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dalton mcguinty

To all of those Con and Dipper detractors…

… who screeched that the Premier of Ontario was but a power-crazed coward for resigning his post, I say:

HA!

Turns out he only wants to spend more time with his family.

And whether you’re a pol, fireman, clerk, lawyer, doctor, teacher or public servant, more time with one’s family is something we all want, right?

Thank you for your service, Mr. McGuinty.

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What does the most successful Premier in Ontario’s history…

… do for an encore?

I, like everyone, was shocked by the premier’s resignation yesterday.

So, what’s next for my MPP? Is he going to throw his hat into the federal ring in an effort to lead the LPC?

I for one, and as a Liberal, hope so. I think he would make a great leader.

But even if Trudeau (or someone lese – though that is unlikely now) came out from the scrum with the ball, a race between JT and Mr. McGuinty would be the best thing to happen to the party in a very, very long time. No coronation but a TRUE leadership race that would capture the attention of all Canadians from coast to coast.There could ba true debate with the Leader’s seat at stake.

I would dearly love to see that!

Then again, maybe Dalton is simply sick of it all. Despite his detractors, he is a really nice guy and a great rep for his constituency in Ottawa South. His staff are always helpful and his roots in the ‘hood are deep. Maybe he has figured out that his family is more important than his role as the leader of the LPO or of the LPC.

And I cannot fault him if that is the way he feels.

But he should run because even if he lost, the party and progressives would win.

And we’d have a shot at unseating King Steve from his throne at 24 Sussex.

 

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This is good news…

… for my MPP…

Not so good for Hudak and Hillier and their merry band of tax evaders!

Let’s hope that the momentum carries into next month… and it likely will if the PC’s (minus the “progressive” part) insist on shooting themselves in the foot election after election…

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YES! Two smoking cessation aids now part of Ontario Drug Benefit Plan!!

This is great news!

When I quit 7 years ago, I used Zyban, the patch, nico-gum… everything I could get my hands on! And they worked!

Fortunately, the costs were covered under my drug plan… but most folks aren’t so lucky.

Lower future health care costs will many times over pay for the costs of this forward thinking initiative!

Now how is Hudak and his merry band of nay-sayers going to react to this? I mean, how can you argue against it? Win-win, right?

Naw, they’ll come up with some kind of distorted view of this… par for the course.

Kudos to the Ontario Grits for the timing of this announcement. Ol’ Tim is kinda being bounced around because of his sloppy handing of the abortion funding issue. Strike while the iron is hot, eh?

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McGuinty backs down… again…

It is clear that leadership at Queen’s Park means caving to special interests whenever the going gets tough.

Headlines:

Sex Ed opponents claim victory in Ontario

Liberals hear consumers’ cry, vow to retool eco-fee

Ontario Ombudsman: Province used ‘dubious’ powers for Toronto G20

Caving to religious groups, anti-tax advocates and Stephen Harper – in that order.

And now they have backtracked on their plan to provide single provider before and after care in Ontario’s school system. Now, instead of having on-site before and after care provided through the local School Board, third party operators will now have the opportunity to provide these services.

But Trashy, you say, isn’t this a GOOD thing? I mean, you’re involved with a local not-for-profit daycare, won’t this mean more business for you.

No, not at all. This latest flip flop is the result of the Ontario Liberals caving to a few very large daycare operators. Check out this headline from the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Locals applaud daycare decision

Yay for the locals!

But wait… what provider is quoted in the story?

The Y is heavily involved.

“We’re probably the largest provider in Grey and Bruce of before-and after-school care. We have 18 programs within the Bluewater school board and the Catholic school board and we serve probably in the neighbourhood of 600 to 700 children and families,” Dennis Morrison, centre manager for the Family Y, said.

Big time operator, the YMCA.

And the School Boards? They didn’t like the idea of seamless all-day early learning one bit.

“It was not a business we wanted to go into,” Marnie Coke, the superintendent of elementary education with the Bluewater District School Board, said Thursday.

See, here’s the problem with having before and after care provided separately from the Board:

The proposed amendment announced by the premier institutionalizes the divide between education and care and the split in the child’s day. It undermines the professionalism of Early Childhood Educators who bring the all-important play-based learning to children’s programming, relegating them to part-time workers whether employed in kindergarten classroom or after school child care.  The perennial problem of finding and keeping qualified ECEs who are willing or able to work split shifts will be exacerbated, compromising program quality.

For large institutional providers like the Y, it’s not a big concern since they have an enormous staff pool from which to select. Smaller, not-for-profit Centres have nowhere near as much flexibility and it will be difficult to attract and retain staff with promises of split shifts and few paid hours.

I, and others, have talked about the need for a greater education community. If School Boards are truly concerned about the quality of preparation for the school-years – be it at the child’s home, a for-profit institutional daycare or one of the smaller not-for-profits, then Boards everywhere in Ontario should build a better partnership with all pre-school care providers. Don’t freeze them out – but rather open a dialogue with the broader community. And do it soon! Are you listening, OCDSB?

From Randall Denley:

Kim Hiscott is the executive director of Andrew Fleck Child Care Centres. She says McGuinty’s plan might not be viable because it leaves organizations like hers with unattractive pieces of work at the beginning and end of the school day.

It would be difficult to attract early-childhood educators (ECEs) to work a split shift with less than full-time hours, Hiscott says.

The problem will be made worse by an impending shortage of ECEs, caused by school board hiring.

The grand plan McGuinty originally endorsed called for a seamless day for children with an ECE there for a full day starting about 7:30, then kindergarten classes and another ECE to work until the parents pick the children up, as late as 5:45.

The modified plan will allow boards to offer kindergarten only and foist the unattractive part-time work off on the non-profit centres.

From OISE – a good summary:

The province is responding to the self-interest of a few large child care
operators and to the fears of a small percentage of parents who already have their child care needs met.  Requiring school boards to offer affordable early learning and care was designed to help the 80% of families who have no access to child care.

Dr. Pascal’s plan was sound but the Liberals in Ontario messed up the planning, administration and delivery of this good idea. Now, in typical fashion, they are making an already ad situation even worse.

Under split delivery of before and after care, the following problems will remain:

  • We have a  fragmented patchwork of programs – and this is stressful for children, parents and those in the child care industry;
  • The inefficiencies and higher costs to taxpayers will continue and the childcare fee savings the premier promised parents during the last election will not materialize.
  • Wait lists? Get used to them. Longer ones too!

WHAT DO WE NEED?

We need political leadership and champions for universally accessible, fully integrated early learning.  We need leaders in Queen’s Park who will not cave to self-interest groups less than six months after passing their own legislation. The child care issue is just the next in a long line of caving.

If you agree, let the Premier know:

https://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp?Lang=EN or call (416) 325-1941

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Lying to Parliament is OK? To Congress, not so much…

OK. Can someone explain to me why our southern neighbour takes lying to legislative authorities so much more seriously than we do up here in the GW North?

Really. Former pitcher Roger Clemens could be in for some hard jail time if found guilty of lying to Congress about his alleged steroid use. Americans apparently put value on saying things under oath to elected officials.

Not so here in Canada. Here, a Minister of the Crown can go before a Parliamentary Committee, be asked point blank about certain conversations, lie about what transpired, be shown irrefutably to have lied, and suffer not a single consequence for his actions. What gives? Are Parliamentarians granted some kind of immunity while before a Committee that allows them to say whatever they damn well please?

Disgusting.

So mixed martial “arts” are coming to Ontario – thanks to yet another reversal by the McGuinty government. This decision has been framed as a good-for-the-economy type of thing. Mayorlarry is looking forward to it!

What a bunch of b.s.

The Libs in Ontario are doing exactly what the Harperites have done in Ottawa- pander to the lowest common denominator in a pathetic attempt to buy votes.

These spectacles of sub-human testosterone spraying are a single step above Gladiator matches and should be censured everywhere. We don’t need our kids growing up thinking that acting out the fantasies of a Mad Max addict is appropriate behaviour in a civilized society.  I used to respect Dalton (he IS my MPP), but after this, and cowering to the religious right on the sex education changes AND fumbling, then backing off completely the perfectly fine Eco fees… well, the respect is gone. Poof!

Though I still hold a great deal of admiration for his brother David and hope that he one day takes the reins of the Federal Grit stagecoach.

The sacking of a couple of high level officials by the Reformatories shouldn’t surprise anyone.

OK – so the RCMP dude in charge of the Gun Registry wasn’t technically “sacked”, but he did suddenly need to go on language training right before delivering a report that praised rather than buried the value of the Gun Registry… not what the ReformCons want to hear…  whatta joke!

And now the Minister responsible for Veterans Affairs has pissed off a significant core of Con support…

Anyone that has read any of my posts before knows that I’m a major Peacenik, but J P Blackburn has dissed all vets by defending a compensation system that puts dollars and cents ahead of injured soldiers’ long term financial well-being.

While the treatment of Canada’s wounded should be improving with the climbing casualties from the decade-long deployment to Afghanistan, it has actually gotten worse in some respects.

Paul Franklin, who lost both legs in a January 2006 suicide bombing, was actually one of the lucky ones.

Back in Canada, he was offered a choice between the outgoing system for disability payments – $4,000 a month for the remainder of his life – or compensation under the new system, a $250,000 lump sum payment.

“I did the math real quick and $4,000 a month works out to $2 million if I live 40 more years,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

Michael Barnewell, 29, injured just 10 months later, never had Franklin’s easy choice.

“With a lump sum payment, the problem is that it’s not enough. You either try to use it now and then it’s gone so you don’t have it for the future, or you try to invest it for the future and what do you do now?” he said. “Under that old system, when you get those payments, you’re just taken care of. It’s just such security. It’s always there. It just comes.’’

But that security has been eroded by tight-fisted officials and a Conservative government that promised to honour the country’s soldiers and veterans but has left them feeling abandoned, Stogran said.

Stogran chose against an outright attack on his elected political masters, but did circulate a 2002 Canadian Alliance political pamphlet in which then-leader Stephen Harper promises to defend Canadian soldiers the way that they have defended the country.

Speaking in Mississauga, the prime minister sidestepped the strident criticism from Storgan in recent days and said the government is open to suggestions that could improve future programs.

But like other federal watchdogs who have either been fired or undermined by the government, the Tories may just bide their time until Stogran’s term expires in November and his pulpit evaporates.

Does this government have no shame? Even a Peacenik like me has heaps more respect for these guys than do the Harperites. There has been some attempt by the right to deflect the blame on to the public service staff and away from the politicians. But let me be clear – bureaucrats take their directions form the government of the day. And especially with the Soviet style of government practiced by the PMO, you can be damned sure that senior bureaucrats MUST do as told… and if they cannot do so, then resign with honour.

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