Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Me, Me, And Me


Here in Ontario, the 2022 June election will likely see another Doug Ford majority, in part achieved by cynically buying the electorate with cash gifts that I have written about in previous posts. People will use their own inflation-induced economic hardships to justify supporting Doug Ford. Isn't he, after all, the man who has already rebated and ended licence-sticker fees, promised a six-month reduction of gas taxes post-election, etc.?

What is a voter to do other than revert to an 'it's all about me" approach to the world? Voting with principle and integrity seems not within the cribbed philosophy of many. At the very least, they should have the courage to admit their selfish shortsightedness.

The following letter, taken from the print edition of today's Toronto Star, neatly encapsulates the political prostitution a sizable segment of the electorate is willing to engage in:

Ontarians should be ashamed if Ford is re-elected

If Doug Ford is re-elected, it will prove Ontarians do not care about the environment.

If Ford is re-elected, it will prove Ontarians do not care about our seniors.

If Ford is re-elected, it will prove Ontarians do not care about nurses.

If Ford is re-elected, it will prove Ontarians do not care about the young.

So what will Ford’s re-election show that Ontarians do care about?

This election is about “affordability,” so in effect, if Ford is re-elected, it will prove Ontarians do care about their own bottom line — they are selfish. To be fair, a majority will probably disagree, but a sizable enough plurality will have shown we’re not “in this together” but, in fact, we’re each in it for No. 1. 

Ernest Tucker Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Lighter Side Of Dementia?

In which Rudy Giuliani amply illustrates the old adage that it takes one to know one. May the farce be with him.

Marching behind Mayor Adams is

who gets into a shouting match with a Democrat. “You are a jackass… You are a brainwashed asshole… you are probably as demented as Biden,” Giuliani told the guy

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Slouching Towards June 2


It would seem that Doug Ford guessed right: you really can buy people's votes with their own money. 

As the provincial election campaign continues, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives continue to sustain their lead, with a seemingly good chance at a majority government, as we get closer to June 2.

According to a poll from Research Co., conducted online with 700 Ontario adults from May 15 to May 17, 34 per cent of decided voters indicated they support the Ontario PC, 29 per cent support the Liberal, 23 per cent for NDP and seven per cent support the Green Party.

Oh well. I guess the man who, when he was a Toronto city councillor, advocated for a giant Ferris wheel and a monorail on the waterfront knows his alleged P.T. Barnum truisms.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

He Speaks - But Will The Truth Set Him Free?

In the following, George Bush offers an opinion that reveals more than he perhaps intended. Was it just one of his usual gaffes, his advancing years, or a subconsciously motivated expression of atonement?

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

This Is One Part Of The Problem

The other, of course, is the love of the gun that indelibly stains America and which few are talking about in the aftermath of the Buffalo massacre.

H/t Theo Moudakis

Monday, May 16, 2022

Puppets On A String


I have to admit to being somewhat puzzled as to how the recent increases in interest rates will combat inflation, given that it is mostly caused by external factors over which we have little control. While some have suggested it will bring a much-needed cooling to a housing market that has soared nationwide to absurd heights, it is only Heather Scoffield who has put it into a different, some would say sinister, context.

She starts off by observing that Joe Biden seems to be directing his attention toward profiteers in the corporate sector.

He issued an executive order, set up a high-profile antitrust unit, told it to crack down on profiteering, and pinpointed exactly where he wanted to see action.

Airlines, telecommunications, prescription drugs, the web giants — the executive order called them out.

Such boldness and focus are absent in Canada.

Here, the focus is on making sure workers hit by higher consumer prices don’t push for higher wages. The fear is they’ll set off a wage-price spiral that would launch already-high inflation into the stratosphere.

Wages have been creeping up at a much slower pace than inflation. In February, average hourly earnings rose 2.7 per cent from a year earlier, while consumer prices rose 5.7 per cent. Of course, the numbers bounce around month to month, and wages are picking up a bit of steam. But they’re not on fire like the prices workers face when they go to buy their groceries or fill their cars with gas.

Just to make sure wages don’t surge, the federal government is easing the way for a huge influx of temporary foreign workers in low-wage industries. 

While the Bank of Canada is putting its foot on the necks of workers, corporations seem to be enjoying a free and fast rise to record profits.

Net income for corporations across all industries was up 5.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the three months earlier. On an annual basis, non-financial industries were seeing profits 52.2 per cent higher, while financial industries were up 14.2 per cent on the year.

And while the government has made mewling mention of improper corporate behaviour, our country

has fallen far behind its global counterparts in cracking down on anti-competitive behaviour.

And I have yet to see any sweat forming on the collective brow of Corporate Canada, no doubt reassured that it is pulling the strings on a federal government it knows identifies with and fears it far more than it does the working person.

Perhaps Allan Baker of Scarborough, writing in The Star's Sunday print edition, sums it up best and demonstrates that corporate fealty is not limited to the feds:

Politicians help corporations as people go hungry

Lagging wages just how Ottawa wants it, May 6

Heather Scoffield writes that, in contrast to Washington, where President Joe Biden has taken “a big swing at corporations,” in Ottawa “the focus is on making sure workers don’t push for higher wages.”

To ensure that wage rates for Canada’s lowest-paid workers remain at a minimum, “the federal government is easing the way for a huge influx of temporary foreign workers in low wage industries.”

This is a deliberate attempt to keep corporations highly profitable at the expense of hard working people.

Our friends and neighbours, who are working in low-wage industries, are already suffering from higher housing costs, increased food prices and gouging at the gas pumps.

 Scoffield also reports on the increases in corporate profits over the past year: “Non-financial industries were seeing profit 52.2 per cent higher.” At Loblaws, Canada’s largest grocery chain, profits were up nearly 40 per cent over 2021, which was also a profit-making year for the company. Loblaws eliminated a temporary increase in pay for front-line workers long before the pandemic ended.

In Ontario, Doug Ford has refused to change Bill 124, which limits wage increases for nurses and other government employees to one per cent.

Ontario politicians need to demonstrate to voters how they will reduce income inequality, and, I hope, eliminate the need for food banks.




Friday, May 13, 2022

Paltry Offerings - Part 4

For those in Ontario who care about the environment, this editorial cartoon from Graeme MacKay requires no explanation, but serves as yet another apt warning of the perils entailed in giving Doug Ford another majority on June 2.