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June, 2014:

Ottawa’s taxi system is bush league…

… in what is supposed to be a big league city.

A few examples…

  • No empty cabs at 6 pm in the Market last Saturday. 6 pm. The Market. Really?
  • Waited for 30 minutes after having called for a cab to arrive a few months back to take me to the VIA station. At 9:00 am. After the early morning rush. And I don’t live in the boonies like Barrhaven.
  • Last time we got a cab as a family to get to the airport for a vacay, I expressly asked for a van because of our luggage. I was assured – “yeah, no problemo”. What shows up? An Impala. We’re sitting on luggage and luggage is sitting on us. Unsafe as hell, PLUS dude does 110 down Conroy Road despite my telling him to slow down.
  • Finally, just the other day, my wife has a 7 am to Toronto; meaning being at the airport for 6 am to avoid any hassle. She called a cab at 5:10, just to be safe… called again at 5:20… and at 5:30. Each time being told that a cab was on its way. 5:50 and still no cab (note – we live about 15 minutes from the airport if the traffic is light). 6 am, 6:10 and she comes upstairs (where I’m still in bed), and I jump outta bed and speed her off to the airport (just lucky that the eldest was there to look after our littlest that morning)… but it wasn’t in time, she missed her flight and it threw her off her whole day of back to back to back meetings.

Come on Ottawa taxis! get your act together?

And yes, there will be an official complaint once we figure out to whom to bitch.

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I might sound like a broken record…

…because over and over I have said that Nanos is the ONLY pollster worth watching.

Here is why (emphasis mine):

Some key observations on this evening’s Ontario election:

Here is a recap of a comparison of the only Ontario election survey conducted by Nanos compared to the actual election result (as of midnight):

Party Election Outcome Nanos May 26th
Liberal 38.4% 37.7%
PC 31.2% 31.2%
NDP 24.0% 23.7%
Green Party 4.9% 5.3%

To watch the CBC Power and Politics segment with Evan Solomon click this link.. To see the report by Nanos click here.

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In 1990…

I got it wrong. Very wrong.

I have been following – well, more than following – Canadian politics since I was 17… That was 1979. And, except for 1990, I’ve been pretty close to figuring it out. I haven’t been that far off the mark.

But tonight? I have so many conflicting thoughts. This election is so tough to nail down.

The PCs, with a different leader, may have taken this in a walk.

Progressives are pissed at Horwath for voting down a pretty NDP friendly Budget.

And the Liberals have had the spectre of alleged scandal hanging over them.

So, I’m stumped.

I can’t call this one confidently.

But I will anyways…

Um.

Liberal/PC/NDP Majority/minority with a Liberal/PC/NDP Official Opposition.

There ya go.

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Vote. It’s easy.

Just do it.

As I was explaining to my two youngest kids yesterday on the drive home after school, literally millions of people have died and are dying to do what we in Canada take for granted:

The right to choose our leaders.

So vote. Exercise this right for which so much has been sacrificed.

Just do it, please.

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Vote for this guy.

He’s works hard for our community and is a good MPP.

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Stuff that can influence voter turnout

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Watching the Rogers cable debate…

… On the Ottawa Orleans race…

And man, Andrew Lister? The PC candidate? He’s as rude, dogmatic and boorish as his colleagues.
Disgusting.

And why does he keep grabbing his fingers? Is it his thing?

Weird.

This guy fits in with the Hudak and Matt Young model of incompetence.

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Ottawa South 2014 – John Fraser deserves the MPP gig

Predicting election results is a mug’s game. Any prediction of a result outside one’s own riding relies on an analysis of someone else’s polling results. And these have been, um, a wee bit unreliable lately. Do YOU see a Wildrose government in Alberta?

Nope.

So I’m sticking to my riding for now – Ottawa South. I have lived there for the past 11 years and have a pretty good feel for the community and where it leans politically. At least I think I do.

So party by party*, here we go.

Greens:

Gotta love them. Especially on the single school system file. The candidate in the riding, Matt Lakatos-Hayward, seems like a nice guy. The fact that I likely have socks that are older than him shouldn’t matter, but it does. And of all of the parties, I have to admit that I’m attracted to their platform more than any of the others. It is innovative and has evolved into something credible.

Too bad about the not having a chance in hell stuff. Maybe one day…

NDP

Lots of angry NDP supporters out there, eh? Horwath brought down the Liberal government on the Budget – a budget that most Dippers supported. Now they have the distinct possibility of a worse-case scenario being realised: a Hudak government.

Result? Most but the hardline New Democrats will either stay at home or switch to the Liberals strategically to defeat the Hudak candidate, Steve Carrell Matt Young.

The candidate is Bronwyn Funciello, who wants (as she said at the all-candidates meeting) to provide the same type of community oriented service to voters in Ottawa South as she has to the area as a OCDSB Trustee.

Which translates as “sketchy” and “next to none”. Improving on this is what motivated me to run for Trustee opposite her in the least election and why I have not yet 100% ruled out running again.

And, oh – the NDP in the riding? They have just slightly less of chance in hell as the Greens of having a victory party on Thursday night.

PC

I deal with MPPs and MPs and their offices from time to time and I have tried imagining what it would be like dealing with Matt Young MPP. I take off my partisan hat, forget about Tim Hudak and picture what it would be like approaching Mr. Young for:

– some help with funding a day care facility for at-risk families

– assistance in helping my Parent Council to access monies for a new playstructure in our yard to replace one that was torn down by the Board

– ideas to better connect with the community through outreach events

– partnerships with the City to improve local facilities like parks and community centres

And you know what? I picture a smirk, a handshake and a see-ya-later.

Extreme conservatives like Matt Young and his boss are all about the bottom line. Nothing matters more. I’ve known and worked with guys like these in various capacities over my adult life and I have always found them with a single-minded purpose – $$$.

If Mr. Young is elected – and even worse, as part of a PC government – the next few years will be very difficult for we who call ourselves “community activists”.  And hard for those who rely on an MPP with a sympathetic ear.

Another, and important reason why I could not support Mr. Young is his lack of street creds. His lack of involvement in our communities. I had never seen him at a community function, before the by-election. Never on a Board of some community group. Never reaching out and offering help at a community event. Nada. Nothing.

He just appeared out of nowhere. No one I know had ever even HEARD of the guy.

Is someone like THAT worth supporting??

Liberals

I want to make a few points clear, here.

Yes, I am a Liberal – but not a card-carrying one as I am federally.

And yes, a main reason why I do not carry a card or donate to the party is thanks to their stance on school system reform – specifically, merging the Catholic and public boards. And yes, I resent them for this wrong and discriminatory position.

Yes, of course, the allegations about the gas plants bug the hell out of me. But they are still allegations, people! No matter what the PC and the Dippers would have you believe. Funny how Hudak’s conservative buds on the Hill can get away with being the most corrupt government in Canada’s history but colour them red and white and the Ontario Cons are all over them like a Doberman in a sausage factory!

Yes, I think the Budget that spelled the demise for the Wynne Government was just fine, thank-you. And their estimates with regard to when deficit spending would end were pretty realistic, in my quite-well-informed-and-educated opinion.

Yes, I think that Wynne is a fine Premier

But the main reason I support John Fraser in Ottawa South is because of the great work he has done here for his community.

If you are not involved in your community, as I am, you likely don’t see the work that your local MPP, MP or City Councillor does on a daily basis. Being a politician is the most thankless of thankless jobs around. But people like John carry on and do whatever they can to facilitate problem-solving, offer advice and connect the right people to the right people to arrive at solutions for the community.

John has done this as MPP and did this while his former boss was the Premier. When you’re the Premier, you have to hand the constituency work over to a trusted senior staff person. And John was that person.

I can deal with John and his office. I can’t imagine that with Matt Young.

And I certainly cannot imagine dealing with a Hudak government.

Vote Liberal in Ottawa South. Mr. Fraser has earned it.

*sorry to the Communists and the other smaller parties…

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Public funding for Catholic schools has no place in 21st-century Ontario.

Brilliant article in the Glob and Mash today.

Key paragraphs for me – and a message that should be read to all Ontario residents.

The arguments from proponents of publicly-funded Catholic schooling amount to a self-interested assertion that they are entitled to their entitlements. Some might contend that the Catholic system is no longer even very Catholic, having evolved in accordance with secular values despite the dictates of the church itself – for instance, allowing gay-straight alliances and access to contraception.

This argument is self-defeating: if the Catholic system really was just another secular schooling option, all the more reason to merge with the regular public system. Of course Ontario’s public Catholic schools remain tied to the Catholic Church. Hiring of teachers into Catholic schools explicitly discriminates on this basis, with school boards requiring a signed affirmation from a priest that the candidate “participates in the sacramental life of the Church” and “comes from a Catholic background.” There is a surplus of willing and qualified teachers for Ontario’s public schools who cannot find work. It should infuriate any thinking person that public funding flows to schools that actively discriminate against passionate teachers simply because they don’t come from the right religion.

Kudos to the Green Party who are the only major party in Ontario to endorse the merging of the two Boards.

As an intermediate point, can’t we at least have an open debate and an unbiased third-party study looking at the financial pros and cons of such a move?

It would be a start.

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Ottawa suburbs? NO LRT for YOU!

Voters in the ridings of Ottawa-Orleans, Ottawa West-Nepean and Ottawa South?

Yeah, you guys. Pay attention to who you vote for next week.

You know that LRT thingy that would be extended to your neck of the woods in Phase 2 of the project?

Ain’t going to happen if Timmie is Premier.

For the first time since this provincial election began, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was clear about whether a PC government would fund the second phase of light rail in Ottawa — and the answer was a resounding “No.”

“No, we can’t afford it,” Hudak said simply when asked about the project at a campaign stop in Ottawa South on Thursday morning.

While Hudak has said that he wouldn’t yank back the $600 million already approved for the 12.5-kilometre section of LRT currently under construction — it will run from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station — the PC leader said he won’t support the $1 billion of funding needed from the province to extend rail to Orléans in the east, Bayshore in the west, and Riverside South (with a possible airport link).

And his minions like Matt Young  are falling dutifully in line… though they must be cringing at the timing of this…

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