Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Ontario NDP: “We the Green”?

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Ontario’s lacklustre new democratic party partied in Hamilton last weekend. While most of the province was celebrating the Raptors winning the championship title of America’s National Basketball Association, Ontario’s NDP was celebrating being the official opposition in Ontario. They were also reviewing their leadership and asking where their party was headed.

Since nobody else seemed to want the job, they voted to keep Andrea Horwath on as leader. Only about 15 per cent of those voting thought she should be tossed. She has now held the job of leader of the Ontario NDP since 2009. Her only accomplishment was to be there when Kathleen Wynne tried to take the entire liberal caucus out of politics with her last June. They kept Horwath on despite her weak performance in the legislature as leader of the opposition. There certainly has been ample cause to attack the Ford government’s many errors in judgement, its careless approach to tightening Ontario’s purse strings and its destructive approach to the environment.

Where the Ontario opposition has been missing from action has been in raising awareness in the province about the lack of environmental concern by this government and its fighting with the federal government over environmental issues. The Ford government is even spending taxpayers’ money on false advertising about the federal government carbon tax, when it has no real plan of its own.

And speaking of false advertising, the Ford government has actually printed stickers for gas station pumps complaining about the federal 4.4 cent per litre carbon tax when the basic Ontario tax (before GST) is 29.1 cents per litre.

Ontario’s Green party leader was cheerful about the NDP using the Green party name for their environmental plans. The 28-page booklet released has neither costing nor much in the way of specifics but Mike Schreiner the sole Green party MPP in Ontario gave the ‘green light’ to the NDP wanting to discuss the environment He sees it as a positive that more parties want to address the environmental issues.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends…”

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

And once more Ontario liberals found that they were not masters of their own destiny. Ontario liberalism is a fiefdom and the serfs were told once more last weekend what will be. Whatever you might wish to call it, it is not democratic. It is not run by or for the people.

The call for a one-member-one-vote leadership convention by these provincial liberals drew 57 per cent support and so was denied as it did not have a super-majority of 66 per cent. The hands of past manipulators denied freedom to the present.

The federal liberal party had broken down the old feudal system of ministers being in charge of their fiefs in the 1960s under Lester Pearson. It was why the Ontario provincial party broke away—to return to the old ways with a party run from the board rooms of the larger law firms.

It worked well enough, producing the subsequent governments of Dalton McGuinty and then Kathleen Wynne. Whether they were particularly liberal was always a question.

But now the challenge is to find a progressive liberal who can capture the imagination of the liberal party and then the voters. Whomever the new party leader will be, he or she will need to overcome the conservatism of the rulers of the provincial liberal fiefs.

I think the smartest candidate for leader of the party, so far, has been Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East. He worked hard to get the change to one-member-one-vote while I understand another possible candidate, Steven Del Duca, kept out of the discussion and did not even vote. That tells us volumes about Del Duca.

What I admire most about Michael Coteau’s campaign is that it is built on what he has been hearing from liberal party members across Ontario. I find it is a bit of a novelty to find someone who really wants to listen. The campaign will not get intense until January next year when the delegated convention is slated for March 7.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

If you paint a pig green?

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The question is if you paint a pig green, would it no longer roll in the mud? And if we are concerned about the environment, should we vote for a party called ‘Green’? Is it that simple? Have we solved the problem of global warming, have we protected the environment and will we all live happily ever after?

Maybe life is not so simple. There must be other political parties that care about the environment. Why, just the other day, the prime minister announced that we were going to do something about single-use plastics. He painted a rather gruesome picture for us of whales washing up on shore with their stomachs full of plastics that are drifting through our seas.

Of course, the PM allowed for exceptions. He figures that we will need at least four years to determine what plastics to ban, what to convert from plastic to some more degradable material and what will have to be an exception for later banning. He sees it as an opportunity to create some new industries. He was vague on details.

We could check on the new democrats. They always have good things to say about the environment in their pamphlets. Maybe they will not look like such hypocrites now that former NDP premier Rachel Notley is no longer beating the drum for more tar sands bitumen to add to world pollution. She wanted pipelines and rail cars to get the bitumen to ports where the stuff could be shipped to countries that do not worry so much about pollution.

And you would think that the NDP opposition in Ontario would be making the most of their opportunity to show up premier Ford and his conservative cronies for their appalling ignorance about the environment and the causes of global warming. So much for the NDP!

And as for Mr. Ford and friends: Those ignoramuses are using our taxpayers’ money to say they have a better plan for global warming. I think it includes toasting marshmallows.

And that basically leaves those people painted green. They remind me of the ancient Britons who were druids and worshiped trees and painted their backsides blue.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Chuckles’ is Counting on Chaos.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has reason to worry about the antics of Ontario premier Doug Ford. With less than five months to the scheduled October election, the conservative leader’s team knows the election is really going to be fought in British Columbia and Ontario. The other provinces are predictable. It is a butterfly already flapping its wings on the west coast that will create the chaos in Ontario.

And Chuckles Scheer is counting on that chaos. He needs something to upset the balance of Ontario’s traditional voting patterns. He needs warning signs on the economy. He needs layoffs and union unrest.

Scheer is looking for seats in liberal Toronto. He needs NDP seats in Hamilton and Northern Ontario. And it is the chaos caused by premier Doug Ford that can help deliver that. Without chaos, Ontario remains a federal liberal fortress.

And to further frustrate Scheer, he cannot be seen condoning Ford’s foolish antics. All he had planned to do this fall, as Ford tore into Trudeau, was to tsk-tsk and comment that boys will be boys.

But Dougie might be planning to hide out for the summer at the Ford’s summer compound. He wants to be as far away as possible from the antics at Toronto’s Pride parades and festivities. The whole idea was for Scheer to act as the only adult available in October and be seen as a stabilizing factor by the voters.

While it would be hard to believe of Ford, he might have even promised himself to stay out of the federal election. After all Kenney and Moe in Alberta and Saskatchewan are hardly going to make a difference leading their provinces against the liberals. The Plains are no happy hunting ground for Trudeau. He might as well overfly and forget those two provinces.

As for B.C., Trudeau’s fate hangs by the thread of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If he can just find some way to get out from under the weight of that pipeline, he might not come to a complete slaughter at the polls in that part of the country.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Mixing ignorance and ideology in Ontario.

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

It’s a bad combination. Ignorance in itself is bad enough but in a mix with an ideology as strident as conservatism, it is simply bad government. It is a colonic that the people of Ontario do not need.

It is hardly surprising that today you listen to the quiet admissions of the loudest and angriest voters in the last Ontario election. They told you bluntly to shut up last year when you tried to explain the dangers of a blow-hard fool of a leader and a get-even attitude.

Maybe it is not as dangerous as the situation in the United States. Donald Trump has no ideology and governs on ignorant whims. At least Doug Ford is not allowed to declare war. Mind you, it was similar that as soon as coming into office, he ripped into the Toronto politicians who disrespected him and his late brother. Premier Ford and his cadre of cronies were on a vindictive rampage.

And in the manner of tyrants everywhere, Ford claims the enemy is the budgetary shortfall and failings of the previous government. And here, in a time of high employment, he claims bad times have come and austerity the only answer. Rather than solving any problems, we have elected Ford to create problems.

Ford not only creates problems but he creates them as he ‘supposedly’ solves others. He fires the ‘six-million-dollar man’ and creates costs of many millions more. He reduces critical funding to cities and is forced to recant by the hue and cry of the citizens.

And even he can find out he is wrong. He tries to implement a ‘buck-a-beer’ promise and finds that Ontario alcohol taxes have driven the cost of a single beer far over a dollar.

Ford’s latest gambit is legislation to freeze the public service wages. This is a direct ideological attack on unions and it will likely end up before the courts. There is no economic rationale for such a freeze.

Ontario went through eight years of ideological stupidity with former conservative premier Mike Harris 16 years ago. This is far too soon for another economic enema.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

No Intervention for Doug Ford.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Those people who are promoting an intervention for premier Doug Ford’s beer bonanza are missing a few clues. First of all, an intervention is normally conducted by people who give a damn about the person who has strayed. Secondly, we figure that an intervention over beer and wine is for someone who is addicted to beer and wine. Dougie does not drink!

But I do. And I am sick and tired of the stupid, greedy, corrupted politicians of all parties in Ontario who have been playing footsie with the beer barons for more than 90 years. The real addiction is with the unconscionably high alcohol taxes inflicted on beer drinkers that Ontario drinkers have been paying over the century.

And we know that these people proposing an intervention do not give a damn for Dougie. He is simply no kind of lovable bastard. Maybe his wife and kids tolerate him because of the family money but nobody loves a pompous ass. It is just in this case, he has done something right. He has freed the peasants. And that is from the way the prohibition politicians have been treating us.

And why the hell do we only have interventions for something that the blue-stocking crowd thinks is bad for us? Why do they think having a beer at 9 a.m. is a sign of alcoholism? And why does a gentleman never send his lady friend to that smelly, disreputable Beer Store to get him a two-four?

And why does Costco not sell two-fours? The questions roll on.

But one thing for sure is that Doug Ford is not pandering to the alcoholics among us. Hell, Dougie has never cared for anyone else in his life other than maybe his mother and his deceased brother.

His brother Rob taught him that as soon as you are elected, you start campaigning for the next election. It is party time in Ford Nation.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Professionalism in Politics.

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Interesting argument the other day with a reader who likes keeping up with the political scene and who supports the liberals. He was stating his objection to professional politicians. Since his major experience with a professional politician was when Patrick Brown was the MP in Barrie and then the leader of the Ontario conservatives, I can understand his objection. Brown just might be one of the worst examples of a professional politician.

But that is why politicos refer to Brown as a retail politician. He knows how politics work and he works the system. Last year in the chaos created by the new Ford government in Queen’s Park, Brown was ricocheting around Peel Region trying to find a place on the dance card for the civic election. He knew he could run somewhere in Peel Region. Ford cut him off from the regional chair position—easy job, good pay. He landed in Brampton instead, where the incumbent mayor was vulnerable.

He had moved to Mississauga because he knew he could not defeat the incumbent mayor in Barrie. It was not his shallow personal connections in Peel but the ethnic mix that attracted him. Multi-culturalism minister for Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, had set Brown up with free trips to India in those years when he was an MP in the Harper government. Brown had not only become buddies with Indian President Narendra Modi but had become a key contact with the many people in the very large sub-continent community in Canada.

Brown had already used these ethnic contacts in the Peel region to swamp the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party membership and delivered him the leadership of that party. (Brampton resident Jagmeet Singh noted that there were thousands of Sikh immigrants involved and obviously used many of the same group to swamp the NDP party membership in the same way as Brown swamped the Tories.)

In as much as the sub-continent community represents 30 per cent of the population of Brampton, Brown won the mayoralty by the simple promise to the Sikh and Hindu immigrant population in Brampton that there would be more cricket pitches in the city parks. The sub-continent people do love their cricket.

And that is what professional politicians do. They know how to win elections. They become expert. The professionals are the ones who stick around. The amateurs come and go.

But they can be good people who care about the voters. They can also be users. That is up to the voters to decide.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Fighting the facts of the future.

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

In a discussion of what is currently happening in politics, the realization emerged that provincial politicians such as Alberta’s Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Moe and Ontario’s Ford are denying our progeny a future.  It was not a question of a planned or malevolent denial of a future but simple ignorance. These men are choosing the direction that conservatism dictates, as they as they slash and cut at anything that they do not understand.

At the four-day Collision Conference, with attendees from around the world, in Toronto last week, premier Doug Ford was booed when he came to promote Ontario as the place to do business. It was the same time as his government announced that it was cutting funds to assist in the development of artificial intelligence. The $24 million might not have produced any breakthroughs in AI but was critical to positioning Ontario as a place to create the future. That one foolish error probably cost Ontario billions in investment down the road.

And look at Alberta. Jason Kenney has already announced that he will end all of Alberta’s green energy programs—as well as ending the carbon tax. He might be too late to stop the opening of Alberta’s pioneering geothermal electricity generation plant. This is something the Italians have had for the past 100 years but the Alberta facility that takes the steam to power it from below the earth’s surface will be a first in Canada.

Why conservatives do not like anything they cannot touch, taste or smell is beyond this writer’s understanding. Does the world have to end with a bang one night to convince them that global warming is a threat to human life? The world is already into the throws of turmoil as the ice caps melt and the oceans rise. Drier weather in our west is feeding wild fires while the heavier snows of winter in the east are flooding the water systems in spring. The world is responding to the carelessness of mankind.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Choosing Chuckles for Canadians?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Of all the ridiculous strategies for the coming federal election! Why should the liberals attack the conservatives when their real opposition in the October election is themselves? To waste time attacking conservative leader and Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer is assuming that he concerns Canadians. He never has been the problem.

The liberal problem is that they have not kept their promises very well. They have made some boo-boos. They were heavy-handed with a couple of their women cabinet ministers. Yet they can hardly resort to the 1935 campaign when the liberals posed the slogan “King or Chaos.”

You can well imagine that last year in Ontario, if the slogan had been “Wynne or Chaos.” Even more voters would have voted for the Doug Ford brand of chaos. And they are getting that chaos—in spades!

It seems to this political apparatchik that there might be two types of liberal parties. There is the liberal party that owns up to its mistakes and tells the voters how it is going to do better. And then there is the party that says, “So what, we are still better than those other guys.”

I hardly think the voters give a damn for that second approach. It just makes them angrier.

And even if Chuckles and his party remain climate change deniers, how are the liberals better if they go about doubling the Trans Mountain pipeline? The Trans Mountain pipeline equipped to ship tar sands bitumen to the ocean port in the Burrard Inlet would be a disaster. It would make Justin Trudeau Canada’s number one climate-warming hypocrite.

There is no economic, environmental or political rationale for the liberals twinning that pipeline. And they would lose more votes than they could win for the effort. The world environment does not need the added carbon pollution. The old pipeline can recoup some of the taxpayers’ money as it is used to send the west coast refined gasolines and other products. It will be needed long enough to support the changeover to less-polluting forms of energy. And then it can be dismantled.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Fake news on the opioid front?

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

We were reading a poster telling us about a community meeting to discuss a proposed safe injection site in the neighbourhood. It invited anyone who wanted more information or had concerns to come to the meeting. We had barely finished reading when a voice behind us said, “It’s all a lie you know.”

It is very strange to hear that. Sure, we have had people tell us that Donald Trump was really a very fine gentleman, just misunderstood. We have even taken time to hear out climate change deniers to try to understand their reasoning better. This was a new one.

But why would anybody want to suggest that the politicians are lying about the deaths of opioid users? This has been in the news for many months. They are panicking about it on the West Coast. The Medical Office of Health in Toronto is deeply concerned. Our emergency measures people in cities such as Barrie, are frustrated and alarmed. And those fools running the Ontario government are cutting back the funding for safe injection sites needed to help stem the tide.

Do those idiots think they are saving money by letting people die?

I was amazed earlier this year when our local conservative MP wrote an item for the local grocery flier wrap about this. He actually questioned the idea of providing clean needles and a place for addicts to take drugs. I figured it was just his way of demonstrating his general incompetence.

Someone whom he respected must have gotten to him and convinced him that he should support safe injection sites. The really good news came later when he announced he would not run again for MP.

I have always been horrified over the years when seeing people heading down the slippery slide into the world of illicit drugs. It is a terrible waste of human life. I see the safe injection sites as an opportunity for knowledgeable workers to connect and maybe save the lives of some of these people. It is certainly worth the small cost.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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