Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Babel-on-the-Bay: The people wall is uncomfortable.

It is coming to a point where politicians will need to use videos of the right types of people behind them. It would certainly be better than the uncertainty of dragging in whoever is available to make up the backdrop for political announcements. It is the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa that goes overboard in this type of thing. His mixed-race backdrops seem to never miss a skin color to pander to.

What brings this to mind was an announcement in Barrie the other day by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Desperate for a backdrop for her announcement, she had to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Whining about Premier Wynne and wine.

Once again with feelings folks! We just found out from Ontario’s official newspaper the Toronto Star that the Ontario budget will not include selling good wine in grocery stores. We have been betrayed. We have been used. We have been had. This is unforgiveable.

And what’s the excuse?

It seems there are international trade agreements and “other” challenges. Okay, it sounds like the problems are those created by politicians and that means that our present politicians will know how to eliminate them. Nobody expects the grocery stores to be stocking beer and wine until later in the year anyway. There (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wynne works with the Arc of Political Change.

Political change is never a straight line. No politico ever wants to admit that they were not doing things properly nor do they ever want to make a 90 or, God forbid, 180 degree change. Change must be slow, incremental and loaded with plenty of political plaudits for the politicians in power.

An excellent example of this is the desperate need to modernize how the Province of Ontario retails alcoholic beverages. Booze is a nasty word in staid old Ontario and a Whig politician like Premier Wynne does not rush into change rapidly. She is using the Arc of Political (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick Brown, we hardly knew you.

Ontario media have discovered Patrick Brown MP. Yes, that is our Patrick from Barrie. He has been our Member of Parliament for the last three parliaments. He was barely noticed. He said nothing. He did nothing. He was another mindless Conservative vote. He was your typical Conservative MP.

But finally he is being noticed. Ontario news media have discovered something about Patrick that we have been laughing about for some time. This person we know as a nebbish is quite likely to become the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. Despite being something of a mouth breather, bug-eyed and (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…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Rules, shmules, we the boss:” says Brother Brown.

Canadians are usually fairly good about not mixing religion and politics. It is one of the less endearing traits of American politicos. That was why it was most unusual the other day when a B.C. member of the Conservative backbench quit his caucus and said he would sit as an independent so that he could practice his religion. If more of his co-religionists followed his lead, Mr. Harper could lose his majority and we might have an election sooner than this Fall.

We mention this in passing as this commentary is also about religion in politics. It is about (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.

Trashy's World: Essential job requirements to be a CPC or OPC Minister…

1. Publicly state that evolution should not be taught in schools… Check 2. Tweet to the world that evolution should not be considered a “fact”. Check  3. Make slanderdous and way-over-top statements about Ontario’s school cirriculum Check Yup. And add in the: – mandatory climate-change denying blathering; – Jenny McCarthy anti-vax fan club membership, […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: What’s Wrong with Municipal Bonusing?

Until the early 1970s, municipalities in Ontario were involved in a free-for-all competition to attract business and industry. They offered tax breaks, free land, free infrastructure, utilities or services, housing — whatever it took to get a plant or office to open within their boundaries. A lot of small Ontario communities were able to attract […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Looking for Heroes?

I’ve been watching The Book of Negroes this week. I have no words. I only recognize justice, integrity, brutality, acknowledgement, witnessing, story telling and a myriad of other foggy responses.

It’s easy to also ponder qualities of heroes.

Then I read this from earlier this week, and nodded. Do you get it?

Anishinabe Women Protest Energy East Pipeline on Family Day


February 16, 2015

‘Protect the Water, For Future Generations’: Message being shared today with local families, starting at Market Square at noon.

Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: Town Hall Event – "Ontario’s Greenbelt Under Threat" ( #onpoli )

In partnership with Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Land Over Landings presents a Town Hall Meeting to expose the threats to Ontario’s Greenbelt.

January 28th – 7 – 9 pm, Brougham Town Hall, Brougham, Ontario.

Full details are available via the Facebook event.

Trashy's World: Alberta faces recession…

Because of falling oil prices. I predicted this about a two years ago. Right here. … and Ontario bounces back. With the lower price of oil and a lower dollar,it was inevitable. And I bet the short pants in the PMO are beginning to regret their short-changing and put-downs of Canada’s most populous province. They have surely […]

The Progressive Right: Ontario’s Craft Brewers Should Reject the Beer Store Proposal ( #beer #onpoli )

It’s not often that two of my favourite things collide, but somebody got politics in my beer and beer in my politics.

People who know me, know that I enjoy trying and sampling new beer. I like variety and I think we’re living in a tremendous time when lots of new craft beer options exist around the province.

In Ontario, there are two entities that are allowed to widely distribute alcohol – the government agency Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and through a special arrangement with the LCBO, the Beer Store. Under Ontario’s Liquor Control Act, Brewers Retail is (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sam Pizzigati interviews Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett about the fight against inequality and the next piece of the puzzle to be put in place: [Pickett:]…In The Spirit Level, we have all these correlations between inequality and social problems, and we have theories and hypotheses about what is driving these correlations. But we didn’t know then whether or not the drivers we hypothesized — things like status anxiety — were actually higher in more unequal countries. Now those kinds of data are being used increasingly in psychological research. (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: What’s a Single Issue Prime Minister to Do?

These are not good times for Canada’s petro-prime minister.  Harper’s Holy Grail, Canadian energy superpowerdom, has sprung a leak.  Even The Globe & Mail, says bitumen no longer makes any economic sense.

If $40 a barrel still seems a ways off, consider that the benchmark price for oil sands crude is already trading in that price range. What’s more, if production from high-cost sources isn’t withdrawn from an oversupplied market, oil prices may soon be trading even lower. The first thing Canadians should recognize about the new world order for oil prices is that – contrary to what we’re (Read more…)

New Solar in Ontario

Ontario isn’t as GD senseless as Saskatchewan’s government. They actually have somewhat of a Feed In Tariff program underway.

The Ontario Power Authority has just extended its solar feed-in tariff program and selected another 99 MW of solar power projects to receive payments from it. This comes from 330 new contracts.

ontarioIn case you’re not familiar with feed-in tariffs, they are when renewable energy power producers are guaranteed a specific rate for the electricity they produce and send back into the grid for a specific period of time (e.g., 15 years or 20 years). This lets the homeowners (Read more…)

Wise Law Blog: Superior Court of Justice, Here Come the Non-Payment Claims

A recent decision by Justice Nordheimer confirmed that Lawyers can no longer bring claims for non-payment against their clients to the Ontario Small Claims Court. They must now be assessed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.An excellent article by Yamri Taddese of the Law Times, details how this will impact the profession. – Rachel Spence, Law Clerk & Office Manager Visit our Toronto Law Office website: Visit our website:

. . . → Read More: Wise Law Blog: Superior Court of Justice, Here Come the Non-Payment Claims

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Ontario Auditor’s damning report on P3s

The Ontario Auditor General’s 2014 Report includes a chapter on Infrastructure Ontario’s P3 program that is particularly damning–and corresponds with many of the criticisms made on this blog and elsewhere by myself and others.

While the headlines were that P3 projects cost the province an additional $8 billion than if they were procured traditionally, the report documents numerous other problems with the province’s P3 program and practices that should appal anyone concerned about responsible public policy and the appropriate use of public funds.

The problems identified by the Ontario AG with these P3 (or AFP “Alternative Financing and Procurement” as Ontario (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Blasts Harper New Anti-prostitution Law

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says Harper’s new anti-prostitution law, Bill C-36, will protect neither exploited sex workers nor communities.

The post Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Blasts Harper New Anti-prostitution Law appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Monica Pohlmann interviews Armine Yalnizyan about the undue influence of our corporate overlords in setting public policy: What’s your sense of the state of our democracy?

We have a troubled relationship with our democratic institutions. We need to get over the idea that government is something and someone else. The government is us. The idea that governments are largely useless, that they’re more likely to make a mess than fix things, is exactly what corporations would like us to think. It gives them more freedom to use the enormous power of the (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: From Ground to Store: We Look at Carbon Neutral Wines

When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jeremy Warren reports on the latest Canadians for Tax Fairness events working to ensure that Cameco and other megacorporations pay at least their fair share. And Sheila Block and Kaylie Tiessen point out that Ontario could do plenty to reduce its deficit by reining in regressive tax giveaways.

- APTN documents the devastating reality that people who can’t afford overpriced food in Northern communities are having to forage through garbage dumps in order to scrape by. And naturally, Leona Aglukkaq and the Cons are concerned…that anybody’s finding out about that fact, leading (Read more…)

Eh Types: No Doug, No Problem

If at first you don’t succeed, try something you’re even less qualified for? Not exactly conventional wisdom, but very little of that applies when talking about the Fords. For example, holding a press conference to announce you’re not running for office. Doug Ford announced earlier he will not seek to replace Tim Hudak, as leader […]

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Tom Sullivan’s advice for Democrats south of the border that it’s essential to reach out to dispossessed voters of all types of backgrounds with a compelling alternative to the status quo is equally relevant to progressives in Canada.

- But the good news is that here, somebody’s actually applying it. And we’re also hearing plenty about how our local reactionaries are ignoring the vast majority of families – with Ashley Splawinski offering this look at the Cons’ income splitting scheme compared to the obvious alternative:  About 86 per cent of all families including (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack.

But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the day before the Ontario municipal election.

Read what Olivia Chow thinks of it below:

Chow told CP24 she thinks the cartoon is “disgusting.”

“Because I am Chinese-Canadian, I must be a communist and have slanted eyes and glasses … and since I am a (Read more…)