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Canadian Politics

It’s All About Justin …

Justin-Trudeau-and-his-wife-Sophie-Gregoire

Courtesy: CBC.CA Online

Newly elected Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau took to the stage before a crowd of over 1,000 supporters with a message of unity and hope with an eye to the next election in 2015.

Trudeau acknowledged expectations are high and in an effort to rally Liberals of all stripes said, “I don’t care if you thought my father was a great or arrogant.”

“It doesn’t matter to me if you were a Chretien-Liberal, a Turner-Liberal, a Martin-Liberal or any other kind of Liberal. The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, tonight.”

Trudeau was elected through a preferential ballot based on a points system that gave each of the 308 ridings in the country 100 points for a total of 30,800 points.

Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was elected on the first round with 24,668 points — he only needed to obtain 50 per cent plus one, or a total of 15,401 points.

Well Done Justin.


Kathleen Wynne declared Ontario Liberal leader, province’s next premier

2013-01-27T020213Z_1552457971_GM1E91R0RO301_RTRMADP_3_CANADA

The New First Female Premier of Ontario is also the first LGBT Premier making her a very important and one of the most powerful Lesbians in the world…

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By | Canada Politics

Kathleen Wynne has been declared the winner of the Ontario Liberal leadership convention Saturday evening and will now become Ontario’s first female premier.

Wynne rallied support from party faithfuls through the day after entering the convention in second place. She pulled within two votes of the lead on the first ballot, behind only former provincial representative Sandra Pupatello.

The 10-year Member of Provincial Parliament, who held several cabinet positions during Dalton McGuinty’s time in power, celebrated diversity and inclusivity during her leadership campaign. She worked to position herself as a Liberal leader, and premier, who could take on Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives and NDP in the next general election.

“This is going to be a great government and we are going to build on the legacy of Dalton. We are going to build on the work that Dalton McGuinty has done over the last nine years,” Wynne said after being declared the next party leader.

Wynne was always at or near the front of the pack during the leadership race. Early numbers placed her among the leaders of a crowded list of candidates and she picked up the support of exiting Glen Murray at what seemed to be a pivotal moment.

The balance tilted further in her favour when Dr. Eric Hoskins, the first candidate removed from the ballot, threw his support in her direction. By the time the first round of voting was counted on Saturday, Wynne had caught up and sat in a virtual tie for lead, with just two votes separating her from Pupatello.

Still, Pupatello picked up an early endorsement from resigning candidate Harinder Takhar. She extended her lead in the second round of voting. But the surge was short lived.

Remaining candidates Charles Sousa and Gerard Kennedy pulled out of the contest and endorsed Wynne. A final woman-against-woman vote was held, but the writing was already on the wall.

Kathleen Wynne was declared Ontario Liberal Party leader after beating Pupatello 1150 delegate votes to 866 votes on the final, third, ballot. She will be sworn in as premier at a later date.

“Ms. Wynne has the best chance of being able to renew the party the way it has to be done,” Kennedy told Yahoo! Canada News. “I am hopeful she will make the changes that will get Ontarians interested, and eventually really enthusiastic about a new Liberal approach.

“She is a premier people will relate to in the sense of someone who pays very close attention to people. She respects and loves working with people, and she is going to be able to put together a different kind of agenda.”


Trudeau enters Liberal leadership race

Justin Trudeau made his bid for the federal Liberal leadership official Tuesday evening, confirming weeks of speculation and taking the next step along a path set by his father some 44 years ago.

The 40-year-old Montreal MP broke the announcement in a YouTube video posted to his website, and then minutes later at a rally in his Papineau riding, after his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, introduced him to the crowd.

“I love this great country; I want to spend my life serving it,” Trudeau said.

“This is why tonight I am offering myself for the leadership of the Liberal party of Canada.”

Trudeau said the road to success will be “one long, Canadian highway.”

“We will have ups and downs, breathtaking vistas and a few boring stretches. And with winter coming, icy patches. But we will match the size of this challenge with hard, honest work.”

He said he decided to announce his leadership candidacy on Tuesday because that would have been his late brother Michel’s 37th birthday. Michel was killed in an avalanche in 1998 while skiing in British Columbia.

Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has shown a knack for capturing the excitement surrounding his father’s legacy and mixing it with his own telegenic charm.

The idea of Trudeau following his father’s footsteps into 21 Sussex Drive has been around nearly his entire life. But Trudeau’s famous surname was noticeably absent at Tuesday night’s rally – the red background behind him was emblazoned only with his first name.

Trudeau said he wants to reconnect the Liberal Party with ordinary people across Canada, especially the middle class.

“A thriving middle class provides realistic hope and a ladder of opportunity for the less fortunate — a robust market for our businesses, and a sense of common interest for all,” he said.

He added that the Conservatives and the New Democrats have not responded well to Canadians’ economic struggles over the last few years.

“What’s the response from the NDP? To sow regional resentment and blame the successful. The Conservative answer? Privilege one sector over others and promise that wealth will trickle down, eventually,” Trudeau said.

“Both are tidy ideological answers to complex and difficult questions. The only thing they have in common is that they are both, equally, wrong.”

At a brief news conference after his announcement, Trudeau said he’s running for Liberal leadership “because I believe in an option that is not polarized around the edges, that is not bound to an ideology but is looking for the best possible ways…to serve all Canadians.”

Trudeau was born on Christmas Day in 1971, while his father was in the early years of his time as prime minister.

He became a high school teacher before running for parliament in 2008. He elected to run in the hotly-contested riding of Papineau, rather than the Montreal riding of Outremont, at the time considered a Liberal safety net.

Trudeau then survived the NDP wave that swept across Quebec in the 2011 election, increasing his margin of victory.

Trudeau, a father of two small children, is one of the Liberal Party’s brightest stars, drawing crowds to fundraisers, as well as participating in a charity boxing match earlier this year, at which he beat Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.

For all his success, however, criticism remains that Trudeau has not been challenged on his vision or position on key issues.

Many critics say that no one even knows what Trudeau’s views are on major economic and foreign policy matters.

But his campaign adviser, Desiree McGraw, said Trudeau will be an effective, “pragmatic” leader who can engage Canadians of all generations, especially the youth.

“There is no part of this country that is off limits,” she said of Trudeau’s reach on CTV’s Power Play Tuesday night.

As for the Trudeau legacy, “Justin is his own man,” McGraw said. “He has proven that.”

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has already said he will not be vying for the party’s top job.

So far, constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne — who is the mother of Justin Trudeau’s half-sister Sarah — has announced she is running for the leadership position.

Manitoba paramedic Shane Geschiere and economist Jonathon Mousley have also gone public with their intentions to seek the top job.

Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc was also reportedly interested in leading the party, but sources have told CTV’s Roger Smith that Leblanc will likely support Trudeau instead.

Among those who are said to be considering throwing their hats in the ring are MP and former astronaut Marc Garneau, Vancouver MP Joyce Murray and former leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.

The Liberal leadership campaign officially gets underway in mid-November.

Trudeau is expected to make appearances in Calgary, Richmond, B.C., and the Toronto area in the coming days.

With files from The Canadian Press


Election Night in Quebec …

What can I say about today? I voted. And I voted for the CAQ candidate in our riding. Our riding is a heavy Liberal riding and it stayed that way. I saw lots of people out there voting all day today especially in Westmount.

I am going to repost this from a friend because he has the pulse of this issue and I don’t have the knowledge to paint this picture correctly.

CTV called a: Parti Quebecoise Minority 9:21 p.m. This may change later on tonight, I will update it as needed.

Lifted from Written Inc – Carmy Levy

As I write this, voters in Quebec – where I was born and raised – are casting ballots in the provincial election that, in all likelihood, will spell the end of the rule of the Liberal Party and its leader, Jean Charest, after 9 years. If you don’t live there, I know what it means to you: meh. If you’re Canadian, however, it could mean the beginning of yet another chapter of game-playing with our country’s future.

I’m going to way-oversimplify this, so forgive me in advance. Here goes: Quebec is the only province in Canada where the majority of residents speak French as a first language. Long-festering feelings that the rest of primarily-English Canada treated them like second-class citizens gave rise to the separatist movement, spearheaded largely by the Parti Quebecois political party. They first came to power in 1976, under leader Rene Levesque, on a platform of separating the province from Canada, their way of preserving the French language and culture in a North American milieu.

Yes or No

The PQ has held two referendums on sovereignty since then – in 1980 and in 1995 – and in both cases voters said, no, they wanted to remain in Canada. They’ve voted the PQ and Liberals into office sequentially since 1976, and every time the PQ takes over, fears of yet another run at leaving Canada surface.

Throughout the current campaign, PQ leader Pauline Marois hasn’t exactly endeared herself to members of minority groups, and has made it fairly clear that the French majority makes the rules. To wit, here’s a fairly typical gem of hers:

“It is the responsibility of everyone that wishes to call Quebec their home to learn and assimilate the local culture, not replace it with their own.”

Lovely. And this in a province where the schools your children may attend are determined by what language the parents were educated in, and where they are from. And stores are only allowed to post signs in the official language of French (Canada’s bilingual, remember) and, if they violate the language laws, the so-called Language Police swoop down and charge them. Where a province crippled like all others with the modern vices of too much demand and too few resources spends billions on legislating language and prosecuting violators.

The exodus continues

My wife and I – both fluently bilingual, and she’s a French teacher – eventually grew tired of the cultural, language and borderline-xenophobic games, and finally left soon after the 1995 referendum. Of my high school class, the vast majority have left, as well. Montreal was once a city of boundless opportunity, a cosmopolitan city of the future. After the PQ swept to power, waves of well educated anglophones headed west, primarily to Toronto. Head offices of major corporations and the country’s top banks soon followed. If you ever wonder why Toronto became the business hub of the country, now you know. I’m not sure they ever sent a thank you card, though.

We decided we wanted to live in a place where the priority was building businesses, building communities, and raising families. The endless political, language and cultural wars became tiresome for us. And I suspect another generation of folks just like us is already getting ready to call the real estate agent, book the moving van and get the hell out of Dodge. Or whatever the Pequistes choose to call it from here on out.

Unfortunately for those who escape, Quebec’s inability to get with the program – or to willingly work with the rest of Canada to address its persistent feelings of being left out – sucks the life out of the rest of the country, too. Political uncertainty destabilizes not just the Quebec economy, but the national one. It discourages foreign investment and diverts resources away from the issues and projects that will benefit citizens the most. Many Canadians, fed up with Quebec’s generational tantrums, have stated publicly they’d like to be rid of the province entirely. Unfortunately, separation would throw the entire economy into a tailspin – as if it isn’t there, already.

Back to the brink

Anyway, apologies for the ramble. Tonight, the PQ stands poised to kick the Liberals out of office. Mind you, the Liberals, dogged by persistent corruption scandals and a grinding protest by students against tuition hikes, didn’t do themselves any favours. Like the good politicians they were and are, the pig-at-the-trough mentality eventually caught up with them. But as we once again listen to voters justify their choice by saying they didn’t vote FOR the PQ as much as they voted AGAINST the Liberals, I can’t help but think that the subtlety of democracy is completely lost on them. After all, what you’re thinking matters little once you’ve let the wolf in the door. The wolf doesn’t much care why you let him in, and will proceed to happily do whatever it is that wolves do best.

Vive le Quebec libre, indeed. What an unbelievable waste of political capital. And what a sad comment on an entire society’s inability to do what it needs to do to keep pace with the rest of the continent. While they bicker over perceived slights to their beloved language and culture, Rome – or in this case, Montreal, or Quebec City, or virtually any other city in a place that could have and should have had it all – burns.


May is over …

Courtesy: Wrestlingisbest

It is Thursday night, on the last night in May and the month of June is almost upon us. The week have been eventful, as I have written. Hubby’s 40th birthday will fall on the 6th, and he is trying to forget it is coming. No parties, no gifts no mention of the BIG 40 !!! I have to explain what it means to turn 40 and what happens next. He isn’t very happy about turning 40, at all …

*** *** *** ***

Do you shop on EBAY?

When you search an item, and you find one you like, do you automatically bid or buy that item without reading the item description fully? No ???

I put an item up for sale last week and the item was damaged when I bought it. I never used it and it sat in a box under my dining room table from the time I bought it until the time I put it up for sale.

The one thing I did not do was put up a picture of the minor damage to the item so bidders could see what I was talking about. But that is not the issue here. I wrote up my item specifically. I duly noted the damage and all that information was up on the front page.

A bidder in Ontario found my listing and he bid on the item, and he subsequently won said item. He didn’t read the item description – he didn’t know about the damage to the item, and then he paid for said item and I shipped it to him. When it arrived 2 days ago, he freaked out opening a case for a refund because item did not match the description. He wrote that I tried to rip him off, when he clearly did not read the item properly or at all.

(HAD he READ the description-He would have known right?)

He made a fuss, and opened a case against me and had the audacity to request a refund, which was my policy, if you aren’t pleased with your item, in this case, I would refund your purchase price. He said I didn’t note properly. I replied to him that he could not read correctly. Which he didn’t read at all.

I address the box, with the delivery address and my return address on the front of the box. Then he writes me and tells me that he can’t find my return address,

( WHICH IS ON THE FRONT OF THE FUCKING BOX !!!) IDIOT !!!

So he fucked up my Paypal account. Only the day before I deposited all my sales profits into my bank account and now I had to pull over a hundred dollars from my bank account to cover the negative balance over on PayPal. EBAY warned me not to refund his money till the item arrives back here. But I want to make a purchase, on a pair of running shoes for my marathon training and I have this god damned issue hanging over my account now. I just want to get it over with, I am waiting for the money to transfer and as soon as that happens I am going to just bite the bullet, knowing this asshole re-mailed the item back to me from Ontario, it will get here next week.

I HATE STUPID PEOPLE !!!

I have two other items up for sale. And I have to tell you that for the most part people are smart and intelligent. But for some cases I get some of the most stupid questions from people, you’d think, DID YOU READ THE POSTED INFO?

IDIOTS !!! ALL IDIOTS !!!

*** *** *** ***

On Wednesday I went to the mall because I wanted to see what retail had to offer in the form of running shoes, price and style wise. And I have to say that the choices were slim running. I walked into the store and was standing in the shoe department, and a young man was helping some folks, clearly Francophone.

I waited. He helped more people who walked over there in front of me, once again, clearly Francophone. He was very chatty and helpful. I stood up from where I was sitting and he walked over to me, and I opened the conversation, no less, in English. He didn’t seem interested in helping me. I asked to see two shoes and he brought me one. He didn’t wait to help me. He went over to help other folks who were standing there.

The shoes were pricey. I told him that I was going to take them and I walked towards the cash. Then I decided not to take them because I had this invoice action against me and I carried the shoes back to him and handed him the box. Then I came home.

I found a much cheaper and more stylish pair on EBAY which is sitting on my watch list at the moment. And as soon as I clear this open case, I can make a clear purchase.

*** *** *** ***

Grasshopper asked me to write him an attestation letter for a legal matter he is taking care of and so this morning I was up with the birdies to go to the morning meeting, it was a business meeting day for the group, I sat outside until they were through.

The topic this morning was:

… Our society has concluded that it has but one high mission – to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.

Twelve and Twelve pg. 151

Page  151 in the 12 and 12  is right at the beginning of the 5th tradition.

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

I was sitting in my chair with Madame bijoux on my right and grasshopper on my left. The chair opened the floor to sharing and I waited. When it got to grasshopper he opens his mouth and it was like he went into my brain and took the words right out of my mind… And I said under my breath, you stole my topic … and we all laughed.

The reading centered around serving others. That’s when the tie to the 5th tradition comes up. It being May and all. I commented that it was when I learned how to put the needs of another before my own, was when I became an adult. And so it goes, You can’t help someone if you are self serving, selfish or self centered. And I’ve learned long and hard that if I want it, I have to give it away.

Grasshopper and I got to Micky D’s for breakfast after the meeting which was a nice treat. He dropped me back home and I farted around until it was time for my disco nap with hubby.

It has been a quiet night. The air is cool outside. It was cloudy for a while and sprinkled here and there, but the clouds have blown away. There is more rain in the forecast for the weekend.

Many people are still mopping up from Tuesday’s flooding. And a lot of those people are getting screwed by insurance companies because the city is to blame for the sewers not working correctly therefore all these homes and businesses got flooded and cars got wrecked by flood water. And the city is not taking the blame very nicely. They are calling it an act of God, not a city wide maintenance issue. It isn’t fair.

*** *** *** ***

The student negotiations with the government failed tonight and so the strike and protests will continue as usual. The Grand Prix set for next weekend was targeted by Anonymous and they hacked the payment website and posted all their information online. And threats went out to those coming to Montreal to beware and to be prepared for protests and marching would take place during the Grand Prix.

This isn’t good. The government did not rise to the occasion, but paid lip service to the student negotiators, and the Premier did not get directly involved, as he was requested to do so, so that tells us that Jean Charest was in no way going to sit down and negotiate this settlement the way he should have.

There is a call for an election in the next 13 months. I say sooner than later, let’s get this guy out of office and do what is right for the city and the students. Because it is only going to get ugly once tourists start coming for summer festivals and events. Tourism is going to take a huge hit now. The city is going to get screwed in the long run.

*** *** *** ***

Tomorrow is Friday, hopefully I can take care of my Ebay issue and do some shopping and sort that fuck up out. We shall see. Other than that, there is nothing on the books for the weekend yet.

And that’s the kind of week it’s been. More to come, stay tuned …


The Largest Act of Civil Disobedience in Canadian History

Courtesy: Philmphoto

Daily Kos – Online Article Listing

The TroubadourFollow for Writing by David Harris Gershon

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks.

Massive crowds engulfed downtown Montreal this afternoon, marking the 100th day of student strikes and protests sparked (in part) by Quebec’s plan to raise tuition by 82 percent on May 22.

While estimates ranged wildly – from 100,000 to 500,000 in the streets – the number is less significant than the civil disobediencethat has thrust Montreal into the global revolution spotlight.

Authorities in Quebec, trying to counter the protests that have raged for over two months, passed “emergency” legislation last Friday that suspended the winter semester and effectively made protesting illegal. (The legislation, or Bill 78, stipulates that groups of 50 or more gathering must submit itineraries to the authorities in advance or be deemed illegal.)

Students and citizens in Montreal responded to the draconian legislation by streaming into the streets and defying Bill 78 in record numbers today. While the protests have been led by the significant student population in Montreal, the protests today contained cross-sections of the population.

Noting one of the more visible and noisy marches of the day, which was gatherings of both the young and old banging on pots and pans, Steve Faguy of The Gazette Tweeted the following:

I’ve covered quite a few protests. Never have I seen one that so resembled an actual popular uprising.

And writer Kris Holt had this to say regarding the emergent popular uprising:

Those on my street banging pots and pans are middle-aged or older. Much more than students now.

It seems that the legislature’s attempts to quell protesting in Montreal has had the opposite effect, as many today streamed into the streets specifically to defy the anti-protesting emergency legislation.

As one of the student leaders, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, stated today:

“We want to make the point that there are tens of thousands of citizens who are against this law who think that protesting without asking for a permit is a fundamental right,” he said, walking side-by-side with other protesters behind a large purple banner.“If the government wants to apply its law, it will have a lot of work to do. That is part of the objective of the protest today, to underline the fact that this law is absurd and inapplicable.”

Absurd indeed – and that absurdity seems to have awakened popular support for the students’ plight, support that has increased dramatically in recent weeks.

The global revolution has officially arrived in Canada. And with student strikes and protests set for the summer, and with more of Montreal’s citizenry falling behind the students, it’s a revolution that may not be ending anytime soon.

Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Israel, New York City, Montreal…

…we are witnessing an historic global uprising, as peoples across the globe continue to rise up in numbers and demand their political rights, demand social justice, demand economic fairness.

It’s a struggle that is not just essential, but fundamentally human.


We … The First Word …

Courtesy: ChicagoTheatreBeat – A Separate Peace …

“WE” The First Word of the First Step …

It rained today. And amid all that rain, tens of thousands of people defied provincial law to march on the city once again today, and I hear through the grapevine that a march will happen again tonight marking the 100th day of the student uprising. And the plight of students here in Montreal has gone global, with support coming from far and wide around the world and on tv.

On Saturday night on SNL Arcade Fire wore the “Red Squares” on their shirts in support of the Quebec movement. If the authorities (read: Government) thought that Bill 78 was going to stop the marches -

they were terribly WRONG !!!

They not only thought wrong, they threw more fuel on the fire. We will see where the march tonight.

It was a dreary, blustery day today. And it doesn’t rain for very long, but comes in intervals and we got a good downpour just before the meeting started.

But the day began with me carting two huge boot boxes down the the post office to get weighed and rated for shipment come Friday when my auctions end, and it was raining this morning on and off. Then I had to cart them back upstairs, what a pain in the ass.

I knew that thousands of people were gathering at 2 pm this afternoon, and I was afraid that the marchers would get to our end of the city before I got out of the house, One doesn’t want to get held hostage by marchers in the street. I got out of the house early, just to avoid getting caught up in the throng.

On the way out, I checked the mail, as usual, and stopped at the bulletin board to read the announcements and I was pleasantly surprised to see a baby announcement from our building manager. Now I see her every day, sitting behind her desk, but I haven’t seen her stand up in a while, so I stopped in the office to congratulate her and she was not only pregnant, she was VERY pregnant. And I missed it all this while. So she is off for a year’s maternity leave starting in a couple of weeks. We’ve lived here more than ten years now, and it will be joyous to welcome a new baby to the building.

Set up was a breeze and it rained so you never know how many people are going to come to the meeting in the rain … If it rains, people don’t show up, If it is -20c out, people don’t show up, and If it is 40c outside, people don’t show up …

That’s the facts about our meeting. Depending on the way the wind blows, people either come or they don’t. We sat 40 folks tonight. One of our young men was in the chair for the first time so he went with the Daily Reflections. And today’s reflection was all about the word “WE.”

Stuck in my disease – it was always about me. But not really about me. Living with HIV put me in a very specific hole in life. After your friends and family ditch you, what do you have left, Yourself…

I was living alone. I had very few friends. Nobody knew the misery I was sitting in for so long. And nobody would know, because I kept it to myself. There was nobody there to notice that I existed. Nobody to point out the hole I was in, lest they get in the hole with me. I drank in a big, loud, dark, room with hundreds of other people – and I was alone …

It was by the grace of God and the persistence of a young man named Troy, who came into my life at the right moment, when I was ready to hear the message and the invitation to come back. I prayed for those words to be spoken, I asked God for those words to come, and they did.

I went to one meeting to see Troy get his year cake. Nobody noticed me. Queers in recovery can be as clueless as they are in the bar. So I waited for the next meeting at 10 that night, and a woman came up to me and greeted me and asked me to join them all in the meeting. Fonda took me by the hand and welcomed me into that meeting.

I was no longer alone …

I never took another drink. I was lucky to be in that “we” group. We went to dinner, We went to the beach, We went to meal after meal after meal together. We did things together every night and I was never alone again. And that is the spirit that carried me to Montreal some months later.

And ten years and some months later I am still part of that “WE” effort.

It was a good night, and the skies are clearing up, the temperature went down drastically, when we came outside the hall after the meeting it was very blustery and cool. Great sleeping weather. The helicopters are buzzing our neighborhood which means marchers are getting close.

Hopefully – nobody gets hurt we’ll see …

Goodnight from Montreal.


And things in Montreal are not good …

Courtesy: Noneedtoaskmyname

The Premier and the legislature in Quebec City tabled a new law, Bill 78. The debate lasted all night Thursday night and into Friday evening. And because of the Liberal Majority, the bill passed and became law.

  • The school year has been shut down, in opt for a return in August to give protesters time to relax and regroup and calm down.
  • There is a ban on numbers of protesters that can gather to protest (sounds like Professor Umbridge is running things in Quebec City).
  • Student groups larger than 50 people are banned ( A very Snape move)
  • Here in Montreal, masks have been outlawed for all protestors.
  • Steep fines will be imposed on students who protest($1,000 to $5,000 for individuals), and even steeper fines upwards of $125,000 for student unions who support such protests or protestors.
  • This is all set to allow student access to class and to keep protestors from blocking or picketing campuses and classrooms.

This is all supposed to STOP the nightly protest marches. Well, that did not go over very well here in Montreal tonight as Tens of Thousands of students marched in the streets once again tonight, tossing bottles, rocks and Molotov cocktails at police which deemed the protest illegal.

A group of protestors marched from our end of town through the core to the east end of the city with at least twenty cop cars following them from behind.

With the summer festival season upon us the first big week up first is the Grand Prix of Montreal. This multi- million dollar event will bring much needed tourism and money to the city come the beginning of June, and all we need is some nasty marchers to disrupt the party from within.

These nightly marches are steeped in more than just protests against tuition being raised over the next five years and I don’t begin to know all the facets of all of what is going on. But all this violence needs to be stopped.

Montrealer’s want their city back. Over the last 14 weeks, one never knows where one can go safely because of nightly marches from one end of the city to another. And because of the violent aspect of these demonstrations, the downtown core has been hit very hard and it is time for us to take back our streets once and for all.

All this blocking of schools, stoppage of traffic, blocking of tunnels, bridges and the metro system, we have all had enough. If these kids keep it up, they are going to pay in huge ways after tonight. It has been said by some on television that these kids are not fully thinking through their actions, because once you get arrested and it goes on your record, the rest of your life is fucked.

They say that this has been the darkest day in Quebec in recent memory, when the government passed draconian laws to stop the protestors and bring order to the city. Student groups and as well, groups in the National Assembly are up in arms and students vow to break the law until they end the new law legally or the government concedes to the wishes and negotiations of student groups.

It does not bode well for Montreal. But it remains to be seen just how much force will be meted out for protestors come the weekend. 14 weeks of protests have not abated in any way and today’s law passage has only fired up the base into furious responses. Students are mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take what the Premier has set down for them.

So it will be a battle of wills here – may the best man win.

This also does not bode well for the Premier with a looming election coming not far off into the future. Charest may have dealt his death blow to the province of Quebec in Bill 78 to cull the protests at their heart, but he may loose big when the next election is called. Students vote and tonight they made their voices clear, they will remember tonight come the next election.

*** *** *** ***

Nothing else exciting is going on here. I hit St. Matthias last night and it was an ok meeting, but I zoned out halfway through the speaker. Another old timer, gone slipping story. They are coming a dime a dozen lately.

I got all my grades for the semester and I aced all my finals. I also aced my final paper on Colony Collapse Syndrome for Geography and it got a great review. So the grades are in, I am finished for the term. No more writing papers or going to class… YAY !!!

It is the weekend. We’ll see what happens and if we partake in weekend events in the city. Say a prayer for us, we sure need it right now.

Goodnight from Montreal.

 

 


Montreal mayor livid over metro smoke bomb attacks

McGill Metro Station – Green Line – Montreal

The Mayor is pissed, the Premier is pissed and Montrealer’s are getting pissed as well. Who’s to blame for this action today? Nobody is sure. But these kids are adamant and just hitting their stride. This could go on for months. I’ve seen marches like this before, and once a movement gets galvanized, there is little that they can do about it unless the authorities get drastic and the government moves its ass and changes their tune …

The summer festivals will begin soon and the city doesn’t want this taint on our city, nor do we residents. Somethings got to give, and give soon, or else Montreal is at the mercy of the angry student movement.

CBCNEWS.CA

Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay is urging people to “take back their city” after a series of smoke bombs paralyzed the public metro system, sending the island’s transit service into chaos at the peak of rush hour.

“No cause, legitimate or not, can justify any criminal action that jeopardizes public security,” a livid-looking Tremblay told reporters at a news conference.

Although the attacks haven’t been directly linked to ongoing student protests, Tremblay also urged students and politicians to get back to the negotiating table to settle their tuition dispute, and restore civil order.

(more…)


NDP chooses mercurial Mulcair as spear carrier of official Opposition

The Canadian PressBy Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press

TORONTO – New Democrats opted Saturday for a rhetorical spear carrier over an ideological puritan, selecting mercurial Thomas Mulcair to carry the official Opposition into electoral battle against Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Mulcair, a combative former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister, won the NDP leadership on a fourth ballot, besting longtime party strategist Brian Topp in a contest that severely strained the party’s self-styled tolerance.

A perceived centrist who was once wooed by Harper’s Tories, Mulcair overcame loud complaints that he would abandon social democratic principles in the pursuit of power — a federal pursuit that New Democrats can now truly taste for the first time in their 50-year history.

In the end, a party now dominated by its come-lately orange wave in Quebec went with its star candidate in that province to replace the late Jack Layton, whose sudden death from cancer last August staggered New Democrats just weeks after their spring electoral breakthrough.

Mulcair claimed 57.2 per cent of the vote in the final, head-to-head showdown with Topp on Saturday’s fourth and final ballot.

Mulcair assumes the role of leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition when the House of Commons resumes Monday after a one-week break.

The experienced legislative sparring partner was the candidate most New Democrats conceded was best prepared to hit the ring swinging. He’ll be put immediately to the test when the Conservatives bring down their first budget as a majority government this Thursday.

“Thomas is fearless, Thomas is organized,” NDP MP Charlie Angus said Saturday after his first choice, Paul Dewar, dropped out following the first ballot. “He’s one of the strongest MPs we’ve seen in the House of Commons and he’s certainly a match for Stephen Harper.”

Topp, a close Layton confidant and the first candidate to enter the race just three weeks after his death, fell 8,542 votes short on the final ballot against Mulcair.

He vowed to work with the new leader in a united front against the Conservatives.

Topp had earlier defended his decision to force the final ballot, rather than concede, even after it was clear he could not win.

“I think it’s fit and proper to let the party decide who the leader is and to not have the appearance that it was arranged,” said Topp.

Dark-horse contender Nathan Cullen, written off at the start of the race last fall after proposing co-operation with the Liberals, made it to the final three and cemented his role as a rising star in the party.

Cullen said his strong showing in the contest proves there’s an appetite for co-operating with Liberals.

“Change is in the wind, my friend,” he said. “I think anybody who (thought) New Democrats aren’t open to the ideas of change was obviously mistaken.”

Peggy Nash was eliminated following Saturday’s second ballot, while Paul Dewar, Martin Singh and Niki Ashton all dropped out after the morning’s initial vote.

Mulcair, Cullen, Nash and Dewar are among the NDP’s best parliamentary performers and their long absences on the leadership campaign trail have not helped the official Opposition consolidate its role.

Their return next week should reinvigorate a Commons already boiling with political controversy over allegations of election fraud and the prospect of a ground-shifting federal budget.

The NDP’s weekend leadership showcase, however, was drained of much of its excitement and vigour Saturday by a series of technical delays with the online voting system — although the source of the delay did add a minor element of intrigue.

Party president Rebecca Blaikie confirmed two IP addresses had been isolated as the source of cyber-attacks that appeared designed to slow entry into the system, effectively gumming up the works but not impairing the vote.

“Whoever this is or whatever it came from, their goal was simply to make it a pain to get into our site, to make it harder for people to vote, to block it up with a lot of traffic,” Blaikie said.

Whatever the cause, Mulcair’s victory wasn’t confirmed until late Saturday evening — timing the party had scrupulously planned to avoid.

That wasn’t the only come-down for New Democrats.

The day’s biggest ballot topped out at 65,108 voters, a less than 50 per cent turnout from a party membership that swelled to over 131,000 during the leadership campaign.

About 56,000 people had voted in advance of the convention.

Under the preferential ballot system, in which voters ranked their choices first to last, those 56,000 votes were locked in for all subsequent ballots and couldn’t be influenced by floor-crossing endorsements.

None of the vanquished candidates except Singh — who, as expected, went with Mulcair — chose to publicly endorse another contender.

As it transpired, key endorsements weren’t required.

Mulcair’s high profile in Quebec helped him maintain his status as the candidate to beat. Once a western-based protest party, the NDP’s world has revolved around Quebec since last May’s election, when an unexpected Layton-led wave swept the province and vaulted the party into official Opposition status for the first time in its 50-year history.

As the lone Quebec MP in the hunt, Mulcair made a powerful case as the standard-bearer for a party in which 58 of its current 102 seats came from his home province. Mulcair was the lone New Democrat among those 58 Quebec MPs who held his seat before last May’s federal election.

He has also caused divisions, however, among social democrats who believe he’ll turn the party into a pale imitation of the more centrist Liberals.

Elder party statesman Ed Broadbent lambasted Mulcair as temperamentally ill-suited to leadership in an extraordinary public broadside just two weeks before the convention. Jack Layton’s mother Doris endorsed Topp in the final week.

None of it could stop Mulcair.


We want a Canadian Divorce please !!! Update 13Jan12

Courtesy: Flickr 21lau_z

What a bru-ha-ha it has been today.

Are you married or are you not? Does Canada acknowledge your marriage as legal and binding if you live elsewhere other than in Canada? Did the government nullify more than 15,000 gay marriages that have been performed in Canada since the law went into effect in 2004? The Government says it isn’t opening the marriage debate again, but what is it going to do with you all who want divorces???

This story is still evolving. From CTV News:

Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca

Date: Thu. Jan. 12 2012 11:30 PM ET

The federal government is considering changes to the law that will make it easier for foreign same-sex couples who married in Canada to obtain divorces, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday.

Nicholson also stressed the government has no intention of reopening the same-sex marriage debate after a day of confusion over the validity of marriage licences issued in Canada to same-sex couples from abroad.

Ottawa was pressed to clarify its position on gay marriage after an apparent about-face on the issue surfaced in a Toronto divorce case.

A lesbian couple who married in Canada seven years ago and recently filed for divorce was told by a Department of Justice lawyer that their marriage was not legal.

The stated reason was that because the partners live in Florida and England, where same-sex marriage remains illegal, their Canadian union was invalid too.

The case threw into question thousands of marriages non-residents entered into since 2004, when same-sex marriage became legal in Canada under a Liberal government.

In a statement, Nicholson said the issue centres on dissolution of marriages performed in Canada.

Non-resident couples who marry here must live in Canada for one year before they can legally divorce. The lesbian couple at the centre of the controversy has launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Nicholson said he will be “looking at options to clarify the law so that marriages performed in Canada can be undone in Canada.”

In an interview with CTV’s Power Play, Nicholson’s parliamentary secretary Kerry-Lynne Findlay said the Canadian marriages of non-resident same-sex couples are legal in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had little to say Thursday other than relate his government’s reluctance to wade back into a same-sex marriage debate.

“We have no intention further of opening or reopening this issue,” Harper told reporters gathered for a shipbuilding agreement announcement in Halifax.

“This, I gather, is a case before the courts where Canadian lawyers have taken particular positions based on the law. But I will be asking officials to provide me more details with this particular case.”

Opposition parties and critics quickly weighed in on the issue, accusing the prime minister of trying to rewrite Canada’s same-sex marriage laws “in stealth.”

In a statement, Egale Canada, a human rights organization advocating equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, called the apparent flip-flop “a direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad.”

If the federal lawyer’s arguments in the Toronto divorce case are a misunderstanding, Harper should make that clear, NDP MP Olivia Chow said.

With files from Kieron Lang and The Canadian Press

We shall see where this story goes. It was all over the news tonight. All those people came to Canada to get married and have that joyous moment in their lives. And now I fear that we are beginning to see just how long those marriages lasted, as this is probably not the last divorce case we will see come from abroad.

I mused earlier that you came all this way to get married, and you spent all that money on that day. And now you want a divorce. What to do??? They say in gay circles that lesbians mate for life. I guess that’s not really true any more.

I guess you all got caught up in the woo hoo about being able to get married so you came here and cashed in your relationship chips for a marriage license.

From Wiki:

Six state governments (along with the District of Columbia, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish tribe) have passed laws offering same-sex marriage: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In all six states, same-sex marriage has been legalized through legislation or court ruling. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since May 17, 2004; in Connecticut since November 12, 2008;[13] in Iowa since April 27, 2009; in Vermont since September 1, 2009; New Hampshire since January 1, 2010; and New York since July 24, 2011.In 2009, New England became the center of an organized push to legalize same-sex marriage, with four of the six states in that region granting same-sex couples the legal right to marry.

And now couples are starting to figure out that they really don’t want to be married any more. And we could speculate on just what the reasons are that a couple would want a dissolution of marriage.

As good gays and lesbians we are supposed to show up the heterosexuals and prove to them that we can marry and stay together longer and truer than our straight counterparts.

Marriage in celebrity circles has become a mockery and a joke. What have they done to the institution of marriage for all of us ???

This whole push to legalize gay marriage nationwide in the United States is going to come up eventually in the campaign race. They just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but rest assured those Christians who want to see us damned are going to make sure their chosen candidate does all he can to stop gay marriage from being passed across the rest of the 44 states.

Why did you come here and get married then gone home with that little piece of paper, that got all dusty and forsaken. And now you want a divorce. What a waste. It is very sad to see couples separate for any reason. I just hope it was a good reason and not something stupid like, “oh well, we thought we’d get in on the excitement and really when we came to think about it, we really did not want to abide by our wedding vows, till death do us part …”

So now we want a Canadian divorce because we got a made in Canada marriage.

I Don’t think Canada prepared for this contingency in hindsight.

*** *** *** ***

Ottawa will change law so same sex marriages are valid: Nicholson. 

By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press
 13 January 2012

TORONTO – The federal justice minister says the government will change the law to ensure gay couples from abroad who marry in Canada will have their unions recognized here.

Rob Nicholson says it’s the government’s view that these marriages “should be valid.”

“We will change the Civil Marriage Act so that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada,” Nicholson said Friday during a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.

Doubts were raised about the validity of thousands of marriages conducted in Canada for same-sex couples from the United States and elsewhere following a federal twist in a Charter of Rights case launched in Ontario by two foreign women seeking a divorce.

A legal brief filed by federal lawyers denies the women are even legally married.

Critics accused Stephen Harper’s Conservative government of seeking to rewrite the rules on gay marriage to suit its right-wing agenda.

In announcing the government would change the law, Nicholson said Friday that “the confusion and pain resulting from this gap … is completely unfair to those affected.”

Liberal Leader Bob Rae, speaking to reporters at the party’s policy convention in Ottawa, responded to Nicholson by lamenting, “Oh please, give me a break.”

“These guys specialize in trying to turn the tables,” Rae said of the Harper Conservatives.

“The only gap is the gap between the heads of Conservative cabinet ministers who have failed to live up the best and finest traditions of Canada with respect to our positions of tolerance,” Rae added.

The couple seeking a divorce, identified in court records only by initials to protect their privacy, were married in Toronto in December 2005 and separated two years ago. One lives in Clearwater, Fla., the other in London, England.

Their marriage is not recognized either in Florida or the United Kingdom. As a result, they are unable to obtain a divorce in their home cities.

The couple also faced a barrier to divorce in Ontario — a requirement that at least one of them live in the province for a year or more. They have launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.


Trudeau ‘undecided’ about Liberal leadership

Courtesy: CBC.ca

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau says he’s undecided about whether he wants to replace Michael Ignatieff as leader of their party following its historic defeat in Monday’s federal election.

The party’s disastrous results, which saw Prime Minister Stephen Harper secure a majority government and installed the NDP as the Official Opposition, cost Ignatieff his job.

Trudeau, one of only 34 re-elected Liberal MPs, said in an interview Wednesday on CBC News Network that the results were difficult to watch, but not entirely surprising. He said the Liberal party “has been in trouble for a number of years,” because it hasn’t been able to connect with Canadians.

“We saw this coming, although not this bad,” Trudeau said.

After being reduced from 77 to 34 seats, Ignatieff announced Tuesday that he is resigning as leader of the party. Ignatieff lost his seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. The Liberals will meet as a caucus next week and choose an interim leader to head the party until a leadership convention is held.

When asked if he’s interested in the job, Trudeau responded that he wants to see the Liberal party get strong again. “I’m undecided, to be bluntly honest. I don’t know whether me being leader is the answer,” he said.

Trudeau said that because of his name and the legacy associated with it through his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, “a lot of people are turning to me,” and that it “concerns” him.

“Because the work that needs to be done is work on the ground. It’s not going to be fixed by picking a cute leader or the right leader or whatever. It’s going to happen by us putting our nose to the grindstone and really, really leaning into it, and right now I’ve committed and I am committed to making sure that the Liberal Party does those things,” said Trudeau, who was first elected in 2008.

“I honestly don’t know if me as leader is something that would help the party or the country,” he said.

Trudeau said that with two young children, he would have to take his family into consideration when making any decision about going for the leadership.

“I’m not sure that I can be the leader I want to be and be the father I want to be at the same time at this point in my life,” he said.

Trudeau said among the challenges that lie ahead in rebuilding the Liberal party is fundraising, and he acknowledged that the Conservatives are far better at it than Liberals.

Rebuilding the party is going to be even more challenging with fewer MPs on Parliament Hill, he added. He also said that knowing 43 of his colleagues won’t be returning to Ottawa with him was one of the most difficult parts of Monday night.

He called their defeats a “collective failure.”

“We all failed together in making sure that our values, our vision for this country, which I know is shared by an awful lot of Canadians, but wasn’t chosen on election night,” he said.


Fallout …

Courtesy: Suitep

What an incredible few days it has been, on many fronts. What a weekend it was for Mr. President. A very gutsy man with balls of steel and a resolve just the same. Who knew from Adam what was going on in his head over the weekend seeing him traveling in the U.S. and yukking it up at the Correspondents dinner on Saturday night.

And who knew what Sunday would bring … I just cannot imagine.

I am sure that Mr. Obama’s stock has risen over the past few days. This kill shot was something that I think will translate into better numbers and even help him in the long run for re-election. At least I hope that is what happens. That’s all we need is for some jamokey republican asshole to win an election, God forbid.

At this point I think the White House is channeling some Ricky Ricardo when he says to Lucy “You got some ‘splainin to do!” Pakistan is not going to skate away with this gigantic intelligence flub. Someone was protecting Osama. Someone must have known he was there, I mean it’s pretty clear from all the information that has been released about this event.

*** *** *** ***

We have had a Royal Wedding, The beatification of John Paul II in Rome, the killing of Osama bin Laden and an election here in Canada. The fallout from the election is huge. The Orange wave came to Quebec and took the province by storm. There were incredible losses for the Bloq. The Bloq leader lost his seat in an upset, and in the end resigned from his position as party leader, not to mention the Bloq lost party status in the House of Parliament. You must have at least 12 seats to be afforded party status, and the Bloq lost in a bloodbath last night. So the Bloq is all but kaput. So much for that referendum.

Mr. Layton won a huge number of ridings here in Quebec. Many freshman young M.P’s are going to Ottawa, and we are so proud of the huge wins by the NDP. Not to mention with 102 seats won, for the first time in history the NDP wins the coveted title of Official Opposition Party in the commons. I mean the room went nuts when Jack Layton walked out to greet the party. My vote made a difference.

The Conservatives won a majority. As I have read on other blogs tonight, the earth did not shift on its axis, we will all survive this. And in the end we hope the government does what it said it will do. Canada needs to work to protect the people of Canada, we need more jobs, a secure financial sector and we need to solidify our place in the worlds eyes.

I questioned the ability of Mr. Ignatieff to win anything that’s why a lot of voters went with Jack. The Liberal party was decimated last night. The leader of the party as well, lost his seat and resigned from the party this morning. A leadership convention is coming. There is rumbling about Justin Trudeau, can he step up, if he is tapped as the heir apparent? Can the magic happen? Justin won’t say what he is going to do to that end just yet. At least he won his riding for the Liberal party, beating out the Bloq incumbent.

We saw history happen last night. The total collapse of the Bloq and the Liberal party. I heard it mentioned on the news coverage about Canada moving towards a two party system in Parliament. It seems the voters were over all the drama and political bullshit and we all voted for change and hope. The voters have spoken. Now the parties MUST rise to the occasion and do what they have been mandated to do.

A good chunk of Quebec went orange, with hints of red and blue here and there. Mr. Layton’s crop of young bloods have got some serious shoes to fill.

So much to look forwards to in the coming months.

*** *** *** ***

Here on the home front we are in the final weeks of classes. I have class tomorrow night and then a final and essay due on Thursday night, which I still have to write yet, then my final interview to come next week on the 9th.

It rained today. But numbers were nominal for the meeting. Lots of new faces and the conversation was nice and lively. We are pleased with what we have for today.

*** *** *** ***

So what do we know ???

  1. The Princess got her man
  2. Obama got Osama
  3. The NDP won big in Canada

Life goes on and we will all survive. The world is a safer place because the face and person of evil is dead and is floating at the bottom of the Arabian Sea, Thanks be to God.

The era of Osama is over.

Well Done Mr. President. We are so very proud of you…


The Time is Now to make a difference… VOTE

Courtesy: Namesakesuffix

Let us be the generation that takes back our country, that holds our government accountable, and that shows the rest of our great nation just how important Canadians are to one another.

We can no longer afford to sit back and let our government work itself out. In order to have a powerful democracy and to maintain our status as one of the best places to live in the world, we must become involved in our democracy. The democratic system is only as powerful as the citizens who participate in it—do not make the mistake of thinking you have power as a citizen without doing that fundamental thing that demonstrates that power: voting.

Tomorrow, stand on guard for your country. Don’t continue to let other people make your decisions for you. Vote for whichever party you like or go and scratch your vote in protest, but make sure that your voice is counted.

Vote.


Rainy Days and Tuesdays …

Courtesy: Mind-State

They say that it is supposed to rain and rain and rain some more. But they haven’t been very good at forecasting in recent days. The city was supposed to get a deluge of rain, but that didn’t happen. It’s just a little drizzly out, enough to make it dark and gloomy.

There is a hockey game tonight, so that affected tonight’s numbers. But still, we had a good turn out nonetheless. In the end the night turned out good. The new format is flourishing and there is money in the kitty to cover prudent reserve.

This is an odd month, because I have back to back shifts at the phones on Thursday (my 4th Thursday) and on Friday (my 5th Friday). I got a call from the DLP the other night for my Friday, before I got a call for my Thursday, and for a moment I thought I missed a shift, but I didn’t.

We are coming to the end of term at Dawson. Two more weeks and everything will be finished. I don’t have the term book for summer studies yet. I have a few things that have to get done in the next few days and a final project that I have yet to work on for French. (let us pray…)

The 2011 election campaign is in its final days and the push is on for all parties to get out the message. Facebook has been a crucial tool in getting the vote out and we are hoping that we get a good turnout at the polls this coming Monday.

If you’re a citizen and you can vote – there is no excuse for you not to vote. The very future of Canada hangs in the balance. People we have to vote. Voting is a privilege, exercise your right and get out there and vote. There are several mass media campaigns out there on Facebook, Twitter and online to get people to the polls next week. You Tube is active with all parties posting ads on the Tube.

That’s about it from here tonight.

I need to eat dinner and do some homework. Yay Homework …

More to come, stay tuned.


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