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The Ranting Canadian: "You’re either with working women and men or you’re…

“You’re either with working women and men or you’re against them.”

- Peter Kormos (1952-2013)

It has been one year since we lost Peter Kormos, a former Ontario MPP who died too young, at the age of 60. Kormos, who died on on March 30, 2013 of natural causes, wasn’t an ordinary politician. He set the bar high, as a political leader and as a member of his community. The above video is a tribute that was played at his memorial last May. It’s 11 minutes long, but it’s worth watching.

For those who don’t know (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: The mouse in the room: Small business fetish and the minimum wage debate

The scrappy mom-and-pop shop may be a nice image, but how well does it reflect the reality of employment? Small business may be neither as ubiquitous nor economically heroic as many people think. If this is the case, then perhaps the needs of small business should not figure as prominently in some economic policy debates. The minimum wage debate is a case in point.

This line of thinking arose from finding an older piece by the excellent Doug Henwood, which questions the nearly universal platitudes directed at small business. Doug writes,

[S]mall business often serves an ideological purpose. (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: Family feuds in Ontario NDP as Horwath rushes to clamp down on dissent

Ontario NDP infighting is all over the news this week, as we saw sharp divides between Andrea Horwath’s office and others in the party. Long-time Ontario NDP’er and front-bench critic MPP Paul Miller was booted to the backbench this weekend, after a dispute between himself and Horwath boiled over The MPP from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek [said to Horwath] “Don’t you tell me to shut up.” It didn’t stop there. Horwath said something else that couldn’t be made out and Miller said, “Are you threatening me? Don’t you threaten me.” Even veteran MPPs from the other parties were taken (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: Two-time NDP candidate and environmentalist quits Ontario NDP over Horwath adopting Rob Ford’s transit policy

This is Trevor Hache earlier today, quitting the Ontario NDP over their rejection of revenue models to expand transit options for families in the Greater Toronto and Greater Hamilton Area.

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 the ONDP platform included (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Peter Kormos memorial on May 11, 2013 in Thorold, Ontario

Peter Kormos memorial on May 11, 2013 in Thorold, Ontario:

Click on the above link for details, and see my last post for more information about his life, which ended far too soon.

If you see grey boxes above, click on one of them to see photos of Peter.

The Ranting Canadian: Last weekend, Canada lost a beloved, well-respected, honest,…

Last weekend, Canada lost a beloved, well-respected, honest, persuasive, gruff-voiced, hard-working, non-conformist, friendly, principled, down-to-earth man of the people who drank and smoked, wore cowboy boots, stood up for the little guy and was re-elected several times.

No, I’m not talking about that asshole Ralph Klein, whose merits and accomplishments are more myth than reality. This is about Peter Kormos, the former Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) MPP for Welland. The larger-than-life rebel, who was serving as a Niagara Region councillor, died at the age of 60 on March 30, 2013.

Unlike many so-called populist politicians, Peter actually did (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Transphobia is alive and well in Ontario

As a follower of both US and Canadian politics, but a Canadian resident, it is a source of national pride that much of the most abhorrent aspects of the culture wars in the US are, thankfully, absent in Canada. For all our faults, our elections don’t seem to have an over abundance of old conservative white men who can’t quite restrain themselves from talking about “legitimate rape” and the “gift from god” that a rape baby presents. Even our socially conservative Prime Minister has, as a credit to his political savvy if not his ideological tendencies, clamped down on debates over abortion (Read more…)

The Equivocator: Paul Donofrio: NDP Candidate. Rob Ford Supporter. Social Media Cautionary Tale.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the PC candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, Tracey Weiler, has been running away from the PC leader Tim Hudak. In the riding of Vaughan, the ONDP and their leader Andrea Horwath, the opposite has been the case. Paul Donofrio, the ONDP candidate, has been completely ignored by his party. When he was nominated on August 10th the ONDP did a short, boilerplate press release. Since then, there has been hardly a peep about Mr. Donofrio out of the ONDP.

Paul Donofrio is a classic perennial candidate. He ran for City Council, and lost. He ran for

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: Paul Donofrio: NDP Candidate. Rob Ford Supporter. Social Media Cautionary Tale.

Defending Public Healthcare: More legislative attacks from the Liberal/PC twins coming?

It’s now apparent that the Pogressive Conservatives will allow the Liberals to batter teachers and school support staff with legislation imposing takeaways.

Even if this legislation does  pass, the question is what will the twin parties do to the rest of the public sector? There is, after all, a lot more bargaining coming up.

Is more legislation coming from the twins?

While I’m no lawyer, sweeping legislation covering all workers in the public sector sounds like it may have more constitutional problems than legislation covering this or that bargaining unit after there has been a genuine attempt by the employer

. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: More legislative attacks from the Liberal/PC twins coming?

The Equivocator: The Ontario NDP Skips the Budget Vote.

“You know, most Canadians, if they don’t show up for work, they don’t get a promotion.” – Jack Layton

On Tuesday, April 24th the 17 MPPs in the Ontario NDP caucus (led by Andea Howarth) skipped out on voting on Ontario’s 2012 budget. This action is confusing. It looks like a huge strategic blunder for the ONDP. After Tim Hudak took himself out of the debate by saying he’d vote against the budget before any details were put on the negotiation table, I was pleased to see Ms. Howarth and Premier McGuinty negotiating over the budget. Now that the

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: The Ontario NDP Skips the Budget Vote.

Timmy Hudak Says That Liberal Dominated Toronto is “Not Healthy”! Also Doesn’t Seem To Acknowledge The NDP’s Existence

Oh dear! Poor Timmy never learned to be a good sport, did he? Poor young Miller, what a poor example she has for a parent! Poor loser speeches from Cons is nothing new, but Timmy has gone beyond outrageous here:

Tory Leader Tim Hudak says the Liberal minority government is too Toronto . . . → Read More: Timmy Hudak Says That Liberal Dominated Toronto is “Not Healthy”! Also Doesn’t Seem To Acknowledge The NDP’s Existence . . . → Read More: Timmy Hudak Says That Liberal Dominated Toronto is “Not Healthy”! Also Doesn’t Seem To Acknowledge The NDP’s Existence

Maybe It’s Just Me, But Isn’t The (O)NDP Supposed To Be a Forward Thinking Party?

I did see this pic of the orange stiletto on some of my facebook friends’ profile pics and wondered what it was. For them, I thought it was amusing; they were celebrating fall; the advent of Halloween; stuff like that. After all, I’m in Quebec and not privy to all . . . → Read More: Maybe It’s Just Me, But Isn’t The (O)NDP Supposed To Be a Forward Thinking Party? . . . → Read More: Maybe It’s Just Me, But Isn’t The (O)NDP Supposed To Be a Forward Thinking Party?

Acts of Citizenship: A vote for the ONDP is a vote for “progressive” government, or McGuinty is not “progressive” (updated)

The Ontario Liberals are so desperate. They are running one of the most disingenuous smear filled campaigns I’ve ever seen from Liberals.

First they’ve tried to dissuade progressive voters by suggesting that the ONDP and the PCPO are the same. Thus, don’t vote for the ONDP. I mean after all the ONDP and the PCPO both voted against the OLP over 180 times. What the OLP fails to mention is that opposition parties are there to hold the government to account and to oppose bad legislation. That two ideologically opposed parties vote so often against OLP legislation for completely opposite (Read more…)

Acts of Citizenship: Trying to understand outrage at ONDP’s 1% HST reduction in gasoline

This portion of the ONDP platform has probably received the most discussion, usually vacuous outrage, especially by self-styled environmentalists. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what is so egregious about the proposal to claw back 1% of HST from the oil companies who at last check were doing quite well and offer relief to the consumer that has been hit with a regressive tax designed pay for corporate giveaways by placing the burden on middle and working class consumers.

First thing I noticed was that the initiative is part of the ONDP’s making life more affordable platform. From ONDP (Read more…)

JanfromtheBruce: Scarborough NDP MPP Michael Prue conducts an animated auction to drum up funding for the NDP during the Scarborough Centre and Scarborough Southwest NDP provincial nomination meeting, June 11, 2011.

Transformational Change ~ riding the Orange WaveSnipRyan Palmquist, a 23-year-old fundraiser with the NDP’s provincial office, said it’s an exciting time to be a New Democrat and that the generation has turned. “I noticed that older people were alw… . . . → Read More: JanfromtheBruce: Scarborough NDP MPP Michael Prue conducts an animated auction to drum up funding for the NDP during the Scarborough Centre and Scarborough Southwest NDP provincial nomination meeting, June 11, 2011.