Tag Archives: Tory

Do the Ontario Liberals want an election?


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?

Toronto Mayoral candidate Rossi plans on stopping all TTC Light-Rail (Transit City) Expansion


TTC LRT

New Light-Rail for Toronto

Have we learned nothing from history and the reasons why there is a lack of good public transit options in the city of Toronto? What about jobs for the people of Thunder Bay? Again, with another knee-jerk reaction we may loose all we wanted in the city of Toronto and public transit by electing Rossi. Remember, if this is the attitude we took in the past, we would never have had the full Bloor-Danforth line, Spadina extension or top-end of the Yonge line (even our network of Streetcars that make the city). In other words, if you think transportation is bad now, what do you think it would be like in the future?

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Rocco RossiToronto mayoral candidate pledges to make waves at city hall by banning bike lanes on major arteries and possibly quashing light-rail plan.

When Rocco Rossi vowed to banish bike lanes from major streets, the suit-and-tie crowd at the Empire Club event erupted into its most enthusiastic applause yet for the first real speech of the 2010 mayor’s race.

The line demonstrated that Mr. Rossi knows whom he’s after: right-leaning suburban voters fed up with David Miller’s city hall.

Mr. Rossi is promising to halt all but one of the city’s planned light-rail lines until he can review the project’s finances; to replace the Toronto Transit Commission’s board of councillors with private-sector experts; to create a region-wide economic development corporation; to sell assets, including Toronto Hydro; and to outsource city work in a bid to decrease the power of unions.

“Make no mistake, last summer’s city workers strike showed just how weak the city has become in the face of its major unions and how utterly without a plan we are to correct this imbalance,” the former Liberal fundraiser and businessman told a packed room at the Royal York hotel. “As mayor I will bring us back into balance by pursuing outsourcing and managed competition for certain city services.”

Mr. Rossi’s speech was unusual for making concrete commitments early in the marathon campaign, leaving his competitors 10 months to savage his proposals. They didn’t waste time.

“I’m glad to see he’s throwing out 1,000 ideas and seeing what sticks,” scoffed Joe Pantalone, the deputy mayor who is running to replace his boss. “But this is not a carnival we’re talking about here. This is a city that’s complicated.”

Mr. Rossi drew the most fire for suggesting he might halt the Transit City plan, even temporarily.

In his speech, Mr. Rossi lamented the delays and cost overruns that plagued the construction of a streetcar right-of-way on St. Clair West, but it wasn’t until afterward that he expressed his concerns about Toronto’s plan to lay 120 kilometres of light rail on dedicated lanes.

“I think there’s some real problems that have been shown by what’s happened at St. Clair and I think we’d be foolish not to have a deep and long look at that,” he told reporters.

Asked whether that constituted a moratorium, he replied: “On anything that we can stop right now, yes.” Only one Transit City line, Sheppard East, has broken ground so far.

“Mr. Rossi’s suggestion that he would freeze all new transit projects until he has reviewed the city budget would not only put countless constructions jobs at risk, it reflects a troubling lack of understanding of the city’s finances,” a senior member of George Smitherman’s campaign said. “These projects are funded almost entirely by the province, sometimes with federal help.” Mr. Smitherman, the former deputy premier, is the race’s early front-runner.

The centre-right voters Mr. Rossi is hoping to attract likely would have voted for former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

But Mr. Rossi will have to run a campaign vastly different from Mr. Smitherman’s if he hopes to make the leap from virtual unknown to mayor. For now, he’s casting his lack of elected experience as an advantage.

“It’s been over a hundred years since we elected a mayor who wasn’t already in elected politics,” he told the crowd. “Maybe, just maybe, that’s part of the problem.”

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Skinheads Supressmiss held over Obama death plot


By Deborah Charles

KKK

KKK and the US election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday.

Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.

The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed.

“We’re unsure of their ability or if they have the wherewithal to carry out any of their threats,” said a source close to the investigation.

Obama would be the first black president in U.S. history if he defeats Republican John McCain in the November 4 election. Concerns about Obama’s safety led the Secret Service to provide round-the-clock protection from early in his campaign.

The suspects met over the Internet about a month ago, said an affidavit filed by Brian Weaks, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The individuals began discussing going on a ‘killing spree’ that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans,” Weaks said in the affidavit.

The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people, Weaks said in the affidavit.  Read More…

Tories face $10B deficit, report suggests


Canada risks running a $10 billion deficit in the 2009-2010 fiscal year if the re-elected Conservative government fails to stitch a “looming fiscal hole” that is already raising the spectre of higher taxes and possible spending cuts, a report suggests. That stark prediction was made yesterday by Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf.

That stark prediction was made yesterday by Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf, hours before Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled a six-point economic plan and vowed to keep government spending “focused and under control.”

Merrill Lynch’s report suggests Ottawa may succeed in eking out a small surplus this year, but it is on track to recording its first deficit since the 1990s – a political anathema for Canadians.

Wolf is known for his pessimistic views. His analysis in this case assumes no change in fiscal policy. Nonetheless, some of his contemporaries agree the growing likelihood of a deficit will force the Harper government to make some difficult spending decisions if it intends to live up to its no-deficit pledge.

At least one other economist is taking Wolf’s argument to the next level. Don Drummond, TD Bank’s chief economist, said a multi-billion dollar deficit is not only possible, it is unlikely to be “a one-year wonder.”

For his part, Wolf argues that Canada’s real economy is stagnating amid the global financial crisis. Sharp declines in commodity prices will weigh heavily on exports, while corporate profits are set to fade.

“This fiscal year still looks on track for a small surplus given the better results in the first half of the year, but next year looks awful – we estimate that nominal GDP (gross domestic product), the best proxy for the tax base, will contract outright in 2009 for the first time since 1933,” he wrote. “The effects on government revenues are likely to be profound.”

The last federal budget projected a $2.3 billion surplus for 2008-2009. When asked about that estimate last week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters: “No, actually we’re on track – a little bit ahead of the track – on the surplus.”

Still, some private-sector economists say posting a surplus this year will be tricky. The idea of a deficit, however, is politically taboo. The last time Canada recorded one was in the mid-1990s. At the time, legislators worked tirelessly to slay it and subsequent governments vowed to never to repeat it.

“Given the circumstances that we’re in, a budget deficit is more of a political issue than an economic issue,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“If it is caused by the fact that the global economy is struggling mightily (rather than by overspending), then a deficit is something we probably have to accept.”

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Harper likely to proceed with full platform


STEVEN CHASE
October 15, 2008

CALGARY — On the surface, another minority government mandate would appear to frustrate Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s plans to enact all of his $8.67-billion in campaign platform promises. But with Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s future in question after his party’s loss, Mr. Harper could have free rein if the Liberals abstain on Commons votes. The Tory Leader has already said he would interpret a win as a mandate to proceed with his full platform.

The Tories’ tough-on-crime plans will be the most controversial in the Commons.

Measures likely to proceed more easily Allocating another $400-million for key manufacturing sectors in Ontario and Quebec: $200-million each for the Automotive Innovation Fund and the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.

Slashing tariffs on imported machinery and equipment by $345-million a year.

Giving self-employed Canadians access to employment insurance parental-leave benefits.

Extending country-of-origin labeling to all consumer products instead of just food.

Sweetening the $100-a-month universal childcare benefit to index it to inflation and make it tax free for single parents who are the sole supporters of their children.

Allocating $500-million over four years for farms and farm towns.

Reaffirming the ban on bulk exports of water.

A question mark hangs over the Tory crime agenda Eliminating long guns from the firearms registry.

Eliminating the Criminal Code’s “faint hope” clause, which allows criminals to seek early release.

Allowing Canadian victims to sue the sponsors of terrorism, including states designated as sponsors of terrorism.

Amending the Criminal Code to make pregnancy “an aggravating factor in sentencing if a woman is assaulted or killed,” but the Tories would not initiate or support legislation to regulate abortion.

Making registration and DNA sampling mandatory for sex offenders and dangerous offenders.

The Senate

Mr. Harper wants to limit terms to eight years and establish a new selection process, but Liberal senators could frustrate him until 2010 when retirements shrink their ranks.

Limiting Ottawa’s scope

The Tories will introduce measures to constrain Ottawa’s ability to intrude on provincial powers.

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John McCallum: Tory emissions plan is all pain, no gain


With all the apocalyptic warnings coming from Conservative MPs about the Liberal Green Shift plan, it is eerie how silent they have been about their own plan — especially the part of their plan that will raise energy prices for Canadians.

The Conservative government’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy is included in their document, Turning the Corner. When it comes to energy prices here’s what Turning the Corner has to say: “Our modelling suggests that Canadians can expect to bear real costs under the Regulatory Framework. For the majority of individual Canadians … these costs will be most evident in the form of higher energy prices, particularly with respect to electricity and natural gas.”

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Conservative suggests immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada


Calgary Tory offers no apology for immigrant-crime comment

by Jason Fekete; Thursday, September 25, 2008 – Canwest News Service
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=0add4a8…

CALGARY – Local Conservative incumbent Lee Richardson expressed regret Thursday – but offered no apology or resignation – for controversial comments he made suggesting immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada.

But opposition parties and leaders representing minority groups are demanding the Calgary Centre Tory candidate – whose riding population is almost one-quarter recent immigrants – immediately apologize and either resign or be turfed for his “disgraceful” remarks.

“(Stephen) Harper must fire this man right away,” Liberal Leader Stephane Dion told reporters on the campaign trail, suggesting the comments reek of “intolerance” he attributed to the former Reform party.

“He cannot be a candidate anymore.”

The remarks were denounced by police officials, criminologists and immigrant aid groups, who noted there’s no data suggesting immigrants are to blame for a disproportionate amount of crime either in Calgary or across Canada.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper – who already has been knocked off-message a few times this campaign by candidates making inappropriate comments – could face the fallout at a campaign event Friday in Calgary.

“Mr. Richardson has clarified his remarks, and from our perspective the matter is over,” said Kory Teneycke, Harper’s chief spokesman.

The political firestorm stems from an interview with a Calgary weekly newspaper published Thursday, in which Richardson is quoted as saying many crimes aren’t committed by people who “grew up next door” and that immigrants aren’t as law-abiding as the rest of the population.

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Harper Tory campaign takes new hit. Candidates who are off the message and out of order. How many more are like this in his party?


In the latest embarrassment for the Conservative campaign, a candidate who blogged after the July beheading on a Winnipeg-bound bus that Canadians should be allowed to carry concealed handguns for protection has resigned from the Toronto Centre race.

Musings on women, gays, native protesters and hate-speech laws.

(1) Law-abiding men and women should be allowed to carry concealed handguns, saying: “If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.”

(2) The end of human rights commissions and hate-speech laws.

(3) His political views were not entirely in keeping with the Conservative party

This is why Harper needs to change the focus to himself. He needs to find a better “pool” of conservative candidates.

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Statscan Censorship?


An interesting post on The Progressive Economics Forum

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Censorship in Canada

Censorship in Canada

Once again, there seems to be a heavier hand in editing Statistics Canada’s releases.  This morning The Daily reported that:

“Spending on research and development in the higher education sector amounted to $9.6 billion (current dollars) in the fiscal year 2006/2007.”

but there was no word on whether this was an increase or decrease from the previous period, which Statscan releases almost always have.

The year 2006/7 was the first year that the Harper government was in office.  Investment in research and development is essential to increase our economy’s productivity, which hasn’t increased since the start of 2006 (and has grown at a dismal rate since 2000).

Canada has some of the most generous tax incentives for private R&D in the world, yet Canada has one of the lowest rates of investment in R&D among OECD countries thanks to both low rates of government and business investment in R&D, accoridng to Industry Canada’s Science and Technology Data tables.  Canada’s investment in higher education R&D had recently been relatively good, but it looks like the current federal government may soon rectify that.

The Harper government is laying off federal scientists and forcing departments to slash their R&D budgets .  It is deregulating food safety inspection and transferring or selling off federal labs to the private sector, intent on further commercialization and privatization. They eliminated the national science advisor and have instead appointed Preston Manning among others to help advise on science issues.  This approach to science recently earned the Harper government scathing criticism in an editorial in Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world.

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Families torn by grief because of a drunk driver on the 403 going in the wrong direction. This madness must end!


This is why the laws must be changed. A life has been snubbed out because of a possible drunk driver. I am not sure how one can justify going in the wrong direction on a provincial highway? The way the laws stand he will probably get a “slap on the wrist”, if convicted in Ontario. I am not sure how anyone can condone these actions anymore. If any political leaders are listening, its time for the laws to change, now and protect the public against this serious and unforgiving offense.
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Several years ago, before he moved to Canada, met his wife and had two beautiful daughters, Herminio Del Valle was told in a dream not to drive.

So he never bought a car, thinking all the while he was preventing a horrible accident.

To get to work, he turned to long-time pal Pablo Guzman, who had also emigrated from the Dominican Republic and got Del Valle his job at a Burlington aluminum factory. A trusted employee, Guzman was given the keys to the factory to open the shop early each morning.

That’s how the two men found themselves on Hwy. 403 in Mississauga around 4:45 a.m. Friday, when an allegedly drunk driver in a pickup truck going in the wrong direction hit their car head-on. “He was always driving people here and there,” Guzman’s friend, Patricia Moreno, said inside his Woodbridge home yesterday, Guzman’s crying wife, Rocio, and three children sitting next to her.

“Especially widows. He was always helping them,” she said, her voice drowned out by sobs. “Now, she’s a widow.” About 15 km south in North York, Del Valle’s widow, Carmen, sat with daughters Catherine, 9, and Natalie, 7, surrounded by family who had flown in from the U.S.

“Everything was for his family,” a shattered Carmen said in Spanish with a family member translating. Carmen had arrived at the Guzman home hours after the crash Friday with condolences, only to learn her husband was also dead.

“My dad was the best daddy,” Catherine said, tears rolling down her cheeks. “He used to try to get me the stuff that I need.”

Each of Guzman’s children — Victor, 8, Gleny, 6, and Santiago, 4 — have been coping in different ways.

“Where’s daddy?” Victor asked Moreno yesterday. “Heaven,” she said.

“I want to go to the CN tower to be closer to daddy,” he replied.

Gleny was found in her closet Saturday, holding a dress her dad had just bought for her.

Santiago clutched a toy truck in his hand while he sat on his mother’s lap.

“He knows it was a truck,” Moreno said. “So he says that truck killed his dad.”

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Tories widen their lead. Is Canada becoming more conservative or do we just like Harper?


A new poll suggests the Conservatives have solidified a substantial lead over their closest rivals, thanks at least in part to a lack of confidence in Liberal helmsman Stéphane Dion. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll, conducted Sept. 10-13, gave the Conservatives 40 per cent support across Canada, followed by the Liberals at 26 per cent.

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This campaign is going to the birds


First a puffin, now a Sparrow….CTV says Conservative Party communications director Ryan Sparrow has
been suspended for the duration of the campaign for questioning the motives of a father who lost a son in Afghanistan.

The Tory war room attacked a father of a soldier because he is allegedly a supporter of Michael Ignatieff. Good on the Tories for suspending Sparrow. Bad on the Tories for making him the fall guy when he is only the mouthpiece. At a certain point, a leader needs to take responsibility for what comes out of his war room.

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Jim Davis, who lost a son to the war, openly complained that Stephen Harper’s stance on leaving our troops in the country until 2011 – a commitment he made on Wednesday – is ‘irresponsible.’ Tory communications director Ryan Sparrow wrote an email to a reporter accusing Davis of being a Liberal supporter, the fur began to fly. The inference that the comment may have been politically motivated instead of a grieving father lamenting the worst loss of his life, moved the Conservatives to suspend Sparrow for the rest of the campaign and they’ve ordered him to apologize.

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