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Alberta Politics: The #AngryCon: he learned those attitudes about the media from the party he supports

PHOTOS: A screen shot of the man identified by the Toronto Star as Earl Cowan at the moment he informs a reporter she’s a lying piece of … something. Below: Tory operative Fred DeLorey and Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick. I have to confess I felt the tiniest bit of empathy for the aged Harper […]

The post The #AngryCon: he learned those attitudes about the media from the party he supports appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Upstairs Downstairs at the Edmonton Journal as Sun staff gets ready to move in

PHOTOS: The Edmonton Journal Building at 101st Street and MacDonald Drive in downtown Edmonton. It remains to be seen who will be Upstairs, and who will be Downstairs, when the staff of the Sun joins the staff of the Journal at the same address in the fall. Below: Journal Editor-in-Chief Margo Goodhand, Postmedia President and […]

The post Upstairs Downstairs at the Edmonton Journal as Sun staff gets ready to move in appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Song of the Watermelon: Toronto Star Letter

Greetings loyal blog readers! I am happy to report that today’s Toronto Star contains a letter of mine (the first of the two on this page) about the Ontario Court of Appeal decision on expat voting rights. Rather than address this issue directly, I briefly examine the related matter of extending the franchise to non-citizens who live in Canada. Enjoy!

Filed under: Canadian Politics, Democracy, Letters to the Editor Tagged: citizenship, expats, Toronto Star

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Toronto Star Letter

Politics and its Discontents: "Is There A Poltician In Canada Who Will Simply Speak The Truth?"

That is the question Don Graves asks in his hard-hitting lead letter printed in this morning’s Star. Enjoy. I look out my window and see sunshine and vibrant signs of approaching spring. There’s even a Toronto sports franchise winning games.

But when I turn to the news media I read or hear about a glass half empty, half full, a glass smashed, a glass we can no longer afford because we are in so much provincial/federal debt and not to forget the growing number of Canadians who can no longer afford to buy a glass, full, half empty – or (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Nice To See Autistic Twin Sons of Toronto Family Receiving Autism Treatment In New Brunswick


The headline of the Toronto Star article Toronto family chases autism treatment across the country  doesn’t mention the province to which the family in the Toronto Star article seeking early autism treatment for their autistic twin sons moved  - New Brunswick. Nor does the article itself delve into how the province usually mentioned as a financial disaster could have become a Canadian leader in early autism treatment as it was described by David Celiberti, Ph.D., BCBA-D, President of  the Association for Science in Autism Treatment in an October (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Nice To See Autistic Twin Sons of Toronto Family Receiving Autism Treatment In New Brunswick

Politics and its Discontents: About Those Taxes…

Responding to the latest propaganda piece about taxation levels from The Fraser Institute, Star readers weigh in with their own perspectives, one of which includes taking the paper to task for publishing news of the report with no critical comment:

Re: Families pay more for taxes than basics, Aug. 13

This report of a study from a conservative think tank could be a verbatim quote from the authors’ press release, with no editorial comment or critical opinions included. The Star does us a disservice (and, rather atypically, gives the conservative cause a boost) by publishing it in this fashion. (Read more…)

Autonomy For All: The Forest On Chow’s Bus Pledge Problems

How did we let our bus fleet get into this bad a shape and why is Chow the only “major” candidate proposing anything to fix it?

The Toronto Star has today published a piece finding problems in the feasibility of Olivia Chow’s promise to improve bus service if elected Mayor.  To be specific, Chow promises to immediately improve peak hour bus service, the busiest times of day.  The Star article casts doubt on whether this is feasible, quoting a TTC official who claims there would be no additional buses available for this. 

The Election Forest: Making Buses (Read more…) Toronto Star: Ottawa imposes a lifelong gag order on bureaucrats who could shed light on CSEC spying

It looks like the government are growing desperate to stifle the growing debate about CSEC’s spying on Canadians. Now they’ve imposed a lifelong gag order on bureaucrats who might shed light on what CSEC has been up to.

read more

Alberta Diary: Former federal Tory Chuck Strahl’s lobbying activities break no laws, but highlight a problem

Lobbyists gather in the lobby of the House of Commons at Westminster. Below: Politician turned lobbyist Chuck Strahl, B.C. Lobbying Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

Notwithstanding his classification as a Designated Public Office Holder under the federal Lobbying Act, former Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative office holder Chuck Strahl is breaking no laws or regulations by registering and operating as a lobbyist in British Columbia.

Something is wrong with this picture if you accept the rationale for most Canadian lobbying legislation, but you can hardly blame Mr. Strahl for it unless you’re one of those folks who thinks citizens should (Read more…) Toronto Star: Independent Investigation of CSIS oversight is needed

This hard-hitting piece by Professor Michael Geist argues for a full, independent investigation into CSEC’s spying activities. As Parliament is set to resume shortly, the time has come for MPs to take a far greater interest in what our security services are doing in our name.

Will 2014 be the year when our out-of-control spy agency is finally reined in? Call for an end to all illegal spying on Canadians at

Article by Michael Geist for the Toronto Star

Months of surveillance-related leaks from U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden have fuelled an international debate over privacy, spying, and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Mandatory Voting And Social Cohesion

The Toronto Star recently featured the 2013 Atkinson Series: Me, You, Us, journalist and author Michael Valpy’s investigation into social cohesion in Canada — what binds us together, what pulls us apart.

In its final installment, given the decline in voter turnout, one of the suggestions put forth to advance the cause of social cohesion was mandatory voting. It is a notion that I don’t personally favour, my reasoning being perhaps reductionist and simplistic: in a mandatory system, the element of resentment would be strong, and some would blithely check off the first name on the ballot just to (Read more…)

RedBedHead: Bye Bye Rob Ford, Hello Karen Stintz

There is the sound of champagne corks being popped and cheers in the streets. Everyone smiles at each other and winks, knowing that soon it will all be over. The hated burgermeister is falling and no one, except perhaps his family, will be sad to see him go. And he has been felled by none other than that champion of democracy, Toronto Police Chief William Blair.

Oh, wait a second. Bill Blair?

A BCer in Toronto: Hebert, Walkom, and (not that) Harper talk #cdnpoli at Word on the Street

Up next after the city hall politics panel in the Toronto Star tent at the Word on the Street festival on Sunday was the federal politics panel. On hand were Toronto Star federal politics columnists Chantal Hebert, Tim Harper and Tom Walkom. The topic? “Stephen Harper vs. Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair.”

The discussion was wide-ranging, but one thing that struck me was that, although the Star was the only paper to endorse the NDP in the last federal election, the columnists on the stage sure don’t think much of Tom Mulcair. I’m sure the NDP will react defensively, (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Talking Rob Ford and Toronto Politics at Word on the Street

Continuing my run of political Sundays, I spent the afternoon yesterday in the shadow of Queen’s Park in downtown Toronto, where a number of panels and discussions at the Word on the Street took on a political theme.

Up first was the Toronto Star tent, where the city’s paper of record gathered some of its political reporters to talk about their respective beats. And opening things up was “Mayor Rob Ford and the Year at City Hall” with city editor Irene Gentle, columnist David Rider and reporter Robyn Doolitte.

As you’d expect, given the character that is our Mayor and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Canadian Taxpayers Federation Want To Blow Up The Senate-Video

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger


The Canadian Taxpayers have embraced humour , satire and a little hucksterism to promote dismantling the Canadian Senate. Their goal is to have a referendum over the senates continued existence.

Their claims and denunciations are a little overblown and their ridicule of Independent Senator Mike Duffy is well, inflated.

It is just a lot of hot air really! (video)

Giant Mike Duffy Balloon kicks of their campaign as reported in the Star.


Politics and its Discontents: He Certainly Has Mr. Harper’s Number

It is always heartening to me, and I am sure to countless others, to see that some members of the Canadian electorate are not asleep at the proverbial wheel but instead busy exercising their critical-thinking skills. Peter Dick of Toronto is one such citizen. Not content to blithely and blindly accept the official mythology that the Conservative government is an able manager of the economy, Mr. Dick, in today’s Star, offers the following trenchant observations about a naked emperor and his entourage:

Re: Parliamentary session over for summer, but scandals still remain, June 20

Government House Leader Peter Van (Read more…)

RedBedHead: The Fall Of The House Of Ford

Taking a moment to pray for peace

You gotta admit that it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Rob Ford is a bully and a hypocrite – quick to condemn the perceived weakness of others, to pounce on the supposed privileges of unionized workers or the effete absurdity of riding a bicycle instead of driving an SUV in our congested city. And yet he is clearly a man with many personal flaws whose (

The Canadian Progressive: Rob Ford’s former staffers’ emails, telephone records ordered destroyed: sources

The Toronto Star reports that the emails and telephone records in Rob Ford’s office, which may reveal information about the mayor’s crack cocaine scandal, are disappearing. They were ordered destroyed this week.

The post Rob Ford’s former staffers’ emails, telephone records ordered destroyed: sources appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: Toronto Globe and Mail Hits A New Low In Canadian Journalism

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

The feeding frenzy swirling around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford has generated a new low from the so called ‘National Newspaper’ the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Ironically the judgmental reporters, acting like hungry sharks lusting after the first piece of flesh, are quick to pounce on a suspect politician when they smell blood. In this case they have thrown caution and decency out the window.

Initially allegations of the Mayor Ford smoking crack were headlined for a week without one shred of evidence and now the Globe & Mail has upped the stakes with (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canada Politics News: Thursday Morning Recap

Canada politics news: Thursday morning recap: Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Senate. Senate expenses scandal. Sen. Mike Duffy. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Conservatives. A few of the dominant news issues/topics on Wed, May 22, 2013. But this bold editorial declaration by the Toronto Star stands out: “If the Prime Minister can’t bring himself to address the Senate scandal in [...]

The post Canada Politics News: Thursday Morning Recap appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Rob Ford Scenarios

So what are the possible explanations for the infamous Rob Ford video. Rob Ford says it is just ridiculous, but beyond that he offers no explanation. So we are left to our own speculation. But there must be some explanation for the fact that the journalists that saw it thought that it was indeed Rob Ford, so let us look at the possible scenarios.

The Ford Nation Conspiracy Theory Scenario


Alberta Diary: Schadenfreude, evidence and politics: a half-hearted defence of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he might have appeared in ancient Rome, whence comes the idea that in politics public figures and their associates must be above suspicion. Below: The real Rob Ford; Caesar’s wife.

Schadenfreude is all very well, but this whole Rob Ford video scandal has me feeling just the tiniest bit hinky.

It’s a due-process thing, and I recognize that there can be no due process in politics, as unjust as that may seem.

No, realpolitik demands that the operative rule in politics be summed up in the notion we abbreviate with the phrase “Caesar’s wife (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Conservative Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in ‘crack cocaine’ video scandal

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: New York news blog Gawker yesterday revealed the existence of a video showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. The video was taken within the last six months, allegedly by the city’s Somali drug dealers. Gawker editor John Cook reported that he received a tip from [...]

The post Conservative Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in ‘crack cocaine’ video scandal appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: A Classy Apology

Regular readers of this blog may be aware of my almost boundless enthusiasm for The Toronto Star. I deeply admire its progressive mission, and I find its roster of excellent columnists informative and thought-provoking. I have come to regard it as a trusted source of news and opinion.

It was therefore a bit of a shock to realize how badly below acceptable journalistic standards it recently fell when it published a story about Ontario Liberal MPP Magaret Best who, after being dropped from her cabinet position in the new Wynne government, took a medical leave, which she is still on. (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: RCMP Macho Culture Displayed During Announcement Of Terror Plot?

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: The Toronto Star’s Heather Mallick suggests that the RCMP’s notorious macho culture was on full display during the announcement of the unveiling terrorist plot to derail a Via Rail passenger train. Mallick says: Call me cynical. I’m not, I am hopeful credulity itself, but the anti-terror bill [...]

The post RCMP Macho Culture Displayed During Announcement Of Terror Plot? appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.