Monday, October 26, 2015

Orange Crash ( #ndp #cdnpoli )

Unadulterated arrogance was the reason for the NDP election loss - and it`s on full display in this article. They point to everyone else but themselves for their loss.
Craig Scott, who was defeated in Jack Layton’s old riding of Toronto-Danforth ... wrote, “Liberal MPs … were fundamentally lazy, sitting passively in their corner of the House … and arrogantly waiting for the messiah to take them back to the promised land of power.”
“The backroom lobbyists moved over to the Trudeau team,” [Charlie Angus] wrote. “Corporate Canada is a more content place today."
 “I think maybe Canadians weren’t ready for us, didn’t understand some of the differences between the NDP and the Liberals,” [former NDP MP, Megan Leslie] said.
Strategic voting was to blame. The corporate elite was to blame. Our platform and our team was perfect. Everybody but the NDP was to blame.

Spoiled, entitled, and angry.

Although, to be fair, some are more than ready to step up and slap anybody who publicly criticizes the party. Perhaps that's why we see such fervent partisanship.

Four years in the wilderness will be good for them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Congratulations on 10 Years, Progressive Bloggers! ( @Prog_Blog #cdnpoli )

Today, I'm heading out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of Progressive Bloggers - hoisting a few jars with some great bloggers, blog readers, and political activists. I'm fortunate to participate in this group as a blogger and moderator.

For a number of years, I had the distinction of being simultaneous a member of both the Blogging Tories and Progressive Bloggers. I always (and still do) consider myself a "progressive conservative" - small "p" and small "c"on both fronts - a Red Tory - and have always blogged from that standpoint.

Progressive Bloggers' staying power can be found in the depth and richness of its membership. Each blogger is not bound to a single viewpoint, or a single ideology - in fact, some of the biggest online debates have occurred between the members. We've had people publicly protest the aggregator, start competing aggregators, and rail against individual members and posts.

It still endures - reaching some 60,000 page views a month.

For a long time, blogging was really the only outlet activists had to be heard over the competing voices of political parties and the media, and if you weren't a conservative activist, you migrated to Progressive Bloggers.

Today, blogging competes with Facebook and Twitter for audiences.

I haven't blogged much in recent days, but even as I write this post - I realize what compelled me to blog in the beginning.

A blog post has no limitations. I can write what I want, in the length I want - my audience will read it or not. The comments are from people who want to read my blog for what it contains.

I have a feeling there'll be more posts here soon.

But - you're not reading this for me!

Here's to 10 years of Progressive Bloggers, and many, many more!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Town Hall Event - "Ontario's Greenbelt Under Threat" ( #onpoli )

In partnership with Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Land Over Landings presents a Town Hall Meeting to expose the threats to Ontario's Greenbelt.

January 28th - 7 - 9 pm, Brougham Town Hall, Brougham, Ontario.

Full details are available via the Facebook event.

Jennifer O'Connell for the Liberal Party Nomination, Pickering-Uxbridge ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

Pickering-Uxbridge will be holding the Liberal Party nomination on January 29th at the Pickering Recreation Complex [meeting notice, PDF]. There are three contestants seeking the nomination.

I am supporting Jennifer O'Connell and think Jennifer would be a tremendous representative for Pickering-Uxbridge and a great addition to Justin Trudeau's team as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

Jennifer has served the city of Pickering as a city and regional councillor for the past eight years and has a strong record of winning elections. She is a tireless advocate for progressive issues while serving on Council as well as being a tenacious advocate for the environment.

The Conservative candidate, Corneliu Chisu, has been an ineffectual MP for Pickering-Scarborough East, and will likely prove to be equally ineffectual for Pickering-Uxbridge.

We need a strong voice for the residents of Pickering and Uxbridge in Ottawa.

You can read more about Jennifer at her website.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ontario's Craft Brewers Should Reject the Beer Store Proposal ( #beer #onpoli )

It's not often that two of my favourite things collide, but somebody got politics in my beer and beer in my politics.

People who know me, know that I enjoy trying and sampling new beer. I like variety and I think we're living in a tremendous time when lots of new craft beer options exist around the province.

In Ontario, there are two entities that are allowed to widely distribute alcohol - the government agency Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and through a special arrangement with the LCBO, the Beer Store.
Under Ontario's Liquor Control Act, Brewers Retail is the only retailer permitted to sell beer for off-site consumption, except for stores on the site of a brewery, locations of the provincial government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), and LCBO-authorized agency stores in certain smaller communities.The act and the company's articles of incorporation further stipulate that Brewers Retail cannot sell "hard liquor" (spirits), or consumer goods (like groceries).
It has since been revealed that the Beer Store entered into a fairly lucrative arrangement with the LCBO via the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to be the number one provider of beer in the province. Essentially, the agreement binds the LCBO from selling beer in packages larger than six-packs.

Citizens were outraged, and the Ontario Liberal government vowed to review the agreement.

To get ahead of the story, the Beer Store proposed to change the agreement to allow small brewers a small part in ownership and a savings on listing fees for their products ... if they stop whining.

The problem? It doesn't change the fundamental problem with beer distribution in the province.

The three foreign-owned breweries that currently own the Beer Store (MolsonCoors, AB-InBev, and Sapporo) would still retain majority ownership status and thus would still enjoy majority control of the company. They'll be able to pay lip service to critics and the craft brewers that they did something. The foreign-owned breweries would retained 80% control of the board.

Distribution of craft beer at the "free" rate to member craft brewers would be limited to the five closest retail locations. If you're an Ottawa craft brewer, it will still cost you to distribute in a Toronto, Windsor or Thunder Bay Beer Store. Craft brewers with the means or desire to distribute beyond their local area of influence should be able to without government-imposed hurdles to do so.

The Beer Store should not be the sole private wide-area distribution network in the province. This agreement does nothing to eliminate this unfair arrangement.

Canada's Veterans Still Need Protection from Conservatives ( #cdnpoli )

Canada's veterans rejoiced when Julian Fantino was finally booted from Veterans Affairs on January 5.

Mr. Fantino was replaced by Durham Conservative MP, Erin O'Toole. Ostensibly, a sound pick - a former RCAF officer.

Someone with such a background, you'd think would bring a sympathetic ear to what veterans need.

You would be forgiven if you had forgotten that O'Toole fully parroted Julian Fantino's hard line stance against honouring veterans benefits at every turn - fully endorsing the government's inaction in the care of Canada's veterans.

You would argue that it was up to O'Toole to simply toe the party line and publicly support the previous minister.

You would hope his first act would have been to set a new course and a new direction for the troubled ministry.

Well, you'd be disappointed.

The new minister has decided not to listen to certain veterans advocacy groups - especially, it seems, if they do not follow the party line that everything is fine with Veterans Affairs.
Mike Blais, who helped launch Canadian Veterans Advocacy in 2011 to advocate for veterans and serving Canadian Forces members who did combat tours in Afghanistan and their families, told The Hill Times that Mr. O’Toole (Durham, Ont.) gave the bad news [that it is no longer a stakeholder adviser to the Veterans Affairs department] in a voicemail he left on Mr. Blais’ phone service Jan. 7. [Hill Times]
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives, Part One Thousand ( #cdnpoli )

Conservatives have continuously let down veterans since coming to power.

We've since learned that the Conservative Party let $1.1 billion (with a 'B') lapse in veteran funding. Essentially, Veterans Affairs had $1.1 billion budgeted to spend on veterans' programs and the ministry did not spend it. Simply put - the demand for services was there, but for whatever reason, did not spend the money.

Now, Veterans Affairs is on the attack.
The Veterans Affairs department says some veterans are exaggerating their injuries to continue receiving financial benefits from the government and to avoid joining the work force. []
So - veterans on waiting lists for months and years for programs, or - worse - denied programs are now told to get "off the dole" and get back to work.

Politicians eager to send Canadians into war zones should be fully prepared to support them when they come home.


New Year's Resolution

I almost say it every year so I'm going to do it again.

I resolve to blog more.

With Twitter and Facebook, I can quickly get my thoughts out really quick - opening the vent as it were. I think where I'll try to make it easier to blog is I'll encapsulate a couple of those quick thoughts into blog posts.

That's the plan.