Posted by: trashee | January 29, 2009

A letter to Jack Layton

I encourage everyone to send a copy of this (or modified if you don’t really admire the guy or the NDP) to : layton.j@parl.gc.ca

Hi Mr. Layton:

As much as I admire much of what you and what your party has done for all Canadians in challenging the current Government on a number of issues, I do hope that you will put partisanship aside and support the Government (yes, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) in supporting back to work legislation to end the Ottawa transit strike.
This disruption has reached a point where intransigence is prevailing over cooperation and ego over conciliation.
I know it is generally not the policy of the NDP to support this type of  legislation, but it is my hope that you and your party will think about how the public transit users in this community have suffered over the past 50+ days.

Thank you and good luck this year!

John Marshall

Posted by: trashee | January 29, 2009

Back to work legislation is possible

So, the strike is finally going to be addressed by the House.  Rona Ambrose has stated that she is ready to introduce back-to-work legislation.

The surprising turn of events came after a flurry of activity beginning at Queen’s Park yesterday when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty called on the federal government to intervene and end the strike.

“I think it’s gone on for too long,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters.

“It affects our most vulnerable citizens. It’s dramatically affecting our economy at a time when we can’t afford to have these kind of things get in the way. So my advice to the federal government is you’re going to have to come to grips with this.”

Yes, but it is not only the most vulnerable citizens who have been hit by this. My family and I are by no means “vulnerable”, but our stress levels are at all-time highs due to the stoppage. Life can, at times, be stressful and we deal with that. But adding the strike to the usual cocktail of kids, work, et al has truly pushed both Colleen and I toward the brink. Our work hours are out of whack due to the necessity of taking carpools. When the carpools aren’t available (as is the case for the next week for Colleen since her driver has gone on a vacation), then there is the added stress of dropping the kids off AND picking them up as well as fighting the traffic and paying $15/day to park reasonably close to her building.

We are ALL vulnerable… it’s just that some are more so than others.

Posted by: trashee | January 29, 2009

Hoop snakes

The squid-dude recently posted some scribblings about how, as a child growing up in B.C., he had to be wary of the tree octopus.

It reminded me of the times I was was warned to not tarry to long at the bottom of grassy hills for fear of being attacked by a hoop snake.

Never actually saw one, but my Dad swore that they were common enough to be feared.

whsshp4

Posted by: trashee | January 28, 2009

Iggy comes clean – sorta

The Grit leader says that he will support the budget only if the neocons agree to provide clear budget updates in order to track fiscal progress.

Stevie should be able to live with this.

I hope.

Posted by: trashee | January 28, 2009

2009 Federal Budget

The neocons have done the impossible and have managed to largely exclude their normal partisanship and opportunism from this budget.

What does this tell me:

  • Harper is under extreme pressure form the caucus and the party executives to tone it down a little since the ramrod approach clearly isn’t working with the vast majority of Canadians.
  • They accept that their government is a minority and any budget items that would have pushed the limits of their situation would not be accepted by the House. In other words, they are trying to at least give the semblance of governing like a minority government.
  • They are a bit scared about the outcome of another general election should the Grits push them that far.

What should Iggy do?

  • Pump out his chest and say that dang-nab-it, we cannot support this thing in its current form but here are a few minor amendments that would make it more palatable… then, yeah, we’ll grudgingly support it.
  • Build up the profile of his party and himself over the next 16-18 months. This will buy some time to sell the Liberals as a real alternative to the neocons and will also buy some time to build up the Grit treasury.

This budget should pass. The coalition idea, although appealing on many fronts does not have broad base support and, while it would stand for the short term, would harm the Grits for many years to come in the long term.

Plus, the country really does not need another election right now.

Do the right thing Iggy. It really ain’t so bad. And this is one long-time Grit who will support you on it.

In other news… talks broke down between the City and the ATU… yet again.

Bastards.

Posted by: trashee | January 26, 2009

Fathers of daughters…

This was sent to me quite a few years ago before my eldest spawn was anywhere close to “dating” age.

Fellow blogoverse resident XUP recently posted his concerns about his 16 year-old’s first date.  He has a very comprehensive checklist in place. Kudos.

Yet, I prefer this:

WANNA DATE MY DAUGHTER?

When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my girlfriend’s father, who I believe suspected me of wanting to place my hands on his daughter’s chest.  He would open the door and immediately affect a good-naturedly murderous expression, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad.  Remembering how unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do my best to make my daughter’s suitors feel even worse.

My motto:  wilt them in the living room and they’ll stay wilted all night.

‘So,’ I’ll call out jovially.  ‘I see you have your nose pierced. Is that because you’re stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid’’

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two stone tablets that I have on display in my living room.

Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure as hell not picking anything up. Read More…

Posted by: trashee | January 26, 2009

Welcome to The Year of the Ox!

Gung Hey Fat Choy!!!

Posted by: trashee | January 25, 2009

Optimism all ’round

Just saw this comment on the cbc.ca story about the City changing its bargaining position (whatever that may mean).

Go Larry Go – The city is behind you all the way (although you may not know it) and we support you and the city in not letting the OC transpo workers and their union enslave us to their demands. Spring is coming, commuting will be a bit easier, and we can keep them (the union sheep) on KD as long as necessary.

Eh? Spring is coming? In Ottawa? Isn’t it the 25th of January?

ot-081210-picketers-city-hall-top

I think the poster is either the most optimistic soul in the NCR, or he or she has spent way too many hours in the -30 weather sans chapeau.

Posted by: trashee | January 24, 2009

Will divine intervention be needed?

The, uh, City “Council” is meeting today to discuss wassup with the negotiating gerbils and their minions.

Although I am a confimed and happy atheist, I say to these folks – GO FOR IT! What the hell!

In a note to city council Friday announcing the failure, Mayor Larry O’Brien put the blame squarely on the union.

“The federal mediator has suggested that since the parties continue to be so far apart on their demands there is no benefit in continuing mediated talks at this time,” the mayor wrote.

Meanwhile, the breakdown in talks has the public calling on councillors and calling on God.

About 35 people attended a special prayer service Friday night at St. Joseph’s Parish on Laurier Avenue East in downtown Ottawa.

“We were trying to think of a way we could respond,” said pastoral associate Mary Murphy. “A prayer service seemed the most logical because it is based in faith and we believe faith can make a difference

Garth Gullekson, The Ottawa Citizen

Mayor Larry O'Brien and Councillors Jacques Legendre, Diane Holmes, Peggy Feltmate, Christine Leadman, Peter Hume, Maria McRae, and Clive Doucet in discussion at City Hall during an emergency city council meeting called to discuss the OC Transpo strike on Saturday. Photograph by: Garth Gullekson, The Ottawa Citizen

Above – our elected representatives hard at  burning the Saturday away. My question: where are the rest of them? Still in Whistler?

Oh – and good to see Peter “the disappearing man” Hume in attendance – makes me all tingly to see that he is doing his damnedest to look after we poor saps that used to take the 149 and 148!

Way to go Petey!

Posted by: trashee | January 24, 2009

Bulldog Bully Baird Butting Out of Strike

Finally someone has written a story about how John Baird, the Minister of TRANSPORT and the political minister for the City has been nowhere to be seen during the transit crisis that is causing so many folks so much pain.

Are we to believe that this schoolyard bully cannot work with the two sides to help bring resolution to this? What’s the point of being in government if you can’t effect change? I hope voters remember his inaction come election time.

He had no problem intervening in the affairs of the City when funding for one of the bygone transit proposals was on the table. But now that there is  REAL CRISIS, he shuts up?

In the past, Mr. Baird hasn’t hesitated to use his power to resolve issues of importance to Ottawa.

Along with his intervention on light rail in 2006, he played a role in blocking a new interprovincial bridge in the west end, pledged federal money to deal with sewage spills into the Ottawa River and helped secure a $1-a-year rent deal for the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

But there are reasons why he might hesitate to plunge as deeply into the transit strike. One is his history with Mayor Larry O’Brien, a fellow Conservative.

By delaying funding for the original light rail plan in 2006, Mr. Baird was broadly seen as giving a boost to Mr. O’Brien’s mayoral campaign.

And the same goes for Pepperhead Poilievre. Clearly the Neocon Ministers for this area intervene only when it is in political best interest.

And of course, the same goes for the entire City Council – with the possible exception of Clive Doucet. My own Councillor, Peter Hume, used to be quite communicative and helpful to his constituents – where have you gone Peter????

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