The Robo-Fine Olympics

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BREAKING NEWS – The CRTC has just awarded the first in a series of medals to the winners of the Robocall scandal. There are three participants involved – the Right Wing (composed of the Conservative Party of Canada, the Wildrose Party of Alberta, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, all associated MPs and MPPs, and RackNine Robocall Services), the Centre (composed of one MP from the federal Liberal Party of Canada), and the Left Wing (composed of the federal New Democratic Party). The current standings are as follows:

Gold: The Right Wing with a combined total of $327,000.00 in fines

Silver: The Left Wing with a paltry $40,000 in fines

Bronze: The Centre with a meagre $2,500 in fines

The fine totals are subject to change pending further investigations and charges by the CRTC. Medals will be awarded by Pierre Poutine in a quiet ceremony during the summer parliamentary recess; unfortunately, like the Senate audit process, the event will not be open to the public. Hot Topic Button

Further medals will be awarded following the 2015 federal election, where a complete reversal of the standings is anticipated. However, all parties will have to be "call" tested prior to the awarding of the final medals. Experts have concluded that "using Robocalls during an election is like using performance enhancing drugs during the Olympics – if you are caught, you are stripped of your medals and banned until you prove you are really, really sorry."  Stay tuned.


Skid Crease, Caledon

Stephen Harper: The Emperor Has No Clothes

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Canada's PM Harper pauses while delivering a speech during a Conservative caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in OttawaLike the little child in the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes", we have seen Stephen Harper exposed and our innocence is lost. Any semblance of covering the Prime Minister in a cloak of accountability disappeared at Tuesday morning's news conference.  It was the most shallow, evasive, and deflective speech ever delivered – blaming a parliamentary scandal of massive proportions on the actions of some unamed members of his caucus who should "get out of the room."

He attempted to deflect his own responsibility in the Duffy/Wright/Senate expenses scandal by resurrecting the ghost of the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal (for which then PM Paul Martin accepted the full and undeserved shame). He blamed the lack of Senate reform on the NDP and the Liberals for voting against Conservative bills while faiing to mention that the Senate reform bill has languished for 15 months in the PMO to avoid parliamentary debate. And most shamefully, he announced to the world that he is "very upset" about this "distraction" that is preventing hard-working, tax paying Canadians from getting back to work in Canada's Economic Action Plan.

He claimed to have the most accountable government in the free world, with the most stringent rules for guiding ethical decisions for politicians. The problem is, he forgot to follow them. Your accountability, Mr. Prime Minister, is indeed very transparent, and your nakedness is your own doing.


Skid Crease, Caledon 

Trudeau is the Real Thing

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Reprint from April 16, 2013: response to Caledon Enterprise reporter Matthew Strader’s headline story on Justin Trudeau, Hype or Hope?

Yes, Matthew, there is a new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. And, like your childhood dreams of Santa, he is very much the real thing. I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Justin aboard the MV Lindblad Explorer during a Students on Ice Arctic Expedition in 2005. We were the teachers working with a group of seventy-five international students and a host of scientists and explorers. _MG_0628photobyDodgeBaena_1

Our job was to prepare the students to give voice to a Youth Declaration on Environmental Citizenship. Our students presented that Declaration at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11) in Montreal in December of that year. Their Declaration, thanks to the support of then Environment Minister Stephane Dion, was endorsed enthusiastically by the United Nations delegates from over 150 nations , and tossed into the shredder in 2006 by a newly elected Stephen Harper.

During those two weeks at sea, Justin and I shared many stories of our fathers, their profound influences on our characters,  and our goals in life. I can assure you with complete conviction that Mr. Trudeau believes absolutely in the vision of leadership to which he espouses. He deeply feels that the education he received as a young man growing up at his father’s side, immersed in politics, traveling the world, listening to the conversations between his father and kings, presidents, and prime ministers was a gift given to him, one that he feels he must give back to his country.

Can he win the country? He will have to take Ontario and Quebec to accomplish that goal. And if my riding of Dufferin-Caledon is any bellwether, that will be a challenge. Historically in our riding, if the federal Liberal leader is riding a wave of popular support across the country, a top-notch, well-financed local candidate running a flawless campaign stands a chance of winning. When I was involved in politics here, I was told that you could run a dead cow as the Conservative federal candidate in our riding and it would win by a landslide. I predict that our current Conservative MP will retire to pasture before the federal election of 2015. That will open the slate to an interesting choice for Dufferin-Caledon voters.

Indeed, the next federal election will offer an interesting choice for all voters.  I choose hope.

Skid Crease, Caledon