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Friday miscellany

Handy voting guide. Take whatever this group advises, and vote the opposite!


Congrats to a couple of City Councillors who see the value in social media. They are both active Tweeps PLUS they have very cool and easy to navigate websites. Way to go Beacon Hill / Cyrvillle Councillor Tim Tierney and Bay Ward Councillor Mark Taylor! Your colleagues could learn a thing or two!

Along the same lines, thanks to Mayor Watson (or one of his peeps) with whom I had a good back and forth on Twitter this week about the replacement of full minutes as records of proceedings at Council to “action minutes”. We didn’t agree in the end, but he’s the Mayor and I’m uh, not.


A shout out to my family in Parry Sound – how’s the weather???


Re: the Dippers’ rising fortunes in this election… supporters shouldn’t go tossing their granola into the air in celebration quite yet. My hunch is that is very soft support and most of it will drift back to the Grits on E-Day. But then again….


I took some heat on Facebook and in the comments section when I posted the item about the Harper agenda being very clear about some so-con issues. And one of them was abortion. One commenter noted that the so-con initiatives would be done incrementally… even the Harperites won’t do something like re-criminalise abortion overnight.

Here is an example of how these changes will be introduced slowly, but surely:

Brad Trost, who is running for re-election in the semi-suburban, semi-rural riding of Saskatoon-Humboldt, made the remarks during a speech to an evening banquet at a Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association convention last Saturday.

After thanking those who signed petitions to defund the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a group that provides assistance with birth control and maternal health, he told the audience how his office had spearheaded the campaign and how other MPs had helped him.

“Let me tell you, and I cannot tell you specifically how we used it but those petitions were very, very useful and they were part of what we used to defund Planned Parenthood, because it has been an absolute disgrace that this organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars,” he said in a recording of the speech released to the media by the Liberal Party.

The CPC is, of course, denying all of this.

Planned Parenthood is a solid organization that does good work. Dogma should not get in the way of their funding.


OK. I watched Rogers channel 66 the other day when I was feeling under the weather and took a day off. This is, of course, the much-maligned Sun News network.

Yeah, yeah, there was the predictable blathering about the Republican race in the States and whether or not Donald Trump (gag) has a shot at the nomination… BUT, there was also some good solid commentary! Yes, this is me writing this. The topic of the G 20 police brutality came up and I say back expecting to hear a full defense of their actions but no! They agreed wholeheartedly that the cops were WAY over the line and that it was a black eye on Canada’s image.

I was not expecting that!

Besides, progressives should not be afraid of a news outlet that presents points of view that run counter to theirs. We survived the National Post, right?


Finally – likely won’t get a chance to post anything new for a few days… gonna be spending some much-needed time with the family and away from work and the blogosphere… Happy Easter to those who celebrate and a happy not-quite-spring-but-at-least-it’s-a-long-weekend to others!


Friday miscellany: Fake Debates, The Jungle Book, lingerie football, and maggots. Yes, maggots…

Oh man, what a week…where to begin?? Let’s see…

The debates et les debats pretty much a downer for all, eh? I mean, they weren’t really debates but scripted stump speeches designed to get a few sound and vid bites into the news cycle, right?

Not like these (fictional) Presidential candidates squaring off against one another! This was a true (yet, fake) debate!

The irony of this milestone moment in TV history is that Alan Alda is a staunch liberal playing a conservative and Matt Santos is a staunch conservative playing a liberal. Brilliant. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I miss that show.


Saw an awesome show last night at Pleasant Park P.S.! The grade 6 class put on a production of The Jungle Book and it excelled in every way! The acting, the costumes, the makeup… I had to keep reminding myself that these were mostly 11 yr olds. What talent! And considering that this is a feeder school for Canterbury H.S. – one of Canada’s best arts high schools – this was only the beginning for many of these kids.

A big thanks to all of the staff and parent volunteers who made this possible. What committment!

Didn’t see our Trustee there, though.


I have already said my piece on bi-weekly garbage pick up. It really shouldn’t be that difficult for most Ottawans to make the transition, but a comment made by Councillor Diane Holmes this week made me shake my head.

During the debate before the final Council vote she said something like “just leave the green bin lids open and let the birds eat the maggots and get their protein“…


Someone should have briefed the good councillor on a couple of things… like the mess that birds would make if left to tear into your organic waste… and like there is a reason why the bins have lids in the first place…


Speaking of waste management, I ask the following: the next time that recycling collection contracts are let by the City, could a clause be inserted into the contracts that says something like:

“Collection staff will do their utmost to not leave a trail of paper, plastics and metal recyclable materials in their wakes as they proceed on their collection routes.”

I mean, I know you’re in a hurry. But gee… do you always have to leave such a mess?


Lingerie football. Who knew?


And back to politics for a moment… what really went on at my old alma mater this week? Did a Con staffer REALLY try to take away a ballot box? I need to see more details about this to come to a full assessment, but on the surface it appears a though this was a legitimate polling station and that the CPC had no right demanding that the ballots be turned over.

But the Cons must think they have some kind of case as they have asked Elections Canada to nullify all of the ballots cast that day… stay tuned.

GUELPH  No votes cast Wednesday in a special ballot at the University of Guelph should stand, according to the Conservative Party of Canada.

The party wrote Elections Canada on Thursday to request that none of the votes collected during the U of G session be included in the final tally of votes in the Guelph riding. The letter was sent by lawyer Arthur Hamilton, of Toronto-based law firm, Cassels Brock.

The move has generated considerable controversy at the university, home of the first youth “vote mob” encouraging students to vote.

In his letter, Hamilton alleges the polling station was illegal and also that partisan election material was present at it, which is a violation of the Canada Elections Act.

The polling station in question was located on the main floor of University Centre, where approximately 700 students cast sealed ballots.

Elections Canada media advisor James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said.


Finally – check this out as an example of über political correctness... hell… I’m an atheist but don’t have a problem calling these things what they are any more than I have with the word “Christmas”. It may not be something that I attach any importance to, but others do… geez-Louise…