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John Baird

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Irony, thy name is Johnny…

Or Steve…This article on the MotherCorp site is all about Ukraine’s imprisonment of the main Opposition Party leader… and how the PM is a tad worried about it.

But this is the line that had me rolling on the floor laughing:

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday Canada was troubled by the prison sentence.

“The apparent political bias and arbitrary prosecution in this and other cases hamper Ukraine’s democratic development,” he said in a release. “A legitimate and active opposition is a vital part of a vibrant and effective democracy.”

Seriously, Johnny? After all you and your narrow-minded party have done to portray the opposition parties as baby-eating, lying, thieving, Canada-hating Communists? You are actually recognising that opposition CAN be legitimate and SHOULD be active???

Wow! You were either drunk when you said this or you have had a moral awakening!



Two stories…

One about an ex-Harris henchman who now toils for a guy who pulls levers behind the curtain at 24 Sussex…

And the other about a guy that is so blasted partisan that we will cut the reference to his own country and one of the greatest PM’s who ever lived – because he was from a different political party…

On the first, c’mon, how surprised can we be? Really. Flaherty endorsed the Timmy and Randy gong show. C’mon.

But on the other story, I find this a bit more serious. Go ahead and say that it was just a business card. I have one too and it carries that nice little “Canada” wordmark. I like it. It’s nicely understated… like most Canadians tend to be.

This dude’s ego knows no bounds. This is a petty side to Mr. Baird in the removal of Lester Pearson’s name. And taking out Canada from the card is simply disrespectful to the country and Canadians. He should remember that he works for Canada and not his narrow egotistic self-interests.

I am disgusted.


Friday miscellany



I will never buy another issue of Macleans!

John Ivison from the NP opened his column this way:

Without a trace of irony, John Baird picked up the Macleans award for Parliamentarian of the Year on Wednesday evening, just hours after he appeared at a Government Operations committee meeting that descended into chaos when chair Yasmin Ratansi threatened to have the minister removed by security, while Mr. Baird shouted that Ms. Ratansi didn’t know how to do her job.

It was a bravura performance from a Transport Minister who must spend much of his spare time preparing his impromptu bursts of outrage. Nathan Cullen, an NDP member on the committee, said he had to remind Mr. Baird to get back into character when the television lights came back on after a break.

This was a apparently the result of a vote taken by all parties and then weighted to account for seat inequities.


I would LOVE to see the methodology behind that!

Beef of the day – the Americanization of our language…

OK fellow Canucks, repeat after me:

  • Hockey players change in a dressing room. Not a locker room
  • It is a hockey sweater. Not a jersey.
  • The 26th letter? Zed. NOT zee. I heard a francophone call it zee the other day… that kinda freaked me out.
  • It is “pop”. Not soda or soda pop. Although I can give a bit of slack on that one since I understand it is and always has been called “soda” in the West. But now, even national newspaper articles refer to it as “soda”.

Sarah Palin opens her mouth again

Yup – it’s all the environmentalists’ fault re: the Gulf spill.

Someone rhetorically asked on Facebook why doesn’t the msm just stop covering this moron?

Simple. She sells copy, folks. Curiosity trumps all and readers, when seeing her name on a column, want to see the latest bit of crud to pop outta her mouth.

Speaking of the spill…

I haven’t yet written anything about the Gulf spill. Part of the reason for this is that all has needed to be said has already been penned. Another reason for my silence is due to my concern that my visceral anger at BP, the American regulators, and all of we petro-slaves that have allowed this unprecedented disaster to occur.

I don’t really understand what the long term effects of the spill are going to be and I don’t believe anyone does. But I am fairly certain that this us gonna bite humanity in the butt somewhere, sometime.


That new conference place that is being built here in Ottawa is starting to look like something. And it’s damn big! I ride by the site twice a day on my bus commute and it’s really cool to watch the progress.

But maybe that’s just a guy thing.

I will be happy when it opens and we don’t have to travel to that dump across the river for our in-town conferences.

Chinese graffiti

It has been a week full of meetings with a delegation from China. The project is progressing well. But truth be told, five years from now, we will be looking to them for guidance. They learn that quickly. The teacher will become the student.

Finally – a conversation between my 6 year old and 3 year old this morning:

6 yr old: this mosquito is gonna die

3 yr old: what’s die

6 yr old: you’re going to do it once one day – when you’re an old grandpa

3 yr old: No!

6 yr old: First Daddy’s gonna die, then Mommy, then me, then you! You’re last, you’re lucky.

6 yr old: Actually Clarence (our cat) is going to die first. I wish I wouldn’t die. i wish lost of people wouldn’t.  I wish a lot of things.

Awwwwww… who needs TV, books or radio when you have kids that entertain ya day in and day out!


Do as I say, not as I do – The curious tale of Randy and Scott

Over at Cowboys for Social Responsibility, the author has commented on how a local council has reacted to Federal and Provincial interference in the planning of an important local infrastructure project.

Folks in Lanark County are well known in Eastern Ontario for their Back Off Government signs dotting farms and villages throughout the area. They aren’t too keen on politicians of any stripe – most of all, outsiders. In general, they find a home under the vermin-infested ReformCon tent hearkening to the small government rallying cry that is popular among their adherents.

Conservative MPP and former Ontario Tory leadership candidate Randy Hillier and his pal Tory MP Scott Reid have found themselves in some political difficulty at home by interfering in a Council decision on how to upgrade the local sewer and water system.

Hillier and Reid are proposing a make-shift and cheaper plan.

It’s an option doesn’t satisfy the township council or the district health unit. They say it doesn’t not address the sewage half of the problem or guarantee all residents potable water.

The Randy and Scott Show want to install filters on the pipes of affected households water pipes. Really? Why not just buy each household a jug of Javex?

Furthermore, they are calling for a community referendum to force the duly elected Council into changing their plans.

Whatever happened to Big Government butting out, Randy?

This is a really good example of how political this whole infrastructure thing has become.  It really hits the fan at the local level where the local councillors, by and large, honestly do want the best for their constituents and don’t try to play a partisan game. Yeah, yeah, I know that pork-barreling is part of the game regardless of the party in power.  But interfering in the local decision-making process has not been part of this dance in the past with other parties.

Remember how John Baird interfered in Ottawa’s transit plan?

I can relate to all of this.  While a municipal councillor in Ontario during the Harris years, I and my fellow Councillors were quite worried about saying anything that would piss off our PC MPP.  Don’t upset the apple cart or else that funding promised to upgrade the boards in the hockey rink? Well, that may just not happen.

Wink, wink.


Grits and ReformCons – no statistical difference between the two

The latest Harris-Decima poll conducted for The Canadian Press shows that neither party is within reach of a majority and both would be risking a defeat at the polls if one of them forces an election this fall.

Thirty-two per cent support for the Liberals and 31 per cent for the Harperites ain’t gonna buy you a whole lot of love at the ballot box..

This is in stark contrast to a we threw darts a the dartboard Ipsos-Reid poll that indicated – contrary to any other poll done over the summer – that the Harperites had built up a huge lead.

Predictably, the Cons are are jumping up and down like a nudist standing on an ant hill about how a forced vote would create political instability, cause dogs and cats to mate and bring about a plague of locusts. This is all in response to Iggy suggesting having a fall election wouldn’t be harmful at all to the economy. I can understand his position because those ReformCons are damned tough to work with and he is not sure how much longer he can hold his nose.

“There’s not one single person in the world who’d agree with him on that. You can’t just say things that are so outrageously false,” Transport Minister John “So what if my face looks like a pitbull” Baird said.

Mr. Baird said an election would mean government would “grind to a halt,” and all those really important decisions (like what colour jumpsuit to wear on a helicopter) just wouldn’t get made.

Hmmmm… the Harperites weren’t too concerned about shutting down the House last Fall  in order to avoid a non-confidence vote… just as the economic shitstorm was picking up steam… funny, that.


Things I’m wondering about…

When is punishment not punishment, but revenge? I was reading a number of the comments on the site that related to the horrendous abduction and murder of that little girl in Woodstock. Not at all surprising was the amount of anger in those comments.  To kill a child is a terrible and evil act and those responsible must be brought to justice.  But many on the site were calling for capital punishment. And again, this isn’t surprising given the nature of this crime.  But is this justice or simple revenge?  As a deterrent, we see by looking to our neighbours to the south that executing criminals doesn’t work.  And are we not letting them off rather easy? Regular readers will know that I’m not a believer in an afterlife per se so I don’t think these animals will be judged at some point after death.

‘Tis better to cage them up for the rest of their lives and effectively rather than literally taking away their right to exist.
I have a button stowed away somewhere that says: Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong.

But if my daughter was the victim, would I hold true to these beliefs?

o    Why do the Harperites insist on continuing these ridiculous attack ads? Do they not realise that the only segment of the voting population is that which would have already voted for them in any case? The only folks who believe the rubbish coming from the PMO are those who are one or all of the following:

o    From Alberta
o    From Saskatchewan
o    From B.C, outside of the urban areas
o    Low level of education
o    Rural residents
o    NASCAR fans
o    Robots

Now, don’t anyone flame me for suggesting that all folks from AB are NASCAR-lovin’ rednecks who have a poster of Stevie on their outhouse wall… I don’t mean that!

Anyhow, most of we Canucks are tired of these attacks. Let’s back away from that for a while and show some civility, shall we?

Hey – Justin Trudeau has a nice perspective on this matter too.

o    The Brian Mulroney Commission: Who cares!!! I personally didn’t much like the guy when he was PM but I’m watching the proceedings while sitting on a bike at GoodLife the other day and I watched a full 30 minutes of the “cross-examination” of ol’ Bri explaining that he DID pay taxes on the full amount just NOT in the taxation year in which he was given the funds! What? Is this the best scandal that we Canadians can dream up?

Drop it. There are more juicy things going on, like…

o    The Larry O’Brien criminal trial…. though from the sounds of things, the defence lawyer is tearing Kilrea a new hole on the stand.

I woulda loved to have been there today when Bulldog Baird took the stand.  I cannot stand that guy and would have liked to have seen him squirm a bit.

Is O’Brien guilty? Probably. Will he be judged so? Probably not. But it makes for good entertainment…

o      Lastly… dump Gary Bettman and bring in someone who has an ego smaller than Baffin Island and a hockey sense that is more developed than a Bedouin farmer.


Bulldog Bully Baird Butting Out of Strike

Finally someone has written a story about how John Baird, the Minister of TRANSPORT and the political minister for the City has been nowhere to be seen during the transit crisis that is causing so many folks so much pain.

Are we to believe that this schoolyard bully cannot work with the two sides to help bring resolution to this? What’s the point of being in government if you can’t effect change? I hope voters remember his inaction come election time.

He had no problem intervening in the affairs of the City when funding for one of the bygone transit proposals was on the table. But now that there is  REAL CRISIS, he shuts up?

In the past, Mr. Baird hasn’t hesitated to use his power to resolve issues of importance to Ottawa.

Along with his intervention on light rail in 2006, he played a role in blocking a new interprovincial bridge in the west end, pledged federal money to deal with sewage spills into the Ottawa River and helped secure a $1-a-year rent deal for the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

But there are reasons why he might hesitate to plunge as deeply into the transit strike. One is his history with Mayor Larry O’Brien, a fellow Conservative.

By delaying funding for the original light rail plan in 2006, Mr. Baird was broadly seen as giving a boost to Mr. O’Brien’s mayoral campaign.

And the same goes for Pepperhead Poilievre. Clearly the Neocon Ministers for this area intervene only when it is in political best interest.

And of course, the same goes for the entire City Council – with the possible exception of Clive Doucet. My own Councillor, Peter Hume, used to be quite communicative and helpful to his constituents – where have you gone Peter????


Why you should NOT vote for Harper – Part 3

This post is especially for those of us who live in Ontari-ari-o!

The Politics of Cynicism has been strongly spread around the hiways and biways of our fair Province. Billions of dollars have been promised to a broad range of interests in the hopes that pork barreling will buy a few precious votes – especially in battleground ridings around the 905 and 519 area codes.

But do these promised handouts make up for how the Harper government has treated Canad’s most populous province over the past couple of years? Without getting into Harper’s approach to Eastern Canada before he became the Grand Poobah of the ReformCons (build any firewalls lately Stevie?), here are a few examples of how the Harperites have dissed my fair province.

Jim Flaherty – Finance Minister:

…However, he had some tough words for his home province of Ontario, where a Harris-Decima poll released Friday suggested the public supports McGuinty’s view that Ottawa is giving short shrift to troubled manufacturers.

The poll found that 56 per cent of those surveyed supported the premier’s view that Flaherty is too focused on the oil-and-gas industry.

Asked about the poll, Flaherty responded that the Liberal premier “doesn’t get … that you must reduce your business taxes over time.”

“Their business taxes are the highest in Canada. If Mr. McGuinty thinks that’s good for the manufacturing sector in Ontario, he’s wrong.”

Flaherty said the policies are doing “long-term” damage to the province’s economy.

“It discourages investment in the province of Ontario,” he said. “If you’re going to make a new business investment in Canada, and you’re concerned about taxes, the last place you will go is the province of Ontario.”

More Flaherty:

A political gravy train or a shrewd plan for better passenger rail? Based on an internal report by the Ontario government, it would seem that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s pitch in last week’s federal budget for a passenger rail service between Toronto and Peterborough is a bad idea.

Mr. Flaherty’s supporters – notably Peterborough Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro – point to Trent University, Quaker Oats and General Electric as some of the major employers in Peterborough that would benefit from the scheme. But Mr. Flaherty’s fans are careful to avoid dwelling on the fact that the train service would run through his Tory riding – and also that of his wife, Christine Elliott, who is a Tory member of the Ontario legislature.

I blogged about this a while back.

So what about Harper himself? The Premier of Ontario and Harper aren’t exactly fishing buddies and every time Mr. McGuinty announces any sort of initiative (e.g., the agreement between Ontario and Quebec on greenhouse gas emissions), Harper and his posse are right there – tearing it apart… partisanship to the max!

John “pitbull” Baird on this progressive agreement:

Federal Environment Minister John Baird said the talks between Charest and McGuinty are more about “political posturing” than cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“I saw a great press conference,” Baird told the CBC’s Don Newman on Monday in Ottawa. “What the premiers are talking about is much in the line of what we’re doing, but it’s just talk.”

Take for another example the legitimate complaint by the Premier that Ontario continues to be a contributing province to our equalization system despite the fact that we are now – by definition- a “have-not” province.

Harper et al say “suck it up!” “Create a better business climate like we did!”

And now the ReformCons come hat in hand, asking for a majority. And I’m worried that, due to strong support in rural areas of the province (like my old stompin’ ground, sniff, sniff) combined with a Grit/Dipper/Green split of the left vote in swing ridings will indeed deliver Ontario.

And with Ontario coloured blue, so goes the nation.