Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Liberal Convention Must Be Open to Bloggers

Well, I tweeted it and I posted it to Facebook, I just wonder if I had another means to make this statement ...

The Liberal Party of Canada must determine a way to accredit unaffiliated bloggers at the biennial convention. As both a delegate, and a blogger, it's important the party embraces new media. Thanks to Mike Crawley and James Morton for supporting this.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Really Want to Stop ... But ...

As much as I don't like the man's politics, I am starting to feel a bit sorry for Rob Ford.

Whatever you may feel for Rob Ford, I can't imagine conservatives wanting a mayor that attracts this type of negative attention on a nearly constant basis ...
SchadenFord: the pleasurable feeling of gloating vindication when the buffoonish Mayor of Toronto f—ks up yet again; and the gleeful anticipation of same, because the latter is f—king inevitable. It’s like the sun rising, like tick following tock. You know it has to happen. And you find yourself, in spite of your better nature, looking forward to it.
[H/T Dawg]

Look, I could buy the argument that it was his house and they shouldn't have been there - file trespassing charges against the CBC if it was so bad. It's what the rest of the world does.

Skip the holier-than-thou nonsense, though. Conservatives and the conservative-owned media have given this legs beyond what was warranted.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Where's that Firewall?

Toronto needs to give its head a shake and throw out these university-educated, latte-sipping, cultural elitists, and tell them to stay out of Alberta's politics! Where's that firewall?

[CTV, National Citizens Coalition bashes Redford's victory]
A Toronto-based conservative advocacy group is questioning the election of Alberta premier-designate Alison Redford.
The irony is so thick, I'm going to spread it on my toast in the morning.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tory Candidate Blames Campaign Troubles on Tim Hudak

More Tory troubles. This time, however, it's with an active Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate who comes clean about how difficult it is to deliver her leader's divisive and destructive message to voters.

[London Free Press, Miller blames campaign troubles on Hudak]
A day before Ontarians go to the polls, Tory candidate Cheryl Miller has blamed her troubles in London-Fanshawe on the unpopularity of Conservative leader Tim Hudak.  
... 
Miller told Garrison that the campaign has been sometimes frustrating for her because she has had to carry the message of Tory leadership rather than her own.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Victory for Insite

The Supreme Court's decision that Insite must remain open is a tremendous victory for reason over ideology. 

Canada's Conservative government sought to close a safe-injection site in Vancouver, despite physical evidence that it reduced drug use, reduced overdoses, and increased the likelihood of someone getting off of drugs.

It's a great triumph in the fight to ensure that addiction is treated like a health issue and not a crime.

Messrs. Smitherman and Clement ... take note.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tory Syndrome, the Follow Up

Well, it appears that Tim Hudak supporters are attacking former Progressive Conservative leaders, instead of Tim Hudak himself. I'm not entirely sure I've seen a sitting Progressive Conservative MPP, standing for re-election, attack one of their own though.


[H/T, BCL]

Something about elections brings out the knives with this brand of conservative.

Tory Syndrome

Four years ago this month, a sizeable chunk of Ontario's Progressive Conservative supporters already had their knives out and sharpened for John Tory. This was based upon the belief that Tory was not a true conservative like Tim Hudak and that John would not deliver a Progressive Conservative victory.

Today, Tim Hudak is not as popular a choice for premier as Dalton McGuinty, and he has been unable to put the Ontario Progressive Conservatives significantly ahead of the Ontario Liberals in the run up to the election. Most likely, it is due to a vague strategy and meaningless platform promises. The only promises I can remember is the one about cheap beer and eliminating all-day kindergarten.

John Tory would likely have been elected premier in Ontario during this election. You always give the new leader two shots.

I will say though, give it to Tim Hudak supporters - they haven't abandoned ship ... yet.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sign Posted on Jarvis in Toronto

Here's a picture I found via FailBlog that I planned to share a while ago. It still has relevance if you're familiar with the Ford-era of politics in Toronto.

[Metro, City votes to scrap some downtown bike lanes]


Friday, September 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What Happened to My Tories?

Lower the price of beer, freeze all day kindergarten, rage against the HST and the health premium but admit they're keeping it because it's good for Ontario. These are the priorities for Tim Hudak's New Conservative Party?

Looks like I'm voting Liberal in October ...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Women's Centres Rally Today Against Thompson Rape Case Judge's Suggestion of "Implied Consent"

Via the Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba.
NEWS RELEASE


For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WOMEN’S CENTRES RALLY AGAINST THOMPSON RAPE CASE JUDGE’S SUGGESTION OF “IMPLIED CONSENT”

MANITOBA—Women’s Centres are appalled that a Manitoba Judge seems to be holding a Thompson rape survivor responsible for her rapist’s actions, on the basis of her sexuality and attire at the time of the incident. The centres point out that survivors of crimes such as theft or assault are not blamed for the perpetrators’ actions, yet women continue to be re-traumatised in the courtroom because some judges fail to understand the legal meaning of “no means no”.

Who: Campus and Community Women’s Centres
What: Rally against Judge Robert Dewar’s rape case ruling
Where: Manitoba Law Courts Building
When: Noon, Friday, February 25, 2011
Why: Judge Dewar said: "inviting circumstances" and survivor’s attire make rapist less morally responsible for rape
The Canadian Federation of Students developed the No Means No campaign nearly thirty years ago to raise awareness about and combat sexual assault, especially sexual assault by an acquaintance, or date rape. The goal of the campaign is to illustrate the many ways of signaling no to sex, and to bust the myth that rape survivors are responsible for rape.

“Judge Dewar was wrong to question what the woman was wearing the night that she was raped,” states Alanna Makinson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba. “Flirting, a short skirt, or a kiss never implies consent to intercourse.”

Added Joan Dawkins, Executive Director of the Women’s Health Clinic: “When a judge ignores the reality of sexual violence and blames a woman for the actions of her attacker, he not only harms the woman but makes it that much more difficult for the next victim to come forward and trust the judicial process. The result – rapists go free.”

The Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba is calling on Judge Dewar to apologise for his ruling and be held accountable for his failure to understand that there is no such thing as “implied consent”. The level of moral responsibility assigned to a convicted rapist should not hinge on his victim’s attire or sexuality.

“To suggest that a rapist is less guilty because he was ‘insensitive’ to the fact that the victim was not a willing participant is irresponsible,” states Katie Haig-Anderson, Women’s Commissioner of the Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba. “If a person is not a willing participant in a sexual interaction, if she does not give consent, then that is sexual assault. Judge Dewar has muddied the waters, and he should get some education on this issue, as well as apologise to the rape survivor, to the justice system and to the Manitobans serves.”

−30−

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Alanna Makinson, Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba
204-783-0787 (office)
204-997-8269 (cell)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Judge Rules Rape Did Not Occur Because of "Misunderstanding"

According to Winnipeg judge Robert Dewar (appointed September 2009 by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson), women should not talk to men because it could be unintentionally conveyed that there is "sex in the air" and the laws regarding rape are thrown out the window.

No means no, only if you say no first.

"They made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party," said Dewar.

...

"This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation," said Dewar. "This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour."

...

"I'm sure whatever signals were sent that sex was in the air were unintentional," [Dewar] said.

"There is a different quality to this case than many sexual assaults," [Dewar] said. "Not all guilty people are morally culpable to the same level. This difference is not to be reflected in conviction. It can be reflected in sentencing. Protection of society is not advanced one iota by putting [the defendant] in jail."
I don't know what the process is to have a judge removed from the bench, but whatever it is, it needs to be reviewed in this case.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roll Up the Rim Stats 2011

It's time for the fifth annual tracking of my Roll Up the Rim statistics. I'll update this post as my consumption totals rise up.

As always, I record three statistics.

The first number represents the number of 'Wins'. I will update the post to indicate what I've won and what size of beverage.

The second number represents the number of 'Please Play Agains'.

The third number represents the number of times I did not receive a Roll Up cup. This usually happens twice or three times in the middle of the campaign, as opposed to the trailing end when cups begin to be snatched up.

2 - 6 - 0

Last updated: March 8, 2011.

Update, March 4, 2011: Free coffee; extra-large coffee.
Update, March 8, 2011: Free coffee; extra-large coffee.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brewery Lobby in Full Force

The big brewery lobby has managed to find a friend in the National Post.

Recently, regulations would require the beer industry to include allergens on their beer labels [National Post, Beer makers protest proposed allergy warning labels]:
Industry opposition is brewing over proposed health regulations that would require labels to warn that beer contains barley or wheat — a statement Canadian brewers liken to saying ketchup contains tomatoes.
Well, that is kind of silly when it's put that way. Anybody that knows what goes into producing beer knows that beer contains those ingredients. And, you know it must be silly because of the claims of "nanny statism" in the comments - the right wingers are out with their pitchforks to protect MolsonCoors and InBev.

But, what is the real regulation [The Canadian Celiac Association, Health And Safety Of Millions Of Canadians At Stake Over A Beer? Celiac Association Urges Government To Pass Labelling Regulations]?

The beer industry has had ample time to plan for labelling changes. These new regulations will not require a warning statement, as they have stated, and beer will still retain its exemption from complete ingredient labelling, an exemption that the alcoholic beverage industry has enjoyed for decades. The only information they will be required to include on the beer label is the presence of sulphites (if over 10 ppm) and the gluten sources, wheat, barley and rye.
The presence of sulphites? There might be sulphites in the beer? Hold up there. Sulphites are food preservatives used to extend the shelf-life of products. I, as a brewer, wouldn't want that information getting out that I add a food preservative to my clean, cold, spring-fed brew.
What can sulphites do to someone who is sulphite-sensitive [Health Canada, Sulphites - One of the nine most common food products causing severe adverse reactions]?

Although sulphites do not cause a true allergic reaction, sulphite-sensitive people may experience similar reactions as those with food allergies. Those who have asthma are most at risk to sulphite sensitivity and other forms of sulphite reactions.

When someone comes in contact with an allergen or sulphite, the symptoms of a reaction may develop quickly and rapidly progress from mild to severe. The most severe form of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock, which may result in loss of consciousness and even death. A person experiencing an allergic reaction may have any of the following symptoms:
  • Flushed face, hives or a rash, red and itchy skin
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat and tongue
  • Trouble breathing, speaking or swallowing
  • Anxiety, distress, faintness, paleness, sense of doom, weakness
  • Cramps, diarrhea, vomiting
  • A drop in blood pressure, rapid heart beat, loss of consciousness
People sensitive to sulphites would like to have that information disclosed, but no brewery wants to admit that they add an unnatural ingredient to their brew. Australia and New Zealand have regulations requiring food packagers put that information on the labels, so there is already precedent.

It would be interesting to see if the brewery lobby would disclose whether or not they add sulphites to their beer.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Portugal -- Drug Experiment

Portugal must be a social conservative's worst nightmare.

For one, they decriminalized possession of narcotics ten years ago, increased treatment for addiction and targeted their criminal prosecution efforts solely on distribution and trafficking. [Drug Experiment, Boston.com]:
Faced with both a public health crisis and a public relations disaster, Portugal’s elected officials took a bold step. They decided to decriminalize the possession of all illicit drugs — from marijuana to heroin — but continue to impose criminal sanctions on distribution and trafficking. The goal: easing the burden on the nation’s criminal justice system and improving the people’s overall health by treating addiction as an illness, not a crime.
For two, the data suggests it may have worked.

But nearly a decade later, there’s evidence that Portugal’s great drug experiment not only didn’t blow up in its face; it may have actually worked. More addicts are in treatment. Drug use among youths has declined in recent years. Life in Casal Ventoso, Lisbon’s troubled neighborhood, has improved. And new research, published in the British Journal of Criminology, documents just how much things have changed in Portugal. Coauthors Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Alex Stevens report a 63 percent increase in the number of Portuguese drug users in treatment and, shortly after the reforms took hold, a 499 percent increase in the amount of drugs seized — indications, the authors argue, that police officers, freed up from focusing on small-time possession, have been able to target big-time traffickers while drug addicts, no longer in danger of going to prison, have been able to get the help they need.
It's time we treat drug addiction as a health problem, not a criminal one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blogging Tories in their Own Words

When it's become clear that it's time to review our words and avoid demonizing our political opponents, I am thankful for sites like Blogging Tories in their Own Words to shine the light on this distastful practice.