Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dion Greeted by 1300 in Oakville

Tonight's Town Hall Meeting in Oakville, sponsored by Garth Turner, was an incredibly well-attended gathering. Stephane took unscripted questions from the floor and was masterful with his responses. Some snapshots for your viewing pleasure.


Red Tory said...

Looks like they were trying to conserve electricity. ;)

Jennifer Smith said...

Naw, Jim's just got a crappy camera :) Mine's only marginally better, but check the Wingnutterer in the morning - Zorph's got all the best toys.

James Curran said...

If Stephane had his way, this event would have been by candlelight.

RuralSandi said...

Hey, candlelight might not be a bad venue....intimate - people listening and thinking.

northwestern_lad said...

James... I'll post this here because I tried over a Scotty's and failed in the attmept. As to your question about my questions, long story short, my questions revolve around blindspots in the plan. For example, what about First Nations people living on reserve, who are already amongst the poorest in our country, have some of the highest costs of living in the country, yet doesn't get covered by the tax code. What about them??? What's going to be done for them because tax shifting does not apply to them and they will be amongst the hardest hit by the taxing of diesel and jet fuel as of year 2, if the plan were to go ahead. Also, I am concerned about the effect on other levels of government, mainly municipalities, who will incure costs from this plan, but so far nothing has been said as to what will be done to help them cope. If their costs go up, they have to recoup it somehow and that usually involves property tax hike. So far everything i've read has been very mute on that point.

All very valid stuff, but stuff I have yet to hear addressed, which was something I was hoping to change last night. That's why whenever I hear "It's really easy" I shake my head a bit because the tax system effects everyone differently, so while the effects may be easy for some, it's not for others.

James Curran said...

Jet Fuel. I didn't know they airplanes on the reservation.

Perhaps you were nodding off when Garth was describing that the poorest income groups get the highest income tax breaks. Or the part where people living in the north would be eligible for up to $7,000 in tax credits. And the part that rural and agricultural would be eligible for further credits.

There are also other programs that you choose not to remember that have nothing to do with the Green Shift. It's Dion's 30/50 Plan for Poverty reduction.

Not to mention, the caucus is fully aware that Kelowna is still a proiority in their mind, and Bob Rae suggested last week that we must reinstate that as a priority.

As for municipalities, I am certain that at that very meeting last night Dion explained how many billions of dollars would be reinvested into municipal transit and infrastructure.

After reading your post Cam, I'm under the impression you may have been at a different meeting. Especially the part about him not communicating very well in English. He may not be as emphatic in English, but that certainly doesn't diminish his professorial brilliance.

northwestern_lad said...

James.... "Jet Fuel. I didn't know they airplanes on the reservation:... They don't, but how else do you get into a fly-in community??? Burrowing??? The fact is that most perishable supplies (milk for example) are flown into those communities, which is why it is so expensive ($15.00 a gallon), so taxing that hurts.

But either way, I wasn't dozing because of this big fact James... Most people living on reserve don't file taxes, don't get tax returns and don't need to because they don't get charged income taxes on their pay. That's the crux of that problem.

As for municipalities, investing in infrastructure doesn't address basic operational costs (heating, lighting, etc). Putting money into transit and bridges is all fine and good, but it doesn't pay to keep the lights on. Infrastructure and operations are two separate things.

Finally James, about the English skills, I wasn't trying to suggest that his lacking skills some how made him dumber. I was making the comparison to what I've heard of him in French, and the tone then. The fact that his English skills aren't as strong as his French ones does hamper his ability to get his intelligence across. When you're trying to sell yourself as the intellectual in the conversation, anything that draws away from that hurts. That's not an attempt at being partisan or anything, that's a fact and it's something that he's going to have to improve on or learn to compensate for.

Anywho, where were you hiding out at this meeting??? It would have been interesting to meet ya.

northwestern_lad said...

Clarification: taxing the jet fuel that runs the plane that supplies the milk, not taxing the milk

James Curran said...

Speaking English doesn't make one less educated or less intelligent. As for First Nations peoples, I will reiterate. We had a plan, and we have a plan. Kelowna will be back on the table addressing all the needs of First Nations peoples, not just the cost of their jet fuel.

And, I am not one to hide at such events. I was standing to the right of the stage. As you can see from the pictures my daughter took, we were quite close to the stage.

And, municipalities have to start to do things different. All of us need greener, cleaner, more efficient cities. If the Green Shift forces cities to do that, than so be it.

Similarly, Jack's Cap and Trade proposal will bear upon you the very same issues, only the cost will be immediate rather than blended. You really should join us Cam in our Richer, Fairer, Greener Canada.

RuralSandi said...

Ah, yes - Jack's the big polluters, uh, huh. One problem with that - those "big" polluters will suck their losses out of the consumers big time - you lose, they don't.

northwestern_lad said...

James... First off, relax. I wasn't attacking you or anything like that. I did't mean that you were literally hiding, It's just a saying. I meant I didn't see you and was just curious where you were. Was just trying to be friendly.

Also, I wasn't saying that not speaking English doesn't mean that you are less intelligent and such. What I was saying that when someone has problems communicating their ideas, regardless of the language they are trying to it in, it effect the way people perceive and take in that message. Would you know agree with that??? I am coming at this from the perspective of an Anglo who is fully bilingual and my experiences of not only learning a new language (getting a university degree in it by the way), but also from the experiences of trying to explain big things in a second language. It can be a lot to juggle.

Finally, for the municipalities, it's hard for them to make any changes when they don't have the means to do so. They are already stretched beyond their means, and pricing carbon, if not done correctly, only makes that worse. They need help adapting to, so why not give them the same consideration as citizens and business??? Plus, remember, while the municipalities may be their own level of government, all levels of government draw from the same taxpayers.

James Curran said...

You are my friend. I am totally relaxed. If I fealt any better, I'd be twins.

Municipalities have to get their own tools and elect smarter, innovative people. Same with school boards. Same with small businesses. Same with households. We have to get smarter and greener. It starts instantly with Dion. Why wait another generation?