Posted in Community, government, politics, Toronto, Uncategorized

If I Ever Run For Toronto Mayor, I Want To Run As A NDP!

I watched the Toronto Mayoral debate forum, between Olivia Chow, David Soknacki and John Tory and I had an epiphany.  If I ever decide to run for Toronto Mayor, I want to be just like Olivia Chow.

Are you shocked?

I’m a fiscal conservative who would prefer to find efficiencies, reduce costs, tax less, and find ways to help everyone who needs help but as we have seen here in Toronto over the past 4-years with Rob Ford as Mayor, if you dare even make mention of cutting anything, look out.

When the Mayor commented about fact that there are a lot of libraries close together – some used much more than others – and some rarely used, he was branded a Neanderthal who couldn’t read and this fiasco even resulted in author Margaret Atwood being brought into the fray with jokes that she would be a better mayor.

If you cut, you must hate.  At least that is what the left will tell everyone.  Public service too large?  You hate unions.  Want to find cheaper ways to clean TTC busses? You hate transit.  Want to not pay for things on the backs of the property taxes? You’re rich and entitled.

Who wants all that crap!

I would want to be just like Olivia.  She was great in the debate.

Want better transit?  “Invest”.

Want to build lots of transit lines? “Invest” and “No more studies!”

Want to engage the youth? “Invest”.

Want to fight global warming?  “Invest”.

Olivia has all the answers, and at times, she had a very coy smile because she knew no matter what she said, there are around 28% of the population of Toronto who are going to vote for this modern-day Santa Claus.

You want transit?  You have to pay for it.  All Olivia needs to do is add a 1% how dare you be rich taxto the land transfer tax for every house over $2-million.  That will get me enough money to pay for whatever she wants.

Want more social programs?  Sure!  Once she adds that 1% “levy” (read: tax) on those nasty, horrible rich people (insert booing here) who dared to work hard and earn lots of money, and viola, there is money for social programs.

The debate, er, forum, went along like this through each and every question.  Screw balancing the budget.  Go away, you terrible rich folks.  Whatever you want, Santa Chow is going to get it for you.  Someone will pay for it, but let’s not let the details get in the way.  With that 1% she’ll have enough money to have studies needed to build more transit (her words last night and yes the same studies she criticized John Tory for wanting to undertake instead of just building now!)

It makes no sense.

She makes no sense.

But honestly, when nobody is listening to the message, it’s easy to be generous with your promises and critical of others who don’t want to have to raise taxes in order to fulfill unrealistic promises.  Where is the money going to come from to fulfill ALL her promises if the “rich” do not sell their houses or if they all move outside of the GTA?

My favourite exchange from the forum went something like this (paraphrased of course);

Q1: How would you get Toronto moving?”

A1: “More transit.  Invest in Transit.  Pay for it NOW.  Get started NOW.”

Q2: “Google is trying unmanned transit in San Francisco.  Would Toronto?”

A2: “Absolutely!!  We need transit moving on all the lines.  We’ll invest in that technology.”

Q3: “Unicorns.  I think Toronto needs more unicorns.  If elected Mayor, will you get us more unicorns?”unicorn tower

A3: “I’ll get those too!  I got free dental for seniors.  Subsidized metropasses for students and I love giving away stuff.  I can always raise taxes on the rich. I’m progressive.  Buy now, tax now.  The other candidates want to pay for studies.  I say forget the studies and invest in unicorns.  Why wait 10-years.  Get them here now!”

Toronto may not need unicorns, but if more than one-quarter of the city blindly support Olivia Chow’s platform, maybe after the 1% land transfer tax levy, they should all be next.

Who needs fiscal restraint when you’re spending other people’s money, anyways.

This modern-day Robin Hood has it all figured out.  Steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Psst… Want more trees too?


Posted in family, government, Life, politics

Why Is In-Vitro Fertilization NOT an issue in the 2011 Ontario Provincial Election?

Can some please explain to me why In-Vitro Fertilization is not a major issue in this 2011 Ontario Provincial Election?

As we near the election day – the 40th general election in Ontario on October 6th, 2011 – I find many people still unaware of all the major issues, one of them being Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudek.  I really feel that the PC’s missing a great opportunity to  put pressure on the Ontario Liberal Party for an election promise they made in 2007 that they have since reneged on.  Sure, Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals are great at making promises, then not doing what they say – see taxes… Lots of new taxes, but this issue is a can’t miss win for the PC’s and I’ll explain why if you continue reading.

Let me first be clear about my intentions here.  I was approached by an organization called Conceivable Dreams, asking if I would be interested in writing a couple of posts about IVF with the hopes of raising awareness and getting this on the election radar of voters and of the political parties.  Sure, the ultimate goal of getting IVF funded by the province is also in mind, but getting this out there to the electorate was the number one priority, so here it is. 

So what makes me qualified to have this discussion with you?   I have been involved in politics for as long as I can remember and as a father to 3 beautiful children who experienced stress, delays and questions surrounding childbirth, I know some things about IVF so I jumped at this opportunity to learn something new and to ask some questions that I am pretty sure have been asked by everyone else already.  I learned that it makes sense for the Province of Ontario to fund this procedure much in the same way that the Province already funds vasectomy’s and abortions. 

Ontario’s new slogan:  Want to not get pregnant?  Come to Ontario.  Want to get pregnant?  Go to Quebec.  

So in order to prepare for this post I did a LOT of research – I read a lot of opinions – saw a lot of comments and came to this conclusion;  There are 2 very distinct views on this topic.  The first view, is that the Province has no right funding this procedure.  It’s not Ontario’s fault that couple cannot conceive children, it’s G-d’s decision, so these people need to go adopt some of the millions of orphaned children in the world.  There are lots of kids available who need a good home.  Then there is the other side, the side that says parents who want children of their own, and I mean REALLY want children of their own that they are willing to find the $10,000.00 per procedure in effort to get pregnant are more than likely the kind of parents the Province of Ontario wants to have. 

So why has funding this procedure not yet come to fruition?  Probably because all we ever hear about is the $10,000.00 per procedure cost and that is a lot of money to be spent on a procedure, except when you look at the other side of the coin.  At $10,000.00 it is more common – from what I have read – for doctors to implant more than one fertilized egg, meaning there are greater chances that there will be multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.)  With multiple births, there is a greater chance for the children to be born earlier, for there to be complications to the children and with the expectant mother which in turn means a great reliance on the health care system.  Those costs FAR exceed the costs of the procedure.  In addition if the procedure were funded then doctors would not have to implant more than one embryo and with the reduction in multiple births, comes a reduction in costs to OHIP (the Ontario Health Insurance Plan). 

So now you might understand why Quebec has funded this procedure in 2010.  In Quebec they earmarked $30 million dollars for the first year of this program and expected savings of $30 million dollars in that year.  Those are crazy numbers.

So what do the detractors say?

From what I’ve read the comments are pretty down-right mean and nasty.  Very cold comments mocking parents who cannot have children, making references to G-d wanting it that way, and it’s their fault that they waited too long to have kids, or that they chose an infertile partner.  Some pretty unnecessary stuff indeed.  I can guarantee you the majority of these couples who look to IVF are not looking for an easy way out because they have tried the “natural” way and have been unsuccessful, so they want to pay $10,000.00 a shot in hopes of having a child this way.  I can also come to the conclusion that IVF is not the only treatment that these couples have tried or will try in effort to get pregnant, so don’t worry IVF-haters.  You won’t be asked to fund that too.

But all in all, I do not understand the fuss.  When an individual files for bankruptcy and their creditors are not paid all the money they are owing, who gets hit in the end?  All of us, through rising costs, and increased insurance rates.  Should I get mad because others cannot budget properly?  Or what about all those people who are not working but who have a plethora of social programs at their need.  Who funds those?  I do, through property taxes and other levies and user fees.  Should I post negative comments about people who are unable to work and how its not right for me to be paying their way?  Absolutely not!  I may comment about the city wasting money but never as it relates to those less fortunate that me.  I would never tell anyone how to live their life, how many children to have, who they can or cannot marry and what techniques they can and cannot use to get pregnant.

Step back folks, and take the emotion out of this process.  It’s not about you.  It’s about the province funding a process and saving your tax dollars and my tax dollars while helping couples become parents.

So please Tim Hudek, take this issue to debate and call Dalton McGuinty on this.  In 2007 he campaigned on this issue and now almost 5 years later they are still “investigating” this matter, in the words of Deb Matthews the Ontario Minister of Health.  Tim, take a stand, and this election is yours!  But please take it one step further and fund this procedure.  The haters will always be haters.  The parents struggling to conceive will have one less thing to worry about.

Posted in family, Life, news, politics

Wacky, Wild, WTF Wednesday…

I think I need to get a whole lot of random stuff out of my brain and to do so I need to have a Wacky, Wild, WTF Wednesday.

Sit tight because here goes;

1) The absolute best album (do we still say that, or does that me sound old?) for 2010 and into 2011 has to be Slash. Song after song, person after person they get better and better and no matter how many times you listen to the songs, they never get old. But what I really like about it, is that the songs cover pretty much all music genres so some songs are played on contemporary music, while some on the hard rock stations.

2) For the first time in my life, I was driving beside an elderly woman on Allen Road yesterday who was – get this – plucking her chin hairs with tweezers and the sun visor down – mirror open – WHILE DRIVING!!!

3) Edge retired from the WWE on Monday night. A Toronto product and a year or two older than me, he was an awesome performer who overcame neck fusion surgery, a ruptured achilles and numerous other injuries to perform for all the WWE and wrestling fans. I have a tribute article going up on my sports blog; at some point soon.

4) I watched the Federal leaders debate last night on CP24 and I came away with the following thoughts and observations!

Why was TVO’s Steve Paikin facilitating the debate?

Why was Gilles Duiceppe there? He’s basically a provincial leader who doesn’t care about the country. He wants it to be broken apart. That’s along the lines of having Hamas run for the Israeli government… You know they want the country to be changed in both cases, Quebec without the violence…

Why wasn’t Elizabeth May of the Green Party there instead? She’s articulate and having another “leader” gang up on Prime Minister Harper would have been fun. Plus her platform, taken from the Marijuana party could attract more fringe votes and take away from the NDP.

Speaking of the NDP… Jack Layton was very smug – as usual – and had the quips coming each and every moment (hashtag fail… Really Jack?), but even he had to know before Michael Ignatief said so, that he has no chance of being elected, let alone leader of the opposition unless he forms a coalition with the Liberals. With that being said, why did he point out to the world that Ignatief had missed 70% of the federal votes in parliament? I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t my PM to be too busy to attend parliament, since that is what he would have been hired for. How he remains Liberal leader is beyond me – especially after the controversy over his poor / rich father.

And as for Iggy, I heard there were concerns about his out of control eyebrows, which frankly I didn’t even notice, and for a point in time during the debate I actually thought he was doing well, but then there were moments where he looked completely disinterested and I caught him flapping his arm in anticipation of speaking – but it looked really spasmodic.   I did give Iggy (the politician, not the Toronto Rock’s dumb mascot) major props for his comment to NDP leader Jack Layton which basically was Iggy’s verbal dismissal of Layton’s jokes when he told him that he neither was, nor would ever be the leader of the opposition… BURN.  Then in closing summation Iggy said to the camera, “Folks it really is a between us – the Liberals – and the Conservatives”.  BURN x2.

But it was Harper at the end who ruled the debate.  Yes I found his perfectly coiffed detachable silver dome – aka hair – scary and quite disturbing, and yes I found him always looking into the camera peculiar especially when the other leaders were talking to him. 
But when he closed by reiterating that Canada is the #1 nation heading out of the recession as a result of the Conservative government policies, seriously folks… He may look creepy, but at this point in time, we need his government and his policies in place to protect Canadians and Canadian interests around the world.  I actually thought the Harper Stare was starting to get to Iggy, almost like the WWE Star Undertaker does against his opponents…

I hope he gets as majority government, but he won’t.

Posted in Uncategorized

Did you watch the debate last night?

I sure as hell did.  I watched almost all of the Canadian Leaders’ debate and maybe a minute of the US Vice-president’s debate.  I had a little interest in whether Sara Palin was going to self-destruct as was predicted but I was more interested in whether Gilles Duiceppe or Stephane Dion were going to have the success they did in the previous nights’ french-language debate.

Here are my thoughts;

1) I thought on of the highlights of the night was NDP pretender Jack Layton turning to Liberal leader Stephane Dion and asking him why he is running for Prime Minister if he cannot handle the role of leader of the Opposition. 

2) Green Party leader Elizabeth May impressed me with her debating skills and the facts she tossed out here and there, but I was really surprised that she spent all her time attacking the Conservatives considering it’s not like she has a snowballs chance in hell of becoming the leader of the opposition, and quite frankly I’d be surprised if she got any seats.  I thought more time should have been spent attacking the Liberals on their “Green Shift” program which the Green’s claim was their own before the Libs stole it.  At least that way, it would give viewers the option of another party not in Quebec or not on the extremes, but no.  She impressed, but gained nothing. 

3) The NDP are also in the same boat.  Jack Layton attacked the Conservatives with quip after quip and while they were really clever, they were aimed at the wrong party.  Jack… You will never be the Prime Minister – See Bob Rae as Premier of Ontario – We remember.  You would be smart to just chip away at the Liberals and add more and more seats in Parliament until people take the party seriously.  Sure it may take 3 or 4 elections, but seriously, it’s not Toronto where you and your former City Councellor wife can live in subsidized housing and get away with it.  The Barenaked Ladies may support you, and your friends in the Beaches in Toronto may love you, but to the rest of the country, you might as well be Ed Broadbent… Your NDP.

4) Gilles Duiceppe – Tell me again why this guy gets to be in these debates?  He talks about destroying Canada and only being around for Quebec.  The Bloc don’t even have national policies.  So why is he included in the debates?  So we don’t hurt their feelings?  Gilles… If you want to be taken seriously, fight to have all the provinces become separate and created national policies and then maybe you deserve to be on a national debate.  It’s like the US debate being Biden, Palin and Bin Laden…  2 candidates are pro-US and the other against the US and wants to see it destroyed. 

5) All in all, I think Steven Harper could have attacked the NDP for being, well, NDP and the Bloc and Green for being not National parties yet, and the Liberals… Where to start… Another leader that doesn’t speak either official language, past experience of having them lie and deceive the Canadian public with their AdScam debacle, their red book – “If elected we will remove the GST”… Not once, but twice… They stole the Green Party’s “Green Shift” plan and they treat the government like it’s a toy.  They lie.

6) Liberals trying to being down the Conservatives by pointing out that 5 years ago some speech writer for the Conservatives, wrote a speech for Steven Harper what had some text lifted from Australian PM, John Howard.  Wow.  Really.  And in Grade 5, Harper had pimples… What’s wrong with these people? 

My thoughts.