This is an excellent article. The scary thing is that there are no costs attached to a lot of these promises. Does that mean that these are promises that will be easily broken? Truthfully for me some of these promises are just downright scary!
TheStar.com Federal Election The promises and the costs
The promises and the costs
A list of key promises in the 2008 federal election campaign
Sep 29, 2008 02:08 PM
OTTAWA – Key promises in the federal election campaign, with projected costs where applicable and available:
– Two-cent-a-litre cut in taxes on diesel and aviation fuel over four years. $600 million a year once fully implemented.
– Reinstate veterans' benefits for Second World War veterans who have lived in Canada for more than 10 years; $9 million a year.
– A near-complete withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan in 2011.
– Allow 49 per cent foreign ownership of airlines and foreign ownership of uranium mines.
– Maternity, parental leave benefits for entrepreneurs who pay into EI. $150 million annually, financed by EI premiums.
– Tax credit for first-time homebuyers to claim up to $5,000 in closing costs for a rebate of up to $750. $200 million a year, fully implemented.
– Ban kid-friendly flavours and additives from tobacco products and require cigarillos to be sold in packages of at least 20. No cost provided.
– Increase the Senior Age Credit by $1,000, saving those in the lowest tax-paying income bracket about $150 a year. $400 million a year.
– $85 million in tax breaks for families where one spouse forgoes full-time work to care for a disabled family member.
– Introduce maximum life sentences for offenders as young as 14 convicted of first- or second-degree murder; maximum 14-year sentences for youths who commit violent crimes.
– Teens over 14 who commit serious crimes would no longer have their identities protected.
– End conditional sentencing, also known as house arrest, for 30 serious crimes, including robbery, theft, and arson.
– $113 million over five years to crack down on environmental crime, including maximum penalties of $6 million for companies and $1 million for individuals.
– A consumer protection package including an Internet anti-spam law, a ban on charging for unsolicited text messages and a crackdown on gas-pump tampering. No cost provided.
– Prohibit the export of bitumen to countries without carbon-emission targets equivalent to Canada's.
– $24 million to foster development of international cruise destinations along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
– New tax credit for parents of children under 16 enrolled in eligible arts programs; $150 million a year.
– Let charities and not-for-profit groups set up RESPs for kids from low-income families.
– A Guaranteed Livable Income supplement for the poor. No cost provided.
– A new carbon tax of $50 per tonne and new taxes on toxic chemicals.
– Forgive 50 per cent of student loans for successful graduates. No cost provided.
– More money and research grants for post-secondary institutions that focus on renewable energy and conservation. No cost provided.
– Shift consumption taxes to environmentally harmful products and services and away from income and products, activities that do no harm. No cost provided.
– Cut corporate tax by $50 for each tonne of carbon-emission reductions. No cost provided.
– Increase GST by six per cent to finance infrastructure improvements, with expanded exemptions on food, children's clothing and books. No cost provided.
– "Green Shift" carbon tax on fossil fuels, offset by income and business tax cuts. Income tax cuts of up to 10 per cent. Cut the small business tax rate to 10 per cent from 11 per cent. Lower the corporate tax rate to 14 per cent by 2013. Overall, $90 million in lost revenue for the treasury over four years.
– $70 billion over 10 years for municipal infrastructure.
– $1.2 billion over four years to help farmers adjust to green technologies.
– Restore the $3-billion contingency fund abandoned by the Conservatives.
– Create $1-billion Advanced Manufacturing Prosperity Fund to help manufacturers retain and create jobs.
– Add $350 to existing $1,200-a-year child-care allowance. Create a new supplement for the poorest families with children, worth $1,225 a year per family.
– National daycare program with 165,000 spaces. $1.25 billion a year, fully implemented.
– End military mission in Afghanistan in 2011.
– Restore the Court Challenges Program and double budget to $6 million a year.
– $50 million to upgrade Canada's food safety system.
– $10,000 per household in refundable tax benefits for energy-saving home retrofits. $600 million.
– More robust energy efficiency standards for building codes and home appliances.
– $250 million over four years to curb the spread of the mountain pine beetle.
– $250 million to modernize and "green" fishing vessels and protect fish stocks in Canadian and international waters.
– $100 million to improve Canada's small-craft harbours.
– $420 million over four years to help increase the number of doctors, nurses and medical technicians across Canada.
– $900 million over four years to create a new plan for catastrophic drug coverage.
– $500 million more a year for university-based research and a $100-million research fund for scientists, researchers and grad students.
– A poverty plan to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line by at least 30 per cent and the number of children by at least 50 per cent.
– Reverse the immigration measures brought in by the Conservatives and spend $800 million to help new Canadians and reduce the immigration backlog.
– Bring back the Kelowna Accord and work with aboriginal peoples, provinces and territories to improve native health, education and housing. $2 billion.
– Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors by $600 a year for low-income seniors.
– 200,000 student bursaries of up to $3,500 per year over four years, and guaranteed eligibility for $5,000 student loans, regardless of parental income.
– Simplify the tax system for post-secondary students, providing most students about $1,000 a year.
– Restore cuts made by the Conservatives to arts and culture funding and double the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts.
– $75 million to bolster security at ethno-cultural centres and places of worship across Canada.
– Restore $6 million in funding for Quebec's National Optics Institute.
– A moratorium on expansion of Alberta's tarsands and requiring oil companies to reclaim land strip mined for petroleum production. No cost provided.
– $8.2 billion over four years to create, protect and foster growth of "green-collar" jobs and manufacturing.
– A "cap-and-trade" system to create incentives for big business to reduce their emissions. No cost provided.
– Slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. No cost provided.
– A price-monitoring agency to investigate price spikes and consult with provinces about regulations. No cost provided.
– Cap credit-card interest rates at five per cent over prime.
– Outlaw automated banking machine fees, saving consumers at least $104 per year.
– $120 million a year in additional funding for women's groups.
– $1,000-a-year grant to all undergraduate or equivalent students who qualify for student loans.
– $1 billion over five years to expand medical and nursing schools, increasing the number of student spaces by 50 per cent.
– $125 million a year to forgive student loans for medical-school grads who spend 10 years as family physicians.
– $100 million for skills training and job creation.
– Comprehensive review of Canadian banking regulations. No cost provided.
– Income averaging for artists and a $20,000 annual tax break on income generated by copyright and residual revenue. No cost provided.
– Scrap Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement within six months of forming government.
– A new Ministry of Consumer Protection to investigate and prosecute gas-pump gouging and collusion. No cost provided.
– $1 billion a year on a new catastrophic drug plan.
– Reverse corporate tax cuts brought in by Liberal and Conservative governments, a move that would raise the rate to 22.12 per cent from 19.5.
– A new monthly cheque of up to $400 that would replace three existing child benefits, including the Conservatives' $100-a-month cheque. A family with two children and an income of $75,000 would take in an extra $2,140 a year.
– $5 billion over five years to improve health care, housing and infrastructure for First Nations communities.
– $1-billion national home-care program for seniors.
– A national child-care program calling for 220,000 spaces annually in the fourth year. It would cost $1.4 billion in the first year.
– Raise $2.5 billion a year in carbon auctions and reinvest the money in public transit and other green initiatives.
– Re-introduce a national minimum wage and immediately set it to $10 an hour.
– Direct one cent per litre of federal excise tax on gasoline into public transit; $400 million a year.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This is an excellent article. The scary thing is that there are no costs attached to a lot of these promises. Does that mean that these are promises that will be easily broken? Truthfully for me some of these promises are just downright scary!
TheStar.com Federal Election Q & A with Jack Layton
Q & A with Jack Layton
Sep 30, 2008 07:46 AM
Here are excerpts of NDP Leader Jack Layton's meeting with the Toronto Star's editorial board:
Q: Would it be a good thing for the country if the Liberal party faded out of existence?
J.L.: I don't have an opinion about that. I don't – it's really up to Canadians to decide what kind of political formation should succeed in our country. I'm suggesting that ours should. And that's my proposition.
Q: But does the existence of the Liberal party get in your way?
J.L.: We need seats to form a government. I'm suggesting – in fact, I think we're probably the only party that will defeat Conservatives in this election. I think we'll defeat quite a few. That's why I think a change has to happen. I think Stephen Harper has got to be moved out of office. I think he's bad for the country. He's bad for working families. As I said he is, time and time again. And Stéphane Dion seems to have agreed with him on the big issue I've just discussed. ... We've had another year of Stephen Harper's measures which have not been good for Canada as a result of the lack of a backbone – in fact, I think it's more than a lack of a backbone – I think there was an agreement on some of the fundamental directions, like the tax cut and the war and the immigration bill, and I could make that a longer list.
Q: You've told us from the one area where you and Mr. Dion clearly disagree on, but I would suggest there are a number of other areas where you're clearly in agreement, where the differences are mere nuances. You both believe in putting a price on carbon; he wants to do it through carbon taxes, you want to do it through cap-and-trade. Most environmentalists will tell you it's not a lot of difference. You both want to .....
J.L.: Actually, I'm going to jump in. There is enormous difference between cap-and-trade and an across-the-board price on carbon. Especially the revenue–quote, unquote–revenue-neutral approach. Because what it does, it is remarkably inefficient to change – to cause change to happen through the across-the-board, revenue-neutral approach. It relies on the marginal impact of the price elasticity. Our approach is focused on putting a financial price on the most egregious behaviour and taking all of that money and putting it into the solutions. The carbon tax does none of that. So I think these are – that's a very, very major difference .
Q: Let me ask the question this way, if Harper gets a majority on October 14 ... would you be open to a ... unite-the-left move after the election to make sure that Harper doesn't get another majority in four years time and so that the progressive thinkers in this country have one party united to defeat ..... (the Conservatives).
J.L.: Look, I have one job right now and that is to try to defeat Stephen Harper. We've got two weeks left to do it. ... I can understand some people would prefer if we weren't even on the ballot and then there couldn't be a split. But we are on the ballot. We have a right to be on the ballot. I don't apologize for being on the ballot. In fact, I think we would do the best job at shepherding the country through the next period that we're facing and I've laid out the reasons why. So, as to what happens after the election, I'll talk about that after the election. And I'm right now very focused. My coach used to say to me: don't think about the next game when you're in the 3rd period of this game.
Q: ... The one (area) where you do agree with the Prime Minister is in attacking the Green Shift carbon tax. ... Why are (you) so philosophically opposed (to the tax?)
J.L.: It's not philosophical. It's entirely about getting results on the reduction of the greenhouse emissions. I couldn't be more at odds with Mr. Harper. Just because Mr. Harper says he doesn't like Mr. Dion's proposal, from here, doesn't mean that, when I'm saying it from here, I'm agreeing with Mr. Harper. Okay?
(On how a carbon tax would affect ordinary people)
... Mrs. Smith heats her home with oil. She's a senior citizen. Unfortunately, they won't sell her just half a tank of oil. She has to fill the whole thing –these are real stories, these are the kinds of people I talk to – so she has to buy the whole thing at the beginning of the winter. She can't afford it. She puts it on a Visa card. Under Mr. Dion's proposal, she'll pay more for that oil and, six months later, she'll get something back. She won't reduce the amount of oil she burns. She already moves out of her second floor and lives on the ground floor in the winter to reduce her heating bills. There's not a heck of a lot more that she can do, unless someone renovates her home. Which, by the way, is precisely what we propose to do. We propose to renovate her home, so that her heating bill goes down. Her emissions go down, and it will be paid for by a fully auctioned carbon price.
Q: When do you think you'll have that ready?
J.L.: Within twelve months. The carbon exchange already exists. I've already participated in carbon purchases. When I was vice-chair of Toronto Hydro, we were making carbon exchanges and trades on the voluntary market already. Why? Because it was wise. And it was good public relations. And good corporate citizenship. And, besides, we were involved in the renovation business. When I was there, we didn't have an energy services company and I said to the board members, Dave Williams and everybody else who we recruited to be on that board, "Let's get into the business of helping people buy less of our product. We'll make more money." They said, "Jack, you're out of your mind." And then I said, "Let's walk through the Better Buildings Partnership, which my company designed, and which we have in Toronto and is the best practice cited by (David) Suzuki and others, about how you securitize renovation investments. And I'm proposing the largest building renovation project ever conceived.
Q: Do you think your cap-and-trade – (in) twelve months – do you think you'll be changing behaviours?
J.L.: Absolutely ..... partly because we already started. It's not like we're starting from scratch. Secondly, because those who have pioneered–I wish Canada had been one of them, we weren't–but those who have pioneered have ironed out a number of the kinks. And in addition we have eleven states and four provinces representing 80 per cent of Canadians who are participating in the Western climate initiative. It's up and running and they are crying out. They're saying this is not really very efficient, it would be far better if our two national governments were doing this. So we're saying, "Let's respond to that call." And it is not difficult to set these things up. We have the expertise. And we've done it before. That's the other thing. We keep forgetting about acid rain. I know if you go back in the Toronto Star you'll find lots of calls for action on acid rain. And a Conservative government of which my father was a part – and he was a strong environmentalist and engineer – brought in cap-and-trade on (tape slows down–cannot make out word) emissions. And what did Inco do, and it was done quite quickly? And what did Inco do? They said: "Well, you got a choice; you can either pay someone else per tonne for emissions they're reducing, or we can invest it and reduce it ourselves." They did a combination. Judging the tipping point at the most efficient cost per tonne. That's the magic of the market and the result is phenomenal.
Q: You take comfort from being on the same page as Obama on cap-and-trade. You heard him on the debate talk about Afghanistan and the need to reinforce their presence there. Are you still talking about ... taking (Canadian troops) out immediately?
J.L.: Yes, I do. And I think Obama is wrong on Afghanistan. And I hope I can talk to him about it, leader to leader. Because I think all of the evidence shows that the direction that has been pursued is not working. I could go on at some length about that, if you want to get into that. ... Key indicators – the deaths of our soldiers, civilian deaths, poppy production, levels of corruption. A senior officer... a Canadian officer–he's retired now–What he sees there, the PRT, he says it's just headed dramatically in the wrong direction. And if you look at half of Afghanistan now and you hear it's designated too dangerous to do aid development in – they've grown dramatically. So it's pretty hard to find an indicator that says we're headed in the right direction. Some say, well, you just got to go in there and win the war. I don't actually hear many people saying that this is something that's, at the end of the day, winnable, when you have 35 million Pashtuns on either side of two borders (with one country) in an unstable nuclear state. But I do hear people suggesting that, if you begin to break down what is all too often portrayed as a monolithic conflict into component parts and begin to use the many tools that we created at the United Nations ... for trying to intervene (in) conflict situations, and have the United Nations play that kind of leadership role – that you've got a much better chance of moving things in the right direction. And I don't believe that Canada can really get us started in that process and use its diplomatic capacities, with credibility and effectiveness, while we're still, at the same time, a portion of a very large NATO, largely American, effort. That's one of the reasons I'm so pleased that Michael Byers has become a part of our team. Here's a very thoughtful Canadian who's got a very good understanding of some of these issues. He's somebody that lots of Canadians were turning to for wisdom on these matters – one of the new bright, new generation of leaders and thinkers in our country, not just on the law of war, on which he's written, but also sovereignty issues in the north and climate change – and he's chosen to be our candidate. And I believe he's going to win in Vancouver Centre and I believe he's going to make a contribution to Canadian politics for a very long period of time.
Q: I've been looking at the platform here and there's a section on fisheries, there's a section on forestry, a section on agriculture. There's no section on cities. In fact, when you look at this entire document the word "city" only appears three times. I understand the platform is a work-in-progress and you've got a major transit announcement today that will help the municipalities, but I'm wondering why–why do the cities not warrant a section of their own in this platform?
J.L.: Well that's a judgment about how many sections and how you package things up. But I would draw your eye to one line, because the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities), which I used to head, passed one motion. They want the equivalent of one cent of the GST to be available for cities, and we commit to that, in our platform, specifically.
Q: I've actually marked that point, right here.
J.L.: Good. Because initially they wanted one cent but then they said they want the equivalent of one cent because they understood–and I argued with the municipal leaders in Canada–I said if you simply say one cent and just ask for a transfer, you don't know what you're going to get, whether that will be done or not. But if you say, the equivalent of one cent, that allows each party to come forward with how they would approach that matter.
Q: It's the equivalent of one cent, which means what?
J.L.: It's close to $5 billion dollars a year.
Q: It says, "$6 billion."
J.L.: Does it say? Well, whatever that figure is. We've apportioned it according to, number one, a national transit funding plan; a national affordable housing plan; an infrastructure plan – and by the way on infrastructure, there's some dollars in the base budgets of the Conservatives. They prefer to do it on it tends to be kind of one-off, triple P projects. It's not our approach to it. We want to get the money to the cities. But the dollar figure is already in an envelope there and that will be part of the package we're committing to. Plus, it's arguable, certainly in some communities, that childcare is related to cities and so on. Now we may get some disagreements in some parts of the country because they run their childcare out of the province and there's those run out of the cities, and so on – and we can have those kinds of debates. But we have – because I think it's so important that you focus on these priorities where the cities' – goals and objectives as cities are in harmony with and must be in harmony with the national objectives. Let's bring those two together in a set of proposals that moves us forward.
Q: ... You're devoting some of the money you say is for cities to childcare. Wasn't the One Cent Now campaign for municipal infrastructure?
J.L.: Well, in certain municipalities, the childcare centres and the operation of childcare is considered as part of that infrastructure definition, in some cities. And it's not the major part of the funding that we're providing for cities, but it's in the package. We think it is in the package. But, no, the municipalities when they talk about the infrastructure deficit – and I was part of developing that whole line of argument at FCM – they're talking about something very real and they need specific investments focused on those areas and we propose to make them, including on transit and affordable housing.
Q: Just to be clear, this equivalent of one cent of GST is not purely for infrastructure?
J.L.: It's not purely for infrastructure. Nor was it ever requested to be, in my view, purely for infrastructure. I've often heard–you know, Hazel (McCallion) talking about how it's – they need money for housing, they need money for transit. Now, I would call transit infrastructure. Some others might not. I think we're into semantics, as to what's included in infrastructure and what is not.
Krieber shares her views
ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Federal Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion responds to a question from the media as his wife Janine Krieber looks on during a campaign stop in Richmond, B.C., Sept. 13, 2008.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has not yet decided what he will do if he fails to unseat Stephen Harper as prime minister, says his wife Janine Krieber.
But in an interview with Global News, Krieber said she and her husband would make the decision together, and come to a conclusion quickly.
Asked if they had already discussed whether he would stay in politics, Krieber said "No."Krieber, a law professor, is an anti-terrorism and security expert. She is said to have Dion's ear on policy, which prompted anonymous grumbling from within the Liberal caucus in published reports last year.
In her first television interview with a national media outlet, Krieber indicated she sees no problem making her views known.
"It's natural for me to speak. ... I have ideas. I have opinions and I share them."
She added she finds the negative political ads about her husband "frustrating."
"What's frustrating is not really the attacks. It is the focus on them. Because people only speak about that and they don't speak about policy and the good things we propose."
I have received a few emails from friends in regards to the history of how women fought for the right to "Vote" in the United States.
So for you Women out there that are thinking about not voting in the upcoming Federal Election, please think long and hard about your decision.
Many women in Canada fought for the rights that we have today. Let's honour those women that fought a battle that must have seemed impossible to win.
History of Women Suffrage in Canada
The woman suffrage movement in Canada had its beginning in 1878 under the leadership of Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, who was one of the founders and the first president of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association, incorporated in 1889. The Canadian Women's Suffrage Association was the outcome of a meeting of the Toronto Women's Literary and Social Progress Club in the city council chamber in 1883, to discuss the question of woman suffrage.
Closely following the organization of this association, Sir John A. Macdonald introduced a bill into parliament, which included the granting of Dominion franchise to unmarried women possessing the required qualifications. The bill was reintroduced in 1884, and was defeated.
Petitions for the enfranchisement of women, from the Canadian Women's Suffrage Association, together with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, were presented to parliament in 1894 and 1896. A change in the Electoral Act, which made the Dominion and provincial voters' lists coincide, rendered further effort useless in the Dominion legislature, and made of woman suffrage a provincial issue.
The first municipal franchise was granted to widows and spinsters in Ontario in 1884. During the nineties, the other provinces granted municipal franchise to women. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and the North West Territories, confined this right to widows and spinsters; Nova Scotia included widows and spinsters and any married woman owning property, provided her husband was disqualified; British Columbia and Manitoba extended the municipal franchise to all women rate-payers. In all the provinces women rate-payers were given the school vote; and in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Manitoba, and the North West Territories, women were eligible as school trustees. During the decade 1890-1900, bills for the provincial enfranchisement of women were introduced into the legislatures of Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Quebec, and were all defeated.
Manitoba was the first province to succeed in the enfranchisement of women, on January 27, 1916. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union began their work towards this end in 1902. The Labour party in the same year gave its support. In 1906 the municipal franchise of married women rate-payers became a party issue. It was abolished by the Conservative legislature, but restored the next year.
In 1914 a plank in the Liberal platform was provincial franchise for women. A large petition was submitted to the new government; and a bill in 1916, supported by Premier Norris and the cabinet, passed its third reading unanimously.
In 1910 Alberta granted municipal franchise to widows and spinsters, but not to married women. A movement was started to extend this privilege, and it grew to include complete suffrage for women. In 1916 Premier Sifton introduced a woman suffrage bill, and this was passed with great ease. Mrs. Jamieson, the first woman judge in Canada, was appointed in 1914 by the attorney-general as commissioner of the Juvenile Court. In 1918 Mrs. L. M. McKinney and Miss Roberta McAdams were the first women in the British Empire to be elected to the legislature.
Saskatchewan began its efforts to extend the municipal franchise to married women at the same time as Alberta. Their first petition was refused. In 1916 a petition was presented to Premier Scott for the full suffrage of women, and a bill was passed in the legislature without much opposition.
Repeated efforts for female suffrage were made in British Columbia in 1902, 1903, and 1906, but they were defeated. In 1908 women householders were deprived of municipal franchise. A protest was raised, and a bill introduced to restore it was defeated. During the years 1910 and 1911 extensive work was done to amend the property laws for women and the guardianship of children. In 1913 a large petition for woman suffrage was submitted to the government, but this was refused. The full enfranchisement of women in the Prairie provinces increased the agitation. The question was put to a referendum of the electors in 1916, and female suffrage was passed by a large majority and came into effect in 1917.
In 1921 Mrs. Ralph Smith, who had been elected to the legislature in 1919, became speaker of the House.
The struggle for female suffrage in Canada had started in Ontario, and was instigated for the most part by the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association. At first it aimed at Dominion franchise for women, then with the change in the Electoral Act it turned its efforts to provincial suffrage in Ontario. Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen, daughter of one of its founders, Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, was its president from 1903 to 1911. In 1905 a combined deputation from this organization and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union waited upon the premier, to request that the municipal vote be extended to married women. This was refused. A resolution passed by the mayor and council of Toronto accompanied the next deputation to the legislature in 1906, and the ensuing bill was overwhelmingly defeated.
Greater organization was undertaken, and the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association became the Canadian Suffrage Association. In 1909 a deputation of 1,000 members, requesting full franchise for women, was sent to the legislature of Ontario. A bill introduced by a Labour member was defeated. Many influential women's organizations were drawn into the movement, including the National Council of Women. Capacity audiences turned out to hear Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst and Mrs. Philip Snowden of England.
In 1911 another bill introduced by the Labour member, Allan Studholme, was lost after three days' discussion. Three more bills were defeated in 1912. During the years 1914-6, upon the instigation of Dr. Margaret Gordon, president of the Toronto Suffrage Society, referenda were held in municipalities of Ontario upon the question of municipal franchise for women. Resolutions were sent to the government from many municipalities favouring this extension, but without effect. In 1915 another petition for municipal franchise met with the same success, and a bill in 1916, introduced by Studholme, was again defeated. In 1917 woman's suffrage became a plank in the Liberal platform. In February, a bill introduced by J. W. Johnson was endorsed by Premier Hearst, and was passed by the Liberals and Conservatives. Miss Agnes McPhail was elected to the Dominion House in 1921, and has held office during three terms.
In 1917, due to the question of conscription, a War Time Election Act was passed by the Dominion parliament. This gave the franchise to certain women in all the provinces, who were closely related to those in active service during the war, and excluded many women on the provincial lists. A storm of protest was raised, but Sir Robert Borden pledged himself during the campaign to equal suffrage for women. With his return to power, he introduced a bill in 1918 for extending the franchise to women. This passed without division.
In 1908, a bill in New Brunswick to grant full suffrage to women was defeated. In 1915 municipal franchise was given to married women. After the Dominion franchise complete universal suffrage was granted to women.
In Nova Scotia bills for full enfranchisement of women had many times been defeated. The Lower House of the legislature passed a bill for it in 1916, but rescinded it. In 1918 the provincial franchise for women was added to the federal.
An effort was made in Montreal in 1903 to take away the municipal franchise of widows and spinsters. Great protest was raised, and this was voted down. In 1914 a deputation to the government requested the right for women to sit on school boards and the extension of municipal franchise to married women. Nothing resulted from this.
A bill was introduced in 1918 for provincial franchise, the federal franchise having already been granted. This was defeated, as was also a similar bill in 1920. The agitation still continues, and the women's organizations are working for full woman suffrage [This article repeated the one that appeared in the 1935 edition of the same encyclopedia. In reality, the suffrage was granted to Quebec women in 1940 by the Godbout government.].
In 1928 arose the question of the eligibility of women for the Senate. It was ruled out by the Supreme Court of Canada, and five women from Alberta, Judge Emily Murphy, Mrs. Nellie McClung, Mrs. Louise C. McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards, and Irene Parlby appealed to the Privy Council with success. Thus was established in 1929 woman's right to sit in the Canadian Senate. In 1930 Mrs. Cairine Reay MacKay Wilson was appointed the first woman senator.
[The documentary section of the site has a very extensive collection of documents on the struggle for women to gain the right to vote in Quebec. As well, you should consult the entry under Women's Suffrage at the Canadian Encyclopedia.]
Source : Irene HILL, "Female Suffrage", in W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates in Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 325-327.
L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I spent a few hours doing some research on the Parliament of Canada Website. For anyone that is interested this is an excellent site if you want to look up the history of where you live. Here is the link; Parliament of Canada Website; http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/index.asp?Language=E
There are 308 Members of Parliament. Here is the current standing of MP’s, Conservatives (127), Liberals (95), NDP (30), Independents (4), BQ (48), Vacancies (4).
In the 2006 Federal Election Diane Finley won her second term in Haldimand/Norfolk. Here are the results of the last election; Conservatives (25,885) Liberals (18,363) NDP (6,858) Green Party (1,894) Christian Heritage Party (559). 53,754 people voted in 2006, that is approx. 66% of the eligible voters.
Since 1867 only two parties have won a Federal Election in Haldimand, Conservatives (27 elections) Liberals (15 elections). Interestingly there were a few by-elections, as a few elections were deemed invalid.
There are 65 Independents running across Canada according to Elections Canada. In Haldimand County we have (1) Independent running. This is the second Independent that has run in a Federal Election in Haldimand’s history. In 1984 Martin Weber ran as an Independent. Here are the results of that election; PC (27,296). Lib (12,161). NDP (6,138). Independent (656).
Looking at the results of the last few elections the NDP, the Green Party and the Christian Heritage Party have been very consistent with their numbers in Haldimand/Norfolk. What is interesting in the mix this election is we have an Independent running. How will that effect the votes? Is it possible for an Independent to win?
So where am I going with this you ask? Well I do have a few questions, and I welcome anyone who has some good answers. I would also like to hear your predictions and concerns.
Here are a few questions;
Are we better off with a Majority Government or a Minority Government?
There are 65 Independents currently running in the Federal Election. What would happen if a large number of Independents win?
Would we have been better off with "One Ballot, Two Votes?"
Should we vote for a party platform or the individual that will speak on our behalf?
Do you trust the Polls?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I am always telling people how important it is that they vote. As I was looking at some news articles I came across an excellent article by Tom Axworthy. He put alot into this and it is an excellent read!
For those of you who don't think that your vote makes a difference, please read this!
How our democracy evolved
Posted By TOM AXWORTHY
Posted 14 hours ago
With the national election campaign now underway, it is a good time to reflect on the fact that parliamentary government was born in Canada 250 years ago this autumn, when Nova Scotia's first legislative assembly met in Halifax on Oct. 2, 1758. This is a good time to examine what lessons we might take from this historical event to meet the challenges of democracy in our era.
Democracy, as succinctly defined by the Oxford Dictionary, "is a form of government in which the power resides in the people and is exercised by them either directly or by means of elected representatives." In the history of democracy, there are three major turning points of direct democracy, representative democracy and mass democracy, and in their application to Canada.
Direct or participatory democracy was born in Athens in 500 B. C. In that era of kings and empires, the Athenian idea that average citizens should decide policy rather than elites may be the single most revolutionary innovation in the history of government. Male citizens of Athens, about 30,000 out of a population of about 250,000 (slaves and women were not entitled to vote), had the right to attend 10 fixed meetings a year of the assembly where they deliberated on critical issues like war and peace. Gathered on the Pynx, a hill in Athens, citizens listened, debated and decided their fate.
Ever since then, Athens has been the model for participatory or strong democracy where citizens, as individuals, play the deciding role in public affairs. Canada, too, has a tradition of participatory governance, one especially enshrined in the history of our First Nations. There are over 600 First Nations in Canada and one should not make generalizations that apply to all, but there are some well-documented case studies on the procedures and principles that illustrated aboriginal governance. The operative rules were consensus and participation. The Great Binding Law of the Iroquois Nations, for example, contains 117 clauses. Some believe the origin of the Iroquois Confederacy goes as far back as the 12th century, although it certainly goes back at least to the 15th.Tribes would choose a peace chief, a war chief and a council of elders. Women did not get the vote in Canada until 1918, but the Iroquois were a matriarchal society, with women choosing the representatives who attended the councils. Representatives of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy even attended the congress of 1776 in Philadelphia, where they exchanged ideas on governance with Benjamin Franklin.
In eastern Canada, several First Nations formed the Wabanaki Confederacy, and the Mi'kmaq had a sophisticated tri-level of leadership. The villages had local chiefs and councils of elders; several villages came together in districts, presided over by a saqamaw;and the eight districts formed a grand council, which had the responsibilities of relations with the other aboriginal nations and confederacies. Long before the European settlement, aboriginal people had developed sophisticated mechanisms of government and international relations and the basic principle of this system - consensus decision-making - is of continuing relevance to the modern age.
Direct democracy on the Athenian or aboriginal model had one major flaw: Once you get beyond a certain size, it is not possible to put all your citizens atop a hill or around a campfire. The British solved the problem by a second great invention - a representative parliament. Citizens would not decide issues individually, as in Athens, but they would elect representatives to do so on their behalf. The Pynx of the citizen assembly would evolve into a parliament of representatives. In 1265, Simon de Montfort convened a parliament that contained two knights from the shires and two burgesses from each borough. For the first time, representatives of the people were part of an institution that advised and controlled the executive.
This was the institution transplanted to Nova Scotia in 1758. And, as in Great Britain, the struggle in Nova Scotia soon became how to transform a representative legislature into a responsible government. Parliament's initial role in Great Britain was to ensure that the monarch heard the voices of the people as he or she wielded the executive powers of government. Britain had a "mixed constitution" comprised of an elected House of Commons, a hereditary House of Lords and a monarch. A mixed constitution was replicated in Nova Scotia and the other colonies in British North America. The appointed governor ruled with the assistance of an appointed executive committee and an appointed legislative council. The elected legislative assembly had the power to approve laws and withhold supplies, but the source of colonial Democracy is always a work in progress. Issues change and institutions evolve. Canadian democracy is certainly in need of major repair as we face the next national general election. Power was in the governor, who was accountable to the imperial government in Great Britain.
As the legislative assembly was being inaugurated in Nova Scotia, however, the British parliament was evolving toward a government dependent on the votes of a majority of the members of the House of Commons (and thus, in theory, the people). George III of Great Britain is as significant for grudgingly conceding power to the parties represented in Parliament as he is for losing the American Revolution. In the 1780s, the king was forced to accept a government that he detested (the Fox-North coalition) because it commanded a majority in the House of Commons, and gradually the post of the prime minister began to supersede the power of the monarch.
The British debate over responsible government equally played out in Canada, with Nova Scotia leading the way. Nova Scotians began to demand that the members of the executive council, the forerunner to the cabinet, should be responsible to the elected legislature, not the appointed governor. In 1836, for example, Joseph Howe, the leader of the Reform Movement (the liberals of the day), made the point that "all we ask for is what exists at home [Britain] - a system of responsibility to the people."
In 1847, the Nova Scotia Reformers won an election, and in January 1848,when the Conservative government was defeated following a vote of non-confidence in the assembly, the governor general, Lord Elgin, called on James Uniacke, a Reformer, to become the leader of the new government. "Nova Scotia," writes W. S. MacNutt, "was the first province of British North America in which responsible government was formally conceded and given effect."
If direct democracy was the first turning point, and representative democracy and responsible government the second, mass democracy was the third milestone in democracy's evolution. If the "people"were to choose their representatives, who made up the people?
The initial answer in Nova Scotia in 1758 was Protestant men over 21 who owned property. But fairly quickly Nova Scotia began to expand the franchise (those entitled to vote) and soon surpassed Great Britain in defining the boundaries of citizenship. In 1789, the Nova Scotia Assembly removed religious restrictions affecting the right to vote (Roman Catholics in Great Britain had to wait until 1829 to enjoy the franchise). In 1854, Nova Scotia introduced universal male suffrage, dropping property restrictions and increasing the number of electors by 50%, the first jurisdiction in North America to do so.
New Brunswick also innovated, introducing the secret ballot in 1855, a reform not adopted in Canada proper until 1874. This measure was crucial for reducing election violence. With public voting, gangs could intimidate and wreak their vengeance on opponents.
Robert Baldwin, the great Upper Canadian Reformer, once had to flee on horseback a howling election mob. Before Confederation, there were 20 deaths due to election violence, but the secret ballot and simultaneous voting (as opposed to staggered dates) ended the reign of electoral terror.
Women, however, had to wait until 1918 before they were considered as citizens entitled to vote federally; in this same year, Nova Scotia gave women the vote provincially. In Lower Canada in 1791, under the jurisdiction of the civil code rather than the common law, women who owned property could vote on the same basis as men-British conventions did not apply.
For a time, Quebec was a leader in gender equity, but upon uniting with Canada in 1841 in the Act of Union, Quebec women lost this right and Quebec eventually became the last Canadian province to give women the vote in 1940. (Manitoba was the first in 1916.)
Canadians learned from New Zealand, which led the world by giving women the vote in 1893.
Each of the three turning points of direct democracy, representative democracy and mass democracy continue to be issues for us today.
Many citizens yearn to have a direct impact on policy rather than pleading with a bureaucrat or visiting the constituency office of a memberof Parliament.
Some suggest that Internet voting might be a technique that could replicate in Canada the direct democracy of the Pynx in Athens. But how many citizens would engage in the process, as opposed to special interest groups? The aboriginal tradition of consensus equally depends on extensive discussion and mutual learning - how many citizens have the time to engage so intensively?
Randomly selected citizen panels might be one answer. They have been already used to advise governments on electoral systems, and in the United Kingdom they have been employed on broader issues, such as city planning. But this democratic innovation depends on volunteers willing to spend their weekends discussing policy.
The representative institution of Parliament also is badly in need of reform. Partisan wrangling has reduced question period to a reality show circus, and many MPs feel that they have little influence on the executive. The origins of Parliament in 1265 were intended to provide some restraint on the power of the executive; how to re-balance power between the prime minister and Parliament today is as necessary as it was once to balance the power of the king.
In Lunenburg township, in Nova Scotia's first election in July 1758, 58 of 70 potential voters (or 82%) voted for two members from a list of seven candidates. The percentage voting in Canada's last national election in 2006 was only 65% of registered voters. Canada's mass democracy is losing its "mass."According to Elections Canada, in the 2006 election the lowest turnout, at 44%,was from young voters 18 to 24,compared to 77% of voters 65 to 74. We know that turnout is related to personal efficacy - the amount of confidence individuals have in their knowledge of a subject. The calamitous decline of Canadian history in our school system may be a contributing factor in the low percentage of young people voting. If one does not know about the origins of Parliament, why vote for a member of Parliament?
Democracy is always a work in progress. Issues change and institutions evolve. Canadian democracy is certainly in need of major repair as we face the next national general election:
Voting turnout is mediocre, parliamentary accountability is in decline, and citizens are frustrated over their ability to contribute to decisions that influence their lives.
We must retain the optimism of Joseph Howe, the greatest of Nova Scotia reformers; he told the electors of Nova Scotia in 1851 that even after the great achievement of responsible government, the reform agenda was not done.
He wrote, "A noble heart is beating beneath the giant ribs of North America. See that you do not, by apathy or indifference, depress its healthy pulsations." Amen to that.
* ThomasS. Axworthy is chair of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University
Friday, September 26, 2008
County lays down the law on election sign placement
Letter outlining rules is on the way
Posted By KAREN BEST CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Posted 2 hours ago
All six candidates for the Haldimand-Norfolk riding will receive a letter notifying them that Haldimand County does not want signs stuck up on its property or in road allowances.
After making this announcement, planning and economic general manager Craig Manley said he did not know if the county had the resources to deal with this.
As far as Coun. Craig Grice was concerned, candidates should use integrity in putting up their signs and should only put them up where there is a name behind it. In the case of municipal property, the county does not and cannot support a particular candidate, he stated.
In voicing frustration about election signs, Coun. Don Ricker mentioned acts of taunting the public by where signs were put up. He did not name any candidates or locations.
On Sept. 19, Gary McHale nailed a sign into the OPP detachment front yard but when he turned around an officer removed it. The independent candidate challenged the officer and told him it was illegal to touch election signs.
McHale filed a complaint, an investigation was initiated and a promise was made that his sign would not be touched.
According to a 1997 Elections Canada press release, the Canada Elections Act states that removal or mutilation of a sign is an offence. Candidates who want to put signs on private property should obtain consent of the owner.
In the case of public property, the candidates were urged to contact the municipality to ensure sign placement complied with requirements. The same process should occur for signs on provincial or federal Crown land.
Based on a 1993 Supreme Court decision, signs on public property are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The City of Peterborough's prohibition of signs on public property was declared unconstitutional by the court.
Abandonment has an impact
Posted 2 hours ago
In the far eastern corner of her riding, in a place called Dunnville, Diane Finley will not attend an Oct. 2 all candidates meeting due to a previous commitment that she will not disclose.
We can accurately categorize this as abandonment. She's turning her back on a place that has, in the past, voted mostly in the Conservative way. For some unknown reason - some might speculate the leaders's debate -she will not change her plans to come here to speak to the people, to hear their questions, to stand before them.
Lorne Boyko aptly described her absence as a slap in the face to Dunnville.
Really she should show up merely because she is the federal representative for this riding. She is the incumbent. I believe it's actually incumbent on the incumbent to attend all candidates meetings. But now we can drop the "all" from the Dunnville meeting title.
This smacks of Caledonia 2006. In March of that year, the Hennings, the previous owners of Douglas Creek Estates, petitioned the federal government for intervention as did those people of Six Nations who were on the site.
But at that time, the federal government had taken a big step back saying this was a land titles and policing issue resting with the province. It became apparent that the federal government clearly refused to recognize that land claims were part of the dispute. They later did so.
In those early months, I made several attempts to speak directly to Finley but only had success when she was a sitting duck in the Mudcat Festival Parade staging area.
Now we are moving toward the first election after First Nations issues began to rock Haldimand County. A rumour suggesting Finley was not attending the Caledonia all candidates meeting was proved false. In that town, she will face the wrath of people who wanted her to act, who wanted her to at least show up in 2006. She did so in October of that year.
She carries a legacy of abandoning Caledonia for at least four months during some the darkest times in the community's history. Now it's Dunnville's turn. The shades of Wal-Mart linger as a reminder of Six Nations impacts in this town.
What a sad turn of events. I believe that a leader stands with the people. Don Ricker said she has a commitment to the people in Dunnville and that is true.
Whether voters put their mark by her name on the 2006 ballot or not, her decision to be elsewhere on Oct. 2 might influence where that X lands on Oct. 14.
Finley Will Be a No-Show for Dunnville All-Candidate Meeting
All six to attend in Kohler and Caledonia
Posted By KAREN BEST CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Posted 2 hours ago
Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley has something else scheduled on Oct. 2 so she will not be sitting with her five competitors at the Dunnville all candidate meeting.
"I have a previous commitment," she told The Chronicle on Sept. 24.
When asked what it was, she said, "What difference does that make?"
In discussions with members from the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce, the date and time kept getting moved, Finley I told them I had a prior commitment," she said about the selected date.
Finley campaign manager Jim Miller said it is tough to move what was already committed to but Finley and her campaign members tried to balance all requests.
Finley is the Conservative candidate and is currently Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. For four years, she has represented Dunnville and the rest of Haldimand County in Parliament.
Ron Speer and Sandy Passmore of the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce made several calls to candidates in an effort to schedule a meeting that fit with everyone's schedule.
"She is not available," said Speer.
Dunnville's councillors had a lot to say about her absence. Coun. Lorne Boyko started out leaving it up to people to draw their own conclusions but added that her decision speaks volumes about the regard she has for Dunnville.
Over his 30-year political career, he has never seen a candidate refuse to attend an all candidate meeting.
"You make it a priority," he said. "That's a real insult to the people of Dunnville. It's a very heavy Conservative area provincially and federally so it's an insult, a real slap in the face for the people of Dunnville."
Either she is confident about winning or is being hung out to dry and either way her absence is inexcusable, Boyko.
Overall, the local campaign has frustrated Coun. Don Ricker who wants to see candidate proposals for action in writing instead of slinging criticism at others. He referred to promises made by Finley who told council she would look into funding for an economic study to determine impacts arising from the Six Nations issue. She also promised to have a member of her office attend every council meeting. A person did so at least once.
At the all candidate meeting in Dunnville, there may be questions unrelated to native issues and people would want to hear her answers, Ricker pointed out.
"This is her commitment. Her commitment is Haldimand Norfolk," he said. He could understand if she had a medical reason but by not providing information a person is left wondering if she is hiding something, he added.
The candidates who will attend the Dunnville meeting are Steve Elgersma of the Christian Heritage Party, Eric Hoskins of the Liberal Party, Stephana Johnston of the Green Party, Gary McHale who is an independent candidate and Ian Nichols of the New Democratic Party.
Hosted by The Chronicle and the chamber, the Dunnville all candidate meeting will take place on Oct. 2 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 142 hall on Queen Street.
Speer encouraged people to arrive early. Doors open at 5:30 p. m. and under the direction of moderator Marg Clark, candidates begin speaking at 6 p. m. The event wraps up at 8 p. m. so people can go home to watch the leaders debate on television.
The first Haldimand County all candidate meeting will take place on Sept. 30 at the Haldimand Agricultural Centre in Kohler. Sponsored by the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture, the event begins at 7 p. m. and will include written questions from the crowd. All six candidates will attend.
On Oct. 6, doors open at 6:30 p. m. at the Royal Canadian Legion hall on Caithness Street East in Caledonia. The Caledonia Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event that will include all six candidates.
Article ID# 1220117
CHP sues to open leaders' TV debates to all
CALGARY, Sept. 22, 2008 (CHPNews) - The sixth-largest of Canada's federal political parties is going to court to ask that all registered parties be included in the television debates next month.There are 18 registered federal parties and one eligible for registration.
The Christian Heritage Party applied to be included in the Leaders' Debates Sept 11, after the Green Party had been added to the roster. The consortium of broadcasters organizing the debates turned down the CHP's request Sept. 16, giving no reason.In Ontario on a campaign tour, CHP leader Ron Gray said today that his party has been asking for ten years for changes to the Elections Act to give first consideration to the right of voters to be provided with adequate information about all options available to them; the Act as written by Parliament focuses instead on the interests of the major parties."
A democracy requires an informed electorate," Gray says. "That means they must know about the philosophies and policies of all the parties. Limiting their information to only the biggest four or five impairs the democratic process."
The CHP noted that the Supreme Court of Canada's 2003 Figueroa decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, stresses the important role smaller parties play an in the democratic process, even if they cannot offer what she called "a government option", by raising issues the major parties may not want to discuss."That certainly applies to the CHP," Gray noted. "Our platform includes many issues the big parties would rather avoid, as well as fresh and innovative proposals on problems they're still debating in old terms.
"The Chief Justice, in the Figueroa decision, also stressed the right of candidates to make their policies known, and the citizens' need to have adequate access to information-points the CHP has been stressing for ten years as a member of the Chief Electoral Officer's Advisory Committee of Political Parties."It's also an issue that when polls are taken, the results are unreliable if pollsters only ask about the three or four biggest parties. Later, most voters will only know about the four biggest national parties and one regional party.
We had a survey done in 1996 which showed that three-quarters of the public have never been told about other parties with different policies. "One way that hurts democracy is that, the people who might support those policies stay home ands don't vote, because they don't know there's any party that represents them."
The CHP's brief in federal court states that if the five radio and television networks give free time to only the largest parties, that free time becomes a campaign donation. Under the revisions made to the Elections Act in Bill C-24 three years ago, donations to political parties by corporations are illegal.
The CHP leader said the party's legal counsel has advised him that a preferential assignment of free air time to the bigger parties violates provisions in both the Elections Act and the Broadcasting Act."Two hours of free time, coast-to-coast, is a pretty big campaign contribution," Gray said. "For comparison purposes, consider this: 30 seconds on CTV's prime-time program
The Amazing Race costs $63,000. "And the broadcasters are already aware of the problem," he added. "When we requested a copy of a recorded one-minute free-time television message from the CBC, the producer told us they would have to remove the closed captioning, because that might be construed as a campaign donation."If the networks worry that one minute of closed captioning is a campaign donation, what do they think two hours of prime time on three networks is?
"If they include all parties, it's news coverage," explained Gray. "But if they favour only some parties and not others, it's a gift-in-kind worth millions of dollars."
The following is a full page ad that appeared in the Regional News this Week. Gary McHale is the Independent Candidate running for Haldimand/Norfolk;
Dare to Believe that in a democracy average people can take back control of their future from the hands of governments that have run amok due to party politics. Dare to Believe that this election enables you, the voter, to say ‘Enough is enough!’
Dare to Believe that average people, determined to demand more from government, can change the system. You deserve better and do not have to settle for the status quo. One voice, one vote, one riding can challenge the dictatorial style of party politics which force MPs to represent their party and not their riding.
The Benefits of an Independent
Many will say that an Independent has no real influence in Ottawa. People are discouraged because few MPs will truly stand for their riding instead of their party. In 2005 Chuck Cadman, an independent, cast the deciding vote that stopped a non-confidence motion. Back in the 1990s it was a single vote from Elijah Harper that ended the Meech Lake Accord.
Being a Member of Parliament is a noble position, yet few Canadians use the word ‘noble’ and ‘politician’ in the same sentence. As an MP you are, in reality, an advocate for the people - a voice for those who cannot speak out.
In a democracy it is the people who dictate policies to the government and not Members of Parliament who dictate government policies to the people.
My vision of an MP is one that fights for and speaks out on behalf of others, not the party. As an Independent I will not have two masters but one: you, the voter of Haldimand-Norfolk, who dictates the terms and length of my employment. I will be accountable to you, and you deserve to see results.
In Ottawa who will speak out for you? Individual MPs are allotted time to question the government but this time is normally taken and controlled by party leaders. As an Independent I will speak directly to the issues of Haldimand-Norfolk without first getting party approval.
An MP's job is more than asking questions in the House of Commons. It is going into corporate offices and helping promote the riding to try to bring jobs to the area. It is using the resources of one's position to improve the lives of others. It is writing letters that open doors to address the concerns of a constituent. It is standing side-by-side with people as they struggle with issues.
A true leader doesn't avoid controversial issues but learns how to help people channel their frustrations in positive ways and stands with them until they are addressed.
It is the people who are the last line of defence against injustices and failed policies of governments. We, as Canadians, take it for granted that our freedoms and democracy are ensured simply because we're Canadians. The residents of Haldimand-Norfolk know only too well this is not true.
Media vs. Question Period
Although Question Period is a vital tool in Parliament, the real tool to bring about change is the Media. Question Period can be used to alert media to issues faced by the people. I have consistently demonstrated my ability to get media attention and use it to expose injustice and apply real pressure to government.
I cannot be Intimidated
I will actively fight for the people of Haldimand-Norfolk. I cannot be silenced. I will not give up. Your voice WILL be heard through me that the people have said, ENOUGH!
Normally key issues would be taxation, gas prices, health care and jobs, all requiring strong leadership.
There will be no jobs or economic recovery however, until the 'Rule of Law' is re-established. No business will invest in an area where they believe their investment will not be protected by the police. The loss of Walmart in Dunnville is a perfect example of a clear corporate decision to pull out of Haldimand because of the breakdown in law enforcement.
Hundreds of jobs were lost by one company’s decision not to invest in an area without the stability provided by the 'Rule of Law'.
When Fantino attempted to have a Hamilton Police officer living in Caledonia disciplined for speaking out I started a petition and organized a rally to help ensure his rights.
When a Cayuga builder was stopped by illegal occupations and the OPP refused to lay charges, I acted and got the court to certify Extortion, Mischief and Intimidation charges against the Montours who had also shut down other Haldimand sites. The Cayuga builder has now been free to finish the development and families now live in the new homes.
When the OPP refused to address the issue of debris being thrown from the overpass onto vehicles I went on TV with Mayor Trainer to speak out on the issue (Aug 2006). After two years of not addressing the danger I organized a rally at the Cayuga OPP station which resulted in new lights on the overpass and 24/7 OPP video surveillance to ensure that those using the bypass could do so safely.
When Sam Gaultieri was almost killed I stood with concerned residents at Stirling and helped the family get their message out to the media. In a few weeks I will present evidence in court, with the help of the Gaultieri family, to have criminal charges certified against senior OPP officers and one of McGuinty's ministers for violating section 180 of the Criminal Code: ‘Common Nuisance.’ This charge has been used against police officers across Canada when they fail to 'discharge a legal duty and thereby (a) endangers the lives, safety, health, property or comfort of the public.'
I co-authored the Human Costs report (101 pages), which has been downloaded over 30,000 times, allowing Canadians to see how real people living in Caledonia are being victimized by illegal occupations.
I co-authored two other reports: one on the economic cost of illegal occupations and another on the legal questions around occupations and Land Claims. Part of my role as an MP is public education to ensure people are informed about issues - a role all levels of government have completely failed to fulfil.
When the Media failed to cover the human story of how residents were being victimized, I created a website to ensure that residents had a voice.
The Ryerson Review of Journalism, in a story called, "Disputed Land Failed Coverage," stated that it was my site people turned to when other media refused to cover the story of Caledonia.
The National Post linked to my site in January 2008 saying it was a valuable source of information. In a modern world media attention is the only thing that brings real pressure on governments to act.
I went to Queen's Park three times in 2007 with the help of MPP Toby Barrett who booked the media studio. On March 14th, I helped a resident of Ipperwash tell her story. On April 17th a teenage girl from Caledonia told her story about life without policing on Sixth Line and, on Dec 4th I stood with three residents from Caledonia who spoke against illegal smoke shops and OPP Race-based Policing.
While Jim Anderson was traveling across Canada raising money for spinal cord regeneration research, he was falsely charged in Cayuga with assault. Jim contacted me and I provided evidence to the Crown and duty counsel proving his innocence while he continued onto Halifax.
Mayor Trainer's View
Mayor Trainer has seen and heard from concerned residents since the beginning. She has met with the OPP, Commissioner Fantino, RCMP, government negotiators, and Native people. She is a mayor concerned about her community caught in the middle of a serious crisis and has been able to see through all the propaganda. On Sept. 4th the Simcoe Reformer reported her views on my candidacy:
"Despite the OPP's and the McGuinty government's attempts to cast McHale as a troublemaker, Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer thinks his candidacy is positive. With McHale in the race, Trainer says Haldimand's quest for peace, law and order, stability and justice will feature prominently in the coming campaign. She says McHale will force the other candidates to state their position on the issue of two-tiered justice… He will keep the land claims issue in the forefront."
Property Rights & Land Titles
Property rights groups have sprung up across Canada due to the lack of respect for farmers and property owners in general. In Haldimand we have the added situation where the OPP refuse to respect people's title deeds to their land. On May 12/08 an OPP sergeant was filmed telling me that Land Title Deeds are not sufficient proof of ownership for law enforcement purposes against illegal occupations. The OPP doesn't care if you have a deed or that you are forced to pay property tax – to them your title deed is in question and so they refuse to enforce the Criminal Code.
Canada is in need of a federal watchdog to limit rights abuses by police and provincial governments. After all, the Charter of Rights is a federal document.
The people of Haldimand-Norfolk must answer one simple question: Who do you think will truly be a passionate advocate for you?
The Regional News reported that, after attending my Legalized MYTHS presentation July 21/08, Mayor Trainer stated "throughout history, there always seems to be a private individual behind a revolution."
On Oct. 14th, Dare to Believe that average people can demand real change and real leadership.
Vote Gary McHale
This is a paid message authorized by the Official Agent of Gary McHale.
Here are a few releases from the NDP website. I couldn't find any news releases from the Haldimand/Norfolk Candidate.
"If this platform was to be a Liberal channel changer, the batteries just fell out of the remote"
TORONTO – New Democrat MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) today blasted Stéphane Dion’s platform as being out of touch with today’s hard-working families.
"Mr. Dion wants to keep in place every penny of Stephen Harper’s corporate tax giveaway and even cut deeper" said Nash. "It’s not credible to cut corporate taxes deeper than Stephen Harper and still keep commitments to new spending."
"Despite releasing his platform, Mr. Dion still doesn’t have targets to reduce greenhouse gases, still has no plan to train more doctors and still doesn’t have a plan to stop the gouging of average consumers.
"If this platform was supposed to be the channel changer for Stéphane Dion, it looks like the batteries just fell out of his remote," said Nash.
Harper’s team supported BC carbon tax
KAMLOOPS – New Democrat Leader Jack Layton blasted the carbon tax schemes of both B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Stéphane Dion today, calling them "unfair for ordinary working families." He also accused the Harper government of flip-flopping on the British Columbia carbon tax.
"Campbell slapped on his carbon tax and hurt families here in B.C. Bay Street Harper let it happen. He says he’s against it now, but his Bay Street Ministers sing a different tune. They said that carbon tax was just fine," added Layton.
"We’ve got a better climate change plan," said the New Democrat leader, pointing out that his party’s plan "targets the big polluters" and "creates incentives to radically reduce carbon production."
Layton said that Liberal leader Stéphane Dion "wants to triple Campbell’s carbon tax. As Prime Minister, I’ll make sure a federal carbon tax never sees the light of day."
Layton also attacked Harper’s inaction on rising gas prices. Layton said that as Prime Minister, he would "stop the big oil giants from gouging you at the gas pump."
Layton’s New Democrats will:
Create an investigation and prosecution office to deal with gas gouging.
Investigate consumer complaints, collusion and gouging by gas companies.
Prosecute and fine offenders where there is clear evidence of price gouging or collusion.
Layton also released a detailed consumer protection plan. The plan calls for appointing a Minister for Consumer Protection, among other practical steps to protect consumers.
"Unlike the outgoing Prime Minister, Mr. Harper, we’ll stop the rip-offs and watch your back."
Here are some upcoming events where you can attend and hear what the candidates have to say. The Dunnville Legion is having an informal meet and greet the candidates before the debate at 5:30pm.
Monday October 6th, 7:00pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Candidate Denounces Nuclear Proposal
Haldimand-Norfolk, September 22, 2008 – Haldimand-Norfolk Green Party candidate Stephana Johnston has come out strongly against the idea of a nuclear power plant for Nanticoke. Johnston bases her opposition to the proposal on both economic and environmental concerns. The Green candidate was responding to published reports that an announcement by Bruce Power could be imminent.
“Nuclear energy is not clean, not affordable and not safe,” said Ms. Johnston. “It takes 170 tonnes of uranium to produce one gigawatt of electricity. Mining, refining and transporting that much uranium creates 250,000 tonnes of carbon. One part of the whole process is clean and that’s the only part the pro-nuke people ever want to tell you about.”
“Something else that’s left untold is the insurance liability factor,” Johnston added. “Canada caps liability for nuclear accidents at a ridiculously low $75 million per incident. In the United States, the liability is set at more realistic figure of $13 billion. The hidden cost of nuclear energy is the Canadian taxpayer underwriting liability insurance for nuclear power producers. Without this hidden subsidy, the true cost of nuclear energy would appear far less attractive.”
Additionally, the candidate noted that as the current deposits of high-grade uranium are depleted, even more fossil fuel will be used to extract uranium ore and to refine the lower-grade material. “This depletion of high-grade ore will drive up the price of nuclear power generation,” said Ms. Johnston, “and that’s not the worst part of this whole business.”
Johnston says the worst part is the health danger posed by spent nuclear fuel. Radioactive leaks from spent nuclear fuel have recently been discovered at Ontario’s Chalk River facility as well as at Port Hope’s uranium refining plant. Radioactive contamination has been found in the Ottawa River and in Lake Ontario.
“Spent nuclear fuel contains more than 200 known cancer causing elements,” said the Green candidate. “These carcinogens remain active for thousands of years and threaten the health of our grandchildren’s grandchildren. It is simply irresponsible for us to burden future generations with this risk.”
Ms. Johnston insists that the best way for Canada to meet its energy needs is through conservation and efficiency. Green Party policy documents state that using existing technology, Canada could reduce demand by 50%, thereby eliminating the need for new nuclear development.
Addressing the issue of jobs, Ms. Johnston noted that Germany has abandoned building new nuclear plants and is phasing out existing facilities in favour of a focus on alternative energy. “The German renewable energy sector has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” said Ms. Johnston. “Green collar jobs now outnumber auto industry jobs in Germany. Ironically, we’re worried about lost jobs in Canada while we’re buying wind generators and solar panels from Europe.”
For further information, contact:
Haldimand-Norfolk Federal Green Party Association
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The following is an interesting article about Dion and his apparent silence on his very own Green Shift Plan. I don't know about you but according to Dion not long ago, most of his policy decreases and increases are based on his "Green Shift Plan". If he has changed his tune in midstream, what will come next. Is this a person to be "trusted?".
WINNIPEG–Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion yesterday appeared to back away from his Green Shift plan featuring a controversial carbon tax by insisting it is not a major part of his election platform.
"You have said it was, never me," Dion told reporters.
Dion's remarks yesterday came after he failed to mention the Green Shift once in speeches on Thursday, and after a series of big-ticket spending announcements on such things as child care and agriculture.
They also come at the end of a week in which the election campaign shifted focus, driven by the turmoil in world financial markets and increasing public awareness of economic problems.
Liberal incumbent Martha Hall Findlay (Willowdale) said it was always the plan to talk about other policies in addition to the Green Shift, so there wasn't a particular moment in which the Dion team made such a decision. However, "there has been a real frustration on our part with the misleading messaging of the Conservatives and our recognition that the significant income tax cuts that formed part of the Green Shift are simply not being recognized enough (by the Canadian public)," Hall Findlay said.
Hall Findlay, a former leadership candidate, has been campaigning for Dion outside her own Toronto riding. Since the leadership, she served as policy outreach chair, logging hundreds of thousands of kilometres across Canada.
"Attack ads have affected the label, Green Shift, and it has been mistakenly identified as a carbon tax," said Hall Findlay, instead of being seen as a plan that would bring income tax benefits to Canadians.
The Liberals unveiled the Green Shift in June and Dion spent the summer pitching it across the country.
With the Liberals trailing the Conservative party in public opinion polls, analysts have suggested that the detailed plan, which includes income tax rebates to offset the carbon tax, is too complex for Canadian voters, and raises concerns that the tax would drive the cost of fuel even higher.
Even at a nearby farm where Dion unveiled a $1.2-billion agricultural plan, the owner told reporters he has difficulty understanding the Green Shift policy.
Rudy Ammeter said he wished Dion would back away from it. "I have a hard time figuring it out," he said, adding that it would "probably (be) a good thing" if Dion downplayed the policy because "I don't think I am alone."
Asked directly by a reporter yesterday if the Green Shift was still "a centre plank" in the Liberals' federal election campaign, Dion said: "You have said it, never me."
"I always said it was an important policy for Canada. We strongly believe it will be good for our country," he said. "The Green Shift is part of the solution, but the solution is the overall plan of (a) Liberal government."
The reporter again asked him whether he was deliberately shying away from the Green Shift plan.
"No, okay, maybe I didn't use the word Green Shift, but this is a Green Shift for the country," Dion replied, referring to the infrastructure announcement he made in Toronto calling for a $70 billion commitment over 10 years.
At Liberal campaign headquarters in Ottawa yesterday, officials said there had been a misunderstanding between Dion and reporters, and that, in error, Dion thought he was being asked if he was playing down his own Green Shift plan when he made the "you have said it, never me" response. However, the transcript is clear on the question.
At a rally in suburban Montreal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper mocked Dion's remarks, playing on the Liberal leader's past statement the policy could be summed up in six words.
"It can be summarized in six words: A new tax, a new deficit," Harper said to laughter. "That is the Liberal economic plan."
In Rockland, Ont., last night, Harper sharpened his attack on Dion.
"Now he's shifting the shift. But friends, Stéphane Dion distancing himself from the Green Shift is like Tim Hortons distancing itself from the doughnut," Harper said to much laughter. "It's like Ronald McDonald distancing himself from the hamburger."
Harper warned that Dion cannot now hide from his own bad policy.
"Make no mistake; just because the carbon tax is now a hidden agenda doesn't mean it's going to go away."
NDP Leader Jack Layton said Dion is changing tactics because he knows the plan isn't working.
"He's known that the approach he's taking is not the best one and doesn't work. He's always known that," Layton told reporters in Ottawa. "He's said it before and now he's coming to terms with it in the middle of an election campaign."
While acknowledging public perception of the Green Shift has been a source of frustration, Hall Findlay underscored the plan is a fundamental Liberal policy.
She insists the Liberal team always intended to emphasize other issues throughout the campaign, as they did this week with announcements on immigration and infrastructure funding to cities. "There's no question the Green Shift is a significant part of our platform," said Hall Findlay. "We really worked hard on it over the summer."
Later in Regina, Dion was confronted by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's critique of the Green Shift. Wall has been attacking the plan, fearing it would raise power rates 41 per cent and has compared it to the National Energy Program introduced by the Liberal government in 1980.
"I just want to say to him (Wall) and all Canadians that I would never recommend a policy if I was not convinced that it would be good for every province and territory of my country," Dion said.
Dion said the personal tax cuts contained in the plan would far outweigh any extra costs in terms of power or fuel.
The Liberals are expected to announce their full election platform next week in Ottawa. A spokesperson described the environmental policy as "the fundamental underpinning of our economic plan."
With files from Linda Diebel, Tonda MacCharles and Joanna Smith
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I found an interesting article from December of 2007, that I think you should read, and the leaders of the main parties should have read again before they put both feet in their mouths.
What I am talking about is the calling of this election early and who is really to blame for that decision.
I have talked to several people about this and have applauded Harper for his call for an election. Harper stated that the government was dysfunctional and it was time to take the decision back to the people. In my opinion his decision was the right thing to do!
Now in saying that the leaders of the opposition have accused Harper of breaking his promise that an election would not be held until 2009. Layton states "Harper has quit his job and he is applying for the position". As though Layton had nothing to do with the calling of an election. Here is what was said in December 2007 "NDP leader Jack Layton -- whose party did vote against the throne speech, along with the Bloc Quebecois -- blamed Dion for letting Harper stay in government.
Dion obviously didn't want to force an election in 2007 as he stated, "Forcing an election on Canadians would have been detrimental to the party".
As far as I am concerned when a government stops working for the people drastic measures need to be taken. So my question to Dion and Layton, would you have had the courage to do the same thing if you were in Harper's shoes!
It is time that "ALL PARTIES" take the blame for the election call!
Opposition hints at 2008 federal election
Updated Sun. Dec. 23 2007 9:54 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and the other opposition party leaders say they don't think the minority Conservative government will last through 2008.
They suggested in interviews with CTV's Question Period on Sunday that the spring federal budget could be defeated by a non-confidence vote, thus triggering an election.
Dion said Canadians have become frustrated with the Conservative government's policies, specifically their mismanagement of environmental issues.
"After two years of this minority Conservative government, the psychological threshold will have been reached," Dion said. "People may not want, necessarily, an election, but they will not be surprised if there is one."
However, Dion also told co-host Craig Oliver, "If there is an election -- I know you will ask me the question, and I don't know the answer more than you."
Dion spent much of the fall dodging chances to force an election. Liberal MPs abstained from voting on the throne speech. If the opposition had voted the speech down, a federal election would have been triggered.
NDP leader Jack Layton -- whose party did vote against the throne speech, along with the Bloc Quebecois -- blamed Dion for letting Harper stay in government.
"He has been propping up Mr. Harper all fall, and abstaining on a throne speech that's explicitly said we'll stay in Afghanistan longer, we will abandon Kyoto and we'll give huge tax reductions to those doing well," Layton told Question Period.
Dion said he personally found it very difficult to not vote down the government, but after discussing it with his team, he decided Canadians did not want an election in 2007.
Forcing an election on Canadians would have been detrimental to the party, he said.
"I'm a team player, I'm very collegial, I work hard and I listen to the people and I make up my mind. Sometimes I don't follow the view of my advisers, and sometimes I do," Dion said.
A recent Strategic Counsel poll suggests the Liberals and Conservatives are neck and neck, which could signal the time is coming for Dion to force an election. A new budget to be announced some time before March 31 could be the trigger, but Dion wouldn't confirm anything.
"Polls are, for me, an indicator, it's not a master," he said. "We need to see the budget, we need to see the bills that the government is proposing, and then we'll vote accordingly."
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said he will set out his party's conditions for the budget, but doesn't hold much hope that the Conservatives will implement his suggestions.
"I don't see how their budget will be supported by any of the opposition parties," he told Question Period.
He said the major campaign issues in Quebec will be Harper's stance on the environment, Afghanistan and the economy - none of which he shares with the province's public opinion.
Layton said when an election is triggered, trust in Harper will be a major issue. He said the Conservatives have taken Canada down the wrong path in terms of environmental issues and the war in Afghanistan.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May said the biggest issue in the next election will be "whether we want a livable world for our children."
She told Question Period that the odds were an election call would come from the budget, unless Dion toppled the government first.
An opposition day -- a day when opposition parties can move any motion, including a vote of no confidence in the government -- could be scheduled first, she said.
In an earlier interview with CTV News, Harper said the budget will be introduced "fairly early in the spring."
In terms of an election's likelihood, he said: "I don't see anybody chomping at the bit to defeat us for the last two years, so I think we feel pretty good about things."
NDP select candidate Harvest Festival
Posted 2 hours ago
A Simcoe-area truck driver has been selected as the NDP candidate for Haldimand-Norfolk in the Oct. 14 federal election.
Ian Nichols, a driver for Keith Hall Transport, was chosen at a nomination meeting last night in Nanticoke.
Campaign manager Charlie Mitchell said while campaigning would begin today, the riding association expected the campaign to be in full stride by Monday with signs and literature.
Article ID# 1203999
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Candidate Takes Message Online, Stephana Johnston Posts YouTube Ad
Haldimand-Norfolk, September 15, 2008 – Haldimand-Norfolk Green Party candidate Stephana Johnston is taking the election local campaign into cyberspace. Today, Johnston unveiled what her campaign says is the first in a series of YouTube videos aimed at introducing the candidate to local voters.
“I welcome the opportunity to use the Internet for reaching out and telling voters who I am and what the Green Party is all about,” said Ms. Johnston. “This is a Green way to talk to voters and let them know where I stand on local and national issues. I’ll be knocking on doors, too, but this is a huge riding and I can conserve energy and reduce my campaign’s carbon output by using electronic media as much as possible.”
Additionally, the candidate noted that even when she knocks on doors, she’ll be directing Internet capable voters to visit the Green Party’s websites rather than handout bundles of printed literature. “We’ll have printed material for those that are not connected but we’re running an environmentally conscious campaign and trying to practice what we preach as much as possible.”
In her YouTube debut, Ms. Johnston tells viewers why she’s running for Parliament and touches on the Green Party concept of healthy communities. “Healthy communities means jobs to me, but jobs that are sustainable. For our future, we need to create good, green jobs that are based on renewable energy.”
Johnston’s campaign manager Jim Elve says the YouTube offering is the first of a series. “We’re aiming at posting at least one new video ad per week and Stephana will be addressing the important issues affecting H-N voters,” says Elve. He noted that the website will soon include Johnston’s campaign blog where voters will be able to ask questions and comment.
The YouTube video can be seen on the local campaign website at www.hngreens.ca or at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=sIz7PQUkC8k.
For further information, contact
Haldimand-Norfolk Federal Green Party Association