Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Progressive Right (and Rabble) Anger Sun News! #topoli

Alex Pierson, Sun News morning anchor, links to a story on Rabble calling for today's Grey Cup to be used as a "farewell" parade to Rob Ford. Naturally, she's angry.

I do think that is a witty graphic.

You can read the Rabble article here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sandra Pupatello for Premier #olpldr #onpoli

I support Sandra Pupatello as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and to be the next Premier of Ontario.

The challenge for an Ontario Liberal with this race is there are so many qualified candidates with a varied set of positions, experiences and attributes. The ultimate tipping point for me -- similar to why I'm supporting Justin Trudeau in the federal realm -- is that Sandra is a fighter. I want a leader who will not back down from criticism or attacks by the opposition. Sandra's strong and she's a winner.

Plus, I think, Sandra being the "non-Toronto" candidate makes her a good choice in the rest of the province.

This is an exciting time to be an Ontario Liberal and I look forward to working toward a Sandra Pupatello leadership victory.

It is also my intention to stand as a delegate in January.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Justin Trudeau in Port Perry #lpcldr

Just back from Port Perry where I got a chance to see Justin Trudeau speak on behalf of his leadership campaign and on behalf of Grant Humes, the Durham Liberal candidate for the November 26th by-election.

Some highlights of the stop.

  • Justin started off with a little humour by launching with a cheap pop announcing he was "officially" launching his leadership campaign on the first official day of the campaign in Port Perry to great applause.
  • Canadians are tired of being cynical about politics; Canadians don't want a party that plays up one region of the country against another, and cited that the Liberal Party is the party that can unite the country.
  • Justin Trudeau will fight for the middle class; Canadians and Canadian business, backed by a strong middle class, will innovate and grow.
  • Justin Trudeau wants to actively engage youth in his campaign

As if to show how successful he is in engaging youth, I noted that there was a young girl snapping pictures of Justin with her Nintendo DS.

A short stop - but a great one. The place was packed.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Yes, the Manning Centre is a Registered Charity ... Still

A Mennonite magazine, 'Canadian Mennonite', has received a warning from the Canadian Revenue Agency, about what articles and editorials it can publish, citing their pieces "appear to promote opposition to a political party, or to candidates for public office". That's a no-no under the rules for maintaining registered charity status.

Meanwhile, the Manning Centre, as previously reported, is an organization that exists solely to promote the Conservative Party and partisan Conservative activities within Canada. Yet, it continues to enjoy registered charity status with the tax agency.

So, regardless of what you think of this particular publication or the Mennonite Church's status as a charitable entity, the Canadian Revenue Agency still has to answer as to why the Manning Centre enjoys registered charity status.

[H/T, Aurelia Cotta]

Monday, November 05, 2012

One Public School System

I had an opportunity to argue with someone via Twitter with regards to funding of the Catholic school system in Ontario.

I took exception with her assertion that it was atheists pushing for it's dismantling, and that it was atheists who were bullying Catholics for having the desire to maintain a separate public school system.

My debate partner's argument essentially boiled down to the following point.
I choose to direct my taxes to support the separate school system, therefore I'm the only one who should have a voice in how my tax money is spent.
To which, I tried to rebut.

I do not believe someone should have the ability to direct their taxes to specific programs or initiatives. The same way we do not have separate police forces, fire departments, armed forces, transit, roads, or health care, we should not have a separate parallel public education system.

If I directed my tax dollars (for roads, for example) away from anyone who supported the separate school system, I'd likely own a couple of potholes outside a couple of houses. But, that's not right.

Similarly, electing to send your tax dollars to another parallel school system sends support away from the public school system to a public school system that is not inclusive. It's a government-subsidized private system. It's unfair.

I do not hold any disillusion about any major shift in the political winds to remove the Catholic separate school system any time soon, but the more often we talk about it, the more it will become evident that it's the right thing to do.

Some additional information:
  • Ontario Catholics are a minority within the province. There are more identified Protestants than Catholics; "no religious affiliation" is a sizable minority as well.
  • Catholicism is not endangered in the province nor would private Catholic education be disallowed.
  • The United Nations condemned Canada for allowing Catholic separate schools in 1999 and again in 2006. Canada cannot be a beacon for promotion of education for others when we still fund segregation.
  • While the Constitution provides the "right" to receive public Catholic education, the Canadian constitution can be amended in this regard. Ontario can hold a referendum on the question (as Newfoundland & Labrador did).
Updated: My original opening line was mysteriously missing.