Alberta votes to keep the right progressive. With the Federal Conservatives looking more like the Wildrose party and working to help the party, and not the Progressive Conservatives, has the relationship been strained?
Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Caucus, (R to L) Guy Boutilier, Heather Forsyth, Danielle Smith, Paul hinman, Rob Anderson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In an interesting twist of fate Alberta, long a stronghold for the Conservatives, is going through some family issues. Till death do us part is not the motto for conservatives today. Alberta is going through growing pains. With an influx of Canadians, of all stripes, change seems to be affecting the province as a whole. The Wildrose party has surged in popularity, but will it last? Cracks in the foundation are already apparent; with Wildrose members sounding both intolerant of immigrants and out of step with Canadian values. In some sense we can draw a comparison to the Republican Party in the United States. With forces split between what is seen as moderates, like Mitt Romney and The Tea Party elements of the Republicans. I sense that this is more of a protest vote; similar to the ADQ in Quebec. The Progressive Conservatives are holding true to the name “progressive”, but will the residents of Alberta give them another chance. With the election near Wildrose party members are under close scrutiny. Can the Wildrose Party grow into a sustainable political force? Or will they continue to bloom and show their true colours?
Despite the issues pilots have with their employer, Air Canada, the issues today are showing the serious flaws in Canada’s transportation system. Air Canada, like the photo, is starting to look old and out-dated. There are alternatives for trips to Montreal, Ottawa and other locations; using Porter or WestJet, however other remote and specific locations are leaving Canadians hanging. People are upset and rightly so. There is a dependency in Canada, on Air Canada. However, there are a not a full list of choices. I am sure Buffalo Niagara is seeing an increase and maybe it’s time to get other carriers in Canada. Our Federal policies prevent an American, or other carrier, from flying within Canada. Air Canada is taking a big hit and Canadians are angry. The Conservatives, now with a majority, may take notice. We have underutilized airports in Hamilton, London and even Oshawa. Is it time to open the skies?What do you say?
Canadians are defiantly getting gouged when it comes to wireless service in Canada. Some would say that there just isn’t enough competition, while others feel it’s just utter greed. Providers say that someone has to pay for infrastructure, yet we know have a Government saying that they have heard enough. Wireless providers have already complained; asking that the CRTC step in and create a standard. It will be interesting to see if the Conservatives decide to get involved and act. Only time will tell!
An interesting game of poker is taking place in Ontario and it seems that the Liberals may have the best hand. Who has the most to lose? At the moment it’s the NDP. No one wants an election and I suspect that if one is called you can kiss all of those NDP seats goodbye. Both the NDP and the Tories cannot afford an election at the moment. In a funny sense if the NDP votes against the budget I am sure the Tories will end up having to support it. The Liberals be in the best position if an election is called. So who will blink first?
Interestingly enough this election may be a boon for the G.T.A. Not that Toronto can expect the Conservatives to only pander to their needs. As the Prime Minister said last night “we will govern for all Canadians“. Despite that the Liberals took for granted the support of Torontonians and the G.T.A. For years, we voted for the Liberals without our needs being heard. Now the Conservatives will have to listen. However, my take is the Conservatives will take a page out of Rob Ford‘s book. Rob said “we will get subways”. Will the Conservatives deliver? I imagine that they will have to. Why? Rob Ford nation is a powerful force. Although he is now mayor and tends to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum, Rob is not afraid to push his agenda and fight for what he believes. The Conservatives would be wise to not upset Toronto’s exalted leader. He wants subways and an end to waste. The Conservatives will have to deliver. He wants Toronto’s common-sense issues listened to. The Conservatives will have to deliver. The Conservatives can no longer ignore Toronto. The Prime Minister had a strategy to target the G.T.A and it worked. Albeit, a lot of vote splitting happened. It does not matter. They solidified their base, in the G.T.A and gained additional votes. You cannot take that away from the Conservatives. However, much care is needed. Ontarians are also sometimes not as forgiving. The Conservatives would be wise to not follow their Liberal predecessors. Do not take that vote for granted!
Well a historic election has just taken place in Canada. The Bloc was decimated in Quebec, and almost wiped off the map. Newfoundland told Conservatives what to do with themselves. The Greater Toronto Area is painted blue and Toronto has gone NDP Orange. Also, it looks like we have our very first Green member of Parliament. So what went wrong for the Liberals? They took their support for granted. Canadians were looking for change and they did not see it in the Liberals, in Ontario. Yes, there was a lot of vote splitting, however lets be honest. Ontario has been red for a long time. This is a breakthrough for the Conservatives in Ontario. The question is, can they live up to that support?
The G.T.A is an important battleground and they better take note. As for the NDP, they better not take their Quebec support for granted. The Bloc imploded, Liberals were yesterdays news and they did not like the Conservatives. So we are left with the NDP. Jack the time to start working is now. As for the Liberals, there is a lot of soul searching.
However I will offer this advice to all parties. (1) Liberals, you need to go back to your roots. Your party is not dead. I’d rather say that it is in hibernation and healing. Canadian’s have not forgotten you, rather the opposite happened. You forgot them. Remember who you are and what you stand for. Otherwise, what is the point of the Liberal Party. It is time for you to reconnect. (2) NDP you have been given the chance to prove your worth, so do not disappoint. From the people I have spoken to many parked their vote with the NDP. Also, in Ontario, people simply love and trust Jack Layton. It will be important, despite a majority Conservative government, that the NDP choose their battles well and fight for those who voted for them. Less we forget, as often Canadians do! (3) Conservatives fought a simple and straight-forward campaign. You delivered your message and Canadians listened. We are concerned about the economy and trust in that has been given to you. However, do not take that trust for granted. A lot of Canadians still do not trust the Conservative Party and a lot of seats were gained from vote splitting. Be careful how you govern. Canadians are watching. Do not slip to the right with arrogance. As Harper said, keep a steady ship. If you can prove your worth maybe your quality will be remembered. (4) Finally, to Elizabeth May and the Green Party. You have made Canadian history! Despite the media ignoring you, thank you for running and not giving up. The Green Party should be a wake up call to ALL parties. People voted for Elizabeth May and the Greens across Canada. Their ideas and policies should not be ignored! Summed up in Elizabeth May’s own words “amateurs built the ark and professionals built the Titanic”. People are wary in Canada and if the status-quo parties cannot deliver, Canadians may decide someone else can.
Congrats to Prime Minister Harper, who has finally gotten a majority government for the Conservative Party. We will all watch, wait and see what policies are implemented and what happens in the next Parliament. See you in 2015!
Well its election day in Canada! I’d offer some predictions, however I imagine that the election will be overshadowed by Osama Bin Laden today. In light of that there will be a dynamic shift today. Question is what will really happen. This is hard to predict. Canadians are angry. The Conservatives were arrogant, in demanding a majority. They should have reached out early to soft-C Conservatives in the Liberal party. However, it is too late. They waited until Jack Layton, whom both the Liberals and Conservatives ignored, sprung to life in the polls. However, all may not be lost for the Conservatives. It all depends on vote splitting in Ontario and other provinces. There is a chance they may sneak through.
It will be an interesting night, however I predict that the NDP will gain a large amount of seats. The Bloc will tank and the Conservatives may end up with a majority. However, there is a slight chance that Canadians are so angry that the NDP could win, but I doubt it. It will definately be an interesting night in Canada.
The federal government is suspending a program which offered people financial incentives to have their homes evaluated for energy efficiency and then perform upgrades to improve the rating.
Under the ecoEnergy Retrofit program, homeowners could receive a grant of up to $5,000 to carry out energy saving improvements.
The program technically runs until March 31, 2011, but the government will not accept bookings for pre-retrofit evaluations after midnight Wednesday. Homeowners who have already booked an appointment, have completed an evaluation, or applied for re-entry into the program have until next year to apply for the retrofit grant.
On the program’s official website, the federal government said it was “committed to reviewing its energy efficiency and emissions reductions programs to ensure they continue to be an effective and efficient use of Canadian tax dollars.”
The Conservatives launched the ecoEnergy Retrofit program in April 2007. By 2009, the government had paid out $91 million to homeowners for more than 85,000 home retrofits.
Liberal MPP David McGuinty told the Globe and Mail newspaper the program had become too popular and, therefore, too costly.
“Here is what has really happened — demand tripled since 2007,” the Globe quoted McGuinty as saying.
The federal budget unveiled on March 4 included an additional $80 million for the retrofit program.
Many provinces, such as Ontario, match the federal rebates. Those programs are expected to continue.
We warned you during the election that the numbers did not make sense. As with others in the past who promised no deficits it seems that Harper has retracted on what he said during the election. Flip-flop? We focused so much on the Green Shift that other issues were put to the side. Now we are stuck with this situation. Are Canadians prepared for deep cuts to funding? Show me the money!
LES PERREAUX , KAREN HOWLETT , GLORIA GALLOWAY and BRIAN LAGHI
With reports from Joe Friesen in Toronto and Ian Bailey in Vancouver
October 18, 2008
QUEBEC, TORONTO, OTTAWA — Stephen Harper refused yesterday to rule out the possibility of a deficit next year despite his promise during the election campaign that he would not allow one if re-elected.
While the Prime Minister said he intends to maintain a balanced budget this year, he did not say the same for 2009-10.
“I don’t think we’re in a position yet to know all the information in that regard,” Mr. Harper said in Quebec City, where Canada is hosting a summit of French-speaking governments. “It would be premature to speculate on that. I will just say that the Government of Canada will maintain responsible fiscal policies and the Government of Canada will ensure that whatever we do is in the long-run interests of the Canadian economy.”
The government will unveil an updated economic statement this fall. Should revenues be affected by economic turmoil after this year, the Tories would have to choose whether to run a deficit, cut spending or find other revenue sources such as increasing taxes.
Jonathan Kay raises interesting points about the carbon tax and posits that it’s actually quite a “conservative” tax. I’d like to refer readers to Kay’s article, in which he makes a number of very valid observations – apart from the fact that Stéphane Dion should be sacked, he also reminds people that conservatism is not the mean-spirited ideology that the less-than-intellectual always make it out to be:
Many people casually associate the word “conservative” with unfettered capitalism and mindless consumerism. That is a fallacy. A true conservative in the Edmund Burke mold is suspicious of any revolutionary creed that challenges the established qualities of a humane society, especially a creed — such as unbridled materialism — that corrodes family life and human spirituality.
Absolutely true. This is why a real conservative won’t be the typical frenetic Bible-thumper, because he or she has realized that a fundamentalist Christian is often no better or worse than a fundamentalist Islamist, for example.
I fully agree that Dion deserves to be sacked — not only over his Green Shift, but quite generally. He’s not cut out for politics and should be sent back to his Ivory Tower at university where he belongs (or some Marxist summer camp in Paris) – back to your real roots, Monsieur Dion!
Having said that, it was a high-profile conservative who made a very strong case for shifting taxation away from income and on to consumption: David Frum, in his excellent book Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again.
So, a carbon tax is actually quite a good concept in theory, one that fits right in with the green-blue environmental conservatism championed by none other than one of Canada’s greatest politicians ever, if not the greatest, Preston Manning.
Manning formed the Reform Party in 1987. His chief policy adviser was Stephen Harper, a student at the University of Calgary and now the Prime Minister of Canada. Harper designed the Reform Party’s 1988 campaign platform. The Reform Party was a combination of fiscal conservatism and populism, though aspects of social-conservatism grew, branding the party as “very right-wing.”