About those by-elections

The Newfoundland-Labrador one, no big surprise.  (But the NDP result? Ouch.)

The Ontario one, also no surprise. (But congrats to Ms. Yip – Arnold is smiling, today.)

The Saskatchewan one, no surprise.  (The slide in LPC vote, not so great, true.)

But the B.C. by-election? That was big, folks.  That was huge.  The Liberals – for the second time this Fall – have flipped a seat from blue to red.  (Congrats to Mr. Hogg, who I have had the pleasure to meet a few times, back in my B.C. Liberal days.)

It sure would be fun to be a fly on the wall at that federal Conservative caucus meeting, tomorrow morning, wouldn’t it?  Few will say it out loud, but I know they are thinking it:

Andrew Scheer was the wrong pick.  He is more than a dud – he’s a disaster.

And, if anyone is going to guarantee Justin Trudeau a second big majority win, it’s him.  (Oh, and followed closely by Jagmeet Singh, who has entered into a witness protection program.)

A good year, politically, for Liberals.  Not so much for the other guys.

Two effective ways of dealing with prejudice, up above and down here

My friends were busy yesterday.

My friend Bernie Farber, a veritable force of nature who is presently up to something big, scored a victory against hate yesterday: he and others persuaded the Toronto Library Board to reject hate.

From the Star:

The Toronto library board unanimously approved restrictions that will prevent groups from renting library space to promote discrimination or hate.

Library staff can now deny or cancel bookings they believe are “likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred of any group, hatred for any person” based on race, ethnicity, colour, language, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, among other factors, according to a staff report.

“Be bold, be courageous. Reject hate, embrace diversity,” Bernie Farber, a former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, told the board during a meeting at the reference library on Monday night. “Your policy sends a very strong statement that the library will not be a comfortable living room for white supremacists.”

John Tory and many members of council favoured this, too. And it’s the right way to fight prejudice. As I told others yesterday:

1. Public libraries are funded by the public.
2. They are extensions of government.
3. Governments are explicitly prohibited from facilitating discrimination by virtue of their own laws.
4. Libraries can’t EVER offer public space to neo-Nazis.

So, that was a win.  And a victory over prejudice.  Kudos to all concerned.

Here’s another one: my friends Khadija Cajee and Sulemaan Ahmed are also forces of nature.  For quite some time now, they’ve been leading the charge, righteously, for No Fly Kids – the group of Canadians whose names are flagged on Canada’s No-Fly List, known as the Passenger Protect Program.  That No Fly List has even targeted children as young as eight years old.

This week, Sulemaan and Khadija were successful in getting the support of more than 200 Members of Parliament, from all parties.  The names of their Parliamentary supporters is being released today when the No Fly Kids leadership testify in front of Public Safety Committee regarding C-59.

Here just some of the Privy Council folks who have written letters to support No Fly Kids in this important battle against intolerance:  Liberals Jane Philpott, Ahmed Hussen, Kent Hehr, Carla Qualtrough, Hedy Fry, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Harjit Sajjan, Dominic Leblanc, Amarjeet Sohi, Kirsty Duncan, Chrystia Freeland, Catherine McKenna, Maryam Monsef, Lawrence MacAulay, Ginette Petipas-Taylor, Ralph Goodale, Jim Carr, Navdeep Bains, Bill Morneau, Patty Hajdu, Bardish Chagger, Karina Gould, Carolyn Bennett – and Conservatives like Andrew Scheer, Lisa Raitt, Erin O’Toole, Steven Blaney, Kellie Leitch, Michelle Rempel, Tony Clement and many, many more.  From the NDP and the Bloc, too.

Oh, wait.

One Privy Councillor, one cabinet minister, I am told, was contacted multiple times.  She didn’t reply.  Perhaps she was too busy trying to persuade the Speaker of the House of Commons about her latest flight of idiocy – trying to get the Speaker to shut down all of Parliament Hill for up to 8 months, so she could put a 40,000-seat arena around her $6-million no-hockey hockey rink.  Yes, Canada’s worst-ever cabinet minister, Melanie Joly.  She didn’t support No Fly Kids, I am reliably informed.  Figures.

Anyway.  Thought I’d bring some good news to your attention: a victory against bigotry down on the ground at the Toronto Library Board, and one against institutionalized bigotry up in the air, with No Fly Kids.

Not bad.




Some of her best friends are Jews

If B.C. Green Party advisor Mr. Spector was still alive, we would send him this about the Trump Party that he, you know, defended.

Child molester Roy Moore’s wife:

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all, so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them.”

Does HuffPo protect sexual abusers?

Get this: I sent that column below – the one the Hill Times printed, about sexual harassment on Parliament Hill – to HuffPo.

Here’s the response I got from one [name removed at HuffPo’s request], a student at Ryerson:   “DECLINED…[this] is not the forum for investigative reporting…Although you omitted names, the CBC employee you describe is easily identifiable.”

So Huffington Post will therefore assist in protecting that harasser.  Because theirs “is not a forum for investigative reporting.”  And because he’s “easily identifiable.”

Listen, [name removed at HuffPo’s request]: you are full of shit.  It isn’t investigative journalism – it’s an opinion column, based on verifiable fact.  Ryerson, I’m confident, teaches you the difference.  If not, I’ll send you one of my books to help you out.

But if the victimizer is “easily identifiable,” as you claim – and I’m not so sure about that, but let’s just say you are right – then why are you conspiring to ensure he is not identified? What about HuffPo’s pious editorials, demanding that we all take these stories of abuse seriously?  Oh, wait.

HuffPo protects sexual harassers: that’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from your actions, today.



Toronto Star on Recipe For Hate: it’s “of interest to anyone interested in punk culture!”

Hey! The good folks at the Star wrote about Recipe For Hate – thank you, Sarah Murdoch!  My punk rock credentials are estimable – which, my dictionary tells me, means “worthy of respect!”

Recipe For Hate, Warren Kinsella, Dundurn

Warren Kinsella is known mostly as a political operative and pundit, but he also has estimable punk-rock credentials (as punk historian and as bass player in SFH, which bills itself as Canada’s best-loved geriatric punk band). This YA novel is “loosely” based on real-life events, and concerns the murder of two teenagers in 1979 in Portland, Ore., then the epicentre of the punk scene. It will be of interest to anyone interested in punk culture — not just the music, but the fanzines, art and writing of the period. Bonus: The author has curated a Recipe For Hate online punk playlist for uneasy listening.