Thursday, December 19, 2013

Worth Reading - December 19, 2013

The decade of darkness is a line used to describe the military cuts and shortfalls experienced by the Canadian military under the Chretien Liberals. It is fitting then that Jon Ivison uses the same language to describe the deep cuts impacting Canada’s foreign service. As Ivison puts it, “But is all this activity motivated by a desire to protect hard-working Canadian taxpayers, as the government claims? Or is it a short-sighted and politically motivated fire sale, designed to help the Conservatives balance the books?” 

Chantal H├ębert writes that Mulcair and the NDP need to focus on Ontario if they hope to form government in 2015. 

I think this story shows a microcosm of what is happening in Toronto. Rob Ford’s crassly partisan paragraph in a standard correspondence has been altered to more neutral language over his protests.

Jon Lorinc writes about the current state of politics in Toronto and calls on the voting public and candidates to embrace strategic voting to get Ford out of office when the next election comes in October.

Bruce Hyer (GPC – Thunder Bay-Superior North, ON) changed party affiliations from independent to Green this week. Hyer was initially elected in 2011 as a New Democrat, but had a falling out with the party in 2012. I cannot blame Mr. Hyer, and I find the vitriol of some New Democrats on this very unsettling. I really like the Elizabeth May and the Greens, so I understand Hyer’s switch. As an independent he had common cause with May on several issues. 

In the “There’s something wrong here” category, Ontario’s ombudsman reported that municipalities are addicted to secrecy. Many local governments are improperly using in-camera and excluding public oversight of council meetings. 

A think tank has come forward with criticisms of Metrolinx’s proposal to improve transit in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. I found this a tad frustrating because the desperate need to improve transit is constantly hindered by hemming and hawing over specifics. My general opinion is that investment and construction should have begun years ago, but they raise interesting points about a few of the Toronto projects. 

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