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mark a rayner: Fiction: At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting

staffroom confidential: Just more teacher bashing: Deconstructing the Ontario report card debacle

This post appeared first on rankandfile.ca Please visit if you haven’t already – an excellent source of labour news you won’t find anywhere else.—

The mainstream media wasted no time this week to engage in a round of teacher bashing at the news that some school boards would not be issuing report cards in response to teacher job action. Teachers, who are in a work to rule campaign, have produced reports but are not inputting the data into computer systems. Apparently, and unsurprisingly, school principals and administrators just didn’t want to do this extra work, so they cancelled (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David Cay Johnston looks into new research showing just how much distance the U.S.’ highest-income .001% has put between itself and the rest of the country’s citizens: (F)or the first time ever, the IRS offers a close look at the top .001 percent of taxpayers. It shows that incomes in this rarefied air — the top 1,361 households — are soaring while their tax burdens are falling.

The differences in income-growth rates from 2003 to 2012 between the top .001 percent and the rest of the top 1 percent are akin (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: Ontario’s Common Sense Revolution at 20: A Look Back

Today marks 20 years since the Progressive Conservative Party foisted its so-called “Common Sense Revolution” on Ontario. Former PC Ontario leader Tim Hudak took to Twitter this morning to extol the virtues of this full-throated neoliberal experiment, declaring it “the most effective, courageous gov[ernment]” in his lifetime. Some remember those days differently. Here are a few […]

Driving The Porcelain Bus: A Sleeping Ontario Awakens

EKOS has released a 2nd poll that puts the NDP in the lead in the past couple of weeks. This solidifies things more, showing that it is not a fluke. (Actually, 8 recent polls have the NDP virtually tied with the Conservatives for the lead.) Probably the most significant number in the latest poll is the position of the NDP in Ontario. It has been pretty obvious that the NDP are going to hold onto their seats in Quebec. And, they have remained steadily competitive in BC. The key now to the election lies in vote-rich Ontario. For the (Read more…)

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Backroad Mapbooks Ontario GPS Map Version 5 Now Available With My Greenbelt Trail Maps Included

Backroad Mapbooks now has Version 5 of their Ontario GPS Map available. Actually it has been available since the fall but I only checked for updates at the start of the Spring biking season.

I am very impressed with the Backroad Mapbooks product, as I state in my review on my “Richard’s GPS Trail Maps” website.

Version 5 includes all of the Greenbelt Trail Maps on my ”Richard’s GPS Trail Maps

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Citizens for Public Justice provides a useful set of fact sheets on the importance of tax revenues in funding a civilized society. And Daphne Bramham follows up with a look at what we’ve lost from tax cuts – and the public demand for more tax fairness: Tax cuts during the past decade have meant that $45 billion has been trimmed from government spending and programs each year since 2006 and almost 30,000 jobs have been lost.

One reason Canadians willingly pay taxes is they believe it’s a fair system. But as the fact (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Four Ways to Reduce Your Business Travel Carbon Footprint

What is your carbon footprint? Each Canadian causes 15 tons of CO2 emission per year, American 18 tons, Australian 17 tons, Dutch 11 tons, German 9 tons, British 8 tons, Chinese 6 tons, Indian 2 tons. How much of these emissions are caused by business travels? What can you do to reduce your business travel footprint? Let’s find out.

Go Digital

According to a report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), videoconferencing can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,271 tons over five years — equivalent to the emissions from 400 passenger cars. The study, (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: Reflections on McChesney: Problematics of Media Self-Regulation

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. News media goes where many cannot or will not. It infiltrates the halls of power, the courtrooms, protest sites, war zones and scenes of tragedy. It is, unquestionably, the source of much of the information used to inform and shape society. Its […]

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are your 15 minutes of fame finished Mr. Brown?

The new leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives must have been saving money on speech writing when he talked to the Ontario Legislature on Monday. If there was ever a time for Patrick Brown to be gracious that was it. It was a courtesy that he was asked to address the members of the legislative assembly. They had Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard giving a statesman-like address to the legislature and, in a non-partisan gesture, the Liberal government invited Patrick Brown, as a new party leader, to say something.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s people must have known he would blow it. His (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Ontario Made $226.00 on Diamond Royalty

And I thought Saskatchewan/Alberta’s oil royalties were too low. I wonder how much we make on salt, compared to Ontario.

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Author, Author”

Having written many political speeches over the years, it would have been a pleasant surprise to hear the shout for the author to take a bow among the applause at the end of many a speech. Having listened to MP Patrick Brown on Saturday when he accepted the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, that call would have been deserved. The speech was a good balance for the occasion.

Brown was gracious to his opponents and a bit obsequious to his friend MPP Monte McNaughton. McNaughton was the only candidate to quit the race and bring his socially conservative supporters (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Do Ontario Tories need a leader?

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will announce its new leader tomorrow. Will anyone care? Is it going to make a difference? With three years to go before an election in Ontario, will the voters notice the change? When you hear that timing is everything in politics, you get the idea that this is lousy timing.

And what possible difference in leadership potential is there between MPP Christine Elliott and MP Patrick Brown. Has either ever shown any? Has either one suggested in any concrete way how they would make life better in this province? Is either in demand as a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Do YOU Fight for Workplace Justice?

How do YOU define determination?

One of them gave birth the day before the vote. As soon as her baby was nursing properly and her bloodwork came back okay, she made the trip to the hotel to vote.

via Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel | Toronto Star.

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) March 14, 2014 Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage (0) October 27, 2014 The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow (0) December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (2)

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…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: A potpourri for Sunday.

Babel-on-the-Bay has resisted the urge to do an occasional potpourri of comments. We usually try to stick to one (related at least) topic at a time. If we did a potpourri, it would probably look like this:

Ignorance is bliss: In a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star this week, a reader says he has solved the problems of Toronto municipal elections. He appears to think that the city should have proportional representation without political parties. Since proportional representation is based on voting for a party instead of a candidate, he has certainly solved the election problems.

More (Read more…)

Trashy's World: PCPO leadership race

I’m obviously NOT a supporter of Ontario’s PC Party, but rooting for Patrick Brown over Christine Elliott. The wise voters in our province have time and time again rejected the social conservatism that has been the hallmark of leaders like Hudak and Brown. Elliott would be a far greater barrier to another OLP government in […]

cmkl: The cold, hard factual stupidity of Ontario selling its electrical utility: Hugh Mackenzie on rabble.ca

Normally I’d be all “but this represents Ontarians’ birthright, stuff that we have worked hard for and built with blood sweat and taxes” over the Ontario Liberals’ plan to sell Hydro One. But Hugh Mackenzie, an economist who works with CCPA, has another take. A rather cold, realpolitik, Bay Street take on why selling off … Continue reading The cold, hard factual stupidity of Ontario selling its electrical utility: Hugh Mackenzie on rabble.ca →

Babel-on-the-Bay: With Patrick Brown you get bupkis.

It seems we are supposed to do some sort of mea culpa in regards to Barrie’s MP Patrick Brown. Yes Babel-on-the-Bay originates in Barrie but we thought we had that covered by calling the place Babel. It just would not remain hidden.

In writing the other day about the relative voting strength of the two remaining Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidates, we used only the raw figures. How those votes are going to be counted by the provincial Tories is the only reason Christine Elliott MPP for Oshawa is still in the race. Barrie’s Brown might be ahead by more (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Two Tory budgets for the price of one.

It was Ontario’s turn this past week. How often do we get two Tory budgets at a time? On Tuesday, we had a laugh at federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s expense. And then, right on the heels, Thursday we had a budget redux from Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. There was a new beer tax in Charles’ budget so he must be one of those tax-and-spend Liberals we hear about. Frankly, this liberal would not give you two cents for either budget.

Sousa betrayed Ontario Liberals when he agreed with Ed Clark of TD Bank to raise money on Hydro (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Discovering Barrie’s Patrick Brown.

It has taken on all the elements of a farce. The Ontario news media are discovering Patrick Brown MP for Barrie. They are running lengthy, laudatory articles about him with flattering pictures. (And getting a flattering picture of Brown is no easy task.) The media think he has a lock on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership.

This is not good news for the Ontario Tories. Turning a ward healer into a party leader is a tough challenge. It has all the earmarks of changing a toad into a prince. Nobody has the stomach to kiss the toad.

Brown (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Doing without the politicians.

This Ontario resident missed Treasurer Charles Sousa’s budget yesterday. Not that we shunned his budget. The day involved 12 hours at the local hospital. Given a choice we would have preferred to be strapped down and forced to listen to Charles’ budget.

Do not get all excited out there: it was the wife who needed the special attention. What started out as routine imaging tests—hoping to find the source of the problems—turned into a frantic rush back to the hospital to hurry up and wait. And we found out the difference between ‘acute’ and ‘trauma.’ The trauma patient gets (Read more…)

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…)