Archive for the ‘Provincial Politics’ Category

If you cannot honour our past…

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

How can we expect you to honour our future?

Just get your Goddamn hands off John A. Macdonald. Nobody has the right to damage or deface a statue of an honoured Canadian. We have so damn few real heroes in Canada, we need to cherish the ones we have. You keep your grubby hands off mine and I will help protect yours.

Last Saturday, a couple hundred, so-called protestors, in Montreal, pulled down the statue of John A. Macdonald. And the ignorant local police just watched.

It seems these people had started out on a peaceful little march to defund the police (what ever that means). Since they had also conveniently remembered to bring bolt wrenches, spray paint and ropes along on their innocent little protest, they put them to use.

Good on Montreal mayor Valerie Plante that she condemned the action. And tell that trouble-maker in Edmonton that he can put up a statue to Earnest Manning in front of the Alberta Legislature. This country needs a good laugh.

But what we do not need is assholes who do not understand the racial attitudes of 150 years ago. We have come a long way since then. Yes, John A. Macdonald was a racist, who had little understanding of the needs of our aboriginal peoples. Sir John was also a drunk and a scoundrel.

But he was our drunk and our scoundrel. And you leave him alone.

When Macdonald and his cabinet enacted the Indian Act, they thought they were doing something good. Today, we know that they really screwed things up. Isn’t hindsight wonderful!

And, frankly, I think many Canadians are fed up with these wet-behind-the-ears, juveniles telling us Canadians we are racist. Nor do we believe that our federal, provincial or municipal police are systemically racist. In fact, I am not all that sure that these accusers could provide a cogent explanation of the descriptor ‘systemically racist.’

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

I’m Ba-ack.

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I have spent the past three weeks in hospital. I remember waking up after an operation to put my ankle back together. I was completely disoriented but conscious of the need for a washroom. I remembered where I was when a gaggle of hospital attendants were standing over me, on the washroom floor, asking how the hell I got there.

Having had only brief occasion to assess Barrie’s darling Royal Victoria Hospital in the past, I was unaware of the mess Covid-19 and the Ontario conservatives have wrought. The Ford government has created a guessing game as to what items the hospital will be short-shipped this week.

I think the biggest mistake the hospital has made is furloughing all its local volunteers who had found their way in this stupid maze of a hospital. These people, in their blue vests, were the ambassadors for the hospital to their community. They kept the charity funds flowing and the hospital operating at a high level.

Mind you, there is no earthly rationale for the abdominal food they feed their patients. One wag of a team leader told me that is how the hospital convinces patients to go home. If that had been the case, I would have been home on day two.

And what ever happened to the quaint custom of daily rounds by the doctors? I think I saw a doctor once in over three weeks. I have no idea just where these guys and gals hide. They seem to work as ancient alchemists hiding in the background, creating new and more insidious mixes of pills to confuse your bowels. Frankly, I am tired of discussing my bathroom habits with youngsters in tight scrubs who are the same age as my grandsons.

Maybe tomorrow, I will come up with something acerbic about our politicians

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Never confuse Kenney with Trump.

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

One of my favourite writers wrote in a Toronto Star op-ed the other day that she thought Alberta premier Jason Kenney is the closest thing Canadians have to Donald Trump. As much as I hate to argue the case, Ontario’s premier Doug Ford holds those honours. Neither Ford nor Trump had the background or experience for their job. Neither is competent.

And neither Ford nor Trump can hold a candle to Kenney in terms of political experience and sleaze. Kenney knows what he is doing. From the first day, after leaving Ottawa for Alberta politics, he hit the ground running. He is a textbook demagogue.

Kenney knows how and when to stab his allies in the back. He knows how to build the coalitions of power. Sure, he panders to the one per cent. He is their lap dog. With the rest of us, he bares his teeth and dares us to challenge him.

My greatest disappointment with Linda McQuaig’s op-ed the other day was that what she was saying was old news. Haven’t Albertans known for years that any profit from the tar sands goes to out-of-province investors? Albertans get the few jobs and the crumbs from the table.

The current provincial government and previous ones have made a myth of the supposed oil treasure locked in the tar sands. To continue this false news through the $30 million being spent on Jason Kenney’s Canadian Oil Centre war room is an insult to the intelligence of Albertans and all Canadians. Albertans should be hitting the streets though, objecting to the billions of their money, Kenney and Trudeau are wasting on pipelines to nowhere!

But Kenney is busy. He would rather fight with the province’s doctors than help them fight Covid-19.

He thinks he can get the post-Trump government in Washington to approve the completion of the TC Energy pipeline connection to the Texas Gulf ports. These are but the delusions of a demagogue.

People across Canada share the concern for how repeated Alberta governments have denied the province a balanced, stable economy. The tar sands never were the answer.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

“When Giants Walked Among Us.”

Monday, July 20th, 2020

That line about giants came in an e-mail from a reader the other day. It was referring to the time of Lester B. Pearson, Pierre E. Trudeau, John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. It was a heady time to be involved in politics. It was a time to not only share the dream but to be involved in making it happen.

But what have we come to today when pygmies are allowed to besmirch giants? Why can a group, using the honourable name of the American Black Lives Matter organization, be allowed to toss paint on the statue of one of Canada’s giants, John A. Macdonald?

An American who helped found the student nonviolent coordinating committee and spoke just before Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech to the Washington March, died last week. His name was John Lewis and he served as a liberal democrat in the House of representatives for many years. He spoke out for equality and justice.

John Lewis could have told these pygmies in Toronto that civil disobedience does not work. He could have told them that defacing public property does not work. He could have told them to join a political party, get elected and take their cause to where it matters.

I also think those ignorant people who dishonoured Canada by trying to deface Sir John’s statue should meet me there later today—and bring their toothbrushes—they have a cleaning job to do.

And after Sir John has been restored, we will can march behind the pink palace to the statue on Queen’s Park Crescent of what’s his name on the horse. We are also going to clean up that horse. That is one damn fine horse and does not deserve to be painted pink.

But do not worry about Egerton Ryerson’s statue. You did not get any paint above his knees. He has had far worse things done to him by students of the excellent university named after him.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Defund Police: Then What?

Sunday, July 19th, 2020

It reminds me of something out of an old Zane Grey novel. These people who mostly look like they need a job themselves are telling us to take away the money budgeted for police. Are they all so stupid that they think we do not need police?

Surely, they do not think some cowpoke is going to amble into town and save us from the big, bad policeman. I would welcome the chance to tell the cowpoke to start by getting rid of those noisy people who want to defund our police.

What else would you advise us to do with a bunch of knuckleheads who do not take the time to understand how we run our police in Ontario. The people who make the rules about our police are not at police headquarters or city hall. They are at Queen’s Park. They write the laws. They run the province’s Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.) that investigates when the police shoot somebody. They appoint half the people on the city police board. No doubt they need a good laugh.

And I think us citizens are going to be generally happier when those law makers at Queen’s Park make it illegal for you to plunk your asses down on the asphalt and block traffic. I know there are laws against jaywalking. We need one against ‘jaysitting.’ In any event it is not a good idea to piss off the general public when you want them to support your cause.

What might have surprised all these yahoos who have been demonstrating their little hearts out over the brutality of police was the recent action by the S.I.U. The provincial agency has charged the police officer in Mississauga involved in tasering and shooting a citizen with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and careless use of a firearm.

What these demonstrators need to understand is that the system can work. It is the person who writes letters, the person who speaks to their elected representatives, the good cop who says ‘no more’ and the respectful questions that get the answers. Stupid antics, by stupid people, get the brush off.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Ford follows mentor Trump.

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

From the low of being booed at the Raptors’ celebration in Toronto last year, Ontario premier Doug Ford feels it is time to hear some applause. After all the exposure he has gotten from the pandemic, he is ready to go on the road again. Like Donald Trump in the U.S., Dougie feeds on the approbation of his sycophants.

Since the province is not yet ready for large crowds of voters to gather and cheer the premier, he is cherry-picking the Covid-19 success stories around the province to keep the media interested. As long as the television reporters are there with their cameras, Dougie considers it a win. That is one thing that he has seen for himself with the daily news appearances at Queen’s Park to report on the pandemic and what might or might not be news. He revels in it.

Trump, conversely, has to have his numbers. It is his followers he needs to see at his rallies. When there were empty seats at his last rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his campaign organization had to develop a plan for once or twice per day Internet events for his followers. It is the numbers that are critical. That is why his organization requires a ticket for each virtual event attendee.

While Ford is reaping the rewards for listening to the medical experts, Trump is suffering the consequences of his brushing aside the experts in the U.S. Putting vice president Pence in charge of the of the federal committee dealing with the coronavirus was a serious mistake.

The only problem Ford has with his approach is the bad timing. Any lift his approval numbers gained this far ahead of the election could be history when Ontario next goes to the polls. Too often the leader in the polls when the election is called, is not the leader on election day.

But then nobody really thinks that Trump or Ford are really politicians. They really just need someone to pat them on the head and give them an ‘attaboy.’

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Jason Kenney is ‘All In’ on Keystone XL.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Alberta premier Jason Kenney just went ‘all in’ against a stacked deck. Most of us thought Jason Kenney was smarter than that. He seems to be betting that Donald Trump will win a second term as president of the U.S. in November. It would be the only way that the Keystone XL pipeline will ever be completed.

But Kenney gets to gamble with Albertan’s money. So, what is another billion? He is paying down $1.5 billion of treasury money and offering a $6 billion loan guarantee to connect the pieces of the pipeline running from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. From there, it can connect to existing networks and reach Texas Gulf shipping points.

He watched the kick-off of building the Alberta leg of the pipeline, from Oyen, Alberta, to the U.S. border last week. He was like a proud papa peering into the nursery. This is his baby.

But he lies.

He told the media that his people were already hectoring the American democratic party leaders to make sure the pipeline gets built, no matter who wins the November election.

Jason Kenney conveniently forgets that the presumptive democratic candidate in November is former Obama vice-president Joe Biden. Biden has already made it very clear that he will cancel the Canadian pipeline. It was denied repeatedly by president Obama and Biden will finish the job.

The Keystone XL project has been under repeatedly-delayed, piece-by-piece construction, for the past decade. It has been fought by environmental groups and by American Indian tribes. President Obama cancelled it a couple times. The courts have delayed it. Donald Trump gave it the go-ahead.

And the simple truth is that the Americans neither need nor want the pipeline. It is needed by Alberta to help get diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Texas Gulf ports for shipping to world markets. Americans have more than enough fracked oil and bitumen of their own. They do not need the Alberta product.

Jason Kenney has gone all in and Alberta is the loser.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Del Duca Dumbs Down.

Sunday, July 5th, 2020

It should have been obvious. Ontario liberal leader Steven Del Duca does not know how to run a political party. So, he copies Justin Trudeau, who has no idea either.

Remember back when Justin Trudeau introduced a 50 per cent female cabinet in 2015. He told the media that it was because it was 2015. Has anyone asked him about that recently?

And here is Del Duca, five years later, getting the Ontario liberal provincial council to bribe female and youth candidates to run in the next provincial election. He also got the council to follow Trudeau’s error in eliminating party membership fees. I am a paid-up member. He owes me some money back. I paid for two years in 2019 so I could vote for someone other than Del Duca to run the party.

Del Duca also got the party council to lower registration fees for women and candidates under 30. What is not clear is why the party should demand money from anyone who wants to be a candidate? It should be the local riding association that decides on who will be their candidate. They get out a lot more supporters that way.

And what was not clear was why male candidates over 30 should pay the party $2500, female candidates over 30 should pay $1250 and candidates under 30 should only pay $500. Whether female candidates under 30 should only pay $250, was not stated. Frankly, with all the crap the party puts candidates through these days, the party should pay the candidates.

When I ran for the party some 50 years ago, I had a great crowd out to the uncontested nomination meeting. I was not required to pay the party for the ‘honour’ of running. The party never sent me any money either. I had good riding support but it still took me the next year to pay off my bills.

I think the way that Trudeau and now Del Duca run things for liberals is attracting the wrong candidates.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

In the Wild—West of Toronto.

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Who knew? When Barrie’s Patrick Brown, was ejected from Queen’s Park early in 2018, he picked Peel Region for his comeback. Rejected by his fellow conservatives in the legislature, Brown’s instinct was to return to municipal politics. He knows little else. He had no idea though that he had picked a region of lawlessness similar to the American West.

He had little choice. With a strong mayor already in place in Barrie, there was no hope in his home town. Brown needed an open field. His first choice was to run for the newly created elected position of chair of Peel Region. The former Peel County included the area that became the City of Mississauga, the older City of Brampton and the more rural area of Caledon.

Appalled at the idea of someone like Brown running the Peel Region, the new conservative Ontario premier Doug Ford blocked the election. He ruled the regional council would continue to appoint its own chair.

That left Brown with the only alternative of running for the mayoralty in Bampton. His connections with the South Asian community in Brampton gave him a base vote. Plus being a conservative in former premier Bill Davis’ home town did not hurt either.

But Brown had little knowledge of the problems in the region. With an area twice that of Toronto and about half the population, Peel Region has less than half the police to cover it. And about half of the population of the region was born outside of Canada. That statistic is not reflected in the members of the Peel Region police.

The other day in Brampton, Peel Region police broke into a Muslim gentleman’s home shouting in English and with tasers and guns blazing. The family was concerned about the man (who did not speak English) being off his meds and the police killed him.

And now we hear the other day, a female officer in Mississauga pulled out her gun and shot a black woman—who had already been tasered and was lying on the ground.

Things in Peel Region have been going sideways since Brown got there.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Dougie has “lost the plot.”

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

A chap from ‘Ole Blighty’ was talking the other day about the United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson. He said “Bo-Jo has lost the plot.” The description fits too many politicians today. Johnson is just one of many. America’s Trump certainly fits the part. The Donald seems to have never read the script. The point is that there are too many pseudo politicians today who think the play is about them. And it is more serious the closer they are to home.

Consider Ontario premier Doug Ford. He has the news media all excited that they are seeing a new Doug Ford because of the job he appears to be doing on the pandemic.

They seem to forget that this is the candidate who was least qualified for the job of premier in Ontario. He came into the job two years ago in total ignorance of what the position entailed. His first serious action was to get even with the Toronto politicians who ridiculed him when he was a Toronto councillor in the seat of his late brother Rob. In a truly destructive act, he cut the number of Toronto city council seats in half when the election process was already underway.

His first cabinet was a collection of prima donnas and blowhards. They were playing their own games and he soon had to start replacing bad actors. Caroline Mulroney quickly proved that her training and experience in New York was of little use in Ontario. But again, legal experience was hardly the consideration when Dougie replaced Mulroney with a small-town ward healer from Severn, up near Orillia. He put a trusted sycophant in finance and replaced a fumbling education minister with a slick operator who had interned with Stephen Harper.

But what really happened was the coronavirus. Both Dougie and his health minister found they had no choice but follow the lead of Ottawa and the health professionals. The only thing that would keep Dougie from getting into serious trouble in the next two years would be if the pandemic lasted that long.

The point is, Dougie does not know how to be a good premier.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me