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Canada – East

Harper: Majority win turns page on ‘uncertainty’ CBC

Courtesy: CBC.ca

Canadian voters have delivered Conservative Leader Stephen Harper his first majority government after five years of governing in a minority situation, with the 41st election bringing a dramatic and unpredicted realignment to the country’s political landscape.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton will now become Official Opposition leader and replace Michael Ignatieff, who himself was defeated in his own Toronto riding. Ignatieff took reponsibility for the Liberals’ historic electoral loss. Ignatieff’s Liberals — often touted as Canada’s “natural governing party” — placed a distant third behind Layton’s party.

With 90 percent of the votes counted, the Conservatives were elected or leading in 166 seats, followed by the NDP with 104, Liberals with 34 and the Bloc Québécois with three and the Green party with one. A party needs to capture 155 seats to win a majority in the House of Commons.

The NDP, who appeared to have nearly tripled their seat count, made a major breakthrough in Quebec, mostly at the expense of the Bloc. The projected loss of 45 Bloc seats in the province prompted party leader Gilles Duceppe to announce he would resign in days.

Following his victory, Layton bounded up the stairs to address a near ecstatic crowd in Toronto, brandishing the trademark cane given to him by a supporter on the campaign tour to help him with his recovery from hip surgery.

“And let me tell you this: Spring is here, my friends, and a new chapter begins,” Layton told supporters.

The New Democrat leader said Canadians voted Monday to strengthen public health care, retirement security and help families make ends meet.

“And you voted to end the same old debates and political games,” he told the crowd.

But he also vowed his party would oppose the Conservative government “with vigour if it is on the wrong path.”

Ignatieff, who declined to say whether he would step down as party leader, said he still sees an “ongoing need for a party at the centre of Canadian life.”

“I will serve as long as the party wants me to serve and asks me to serve, and not a day longer,” he told supporters.

In his concession speech, the Liberal leader offered “open-hearted” congratulations to Harper and Layton — “two opponents who have had the better of the night” — and accepted responsibility for the result.

“Democracy teaches hard lessons and we have to learn them all,” Ignatieff told supporters.

It emerged shortly afterward that Ignatieff was beaten in his Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, while several prominent Toronto Liberals lost or were behind NDP or Tory candidates as of midnight ET.

Duceppe, who himself lost to NDP candidate Hélène Laverdière in the riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, told supporters after his loss it was clear Quebeckers wanted to give a federalist party another chance and now expected recognition of the Quebec nation.

“I am leaving, but others will follow until Quebec becomes a country,” he said, as the crowd of supporters chanted his name.

Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May earned her party’s first elected seat in Canadian political history, defeating former Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn in the British Columbia riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

“Today we proved that Canadians want change in politics,” she told a crowd of jubilant supporters in her riding.

Results in Quebec showed the Bloc Québécois plummeting from 47 of 75 seats in the province to only two. The NDP, who previously had only Thomas Mulcair’s Outremont seat in Montreal, were leading or elected in 59 seats in the province.

Some of the province’s highest-profile Conservative politicians lost their seats. Despite overall Tory gains, Lawrence Cannon and Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who served as ministers in Harper’s cabinet, were defeated in their Quebec ridings.

In Ontario, Conservative Chris Alexander defeated Liberal incumbent Mark Holland in the coveted Greater Toronto Area riding of Ajax-Pickering. The Tories are also holding their existing seats and leading in some key Liberal-held ridings such as Brampton West and Brampton-Springdale.

In Toronto, three high-profile Liberal candidates lost their Toronto-area seats, with Ken Dryden falling in York Centre, Gerard Kennedy losing in Parkdale-High Park and Joe Volpe defeated in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Outside of the city core, Liberal Ruby Dhalla lost her seat in Brampton-Springdale to Conservative Parm Gill while Conservative Julian Fantio was re-elected in Vaughan, defeating Liberal Mario Ferri.

The NDP was also holding its existing seats in the city, with Olivia Chow, Layton’s wife, winning again in Trinity-Spadina.

The Conservatives and NDP began the night making gains in Atlantic Canada at the expense of the Liberals, who have won the most seats in the region in every federal election since 1997. The Conservatives had 38 per cent of the vote, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP and 29 for the Liberals.

In Labrador, the Conservatives won what was once considered a safe Liberal seat, with Peter Penashue defeating Liberal incumbent Todd Russell. The Tories had been shutout of the province following an “Anything but Conservative” campaign mounted in 2008 by former premier Danny Williams.

Meanwhile, in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, NDP candidate Ryan Cleary defeated Liberal incumbent Siobhan Coady.

The results come as many analysts were caught off guard during the campaign after polls suggested a surge of support for the NDP, specifically in Quebec, following the leaders’ debate in French.

Layton took advantage of this apparent spike, saying that voters were tired of both the Conservatives and Liberals and that the “winds of change” were in the political air.

The polls also forced Harper and Ignatieff to alter their strategy and focus more on the NDP leader.

Harper returned again and again to one main theme, repeatedly stressing the need for a Conservative majority. He warned that Canada’s economic stability was at risk if the opposition parties had enough seats following the election to form a coalition or some other power sharing arrangement.

Although Harper had initially targeted a possible Ignatieff-led government, propped up by other parties, his focus in the later days of the campaign switched to the possibility of Layton in power.

For his part, Ignatieff slammed Harper over his handling of the economy and accused the Conservative leader of disrespecting the institution of Parliament.

He ran ads questioning if Harper could be trusted with “absolute power” and reminded voters that Harper shut down Parliament twice and had been held in contempt of Parliament.

Ignatieff had said he would like to stay on as leader regardless of the outcome of the federal election.


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.


Canada Votes …


‘Terra incognita’: Poll projects 100 seats for surging NDP

I voted today in early voting … Orange all the way …

PATRICK BRETHOUR

VANCOUVER— Globe and Mail Update
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 7:47PM EDT

The NDP is rapidly outdistancing the Liberals and has whittled the Conservative lead to single digits – a level of support that would see Jack Layton win 100 seats on May 2, says the latest poll from EKOS Research.

Under that scenario, the NDP would still come in second in seat count to the Conservatives, but the support of the third-place Liberals would give Mr. Layton a working majority in the House of Commons.

“We’re in terra incognita here,” EKOS president Frank Graves said.

The EKOS poll, conducted from April 22 to April 24, gave the Conservatives 33.7-per-cent support nationally among decided and leaning voters; the NDP had 28-per-cent support; the Liberals, 23.7 per cent; the Green Party, 7.2 per cent; and the Bloc Québécois, 6.2 per cent.

If those numbers held true on election day, it would be the worst showing in the history of the Liberal Party, and the best result by far for the NDP. A seat projection using the EKOS poll indicated the Conservatives would lose seats, dropping to 131, while the NDP would garner 100 seats, more than double its previous best result; more than half of those seats would come from Quebec. The Liberal caucus would be much reduced, falling to 62 seats. And the Bloc would be a shadow of itself, with a caucus of just 14 MPs.

The EKOS poll is showing stronger levels of support for the NDP in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces than other polls, but the trend of sharply rising poll numbers for the party is consistent with other surveys. The level of support for the Conservatives is lower than other recent surveys – and the size of the Tory lead is about half of other polls.

In Quebec, the New Democrats lead with 38.7 per cent of the vote, with the Bloc far back at 25.2 per cent, while the Conservative support pegged at 14.7 per cent and the Liberals in fourth place with 13.1 per cent.

The poll of 2,783 voters is considered to be accurate within 1.8 percentage points. As with other polls, the margin of error for regional breakdowns is much higher.


STOP the Conservatives from winning … NOW !!!

 

If you live in Canada and want to end Stephen Harpers ability to form a government in any form, click the link below for your riding and get involved to make sure the Conservatives don’t win another election.

Welcome to ProjectDemocracy.ca.

Canadians don’t have an electoral system that directly reflects the ballot box.  With our ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system, vote splitting means Canadians could end up with a majority Harper Government with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote.  This is not the outcome most Canadians want, and avoiding it requires voter knowledge and cooperation.

In the last election voteforenvironment.ca was the go-to site for nearly half a million unique visitors who clicked in time and again to determine how they could mark their ballot to get an acceptable electoral outcome.   If you were one of those 440,000 – congratulations, it worked!  On the last day that public opinion polls were available, the VFE website model showed that the Conservatives were on track to win 152 seats, but on Monday, they were elected in 143.  Our analysis shows thousands of visits to our advice regarding the candidate with the best chance to beat the Conservative in key ridings. (link here for 2008 analysis)

ProjectDemocracy.ca builds on voteforenvironment.ca.  The stakes for our environment were very high in 2008, and remain at risk.  Since then it has become even clearer that Harper is prepared to ignore the basic tenets of our democracy to keep in power and pursue his ideological agenda.  For all those who care deeply about our democracy, stopping the Harper machine is job one.

Please check your riding, sign-up and spread the word (especially to people you may know in key ridings).


Monday Madness …

Courtesy: Barefootguys.com

Firstly … I haven’t been to bed yet, since yesterday and it’s almost noon here and I need to nap before class.

I am powerless over people, places and things, and in sobriety I know that whatever you think about me is none of my business.

**********

So this morning I had to run up to the clinic to drop labs. They take three weeks to get completed, so they pushed back my appointment to see Chris until the 27th. Yay !!!

On the way home I stopped off at the mall to do a little shopping since I had time and money. I finally splurged and bought a brand new winter coat. I’ve been wearing the same coat for the last 8 years, it has sentimental value to me because of who gave it to me, I spent a lot of money have the zippers and sleeves redone because it was falling apart. The new coat was not bad in price. $40.00 for the coat, which has an inner liner of fleece, which will keep me nice and toasty.

I am collecting food from the store for my Thanksgiving feast-orama next week. We celebrate Thanksgiving on the 11th of October. Kind of early if you ask me. But you see, once thanksgiving is over that gives everyone free reign to start decorating for Halloween and not soon after – ugh – give me strength – Christmas…

I still need to buy a turkey. I did not see them at the store last night so hubby is on the hunt. he will stop by IGA on his way home from the gym.

I also got a huge can of coffee for the meeting, for only $5 bucks. That’s cheap. I was in need of a new pair of vans, and I found a sweet pair at Zeller’s. That’s where we shop for everything for bed bath and beyond…

The old theatre around the corner and across the street is today being demolished. On the way home there was a crowd standing all around watching the wrecking crew tear down what’s left of the shell of the building. An old institution has ended.

That entire city block will be the new home of fantastic condos. I forget what they are called. But I do know that when they opened the sales office people lined up over night to get a spot and buy a plot. The entire building sold out in 48 hours. The drunks of the neighborhood are going to have to find a new place to sit and busk.

Tonight is French … yippee !!!

It was 5c this morning. It was cold over night. The trees, they are mostly yellow in color in this neighborhood have changed and most of the trees on the drive downstairs are starting to shed their leaves. That does not bode well.

I understand from a weather report …

The purple area to the right (east side) of the country is Quebec. We are going to get the boatload of snow this season. God help us. Last year it snowed late and not so much. Maybe Mother Nature is gonna make us pay this year with blizzard after blizzard.

So that’s all for now. Amends made, I am going to take a nap.

Toodles …


Wrestler Verbeek captures Canada’s third medal

Canada’s Tonya Verbeek fights Otgonjargai Naidan of Mongolia during a match in the 55kg weight class of women’s wrestling at the Beijing Olympics. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

Canadian wrestler Tonya Verbeek won the second Olympic medal of her career and Canada’s third of the Beijing Summer Games on Day 8 of Olympic competition.

The Beamsville, Ont., native won bronze in the 55-kilogram weight class, beating Ida-Theres Nerell of Sweden by a score of 1-0, 1-0 in the bronze medal match.

Verbeek won silver at the 2004 Athens Summer Games.

Her bronze medal in Beijing came minutes after her teammate Carol Huynh won Canada’s first gold at 48-kilograms, and less than an hour after Canadian rowers Scott Fransden and Dave Calder won silver, Canada’s first medal of the 2008 Summer Games.


Wrestler Verbeek captures Canada's third medal

Canada’s Tonya Verbeek fights Otgonjargai Naidan of Mongolia during a match in the 55kg weight class of women’s wrestling at the Beijing Olympics. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

Canadian wrestler Tonya Verbeek won the second Olympic medal of her career and Canada’s third of the Beijing Summer Games on Day 8 of Olympic competition.

The Beamsville, Ont., native won bronze in the 55-kilogram weight class, beating Ida-Theres Nerell of Sweden by a score of 1-0, 1-0 in the bronze medal match.

Verbeek won silver at the 2004 Athens Summer Games.

Her bronze medal in Beijing came minutes after her teammate Carol Huynh won Canada’s first gold at 48-kilograms, and less than an hour after Canadian rowers Scott Fransden and Dave Calder won silver, Canada’s first medal of the 2008 Summer Games.


No ‘political agenda’ in meeting with PM: Dalai Lama

CBC News

The Dalai Lama said he will express reservations about Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan if the topic comes up during his historic meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday.

But he added that his meeting has no “particular political agenda.”

“My main interest or main commitment is promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in Ottawa, hours before his scheduled meeting with Harper.

Asked about Canada’s role in Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama said he believes “non-violence is the best way [to] solve problems.”

“Using violence, counter-violence, sometimes it creates more [complications], he said.

The Dalai Lama said he didn’t attach any significance to meeting the prime minister on Parliament Hill, a move likely to cause friction with China.

For the first time, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader will greet the Canadian prime minister in that venue, lending the meeting a politically charged air compared to previous sessions with Canadian politicians.

The Dalai Lama said he’s no expert on diplomatic formalities.

“I don’t care. The important [thing] is meeting [the] person, that I consider is the most important. So whether meeting prime minister in [his] office or private house doesn’t matter so long as meeting with person face to face.”

The Dalai Lama gestures during a speech to an arena filled with well-wishers in Ottawa Sunday.

The Dalai Lama gestures during a speech to an arena filled with well-wishers in Ottawa Sunday.
(Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

When former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin met the Dalai Lama three years ago, for example, the encounter took place on what was described as politically neutral territory — the home of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Ottawa.

Tenzin Gyatso, a 72-year-old Buddhist monk who is the 14th Dalai Lama, arrived in Canada Sunday and addressed a crowd of 8,000 at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

His message at the sold-out venue was one of compassion.

“We all want happiness, happy life, successful life.”

But he also took time to express “reservations” about some American policies, including the war in Iraq. The Dalai Lama met with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington last week.

Bush met with him privately in the White House. The monk also received Congress’s highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal.

The U.S. president and Harper join a growing group of Western leaders who have chosen to greet the Dalai Lama in official venues despite criticism from China.

China says the Dalai Lama is a separatist political leader and considers it interference in China’s domestic affairs whenever a world leader is seen to be offering support.

But Jason Kenney, the federal secretary of state for multiculturalism, said he is more concerned about what Canadians think than the Chinese.

‘Important world figure’

The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday. The kata offering is a traditional Tibetan greeting symbolizing purity of intention.

The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday. The kata offering is a traditional Tibetan greeting symbolizing purity of intention.
(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“As public opinion polls have indicated, the vast majority of Canadians believe the prime minister should meet with the Dalai Lama. He is an important world figure, a spiritual leader,” said Kenney.

Some experts warn, however, that the government should tread carefully during this visit because China is an emerging economic powerhouse and an increasingly important trading partner for Canada.

“Canada-China relations is somehow cool, if not the lowest point since the 1970s,” said Wenran Jiang, acting director of the University of Alberta’s China Institute.

He said if the goal is to help Tibetans, Canada should have a more balanced approach when dealing with China — using moral statements rather than “political theatre” meant to grab votes.

China invaded Tibet shortly after the 1949 Chinese Revolution. The Dalai Lama has lived in exiled since staging a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to travel to Toronto on Tuesday, where he will hold a public talk Wednesday night on “The Art of Happiness” at Rogers Centre.


No 'political agenda' in meeting with PM: Dalai Lama

CBC News

The Dalai Lama said he will express reservations about Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan if the topic comes up during his historic meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday.

But he added that his meeting has no “particular political agenda.”

“My main interest or main commitment is promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in Ottawa, hours before his scheduled meeting with Harper.

Asked about Canada’s role in Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama said he believes “non-violence is the best way [to] solve problems.”

“Using violence, counter-violence, sometimes it creates more [complications], he said.

The Dalai Lama said he didn’t attach any significance to meeting the prime minister on Parliament Hill, a move likely to cause friction with China.

For the first time, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader will greet the Canadian prime minister in that venue, lending the meeting a politically charged air compared to previous sessions with Canadian politicians.

The Dalai Lama said he’s no expert on diplomatic formalities.

“I don’t care. The important [thing] is meeting [the] person, that I consider is the most important. So whether meeting prime minister in [his] office or private house doesn’t matter so long as meeting with person face to face.”

The Dalai Lama gestures during a speech to an arena filled with well-wishers in Ottawa Sunday.

The Dalai Lama gestures during a speech to an arena filled with well-wishers in Ottawa Sunday.
(Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

When former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin met the Dalai Lama three years ago, for example, the encounter took place on what was described as politically neutral territory — the home of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Ottawa.

Tenzin Gyatso, a 72-year-old Buddhist monk who is the 14th Dalai Lama, arrived in Canada Sunday and addressed a crowd of 8,000 at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

His message at the sold-out venue was one of compassion.

“We all want happiness, happy life, successful life.”

But he also took time to express “reservations” about some American policies, including the war in Iraq. The Dalai Lama met with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington last week.

Bush met with him privately in the White House. The monk also received Congress’s highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal.

The U.S. president and Harper join a growing group of Western leaders who have chosen to greet the Dalai Lama in official venues despite criticism from China.

China says the Dalai Lama is a separatist political leader and considers it interference in China’s domestic affairs whenever a world leader is seen to be offering support.

But Jason Kenney, the federal secretary of state for multiculturalism, said he is more concerned about what Canadians think than the Chinese.

‘Important world figure’

The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday. The kata offering is a traditional Tibetan greeting symbolizing purity of intention.

The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday. The kata offering is a traditional Tibetan greeting symbolizing purity of intention.
(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“As public opinion polls have indicated, the vast majority of Canadians believe the prime minister should meet with the Dalai Lama. He is an important world figure, a spiritual leader,” said Kenney.

Some experts warn, however, that the government should tread carefully during this visit because China is an emerging economic powerhouse and an increasingly important trading partner for Canada.

“Canada-China relations is somehow cool, if not the lowest point since the 1970s,” said Wenran Jiang, acting director of the University of Alberta’s China Institute.

He said if the goal is to help Tibetans, Canada should have a more balanced approach when dealing with China — using moral statements rather than “political theatre” meant to grab votes.

China invaded Tibet shortly after the 1949 Chinese Revolution. The Dalai Lama has lived in exiled since staging a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to travel to Toronto on Tuesday, where he will hold a public talk Wednesday night on “The Art of Happiness” at Rogers Centre.