The Speaker speaks

Full text of Dave Levac’s statement is below (emphasis mine). I think some Tory MPPs – Michael Harris in particular – need to apologize. But they won’t.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario – July 30, 2013

Emails have recently been released relating to the ruling I delivered to the House on the issue of the government’s failure to release certain documents ordered by the Standing Committee on Estimates. I cannot speak to the mindset of the authors of the emails or any motivation that may have been behind them.

Additionally, I have no comment to make on the ruling made. It stood and speaks for itself. The fact that the ruling did stand should also speak for itself.

However, I would like to provide some background to the matter. From time to time, Speakers meet with representatives from all three parties on a great variety of issues, including clarification or explanation of decisions already rendered in the House. In those meetings the Speaker is often offered differing viewpoints. While I believe it is important to consider the various sides of an issue, I have never felt unable to make an informed, objective and procedurally sound decision, free of political interference. The priority for me, as it is for any Speaker, is to carefully consider all arguments, applying greater weight to the wisdom of procedural authority, precedent and practice and to come to a decision that is in the best interest of the institution of Parliament.

Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker


Ottawa South PCPO candidate Matt Young anti-choice?

Matt Young has refused to publicly state a position on abortion. 
When he was questioned on CFRA Young said that abortion is a federal issue and refused to comment.  It seems that someone should give young Matt a civics lesson because the provincial government is responsible for funding abortion services. And someone should tell him that his leader, Tim Hudak, promised to defund abortion if he were elected premier.It seems that Matt Young is just another Tim Hudak, but in short pants.

Is there even a single pro-choice PC candidate of the bunch?


Tim Hudak abortion refresher

PC leader Tim Hudak is believes that “it is the government’s role to promote the choice of life and his London West candidate Ali Chahbar is “pro-life and pro-family (whatever ‘pro-family’ is a euphemism for…).”  Hudak and Chahbar are out of touch and can’t be trusted to defend and protect a woman’s right to choose. There’s three days left before e-day – perhaps someone should put the question to both Hudak and Chahbar before then.

Here’s a round up of what the media were saying in the last Ontario general election about Hudak’s position on abortion:

“When pressed by reporters Monday, Mr.Hudak refused to answer whether he still considers himself “pro-life.” (National Post, July 19, 2011)

“Hudak opted not to answer when he was asked point blank if he was pro-life.” (The Sarnia Observer, July 19, 2011)

“Hudak ducks questions on pro-life support” (Waterloo Region Record, July 19, 2011)

“[Hudak] believed things about abortion in the past, and there’s no reason to believe he doesn’t believe them now. So the idea that he “may have” signed a pro-life coalition is just staggeringly weak.” (National Post, July 20, 2011)

“This biggest problem Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak faces in the upcoming election is inexperience. Hudak handled the recent controversy concerning his real views on abortion like he was trying to do needlepoint while wearing boxing gloves.” (The Ottawa Citizen, July 21, 2011)

“Hudak, as a politician looking to run Ontario’s medical system, should state his position. In delaying doing that, he looks weak, inexperienced and uncomfortable with the issue.” (Ottawa Citizen, July 27, 2011)

“Forum found 56 per cent of Ontarians think women should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy in all circumstances with 35 per cent agreeing in some circumstances. Only eight per cent are outright opposed to abortion.” (Toronto Star, July 30, 2011).

“…Tim Hudak says he “may have” signed a petition to end abortion funding in Ontario. I’m not clear whether he doesn’t remember or just wishes he hadn’t signed the damn thing. (Toronto Star, July 31, 2011)


Abortion just became a by-election issue for the PCs

Way back in the summer of 2011, PC leader Tim Hudak had a substantial lead over the governing McGuinty Liberals. So significant was it that Hudak and his boys were already measuring for drapes in government members’ offices.

And then this happened:

Hudak and abortion

That’s right: “…[I]t is the government’s role to promote the choice of life… .” And when questioned by the media, he refused to confirm or deny that this was still his position. He stuttered and stumbled every single time a reporter stuck a microphone in his face – Hudak even had right-wing media dogging him.

You could almost hear his support shrinking. The Toronto Star quoted a pollster at the time saying, “The one thing that can kill the Tories is to be caught out on a social issue and there’s nothing like abortion in terms of a social issue.”

Odd isn’t it then that the Tories picked Ali Chahbar as their candidate in London West.

According to the pro-life zealots, Chahbar is “Pro-life and pro-family (whatever “pro-family” means)” and on a recent call with a “pro-life leader, Chahbar indicated that he is strongly pro-life and was raised with the value that human life is sacred.

One of the biggest threats to Hudak ever becoming premier of Ontario is that woman don’t like him much, and on the matter of reproductive choice, we don’t trust him at all.

There’s just four more days until election day in London West, and four other ridings around the province. Send Hudak a message by not sending Chahbar to Queen’s Park. Support choice.

 

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Kids: Photographic evidence

My daughter this morning groaned on Facebook that I post so many shots of Sloane the lab, people aren’t going to know I have kids.

In my defence, social media didn’t exist back with my babies were babies. So, this is my formal apology for all the lab pics (which will continue, I’m sure). And a picture – circa 1996 – to prove that my kids actually exist. They’re also pretty spectacular human beings.

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The Mayor’s friend, Dave

You’ve probably heard about David Price. He’s Rob Ford’s long-time bestie, former football coach,’Dave’ the talk radio anonymous caller who calls in to declare the awesomeness that is Toronto’s mayor. Oh, and he’s on the mayoral payroll, too.

He even called me a few times after I posted an audio clip of Ford trying to “teach me about politics.” Check it out here, here and here.

Today, Price, who’s been mysteriously absent from Ford’s office is back in the news again for allegedly making a homophobic slur against a CBC reporter.

The CBC, the mayor’s office and Dave Price aren’t talking but if true, it’s time for ‘Dave from Etobicoke’ to go.


PC candidate Matt Young = Tory puppet, flip-flopper

My friend, John Fraser, is the Liberal candidate in Ottawa South – former premier Dalton McGuinty’s riding. I’ve known John and his family since arriving in Ottawa in 2002. His wife and I are particularly close, and my kids consider her an honourary aunt. John is one of the most decent, hard-working, honest people I know. He’s kind and smart and he truly wants to help this riding’s residents, which he has been doing for the last 14 years.

And along comes PC candidate Matt Young who proudly states on his bio that he is “not a career politician.” Well, he’s certainly getting a crash course in how the Tories do politics. Yesterday, Young smeared Fraser at a hastily arranged press conference in which Young – and various other Tories – insinuated that John was hiding his involvement in the gas plants file, even though there is no evidence of this whatsoever.

When this was explained to Young – using small words, I’m guessing – he retracted his position and said, “I was assured by other people in the party or else I never would have spoken about (the backup tapes).” Really? He was “assured” by “other people in the party.” Like whom? Vic Fideli? Lisa MacLeod? Tim Hudak? Well, Young doesn’t say but we can all guess, can’t we?

Then, later on in the day (after party operatives got a hold of him, I’m sure), Matt Young changes his position again and tells a reporter that he stands by his first position.

Confused yet?

To sum up:

  • PC candidate Matt Young smears Liberal candidate John Fraser at a press conference, even though there’s no evidence to support his attack.
  • Matt Young retracts his position, blames “party people.”
  • Matt Young goes back to his first position, again no evidence to support it.

If you’re a fan of Lisa MacLeod-style politics, then vote for Matt. But if you want an MPP who is dedicated to the riding and the people who live in it, John’s your guy.


NDP says new minister knows what it takes to get head. Wait, what?

Third paragraph.*

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*I get that it’s a typo but it’s the BEST TYPO EVER!

H/T David Akin


That’s *Minister* Pierre Poilievre to you

What a total joke. For a government that desperately needed fresh faces and new direction, the appointment of Poilievre is counter-intuitive.

Don’t know who he is? Read on. You’re welcome.

Since being elected in 2004, Poilievre has been an embarrassment to his party – and Canadians – both in and out of the House of Commons. From racist comments to immature temper tantrums, he is a walking talking symbol of what is wrong with this government. Harper promoting him is just mind-boggling.

Highlights are found herehereherehere and, of course, here.  And for a giggle.


Existential email question

If an email is deleted but is still available on the server, was it ever really deleted in the first place?

Too bad that Ann Cavoukian didn’t retrieve emails from the server before issuing her report last month. In which, aside from all the crazy rhetoric, included this: “[T]he Commissioner cannot state with certainty that there was inappropriate deletion of emails by the former Premier’s staff.”

And here’s where I defend former Premier Dalton McGuinty on this very same point: