Friday, February 27, 2009

Russians Bombing Canada......Conservatives Begin Wagging the Dog

A la the now famous political spin movie, Peter MacKay has called a press conference this morning to tell Canadians about RCAF F-18s being scrambled just before President Obama's visit. Apparently there was a Russian bomber approaching Canadian airspace. Curious to hear the Russian side of the story.

If the facts are that this happens often, why is this recent event worthy of a news conference?


Build It and They Will Come...Ask Manchester UK

Part of the Toronto Pan Am Games bid will include the construction of a new world-class velodrome to be built in the City of Hamilton. This facility will be in addition to a new stadium in Hamilton that hopes to be the future home a professional soccer team.

Mopping up after Mayor Fred's big win
February 25, 2009
Andrew Dreschel
The Hamilton Spectator

(Feb 25, 2009)
He gets tagged when he loses a big vote, so let's give him a hand when he wins one.

Take a bow, Mayor Fred, for prevailing in the great Pan Am Games debate.

Right from the giddy-up, Eisenberger championed Hamilton's participation in the Toronto/southern Ontario bid and kept the pressure on until the finish line was crossed in a flying 12-3 vote.

Eisenberger is, of course, too dryly reasonable to speak passionately about anything.

But, during the debate, his hard sell of the stadium as a bold and creative investment in the city's future was as reasonable a facsimile of fervour as we're ever likely to get from him.

He called the Games a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to leverage millions of dollars from the province and feds to help build a replacement stadium for Never Wynne.

He dismantled arguments that the initial $60 million for the facility is coming at the expense of infrastructure spending.

He cited other initiatives the city is spending millions on, from the QEW pedestrian bridge to upgrades to the market and library.

He pointed out there's more to infrastructure than fixing potholes.

And he spoke optimistically about the stadium encouraging development and generating other waterfront and downtown investment.

All in all, it was a strong message strongly delivered.

Mind you, the visionary torch Eisenberger was waving had already dazzled most of the other councillors.

A win is a win, but this was one big vote that was never really in doubt, despite the best efforts of Councillor Sam Merulla to whip up opposition.

Besides Merulla, only Brad Clark and Margaret McCarthy argued the city simply can't afford to indulge its pie-in-the-sky appetites given its already lengthy list of unfunded capital projects and a debt load approaching $1 billion.

I share their concerns, but it doesn't seem those red flags are widely flown in the community. People generally seem more enchanted by the vision than leery of the financial burden.

As Councillor Maria Pearson rightly pointed out before the vote, the council chambers weren't exactly crammed with anti-stadium protesters.

Still, a couple of mopping up points should be made before council ratifies the vote tonight.

To begin with, there's no question a new football facility would give this city a tremendous psychological boost.

But it's passing strange that councillors can seriously argue a new city-owned stadium will jump-start development in the core when Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place or the Convention Centre don't seem to have had that effect.

It's also ironic councillors such as Terry Whitehead who roundly criticized Hamilton Health Sciences for only consulting the public after they had already decided on a restructuring plan are quite willing to do the same.

First, they selected a stadium site at the harbour; now, they're going to talk to the public about it.

True, if an environmental assessment goes wrong, they'll have to build elsewhere.

But how is that process any different than what HHS did?

On the other hand, I suspect Whitehead is right on target when he says the velodrome may be Hamilton's "sleeper" legacy if Toronto wins the bid in November.

The bicycle racing arena stands to make Hamilton the destination for high-performance provincial and national competitions, as well as the training ground for future Olympians.

And at $11.5 million -- of which $5 million will be paid by the city -- both the cost and the vision don't require the kind of finger-crossing Hail Mary pass a stadium calls for.

City in hot pursuit - Sports - City in hot pursuit
Pan Am velodrome would make Hamilton Canada's cycling centre With Hamilton's natural attributes, the escarpment and plenty of rural routes, Andrew Iler feels Hamilton could be Canada's premier cycling centre of excellence.

John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator

(Jan 10, 2009)
Many stars need to align, but Hamilton has a shot at becoming a very big wheel in global cycling circles.

A world-class velodrome proposed for the 2015 Pan Am Games bid by the Canadian Cycling Centre Hamilton would be the only international-standard indoor track in North America east of Los Angeles.

Hamilton lawyer Andrew Iler has put the pedal to the metal on the initiative with a feasibility study/business plan that will be unveiled soon. Iler, an avid cyclist who is president of the cycling centre based at McMaster University, is in Manchester this weekend putting the final touches on his research.

Manchester's velodrome is home to England's national cycling centre, a node that is responsible for that nation's rapid rise to 13 medals, eight of them gold, at last summer's Olympics.

Proponents argue such a facility here would be a logical extension of Hamilton's triumph in staging the 2003 road world championships and building on the cycling centre at Mac, which was a legacy of those races.

The Hamilton-based National Cycling Centre is one of five high-performance centres in Canada under the Canadian Cycling Association. It provides coaching for elite athletes, runs youth programs and organizes training camps in conjunction with the Ontario Cycling Association.

And with Hamilton's natural attributes, the escarpment and plenty of rural routes, Iler feels Hamilton could be Canada's premier cycling centre of excellence.

After all, the current Hamilton centre has complimentary sports science and sports medicine expertise at its finger tips at Mac.

But Iler is acutely aware of the general view of velodromes, especially in light of the fate of the one built for the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

"We plan to propose a facility that can host events from local recreational cycling to the Pan Am Games and the Olympics," he says.

But it can't be the gold-plated $150-million kind in London for the 2012 Olympics or Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games velodrome.

The Montreal track became known as a white elephant and was eventually converted into a biodome with indoor zoo.

Iler has an animal of different stripes in mind, a functional facility that will have legs in terms of legacy.

"Integration with the community through connections with recreational and school programs is very important."

He said while a velodrome with, say 3,000 seats, would be built for the Pan Am Games, it can't be operated solely as an elite training centre.

Rather, he turns the equation around, noting the facility plus lots of recreational use, especially by children, equals more and more elite athletes Hamilton can send around the world. The experience in Manchester and the Lehigh Valley Cycling Centre in Trexeltown, Pa., which has a large 333-metre outdoor track, is that the kids programs spawn athletes who move to other cycling disciplines, like road, mountain and BMX.

Iler believes the same thing would happen here.

The model that is working for the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ont. is encouraging.

The non-for-profit operation needs about four members on the recreational side for each competitor. The tiny track draws cyclists from as far away as New York and Chicago to participate in training camps.

"We're here for people to have fun," says Forest City principal Rob Good. "We're here for the kids, the competitors and if someone says 'I'm not a racer, that's cool, we have a program for rec riders."

Good said he quit cycling at 21 because it was solely a competitive game. Now he's helping the young at heart stay in the activity.

"We built it and they came. Now it is a big adult recreational pursuit, with 80 per cent of our membership riding for fun. We'd go broke without them."

But to host a major event, a minimum 250-metre track is required.

The Hamilton plan will have plenty of barriers to leap.

First, will the 2015 Toronto bid staff recommend a temporary or permanent velodrome?

Hamilton's contact with the 2015 staff, Tourism Hamilton executive director David Adames, hopes the city gets to put Iler's proposal to an as yet unnamed bid board.

But Adames notes the city could well have competition for what would be a jewel of the 2015 Games. Curt Harnett, the Olympic and Pan Am track cycling star, has been approached by two groups asking for advice, but declined to name them.

But Vaughn and Markham in York Region consistently bubble up in amateur sports circles.

Harnett hopes for a permanent facility anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe area, but says access to specialists in sports science and sports medicine is a key to making the elite aspect work.

He notes it would take a six- to eight-year ramp-up period for a new facility to begin producing world-class athletes.

While recreational use is important, what sparked the Canadian Olympic Committee to designate southern Ontario for the bid is the absence of first-class places to train in Canada's most populous area.

Canadian Cycling Association president John Tolkamp said a velodrome in the Golden Horseshoe area would help kick-start the sport in Canada.

And Ontario Cycling Association executive director Jim Crosscombe is excited by the prospect, but points out his organization hasn't been consulted by Toronto 2015 staff yet.

"It's been surprisingly quiet."

Over in England it has been almost $90 million Cdn. loud in the past month. Sparked by the country's Olympic success and with an eye to 2012, Sport England and the national lottery organization committed about $45 million each to Olympic preparation and grass roots cycling.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009 welcomes "Vijay Sappani" and "Cowboys for Social Responsibility" is happy to announce its most recent Featured Liberal Blogger additions. Vijay Sappani and Cowboys for Social Responsibility.

Welcome them if you please and read their blogs often. I always do.


No concern over small water leaks at Chalk River nuclear plant: officials

CBC reported on this late last night. Naturally, on their website, it's been relegated to the 3rd page. I guess we don't want to alarm the general public too much. This is clearly an example of "there must be something in the water".

Looks like the Con's Lisa Raitt are okay with everything though.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Canada Wants the 2015 Pan Am Games!

As promised, here's the Facebook Group. Please join in support of our bid. This event is a big windfall for many, many communities. Go David Go!!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Big Announcement for the Golden Horseshoe and Ontario

Today former Ontario Premier, David Peterson announced the venues for Ontario's 2015 Pan American Games bid. It's a good news announcement for a lot of communities in the Golden Horseshoe.

Ontario's bid is up against Lima, Peru and Bogota, Columbia to scoop up the games. Let's hope the former Premier finally lands us one.

Personally, and selfishly, I would like to see the velodrome get built in Hamilton. It's a project that I think will bring some new life to Hamilton and its youth community.

Regardless, I'll blog ya all later with the Facebook Group. Get with the program everyone. We'll show 'em some good ole fashioned Canadian spirit.

Photobucket Welcomes American Blogger "Maven&Meddler" is pleased to welcome it's newest Featured Liberal Blogger "Maven&Meddler". Maven is our first (I think) Liberal/liberal American blogger on the aggregator.

A warm welcome to ya M&M.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Donald Goes Bankrupt Again

Ahhh, who cares? It's only one per cent of his net worth anyway. The guy's got more lives than a cat. Any chance all the properties keep the Trump name?


Need a Job? Blackberry's Hiring

In what continues to be a Canadian success story, Research in Motion says they have 3,000 job vacancies.


Radioactive Questions

My question is this, why has the nuclear sub crash in the middle of the Atlantic garnered more attention from the Canadian media than the nuclear accident here at home in Chalk River?

We don't even know if there is any radiation concern about the sub accident, but we do know that radiation has been released into the environment from the Chalk River facility.

Why haven't we been told the whole story about Chalk River? Where is the press?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's Happening to Obama's Team?

The most recent of his cabinet withdrawals has come today. Senator Judd Gregg is the latest casualty. You may recall Governor Richardson withdrawing from the same nomination. Will this post ever get filled?

Last week Tom Daschle stepped away from the Health and Human Services appointment.

Meh. Gregg is a Republican. Perhaps President Obama can search for a fellow Dem whilst he goes for the hatrick to fill this position.


"Presenting the World" joins is pleased to announce its newest Featured Liberal Blogger, "Presenting the World". Please click on the link to read her excellent blog.

Welcome to the family!!!


Liberal Minute joins

The latest of Featured Liberal Bloggers is none other than "Liberal Minute". Check out his blog. He's the master of the YouTube.

Welcome to my friend.


First Trade Deficit in 33 Years?

Nice. Oh well. Thank God we let that budget pass and kept these Conservatives in government to destroy what's left of Canada for yet another year. I wonder what they'll sell off next. A nuclear plant maybe?


Speed Racing Cop Wasn't the First

A little update about cops street racing.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

OPP Officer Busted

How much do your fellow officers dislike you if they impound your cruiser?


Monday, February 9, 2009

Former Liberal Activist Hosts Ontario Liberal Party

Man. Sometimes I wish I knew how to be more active.

Political Update for Ridings
A weekly Newsletter from the Political Organization Office of the Ontario Liberal Party

February 9th, 2008
Volume 5, Issue 5

First paragraph omitted.....

A Wonderful Weekend at the Falls

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone for attending the Provincial Council that was held in Niagara Falls this past weekend. It was a tremendous success due to the thoughtful participation of our registrants and the dedicated team of the volunteers, MPP Kim Craitor, the Niagara Falls Provincial Liberal Association, and it’s President Jim Curran. They really showed us why Niagara Falls is one the premier tourist destinations in the world, whether for work or for play! A big thank you must also go out to the South Central regional Caucus, ridings and the Ontario Young Liberals for their hard work!


Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work...

...or hardly working. Why work when you can quit and get paid anyway?


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Who's Covering Up Chalk River Leak?

Is it the nuclear watchdog? Why isn't this a priority for Lisa Raitt and Stephen Harper? Why is Greg Weston seemingly the only person in the MSM that gives a damn about 7000 litres of radioactive spill per day?

Photobucket Welcomes "Foottothefire's Blog" continues to grow. Today's addition is Foottothefire's Blog. A big welcome to the foot.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Liberal Membership Reminder

Just a little reminder that those of you that want to attend the, Liberal Leadership convention....have until tomorrow to become a member of the Liberal Party. You can join online if you so choose.


Today's Complaint About Liberal Party Memberships

...From the how stupid is this file.

Laurier Club membership has its privileges. Usually one or two cocktail parties a year. A private reception at most conventions. You know, that sort of thing. It's a club that invokes the elite, dedicated members of the party to join and costs $1100 per year, effectively tapping out any further donations to any other party function.

What your membership to this elite club doesn't include however is your membership fee into the party. So, effectively, you give money to the max to the Liberal Party of Canada but it doesn't give you a membership to the party.

Conversely, if you join the Chequemate program of the party for $20 per month, you are automatically renewed as a member every year. So, you can give $240 a year and be a member of the party automatically, or you can give $1100 to the party and not be a member at all.

I think I'll cancel my LAURIER Membership today.


Tory Minister Lisa Raitt in Denial

...either that or she's suffering from mushroom syndrome - kept in the dark and fed a lot of manure.

The minister claims there is no relationship between a leak at Chalk River and radioactive sludge found in the Ottawa river. I guess she thinks the sludge just magically appeared.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

John Tory Ready to lose Again


NEWS February 4, 2009

A writ was issued today under Section 9.1 of the Election Act for a byelection in the electoral district of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. The byelection will fill a vacancy created in the provincial parliament.

Under the Election Act, elections must be called on a Wednesday and held the fifth Thursday after the date of the issue of the writ. Voting day will be March 5, 2009.

Photobucket ... Copy Cats!!! Who Would do Such A Thing???

I can't believe it!! The nerve of some people. Someone went out and started an aggregator named and it looks just like


Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Welcomes "Eugene Forsey Liberal" continues to grow with over 50 Featured Liberal Bloggers now. The most recent, welcome addition is Eugene Forsey Liberal. A big big welcome!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Is Anyone in the Liberal Party Worried About Radioactive Waste in our Drinking Water?

7,000 litres a day.

That's how much radioactive waste water is flowing into the Ottawa River from Chalk River. My question is why our party isn't taking the Harper government and its Minister of Natural Resources, Lisa Raitt to task on this. I would think the Canadian public would like to know more about 7,000 litres of radioactive water per day going into our water supply, wouldn't you?

Thank goodness for guys like Greg Weston. At least he's trying to bring it to the forefront. At what point does the government of Canada decide to protect the general public and close the reactor? Minister Raitt has been dodging this issue for the better part of 2 months. Where's the rest of the MSM?

Can you say Chernoble anyone? 7,000 litres a day!!!

Photobucket Welcomes "Fresh Meat"

The latest to join the Featured Liberal Bloggers at is "Fresh Meat". Interesting name that. Welcome aboard.


All About the OYL and Their 2009 AGM

For the past couple of years I've asked why our youth continue to run "slates" for positions on the executives. What ever happened to running on your own merits. Can't blame them though really. The adults in the party not only condone these actions, we taught them how to do it and we sit idly by while we sponsor them and egg them on.

Maybe it takes a good kid Like my friend Krista Balsom to fall for all of us to realize how far wrong we've gone as a party. Krista Balsom who eats, drinks and sleeps Liberal life. Krista Balsom that volunteers for absolutely everything there is that contains the name Liberal. Just how far and how hard will we push our youth to turn them into people they aren't?

The senior party is no better. I mean we just witnessed a completely voteless leadership. A step backward from the Martin coronation of 2003 in my opinion. I guess we are leading by example then.

h/t to Tilting at Windmills


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Conservative Raitt's Nuclear Disaster Cover Up - Day 58


And where are the calls from the opposition for a public inquiry?

Jack Layton is too busy attacking Iggy for bailing on the coalition.

Gilles is too busy trying to figure out how he is going to bail on the BQ and resurrect a bid for the provincial leadership.

And Ignatieff . . . he is too busy playing hall monitor while Harper is on "probation".

Meanwhile, Harper and his cronies continue to avoid any accountability for not shutting down and repairing the Chalk River Nuclear facility when they were advised by Canada's "independent" regulator Linda Keen that an accident was likely to happen.

Harper and his Ministers continue to avoid any responsibility for the nuclear leaks that occurred and continue to plague the aging plant.

Canadians are no wiser as to why there was an almost two month delay before being advised that nuclear incidents had occurred (and are continuing to occur) at one of its nuclear facilities.

A good synopsis of the situation is found here

In waiting for the press to be focused on the January 27 budget to be tabled before notifying the public of the problems at Chalk River, Stephen Harper and Minister Lisa Raitt have risen to the height of political cynicism in trying to distract Canadians from the obvious responsibility their government should take for firing Linda Keen for doing her job, for allowing a dangerous situation to continue to exist at Chalk River and for covering up the incident for almost 2 months while their government was already on the verge of defeat over their reckless economic update.

It was much more import for the Minister of Natural Resources to notify the public of the Energy Board Appoiintments than it was to tell them about a nuclear spill. In fact several annoncesment by the Minister were more important than a silly old nuclear leak.

I wonder if this is of any importance to those that live anywhere near Chalk River?

Mr. Ignatieff, call for an inquiry now!!!

Photobucket Welcomes "My Can of Contemplation"

New Blogspot "My Can of Contemplation" has joined as the latest of Featured Liberal Bloggers.

Congrats on the new blog and congrats on choosing!