Friday, December 29, 2006

Not Entirely Dead Yet

Well, I haven't managed to kill this blog yet. :) As mentioned elsewhere, I expect regular blogging activities to resume in the New Year, if I don't get around to something sooner.

Not Entirely Dead Yet

Sorry for the non-existent blogging this holiday season. I expect regular blogging to resume in the New Year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Where's the Conservative BC Caucus?


Tell me again why Garth Turner was turfed?

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A Well Kept Secret Revealed!

John Tory, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, may have been wealthy before coming into politics.

I know, I'm shocked too.

I had no idea.

I'm speechless.


I hope Ontario Liberal strategists are smarter than this [Orangeville Citizen, Taunts over Tory’s wealth may not work]:

Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are indicating they will try to label Progressive Conservative leader John Tory as rich in the 2007 election, hoping this will hurt him. But they should not bank on it.

Liberal strategists will revive a campaign they started the day the Conservatives chose Tory leader, when they distributed pamphlets calling him Richie Rich.”

After recently introducing legislation to raise the base pay for Members of the Provincial Parliament, in attempt to ensure that the best and brightest remain at Queen's Park, it would be unconscionable for the Ontario Liberals to revisit this tired strategy - to suggest that because someone was successful while in private life, they are unfit for public office or out of touch with Ontario.

Hopefully, Mr. Dowd is mistaken and way off here, and the Ontario Liberals aren't going anywhere near this.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Québécois Who Live in the Québécois Territory, Part le Trois

Also, we need to tell the Prime Minister that the motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, is just a motion and does not mean anything.

Perhaps we can draw him a map of the Québécois Territory.

That's after we figure how to explain it to people and politicians in this country, and the international community.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Diefenbaker Was Different ...

He didn't have history to learn from.

Call it a hunch, but after reading the reaction to this [CBC, Ottawa won't back Canadian-built Mars rover] ...

The federal government has turned down a request by Canada's space industry to support a contract that would have allowed the companies to build the European Space Agency's Mars surface rover, CBC News has learned.

The decision stunned the companies and has left the ESA scrambling to find a new partner, as no European firm is adequately prepared to match the technical abilities of Canadian firms to build its ExoMars rover.

... I suspect that there will be a "clarification of Canada's New Government's position and a restatement of Canada's committment to technological innovation" issued before the end of today.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's Funny Because It's True

Democracy summed up by Scott Adams [Dilbert.Blog]:

I’ve been involved in a number of job interviews for managers and chefs at my restaurants. I consider myself a reasonably good judge of character with lots of experience interviewing people. But when I compare the actual job performance of a person compared to what I predicted, there’s almost no correlation. Voting is the same way. We’re judging how a candidate will handle a nuclear crisis by how well his staff creates campaign ads. It’s a completely nonsensical process.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Liberal Party Reserves Right to Protect / Appoint Candidates

Finally, one of the two big parties has come right out and said that they are going to ignore the local electoral district associations when finding candidates [Liberal Party Press Release, Liberal MPs Focused on Winning Election, not Fighting Nomination Battles]:

Under the leadership of Mr. Dion, incumbent MPs will continue to hold secure nominations while talented new candidates will be selected for unheld seats and ridings where the incumbent Liberal candidate does not seek re-election. Mr. Dion has pledged that over one-third of Liberal candidates in the next federal election will be women.

As I said previously, this isn't an affront to democracy. A political party is like a private club - it can set the rules for how it runs anyway it sees fit. The members within the party can choose to belong to a party where the central leadership picks candidates, or not. Ultimately, laying their trust with the people at the top to decide what's best for the local riding.

Admittedly, you can have some problems with local democracy - but, you can have problems with riding protection, too.

What I don't want to hear anymore, from Liberal supporters or Conservative supporters alike, is that somehow the other party lacks democratic processes when some candidate is parachuted in, or when some party leader hand picks the candidates.

Liberals have come clean on it. The Conservative Party should too.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has a record on the environment that is no different than Alfonso Gagliano on accountability.

Come on, that's got to smart a little bit.

[H/T, CTV Politics Blog]

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

You know what's better than Christmas shopping?

Christmas shopping with a 2nd-degree hangover.

Best. ever.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Diana's Freudian Slip

I know a lot of my fellow Toronto bloggers are currently enjoying the Blogstravaganza downtown, so I think I may have been the only one to catch it.

Catch what?

During the CBC News at Six, Toronto edition, host Diana Swain referred to Queen's Park as "Queen's pork" - in the wrap-up to the piece about the financial impropriety and fall-out from the latest Ontario Auditor General's report.

If you go here quick, and click on Latest News at Six Toronto Broadcast, and go to about the 5:53 mark, you'll hear it clearly.

I love Diana. She says what we're all thinking.

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175 - 123

I didn't post about the vote on the motion to re-open the same-sex marriage legislation yesterday because there was already a lot of good commentary already going on (Clear Grit was on fire), but I'm pleased to see that the motion has been defeated, 175 - 123. I am also pleased to see that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not re-open this debate again.

The matter is closed and equality under the law is preserved.

I am also pleased to see that Dr. Charles McVety may have become disillusioned with the Conservative Party. But, as BCer in Toronto points out, there is a light at the end of Charles' tunnel.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why Bother Hiding It?

It doesn't matter if Dianne Haskett was picked to run before the local electoral district association could "elect" a candidate.

Sure, it's more evidence the Conservative Party should just eliminate the pretense of the local electoral district association structure already, but we all know it's important to keep that structure around to at least maintain the illusion of listening to the hoi polloi.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blogs Helping Animals

Blogs are shown to be instrumental in tracking wildlife atrocities [National Geographic, Exposing Atrocities, Blogs Give Wildlife Warriors Instant SOS]:

News crews and other media are seldom on hand to spread the word of efforts to save endangered animals in remote tropical regions often ravaged by war, poverty, and disease.

Now conservationists are taking matters into their own hands, via their keyboards, in harnessing the power of the blog to attract headlines and much needed support.

One such blog, from central Africa, made the news last month.

In a posting on Congo Rangers—a blog for wildlife workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—rangers alerted the world to the massacre of hundreds of hippos by armed militiamen in Virunga National Park.

I recommend reading the full National Geographic article and to have a read through of Congo Rangers - it's disheartening.

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National Day of Mourning : December 6th

[Cross posted from here]

YWCA Toronto will be holding a December 6th vigil to remember the victims of the Montreal Massacre.

Details from
YWCA Toronto [PDF]:

On December 6, YWCA Toronto, will host an afternoon vigil with speakers Hayder Kadhim, Dawson College student, survivor of the September 2006 shooting spree in Montreal and recent activist for gun control, Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada, the nation’s largest single provider of shelter for women and Wendy Cukier, YWCA Woman of Distinction and Co Founder/President of the Coalition for Gun Control.

On the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, three months after the shooting spree at Dawson College and in the shadow of the end of national gun registry the speakers will share their unique and personal perspective on the impact of guns on women’s lives.

What: December 6th Daytime Vigil
Where: Woodlawn Lounge, YWCA Toronto, 80 Woodlawn Ave. East (Yonge, south of St. Clair)
When: Wednesday December 6, 2006 2:00pm
  • 1:00 Press Interviews with the speakers
  • 2:00 Heather McGregor
  • 2:05 Paulette Senior
  • 2:13 Wendy Cukier
  • 2:20 IANSA Clip on Gun Violence
  • 2:22 Hayder Kadhim
  • 2:36 Reading of the Names & Candle lighting

Why: YWCA will honour the 14 women murdered in Montreal on December 6th, 1989, as well as all women experiencing violence in their personal and public lives.

The call to action will be followed by a traditional candle light vigil and reading of the names on this national day of remembrance.

Map here.

Consider attending if you can. If you cannot, consider a donation to the YWCA Toronto when you're planning your next charitable donation.


National Day of Mourning : December 6th

YWCA Toronto will be holding a December 6th vigil to remember the victims of the Montreal Massacre.

Details from YWCA Toronto [PDF]:

On December 6, YWCA Toronto, will host an afternoon vigil with speakers Hayder Kadhim, Dawson College student, survivor of the September 2006 shooting spree in Montreal and recent activist for gun control, Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada, the nation’s largest single provider of shelter for women and Wendy Cukier, YWCA Woman of Distinction and Co Founder/President of the Coalition for Gun Control.

On the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, three months after the shooting spree at Dawson College and in the shadow of the end of national gun registry the speakers will share their unique and personal perspective on the impact of guns on women’s lives.

What: December 6th Daytime Vigil
Where: Woodlawn Lounge, YWCA Toronto, 80 Woodlawn Ave. East (Yonge, south of St. Clair)
When: Wednesday December 6, 2006 2:00pm
  • 1:00 Press Interviews with the speakers
  • 2:00 Heather McGregor
  • 2:05 Paulette Senior
  • 2:13 Wendy Cukier
  • 2:20 IANSA Clip on Gun Violence
  • 2:22 Hayder Kadhim
  • 2:36 Reading of the Names & Candle lighting

Why: YWCA will honour the 14 women murdered in Montreal on December 6th, 1989, as well as all women experiencing violence in their personal and public lives.

The call to action will be followed by a traditional candle light vigil and reading of the names on this national day of remembrance.

Map here.

Consider attending if you can. If you cannot, consider a donation to the YWCA Toronto when you're planning your next charitable donation.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good Question

If you are a member of the Liberal Party, and you support the first-past-the-post electoral method, do you maintain that Michael Ignatieff is the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada or do you have to concede there is a better way to elect somebody?

You have to admit, it's a good question [via Google].

Updated: Including the "via Google" link to the original question. Apologies for the subscription sign-in.

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Torontoist : Fog in Toronto - Cooler

No, I lied. Head over to Torontoist to see a cooler picture of Toronto in fog.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?

I always knew I was an appeaser and an evil-doer.

Your 'Do You Want the Terrorists to Win' Score: 98%

You are a terrorist-loving, Bush-bashing, "blame America first"-crowd traitor. You are in league with evil-doers who hate our freedoms. By all counts you are a liberal, and as such cleary desire the terrorists to succeed and impose their harsh theocratic restrictions on us all. You are fit to be hung for treason! Luckily George Bush is tapping your internet connection and is now aware of your thought-crime. Have a nice day.... in Guantanamo!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Updated: I can't tell for sure, but I think this post is screwing up my blog in Firefox. Just checking if that's true.

Super Fast Updated: Yep. I've updated to make this a text-version of the results.

[H/T, Pharyngula]

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quick Thought Experiment : Consumption of a Regulated Product

Suppose there's a farmer, producing a product. This product appeals to a segment of the population, and the users of the product, contend there is no harm in its use.

Now, suppose there's a government, and currently that government regulates that product - it could be the product is illegal or heavily regulated. They contend that the product causes harm when used.

The farmer argues that the product is safe for general consumption. The population who obtains the product also argue that it is safe for general consumption. This population can cite studies and reports showing the product is safe.

The government argues the product is not safe for general consumption. The population who do not use the product also argue that it is not safe for general consumption. This population can cite studies and reports showing the product is not safe.

Who is right?

Does it depend on the product? Does it depend on who you trust more?

Does it more or less depend upon which "population" you are a member of?

Is it possible, to support the heavy regulation of one product and not another?

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Québécois Who Live in the Québécois Territory, Part le Deux

Also, we need to tell the international community that the motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, is just a motion and does not mean anything.

Perhaps we can draw them a map of the Québécois Territory.

That's after we figure how to explain it to people and politicians in this country.

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Michael Chong - Ousting Pool Update

It's progressing faster than anticipated.

Toronto Star, Tories challenge Chong's account:

Caucus colleagues say they didn't see it coming. But more important, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't see it coming.


Chong, in their view, betrayed the Prime Minister by not clearly flagging his intent to resign, and by misrepresenting how Harper dealt with the former minister, whose responsibilities included the unity file.

Plus, the arguments criticizing Michael Chong have already started, if I read this post from Liam correctly:

Michael Chong, obviously having not really listened to or learned anything from many (or any) of his more experienced provincial counterparts or federal cabinet colleagues, decided to bull on with his own rather simplistic view of Canada as a single unitary nation. To be fair, he did the right thing by resigning from cabinet. I'm sure he'll still be an acceptable and effective MP for his riding. He was never a very effective Intergovernmental affairs minister.

How long before Michael Chong is declared persona non grata?

Pick your date.

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Québécois Who Live in the Québécois Territory

Somebody should tell these people that the motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, is just a motion and does not mean anything.

Also, while you're at it, tell these politicians that the motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada, is just a motion and does not mean anything.

There is no confusion. None. Zero. So, there is no need to keep talking about it.

As Lawrence Cannon very clearly put it, "It's an inclusive definition that takes in all of the Québécois who live in the Québécois territory."

Feel better? I know I do.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Michael Chong Ousting Pool

Got this idea from a commenter over at Garth's blog.

The Mike Chong is sent to the Independent side pool in now open.

I put forward January 18th as the date Doug F figures out a way to turf Mike.

Welcome to our side Mike!

How long do you think it will be, before the Conservative Party makes up conjures up constructs figures out a reason to force Michael Chong out of caucus?

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Motions Are Worse than Legislation

One of the common refrains coming out of this Québécois motion commotion is that it's "no big deal, it's just a motion."

The problem in my mind is, motions are worse than legislation. Why? Legislation can be repealed with the next election. There isn't a government alive that's going to repeal "the will of this House".

At any rate, the motion passed 266-16. Here are the MPs that voted against the motion, courtesy of Views from the Left:
Navdeep Bains
Don Bell
Raymond Chan
Joe Comuzzi
Ken Dryden
Hedy Fry
Jim Karygiannis
Diane Marleau
Bill Matthews
Maria Minna
Dan McTeague
Scott Simms
Paul Steckle
Andrew Telegdi
Garth Turner
Joe Volpe

Good for Michael Chong, for resigning his position as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I'm not the only one to think it bizarre that an intergovernmental affairs minister was not consulted about a motion involving intergovernmental affairs.

Chong, who was responsible for federal-provincial relations, was left out of the loop when Harper was deciding on the wording of the motion. Instead, the prime minister consulted with former intergovernmental affairs minister Stéphan Dion.

I would have liked it better had Mr. Chong broken ranks and voted against the motion. So much for those free votes the Conservative Party promised.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Torontoist : Fog in Toronto

Head over to this post at Torontoist to see one of the coolest shots of Toronto ever.


Oppose the Québécois Motion

This is the part I missed [Andrew Coyne, Opposed]:

[W]hatever the precise technicalities of the wording, the idea that will enter the political bloodstream is that "Quebec" has been so recognized.

My argument that I could support the Québécois motion got wrapped up in that very question of semantics, and less of what the "semantics" actually signifies.

I'm convinced I was wrong, and this motion must be defeated. Let the Bloc pass these types of divisive motions, and be soundly defeated.

Updated: I'm surrounded by smart people. Go read Wayne's take at Progressive Bloggers.

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Garth Turner : Are the Quebec people a nation?

Garth Turner put out the following press release yesterday:

Last week the government of Stephen Harper introduced a motion in the House of Commons which will declare the Quebecois a nation within Canada. Since then, this action has been embraced by Quebec separatists, including Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe.

Debate on this motion is expected to be cut off Monday night, followed by a vote in the Commons. No public consultations are planned, no committee meetings are to be held and no chance for comments from the public to be tabled.

Independent MP Garth Turner disagrees with the process and is asking all Canadians interested in having their voice heard to vote in an online poll prior to the decision in Parliament. “This has the potential to alter our country in unknown ways,” Turner says, “and I see no reason why we are rushing to get this vote done in just a few days. Canadians did not ask for it, and need time to understand the implications. After all, if the Quebec separatists are so much in favour, this raises serious questions about what’s best for national unity.”

For what’s believed to be the first time, a sitting MP in the House of Commons is using online polling to gauge the mood of Canadians. Turner’s poll comes in addition to his own consultations with voters in his riding of Halton, where he held a Town Hall meeting Thursday night, at which constituents voted overwhelmingly against acceptance of the “Quebecois nation” motion.

People voting online are allowed just one ballot, with subsequent attempts to vote not being recorded. Preliminary voting results are scheduled to be released Sunday evening, November 26, with further results released Monday afternoon and prior to the Commons vote that evening.

“This could be a pivotal moment in national history, and I fear this move is being supported by the major parties for purely political self-interest,” Turner says. “So I encourage all Canadians to be heard in the scant few hours which remain before this vote is forced. I will ensure every MP is made aware of the results.”

To vote, proceed to

For more information:
Esther Shaye (905) 699-1902 or (905) 693-0166
Garth Turner (613) 222-1838 or (613) 996-7046

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

SES : Canadian Opinion of the Liberal Party 'Brand'


Although the media focus has been on the Liberal leadership, polling shows that there are clearly some bigger issues with the Liberal ‘brand’. The fact that one of every three Canadians, unprompted, used words like ‘corrupt’ and ‘scandal’ to describe the Liberals shows that the Liberal image has not recovered from the sponsorship scandal. The Liberals have a steep mountain to climb to get over this challenge. Although the Liberals will have a new leader, a key question Canadians will likely ask is – how will this new leader be a break with the past?

SES - Nik on the Numbers : What Canadians like and dislike about the Liberal Party of Canada

Nik also mentions the fact that the Conservative Party is in a statistical tie with the Liberal Party, which indeed is interesting.

Superfast Update: Wait. One third "used words like ‘corrupt’ and ‘scandal’ to describe the Liberals"? 33%?

How many people support the Conservatives? 34% [PDF]?

Coincidence? Maybe.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Québécois / Quebec Motion

I admit I might be a little slow to the party, but did anyone notice a slight difference in the motions recognizing a certain nation within Canada?

Here is the text of the motion entered into the House of Commons by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


Here is the text of the Bloc Québécois motion, from the same source.

That this House recognize that Quebeckers form a nation.

Here is the text of the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec) motion:

Be it resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada recognizes the Quebec nation within Canada.

A few questions that I had - probably permutations of the same question...

  • Is the Québécois nation the same as the Quebec nation?
  • Can I be from Quebec and not be Québécois?
  • Can I be Québécois and not from Quebec?
  • Is the Quebec nation different than the Quebec province?
Both the Conservative and Bloc motions mention the people, but the Liberal motion mentions specifically the province. Unless the people and the province are the same?

Off the cuff, I think I'm more comfortable recognizing the nation of Québécois, than I am in recognizing the nation of Quebec - especially within the context of a "united Canada".

What do you think? Semantics? A specific choice of wording?

Updated: A BCer in Toronto adds another permutation.

Now, originally I had read the BQ’s motion translated into English as Quebecers, rather than Quebecois. That makes the difference between the BQ motion and Harper’s motion appear bigger, and the Harper motion more attractive. At this point, I’m tempted to go with Harper’s motion, as it brings it clearly from the political sense to the sociological sense.

Indeed. Again, Quebecker definitely means "from Quebec" in my mind, while Québécois talks more to the history and culture of French Canadians.

Or, does it just make the semantics muddier?

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Consultations on Human Rights Legislation Cancelled

I mean, is anybody really surprised? From the Globe & Mail, Ontario accused of using 'guillotine' on rights' debate:

The Ontario government was accused of bringing down the "guillotine" yesterday on its controversial overhaul of the province's Human Rights Commission.

The opposition said a time-allocation motion introduced by the government this week was a blatant attempt to cut off debate and ram through the proposed changes. The motion, which passed in the legislature last night, will see debate wrap up next Wednesday and the bill tabled for third reading the following day.

The motion amounts to a sharp reversal by the government. Only last week, Attorney-General Michael Bryant said in the legislature that he looked forward to the debate lasting "however long it takes."

Who would have thought that the term "sharp reversal" would be used to describe Ontario Liberal Party policy?

What's even funnier? There was a public notice for public consultations in the same issue of the Globe & Mail on page A6. I found the text on the web:

The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will meet to consider Bill 107, An Act to amend the Human Rights Code.

The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto commencing on Wednesday, November 15, 2006.

The Committee intends to hold additional public hearings in the winter on dates and in locations to be determined.

Interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation on Bill 107 must contact the Committee Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2006.

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Ontario Progressive Conservatives : Time for Action - Skilled Immigrants

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has delivered a real plan for new immigrants to Ontario [Ontario PC Party, Time for Action - Skilled Immigrants [PDF]].

There are fourteen recommendations put forward by the party on this issue, which are summarized at the Ontario PC Party website.

The 14 recommendations focus on three broad categories: speeding up the process, helping newcomers once they have arrived and integrating them into our workforce. Some of these recommendations include:
  • Building a really useful, cutting edge web portal that provides accurate credentialing information and opportunities for potential immigrants before they move to Canada. The same portal could and should deliver courses to help people Canadianize their credentials.
  • Expand the Ontario Student Assistance Program to make loans available for new Canadians bridging or upgrading their training.
  • Provide more supports for ESL training – to lower the language barriers that stand in the way of so many new Canadians’ success.
  • Use the platform of TVO to provide effective general language, training and integration information to help new immigrants to adjust to Canada. Training materials produced by TVO would be available on-line to people waiting to come to Canada.
  • Leverage on our existing system of colleges and universities and support them in providing training opportunities overseas.
  • Expand bridging, mentoring and work experience programs for new Canadians by including more small and medium sized businesses. These programs must be attractive, accessible and affordable for smaller enterprises.

Once again, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario puts together a well thought out policy, after consultations with groups affected.

Previous : Ontario Progressive Conservatives: Time For Action - Violence Affecting Youth [PDF]

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Actions Speak Louder Than Books

According to these two gentlemen, they want me (and presumably you too) to be rich, if I judge this book by its cover correctly.

They want me to be rich.

I want me to be rich.

I think there is a faster way for all of us to get what we want, instead of me reading their book.

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Ignatieff Should Go Jump in a Lake

Don't you hate saying I told you so? I know I don't.

From the Toronto Sun, Mercer factor.

The skinny dipping stunt may have given [Liberal leadership candidate Bob] Rae the kind of bounce Bill Clinton got from his 1991 sax stunt on Arsenio Hall. "It was certainly a moment," said Mercer.

For those that missed it.

Let's have a look at the old polling factories [Angus Reid, Rae Would Get More Liberal Votes in Canada]:

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae is the most popular contender in the race for the leadership of Canada’s Liberal party, according to a poll by Decima Research released by the Canadian Press. 37 per cent of respondents say they are more likely to support the Liberals if Rae, who governed the country’s most populous province as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP), is their leader.

Of course, this poll was released in November.

What was the poll saying before his appearance - say, from a poll released September 25 [Angus Reid, Ignatieff Leads Liberal Hopefuls in Canada]:

Academic Michael Ignatieff is regarded as the best prospective leader for the opposition Liberal party in Canada, according to a poll by The Strategic Counsel released by CTV and the Globe and Mail. 35 per cent of respondents think Ignatieff would be a good or very good choice.

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae—who governed Canada’s most populous province as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP)—is second with 33 per cent, followed by former social development minister Ken Dryden with 30 per cent, former environment minister Stéphane Dion and former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy with 24 per cent each, and former public works and government services minister Scott Brison with 21 per cent.

I wonder what the polls would say if Ignatieff went and jumped in a lake.

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Toronto's crime rate is down [CTV, Crime rates down significantly in 2006: police]:

Crime and safety was the number one issue for voters in an exclusive CTV News poll, and police statistics show the overall crime rate is down significantly.

The 2006 violent crime stats are as follows:

  • Homicides are down 13.4 per cent;
  • Gun-related killings are down 46.7 per cent; and
  • The number of shootings is down 18.7 per cent.

Safe injection sites are working [CBC News, Vancouver's safe injection site successful: study]:

Vancouver's safe injection site is slowing down the spread of HIV and helping drug users quit their habits, a new study finds — but an expert suggested that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government won't want to hear those results.

The study, which will appear Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says the three-year-old Supervised Injection Site in the Downtown Eastside has been a great success.

The number of gay marriages in Canada is rising, and yet not a single smiting or pillar of salt to be found [Globe & Mail, Same-sex marriages are on the rise, study says]:

Wedding bells are ringing for a growing number of same-sex couples across Canada, according to data compiled by Canadians for Equal Marriage, an organization that backs the country's current marriage law.

The data, to be released this morning, shows that more than 2,300 same-sex couples obtained marriage licences over a five-month period beginning in June -- nearly a quarter of the national total for the entire previous three years.

What else could possibly go wrong with this country?

We might find out that pragmatism might actually work at times?

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Etiquette Citations


Torontoist : Etiquette Citations We'd Like To See
Sharing public spaces with millions of other people takes work. Most of the time, it's no biggie for the seasoned city resident, but every now and then a serious etiquette violation can upset the balance.


Continue reading to see how Torontoist imagines these tickets would look like. We've also linked to PDF versions of them to download in case our readers actually want to drop a hint to someone on their own.

Torontoist cites offenses for uses on the TTC, the Entertainment District, and in the city in general.

I have some food court etiquette offenses that warrant a card.

Complaining about the quality of food court food during peak hours.

First off, the majority of food court food stinks so complaining is redundant.

Secondly, I'm usually in something of a hurry when I'm in line for Combo #32, and I don't want you to complain that the wasabi for your food court sushi lacks that certain je ne sais quoi.

Thirdly, if the food provider does entertain your complaint, do not storm off in the middle of them trying to resolve it. They're usually handling me next and I don't want your helping of Vengeance SpitTM.

Loitering in the food court.

If you are seated at a table, then you must be eating. If you are not eating, you are not seated at the table.

The logic works both ways.

Extra loitering in the food court.

Two people do not need a table for 4. A "coat" and a "briefcase" do not constitute two extra people.

Condiments not easily accessible adding to turmoil.

Providers should not provide condiments in bottles, jars, or in containers requiring manual dexterity unless you provide a separate and distinct counter for the application of condiments. Everything should be in little packets, or should be available in little packets from the provider next door for easy pilfering.

Providers must at least try to make edible food.

I know, I'm not allowed to complain about the quality, but don't assume we're stupid. I know my herbs, and human hair does not taste the same as lemongrass.

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Political Party Machinations

What does this ...

A convoluted legal spat over the Conservative party's acclamation of Calgary MP Rob Anders will continue after Alberta's Court of Appeal ordered a new judicial review application into the matter.

and this ...

These letters reveal how machine politics work. Those who have decreed I cannot run as a Conservative are unelected and have imposed their will upon an MP who was selected by the people.

and this have in common?

I also believe it is a testament to the Conservative Party that they can attract a candidate of Ms Haskett’s stature.

My Goodness they had to look all the way to Washington D.C. to find her.

If you said that it's proof that the Conservative Party doesn't work right when selecting candidates, you get half marks because that it isn't the whole answer. If you said the problem is selecting candidates in a non-democratic fashion, that's not it either.

Indeed, the problem with the political party system is not when the party selects the candidates in a non-democratic method - be it through nomination protection in Calgary West, caucus eviction in Halton, or candidate parachuting in London-North Centre - the problem is when the individual party members accept the practice as good or as justified. It's not just the Conservative Party either that does this. I'll let you figure out the others.

These parties that do this, should eliminate the electoral district association, or fundamentally change their role. Right now, there is a mistaken perception that the local EDA have a choice in candidate selection. They do not, but the parties pretend they do.

It should be noted when you join a political party and run for the EDA that:
  • Candidates are chosen by the central party headquarters.
  • If in the event that a candidate cannot be selected by central party headquarters, the EDA may solicit requests from the membership and go through an election process. Regardless of that election outcome, the central party headquarters has the right to revoke that candidate's selection at any time, including caucus eviction after a successful election.
So, if you like that, then you should be fine. If you don't like that, then you should move on. That's the way it works, and there's nothing wrong about it.

Again, the problem isn't the party politics - it's the people who support it. Instead of fighting it, leave and find something better. These parties will get the hint, eventually.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Messy Neighbours

Mark, The Sudden Sage, is having problems with some neighbours.

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2006 Canadian Blog Awards - Voting has Begun

This blog has been nominated for Best Personal Blog, in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards. My political blog, The Progressive Right, has also been nominated for Best Blog and Best Conservative Blog.

Voting closes November 21, and you may vote once per day.

Samantha roXXorZ.

[Somewhat cross-posted from here]

2006 Canadian Blog Awards - Voting has Begun

This blog has been nominated for Best Blog and Best Conservative Blog, in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards. My personal blog, James Calder, has also been nominated for the Best Personal Blog.

Voting closes November 21, and you may vote once per day.

So, get out there, and vote for this blog or other blogs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Interesting Self-Observation

Since declaring myself independent, I have largely found myself not as angry as I used to be.

Please discuss.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Garth Turner : Media Notice

My apologies for the lack of posts. I've been recovering from the worst cold ever.

At any rate, I'm going to point you over to Garth's blog where he has announced that he will be holding a media conference.

Tuesday, November 14
2 pm ET
National Press Building

For more information: Esther Shaye (905) 693-0166, (905) 699-1902.

Read the comments to that post to see the speculation about what the conference might be about. Should be interesting.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

How White and Nerdy are You?

It's not my fault. I have a degree in math. Some of the responses are requirements of that degree. And, I think I did Pascal in high school ... I think.

You are 60% white and nerdy.
How White and Nerdy Are You?

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ode of Remembrance

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Jack Palance, February 18, 1919 – November 10, 2006

Jack Palance, one of the best actors ever born, has passed away from natural causes.

From the LA Times:
Jack Palance, the leather-faced, gravelly-voiced actor who earned Academy Award nominations for "Sudden Fear" and "Shane," and who finally captured the Oscar almost 40 years later as the crusty trail boss in the 1991 comedy western "City Slickers," has died. He was 87.

Palance, who had been in failing health with a number of maladies, died today of natural causes in Montecito at the home of his daughter Holly, family members said.

He was one of the best-loved bad guys in motion picture and television history -- the murderous husband in "Sudden Fear" (1952), the creepy gunslinger in "Shane" (1953) and the cantankerous cattle driver Curly in "City Slickers" -- and kept acting well into his 80s.
I remember being first introduced to Jack Palance when he hosted the old Ripley's Believe It or Not TV show back in the 80's. His cameo in Batman as Boss Carl Grissom was memorable and nobody can forget Curly from City Slickers.

Jack Palance will be missed.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another Unique Look Inside My Mind

A lot of people have emailed me to ask me why I don't jaywalk.

Well, actually, nobody has, but if you knew why I don't jaywalk, you probably would email me to ask me why I don't jaywalk.

Yes, that was a lame opening.

Anyway, I went for a walk yesterday during lunch over in the
Entertainment District and noticed that there were a lot of people jaywalking. Traffic downtown was surprising light, and so there were a lot of intersections with red lights on for no reason, I guess. People would charge out and cross without a care. Me, being the non-jaywalker, would just stand on the corner feeling all alone.

My problem isn't with the actual act of jaywalking as I have jaywalked and continue to do so. My problem is with the "when" the act occurs.

I'm usually only in an opportunity to jaywalk when I'm downtown.

I'm usually only downtown when I'm working.

Therefore, if I jaywalk, I increase the likelihood of me being bug splatter on the windshield of a minivan during a work day.

And, I have an irrational fear of dying while working or while at work (which explains my previous exclamations about
preppy junior accountants trying to run me over. See? It's a pattern). The thought of my last few moments on earth consumed with setting up a meeting or checking my voice mail makes me nauseous. The worst thought I could have as my last would be, "Did I forget to issue a status report?"

So, the last thing I'm going to do while working, is jaywalk.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

"Progress" in War

Go check out the "before and after" pictures of Passchendaele and Nagasaki over at Futility Closet, and keep them in mind this Remembrance Day.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Income Trusts

I don't have a whole lot of insight to add in the discussion of the income trust issue. The Conservative government was right to close down income trusts as non-taxable entities, but wrong to close them down as they did.

In short, the income trust loophole needed to be closed. Eric Reguly, in the Globe & Mail, describes it thusly.

Tax balance -- the relative proportion paid by corporations and individuals -- was already in trouble in Canada. The rising trust market threatened to kill it. The impression given by corporations, with their lobbyists and PR men and speechwriters, is they pay the lion's share of the taxes in this country, and that the tax burden is making them uncompetitive in the global market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that corporations paid the equivalent of 60 per cent of all individual taxes collected in the early 1960s, according to national accounts. Since then, the figure has dropped to about 30 per cent. In other words, the relative tax burden on the individual has doubled, while on corporations it has been halved.

The trust market could theoretically shift the corporate tax burden to zero. In time, the individual, like Sisyphus, would have to push the tax stone up the hill all by himself. Fair and balanced? Forget it.

It was only a matter of time before a government (any government) would have shut them down. If you had income trusts as the cornerstone of your investment portfolio, you were an accident waiting to happen. It's unfortunate too - they were attractive - high regular dividend payments at a preferred tax rate made them far more attractive than GICs and bonds, and certainly more so than regular equities.

So, the Conservative government was right to shut them down.

At the same time, the Conservative Party promised [PDF] not to shut them down.

Stop the Liberal attack on retirement savings and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them.

What the Conservative government has effectively done is attacked retirement savings (and savings in general) and did nothing to preserve income trusts. What's worse politically, is they have validated the Liberal "attack" on them.

Garth Turner had a better solution to handling the income trust closure:

I think the minister of finance could have declared a moratorium on new conversions, struck a blue ribbon panel to study the industry and eased in regs over the past few months making it crystal what direction the feds were going in. That would have allowed for a more orderly, less panicked correction, and kept from scaring the crap out of a few million seniors. It would have been a kinder blow. But if you’re a prime minister planning an election in a few months, and want nasty things done now so people will forget about them, well, you pick another route.

Which leads me to my final comment.

I think everyone concedes that the federal government had to close down income trusts as a non-taxable entity. I'm just surprised it happened now and in this manner. This is usually one of those "got to do" policies that a government does in the first year of a majority mandate so that people forget it by the time you go to the polls again. We may be headed back early next year and I think this is going to be fresh on everyone's mind.

What's unfortunate too is, lost in this income trust outrage, is the positive announcement about income splitting for seniors.

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Relax ... Take a Deep Breath

Sure, the fish will all be dead, but Canada will have reduced it's greenhouse gas emissions by half two years later!

An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses.

Ah well, with cleaner air we can eat more birds, like crow.

[H/T, My Blahg]

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Smelling Heaven's Bakery

Being sick stinks. Thank the Maker for the internets.

I smell heaven's bakery cooking up something good for you, sister.

[H/T, Soupy Trumpet]

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Makes You Go Hmmm....

I'm not sure what's funnier.

The fact that Rick Mercer has set up a "Stay, Fortier, Stay" petition ...

Dear Prime Minister:

We, the undersigned, support your conviction that The Honourable Michael Fortier remain an unelected Cabinet Minister and retain his Senate seat until such time as you deem fit.

The Undersigned

... or that people are signing it.

He said FROM THE START that he would resign and run ONLY AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION. Plus Montreal needs somebody in cabinet. People should understand the situation before becoming cynical.

CBC sucks

I can't believe we are funding a raging communist like Rick Mercer with our tax dollars. Mr. Harper, it's time to pull the plug on the CBC!

And the unintentional irony quote goes ...

Because of Fortier and Emerson, Harper has a government that is represented nationally... that's a lot better than what those grits could pull off.

Minus the fact that the Liberal Party actually did elect representation nationally, minus the fact that "unelected senators" are supposed to be bad, and minus the whole David Emerson thing.

Those three "facts" mean nothing when Canadians don't understand the situation. Canadians are getting cynical for the wrong reasons.

How come nobody talks about Gomery any more, for instance, instead of Fortier?

Oh wait. See, now I'm being cynical for the wrong reasons.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just Saying

Whoever invented moving the clocks for Daylight saving time must not have had a 4 year old and a 9 month old.

Just saying.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Doomed to Repeat

In case you forgot.

From the London Free Press, Grits still seek candidate:

Reached by The Free Press, [Geoff] Donald said he couldn't comment. But he denied any attempt to muzzle [London North-Centre Conservative MP Dianne] Haskett and said he'd been sent by party headquarters to help her campaign.

Muzzled? Someone sent from headquarters to help campaign?

Doesn't that sound like somebody else [Election Prediction, Ajax-Pickering]?

In response to M.T., the fact that Rondo Thomas has not showed up to all 3 debates this week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and doubt he will show up next Tuesday as well, goes far beyond his position on SSM. You have convictions, you face the music and you show up to defend and debate them and if it is getting to hot, then you get out of the kitchen!


It's looking worse and worse for Rondo Thomas. The party has brought in a campaign manager from Ottawa to keep him under control.

Purely coincidental, I'm sure.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

All Your Frequencies Belong to Us

I kind of wondered how long before this happened [Baltimore Sun, Public radio seeks recall of FM devices used in cars]:
Citing widespread interference on broadcast frequencies used by its member stations, National Public Radio has asked the Federal Communications Commission to order recalls of millions of FM modulators that drivers use to play satellite radios and iPods through their car stereos.

A field study by NPR Labs found that nearly 40 percent of those devices have signal strengths that exceed FCC limits, enabling them to break into FM broadcasts in nearby cars with unwanted programming. A separate investigation by the National Association of Broadcasters found that more than 75 percent of the devices it tested violated the power limits.
I'm a big fan of my Sirius satellite radio, but I did notice that when I use the FM transmitter, the FM transmission signal went quite a distance.

For an anecdotal account, here's my own little experiment I conducted. I have the
Sirius Sportster Replay and I currently transmit on 87.9 FM, which around here has no associated radio station. I left my receiver docked at home, and turned it on. I then got in my car, and drove a few blocks away. The signal remained loud and clear. My neighbourhood is pretty densely packed too, so do the math on figuring out how many houses I'd be broadcasting to.

Now, I broadcast on 87.9, but if I selected say 99.1 (the CBC Radio Toronto station), I wonder what kind of chaos that would cause? Andy Barrie is suddenly replaced by Howard Stern. Mmm ... :)


This blog is no longer associated with the Blogging Tories, probably to the relief of some [ ;-) ].

As to the "why", while I still consider myself a "small-b" blogging Tory, I don't think I can necessarily vocally support the Conservative Party of Canada for a number of reasons, and would like to promote progressive conservative polices irregardless of the political party. I find myself questioning decisions and policies more often than not; a non-stop whine-a-thon, I guess, if you're of an opposite point of view.

In short, I don't think the Conservative Party is my federal political home any more. Maybe it will be again, one day.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

If You Don't Learn From History

Quote of the day.

Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to anger. It works the same in any country.

- Hermann Wilhelm Göring

Ontario Lottery Concerns

Speculation abounds that lottery retailers in Ontario have been cashing in tickets "on behalf" of the rightful winners [CBC, Ontario lotto officials defend security as report raises questions]:

After an investigation by the CBC's The Fifth Estate alleged that a disproportionate number of clerks and retailers win large lotteries in Ontario, the province's gaming corporation has defended its security practices.

"It is critical to note that when a retailer/clerk wins a major prize, [Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation] conducts an investigation 100 per cent of the time," said a statement released Wednesday.


A statistician with the University of Toronto called [the number of lottery retailers winning the lottery a] statistical anomaly, saying there is a "one in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion" chance of that many retailers winning. Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal said the number of wins should be closer to 57.

I don't know if this is too simple a solution, but what if we simply made those individuals who sell lottery tickets ineligible for the prizes? In other words, if you are licensed to sell lottery products in the province of Ontario and you are currently employed by a retailer that sells lottery products in the province of Ontario, then you are ineligible to win a prize from an Ontario lottery product.

No security concerns. No audit concerns. No investigations needed.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quick Thought Experiment : Criminal Motivation

Is it safe to assume, that if you oppose a recent Ontario court ruling that ruled a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act unconstitutional ...

Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Rutherford ruled today that a clause that deals with religious, political or ideological motivation - a chief part of the Act’s definition of terrorism - violates Section 2 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guaranteeing freedoms of religion, thought and belief.

... that you do so, not because of the judge's decision in and of itself, but because it takes away an opportunity to lay blame at the feet of a group with which you oppose? That is, prior to this ruling, if someone in Canada is convicted of being a terrorist, then they have to have had a political, religious, or ideological motivation to do so. By extension, if you define the act by the motivation, then the motivation itself will be perceived to be the crime - not the crime itself.

I'm not sure how that line of thinking can be supported.

After this ruling, if an alleged terrorist is found guilty of committing a terrorist act, it will be done without additional add-on that the alleged did it for "religious, political or ideological motivation". That motivation will come into play certainly at a sentencing, if the alleged is found guilty, but it's no longer a part of the crime committed nor the definition of the crime.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Understanding Political Expediency

I understand political expediency, but the last time I looked, Canada was not on the ballot for the November 7th election.

It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner. But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn't have a long-term impact on the relationship.

Paraphrased, of course.

[H/T, Canadian Cerberus]

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Scott Made a Funny

Scott Feschuk cracks me up.

Stephen Harper has called two byelections, including one in Quebec - but he's not forcing Michel Fortier to run, even though the unelected Fortier sits in cabinet and oversees a government department. The Prime Minister said not to worry, and reiterated his plan to have Fortier face voters by 2050.

Although, you have to admit, the Liberal Party, over the last 13 years, has done nothing to get Michael Fortier to run either. In fact, the United States has a better record of getting Michael Fortier to run then we do.

Okay, I'll stop.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Federal Appointments to the Toronto Port Authority, Part 4

Good news for federal civil servants and good news for Porter Airlines [CNW, Porter Airlines signs airfare discount agreement with Government of Canada]:

Porter Airlines and the Government of Canada have signed an agreement offering federal employees increased choice and flexibility when flying between Toronto and Ottawa. Porter is the first airline to sign such an agreement prior to start-up. The agreement is in support of the government's Shared Travel Services Initiative (STSI), part of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

This in and of itself is not unusual. Corporations will often cut deals with frequent or high volume users of their products or services. It's especially good for Porter Airlines, considering it hasn't even started operations yet. Extra especially good since Transport Canada is currently reviewing the status of the airport and the Toronto Port Authority.

From Transport Canada on October 17 [Minister Cannon Receives Report on the Toronto Port Authority]:

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that he has received the report on the Toronto Port Authority, prepared by Mr. Roger Tasse. The report deals with issues associated with the Toronto Port Authority and the transportation links to the Toronto City Centre Airport.


Mr. Tasse was appointed on May 1, 2006, to review decisions and issues associated with the Toronto Port Authority and the transportation links to the Toronto City Centre Airport. The review was called to provide the Government of Canada with an independent view of decisions, actions and transactions made concerning proposals for the link to and the operation of the airport.

Boy, wouldn't that be funny if Minister Cannon found impropriety with the operation of the airport or authority. Wouldn't it? It sure would put into question the government's deal with Porter, and all those appointments to its board.

Wink wink.

Are we even trying anymore, or has that just gone out the window?

[H/T, Torontoist]

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Clean Air Act

I understand the importance of being a team player.

I can easily declare that the Clean Air Act is a better piece of legislation protecting the environment than anything a Green Party MP has ever tabled in the House of Commons.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Garth Turner Suspended from Tory Caucus, The Day After

Well, I slept on it, and, no sir, I still don't like it.

John Ibbitson in today's Globe & Mail shakes his head as much as I do over it - his take is from the point of view of a lack in strategic foresight in the decision to drop Garth Turner from caucus [Globe & Mail, MP's expulsion dark news for Harper, via Google]:

Regardless of the reason, the expulsion says nothing good about the party or the Prime Minister. Mr. Turner is a rare phenomenon: a conservative politician popular among middle-class suburban voters outside Toronto, that most precious of political constituencies, and one generally hostile to Harper Conservatives. They liked Mr. Turner's passion for lowering taxes and streamlining government, but equally his commitment to the environment and his socially progressive views. Mr. Turner was a Tory metrosexual, and the party needs all of them it can get.

I still don't know what to think, honestly.

As I've said previously, Garth Turner was a credit to the Conservative Party, and I don't think the party's fortunes are going to improve with his removal.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Garth Turner Suspended from Tory Caucus

As a vocal supporter of Garth Turner, I can't say I'm entirely pleased by the Ontario caucus decision to unanimously vote for his removal from the Conservative Party. In fact, I think it stinks.

On the one hand, you have seemingly questionable tactics used to protect sitting incumbents for whatever reason.

But, on the other hand ...

Well, there really is no other hand.

I'm going to have to think on this a little bit.

Update: Garth's blog has a post up [, Holy Smokes!] to talk about his expulsion from the Conservative caucus.

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If I need a dictionary for a dictionary's word of the day, then I don't really need the word of the day.

On October 12, I received the following from the
Merriam-Webster Word of the Day:

gnomic \NOH-mik\ adjective

*1 : characterized by aphorism
2 : given to the composition of aphoristic writing

Example sentence:
The poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant," is known for her highly individualistic, gnomic style.

Did you know?
A gnome is an aphorism — that is, an observation or sentiment reduced to the form of a saying. Gnomes are sometimes couched in metaphorical or figurative language, they are often quite clever, and they are always concise. We borrowed the word "gnome" in the 16th century from the Greeks, who based their "gnome" on the verb "gign?skein," meaning "to know." (That other "gnome" — the dwarf of folklore — comes from New Latin and is unrelated to today's word.) We began using "gnomic," the adjective form of "gnome," in the early 19th century. It describes a style of writing (or sometimes speech) characterized by pithy phrases, which are often terse to the point of mysteriousness.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
OH ... APHORISM. Well, duh. And of course, "it describes a style of writing characterized by pithy phrases, which are often terse to the point of mysterious."

Maybe this word of the day was meant to be ironically gnomic?