21 posts categorized "heroes"

September 22, 2008

Liberals Unveil Fully Costed Party Platform: Richer, Fairer, Greener: An Action Plan for the 21st Century

Itsawayoflife Here are the details of the Liberal Party Platform,
as released this morning.

I am very excited by this vision for Canada --
a Canada that has been MIA for the better part of three years.

I want my Canada back.

- Ann

"Liberals are proud to continue our tradition of strong economic and fiscal management.Fiscal discipline is now part of the Liberal DNA. We were the party that turned a huge deficit into eight years of surpluses, and we will continue to put fiscal responsibility first. A Liberal government will never put Canada into deficit. Period."
- Liberal leader Stéphane Dion

"Richer, Fairer, Greener," the Liberal Party of Canada's fully-costed, fiscally-responsible platform, lays out a progressive, inclusive vision to make Canada a stronger country for the next generation.

The plan includes a contingency reserve of $3 billion a year to be applied to the debt if it's not used.

The cornerstone of the Liberal platform is the Green Shift plan. This innovative and forward-thinking plan will cut income taxes, put a price on pollution, fight poverty and position Canada to be a leader in the 21st-century global economy.

Download Your Copy of the Full Plan, Including Costs:
Richer, Fairer, Greener : An Action Plan for the 21st Century


The Liberal Platform at a Glance


A Richer Canada


  • A Strong Climate for Growth: Balanced Budgets,
  • Tackling the Infrastructure Deficit in our Cities and Communities,
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Prosperity Fund,
  • Strong Rural and Northern Canada, Investment in Research & Development, Providing Access to Post-Secondary Education, Supporting Canadian Culture

A Greener Canada


  • A Plan to Fight the Climate Change Crisis,
  • Clean Air,
  • Safeguarding our Water,
  • Protecting our Health from Toxic Substances,
  • Protecting Our Natural Heritage,
  • Empowering Canadians

A Fairer Canada


  • The 30-50 Plan,
  • Investing in Our Children,
  • Health Care,
  • Women’s Equality,
  • Immigration:
  • Welcoming New Canadians,
  • EI Changes,
  • A New Relationship with Canada’s First Nations,
  • Inuit and Métis,
  • Minority Language Rights,
  • A Safer Canada,
  • Respectful Federalism

Canada and the World


  • Climate Change and Global Security,
  • Diplomacy:
  • Projecting Canadian Values Abroad,
  • Development:
  • Sharing Canadian Hope and Vision with the World,
  • Stronger Relationships,
  • Trade,
  • Defence,
  • Arctic Sovereignty

September 09, 2008

From Vision to Poop Jokes

This is the Dion I know...the man I have had the privilege of meeting in person in Peterborough not once, but twice. He is every bit as passionate about his country as he comes across in the "Meet Dion" video on this website -- and every bit as real and likable as he appears in the other clips. Look in his eyes. (A person's eyes tell you a lot about his heart and his soul.) Dion is someone who is guided by the strength of his convictions. He doesn't choose the easy path for himself. He does what he believes is right. We need more leaders like him.

Dion also happens to be warm and funnyChalkboard. That doesn't always come out in every interview (sometimes he gets too earnest or uses too many words to get his message across, and that overrides his natural charm. He is learning to overcome that tendency with practice.

Now on to the now infamous Conservatives Internet spot that showed a puffin pooping on Dion's shoulder. The attack ad has since been pulled after Harper apologized for the spot.

The ad kind of brings to mind Maclean.ca blogger Aaron Wherry's recent comments about the juvenile behavior exhibited by a group of Conservative MPs at a party barbecue in Mississauga.

"If 14-year-old boys were given the vote this bunch would surely be well on its way to the Republican dream of a permanent majority."

I suppose I should be proud that my MP, Conservative Dean Del Mastro, scored the ultimate hit with the predicable "green shift/green sh*t" punchline. After all, if a poop joke made it into the online advertising campaign for the election, poop must the in-thing within the Conservative Party these days.

It kind of leaves you wondering about the big-picture vision of the party, doesn't it? I mean if reducing the tax on diesel and jet fuels (to boost fuel consumption?) is the Conservative Party's idea of an environmental strategy, poop may very well be at the core of the party platform. And I'm not talking human bio-fuel in this case.

September 08, 2008

The X is Mightier Than The Sword

GraffitinoElizabeth May uttered some very inspiring words in the kick-off to her campaign yesterday:

"They've always said...the pen is mightier than [the] sword, but the pencil is mightier still when you pick it up in your ballot box, you mark your X and you say, 'I vote for my future. I reclaim democracy. I take back my country, and I do this for future generations.'"

I agree wholeheartedly that traditional party politics are totally out of synch with Canadian values.

As May noted: "We must reject the politics of cynicism, division, and derision. We must embrace the values that make us Canadian."

September 07, 2008

The ABCs of Smart Voting

I want to start out by wishing everyone the best with their campaigns, now that we're into a Federal election.

As regular readers of this blog already know, I will be backing Peterborough federal Liberal candidate Betsy McGregor and Federal Liberal party leader Stéphane Dion, both of whom I consider to be leaders of vision and integrity. (You can catch Dion's fabulous campaign launch via Scott's DiaTribes.)

That said, I also see a lot of good in the campaign messages of the NDP and the Green Party; and I would be happy to see either of them form a coalition government with the Liberals, if the Liberals are unable to form a majority government on their own. Progressive is progressive is progressive -- is not conservative.

WayoutMy campaign bottom line?

A positive outcome for me in this election, both locally and nationally, will be what Danny Williams has been campaigning for since his part of the country was betrayed last year by a Harper government broken promise: "Anything but Conservative."

A - B - C.

It's so simple and so logical -- and so essential.

Here's why.

I hardly recognize Canada anymore -- this after just 2 1/2 years of Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) rule. Imagine what our country will be like if they achieve another minority or (I hate to even type this) a majority government.

We'd be handing them a license to continue on their current path -- a path that has seen them

Many political observers have raised concerns about the Tories' future plans for the CBC (e.g. whether it will continue down the slippery slope to privatization (we've already seen the CBC TV have to resort to airing US game shows in the prime after-dinner time-slot in order to make ends meet and everyone knows that privatization is a sacred principle in neo-conservative circles); asked if the Tories still intend to privatize the food safety system in light of the listeriosis outbreak and deaths in Ontario; and wondered if we would be subject to more embarrassment internationally as other countries are left wondering what has happened to our country's traditional commitment to human rights, the environment, and global peace-keeping. Since the election of the Harper government, many Canadians have found it difficult to feel proud of our government and our country.

The mere timing of this election raises further concerns and questions. Was this election called in a hurry in the hope that the current government would be returned to power before the U.S. election results come in? (A wave of change in the U.S. might not bode well for a Canadian Conservative government.) Is the government concerned about the outcome of the ethics committee hearings, the follow up to the Schreiber, investigation, and the outcome of the Harper "misappropriation of personality" trial (a.k.a. the Cadman affair)? It's clear that what has brought about this election was a sense of urgency from within the Conservative Party to seize the day (and potentially deplete the funds of other political parties, according to a recent rather Machiavellian op ed piece by long-time party advisor and pundit Tom Flanagan) rather than any grassroots groundswell of desire to head to the polls by average Canadians.

Here is my plea to everyday Canadians at this crucial juncture in our country's history.

  • Refuse to allow yourself to be swayed by all the vote-buying of recent weeks and months. (Here's where the vote-buying tally sat as of Friday. Pretty incredible, huh?
  • Take time to research the record of this government and this Prime Minister. I was going to direct you to the House of Commons website www.howdtheyvote.ca, which tracks the voting records of all MPs, but all versions of that URL have mysteriously ceased to function. Very mysterious, in a 1984 kind of way. I mean if ever there was a time for this website to be available to Canadian voters, it's right now.
  • Look beyond the smoke and mirrors of elections advertising. Do your homework and vote with your brain rather than allowing attack ads aimed at CPC opponents and political ads starring the PM as Super-Dad in Utopia to do your thinking for you. You may be more chilled than thrilled -- and you may be less likely to buy into the PM's "just an ordinary dad" pitch and persona (unless your idea of an ordinary family guy is a family guy with neo-conservative roots so deep no hair-dresser could hope to cover them) once you've done some independent research. Seriously! Prime Minister Stephen Harper was one of the founders of the Reform Party of Canada and headed up the right-wing think tank the National Citizens' Coalition before that. So people -- write this on your garage doors so other people get the message: Steven Harper may be a Conservative, but he's anything but progressive. There's no such thing as a Progressive Conservative in Federal politics anymore. They went the way of the dinosaur after Mulroney had his way with the party. It's a shame because there were some really good people in the PC Party of yesteryear. But those days are gone.


IMC Winnipeg: 10 Good Reasons Harper's "Conservatives" Should Get the Boot

June 05, 2008

For Every Kind Action There Is An Equal and Opposite Unkind Action

Cutlery You wouldn't think that shaving your head to raise money for a Cops for Cancer fundraiser could end up costing you your job, would you?

Neither did Owen Sound mom Stacy Fearnill.

But she now finds herself "laid off for a few months" -- presumably until her hair grows back.

Stacy's husband John has written this lovely post in support of Stacy, which also includes an update on the human rights advice the family has received to date.

It's unbelievable that such a good deed could end up going so terribly wrong. Let's hope that this wrong ends up being righted soon.

April 24, 2008

Dion Charms the Crowd in Peterborough

GlobalwarmingStéphane Dion thoroughly charmed the crowd in Peterborough this morning. He was warm, personable, and funny in his wonderfully low-key way. He talked about the link between environmental change and human health and did a fabulous job of fielding questions from the crowd on a wide variety of issues: social justice, economic sustainability, the environment, and more specifically the link between poverty and health (both in Canada and abroad), immigration, NAFTA and environmental rights, bio-fuel and other alternative energy sources), job creation in an environmentally sound economy, nuclear energy, rehabilitation of the tar stands, water as a basic human right, and much more.

His passion for making a difference for Canadians came through in everything he said.

I had the last question of the day. I thanked him for standing fast in the face of personal attacks that were unprecedented outside an election period and told him that I thought he was a real class act. (Clearly the majority of the people in the room agreed with what I had to say because there was thunderous applause in response to this statement.) I then asked him what ordinary citizens could do to help spread the word about what he has to offer Canadians, given that his message is all-too-often obscured by the mainstream media.

He didn't say anything negative about the mainstream media (what did I just finish saying about what a class act this gentleman is?), but he commented briefly about what keeps him going. He said (and I'm paraphrasing): "When you're driven by your convictions, you keep going." He then talked about how committed he was to making a difference for Canadians: how he wanted to become Canada's next Prime Minister so he could work for a world in which Canada was a leader in the area of environmental change, social justice, and economic sustainability.

This is a man who is speaking from the heart and who has the intelligence and the determination to be a brilliant Prime Minister. It's no wonder Stephen Harper (also not a stupid man) has been running scared and resorting to bully-style attacks since practically the day Dion became leader of the Liberal Party. After all, you don't invest massive energy and resources trying to take down an unworthy opponent. You save your energy for someone who has the potential to take you down.

Dion was introduced by Federal Liberal candidate Betsy McGregor (Peterborough Riding) and thanked by former MP Peter Adams (also Peterborough Riding).

March 24, 2007

Pat Schroeder on Ageism in Politics and Society

50"Ageism's very strong against women in our society. I should bring in to you all the [notes] I get from people telling me to dye my hair, that I look like the great gray ape of the Congress. And I keep saying, in the ape community, they revere their gray apes."

- Patricia Schroeder, who served 12 terms as a Congresswoman from Colorado and retired undefeated in 1996. (She is, now the president of the Washington- and New York-based Association of American Publishers.)

Political Math 101

March 23, 2007

Betsy McGregor: Candidate for the Federal Liberal Nomination, Peterborough Riding

Img_3106Betsy McGregor's website is now online. Her blog will continue to provide campaign news as we head into the final leg of the Federal nomination campaign here in Peterborough Riding.

If you check out Betsy's blog, you'll see that Betsy was on The Hill as the budget was being tabled, meeting with party leaders and key decision makers and that she's got some really progressive ideas about how democracy should work -- a process that she's already started to put into place through a series of open houses, town hall meetings, breakfast forums, and think tanks on various issues.

Betsy has also articulated a vision that speaks volumes of who she is as a person, her motivations for entering politics, how hard she will work on our behalf -- and the kind of results we can expect from a candidate of this calibre:

"What I'm talking about is an entirely new way of approaching politics," says Betsy. "Something fresh and new and full of possibilities; a style of politics in which the citizen rather than the elected official is celebrated and given a powerful voice again; where cooperation and openness and transparency and inclusiveness are fundamental principles.

"The winds of change are in the air, and they've been in the air since early December, when the Liberal Party elected a visionary new leader, a man of tremendous wisdom and integrity -- someone who captured the hearts and imaginations of many Canadians when he uttered these inspiring words: 'Canadians will embrace [the Liberal Party's] generous vision of a prosperous Canada, a just Canada, a sustainable Canada. We will do it together, for our children, the generations yet to come, and for the role of Canada in the world.'

"Let us imagine such possibilities for Peterborough Riding. Let us build on the momentum that has been created during this campaign and envision grassroots solutions that make their way from the streets and fields of our cities and towns all the way to The Hill. Let's also imagine a style of politics that is respectful of people -- all people -- without exception. Just imagine."

February 08, 2007

The Idea Pod: Video and Audio Podcasts

I've added a bunch of links to audio and video files in the sidebar of my blog (see "The Idea Pod: Video and Audio Podcasts").

You'll find links to inspiring historical speeches from Martin Luther King Jr., Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and others; and a roundup of noteworthy interviews, documentaries, and audio/video podcasts.

I hope you enjoy what I've put together here. I've aimed for a mix of the inspirational and the thought provoking; the historical and the contemporary.

January 09, 2007

Conrad Buchanan's Life and Death

FlowersThe story of this modern-day hero has really stuck with me since I first read about Conrad Buchanan a few weeks ago. I was thinking about the story again this morning, so I thought post a link to it, just in case you missed the news coverage during the busy holiday season. Conrad Buchanan passed away Dec. 27.