More site Like InSite needed across Canada

Since opening its doors in 2003, Insite has been a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services – from primary care to treat disease and infection, to addiction counselling and treatment, to housing and community supports.

Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. The BC Ministry of Health Services provides operational funding for Insite through Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates the facility in conjunction with PHS Community Services Society.

Insite operates on a harm-reduction model, which means it strives to decrease the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use without requiring abstinence from drug use.

Since opening its doors in 2003, Insite has been a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services – from primary care to treat disease and infection, to addiction counselling and treatment, to housing and community supports. - Insite website

The decision looks like it paves the way for other supervised injections clinics to open in cities where drug addiction is a social and medical problem.  This is a major breakthrough in the fight to establish effective and health oriented harm reduction programs across Canada.  Next cities on the list to establish such facilities include Victoria, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Halifax. 

Linke: Supreme Court of Canada Decision on InSite here
Open File Vancouver Link

InSite Wins

InSite Wins

Stephen Harper and the the Conservative Government have been dealt a big blow by the Supreme Court of Canada. The court has said the jurisdiction of INSite is provincial and the Federal government must provide an exemption under the controlled drugs act!

This is a huge victory for health care and the war against drugs.

Here is the decision: The appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver), Numbers CA036158 and CA036159, 2010 BCCA 15, dated January 15, 2010, heard on May 12, 2011, is  dismissed with costs.  The cross-appeal is dismissed without costs.  The Minister of Health is ordered to grant an exemption for Insite under s. 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c.19. The order of the trial judge awarding special costs is affirmed

Read the whole decision here.

Update: Globe and Mail

InSite Decision today from Supreme Court

InSite Decision is expected today from the Supreme Court of Canada. 

I can only hope our Supreme Court will allow the site to continue operating.  I was part of the group, playing a small role when we started the ball rolling to establish InSite.  It is vital to the health of those in Vancouver East and we should have more of these operating across the country.  

Dan Gardner has a great column today on why we are even in court. Here is a portion of the column...
A long list of scientific research papers published in prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals showed that Insite had done exactly what it was designed to do. Overdose deaths down. Rates of HIV and hepatitis C infection down. 
"Lives are being saved, diseases are being prevented by this site, and are we putting too fine a point on it by saying the site has nothing to do with it?" McLachlin asked the federal lawyer.
"In the end, this program somehow, while not being perfect, works," interjected Justice Louis LeBel. "Have you evidence that tends to demonstrate that this program doesn't work?"
The lawyer's stammered response: "I think that's a fair observation."
Go read Dan's article.  
Someone once told me, ' your rights are only as good as the next election.'  That line seems to be proved right again as Stephen Harper and his right wing Conservative government try to shut down one of the great successes in treating and supporting users of drugs.

York South Weston headed back to NDP

York South Weston is suppose to be a tight race between the NDP and Liberals.  The NDP won the seat by a narrow margin in a by-election in February 2007. In a general election held later that year the Liberals took the seat back but by a slim of margin.


The NDP now hold the seat federally having taken it from the Liberals in the federal election held in May of this year.  Now we have polling information that shows the NDP doing very well.  Earlier Forum research did a poll of the province.  That poll for the riding showed the Liberals with a large lead.  The sample was very small (186) and a sampling error of 7%.

The Ontario Federation of Labour decided to to poll the riding again using Forum research,asking the same questions but with a much larger sample and reduction in the sampling error.


The poll shows the NDP with a healthy lead.  Its a different game than when this election started.  The NDP and Andrea Horwath are riding an Orange Wave...

Bramalea—Gore—Malton going NDP

There is a wave coming and its Orange.  The Ontario NDP are surging.

Let me show you an example of NDP support. The Provincial riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton in 2007 was Liberal followed by the Conservatives.

In the 2011 federal election the NDP narrowly lost to a Conservative. This timeout the NDP have run their federal candidate and guess what the latest poll shows us here.

Yes its not done but what it does show us is that the NDP have a good candidate and are seriously in play!

This does explain the added attention that Hudak and McGuinty have given the NDP and Andrea Horwath lately.  These numbers were taken before the debate.  1.5 million people in Ontario watched all or part of the debate, almost twice as many as watched in 2007.  With Andrea Horwath's performance in the debate we may even see better numbers than these.

Its another Orange wave!

NDP - most prudent Fiscal Plan

Which party has to most fiscally conservative plan for Ontario.  The Ontario NDP.  Here is what Steve Paikin of TVO said...

Steve Paikin: “Adam [Radwanski] and I actually were both at the NDP launch of their fiscal platform this past weekend, and they do have the most modest financial promises – costed out, independently verified – of all of the four major parties.”

The NDP have also built in the largest contingency (in case everything tanks) fund.

Steve Paikin: “Well, they’ve [New Democrats] got a $1.7 billion annual contingency to take care of the rainy day that may or may not be coming. You guys got that much built in?”
Donald Blair (Progressive Conservative Representative): “We’ve built in a billion dollars.”
Steve Paikin: “A billion? So, not as much.”

Check it out for yourself at the NDP website


How Green are the Ontario Liberals?

Shawn-Patrick Stensil
“They (Ontario Liberal Party) talk about green energy all the time but the majority of their spending goes into nuclear, they don’t mention it once in their platform and there’s a reason for that, they know it doesn’t win votes,” Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst for Greenpeace, said Thursday. - Toronto Sun

The McGuinty Liberals are planning on building four more nuclear reactors at the Darlington site.  The total cost will be well in excess of 36 billion dollars. The cost is an estimate, these reactors typically end up costing two to three times that.

If you want a reminder of the cost, look at your hydro bill every month.  The debt retirement cost is in large part the debt held by Ontario Hydro, primarily the cost of building nuclear plants.

The Liberals and Conservatives both plan to continue the expansion of Nuclear energy in Ontario.  Only the Ontario NDP and Green party committed to not building more nuclear reactors.

Edited to add Greens in line above.

"I have done crazy things," Holland says

"If you vote for the Liberals, I will give you cigarettes," said the then campaign worker, Nikki Holland to people at a Toronto Shelter.  Holland is now the Ontario Liberal Party's operational vice-president.  She was reciting stories to Liberal volunteers attending a training session for this election and was caught on audio tape telling this and other stories.

Nikki Holland
The tape was made available to media today and the Liberals went into big time damage control.

The actual words on tape were: ...

"I have done crazy things," Holland says in the audio recording. "Like ... and if anyone repeats this I'll deny it (until) the cows come home ... I have gone to a shelter in the riding of St. Paul's with a carton of smokes and said, 'I'll give you them after you vote.' I have done that ... but they were already smokers."

True to her word, Holland is denying she did it but the cows may not have come home.  Further she says she was talking about tactics used by the NDP and Conservatives.  Holland says she just got carried away telling the story in front of a partisan crowd, (presumably friendly) and now regrets it.

A spokesperson for the Liberal Party denies the Ontario Liberal Party has ever done this kind of thing but that he has heard lots of stories about dirty tricks committed by the NDP and Conservatives.

Now why would the Liberal spokesperson add to the story with his ludicrous claim of innocence. Angels must be rising from the smoke of those cigarettes or the Liberal spokesperson is smoking pot.  Next the Liberal's will be releasing evidence that McGuinty is related to both Mary, Mother of God and Mohamed.

Holland's story is for her memoirs, not for a class of new volunteers, people that will be out there acting in a official capacity for your party.  And having got caught by your own words, its extremely bad form to blame someone else for your mouth.  Own up to it and hope the story dies.  Blaming the other parties while professing your innocence just makes you look well, it makes you look deceitful.

see Winnipeg Sun 
For audio go to the Toronto Sun here

Both suits now focusing on Andrea Horwath

Things are happening fast.  Now not only are McGuinity's Liberals attacking Andrea Horwath and the NDP, but Hudak is as well.  Internal party polling is obviously showing a serge in support for the NDP after the debate.  Over 1.5 million people watched the debate.  That is double the number in 2007.  That is an incredible number.  Check Angus Reid's poll right after the debate.

The public are tuned in now.  Andrea Horwath surprised many and the results are clear to both the Conservative and Liberal war rooms.  And that is good news for people looking for change.  The Conservative focus could have a lot to do with Horwath gaining fast on the Tories for second place meaning the Conservatives could end up as the third party in Queen's Park.  That won't sit well with many Conservatives.

The Liberals are trying to get the same centre-left folks that are now beginning to break to the NDP.  With that in play, the game changes significantly.  The Liberals grasp on a majority has been slipping for days now.  The debate may have been the decision for many people.  The next polls should capture some of this movement.

It ain't over till its over folks.  Hold on for a wild ride.

A coalition of Conservatives and Liberals for Ontario

Is this what we want in Queen's Park?  A coalition of Conservatives and Liberals?  McGuinty appeals to federal Conservatives because he governs from the right.
“As Mr. Harper said and Mr. McGuinty says, we are doing pretty good. I think that’s why you see many people who voted for Harper federally are the very same voters who are getting ready for vote for Dalton McGuinty provincially.” (Warren Kinsella Ontario Liberal Campaign Manager, Byline with Brian Lilley, September 28, 2011)

Toronto Sun takes Clement out at the knees!

It looks like Tony Clement's days are numbered. Stephen Harper will have to do something dramatic to change the channel.  The Gazebo scandal will not go away. Even the Harper cons can't just take 50 million dollars and spend it in your own riding.

John Baird who has been getting a serious physical work out jumping up to answer questions directed to Minister Clement got testy today, calling the NDP opposition cowards and challenging them to take the accusations outside the house.

Too bad for Baird, the NDP won't be intimidated by his bullier than usual approach. Too late anyway as
The Toronto Sun says, "In short, Clement has repeatedly violated practically all standards of accountability and ethics."

You know a Harper Minister is finished when the Toronto Sun takes him out at the knees!

Update: See Hill Times

Tories accused of using majority muscle to keep G8 spending, other touchy issues, behind closed doors in House committees

Strategic voting is a Liberal ploy

Strategic voting is a Liberal ploy to steal progressive votes. Don't let them frighten you into abandoning democracy.  This is especially true in Toronto.   

In Toronto it is either NDP or Liberal. You can vote NDP in Toronto and not have to worry about the Liberal scare tactic you will elect a conservative.  The Liberals are asking progressive voters to sell them your vote based on fear and made up hype.  

Election after election the Liberals have felt they own the progressive voter. They will campaign on the left then govern on the right. It happens every time.  Mr. McGuinty and his party do not deserve progressive votes, they do not deserve our support.  

The years of Liberal entitlement are gone.  The recent federal election saw Jack Layton and the NDP take most of Toronto. We can do it in the provincial election as well. 

The election is the tightest since 1985. We are headed to a minority government. No one party will get a majority.  Who ever wins will have to work with the others. The NDP are prepared to get to work and will work with what the people give them on election day.  Its all about choices.  

In 2011 people in Ontario have a very real choice, they can vote for real change and it will mean electing NDP MPPs. Andrea Horwath did well in the debates and is picking up support across Ontario. That's another reason you are seeing more attacks on the NDP and Horwath from McGuinty and his Liberal Party.

Finally, a poll by Angus Reid released yesterday indicated voters leaning Conservative and Liberal were more likely to vote for the NDP after the debate.

As Jack Layton said in his letter to Canadians - "Don't let them tell you it can't be done!"

updated video added.

Liberals offer 30% off school

The Ontario Liberals have concocted a great deal for Ontario students. You can take their offer of 30% off the schools tuition.  That's right, whatever the school is charging you for your tuition, take 30% off that.  And each year going forward you can take 30% off whatever the school is charging you for tuition. Students are already paying the highest tuitions in Canada. Do you want to keep paying more?

One of the problems with this deal is there is no plan to keep tuition at today's price. Each and every year the school will be permitted to raise the tuition.  You will pay more in each succeeding year. If you have a student loan it will get bigger and bigger, Interest will be applied and will cost you more.

The NDP have committed to freezing tuitions and eliminating the interest on your student loans. Over your school years this will save you more money. On top of the freeze to tuitions, the NDP will also provide additional funding to schools to make up for lost revenue from tuition increases.


Bad day for Harper and Hudak

Ex-enviro minister: Mega-project jobs should trump green concerns

Wow, is it Christmas time?  Harper has been sailing along, getting few hits that seem hurt, certainly in the short term and then former senior Minister and leadership hopeful (When Stephen is ousted) Jim Prentice says that big projects should trump environmental review.  Its stunning.  Maybe its part of a plan to get this junk out of the way so we forget by the time the next election roles around, but I don't think so.  I think its all about real conservatives baring their underwear for all to see.

Check out David Akin's story here.  Prentice left the Tories before the last election to take a job as vice president of CIBC.

To add to the Progressive folks unexpected Christmas pile was this present.  Brad Trost, a sitting MP for the Conservatives, comes out and blasts his own government over funding to Planned Parenthood.  These things usually come out in threes right? I mean if this happened the goddess must be smiling on us.  

Tim Hudak, Ontario Conservative leader must be shitting his pants right now.  Its going to take more than a recycled Bill Davies to get him out of this quagmire.  As we know Hudak and Harper are joined at the Hip, okay joined in united purpose then! 

Tim Hudak and Brad Trost

OH oh!  The Conservative party may have just lost some of its luster. Check out Dammit Janet for more here. The bigger more important question is this.  Has Tim Hudak to best of your knowledge ever once taken Brad Trost's name in vain?  I doubt it, until today that is...

The horse is out of the gate and taking Tim the wrong way... whoops

McGuinty and big numbers don't add up!

Dalton McGuinty said in the debate last night that Ontario was “the largest job-creator” in Canada and receiving the second-most foreign investment in North America (after California).
These two claims simply reflect Ontario’s larger size and population compared to other jurisdictions.  The proportion of workers who cannot find jobs is actually higher in Ontario than the rest of Canada.  The provincial unemployment rate is 7.5%, compared to a national unemployment rate of 7.3%.
Meanwhile, business investment is proportionally lower in Ontario than the Canadian average.  In 2010, investment in machinery, equipment and non-residential structures as a share of Gross Domestic Product was 8.0% in Ontario versus 11.0% nationally.
National Economic Accounts: http://bit.ly/q681UO

We Need a Strong NDP in Queen's Park

The debate is over and now everyone is debating the winner. Andrea Horwath did what she needed to do. Ontarions who have not heard her or seen her to date were impressed. In fact Horwath surprised many and was seen as the one with the best policies (ipso) and the most likable candidate. This doesn't surprise me, the more you know Andrea, the more you are going to listen and like what she has to say. It is time for a change in Ontario and I like the change being offered by the NDP and Andrea Horwath.

The McGuinty Liberals did not not do badly last night, still they suffered due to the unexpected performance of Horwath. It means the soft NDP vote will likely stay where it is and may even siphon off left liberals and the undecided especially in Toronto. Toronto is the bastion of the Liberals. Has been for many years, at least since 1999. Not so much anymore as the NDP make big inroads. The last federal election saw the NDP become the dominant party in Toronto, displacing the Liberals.

This provincial election looks to do more of that.  Once taken for granted by the Liberals, Toronto is turning their backs on them.  It hasn't helped the Liberals when they do things like   Delay and or postpone things like Transit City.  Those delays implemented by Queens's Park have made it much easier for mayor Ford and his gang of right wing puppies to cancel transit city.  It is one of the bigger mistakes of the McGuinty Liberals over the last four years.

The changes being offered by Andrea Horwath resonate with people.  Things like making life more affordable.  When ever I hear that I recall McGunity raising the minimum price for beer.  I don't expect the NDP will lower it but when McGuinty raised beer from a buck a beer, it was a symbolic slap against lower income people.

Add to that all the costs going up, you see that people are actually hurting more today than four years ago when McGuinty was re-elected for a second term.  He is left announcing some new jobs, which is good, but he can't find the 300,000 lost manufacturing jobs., the 40,00 lost jobs in the North with respect to Forestry.

Horwath's policy to see more Ontario resources processed here versus being sent to the USA or China is a big step in the right direction.  Why are we sending raw minerals to the USA for processing?  Why are logs continually being sent to the USA for cutting into lumber?  These are serious flaws in our economy.  We have these abundant resources in Ontario.   We are losing so much opportunity when we allow them to be developed or value added in jurisdictions outside Ontario.

Then we have Hydro. The Liberals and before them, the Conservatives have privatized so much of it, almost all new power generation is being produced by private developers, locking the province into long term and costly deals.  Try unlocking the Hydro production and transmission details in this province.  We have five main Hydro related corporations, 100's of private producers and all the middlemen.

Horwath is promising to consolidate the five 'Public' bodies that oversee Hydro in the province and refocusing new hydro development under that agency, returning new hydro development to the public sector. Horwath will also end the plans for Nuclear expansion, currently set at 33 billion dollars.  We know from experience that number could easily double.  That's why we have the debt recovery charge on our hydro bills today.   The move will also mean Ontario will create less nuclear waste and can eventually eliminate the need for Nuclear power. (That will be many years away, but if we don't start now, we will never get it done)

Too address the growing power needs of Ontario, the NDP will reduce the demand for hydro by providing tax credits of up to $5,000 to people to upgrade/retrofit their homes with energy efficient windows, heating, air-conditioning and insulation.  This could lead to a significant reduction of energy use, thus allowing for lower energy demands and the need to build more hydro.

Then we have green energy.  The NDP fully support efforts to grow this aspect of electrical power generation and supported the Green Energy Act.  Solar, Wind and Hydro generation will be at the lead in new generation of electricity.  This is a vital step in our efforts to stop polluting our air and water, and reducing greenhouse emissions.

Further parts of the NDP's green plan include supporting public transit in our communities.  Again the Conservatives and McGuinty's Liberals have failed to adequately fund these other than through piece
meal efforts.  McGuinty has not as promised helped fund day to day operations of our public transit.  The province use to fund 50% of the operating costs.  For the last eight years, McGuinty has rejected this action.  By funding our share with municipalities, the NDP will reduce the cost of transit to municipalities, freeing up monies to be used in growing and or improving transit and reducing the tax burden of Municipal taxpayers.

I haven't started on the health care system and Mr. Hudak, that's for another blog soon.

My friend over at Far and Wide asked only a few days ago, why do we need the provincial NDP.  I believe  I have demonstrated the need for the NDP and why it is important people understand the differences between Mr. McGuinty's Liberals and the Horwath's NDP.   The NDP and LIBs might be closer in policy than with Hudak, the differences are wide and significant.



Ready for Debate - Steeltown Scrapper!

Andrea Horwath is ready for tonight's debate.  She met earlier today with a roller derby team. They have dubbed her the Steeltown Scrapper and they gave her a leather jacket!

Andrea Horwath accepts Debate Jacket

McGuinty refuses to allow Audit

The Ontario Provincial Police have been called in to investigate allegations of financial impropriety within the Niagara Falls Tourism Agency.   This after the two government investigations found staff flaunted expense regulations and awarded un-tendered contracts. 

“I think the malaise at that organization has spanned all kinds of different governments,” Ms. Horwath said. Asked if the NDP were a part of the problem as well, she said, “Yeah, well, I imagine so.”  
The Liberals have rejected past calls by the NDP for the Auditor-General to examine the Niagara Parks Commission. “It's clear that the auditor general has the capacity to perhaps disclose things that would make the McGuinty Liberals or any past government nervous, or perhaps uncover skeletons in the closet,” Ms. Horwath said. “What I think we deserve is that independent, unbiased, disconnected look at what's happening.” - Globe and Mail, Sept 27/11
There you have it. The Ontario NDP calling for an audit and the McGuinty Liberals trying to avoid it at all costs.  It makes you wonder why the Ontario Liberals want to avoid in investigation?  


Why GSAs are needed in Ontario Catholic Schools

GSA's in Ontario Catholic schools need help.

The original is here. h/t to 

When will the 'L' fall out of Clement

Hon Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board
The NDP plan to release new information, emails between Treasury Board President, Tony Clement and others in particular Mayor Claude Doughty of Huntsville.  See this report tonight from Stephen Maher of Post Media...
On June 22, Infrastructure Canada official Naomi Hirshberg emailed Huntsville officials to inform them that the cheques would be delayed six to eight weeks so that Carol Beal, an assistant deputy minister, could look into the payments. “The ADM of program operations has asked that Infrastructure Canada withhold all claims for review,” she wrote.

Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty forwarded the email to Clement. “This is totally unacceptable,” he wrote. “I am sure you agree.”
Clement responded: “I agree. I’m working on it.”

These emails provide more light on this developing scandal similar, perhaps as big as the sponsorship scandal that helped sink the federal Liberals in Quebec.  The government official, Naomi Hirshberg was doing due diligence, ensuring the money was being properly spent. I am sure the civil servants were keenly aware that this was a very political file and were doing their best within that context, ensuring government moneys were being used appropriately.  These actions were not only important to the civil service but would also protect the Minister and political masters.  Clement does not seem to appreciate this as you may deduce from the text above.
Charlie Angus, NDP MP

Clement has yet to respond in the House of Commons under repeated questioning by the NDP on the G8 funding. Instead, he has left it too John Baird. Still Baird, Harper's most effective Minister in the House of Commons has not been unable to put this scandal to bed.  Charlie Angus, NDP MP, has been persistent in his questioning.

This one is not going away. Had it progressed before the election, who knows what would have happened.  Certainly Mr. Harper would have has a tougher ride to victory.

I don't know what the NDP have tomorrow, but you can be sure I will be glued to Question Period.

See also
CBC - NDP accuse Clement of using G8 cash as 'slush fund' also see this interactive map from
CBC - G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund

When Chain gangs are in your head

The Hudak Conservatives have campaigned on the idea of putting prisoners to work, cleaning litter from roadways and graffiti from buildings.  Many have jumped at the idea these are like chain gangs often seen in new reels from the southern US or in old movies.

The most hardened criminals having to do this work, to pay for their up keep and the pain they caused society. Now I don't accept Hudak's policy, but I also don't accept some of the attacks against it.

Many people behind bars would love the opportunity to do something that was useful and outside. That's about as close as I can get to supporting the Hudak team's policy.  Unlike the the Liberals attacks on the policy however, I don't fear the Conservatives would allow the dangerous and threatening inmates out to do this work. Even Hudak wants safe neighbourhoods.  

This is an issue that deserves a great deal of discussion.  There would or could be many opportunities for inmates to participate in the broader community as part of their rehabilitation and or reintegration.  Enforced garbage pick up is not the best way to do this.  And Liberal attempts to focus on the sensational don't contribute to an informed debate.

Hudak's policy here is not meant to assist inmates, its meant to be punitive, to remind inmates just how low they are, you must repent for life!  The Liberals on the other hand have done little of their own to address rehabilitation and reintegration.  Their response to Hudak's policy has been predictable. Can you just see the prisoner in chains.  Or worse, can you see that child molester escape.  You can't have it both ways Dalton McGuinty.

Ask Dalton what he will do to address the needs of inmates and society.

Update: This video is why there is no serious discussion can be had on Justice

Horwath Hints at NDP conditions of support

The election is October 6.  It looks to be a minority government at this time. If that is the case there are a couple of things that could happen.  If either Hudak or McGuinty are only a seat or two away from a majority, they could always do what Stephen Harper or Paul Martin have done, offer a plum to a couple of the "bad guys" to join you.  McGuinty could find a Tory that can be bought or Hudak find a Liberal that loves the perks.

The only other option and the more likely one, is for the winner to sit down with Andrea Horwath.  What will she and the NDP want in order to support the government? She won't spill her hand to reporters.  Horwath does supply a hint however...
Horwath tells Toronto Star columnist Martin Cohn ...she will focus on three NDP priorities: Job creation, health care improvements, and affordability (HST reductions). If people want to know what role we’ll take — regardless of what mandate they give us on Oct. 6 — those are the things we’re going to focus on, those are the priorities we’re going to have in place, whether we are government or otherwise.”
The question that isn't being asked of either McGuinty or Hudak is this.  What will you do to get Andrea Horwath and NDP support to form a government! 

McGuinty Channels Harper Tactics

Is there anything McGuinty won't do to get re-elected in Ontario?

We have seen the Ontario Liberals launch one of the most negative campaigns this side of Steven Harper.  Their basic campaign has been to attack the other guys.  To demonize his opponents.  His campaign ads, websites that purport to be independent attacking Andrea Horwath and the NDP, leaflets that look like they come from a third party and only upon lifting a magnifying glass can you see it was authorized by the Liberal party. Classic Republican Party tactics. What's next, leaflets that direct New Democrats to vote on October 7 and Conservatives on October 8?

Then there was the assistance announced as the campaign started for new Canadians.  The benevolent Liberal leader would fund business a lot of money if they hired a new Canadian.  The idea itself is not a bad one, albeit underfunded and too narrow in scope.  The real motivation for the late addition of this to the Liberal Platform was to draw the fire of the Hudak Conservatives, thus avoiding real discussion in the campaign because as they hoped it would, Hudak attacked it.  Bigot the Liberals roared.  Divide and conquer, mission accomplished and we get through the first week talking about Hudak and not our lame program and record.

In a tactic borrowed from Stephen Harper, the Liberals make sure McGuinty never and I mean never meets an Ontarian voter who isn't already a loyal and trusted friend. Keep the media to five questions and then the Liberal Leader has another pressing meeting to attend with more friendly Liberal folks.

The bubble ensures the Liberal leader doesn't have to defend anything he says or his record. The less the election is about McGuinty and his Liberal governments record the better.  This is likely one of the reasons people are turned off voting.

Finally, we have a gas fired electrical plant approved by the McGuinty government in Mississauga. The Liberals were full steam ahead with the plant despite local opposition. The Liberal leader spoke loud and clear, there's no way he will tolerate the NIMBY attitude. That's why he didn't back down on the gas fired power plant being built in a riding held by a Conservative MPP. That's considered proof McGuinty can make the tough decisions.  So far a plant planned for Oakville has been cancelled and in need of every possible seat he can get, McGuinty decides to cancel the Mississauga plant.

I wonder just how much the cancellation will cost us taxpayers, and just where it go?  Look out Beaches East York! Mr. McGuinty won't tolerate NIMBYism, unless of course you're Liberal.

As to the social media campaign of the McGuinty Liberals in Ontario, look here and here for the smearteam.

If you want to know why real issues are not discussed and debated in Ontario, look no further than Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal re-election team.


Ontario Liberal tactics working so far

Here's my take on the Ontario election so far.  The Liberals started from behind and needed a couple boogeymen! Alas they got a woman and a man.  The Liberals have been attempting to, and with some success, to scare the middle that the Ontario NDP would form a coalition with the Hudak conservatives.

Its absurd to think that could happen, but that doesn't matter in politics.  The Liberals have scare just enough people, get just enough of a seed of doubt out there that it could succeed as a strategy.  To date it appears to have worked for them.

The NDP has not been able to match the Liberal advertising to date and are really having to play catch up, making the debate vital.  Horwath has been doing very well.  She will end up up with significantly more votes in this election than the NDP has had in almost 20 years. Those votes however do not at this time add up to a great deal of more seats.  To do that the NDP will need to add another 3 to 5% to the 23% of the vote they have today.  It can happen but they have to counter the negative Liberal advertising.

The election is likely to end up as a minority unless one of the three leaders makes a huge gaffe. The McGuinty campaign allows only one chance in the day for media to question him, they keep it to five questions. No chance beyond that.  McGuinty has yet to meet a voter in Ontario this election that wasn't pre-screened by his team. Hudak is allowing more media, yet he too is limiting his access to real Ontarians.  Horwath is the only leader who is actually main-streets, meets all comers.

My message to those wanting to vote NDP, but undecided because you are worried about a Hudak win, is relax. It won't happen.  That means you can vote your heart, vote NDP, especially in Toronto and the North, Hamilton and area as well.  It is important to have more NDP members elected to ensure we can pressure the minority government after the election.

Poll indicates Ontario Minority Government

Wow, New poll from Forum Research in the Toronto Star shows the Liberals and Conservatives tied at 35% each in what has to be the biggest set of polling numbers in a Canadian election ever, here in Ontario.  The poll has the NDP at 23%.  If the numbers hold up, we will have a minority government and the the NDP will hold the balance of power in the legislature.

The NDP numbers are proving to be very inefficient. Without seeing the actual poll itself, its hard to see where the possibilities are for any of the parties really are.  There is a list of ridings that are too close to call.  According to the Star, these ridings are where the race will be won...
Beaches-East York, Ancaster-Dundas, Bramalea-Gore-Malton, Brampton-Springdale, Halton, Kitchener-Conestoga, Kitchener Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo, London North Centre, London West, Mississauga East, Mississauga Erindale, Mississauga South, Niagara Falls, Oak Ridges-Markham, Pickering-Scarborough East, Ottawa South, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines, Thornhill, Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Thunder Bay-Superior North, Timmins-James Bay, Trinity-Spadina, Welland, Windsor-Tecumseh, Windsor West, York Centre
That's 28 ridings. All three parties have ridings in play.  

The poll has another big surprise in that it shows McGuinty barely ahead in his own riding of Ottawa South. It would be interesting if after the election, the Liberals fail to elect Dalton McGuinty. The various scenarios that come into play are very intriguing. 

When we see more numbers, I will post links here.


Liberal smear on Full Day Kindergarten - They made it up

The McGuinty Liberals have been running a large smear campaign, attacking the Ontario NDP record and misinforming voters.  Here is a classic example of that effort.  The Liberals have set up websites that look like they were created by third party groups.  To compliment these websites they have sent out brochures.  The casual reader of the brochure would not notice the very fine print indicating the brochure was authorized by the official agent for the Liberal party.

The website says the NDP voted against funding full day kindergarten. Now if you asked Ontarions which of the three parties in Ontario would most likely support full day kindergarten, my bet is the majority would say the NDP.  That's what makes the Liberal claim the NDP voted against it even odder.  It doesn't have a grain of truth to it.  It just not a credible claim.

So I went to the record, hansard. Here is a link to the vote establishing Full Day Kindergarten... Its actually called FULL DAY EARLY LEARNING, STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 2010

Turns out the Liberals claim is wrong. The NDP voted for full day kindergarten. Imagine my surprise ;-)

The NDP voted for Kindergarten, and they voted against the Liberal Budget.  So the Liberals are implying that because the NDP voted against the budget, they voted against kindergarten.  I mean really Liberals, why stop there. Why not say the NDP voted against the Police, teachers, public schools, roads, parks, green energy, hospitals, nurses.  That funding was in the budget right?

Mr. Kinsella, you have out done yourself here.  I hope you and your smear team didn't hurt anything trying to stretch this beyond the limit of ridiculousness.

Best Political video ever? I love it

I have seen many political ads in my time, many videos.  Most are not that great.  The video below is likely one of the best I have ever seen by a local candidate in a provincial or federal election.  Kevin Chief is running for the NDP in the Manitoba provincial election.

It doesn't matter if you are an NDP supporter or not, this is a great video.  Its five minutes and worth the watch.

h/t to Ian Capstick on Twitter

You Can vote for Change

In Ontario it is possible to vote for who you want in this election. Especially for those that live in the North, in Toronto, Ottawa Centre, Hamilton, Windsor, Niagara, London,  Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Kingston.  You can vote for change in Ontario. 


Another Ontario NDP Ad - Very refreshing

New Ontario NDP ad - Its about change, about making life affordable, its positive!  Its so refreshing to see an ad that doesn't focus on the other guys, but on what you will do if elected.  Well done NDP, well done!

Ontario New Democrats Release Affordable Housing and Anti-Poverty Plan

“Faced with the grim stats on poverty in Ontario— including food bank use increasing 28% since 2008, waitlists for affordable housing increasing 25% since 2007, and the poverty rate increasing by 17% since 2007 – the most in Canada – immediate action needs to be taken on this crisis,” said Cheri DiNovo, the NDP labour and housing critic. “Other parties may be happy to sit on their hands, but New Democrats are fighting to protect our most vulnerable Ontarians.”

Ontario use to be a beacon to Canadians.  If you couldn't find work, go to Toronto. Go to Thunder Bay.  It was the leader.  Poverty was low, people had housing, education was good and University was affordable.  It all changed in the last 12 years.  

Under the Liberals and Dalton McGuinty, poverty has risen, affordable housing has disappeared with tens of thousands of families waiting for affordable and appropriate housing, and not only are the big banks doing more business and getting richer, their cousin, the food bank is doing an ever growing business.  

This all has to change if we want to maintain and grow the middle class, to raise people out of poverty, to ensure people have a clean affordable and safe place to live.  

The Ontario NDP have a plan.  "The NDP have put forward bold measures to ensure that all Ontarians have access to affordable housing, a decent income, and the services they need to succeed,” said Michael Prue, the NDP poverty critic.  “Simple yet effective ideas like ours will make a real change for those who need it most.”

Have a look for yourself, its right here.

Ontario Liberal Smear Campaign will fail

I would really like to spend this election talking about the issues.  Trouble is the Ontario Liberals and the Hudak Conservatives just want to run negative ads that attack others but do nothing to talk about issues.

The Ontario Liberals fearing the growing NDP support in this election have created several smear websites and have a gang of smear artists on facebook and twitter.  These twitter folks the Libs have, try to look like everyday people. Their twitter info very rarely identifies them as campaign operatives and current Government of Ontario employees.

here is a sampling of misleading or out right lies on a website developed by the Ontario Liberals for the campaign...
Against Minimum Wage Increase
Horwath voted against increasing the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10.25 an hour (April 10, 2007)
Against Making Public Healthcare the Law
Horwath voted against the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act that enshrines public medicare into law (June 7, 2004)
Against Protecting the Boreal Forest
Horwath voted against the Far North Act to protect green space (September 23, 2010)
Against Newborn Screening
Horwath voted against adding over 26 new screening tests for newborns and creating a new screening laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (May 17, 2005)
Opposed Keeping Students in School until Age 18
Horwath voted against the Education Amendment Act (Learning to Age 18) that keeps youth in school halls instead of roaming the malls (December 12, 2006)
Against Reversing PC’s Education Cuts
Horwath voted against reversing the PC’s cuts to education - including billions for smaller class sizes, more schools, and more teachers (Budgets 2004-2011)
Look at the list of headings here. Andrea Horwath must have sold her soul to Tim Hudak. She voted against all these vital programs.  Just how stupid do McGuinty's Liberals think people are.  I suppose it might help them with a few voters but don't you think most voters would see through this kind of crap?

Look at the issues above and ask yourself, "Do I think of McGuinty supporting all of these things or do I think of Horwath and the NDP?

The site provides no links or context.  If Horwath voted against a budget, then she must be opposed to every action listed above.

Lets take the minimum wage issue.  It was the NDP that embarrassed the Ontario Liberal government to act.  Remember the private members bills and the petitions?  That was the NDP working with Ontarians to force the Liberal government to increase the minimum wage.

The Ontario McGuinty Liberals entered this campaign without a winning issue.  They had nothing to take to the voters.  When you have a lacklustre record, what do you do?  You create bogey men. You attempt to make the election about trumped up, fictious, fabricated or half truth failings of the other guy.  In this case, the NDP.

Its not working by the looks of it.  The McGuinty Liberals Smear team is working overtime to protect their cushy government jobs, while avoiding any discussion of real issues.  In the interim the NDP and Andrea Horwath keep ascending in the polls.

You might remember that during the last election the Federal Liberals and Michael Ignatieff ran a smear campaign against Jack Layton and the NDP like the one mentioned above, that went well right Smear team?


Ontario Liberal Smear team

Want to know who the Liberal smear team is?  Here is the A-Team, Dalton's online pit bulls.  Most of them earn their money from taxpayers.  You and me pay most of these people in excess of $40,000 per year and in most cases double and triple that amount, add to that pensions and expenses.

Have a look at who Dalton has hired on the taxpayer dime and see them in action, (I hope they are off duty when they do this stuff) working to re-elect Dalton McGuinty.  They rely primarily on ripping apart other candidates and political parties by stretching the truth or fabricating.  These people would make Karl Rove proud...

: President, Ontario Young Liberals, U Of Ottawa  

: past McGuinty aide & "high priced Liberal lobbyist"  

 Candidate aide to Eric Davis, Liberal MPP Candidate for Kitchener-Waterloo 
Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister at Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services  
: "Social Media Coordinator in the Office of the Premier of Ontario
: Associate Press Secretary, Office of the Premier 
@laurakmiller Chief Operating Officer & Campaign Secretary at Ontario Liberal Party
: Senior Advisor, Office of Min. Deb Matthews 
: Legislative Affairs Manager, Gov't of Ontario  

There are plenty more and in the days ahead we will post them.  Remember, these people are not grass roots Liberal supporters, they have been raised on your tax dollars to do just this, get Dalton McGuinty elected at any cost...