Category Archives: Ontario Liberal Party

Heather Mallick ignores Andrea Horwath as the only party leader who rightly champions women’s rights, or sorry sister it’s hard out here for a Liberal shill like me

According to Heather Mallick in Today’s The Star:

But what he and Hudak and Harper should understand is that abortion is not a “chip” on a woman’s shoulder, it is her body and her life, her internal sanctity and her choice.
I am warning those who want Canadian women to lose their right to abortion that this will not be a skirmish. It lives in the hearts of girls and women. We will fight you on this.

Sweeet! We’re going “progressive” with this election. Only two questions Ms Mallick.

1. Why snub a sister like Andrea Horwath? She after all is one of those in whose heart lies the fight to preserve a woman’s right to choose. Secondly, she’s leader of the only unified, positive, and progressive political party out there.

2. Why would a feminist shill for an avowed Roman Catholic man? There are few symbols that conjure up the history of exclusion and systemic violence against women than the RC Church and powerful male politicians.

Lastly, a question for “progressives”. Is it possible that the latent, less obvious forms of sexism that well up occasionally from Liberals actually represents a more refined, opportunistic, and insidious form of discrimination -even if Liberals are more likely to “apologize” for their cock-ups???  Remember this???

Trivial or insidious sexism???

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McGuinty all rhetoric on abortion, or how does an avowed Roman Catholic maintain any credibility on feminist issues?

The recent turn by Ontario Liberals to dredge up the abortion issue is quite fascinating. Is it out of sheer desperation to change the channel? Is it a suicide pact?  A vain attempt to hold on to “progressives” they’ve manage to fool in the past?

Although McGuinty has done little of the talking, how could one fail to see the glaring contradiction in an avowed Roman Catholic posturing as a feminist? So speaking of “choice”, it seems to me a serious feminist Roman Catholic would have only two choices vis a vis this horribly stratified and perverse expression of Christianity, one which has been unfailingly misogynist and conservative.

Choice one: Claim Roman Catholicism but work tirelessly to reform it from within. As a “progressive” Christian, I have often asked some of my female RC friends how they find it possible to remain within such an oppressive, hierarchical structure, particularly an institution from which they are barred “full membership” (not having a right to ordination or to fully preside over the sacraments is not being able to be a full member.) A very compelling response from some of these friends has been 1) I stay because it is part of my story and I want to help change it into the institution is should be. 2) I stay because without me to show love and support, it would be an even worse place for women and the LGBT communities.

Choice two: Walk across the street to any number of truly progressive expressions of Christianity, such as that eminently Canadian institution, the United Church of Canada.

Thus, I’m only being a little facetious when I ask how can McGuinty confidently claim credibility on the “progressive” file, especially the feminist file?

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Add Wild Hyperbole to their Campaign to Woo "Progressives"

As part of the Ontario Liberals’ suicide pact, I mean campaign to woo progressive voters we get this nasty example of hyperbole in the hopes of redirecting the coming election away from pocketbook issues towards “progressive” issues. Gritchik opens yesterday’s blog posting with this doozie.

“Since Dammit Janet! helped vault Hudak’s position on abortion into the internet stratosphere”

Just a tad overstated, no? I mean, Oslo bombing, US debt ceiling, Amy Winehouse’s death, and, of course, Hudak predictable stance on abortion? Or perhaps just desperately wishful thinking. Polling must be showing an even bleaker picture than already portrayed. Liberals now seem in a desperate fight to hold onto second place. Trending and recent history of the May election are certainly not on their side.

I’ve been canvassing in probably Ontario’s most progressive riding and not one person has brought up women’s reproductive rights at the door. Nor has one person mentioned Hudak’s stance on abortion. But I hope they do, since in the Liberals there is a caucus divided on the issue and in the NDP there is a caucus united around the issue.

What I don’t understand is why the Liberals think they are well positioned to capitalize on “progressive” issues. It clearly appears that to The NDP, as we saw in Canada’s most progressive province (i.e. Quebec), is overwhelmingly where progressives are turning.

Finally Canadians realize that 1) Liberals are not Progressive and 2) It is possible to get out from under the tweeddle dee/  tweeddle dum, one party faux democracy under which we’ve been held hostage for so long.

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Predictably Resort to Useless Smearing and a Failed Strategy

So the Ontario Liberals want the coming provincial election to be about ethical issues such as women’s reproductive rights. Now I get the strategy. Distraught with their free falling in the polls, the Liberals are desperate to pander to their supposed base (i.e. progressives, women, progressive women) and thus have taken to publicly demonizing the Tim Hudak and the Conservatives. Now I also get that Hudak is pandering to his base and to women with his whole tough on crime shtick.

So in the past few days, the Ontario Liberals have attempted to undermine Hudak’s integrity with charges of waffling on issues, calling him a weasel, circulating pictures of of him next to a weasel, and dredging up his previous statements on abortion in an attempt to move the electorate to a deep foreboding over this horrible monster that is Tim Hudak. Isn’t it interesting to have two men, both of whom have questionable records on feminist issues fighting to see who is more feminist? Of  course, the obvious feminist choice in the coming election is Andrea Horwath and the NDP. Some thoughts on this whole fiasco.

It’s smearing and and has no place in civilized politics. Intelligent voters want democracy based on issues and debate not character assassinations. Just because it’s effective, especially when done by an unscrupulous, well oiled and primed machine like the Harper regime, doesn’t mean it’s right. Btw, the OLP is not the CPC. The OLP’s smears will not be as effective and Liberals are underestimating the intelligence of the voter base they’re trying to solidify.

While I understand that it would be suicide for the OLP to laud its economic platform and achievements, trying to run a campaign right now on ethics/morality will just as likely lead to the decimation faced by the federal Liberals in May. And that pleases me.  Actually secretly I’m quite pleased the OLP is deploying this strategy.

Canadians discovered many things in the May election. Foremost, the electorate discovered it has the freedom and license not to stick with the same old/ same old “two party system” (in truth we’ve endured a system that masquerades for the one party wantonly pro capitalism and pro big business system that it really is). So change is possible but not with either the Liberals or Conservatives. Related to this was the realization that for women, progressives, youth, the marginalized, workers, and the middle class, the far more authentic voice is the NDP and thus, the Liberals have essentially become redundant and irrelevant in the current political landscape.

This, of course, is why the Liberals are desperate to shore up want they traditionally have considered their base. At this point, I believe, the OLP has given up (and the polls certainly bear this out, indeed I wonder what the Liberals; own polls are showing) forming the next government, but they are desperate to hold on to what they can. But what they fail to see is that running on the moral high ground is disastrous for them right now, just as it was for Ignatieff to run as defender of democracy. Why?

First, the Liberals have squandered any and all moral capital they may ever have had. Liberals just don’t have any credibility on that front. McGuinty has been caught repeatedly  in public treasury mismanagement from slush funds to ehealth to exorbitant salaries for senior public servants. McGuinty was part of what provinical ombudsman described  as among the most flagrant civil rights abuses in Canadian history in the handling of the G20 protests. The use of diesel trains and the party of big Nuclear. McGuinty has continued the assault on organized labour launched by Mike Harris etc etc.

Second, the NDP has surfaced as the legitimate and powerful voice for progressives. While the NDP has always been considered as the party of conscience and defender of human rights and the environment, until recently the NDP was not always considered a credible alternative.  May 02 changed that and the tarnished image left by Bob Rae is no longer in play as it once was. I look to the NDP to come up big in the coming election. So OLP keep pushing your base out your right and left door into the waiting arms o the Conserevatives and NDP respectively.

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Desperate to make political hay resort to outsourcing derangement syndrome

In response to the outrage expressed by the handful of Ontario Liberals still hanging on to that sinking ship over the American photo gaffe by the NDP, I redirect you to the biggest such gaffe of them all: The Ontario Liberals outsourcing provincial flags to China. Procurement of the provincial flag, which as McGuinty admitted, “there’s nothing nearer and dearer to the soul of our province than the flag” was being outsourced to China, resulting in very little savings, lost Ontario jobs, and lesser quality flags.  So Liberals before becoming unhinged by a little gaffe, re-read this piece from a couple of years back:

Outsourcing outrage; Province having its flags made in China only saves a few pennies

Column by Joe Warmington, Sun MediaPosted 2 years ago

For crying out loud, even the Chinese consulate in Toronto doesn’t order its flags from China!Only the Province of Ontario would do such a thing to cannibalize its own workforce.It is disgraceful — although perhaps fitting Ontario now has its own provincial flag made in China, where the rest of the province’s jobs have been disappearing to for years.What’s next? We start ordering our takeout Chinese food from China!Don’t give them any ideas in a province that has already lost thousands of manufacturing jobs to a country that can find workers at a rate considerably less than what is expected to be paid here.

Meanwhile, as Ontario sells out its own workforce, the great Province of Quebec still gets its fleur-de-lys provincial flag made in Ontario.How about that! Run that news up a flagpole at Queen’s Park!And, as mentioned above, so does the Toronto Chinese consulate, which has a lot of official dinners here in Toronto and when you see that striking red Chinese flag on your table, you can be proud that it was made at Flying Colours right here in Parkdale.

Actually most of Canada’s provinces get their flags made here — as do other countries and U.S. states.“We make millions of flags every year,” says Edward McLean, of Flying Colours International. “And we make them for everybody.”Except, of course, for the Province of Ontario.Flying Colours has been making flags in an early 1900s factory on Sterling Rd. since 1926. But in 2007, the Province of Ontario rejected their latest bid of $18 a flag and they lost the $40,000 annual contract to a Chinese manufacturer who can make flags for less.“But it’s not that much less,” says McLean.“And our quality is of a different level.

The colours in the Canadian and Ontario flags made in Toronto are second to none.“Our colours are richer. And the flags are to exact standard.”At this plant they also “unfortunately” make the Canadian flags for the caskets of the Canadian soldiers who come home from Afghanistan.So far, no one has made any suggestion about outsourcing those. Again, don’t give them any ideas.“But I do worry that we could have soldiers over in a war zone — somebody fighting for a flag that was made in China,” says McLean.

“A flag is not a pen or a book. A flag is a symbol.” Here are more symbols: Carmen, Savi, Edna, Larisa, Savitra, Bosina, Daisy and Ivy. These are just some of the women on sewing machines we met, who could lose their jobs if the trend set by your province continues.These are Canadian employees — about 100, some of whom hail originally from China. They all want to keep as much work here as they can. Although companies like Flying Colours are holdouts, many are succumbing to the economic pressure.

“There are no guarantees” that these jobs will stay here forever, McLean says.They certainly won’t if others follow the lead of Ontario and send the work abroad.“If this keeps up in Canada we won’t have manufacturing anymore,” adds McLean, who as he shakes his head says, “all to save a couple of pennies on a flag.”Since 1926 Flying Colours has resisted the lure of offshore mega-profits and stayed right at home. “It’s a small family-owned company and for us it’s about more than just making profit,” he says.“It’s about a community. All of our people live in the city and we love them. The average employee has been here 17 years.”

Loyalty. On both sides. Companies who outsource have abandoned that principal and traded it for fat coffers while ambitious bean counters cheer them on.Of course how can you blame them when this very province encourages business arrangements with China.“This was an exciting trip that showed just how much potential there is for Ontario to develop partnerships in China that will lead to jobs and opportunity for our province,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty after a 2005 trip there — one of many.He ought to drop by Flying Colours and take a look at a top-flight Ontario manufacturer and its fine workers facing extinction.And I would love to do a column on how many Ontario jobs have been created from his China trips. Please, point me in that direction.

I hope the Ontario Liberals are claiming The Toronto Star as a campaign expense

For all my railing against this Liberal government, I’ve never done so under the illusion or pretense that it would matter very much. I do it not only because I can, but primarily because I see it as part of my social responsibility.  I do it because it is right to confront and demand accountability from reckless and arrogant governments and the disingenuous machinery that propels them forward. 

You may wonder why I don’t scrutinize the provincial Progressive Conservatives. For me that’s very simple. Liberal, Tory, same old story. Two big tent brokerage parties concerned chiefly with securing power and placating the rich. At this point, the Liberals most threaten my desire to have governance which truly pursues the common good. Politics, and ethics for that matter, begins wherever you find yourself. At this moment, there is a provincial government seeking re-election on the basis of having provided not horribly bad government.  This not only further disenfranchises an already apathetic electorate, but it is actually misleading. 
As I’ve tried to show on this blog, this government has indeed provided horribly bad governance. And when Kinsella and his ilk reduce punditry to making fun of candidates’ photos or their linguistic gaffes, or when the Toronto Star actively campaigns on behalf of the Liberals by working with the Liberal war room to fashion a ballot issue that is designed to sink the Tories, the standards of politics are further diminished. The Star is now more than a liberal mouthpiece, it is actively endorsing McGuinty and his Liberals. The Star’s recent editorials suggesting that McGuinty is a better leader for our province or that the Liberals can boast a solid record on poverty issues are not only  very questionable assertions, but are transparently cynical and partisan attacks on John Tory and Howard Hampton respectively.
So is the election all but decided? I don’t think so. There may be some interesting surprises on Oct. 10.  Environics recently released a poll on voting intentions, and more specifically, on what voters reported, unprompted, as the most decisive factors in casting their vote.  So will extending funding to faith based schools be the ballot issue that the media are so desperately trying to make of it? According to this poll, faith based funding was the second from the bottom in terms of importance played in voters’ decisions. Only 3% of voters said that it was the most important factor influencing their decision. The highest rated factor was health care (14%) followed, very interestingly, by  breaking/keeping promises (12%), then education (11%), the environment (8%), then, interestingly, owing to the widespread recognition that John Tory came out ahead, leadership debate (6%). For an excellent summary on the disparity between voters’ main ideological concerns and media coverage, see Paulitics.  The media has largely tried to make the election about faith based school funding (incidentally but one plank in John Tory’s platform) while deflecting voters’ attention from the issues which they themselves see as most important.

Of course, the grim reality is that people will still vote against their own best interest. Sadly 19% polled didn’t even know or wouldn’t say what’s most decisive to them. Still, it’s clear that the party which would best address the factors that voters say is most influential to them is the NDP.  The NDP promises fully funded health care and education (23%). Of the major parties, the NDP is best on the environment (8%).  On social programs, poverty, minimum wage (4%), the NDP is not only the sole political party formed out of a need to defend the rights of working families and those others marginalized and exploited, the NDP managed to put poverty back on the agenda at Queen’s Park during the last session. I also believe that the NDP has the best plan for dealing with the looming economic crisis and the decimation of the manufacturing sector (5%), not that many have heard of it because the media are too busy covering faith based school funding.  

Ontario Liberals are NOT nice, they are "nefarious" (Part II)

As someone who takes language very seriously, I thought I should defend my use of the term nefarious to describe this Liberal government. This government was not only largely ineffectual. Worse, it was recklessly arrogant, unscrupulous, dishonest, and at times utterly reprehensible. This government was elected to bring in sweeping change. It was given, under the current electoral system, what amounted to absolute power at Queen’s Park and it was accompanied, for the most part, by a very buoyant and robust economy. Moreover, the overwhelming majority with which this government was entrusted only led to the most acrimonious and inhospitable parliament I’ve witnessed. Queen’s Park was permeated with a sense of entitlement and arrogance that only absolute power can create. Question period has become a complete circus (those who argue against MMP because it would undermine the consensus that happens under First Past the Post should recognize that currently we have the most divisive and pettily partisan legislatures imaginable).

And when we look back at this government’s record we see that little has changed in four years and we see a government that even in the twilight of its mandate continues to refuse to take responsibility and to be accountable for its failure to deliver. Since, it cannot stand on its record, this government must repeatedly attack, fear monger, and blame previous governments. For all of this, McGuinty’s Liberals should not be rewarded .

So let’s begin…
Least on my list of reprehensible actions taken by McGuinty is the fact of his having “broken promises”. And for me, the worst broken promise was the failure to close down coal-fuelled power generating plants, most notably Nanticoke. It was disingenuous to promise to close down those plants. Even worse, it was irresponsible to wait until the election year to begin to show signs of being interested in energy conservation and renewable energy. And now, all this government has in store for us is massive investment in nuclear energy. As sad as it is, the air quality today in Ontario would have been better had the Conservatives remained in power, since at the very least it is likely they would have added scrubbers to those plants, plants which will be open for at least another seven years.
On the subject of McGuinty’s breaking his pledge not to raise taxes. I’ve posted some thoughts on the health “levy”. I’ll simply add that far worse than increasing my taxes, was the regressive type of tax he imposed and that McGuinty expected me to believe that he was caught completely unawares by the deficit left to him by the Conservatives. Again, it was not his breaking of the promise in itself but his contempt for the intelligence of the electorate by promising it in the first place.

Moving on, I also find it insulting when McGuinty attempts to sell the party as anything other than a brokerage party, one that has replaced any kind of ideological core with opportunism and a win at all costs mentality. We are to believe that Liberals are an alternative to fear mongering, nasty Conservatives. Liberals, by contrast, are nice and friendly and McGuinty stands for principles like fairness and accountability. Quite the contrary. This is a party that hires henchmen like Kinsella to shape its strategy and spin its misinformation. It is a party committed to negative campaigning, often negative campaigning in the extreme. I need only point to last year’s by-election in Parkdale High Park and the malicious attacks on MPP Cheri DiNovo. See here, here, and here.
If this weren’t enough, where the Ontario Liberals, in my mind, become even more contemptible is in their feigning concern for poverty, for ethnic and new Canadians and, even for democracy itself. We all know this is a brokerage party that is ultimately beholden to the rich. Not surprisingly, then, the Liberal government’s record on tackling poverty, whether we’re talking child poverty, affordable housing, minimum wage, or the “poverty budget”, is deceptive and appalling. SlushGate was not only an affront to transparency and accountability, but also a manipulation of ethnic Canadians. Similarly, can we see this government’s initiatives for democratic renewal, most notably, its actions around the referendum on electoral reform, as anything but a pretense to democracy?
Lastly, there were in particular two incidents which I consider especially egregious. First, diverting millions of dollars in legal fees to fight parents of autistic children. This was quite widely reported.
Second, and something very few people are even aware of, this government had the audacity to manipulate virtually every firefighter in this province into thinking that it is the Ontario Liberals to whom they should be grateful for having easier access to compensation for job related diseases. In a very carefully staged performance and with great fanfare, the Ontario Liberals paraded firefighters into the legislature to announce the legislation they were about to introduce. With shameless gall, the Liberals quickly escorted the firefighters out before the opposition could speak to the bill, for had they stayed any longer they would have discovered that it is to the tireless efforts of Andrea Horwath that they truly owe their gratitude.
That Andrea Horwath wasn’t given the least bit of credit from the Ontario Liberals was one of the most callous and self-serving moments I’ve witnessed in politics. Many firefighters will vote for the Ontario Liberals on Oct. 10 and few of them will know how they were completely hoodwinked by the government they’re supporting.

Mr. Urquhart: Liberals are NOT nice, they are nefarious, btw where are the blogging dippers during this campaign?

When partisan hacks like Cherniak or washed up smear apologists like Kinsella scurrilously demean what it means to think and to write (or even to treat others with dignity), I tend not to worry. I may react, but I don’t necessarily worry because I know that, for now at least, the dissemination of information is still largely in the hands of “professionals”. Now I’m under no delusions that journalists are objective and unbiased reporters of “the truth”, but being professionals, they are at least to some extent accountable.

This is why I am increasingly troubled when a journalist like Ian Urquhart, whom I respect as a journalist, starts to sound partisan and disingenuous. In today’s Star, Ian urges McGuinty to take the gloves off and go negative but laments that McGuinty is too nice a man:

The problem for McGuinty is that he is uncomfortable “going negative” himself.

Sorry, Mr. Urquhart, McGuinty and his henchmen have no problems going negative and you above most people should know that. After all, you covered the Parkdale High Park by-election. When an entire provincial government maliciously gangs up on a United Church minister, whose biggest mistake is that she wants to serve her community under the wrong political banner, that’s not a reluctance to going negative. And need I say, negative in the extreme.

You well know that the Liberal smear campaign against Cheri DiNovo originated in the office of Liberal cabinet minister Gerry Phillips. You also know that it was a concerted effort that involved much of the Liberal brass, including McGuinty who, as you reported, campaigned in the riding four times. It included Gerard Kennedy and Bob Rae who were seen distributing incendiary literature translated into Polish, to incite a reaction from the Roman Catholic vote. Preying on religious fault lines is just sleazy. And Sylvia Watson was all too happy to oblige and play along.
To this day, Liberals are remorseless of those tactics which smeared a good woman’s name and deeply insulted the intelligence of the electorate. Watson stands by her smear. McGuinty endorsed the tactics. You reported it yourself (see below). Only recently has Sorbara, wanting not to sound like a complete hypocrite for denouncing the conservatives’ attack ads, said that the smear campaign was a “mistake”. A mistake, do you hear that? A mistake? A mistake, by the way, is what Kinsella calls his sexist gaffe. In Liberalese, a mistake means something that could cost the party votes at election time. What we can’t fail to see here, is that the regret over the smear campaign is only for NOT having won the by-election and for having made a tactical error in judgement. The regret has nothing to do with the possibility that it might ethically be wrong to attempt to assassinate another’s character.

Liberals have no principles, no ethics, no vision. Only a ruthless insatiable appetite for winning at all costs. So please, Mr. Urquhart, don’t tell the public the Liberals are uncomfortable going negative. They’re quite comfortable going negative, problem is they’re stupid about it.

By-election gets down and dirty
Sep. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM
IAN URQUHART

On the surface, it would appear that the New Democrats are well positioned to win tomorrow’s provincial by-election in the west-end Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park, formerly occupied by Gerard Kennedy.

It is, after all, a riding that has gone to the NDP before — in 1990 provincially and as recently as this year federally, with the election of Peggy Nash.

And it is a by-election, which New Democrats are very good at winning. By-elections allow them to concentrate their formidable organizing resources and to invite the electorate to lodge a cost-free protest vote.

NDP canvassers in Parkdale-High Park are coached to remind voters at the doorstep that their ballots “will not defeat the government.”

Nevertheless, the Liberals want desperately to hold onto the riding, apparently at any cost.

Kennedy won Parkdale-High Park in 2003 by a whopping 42 percentage points — the sixth widest margin in the province — before quitting as education minister earlier this year to run for the federal Liberal leadership.

To replace Kennedy, the Liberals are running Sylvia Watson, a humourless one-term city councillor and former city bureaucrat. Suffice it to say that she ain’t no Gerard Kennedy.

So she is getting help, plenty of it. This week, Premier Dalton McGuinty made his fourth campaign appearance in the riding — an unusual number of visits by a premier in a by-election.

As well, 11 cabinet ministers were dragooned into the campaign this week for an event in a Bloor St. W. café and subsequent canvassing.

“I’m very confident we’re going to win this by-election,” said an unconvincing Finance Minister Greg Sorbara.

Yesterday, Kennedy himself and former New Democratic premier Bob Rae (who lives in the riding) took time out from fighting each other in the federal Liberal leadership race to campaign for her.

It is not these high-profile interventions that are raising eyebrows at Queen’s Park, however. Rather, it is the smear campaign being waged against the NDP candidate, Cheri DiNovo, a 56-year-old United Church minister.

At first, the smears — including references to her youthful indiscretions and carefully edited excerpts from her sermons — appeared only in blogs and anonymous flyers. That made it easy for the Watson campaign to deny any connection to them.

But this week the Watson campaign handed out a press release, on Liberal party letterhead, that dredged up a year-old sermon in which DiNovo allegedly said that the media treatment of child-killer Karla Homolka was “comparable to the persecution of Jesus Christ.”

DiNovo said the remark was taken entirely out of context by the Liberals and suggested she might sue them over it.

But the press release almost immediately backfired by putting the Liberals, not the New Democrats, on the defensive.

At an all-candidates’ meeting Monday night, even the Conservative candidate, former city councillor David Hutcheon, castigated the Liberals for trying to “assassinate the character” of their NDP opponent.

“This is not fair,” Hutcheon told the 100-plus in attendance. “It is not the Canadian way … They (the Liberals) have lost their moral compass.”

(An aside: Although the Conservatives ran second in the 2003 provincial election, party insiders admit that they are long shots to win tomorrow. It would be a nice consolation prize for the Conservatives, however, if DiNovo were to knock off the Liberals.)

The negative reaction clearly threw McGuinty for a loop. Pestered by the press on the smearing of DiNovo, the best response he could muster was: “Look, it’s a tough by-election for us.”

As for Watson, the candidate, she tried to distance herself from the smear. “It wasn’t my idea,” she told me, while declining to say whose it was.

The opposition parties are pointing their fingers at Warren Kinsella, the lobbyist who ran the Liberal war room in the last provincial election.

As evidence, they noted that his blog yesterday included an attack on DiNovo (whom he referred to as “DiNutso”) and a link to Waton’s web site.

But Kinsella denied any involvement in the Watson campaign. “I’ve never met or even spoken to her (Watson),” he said in an e-mail response.

Of his shot at DiNovo, Kinsella said: “I’m entitled to an opinion about her candidacy.” As for the link to the Watson web site, he explained it as an automatic function of a Google advertising program to which he subscribes.

I’m predicting that we haven’t heard the last of this.

Liberals’ internal polling must be showing a drop last week

What some of the media suggested going into last weekend (that Howard Hampton and John Tory were the winners after the first week of campaigning) must have also shown up on the Liberals’ own polling numbers. How else to explain Ian Urquhart’s column today in the Toronto Star? While Mr. Urquhart has no obligation to be NDP friendly, and while I usually find him one of the more balanced and sober writers at The Star, this piece will be used to deflect valid criticism of the Liberal record on taxation. Is it really a reality check that Liberals imposed a levy rather than a tax? Is it really a reality check that depending on how one calculates things the Liberals may not have imposed the largest tax hikes in Ontario history?A 24% tax hike regressively applied on average income earning Ontarians still ranks up there.

First, it’s patently obvious that the Toronto Star is heavily a mouthpiece for Liberal rhetoric and policy. Having caught the Ontario Liberal government in scandal after scandal, funny that the writers of the Star never felt terribly scandalized themselves. A typical example was ColleGate. While lots of ink was shed to report the scandal, the coverage was often tempered with language ranging from “so called slush fund” to “there was no slush fund”. Regardless of semantics here, the actions of the Liberal government around doling out year end funds should have scandalized the public in no less measure than did the sponsorship scandal of the federal Liberals.  These were reprehensible actions taken by our provincial government. They were unethical (funds not openly available to the public and meant to lure and bribe supporters) and lacked any integrity (completely disregard for  accounting controls and measures).
Speaking of semantics, and returning to the issue at hand, Mr. Urquhart’s story today should be seen for what it is: a defense of the indefensible Liberal record on what will undoubtedly remain a campaigning issue this week. McGuinty will be pressed hard on both his breaking of a written promise and his imposition of a massive and regressive tax hike. And Urquhart’s piece is clearly an attempt to deflect or attenuate this criticism. How so?
First, Urquhart repeats the Liberal apologist line in the title of his article when he calls what the Liberals imposed a “levy”. Whether it was a levy, a tax, a premium, it was money taken away from me which McGuinty promised not to take away me. Second, Urquhart wants to argue the point that it wasn’t the biggest tax hike in Ontario history. Fine, depending how you want to measure things, perhaps it was and perhaps it wasn’t. But does it make it any more palatable that McGuinty’s health tax hike might be only the second or third highest in Ontario history? We’re all at least agreed that it was a massive tax hike. And, more problematically, this was a regressive tax in which average Ontarians  saw their taxes raised by almost 25%, but those Ontarians making over $200 000 per year saw their taxes raised by only 3%.
Truth be told, of the nefarious things done by the McGuinty Liberals, I actually don’t consider McGuinty back tracking on his promise not to raise taxes as one of them.  I especially don’t mind paying more to ensure a viable universal health care for Ontarians. What I greatly object to is the imposition of a regressive tax that disproportionally hurts those who can least afford to have their taxes increased, not to mention the failure to make significant improvements to our health care system with those monies raised through increased taxation.

McGuinty defends record on child poverty: Pllleeaase!

Ontario Liberals’ record on poverty has been appalling. Period. Made worse still by their attempts to deceive the public that they have made any significant progress in this area. Most recently, McGuinty has defended his record on child poverty as “real” progress. Bullshit! A Conservative with a poverty agenda is contradictory. A Liberal with a poverty agenda is pure artifice and ruse.

Of all the back pedaling and broken promises of this government, McGuinty’s refusal to end the clawback of the national child supplement is among the most egregious. In 2003, McGuinty ran on ending what he argued was a wrong and unjust clawback. Yet, when he became Premier, he refused to stop taking away $1500 per year away from the poorest children in the province. For four years, the Ontario Liberals have continued to rob the poorest children in this province of $1500 earmarked for them. And we know child poverty is only getting worse.

In this year’s budget McGuinty announced with great fanfare that his government was finally phasing out the clawback and phasing in a child benefit over five years. The child benefit for this year was a paltry $250, and if I recall, one of the remarks around Queen’s Park was that the announced child benefit was less than the cost of the shoes worn by Greg Sorbara when he made the announcement. Regrettably, the clawback has not ended and we’ll have to re-elect this government if we want to see it eventually phased out in the next few years. I’m sorry, this is not a record on which to stand. McGuinty ran in 2003 to end the clawback, and he might as well be running on it again because shamefully he’s yet to end clawing back money set aside for needy families.