120 posts categorized "resolutions"

December 30, 2009

My Letter to the Governor General: Just Say No

December 30, 2009

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
Governor General of Canada
Rideau Hall,
1 Sussex Drive,
Ottawa, Ontario,
K1A 0A1

Dear Madam:

I am writing to you to urge you not to grant any request from the Prime Minister that Parliament be prorogued.

There is no justifiable reason to do so.

If Parliament is prorogued at this time, Canadians will lose a great deal of faith in the democratic process in this country. This could lead to even lower voter turnouts during elections as well as widespread political discontent, if citizens feel that their interests aren't being properly represented by their elected officials.

It could also lead to a complete loss in confidence in the office of Governor General -- a very serious situation for a parliamentary democracy.

If the Prime Minister proceeds with the request to prorogue, I would urge you to ask the opposition parties if they would be willing to step forward and govern as a coalition until an election can be held. The Prime Minister should not be rewarded for his eagerness to prorogue on a whim by the continued privilege of holding the office of Prime Minister.

Thank you for hearing my concerns as spelled out in this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Ann Douglas

cc. Betsy McGregor, Candidate, Liberal Party, Peterborough Riding
cc. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada

June 17, 2009

Facebook Group Created for Those Who Oppose MP Dean Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan

IMG_2698 I just posted this to the wall of the newly created Facebook group We Oppose MP Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan:

I'm every bit as opposed to the process (the balloting process; how inappropriate it is for our MP [Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro] to be pitching a project on behalf of one private developer) as I am to the project (environmental concerns, conflict between Parks Canada mandate to project the land for everyone's enjoyment vs. how the land would be used by public developer).

Our MP should have backed away from this project the moment early objections about the project and the process were raised, as opposed to forging ahead with a highly flawed and undemocratic balloting process. Every day, more facts emerge about this situation that raise additional concerns about the project and the process.

So far, political checks and balances aren't serving the people of Peterborough well.

Perhaps a major media outlet with the investigative reporting resources to thoroughly research this story can help the citizens of Peterborough get the answers they deserve.

Related:

Impolitical: Conservative Dean Del Mastro Should Run for Peterborough City Council

Impolitical: Why Is Dean Del Mastro Taking Surveys on Behalf of a Private Developer?

Impolitical: Checking in on Dean Del Mastro's Survey on Behalf of a Private Developer

April 19, 2009

Flora MacDonald to Speak in Peterborough Tomorrow Night: Event in Support of YWCA Peterborough

This comes via Betsy McGregor (Peterborough Federal Liberal candidate):

An Evening with Flora MacDonald

The Hon. Flora MacDonald will be speaking on Monday April 20th, at 7:00 PM, at the Princess Gardens Atrium in Peterborough. Donations will support YWCA Peterborough Victoria and Haliburton's fundraising efforts for its new women’s shelter.

The evening will commence with the showing of her recent CBC documentary Flora’s Mission about her courageous work building girl’s schools in Afghanistan and promoting the use of solar panels in mountain villages. That will be followed by a short talk by Flora on Canada’s challenges; and an open community discussion.

Flora MacDonald has been active in Canadian politics since the 1970s. She served as an MP and Cabinet Minister, and in 1979 she became the first woman to be appointed Secretary of State for External Affairs. Since leaving politics in 1989, Flora has been deeply involved in a range of human rights and environmental activities around the globe, and is currently working in Afghanistan and India.

Flora MacDonald has received numerous honours in her life, including the Order of Canada and Companion of the Order; the Pearson Peace Medal; the Churchill Society’s award for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy; the El Kawkab Medal by King Hussein for significant contribution to public service and was the Padma Shri Award (India’s highest award to civilians) from the President of India for distinguished service in the field of public affairs. She was given the EVE award from Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan advocacy organization committed to promoting the election of more women to every level of government, and to raising awareness about the under-representation of women in Canadian politics. Ms. MacDonald holds honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom.

This remarkable woman was born in North Sydney, NS, in 1926, is a sixth generation Canadian whose forebears came to Canada from the Scottish Highlands in the 1790s. She also worked in Peterborough in her early career, singing in a local church choir. She will be departing within weeks of this event for her 11th solo trip to Afghanistan.

There is no charge for this event.

Seating is limited so please come early.

February 17, 2009

The Globe and Mail: Dean's Train is Officially a Ghost Train

I'm pretty sure this was the funding announcement that Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro was anticipating when he assured area residents as recently as a few weeks ago that ground would be broken in 2009 for the much-talked about Toronto-Peterborough rail extension (a project that has recently earned the nickname "the ghost train" around town).

Problem is, a train that doesn't head any further east than Markham isn't going to score many points with the voters who were railroaded into voting for Del Mastro by his promise to bring the train to Peterborough.

It would appear that the ghost train has met the same unfortunate fate as the ghost battery plant. Guess that leaves the ever-optimistic voters of Peterborough Riding with just two of four Del Mastro campaign promises to pin their hopes on: the constitutional amendment regarding property rights and the resort complex for Little Lake -- both far-fetched but not officially dead yet.

Return on campaign promise investment (current stats):
2 out of 4, just four months post-election.

Rating: Not impressed. Not surprised.

Related:

GO Transit infrastructure investment details (Government of Ontario press release)

Comments @ Maclean's Magazine about potential for Montreal-Toronto high-speed rail: A couple of readers can't figure out where Peterborough would fit into the picture, except as a political-point-scoring pitstop: "Dean likes this route to Ott/Mtl because his riding is along the way." "Despite the fact I would love and use a Peterborough stop, it should go along the lakefront." "I’m a big fan of high-speed rail but when it comes to Dean Del Mastro - what a chooch(oo)!"

Metrolinx: The Big Move: Regional Transportation Plan: Peterborough is included in the long-term plans (15 to 25 year time frame). These are the immediate plans. Of course, all this has to make its way through the provincial government approval process. And anything can happen when the infrastructure fairy godmother is dropping taxpayer money from heaven.

January 28, 2009

Budget Bizarreness

The National managed to find the one Canadian working class family that actually believes that the extra $.33 it finds in its pocket each day is going to dig this country out of a recession. ("We spend this dollar. And then the next person spends this dollar.") It sounds like that 1970s shampoo commercial about telling two girlfriends -- but there's much more at stake than great hair. (Even the middle class, who were supposed to fall in love with Stephen Harper all over again via this budget, are getting $.67 a day, unless of course, they can take advantage of the home reno tax credit -- up to $1350 to do home renos or "build a deck at the cottage," as Jim Flaherty suggested.)

There are much more significant problems with this budget, of course. The budget doesn't address the need for EI reform -- even though 50 percent of unemployed Canadians don't qualify for benefits; and EI at least helps to break the fall as Canadians who are out of work try to regain their financial and employment footing.

One of the budget measures that will reward people on social assistance for working part-time sounds a lot like Mike Harris' welfare to work projects of the late 1990s -- except this time there are very few jobs to be found. So by not finding work in the midst of a recession, those social assistance recipients are, in effect, being punished for, what? Being social assistance recipients. This seems to tap into that deep-rooted belief held by many in the far right of the deserving and the undeserving poor.

To be fair, there are some positive initiatives as well. The investment in green initiatives. The investment in social housing. I'm sure if I read the budget line by line, I could come up with many others.

But, overall, this budget lacks focus and vision. By spreading the resources in so many different directions in order to try to buy political favor, this budget is $40 billion dollar deficit-producing budget is really $40 billion ado about nothing. It seems very wrong that you can spend so much money to accomplish so little.

A budget that offers something for everyone? Sure, I'll buy that definition -- as long as you accept that the "something" is politically-fortified crumbs.

On the other hand, the budget managed to tick off the Fraser Institute, and that's definitely something for a neo-conservative government. Bet they never thought they'd see the day.

Related:

Seating Plan for House of Commons:
Useful tool given that Parliament has only been in session five times since June.

January 05, 2009

Campaign Promise Countdown: 2 Down, 2 to Go

Battery plant runs down - Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA.

It's no wonder voters are so cynical.

As The Peterborough Examiner reported on Saturday, the battery plant that Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro announced with much fanfare five days before the federal election in October appears to have run out of charge. Some of us with non-battery powered crystal balls had predicted this outcome right from the get-go -- proof that it pays to invest in a crystal ball with a power adapter.

And it appears quite certain that the commuter train to Toronto -- another key part of the Del Mastro platform -- won't be running between Peterborough and Toronto anytime soon. The only train between Peterborough and Toronto that's even pie-in-the-sky at this point (see this November 28, 2008, Metrolink map showing that Peterborough isn't a priority for them now or anytime soon) is a route that would go via Orillia -- not exactly a convenient route for commuters looking for an alternative to the car.

But Del Mastro isn't about to see half of his campaign promises go up in flames three months after the election. (That would only leave him with his promise to change the Canadian constitution to safeguard landowner rights against government interference (a pretty tall order, that); and his election-eve announcement of a flashy plan to build a resort on Little Lake (one that might bode well for his family's tourism-industry RV business, but that isn't necessarily the best use of this key piece of land, given the kind of innovative approaches that other communities are taking to community planning these days). Del Mastro is denying that the battery plant idea is dead and he's insisting that the train is still a comin'. He's either the most optimistic man in Peterborough or....

I'll let you fill in the blanks.

December 11, 2008

Emily Berrigan, Political Whirlwind

Peterborough Green Party of Canada Candidate Emily Berrigan must dream political dreams at night. (Does she count political sheep as she tries to fall asleep?)

It's the only way she can possibly have time to come up with all these great ideas -- and do all the things she's already doing.


In a town that has more than its share of political dinosaurs/neanderthals, it's so refreshing to have Emily speaking the language of political change. Go, Emily, Go!

December 08, 2008

Dion vs. Harper

Partofcanadianflag It's no secret that I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Stéphane Dion. A politician with his kind of personal integrity and long-term vision for what this country actually needs (as opposed to what it wants for itself over the short-term) doesn't come along very often.

Unfortunately for Canada, Dion had the bad luck to cross the political stage at the same time as another once-in-a-generation (or once-in-a-lifetime) politician: in this case, a mean-spirited, rabidly partisan politician who is willing to do anything to keep his bulldog grip on power, including creating a political and national unity crisis.

The contrast in personal styles or value systems between the two men couldn't be greater. Dion mapped out a vision that represents where we really need to be headed as a country, if we're to kick start the green economy and address the growing gap between the haves and have nots in this country (a root cause of much of the youth crime that the neo-conservatives bellow about so much). What prevented Canadians from hearing much of what Dion had to say was the bully who misled Canadians about what the man and his policies were all about.

I don't know about you, but I'm not proud to live in a country where the top politician in the land can savage a political opponent and get away with it -- and then go on to "hide behind the Queen" (as some Americans are putting it as they watch what's been happening in our country in amazement) in order to escape his own political day of reckoning. When George Bush was acting so outrageously a few years back -- and the American people went on to re-elect him, we Canadians looked smugly at one another and said, "That could never happen in Canada."

But, of course, it did: the neo-conservative way of thinking is alive and well and living in Canada now. And we're going to be stuck in this political twilight zone until enough Canadians wake up and realize that they are being lied to and misled by the party in power -- on a routine basis.

This is why parliament isn't working: the traditional rules about parliamentary conduct have been tossed out the windows of the House of Commons and replaced by the same U.S.-style political code of conduct that has made George Bush famous -- or rather infamous -- the world over.

Dion bore the brunt of the attacks from the bully-in-chief of the current regime. When history looks back on this time, people are going to be astounded that more Canadians didn't speak up and decry the McCarthy-like attacks that were carried out during this time -- and that the media was complicit in these attacks.

I feel proud that I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I spoke out against the attack ads, the campaign of misinformation about Dion and his policies (to say nothing of the Conservative Party of Canada and its record) and that I had the opportunity to let Mr. Dion know, on more than one occasion, how much I appreciated his efforts to hold the Harper government accountable.

Dion may not have been the most savvy politican our country has produced, but he is certainly one of our most dedicated. He has served his country well.

December 06, 2008

Coalition for Canada - Handmade Sign Spotted at Pro-Coalition Rally in Peterborough - Dec. 6

Check out this fabulous handmade sign. I asked this fellow if I could take a photo of his sign and post it on my blog and he was kind enough to say yes. I love the design. Isn't it cool? He told me his friends helped him to make the sign this morning.

Don't Forget to Send a Rose to Your MP Today

The YWCA is asking us all to send a virtual rose to our MPs in order to lobby for a national action plan to address violence against women.Rosecampaign

If you wish to support the excellent work that the YWCA does throughout the year --in Peterborough and/or in your community -- you might be interested in knowing that this is the organization's tag day (an annual fundraiser).

If you didn't bump into a canvasser in person while you were out running errands this morning, no worries! You can donate to this very worthy charity in all kinds of different ways, either in Peterborough or elsewhere. (Note: I think very highly of this particular charity -- so much so that I serve on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Peterborough, Victoria, and Haliburton.)

My MP may be quite surprised to get a rose from me -- but that's okay. Violence against women is an issue that crosses party lines. In fact, it's an issue that crosses all lines. And it can't be allowed to languish any more than it's been allowed to languish over the past three years.

P.S.

If you're looking for a gift for that impossible-to-buy for friend, why not make a donation to the YWCA in her name? It's the gift that keeps on giving -- and saving lives -- year round.