Tag Archives: Mike Harris

Let’s talk about transit at cross-roads again in Toronto


T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway ...

Transit is now on the radar. Everyone is talking about it. Yes, talking! Will we fund transit? How much will it cost? Will it really ever get done? I sense that there are a lot of skeptics; weary of trusting such a bold plan in the hands of politicians. Let’s be honest, we have been here before. We all remember the expansion plan that was pretty much killed by the Mike Harris and the Ontario PC Party. The common sense revolution took hold and since we didn’t have the money it was put on hold. So we got a third of a Sheppard line. However the PC party was not the only government to play with transit. We could have had an entire streetcar / LRT network in Scarborough. Instead we got the RT. What citizens are tired of is talking and fighting over transit. We need action, along with a long-term plan. Provincial and Municipal elections are coming soon. We finally have shovels in the ground. Question is will we fill up the sandbox again just so our grandchildren can continue to talk about it?

By: @iammannyj

Fledgling party targets John Tory detractors – Reform Party?


The fledgling Reform Party of Ontario is appealing to Progressive Conservatives disillusioned with party leader John Tory to join their right-wing ranks. In an email appeal apparently sent to thousands of Tories in recent days, the new party claims Reform is “the new home” for people who support the policies of former premier Mike Harris.

“Mike Harris brought sanity to Ontario with two majority governments. Sadly, since Iron Mike retired, we’ve seen Ontario slide badly,” says the missive, which invites people to a June 21 meeting in London.

“The Liberals, bolstered by the ineffectual opposition of John Tory and (NDP Leader) Howard Hampton, will continue to bring Ontario more of the same,” it continues.

“There is an alternative. The Common Sense Revolution didn’t die. It just has a new home … the Reform Party of Ontario.”

A source close to Harris emphasized the former premier has nothing to do with the group and did not give permission for his name to be used.

“During the early 1990s, when Reform was growing federally, Mike Harris was successful in keeping Reform out of provincial politics,” noted the Harris confidant.

Reform takes its name from the defunct Western-based party that splintered from the federal Progressive Conservatives and enabled the Liberals to govern for 13 years until Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s reunited Conservatives took power in 2006.

Andrew Long, the party’s chief financial officer, said he is not worried about the same thing happening in Ontario. Long said the party is home to former federal Reformers as well as provincial Tories and Liberals, and members of the radical rural group, the Ontario Landowners Association.

“I am not happy with John Tory whatsoever,” he said, noting Tory “single-handedly lost the election” last Oct. 10 with the controversial pledge to expand funding of faith-based schools.

While Reform ran two candidates in that election, the party hopes to field a larger slate in the 2011 vote.

Party leader Brad Harness, a former federal Reform member, said yesterday word of the burgeoning movement has spread through the Internet.

“We’re really pleased by the response,” said Harness.

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Is replacing John Tory and going neo-consertive a bad move in Ontario? Yes!


John ToryAs I have mentioned before if the PC’s decide to go the “neo-conservative” route, and it plays out in the public eye as an “internal turf” of their leader, it maybe many years before they ever hold the seat of power in Ontario again. Insiders have also said that the people who want John Tory removed are former Harris conservatives. Maybe they are living in another world, but those days are long and gone. Ontario will not tolerate another Harris styled government, love him or hate him. What I find interesting is that Dalton McGuinty, Mike Harris and a other past leaders got a few “kicks at the can”. However, with John Tory it seems that many conservatives are unwilling to do so. It seems that he did the unforgivable sin? It maybe because of the school funding issue and the move to run in Don Valley, a not so “safe seat”. Unfortunately, this is something that John Tory may wear for years. Ironically, if he waited he probably would have easily defeated David Miller in Toronto for mayor. If the Tories want to ever win again in Ontario they must go to the “grass-root” level and focus on the next generation of voters. Dalton McGuinty, at the moment, is playing towards the middle of the pack (pulling soft-c conservatives). Going backwards to the old Harris era will just not work in Ontario. At the moment, times are good in Ontario and if they go further to the right they just might find themselves even further back than they are now after the next election.

By Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read more information about the move to remove John Tory from the CTV article below.

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Conservatives in Ontario defeated themselves in the 2007 Ontario election


The real losers of the election were the conservatives. However, they really were not defeated by the Liberals. The conservatives actually defeated themselves. Why do you say? (1) They selected to attack Dalton McGuinty constantly during the election did not help. We already knew that Dalton McGuinty broke promises; however he did say that he would let Ontarians judge him. He also said many times “we are still working on that”. He effectively diffused any criticism by appearing to take the higher ground. (2) Faith-based funding was a bad misread. Essentially they failed to realize that people were generally either afraid of Islamic schools (ignorance of the voter of course) in receiving funding or worried about the health of our public schools in the province. I will not get into an argument on whether we should or should not fund religious schools, but the fear in Ontarians was there. They should have known that Ontarians were simply not ready to deal with the problem, not matter how worthy the cause. (3) A failure to articulate what the PC Party would do for the province of Ontario. Somehow the message was not heard by the public; maybe to no fault of their own? Maybe it was the media? Nevertheless, the message did not resonate with voters. (4) Finally, at this is the biggest, the destructive elements within the PC Party who essentially did not like John Tory in the first place. There was a movement to “Vote for the Tories, not Tory”. This was a direct aim at the leader from neo-conservatives in the party that want to go back to the Harris years of power. Love them or hate them, they do exist. It is not fiction! Right-wing elements of the Progressive Conservative party that want to make it “less progressive”. Unfortunately, in the end the PC Party can only look in the mirror for reasons. PC support was not unified and a large majority of conservatives decided to just sit on the hands and stay home. John Tory is still seen in a positive light, and an honest person, even amongst non-conservatives in the province. Even Bill Murdoch, conservative MPP, was challenged by the ever-increasing popularity of the Green Party. With there influence spent and the ever shrinking power based ruralized, the future may get bleak for conservatives. If the PC’s decide to go the neo-conservative route, and it plays out in the public eye as an “internal turf” of their leader, it maybe many years before they ever hold the seat of power in Ontario again.

 

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

 

The Sheppard subway sandwich that Mel ordered!


One of the lasting legacies for Mel Lastman is the Sheppard Subway. I actually wanted the subway to be built, however not in its present form. If it actually had been completed or better yet extended westwards, along with the completion to Scarborough Town Centre and beyond, things would have been better. Alas, a Mike Harris conservative government, without any foresight and vision killed what could have been a great cross-town subway line. My feelings are that the Sheppard Subway could have been an excellent LRT line. This was an option, back when they were deciding on cutting costs to the Sheppard Subway. I believe that Howard Moscoe was one of the councilors proposing this, but was summarily shot down. It could have been a great option. Underground stations, maybe at Leslie, Don Mills and Yonge; along with a centre right-of-way LRT would have been perfect. A cheaper option would have been to use the Finch Hydro corridor, since a majority of people were traveling from points in Scarborough. However, the real problem is interference from politicians. Until we remove them from play we will end of with projects like this. Don’t get me started on the Greg Sorbara subway to Vaughan. York University would have been good enough for now. That money could fund more then ½ of all the LRT projects on the books. Let people who know what to do, do it. Let’s get politicians out of the way of progress. We do not need another Sheppard Subway. Albeit, what is done is done, it MUST be finished. Otherwise, what was the point? Same is the dumb idea to fill up the Eglinton Line dig, when a large portion of it was already dug. But then again, that wasn’t the subway Mel built? We ordered two 12 inch subs, with everything on it. However, Mike Harris only gave us enough for the Tuesday special.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario