It is the last chance for the drones of parliament. They can either rebel now or fade away with their ill-fated Conservative Party of Canada. Those who have done nothing before or during the time of a majority have a last chance to stand on their hind legs and speak for their constituency. They hardly have long odds on returning.
You heard about Michael Chong in Ontario trying to reform parliament by proposing rules, most of which Members of Parliament are already able to do without his bill. It does not seem all that innocent to be challenging the right (Read more…)
Your country is like your garden. It takes care, cultivating, weeding and the approval of others to make it a source of pride. And if Canada is your garden, it is showing a serious lack of care and concern.
And everyone has to care. There is no exception. No one is too busy. If you are too self-centred, too ignorant, you can simply leave the room, leave the province, leave the country. Canada has to be a caring country. Our winters are too long and cold for the indolent. The season of our gardens is too brief for the uncaring. (Read more…)
An e-mail a few days ago said: You gotta support Michael Chong’s private member’s bill to democratize Parliament. The initial response to the request was to ask why waste time on a bill that does nothing more than remind Members of Parliament of powers they already have. The fact that too many Tory backbenchers have no ambition other than to do what they are told by the Hair’s staff is a problem for the Conservative Party.
Of critical importance is the ability today of as few as a dozen or so of the Conservative Members of the House of Commons (Read more…)
A person with just so much money to last until the next cheque, learns to manage money. They have to and they can become very careful and frugal. Conversely, persons managing billions of dollars can be very wasteful. And to make matters worse, these persons managing billions—who think they are being careful and frugal—are the most wasteful of all. Take the Canadian government:
Just one example of government waste in the past four years is the huge increase in consultanting fees paid with taxpayers’ dollars. In the last fiscal year, Canadians paid over $10 billion for temporary staff or consultants. (Read more…)
Michael Chong is one the most respected people in the country when it comes to democratic reform. He quit his cabinet position on principle, and proposed a series of thoughtful Question Period reforms in 2010, which seem all the more overdue after the Paul Calandra show we saw last week.
So when Michael Chong tables a private members bill to decentralize power away from the Prime Minister’s Office, it’s impossible to doubt his sincerety. It’s a worthy cause led by a noble champion. Another champion of democratic reform, Andrew Coyne, has praised the Reform Act saying “Parliament will never be (Read more…)
What does Prime Minister Stephen Harper think he is? He sure is not the fourth wise man. Besides, the Hair and his hairdresser are not going to be in Israel until after Christmas. When the taxpayers are paying, why settle for Miami Beach?
Harper is hardly the first Canadian politician to go to Israel in search of votes in Toronto and Montreal. He even announced the trip at a Jewish dinner in Toronto the other evening. The dinner was to commemorate naming a bird sanctuary in Israel after Mr. Harper. It is likely to be the only conservation site anywhere (Read more…)
There ought to be a law. In fact, there has to be. We cannot continue to allow these disrespectful scoffers to ridicule our parliamentary system of government. And that is exactly what Stephen Harper and his henchmen are doing. They are dragging the Parliament of Canada in the mud.
And they are doing it to both Houses of Parliament. The current problems of the Senate can only be laid on the doorstep of the Prime Minister. Until Mr. Harper started his wholesale dumping of Conservative hacks into the Senate, it was quietly doing the job that Senators are paid to (Read more…)
We are not talking about Santa here. We are talking about the Harper Conservatives. And they want more and more information about how you feel and what you think. Now they want real-time access to your social media attitudes and what you say in your blog. And if Babel-on-the-Bay suddenly disappears, you will know that we finally pissed off the Prime Minister by writing too much about his silly hair piece and his private hairdresser.
But this is a serious topic. This is invading the privacy of all Canadians. Public Works and Government Services Canada is advertising now for a (Read more…)
There was a bit of concern watching Wynne’s Whigs turning out to help in the federal by-election in Toronto-Centre recently. It was obvious at that stage that Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland was a clear winner. The only thing left to do was to make sure the vote turned out on November 25. So why did Wynne and her friends show up to help two days before the vote?
That was a major push to bring out the provincial organization in Toronto and according to reports, there were about 300 people at the Queen Street campaign headquarters early on the Saturday (Read more…)
It is probably disrespectful to our prehistoric ancestors to think of some people arguing about how we vote as cave-dwelling troglodytes. They seem to insist on going backwards instead of forward. They look for solutions in repressive countries instead of the progressive ones. They brutalize statistics and numbers to make their point but prove nothing of substance. To give them their due, they are tenacious.
What makes no sense is the ill-named “Fair Vote” or “Democratic Voting” supporters and others that are suggesting that we vote for people we do not know to represent us. They want us to vote (Read more…)
The Liberal Party is old.
I’m not talking about its history, but about the faces it puts before Canadians. The average age of Liberal MPs in Ottawa is 56, with Scott Andrews their youngest at 37. The second youngest is some kid named Justin, but at 41, even he’s old enough to remember most of Pierre Trudeau’s time as Prime Minister.
We all know the bizarre circumstances that led to the election of the “NDP 90210″ caucus in Quebec two years ago, but even the crusty old Conservative Party makes the Liberals look like your father’s party. Tory MPs are, (Read more…)
Can you believe that the Toronto Star paid Robin Sears for an opinion piece on political spin? In it the former NDP stalwart explains that by-elections are a political spin master’s dream. He alibis the New Democrats for failing to win any of the four ridings at play on November 25. He explains that the Liberal wins were simply a triumph of political spin.
We should be so lucky.
By-elections are a lot of damn hard work and for Sears to put it down as spin is to insult the work done by his own party. Toronto Centre was a (Read more…)
It looks like New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair got an early lump of coal from Santa last night. The orange surge in Quebec came up short and Tommy’s star candidate in Toronto did not make it. And it was the Liberals who benefitted from the anger with Prime Minister Harper in Manitoba.
But Tommy, why were you being such a rotten kid in Toronto? Why the nasty campaign against Freeland? Why not leave that kind of stuff to Harper and his Conservatives? They are much better at being mean and cruel. When they say something nasty about you, you know (Read more…)
It is a wedding of convenience. There seems to be little love lost between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. It is likely she only wants him for his money. She needs it to build an all-season road 500 kilometres north from Thunder Bay to the Ring of Fire. When you add the infrastructure costs, you are only talking a couple billion. Just call it her bride’s price.
Ladies do love their rings! The chromite, nickel, gold, platinum and palladium deposits discovered in the area called the Ring of Fire Belt are estimated to be worth as (Read more…)
Stephen Harper adds “Sargent Schultz” to his list of impersonations
PM didn’t know staff asked Conservative Party to pay Duffy’s expenses: spokesperson
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had no idea his staff had asked the Conservative Party to pay Sen. Mike Duffy’s ineligible expenses, his spokesperson said Sunday.
In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Harper’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, also said Harper didn’t know PMO staff wanted a Senate report into Duffy’s expenses sanitized, or that the party’s chief fundraiser tried to influence the independent audit of Duffy’s claims.
The problem for Stephen Harper is that, regardless of where (Read more…)
It appears that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is winning. Opposition Leader New Democrat Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are giving him a free pass. By default, Harper is locking Canada into an economy based on Alberta bitumen and we will rue the day.
We were reminded of it the other day when the local drone of an MP put his name on an editorial page screed in the local Sun Media rag. It was full of misleading information about the agreement to negotiate a free trade deal with the European Union but it implied that Canada’s trade with (Read more…)
Monday is by-election day. In four federal ridings scattered across Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, voters will be having their say. It will be a test of their resolve for change and their direction for change. New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will be tested and judged and critiqued according to the showings of their respective party candidates.
The Bourassa electoral district in Montreal is the one under the closest scrutiny. It is a long-time Liberal seat that was held by Denis Coddere until he resigned to run for and win the mayoralty in Montreal. The seat (Read more…)
It seems appropriate. While the Toronto Police are sniffing around Mayor Rob Ford’s purported dealings with crack houses and drug dealers, the RCM Police are sniffing around Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s dealings with the Senate and expense account fiddlers. Are they not all the same?
Do Canadians have one law for mayors and another law for prime ministers? How many times have we heard that Conrad Black would never have gone to jail in Canada? Does anyone protect the shareholder in this country? Does anyone protect the consumer in this country? Canadians want to know.
We know that nobody protects (Read more…)
It is the week before election day in the federal riding of Toronto-Centre and it is when the campaigns go into the transition for election day. And no matter what your pollsters tell you, it all comes down to getting out your vote. Intentions are worthless unless you get them on ballots.
And the people who have lied to canvassers from multiple parties had better barricade their doors. The campaign organizations you said you will favour have you on their list. They will not be satisfied until you get out and vote.
If there is one thing that a long-time (Read more…)
At a time when most wage earners are retiring Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall is still waiting to do the job he was supposedly born to. He and his lovely wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, celebrated his birthday number 65 this week in Sri Lanka. Charles was in Sri Lanka to represent mommy at the Commonwealth Conference.
It should be mentioned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not there. He figured he could pass up this conference as a protest for the way the Sri Lankan Sinhalese government treated the rebellious Tamils. British Prime Minister David (Read more…)
There is no better form of bonding between men than fishing. It is a quiet introspective time that you share with a true buddy. And what better buddies could there be than Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?
There are not many people who have been invited to the Prime Minister’s private Harrington Lake in the past few years. To drop a line in these waters puts you in the company of elites. It is a company of world leaders, great thinkers, of political power brokers and people who understand the pressures of leadership.
And you do (Read more…)
It was in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Halloween convention speech and we failed to recognize it. It is there in his disdain for Ottawa and its elites. It is there in his lack of a forecast for the future. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just two years left in Ottawa and he is going to leave nothing but the political version of scorched earth.
Scorched earth is a basic principle of warfare. When you have to withdraw, you leave nothing for your enemies. You burn the crops and the shelter. You remove or kill all humans and animals and leave (Read more…)
Step 1: Inherit igloo in working orderStep 2: Break roofStep 3: Write compelling narrative about how you fixed igloo
We got a good reminder today of why it would be foolish to write off the Conservatives in 2015:
Conservatives’ new surplus forecast: $3.7-billion for election year
Ottawa’s fall economic update shows the government is counting on a surplus of at least $3.7-billion in 2015-16, the year of the next federal election.
A mix of spending cuts, public sector wage control and the sale of government assets are behind the latest government numbers, which show a better (Read more…)
In their bewilderment over the staunch following that Toronto mayor Rob Ford continues to enjoy amongst ‘Ford Nation,’ some pundits have advanced the idea that it is his ‘authenticity’ that accounts for his traction, no matter what drugs he ingests, no matter how many criminal elements he consorts with, no matter how many lies he tells to the public. His deep flaws, some suggest, appeal to the ‘everyman.’
At best, I suspect this is only a partial answer. Nonetheless, it has gotten me thinking about leadership styles; serendipitously, the other day I caught the latest Justin Trudeau ad on (Read more…)
It will be former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s legacy. Forget free trade with Europe. Forget the adulation and fawning over him by the G8. Stephen Harper will be remembered for causing the greatest economic crash in Canadian history. Canada’s economy started to crumble when the Chinese state oil company CNOOC announced in early 2016 that it is dumping its investment in Canadian tar sands oil.
And there is nothing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can do about it. Since China agreed to the proposed Pan-Asiatic environmental restrictions in the 2015 Asian Accord, it has been cleaning house and eliminating pollution. From (Read more…)