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muskoka

Pork barrel politics in Cottage Country

I take a particular interest in the political goings-ons in Parry Sound Muskoka. After all, I grew up there, all of my family (save moi) still call it home and I ran as a candidate there in the ’93 General Election. So I do retain an emotional attachment to the place.

A place that is now represented by Tony Clement at the Federal level… a ReformCon from a time when the party wasn’t even yet birthed.  A key part of Mike “The Monster” Harris’ Common Nonsense Revolution, Big Tony moved over to the Harperite bunch a while back and has had a few plum cabinet appointments.

Seems like Big Tony has become Uncle Tony to many of the riding’s folks as he is handing out big bags of moolah to almost everyone who asks! And all in the name of the G8 Summit due to take place outside of Huntsville, Ontario next year... Huntsville is one of the larger centres in the riding.

Funny thing is that much of the largesse (as noted in the article) is not really targeted toward the Summit at all. The Summit is being used as a convenient excuse to practice some good ol’ pork barrel politics.

Now, you may say, so what? Don’t they all do it?

Well, no. Not to this degree.

Big Tony unseated Grit Andy Mitchell a couple of elections back and before him was the legendary Tory,  Stan Darling. Both were very, very good constituency MPs. Looked after their folks well and found money when needed and warranted. But never was present this flagrant and cynical misuse of the public purse in order to buy votes! Yeah – Parry Sound gets some new infrastructure and street work.  Baysville gets some new washrooms. And many other small communities in the riding will get some cash infusions.

And none of these places will have anything to do with next year’s Summit.

Are the ReformCons worried about their prospects here in the next election?  Probably not – it’s just another example of the Politics of Cynicism.

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Trashy in Parry Sound – what would Stevo have done?

I am sitting on the deck of the cottage that we are renting for the week. The weather has kinda sucked so far with the exception of a few hours here and there. In fact, it was supposed to be t-storming, like right now. Thinking this, the girls headed off to town to catch a matinee at the Strand (I’m amazed it is still called the Strand after all these years). I was left behind to tend to Owen, who is having a nap.

Happily for me but sadly for the others, the storms have yet to appear and I just spent the past hour on the dock, with two fishing rods workin’ and enjoying every minute of it. No worries, no kids, no sounds save for the distant traffic, the odd boat and the sounds of the loon. Simply splendiferous!

I’m looking out on the lake. A clean lake that has been intelligently developed mostly without the monster homes that one can see on some of the larger lakes in Muskoka and on Georgian Bay.

I cannot help but wonder what this place would have been like if the ilk of Harper and his gang of ninnies had been in power for the past few decades instead of the Grits. Almost certainly there would have been largely uncontrolled development and few environmental controls in place. Yes, Mulroney was one of the greenest PM’s in history, but the ReformCons are not of the same stripe as Bri and the red Tories who, while I never was one of them, I could at least respect.

I suspect that if the NeoCons had been in control of the legislative agenda for the past 50 years or so, there may have been a Constitutional Amendment forced through that may have entrenched private property rights and limited the state’s role in the controlled and sustainable development of areas like these. Maybe Canada would have been at lot like certain cities in the U.s> – especially in Texas – where By-laws are non-existent or unenforceable and development is hell-mell and it’s every man for themselves. The CPC likes it that way. State bad, chaos good.

Aw hell, I’m on vacation. Why can’t I give it a rest? I dunno. I wonder if dyed-in-wool politicos like Kinsella ever take a break from thinking about things like these. I doubt it.

Owen should be waking soon. I’ll end the thread before I begin to ramble on about how the shitty weather so far this week (today excepted) was a result of climate change, which was a result of ReformCons inaction!

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Almost time for our vacation

I love my job. I really do. And my Director doesn’t know I have a blog, so I ain’t just sucking up.

My work is intellectually stimulating, pays very well, varies from day to day, and I am fortunate to work with some real kick-ass righteous folks.

But.

I work to live and don’t live to work. Holidays – time away from work – are what I’m about. Spending time outdoors with my family and mellowing out is what propels me forward in life. I mean, look at my subunits, aren’t they amazing?

IMG_3912 Yeah – I’m a proud Papa who likes to spend the bulk of my time with those who matter most to me – The Resident Love Goddess and my kids.

So I am mega looking forward to the next week. Starting Saturday, I will be away from work for a grand total of a week and a bit.  The weather isn’t looking the greatest at this point, but that will (hopefully) change.

I blogged a while back about where we are travelling to so I won’t go into great detail about that.

My biggest challenge will be to keep all of the kids occupied and happy for the week. If the weather holds, it will be a piece of cake. If it rains, we’ll think of something. I figger that ants and other crawly critters will amuse Owen for at least a few days. Addy will be a bit more of a challenge as she needs semi-constant stimulation else the whining kicks in. But she’ll like being around “real” nature.

Torii is bringing a friend along for the trip – yeah, not crazy about a friend coming along on a family vacation but it was either that or having to deal with a moping teen for 7 days and two 5 1/2 hour car trips. I’m a little worried about how exactly Torii will amuse herself for the week.

Here is what I wrote back in March about what Trashy used to do when a teen on this very same lake:

When I became a teen, I was much more preoccupied with “cruisin” in the search of females rather than baiting hooks. And we did find quite a few – females that is. I, along with a childhood friend, Bill – and of course little bro’ Jim – motored around in our 12 foot aluminum boats with the 7.5 hp Mercury outboards clamped to the transoms. We’d see a boat full of bikinis and quite shamelessly pull up alongside to start a conversation and share a smoke or a beer. We met lots of other kids that way who were on the lakes for the same reasons as we were. To meet other teens and to have fun.

Yeah. Speaking of beer. We did lots of stupid things too. Things that would merit my eldest groundings of unequalled proportions. Like, returning from parties at 2am. In the pitch black. With no running lights aside from a Bic lighter. No lifejackets. And we were never drinking, uh, Diet Coke at these parties.

You see why I’m worried?

That aside, I’m pumped.  And if I find the time – and an internet port – I’ll blog a few scribblings while chillin’ in Parry Sound.

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