This happened today on Sun

Every Tuesday I appear on Sun News Network to talk all sorts of politics. Today’s topic was a discussion about pot, a wanna-be Liberal candidate and Justin Trudeau. Watch right to the end – I had no idea what was coming… Also, Kinsella is in big, big trouble.


My email to Shawn Jeffords

“Dear Shawn:

I understand you are claiming you have been trying to reach me.  That is interesting, given that I was at the Sun just this afternoon.

The picture that you consider important enough to write an entire story about is of me, posing with a toy gun.  Your attempt to link it to the Olivia Chow campaign, on which I volunteer, is ridiculous.  It is beneath any serious journalist.  It is absurd. 

I confess I also recently played Battleship with my son.  Perhaps you would like to write a lengthy feature about the relevance of toy ships to municipal politics.  If so, let me know. 

In the meantime, I intend to post this widely, so everyone else gets to see how laughable it is.


Lisa Kirbie”

The New Liberal Party of Canada

And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Yesterday, while appearing on CTV’s True North Politics panel, one of the subjects that we debated was abortion. Specifically, Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice edict to anyone who wishes to run for the party.

Let me start by saying that I  fundamentally believe that liberals (capital L or otherwise) should support a woman’s right to choose. Full stop. I am a pro-choice Catholic who, before converting, asked a priest straight out if he would give me communion knowing my views. It was a lengthy conversation which ended with one word, “yes.”

I am a mother who has had to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. I am vehemently pro-choice and am an outspoken feminist. But that doesn’t make me (or anyone else for that matter) pro-abortion.

Under Trudeau’s new rules, I wouldn’t be allowed to run for the Liberal Party. Why? Because Trudeau said that his MPs “must vote ‘pro-choice’ on any bills before Parliament.” Affirm the status quo on abortion in Canada?  For sure. But what about a vote on late-term, post-viability abortions on demand, when the woman’s life or health is not in jeopardy?  That’s no longer about women’s rights, and I don’t support it. But according to statements Trudeau has made this week, I would have to.

I guess that makes be a bad Liberal.

Turns out it wasn’t Harper who reopened Canada’s abortion debate; it was Justin Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau, choice and open nominations

My view? I don’t think you can be a liberal and be anti-choice – which I’ve written about before. And I don’t think that open nominations are the way to go (for reasons I detail in the same piece I hyperlinked to).

So, I support young Trudeau’s decision to ensure that all candidates who run carrying a Liberal banner must support a woman’s right to choose (which is different from being in favour of abortion, btw). Where he goes wrong is in insisting, despite this and this, that Liberal nominations are still “open.”

They aren’t. And that’s okay, but continuing to insist otherwise is a big, big mistake.

Candidates show they know nothing when attacking Chow on housing

Many people – people who know better – are attacking Olivia Chow today because she’s going to run for mayor, because she’s a formidable presence and because she’s a real threat to their own candidates. One of the smears they like to use is to say that she lived in a housing co-op, which she and her late husband did many, many years ago. But then they tell a bald-faced lie and say that their rent was subsidized. The very people making these attacks wouldn’t deign to come within a large city block of one, so I will explain co-op housing to you, because I have. I lived in a housing co-op while supporting myself and my children, struggling to finish my undergraduate degree.

Housing co-ops are a community, which is why so many people like to live in them. You will find people from a variety of backgrounds with a range of income levels. People who do okay financially and people – like me – who weren’t sure how they were going to pay the hydro bill or buy diapers.

We all paid different rents, and we paid according to income level. I paid just a few hundred bucks a month for rent (back in the Okanagan). Others paid substantially more than that, which is called “market value” rent. It’s what one would pay if they were renting a comparable place elsewhere in the area, that wasn’t a housing co-op. The people who paid the most essentially helped out those of us who couldn’t pay more. And we all contributed to the upkeep and maintenance of the co-op – we took great pride in our vegetable garden, our small orchard and the kids’ playground we raised money for and built ourselves. Even though we all paid different rents, we were all equal members of our co-operative, our community.

Those people who’ve lived in housing co-ops understand what a remarkable place they can be. Those who haven’t, and who are trying to spread misinformation about Olivia Chow and Jack Layton, are trying to exploit the fact that not many people do know how co-ops works. That’s why you’re reading the garbage you are.

Olivia and Jack never received subsidized housing. They always paid their full share. Anything else you read or hear is a complete and total lie.

John Tory kicked off Stintz’s bad week

Most of Toronto’s politicos were caught by surprise when John Tory decided to go out for milk last Sunday night. Surprised because it seemed very hurried and because, well, Tory actually made a decision. And also surprised because everyone knew that Karen Stintz would be announcing her mayoral candidacy first thing Monday morning – except that Tory got there first. This move by Tory seemed petty and decidedly unsportsmanlikeeven by political standards. (It should be noted that Tory didn’t have a particularly good week either).

So, Stintz’s week started off with a whimper and went downhill from there. Some highlights:

I know some of the people on this campaign and they’re smart, experienced guys. Her week should have gone better.


The real John Tory

A couple of weeks ago, John Tory – privileged one -percenter that he is – weighed in on why women earn less than men. According to Tory, we 1) don’t “put up a fuss” and 2) don’t spend enough time on the golf course.

Aside from the fact that the last thing Toronto needs is the out-of-touch Tory in the mayor’s chair, he picked the very day that Karen Stintz is set to announce her campaign; a fact that is well-known to everyone with a pulse. Stintz is, so far, the only woman to sign up for this contest and Tory decides to blow up her announcement. I’m not a Stintz fan but this was an incredibly disrespectful move.

I hope she kicks the crap out of him today, all the way back to the Rosedale Club.


Happy birthday, Dad

Birthdays are supposed to be fun, light events, which is hard when we miss those who are no longer living. He was born February 20, 1941. And he was tragically killed just thirty short years later. Taken too soon, you hear people say about those who die young. I was just two years old when it happened. He loved me madly, I’m told. 

He died before I was old enough to have memories of him. I don’t know what his voice sounded like. I don’t know what it feels like to be enveloped in a hug that only fathers can give their little girls. So many “nevers” are attached to him. Jake. My dad.

I was his only daughter, his only child. When my parents split, before he died, he fought for custody – something unheard of so many decades ago. It must have been such a painful time but somehow knowing how desperately he wanted to raise me brings some comfort. Given how little time he had left on this earth, I wish he had been granted it.

Life is complicated, whether you live for a long time or not. Hug your kids, even if they’re too young to remember.

Happy birthday, Dad.

If General Leslie wasn’t a Liberal, this wouldn’t be news

More Tory dirty tricks.

The Harper guys don’t seem to mind shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to move a disgraced general after he was court-martialled to the UAE. They don’t have a problem with shutting down veterans’ offices or cutting two billion from defence spending over their years in government. But this, they have a problem with. What about the dozen other retired military officials this government paid to move within the same cities? Well, I guess they weren’t Liberals.


Hey, look who sent me a Valentine!

JT Valentine 2