Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sign the Petition, Tell Stephen Harper to Stop the #Pickering Airport ( #cdnpoli #NoPickeringAirport )

Land Over Landings have posted a petition to tell Stephen Harper to stop the Pickering airport development citing the following points.

  • Building an unneeded airport is an inexcusable waste of taxpayers’ money.
  • Putting an airport or other development on foodland is grossly irresponsible; farmland is permanently destroyed by development.
  • Such development would eliminate important natural habitat and essential wildlife corridors adjacent to the new Rouge National Urban Park.
  • Foodland close to Canada’s largest and fastest-growing city must be fiercely protected to ensure future food security.
  • No government has a right to deprive future generations of an irreplaceable food and freshwater resource.
Sign and share the petition!

Return to the Ward System in #Oshawa ( #oshpoli )

In the upcoming municipal election, the city of Oshawa will have a ballot question asking voters whether the city should return to the ward system - that is, electing councillors based upon neighbourhoods rather than the current "councillor-at-large" method.

Click to see full size PDF
Oshawa previously had a ward system, but changed to an at-large voting system for the election of 2010.

The question of moving to the councillor-at-large system originated with a 2006 ballot question. The turnout was low and thus non-binding, but City Council moved ahead with the decision to elect councillors at large for the 2010 election.

Proponents of the councillor-at-large system say that there is more accountability since councillors are responsible for the entire city. I argue the opposite is true.

Not having a councillor with a responsibility for a particular neighbourhood makes it challenging with respect to whom to contact should you have neighbourhood issues - by-law problems, questions of city policy, community advocacy etc. The theory is, that with councillors-at-large, you can address issues with any member of council. This system of municipal government probably works well in small towns and hamlets, but is impractical for a city the size of Oshawa.

While I'm not picking on anyone in particular, if a councillor feels their voting base does not reside within a particular neighbourhood, they may be less likely to respond to questions or concerns from voters there, preferring to concentrate on the areas of the city more likely to return them to office. Problem or at-risk neighbourhoods may be less favoured than more politically active, typically affluent, neighbourhoods.

I strongly encourage voters in Oshawa to return Oshawa to the ward system. I also strongly believe that the city should respect the results of the ballot question regardless of the turnout.

The ballot question will be as follows:
Are you in favour of electing all Oshawa Councillors, being:
(i) those elected only to City Council, and
(ii) those elected to both City Council and Durham Regional Council, other than the Mayor, by ward vote instead of general city wide vote?
                YES         NO

Monday, August 04, 2014

Jason Cherniak for the Liberal Party Nomination, Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

It's an exciting day to be a Liberal and to be a Liberal blogger. If you're at all familiar with Canadian political blogging, then you recognize Jason Cherniak's name.

I've met Jason several times in the course of my blogging days. When I joined the Liberal Party, I had the great fortune seeing Jason advocate for many progressive policies  - most recently, the proposal for a national transit strategy. He is always committed to seeing policy debated and driven to see progressive policy accepted by the party.

In the blogging realm, Jason founded Liblogs - the blog aggregator you may have clicked this article from. Jason recognized the need for like-minded Liberals to share their blog posts with each other.

You can read more about Jason at his website.

The people of this new riding would be greatly served by having Jason Cherniak in Ottawa.