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Andrew Scheer & the Conservative Party have to be nervous. The NDP as well.

A rather good night for the Liberal Party last night. They held all their seats, and were able to win away a seat from the Conservatives in Surrey, BC, which elected a Liberal as an MP there for the first time since 1952. The Conservatives under Andrew Scheer have now lost 2 by-elections since he became Conservative leader. Perhaps a sign that Canadians aren’t exactly comfortable with a smiling clone of Harper with farther-right positions then him?

It has been pointed out that Gordie Hogg, the winning Liberal in Surrey, was a very popular candidate.  I will acknowledge that to those who know him, but as Eric Grenier said in his analysis of the victory today, “good candidates only run for parties they think they have a chance of winning, and right now the Liberals are recruiting the better candidates”.  I will also say that if I grant Mr. Hogg was popular, he still had the Liberal brand and Trudeau’s brand identified to him, and people still came out in bigger #’s to vote for him, to take away an opposition party held riding that had a former Harper Cabinet Minister running in it to defend it.  Does that happen in every scenario like say in Provincial politics in Ontario in the current political climate? I would say no.

As for the NDP, they didn’t have a much better night then the Conservatives,  who can at least cling to the fact their vote share went up everywhere but the seat they lost.  The NDP lost vote share everywhere.  Not that anyone at NDP HQ will take my advice, but perhaps Mr. Singh should rethink his .. shall we say.. complacency about getting into Parliament.  He can be out on the road visiting his supporters, but his best public exposure comes at Parliament Hill.  (The Conservatives are probably hoping the same thing. Depressed NDP turnout/vote draw is a disaster for them).

UPDATE:  I get these every week from Nanos, the pollster. New #’s out; also reflecting an upward trend for the Liberals

Every week Nanos captures the political pulse of the nation and is the authoritative go to data source. Here are this week’s Nanos political tracking highlights:

Ballot – The latest Nanos federal ballot tracking has the Liberals at 40.7 per cent support, followed by the Conservatives at 30.3 per cent, the NDP at 17.5 percent, the BQ at 3.8 per cent and the Greens at 6.7 per cent.


New Brantford-Brant LPC EDA Board Elected; Getting ready for 2019.

I don’t comment a lot on local Liberal politics these days, but I will for this occasion. A new Liberal EDA Board was elected here in Brantford-Brant on Sunday November 26 – a campaign I volunteered for and participated heavily in for her team. This board will have 11 officers and directors + the heads of the Commission Clubs, so its been greatly pared down as dictated by the new Liberal Constitution – a positive step that was taken in my opinion. No need for such bloated boards.

The newly elected Chair of the BBFLA is Heather Macdonald-Moore, who has been a lifelong Liberal volunteer and was heavily involved in the local Liberal’s Women’s Club. She and the new officers /directors will have the task in their 2 year term to help get the local Liberal EDA ready to fight the next general election in 2019.

To do that, she and the new board will look to try and heal the local split in Liberal ranks here. If you have read this blog dating back to 2015, you know that some Liberals were unhappy about the local nomination process when Danielle Takacs was acclaimed (and yes, I am a close friend of hers). I will not go through that lengthy  explanation again about the shenanigans that went on at the time, other then to say the local EDA at the time had a time frame of several months between Danielle’s initial declaration of her nomination intentions  to find other candidates and failed to do so, and wasn’t very communicative with LPCO about their search efforts.  There was (and still is) a split between those local Liberals who decided not to support Danielle because of that,  against those of us who volunteered for her and actively tried to help her win (and yes, I was heavily involved in her campaign). In general, it was the local Liberal old guard of the party against those who were new and wanted to do things differently.  If there had been no split in the local party, we might have won this riding (and despite that split, we had tremendous vote increases here against a popular CPC incumbent and a well known NDP candidate, thanks to Danielle’s hard work as well as those of her volunteers).

That has carried through to this day;  it has affected and been prominent in 4  board elections since then. There is resentment on both sides. That divisiveness will need to be at least papered over if not healed and there be a united effort in this riding to have any hope of winning 2019.  I think Heather and her team is prepared to try and work with every Liberal in this riding if they show a desire to help and forget about the past (and if they can’t, then perhaps its time for them to step aside and let others who want to get involved and do the hard work take their place).

As long as I have been in this riding and am in this riding, I will also try to help with that. I know a fair # of local Liberals who I have a difference of opinion with, yet  who I am amicable/friendly with. I try to separate the political from the personal. There are very capable people who would be of great help to the local Liberal cause if they can do the same. I hope they will.

I congratulate Heather and the new officers/directors elected to the board and I look forward to working with them to help us turn Brantford-Brant ‘red’ in 2019 with whatever candidate is eventually  chosen to represent us here. I hope local Liberals will unite and help to get those results.





Combatting Discrimination/ Bias: Panel in Brantford featuring Mary Ng

If you’re in the Brantford area on Sunday Oct 15, and want to attend an interesting political and social discussion, consider coming Sunday Oct 15 to the Islamic Community Centre at 1pm to a panel discussing how to combat discrimination and implicit bias. Sponsored by the local Brantford-Brant Women’s Liberal Club, the special guest will be Mary Ng, the Liberal MP for Markham-Thornhill, as well as local panelists. All are welcome to attend. You may read more and RSVP at

More information below:

YOU can make a difference!

On Sunday, October 15 2017 join us for a FREE social and community forum to learn more about this important subject and how you can make a difference. All are welcome!

Special Guest:
Mary Ng
MP for Markham-Thornhill
Former Director of Appointments for Prime Minister Trudeau
Former Executive Director to the President of Ryerson University



Oct. 15, 2017
Social 1-2 PM
Forum/Q&A 2-3:30 PM

Islamic Cultural Centre

200 Greenwich St.,
Brantford, ON

Join our special guest Mary Ng, as well as local panelists:

Alison Biro
Lawyer, Criminal and Family Law

Lauren Burrows
Education and Inclusion Coordinator, Laurier Brantford

Azra Chaudhry
YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services

Marion MacDonald
Member of the Minister’s Advisory Council for Special Education

Kathryn Kissinger, HR Practitioner

Discrimination and Implicit Bias
• Recognize it
• Protect Yourself
• Combat it
and find out what steps our Government is taking to combat it.

Read more and RSVP at


Autumn Politics -provincial and federal

It’s been a while since I posted. Consider it as me taking a summer break – just like what the politicians do :). But, with Labour Day weekend here, things should start to pick up again. That doesn’t mean nothing has happened of course. Some things that have happened and of note (to me anyhow):

– In local provincial politics news, we have a new Ontario Liberal candidate to run provincially. Ruby Toor was elected by delegates at a summer AGM to be the Ontario Liberal candidate for Brantford-Brant in next year’s provincial election. This was necessary because long-time MPP and current Speaker of the legislature Dave Levac decided not to stand for re-election. Congrats to Ruby.

– In federal politics, Andrew Scheer has decided that he needs to appeal to only his right-wing supporters. He’s appointed an MP to the Status of Women critic who gave grants to centres that fervently oppose women’s freedom of choice in the matter. He also has apparently decided to make Omar Khadr’s settlement a prime theme in QP when it comes back into session – when on that issue, most Canadians have moved on – except for Scheer’s right wing and far right wing base.

Stay with that recipe for the next couple of years, and I personally have little fear Andrew Sheer wins the next Canadian federal election in 2019 when he’s primarily appealing to people already in his corner.


The Khadr file – justice finally served

As a long time follower of this case and someone who decried a couple of different Canadian governments refusing to speak up about the farce taking place at Guanatanamo Bay masquerading as actual legal proceedings, and ignoring both the Charte and international treaties with regards to child soldiers, I’m pleased to see the Trudeau government has finally addressed the 2 Supreme Court rulings and the violation of Charter Rights and righted a very serious wrong with Omar Khadr by settling out of court with him and issuing an apology (and this wasn’t some “secret deal” as gone but not lamented Stephen Harper charged – it was court-mediated.. and how many court-mediated settlements do you see publicized beforehand in the media?)

TO address the charge he was a “convicted terrorist” and we shouldnt have settled (never mind the court cases stating otherwise, I’ll just quote what a commentator put on former Liberal staffer’s Jamie Carroll’s comment board from his column in Ipolitics:

Let’s put the obvious on record here. Had Khadr actually committed the crimes he’s been accused of, the United States would have laid charges in a competent, independent court; presented physical evidence and witnesses; allowed a Khadr a proper defense, and awaited the verdict of an independent judge.

That’s not what happened. Khadr was ‘tried’ before a ‘kangaroo’ military tribunal where no physical evidence was presented, exculpatory evidence was suppressed, and the defense was prevented from defending Khadr properly. When that failed, torture and intimidation were used to extract a ‘confession.’ If Khadr was actually guilty of anything, none of that would have been necessary.

Lastly, when Christopher Speer was killed by a grenade, Khadr was badly wounded and buried under rubble. When he was found, the first thing the marines did was shoot him in the back (a war crime). Only when it was obvious he was still alive, and there were witnesses, were efforts made to save his life.

Hate Khadr if you will, but please don’t rationalize that hate by trafficking in lies and misleading statements about his supposed crimes.

Facts and rule of law won’t stop the Conservatives of course from trying to milk the outrage machine. Andrew Scheer has led the way in showing himself neither to care about the constitution and international law nor being anything other then a smiling version of Harper.


The Political BBQ Season begins

Parliament is now in summer recess.. so MP’s will be able to go home for awhile and spend time with their families and constituents.. kissing babies, going to BBQ’s and so forth.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any political activity. It is a fascinating bit of political theatre going on out in BC, where the Christy Clark “Liberal” government (quotes added for emphasis – they’re borrowing that title as far as I’m concerned, and have for a few years now) has apparently decided to promise everything they were decrying the NDP of promising a few short weeks ago.. strange how that works, when your government is on life support. The political gamesmanship over who will be Speaker after their Throne Speech is defeated and the government brought down on a confidence motion (assuming the Lieutenant Governor doesn’t ignore the NDP/Greens political accord and go back to the polls) will no doubt continue.

It will be interesting to watch new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. He’s doing a road tour apparently this summer. Will someone ask him why he didn’t do more to discipline Kelly Leitch for her disgraceful remarks on refugees?

The US political landscape continues to be a daily soap opera; has a day gone by since Trumps inauguration where it was quiet? The Republicans are now in the midst of seeing how badly they can mess up health care and give their billionaire donors a break – all in the name of trying to remove President Obama’s signature health bill (which is still way far short of serving the needs of its nation’s citizens as compared to other modern industrialized countires – but was at least a start).

Locally in Brantford, we see the start of the campaign to get a provincial candidate for the Ontario election in 2018 to replace the retiring MP and current Speaker of the Ontario legislature, Dave Levac. So,that will be interesting to watch or participate in (though I’m still officially neutral at this point).

So.. plenty happenning, even if nationally, Parliament is in bit of a recess. Lastly.. I’ve been not posting here as much, as you might notice.. though I’ve been fairly active on Facebook and Twitter.. tho that’s been reduced a bit too.. A lot of that is personal things going on, but I’ll strive to post a bit more on this medium, as blogs are a good way to expand on Twitter 140 characters or re-post thoughts on Facebook. I haven’t gone away.. just on a vacation.. but I’ll be looking to get back into the more public flow of things.


Political Prediction For BC

The BC Liberals and Greens have been on far more friendly terms with each other – both personally and politically – then the NDP and the Greens. NDP supporters still are attacking Greens as robbing them of winning government when it in fact appears disaffected Liberal voters went to the Greens.

That said.. the Greens and NDP do seem to have more common ground on environmental issues and potentially electoral reform.. and there is the fact that the BC Liberals have been in power a long time… notwithstanding the insults I’ve seen from NDP’ers on social media, the Green political grassroots seems to in general be far more willing to work with the NDP.

So.. I’m giving odds of a 60-40% chance the BC Libs fall in a non-confidence vote and the NDP will take the reins, propped up informally (not in a coalition) by the Green Party in exchange for key platform demands to be moved on.


Gender Equality Forum in Brantford – Ruby Sahota lead panellist

On Thursday, April 20, a gender equality forum is being held in Brantford. Special Guest MP Ruby Sahota and other Brantford-Brant community leaders will discuss how they defied the odds to succeed in their careers and what challenges and barriers still exist for women today.

This is a free event; it includes a discussion forum, Q&A and social. Everyone is welcome to attend.

On this panel is the aforementioned Ruby Sahota, the current MP for Brampton North, LPC Ontario Caucus Chair, and former lawyer. The other panellists are Brantford-Brant community leaders, They have a lifetime of community involvements in Brantford-Brant and experience in diverse fields. Below is just a small selection of their professional roles and positions held.

– Reverend at Fairview United Church

– Former Brantford Mayor and successful businesswoman

– Owner-Operator, Lorenzin Market Research

– Federal Government Relations Manager at TD Bank
– Owner/Operator of Brantford-Brant Humber Strategies Consulting
– 2015 Liberal Candidate in Brantford-Brant

– Cattle Farm Owner-Operator

Discussion Forum Moderator: LIN FINES
Retired – Senior Management – Human Resources,
Past President of Canadian Federation of University Women Brantford.

If you are in the area and interested in attending, this event is non-partisan and open to all! It will be held at the T.B. Costain-SC Johnson Community Centre, 16 Morell St. at 6:30 p.m.

For tickets / RSVP, the link is here.


Meeting Iqra Khalid

It was a great pleasure and honour to be in Cambridge last night to hear Iqra Khalid speak. Ms. Khalid is the Liberal MP whose motion M-103 condemning anti-Islamaphobia as well as all other forms of racism, caused unnecessary consternation among most Conservative MP’s in their rush to appeal to the more crass elements in their party. Only a couple, like Michael Chong, were brave enough to stand up and be counted on the right side of history.

I will remind all that this very same Conservative Party was one which unanimously endorsed a very similar anti-Islamaphobia motion by Tom Mulcair last Autumn. Their immediate turnaround on this motion puts most of them in disrepute and should be a stain on that party for the shameful rush to the bottom of the barrel most have exhibited – particularly in light of 6 Canadians being murdered in cold blood by a racist terrorist in their place of worship in the very same time frame this was being debated. It was particularly fitting that this meeting and speaking was held at Wesley United Church in Cambridge. Both the pastor of that church and the Imam of the local mosque as well as several members of the Muslim Community were in attendance. local Cambridge MPP and Minister Kathryn Mcgarry was also there to show her support.

I came away (and I think most of the people who attended did as well) thinking what a courageous person Ms. Khalid is. It was also the first time I’ve heard her speak outside the House of Commons, and she is a very passionate and well-spoken person – and a proud Canadian. She did speak of the 55000 odd emails – a lot of them racist and hate-filled – that she received over this issue, s well as the death threats. She also however spoke of the many messages of support from Canadians she received apologizing for the behaviours or a hateful few, and that most of Canada / Canadians were not like this.

I will also make note that in the week since the motion M-103 was passed.. there have been no mass arrests of anyone at the Rebel or people sent away to camps.


Conservative Clown Show – Leadership Race.

It’s been interesting to watch the Conservative Party Leadership Race. It’s definitely more entertaining then the current NDP leadership race. There, the NDP has had trouble finding anyone to run, although the addition of Niki Ashton might liven things up a bit.

A lack of candidates is, as you undoubtedly know, not the case in Conservative Party-Land. Everyone wants to run the Conservative Party, it seems. When there are this many candidates, those who are behind or those trying to hold onto a lead will start to look for an edge or stop others from getting an edge. The latest in that is every side accusing the other of vote-rigging.. which had former Harper aide Andrew MacDougall lamenting the whole affair in the Globe and Mail:

What began with a whisper into a reporter’s ear from Kevin O’Leary’s campaign of a (largely) unsubstantiated claim of membership irregularities has quickly escalated into messy internecine war. Mr. O’Leary fingered fellow front-runner Maxime Bernier as the culprit, prompting Mr. Bernier to call Mr. O’Leary a “loser” in response. Suspecting a feint, other candidates piped up to ask Mr. O’Leary to put up or shut up. But then the party stepped in to confirm Mr. O’Leary’s concerns by revoking more than 1,300 memberships, although the party couldn’t say whose campaign was behind the offending sales. Cue a retaliatory rigging story, this time with Mr. Bernier’s supporters impugning the O’Leary campaign’s efforts in the Sikh community in Toronto, backed by a sworn affidavit. The O’Leary campaign quickly denied the allegation.

That has led to others on social media reminding folks that certain PC leadership candidates have had a past history of doing this sort of stuff.

Oh, and by the way, the Conservative Party has now revoked 1300 memberships it deems invalid, though it couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say who was responsible. Oh, and Andrew Macdougall basically lauds Kevin O’Leary as a hero for being a “fresh set of eyes” to point these things out.

Kevin O’Leary is the hero for the Conservative Party? Maxime Bernier is the other front-runner for the Conservative Party? Funny stuff.

UPDATE: My thanks to my Conservative social media follower on Twitter for raging at my missing 1 letter in his Conservative Party and correcting me. Nice to have spell-checker zealots trying to distract from the main point of the post.

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