Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ontario MPP Tim Peterson Leaves Ontario Liberals

According to the Globe & Mail, Tim Peterson is leaving the Ontario Liberals to sit as an independent, with the intent of seeking the nomination to run as an Ontario Progressive Conservative.
Ontario MPP Tim Peterson is departing the Liberal Party to sit as the sole independent member in the legislature and plans to run for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election on Oct. 10.

The Liberal backbencher was first elected in 2003 in the riding of Mississauga South and is the brother of former [Liberal] Ontario Premier David Peterson.

The story also quotes sources from the Liberal Party saying he demanded a cabinet spot, but I'd like to hear it from Mr. Peterson first. You'll pardon me if I don't immediately believe Liberal sources.

On another note, Thanksgiving dinner at the Peterson's might be a bit awkward.

Updated: There is a release on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party's site from Mr. Peterson:

“My decision was not an easy one. I knew that our government and I were not in agreement and my first instinct was to not run in October,” Peterson said, citing several issues of concern to him, including energy policy and getting a fair share for Peel/Mississauga. “Fortunately I have known John Tory for several years and it was easy to establish a dialogue about these issues.

“His quick grasp of the issues that concerned me and the people of Mississauga South was not only encouraging, it was invigorating,” said Peterson. “In my discussions with John, I also became aware of what a decent, caring, humourous and charismatic person he is. In short, a natural leader. A leader who is not afraid to bring together the best and the brightest minds in Ontario to help manage Ontario’s $90 billion budget. He is one of the best and brightest.”

This Budget Lacks Legitimacy

The 2007 Budget has passed with the support of the separatist Bloc Québécois.

This is what I said last year at budget time.
The CPC shouldn't just rely on BQ support for the budget because the last thing you want is someone to say that this budget "lacks legitimacy". By not relying on the BQ for support (who have already publicly endorsed the budget), the CPC can campaign on the fact that they represent Quebec views better than the separatists as recent polls seem to indicate.

I've long since given up any hope of a Senate seat anyway, so I can say what I want. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ontario Liberals : So What?, The Continuing Lottery Saga

Here's the money quote from Ontario's New Government [Toronto Star, Minister urged to quit over lottery scandal]:
[David] Caplan said he's working to restore confidence in the lottery system, which pumped $2.4 billion in provincial coffers last year, and he won't resign.

"Taking responsibility means rolling up your sleeves and fixing the problem that we, unfortunately, inherited from previous governments," he said.

Emphasis mine.

Here was my prediction:

I know, I know - it's all Mike Harris's fault. Or, Stephen Harper's. It's always somebody else's fault.

Wait for the spin, too, which should be interesting. I say "it should be" because they're not allowed to blame Bob Rae anymore.

Updated: Added reference for quote and text updates.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One for Scott

Just watched Scott Brison on The Rick Mercer Report:
A whale beached itself over there and died ... Stéphane Dion tried to save it, but didn't get there [fast] enough ... Stephen Harper, though, ran over and clubbed it to death.

I might have paraphrased, but it was funny.

Ontario Liberals : So What?

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party calls the ruling Ontario Liberal Party, the "So What Government". I wasn't entirely sure if the name would catch on with me. It's certainly catchy, but does it fit?

Globe & Mail, Ontario knew of lottery fraud:
Ontario government officials initially became aware of questions about retailers winning a disproportionate share of jackpots six months before the scandal at its lottery corporation became public last October, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.

But the government did not act until the provincial Ombudsman launched a probe.

David Caplan, the minister responsible for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., said yesterday after Ombudsman André Marin released his report on the allegations of lottery fraud that he will ask the police to review the suspicious prizes.

Further:

Mr. Caplan was repeatedly asked by the opposition and by reporters when he first learned about the problems at the lottery corporation. He said they first came to his attention about 10 days before the CBC-TV program the fifth estate alleged last October that more than 200 ticket retailers or clerks won prizes of more than $50,000 in the past seven years.

However, three officials in Mr. Caplan's office were informed by the lottery corporation in April, six months earlier, that CBC was probing the case of Bob Edmonds, an 82-year-old who was cheated out of his lottery winnings by a retailer. The CBC was also seeking statistics on the number of retailers and other insiders who had won lottery prizes since 1995, according to a series of internal e-mails obtained by The Globe.

First we have the Ontario Liberals reacting to a report condemning them for their neglect for victims of crime when they knew there was a problem - now, we have the Ontario Liberals reacting to a report condemning them for their neglect for consumers of lottery products when they knew there was a problem.

Are they to be applauded for all this reacting?

I know, I know - it's all Mike Harris's fault. Or, Stephen Harper's. It's always somebody else's fault.

I wonder how the Ontario Liberals would react if they were instructed to, say, I don't know - reveal the costs of fighting the ruling that they had to fund autism treatment. Oh yeah - so what.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Quick Thought Experiment : Acting vs Reacting Government

If a governing political party requires an official report or a court ruling before acting on a known social or governmental ill, should that government be applauded or criticized?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

From the Ironic Department

I subscribe to all the political party e-letters.

Just checked my email and I got an email from the Honourable John McCallum, Liberal Finance Critic, Liberal Party of Canada, and I quote:
Stephen Harper thinks he can buy votes with tax gimmicks. As Liberals, we are ready to stand up to this. Please consider a donation of $75 or $150 today to help us prepare for a future election that Stephen Harper will call.

...

And remember, your donation to the Liberal Party of Canada will generate you [sic] Federal Tax Credit of up to 75%, on donations of $400 or less.

So, help us oppose buying votes with tax gimmicks, by donating to a political party and get yourself a piece of a tax gimmick.

It's almost enough to make you cynical. Almost.

Ontario vs Federal Liberal Reaction to Budget

The Conservative government has released the federal budget for 2007. The CBC has a summary of the budget on their sites.

In reading some of the media and pundit reaction to the budget, an interesting thought occurred to me.

What do you do if you're both an Ontario and a federal Liberal? It's not necessary that you're both, but there are quite a few out there.

How do you react to these reactions?

Ontario Liberal Premier, Dalton McGuinty [via CTV]:
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is claiming a partial victory for the province in the new federal budget, saying Ottawa is working to level the fiscal fairness playing field.

"For the first time in a long, long time, Ontarians are going to receive the same amount of money for their education and social services as Canadians living in the rest of Canada," McGuinty told reporters on Tuesday.

"That too is a significant victory in terms of our fight for fairness."

Federal Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion [via, National Post]:

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion outlined on Tuesday where the federal budget failed Canadians, saying, "never has so little been done with so much."

Dion said there was no money to make Canada more competitive, no money for students, no real plan to fight climate change, no funding for aboriginal Canadians, no tax relief for average Canadians and he called the approach to equalization payments to the provinces divisive.

If, according to the Premier, Ontario is now receiving the same amount for certain social services as every other province, then this is a positive budget for Ontario Liberals. Should not Ontario Liberals be indicating to their federal counterparts in Ottawa to support it? I mean, yes, it's somewhat moot - the Bloc has already indicated it will support the budget, but symbolically, shouldn't federal Liberals from Ontario show their support for the budget?

Fundamentally, how do Ontario Liberals reconcile the possibility that their party may work better with a Conservative government in Ottawa, then they did with a federal Liberal government?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

International Women's Day

Tomorrow is International Women's Day.
2007 marks the 30th anniversary of International Women's Day. Established in 1977 by the United Nations, this important day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress made to advance women's rights and to assess the challenges that remain. International Women's Day (IWD) encourages us to consider steps to bring about equality for women and girls in all their diversity and to celebrate the collective power of women past, present and future.

Then, the news shows up and reminds you what is wrong with the world.

From the CBC, Schoolgirls suspended for using word 'vagina' during reading of feminist play:

CROSS RIVER, New York (AP) - A public high school has suspended three students who disobeyed officials by saying the word "vagina" during a reading from a well-known feminist play.

The honour students, Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, included the word during their reading of "The Vagina Monologues" because "it wasn't crude and it wasn't inappropriate and it was very real and very pure," Reback said.

Their defiant stand is being applauded by the play's author, who said Tuesday that the school should be celebrating, rather than punishing, the three juniors.

It looks like they were told not to say the word "vagina" during their presentation, but did so anyway. I don't understand what possible offence the word vagina carries. Granted, they did agree not to say the word - but, from all reports, they used the word, in context and in a mature manner. Why was the ban required in the first place?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mild Fun with Commuters

Ever walked against a herd of commuters? That's fun.

Ever "mooooed" or "baaaaed" while walking with a herd of commuters? That's funner.