Decisions, decisions, decisions

I am really starting to be concerned about the future of the Province of Ontario for the next four years. On June 7, the citizens of Ontario will elect a new Premier (our version of a state governor).

The leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is Doug Ford, brother of the late mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. When Doug was a city councillor during his brother’s term as mayor, he proved himself to be a bully toward other councillors and had some very different views. Among his pronouncements was an idea to close libraries to save money. Apparently Doug had never read a book and could see no reason why anybody should. Another instance that springs to mind was his opposition to a proposal to put a home for autistic children and young adults in his neighbourhood. His objections to this proposal were that it would lower property values in the area and that these people would be allowed outside.

Doug Ford has said he admires Donald Trump and some of his ideas and comments during this election campaign so far seem to show he’s taken a page from the Trump campaign playbook. (In comments on Facebook, I’ve referred to him as “Trump North”.) Like Trump, Doug likes to portray himself as “a man of the people”, but he counts his wealth in the millions. He claims he can save the province billions by finding “efficiencies”. No plan, no exact amounts disclosed, just “efficiencies. Sound familiar to my American readers? Figures pulled out of thin air, proposals to reduce business taxes, all the while not revealing how exactly he’s going to save this money that won’t involve raising taxes and cutting people. During a leadership debate yesterday, in response to a question on hiring immigrants to work in northern Ontario, Doug said “We should take care of our own first.” I think I heard all this stuff sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign in the US. According to the polls, Doug Ford and the PC party are leading by about a 14 point margin, so obviously there are people who like what he has to say. Oh yes – one more thing. It is tradition that the party leaders also provide a press bus. Doug isn’t doing so which is one way of controlling what the media reports on his campaign.

There is one thing that gives me hope he won’t be able to run unfettered over Ontario. In Canada, both federally and provincially, the leader of the party must win a seat in the legislature. Doug is running in a riding (electoral district for my American readers) that includes the city ward the Ford family considers a fiefdom and is the headquarters of “Ford Nation”, so it seems unlikely he will lose. But, in the Canadian political system, both federally and provincially, there are three major parties, In Ontario those parties are the Progressive Conservatives, led by Doug Ford; the Liberal Party of Ontario, led by Kathleen Wynne, the current Premier, and the New Democratic Party led by Andrea Horwath. This is what gives me hope. With three major parties and only a fourteen point lead, it appears to me that if Doug does become the next Premier of Ontario, he will have a minority government. Having the most seats will make him Premier, but not having a clear majority of those seats means he’ll have to offer some concessions to the other two parties to get legislation passed.

Personally, I have no idea at the moment how I’m going to vote. As I wrote, Doug Ford scares me. While Andrea Horwath and the NDP are saying some interesting things, the last time the NDP formed the provincial government during the ‘90’s, they almost destroyed the province. Auntie Kathleen and Liberals are also saying nice things, but they also have had some problems during their reign. Further complicating my decision is that the MPP for my riding, a Liberal, was of great help to me when I had some problems with my documents a couple of years ago. So, do I vote for the local representative who helped me as a form of reward for his help, knowing the spotty record of his party, the NDP who did so much damage in the past, or take a chance Doug won’t turn out to be a Trump clone?

I have about three weeks to decide, so I’ll be paying close attention to both the provincial and local campaigns.

I don’t care if you vote PC, NDP, Liberal, Green or some other party. But, on June 7, you must vote.

Cat.

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Is it relevant?

The cover of the current issue of Sports Illustrated apparently is a photo of three Boston police officers rushing to the aid of the runner who was knocked over by the shock wave of one of the explosions at the marathon.  Pink News.co.uk, a website that specializes in news of interest to the LGBT communities, today had an article on this photo.  Why?  Because one of those three officers is openly gay.  Can anyone explain to me what the officer’s sexual orientation has to do with this?  When I look at the photo, all I see is three of Boston’s finest rushing to the aid of a citizen who was injured, therefore that the officer is gay is irrelevant to the photo or story.

Why does the press feel it necessary to bring up a person’s sexual preference unnecessarily?  Doing so in the case of the Sports Illustrated cover did not advance the story in any meaningful way.  Three officers doing their duty is what is shown in the photo.  Nothing else need be said other than that they helped the runner to his feet, determined he wasn’t hurt and allowed him to finish the marathon.

There are also some instances where the sexuality of public figures is ignored by the press.  Is that what happened with the Pink News item?  It was “just a cop”, not anyone well-known, so it is okay to tell everyone he’s gay?  Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario is openly lesbian. That fact has no bearing on her duties, so it is ignored.  It also had no effect on the members of Liberal Party of Ontario, which chose her as their leader a couple of months ago.  They simply voted for the person they felt was best suited for the job.  Of course, considering the mess and scandals she inherited, they didn’t do her any favours.

Is there really any difference between the Boston police officer and Premier Wynne?  In both cases, the people involved are civil servants just doing their jobs.  Whether they are gay or lesbian is as relevant to news stories on them as would be what toppings they like on their pizzas.

Pray for the people of Boston.

Cat.

Weird and wonderful

Two items from various newscasts caught my attention yesterday.  These two items have nothing in common other than I class them both as weird.

The first item has been all over various Toronto and national news media.  The Liberal Party of Ontario recently chose a new leader for the party, a lady named Kathleen Wynne.  As the Liberals are the governing party, she is automatically the Premier of Ontario, and the first female Premier of the Province.  The House has only just resumed sitting this week following the resignation of the former Premier, Dalton McGuinty and the convention to choose a new leader.  Some Honourable Members of the opposition parties are demanding Ms Wynne take a lie detector test.  I’ll tell you why.

During the campaign leading up to the last provincial election, the Liberal Party did something that appears to have had as its motive nothing more than political gain. During the campaign, Dalton McGuinty announced the cancellation of the contract for at least one new gas-fired electric plant.  The one plant I am sure about was in a riding held, at the time, by the Liberals, but the people living in that riding were very opposed to the plant being there.  To prevent that riding from voting for one of the other parties to punish the Liberals, (and possibly costing him a majority [which he didn’t get anyway]) he cancelled the plant.  According to government figures, the cancellation and relocation of the plant will cost taxpayers (me) approximately $230,000,000 however figures from both the opposition parties and outside sources peg the actual cost at double that.

Ms Wynne was part of the re-election team when that decision was made.  She maintains that while she was part of the planning team, she was not involved in that cancellation discussion or decision.  These Members from the benches opposite are demanding she take a lie detector test to prove that she didn’t know about the decision.  I’m not a fan of the Liberal Party of Ontario, but perhaps rather than just have the Premier of Ontario take a lie detector test, all Honourable Members of the House should so do.  Just sayin’.

The other item is one I heard on 680 News, a news radio station in Toronto.  The cab driver had that station on while he drove me home.  According to this report, after five years of DNA research and other genetic testing based on samples of hair and what I shall politely call bodily excretions, scientists have proven the existence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch/whatever you want to call him.  Apparently this creature is part of the Homo Sapiens family.  As I facetiously remarked to the cab driver, who is a friend and someone I drove with, “Having driven nights, I’m almost positive I had him in my cab one or two Saturday nights once the bars closed.”  So who knows – maybe those stories of dinosaurs still living in inaccessible parts of the world aren’t so far-fetched after all.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And no, I wouldn’t want one living in my building.

Cat.

Just an observation on my recent posting “Stick to the topic”, which dealt with the fact spam rarely has any bearing on the actual content of the posting it is intended as a comment for.  I must have really tagged it well, for I just deleted another 12 spam messages intended as comments on that.  And they all prove my point.

C.