If you pass this bill, I'm going to make you forget about Mike Duffy

Terri-Jean Bedford

"If you pass this bill, I'm going to make you forget about Mike Duffy," 
- dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford

Bedford made the statement as she was sent from today's senate committee hearings into Bill C-36. It seems the one person successful in getting the court to overturn Canada's prostitution law wasn't going to be given a second more than her allotted time to address the legislation.

There's too much going on right now so I'm sending you over to Dammit Janet blog for much more on Bill C36 than you will find in the mainstream media or anywhere else for that matter.

Wacking the Piñata.

C36 — the Harper government, with its usual doublespeak flair, titles it the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act — is justone MASSIVE piñata of a Bill.  And when it is whacked, all sorts of goodies come tumbling out. Like Don the Plumber's John School™ - but more on that, later.

No no no.  This piñata  is NOT what you think it is.  Get your mind OUT of the gutter.

BCED strike a result of Christy Clark's Vendetta against the BCTF

BC workers are sticking together. Today the BC Federation of Labour and it's affiliates came up
BC Fed give $8 million to BCTF
with eight million dollars to support the BC Teachers who are on strike in BC.  The BC Nurses Union separately donated $500,000. The BC Government has been especially nasty in this dispute, having lost in the courts twice now and waiting for an appeal which they will likely lose, they are trying to starve out the teachers before that appeal can be heard.

So far teachers seem willing to stand up to the government. Today the teachers are holding a vote of its members to see if they will accept binding arbitration. The union has made that offer to the Liberal government, as a means to ending the strike and getting kids back to school. The government has flatly rejected the offer.

The Liberal government seems to know they will lose their appeal in court in October, they can't simply order teachers back to work and impose a contract as that too would likely see them lose in an even larger court case.  This is a last ditch attempt to keep teachers off the job, hopefully starve them into accepting an agreement which is significantly lower than what the courts have already decided.

Liberal Premier of BC Christy Clark 
It's a vendetta, Liberal Premier Christy Clark is adamant she won't give anything to teachers, unless they are in the private sector, where her own son attends a posh private school.

John Tory will implement Ford, Hudak and Harper's agendas

The ballot issue in Toronto has been defined as anyone but Rob Ford. Ford has embarrassed us all. He was unfit for the job and no one wants it too happen again. It's not just Ford's antics, drugs and friends that were bad for Toronto however. He is a right wingers dream. Recall he was part of the Conservative trifecta, Harper, Hudak, and Ford.  A group that current mayoral candidate John Tory supported both by publicly endorsing all three and with his wallet. 

It seems progressives in some numbers are willingly wearing blinders as they they pretend this election for Mayor is really only about getting rid of Rob Ford.  Their blinders allow them to ignore that John Tory is Rob Ford with a huge dollop of sophistication.

I have to admit, Tory has run a good campaign. He hired one of the best in the business, a guy who pretty much only works for very conservative folks. He was very successful in BC electing Christy Clark Premier against all odds.  He's managed to this point to do the same for Tory. 

On the other side of this is Olivia Chow. She attempted to broaden her appeal early on and that seems to have pissed off some lefty progressives. The Chow campaign, the only one of the top three to put out extensive policy positions, suffers from a progressive campaigner's biggest risk. You aren't proposing enough for my one issue.  

I know quite a few progressives who detest Rob Ford and John Tory, yet spend all their time condemning Olivia Chow because her campaign isn't 100% behind their one issue.  They are willing to go to the matt on that one thing. In some cases that means beating the crap out of Chow publically and then quietly voting for her (damage done), not voting for her as your principles won't let you, better to not help elect the most progressive person even if someone far worse benefits.  

Well, the reason the right wing wins in this country is because they generally understand it's better to have some of the loaf than none of it. An example would be the choice/abortion issue. I know many conservative folks that are pro-choice, yet they vote for a MP or MPP who is strongly anti-choice. 

The last time progressives worked together in Toronto was the re-election of David Miller. Rob Ford was elected, again in large part because we progressives were split and John Tory's current campaign manager was Rob Ford's manager. He's good. 

John Tory will be a disaster as Mayor. Do any of you recall his positions as leader of the provincial conservatives? What about his current views and his support of the Harper government? And today, two GTA Harper MPs have endorsed John Tory.  

John Tory will implement Ford, Hudak and Harper's agendas. 

Olivia Chow will be a progressive Mayor. 



Liberals Assault on Public Education

BC's public education system is facing a major assault from BC's own government.  The Liberal government has decided to create a catastrophe in order that they may take more draconian steps to put teachers in their place.  It's play right out of the playbook of the republicans in North Carolina, where once they had a great system, until the government there decided to turn as much education as they could over to the private sector, whilst starving those still in the public system.

Today Virginia of all places is running ads in North Carolina recruiting teachers, can Alberta be far behind Virginia?

One of the better pieces on the mess in BC's education system was written by a teacher. This teacher identifies as someone who usually votes conservative, who has never been so much as a shop steward and past Rotary president, now finds she has to speak out.

Here's an excerpt...  
I am not a political person.I voted conservative most of my life.  I have never canvassed for a political party.  I
Shawn Bird, BC Teacher
have never held any union position, even  something as innocuous as shop steward. I write a daily blog of POETRY, not political commentary.
I believe in a ‘live and let live’ attitude about most things, but I have voted every election since I was old enough.  I take my responsibility as a citizen very seriously.  I try to be educated about my opinions.  I seek information from those who know what’s going on.  I don’t trust the news to tell me the whole truth.  I am living in an Orwellian world these days where politicians and some news stories are making declarations completely opposite to what I know is true.  Because I am a BC teacher, I live in an alternate reality to the one the government describes. 
Calling a black cat white does not change the fact that it is a black cat!
Here’s what I know. 
After then Minister of Education Christy Clark ripped up contracts with BC teachers in 2002, I watched money leak out of our schools.  We haven’t been able to replace text books. Our rooms don’t get cleaned thoroughly because custodial time is the bare minimum.  I’ve seen libraries closed, until to be  full time a librarian must work at 3+ schools. I’ve seen arts education cut.  I’ve seen learning disabled kids unable to be diagnosed because there isn’t funding for it.  I’ve seen needy kids partnered with kids who have a designation so that a Education assistant can help several of them together when they each need one on one help.  I’ve seen buildings and equipment falling into disrepair.  I’ve seen copying budgets run out months before the end of the year.  I’ve seen teachers feed kids.  I’ve seen parents and local corporations donate food to kids who would otherwise not have breakfast or lunch.  I’ve spent a fortune on supplies for my class room- supplies that I can not deduct from my taxes like other professionals can. 
The BC Liberal government announces that they’ve ‘increased funding to school districts’ and on paper that’s true, except they’ve also required districts to pay millions of dollars from their budgets, for things that the government previously funded separately.  Money that used to go to students now pays for earthquake proofing and the like.  Hydro has gone up.  Gas has gone up.  But the allowance to pay for them hasn’t. 
During the strike the government announced that teachers are demanding triple the benefits of any other group.  Such doublespeak!  They don’t tell the public that what they call ‘benefits’ in that statement refers to ‘everything that isn’t wages’.  In other words, things like class size and composition funding, support staff like teacher assistants, and non-enrolling teachers like librarians and counsellors. These are not benefits!   Those are properly staffed and funded schools!  Does a doctor call his nurse, receptionist, and stethoscope ‘benefits’?   The public, of course, imagines ‘benefits’ are simply extended health and dental and so believes the government lie that teachers are greedy.
Shawn goes on to make an even stronger case for teachers, you can read her whole blog post here..

Commentary- BC Government Extortion & Orwellian Life

Thanks to Raffi for the link


The NDP - Big step reaching out to new voters

Andrea Horwath has abandoned NDP principles for self serving reasons, like getting elected.  I hear this, see it online and its the main stream media primary talking point.  Is it true? 

Some background...

The NDP in Ontario after Bob Rae was a basket case. They lost the support of major union leaders and all but the most dedicated lefties stuck with them. The Conservatives won in a landslide in 1995 and remained in govt till 2003 when an energized Liberal party took power, largely on the basis of theWalkerton scandal, teacher and union support.

The Liberals won and the Harris years ended. Early on, a better arrangement between the Government and unions took hold. When the Liberals would stray too far, the unions would call on the NDP members at Queen's Park to stand up to the government, particularly close to elections. It generally worked.

The NDP under Howard Hampton ran 'traditional' NDP campaigns. Always front and centre were the issues of the poor, people on welfare and tax increases on the rest of us ( I simplify). They never came close to winning, albeit they were congratulated by the Lefty Purity committee.

After losing again in dismal fashion in 2007, the NDP took another course. Andrea Horwath became leader. The NDP again ran on a platform largely conforming with the purity committee in 2011. They made some gains, in my view due to the new face of the NDP, it's new leader.

This election is different. The NDP knew going into this, the Liberals would be the biggest benefactors of big union support with the exception of a few unions, that has been the case. Unions are supporting the NDP where they have an MPP and in areas where they think the NDP is better placed to beat the Hudak candidate. And this time some of those union leaders are being very public about their lack of enthusiasm for the NDP.

Let's get back to the NDP's vote base. While union membership in Ontario is around 30+%, the NDP can only claim a small base of about 15 to 20% of voters. This despite their leader being the most popular and trusted politician in the province, year after year.  That vote base has to expand. If it doesn't they need to reconcile their role with the results.
To win an election in Ontario, a party needs to be in the high end of things, 37 to 40%. That's almost double the NDP traditional support base. 
Okay that's where we are in battle, the NDP platform next post...


Ontario Liberal Maid scandal

You may have heard about the Ontario Liberal Maid scandal. It seems three Liberal Cabinet Ministers and a lot of Officials in the Liberal govt received free maid service from a company that then over billed the government for other services to make up for the free service. 

Rick Bartolucci
Harinder Takhar

The Ontario NDP asked Premier Wynne to tell us who the three Cabinet Ministers were that received the free services. 

The Premier refused to answer.  Well, the NDP has found out who two of the three are. Allegedly receiving free service were Ministers  Harinder Takhar and Rick Bartolucci.  You can read all about here.

Sign this petition to put pressure on Wynne to release the names of the Liberal MPPs who had their homes cleaned for free, or call 1-844-LIB-MAID to find out more.
updated with petition site.

Fake protestors, Fake Twitter; what's next from Ontario Liberals

From faking NDP members at an Andrea Horwath campaign event to faking grassroots support via astroturfing on twitter, the Liberals are proving they haven't changed under Kathleen Wynne. The astroturfing was uncovered by the Ontario NDP. The campaign was designed to show grassroots support for new taxes, in all it cost us $999,99.00.
New documents show the Liberals directed high-priced consultants to create fake twitter accounts as part of an astro-turf campaign designed to suppress public criticism and manufacture the appearance of grassroots support for their plan to hit families with new tolls and fees. More here.
The Liberals started the week with fake protestors at an event organized by the Andrea Horwath's
campaign. They were caught out by the media, because, they still were wearing Liberal branded election buttons etc.

When pointed out by the media, the quasi official from the Liberal campaign that follows and records all that Horwath says and does, told the protestors to take buttons off. He did not say, "hey guys, go home, this is embarrassing, this is not working so well."


5 Cheques in all the fifth being a Govt of Canada cheque in the amount of $1,700.

Fontana, former Liberal MP and a big player within the Ontario Liberal Party is in the middle of his fraud trial in London. This little bit of information is interesting; 
The total owing for the wedding was $18,900, DiPietro testified – the amount minus the $1,700 deposit. He received $8,630 from the bride’s parents, $5,000 from Fontana, $3,570 from Fontana’s mother.
Records seized from the Marconi Club show five cheques were used to make payment on the wedding, Zuber said, the fifth being a Government of Canada cheque in the amount of $1,700.
You can find more on Fontana's fraud trial here and here and here and here