Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites Blog Flux Directory Green Assassin Brigade: 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NDP Endorses Green Candidate

Can someone tell me why the press is ignoring the fact that Kevin Bordian, the NDP Candidate in Vaughan endorsed the Green Candidate last night

Maybe if Progressives of all flavours supported the best Candidate in each riding we could crush Harper and force the issue on PR

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Voting Green in Newmarket-Aurora

What a great little program to build animated videos

Oh and here's the FB links mentioned in video, and here

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

An evening with Adriane Carr and Georges Laraque

The Newmarket-Aurora Federal Green Party Association is hosting an evening with Green Party Deputy leaders Adriane Carr and George Laraque, Nov 16 at the Wellington Gallery in Aurora, 7:00pm -10:00

Come out and enjoy a great event surrounded by great local art, music, and fellow greens while hearing from Adriane Carr and candidate Vanessa Long. Fresh from the carnage known as the Battle of the Blades I'm sure we can coax a story or two out Georges as well.

There will also be a short pledge auction in preparation of the next federal election and a raffle for some wonderful local art.

I even hear they will have appetizers and a bar..... That's all I need to hear ;)

You can reserve an e-ticket here and check out the google map to the gallery.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Democracy fail: Where are the local opposition Candidates?

We’ve been under the threat of a federal election for well over a year yet I see that many ridings are unprepared having few of their candidate’s selected, mine is no exception.

I’d prefer that candidates were chosen very early on so we have more time to learn more about them, talk to them, judge them and see how seriously they intend to run their campaigns. I want to see dedicated candidates that actually work at making local connections, communicating their ideas and listening to ours all year, not candidates that get pulled out of thin air right after the writ is dropped, do a 5 week campaign blitz and then disappear back into obscurity should they lose.

In the current municipal elections we’ve seen some great examples of hungry engaged candidates who’ve been active in the community long before the election started. Some contenders have been working towards their goal for the entire interval between elections showing a great deal of dedication and determination. These are the kind of people I want to see in ALL parties vying for the opportunity of representing us federally. I don’t want last minute municipal candidates who come out of nowhere and file their papers on the last day nor do I want federal candidates who refuse to state their intention and be scrutinized well before an election is called.

So my question is where are these tireless federal candidates in Newmarket-Aurora?

Naturally the Conservative incumbent Lois Brown is visible as she should be, it’s her fulltime paid job. She may be a 3rd string, lack luster MP but she is available.

Vanessa Long of the Green Party has been nominated for 9 months and has been increasingly active engaging the public through a variety of local community and business organizations. Here she is speaking at the prorogation rally in Newmarket just days after her nomination.

From what I can see the NDP continues their history of being the stealth party with little visible EDA activity and certainly no proactive nominations. To be fair their president and previous candidate did take part in last winter’s prorogation protests but they generally don’t make the effort to be seen, have never tried to run a credible campaign and have been trending down over the last 3 elections.

The biggest surprise however is the total lack of activity by the Liberal party who nominated and then lost candidate Margaret Black all within a 4 month period in late 2009 Not only did Black bail on the nomination but she wasn’t even a resident of the Newmarket- Aurora riding, her full time gig is Mayor of King City. This alone might not seem like much until you see this recent letter sent out by the Young Liberals of Newmarket-Aurora to their followers on facebook. My snide commentary is in the brackets

Hi Everyone,

It's unfortunately been a quieter summer than we anticipated. However, the house about to resume for the fall session so things are about to get exciting once more. (Iggy’s bus tour was a bore and we did no organizing; I hope the this session is more interesting)
As some of you may or may not be aware, the Newmarket-Aurora riding is currently without a Liberal candidate. (because she bailed on us after 4 stinking months)

As a member of the candidate search committee, we have been looking around Aurora for people who qualified to represent the riding and a desire to make a difference in the community. (Yet morally flexible enough to run Liberal)(P.S. Why just Aurora? Newmarket not good enough for ya?)

The committee has done some good work, however, further input by party members is desired. As a result, I'm asking the members of the Young Liberal group here if they know anyone who would be interested in seeking the nomination. (We’ve spend all summer looking for good a good candidate yet we came up dry and really need you to find a new sacrificial lamb)

If anyone has any specific names of who they would think make a fitting candidate, please forward them to me.

I hope to hear from you all soon. If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Nick (Nick Kelly)

I don’t know about you but I interpret this letter as an admission that after a wasted summer they found that no one of quality wants the job. Margret Black took the nomination in August 09 and then backed away when polls weakened for the Liberals at the end of the year, a Mayoral position in the hand is apparently worth a lost cause in the bush. The Liberals seem to be struggling in Newmarket-Aurora; unable to find “good” local candidates unless a win is guaranteed. Currently it looks uncertain and no one seems willing to be stuck with the Liberal label.

As I said before I want to see a quality selection of candidates representing all the flavours of the Canadian spectrum, I don’t want 5 week wonders or cardboard cut outs filling space on the ballot. I also don’t want parachutes candidates arriving because parties are too week to generate good local talent.

What I want to see are engaged candidates on the ground today listening to citizens. In Newmarket Aurora the Conservatives and the Greens are the only two parties who actually appear willing to work for the job of representing us and that’s not too encouraging.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rare Earths and the not so Free Market

I wanted to call your attention to the growing controversy over export restrictions on rare earths from China.

I’ve been on about this topic for about 2 years and it seems that China has finally realized the political and economic clout that arises from being the sole supplier (or at least damn close) of vital minerals that keep the modern economy operating. China has over the last couple of years become increasingly reluctant to export rare earths and several other vital metals required for alloying high end specialty steel. In some cases this was just pure industrial self interest but more and more its starting to look like a political tool to punish other nations who offend them.

Here is just a sampling of what some of these vital elements facing embargo are used for

Lanthanum – a cracking agent used to increase refinery yields by up to 10%

Cerium – a catalyst used for pollution control and more efficient combustion

Neodymium- permanent magnets in wind mills and hybrid car’s brakes, computers, cell phones, cd players etc.

Europium- computer/TV screens and florescent lighting

Yttrium – fuel efficiency, microwave communication, lasers

Erbium- fibre optics

Dysprosium- smaller faster electronics

While not rare earths and not totally concentrated in China’s control, Indium and Gallium vital for Photovoltics could also be restricted tightening the external market and giving China another price edge. This is not just idle speculation but the logical extension of the existing trend since China is already defending both tariffs and limits on magnesium and manganese exports at the WTO to maintain their edge in steel alloy production.

It’s well known that our current government didn’t see a recession, a credit crisis or a 50 billion dollar deficit staring them right in face. They didn’t see that people cared about prorogation, the census, the gun registry and torture. They certainly didn’t see how playing chicken with the UAE would turn out anymore than they realized how their Conservative policies would tarnish Canada’s international standing. This Government has absolutely no credibility in forecasting the future and there is no reason to believe they will notice the coming threat of international industrial blackmail or take it seriously.

In fact this issue has being brewing for some time yet almost no one has been taking it seriously except the Green Party of Canada which passed a policy this year at convention calling for an audit of supply/demand for industrial minerals in Canada and the creation of a strategic reserve for “at risk” materials. It matches nicely with the strategic oil reserves we want and clearly shows that our long term vision is a hell of lot more focused on real issues and solutions than the day to day posturing we get in the HOC. This however is more than just a simple I told you so issue but one that will greatly impact our economy so partisanship aside I hope someone else also speaks up on this issue.

Canada is a very mineral rich country and there is no reason that we shouldn’t have a stable supply of minerals needed for modern technology, especially green power generation and pollution control. It might come down to building up reserves (as the GPC proposes) to ride out short term supply glitches or it may require bolder steps such as the nationalization of a vital resource but the fact is we cannot be reliant on a suppliers who don’t believe in the free market or international trade rules.

We are entering an era of resource depletion where water, energy, specific minerals and even food may be in short supply; surely we need a discussion on this issue.Recommend this Post

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Child labour should equal a Commonwealth Games boycott

I think its disgusting that India's Commonwealth game venues have been built in part by child labour. Call me nuts, but I believe that under no circumstances should a 4 year be digging ditches for electrical cables and other menial chores on a 13 hour shift, yet this is happening at the Commonwealth games . This is not some small dark sweat shop hidden from prying eyes but an illegal act practiced openly at the venue for an major international sporting event funded by their own government. If this can happen in plain view what does India condone that we cannot see? I'd toss countries out of the Commonwealth for less than this.

So I ask you, why are we legitimizing a country that allows child labour by allowing our athletes to compete at this event? Should our athletes feel good about walking on a gravel path made from the stones crushed by 4 year olds with hammers? Even without the child labour issue, the construction and hygiene standards on site are proof India is not ready for prime time and no one should be surprised if a building collapses, a balcony falls off or numerous athletes fall sick from the conditions. India does not deserve to host these games and I hope this issue is brought forth the next time they bid to host anything.

I know that there are many crazed sports people out there who feel that Canada's international prestige is simply based on the performances of our athletes but that is a total crock.
Canada's international standing should not be measured by how fast we swim or how high we jump, but rather on doing the right thing for the right reasons and boycotting India's Commonwealth games over child labour is the right thing.

Contact your MPs, Sports Canada, Team Canada's corporate sponsors, the press and the individual sports federations and demand our athletes stay home.Recommend this Post

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Speculating in Misery

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard brings us an interesting article dealing with the speculation of agricultural land.

Speculators like rich hedge funds and billionaires have been buying up large chunks of foreign agricultural land in order to speculate on the hunger that a growing and more affluent world population will bring. Combine this growing demand with the destruction of existing productive land by overproduction, aquifer depletion and climate change related disasters and we are going to suffer some huge food supply issues in the near future. Mozambique, the example given in the story is just one of many countries that will be hurt this year because of Russian crop damage and the export ban.

The backlash to this speculation will undoubtedly cause more nations to ban or restrict the foreign ownership of agricultural resources. This is move is very likely in contravention of TWO rules and could possibly lead to the the unwinding of globalization. There are big legal and ethical issues tied up in all this such as globalization vs. national interest and the ethics of growing food for fuel and food speculation, all of which will propel food security issues way up the agenda in coming years.

One of the most telling parts of this article is a quote acknowledging that the drive for endless growth may be about to hit a brick wall, or in this case the Great Wall.

Cheng Siwei, head of China's green energy drive, told me last week that eco-damage of 13.5pc of GDP each year outstrips China’s growth rate of 10pc. National wealth is contracting. "We have an intangible environmental debt that
we are leaving to our children," he said. So does India. Much of the globe is stealing food from the future.

Imagine that, China the country touted as the next super power, an economic juggernaut because of its impressive rate of growth is doing more ecological damage than real growth!!! The endless growth model is flawed and China is quickly eating through its ecological capital in its rush to build cities, dams, airports and roads. In a generation it will be an urbanized country without the rural resources to support itself.

Sounds like a very unstable future.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Transition Town arrives in York Region

Are you in York Region?

Do you believe in peak oil?

Are you concerned about the impact of peak oil?

If so you'll be pleased to know Transition (upper) York Region is born.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random angry disjointed protest thoughts

I can appreciate that people are appalled at the damage done by protesters on the weekend but the vast majority of protesters were well behaved and respectful of authority. Despite this fact many in the general public and political circles chastise them all for having the audacity to demand their rights to be heard in a supposed free and democratic society. I’ve even heard comments that people who live in the core should have willingly fled the city or placed themselves in virtual house arrest for the so they would not be on the streets in their own communities. Rubbish

I also can’t fathom the people who say anybody at a protest deserved to get clubbed, arrested and strip searched, these dumb fucks are actually advocating for a police state, All Hail Kim il Harper.

I understand that the police had a difficult job maintaining order in a dumbass location with what seemed to be a flawed plan, or at least flawed leadership enacting the plan. This however does not excuse the arrogance and violence shown by a small portion of the law enforcement community who went beyond doing their job to enjoying doing their job. Neither does this excuse the gun point raids on innocent people’s houses in the wee hours of the morning, arbitrary group arrests, inhumane confinements cages, failure to feed prisoners, inadequate access to phone and lawyers, and the notable arrests and violence towards media.

Finally we have a police Chief who lied about the 5 meter law regarding the fence then ordered the harassment of people on the premise it was a real law all while the civilian leaders who passed the law refused to speak up and correct the lying Chief. Canada is turning into some kind of banana republic with colder weather or an episode of Soap, I’m beyond irritated.

I can’t help but think that personal political biases and an institutional disdain for “Long hair hippie freak trouble makers” colour police behaviour after all it makes their job harder, but it must be understood that in a functional democratic society free speech and the right to assemble and protests are not just rights but a necessary requirement to maintain democratic health.

Democracy is not the ability to vote twice a decade and go back to sleep. Democracy is being aware, speaking out, living as part of the greater community not in isolation, being politically or socially active and if things are not going as you believe they should, democracy is even protesting. These are not just activities that would be nice in the perfect world these are actions that are mandatory to maintain a democracy which represents all citizens equally not just the empowered elite. Even if you don’t support protesters points of view they are out there defending your democracy, your right to free speech and your right to assemble.

For those many people who’ve painted the protesters and the idiot rioters with the same brush you'd better pray that a garbage dump isn't being planned for your neighbourhood, or that your house is not being bulldozed for an off ramp because the right to protest may no longer be available when YOU have an issue to care about.

Under no circumstances should society accept the clandestine passing of “Secret Laws”. The Provincial Libs have some serious explaining to do passing it in the first place but allowing the Bill Blair to lie about it to citizens is unimaginable. Heads should roll.

The media failed us by largely ignoring the safe and peaceful protests and they totally failed us by rarely giving the mainstream protesters a voice to explain their issues. Instead the media drummed up fear and loathing without ever asking the question why people hold these leaders and their billion dollar meetings in such contempt. Most media simply stalked protesters hoping for some violence to make a “good” story, until they got a shot to the head that is, then suddenly they believe in free speach and the cops are being scrutinized. Funny that!.

Personally I think it might be a good thing that the media was targeted because know they know what really happens. Now they might start asking the right questions. Now they might finally start being reporters instead of press agents selling lies, talking points and fluff.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Welcome to the Green Party, please leave your red shirts at the door

Dear real progressive liberals, the GPC is open and welcomes new members. I know it will be hard actually getting to vote on each policy and voting directly for your leader but you will adjust. It’s not like you have any choice considering the direction your party has taken with its new policy of continued deployment in Afghanistan.

Honestly can anyone actually prove to me that Iggy is a progressive? A Liberal? Politically astute?, not a Conservative plant?

Short of some major break with reality or simple sabotage how can this idiot suggest that Canadians should spend more time, money and lives in Afghanistan when the majority of Canadians don’t want us to be there. It’s hard to believe that such incompetence can come from such a supposedly smart guy and while I don’t buy the “just visiting” ploy it does look like he was away far too long to understand the way the majority of Canadians think.

So what’s happened? Why this marked turn to the right?

Have the Liberals heard that getting the mineral rights for Canadian companies in Afghanistan depend on our continued participation?
Does Iggy really think he can win over conservative votes by being a hawk?
Is he just flailing in the wind?

Dammed if I know, but come on in, get a seat and make yourselves comfortable,

please however leave your red shirts at the door, anyone who’s seen an old Star Trek knows what happens to the red shirted guy!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Abuse of Power

I am so angry these days I find it hard to blog without immediately breaking into a stream hateful profanity so for the most part I’ve just remained silent. Today however I will attempt a short controlled post about what a fucking idiot Michael Ignatieff is. Damn I’ve slipped up already.

What has me bent out of shape today is a quote I saw in this CTV article on the Liberal refusal to support an amendment to the budget bill pulling out all the bits and pieces that don’t belong in the budget.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has criticized the budget legislation as a "dumpster bill" but says he's not prepared to force an election over what he calls "an abuse of power."

We all differ on policy issues, that’s the nature of the game. I can even understand taking a boot to the groin once in awhile and voting for a bill you don’t really like for expediency but don’t you dare announce that a bill is an “abuse of power” and then support it.

There is nothing more important in our system than standing up against the abuse of power and to openly label the budget bill an abuse and then support it is nothing less than legitimatizing abuse.

Be very clear on this, Michael Ignatieff is now on record as both minimizing the importance of and supporting the continuation of the abuse of power. Those Liberals who voted with the government yesterday should be ashamed of themselves; they are now officially enemies of good government.

It's quite simple, if you support the abuse of power by others you are no more worthy to serve Canadians than those who actually abuse power.

Then again, after the stance most of them took on the MP audit issue we already knew that didn't we?

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

In Praise of Volcanoes

While I know the Icelandic Volcano is spewing out whacks of greenhouse gasses I do see an upside to these disruptive outbursts which might modify human behavior in the region for quite some time.

I looked up the history for this volcano and among the 3 previously recorded eruptions from Eyjafjallajokull there was one that lasted from 1821-1823 which makes me question the claims "it will only last a few days more" as pure hope. It's also important to note that Eyjafjallajokull is often a prelude to a bigger eruption from Katla so this may not only stay bad longer than the media claims but could also get much worse. Sure it might stop in the next 5 minutes but just imagine the carnage that 2 years of cancelled or reduced European flights will cause the airline industry, I'm almost giddy just thinking about it.

The International Air Transport Association said on Thursday that the eruptions could cost the airlines industry up to $200 million per day and it would only take a few days for some airlines to run out of money and of course be looking for government handouts. In my opinion this industry has been sick for a long time and this is just the thing to put the last nails in the coffin. Sure some will get bailed out but I expect many more will fold changing the face of Air travel. Do they even sell volcano insurance?

So what will happen if this lasts a couple of months? First the companies will start whining for bailouts but before this money can even be promised the smaller or high debt carriers will close or file for protection. Later, less carriers will mean less seats available and less competition. When you combine less competition with the limited number of flights getting off the ground the prices will eventually skyrocket. In the long run we could see a return to the kind of luxury pricing seen in the 60s and 70s for air travel. Higher prices and constant flight cancellations will make Air Canada look well run. People will either be unable to fly in Europe or simply give up trying as the frustration sets in.

Don't think this will only impact Europe either; big North American airlines with European routes are also taking loses and while they might eat these for a while eventually domestic prices will creep higher to cover loses.

If this lasts long enough it could bring a lot of people to their senses or simply price their current behavior out of reach. Air travel is a huge polluter and since governments will not take action on atmospheric pollutants or take the threat of peak oil seriously I hope Eyjafjallajokull throws a wrench into the status quo. What improvements would the environment see if people started to vacation locally, do business electronically rather than travel or grow their own damn flowers and lettuce instead of flying them in from Kenya and Chile. Peak Oil ensures the relocalization will be part of our future and these eruptions might just begin to modify some of these unsustainable behaviors now.

Yes, the volcano's emissions are going to play havoc with the atmosphere and peoples health and that's sad, but volcanoes go off every year and usually inconvenience few if any because of their remoteness. If we have to have an eruption I'd prefer we have it where it can cripple an unsustainable industry and alter peoples behaviors. A small burp from Etna or Yellow Stone wouldn't hurt either.

I just tripped over this chart claiming that the volcano is actually puting out less green house gasses than the airline industry its disrupting., man does this get any better?

Of course Harper could throw caution to the wind and fly to Poland anyway,, but that's too much to hope for.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Baphomet offered GG job

Baphomet Lord of the Abyss, past patron of Templar's , aka the Sabbatic Goat commented today on rumors that he has been offered the position of Governor General . "I'm gratified by the offer, it's great when your work gets noticed in the big leagues"

When asked about his intention, the goat headed demon stated, " I really could use change of pace, my most recent job was to tempt priests with little boys but I move into the office, get out the old rolodex and quickly found out that the Church is in a healthy cycle of self perpetuating pedophilia and I'm not needed. Quite honestly I've done nothing but play bejeweled for the last 3 years, and the church keeps rolling along doing the same things.

Does that mean he's taking the job? "Unfortunately" Baphomet sighed, "there are some people you just shouldn't make a deal with and while I appreciate the work he's doing destroying the planet, abolishing fair play and justice, I just don't trust the guy" He did however offer Mr. Harper a suggestion. " I can't think of anybody outside the demon community more qualified to work for these guys than Kathy Sha.. oops, I'd best not speak her name, it's bad luck." Baphomet hastily drew a glowing sigil in the air before him and the impromptu scrum ended in a sulfurous flash.

.Recommend this Post

Friday, March 26, 2010

GPC Policy and Campaign Focus

I’m one of many GPC members who believe we are often too negative and harp too much on Climate Change. It’s not that I don’t believe it’s important but it’s not an easy topic to use while trying to capture someone’s attention at the door or in a 20 second sound bite. (Yeah like most GPC candidates ever get to give a sound bite, bwahahaha!)

So why bother trying to sell it? We have lots of policies and many of them resonate with what people claim are important issues to them. Greens stand for many things and I believe we forget our guiding principles because we ourselves are panicked by the coming Warmageddon! (new word, I like it)

I think Vanessa Long, GPC candidate of record for Newmarket Aurora has the right idea of what we should really be trying to sell.

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Can the Pope be Impeached?

Let's face it, this man has just lost all credibility as the moral authority for the Catholic Church.

It's bad enough that he can get away with the stupid claim he made in Africa that Condoms make the HIV/AIDS epidemic worse but now there is proof he knew a convicted pedophile was once again working with children and yet he did nothing.

While his loyal minions are more than willing to take the fall for him, this new document firmly put the blame on his office while he was still a Cardinal in Germany

Like our secular society I think Catholic Church needs more transparency, accountability and democracy.

Perhaps the CAPP folks can help them out.
Catholics against Pedophile Priests. It has a nice ring to it and it's something that any true believer should be able to support against a church bureaucracy that does not give a shit!

As to my question; short of causing a schism and being declared anti-pope is there anyway for the Ecumenical Council to actually boot Ratzy out of office?

.Recommend this Post

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Iggy at his Stupid, Out of Touch, Americanized best

Once again Iggy adds another issue to the list of things that don't make him progressive, don't differentiates him from a Conservative and just don't make sense.

Great talk to the kids, Iggy

No discussion on the costs involved in enforcing laws people don’t support and will continue to ignore.

No discussion on the relative harm pot causes vs. legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. Hint, a UN study says says that pot is less harmful and addictive than tobacco or alcohol, the study also shows that legalization causes less harm to both society and individuals than our current laws.

No discussion on the possible tax revenue that could fund the treatment for the users of hard drugs and lower deficits

No discussion on ensuring a safe product for our citizens who use, like no contamination from fertilizer residue, pcb, paraquat,etc

No discussion on defunding crime syndicates.

Yes to giving up our sovereignty to U.S. concerns

Yes to more jails filled with people who have hurt no one but themselves, if anybody!

Yes to speaking down to kids. Kids who in ever increasing numbers will never bother voting , or at least not for Iggy.

Is this the great leader who will lead the Liberals from the wilderness? Yeah right!

And before someone comments, yes I can pass a blood test.

.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Citizens Engaging Democracy - event Videos

On Feb 25 the Newmarket-Aurora members of CAPP held their first event as CEDNA , Citizens Engaging Democracy, Newmarket Aurora. The keynote speaker for the function was Doctor Marco Fonseca, Professor of international Studies at York University. Dr Fonseca discussed our democracy, the threats against it and need to make it part of our daily lives not just a blip that shows up every 4 years or so when an election is called.

Dr Fonseca’s talk runs about 30 min and from the reception he received from the local crowd I’m sure you will enjoy it.

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

While seeing the videos is great, those who couldn't attend also missed the opportunity to watch MP Lois Brown scowl for 30 minutes straight. She was scrunching her face up SOOO! hard I honestly though she would crack the bridge of her nose.
I wished we had a second Camera to catch her reactions, they were hilarious

For anyone in the area who’d like to help organize, fund, promote or even just attend more such events Contact CEDNA
on facebook
, or contact me and I will get you in touch with the organizers.
.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stephen Harper's New National Anthem

Looking into O Canada's history I've found that the song has had several vastly different variations before it was finally set as the one we know with the National Anthem act in 1980, so I guess it's not too shocking or offensive that Harper wants to make a change, it's just damn unbelievable that he gives a shit about the issue.

What I would like to know does the line "in all thy sons command" actually offend anyone? I've never heard my most feminist friends say anything about needing a gender neutral anthem, have you? I believe they are more concerned with the loss of funding for women's groups, the lack of pay equity in government jobs and the fear that reproductive rights will reduced.

Either way all Harper is likely to do is change one line, which in the big scheme means next to nothing. So let's ignore Harper's little distraction over nothing and create our own Conservative versions of the anthem, Something you think Harper would really like, here's mine feeble attempt as an example.

O Canada
On stolen native land
True patriot love but not between two men
With glowing heart we see the rise
of big oil subsidies
From far and wide
O Canada, we stand on hypocrisy
God keep our land, mostly Muslim free
O Canada we stand on hypocrisy
O Canada we stand on hypocrisy

.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Should Greens consider Thorium reactors?

Debate topic for pragmatic GREENs

Thanks to a tweet by Enviralment I just read an article on Thorium reactor technology that I think people should read. Thorium reactors have been around for quite some time but because of their inability to be weaponized they never received the same funding or hype that conventional (uranium) reactor technology received. I've looked at thorium technology a number of times not only as because I love tech stuff but also as GREEN compromise position to the outright moratorium on nuclear plants.

Thorium has a number of major advantages or Uranium reactors

1. Fuel is 10 times more abundant and readily available in the waste streams of existing metal mines. This will ensure a good supply without additional mining of any kind especially Uranium mining. Thorium technology will also keep fuel prices low compared to what will happen if a major build out of new Uranium reactors is begun. Ur prices have been suppressed for decades because of the availability of reprocessed Russian warheads taken out of service in arms control deals, this supply stream is ending and Ur prices will skyrocket in the next decade if major new projects come on line.

2. Thorium reactors are self regulating and don't need expensive and dangerous high pressure systems, lower costs and lower risk.

3. Thorium waste is only hot for a couple hundred years and contains fewer exotic and toxic materials. While still a major storage problem this fact greatly improves the long term logistics of nuclear waste.

4. Thorium reactors can be built without worries of weapon development, You can't make a bomb from it so places like Iran can build them without threatening their neighbours.

5. Thorium reactors can be used to downgrade the toxicity of other nuclear wastes containing plutonium while using them as part of the fuel mix. This reduces dangerous waste and weapons grade fuel, win/win.

So, if an increase in nuclear reactors is inevitable as many people including some environmentalists now believe would it not make sense to throw our support behind a more earth friendly nuclear alternative (thorium) rather than stubbornly demand no nukes at all?

In a energy deficient future were we may lose the all or nothing argument against Uranium reactors, is thorium both viable and comparably safe enough that greens should consider this technology a compromise position to a nuclear moratorium?

I'm realistic/pessimistic enough to believe we may well lose the nuclear argument in a energy starved future, I'm also pragmatic enough to think we should at least debate a lesser of evils compromise where both sides can claim a victory?

I'm torn but would still like to see it debated by real environmental and nuclear experts

What do you think?

.Recommend this Post

Friday, February 26, 2010

In honour of Helena Guergis and PEI

Considering her outburst on Feb 19 in Charlottetown I just had to post this

I hope somebody can pull the surveillance tapes for this little hissy fit, that would make a great youtube clip
.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Holding the line on our Democracy -Press release-

The Newmarket-Aurora Chapter of CAPP, unwilling to wait to see what the evolution of the mother ship would bring decided to carry on alone and plan their own local, independent pro democracy events.

The Group now calling themselves Citizens Engaging Democracy is holding an informational Town Hall meeting in Aurora, ont Feb 25
at Trinity Anglican Church, 7:00 pm, with a realy good guest speaker
Dr. Marco Fonseca, PhD. (Department of International Studies, Glendon College)

This is their Press release, if you know anyone in and around Newmarket-Aurora please pass this on to them and/or forward them the FB event invite link . If you are close by, please consider attending.

From Citizens Engaging Democracy, Newmarket-Aurora


"Holding the Line on Our Democracy."

February 25, 2010


Binions Hall, Trinity Anglican Church, 79 Victoria Street, Aurora, ON

Suggested donation: $10.00/pay what you can

On Feb. 25th, join us for a local community meeting to educate and inspire local voters.

Featured Speaker:

Dr. Marco Fonseca, PhD. (Department of International Studies, Glendon College) will discuss the topic of grassroots democratic movements, with a focus on Canadian participatory democracy. He points out that, “when we do not take part in the public life of our political community, the very meaning of our citizenship - a key element of what it is to be Canadian - is at risk of being lost.” Our democracy is in crisis and it is up to all of us to let those in power know that we are watching and we want change.

Our Goals:


to reach Canadians who are still not aware that we have no sitting Parliament

to educate citizens about threats to, and the erosion of, our democratic system

to engage people, knowing that low voter turnouts and apathy lead to the election of governments who do not represent us

to tell our elected representatives to do their jobs in the House of Commons

to take action, preventing the misuse of power from being repeated.

We are presenting a petition requesting a legislative change to prorogation procedures.

We are also presenting information about related organizations so that people can take action and communicate with their government.

All local elected politicians will be formally invited to attend as observers.

Background: The shutdown of our Canadian Parliament in December 2009 by a minority government --in mid-debate of 37 pieces of legislation -- was only the biggest symptom of our ailing democratic processes. On January 23, 2010, in over 60 peaceful, non-partisan rallies of 29,000 concerned Canadians, we let our politicians know they had crossed a line. The 225,000 members of Chris White's Facebook group, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP), proved them wrong as almost 30,000 Canadians marched in the streets telling their politicians to "Get Back to Work."

Canadians Engaging Democracy, Newmarket-Aurora is a group of local citizens who met to coordinate the January 23 rally and feel that ongoing work is necessary to engage and inform voters. We want our democracy back.

Please join us in "holding that line" for our democracy!

Press contact: Liz Jefferson Website: http://ced-na.posterous.com/

For details, please call (905) 868-9183 or email precision_english@hotmail.com

PS Additional Stuff here

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Monday, February 15, 2010

I Present Vanessa Long GPC

I haven't been blogging much on this site recently because I've been working on my new local blog, the Jan 23 Newmarket-Aurora CAPP rally, and a second democracy event being planned for Feb 25 in Aurora.

In this flurry of activity I've been remiss in blogging about Newmarket-Aurora's newly nominated Green Candidate Vanessa Long.

I'll be a bit lazy here and just clip in parts of her bio

Vanessa graduated from Queen’s University with dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology and recently attended York University for International Studies. She has worked as a private school teacher, acupuncture clinic assistant, and administrative assistant, but for the past several years has been a personal trainer and lifestyle coach. She has recently begun to invest in real estate and healthy lifestyle products as she continues to broaden her knowledge and skills base.

Vanessa was one of the founding members and CEO of the local Green Party Association, and served on the Board and Committees of the York Region Children’s Aid Society between 2006 and 2008. Now that she is helping to care for three growing children she is becoming more involved with local schools and recreational activities.

Vanessa has decided to run because she feels that the short-sighted climate of fear and mistrust being created by the present government is not truly representative of voters. She has hope for the future and for the equitable distribution of resources and justice, where all voices are heard and respected, a view that does not seem to be shared by our current representatives. As a devoted entrepreneur she loves the Green policies for creating vibrant local economies with quality jobs for all residents, returning Canada to its former position of respect and leadership on the international stage.

Anyone who knows me realizes I'm a pig headed zealot who would not support Vanessa Long if I was not fully satisfied that her zeal, compassion and ethics made her not only worthy of running for office but also worthy of actually winning a seat and running our country. I fully support Vanessa Long Green Party of Candidate for Newmarket-Aurora

The attached video clip is Vanessa's first speaking engagement as GPC candidate at the Newmarket-Aurora CAPP rally.

for anyone interested here is Vanessa's FB fan page and her twitter is _vanessalong

Remember ONE is significant,

ONE WORLD fragile, beautiful and full of potential
ONE VISION for a healthy, prosperous and compassionate future
ONE VOTE to achieve these things in your community
ONE CANDIDATE who believes you need not accept less
ONE GREEN MP to rage against the cynicism of the status quo

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Newmarket Watch

Hi folks, this is just a small plug for my new blog Newmarket Watch

I recently realized that many of us were spending so much time on the big picture that we are neglecting those local issues that impact us each day. In my Newmarket we've tolerated stupidity, dysfunction and graft as normal parts of municipal governments to the point that a know embezzler had the balls to run for office a number of years ago. This is not tolerable and I hope to build this blog into a group effort that will attend, monitor and critique council as well as reporting on various fun or important events going on in Nemwarket.

As it is now we are poorly informed by our local newspaper and politicians and I hope to improve this. If you're in Newmarket, drop by Newmarket Watch, or let local family know about the site.
If you wish to get involved in the project let me know

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Raw Milk Day

Michael Schmidt was acquitted on 19 Charges today in Newmarket court.

I think it's great news to see that over bearing government interference has been beaten back in the case of Michael Schmidt, charged with the illegal sale and distribution of raw milk and raw milk products.

Sure raw milk CAN occasionally produce illness if contaminated but man has lived on this product for 1000s of years and survived, Mr Schmidt has never had anyone complain of illness and some of the best damn cheeses in the world are made with raw milk. This is a case of over zealous government policy attempting to interfere with educated peoples right to consume healthy whole food. It's not as if he's selling it as pasteurized when it's not. These consumers are more than eager to pay a premium for what they consider a more natural and healthy product, which should be their right. It also should be available without having join Mr Schmidt's brilliant but ridiculous Cow Share program. Who needs this grief just to buy a jug of milk!

I think the government needs to spend more time monitoring the filth in factory farms and meat packing plants and leave proven safe vendors of raw milk alone.

Besides he has Canadienne Cows a great historic breed which I like

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shuffling a Cabinet with Half a deck

It’s quite amazing that the Conservative Party of Canada has such little depth of skills in its caucus that it just keeps moving the same damaged goods from one fuck up to another. Raitt was a total disaster at natural resources failing to handle the Chalk River Isotope Crisis, so is she gone? Nope, just demoted to the wasteland called labour!

Ambrose who failed at the Environment (which MP hasn’t) has done her required penance in Labour, (a nothing ministry especially in a Conservative government), now has the chance to screw up Public works a Ministry that controls billions in contracts. Of course they might simply be throwing Ambrose to the wolves should the investigation into the Federal Auction site blow up. After all we know the Cons suspect all women of being nothing more than a left wing fringe group. ( Personally I think he’s still pissed with Belinda!)

Peter Van Loan who is a general failure as a human let alone a minister slinks over to Trade so Day can move to Treasury. This is ominous as Day in Treasury screams of coming cuts.

Keith Ashfield adds Atlantic Gateway responsibilities to his existing Atlantic Canada Opportunities portfolio in order to give Peter MacKay more time to redact documents over at Defence. That’s good; Petey was looking a little worn out.

Overwork seems to be dragging on many of the Ministers as seen by the resignation of Greg Thompson, the minister of Veterans’ affairs. I don't get it, we generally treat our veterans like shit how hard can that be for a Conservative? Just keep ignoring them, that’s hardly a challenging job Greg!

Of course Rob Moore must be very pleased that his outstanding credentials of living in New Brunswick elevated him to the elite status of Minister of Small Business and Tourism

So what else?

We have Vic Toews to Public Safety
Christian Paradis to Natural Resources
Blackburn to Veterans affairs

All in all this shuffle is a typical conservative square dance where partners were changed but the tune remains the same. Unskilled, crass and indifferent to the voters in one ministry will still be unskilled, crass and indifferent in a different ministry. Out of the 145 Conservative MPs is this really the total extent of skills this government can access? Just this last session they had to use a Senator to fill one of the ministries.

I would like my Newmarket Aurora readers to note that if our Glorious MP Lois Brown is not capable enough to be rise above this group of has-beens and never-weres, she's certainly not capable of representing us.

A perfect example of this lack of depth in caucus can be seen over at Accidental Deliberations A total waste of skin, the entire bunch of them.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Newmarket Aurora Anti Prorogation/ Pro Democracy Rally

Well it looks like we are going to go ahead with our own rally in Newmarket Aurora despite the powers that be at Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament who originally thought we are too close to Toronto and Barrie to have our own event. I agree that we might pull oh 30-40 people from each of the other events, but I'm sure just as many people if not more will not go to any event if they have to travel an hour plus. There are a lot of small towns between Newmarket and Barrie and for people in King City, Maple, Uxbrigde, Stouville etc they might like to join our mid point rally rather than travel into Toronto.

Newmarket Aurora is a Conservative riding and we have an MP (Lois Brown) who is more than willing to follow the Conservative talking points while defending Mr. Harper's cowardly attempt to hide from the Afghan detainee issue. Mr Harper has shown nothing but his contempt for our Parliament and citizens despite running on honesty and transparency. I'm not even going to go into all the other things he's done to piss us off. Ms Brown, always the good little soldier does what shes told and so deserves her own share of the blame and her own little protest. I wonder if Ms Brown still considers The Economist to be her favorite publication now that it has labeled Prorogation as "Naked Self Interest"

Personally I believe that we need to look at the big picture and act locally. So a local rally we shall have!

I don't know all the details yet as we still have a planning meeting tonight but the rally will begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 23 at Newmarket's Market Square and, weather permitting, will continue on foot to Ms Brown's office at Mulock Drive and Bayview Avenue.

We are planning this as a safe, family friendly protest (so wackos stay at home), and anyone who wishes to join us, invite friends or offer support may do so at our facebook site

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Just a thought on resource depletion, emergency preparations and economic resilience!

Most people who've heard of peak oil accept that it is a real phenomenon. Many people also realize that with rising world populations, increased consumption and the growing affluence of Asia that there will be a great many commodities from food, silver, distillates, catalysts, chemicals, rare earths and energy that will come into short term or permanent shortage at some time in our near future.

It is my belief that the GPC needs new ideas that will not only work towards the reality of resource depletion by advocating reduced consumption but at the same time creating policy that will strengthen Canada's resilience to the economic shocks caused by possible shortages. With this in mind I think that the GPC should adopt policy calling for the creation of regional strategic stockpiles that work with industry to make sure that primary materials required for the smooth operation of Canadian economic engine do not run out due to short term market shortages, or environmental emergencies.

I would also suggest that strategic reserves of grains, emergency supplies, and vital infrastructure components should be created so that in case of something like a massive blackout, ice storm, solar flare, hurricane etc. important infrastructure like the power grid or water treatment system can be restored in a timely manner without relying on foreign deliveries or waiting for the manufacture of damaged equipment. I'm sure there are already some government and utility provisions in place for such events but with the combination of resource depletion and the expectation of more volatile weather from climate change these programs surely need to be beefed up.

Now I admit there is no way to hoard our way to prosperity but having a strategic reserve for for energy is something most counties have. We do not! Canada always makes excuses for itself because it’s so big and cold, all the more reason to have a stockpile so no one ends up freezing in the dark, NO?

In today's just in time delivery system a strategic supply of food is only sane considering grocery stores and the distribution system only have a few days of anything in stock.

A strategic supply of rare earths for example will not keep us in business if the world runs out but would certainly keep industry running during a short term delivery interruption and would also be a great carrot to entice manufacturing companies to set up shop in Canada. Rare earths are especially important to those Green Techs we claim we wish to support like the manufacture of PV units and wind turbines.

Precursor chemicals for common and wide spread drugs like thyroxin, blood thiners or increased stockpiles of insulin might also be wise.

This is not an over night project but something that would take the better part of decade to build up to. Consultation with industry, economists, logistics people and the prioritization of which materials to stockpile would be a project unto itself but certainly energy and food should top of the list.

We are also in a time when currencies are going wild, the possibility sovereign defaults are being openly considered and it might just make sense to put part of our reserves into something that is real, growing in rarity and vital for our economic engine rather than more U.S. T bills.Recommend this Post