Conservatives

Ontario Election Wrap-up – Topical all these months later…


I found this draft post sitting in my folder which I meant to post it but probably left because I was so dismayed at the size of the mistake that folks in Toronto made for the rest of the province of Ontario by re-electing Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.

So instead of deleting it, I read it over and decided to post it now.  I have come to realize that while I am not a political pundit in any way, nor am I a prognosticator, I try to be informed and I do my research so below is what I knew and felt at that time.  Have a read and tell me how true a lot of it is…

The post:

Here is my Ontario election wrap-up, urban daddy style.
First of all I want to thank the nearly 1000 people who googled “who do I vote for in the Ontario election” and came to my blog on election day. I hope you read what I wrote and it made sense. I was not endorsing the Ontario Conservatives party blindly as a life long conservative, but I felt like I really presented some key facts, not opinions, which seemed to me to be a whole lot of common sense.

I looked at the previous 8 years of Liberal rule in Ontario and I found;

Logo of the Ontario Liberal Party from 2002 to...

HST

An eHealth scandal in which the minister in charge fled and tried to become Mayor of Toronto

Sex Education being taught to kids in grade 2.

“Smart” meters resulting in higher hydro charges

Green energy act

Wind Mills

Another rise in the minimum wage, this one pushing it up to $10.25/hr

Delisting of health care items like chiropractic and physio therapy when our population is aging and are going to need these services.

A whole lot of broken promises

The list goes on.

But after going through yet another Provincial election where voters in Toronto blindly voted red, I awake to the same old and I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about Ontario. Already this morning, one day after that election news media is reporting that the unemployment rate in Ontario has gone UP.  Ontario is fast becoming a have-not province. Yet another finger pointed at Dalton and Co.

But before I continue, I also want to thank WordPress, www.wordpress.com, for adding me to the list of http://botd.wordpress.com/growing-blogs/ of Blogs of the Day – the Fastest Growing Blogs on WordPress.com. I really appreciated that!

So let’s take a look at some people who were re-elected for the Liberals.  This is a telling sign for me because if I’m voting for a policy, or a plan (recall: I did vote for notorious left-wing councillor Joe Mihevc as he appeared to be giving my riding what it needs) I have plenty of reasons to support my decision… So I’m not a 100% conservative die-hard. I do look at other factors and vote that way.

I don’t think voters in Toronto know who they elected and I’ll bet if I stood on a street corner and asked questions of the voters they would have no idea.

For example, did you know that;

Monte Kwinter who won in York Centre… Again, has been the MPP in that riding since 1985. 26 years. Monte, bless him, is 80-years-old. Think he’s in touch with the new generation of have-nots coming out of University expecting jobs, and a lifestyle like their parents currently have?  Probably not.

What about Mike Colle? He’s been in office since 1999. He was born in 1945, so that makes him a 66-years-old. Is this the future of the Liberal party of Ontario? Yet these guys got in easily because the older voters recognize the names, see the pretty pamphlets and just robotically fill in “Liberal” at the ballot box.

The reason I bring these gentlemen up is not to pick on people for their age. I’m 40, and if I ever chose to run in an election would be doing so later in life, but I know first hand having been in Colle’s riding, beside Kwinters and in the riding of Dr. Eric Hoskins, that these people are invisible to Torontonians. They show up at election time with pamphlets and because they know there are going to get elected.  The rest of the time, you could ask 50 people on the street who their MPP is and I’ll bet you 48 of then shrug their shoulders. It’s ridiculous.  Invisible.

What’s worse is that by re-electing McGuinty, voters are signing up for more taxes, more user fees and at some point Dalton has to realize that he cannot keep spending, errr, wasting money on stupid projects because the taxpayer is not going to be able to pay for this year over year… Money is tight and once people realize the waste and cuts and costs they’re going to flip out ala the anti-Rob Ford, anti-Stpehen Harper rhetoric in the news every day.  So either taxes are going up, or more cuts will be coming, and based on Dalton’s need to have a high minimum wage, I’ll bet he de-lists more items from OHIP.  That’s easy, right?  Or more user fees (fancy description for taxes). 

Let’s just hope he makes the right choice when the City comes to him for subway funding and cough up a ton to create lots of subways and bring Toronto into the 20th century.  I doubt that will happen, to be honest.

He’s just not that good of a leader.

But hey, you guys voted for him!  Enjoy.  Just hope you don’t need a hospital…

Remember, when the Conservatives suggested a two-tiered healthcare system all the people freaked out.  Well Ontario, it’s here and not by the Conservatives, but brought in by the Liberals.  Now I see why they refuse to fund IVF… It would save the system money year-over-year.  Liberals can’t save money.  It’s not the way they do things.  They de-list and keep things de-listed.

I’m shaking my head.

You should be too.

So why the interest in IVF?


So after my first post on In-Vitro Fertilization the hits to my blog have been through the roof for me, however that has not translated into posted comments.  Instead I have received emails, many without links to blogs and the majority of them anonymous.  I will say that I have had some really nice, supportive comments from IVF supporters and like-minded Conservatives, and some not so nice comments from the other side – anti-IVF folks, what I suspect might be Liberals and general complainers. 

To the detractors, I say, go find something better to do.  I have made up my mind and since this is my blog, I choose the topic and I posted my opinions after doing a lot of research looking at all sides of this issue.  When looking at both sides of the coin the one thing that jumps out at me over and over again is the financial benefit to the Province and the taxpayers, should the government fundi this procedure.  If you can argue there are no cost savings, then please enlighten me.  If, however, you want to tell me we should not be interfering in G-d’s work, then please, don’t.

I have also had conversations with aspiring political leaders on the left and on the right and they both agree this needed to have been funded back in 2007 as the Liberals promised and that this McGuinty promise fell by the wayside with many other incentives the Liberals brought forward to get themselves elected.  It’s a very telling tale.

In discussing this post among people who have read this, I have been asked a few times why the interest in IVF, and I’ll tell you why.  I know a lot of families who have gone through IVF and I know many who were preparing to go through it.  In most of these cases it come up when we start talking about having kids and itgoes from there.  But the cost… $10,000.00 a treatment, really adds delays to the conversation.  That’s a lot of money and that amount is only the correct amount if it works the first time.  In cases we have known, couples have spent 5 or 10 times that amount in effort to have children.  They have taken loans, used up savings, by passed down payments on houses in order to grow a family.  That is dedication and I respect that a lot.  It just goes to show if you really want something bad enough, everything else is insignificant.

While IVF is not guaranteed to work 100% of the time, it does give couples hope that they will be able to conceive children of their own and in the cases I know about where the procedure did not work out as planned, the couples were that much more overjoyed when going through the adoption process (also VERY expensive, mind you).

So let’s take a step back and look at IVF, and why is it necessary?

As a refresher to those people who forgot grade 10 health class, or who may not know, women are born with around 400,00 eggs in their ovaries.  Once a month, during a woman’s regular cycle, her body produces hormones to grow and mature some of these eggs which nest in the wall of the uterus.  When these eggs are mature, ovulation occurs, and the egg(s) are ready to be fertilized by the male’s sperm.   If the egg(s) are not fertilized they disintegrate, and about 2 weeks after that, menstruation begins and the cycle restarts.  

What IVF does, is that medication is given to stimulate the ovaries to allow for many eggs to grow and mature.  Those eggs are then surgically removed once they are mature enough and they fertilize in a laboratory.  As the embryos grow, they are then placed back into the uterus in the hopes that they will implant and cause a pregnancy.  Not exactly rocket science, but a very scientific process.

So how many Ontarians are impacted by infertility issues?  Would you believe 1 in 6.

When Quebec recently introduced funding for up to three cycles of IVF to help create families.  It was found that this also helped reduce the number of multiple pregnancies in that province from 27.2% to 5.2% in just 6 months.  As a result, Quebec is now on track to save hundreds of millions of dollars as the number of twins and triplets in neonatal intensive care units is expected to drop significantly.

No surprise that Ontario could realize similar savings by providing OHIP coverage for IVF — between $400-$550 million in savings over 10 years.

So I’m still puzzled as to why we’re discussing this?!?

For more information I recommend you drop by Conceivable Dreams, http://www.conceivabledreams.org.

Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition, is the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario. Their goal is to have OHIP coverage of IVF funded by the Ontario government as is being done in Quebec. With an election coming up right now in Ontario, now is the best time to ask all candidates where they stand on public funding of IVF.

Thursday Thirteen – Ontario Election Edition


Hey, an Ontario election is coming and while the media is predicting a Conservative majority (YAY) and have to come clean that I actually like Dalton McGuinty. He looks and talks like a leader. His policies… Not so great, however. He came in as Premier in a Liberal landslide in a province that only sees (saw) Liberal red and loved the fact that he ran the Daily Bread Food Bank or something like that. At the time I’m sure I made some sort of comment about electing a leader who spends their career taking from the rich and giving to the less fortunate. That got us Mayor David Miller and tons of taxes and it got us 7 years of scandal / high taxes and disrespect for the money you and I give in taxes to the province.
So this week’s Thursday Thirteen are the 13 things that will cause the defeat of the Ontario Liberal Party and get Dalton on the road to an awesome pension…

1. The HST – I was at the Canadian Tax Federation annual meeting and the lunch time speaker was Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and he explained to the group of us that even in a recession bringing in the HST Was necessary to keep Ontario competitive. I didn’t understand his motive then and I still don’t understand it now. Minister Duncan also said something to the effect of “no other party has the guts” to merge the GST and PST but he did. Errr, okay. Thanks Mr. Duncan. The HST added additional taxes to such items as Cigarettes, fast food and which was good, but there were way too many bad, such as home heating costs, gas, electricity, new homes (over $400,000 – after June 30, 2010 which was why we closed June 29th, 2010 on our new house), airfare, TTC / Go Transit / Via services, real estate agent commissions.

2. The Delisting of OHIP Covered Necessary Health Services – When McGuinty’s Liberals promised not to decrease any health services covered by OHIP, and not to raise taxes, some people bought in to it and others, like myself, raised their eyebrows in skepticism, McGuinty did not disappoint and did both by implementing the Ontario Health Premium (recall that “fee” we have to pay each year to the doctor) and the delisting coverage of Optometry, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Services for Ontarians.

3. The Ontario Health Premium – Mentioned above, this “fee” turned out to be the highest tax increase in Ontario’s history, and it was implemented not too long after McGuinty’s Liberals took power in 2003.  I even remember him signing a contract with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – because I was working at the CRA at the time – to not increase taxes).

4. eHealth – This program never got off the ground and cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars and opened our eyes to the notion of sole-sourcing and untendered contracts and how to get the best price sometimes you have to get quotes for other service providers than to Liberal friends.  Consultants were hired and even they spent money like there was no tomorrow, billing Ontarians hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while having the balls to expense a chocolate bar or a Tim Horton’s coffee.  Shame.

5. The Tire “fee” – Just another “tax” that the Liberals brought in while in power.

6. I don’t blame just the Ontario Liberals for this one, I also blame the Federal Liberal party (or what’s left of it) but when the provincial HST merged with the federal GST, instead of firing all the provincial collectors, the Liberals thought it would be a good idea to given each collector a “severance package” of $45,000 each, then given them a job with the HST department. 

7. Caledonia – Still a hotbed of criminal activity where Natives and citizens are battling for space and peace and quiet.  Last time I heard from Caledonia, militant natives had blockaded the street and neither Police or RCMP were allowed to go in and break it up.  Dalton… Everyone has right here and the people of Caledonia deserve to live in peace and quiet.  Instead you turned your back on them instead of making tough decisions.

8. Under the Liberal party, University fees in Ontario have skyrocketed to the highest in Canada.

9. Don’t even talk about auto insurance in Ontario under the Liberals.  I remember the Liberals promising to reduce auto insurance rates by 10% to be fair to families, but you know what happened here… Insurance rates in Ontario have skyrocketed.

10. The Eco-Fee – You may not have heard much about this “fee / tax” because the Liberals snuck it in with the HST but this fee was supposed to cover the cost of disposing of items that needed to be recycled but instead it never got off the ground and has cost tax payers a ton of money.

11. Let’s look at the next few items as groups relating to green initiatives; Smart meters – time of use rates, Wind turbines, hydro rates. All colossal failures. Smart meters work for my family because we do our laundry, use the dishwasher, etc. after 7pm to get the lowest rate and we have seen the benefit but from what I understand there are some people, like seniors who cannot wait for the reduced rates and them – on fixed incomes – have their energy rates go up (and HST on it too). Wind turbines, on the other hand, were an epic failure. There were grants given out for them that were much higher than the expected rate of return, they are unsafe and noisy.

12. The Federal Liberal Party was decimated. Ontario is next. The Conservatives care about your money and the NDP are just plain entertaining. That leaves no room for the Libs… Well, that and former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is their interim leader for the next 2 years. I shudder when I think about how bad the province was after Bob was forced out.

13. Sheer arrogance. I’ve heard the moniker “Teflon Dalton” go by and I think he actually believes he is unbeatable… I think the Federal Liberals felt that way too as did the Liberal who ran for mayor, George Smitherman.  Their time is up.  Time for a change.

Is this the way the new Federal parliament is going to operate with Jack Layton on the scene?


I saw am article the other day that I was drawn by it’s headline, which read something like this, “Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement to ask Gas and Oil Industry to Explain Prices”.

It’s about time, I thought.  Gas prices had gone up overnight over $0.06 cents to over $1.40 a litre.  It was the highest I could recall, and it made me happy that we spent the extra dollars last year and bought a hybrid vehicle – the Toyota Highlander.  Having that hybrid means instead of filling up every week, I fill up every second week. 

I was glad to see that finally someone in the government – in any level of government, was finally going to question these massive oil and gas companies and get answers as to why, when the price of a barrell of oil goes up, the next day the price of gas goes up, but when the price of a barrell of oil goes down… you get a response like this one; “Any lasting relief from wild price swings could take months to trickle down to the pump.”

So I read the article, and found it to be pretty straightforward.  Then I saw that a NDP MP – who I presume must be the Industry critic, had something to say.  His name is Jack Harris. He said the NDP are not satisfied… With what, I thought?!?

Harris had decided to hold  a news conference in Ottawa and was critical of Clement’s actions by stating that, “Canadians deserve a better explanation… Canadians want to know if there’s evidence of collusion among oil companies, or price gouging by the industry.”

With that comment, former Liberal MP and gas price “watcher” Dan McTeague said he’s worried the parliamentary committee appearance will be a waste of time.  Ah, the Price Watcher.  McTeague watched when prices were going up and down and he reported it… He didn’t press oil and gas, but he reported increases and decreases – that kind of service to the public resulted in his ousting this past election.

But I really find this odd, don’t you?

If the NDP MP had such a strong opinion about gas prices and was SO concerned about collusion, why didn’t MP Harris hold his press conference first!  Why didn’t he ask these questions of oil and gas himself, why did he wait for the Conservatives to take action be

I’ll tell you why…

It’s easier to criticize an action taken by someone else than it is to actually take the action yourself. I mean, geez, anyone can complain that a government took too long, or are not asking the right questions because it turns all the attention to you for pressing on that issue, when in actual fact, the spot light should be on the person asking the questions. If MP Harris was prepared and wanted to prove that the NDP Are going to be a force to be reckoned with, he would have jumped all over this and called for a meeting, or asked the questions ahead of time and not waited for the Conservatives to asks the questions before complaining about the type of questions being asked.

I think we can look forward to 4 years of this behaviour, then never again.

Taking a thorough look at the NDP Platform. What you get if you vote for Jack Layton…


I am a Conservative. Always have been always will be. I make no qualms about it, and I want to be clear up front.

However, I will ALWAYS look at both sides of the coin and consider all options. DISCLAIMER: I have voted in each and every election that I was allowed to vote in and I have voted for a candidate who was NOT Conservative because I was voting for a person who would serve my ward / constituency better than the Conservative candidate.

With that being said…

Jack Layton, the leader of the Federal NDP party is an interesting guy. He’s funny, he’s approachable, he seems personable and he has the best quips and comments. From the first leader’s debate when he said “Hashtag Fail” to his comment that “Stephen Harper thought an app was something you eat before dinner”.

He certainly has the charisma and charm to be a hip, cool leader of Canada. And his appeal, in light of Stephen Harper’s teflon-grey hair – blue eyed gaze that makes him look more like a robot is one reason the NDP are climbing up in the polls.

So I took some time to consider what Canada would be like in 4 years after having Jack Layton as PM – either by him winning straight out, or by the Conservatives winning a minority government and Layton forming a coalition with the Liberals and becoming PM that way…

… I haven’t slept since that thought popped in to my head.

It’s scary… Real scary.

Yes, I am partially basing this on living in Ontario where Bob Rae’s NDP government ran this province into the ground – increasing spending, disrespecting workers – unionized and non-unionized, and realizing that they were ill-prepared to run a government.

So to be fair to the NDP, and John Gilbert “Jack” Layton – the son of a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister – I took the time to hit up the Federal NDP website – http://www.ndp.ca to see what the NDP party stands for, as Layton might be a good leader, but looking past the man, if he’s elected, what will his party do to our country.

So what will the NDP do for Canada?

Right away their website claims; to “give your family a break”.

I’m liking this already, however have concerns that it is MY family that he is referring to… Time will tell.

So the NDP offer a summary;

“The New Democrat plan is focused on improving your health services, rewarding the job creators, strengthening your pension, and making your life a little more affordable.”

“These commitments are fully costed – right from the first year. We won’t wait to lift all seniors out of poverty. We won’t wait to start hiring more doctors and nurses. We will act starting now.”

Hmmmm.

Lifting seniors out of poverty seems like a daunting task. All seniors? My mother is a senior… She’s not in poverty because she works and she planned for her future. I hope the NDP are not planning on increasing my taxes in order to help all seniors who fall below the poverty line… That would surely suck.

Also hiring more doctors and nurses – that takes money, unless he means 1 of each. I wonder where that money is going to come from. I’m sure they will be clear on that. Ah, I read on. The NP will begin training more doctors and nurses and give incentives to those who have left Canada to lure them back… Oh, that’s a slippery slope. Incentives to me reads, more money, which is usally why they leave to go to the US.

There is lots of stuff here. Here are the highlights. Some really good, some not so good;

We [NDP] will work with the provinces to bring about increases to your Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefit, with the eventual goal to double the benefits you receive

We will amend federal bankruptcy legislation to move pensioners and long-term disability recipients to the front
of the line of creditors when their employers enter court protection or declare bankruptcy

We will work with the provinces and territories to establish and fund a Canada-wide child care and early learning program, enshrined in law.

We will make post-secondary education more affordable by directly attacking skyrocketing tuition costs with a designated $800 million transfer to the provinces and territories to lower
tuition fees. $800 million to the provinces… Where is this money coming from?

We will increase the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year, targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students, in particular – again $200 million out… Where will this money come from?

We will raise the education tax credit from $4,800 per year to $5,760 per year to help with increasing education costs.
So an increase in a tax credit means a decrease in revenue. Where will this money be replaced from?

Housing:
We will enact the NDP’s legislation to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.

We will provide significant new funding for affordable and social housing.

And we’re done… I can no longer find any reason to vote NDP. Spend, spend, spend, and all these policies, the affordable housing and the university tax credits are of no use to me.

I don’t want my taxes increased to help others. Sorry. I’ll contribute gladly in taxes to pay for roads, universities, infrastructure, hospitals, those truly in need, etc. but I will not accept a bigger tax burden to help others who may or may not have been able to get it themselves by working, saving and not wasting money.

Jack and Olivia may have lived in social housing in Toronto while pulling in $120,000 a year and they may have been cleared but I think that is wrong. I also think it’s wrong try to bring the lowest class of people up to the middle class in cases where they do not want to be there.

Alas, I promised to go through the entire platform… Wish me luck.

As a practical first step to eliminate child poverty, we will combine existing supports like the Child Tax Benefit to create a non-taxable Child Benefit and increase the support steadily by up to $700 per child over the next four years. This will be in addition to the current Universal Child Care Benefit.

More spending… How can you control what these people are spending that child tax benefit on?

We will introduce a home heating federal sales tax rebate to give your household budget a break;

We will ensure Canadians have access to credit cards with interest rates no higher than 5 per cent above prime;

We will work closely with the Obama administration in Washington to ensure a coordinated response to climate change – was this not what the NDP and Liberals were all over the Harper Conservatives for?

So all in all, I have picked out a little something from each platform position of the NDP and their actions are all the same… Rebates / Tax credits and spending. Considering that all their policies are geared towards low-income Canadians, I cannot see any reason why any working – productive Canadian would vote for this party. Maybe they should rename the party the Robin Hood party as they take from the rich to give to the poor.

And I’m still wondering if the whole rub and tub / massage issue is just a smear attempt by the Liberals or if it says more about what kind of a person Jack is – he fights for the people – yet hooks up the services of a 20 year old Asian girl to help get him off. It’s more than a non-issue here. We’re talking about the future leader of Canada (potentially) caught on a bed, naked, while the girl beside him had a handful of wet tissues.

If he’s claiming he thought this place was legit, then he shouldn’t be our leader because that would make him really stupid.

So just to summarize;

NDP – spend, tax, credits, want the rick to be poor and the poor to be rich

Jack Layton – Thinks it is okay to get a rub and tub from a new immigrant to the country who is forced to work in the sex trade and who is working for cash and not paying tax (maybe he WAS helping her out) and lived with his wife and mother-in-law in City of Toronto subsidized housing while making $120,000 per year – jointly.

There’s your leader folks…

Here is a link to the CBC Compass survey to see which party your views are most closely related to;

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/votecompass/

Give it a try.  IT told me I am Conservative then matched my views with theirs to see how we compare and how we differ.  Aside from abortion and “marriage” we’re pretty close.  On those issues, we are about as far apart as you can get.  Oh well.  If we matched, then I would be talking about my planet earth party… where we all are the same… you know.  Humans.