Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Scheer’

Our leaders need to ‘man up.’

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

It is unlikely that in this era of #MeToo that we can find many men willing to stick their neck out—or any other body part, for that matter. It is just that the we are getting into the realms of ridiculousness with some of today’s witch (or more accurately, warlock) hunts. Our political leaders are starting to look like a bunch of wusses in their eagerness to ruin careers needlessly.

And they are all to blame. It was when New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh called for an investigation of charges coming second-hand from another MP, that we really hit the depth. How dare Singh use such flimsy evidence to besmirch the character of someone he has not worked with in parliament?

And ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is just as ridiculous. Chuckles wants someone to investigate a former MP. Why? If the guy (former MP Rick Dyskstra) is no longer in parliament, what business is it of the leader of the Conservative Party? This problem came up under Stephen Harper’s watch. Would you also like to investigate Sir John A. McDonald’s boozing on the job?

And who made Justin Trudeau chief hall monitor for this kindergarten on the Rideau? We hardly need a blue-stocking feminist policing MPs. It is nowhere in the job description. If an MP embarrasses himself and his party, the leader can kick him out of caucus. Until then, the leader should butt out.

Once, many years ago, when leaving the Parliament buildings on a Wednesday evening, I gave a couple older liberal ladies I knew from a neighboring riding in Toronto a lift to the airport. Wednesdays in Ottawa were known as Wonderful Wednesdays at the time. It was an evening off for MPs and what ‘Chuckles’ does not worry about after eight, got started early. We happened to drive past two very friendly couples on the sidewalk and too late I realized the males were the ladies’ MP and a well-known senior aide.

As I explained to the MP the next time I saw him, he might get some glares at his next meeting with his riding executive. I could not convince those two women that he and his friend were just making sure those two young ladies got to their car safely. I at least got them laughing about it.

-30-

Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Forget Beyak, dump Canada’s Senate.

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Why just dump Senator Lynn Beyak? You do not have to like what she says or posts on the Internet? We have all heard it before. Bigotry is hardly new. The problem is that there is not much you can do about it. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper until she is 75. She is going to be around for a while yet. It would be easier to dump the entire senate rather than just her.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, Conservative Party leader and leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition decided to dump her. She is an embarrassment to the Conservative caucus. He tossed her out of the caucus. That was all he could do. He left her sitting in the senate. He made matters worse. He left a pissed-off party stalwart sitting in the senate as an independent.

You can be assured that not all non-first nations’ people from the Thunder Bay region of Ontario are bigots. There are many people there who are well aware of the problems faced by our first nations’ people and are sympathetic. For all we know Senator Beyak might be posting some of those bigoted letters thinking that it can help the situation. Obviously, it does not.

But this is just another of the long lists of embarrassments by our appointed senate. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks he is getting around the problem by having an elite committee pick elite applicants for him to appoint supposedly elite senators. He gets no guarantees.

One of the problems for the ‘Lynch Beyak’ mob is that Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations has jumped into the fray and is calling for a ‘review’ of the senator’s actions by the senate ethics committee. To give her yet another platform for racism is not going to help.

The Senate of Canada was created more than 150 years ago to give the land-owning gentry of the Canadian colonies a chance to review and, if they wish, stall the laws passed by our elected parliament. It is not needed today. In fact, its continuance is an embarrassment to our country. It should have been abolished a long time ago.

-30-

Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

A potpourri of New Year wishes.

Monday, January 1st, 2018

This writer’s New Year’s resolution is, as always, to never make a resolution. Each year is another adventure. It is an opportunity to discover and to learn. We have a mixed bag of comments to share today as we start our tenth year of this commentary.

The ten years means both good and bad. Trying to write something pithy and interesting to our broad audience on a daily basis is both challenging and, at times, daunting. The wife notes that we are still playing with words that not all readers might understand and she refuses to read anything further about “bitumen” from the tar sands.

We also make mistakes—and do we hear about it? Ouch. I even got a complaint from an NDP reader the other day who thought I should have explained the sham of the counting in the Conservative leadership contest that chose ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. Sure, it was a con to maximize the exposure time on the television networks. Anyone who knew anything about computers would realize that. So, please argue with the CBC, not with me.

Somehow, in writing about the foolishness of the federal Conservative leadership, I was also accused of not understanding ranked balloting. I do understand ranked balloting and have written lengthy diatribes about it. I consider the results of ranked balloting as guaranteed mediocrity. And to prove the point, I give you ‘Chuckles’ Scheer.

I thought the much more annoying con job by the Conservatives was that phony guaranteed policy fakery of the Ontario Conservatives. That sham was so cynical that an eight-year old would recognize it as desperation.

But in honour of the Roman God Janus, this is a day to look both forward and back. Looking ahead, I am appalled that our friends in British Columbia are going to be presented with yet another attempt to change how they vote. And to hold a plebiscite by mail is rife with opportunities for a corrupted vote.

John Horgan’s NDP government should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the desperation of the Green Party for more representation in the legislature. Are they so ashamed of their Green Party candidates that they only want them picked from a list? Personally, I only vote for people who want to represent my neighbours and I—not just vote for their party.

But I forget. To one and all, have a wonderful 2018!

-30-

Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Let’s call it Scheer willpower.

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

You may have been wondering what Andrew Scheer has been doing since winning the leadership lottery run by the Conservative Party of Canada? Our guess is that he has been spending time on his knees thanking the powers above for the gifts he keeps getting from an indulgent Liberal Prime Minister. There are so many attack possibilities opened for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

After serving as the tame Speaker during the last of the Harper regime, Scheer, was the logical choice for an interim place holder for the party. It only took him until the last of 13 ballots to win by 50.95 per cent. He is showing no new drive or enthusiasm and will make his replacement look that much better. In the meantime, his job is being made easier by a generous Prime Minister who keeps making rookie mistakes.

The main problems Scheer faces are in maintaining discipline in his caucus. The raucous and undisciplined rowdiness of the Conservative side of the House would never have been countenanced when Scheer was the Speaker. It serves its purpose in bracketing his and his colleague’s attacks on some of the Liberals less experienced or adept ministers. Nobody on the opposition side of the House cares about the government responses in any event.

Considered a version of Stephen Harper ‘Light’ but with a smile, Scheer always looks to us like a deer caught in the headlights. We call him ‘Chuckles’ for lack of a respectful nom de guerre.

He will probably serve in the role of leader until he is blamed for the party’s loss in the 2019 federal election. Then he is expected to fall on his sword and move over for a more dynamic leader.

We could tell you more about Andrew Scheer but this guy is boring and we do not like boring our readers.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Chuckles needs to change gears.

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

It is a rare time that we give serious advice to the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. It is that ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is going to have to learn the difference between legitimate political criticism and harassment. Watching Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the House of Commons it seemed to me that the poor man was distraught. This baiting has gone too far.

Chuckles and the rest of the Conservative caucus have to understand that if you are unwilling to ask your question outside the House of Commons—where you have no parliamentary immunity—then you are impugning the man’s honour. And if you have no basis for the truth of your claims, then you have no honour.

What all MPs need to understand is that Canadians are embarrassed and annoyed by the depth of the juvenile antics in the House. It is dishonourable. Do you go home and scream invective across the living room at the spouse? That is not a benefit of being elected either.

Why Bill Morneau should be hounded about selling his shares in the family company, when it was the only smart thing for him to do, makes no sense. He had been criticized for not putting the shares in a blind trust but he was doing the next best thing: divesting. Everyone knew that the earnings would be taxed at a higher rate in the next year, so why would he not tell his advisor to sell before the end of the year? And why would his father not do the same?

And all this being said, we should turn our attention to the prime minister who should have fired Bill Morneau at the beginning of this contretemps. As much as Morneau claims to have been assured by ethics commissioner Mary Dawson that he did not need to have a blind trust, she probably had no idea how much his holdings would be impacted by changing rules.

If Justin Trudeau had the discussions needed with the man chosen to be his finance minister, he should have advised him to use the same type of blind trust as the Trudeau family.

As I have already stated a couple times in these commentaries, the role of the finance minister is that of Caesar’s wife. He must be above suspicion. While Canada has lost a few good finance ministers over the years, the government of the day cannot invite suspicion of any sort. Morneau is no longer tenable.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Chuckles’ Canned Conservatism.

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

In discussing the ebbing strength of the democracy of Canada’s Conservative parties yesterday, we never got to the major problem faced by the federal Conservatives. Their problem is one of leadership. If there ever was a good example of the mediocrity produced by preferential voting, the Conservative party faces that problem today in its leadership.

Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer’s leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada should have come in a can—marked ‘Open in an emergency only.’ The former Speaker in the only majority Conservative Parliament under Stephen Harper, Scheer was the leadership candidate with the least to offer the party. He was simply the second, third or fourth choice of too many Conservative members.

A social conservative from Saskatchewan, Scheer has the perpetually surprised look of a deer caught in the headlights. You just know that he will stay there awaiting the impact.

But he got lucky lately. While the Trudeau Liberals are on a death watch for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Tories found their bonanza in Provence. And Bill Morneau’s French villa was only part of his problems. While the rest of the cabinet was distracted, Trudeau’s finance minister found himself engulfed in charges of conflict of interest and being rich. And the charge of being rich became incendiary.

It seems that neither Morneau nor the Parliamentary Ethics Commissioner had the political smarts to realize she had hung the finance minister out as a target for the opposition parties. At this late stage the ethics commissioner has had to open an investigation into the possible conflict of interest between the minister’s business interests, that deal in pension programs, and his changes in tax positions of pension funds.

Few voters will have the understanding of what any investigation will find. Guilt or innocence will be irrelevant.

When ‘Chuckles’ and his pack in the House of Commons first started baying after the finance minister, we carefully explained that the finance minister was in the position of Caesar’s wife. It was not a question of guilt or innocence. It was the very inference of wrong-doing. Bill Morneau should have been asked for his resignation then.

And do you not bet that the Conservatives, with a target in their sights, are sorry now that they opened the can labelled ‘Scheer.’

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

The despotism of First-Past-the-Post?

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

One of our favourite political bloggers wrote a desperate ‘cri de Coeur’ the other day against what he perceives as the despotism of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. He lives on Canada’s Left Coast and writes under the pseudonym ‘The Mound of Sound.’ Rather than simply refuting his assertions, I think it is important to find the source of his anguish.

To begin, there is his suggestion that 40 per cent support in FPTP voting can make any leader a despot. (Even Donald Trump needed the undemocratic Electoral College system to win the U.S. presidency.) We Canadians had a special House committee on electoral reform brought forward by the Trudeau Liberals. It was made up from all parties and spent a summer listening to submissions and writing a report on alternatives to FPTP voting. You know their conclusion. No change was made.

FPTP is not evil. It has worked for the people for hundreds of years. And if you want a real headache, check out how the Roman Republic elected its tribunes. One of the reasons to appreciate FPTP is that it is one of the most difficult systems of voting to cheat.

Maybe it is the simplicity of FPTP that turns off some intellectuals. If it is that simple, it has got to be wrong?

If your objection to FPTP is based on the ability of someone to win with less than 50.1 per cent of the vote—then fight for run-off elections. That is still much simpler and more democratic than other suggestions. You should not be enticed by preferential voting—it is not the same.

But before you demand change in how we vote, do you not think we should widen our outlook? Should we not take a look at the basics of our democracy—our political parties? Is it right for the Sikh community in Canada to swamp the membership of the federal New Democrats on behalf of that party’s new leader? Was that misogynistic and corrupted campaign in Alberta the way to choose a new Conservative leader for Alberta? Was it right for Brown in Ontario to buy the memberships for tens of thousands of immigrants to be the choice of Ontario Conservatives?

And does it surprise you to learn that the federal Conservatives and Liberals are funded from the same purses? What makes you think either party is run in a democratic fashion?

Before we have a liberal democracy in Canada we need liberal democratic parties. We have much work to do.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

It is time to fire Bill Morneau, Justin.

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Bill Morneau has a straight-forward job. As complex as the Finance Department might appear to the average Canadian, the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre has the credentials that say he should be capable of handling the finance portfolio. He is also considered to be a generally good guy. It is really too bad that Prime Minister Trudeau needs to fire him.

But Mr. Morneau does not appear to be getting the best efforts from his department. He does not appear to be effective in selling his department’s new programs. Maybe the job requires someone more political by nature. And when you are not even effective in communicating with your party’s back bench, all is lost.

This is not to suggest that the tax reforms Morneau is proposing are not complex and need thorough debate. And that was the intent when the reforms were proposed two months ago. All this accomplished is an opportunity for those who fight any reform to go after these reforms with renewed vigor. They have been sewing discord and confusion. They have deliberately misled Canadians with false information.

This time frame has allowed Conservative MPs to rail constantly against the tax reforms. A local Tory MP published an opinion piece in our local Sun rag the other day saying that Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau believe that small business owners “are tax cheats and that they are rich people abusing the system to avoid paying their share of taxes.” Talk about false news!

The Conservative caucus in Ottawa under Leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is saying that the reforms are going to impact all small business owners and will mean a massive tax hike. This obviously comes as a surprise to Morneau when all he is looking for it to do is close some of the loopholes that have been enabling the wealthy among us to escape paying taxes.

Here Morneau thought he was closing loopholes that benefitted people making over $150,000 a year and the Conservatives are claiming these people are part of the middle class. If he cannot get the justice of his reforms across to Canadians, he is obviously in the wrong cabinet portfolio.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Chuckles’ cheers the cheaters.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

There are two types of people who take advantage of Canada’s tax laws and form private corporations. There are those who legitimately pay family members (and others) for their work and there are those who sprinkle the income among family to avoid taxes. It is this second group that is so delighted that Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has taken up their cause. Cheating on your taxes seems to be a game for some people and they welcome politicians foolish enough to try to help them.

But cheating on taxes is not a game and Canadians have put up with a system that panders to the rich for too long.

I will never forget a comment by my late brother the first time he made more than a few million dollars. He was a convinced capitalist but he admitted to me that he was actually embarrassed by the small amount of money he had to pay, once one of the large accounting firms had done his taxes.

Canada’s tax system relies heavily on the honesty of its citizens in reporting their income. When the loopholes in the system are mainly used by those who can afford expert help in preparing their taxes, the system is wrong. What the tax avoidance schemes of the very wealthy tell us is that it is alright to cheat on your taxes. As this attitude trickles down, the response is to build the underground economy. The tax system is being attacked at both ends.

What we must do is convince Canadians of the fairness of the system again. We can only do that by proving that it is fair.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has his work cut out for him. His problem is that his department has built up a fiction over the years that there are different types of dollars. There are earned dollars and capital gains dollars, there are dividend dollars and wage dollars, there are dollars earned in Canada and there are off-shore dollars. To add more confusion there are expense accounts that help companies make money and there are expense accounts that are purely benefits. And why do employees who earn the most have the most benefits?

When every dollar is recognized for what it is—taxable—we will have a tax system that everybody can trust. Politicians who rant over perceived unfairness to their friends are not very smart politicians.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Chuckles’ challenges Canadian compassion.

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer will not let it go. He is raising troops among the bigoted to fight against the compensation to Omar Khadr. He must intend to keep scratching at that wound until the pus from it corrupts or repulses all responsible Canadians.

What sickens us the most in this disgusting argument is the impact and discord it is sewing in various communities. Visiting a friend in Peter Kent’s Thornhill riding recently I was taken back by the vehemence that erupted when the Khadr subject came up. Listening to one Jewish individual castigating another for his lack of understanding was disquieting.

But to hear people repeat the Conservative’s ugly suggestion that Prime Minister Trudeau wants to make Omar Khadr a rich man is ludicrous. Nor is the award about to make Khadr’s lawyers rich. The Supreme Court told the government to apologize for what government agents did and compensate the victim. And how would you compensate someone for 15 years of pain, suffering, torture and false imprisonment?

It is obvious that Chuckles did not write the op-ed that was run over his name by some newspapers. It was a crafted piece that used inflammatory words, innuendo and careful half truths.

But since when is it a heinous crime to be recruited as a child soldier and sent into a firefight against well armed, equipped and trained soldiers? What happens is that you get shot!

Chuckles needs perspective.

And he needs to explain to us what enjoying the benefits of the Canadian justice system means. Does it mean you are not going to be water-boarded, sleep deprived and suffering extremes of heat?

The Opposition Leader in the House of Commons failed to make it clear to his writers that as an official of the Canadian Parliament, he has responsibilities. He is not there to promote hatred. He is not there to twist the truth. It speaks badly of him to bluntly say the Prime Minister is arrogant. The Opposition in parliament is there to criticize the government, not to demean it.

Saving the best for last, Chuckles asks a rhetorical question about Mr. Trudeau’s ‘secret’ payout to Omar Khadr. Gee! Who leaked it?

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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