Opening Statement



Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Premier Ford: More Political Follies?



Doug Ford: Har! Har! Har! As Ontario PC leader I can take over the world!!! [Not!]

So there are calls for Doug Ford to run in the Ontario Progressive Conservative [PC] party leadership race?!? This story is just too mind boggling to ignore. We do so at our own peril. Doug Ford, and any PC's who would endorse him are delusional if they think he will make a good party leader and potential premier! 

Mr. Ford's supposedly "stellar" Toronto mayoral election campaign was just plain nasty, negative and divisive. It should come as no surprise that former PC leader Tim Hudak thinks Doug is a "real talent". [Link] The Fords share the same neo conservative brand of politics of Misters' Hudak, Harris, and Harper. [Link] We get outlandish claims and divisive wedge issues instead of any politics of substance. We get bullying, name calling and personal attacks rather than any serious thoughtful discussion or debate. It's time to say enough is enough!

Toronto voters clearly expressed their distaste for Doug's "stellar" campaign in preferring to vote for John Torys promise of "One Toronto". Also in voting for Olivia Chow's inclusive campaign. Doug Ford might well be said to have garnered 1/3 of the votes, but think about it. All told 2/3's of voters were ready to vote for "anybody but Ford" when faced with the prospect of 4 more years of division and international derision. [LinkWould we be any better served by Doug Ford as PC opposition leader, or God forbid: Premier?!?



PC's on self destruct? Just what the heck is Tim thinking anyway?!? 

Ontario voters withheld their support for former PC leader Tim Hudak's very similar spring election campaign. His bogus "Million Jobs" economic platform and attacks on working families cost Hudak an election that was the Conservative party's to win. That's why they face a leadership race now in the first place. They immediately kicked him out as leader as soon as the Queens Park legislature resumed! Would they seriously consider more of the same losing proposition by now choosing Doug Ford in his place? [Link]

One will recall that Doug Ford did not get any PC endorsements during the municipal election. A lot of objective, self respecting Conservatives at Queens Park had enough! Indeed, in a rare moment of unanimity, notable PC, Liberal and NDP MPPs, and their back room campaign staff put their differences aside to make sure our city council and thereby the City of Toronto was not crippled and the citizens divided by 4 more years of the Ford Bros follies! [Link

One cannot run a city let alone a province with the political and personal baggage both Rob and Doug inevitably bring wherever they go. Toronto municipal politics is not and should never have been all about the Fords all of the time. We face huge challenges as the world's largest multicultural diverse city. Not to mention our traffic, and transit needs. Or to find positive, constructive solutions to meet the citizens' public service and community needs. 



Doug in high school: 80's Sampson? Thor? Jock hash dealer? 

Instead with Rob Ford, we had a crack head mayor as the cities chief magistrate doing god knows what else with his gang banger buddies! With Doug, there were reports of his own criminal past! [Link] What kind of a leadership example is that for our youth?! And what a bad, destructive tone to set for our politicians and all the varied interests they represent!!!

Let's be frank: Doug Ford's campaign was anything but "stellar" except in the negative sense. For six weeks or so he piggy backed on Rob benefiting from his generic Ford signs and messaging. He avoided debates. Each day was another attack guaranteed to shock and destroy anybody or anything he didn't like. The notion he would be as popular outside Toronto is highly debatable. Much of the province has watched the Ford Follies in Toronto for the past 4 years with shock and ridicule. Not a very flattering picture!

Would we be any better served by Doug Ford as a Mayor, PC party leader, or God forbid: Premier?!? Where did this idea come from anyway? I first saw it floated in the Toronto Sun on election night, within hours of Doug's ignoble defeat. [Link] Can the Sun still take us "back to the future" with Mr. Hudak and Harris's particularly vile brand of regressive, divide and conquer politics? Hope beats eternal in the neo conservative heart!



Doug Ford: what's good for Toronto is good for the province?!?

One hopes that is not the sort of debate, if we might call it that, which Toronto let alone Ontario needs to move confidently together into an uncertain future. If the provincial PC's disagree, then let them continue to waste away in the political wilderness. It is worthwhile to note that it is John Tory, another former PC leader who defeated Doug's mayoral ambitions with positive, constructive promises and messaging. When it comes to the Ford's negative, bipartisan style of politics we would do well to heed incoming Mayor John Tory's promise to not focus on moving to the left or the right, but forward in the next four years ahead. [Link]

The citizens of Toronto, and indeed Ontario deserve nothing less if we are to finally turn our minds to a better future. Let's hope the provincial PC's can finally put aside Harris, Hudak and Ford's ill conceived brand of negative politics and also act positive and responsibly when it comes to working for our common good. Alas! Is that too much to ask? Unfortunately we will now just have to wait to see! 

Despite all the logic and arguments to the contrary, the bottom line is this: PC leadership candidates can sign up an unlimited number of members, each of whom get a vote in the leadership race. Doug Ford comes from Toronto, the most heavily populated part of our province. Does that give then him easy access to the most votes? 

The Fords can potentially sign up all and sundry within their Etobicoke "Ford Nation" stronghold, and among his supporters in north Toronto, especially Scarborough.  The leadership vote could then possibly become skewered in his favour. With the candidates from the outlying ridings having a much smaller base to draw upon, would it be race over for them due to the sheer logistics of the numbers game? 

Perhaps, and maybe for the PC parties good electoral prospects in the next 2018 provincial election as well. Doug Ford might be able to throw his weight around within the PC party pretty much as he will if he decides to run as party leader. That doesn't however mean that the rest of the province, including much of Toronto, will vote for him as premier. In the meantime, we will be looking at over 3 years of a very nasty political side show at Queens Park. Stay tuned folks! Sure, there are lots of maybes and howevers for whatever happens next, and perhaps the really big time Ford Follies have only just begun!



Doug Ford: He wishes! Dream on buddy boy ... Hmmm. Kinda kinky, no?

MORE NEWS LINKS

My comprehensive news link coverage of the Ford Follies back to:

Part 1 Nov 2012  Part 2 @ Here! Part 3 @ There! Part 4 @ Then! Part 5 @ More! Part 6 @ Jan 2014! and Part 7 @ Here!

Scroll down to next blog for my Oct 27th Toronto Mayoral race election news link coverage @ Goodbye Doug Ford?

The rumour of a Doug Ford PC leadership run has been floated a few times in the past. Doug thinks he'd have a good chance of not only winning the PC leadership race but becoming Ontario Premier @ Huffington

Doug Ford says running for PC party leader is now "on the table" @ Globe + Mail

Toronto Sun continues to tout Doug Ford as winning PC leadership candidate @ Sun

More pro arguments for a successful Ford leadership run @ Radia

Doug Ford succeeds in riling and insulting the other PC leadership race contenders before he even enters the race @ Thumbs down?

PC interim leader Jim Wilson speaks about Hudak's removal as party leader. Here we go again? Story @ Hudak



Toronto during the Ford Era: The horror! The horror!

COMMENTS?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Hello John Tory! Goodbye Doug Ford!


After a nail bitter of an election night, John Tory will be sworn in as the 65th mayor of Toronto on Dec 2. The final results of the Toronto Mayoral Race are: 

John Tory 40.3% Doug Ford 33.7% Olivia Chow 23.1% 




John Tory: Raise your hand if you finally won an election race!

From John Tory's victory speech: 
"As your new mayor I will move Toronto not right, not left but forward ..... Torontonians want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed city hall the past few years." 

Here's the full text of John Tory's acceptance speech @ Blogto.com 

Watch it on video @ Here

You can crunch the numbers at the City of Toronto Election Site @ Here

Full results for all the Toronto races, including the mayor, councillors, and school board trustees is available @ National Post

TCDSB + TDSB school trustee winners at a glance @ Inside Toronto

Voter turnout was the highest since 1995 with 60.4% of the electorate turning out to vote. See a ward by ward breakdown @ Global News There's a graph @ Toronto Star

This interactive map shows the resulting geographic divide in how citizens voted across Toronto in the mayor race. Once again the city is roughly divided between the urban and suburban parts of the GTA [Greater Toronto Area]. Doug Ford won heavily in the Ford Nation's Etobicoke bastion and among the Scarborough subway line voters. John Tory took a large swath of the cities urban centre. Olivia Chow won in the downtown west end city wards. See the results @Global News





The map shows Ford won 66% of the votes here in my York South Weston Ward 7. There's no chance Giorgio Mammoliti will be killing any panda bears. He shamelessly rode Ford's coattails to another election victory with 46% of the vote. He defeated the TYLC pick H.M.Keegan by 6816 votes to 471. Runner up Nick Di Nizio got 5274 votes. Alas. More @ Ward 7 

Here's a ward by ward breakdown of the councillor's election results across Toronto, with a brief socio economic description of each ward. Click on the arrow at top for the details in each ward @ Toronto Star

Here's what John Tory promised to do if elected mayor @ John Tory

How John Tory won in 3 Gifs @ Huffington ;-)

A spiteful Rob Ford claimed right away that he plans a Ford Nation comeback in the next election @ Rob Ford

Rob was less than conciliatory @ Ford

Here's what the war on the ground looked like in Rob Ford's ward @ Ford Nation

Rob Ford won a council seat in Etobicoke North, the seat vacated by his brother Doug, who stepped up to run for mayor after Rob entered the hospital for cancer treatment @ Ford Win! Lose!



Doug Ford: Raise your hand if you lost the race!

Allow me a nasty: here's the moment I've been waiting 4 years for! Watch the Ford Bros find out Doug had lost @ Video

The angst was palpable down at Ford campaign headquarters as it became apparent there wasn't going to be any Second Coming @ Ford Nation Reacts

Olivia Chow urges John Tory to "keep the Faith" in tackling inequality in Toronto in a graceful concession speech @ Metro Video @ Jack?

Watch out! There's speculation all ready that Doug Ford should run for the leadership of the Provincial Conservatives to fill Tim Hudaks neo con boots. And howzabout Olivia for provincial NDP party leader? @ Doug 4 Premier?! More in Analysis below ...

2014 Ontario Municipal + School Board election results both Catholic and Public, for across the province are @ Elections Ontario

Premier Wynne congratulates election winners @ Wynne

Analysis:

Scary thought: 1/3 of eligible Torontonians voted Ford despite all we have been through over the past 4 years!



Me on election night!

[I will keep adding links here as more interesting analysis becomes available.]

My blogsite archive contains over 3 years of news links on the Rob + Doug Ford story @ Archive

Labour + business comment on the Tory win @ UNIFOR?

Conservative, Liberal and NDP heavy hitters threw their weight behind the Tory campaign despite past battles + political differences, to defeat Ford. Some backroom notes on the Ford, Tory + Chow strategy @ Backrooms

Was Olivia Chows crushing defeat a major setback for Toronto's progressive left? Read @ Olivia

Early in the race, Olivia looked like a mayor in waiting until John Tory entered the race. What happened @ Globe + Mail?

Olivia couldn't make a breakthrough in Toronto's ethnically diverse suburbs @ National Post



Olivia Chow: Raise your hand if you have grace under fire!

Follow Olivia Chow's polling numbers @ Forum

Do the election results show Toronto divided along class income lines? Read @ Huffington

Was "white priviledge" an underlying issue in the Toronto Mayoral election? Read @ The Torontoist

Why didn't women's issues matter in the Toronto Mayoral election? See @ Rabble.ca

Tory win signals an end to the Ford era in Toronto politics @ Post

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory: different but alike? SeeQP

Would Doug Ford make a good Ontario PC leader? Pretty nasty business! One wonders how many PCs across the province outside Toronto would agree but Doug thinks so. Note: he didn't have any PC endorsements! More @ Doug for PC Leader?!

PC MPP's at Queens Park are for the most part still hesitant to endorse Ford as a leadership candidate @ Premier Ford?

Former PC leader Tim Hudak thinks Doug would be great. Therein lies the rub. Tim's negative + divisive political strategy quite arguably cost him a provincial election that was the party's to win. Do the PC's still think they can stay the same course with Doug? Then there's all the controversy the Fords bring @ Hudaks Pal

Final Word? John Tory promises not to move left or right but forward. Or one might say he won the "War on Drugs". ;-) Anyway, one can only wish him good luck but it reminds me of a Simpson cartoon @ Forward!



"Some win, some lose ...."

COMMENTS?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Is Canada Under Attack?!

Note: Latest updates appear in large typeset!


A gun men opened fire on parliament hill in Ottawa, our nations capitol, today at the National War Memorial, and the Centre Block. Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 fighter jets joined the war against ISIS in Iraq this week. A Canadian soldier was killed in a suspicious incident in Quebec. It is not known if these are related. The news keeps changing by the moment. I will continue to add links here. However, for more timely news subscribe to me at Twitter. Check my tweets sent @

                                                   #davidchiarelli


Terrorism, if that is what this is, aims for a repressive reaction or misstep. Will we now seen heightened police and military presence in Canada? Significant changes to their powers, our laws and civil rights? It is not a question to be taken lightly despite our anger and grief. For an interesting thought piece see @ Rabble.ca

Other Links



Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, RIP!

A witness has identified the shooter as a Caucasian, with shoulder length wavy hair, in his 20's or 30's who's shortly under 6 feet tall. He apparently had a double barrelled shotgun, and was wearing a black coat + blue jeans. It is believed he arrived in an brown Toyota Corolla with no license plates abandoned out front of the parliament buildings. He has been arrested before on drug + other criminal charges. The soldier has been identified as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Hamilton reservist. US media claims they know the name of the shooter, but this remains unconfirmed @ Here

Here is why he is allegedly the shooter @ ???

More on the suspect @ Globe + Mail

All was not well, in many ways, with Michael Zehaf Bibeau. We should be wary before jumping to any conclusions. Here is the statement from his family @ M.Z. Bibeau

A very detailed history of the shooters storied past @ Reddit

Shooter was staying at Ottawa homeless shelter, and expressed upset over passport delay @ Passport

Shooter had extensive criminal past, was a drug addict, and apparently wanted to go abroad for treatment. He had been previously assessed as mentally fit to stand trial on earlier criminal charges charges @ The Plot Thickens!

He was a known crack addict who claimed to be religious and had tried to get help @ Crack

According to Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, no links have been discovered between the shooter + the ISIS terrorist group, although he expresses concerns that Canadians are being "radicalized" @ BBC

No link found between Ottawa shooting + soldier killing in Quebec earlier this week @ BBC

Prime Minister Harper wants to make it easier to arrest "terror suspects" @ Here

New Harper legislation seeks to mimic controversial UK anti terror policy @ UK



The shooter

Video from the scene of the shooting in Canada's Parliament @ Here!

RCMP releases security video of gunman's actions @ A must see!


RCMP claims to have a secret video that shows he threatened to act "in the name of Allah in response to Canadian foreign policy" Hmmm. Slim pickings @ Secret Video?

CBC reports @ HERE!

CBC live feed here @ Ottawa Under Attack?!

The Globe + Mail reports @ More

News video time line shots of today's events @ Global News

Here's a video tour through the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where the gun man was shot @ See here!

Press Gallery live tweets @ Live Tweets

Witness describes scene @ What happened?!?

Another pretty good summary of today's events @ Canada.com

A summary of the last 24 hours since the shooting @ Here!

Some insightful notes on the difference between Canadian and US news coverage of the shooting @ Mother Jones

Description of events from a witness at the National War Memorial shooting scene today @ There!

The effort to save Corporal Cirillo's life immediately after he was shot @ Here!

First person report from inside the parliament building @ Youtube

Photos from the scene in Ottawa at Parliament Hill @ Scary!

A timeline + interactive map is @ HERE!

Maclean's updated interactive time line is @ Here



NOTE: Toronto TTC security is to be increased on rush hour home today. 

Parliament's Sergeant-at-Arms shot and killed the gunman @ Here!

Sergeant-at-Arms took out the shooter with his pistol before anyone else got killed @ Kevin Vickers

Here is his statement @ A Most Modest Hero!

A very thorough report on the Sargeant-At-Arms with some quite amazing photos + videos is @ Here!

Ottawa Police Services statement on today's events is @ Here!


Parliamentary Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers: saved the day!

Canadian institutions under lock down, including Ottawa schools @ Global News

Security at Toronto's Ontario provincial Queens Park legislature goes on high alert @ Here

US White House responds to Ottawa shootings @ HERE!

Is today's incident related with the suspicious death of a CAF soldier in Quebec earlier this week @ Linked?

Canadian terrorism alert heightened in wake of attack @ Video

Obama phones Prime Minister Harper. Now the speculation begins @ Obama

US Secretary of State John Kerry labels Ottawa shooting a "common sense" terrorist attack on Canada, pledges US help @ Thanks but no thanks!



It can't happen here? 

Tips on how to explain traumatic news events to young people @ Tips

After events like this somethings will never be the same again @ Opinion Piece

And now the muscle flexing begins? I hope not @ Ottawa Strong

Toronto CAF off duty soldiers + reservists told to visibly wear uniforms @ Need to be seen?



Canadian Muslim community has clearly denounced Zehaf Bibeau's act

The Canadian Muslim community denounces the attack + fears backlash @ Backlash

The Political View:

Prime Minister Harper + Canadian Foreign Policy: Bet you didn't know we have one eh? But what next @ Ready for Bear?

Canada at war: are the chickens coming home to roost? More @ Bang! Bang? Shoot! Shoot?


O Canada! Who's in charge today? Questions @ More

With all due respect, it never ceases to amaze me when everybody starts blubbering bromides about attacks on democracy + our way of life, when more than 50% of Canadians often don't vote @ Democracy

Canada's Gun Laws + the "Terrorism" issue @ Very thought Provoking!



Harper, Kerry + Baird meet to discuss the terrorist attack!

Prime Minister Harper + the "terrorist threats": Very convenient? Read @ Global Research

NDP Party Leader Tom Mulcair claims shooting was a "criminal" not a "terrorist act". BTW, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau handled the 1970 FLQ Crisis the same way, by defining it as a "criminal" and not a "political" act. The Mulcair story isPET?

Federal Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau wants an all party watchdog keeping an eye on Canada's CSIS "Intelligence" agency, by PM Harper says no. CSIS can look after itself. Sure. Right. Y'bet. Geez! More ... @ CSIS Watchdog?

FROM ONLINE:

"Pain changes people." [anon]

"Hate is the worst terrorist of all." [anon]

"Refuse to live in fear, or under the thumb of those who do." [anon]

"Beware the government that stokes the fire of your fears." [anon]



Parliament today: is Canada still a peaceful nation? Was it ever?

COMMENTS?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

On the Oct 27th Toronto Mayoral Race!


The Toronto Municipal elections on Monday Oct 27 are less than a week away. The positions of Mayor, City Councillors and school board trustees are all up for grabs. Let me provide a brief overview of what the situation looks like at the ground level here in the city.




Elephant in the room: No Ford! No Way! But how to vote?

The 3 main candidates for mayor, of course, are Olivia Chow, Doug Ford and John Tory. Olivia has the Toronto and Ontario Labour Councils' endorsement. She was a city councillor for 14 years before becoming a Federal MP for the NDP. As the widow of the late highly respected Federal NDP Party leader Jack Layton, she might be considered Toronto royalty of a blue collar sort. Party allegiances aren't supposed to count at the municipal level. Regretfully, Olivia has been successfully labelled as an irresponsible NDP big spender, despite her quite respectable track record on financial issues. Unlike the other candidates, she also has a very detailed plan for the city which includes issues like housing, daycare and realistically meeting other local needs at the community level. Unfortunately despite an early lead in the polls she has circled the 19-23% range since the election heated up this summer. Apparently she has an all star war room and campaign team. One would hardly know it. Sadly she has fallen flat and quite frankly, has little or no chance of winning if we are going to be realistic.

It's true that the pollsters have been consistently wrong in the last few municipal, provincial and federal elections. I would put little stock in them. It's been suggested they are using outdated polling techniques. They largely leave out the new communications media while still trying to make home phone calls. Or maybe they are now just quite simply available for the highest bidder, accuracy be damned? After so many bad calls its a wonder they still have any credibility at all. 



Pipe dream: Olivia Chow for mayor?

Unfortunately for Olivia, its quite obvious she hasn't any groundswell of support to suggest her numbers are going to be way off, accept among her own hardcore supporters. Union and party endorsements and help have been low key, while relatively few prominent local NDP'ers and Liberals have been giving her an endorsement. When questioned about the issue of her lack of visible support on CP24 this morning, she claimed that the troops will all be out to help her come election day. Maybe so, but with a flat lined campaign and little apparent fire in her belly despite her dogged determinism who else can they drag out to vote for her? It is with sincerest regrets that I can see her as little more than a spoiler at this point. The great fear here, at the local level, even among progressives is that she will draw away votes from John Tory, allowing Doug Ford to win by default.




The Fords: Lotsa balls but no brains?

Doug Ford is politically somewhere to the right of former Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak. Like Hudak, and his fellow neo consters in Ottawa, he has been ruthlessly pursuing a vicious mudslinging campaign as he attempts to bully and bury his competition deep below all his Conservative bullshit. The numbers don't add up on his outrageous claims that brother Robbie has balanced the city budget and stopped the supposed "gravy Train" of wasted tax dollars. He likewise continues to pursue a very divisive divide and conquer strategy. Brother Rob and he they have at one time or another both been caught making sexist, homophobic or racist slurs against any number of the many diverse citizen groups that make up this fine city. Most ludicrous of all, he portrays himself as the millionaire friend of the everyday working class taxpayer. Those he is supposedly out to serve will ultimately be hurt the most by the Ford brothers continuing privatization and gutting of the cities public services. Meanwhile Toronto continues to be battered with the incredulous antics of brother Rob. He even recently managed to slip out from "cancer care" to blatantly break the election canvassing ban at the advance polls. Mea culpa? Rob Ford has made Toronto the laughing stock of world class cities. However, brother Doug is more dangerous. Unlike Rob he has half a brain. If he wins the chaos and turmoil that we have seen over the last 4 years will only be a prelude of worse to come. 



John Tory: Vote for me + I'll dance the Hokey Pokey!

Mayoral candidate John Tory seems to be the Toronto Conservative establishments alternative to four more devastating years of the Ford Brothers misrule. Doug has labeled John as "Richie Rich" in their millionaire election battle. However Tory is helpfully a very potentially useful tool for continuing the cities moneyed class agenda. Privitization of city services is certainly on the table while his policies for local community support issues remains vague. It's at best hidden behind the red herring of the public transit debate that has become the focus of this years municipal election. On the other hand, John is also a "Red Tory", fiscally to the right, socially to the left of the Toronto political spectrum. It was a position that won him little favour among party ranks as a former PC leader. Before I retired, I monitored him for a few years for my union PAC [Political Advisory Committee]. I don't doubt he consults with everybody, can be a gentleman, and will try to be inclusive of all the cities conflicting and quite varied interests. Its a sad state of affairs when one needs to look back affectionately at the Red Tory years of Canadian Conservatism, but if John represents its second coming, well we would in fact be a lot better off than with Ford and his lot. Hudak has been given the boot at the provincial level, Harper might be vulnerable in next years Federal election. Perhaps a Tory win can finally put the neo con US style Tea Party tactics to rest once and for all here in the city of Toronto too?

Granted, from a progressive point of view one is certainly grasping at straws. Olivia would be the obvious choice. I don't doubt she could do an excellent job. Unfortunately there is little to suggest she can now be much more than a spoiler on election day. So does one vote for the Chow dream ticket or the John Tory alternative on October 27th? I'd bet many progressives aren't going to be willing to risk the catastrophe of 4 more years with the Fords, be it Doug or Rob, after all we have been through. The polls either show John and Doug tied in a dead heat, or present Tory with a 9 point lead. Unfortunately for Olivia these numbers might well tend to scare her potential support over to the John Tory camp on election day. The huge advance polls suggest Torontonians are taking this election very seriously, if not too carefully, perhaps even giving John a majority win.



Toronto Transit Debate: Bottoms up?!

Any discussion of this years Toronto Mayoral election should consider the candidates transit plans, since that is the issue over which they have been making the most hay. I am reluctant to do so because, quite frankly, this is at best a rue. The subway debate in Toronto goes back to at least to the 1920's. Playing catch up at this point would certainly be very expensive, time consuming and disruptive. Toronto was presented with a perfectly fine "Transit City" plan during the David Miller years. With wide indepth consultation a mixed transit plan was developed to efficiently move people about this city in time for next year's Pan American games, and the years ahead. Little or no mention of the plan is made today by any of the candidates, each of whom have been trying to reinvent the wheel with their own brand of one upmanship. Any new plan will require a lot of additional financing. If that isn't going to mean some sort of a huge municipal tax hike it will need to be provided likewise by the provincial or the federal government. The Premier Wynne has been quite clear that the provincial Liberals won't just be giving any of the candidates a green light with their so called transit plans. Indeed they are usually little more than a dream list of fictional remedies that will only delay any realistic and practical solution to the cities transit deadlock for many decades to come.

Of course, the mayor alone, whomever that might be come election day, does not get to arbitrarily decide which way the city will go on any number of issues, including public transit. We also face a very sad sack collection of city councillors from all across the political spectrum. Alas, I live in Councillor Giorgio Mammolitis York West Ward. Giorgio's political opportunism is at best an embarrassment, especially when he sucks up to the Ford brothers even after Rob labeled him as a "Gino". Then there was the self proclaimed left wing conspiracy against him. As a lefty I can clearly state this is pure BS. The bottom line is that the ward hardly needs four more years of Giorgio's toadyism whatever ones' political ilk. 



Giorgio Mammoliti: Vote for me or I'll kill this bear!!!

As in many Wards, one is faced by a mirade of other candidate alternatives, most of them unknown. One might be well advised to refer to the Toronto York Labour Councils [TYLC] endorsement picks in choosing a progressive candidate [see HERE!]. I have participated during their screening process in the past and can confirm that it is very thorough. However, as is often the case when a virtual unknown is chosen one might well be just throwing away a vote, and in this case a chance to finally get rid of Giorgio Mammoliti. Indeed he is especially vulnerable this election with allegations of corruption and overspending. Like it or not, Nick DiNovo a former local rate payers president is the only candidate within striking range of Giorgio. So does one risk his otherwise vague policies on progressive issues just to get rid of the current demon, or vote for a labour dream ticket that will inevitably go up in a cloud of smoke on election day?

When it comes to school board trustees, the TYLC picks especially for the public board, are more likely to be viable candidates, especially considering how few votes are often needed to win. The Toronto public board is caught up in a polarized left verses right wing trustee struggle, while the Catholic board marches to its own odd ball assortment of local right wing parish drummers. The TYLC has ventured a few possible winning progressive Catholic trustee endorsements this year though it largely remains pretty slim pickings.

I'm afraid after all is said and done, a lot of voters are going to just have to hold their nose and vote strategically in this years Oct 27 Toronto municipal election. The bottom line for many of us, including the progressive electorate is that four more years of Fordism is totally unacceptable. Be that as it may I encourage you to check out the labour picks for all the races. Good luck!



Soooo .... If you can't always get what you want? What then???

MORE LINKS:

Counterpoint: Why you shouldn't vote strategically @ HERE!

The case for voting for the best candidate. Rather Polly Anna in my books: May the best person win @ HERE!

A complete list and map for all the TYLC endorsements is @ HERE!

A TYLC report on why this election matters so much is @ HERE!

More TYLC on their endorsement picks + other updates is @ HERE!

On + off the Ford Bros campaign trail: timeline + over 2 years of news links @ HERE!

A night out with Ford Nation! You are there @ No Ford! No Way!


COMMENTS:

Monday, 20 October 2014

Fall Colours: Autumn in Ontario



Yup! Summer is definitely over.

Cool temperatures find me back in Toronto, for the autumn. The winter. I stayed at the lake for the better part of September. Was swimming up to 3 times a day, as recently as two or three week ago, with my wet suit on anyway. The changing colour of the fall leaves was very sensational this year, orange, red, yellow splashes everywhere. The leaves piled up on my trailer deck requiring frequent sweeping. I didn't rake them a lot, the leaves make for good fertilizer, til spring rolls around again. They were a constant reminder that summer is over, even for those of us who didn't need to go back to school or work after the Labour Day long weekend.

Ontario has 4 very distinct seasons. We often take them for granted. It's a part of the provinces rugged northern beauty. I am looking out from my condo balcony here now in Toronto over the Humber ravine, where the autumn colours are still exploding in all their majestic glory. The other night I could hear the flocks of geese head south. It's clockwork; time for them to migrate south again just like they do every year. Huge flocks of them. With a last circuit of the pond, flapping thunderously overhead, they then disappearing off over the horizon. Arriving and departing with the nice weather. Soon, I will be heading south too. I should be getting back to the Cuban Schools, check out how everything is going this year. Maybe teach a bit. Hold meetings in the shade of the palm trees beside the pool at the Melia Santiago hotel. But I get ahead of myself ....



I've been busy "wood shedding" so to speak. On the one hand, I got a bush cord of hardwood, halved, quartered and stacked for next year. Winterized the water pipes and so on. Put everything away in the trailer and shed for the year and drove back to the city. It was getting too cold to be pleasant really. I am not partial to colder climes.

On the other hand, for awhile on the colder, wet days I just stayed inside and wrote. Off in the woods a bit back from the beach, most everyone gone with the summer. It was quite productive! Really, the trailer is more like a house in size and amenities. I was hardly roughing it. So be it. It was quite nice, I could stop and go according to my muse. With  nobody around I could totally do as I please. Got the Bob Marley + the Wailers album reviews started. Redrafted two articles I've been wanting to redo for sometime now. Thought of a few other things I'd like to blog about too, to keep it interesting around here. Not just school and politics all the time. 

I will miss summer by the lake; swimming, hiking, boating, and fishing the seemingly endless days away. Just hanging out with my buddies doing stupid guy things all day and late into the night. Not quite a "Trailer Park Boys" scenario, but pretty close sometimes. No Rick, Julian, Bubbles or J-Rock around but we had our laughs. Beach bumming the days away. Lazy afternoons snorkeling for lost tackle, driftwood and cool looking rocks along the lake bottom. The lads diving off the fishing boat looking for mermaids one night after drinking too much hooch. High times, laughs and lotsa good times, tunes and scheming around the camp fire late into the night. Nobody around to tell us to behave. Put on a shirt. Be nice. Aaaaah those were the daze! I miss it all ready.



Trailer Park Daze: J to the R.O.C?!?

This was my first summer in the Land of the Lakes. The locals tell me it was one of the coolest in recent memory. However, it was warm enough to be outdoors most of the time, which I have long missed living here in downtown Toronto. Now I can enjoy the best of both worlds; country life and the buzz of the big city. Being back in Toronto, doing city things is not so bad when the cold weather rolls around again. It's what I have always done for as long as I can remember. Yup I'm a good old Toronto boy, born and bread. Now I have the option to come and go as I please according to the weather without having to hop on a jet or whatever. 

For the longest time I hated the arrival of fall. It meant the days were getting shorter, the nights longer. With the cold weather came another year of school. Busy busy busy. Now I can just relax and take it all in stride. Summer is still best. I will have many happy memories of this one to keep me warm late into the winter nights ahead. There will be more to look forward to next spring. Maybe when Janet retires in a few more years we could get a place down south, join the other Canadian snowbirds in Florida or somewhere else that's warm. The trailers 40 feet long, too long to hitch up and drive back and forth with each year, but we will have to consider our possibilities.



Lake Mississaganon: Land of the Lakes

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Youtube Bar: Afrika Bambaataa!

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Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!