Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

“What to my wondering eyes should appear…”

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Christmas was in in October this year. The wife needed some parmesan cheese for our spaghetti dinner and insisted I stop at the local Metro grocery store. I went in with her, mainly because I always enjoy that store. It is expensive but it is well run and I often find a bargain at the meat counters. While the wife went to get her one item (which, as usual, became ten), I checked out the meats and then did a quick circuit of the store. And then I found it. My Metro has beer and wine. Christmas came early this year.

Premier Kathleen Wynne, all is forgiven. You must have known how much I hate those squalid Beer Stores. I thought Barrie was going to be the last municipality in Ontario to be allowed to have beer and wine in the grocery stores. And yet here we have beer and wine in a store in Patrick Brown’s new electoral district. Maybe that political putz will try to take credit for it.

But what can I do for you Madame Premier? I figure I owe you. I could rejoin the local riding association but I have been phoning and texting your party office in Toronto and I cannot get any response. The name I have for the local provincial party president does not exist in the riding area. Liberals in this part of Barrie have no contact, no activity and the current MPP for Barrie ignores this part of her former riding.

But this is meant to be a positive comment. Metro stores know how to merchandise and they have given beer and wine a nice section of the store with good signage and it is hard to miss. It still needs refrigeration for the beer but I am sure a well-run store like my Metro will fix that soon.

And I almost forgot. Metro gives Air Miles. I often use them to get groceries at Metro. I seem to get all my Air Miles today at the LCBO and at Metro. That is something the stupid Beer Store does not do. Those people do not even know how to merchandise. They spend more time with smelly recycling than selling beer properly.

But with Metro selling beer now, all might be forgiven. Mind you, Ms. Wynne could get the $15 minimum wage promise in place a lot faster.

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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.

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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.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Corrupt Kathleen’ campaign comes to Canada.

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

It hardly took long. Sleaze spreads. The Ontario Conservatives had to think of something to overcome their lack of leadership, ethics, ideas and policies. When your party leader is a nobody, you attack the person people know. It makes you feel superior. It worked for Donald Trump did it not?

We can certainly assure you that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is no Hillary Clinton. She might not be as smart as Clinton but she is more of a street fighter. She is no lady. She is not going to take any crap from a putz like Patrick Brown.

That silly ass Brown deliberately said to the news media that the Premier was “on trial” when she appeared (as a witness) in the Sudbury bribery trial. He might not be a very successful lawyer but he was trained as one. He must have read something about slander and libel. He also knows that a judge’s ruling on what he said can be year’s away. It hardly matters then. The trial by voters is next June.

But, until then, Brown and his friends are going to try to pile on the sleaze. It does not seem likely that Kathleen Wynne will let them. This coming election campaign might not be fought under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

Hillary Clinton’s major mistake in last year’s American presidential campaign was not calling Trump for what he was—an overblown ego and narcissist who was totally unqualified, and unequipped to serve as president of the United States.

Those of us who know Patrick Brown can assure you that electing him as Premier would be an unmitigated disaster. He has never seemed to care much about policies, people or politeness. We are beginning to wonder when his handlers are going to hire some poor woman to hang on his arm to help him look normal?

I am going to get Stevie Cameron’s book On the Take off my bookshelf and remind myself of the sleaze of the Mulroney years in Ottawa. It seems that former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is now a major fund raiser for Patrick Brown. It is likely to be the quid pro quo for Brown giving Mulroney’s daughter the nomination in the York-Simcoe electoral district for next June’s election in Ontario.

They are going to need a lot of money if they keep buying heavy flights of TV commercials defaming Kathleen Wynne.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Money has its privileges.

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

They named the provincial Conservative candidate for York-Simcoe the other day. There will be no sweaty contested nomination meeting for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s kid. Caroline Mulroney got a free pass. And just to drive the point home, at the announcement, she harangued the provincial Liberals for wanting to raise the minimum wage in Ontario.

Obviously Caroline Mulroney has never walked in shoes where the soles were falling off. Her life of privilege at the Prime Minister’s residence and at university in Boston and New York hardly prepared her for the ardour of representing the rural and the rich in their estates in York-Simcoe.

Or is she still remodeling that estate in Georgina as a weekend home for her family? Her husband works for New York’s Blackstone Investment Group of hedge fund fame and probably will want to spend the work week in Toronto.

But maybe it all depends on the schools their four pre-teens are attending?

It is what Caroline Mulroney can possibly contribute at Queen’s Park that has us stumped. She has absolutely no grounding in provincial matters. Reading what someone else thinks about the raising of the minimum wage in Ontario would take a lot more understanding of what poverty means and the trials of living on less than a minimum wage.

Mind you Caroline Mulroney will make an attractive candidate for Patrick Brown to hide behind. He wants people to forget the sleazy way he swamped the membership of the Ontario Conservatives to take the leadership by default. Nobody had thought of signing up more than 40,000 temporary members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. They were mainly from the Indian Sub-Continent and nobody questioned whether they had paid their own membership or not. The 20,000 long-time members of the Conservative Party never had a chance.

But that has nothing to do with Caroline Mulroney. She had to listen to people commenting on how sleazy her father was all her life. She probably learned to ignore it.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Hébert hails the Hair.

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

It is unlikely that many of political commentator Chantal Hébert’s fans read her Toronto Star columns for the humour. It is only occasionally that she writes with her tongue firmly in cheek. If you missed her most recent column, you missed a gem. She actually wrote of how the Hair (Stephen Harper) saved Canada from Quebec separatism. The joke was only softened by her giving credit for the suggestion to Harper’s former aide Carl Vallée, writing in L’actualité magazine.

It is hard to believe that the 2015 federal election was anything more than Quebec making common cause with the rest of Canada to get rid of Harper and his government. Nor was it much other than Tom Mulcair getting all flustered about niqabs and forgetting the NDP had any policies that washed out Quebec’s Orange Wave.

While there is a vestigial bigotry in Quebec that can be annoying at times, it’s use by Pauline Marois backfired on her and the Parti Québécois. Harper might have made note for his future, fictional, autobiography but he made no public comment at the time.

The simple facts are that the Parti Québécois spent the second half of the Hair’s regime in Ottawa finding its own way to perdition. When the separatist party chose Pierre Karl Péladeau as leader in 2015, we figured that was it for the dreams of René Lévesque. A millionaire, a confirmed union buster and a political dilettante, Péladeau was anathema to anything Lévesque had stood for.

At the same time, the Bloc Québécois became a non-party in the House of Commons and of no use to Quebec separatists. That more than anything else has spelled the lack of enthusiasm today for Quebec separatism.

What Vallée is telling us, Hébert says, is that Harper redirected Quebec attention to a left-right dialogue instead of a go-stay argument. While there is merit to that idea, it could hardly benefit Harper. In fact, it is hardly likely that it was deliberate.

When Babel-on-the-Bay saw which way the wind was blowing in Quebec, we put all our bets on a Liberal majority government in 2015. The simple facts were that Harper was the architect of nothing. He was a spent force.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

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 Out.ca” 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.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Fear of Ford.

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Is he, or isn’t he? Is Doug Ford running for the mayoralty in Toronto next year or for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election? And who cares anyway? Oddly enough that is a matter that is mainly of concern to provincial politicians. Incumbent Mayor John Tory, who wants another term, could care less. The fact is that nobody expects Doug Ford to discover a magic elixir for winning in politics.

Doug Ford will let us all know where he is headed at Ford Nation’s annual backyard barbeque later this week. The reality is that Doug Ford reminds us of the old story about the erstwhile fisherman who goes to the fishing hole where his brother could always catch fish. He spends a day fishing with no luck. He is giving up when a fish jumps above the water and calls out: Where’s your brother?

Well Rob Ford is dead and Doug Ford in no fisherman. And Ford Nation is just a bunch of freeloaders.

The reality of the story, as any knowledgeable political apparatchik can tell you, is that Doug Ford is appreciated for his money and his name but he is a political liability. If there is fresh dog poop anywhere within range of the political Doug Ford, you can be sure he will step in it.

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown is running a fragile campaign into next June’s provincial election and he hardly needs a loose cannon like Ford on his team. The younger Ford brother is a guy who thinks of Donald Trump as his hero. Brown wants the kind of candidates who can slide in under the radar. His campaign will be built on vilifying the Liberals and creating a massive vote against them. It is the only way a putz like him can get elected.

Patrick Brown is the type of candidate whom nobody has ever voted for as an individual. He is a wasted vote. He offers nothing other than a vague support for his party and not being the other guy. He is a user. And he is dishonest. He took the leadership of Ontario’s Conservatives by skulduggery—signing up temporary members of the party and paying for most of their memberships. His hero is former Ontario Premier Mike Harris.

But as much as Doug Ford would worry Patrick Brown, John Tory could care less about him. Lord knows, John Tory is not the perfect mayor. It is that Doug Ford is the kind of candidate who makes John Tory look good.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

What’s wrong at NDP HQ?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

There was a promise that Babel-on-the-Bay would publish its Morning Line on the New Democratic Party leadership today. That is hardly possible when we have been stalled by the party not yet releasing its new membership figures. Without these figures to analyze and compute along with our knowledge of the people involved, we have no hope of providing readers a reasonable handicapping of the race.

There is little point of either research company polls or our more in-depth analysis without the new membership figures. With a membership of less than 200,000 nationally before this contest got started, anyone who can sign up more than 50,000 new members has to be taken very seriously.

There is no point in denying that the only leadership candidate who could have signed up in excess of 50,000 new members would be Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh. He has easy access to South Asian immigrants across Canada and is very popular in those communities.  In the Greater Toronto Area and in Vancouver and Lower mainland alone, there are enough potential supporters to practically guarantee him the leadership.

But whether he was organizing the effort early enough is just one question. The more important question is whether he would be wasting his time if he did not have broad support throughout the established party membership?

We are seeing now what is happening to the Ontario Conservatives when a leadership candidate imports temporary members to swamp the established membership. Patrick Brown is being challenged by break-away groups, improper tactics in local nominations and friction from all sides because he disrespected the traditions of his party.

Jagmeet Singh also has the problem of Quebec. As he admitted in yesterday’s debate in Montreal, a turbaned Sikh would have a struggle for support among openly tribal and racist elements in Quebec. While MP Guy Caron tried to make secularism a solely provincial matter in yesterday’s debate, there is no denying that a two-country solution will not fly across the rest of Canada.

When we see the new membership figures, we will let you know the Morning Line. There is little question that the decision is between Ontario MP Charlie Angus and Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh. Of course, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton already knows she is having twins! We also wish her well.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Lottsa’ Luck Senator Duffy!

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Senator Mike Duffy already has his payoff. He is still being paid as a member of Canada’s parliament. The report that he wants to sue the Senate and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is an insult to both bodies.

And the suggestion that Duffy’s case is anything like that of Omar Khadr is erroneous, disgusting and misleading. The Duffy trial was over his sense of entitlement and privilege. Whether we agree with the judge or not, he was found not guilty. And that should have been the end of it.

Duffy was reinstated in the senate and life goes on. He was never shot, tortured or incarcerated as was Khadr. Duffy was never denied his rights as a Canadian citizen.

Unlike fellow journalist on the political scene, Allan Fotheringham, Duffy’s campaign to become a senator was subtle. The ‘Foth’ publicly enlisted reader support to tell the prime minister what an excellent senator he would be, while ‘The Duff’ went right to the one vote that mattered, that of Prime Minister Harper.

As Senator Duffy, he traveled Canada with Prime Minister Harper as his opening act. He was much in demand by other cabinet members to do their intros. And nobody seemed to care that Duffy was supposed to be a senator from Prince Edward Island, who lived in Ottawa. That deception was reported to be Stephen Harper’s idea, not Duffy’s.  And is it a big deal if the senator’s expense reports were somewhat confusing and overly generous?

They are all supposed to be honourable men and women in the Senate of Canada. Who gives a damn about how the citizens feel about it? It is a place of sinecure and privilege for the friends of our leaders.

It is very difficult to come to grips with Duffy’s claim that he was let down by the Canadian legal system. What could possibly be the problem when superior court judges, who are appointed by this political party or that political party, are the people to deal with questions of propriety of political apparatchiks in the Canadian Parliament. Is this not a fair system? Why does he not sue the guy who got him into the mess: Stephen Harper?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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