark was not only a good friend and mentor but preceded us as head of communications for the Liberal Party in Ontario back in the 1960s. (Tom was still at Upper Canada College at the time.)

The complaint about the easy ride given to Alberta Premier Jim Prentice on Tom’s West Block show (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Which twin has the Toni?

During a career in public relations in Canada, you kept an eye on what was happening in PR south of the border as well as the Canadian market. You always wanted to be aware of what firms were doing for their clients. A firm watched over the last 60 years was started by the late Daniel Edelson who opened a firm with his name on it in Chicago in 1952. One of Dan’s first clients was Toni Home Permanents for whom he had previously worked. His most noted accomplishment for Toni was the strategy of doing media tours throughout the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Please come back Curmudgeon.

This is like a plaintive cry in the night across the prairie. A fellow blogger who goes under the pen name The Curmudgeon, a.k.a. The Mound of Sound, says he has had too much and he is giving up on Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

But the problem is that the Curmudgeon is one of the brighter Liberal bloggers in Canada. He is among those who write about liberalism and its future. He is a thinker and we need him. It is far too big a job to do alone. Given a free hand, Justin Trudeau and his (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is EnergyEast Justin Trudeau’s Waterloo?

How often have we seen a single issue become the real turning point in an election? It hardly matters how tired and out-of-touch the party in power might be, you still need that one idea that makes the turn-over happen. Nobody wins if all you say is that it is time for change. The change must be evident. It must be real. It must have relevance.

You can imagine how at this time Justin Trudeau and his brain trust are examining the potential obstacles and opportunities in the coming election. He has to define where he and the Liberal Party (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sometimes, you cannot choose your friends.

A casual observation made in a commentary the other day about the difficulties of having Americans as neighbours and friends evoked some questions. It comes down to the fact that Canadians have little choice. You might think we Canadians get kicked around now but just think of what it would be like if Americans actively disliked us?

You could never drive to Florida in the winter again. Imagine every state along the way getting a piece of you. From new state taxes just for us to special speed traps, you would be too poor to stay long in Florida if (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The dubious diplomacy of the Hair.

Was there a sign at the Brisbane Airport last week barring diplomacy or diplomats entry to Australia? The way Vladimir Putin was treated at the G20 conference there was a disgrace. He is the leader of the Russian people and as their representative he deserves to be treated with courtesy. How would Canadians feel if the world leaders treated the Canadian Prime Minister so discourteously? And where does the Hair get off, thinking he can kick the school yard bully when he is down?

The world has over many centuries developed a code of diplomacy. It is designed to help (Read more…)

reeves report: NDP to refuse support for Rouge National Urban Park bill

Everyone wants the 10,500 acres in the Rouge Valley to be made into a national urban park, yet few but the Harper Tories think their plan for the green space is the best path forward.

Rouge Park at Sunrise. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of Snuffy.)

Rouge Park at Sunrise. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of Snuffy.)

ON A MEDIA TOUR this week of the proposed park on Toronto’s eastern boundary, federal NDP environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax) told reporters she will advise her caucus to oppose government Bill C-40 despite the personal difficulty she feels in opposing the park.

“I’m in a parallel universe where I get applause for voting against (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Le Dauphin, with two speeches ready.

It is a tough job. When you have to have two speeches ready, you are likely to have to use the losing one. Writers hate them and politicians hate them. Your first one tells all about how you knew you were going to win. Your second one admits the loss but finds good signs in what happened. And if you cannot find something to crow about in the outcome, you are not much of a politician.

The Whitby-Oshawa by-election yesterday was one of those times. We knew that the Liberal’s biggest problem in winning was getting out the troops to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Newspeak of Tony Clement.

Canadians now have an “Open Portal” to an “Open Government’ according to the “doublethink” of Treasury Board President Tony Clement. You get the impression that the Parry Sound-Muskoka Conservative Member of Parliament took his script directly from George Orwell’s 1949 book Nineteen eighty-four. Even a Toronto Star editorial writer referred to the proposal as Orwellian.

It is only when you try the Open Portal site on the Internet that you realize how far from the truth that Mr. Clement has wandered. For anyone experienced in working with computer databases, this site is archaic, out of touch with reality and will (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair is home as Obama cooks his goose.

It was obvious that nothing good would come of the Hair rushing back to Ottawa from Beijing to be at the National War Memorial Ceremony last Tuesday. Hobnobbing with a princess was hardly worth the trip. And it was not as though he said or did anything more than lay a wreath. It was what American President Obama was doing after the Hair left Beijing that made the difference.

And it certainly speaks badly of the Canadian intelligence gathering capabilities. Why did the Hair not know that President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China were going to sign an (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Has Global’s Tom Clark sold us out?

While a mortally wounded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation defiantly fights back against the Harper government, the last of the supposedly independent news shows seems to have sold out. That last news show to capitulate was Tom Clark’s West Block Sunday morning show on Global Television. It looks as though Tom has lost his independence.

Since Ivan Fecan put CTV firmly in the hands of Bell Canada in 2011, CTV news has been a lapdog for the Harper Conservatives. If you have ever wondered why the kids in the Prime Minister’s Office can be so arrogant, it is because they have a (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Blow the bugle softly, the hairdresser is sleeping.

This is inhuman. The Hair has rushed the hairdresser to Beijing and back so that he can be at the Cenotaph in Ottawa today. Is the hairdresser getting hardship pay for this? She also needs to do an extra special job on the Hair’s make-up to hide his age lines and the bags under his eyes.

But, we have to face facts. It is getting harder and harder to make the Hair look good. He is packing on quite a gut with all the state dinners he attends. He has been developing serious worry lines about next year’s election.

The (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: What would you do with four F-35s?

The word out of the Pentagon is that the stupid Canadians actually want to buy four Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning fighters. And when the Americans stop laughing, they will probably be happy to fill the order. While our new government next year would certainly want to cancel such a silly order, the cancellation charges would provide serious help to the Americans with their national debt.

But what the hell would we do with four aircraft? And remember these are stealth attack fighters. We could not find a country small enough to attack that all we needed was four fighters to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: No sex please, we’re parliamentarians.

When you are part of Canada’s parliament, you are assumed to be an adult. You are expected to act like one. You hardly expect Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers to act like children sent out for recess. It was still not surprising this past week to see Justin Trudeau give a couple Liberal MPs the boot from caucus. They are just the tip of the iceberg of those that need to be sent to the principal’s office.

One comment that needs to be made on this matter is that New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair shows how out-of-touch he is (Read more…)