Posts Tagged ‘Barrie’

The Conservative knives are out for Brown.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Have you figured out why Ontario Premier Wynne is looking so smug lately? It has finally occurred to her that she not only has a chance to hold on to power in next year’s election but she is even getting help from Conservatives. Rather than support some of the extreme right-wing splinter parties that are forming, such as Trillium, these Tories will give Wynne more time to hang herself while making sure they have an honest choice to replace Tory leader Patrick Brown. And believe us, the political knives are out for Brown.

Those of us in Brown’s Barrie area electoral district could almost form a three-party campaign to ensure that Brown is defeated.

From the first time I met the little weasel 13 years ago, I wondered why anyone would ever want to vote for him. It took a short time to find out that he was a user and he used whatever lie was needed to bring people into his web. There are hundreds of people here in Barrie waiting for the opportunity to turn the tables on him. They are a force.

But like most of Brown’s problems, he brought it on himself. His upbringing is as a right-wing Catholic. He has proved to be anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage. Not that he has any success with the ladies. What we hear in his home town is that women do not like him. Even the ones on the religious right are just not interested.

That enables Brown to concentrate on politics. That seems to be his primary and only love. He never seems to let the truth stand in the way of a good story. He certainly used dishonest tactics to win the Ontario leadership. When confronted on issues, he tends to consider a nimble turn-around to be the best defence.

Brown is a marathon runner and a mediocre hockey player. He has never contributed any thinking to Conservative party policy and has always avoided getting involved in it. He is desperately hoping that the Conservative Party will come up with some ideas for next year’s election. He is a political organizer, not a thinker.

The preliminary website for the Conservatives creating “I’m” for Ontario Conservatives is honest and straightforward. They certainly do not like Mr. Brown. It will be fun to see how that movement grows before next spring and the June 7 election.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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Brown’s battling beginnings.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

It is getting so bad that even PostMedia writers are wondering when Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is going to show some maturity. They are starting to question Brown’s ability to run a political party. He is certainly not getting the nomination process right.

Many want to write it off to the vulnerability of the Wynne Liberals. The only problem is that Brown has no leadership skills and he sends the wrong signals to the party. He is the guy who stole the party leadership through signing up thousands of new immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent. Nobody thought to ask if all those people had paid their own memberships.

And so why should people who want to run as Conservative candidates want to play fair? Conservative Party nomination meetings all over Ontario are turning into fiascos. There have been claims of ballot box stuffing, illegal memberships, party officials’ interference, incompetent meeting management and candidates who might or not be the type of Tory they say they are.

It is such a mess, we are starting to wonder what is going on in Barrie, a town which Brown has always pretended to run. We have it on good authority that Brown will be the candidate in the electoral district of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The last federal election in this riding had the Conservative winning by 86 votes. They lost the city but won the rural vote. There are lots of us who are laying in wait for Brown. We will roast him.

Brown is so arrogant that he is running his former executive assistant in the new companion riding of Barrie—Innisfil. Shawn Bubel who worked for Brown over the years is running for the nomination in that riding that includes the south half of Barrie. He has the same weakness as Brown as a candidate in that he lacks the life and business experience that makes for a good politician. People who have run businesses, met a payroll, worked daily with people and shown real leadership have a far better understanding of peoples’ needs than people like Brown and Bubel who have devoted themselves to political manipulation and using people.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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“Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

That hackneyed expression is used to describe politicians who stupidly work to defeat themselves. A good example today is the desperation we are seeing at Queen’s Park as the Liberal’s Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to destroy the Liberal legacy in Ontario. She has so many irons in so many fires that the voters are completely confused.

Good government for Ontario does not seem to be Ms. Wynne’s operating theory. Instead, she dabbles. She is a reactionary dabbler. You show her a problem and she will question what is the smallest effort needed to say she is doing something about it.

Today she is mired in the argument as to whether we or our children should pay for the expense of government incompetence at managing electric power for this province. And before Patrick Brown smirks at this statement, it should be noted that all flavours of politicians are equally inept.

It was to Ms. Wynne’s credit though that she saw through the hypocrisy of the other parties and made a move to introduce beer and better wines in grocery stores. She destroyed herself and her party by turning the introduction into a form of water torture. It will be years before we will just assume that any large grocery store will have a booze section. And there is not a single damn grocery store in Barrie carrying beer or wine yet. That is not only obvious and petty just because it is where that schmuck Conservative leader Patrick Brown is running next year.

Mind you, the beer and wine fiasco is nowhere near the colossal stupidity of suggesting that the first high-speed trains in Ontario should be from Toronto’s Union Station to cabinet colleague Deb Matthews’ electoral district in London, Ontario. How dumb do you think the voters are in this province?

And even as late as yesterday, Wynne announced that it will take her government two more years to get the minimum wage up to $15 per hour. Our kids have action dolls that provide more action than Premier Wynne.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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The rise of the exurbanites.

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Trump reached for it in America and the exurbanites coalesced behind him. With these new rural voters who have fled the cities and in sync with the traditional American Gothic farmers, he dominated state after state. These people resent and fear our conglomerate cities, the liberal attitudes they promote and the crush of the ethnic hordes. Many of these exurbanites commute to the cities for work and they hate it. The buttons are there; you just have to press them.

It is a supposedly easy route to power. There are two good examples of politicians seeking out those voters here in Ontario. They are the ones working that grungy side of the street. They are MP Kellie Leitch from Simcoe-Grey who is trying to muscle in on the federal party leadership and Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown, currently representing Simcoe-North. They are here in adjoining ridings in central Ontario, pandering to the same type of narrow-minded, bitter and easy to anger voters.

And if you think Barrie voters are going to elect Patrick Brown in the 2018 provincial election, you are wrong. Barrie was deliberately gerrymandered under the Conservatives to cut the city in half and give each half a solid slice of exurbanite and rural voters. The edge in both north and south Barrie ridings goes to the Conservatives.

Brown’s current problems in Ontario are that unlike Donald Trump, he tries to keep a foot on each side of the street. He is a social conservative and he tries to find the middle ground. Eventually he is going to find that there is no middle ground and make a decision.

Meanwhile, in the safe ground of small town and rural Simcoe-Grey, MP Kellie Leitch is moving forward with her hate-filled Canadian-values campaign for her party’s leadership. Donald Trump is her hero.

Leitch has neither the money nor the ego of a Donald Trump and is hardly expected to sustain this aspect of her campaign under the intense pressure by her colleagues in Ottawa to tone it down. What her fellow MPs are concerned about is not as much as whether she wins the leadership but the very real concern of creating a schism in Canada’s Conservative Party. A large block of the urban Conservative vote across the country are progressive conservatives who pride themselves in not being knee-jerk rednecks. They will never buy into Dr. Leitch’s Canadian-values, anti-immigrant B.S. and you cannot win Ontario without winning any urban seats.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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The drip torture by the Wynne government.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Maybe they think they are too classy for simple water torture or boarding. The Ontario Liberals are inflicting an alcohol torture on the poor consumer. First, you have to find out which super grocery stores have just beer and cider or wine and beer or just a kiosk for plonk. There are now 67 out of about 1500 larger grocery stores selling both beer and some real wine.

But do not get these new stores confused with those older kiosks that sell Ontario wines and wines made from foreign concentrate. Those wines are for when you are desperate and do not have time to go to a real liquor store.

This booze roll out by the province has been undertaken with constant news media ballyhoo and the poorest results we have ever seen. After a career in public and government relations with a side interest in politics, this is the stupidest travesty we have ever seen a sitting government inflict on itself.

These foolish people are going to be forced to add more stores so that it can find some new communities in which to hold beer, wine and cider announcements. In an announcement that must have been in the provincial electoral district of York Centre, they even rolled out their recuperating(?) MPP Monte Kwinter (who is 85) in a wheel chair for him to be cheered by his happy constituents.

But the silliest part of this is that in the stores where the province is getting its share of the revenue from alcohol sales, the sales hours for these products are determined by the hours of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Some convenience! If the idea behind this ridiculous roll out is to provide convenience for the consumer, why have the inconvenience of saying ‘no’ at certain hours. If you have ever noticed, grocery stores try to be open at hours convenient to the public. These are people who understand what their customers want. The LCBO is run by bureaucrats. They are not paid to care what the customer wants.

What also strikes us as odd is that in no time during this forever rollout of booze sales has there been a single grocery store selected in the City of Barrie. This city has a population of over 140,000 thirsty souls and we do have some very nice (and large) grocery stores. We do not feel personally slighted but you might wonder if it is because Barrie is where the cranky leader of the opposition, Conservative Patrick Brown, will be running in the next election?


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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No guts, no glory, no re-election.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Ontario’s Liberals have to stop whistling past the graveyard. That American idiom means that they are ignoring sure destruction. And nothing said it better than the recent rebooting of the Legislature with a joke of a throne speech read by the Lieutenant Governor.

It was no throne speech. It was a stop-gap to oblivion. It put another band aid on electricity rates and solved nothing. The problem quite frankly is that there is no one in the Legislature capable of running this province. There are no leaders. There is no direction.

Does anyone have any idea what Ms. Wynne’s political stance might be? We already know that the Conservative leader will go whatever way he can find some votes. And that silly New Democrat leader is nothing but a nebbish. Welcome to a province where the only option for the voter is to vote for ‘None of the above.’

The only policies we have seen Premier Wynne espouse are the ones she steals from other parties. She takes on the pension problems brought forward by the NDP and then steals their pledge to take the tax off electricity charges. Only—typical of her—she only goes part way. She gets lucky and dumps the pension problem to the Trudeau Liberals and then just gives a tax rebate on run-away electricity charges.

There is nothing any other party can think of that the Premier cannot find a way to handle conservatively. We should not forget the former PC Leader Timmy Hudak took the lead in suggesting liberalizing beer sales until somebody convinced him to turn off that tap.

But what Wynne is doing is ludicrous. She is actually allowing less than ten per cent of the large grocery stores to sell warm six-packs of beer. Not in this town though. The only place to buy beer downtown in this writer’s city of more than 135,000 is the province’s most disgusting beer store.

And the other day, Kathleen Wynne announced her ‘Liberal’ stalwarts to run the 2018 Liberal election effort. If these are the same Pat Sorbara and Vince Borg who wandered the halls at Queen’s Park some 30 years ago, we will not get our hopes up.

One of these days Ontario might finally have a government of grown-ups that will realize that selling off how you distribute electricity is a no-no and selling off the Liquor Control Board stores is the golden goose that can continue to pay off in gold.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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Winning ways for Wynne.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Ontario’s news media might be a little premature in wringing their hands and writing eulogies for Ontario’s Liberal government. With something like 30 per cent of the voters turning out for the September 1 by-election, the portent is nothing more than the local Liberals need to work a bit harder.

But that also applies to the gang of slack-jawed twits at Queen’s Park. It was obvious that they had written off Scarborough—Rouge River. And how dare they? They desperately needed some bragging rights and just the fact that the Premier had left town said it all.

It is not the economy stupid. It is real jobs. The Liberals have to recapture the momentum. You can hardly leave the field to a putz like Patrick Brown.

And stop the stupid water torture. Did you read that some 70 large grocery stores in Ontario will have beer, cider and a few decent wines on the shelves by Thanksgiving? Why just 70 out of more than 1400 large grocery stores in Ontario? Barrie, a city of over 135,000, does not have a grocery store selling beer. That is not just classed as stupid. It is a stick in the eye to every voter in the city. Is it some sort of death wish?

You either do it or you do not do it! Stop the water torture.

And why add this water torture approach with things the public really do not like? The Wynne government has been told enough times now that the voters are mad about the sell-off of Hydro One. Why keep pulling at that stupid band aid? Either take it off or stop. Quit reminding the voters that you do not care what they think.

And maybe Hydro One management is deliberately screwing up their billings just to show the government their power. For goodness sake, get those people on the same song sheet.

But the coup de grâce will be the planned carbon taxes set for January implementation. The Conservatives will have the following 15 months to arrange an appropriate ceremony to hand the premier her head on a platter.

The public might be smart enough to realize that there is no way the Conservatives would rescind those taxes but the voters will at least get even.

And that leaves the real problem in Ontario hanging in the wind. We have lost too much employment. We can hardly keep replacing real jobs with retail. We need imaginative planning, bold steps and action.

If Ms. Wynne is not up to the task, she should resign and make room for someone who knows how.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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In Ontario there is the Brown Way.

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Last weekend Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown was in Barrie to stoke the local loyalties. He reminds us of the busker with the sticks and plates. This is the entertainer who can keep more and more plates spinning on sticks. And if he makes it look too easy, he just adds more sticks and plates.

The only difference is that Brown is the kind of guy who breaks the plates and does not care. His rich friends will get him more.

But Brown is also alienating people and that is not something that mere money can fix.

Take the recent race for his party’s presidency for example. He had to buy off the competition. Brown needs his old friend former MP Rick Dykstra in the party presidency to protect his back. How he bought off Jag Badwal, who also was also vying for the job, we will find out eventually.

The other obvious problem is the Ontario caucus. Brown has few friends in the group. These are people well versed in the situation at Queen’s Park and many resent the way Brown stole the leadership. Swamping the legitimate membership with immigrants from India and Pakistan was hardly doing the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario a favour. These instant members were brought out to vote and then they went home, never to be seen again.

But there are just too many other problems for Brown to handle. In most, he is ill-equipped to handle them. How he will get his caucus members to like him is a challenge of major proportions. He is hardly a likeable person.

His main problem is the news media. He cannot patronize the Queen’s Press Gallery the way he patronized what passes for news media in Barrie. The Ottawa Gallery had mostly ignored him when he was an MP but that is not possible for the Ontario Gallery. They tend to have their claws out for him.

But they like him in Barrie. The hard core Conservatives in Barrie fawn on him. His choice as Member of Parliament to replace him, Alex Nuttall, might be the biggest lapdog you have ever met. When Brown says jump, Nuttall is already in the air before asking ‘How high?’

The major question the media are raising about Brown is what his policy direction might be? There is a simple answer to that question: Whatever will help get him re-elected.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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Doing Ontario up Brown!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

To this long-time political apparatchik, it was an interesting example of the art of remaking a politician. Ontario viewers of Global Television Sunday morning had an opportunity to see the training effort in action. It was almost a before and after—that might have been recorded hours apart. It was new Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown showing off his new tricks in one interview and losing them in the next.

He is obviously being trained currently in how to speak on television. The whiny adenoidal voice was gone in the first interview. It was on Tom Clark’s West Block show. You could see how up-tight he was during the introduction. He was frowning as he prepared himself to speak. He spoke in a lower voice. He was carefully scripted. It was hardly the Patrick Brown from Barrie that we know.

It did not even seem to be what Tom Clark expected. Brown was actually talking seriously about climate change. He was promoting a straight carbon tax as opposed to the Ontario government’s more complex cap and trade plan with Quebec and California. To Tom Clark’s obvious surprise, Brown was saying that federal Conservative candidates interested in the Conservative leadership contest next year need to get on board on addressing climate change.

But the same Patrick Brown did not fare as well on the Focus Ontario show with Toronto news anchor Alan Carter. Carter has an extensive background covering the Ontario Legislature and it was obvious that he had been briefed by some members of the Conservative caucus who despise their new leader. Carter asked the right questions to throw Brown off his game.

The whiny voice came back and the higher pitch returned, the answers where hesitant and disjointed, and Brown looked like he was checking for the nearest exit. It was obvious that he had not got to the speaking lessons about handling hostile questions.

His problem was that he was taken off his script of attacking the Ontario Liberals. The funniest line to anyone who had watched him in Ottawa over the years was the one when he said, “I’ve always cared about the environment.” He certainly kept that passion well hidden from his fellow parliamentarians. Obviously Tom Clark had never noticed him when he was in Ottawa as a back bench Conservative. He never did anything.

Carter also seemed sceptical about Brown getting religion over environmental issues.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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Patrick Brown where are you?

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Patrick Brown MPP needs to decide whether he is his provincial party’s leader or its chief apparatchik. In politics, an apparatchik is a person who usually toils in the background of a party coming up with and implementing strategies and tactics with which to win power. Watching Mr. Brown at work in politics over the past ten years has been a constant series of lessons in sleaze, distain for voters, abuse of privilege, careless accounting, hypocrisy and dissembling.

And besides, the man lacks personality. The first time we met him he offered to shake hands and it must have been an involuntary reaction that we snatched our hand away. Knowing nothing about him at the time, the reaction surprised us as well as him. We were told later that he has a limp and unconvincing handshake.

Very early in his public career, the young Mr. Brown must have realized he is a poor public speaker, with little to say that has not been written for him. To overcome this limitation, he chose to insinuate himself with local charities and piggyback himself on their needs. He spent record amounts of public funds sending cheap and unconvincing mailers to constituents promoting his party and this or that charity. You met the occasional ignorant Barrie native who would actually say “Mr. Brown really supports local charity.” That was all they knew about him.

The fact that Brown spent close to nine years in Ottawa as nothing but another vote for Mr. Harper tells his story. He was just another drone. He spent all that time contributing nothing. The only times he thought for himself, he voted for extremist religious motions that went nowhere.

It was when his friend MPP Tim Hudak crashed and burned as Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader in the last provincial election, Brown saw opportunity. One of his perks in Ottawa had been many free trips to the Indian Sub-Continent. He knew the size of the Indian Diaspora in Ontario was five times that of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party membership—and nobody had to be a Canadian citizen. All he had to do was hire organizers at Hindu temples and Muslim mosques. It was all in a day’s work for an unconscionable apparatchik. And nobody even checked if these people paid their own membership.

And today, in new, properly tailored suits and a Toronto salon hairstyle, Mr. Brown is living the life of Riley in Toronto. He has writers and female staff to hide his limitations.

But where do you find him? He is interfering in the campaigns of the Conservatives who are running in a Barrie Council by-election and he is in Whitby-Oshawa behind the scenes of the by-election to replace his provincial opponent Christine Elliott. Once an apparatchik; always an apparatchik!


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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