Saturday, June 15, 2019

More From The Land Of Nod

Warning: The following contains hateful messaging from the land of the free and home of the brave:

Friday, June 14, 2019

UPDATED: Meanwhile, In The Land Of The Free And The Home Of the Brave

You can read details of this sordid incident here as well as here.

UPDATE: Here is the story from the perspective of the victimized Black family:
"A police officer, we don't know who he is, a guy, random guy came up to the door banging on the window with a gun, says he's going to shoot us in our face, telling us to get out of the car. He hasn't alerted us that we're being pulled over anything," Ames said.

"If you look at the video pretty good I'm snatched out the car and I fly back and that's when he grabs me out the car.

My hands were up the whole time," Ames said. "It was just a very scary situation I never thought I'd be in. Traumatizing for me and my daughters," said Aesha Harper, the girls' mother.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

UPDATED: An Emotional Plea From John Stewart

For a number of reasons, I don't feel much like writing these days. Instead, I will let the stories I link to speak for themselves. If you start at the 1:25 mark of the following, you will see one that amply illustrates the great gulf that separates governments from the people they purport to serve.

UPDATE: If you want a Canadian version of government contempt, click here.

For Your Consideration

We need undeveloped, pristine land now more than ever to help offset rapidly escalating climate change. Please consider signing this petition.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Shifting Patterns

We now can say what we couldn’t say four years ago: a vote for Green isn’t automatically a wasted vote. If you vote with your heart and you vote Green, you might actually get a Green and so that shows a momentum shift, with greater credibility than there was four years ago.

- Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute

Being a tribalistic species, probably one of our biggest challenges is to rise above our natural affiliations, be they cultural, sociological, religious, political or ideological. We tend to identify strongly with our own kind; if we are Liberals, we look upon the Conservatives and NDP with suspicion; if we are Catholic, the road to salvation lies in that dogma, all others regarded as not-quite-legitimate. But now, facing the greatest crisis the earth has ever seen, can we override the many things that separate us in order to work for the common good and the salvation of humanity?

That is the hope of Elizabeth May and her Green Party. Mitch Potter writes:
A polling surge shows upwards of 10 per cent support nationwide and, perhaps more importantly, surveys suggest a substantially higher portion of Canada’s restless electorate — dispirited by hyperpartisanship in Ottawa as the global climate crisis becomes undeniable reality — are, for the first time ever, open to voting Green. If not for themselves, for their kids.
One recalls that in the last federal election, Justin Trudeau's appeal was to young voters, who responded enthusiastically to his message of hope. Now that his patina is tarnished, an opportunity for electoral gains has opened for the Greens:
What the Greens see now is an unprecedented number of Canadian millennials, as they arrive as the most potentially powerful voting cohort, demanding aggressive climate action now — something on the scale of the Green New Deal proposed south of the border by Democratic rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
With the unprecedented gains made by the Green Party in the European parliamentary elections, Elizabeth May is hopeful of a critical mass of seats in Ottawa. And her message should resonate with those voters massively disaffected by the partisanship that cripples politics today:
May’s party laid its bold ambitions bare last month, unveiling “Mission Possible” — an all-hands-on-deck approach that would strip divisive politics from the climate crisis, empowering an inner cabinet of all parties to guide the country through stringent new emissions targets, including net-zero by 2050.

Canada’s Greens say their plan echoes the war cabinets of Mackenzie King and Winston Churchill, when the need for victory transcended partisanship. Such all-party collaboration is appropriate and necessary, May argues, in the face of a threat greater than any war Canada has known.
And there are signs of a significant shift in public perceptions:
In the Greens’ favour, polling suggests that four months out, the party has a degree of momentum that presently eludes its rivals. One Abacus Data snapshot last weekend showed May and her party eclipsing the NDP in many parts of the country, suggesting a “rapid ascent of the Green party in both vote intent and, more importantly, vote consideration.”
Will Canadians do what is necessary to ensure the election of a sufficient number of Greens to have an impact in Ottawa? There is no crystal ball that can offer us a glimpse of the electoral future, but the increasingly ominous and destructive path of climate change demonstrates a horrifying future that we would be supremely foolish not to avoid with all of the means at our disposal.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

If You Follow Ontario Politics

... this requires no explanation:

H/t Patrick Corrigan

If you need a bit of a primer, however, allow me to introduce the chief sheep:

(Parentetically, Ms. Elliott was promoting a store that was convicted of selling an e-cigarette to an underage customer.)

Those who have sold their souls to Dear Leader may very well be experiencing considerable psychic and moral pain; one hopes, however, that Ms. Mulroney, Ms. Elliott, Mr. Fedelli and all others in the sheep brigade seek professional help for their alcoholic preoccupations.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Shameful Self-Abasement

The Toronto Star reports that there has been a furious social media backlash against shameful propaganda displays like the following, as the Ontario government seeks to break a 10-year-deal with the Beer Store:

Here are some samples of the jeering responses by voters:
“Cannot believe they are back at their stupid photos. Thought the general mocking of the gas station selfies would have maybe taught them something?” said a tweet from Barb Hickey, a self-described “political junkie and rebel” in Toronto.

That was one of several references to a previous social media campaign in which Conservative MPPs pictured themselves filling up at gas stations before a federal carbon tax took effect on gas prices.

“Nope, not needed, won’t change my mind. Spend as much time on health care and education as you do on booze,” wrote Frances Mote, a human resources consultant.

Health Minister Christine Elliott came under fire from well known emergency physician and media personality Dr. Brian Goldman for tweeting a picture of Andrew’s Convenience in her Newmarket riding and touting the “choice and convenience” of wider beer and wine sales.

“What in the Sam Heck is a HEALTH MINISTER doing tweeting this,” Goldman said.
Meanwhile, the province continues down its chaotic path. A mere year after its election, the Ford government has done much, much damage, aided and abetted by a coterie of supine cabinet ministers, of which the above Caroline Mulroney is but one. You can read more about the whole sorry set of collaborators in this editorial.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Friends In High Places Are Good (For Some)

Having friends in high places is certainly something the wealthy must savour as they continue to hide money in offshore tax havens. Yes, the very same havens the Trudeau government promised to crack down on. And the very same tax havens that, as I recently posted, seem to inspire timidity in our Canada Revenue Agency.

A new report by the CBC/Fifth Estate suggests that timidity is deepening:
The Canada Revenue Agency has once again made a secret out-of-court settlement with wealthy KPMG clients caught using what the CRA itself had alleged was a "grossly negligent" offshore "sham" set up to avoid detection by tax authorities, CBC's The Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada's Enquête have learned.

This, despite the Liberal government's vow to crack down on high net-worth taxpayers who used the now-infamous Isle of Man scheme. The scheme orchestrated by accounting giant KPMG enabled clients to dodge tens of millions of dollars in taxes in Canada by making it look as if multimillionaires had given away their fortunes to anonymous overseas shell companies and get their investment income back as tax-free gifts.
Apparently, who you are and what you are worth entitles you to special privileges, including a totally sealed record of your settlement with the CRA:
... tax court documents obtained by CBC News/Radio-Canada show two members of the Cooper family in Victoria, as well as the estate of the late patriarch Peter Cooper, reached an out-of-court settlement on May 24 over their involvement in the scheme.

Details of the settlement and even minutes of the meetings discussing it are under wraps. A CBC News/Radio-Canada reporter who showed up to one such meeting this spring left after realizing it was closed to the public.
Quite understandably, many are outraged by this:
Toby Sanger, executive director of the advocacy group Canadians for Tax Fairness, says the CRA should never have agreed to settle the case.

"I think it's outrageous," he said. "We've had a lot of tough talk and promises from this minister [National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier] about how they will crack down on tax evasion by the wealthy and corporations, but unfortunately we've seen no evidence of this so far."
The Trudeau government's previous tough talk on the so-called KPMG sham had come after a document leaked to The Fifth Estate/Enquête showed the CRA itself had offered a secret "no penalties" amnesty in May 2015 to many of the other KPMG clients involved in the scheme.

The CRA offered to have them simply pay the back taxes owed — but with the condition they not tell the public about the offer.
Apologists for the Trudeau government will insist that the CRA was acting independently of the government, but that clearly flies in the face of reality, given Trudeau's promises in 2017 to do a "better job of getting tax avoiders and tax frauders."

Like their attempts to influence the course of justice in the SNC-Lavalin affair, this latest report is yet one more arrow indicating where the sympathies and loyalties of our federal government really lie.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Too Good Not To Share

Rabid partisanship being what it is, Twitter user Mike Vlasic offers this perspective:

Monday, May 27, 2019

UPDATED: You're A Mean One, Mr. Ford

In a move that will surely swell the tiny hearts beating within the breast of Ford Nation, the Ontario government is eliminating a benefit that helps children of the poor, especially those claiming refugee status:
The cut, buried in April’s provincial budget, will end the Transition Child Benefit which provides up to $230 per month, per child in families on welfare who are not receiving the Ontario and Canada child benefits, such as refugee claimants.

The move, scheduled to take effect Nov. 1, will affect an average of 16,000 children a month province-wide, according to the government.
Those who favour tighter refugee and welfare rules will likely be exuberant over the deprivations they cuts will wreak. Others, with their humanitarian instincts intact, are horrified:
“To me, this is the nastiest cut,” said Toronto Councillor Shelley Carroll, a member of the city’s economic and community development committee, responsible for the local welfare system.

It is part of an estimated $177 million in provincial budget cuts to the city that threaten child care subsidies, school nutrition programs and free dental care for low-income children, among others services.
In Toronto, the loss of the Transition Child Benefit will mostly hurt kids in families making refugee claims, said City Manager Chris Murray in a memo to councillors earlier this month.
One such victim will be Eritrean refugee claimant Samu Abdel, 37,
who has three young sons, including one with spina bifida, the benefit has been critical to her ability to support her children.

“I don’t know what I would do without it,” says the single mother who fled her war-torn homeland in 2017. “I have a disabled son. I can’t work. I need this money to buy food and diapers.”
But such concerns seem to matter not to those wielding ever-sharper hatchets as they seek to cut the deficit, insisting that they are actually improving the system:
“We are replacing parts of the social assistance system that provide complicated and unequal support to those in need, with simpler rate structures for everyone,” said Derek Rowland [spokesperson for the provincial ministry of children].

“The government believes that all Ontarians should have equal access to children’s benefits, regardless of whether they are or are not receiving social assistance.”
Increasingly, Ontarians are seeing through the facade that the Ford regime has tried to erect. The question that remains, however, is whether, this early in their mandate, anyone in the Ford government is paying attention.

UPDATE: Hmm, it appears someone in the Ford administration has been listening.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Piercing The Propaganda

It is indeed heartening to see so many young activists now regularly protesting the inertia that our political masters are mired in when it comes to climate change mitigation. If anyone has a right to feel outraged, it is the younger generation that will find life on our planet far less hospitable than the one their elders knew growing up.

Equally heartening however, is the growing realization of the economic consequences of the widespread costs being incurred in these still early-days of global warming:
...the Bank of Canada... has just announced that it will incorporate climate change and its effects on business and the economy into its ongoing assessments of financial stability, growth and inflation.

In its report on financial stability last week, the central bank has finally recognized that even though environmental concerns are a bit outside of its wheelhouse, the risks are too consequential to be ignored. Extreme weather hurts infrastructure and the daily functioning of the economy, but it can also affect the stability of banks, pension plans, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

More broadly, however, because the world is moving to a low-carbon economy, Canadian companies that don’t measure their exposure to carbon and figure out how to handle the shift could suffer deeply, the bank points out.
This, of course, begins to pierce the propaganda promulgated by many of the economic consequences of a rapid move to a low-carbon economy.

And speaking of the low-carbon economy, Don Pittis offers some interesting insights as he cites a report called Missing The Bigger Picture: Tracking the Energy Revolution 2019.
Not only is Canada’s clean energy sector growing faster than the rest of the country’s economy (4.8% versus 3.6% annually between 2010 and 2017), it’s also attracting tens of billions of dollars in investment every year.

And perhaps most importantly for the average Canadian, it’s a huge, and growing, employer. In 2017, clean energy accounted for 298,000 jobs in Canada—roughly equal to direct employment in the real estate sector.
The fact that the role clean energy is playing an increasingly important role in our economy is hidden from most Canadians, largely because it is
not even classified in most statistics as a sector at all.

As the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, Merran Smith says in her introduction to the report, "Put simply, it's made up of companies and jobs that help to reduce carbon pollution — whether by creating clean energy, helping move it, reducing energy consumption, or making low-carbon technologies."

... the concern of Smith and her group, and the reason for assembling today's report, is the blinkered view of many Canadians that the energy industry and the economy are somehow in conflict with green principles.
But nothing could be further from the truth:
Economic research has shown that making the world more energy efficient is exactly what successful businesses have done throughout history, because energy is a cost, and cutting costs is what thriving businesses do.

"The clean energy sector isn't just about fighting climate change — it's also about using Canadian innovation to create better and cheaper solutions for everyday life," said Smith.
And there is real economic heft to be found in that sector:
Studying the period from 2010 to 2017, not only did the sector outgrow the entire economy by more than one full percentage point, but jobs in that component of the economy increased by 2.2 per cent a year, compared to an annual increase of 1.4 per cent in jobs overall.
No doubt, the old canard about climate-change mitigation measures being inimical to economic imperatives will persist for some time. However, the louder young people scream, and the more economic data that becomes available to us, one hopes that blinkered and inaccurate mindset will weaken and ultimately disappear.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Historical Factors that Led to The Current Opioid Crisis - A Guest Post By Patrick Bailey*

The opioid crisis has captured the attention of policymakers and the public. It is becoming increasingly apparent that this is a multidimensional societal challenge that requires a new approach. Such an approach should include patient and community level intervention. Access to care for mental health conditions, private alcohol rehab and substance abuse treatment is also important if we are to curb overdose deaths.

The history and events that led to the opioid crisis are explored in this article.

History of Opioid Abuse

As early as 1980 Carter’s White House had identified prescription opioid medication to be responsible for “as many as seven out of ten drug-related injury or death”. Yet the issue of the opioid prescription medication crisis was not brought to the limelight until two decades later. More and more people were looking to join private alcohol rehab and addiction recovery centers or were struggling with health complications.

In the 80s, before policymakers and the public understood the full adverse effects of this medication, there were virtually no regulations to stop opioid prescriptions. Propoxyphene was one of the most prescribed drugs in the 80s.

Propoxyphene was initially considered to be a weak opioid that could be used as an analgesic. It was later pulled out of the market after it was discovered that it could cause irregular heartbeats. By 2011, it was banned in the US and Canada.

Despite the obvious dangers of opioid medication and the impact they have in the community, opioid-related deaths continue to rise. The CDC reports that opioid overdose deaths have increased fivefold since 1980.

Overdose deaths are caused by drug abuse and misuse of prescription medication. In recent years, the CDC report points out that overdose deaths caused by prescription medication outnumber those from illicit drugs. The factors behind overdose deaths from prescription medication include:

● Insurance and Pharmacy benefit Policies

● Lack of oversight in the prescription of opioids

● Problems with provider clinical practices

The impact of prescription medication dependency is significant and far-reaching. It has complicated chronic conditions further, leads to addiction and financial loss. The impact was slowly starting to become apparent. But many in the health industry felt that new policies shouldn’t be so restrictive that they prevent patients in pain from accessing care.

But what happened between the 90s when cases of opioid adverse effects were being highlighted and the present day when it has become an epidemic? A series of events paints a picture of medical practitioners who were unwittingly giving way to profiteering pharmaceuticals.

Profit over People

When Insurance companies started to withdraw cover for opioid medication, pharmaceutical companies came up with ways to go round it. This included extended-release formulas, transdermal patches, and pain modulating implants. Many non-opioid pain medications were being questioned for their potential cardiovascular risk. At this point, pharmaceutical companies would start pushing back opioid pain medication much more ruthlessly.

In 2016, seven employees of Insys Therapeutics, Inc, including its former CEO, were arrested for running a scheme to defraud medical practices and practitioners. The department of justice claims that the former executives conspired to push a fentanyl-based drug to health care providers.

The executives went ahead to develop a scheme that involved many conspiring practitioners. They would give kickbacks to professionals in the healthcare industry to push their fentanyl-based drugs to non-cancer patients. The report alleges that some practitioners were bribed to change the patient’s diagnosis.

Fentanyl is a powerful analgesic that can be used to help people cope with chronic pain. But it is 50 times more powerful than heroin. If not properly prescribed, it can lead to serious complications and often death. This drug alone handles "nearly half of all overdose deaths".

Disease of Despair

However, even as opioid pain prescriptions decreased by 13% between 2011 and 2016, overdose deaths continued to rise. This may be attributed to the entry of drugs such as fentanyl which are less bulky and easier to distribute.

However, some researchers feel that the focus on drug distribution and incarceration also contributes to overdose deaths. This single focus reduces response to prescription opioid overdose and complications. Understanding how addiction to opioid prescription medication starts is limited.

Another issue is access to treatment. Treatment requires an understanding of what addiction is and why it happens. Factors such as underlying mental conditions, physical health, lack of employment, are some of the factors that ought to be considered.

Access to mental health treatment, substance abuse, and private alcohol rehab is critical for addressing the issue conclusively. Patients require access to alternative pain medication that is effective. One of the nonopioid drugs that has been proposed is Buprenorphine.

Unfortunately, the drug can also cause dependency. It demands due to caution when prescribing to those with opioid addiction. Congress is yet to approve the drug for addiction to prescription medication.

Meanwhile, the opioid crisis continues to affect the poor disproportionately. Lack of access to professional care can increase the risk of opioid-related complications. The environment where many of the poor live, makes them more susceptible to mental health conditions.

The rate of death is the same in both urban and rural counties. But the report shows a clear difference in poor counties and counties with high rates of divorce and separation. Addiction is a social and psychological illness that needs more than tough laws to curb.

The opioid problem has grown exponentially over the last decade. Partly because of the lack of effective oversight on pharmaceutical companies, and partly because of an economy that puts profit over people. The main problem is that we have failed to acknowledge the multifaceted nature of the problem.

* Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Patirck can be reached at the following address:

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Kindest Cut Of All?

Given the butcher's blade Doug Ford and his trained seals are taking to crucial services and programs in Ontario, perhaps the following best reflects the widespread disenchantment people are expressing with the government they helped elect.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Our Timid Canadian Revenue Agency

Over a year ago I posted about the sad record of the CRA in pursuing offshore tax cheats as revealed by the Panama Papers. It seems that little has changed since then.

In a Policy Options article, Senator Percy Down asks, Why can’t the Canada Revenue Agency catch tax cheats?
Recently, on the third anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, we learned that other countries have recovered more than $1.2 billion in fines and back taxes:

Australia has recouped $92 million.
-Spain is counting $164 million in its coffers.
-The United Kingdom has recovered $252 million.
-Even Iceland, with a population of roughly 350,000 people, was able to recover $25.5 million.

Of the 894 Canadians (individuals, corporations and trusts) revealed by the Panama Papers to have accounts, the Canada Revenue Agency hasn’t recovered a dollar.
While the CRA talks a good game, its results tell a different story:
The agency talks tough every time there is a public leak of information from some bank or law firm operating in a tax haven. Nevertheless, not one person has been charged with overseas tax evasion, much less convicted, fined or sentenced since the 2006 information leak we know the most about, from a bank in Liechtenstein, where 106 Canadian-held accounts were found to contain more than $100 million.

In fact, as reported by the Auditor General, the CRA “waived referrals for potential criminal investigation to gather information.” In other words, the agency promised not to charge the people involved in that tax scheme in exchange for them explaining to the CRA how it actually worked and agreeing to pay what they owed.
This strange acquiescence to tax evasion is contrasted by other jurisdictions that have worked hard to discourage such criminality:
Compare this to Australia, for example, where not only are back taxes and penalties paid, but individuals are charged with committing a crime and in many cases convicted, fined and jailed, and the country uses those convictions to warn citizens that it is serious about tax evasion.

“As a result of Project Wickenby’s focus on preventing the abusive use of secrecy havens,” a 2012 audit of an Aussie anti-tax evasion task force noted, “Australia is presently less attractive for international tax fraud and evasion than it otherwise would have been. After a slow start, the project has achieved substantial results from its activities, which contribute to protecting Australia’s revenue base.”
And make no mistake. We are all paying for the Canada Revenue Agency's laxity:
Because Canada has not recovered any money, three things have happened. One, we don’t have that money to fund our priorities without incurring a deficit; two, the rest of us have to make up the shortfall by paying more taxes; and three, Canadians are wondering why we have a two-tier justice system for tax evasion. Try to cheat on your domestic taxes, and the CRA will likely find you, charge you, convict you and force your repayment. Hide your money overseas, and you likely will never be charged or convicted. The odds are good you will get away with it, and your federal government allows this double standard to continue.
Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau administration seems to be using the CRA for its own purposes. Is it too much of a leap to conclude that one of those purposes is to protect its friends in high places?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Crazed Autocrat

Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not check thee.

- Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3

H/t Patrick Corrigan

The above quote from Macbeth, along with Patrick Corrigan's editorial cartoon, serve as pungent reminders of the carnage taking place in Ontario under the 'leadership' of Premier Doug Ford. Like Macbeth, Ford's vision can be described only in the bleakest of terms, with destruction at its very core.

Aided and abetted by an assembly of sycophants elected on Ford's coattails and slavishly devoted to him in the hopes, no doubt, of securing the leader's favour, they preside over the wholesale destruction of programs with nary a peep beyond the rousing standing ovations they give his every word in the legislature.

One ardently hopes for a day of reckoning.

Until that day comes, however, perhaps there is some measure of comfort to be derived from knowing that increasingly large numbers of people recognize Ford for the ruthless, vengeful, crazed autocrat that he is, aided and abetted by a feckless Conservative caucus:

From yesterday's print edition of The Star come these missives:
MPPs show lack of vision

Re Local Tory MPPs back Ford over city cuts, May 13

It is depressing to read the comments (or refusal to comment) from the 10 Toronto Progressive Conservative MPPs on how the Ford government’s funding cuts will affect the city.

We deserve better from our elected representatives than blind obedience to the party line and rote repetition of Ford’s major talking points.

What is most striking in the joint statement from the PC MPPs is the total lack of vision of the kind of city and province we are building for the future. We need our representatives to focus equally on long-range core values as on short term “efficiencies.”

That vision is sadly lacking, at least as demonstrated by the constipated views expressed by the Toronto PC MPPs.

Howard Gladstone, Toronto

Congratulations to your reporters for helping expose the hypocrisy that is rife in the government ranks.

Seemingly, the 10 Toronto MPPs think that a surprise $178-million (city manager’s estimate) reduction in funds from the province is no big deal.

They ran on a campaign of finding efficiencies in the provincial government. I don’t think that the 40 per cent of voters who backed them assumed they would just pass the buck to cities and municipalities.

Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Christine Hogarth thinks the problem can be solved by charging the well-off for yoga classes. Is that the best idea she can come up with?

Don Valley North MPP Vincent Ke says it’s not cuts. Really!

Scarborough-Agincourt MPP Aris Babikian blames the labour unions for stirring up protest against the cuts. I didn’t know senior citizens were unionized. York Centre MPP Roman Baber thinks that cuts to social services and child care services of $101 million is not a problem. Considering he thought that 64 and 37 added up to less than 100, remedial arithmetic should be on his agenda.

Of course, their leader is no better. Premier Doug Ford insults Mayor John Tory with a gibe about wasting time over a sign instead of finding efficiencies, as the premier obsesses over bucka-beer and stickers on gas pumps while giving large tax breaks to the rich.

I guess you don’t need a backbone just to stand up, hoot and clap in the legislature. I’m sure their constituents expect more.

Robin Bunner, Utopia, Ont

“Ford’s office quickly let the Star know the MPPs would respond with a joint statement.” That response sums up the entire Ford party strategy and the fundamental failing of our major parties. The instant the polls close, each delegate becomes a mere repeater of party sound bites, incapable of independent thought or speech and too timid to convey any message from the voters to the government.

Paul Collier, Toronto

It is not surprising that these MPPs follow the party line and that the response to the Star resulted in not one MPP replying directly, or that Premier Doug Ford’s office replied with a joint statement.

If they all stand up in unison to applaud everything Ford says, then it is not surprising at all. I am sure they fear for their jobs.
The Star perhaps should have dealt more directly with the constituents in their ridings and perhaps received more honest feedback.
It is a sad state of affairs when the people most affected by these so-called efficiencies do not have more support from their MPP.

Alison Herrington, Oshawa

I find Scarborough-Agincourt MPP Aris Babikian’s dismissal of protests at constituency offices as union-led to be not only untrue but amusing.

The weekly protests at my MPP’s office are organized by an ad hoc, diverse group that is calling itself Common Ground. And the seniors who protested library cuts at Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhof’s office weren’t union led.

On the other hand, there is a group being led by their boss. The Tory caucus issuing joint statements and joining in obligatory standing ovations look like a group dancing to the tune of the premier’s office bosses.

Peggy Stevens, Newmarket
Ultimately, Macbeth is overthrown by a coalition of brave people willing to confront the tyrant. Sadly, until the vox populi grows to a roar, the day of deliverance for Ontario seems far-off indeed.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Your Climate, Your Choice

That's the name of a new series which, in the coming weeks, will look at and evaluate the climate-change platforms of each of our political parties. Last night's segment was on the Green Party, and since it is first in the series, I cannot tell whether the tone will be the same in succeeding segments. I did think Donna Friesen seemed to be looking for practical and financial weaknesses in the Greens' approach, but that may indeed be the template for this series.

Start at the 12-minute mark to begin the report:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

UPDATED: A Masterful Revision

An antidote to the Ford regime's propaganda, thanks to Braeson Holland:

UPDATE: Meanwhile, another redoubtable Star letter-writer offers this assessment of Doug the Thug's duplicity and mendacity:
Cartoon about Doug Ford’s missing facts was right on the money

Missing facts cartoon, Moudakis, May 15

Your editorial cartoon decrying Premier Doug Ford’s missing facts is right on the money. The only way to fight lies and half truths is with facts.

This is exactly the reason that bullies and truth benders such as Donald Ford (should be his new name) depict the media as the enemy: it provides contrary opinions and perspective using facts instead of rhetoric.

And the media has the ability to be a conduit of information, our only means of educating the masses. Unless they don’t read. And it is costly to buy commercial time on television unless one uses our own tax money to spread lies and half truths. Evil genius. Our wonderful province is in crisis and clearly in the hands of the wrong people.

David Ottenbrite, Cambridge

A Day Of Reckoning

H/t Theo Moudakis

Here in propaganda central (a.k.a., Doug Ford's Ontario), it would appear that few are being fooled by the outrageous campaign the Ford regime is conducting against the carbon tax imposed by the feds after Doug the Thug axed our cap-and-trade program. I believe the following letter-writer speaks for the majority of thinking people who must be singularly unimpressed by what the last provincial election wrought:
Half-truths and dishonest nonsense at my expense! That’s the latest from the Ford government and his trained seals. They say in their ads that Conservatives have another way to handle the problem of global warming. But that’s partisan nonsense and ignorant.

True, people dislike paying more for gasoline and home heating. But if the Ford government told the truth and completed the story, including the offsetting rebates they will earn, many people – even died-in-the-wool Tories – will agree that the only way we will reduce carbon emissions is if it hurts a bit to use carbon fuels. Best way to do that is to make us pay. Oh my god! That’s a tax isn’t it? Yes. But if we don’t do that, carbon emissions will continue to destroy our environment. Like the frog warming in the skillet, shall we happily refuse to move until it’s too late?

Please, Premier Ford, stop using my tax dollars to fill the airwaves with BS!

Bruce Rogers, Lindsay, Ont.
And a recent Star editorial adds further clarity:
The federal carbon pricing plan, which started in April, will cost the average Ontario household $258 this year but the $307 rebate they’ll get will offset those costs and then some. It’ll be the same thing in 2022 — the year the ad chooses — when the annual cost is forecast to rise to $648 and will come with a $718 rebate. So it’s a net gain for most families, not a cost.

And the very reason the federal levy is being applied in Ontario is because the province does not have a better way. Last year, the Ford government killed the existing cap-and-trade program and lowered the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
That the Ford regime never listens to the people it claims to be for is exemplified by this fact:
The latest Nanos Research poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Canadians think it’s unacceptable for a province to opt out of the federal plan. Not surprisingly, the same number also oppose provincial governments using taxpayer dollars to fight it.
One need not be Nostradamus to see that a day of reckoning is coming. The world's heedless plunge into climate disaster and the governments that aid and abet that plunge guarantee it.

Monday, May 13, 2019

UPDATED: No-Holds-Barred Bill Nye

Clearly, Bill Nye is mad as hell and won't take it anymore. This piece would certainly make for a nice truth-in-advertising moment juxtaposed against the Doug Ford propaganda ads being paid for by the Ontario taxpayer.

UPDATE: You can read about the background to this video here as well as here.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Most Worthy Initiative

Although it has almost become a cliche, knowledge is indeed power. It confers upon us the opportunity to think critically; it enables us to make informed choices, freeing us from the demagogues in our midst; and most importantly, it helps us to participate meaningfully in the world around us.

One of the great daily conduits to that knowledge are newspapers. Taken in its aggregate, responsible journalism offers us the kind of information and analysis that makes it easier to navigate our increasingly complex world. And as regular readers of this blog likely know, The Toronto Star is my newspaper of record. It is therefore with great pleasure that I relay to those who might not otherwise have heard, The Star is making an extraordinarily generous offer that cannot help but redound to the public good.
Dear Readers,

There are about 2 million post-secondary students attending schools across Canada. Starting today, those students can become Star digital subscribers — for free — ahead of October’s federal election.

We are calling this the Vote2019 Offer, which basically means we want Canada’s newest group of eligible voters to be informed since they will have a say in how we shape our country on election day.

Why are we doing this? While accuracy, fairness and quality journalism have long been critical to our newsrooms, guiding those ideals are several principles we hold dear. Among those principles are community and civic engagement, and the necessary role of government.

Any current post-secondary student wishing to access this program need only fill out this form. They will need their school email account to register. The Star will also extend the offer to faculty during this period, which will end Oct. 31.

Those who register will have access to the wealth of credible, award-winning journalism our regular readers have long come to know.

Please sign up today, or let your kids or grandkids know about the offer.
If you know anyone who might benefit from this, please, please let them know.

Friday, May 10, 2019

How Supple Are They?

I hope, for the sake of their well-being, that each loyal soldier in the Doug Ford regime has a gym membership they regularly use. Otherwise, I fear they will sustain myriad and grievous injuries to their joints and sinews. Twisting oneself out of shape while proclaiming black is white and lies are truth can exact a horrible toll.

Perhaps somewhat ironically, the one whose well-being I currently feel the most concern for is Health Minister Christine Elliott, a once principled and competent woman who, upon entering the Ford cabinet, has proven to be, along with Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, most adept at amazing feats of contortion.

Consider the following from Rob Ferguson:
Layoffs of 44 staff at the Ontario Telemedicine Network following a funding cut by Premier Doug Ford’s government won’t curb plans to provide more virtual care to patients across the province, Health Minister Christine Elliott maintains.

Elliott said Wednesday none of the cuts at the telemedicine network were front-line care providers and called the firings “reasonable and pragmatic.”
Elliott seems to be an unabashed enthusiast of the far-right's core belief: less is more:
“It doesn’t mean that we take any ... direction away from digitization. It is vitally important in our modernization of our health-care system.”
Those who have not consumed that particular variety of Kool-Aid beg to differ:
... Green Leader Mike Schreiner said the health minister failed to explain how telemedicine remains a priority, particularly for remote and rural areas with less access to medical professionals than major cities.

“This government is so full of contradictions. It’s one after another. They say they support something and then they turn around and cut it. Telemedicine is just one example of that,” Schreiner added.

“The other one is they said they’re all for adapting to climate change and then they cut the tree-planting program and the flood prevention program.”
Until we all get "with the program," the vast majority of us, I suspect, will share Mr. Schreiner's bewilderment.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Looking Toward The Future

I'm feeling an unaccustomed lightness of spirit these days. The growth of Green Party support is at least in part responsible:

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A New Day

Having abandoned any notion of voting for the Liberals in the next election, I find it irritating beyond expression to be constantly confronted by the binary thinkers among us who shrilly declaim that a vote for someone other than Trudeau is a vote for Andrew Scheer. This kind of absolutist thinking not only shows disrespect for our democracy, but it also suggests that we are doomed to always pick the least odious party when we cast our vote.

Well, it would seem there is now a new kid on the block called The Green Party. Fresh off its major gains in P.EI. and in tandem with the impressive performance of Green Ontario MPP Mike Schreiner, yesterday saw the election of Paul Manly in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, garnering 38% of the votes.
Manly will become the second Green Party member in Parliament, joining Leader Elizabeth May.

“This bodes well for the Green Party across Canada,” he said.

His victory shows the other parties that Canadians are serious about climate change, Manly said, adding he expects the Green wave of support to grow in the October election.
Unlike the other conventional, tired parties, the Greens have a vision:
“How we can change the economy — that we are working in to protect the environment that we need for our health, for our children, for our grandchildren,” he said. “How we can do a better job of taking care of people who are less fortunate.”

He said governments should stop subsidizing the “old” economy.

“We moved beyond the horse and buggy and its time to move beyond the internal combustion engine,” Manly said, as the crowd cheered.

It’s also time that the government stop giving foreign multinationals tax breaks that “frack our environment and expand oil production,” he said.

“Those days should be over. It’s time to move forward,” Manly said.

“I will not compromise on the future of our children and our grandchildren.”
That's all I have time to post today. But for me, it is more than enough.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Pay To Slay

That's what critics are calling Bill 108, the “More Homes, More Choice Act,” introduced stealthily, as the cowardly are wont to do, by the Ford regime in Ontario. Buried in an omnibus bill, the favoured vehicle of the dishonest, (including both Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper), the bill promises to open up to developers sensitive aeas that will greatly endanger Ontario's at-risk animals and plants.

On the day a UN study reports that more than a million species worldwide are at risk of extinction, we should all be standing up taking distressed notice.
Bill 108, the “More Homes, More Choice Act,” would weaken classification criteria, allow the environment minister to delay protections for up to three years, and provide developers, industry and others who impact the habitat of endangered species with a suite of options to continue their activities, including a fee-in-lieu fund derided by critics as “pay to slay.”
Of course, the Ford regime, led by a man who has never met a developer he didn't like, is cloaking it as a means of addressing housing shortages. Hence the bill's simplistic title: the “More Homes, More Choice Act.” It is a subterfuge his willing, amoral acolytes and MPPs are happy to propagate, insisting the bill will actually enhance protections:
Lindsay Davidson, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, said Ontario is committed to ensuring “best-in-class” protections for endangered and threatened species.

“The proposed changes … will enhance government oversight and enforcement powers to ensure compliance with the act and improve transparent notification of new species’ listings,” Davidson said in an email.
Cold reality is perhaps best expressed by experts in the field of biodiversity:
“It really is very deferential to exactly those threats that are affecting species at risk today,” said Justina Ray, president and senior scientist of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. “I’m very concerned that at the end of the day, we kind of have an empty shell of an act.”
Or, to put it more bluntly,
“It really is a doomsday scenario for endangered species in this province,” said Kelsey Scarfone, program manager at Environmental Defence Canada.

“It’s basically been whittled down to nothing. They might as well have just cancelled it,” she said.
Every day brings forth more bad news. It is the fate of the newspaper reader to absorb this news, and to be as well-informed as possible about the depredations that envelop us. But it doesn't end there. Until each of us realizes that the well-being of nature (and I do urge you, in the strongest terms possible, to read about the UN report) and our very survival are inextricably linked, the destruction and rapidly increasing extinctions will only continue.

Bad, greedy people know no bounds.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Now, A Word From Premier Doug Orwell

The Ministry of Truth has released the following message from Our Glorious Leader. Widespread distribution is strongly encouraged.

My Friends, Citizens of Ontarioland:

It has come to My attention that the media, the Official Enemy Of The State, has been spreading lies in order to undermine confidence in, and devotion to, Me. In our fair and democratic society, such sedition cannot be overlooked, and you can rest assured that the offenders will soon be offered placement in many of our fine Reeducation Camps strategically located across our fine realm.

In the interim, however, it behooves Me to set the record straight (historical records will be amended as well, at a later date):

Enemy Number One is a perfidious scribe named Edward Keenan. Fortunately, his scurrilous misinformation is not online, but only in the printed edition of his propaganda organ, The Toronto Star, which nobody reads anyway.

Calling me an axe-wielding agent of chaos, he offers the following treasonous lies:
Here was city [of Toronto] manager Chris Murray, in the letter to councillors about the cuts to child care: “The city was not consulted or provided with any advance warning about these changes.”

Sound familiar? The first clause of that sentence read, “As with recent changes to the provincial/municipal costsharing arrangements for public health,” referencing another set of cuts that arrived as a surprise and occupied the city’s attention these past couple of weeks. But it could have said, “As with the sudden cutting of the size of city council in half in the middle of an election campaign,” or, “As with the changes to the city’s transit plan using new routes and new technology,” or, “As with the decision to shortchange the city for hundreds of millions of dollars in gas tax revenue Premier Ford had directly promised to deliver.”

In each case — and in others affecting those across the province using library services, caring for children with autism, or attending and working for the school system, to cite just a few more examples — the people directly affected by these multimillion-dollar decisions were taken by surprise by the drastic, immediate changes to the services they rely on or deliver. No notice, no advance consultation or negotiation and, apparently, very little consideration of any effect beyond the one on the bottom line.
Such defamation flies in the face of the fact that I am famous for consulting the people. I talked to thousands upon thousands in Ontarioland who told me they want new efficiencies that will make elected officials acknowledge the bloat found in every publicly-funded institution, be it health care, education, child care, library services or council size. And they are demanding lower taxes. As a humble instrument of the people, I do as demanded.

Happily, there are many efforts underway to set the record straight:
“In an attempt to protect child-care funding for future generations, our government is looking at ways to better deliver services and reduce administrative costs,” Education Minister Lisa Thompson’s office said.

Thompson’s office says, “we are challenging municipalities to reduce their administrative spending.”
My ever-loyal and doting Minister went further to explain the kindness we are bestowing with our budget 'adjustments:
“In an attempt to protect childcare funding for future generations, our government is looking at ways to better deliver services and reduce administrative costs,” said an aide to Education Minister Lisa Thompson.

“To be crystal clear, these reductions are primarily at the administrative level. We are challenging municipalities to reduce their administrative spending on child care delivery by 5 per cent and refocus that funding on things like subsidies for low-income families,” said Kayla Iafelice.

“The city of Toronto should be looking at ways to make their operations more efficient instead of passing on these costs to parents,” said Iafelice

“There is no need for a single child care space to be lost as a result of a 5 per cent administrative change. Any reductions in childcare spaces would be the result of the city of Toronto’s own decision-making.”
I realize holding up a mirror to the profligate spenders and socialists amongst us is an unpleasant experience for them, but The Truth must be known.

Spirited discussion is to be encouraged in a democracy as glorious and healthy as ours. However, when that discussion moves into the realm of lies and seditious commentary, your government will always act in the best interests of the people, and deal with dispatch and resolve in stopping such attempts to foment discontent.

Remember, I am always For The People.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

He Will Never Be Green

My past two posts have consisted of editorial cartoons featuring well-known 'green'characters. The first depicted Kermit the frog trumpeting the very significant electoral gains made by the Green Party in Prince Edward Island, where they now form the government's Official Opposition. The second depicted The Hulk as climate change, about to pummel Andrew Sheer, sheltering under a wholly inadequate umbrella labelled climate plan.

One whom I doubt will ever be depicted as green, either in the mind of editorial cartoonists or the informed public, is Justin Trudeau.

Our pipeline-loving Prime Minister relishes touting his government as having a serious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The only problem is, it isn't true.

Consider Trudeau's much-touted carbon tax. Distilled to its essence, it is a plan that essentially returns more money (through a rebate) to most people than than it exacts from them. Putting aside the obvious politics involved in the rebate, one can legitimately ask the obvious: How will this deter people from using energy profligately? (The stock answer is that Canadians will appreciate that they stand to gain money if they reduce their carbon usage, a kind of enlightened self-interest that I have rarely witnessed from our fellow-citizens.)

Sadly, the Trudeau charade of constructive action against climate change is also pierced by his ongoing advocacy for tarsands bitumen, made evident in the aforementioned pipeline purchase, and one reinforced by a new deal on emissions he is offering to Alberta:
The type of oilsands developments that emit the most greenhouse gas could be exempt from new federal reviews for major projects—but only if Alberta keeps its cap on emissions from that sector.

The proposed exemption was included in draft regulations published Wednesday that outline which new developments would be subject to federal reviews under Bill C-69, legislation to revamp project assessments in Canada that has been denounced by some industry groups and the Conservative opposition.
Under the proposed regulations, Ottawa would exempt new “in situ” oilsands projects in Alberta from federal reviews because the province’s emissions cap for the sector—set at 100 megatonnes per year—is in line with Canada’s climate change framework, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, government officials said during a background briefing Wednesday.

Emissions from these projects nearly quadrupled to 42 megatonnes from 2005 to 2017, when they made up more than half the emissions from Alberta’s oilsands, according to the federal government’s most recent tally of national greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental defence groups are appalled:
Nichole Dusyk, a senior federal policy analyst for the Pembina Institute, said Ottawa is backing away from its environmental responsibilities if “in situ” oilsands projects aren’t placed under the new review process.

“Exempting it because there is a cap misses all of the other impacts that are within federal jurisdiction,” said Dusyk, pointing to potential effects on the habitats of “at-risk” species.

Julia Levin, climate and energy program manager with Environmental Defence, questioned why other emissions-intensive projects like pipelines that don’t cross borders will continue to be exempt from review, when renewable energy projects like certain hydroelectric, wind power and tidal energy facilities will be placed under the new federal assessments.

Like Dusyk, Levin said the regulations should ensure projects with a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions fall under federal review, so that Ottawa can manage emissions as it strives to hit its targets under the Paris Agreement.

“This was not the place to abdicate responsibility and that is what the government has done,” she said.
Today sees a new report on how rapidly permafrost is melting in Canada's Arctic.
Nearly one-fifth of Arctic permafrost is now vulnerable to rapid warming, [Merritt] Turetsky’s [University of Guelph biologist] paper suggests. Plenty of it is in Canada, such as in the lowlands south of Hudson Bay.

Soil analysis found those quickly melting areas also contain the most carbon. Nearly 80 per cent of them hold at least 70 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre.

That suggests permafrost is likely to release up to 50 per cent more greenhouse gases than climate scientists have believed. As well, much of it will be released as methane, which is about 30 per cent more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
And yet, to hear the official propaganda, Canada is serious about climate change mitigation. Time for Canadians of all political stripes to wake up, understand the grave peril we are in, and make their next electoral choice an informed one.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

And Now, A Word From Kermit

H/t Greg Perry

Still not convinced? Perhaps these letter-writers can help:
Local governments all over the world are declaring a climate emergency, so stop using the neutral term “climate change” in your coverage. There’s nothing neutral about the looming disaster for our “life support system” (aka the environment). Let’s call it “climate breakdown” or “climate chaos.”

It’s not balmy “global warming,” it’s “critical planet overheating.” The oil and gas industry once successfully lobbied the media to call their nasty tarsands project the cleaner-sounding “oilsands.” Clearly, words matter. The emotional urgency of these words matter. Our future is at stake.

Pike Krpan, Hamilton

There are so many ways in which we need to fight the environmental injustice of climate change, but at every turn, governments in Canada are moving backward on the existential issue of our time.

Bill C-69 is one way to counteract the wave of retreats in the battle against climate change and other potential environmental damage. The fossil fuel industry is well aware that it stands to lose economically from this bill and they have mounted a misinformation campaign aimed at convincing the Senate to water it down or delay it until the federal election.

Canadians expect our governments to act to protect our rights, including Indigenous rights, and to act in the best interests of citizens and residents, not multinational corporations. The Senate needs to do their job and pass this bill, which has already been three years in the making.

Amy Scott, Toronto

Tom Scanlan, Toronto

Rob Strang, Orangeville

Monday, April 29, 2019

Does This Make Me A National Security Risk?

I think this is worth the risk:


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

But after reading Michael Coren's article and then watching the Mrs. Betty Bowers video, I think you will agree, it is all for the best.

For some context, Michael Coren writes about Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham:
Franklin is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the charity Samaritan’s Purse. For the latter position he is paid $1 million a year. He enjoys enormous support in the conservative Christian world, with more than 5 million Facebook followers, and has many supporters in Canada.
In response to the 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who describes himself as a gay Christian, Franklin engaged in his favourite jihad, the one aimed at such 'sinners.'
"As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized.”

He continued, “The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman — not two men, not two women,” and “the core of the Christian faith is believing and following Jesus Christ, who God sent to be the Savior of the world — to save us from sin, to save us from hell, to save us from eternal damnation.”
Some may be forgiven for thinking the good reverend has an unwholesome preoccupation with the sexual practices of others. In the past, he has argued
... that LGBTQ people be barred from churches because Satan “wants to devour our homes.” He also roared that the election of Donald Trump was due to the “hand of God,” has lauded Vladimir Putin for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda,” and condemned Planned Parenthood as being “Hitleristic.”
If you have the time, please read the entire article, as Coren goes on to write how the Bible has almost nothing to say about same-sex relationships, and the few references there are must be understood in their proper contexts.

And now, for your viewing pleasure and edification, I give you Mrs. Betty Bowers:

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Speaking of Doug Ford And His Ilk ....

H/t Patrick Corrigan

Paul Rapoport of Ancaster, Ontario, has some advice well worth the consideration of Canada's Conservative premiers:
Keep your Enemies List current. Cut their funding. If you want to remove 50 per cent, make it 100 per cent. In three years, give back 10 per cent and you’ll be ahead and hailed as a hero.

Meanwhile, when you’ve created crises in those enemy sectors, blame them for the bad results.

Go after environmental groups, to keep the big polluters’ donations flowing. Fire anyone who uses the words “climate change.”

Take away women’s rights, because women are smarter than you and must be controlled.

Remember to cut education, because well-educated people tend not to vote for you, and others will more likely believe your spin.

Doctors and nurses are well educated, so cut health care.

What you can’t cut, privatize for your richest cronies. They need more money and power.

If your capital city has called you incompetent, with years of evidence, take over or ruin it.

That’s good for business and “for the people.”
And, given that it is Sunday and you may be in the mood for a parable, letter writer Maurice Sacco of Toronto offers this lesson:
Have we created a new nursery rhyme character complete with a story and moral?

The story of a young man, the Sign Maker’s son, who grew up in a life of unchallenged privilege. He dreamt of one day becoming a king who would ride the subway anywhere in his kingdom and his people stood and applauded him each time he opened his mouth to speak.

He would shower them in beer and they would truly love him. The boy grew to inherit the sign-maker’s business and sold it for a chance to be king.

The people rejoiced at his coronation and sung his praise as cheap beer was now made available throughout the kingdom at every shop at every corner at every hour.

Once crowned, he decided the kingdom’s treasury of health care, education and environmental protection was of little value and traded them for more cheap beer, subways and vanity plates for all in the kingdom to enjoy.

With time, the subways became too expensive to maintain and fell into disrepair, the cheap beer lost its flavour and caused many to become sick and weak and the vanity plates no longer drew attention from anyone.

People became sick and the kingdom was devastated by storms and famine.

Without education the people didn’t know how to change things back to the way they were before. The kingdom fell to ruins.

The king became disappointed with his sick and weak-minded people and eventually abandoned them to return to his sign-making business.

The moral of the story – you get what you vote for.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Who Is Really Running The Show In Ontario?

There is little question in my mind that in the depths of his shallow soul, Doug Ford, like his philosophical father Mike Harris, believes that government 'interference' is what makes the lives of people difficult. Indeed, that could help explain the following remarkable exchange, posted by Daniel Enright on Twitter. As you will see, it appears that within his own government, Ford seems to have contracted out his policy-making. That, of course, begs the question, "Who is really running the show in Ontario?"

Please forgive the duplication of each preceding message, as that is what the Twitter embed codes gave me.