Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pickering Unanimously Supports Motion Demanding Airport Transparency ( #NoPickeringAirport #cdnpoli )

HUGE THANKS to all who came to Pickering council last night: we packed the house and wowed them with our accuracy, facts and passion. It was a wickedly cold night, with blowing snow, but we still had supporters from throughout the Region and Toronto. 
[Councillor David] Pickles' motion, calling upon the Federal Government for transparency, release of information and cooperation with the City and other stakeholders, was passed unanimously by all six councillors and the mayor. 
Five of the six councillors ([Doug] Dickerson, [Bill] Maclean, [Jennifer] O'Connell, Pickles, and [Peter] Rodrigues) all spoke strongly against an airport. Coun. Maclean said it was the strongest delegation he'd ever heard in all his 13 years on council, while Coun. Rodrigues spoke from the heart on his long-standing opposition to an airport. Coun. O'Connell argued strongly that the motion should be amended to include a reaffirmation of council's opposition to an airport, but the amendment was denied by Mayor Ryan. 
Speaking in support of the motion were Land Over Landings' Chair, Mary Delaney and representatives of several of our sister organizations: Kevin O'Connell (Friends of the Rouge Watershed), Brian Buckles (Green Durham), David Masters (Treasurer of both the Claremont District Community Association & Land Over Landings), and Jim Boyle (CDCA). 
Former Pickering councillor and [Liberal] MP Mark Holland dropped in between meetings to show his support, while members of PACT-POW (Pickering Ajax Citizens Together/Protecting Our Water) made their excellent deputations and joined with us in an evening of articulate, passionate and well-reasoned argument for the protection of our shared water, food and air. 
It was a night to be remembered.
To all those who sent emails, tweets, texts and phone calls of support, who were unable to attend because of snowed-in driveways, bad roads, illness or other engagements, thank you. We felt your love and support and were energized by it.
**The full text of the motion and of Land Over Landings' deputation will be available soon, as will details of our next meeting, which will be open to all.

Tim Hudak's Right-to-Work Gambit ( #pcpo #onpoli )

It would appear that the Ontario Conservative Party's support for right-to-work legislation is costing them support and costing them candidates.

Ontario Conservatives are concerned how the labour policy messaging is looking. Forum -- grain of salt alert -- shows support for the Ontario Conservatives down.

You can read the Wikipedia entry to find out what right-to-work legislation is. It essentially allows a new employee to bypass membership in a union, but benefit from any gains made by a union agreement negotiated with the employer. The idea being - as new employees join and are perhaps encouraged to opt out of union membership, the union's strength will be diluted, favouring the employer in collective bargaining.

While not myself a union guy, it's pretty transparent what this law is attempting to accomplish. Unions typically advocate against Conservative legislation. Therefore, unions are a natural target for Conservative legislation.

What the Conservatives have failed to take into account is the level of support they get from labour. For reasons that escape me, labour also vote Conservative - likely due to the Conservative Party's false "blue-collar" appeal.

As a result, candidates in labour-heavy ridings are reluctant to jump on board the anti-labour movement.

First, the party fired Dave Brister over his public opposition to the policy.

Now, two Hamilton-area Conservative candidates have resigned. They "say they are stepping down for personal reasons and they support [Conservative leader Tim] Hudak and the party's policies."

Hamilton. Brister dumped because of opposition to right-to-work. Two candidates.

Right - "personal reasons".

Another labour-heavy riding, Oshawa, currently has a Conservative MPP - Jerry Ouellette. I couldn't find any statement about his support or opposition to right-to-work 

[As an aside, I have it on good authority that there's no fence Mr. Ouellette isn't willing to sit on.]

I did, however, find this YouTube video created by Jesse Cullen asking Mr. Ouellette for his thoughts. It didn't look like Mr. Ouellette was prepared to comment.

There's no question this plays to the Conservative elites, but it appears it's not trickling down to the masses nor is it resonating with Ontarians.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why Toronto's Politics Matter ( #topoli )

The never ending saga of Rob Ford is important to not just Toronto.

Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America and the 6th largest government in Canada. Businesses and governments determining whether or not to interact or do business in Canada are reading news and headlines about the mayor of Toronto. The city is making international headlines and not because of anything good or worthwhile.

Right now, the mayor of Toronto is a punchline. Right now, the mayor of Toronto is a habitual liar. Right now, the mayor of Toronto commands unwarranted reverence from provincial and federal politicians.

There's a segment of the population that believes the Rob Ford "every man" hype; that he's worried about the little guy, the forgotten suburbs and small businesses.

Folks, he's the wrong flag bearer. He's doing a disservice to your cause.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Blog Grows Up - ProgressiveRight.ca

Update your bookmarks folks, this blog is now on its own domain. It's still hosted by Blogger, so I don't think there'll be any breaks in feeds, links, and photos and such.

Liberal Party to Accredit Bloggers to Liberal Convention ( #lpc #lib14 )

I would be remiss not to mention on my blog that the Liberal Party of Canada will be accrediting bloggers to the 2014 Biennial Convention in Montreal. A similar note is posted to the Progressive Bloggers homepage.

I know Scott and Dan have been accredited as bloggers, waiting to hear who else has.

You can apply for accreditation here.

While I will be attending as a delegate, I have applied for blogger accreditation as well. Making me a potential double threat. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why I'm Supporting Brian G Rice for Liberal Party President ( #lpc #lib14 )

On January 19, I endorsed Brian Rice for Liberal Party president.  I'm not a Member of Parliament, a Senator, a candidate, or party official ... I'm just a regular guy. A regular guy who wants a Liberal government. To that end, I donate, I volunteer, I attend conventions, I propose policy and I've sat on a riding executive.

It's clearly evident that Brian has a deep and nearly unbridled passion for building and strengthening the Liberal Party. He has crisscrossed this country helping to build local associations and to build a best practices for riding association success.

An often overlooked segment of the political activist community is us social media activists.

The common complaint I often hear, "There's no accountability. Anybody can be a blogger." I usually respond, "Anyone can be a journalist. I just think I'm more accountable."

Every convention and every event, we ask - "Will bloggers be accredited?" To their credit, both the NDP and the Liberal Party have been very accommodating (even if reluctantly). I think we've given up on the Conservative Party - I know I stopped asking.

Bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, Plussers -- wherever you fall -- are often overlooked because we don't follow a script and we're not tied to how politics used to be done. Our networks are often large, vast and disconnected - not concentrated to a single locale or single demographic. We typically talk about what's on our mind, versus delivering a scripted, partisan message. Despite being omnipresent, it still wild and uncharted territory to some in the old guard.

Parties and politicians are reluctant to endorse or support this type of activism because it comes with the appearance of being uncontrollable. Phone banks, literature drops and door knocking comes with a script and a campaign manager following you around to keep the message the same.

Understandably, going off message can be dire for a politician. However, intentionally cutting yourself off to a potentially large group of advocates for a well reasoned position could be equally dire. In other words, don't anger the bloggers. :)

Brian, instead, has embraced it. He attends blogging events (when his schedule allows) and is an advocate for social media activists to attend conventions and political events. He is extremely active on social media - engaging in debate and engaging in discussion.

Selfishly, when I recently ran for a riding association executive position, Brian thanked me for stepping up.

It's this genuine interest in building the party from the ground up that has me endorsing Brian.

You can learn more about Brian at his website.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rally Against the Pickering Airport ( #NoPickeringAirport #cdnpoli #onpoli )

On January 27th, a rally will be held at Pickering City Hall in support of a municipal motion demanding the federal government act with transparency as it pertains to the development in northern Pickering for a new international airport.

You can RSVP to the Facebook event posting here.

You can read the Pickering municipal motion here [PDF]. The motion makes clear the city's demands about the impacts to the environment, the production of a business case that supports the development of a new international airport, as well as a clear definition of what "job-creating developments" really means.

Ontario Liberal Party Accrediting Bloggers to #OLPAGM? ( #OLP #onpoli )

I have inquired as to whether the party will be accrediting bloggers to the 2014 Ontario Liberal AGM on March 21-23. If I hear anything, dear readers, I'll let you know and update this post accordingly.

I will be attending the AGM as a delegate and will be tweeting / blogging regardless.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I'm Running to be #LPC Riding President for Pickering-Uxbridge - I'd Like Your Support

The founding of the Pickering-Uxbridge Federal Liberal Riding Association is January 16th, 7:30 pm, at the East Shore Community Centre. As members of the Liberal Party know, it's crucial to set a strong footing for the founding of any riding association.

To build toward a Liberal victory during the next election, we must lay the groundwork for a strong Liberal presence in Pickering-Uxbridge.

I've put my name forward to run as President to lead that effort.

As a member of the executive with the Ajax-Pickering Federal Liberal Association, I learned firsthand the importance of visibility and activism for an unheld riding.

I reached out to the community and developed policy to Protect the Pickering Lands and worked to make it a Central Region priority. I managed the social media presences for the federal association, and currently do so for the provincial Liberal association. As a blogger, I was accredited by the Liberal Party to cover Liberal conventions.

It's these skills and experiences I bring to running this new association; an association we need to be Ready, Open, Active and Representative.

As President:

  • I will ensure the riding association will be ready to support whomever the nominated candidate is and will work to lay the foundation to make the nominated candidate successful in their election campaign
  • All meetings of the riding association will be open to the public. The Liberal Party is member, volunteer and supporter-driven. It’s strengthened by inclusion and openness. Meetings, workshops, and events will be open and accessible to all who wish to contribute.
  • The Pickering-Uxbridge Federal Liberal Association will be active, visible, and volunteer-driven. Residents and local community groups will develop evidence-based policy driving to fulfill the Liberal Party's vision of a progressive and inclusive Canada. 
  • I will work to ensure the issues and concerns of all the residents of Pickering-Uxbridge - north and south of Taunton Road - will be the represented by the new riding association.

This is a critical time in the renewal of our party and your voice is needed.

If you're a member of the riding, I look forward to meeting you tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I'm Running to be Pickering-Uxbridge #LPC Riding President ( #PickeringUxbridge )

A riding whatsit? :)

Interestingly, I had a conversation with someone about what a riding president does exactly. Essentially, the riding association president is the conduit between the party and the riding. The president acts on behalf of the party in the riding, and on behalf of the riding members to the party.

The riding association is on the ground before, during, and after an election - keeping the party top of mind of residents. The work of the riding association is especially important when the riding is unheld - we don't have the luxury of sharing the spotlight with an MP, or even necessarily a nominated candidate.

It's through these initiatives that we increase party awareness, increase party membership, and increase party donations. Thereby setting the groundwork for a nomination campaign and a future election campaign.

With redistribution, Durham Region will have a new riding comprising the entire city of Pickering and the township of Uxbridge. Pickering-Uxbridge will be created from pieces of the old ridings of Ajax-Pickering, Durham, and Pickering-Scarborough East.

I've enjoyed immensely the time I've spent on the executive of the Ajax-Pickering riding association.

I volunteered to manage the social media accounts for the Ajax-Pickering riding association. I felt that with Ajax-Pickering home to a Conservative "rising star", it was necessary to make sure the riding was publicly communicating with the community.

I also reached out to Land Over Landings, and with them, authored a Liberal policy resolution to Protect the Pickering Lands which was subsequently prioritized by Central Region Liberals.

I've been a Liberal activist for some time; I've been an accredited blogger, a door knocking volunteer and donor.

The cutoff date for membership to qualify to vote at the founding meeting is January 9th.

The founding meeting for the new riding is January 16th at 7:30 pm, at the East Shore Community Centre
910 Liverpool Rd South, Pickering, ON L1W 1S5.

If you live in the riding, or know someone who does, please consider joining the party by January 9th and supporting my candidacy.