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Babel-on-the-Bay: The mad mathematics of Ontario’s Whigs.

Maybe Ontario teachers were on strike back when little Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa were there to learn mathematics. It would be the only excuse for the utterly ridiculous decision of the Ontario government to sell part of Hydro One and not the Liquor Control Board stores. As children, our Premier and Finance Minister must have also missed being taught about the goose that laid golden eggs.

They have certainly laid an egg by suggesting that the province should sell 60 per cent of Hydro One. This part of Ontario Hydro does the distribution of electrical service throughout Ontario. Its (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan discusses the utter failure of past trade agreements to live up to their promises, making it all the more unclear why we should be prepared to accept a new wave of even more inflexible restrictions against democratic decision-making. The trade and investment liberalization regime led to rapid and relentless restructuring of North American corporate ownership by opening the door to the two largest merger waves in Canadian history. On the world stage, these merger waves led to higher levels of Canadian corporate ownership abroad. Domestically, heightened amalgamation activity created larger Canadian-based (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario can have a two-day budget day.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa hardly needs us to tell him what to do. Premier Wynne put Ed Clark of TD Bank in charge. That way, she tells Clark and Clark tells Sousa. No comments from the cheap seats are allowed.

But do they have any idea of how long it will take to read the budget speech to the Ontario Legislature? Between the Premier’s ridiculous plans for beer and wine, Clark’s decision to sell Hydro One and Sousa’s housekeeping items, it is going to take two days to get through it all.

It will be the first time the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading.

- Lana Payne writes that we’re seeing exactly the results we should expect from Stephen Harper’s foolish choice to push money upward: A recent Globe and Mail story, using data from Statistics Canada, pointed out just how poorly the job market is doing under Stephen Harper’s leadership.

“Employment growth has been below 1 per cent for 15 months in a row.  The longest stretch … outside of recessions in almost 40 years of record-keeping,” according to the article by economics reporter Tavia Grant.

At the same time, corporate Canada is flush with cash, (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Ontario’s brave new cap and trade program

The Globe and Mail just broke the story on what will likely be the defining component of Kathleen Wynne’s legacy: The Ontario Liberals are introducing a big cap and trade plan. Details are sparse as yet, but it looks like they will be joining the Quebec/California regime. This is huge news, especially given Ontario’s relative prominence in Canada’s economy.

While BC (under the Liberals as well, incidentally) were moving forward with their carbon tax, Ontario Liberals had made big moves on the green energy file. With cap and trade, they are now tackling the greenhouse gas production side of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- For those looking for information about today’s day of action against C-51, Leadnow and Rabble both have details.

- Meanwhile, CBC reports that a professor merely taking pictures on public land near a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline site is already being harassed by the RCMP under current law. Tonda MacCharles notes that lawyers currently involved in dealing with classified-evidence cases have joined the call to rein in the Cons’ terror bill, while PressProgress points out that airlines are also raising serious concerns about the unfettered power handed to a single minister to dictate (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan

This powerful anti-sexual violence ad, released just in time for the 2015 International Woman’s Day, is part of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s ambitious $41-million plan to combat sexual violence.

The post International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Toronto Makeover

Before he left his throne in Ottawa today, and set out for Toronto, I'm sure Stephen Harper had deluded himself into believing that this would be another Great Makeover Day.A day to show his rebellious subjects that he is now a Great Kinder Gentler Leader.A day to show them that even a leopard can change its spots, or a hyena can lose its teeth.And still remain a Great Strong Leader, willing and capable of gumming a Fantino. Read more »

Calgary Grit: 2014 Person of the Year

Every December, I name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year, for good or for bad. Below is a list of recent choices:

2013: Rob Ford & Naheed Nenshi 2012: Allison Redford 2011: Jack Layton 2010: Rob Ford & Naheed Nenshi2009: Jim Flaherty2008: Stephane Dion2007: Jean Charest2006: Michael Ignatieff2005: Belinda Stronach2004: Ralph Klein

I’ve never picked Stephen Harper because, duh, obviously the Prime Minister is going to have an impact on politics. And 2014 was no exception. In a year which (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The PM’s Christmas Message reimagined: What are Canadians willing to do about our most dangerous Arctic enemy?

The so-called Santa Claus, a militant socialist leader who poses a serious threat to Canada’s national security, lights up a cheap Russian cigarette and relaxes after persuading a group of Canadian children unschooled in Austrian economics to give up the benefits of the free market for socialist dependency on government handouts. Below: the sinister “Øverste Leder” of the Danes, the icy eyed Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and the doughty Canadian Rangers, defenders of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty as they bravely prepare to engage in another lonely Sov Pat.

A Christmas Message from the Prime Minister of All the Canadas:

It’s Christmas, and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Recognizing Harper For what He Is

Last evening I watched a PBS special on the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Archival footage spanning over 50 years of the group and their times reminded me of the passionate and committed century I grew up in, a time that saw people marching en masse to protest the Vietnam War, to advocate for civil rights, etc. Outside of the Occupy Movement, rarely has this century seen such activism.

I often think that the forces of corporatism, aided and abetted by their government enablers, have been very successful in largely muting, if not totally silencing, the spirit of protest. (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Wynne and Clark cling to discredited P3s despite damning report

Infrastructure Ontario CEO Bert Clark says the $8 billion premium the government spent to build public infrastructure under the public-private partnership model doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s right, but likely not in the way he’s suggesting. Remarkably Tuesday night … Continue reading →

Montreal Simon: The Main Reason Stephen Harper Hates Kathleen Wynne So Much

I can only guess why Stephen Harper hates Kathleen Wynne with a passion that makes you want to pick up the phone, and call the police. Because I'm not a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of clinical psychopaths, who can't feel the pain of others. Or be rehabilitated.But I know do enough about him and his morally depraved Con cult to come up with a short list of possible reasons:Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On abuses of power

Shorter Ontario Libs: It turns out that the public sees privatizing power as only slightly more desirable than the plague. But to ensure a swift transition of profits toward the private sector, we’re fully prepared to falsely claim those are our only two options.

CuriosityCat: Kudos to Premier Wynne for remedying our democratic deficits

Political Reformer Premier Wynne

While many premiers, MPs, politicians and commentators wring their hands about the low voting counts in elections, and the feeling of impotence of many citizens, Premier Wynne of Ontario has decided to stop whining and do something about it. With one bold step, Wynne will provide Ontario municipalities with the chance to try a radically different method of electing municipal councillors than the undemocratic first past the post sytem:

Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered her municipal affairs minister to give Ontario cities the alternative of employing ranked ballots in the 2018 civic elections.

In her (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Kathleen Wynne, the Cons, and the Moody’s Mob

I'm pretty sure not many people in Ontario, let alone the rest of Canada, took time off from their busy lives, or Summer, to watch Kathleen Wynne's Throne Speech today.And neither did I eh? Because summer is too precious, life is too short, and since I'm flying to Britain soon, I've got other things to worry about. But it was an interesting declaration of faith in the power of putting people first.Premier Kathleen Wynne has rolled out a progressive, energetic agenda in her first majority Speech from the Throne. Vowing to lead from the “activist centre,” (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Kathleen Wynne, the Cons, and the Moody’s Mob

Scott's DiaTribes: Some Liberal bits and bites – provincial and federal

- Re-elected Premier Kathleen Wynne will be swearing in her new provincial Cabinet today. One of the chief shuffles I’m pleased to see is Dr. Eric Hoskins moving into the Health Ministry portfolio. I’ve been a long time supporter of his from his running as a federal LPC candidate in Haldimand Norfolk and before that heading up War Child Canada (now headed by his wife, Dr.Samantha Nutt). I’m also pleased to see Mitzie Hunter, who brought forth the private-members bill last session to allow ranked ballots to be used in Toronto’s civic elections, has been given a promotion to (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: The politics of “ableism” and hard-working babies

If there was a party game that could be applied to the recent provincial election, it would have involved some kind of participant action every time a politician uttered the words “hard-working families.” It’s an odd phrase – does that … Continue reading →

Alberta Diary: The only hope for Alberta’s Tories now may be a call to Ghostbusters, or an exorcist!

The Ric McIver campaign balloon makes its way through downtown Calgary. Who ya gonna call? Kathleen Wynne? Some of the cast of the Gong Show, Alberta Edition, below: Former infrastructure minister McIver, Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale, and actual acting infrastructure minister Dave Hancock.

Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party is looking for a new leader, but what it may actually need is an exorcism, or at least the services of a good ghostbuster.

Bad ideas from the recent and distant past keep haunting the hapless PCs until it seems unlikely even leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice, the ostensible solution to all the (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Ontario To Canada: You Owe Us, You Ungrateful Pricks

Ontario has subsidized the rest of this frozen craphole of a nation since before the latest generation of carpers and whiners huddled under skins sucking their mama’s tit in a Yert outside of Mushaboo.  If Ontario hadn’t financed Abasand Oils, Great Canadian, and on and on, Albertans would still be struggling to rise up from the muck and mire, and hunting down mastadons with bone-tipped spears.  If not for Ontario, Newsfies would be eating their belts come the first hard winter, rather than lolling in the arms of the nanny state.  But no.  It’s OK.  You don’t have to say thank you. (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: Wynne Wins

We know Kathleen Wynne likes to run, but this spring she was running against 10 years of baggage, a widespread time for a change sentiment, and more scandals than the opposition could fit in a 30-second TV spot. Luckily, she was also running against Tim Hudak.

Given these challenges, the election was Hudak’s for the taking (or Horwath’s – more on that later). Out of the gate, he claimed control of the agenda, dominating the headlines every day. This was a page out of the Harper 2005 Playbook, when he took a break from Gomery to announce his (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Red in Central Canada, blue in Ottawa an immutable rule that favours Harper’s Tories? Don’t bet on it!

Is Justin Trudeau finished because Kathleen Wynne just won in Ontario, like the mainstream media’s pundits are telling you? Don’t be too sure! (Say, as one Twitter commenter asked, who is that old man with Mr. Trudeau?) Below: The same guy with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Weird! Below them: Lawrence Martin and Tim Harper.

It’s certainly true that the Ontario Liberals are going to miss Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak. He was a gift that kept on giving.

But their federal cousins, and the federal NDP as well, can take comfort. They still have Stephen Harper.

So it’s (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Better Angels of Our Nature

Like many who follow politics closely, I consider myself to be deeply cynical. Probably the best window into the human soul, politics is the arena where often the worst aspects of our natures prevail; greed, selfishness, abuse of power all have ample opportunity to find expression in this venue.

Yet despite many years of observing these terrible truths about ourselves, I have never completely abandoned hope for the possibility of something better. Recent events have provided some basis for that hope, despite the best efforts of the Harper neoconservatives to remake us in their own image and accept them as (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Wynne’s Win, and the Agony of Right-Wing Pundits

Three election opportunities lost, Nova Scotia, BC and now the Ontario results flatten the calculating NDP strategists decision to force an election and shift to the so called middle.

Here is Murray Dobbin’s assessment as carried in the Tyee

Bad voters! You failed to opt for communal suicide. 

By Murray Dobbin

While I realize it is churlish to take so much pleasure in the whining and wingeing of the usually arrogant right-wing pundits, I just can’t help myself.

This gaggle of ideological nut bars rarely get angry at the fact that most governments in this country have been doing (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: There Is Much At Stake

Kathleen Wynne’s victory, Murray Dobbins writes, offers hope — not just to Ontario, but to the rest of Canada:

While the right’s hardliners may be lighting their hair on fire, citizens on the other hand may actually get to see what governments used to be like. There is, of course, still a possibility that Wynne will renege on these pledges as Liberals have done historically. But just imagine if she does deliver with the most progressive budget in Canada in 20 years. It could have huge implications for politics at all levels.

For forty years the Right has pumped (Read more…)