Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Barack Obollywood

I can't really explain it. You'll just have to watch.

h/t Nag on the Lake

Why a Fetal Homicide Law is a Bad Idea

A Conservative MP from Edmonton is proposing a fetal homicide law for Canada. Politics 'n' Poetry outlines 14 good reasons to oppose this veiled attackedon women's reproductive rights.

Niagara Falls Company & Supervisor fined in trench death

ST. CATHARINES, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Tony Garofalo's Concrete Works Limited
was fined $120,000 and a supervisor fined $5,000 in the Ontario Courtof Justice after pleading guilty in the death of a worker in a trench collapse.

Justice of the Peace Carolyn Straughan heard that, on July 13, 2006, the company was waterproofing the basement walls of a home at 6200 Trillium Cres., Niagara Falls. Workers had dug a trench along the side of the house for the work. A worker was in the trench when its wall collapsed. The worker was buried under soil. Co-workers unsuccessfully tried resuscitation. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the trench did not have shoring or a support system, as required under section 234(1) of OntarioRegulation 213/91, the Construction Regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, nor was it sloped as defined in the regulation, section 234(2)(f).

The company pleaded guilty as a constructor to failing to comply with section 234(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91, contrary to section 23(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Antonio Garofalo, supervisor of Tony Garofalo's Concrete Works Limited, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that access to and egress from a work area below ground was from stairs, runway,ramp or ladder, as required by section 70(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91. This was contrary to section 27(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and SafetyAct.

In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alberta NDP Camapign Ad

This ad reminds me one of Peter Kormos' favourite lines: "The Liberals and Tories are buried so deep in the back pocket of big business, they're spitting up lint."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This is My Blog on Break

In the meantime, consult my favourites in the right-hand column.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is The Holocaust Ever Funny?

Most of the political blogosphere has already weighed in on Small Dead Animals' holocaust survivor prank. Warren Kinsella, the target of the prank, was unsurprisingly disgusted... and most other bloggers agreed with him.

But is the Holocaust completely off limits when it comes to comedy?

This clip from a documentary puts that difficult question into perspective for us.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Craziness That Sometimes Comes From Peterborough Politics

In a recent blog post from Peterborough Politics entitled “The Craziness That Sometimes Comes From Quebec's Language Law”, this NDP blogger shows us why his party has little relevance in Quebec.

Read his post carefully and consider the following craziness contained within it:

1. He strangely equates ethnicity with language.

2. He refers to Quebec sovereignists as “Separatits” with a capital “S” as if they are some kind of professional sports team.

3. He ridiculously asserts: “Today's world, especially the work world, is a bilingual one” without any evidence whatsoever.

4. He ignores the fact that there are allophopne and anglophone sovereignists in Quebec.

5. He is incredibly patronizing towards sovereignists, arguing for example that “Quebec's separatists are robbing their youth of valuable skills”, “They are holding their own kids back”, and of course my favourite: “Opening ones mind doesn't make you any less of a person, it makes you more of one and gives the potential to be even greater.” Of course, having an open mind, according to Peterborough Politics, means opposing separatism…

6. Peterborough Politics argues :"Now this might just be me, but when I go to an Irish Pub, I expect to see and hear English, just as in the same way if I was to go to a fine French bistro, I would expect to hear and see French. Actually, if I attended said bistro and was bombarded by English or another language from the staff and the decor, I would be quite unimpressed with the experience and I probably wouldn't go back.” I wonder if he also expects to be served in Mandarin when he visits a Chinese buffet and in Italian when he visits a Pizza Place…

7. Overall, his analysis smacks of anglo-chauvinism, shows a complete misunderstanding for why the OLF exists, and completely mischaracterizes the attitudes of the vast majority of sovereignists in Quebec.

Jack Layton Presented With CAW Jacket

At an NDP fundraiser held last night in St. Catharines at the CAW local 199 hall, NDP leader Jack Layton was presented with a CAW jacket as a parting gift. The symbolism wasn't lost on the 200+ people in attendance. You''ll recall that CAW president Buzz Hargrove made waves during the 2006 federal election for presenting then Prime Minister Paul Martin with a CAW jacket, much to the dismay of New Democrats. Since then, the CAW President has been booted from the party and his union has cut off ties with the NDP. However, the union leadership does not always represent the values of the rank-and-file. The NDP's candidate in Welland, Malcolm Allen, is a CAW member and a local politician who has a decent shot at picking up a new seat for the party. He is being supported by both his union and the party. In the picture above, Layton and Allen shake hands after the NDP leader is presented a CAW jacket.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton Jumps the Shark

When Hillary Clinton loses the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, people will look back at this moment in YouTube politics and hold it up as a shining example of how to lose an election ;-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Praise the Lord for Dalton McGuinty

The Dalton McGuinty love-in at this blog is sure to come to an end soon, but in the meantime, the Ontario Premier deserves credit for proposing to replace the reciting if the Lord's Prayer in the Ontario Legislature. I'd be even happier if he was proposing to scrap it all together.

I Need My Fix of Paulitics

What happened to Paulitics? Maybe I'm being a bit hasty, but his blogging hiatus has now surpassed two weeks... and a reader like me can't last that long without routine fix of Paul's socialist investigations. Come back soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jack Harris to Run in St. John's East?

A perfect storm seems to be developing for the NDP in the Newfoundland & Labrador riding of St. John's East. Former provincial NDP leader Jack Harris is rumoured to be announced shortly as the party's candidate in the upcoming federal election. Harris briefly served as MP for this riding after winning it in a 1987 by-election. He lost the subsequent general election in 1988, but went on to sit in the provincial legislature for over a decade as NDP leader. Harris would unquestionaby be a star candidate and given that Norman Doyle, the incumbent Conservative MP, is not seeking re-election, the NDP is perfectly positioned to benefit from Danny Williams' pledge to defeat Conservative candidates in his province.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Alberta Election 2008: NDP Races to Watch

According to the polls, the NDP has little chance to make a breakthrough in Alberta’s provincial election. In fact, there are only a handful of seats where the party is competitive (and they are all in Edmonton). For New Democrats, these are the ridings to watch:

EDMONTON-BEVERLY-CLAREVIEW Currently represented by NDP MLA (and former Alberta NDP leader) Ray Martin. The New Democrats took this seat from the Tories in 2004 by a comfortable margin. Expect the NDP to retain this seat.

EDMONTON-HIGHLANDS-NORWOOD NDP leader Brian Mason has represented this riding since winning a 2000 by-election to replace former Alberta NDP leader Pam Barrett. Mason should be easily re-elected by a wide margin.

EDMONTON-CALDER Rookie NDP MLA David Eggen is the incumbent in this riding. He wrestled the seat away from the Tories in 2004 . Eggen won the riding by fewer than 500 votes last time around, but expect him to easily win re-election as an incumbent.

EDMONTON-STRATHCONA Former NDP leader and current NDP MLA Raj Pannu has decided not to seek re-lection in this NDP stronghold. In his place, The NDP is running labour lawyer Rachel Notley, daughter of former NDP leader Grant Notley. Expect the party to dump major resources into keeping this seat.

EDMONTON-GLENORA The NDP finished a close 2nd place to the Liberals in this low-income riding in 2004. In 2008, the party is running Arlene Chapman as its candidate. She is well-known within the party and within the community having served as an NDP staffer and as executive director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council. She ran in the 2006 federal election, garnering just under 20% of the vote in Edmonton East. This riding represents the party’s best chance for a new seat in 2008, especially if the Liberal vote collapses.

EDMONTON-ELLERSLIE This is a true long-shot for the NDP, but in the event that the Liberal and Tory campaigns takes a nosedive, this riding could fall into the party’s lap. This was one of very few ridings where the NDP won over 20% of the vote in 2004. Retired university professor Marilyn Assheton-Smith is once again carrying the NDP banner.

For consistent coverage of the Alberta election, be sure to consult the Calgary Grit and Daveberta on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Fined $100 for Trespassing


Friday, February 8th, 2008

"Noble" Actor Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Sentenced to $100 Fine for Trespassing

Justice of the Peace Moira Moses finds purpose of three defendants noble and their private prosecution by Canadian Niagara Hotels for trespassing unnecessary to protect the hotel's interests. Refuses to pass on $22,000 private prosecution costs to defendants.

Well-known actor and activist Danny Glover has been fined $100 by an Ontario Provincial Offences Court Justice of the Peace, as has UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director Alex Dagg and Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson. The trio was convicted last month of trespassing under a rarely used private prosecution by a Niagara hotel company for entering the hotel during a union rally in September, 2006.

In sentencing the three, Justice of the Peace, Moira Moses found that the purpose of the three defendants was noble in trying to get into the hotel to speak with the owners about serious labour issues. She refused to pass on Canadian Niagara Hotel's $22,000 costs for the private prosecution to the three defendants, finding the prosecution was unnecessary to protect the interests of the hotel's owner, and found the company should have engaged in more good faith negotiations with the union.

"This sentencing decision really shows how silly Canadian Niagara Hotel's private prosecution has been," said Dagg. "It is outrageous that even though our courts are overwhelmed with serious cases and the police refused to charge us for entering the hotel lobby in 2006, this company has wasted its money and the court's time and tax dollars on this matter. We are glad the courts recognized this today and agree with Justice of the Peace Moses that this company should engage in more good faith negotiations with the union."

Dagg noted the union has received messages of support from across North America since word of the conviction became public in January and that the campaign by UNITE HERE to defend the rights of hospitality workers in Niagara Falls will continue.

"We are very appreciative of the support we've received from Niagara Falls and indeed, from people across North America, who join us in being outraged that this company has preferred to purchase a prosecution instead of dealing with their serious labour issues," said Dagg. "I want to personally thank Danny Glover for his incredible support and for helping raise awareness of the difficulties faced by workers at Canadian Niagara Hotel. I agree with Justice of the Peace Moses that our purpose was noble when we entered the hotel in September, 2006 and that Canadian Niagara Hotel's prosecution was unnecessary to protect their interests. It is a shame; they could have paid a room attendant for almost a year on the money they've wasted on this.

"Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation, noted the private prosecution has only served as motivation for the rest of the Ontario labour movement to become even more involved in the struggle for workers' rights in Niagara Falls.

"The waste of the courts times by this company's private prosecution is a serious issue," said Samuelson. "But their rather strange response to Alex, Danny and I entering their hotel, has drawn attention to the bigger labour issues down here in Niagara and that is a good thing. Workers, from across this province, have expressed their support and their desire to become involved in the struggle for workplace justice in Niagara."UNITE HERE represents 50,000 hotel, food service, garment and manufacturing workers across Canada and 450,000 across North America. The union has been working with activists, like Danny Glover, to raise awareness of the issues facing hospitality workers across North America.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mike Huckabee To Stephen Colbert: I'm Still in the Race!

Air hockey has never been so political...

Fourth Place... So Typically NDP

Well the Canadian Blog Awards are over. Uncorrected Proofs finished fourth place in the following categories:

Best Political Blog
Best Progressive Blog
Best New Blog

Uncorrected Proofs managed a third place finish in Best Blog Post Series.

Thanks to all my readers and congrats to all the winners!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Liberals Divided

The federal Liberals are divided over Afghanistan, over human rights, and over the Conservative budget. Do they pull the plug on the government in the near future and cut their losses, or do they wait it out and let the implosion continue? Either way, it will be fun to watch.

The Race to the White House '08: Democrat Edition

A short video detailing the Democratic race for pop culture junkies.

Race to the White House '08: Republican Edition

A short video detailing the Republican race for pop culture junkies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Canadian Blog Awards: Best Blog Post Series

My blog post series on the history of the labour movement in Canada and Quebec has won third place in the Canadian blog awards. Thank you and congrats to the other winners.

Canadian Blog Awards: Best Progressive Blog

The results are in for Best Progressive Blog:


2. Calgary Grit

3. We Move To Canada

4. Uncorrected Proofs

5 .Stageleft: Life On The [Lower] Left Side

Thanks to my loyal readers who helped propel me into 4th place… how typically NDP.
Congrats to the other finalists and the winner.

Stéphane Dion et son anglais...

Whenever I hear people complain about Stéphane Dion’s command of the English language my tendency is defend him against what are normally petty anglo-chauvinist criticisms. It’s harder to dismiss those criticisms when they are coming from Quebeckers, even if they are tongue-in-cheek.

Back in March 2007, when I met Dion in St. Catharines in a face to face meeting concerning the Liberal caucus position on Bill C-257, I wasn’t impressed by his speaking skills in English. He clearly struggled to string sentences together in a seamless way. However, understanding him wasn’t difficult. Over the course of the last year, his English has improved measurably. Each time I see him speak, I’m reminded of how much he has improved. In fact, I suspect that if we don’t have an election until 2009, Dion’s proficiency in English will no longer be an issue… well, at least for those of us who aren’t anglo-chauvinists.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Romney Attack Ad Compares McCain to Clinton

As part of a last attempt to salvage his Republican Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is using this Super Tuesday TV ad to paint his rival John McCain as too liberal. Effective? Yes, but is it too little too late?

Memo to Jack Layton

It's an open secret that New Democrats are furious that Liberal leadership loser Gerard Kennedy is running against NDP incumbent Peggy Nash in her Parkdale-High Park riding in the upcoming federal election. Why are they so angry?

1. Kennedy, a former provincial cabinet minister and MPP for Parkdale-High Park, is considered a star candidate and the likely victor in a race against Nash.

2. Nash is considered a rising star within the NDP.

3. Dion keeps touting how important it is to elect more women to parliament, but seems bent on defeating an incumbent female MP rather than run Kennedy in another, more Liberal-friendly riding in the GTA.

4. Liberals go on and on about how the the Harper Conservatives are the real enemy, and yet, rather than use Kennedy's star power to take on a Tory incumbent, they decided to run him against one of the most progressive NDP incumbents in the House.

Although I think the NDP is naive to think the Liberals would simply give Nash, or any other NDP incumbent a free ride, Jack Layton is right that Liberals are being hypocritical in their rhetoric by having Kennedy run against Nash. That said, the NDP is certainly not above hyporcrisy.

Case in point.

The NDP has made a big deal of the fact that labour leader Jean-Claude Rocheleau will be running for the party in the Montreal riding of Hochelaga. Hochelaga is currently represented by BQ MP Réal Ménard. Ménard is one of Canada's first openly gay MPs, he has an extremely progressive voting record and has been an outspoken advocate on anti-poverty issues. He may be the most left-wing member of the BQ caucus... so why is the NDP targeting Ménard?

Monday, February 4, 2008

The PQ is Alive and Well in Quebec

...and leading public opinion polls in Quebec.

The latest from CROP:
PQ 35%
Liberal 31%
ADQ 24%

After the PQ's dismal performance in the 2007 Quebec provincial election, more than a few talking heads were eagerly awaiting the party's demise. However, less than a year later, the PQ has re-established itself as a strong political force in Quebec... indicating that the sovereigbnist movement is alive and well.

Funny how the mainstream media in English Canada have been playing down the positive results for the PQ in this latest poll with headlines like this.

Homosexuality is a Disability: News Anchor

I can't really explain it... you'll just have to watch the clip.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

California is Key for Obama

Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama needs to win California in Tuesday if he wants to continue his campaign for America's top spot. Recent opinion polls show that the Illinois Senator is quickly closing the gap in delegate-rich California.

Feb 3 (Suffolk) Clinton 39, Obama 40
Feb 2 (Rasmussen) Clinton 44, Obama 45
Feb 2 (Reuters) Clinton 41, Obama 45

After leading in California for months, the Clinton campaign is faltering. If Obama can keep up this pace, he'll have a shot at defeating Clinton in the long run.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Billary Clinton Steps Up Attacks on Obama

What's wrong with Obama? The Clintons tell us that he lacks experience, that he flip-flopped on Iraq, that he plays dirty politics, and that his health plan doesn't cut it. The list is endless. In fact, the Clinton attacks are so numerous that an entire wiki page has been dedicated to them.

My Favourite Liberal Bloggers

1. The Calgary Grit: Probably the best political blog in Canada. This blogger is as creative, smart, and witty as they come. His political analysis is always clear and well-informed.

2. Far and Wide: Critical, well-written, and insightful. Whenever a new a poll is released, look to this blogger to provide thoughtful analysis each and every time.

3. BigCityLib Strikes Back: Consistent, clever and to the point. An enjoyable read for any political junkie.

4. Scott's Diatribes: Although I find Scott's Diatribes to be among the most partisan of my favourite Liberal blogs, he is clearly committed to the idea of the political blogosphere and works to improve its stature, its quality, and its level of debate on a consistent basis.

5. A BCer in Toronto: A good combination of dry wit and sarcasm weaved into very well structured blog posts. He knows how to take good partisan shots, but is not uncritical of his own party.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hillary Clinton Exposed as Wal-Mart Stooge

I bet Clinton was hoping this old footage wouldn't resurface. Will her union endorsers stick with her despite her murky history with Wal-Mart?

Hulk Hogan Endorses Barack Obama

First, Chuck Norris endorses Huckabee. Next, Sylvester Stallone endores McCain. Now, Hulk Hogan has endorsed Obama. What's next?

Credit Where Credit is Due

I have rarely had anything nice to say about Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, but I must admit that he has done a decent job on several issues in 2008.

In particular, I have been impressed by his opposition to black-focused schools, his threat to impose provincial tariffs to block imports of South Korean automobiles, and his firm stand against the Harper government's House of Commons seat redistribution bill that shortchanges Ontario.

Now that McGuinty is on a roll, would it be too much to ask the Ontario Liberals to reinstate card-based union certification for all of the province's workers? Gee, even the Peterson Liberals believed in that...