Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's Official...Bob Chiarelli Will Run in Ottawa West Nepean

January 31, 2010 Bob Chiarelli nominated as Liberal candidatein Ottawa West-Nepean (Nepean)–

Bob Chiarelli – former Mayor, Regional Chair, and MPP – has been nominated as the Liberal candidate in the provincial riding of Ottawa West-Nepean. “I have spent my entire life working to make our community better,” said Chiarelli. “I believe I can continue the tradition of strong representation that Ottawa West-Nepean seniors and families expect.” As MPP for Ottawa West from 1987-1997, and later as Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton and Mayor of the amalgamated City of Ottawa, Bob Chiarelli has worked hard to improve the quality of life in Ottawa West-Nepean. He has been a champion of public transit, including clean light-rail expansion, and helped build over $150 million in new recreational and health care infrastructure in the community. As mayor of Ottawa, Bob ensured the city maintained its Triple-A fiscal rating. Bob and his partner, Randi Hansen, live in Ottawa. For further information about the candidate, please visit

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Friday, January 29, 2010

Khadr Ruling = Senate Appointments

The good news is that Omar Khadr will probably be receiving a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada today which will order the Government of Canada to bring him home from Guantanamo Bay.

The bads news is that the Conservative Oil salesmen, currently posing as the Government of Canada, will try to cover the good news up by appointing the 5 new members of the Senate shortly thereafter.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tonight In BRAMPTON.....

As I've said many times...Rik Emmett is one of the best guitarists on the planet. The other guys ain't too shabby either. I'm pumped.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Monday, January 25, 2010

Liberals pledge to prevent abuse of prorogation

OTTAWA – Surrounded by members of the Liberal caucus in front of the House of Commons on the day when Parliament should have resumed, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced that the Liberal Party of Canada will seek changes to the House of Commons’ rules that would prevent the Prime Minister from using prorogation illegitimately.

“Twice in one year, Mr. Harper has abused his powers by shutting down Parliament to save his political skin,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “In appropriate circumstances, prorogation is a legitimate procedure, but we need new rules to prevent Mr. Harper – or any other Prime Minister – from using it to escape democratic scrutiny.”

"Today, we're putting forward a concrete, practical proposal that will set out clear terms for how and when a Prime Minister can ask to prorogue," said Mr. Ignatieff. "I pledge that a Liberal government will respect these rules and the role of Parliament in ensuring accountability to the people of Canada."

To prevent future abuses of prorogation, the Liberal Party of Canada will seek to amend the Standing Orders of the House of Commons to:

• Require at least 10 days written notice from the Prime Minister of his intention to seek to prorogue, together with his specific reasons for doing so;

• Require the Prime Minister to bring the issue of prorogation before the House of Commons for a full debate;

• Prevent a request for prorogation within the first year after a Speech from the Throne, unless the House consents;

• Prevent a prorogation longer than one calendar month without the consent of the House;

• Prevent a request for prorogation if a matter of confidence has been scheduled in the House unless the House consents; and,

• Allow Parliamentary Committees to continue to function during the period when Parliament is prorogued until the start of the new session.

“Parliament should not prevent a Prime Minister from using prorogation in proper circumstances,” said Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale. “But the Prime Minister must be held to account for why he is using it, and the rules must be clear on when shutting down Parliament would be wrong.”

Liberals intend to submit their proposal to the House Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for consideration by all parties, and will then bring forward amendments to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, in the form of legislation if necessary.

“Parliament doesn’t serve the Prime Minister – it serves Canadians,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “That’s why Canadians need clear, binding conventions on the proper use of prorogation.”


Office of MP Ralph Goodale

Press Office
Office of the Leader of the Opposition


The Prorogation Power

Prorogation is a procedure which allows a Prime Minister to shut-down all the official work of both the House of Commons and the Senate, without dissolving Parliament altogether for an election.

The constitutional power to prorogue is vested in the Governor General. The request to exercise it is made by the Prime Minister.

When conventionally used in traditional circumstances, a request for prorogation is a legitimate tool for bringing one session of Parliament to an end, after the bulk of the work laid out for that session has been completed. This clears up Parliament’s agenda for a new Speech from the Throne to launch a new session.

Until recently, Canadians have been able to take for granted the proper use of the prorogation power. Past Prime Ministers have used prorogation in a manner that supports the proper functioning of our basic democratic institutions.

Stephen Harper, however, has corrupted the traditional use of prorogation by using it twice in the past year to arbitrarily shut down Parliament for the illegitimate purpose of evading transparency and democratic accountability.

Mr. Harper sought prorogation in December of 2008, to avoid scheduled confidence votes on his Fall Economic Statement, and again in December of 2009, to stop all Parliamentary examination of what his government knew and when they knew it about allegations of torture in Afghanistan.

To find a precedent for such abuses of power, you have to reach all the way back to 1873, when Sir John A. Macdonald tried to stop Parliament from probing his railway scandal.

Mr. Harper’s most recent Parliamentary shutdown will last 63 days after a session of 128 days in length. Since 1964, prorogations have lasted 12 days on average, while Parliamentary sessions have averaged 187 days.

The Liberal Proposal

Since the conventional principles of Parliamentary democracy are not secure in the hands of the Harper government, the Liberal Party proposes remedial action to restore traditional standards of democratic behavior in future requests for prorogation.

The Liberal Party of Canada will present Motions in the House of Commons to amend the Standing Orders of the House and, if necessary, propose legislation to achieve the following:

1. Require the Prime Minister, before making a request for prorogation, to provide written notice of his intention to do so at least 10 days in advance, together with his specific reasons for seeking prorogation;

2. Require the Prime Minister to bring the issue of prorogation, and his reasons for seeking it, before the House of Commons immediately for a full debate;

3. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation within the first 12 months of any session;

4. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation that would last longer than one calendar month;

5. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation when a vote of confidence has been scheduled in the House; and

6. Allow the Committees of the House of Commons to continue to function during the period of time that Parliament is prorogued.

If possible, Liberals intend to submit their proposal to the House Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for consideration by all parties before bringing forward amendments to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.

The Standing Orders have been amended in the past to improve accountability. For example, changes to the Standing Orders now prevent Parliamentary orders for the production of documents from being extinguished by prorogation, as well as prevent Private Member’s Bills from being killed when the House of Commons is prorogued.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Conservative MP California Dreamin' Technicolor that is

"Our constituents have more concerns on their minds," he said by phone Tuesday from California, where he is vacationing. "They want us to concentrate on jobs, get people back to work, and get the budget back in order. And that's what I'll focus on when I get back to Parliament and that's what I'm focusing on now."

Keeping in mind that Canada has elected three Prime Ministers from the Prince Albert riding, I think this guy ain't got a clue about irony or what the pulse of the electorate is.

H/t to Scott Ross

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Serge Marcil Remembered

As he should be.... along with the thousands that have perished. Please continue to give to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

The Cost of Prorogation

Just the Facts:
The Cost of Prorogation

According to media reports, the cost to taxpayers of shutting down Parliament is nearly $50 million – tax dollars wasted for basically nothing.

Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as hundreds of other Parliamentary staff, continue to get paid while Parliament is shut down.

According to The Hill Times, Parliament employs roughly 1200 full-time employees. Of those 1200 full-time employees, 222 people, mostly food service and Hansard reporting employees, were laid off as a result of prorogation – which means that the bulk of the cost of running Parliament is still borne by taxpayers even through Parliament is prorogued. Furthermore, laid-off Parliamentary staff are likely now collecting Employment Insurance at taxpayers’ expense.

A conservative estimate of taxpayer dollars wasted on prorogation would exclude MP salaries, as they do other work besides sit in Parliament.

Here’s how it all adds up:

Total operating cost for the House of Commons per year: $426,541,000
Total annual cost of MPs’ salaries: $108,209,000
House of Commons operating cost, minus MP salaries: $318,332,000

Total operating cost for the Senate per year: $90,606,000
Total annual cost of Senators’ salaries: $25,345,000
Senate operating cost, minus Senate salaries: $65,261,000

Average number of days Parliament sits: 173
Average cost for a single sitting day in the House of Commons: $318,332,000/173 = $1,840,000 per day
Average cost for a single sitting day in the Senate: $65,261,000/173 = $377,000 per day

Number of sitting days Parliament is prorogued: 22
Cost of prorogation in the House of Commons: $1,840,000 x 22 = $40,480,000
Cost of prorogation in the Senate: $377,000 x 22 = $8,294,000

Combined House and Senate cost during prorogation, minus MP and Senator salaries: $40,480,000+$8,294,000 = $48,774,000

Total cost of shutting down Parliament to taxpayers: $48,774,000

Source: 2009-10 Main Estimates for Parliament

H/T to Liberal Causes

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Doesn't Support Our Troops Now, Mr. McKay

This guy is an embarrassment. What, oh what, has happened to our new and improved commitment to re-equip our troops.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Structural Deficit.....Flaherty Should Resign

Jim Flaherty is supposed to give a conference shortly. Hopefully, for him, nobody is paying any attention on a Friday afternoon with Haiti on everybody's mind. Seems like just yesterday Mr. Flaherty was predicting no Structural Deficit.

Update: Flaherty just suggested "program cuts" will be coming. Wow. There's a surprise.

Updaterer: Flaherty just said "he sees no evidence of a structural deficit" and says kevin Page is "speculating" about a structural deficit.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thank You Mr. Ignatieff....Liberals to Go Back To Work!!!

And work we should. I guess Omar's idea wasn't too far off.

Thank you Mr. Leader for giving Canadians hope...and hope for change.

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover

The New President of Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) Is......

Let me be the first to congratulate Howard on his upcoming post at LPC(O). He brings years of experience to the table and a good, sound voice of confidence.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Snowball that Became an Avalanche

For those that know me well, I've been saying for the better part of a year that the Wilrose Alliance Party is the latest split of the Right in Canada. Today's move by two PC MLAs marks the beginning of the end (actually the by-election win in Calgary-Glenmore was)for the Stelmach Cons and the start of a new blue tide federally in the years ahead.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Who's The No-Good Bastard Now, Mr. Keddy!?!?

Only in Stephen Harper's world should MPs take four months off and still get paid $158k a year to do it. Nova Scotians should call for the resignation of the entire Conservative Party.

You see, it's okay for Mr. Keddy and his friends to take off time and get shovelled truckloads of taxpayer money, but those poor folks out in Nova Scotia that can't find a job had to be subjected to his idiotic slurs. Hey, maybe some of those folks out in Nova Scotia can offer to be temps while Keddy and the boys head off to the Olympics. At least Nova Scotians WANT to work.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Shafting Democracy in Canada

What a great "it had to be said" piece by Heather Malick.

If there was a gold medal for shafting democracy at the Winter Olympics, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper would win it.

Loves of my Life for the Decade

No explanation needed.

And my Politician of the Decade is.....

Al Gore! Is there any doubt?