If there is evidence organized crime has a firm grip in Ontario’s politics and economy, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wants to hear about it – and not through the media.
Former RCMP chief superintendent Ben Soave told a French national television network that organized crime has infiltrated Ontario at least as much as it has in Quebec, if not more. Ontario has the same organized crime groups involved in corruption, and they are probably even more active than in Quebec, he said.
No, I don't think the Premier of Ontario works for the mob. The Mafia would never tolerate such fiscal incontinence.
The average Canadian family of four shelled out more than $11,400 last year in taxes to cover the cost of public health care, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute.
"The way we pay for health care disguises exactly how much public health care insurance costs in Canada," said Nadeem Esmail a senior fellow with the right-leaning think-tank who co-authored the report.
"We talk in numbers that are difficult to digest. It's really hard for Canadians to grasp what these numbers mean to them on a personal level."
The new Parti Quebecois government is earning some unflattering reviews from one of its former leaders even before completing its first half-week in office.
Lucien Bouchard issued a statement Friday condemning comments about shale gas made by the new PQ minister in charge of the industry.
While an environmental review process is only barely underway, Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet has already said the resource can never be developed safely. Before entering politics, Ouellet was an environmental activist, mechanical engineer, and official at Hydro-Quebec.
It’s small — only six Grade 9 students so far instead of the 60 it was hoping for — but the province’s first public Africentric high school program has started at Winston Churchill Collegiate in Scarborough.
Delightful. An already balkanized school system gets even more segregated. These are perhaps the only people in Canada who could make the hard core Quebecois nationalists seem enlightened. Even the dead enders in la belle province wouldn't imagine denying their children a broad education because of their own ethnic bigotry. Nor could they come up with something so incredibly multicultural as this:
The only subjects that will not have an Africentric focus are gym and technology.
Ahem. If this report is correct then the math course would need to be taught in an "Africentric" manner. Welcome to the end of the multicultural line. Black students in a publicly funded Toronto High School will be taught "black math," as opposed to the "white math" they had previously been taught. Except math isn't a "white subject."
Grade 9 is typically when students are given a serious introduction to algebra, the gateway to the higher maths. The basics of algebra were developed over centuries by European, Arab, Persian and Indian mathematicians. Math is multicultural in the best sense of that word, different minds from different cultures working to expand human understanding. In math, as in science, you can transcend the particularities of background and focus on our common human desire to know. That noble dream is being cast aside in the pursuit of racial grievance mongering.
The problem you run into with algebra is the same one you run into with most branches of scientific knowledge. While you can create national and even ethnic histories, as well as corresponding literature and anthropology, you cannot create an ethnic or racial science. Even the Nazis weren't dumb enough not to use a formula or piece of scientific knowledge developed by Jews. They'd just claim it was "really" developed by an Aryan.
Science is concerned with objective knowledge about the natural world. To attempt to teach math and science based who discovered that knowledge, rather than what that knowledge is, would not be teaching. It would would not impart knowledge or understanding to the student. Instead it would be one more example to the child of how their group was different or better than everyone else. It would reduce the sciences to another branch of racial propaganda. The only lesson that the student would likely grasp is that black folk should stick together against everyone else. In a world coming together they are being told to stand apart.
The pretext for creating Apartheid High is that black students in Toronto are dropping out at a higher rate than whites. This is true only so far as you can juggle the numbers. There is the problem of lumping all black students together. There is some logic in doing this with Americans Blacks as a distinct subculture has developed in that country over the last four centuries. The vast majority of Canadian blacks, however, can trace their lineage in this country not much further back than the disco era. It is very unlikely that children from Barbados are facing the same challenges as those from Somalia or Haiti.
There are also the issues of family breakdown. It would be far more informative to know the percentage of drop-outs who come from what used to be called broken homes. My guess is that drop out rates correspond far more strongly with family breakdown than almost any other factor. Instead of looking for relevant personal factors, family and cultural background, the instinct of a large section of the educational establishment is to lump a diverse group of individuals under a single rubric because of their skin colour.
But remember, it's Right-wingers who are racists.
The reasoning, such as it is, behind the Africentric school rests on two assumptions: 1) The Toronto District School Board is so fundamentally racist that black students cannot receive a proper education in the general school population 2) Black students are simply not engaged by a "Eurocentric" curriculum. Both assumptions fall apart simply by looking around Toronto's schools. These are facts that no school board trustee or educrat can fail to know. It requires an impressive feat of multicultural themed evasion to ignore.
If the TDSB is so irredeemably bigoted, why is their bigotry so eccentric? How many white supremacists have you heard of that don't much like black students, but seem inordinately fond of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, Pakistani and Arabs. Each of those ethnic groups have very low drop rates, much lower than those of blacks and often lower than the overall Canadian population.
Then there is the argument that black students are not engaged by the curriculum. I can certainly understand why many curious and intelligent children would be bored by what is taught in the public school system. This is what often drives the best and brightest to misbehave. Given real challenges and responsible discipline many would thrive. Instead they are subjected to a system that often functions more as a make work program for mediocre humanities majors instead of a system education.
But let's accept their premises. Black students just don't like studying the supposedly Eurocentric curriculum. Why? The Chinese in China have no problem with studying not just "western" science but also western history and literature. English is the language of instruction in most of India's top universities. If people of other societies, many of them older than Western Civilization, find western ideas worthy of study and even fascination, why should Canadian students not be engaged? Is the problem that black students don't find the material interesting? Or is it that white neo-bigots don't think black Canadians can hack Shakespeare and Newton?
Welcome to the worst of Trudeaupian Canada. Racism at taxpayers expense.
A request for road repairs outside Mayor Rob Ford’s family firm was fulfilled in less than three weeks and included a meeting at the Etobicoke site where Mr. Ford pointed out to city staff the work he wanted done.
The meeting at the head office of Deco Labels and Tags on Greensboro Drive took place on July 20, city staff have confirmed. It was followed 11 days later by a meeting in the mayor’s office with two senior city staff where Mr. Ford repeated his request that the unscheduled work be completed before the company’s 50th anniversary party, planned for the following week.
Canada has taken its place among the Top 5 countries with the most economic freedom, according to a new Fraser Institute report — now leaps and bounds ahead of the United States thanks to the gradual shrinking of the Canadian government since the mid-1990s as America’s just got bigger.
The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, released Tuesday, has Canada tied in fifth place with Australia — up one spot from last year. Hong Kong remains at the top, Singapore’s next, then New Zealand.
Let me take a moment here to openly mock Pat Buchanan who, in 2002, described our country as "Soviet Canuckistan."
So how's that hope and change going?
Just had to get that out of my system. For the first time in my life I live in a country that is further to the Right of the United States. Ha! Take that Toronto Star! Take that Fox News!
I know. I know. I'm being juvenile. Back in 2002 I secretly agreed with Buchanan's put down. It wasn't exactly true but rang with enough truth to annoy the hell of out much of the Canadian Right. The Left, naturally, took it as a badge of honour. That was then. The wheel of fortune has spun and we are, for the moment, its relative beneficiaries.
The Canadian government has gotten somewhat smaller over the last fifteen years. The American government has gotten much, much bigger. This is less a story of Canadian success than epic American incompetence. The Canadian tortoise has beaten a very lazy American hare. This is not something we should be happy about. At least not too happy. Down goes America, down goes ALL of us. The whole free world.
The Canadian Left has for decades thrived on a visceral anti-Americanism. Every misfortune and misstep was an opportunity to crow about the moral superiority of Canada over the US, despite our steady decline against the US by pretty much every objective measure. Until quite recently we were poorer, more regulated and more taxed than our American brethren. Now Canada is doing better than America on economic terms. Where is the Canadian Left? Why aren't they crowing about this?
They are a little. The anti-American instinct is so deep that it comes out despite their best efforts. But our relative success is because our government has gotten smaller, while theirs is getting bigger. To crow about the success of Canada today would be to admit that capitalism might be a good thing. That's just too painful an admission. Instead they are trying their best at spin, arguing implausibly that Canada's banks have survived because they are more highly regulated than American banks. A confession of profound ignorance of North American economic history.
Canadian banks are not more highly regulated, they are regulated differently. The amount of red tape is, if anything, less than in the United States. The key difference is that Canadian banking policy, dating back to before Confederation, has encouraged large and highly diversified banks. American banking policy, dating back to before the Civil War, has encourage the exact opposite. This is why thousands of American banks failed in the Great Depression and none did in Canada. Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, both as yet unborn in 1929, had nothing to do with it. In power they continued and elaborated on policies that had been well established for over a century and a half.
To understand this requires a modicum of historical knowledge and some basic economics. A history that does not teach that all white men are bigots is ignored by the Left, just as any economic theories that explain the efficacy of the market economy. Instead we witness the spectacle of the MSM desperately trying to argue that statism was our salvation, when the evidence keeps showing the opposite is true.
The most cherished of Trudeaupian Myths is that of Medicare. This ramshackle disgrace to our country and its traditions has been a very useful prop for the Left. The elevation of a failed social program into a national icon was necessary as a way of justifying the moral superiority of Trudeaupian Canada over the supposedly laissez-faire bastion to the south. Every sick veteran, every bankrupt cancer survivor proof that American capitalism kills. We were to see and hear these horror stories and thank Our Saviour Tommy that it did not come to pass in Canada.
The failings of the American system were exaggerated, the failures of our system excused. The Cult of Medicare is the founding Trudeaupian Myth, the rationalization for a big government that twenty years ago surpassed 50% of GDP. But why did the Americans not embrace our glorious system? The narrative held that it was because the Big Corporations forbade such an idea. It was never explained how Canada's large corporations, hardly slouches when it comes to rent seeking and lobbying, were unable to thwart Father Tommy. Nor could the narrative explain how twice in a generation proposals for socialized health care in America were meet with ferocious popular opposition.
Barack Obama is trying to give to America what Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau gave to Canada, a European style social democracy and all the horrors that entails. Pearson-Trudeau succeed because they had dozens of loyal Liberal Quebec MPs willing to support their revolution. Barack Obama does not have Francophones Congress creatures to do his bidding, but he has sown up the Black and Hispanic votes. Just as in Canada, minorities that have traditionally felt marginalized are using government to "rig the game" in their favour. Having failed in the market, they run to the state, not pausing to question how much Leviathan is the real cause of their woes.
America seems to be sliding into the same mess from which we are slowly extracting ourselves. As Mark Steyn observed almost a decade ago, what allowed Canada to be Canada and France to be France is that America would always be America. Now America is as unAmerican as it has been in nearly fifty years. That is something that every Canadian should worry over.
More than any Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama in his writings and speeches has worked out an impressive interpretation of American history that culminates in modern liberalism. It also culminates, not incidentally, in him. As a writer, Obama’s strength is telling tales, and his story of America mixes together social, intellectual, and political history. It begins and keeps contending with the Founding– with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He tries to tell a new story about the country that acknowledges, and then contextualizes, traditional views in ways that are meant to be reassuring but that point to very untraditional conclusions.
NDP surge to a tie for first place in popular support with the PCs (36% to 35%), Liberals fall to third (22%). Green Party support at 6%.
Projected seat count: 48 PC; 30 Liberals; 29 NDP; due to NDP vote being badly distributed.
Just 24% approve of Dalton McGuinty’s Leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.
Today's polls are, of course, tomorrow's kitty litter. Between now and whenever the government falls those polls could wobble around a lot. It's also possible that, given a few more polls like this, the electorate will panic and start throwing their support behind the Liberals or Tories. Not everyone has forgotten the last time the NDP were in power. Shudder.
How has this come to pass? While the seat count is still pointing to a Tory minority - How often have we heard that? - a swing of a few points could allow for a repeat of 1990. While many are giving credit to Andrea Horwath, who takes time whenever possible to distance the party from Bob's Legacy, the lady is just lucky.
Behold the two leading figures in Ontario politics! There is the Premier who bestrides the narrow world of provincial politics like a slouched colossus. Then there is the leader of the Opposition, Timmy Hudak who in manner, rhetoric and belief is the Ken Doll of Ontario politics. Neither figure inspires much beyond mild disgust and boredom. Many of those who are parking their support with the NDP are merely fed up with the Dalt. After "declaring war" on the teachers unions, with more union strife yet to come, expect Dipper support to increase.
Having fear mongered his way into office, and bribed his way to re-election twice, the Dalt has at last come to his end. It may take months, realizing the hopelessness of the situation he resigns and calls for a leadership convention. It may take years at which point the polls numbers look good enough for the NDP and the Tories to destroy the government and divide up the carcass in the subsequent election. It might even take longer than that, running all the way to 2015 when sheer voter exhaustion sets in at seeing the Premier's perpetually middle-aged mug.
What is ending is the McGuinty game. Short-term spending for little long-term gain. When Red Tories such as John Robarts and Bill Davis reigned at Queen's Park government grew and grew. While much money was wasted, a sin to which bureaucratic flesh is especially heir, the general public obtained some genuine benefits. A dramatically expanded education system and world class infrastructure. What's the Dalt's legacy? Rusting windmills and busted budgets.
The vast largess spent these nine years past has gone to padding the pockets of one class of Ontarians, at the expense of everyone else. The same jobs are being done for a lot more money. An already inefficient system has been steadily less efficient. This is not socialism. The socialist aspires to a vision, albeit a perverse and pernicious one. The politics of Daltism are greed and pilfering masked by soft headed and hazy rhetoric. Dalton McGuinty Cares. Very true. But only about some Ontarians.
No matter who succeeds the Dalt they will not be able to rule as Dalt did. There simply isn't the money.