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Progressive Proselytizing: Wynne suing Hudak is hardly going to help her

The de facto practice of being a politician is to not so subtly imply all manner of scandalous inanities about one’s opponents. When there is an actual underlying scandal, the shrill accusations from opponents tend to reach a fever pitch, and how an incumbent politician deals with the scandal breaking around them can make or break them.

From Rob Ford to Chris Christie to Stephen Harper, we have seen quite a range of different responses to political scandals. But the approach that Kathleen Wynne is taking to the email deletions over the gas plant cancellations seem to be the oddest (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Ontario Byelections: The change that really counts

It seems that the leaders of all three poltical parties in the province of Ontario sense that voters want change.  Premier Wynne, leading a minority Liberal government, was rejected by voters in the two byelections, but says change is wanted: Real Change Wynne?

After writing off the byelections as “skirmishes” that aren’t indicative of how things will go in a general election, Wynne vowed that the Liberals will do better whenever the campaign is held. “I know people are looking for change in this province,” she said. “Well I’m the change. My plan is the change. My team (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: By-Election Analysis And A Look Ahead

Let the NDP crow for a day.  They’ve earned it.  As for a Spring election, its about as likely/unlikely as it was yesterday morning, which means we’ll probably have one.  And as to the likely result, well, Kathleen will be dogged by anti-wind  protesters at her rural events.  Our wild and crazy Ombudsman is launching a new and possibly embarrassing investigation into Hydro One billing.   (Not that that’s an unworthy target, but check out the man’s twitter-feed from last night: @Ont_Ombudsman @RobSilver Don’t drink and tweet.  Seriously.— Bigcitylib (@Bigcitylib2) February 14, 2014

…His behavior is, let us just (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Social Determinants: $11 an hour simply not enough

As health care providers news of the increase in minimum wage is important – as we stated in 2013, poverty is the second leading cause of death in this country. While we have to applaud the government for finally promising … Continue reading →

A BCer in Toronto: Ontario’s NDP lines up behind Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Here’s an example of some pretty cynical political pandering from Ontario’s NDP, as it decides to sidle up to Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford in a misguided attempt to score political points.

Back in November, when there was discussion about whether the province should intervene in the drama surrounding Ford and Toronto’s city council, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath rightly said it should be up to the council to decide how it wanted to proceed.

“At this point, I think it’s really important to maintain a position of respect for that council. They were elected by their local community, the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ice storm 2013: Is the Canadian government like the cops – never around when you need them?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper over flooded Calgary last June. Apparently there’s no sign of him anywhere near Toronto now. Below: Then U.S. President George W. Bush over New Orleans in August 2005; Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; the PM’s unhelpful Tweet from Calgary Sunday night.

The Toronto Star reported yesterday that an estimated 72,000 households remain without power four days after a catastrophic ice storm hit Canada’s largest city.

By the time you read this, that 140,000 or so Metropolitan Toronto residents will be in their fifth day without power or heat – many of them seniors and other (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Political Christmas cards, and Scarborough subways subways subways

Before I head to the West Coast tomorrow for Christmas, I thought I’d share a few of the political Christmas cards that — for the last year ever if the Conservatives and Canada Post get their way — the mailman has dropped through the slot of my front door.

The first, and my favourite, is from my local Liberal MPP, Scarborough-Centre’s Brad Duguid. Clearly, he knows what his constituents want for Christmas — subways subways subways.

Sticking with provincial politics, here’s the card from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who poses with her happy extended family. And finally, federal Liberal leader (Read more…) . . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Political Christmas cards, and Scarborough subways subways subways

Calgary Grit: Quotes of the Year

Scroll to the bottom to vote on your favourite quote…

“I am Conservative. I am a traditionalist. I wish I left Cabinet in the traditional way – with a sex scandal!” -Stephen Fletcher, after being removed from Cabinet

“When I stand back and look at the cast of candidates, even I would pick me. I have to be plain about that.” -Sandra Pupatello

“You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: News roundup: November 30, 2013 Here are a few thoughts about…

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…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Harris had to stop hospital cuts after two years – what about Wynne?

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 →

Politics and its Discontents: A Peak Behind the Political Curtain

If, like me, you are of the firm suspicion that governments regard the needs of its citizens as largely secondary to those of its corporate backers, you will derive much from Martin Regg Cohn’s column in this morning’s Star. Entitled How corporate Ontario gets its way at Queen’s Park, the piece confirms the subversion of the people’s interests at the hands of money, powerful lobbying, and venal politicians.

As discussed in an earlier blog entry, construction giant EllisDon has been engaged in an intense lobbying effort to get the Ontario legislature to rescind a 1958 agreement that binds them (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Still waiting for “earliest possible opportunity” to regulate patient transfer

“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 →

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Dirty War on Canadians

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…)

Alberta Diary: Ontario’s by-elections: potentially a perfectly acceptable result for Premier Kathleen Wynne

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…)

Politics and its Discontents: Did Someone Say ‘Byelection’?

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

Musings on Canadian Politics: Rob Ford you are responsible for the province cutting funding

Ontario’s Liberal government is cutting close to $150 million in transfer payments to the City of Toronto. The payments, which are used to fund social programs, will be cut off in 2016.

City bureaucrats and politicians are trying to push back against the provincial Liberals. They argue the province made an agreement in 2008 to continue the payments until 2018. The Liberals deny they made this commitment.

The politics of the province’s move are interesting.

At the city level Mayor Ford is straddling a fine line. He has repeatedly asserted that social programs are gravy. So, it will be very (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

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…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Disappointing environmental decision from the Ontario Government – again.

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:

(Read more…)

John Laforet - Blog: Scandal Fatigue

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…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kathleen Wynne Is The Only Adult In The Room

@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…)

Scott's DiaTribes: One less provincial vote for Senate abolition

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

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…)

Impolitical: Wynne budget promotes gender diversity on boards and in business #onpoli

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

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…)

Driving The Porcelain Bus: Ontario Liberals On The Verge of Forcing An Election

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