News roundup: November 30, 2013
Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).
Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election
Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).
First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)
When Health Minister Deb Matthews spoke at the closing of this year’s Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) HealthAchieve, the hall was two-thirds empty. Only two days before there was standing room only for Canadian astronaut Chris Hatfield. Attendance at the final morning … Continue reading →
“This is a case where the wheels are literally falling off the bus.” – Andre Marin, Toronto Star, July 16, 2013 Back in June 2011 the Ontario government promised legislation “at the earliest opportunity” to regulate the private patient transfer … Continue reading →
Well I see Stephen Harper and his ghastly Con regime have stepped up their dirty war on Justin Trudeau. Now he’s not just a junkie, he’s selling pot to kiddies. The Prime Minister’s Office and a Conservative cabinet minister are accusing the Liberal leader of being more interested in making gateway drugs such as marijuana more easily available to children than in addressing Canadians’ economic concerns. “It seems Justin Trudeau’s focus is on legalizing marijuana, which will make it easier for children to access,” Stephen Lecce, the prime minister’s deputy director of communications, said Friday.And although I’m not surprised. Because by (Read more…)
Ontario Conservative Tim Hudak’s Vandal horde sacks Rome Upon Lake Ontario, the media narrative for last Thursday’s Ontario by-elections that was sensibly ignored by the province’s voters. Below, Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. Was she taking a page from the Book of Alison Redford, also below?
One can read too much into any by-election result, I suppose. And it’s particularly dangerous for a commentator from far away to divine profound truths from the results of an election to which he paid scant attention until the final tally appeared on the Internet.
Still, maybe distance lends an opportunity to see the (Read more…)
I’m certainly glad that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is adhering to her commitment to a new way of doing politics.
I’m sure the Toronto District School Board also appreciates her integrity. Recommend this Post
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Deborah Gyapong discusses CMA President Anna Reid’s presentation to the federal All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus, with the positive response of MPs from all parties looking like a particularly noteworthy development: The CMA put forward seven recommendations for governments at all levels to examine to improve health outcomes.
– A comprehensive prescription drug strategy in consultations with the life and health insurance industry to make sure that 10 per cent of Canadians who lack access to prescription drugs can get them.
– Ensuring low-income Canadians have access to rehabilitation, mental health, home care and (Read more…)
I’ve not been an Ontario Liberal Party member in over a year – one of the main reasons I let it lapse are listed here, where I expressed a lot of frustration that Dalton Mcguinty was in essence “pulling a Harper” and using an omnibus bill which contained weakened environmental laws.
I had hoped with the advent of Premier Wynne, things might get a bit more progressive on that front, but she and her government has again failed to (in my opinion) protect the environment, and is in fact carrying on with what was my original beef a year ago:
Working in public relations and government relations requires a lot of reading, watching and listening to the news. Knowing what is being reported helps to shape the narratives we develop for our clients and the discussions we have on their behalf.
I like being on top of the news and between ‘as it happens’ media scans provided by our media monitoring service on client files and keeping on top of four to five TV news outlets and more than a dozen papers, it is safe to say I probably spend too much time being in the loop.
That said, this (Read more…)
@andreahorwath @rmarchesempp your unwillingness to have #AdultConversation re #UserFees 4 roads led me to cancel my @ontariondp mmbrshp :0(— Trevor Haché (@trevorhache) May 30, 2013
From The Liberal Scarf:
Hache twice ran for the NDP in Ottawa-Vanier, and as Policy Director for Ecology Ottawa, a major Ottawa-area environmental organization which he was also a founding member of. (In the interest of full disclosure, I also worked for Ecology Ottawa for several months as a fundraising canvasser.)
Horwath moved the ONDP away from promoting public transit and sound environmental policy in the last election when (Read more…)
Premier Kathleen Wynne is taking the opposite position of what Dalton Mcguinty advocated: instead of abolition, she is for reform of the Senate:
Kathleen Wynne, says she sees real value in having a chamber of sober, second thought and would like to see it reformed. Wynne says the discussions of just how to reform the Senate is something she would like to have with the other provincial premiers.
It is a big blow to those who wish to kill the Senate – regardless of whether it takes 7 provinces with 50 % of the population, or unanimous consent (that issue (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Linda McQuaig discusses Stephen Harper’s class war: Canadians don’t like Harper’s anti-worker agenda — when they notice it. That’s why there’s been such a public outcry since the temporary foreign worker program was exposed as a mechanism by which the Harper government has flooded the country with hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign workers, thereby suppressing Canadian wages in the interests of helping corporations.
Apart from this clumsy fiasco, the Harperites have been adroit at keeping their anti-worker bias under the radar. Instead, they’ve directed their attacks against unions, portraying them as undemocratic (Read more…)
One item in the Ontario budget that was released this week that deserves some attention is this indication that Ontario is going to proactively step up on gender diversity in corporate Canada. In a series of measures on securities regulation, there was this statement: The government strongly supports broader gender diversity on the boards and in senior management of major businesses, not-for-profit firms and other large organizations. In conjunction with others, including the OSC, the government will consider the best way for firms to disclose their approaches to gender diversity, with a view to increasing the participation of women on (Read more…)
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Helene Leblanc argues that we should make sure the Internet is treated as a commons accessible to all, rather than a privilege denied to many (particularly in rural areas): Many Canadians living outside urban centres do not have access to high speed broadband Internet and a significant number connect at speeds of 1.5 megabits per second — only marginally faster than dial-up.
In the year 2000 Estonia declared Internet access a fundamental human right, something essential for life in the 21st century, and launched a program to expand rural access. Finland (Read more…)
To make a minority government work, the party in power needs the support of enough members of parliament to pass confidence-vote legislation like the budget. This can be done on an issue by issue basis, or, by coming to an on-going agreement with one or more opposition parties to form a coalition government. Currently, in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative party under Tim Hudak has been chomping at the bit for an election. They have been uncooperative for some time, looking to gain power for themselves instead of looking to get things done for the people of Ontario. So, the governing (Read more…) Liberals, now under Kathleen Wynne, have been appearing to be willing to work with the NDP to pass legislation. With this in mind, Andrea Horwath’s NDP have asked for some things to be added/changed in the upcoming Ontario Budget. Here is what the NDP demands include: Close . . . → Read More: Driving The Porcelain Bus: Ontario Liberals On The Verge of Forcing An Election
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Paul Adams rightly points out that there’s no inherent value in centrism merely for the sake of centrism – especially when the spectrum of choices is itself shaped by decades of distorted assumptions: (T)he reality of modern politics is that the muddled middle is no answer at all to the issues facing us. On economic and social policy, what divides Canadians is their attitude towards three decades of market-liberating policies that have weakened our middle class, increased inequality, corroded social programs, undermined the ability of working people to negotiate a living wage, and (Read more…) us all more vulnerable and insecure.
There is certainly a discussion to be had about how quickly and by what means these policies should be moderated, revised or reversed — and issues of priority, pace and technique may divide the Liberals and the NDP.
But first, both parties . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links
Dan Arnold (Calgary Grit) says the most important thing about the Ontario Premier`s number (36% approval) is:
3. A lot of Ontarians still haven’t made up their minds about Kathleen Wynne.
But I think the real story is its noticeably better than the previous Ontario Premier’s number (32%). And since the budget will almost certainly pass, our gal`s got clear sailing until 2014.
And, incidentally, here’s a picture with both Dan and me in it (as well as Deb Coyne, Omar, Kyle, Scott Tribe, Jennifer Smith, and Bryan Crockett ). Dan likes to stand in the middle of these pics because he’s . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: The New Angus Reid Premier Numbers
Alison Redford’s approval ratings have fallen to “Stelmachian” levels
Angus Reid has released their quarterly Premier approval ratings. As per usual, Brad Wall is more popular than God, and everyone else is a little more human:
Wall (SK): 64% approve, 28% disapprove Alward (NB): 41% approve, 50% disapprove Selinger (MB): 38% approve, 49% disapprove Wynne (ON): 36% approve, 37% disapprove Marois (QC): 33% approve, 62% disapprove Dexter (NS): 30% approve, 62% disapprove Redford (AB): 29% approve, 66% disapprove Clark (BC): 25% approve, 67% disapprove Dunderdale (NL): 25% approve, 73% disapprove
While Wall’s number sticks out, there are a few
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Provincial Unrest
Lisa Thompson, Tory MPP for Huron-Bruce, introduced the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. Its a private member’s bill, but everything Thompson has said about it, for example her comments here, suggest that it is now the PCPO’s de facto position on the matter. From the assembly records:
The short title of this bill is the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, and that’s exactly what this bill will do. This bill states that wind turbines will only be placed in willing host communities and municipalities will be given a full veto. Wind power must be
. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Hudak Tories In Wind Waffle
Memo: To the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier, Province of Ontario From: Your new pals at OPSEU Diablogue Dear Premier Wynne – Imagine our surprise when we discovered in today’s newspaper that the public sector unions are in fact running government. We have to give thanks … Continue reading →
….but Tim Hudak seems like an angry guy these days. The modus operandi of the Ontario PC leader seems to be to “attack” everyone and everything these days as a way to try to get himself elected – an angrier version of ex-Premier Mike Harris, if you will.
Polls seem to indicate (though I’d like to see more then one pollster saying this) that Ontario voters so far like Premier Wynne’s style, and are willing to give her a chance – not angry Tim, though. He wants to go now!
There is only so much of a base for
Full disclosure. It’s A Forum Research poll. That said, I can’t but like the underlying message:
…the Liberals would again win 53 seats in the 107-member house with the Tories taking 36, down from 37 in the most recent election and the NDP with 18, up from 17 in that vote.
One odd (to me) result: …the New Democrats have tapped into one possible election-winning issue: reducing auto insurance premiums by 15 per cent.Last Friday, Forum polled 1,033 people and found 58 per cent supported Horwath’s plan to trigger a vote if Wynne does not move to
. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kathleen Wynne’s Done Good
There’s been so much bullshit and insanity in the Canadian political scene lately, it’s hard to keep on top of it all. Here are just a few recent examples:
fraud and theft being officially endorsed in the Canadian senate prime minister Stephen Harper and his stooges lying through their teeth every day in parliament Service Canada treating all Employment Insurance claimants as criminals who are guilty until proven innocent Tom Flanagan — University of Calgary brainwasher, Globe and Mail columnist, CBC pundit, Conservative Party of Canada/Alberta Wildrose Party strategist, and friend/mentor of Stephen Harper, Ezra Levant and Danielle Smith — . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: There’s been so much bullshit and insanity in the Canadian…