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September, 2007:

Climate change, so what?

I thought I would put up a new post in response to this question posed by Doug Newton. This is a fair question that deserves some measure of response. Thanks for the question and thanks to Thorin as well.

Global warming / climate change – whatever. The important thing to note is that the Earth is undergoing some pretty dramatic changes as I write these words.
What more pressing ecological changes are there – aside from a change of a few degrees?
Absolutely none. Zero, Zilch. Why? Because every other environmental variable will change as a result of these few degrees.
And this is not a myth. We see it now in Ontario in the extreme weather patterns we have experienced the past few years. They are seeing it in the north as permafrost melts (read a story over the weekend about the booming biz in mammoth bones in Siberia as the frost melts and gives up its secrets!). It is being felt in Australia as massive brush fires are an annual occurrence. And they are seeing it in the SW United States as water is fast becoming a scarce commodity.
Which brings me to another point relating to the geopolitical and economic ramifications of climate change. As the weather patterns continue to shift and water and food supplies are impacted, it makes sense that sooner or later some of these impacted nations are going to get desperate.
One of the nations is Ontario’s – and Canada’s – neighbour to the south. And as someone stated in a presentation given to a group of us in Moncton last week, when the desperation kicks in, Canada has a great big target right in the middle of its forehead.
Yes, there are more issues in the Ontario election aside from global warming (duplication in the education systems, for example), but the climate crisis trumps all.


Why I am voting Green

From the Green Party of Ontario’s website:

“The Green Party advocates a single publicly funded system. We will remove duplicate administrative, facility and transportation costs to create a truly open and equitable environment where children can learn together. The savings will help fund the greening of Ontario’s education—strengthening both our economic competitiveness and our social fabric. “



The Dippers have won a seat in Québec!!!!! Outrement is theirs!!!!

The freezing over of Lucifer’s ‘hood surely must mean that….

The Leafs WILL indeed win the Cup this year!

I had better book my hotel room now for the post season celebrations that will take the city (and the nation) by storm! Come to think of it, I should stake out my spot along the parade route – just to be sure!


The system is BROKEN – let’s CHANGE it, Ontario!

For those of us in Ontario, we have a chance to change a dysfunctional electoral system into one that is more reflective of the voters’ will and thus more democratic in every sense of the word.

We have only a short time to mobilize ourselves and, if it does seem as though public opinion is swaying in favour of electoral reform, you can be sure that the forces against change will tackle the province with an anti-MMP ad campaign.

Click here to get a quick run-down of what I’m talking about.


Faith-based schooling in Ontario

Well, the olTrashmeister has been away from his blog for a while – too long perhaps. But summer is over and my little sabbatical ends with it. Back to school. Back to serious work. And back to making my usual keen observations about the state of the country, the world and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There is an election just around the corner in Ontario. The main contestants are the Conservatives – led by John Tory, and the incumbent Liberals led by Premier (and my MPP here in Ottawa South) Dalton McGuinty.

The issues thus far have been rather motherhood-ish… guns in schools, better funding for hospitals and schools, extending faith-based funding to schools to not only include Catholics, but all religions… pretty boring stuff, eh?

Wait a doggone minute! Read that last one to me again!

John Tory has indeed raised the spectre of faith-based funding for Ontario’s schools and I for one am pleased as punch that he has done so. Not because I am in favour of this – because I am most definitely NOT – but because the raising of the issue gives me hope that we can have an open policy debate in this province about the funding of ALL religious schools – namely, the Catholic boards.

Bill Davis was my grandfather’s lawyer. And for that , I guess I respect him as much as I can respect any lawyer. But his caving in to the Archbishop of Toronto in 1987 represents the crassest possible exhibition of policy-making for votes.

Faith-based and publicly funded education do NOT belong in my Ontario of the 21st century. It is an in-your-face example of the wastefulness inherent in catering to special interests – in this case, Catholic Ontario.

But, oh boy, is there a politician out there who is going to intentionally inject this debate into their re-election plans? Naw and no way. They know that in spite of more than one quarter of Ontarians being not born in this country (and we ain’t talkin‘ about Irish Catholic immigrants here – that is so 19th century!) the province persists in believing that there is a need to publicly fund the education system of an increasingly irrelevant and declining religion.

One system of education for a secular Ontario is how it must be – and how it will be when we have some enlightened leadership in Queen’s Park… for oh so many reasons.

My dear wife wrote this to the G&M and it is worth repeating here cuz the the Globe didn’t publish this well-written statement:

“What’s next? Needing medical treatment and driving past the Mennonite, Jewish, Muslim and Baptist hospitals before I arrive at the truly ‘public’ one that accepts all patients? Our tax dollars should fund institutions – educational or otherwise – that are available to the entire population. Those dollars should be allocated efficiently; running parallel administrations is shameful given the fundraising and student fees needed to run the average school. A politician who stands behind the principle of inclusive education – not to mention the economies of scale to be achieved – has my vote. Anyone?”

A very secular Amen to that.

Anyone ready to debate this? Mr. McGuinty?