Posts Tagged ‘ontario’

2014 is the Chinese year of the horse. Does this mean I should blow a bundle at the track?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I don’t often “recycle” posts. Yes, I am lazy, but what’s the point of a blog if you just re-post old stuff?

But I thought that I’d dig up last years “Resolutions” post to see how I made out and to add any new stuff. Turns out it was a bit (OK, a lot) of a gag post, but no matter.


Resolutions for 2013 2014!!!…

… Before I have a second glass of Pinot Noir…

- not be as critical of our Dear Leader and encourage all my friends to cut he and his Cabinet some slack. They’re trying really darned hard

12 months later – hmmm… kind of a #fail on this one. But who can blame me! What with the whole Duffy/Wright thing, the ongoing del Mastro thing, the demonization of JT and the killer weed thing,… lotsa things, eh?

- not ridicule Tea Baggers and their ilk who are found south of the border. They think differently from me, but that’s OK.

Well, it’s NOT OK. They are as worthy of ridicule and disdain in 2014 as they were in 2013. Carry on.

- accept that religious arm-flappers may have a point. Hey! What do I know! Maybe there is a big bearded dude in the sky and some old guy with a big boat gathered up all the animals in a storm (except for the unicorns)

#Fail on this one too. I still don’t understand why the unicorns would have been left behind. And the dinosaurs? Why doesn’t anyone think of the DINOSAURS??? There’s a 99,9% probability that I will exit 2014 as I entered it – as an atheist. And if I’m wrong, may St. Unicorn strike Ezra Levant dead…

- understand that guns have a place the 21st century America. And perhaps we in Canada should have one of those Second Amendment things

I’m not making light of this one. After Newtown, this proud and happy father cannot simply swipe this away with a pithy remark. I don’t “get” the NRA. I don’t “get” gun rights advocates who, in spite of the evidence, continue to insist that killing devices like automatic weapons have a place in American communities. Maybe I need to be an American to understand, but from what I see, there are lots of Americans who don’t “get” it either.

Here is the link to a Slate post with some VERY sobering stats.

Wake up, America. You are killing your children.

- add Tim Hudak as a friend on Facebook

LOL! LMAO! ROTFL! Did I REALLY write that?????

But hey! Timmy is best defense that the Grits and Dippers have at Queen’s park to ensure that there will not be a OPC government in 2014!!

- and Rob Ford too

Man. I don’t know where to start with this one. I really don’t. So I’ll just leave it.

- swear off red wine, beer and single malt scotch forever

From a health perspective, this would have been a good idea… maybe this year… nawwwwww…

- give up meat

From a health perspective, this would have been a good idea… maybe this year… nawwwwww…



It’s JANUARY 1 and not APRIL 1!


Happy New Year!

THREE additions for 2014!

Alrighty, then…

And I’m dead serious with these ones…

- I’m going to get fit next year. I really am. I gave up smoking almost ten years ago, so surely I can change my semi-sedentary lifestyle, eat a bit better, etc. I’m 51 now and need to take this shit more seriously… else, I may one day not be around to write resolutions for the following year…

- I’m going to spend more time thinking about my direction in life in general. Overall (except for the fitness thing), I’m a pretty happy guy. But do I want to be doing 5 years hence what I am doing today? I dunno. Maybe a change in workplace would be wise. Maybe not.
Should I run for Trustee again? I don’t know. I do want to get back into local politics, but I’m not sure I want to spend a couple of months canvassing only to lose again due to low turnout and the incumbent’s name recognition advantage. However, I am still very disappointed with her complete lack of engagement with her community. I’ll need to decide on this fairly soon..

- I will continue to work my ass off to be a good husband, father and member of the community. It’s not always easy, but it is most definitely worth the effort.

May 2014 be filled with health, happiness and peace for you and those you care about. (117)

Ottawa, Ontario

John Fraser has earned the opportunity to represent Ottawa South as the MPP

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

The Liberal Party nominee has come under some criticism during the Ottawa South by-election over some files that were the responsibilities of his predecessor, and the former Premier, Dalton McGuinty.

These have not been fair criticisms.

I, as a resident of the riding for 10 years and as an active member of the community, would like to instead point out that John has been a workhorse for the people of Ottawa South. It has been well-known that since the time that Mr. McGuinty became the Premier, that John was the go-to guy. If you had his attention, then things got done. I can particularly point to issues that have arisen in the field of child care whose resolution hit walls everywhere but at the Premier’s office, where John took on these files  and resolved some pretty significant problems.

I read in a recent blog post by a OPC supporter that the Premier was an “absentee” MPP. Yes, of course he was… by necessity. Our MPP had an entire province to look after and needed a strong individual to act as his proxy in the riding. This strong individual was John Fraser. I should also point out that this practice is the norm for all party leaders. When one’s MPP or MP is also a party leader, much of the constituency work must be done by a trusted and reliable member of the staff.

So, enough about John… what about the other candidates?

Matt Young is carrying the Tory torch and he seems like a nice guy and a smart and family-oriented individual.  The fact that I, a fairly well tuned-in community member, have never heard of him should not detract from the fact that he probably would work very hard for the community. However, his complete lack of political experience (according to his Facebook page) makes me scratch my head a bit and wonder how effective he would be at Queen’s Park in advancing the issues that are important to those of us in Ottawa South.

As the OPC’s federal cousins have asked of a certain chap: is he up to the job?

Finally, Tim Hudak is the OPC leader. And as long as this is the case, the OPC stands a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming the governing party. Hudak is one of the OLP’s best asset! Long may he rule!!

So what about Bronwyn Funiciello?

I really have to choose my words carefully here. She defeated me in the 2011 School Board elections, and any harsh criticisms might come across as sour grapes. I do hope what follows are nt seen as such because I respect Bronwyn for her dedication to the cause of education and she won the seat fair, square and honorably. She is a very amicable person who is obviously committed to quality education for the students in the OCDSB. What I question is her current campaign claim about serving her community.

I haven’t seen evidence of this.  Indeed, this was the main reason why I ran against her a couple years ago. While other Trustees on the OCDSB regularly attend Parent Council meetings, school BBQs and other events, Ms. Funiciello has been an absentee Trustee. She could learn something from Trustees Fisher, Blackburn and Shea… different political views, but they are thoroughly engaged in their respective communities.

I’m sure she has been effective as the Vice-Chair of the Board and has been dealing with most Board-wide matters effectively and wisely, but her lack of community engagement makes me seriously question how good she would be at engaging an even wider community than just her OCDSB Zone. An effective MPP (or MP or Trustee) must be able to manage both the broader issues as well as those at the constituency level.

Which brings me back to John Fraser. He will be able to manage both very well; certainly better than the well-intentioned though inexperienced OPC candidate or the experienced, yet somewhat disengaged ONDP nominee. He will serve the people of Ottawa South well.

He has earned a chance to prove me right.

Note: yes, I know there are six other candidates in the race, all of whom deserve our respect for seeking public office. But the three above are the only ones who have a realistic chance at winning the seat. And I’m writing this early on Thursday morning before my son wakes up, so I really don’t have the time to do a critical analysis of each and ever deserving candidate. Though politics as a vocation is a noble pursuit and all six are deserving of our respect. (230)

Ottawa, Ontario

Depressing that the new OLP Education Minister…

Monday, May 6th, 2013

… is confirming her support for the Ontario’s wasteful and discriminatory duplicate school board system.

If there is an election over the Budget, my vote for the Ontario Greens – the only party to say that the system needs a second look – is a lock! (6229)

Ottawa, Ontario

Friday miscellany…

Friday, January 25th, 2013

… colder than Vic Toews at a homeless shelter edition.

Robbie’s Follies… Will he stay or will he go? We’ll know this morning.

As I am apt to do once in a while
, I lamented the absence of a party leader, outside the GPO, with the balls to start the process of abolishing Ontario’s discriminatory and wasteful dual school system. A commenter came back saying that maybe I should be looking for a leader without balls (i.e., a woman).

Now it looks very likely that this will be the case as the OLP holds their leadership vote this weekend

Will the new leader move on the separate school file? Doubtful. But one can only hope.

For those of you who are interested, Scott and some other Progressive Bloggers will be live blogging from the convention and streaming photos at (Twitter account is @Prog_Blog).

The Americans “get” it.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State nominee John Kerry calls global climate change a “life-threatening issue” and says the United States must play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming

I never thought I’d see the day when Canada was an environmental laggard behind nations like the U.S. Sigh.


Here is what happens when you rely too much on the performance of one economic activity to base your fiscal policies on.

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford, in her first TV address, warned Thursday of tough fiscal times and multibillion-dollar revenue shortfalls due to the “bitumen bubble.”

She said the bubble — the difference between the benchmark price for oil in North America versus Alberta’s oilsands bitumen — has grown so wide it will take a $1-billion bite out of this year’s budget and $6 billion the next.

“As we prepare this year’s budget, it means we have to make some very difficult choices,” Redford said in the eight-minute TV spot aired around the province.

I don’t mind Premier Redford. She is preferable to some of the right wing whack-jobs you can find out there in the foothills. But I’m sure most non-Albertans aren’t shedding any tears over Alberta’s financial woes.




Scared ya, didn’t I!


Sun News Network, that fearless foe of state subsidies for the CBC, wants you, Dear Television Viewer, to directly subsidize it to the tune of $18 million a year.

Have no doubt, that’s just the beginning, but it would nicely cover losses the company says now amount to a modest $17 million a year — hardly a corporate killer, one would think, but apparently enough to get Sun News queuing up at the public trough.




Ottawa, Ontario

So Bill 115 has…

Friday, January 4th, 2013

…imposed “collective agreements” on Ontario teachers. And this has likely poisoned the relationship between the Ontario government and its teaching professionals for years to come.

One cannot help but wonder if this measure would have been needed if the province were to abandon its duplicate,
discriminatory and wasteful system of two school infrastructures.

I guess we’ll never know until a government has the balls to look at this issue from a non partisan and objective point big view (141)

Ottawa, Ontario

To all those decrying…

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

… the ONE day walkout by elementary teachers today.

Suck it up.

This is democracy in action, regardless of whether or not you believe that teachers (or anyone else for that matter) should have the right to strike. Under the current law, they DO have that right. This. Is. A. Fact. Look it up.

Go ahead, my conservative friends, knock that one down!

And it is only ONE day! I remember that back in 1982ish my brother having to move way from home to complete his Grade 13 because the West Parry Sound School Board teachers struck for MONTHS!

As I am typing this (oh, btw, I’m home with the kids today – and don’t begrudge the teachers one bit), I am listening to a Barrhaven mother being interviewed on CBC who is expressing her worry about her children having to be exposed to picket lines!

I’m serious! She is worried about her kids being exposed to democracy!

Of course, she is from Barrhaven… :) (124)

Ottawa, Ontario

Job action by the elementary school teacher’s union…

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

From the OCDSB site.


ETFO Work To Rule Strategy

Effective Monday, December 3, 2012, OCETF Members Will:

NOT participate in any school-based or system-level meetings including staff meetings, committee meetings, division meetings, Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings, and School Improvement Plan (SIP) meetings, student of concern meetings, team meetings, etc.;

NOT attend any board sponsored professional development workshops/activities/events;

NOT conduct any reading, writing, or mathematics diagnostic assessments i.e., CASI, ELOT, EDI, DRA etc., other than those that the teacher deems necessary;

NOT fulfill any administrative duties such as filing, sorting of documents for OSRs, completing or verifying attendance registers, data entry, computer site administrator; collecting of monies. (Note: collecting monies is permitted for activities initiated by the teacher);

NOT act as admin. designate or teacher in charge where the role is voluntary, i.e., without pay; this does not apply to the normal admin designates who receive a stipend for this role;

NOT participate in any EQAO related activities or testing;

NOT participate in any Ministry initiatives connected to the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat/Student Success/Learning to 18 (e.g., Schools In the Middle (SIM), Teacher Learning Critical Pathways (TLCP));

NOT participate in parent interviews outside the instructional day;

NOT participate in field trips, play days, or class excursions as of December 10, 2012;

NOT attend attendance management meetings;

NOT participate in voluntary/extra-curricular activities;

NOT distribute for management any board or ministry memos about the union’s work to rule or labour negotiations to students or parents.


OCETF members will:


CONTINUE to teach and provide extra help to students during the instructional day;

CONTINUE to take attendance;

CONTINUE to maintain contact with parents regarding students during the instructional day;

CONTINUE to provide scheduled supervisory duties.


Ottawa, Ontario

Awesome motion passed by the OCDSB last night!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

… especially point “C”.

It won’t make a hill of beans of a difference, but the Board said what needed saying.

Thanks to @nancy_akehurst for the pic.


Ottawa, Ontario

Teachers and extracurricular activities

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Teachers in many of Ontario’s School Boards have heeded their union’s advice to take a “pause” from coaching or otherwise being involved in extracurricular activities, such as sports team, in protest of the Ontario government’s recent legislation imposing salary freezes, etc. And, as is always the case in any type of labour disruption in the education sector, the students are the ones who feel it the most.

So what to do?

The teachers are well within their rights to hold back these unpaid services. They are paid to deliver a provincially-mandated curriculum to the students and anything outside this is unpaid labour. So I can’t argue with their frustration over having bargaining rights taken away and their reaction. This is the only legal tool they have.

So if teachers are – at least temporarily – out of the picture, who picks up the slack?


Maybe. But those parents who are active in the community and the likely suspects to step up and coach the Junior boys soccer team are already stretched for time. I know. I’m one of them. That is the case in my little corner of Ottawa and I suspect it the same elsewhere. There might be a bit of a community pool to draw from, but it would come nowhere near to filling the gap left by the teachers.

As well, there is the whole security issue around having parents lead these teams without some sort of oversight, as in police checks.

Trustee for zone 3, Donna Blackburn, said she has been inundated with phone calls from parents who were frustrated about the parameters of volunteering and the deadlines for getting involved.

Adams said all volunteer coaches and assistant coaches need to go through a process, including police checks.

“Our No. 1 priority is student safety,” Adams said.

The deadline for winter sports is Oct. 31, she said, and that the board will work with principals to get the information about volunteering out to parents and other interested members of the community.

So, for all practical purposes, parents and other members of the community might help, but only a bit.

A logical longterm solution might be to have the teachers play a supporting role only and hire professional coaches who could manage a few different sports. But that would cost money and neither the Boards nor the province have any dineros to spare these days… unless…. hmmm…

We DO have this wasteful and discriminatory duel education system in Ontario… I wonder if there could be adequate cost-savings realised by MERGING the public and seperate Boards? Hmmmm?

Of course we don’t know the extent of the cost savings because no government has had the balls to do an independent, unbiased analysis of our publicly funded education system. Even if the savings were only $20 or $30 million annually, that would hire a few hundred pro coaches at 60K a pop or so.

Just sayin’…


Ottawa, Ontario

More and more…

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

… I’m thinking about getting involved with the Green Party of Ontario.

They are the only Ontario political party who has taken a rational stance on our wasteful and discriminatory duplicate system of education.

Party leader Mike Schreiner wants a public commission to study the best way of amalgamating the separate and public systems into one French and English organization.

Schreiner was in Waterloo Region Wednesday supporting Kitchener-Waterloo Green party candidate Stacey Danckert. The pair spoke to the media from Danckert’s backyard.

Ontario is the only province that funds one religious school system at the exclusion of all others and it needs to stop, Schreiner said.

“Is it fair that public dollars go to an organization that excludes two-thirds of the eligible teachers of being hired based on religion?” he said. “Where else in our society would we allow that?”

Instead, all three “old” parties at Queen’s Park refuse to talk about the contentious issue and choose to “slam the door on even having a conversation about this.”

I like the cut of this guy’s jib… gonna have to look a bit more carefully at their other policies. But, if you have ever been here before, you will know that this is a big issue for me.




Ottawa, Ontario

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