Tag Archives: John Baird

Master of the House: Should Michael Ignatieff appoint a new Liberal HOC Leader?

Ralph Goodale is an excellent parliamentarian and has done great work as Liberal House leader over the last four years. His knowledge of procedure and ability to ask tough questions while the leader is visiting his fellow Canadians is truly indispensable. However with Stephen Harper’s appointment of John Baird to the position of Conservative House Leader the opportunity for the Liberal Party of Canada to turn over a new leaf in the HOC has never been better. Michael Ignatieff’s summer tour (The “Liberal Express“) has been very effective and with Stephen Harper’s decision to cower in his office all summer the Liberal Party seems to be in high spirits. However, in the past Mr. Ignatieff hasn’t been himself while performing in question period. With the new session in the House of Commons approaching and a new CPC House Leader waiting the Liberal Party would be wise to return Mr. Goodale to the position of opposition critic and present a fresh face to Canadians by promoting one of the many fine Liberal MPs to the position of House Leader.

Here is a list of Liberal Members of Parliament that The Equivocator believes would make an excellent House Leader:

Siobhan Coady

(St. John’s South–Mount Pearl.)

Before she was elected in 2008, Mrs. Coady was was President and CEO of Newfound Genomics Inc. She is presently the Liberal Critic of the Treasury Board. Towards the end of the last parliamentary session she stood up to John Baird when he was trying to make a mockery of the committee process. Siobhan Coady is hardworking, very telegenic and with a background in public relations would be a great House Leader inside the Commons as well as a great public face for the LPC.

Martha Hall Findlay

(Willowdale)

Martha Hall Findlay is the best kind of policy wonk as she has an amazing mind but is also a superb public speaker. Also elected in 2008, Mrs. Findlay would be a fantastic choice for the technical side of the House Leader’s job. I was thoroughly impressed by Mrs. Findlay at the Can150 policy forum in Toronto. Though I am biased towards a Liberal MP with a degree in International Relations she would be a well rounded pick.

Joyce Murray

(Vancouver Quadra)

Murray has been in parliament for 6 years. She is mild mannered but has a sauciness that is most endearing. A House Leader from the West would be a shrewd choice for the Liberals but geography is only one of the many reasons why the Mp for Vancouver Quadra would be a great pick. Her experience in provincial politics would be a great asset as would her environmental focus.

Kirsty Duncan

(Etobicoke North)

Mrs. Duncan is always a solid performer during QP and, like my three other Preferati, has a solid professional background. Mrs. Duncan served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization that won the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore. At 43 years of age she would certainly be a breath of fresh air, though she certainly has the prior experience that the job would require.

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Do you think the Liberal Party should pick a new house leader? Who would you choose for the Position?

Jack Layton made agree with John Baird

*

During question period today Jack Layton reminded us all that the NDP are a bunch of reactionary-Luddites when it comes to nuclear power. Here is the exchange:

>> The Speaker: The honourable member for toronto-danforth.

>> Hon. Jack Layton: In 2009, remains a very dangerous PERIOD OF TIME, Mr. SPEAKER.

( Voice of Translator ): THERE Are a lot of problems choosing — with choosing nuclear technology. Exporting it is not a good idea. The possibility of environmental damages are high, and there is no solution for nuclear waste. Without talking about the risk for it represents to people. Is that where the government is? It’s at a point where it’s abandoning canadian principles like sustainable development, and nuclear non-proliferation, simply to make money. Is that where we’re at?

>> ( Voice of Translator ): The honourable minister of transport.

( End of translation )

>> Hon. John Baird: — like-minded democracy, and respects democracy, and human rights, and shares our values with respect to the environment and one of the benefits of nuclear is produces electricity in a non-emitting form, and something better than dirty coal which is proliferating greatly in that part of the world, and we commited to working our friends in india, and commited with working the responsible and respected international government in India, and committed to getting the job done.**

The Globe and Mail picked out the most important exchange between the two:

NDP Leader Jack Layton, sounding a little hoarse after missing two days because of a cold, pointed out that the last time the Canadian government sold nuclear technology to India, which was in the 1970s, “India took the opportunity to build a bomb.”

Transport Minister John Baird told Mr. Layton to get real: “We have great faith in our Indian friends and partners. We are not living in the 1970s. We are living in 2009.”

The Problem with the NDP***

Jack Layton and the NDP are content to exists as a party without any coherent foreign policy. The NDP are against free-trade and anti-war but when you examine the rest of their foreigh policy they offer no new ideas. On almost every issue the NDP remains in the past and that is especially true in regards to nuclear power. Nuclear power is safe, clean, efficient and reliable. Nuclear power will create jobs and help the environment. The NDP act as if more than 40 years of technological advancement didn’t happen. Canada should be ecstatic that India wants to work with us and not France. We should also be encouraging countries developing as rapidly as India to invest in nuclear power instead of other forms emissions producing power sources that are cheap, like coal. Prime Minister Harper should have started engaging China and India 4 years ago but his recent trip was still a good idea.

The Bigger Problem

Jack Layton was so tremendously wrong that he made John Baird look reasonable. When I was watching Question Period I thought “Hell Ya” when Minister Baird finished speaking. I sided with John Baird, that thundering oaf! This is one of the most nefarious acts committed by the NDP, getting me to support Mr. Baird, I don’t think I can forgive the leader of the NDP.

Update (Nov 19):

The Equivocator would like to clarify that his agreement with Minister Baird has very narrow perimeters. Mr. Baird is correct when he asserts that India wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. It should be noted that India has many homophobic/anti-homosexual laws and practices (these words don’t go far enough to illustrate the horrible treatment of gays in India.) India is also behind in the rights of workers and the tolerance that is the cornerstone of Western Liberalism. India is a developing country with many problems both economical and social. As a firm believer in Development theory the Equivocator believes that Canada can help India create jobs (especially with this nuclear energy deal) but we can also show India how the Canadian model of multiculturalism and tolerance helps create a stable and prosperous society.

*John Baird is a frightening man so to avoid scaring the children and so that no one can accuse me of purposefully posting a terrible picture of Minister Baird the Equivocator has decided to imitate one of his favourite bloggers and post this adorable picture.
** I would like to thank my colleague Liberal Arts and Minds for providing me with the hansard. This was a huge help.
*** I should have put: “One of the many problems with the NDP.”

On Rudeness: My Article in “The Mike”

Here is a piece I wrote for “The Mike” (St. Michael’s College’s Student Newspaper.) I did some editing here:

Serena Williams, Kanye West and Con. Joe Wilson are all synonymous with rudeness. For those of you in a cave on Mars from September 9th to September 13th Mrs. Williams told a lie judge she would shove a ball down his throat (explicative removed) at the US Open Final, Congressmen Wilson yelled “You Lie” at President Obama during his address to the US Congress on Health-Care and I will finish this list but Kanye West may just be the rudest person in the world for upstaging Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards. Three very uncivil incidents involving three famous people with three different occupations (Tennis player, Congressmen and whatever Kanye does) would hardly have been hardly worth noting but the short time lapse between the first and last of these occurrences (4 days) multiplied the public’s interest. People who don’t watch tennis, didn’t watch the VMAs and skipped President Obama’s speech (ex. Me) saw the video clips of all three events thanks to the interweb.

As Canadians it is tempting to say: “Look at those bad-mannered Americans acting like Americans.” Canadian politics is a place where the tactless rise to the top. This year, for the first time in Canadian history, a Canadian political party, the Conservative party of Canada, released an attack ad vilifying a rival Political Leader, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, even though there is no election. Infrastructure Minister John Baird is famous for yelling and being obnoxious during Parliamentary Question Period and this is seen as a good thing (he is often called an “Attack Dog.”)

Even more familiar, to those of us upper years, is the March 2008 “Simcoe Hall Sit In” where a group loudly protested and screamed at members of the U of T Administration with the pretence of protesting a fee increase at New College.

Yes, rudeness is a problem that transcends country, class and level of education. The unfortunate thing is that not enough people believe it is a problem. There any many times and places where acting rude has been deemed acceptable. This can be a good thing as everyone needs to vent some frustration (I empathize with Serena Williams and her tempter.) The trouble is that friendly rivalry at a sporting event, or yelling at a person driving through a red light or frustration at a politicians pliable relationship with the truth has been so compounded upon with the global economic recession that everyone needs to vent all the time and our Western Values that teach individuals/subjectivity have lead to Mrs. Williams receiving a small fine, Mr. West not getting punished at all and Congressmen Wilson has actually raised $1 million from his offensive outburst.

Famous people may lack accountability but rudeness with impunity was really displayed during Frosh Week 2009. Since my frosh week, 4 years ago, St. Mike’s has grown in many ways. That year we were a small college; we were put down by the other Colleges/Faculties with anti-Catholic insults that were as unfunny as they were outdated. In the last four years our college has gained prestige with a Student Union getting stronger each year, the Book and Media Studies is one of the fastest growing programs at U of T, the Concurrent Education Program is new and flashy and more and more students ask to join St. Mike’s. St. Michael’s College has always been awesome but now we have weight to throw around. As a detached observe I saw each colleges frosh week and one thing I noticed was a focus on negative cheers over positive ones. It is very easy to yell obscenities when you are in a large crowd and you belong to a great institution but that doesn’t make it a good thing. Frosh week is the week where rudeness is normalized at U of T. For some reason I really disliked students at other colleges during frosh (four years ago) then I realized I had classes with these people every day and that many of their women were comparable in attractiveness to St. Mike’s girls (also I realized that arbitrary anger is silly.)

Serena Williams, Kanye West and Con. Joe Wilson are all silly. They paid their price in match-up videos, late night tv jokes, references at the Emmys and many other sentences doled out by the Judges of the Court of Public Opinion. The week rudeness (Sept. 9 to 13) established the precedent that public rudeness is not o.k.

Unfortunately, jackass behaviour is still o.k if you are a Canadian politician or a student just about to start classes.

(Note: I realize that I am rude frequently and I acknowledge my hypocrisy. Also I don’t have anyone specific in mind when I consider Frosh.)

Add “Toronto” To: The List Of Things Conservatives Hate


Things the Conservative Party of Canada Hates:
– Toronto
– Intellectuals
– The Bloc Quebecois
– People who have lived outside of Canada
– People who died of listeriosis
– The Environment
– The Theory of Evolution
– Canadians being held/tortured in other countries
– Women seeking equal pay
– The Free Press
– Cancer patients waiting for treatment
– Artists
– Research scientists
– Quebec
– The Liberal Party of Canada
– Fiscal Responsibility
– Federal funding for political parties
– The Working Poor
– Judges
– Drug Addicts
– Gays
– Liberal Leaders
– Thunder Bay, and workers in Thunder Bay
– Canadian companies that put money into R&D
– East-Coast Newspapers
– Warren Kinsella
– Central Canada
– Taxes, even ones that pay for roads

Thoughts:

- Who the fuddle duddle does John Baird think he is?

- David Miller wanted to buy $1.2 billion worth of environmentally friendly public transit vehicles from a Canadian company.

- “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA’s federal representative.” Jim Flaherty represents the riding of Whitby-Oshawa. This riding does not and should not represent Toronto or the GTA in general. The needs of Whitby-Oshawa are drastically different from even its neighbouring ridings of Ajax-Pickering, or Oshawa, and way different from ridings that are part of the GTA like Mississauga.

- John Baird has dragged his feet on every cent of infrastructure spending. It is not surprising that he would be even more reluctant to spend money in Toronto, an area conservatives have barely any votes in. It is also not surprising that he would swear like that, he is a snarling, showboating, loud jackass in question period.
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Top Tory curses Toronto
WHISTLER, B.C. – Toronto’s only application for money under the federal government’s $4 billion infrastructure stimulus fund was met with a profane dismissal by Transport Minister John Baird yesterday.

In an unguarded moment, Baird told aides Toronto stood alone in not meeting the technical criteria for federal cash, yet was complaining about Ottawa dragging its feet.

“Twenty-seven hundred people got it right. They didn’t. That is not a partnership and they’re bitching at us,” he said.

“They should f— off.”

The federal minister overseeing the infrastructure program was overheard by a Star reporter after he mistakenly walked into a media room at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention at this British Columbia resort.

When his words were read back to him, he acknowledged his remarks.

Toronto made a calculated move to seek money to replace its aging streetcar fleet by submitting just one application while most municipalities submitted long lists of projects ranging from bridge repairs to sewer upgrades.

Mayor David Miller said Toronto only wants funds to buy 204 streetcars from Bombardier, to be built at a cost of $1.2 billion. The proposed deal will expire June 27 and will collapse if federal and provincial money isn’t forthcoming by then.

The city said, based on its population, its share of the stimulus announced in January’s budget would be about $312 million.

Miller said last night Toronto’s proposal fits the federal criteria.

He said his meeting with Baird at the convention was “amicable and frank” and that the minister “didn’t say that to me” when asked if Baird used the obscenity.

But Baird said Toronto’s was the only application among 2,700 submitted that wasn’t done properly.

He said Toronto’s submission is ineligible because it doesn’t focus on job creation within the next two years in the 416 area.

Later, Baird said his remarks were off-the-cuff and he presumed private because he didn’t realize he was in the media workroom.

He said he’s had frank discussions with the city about its bid and has been talking to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA’s federal representative, about projects eligible for cash.

“This project, while it fits into Toronto’s vision of what they want to do, it doesn’t fit into our vision of moving quickly. We don’t want to see Toronto left out of infrastructure stimulus,” said Baird. “What I don’t want to see is a year or two from now people say that the federal government plans aren’t creating jobs in Toronto.”

Councillor Linda Rydholm of Thunder Bay, home of the Bombardier plant, said the project needs approval. “Our workers need the contract to continue or start.”

Miller said Toronto’s bid will help the overall economy in Ontario and create immediate jobs.

At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting, Baird identified the country’s most significant infrastructure project as the $4 billion to $5 billion access road to a new border crossing near Windsor and said he is making it a personal priority.

The project “has the attention at the highest level. The province and the federal government are on the same page. The time for action is now.”

Delegates at the meeting began the three-day event with a call from big city mayors for Ottawa to speed money for infrastructure projects.

The government promised money to municipalities in hopes of creating thousands of jobs, with the caveat that a major component of the projects must be completed by March 2011. Mayors said that, while announcements were made, the actual money has not materialized.

But Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Jean Perrault said Baird has since shown a commitment to co-operation and flexibility, especially with the federal commitment that one-third of any costs incurred by municipalities will be paid before April 1, 2011.

“We have an understanding now of better communication,” said Perrault.