And a letter in which a kind person says nice things

The writer is referencing my appearance on Byline last night:

“The home and the family is more important than any job that we’re ever going to do.” Who is he to say? He is clearly suggesting that “home” and “family” have some sort of standard, uniform meaning or implication. In our society, it’s going to mean something very different to different people. He’s looking at this through a classic Conservative nuclear-family-gender-pigeonholed framework, which is the PROBLEM and which is why he is absolutely missing the point.

Ugh, that makes me angry. And not in the ill-defined “new age feminist” sort of way. What a joke stereotype.

Well said!

Michelle Rempel

Speaking of sexism, Tory MP Michelle Rempel has put up with a lot of crap lately. She and I may not agree on much politically, but I admire her statements in the House of Commons in which she has called for an end to sexist comments and language:

Judge us on our policy and judge us on our performance. On behalf of all of my colleagues, all of the women in my life who have supported me in this journey—and this one is for them—all the women who have fought for our right to be here and all the women I certainly hope will follow us to this place, I know that together we will not tolerate those who seek to belittle us based on our gender.

So, today, for the second day, the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition asked Minister Ashfield about the inappropriate comment he made to a young woman during a Conservative press event designed to hype their recent budget. And again, Megan Leslie was heckled and her question disregarded. But the most interesting part of this clip is Michelle Rempel, seated behind the minister, looking very, very uncomfortable.

First check out the QP clip and then see the tweet below it.


In this government, Rempel’s applauding was a gutsy move.

NDP MP Megan Leslie asks Tory minister to explain wife comment

Following on my post, NDP MP Megan Leslie demands a response from Tory minister during Question Period. Minister naturally gives ridiculous response.

Leslie shot back: “Leave it to the Conservatives to encourage young women to get married as part of their economic action plan, but his comments were disrespectful …. In other words, ‘There, there, stop planning for your future.” Ashfield then said the NDP could find little with fault in their budget if that was what they were choosing to ask about during question period.

Here’s the closing paragraphs from Josh Visser’s National Post article tonight:

“In what universe is it acceptable to tell a young woman that she’s going to make someone a great wife one day?” political analyst Lisa Kirbie wrote on her website, drawing attention to the comment.

“Shame on Conservative Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, and shame on this entire government. I sure hope he, and his boss, get asked about this tomorrow.”

Tory Minister makes sexist remark to young woman – UPDATED

Hey look, a troll who posts from the Manulife Centre in Toronto without enough courage to post his real name says I’m going to be a bad wife one day!


In what universe is it acceptable to tell a young woman that she’s going to make someone a great wife one day?

Well, in Stephen Harper’s Canada, I guess we still live in a Mad Men world.

Shame on Conservative Fisheries minister Keith Ashfield, and shame on this entire government. I sure hope he, and his boss, get asked about this tomorrow:

In Fredericton, MP and federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, invited the media to a staged family conversation about the budget with Roland and Gina Moreno and their two daughters.

It was an opportunity to highlight the government’s emphasis on training young people for jobs the economy needs, but things went awkwardly off-script at the start as Ashfield sampled baked goods and chatted with eldest daughter Grace Moreno, a local high school student leader.

“Grace, you’re a great cook,” Ashfield said. “You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody.”

(H/T Jim Calder)

Sarah Palin continues to be a joke

Check it out here. But she was interesting – and by interesting I mean entertaining. Yesterday I finally got around to watching Game Change, an HBO movie about her run for the Veep job. Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris were terrific. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Also, never figured that McCain would say “fuck” so much. If he really does, I like him better.


Garneau at 10,000 feet

I’m on a Delta flight – with wi-fi! –  back to Toronto after a much-too-short mini vacation in Florida. Sure didn’t think this was going to happen today.

I figured that we would see at least a few of the Liberal leadership contenders pack it in before the final debate later this month; just didn’t think it would include Marc Garneau.

No offence to contenders such as, Karen McCrimmon, Deborah Coyne and David Bertschi, but they should have packed it in before our much-admired astronaut. Make that much-admired, elected astronaut.

Why women shouldn’t be silent

I’ve only met Sarah Thompson a few times and I don’t know Rob Ford at all, so I’m not necessarily a fan of either. I have no skin in this game, as it were.

However, I take Sarah Thomson at her word. Regardless of the actions she took following the alleged grope, and whether I agree with them or not, one of these people has a history of lying, flaunting the rules and breaking the law. And that person is not Sarah Thomson.

In just two days, much has been written about what happened between Thomson and Ford at the CJPAC Action Party, but this piece, by Ivor Tossell, stands out.

Unfortunately, women do still have to deal with this shit. And it will only be when we all speak up and say enough, will it stop. Exactly because of the kind of attacks made against Thomson – she’s a liar, she wants attention, she’s not pretty enough to be groped or propositioned – many women remain silent. Speaking out takes courage, lots of it.

Almost a year ago, a Progressive Conservative MPP stood up in the Ontario Legislature and referred to me as someone’s “squeeze.” I was shocked. And I wasn’t alone. Gilles Bisson was shocked, too. He stood up and admonished Mr. Nicholls in the strongest language possible:


There was a lot of media attention given to Nicholls’ comments, mostly because of the excuses he made (worse things have been said in the Legislature) and my person favourite: Nicholls thought it was a “term of endearment.”

Bottom line: Until more women, and men, speak out against harassment and sexism, and begin supporting those who make the allegations, it will continue. It exists and it happens to women every single day. To borrow a line from Tossell: Women have to deal with an appalling amount of garbage.

Christy Clark can’t catch a break

I grew up in the Lower Mainland, and spent a decade in the Okanagan before moving to Ontario, so I’m well-versed in the craziness that is BC politics. (There have been so many scandals that Wikipedia has devoted a page to them). And while I remain a devoted McGuinty Liberal and a federal Liberal, I was a BC New Democrat during my residency there.

Why? Because BC Liberals aren’t, well, liberal. Or, in this case, smart.

Today’s Grit Globe piece

This was dumb. I suspect some lessons will be learned today, the hard way.

That is all.

Signed up to vote!

And you should, too! I haven’t declared who I’m supporting yet, but will soon.  I’ll be chatting with Brian Dunstan at SNN this weekend for our usual post-debate debrief. Wild prediction: someone will attack Justin Trudeau.

LPC reg