An open letter to new Ontario PC MPPs, ministers and staffers

Dear folks:

Welcome to the big leagues. You’ve worked hard to get to today, so enjoy every minute. It’s all downhill from here, believe me.

Five tips, gratis.

One, you have been given an incredible opportunity, one that few aspiring political types ever, ever achieve. Treat it like a privilege, not a right. The people put you there, and the people can take you out. You work for them, like Premier Ford said, over and over.  He was right.

Two, don’t lose touch with the aforementioned people, the ones North of Bloor Street. That’s what your predecessor did – she only listened to people who agreed with her, and she only hired those who told her what she wanted to hear. Remember what Mr. Ford said: your mandate is about the people, not government.

Three, zip your lip, and always be humble. Or, as Chrétien used to say to us: when you are losing, say little. And when you are ahead – like you guys presently are – say even less. That means: no bragging. No hubris. No arrogance. When I was a Chief of Staff, I kept out of bars, I didn’t hang out with journalists anymore, and I reminded myself daily that I was always one headline away from the end.  You should do likewise.

Four, let me tell you what was on Premier Ford’s business card: his name and his contact information. And here’s what wasn’t on his business card: his party affiliation. One of the reasons I became friends with Doug Ford is that he seeks friends everywhere – Liberals, New Democrats, people of colour, people of all faiths. He reaches out. You should, too.

Fifth and final piece of advice: it’s going to get bumpy. You have a clear mandate to do some things, including cuts. So do them. Kathleen Wynne oversaw a reckless, irresponsible government, one that was completely out of touch with the people. Always heed, then, the people.  They expect you to do what you said you were going to do.  So do it.

The people put you there, as noted. And, if you’re not careful, they’ll put you right out again.

Now, enjoy today. The work begins tomorrow, and you are incredibly privileged to have been chosen to do it.


#MeToo and #Trudeau

A snippet from next week’s Hill Times:

Only two things matter, at this point. One, how has Justin Trudeau responded to the woman’s allegation in the Creston Valley Advance?  That’s a very important question.

The Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, when asked about the groping allegation – and groping, in case you are wondering, is addressed in the Criminal Code as “sexual touching” without consent – had this to say:

“As the prime minister has said before, he has always been very careful to treat everyone with respect. His first experiences with activism were on the issue of sexual assault at McGill, and he knows the importance of being thoughtful and respectful. He remembers being in Creston for the Avalanche Foundation, but doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.”

See that?

He “doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.” 

Not exactly a categorical denial.

What’s amazing isn’t that Doug Ford is doing this

…what’s amazing is that Kathleen Wynne didn’t do it when she could’ve.

(And, before any trolls take a shot at my friend Dalton, remember this.)

Premier-Designate Doug Ford will build Memorial to Honour Canadian Heroes of the War in Afghanistan

TORONTO — Premier-Designate Doug Ford today committed to building Ontario’s first provincial public memorial to honour Canadian heroes of the war in Afghanistan.

Ford made this announcement while addressing a joint Federal-Provincial-Territorial meeting with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

“A new generation of heroes, who fought bravely against the terrorists of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, walk among us,” said Ford. “Too many of those heroes are struggling with the scars of their sacrifice. As a province and as a country, we must always remember the 159 Canadians who never returned from Afghanistan.”

Ford announced that he intends to locate the Memorial to the Canadian Heroes of the War in Afghanistan within the legislative precinct at Queen’s Park. Additional details about the cost, the design and the timeline for completion will be shared with MPPs during an upcoming sitting of the legislature.

“Supporting our troops and our military families should unite all Canadians,” said Ford. “This memorial will send a clear message about the sacrifices our fellow Canadians made to protect our values and our freedoms, lest we forget.”

Top ten things Trudeau could have done with Trump™

The Neville Chamberlains and ostriches are filling my inbox.

“Get tough with Trump, eh, Warren?” they bleat.  “That wouldn’t have worked, ever ever!  What would you have done instead?”

It’s a good question.  It’s  fair question.

So, here’s the Top Ten Things Trudeau Should Have Done Instead™:

1. Trudeau should have sought a quicker deal than this (failed) drawn-out process.
2. Trudeau should have given Trump an early win that he could have, er, trumpeted to his supporters.
3. Trudeau should have worked Congress hard with more than just one ambassador – he should have had his whole damn cabinet down there, and himself, signing up congressional support.
4. Trudeau should have more aggressively, and specifically, signed up pro-free-trade Republicans – because the G.O.P. historically has more free traders than the Dems – and because those selfsame Republican free traders are now disproportionately facing mid-term defeat/early retirement.
5. Trudeau should have run a targeted ad campaign in Trump swing states – about Canada supporting America in war, Iran hostages, CanadaArm, supporting them in hard times, etc.
6. Trudeau should have appeared on the media Trump and his core watch – Fox News, etc. – and not the elite media favoured by the McGill Debate Club.
7. Trudeau should have understood that the tax cut was always going to put Trump in a huge deficit/debt situation, one that he would need to offset with tariffs and, ipso facto, get a frigging deal done before the tax cut passed.
8. Trudeau should have shown Trump that he’s not just a wimpy trust fund peacenik – by helping to bomb Syria, or boosting our NATO contribution in the way Trump has been demanding for three years, or whatever – because strongmen only respect strength.
9.  Trudeau should have been more like his father was with guys like Nixon and Reagan, who were elected by the same kind of demographic who elected Trump.  Meaning:

Donald Trump is an asshole

Listen to this Canadian punk rock band, if you don’t believe me:


Here’s Adolf Twitler yesterday, speaking to a rally of mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers:

When Trump eventually got around to Canada, he began by saying “Canada” in a loud, exaggerated voice.

“Canada. You know, Canada: nice guy, nice guy,” he said, extending his arms in a kind of conciliatory gesture. “Prime minister. Justin. I said, ‘Justin, what’s your problem, Justin?’ So: Canada. O Canada. I love their national anthem. O Canada. I like ours better, however. So. No, Canada’s great, I love Canada.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Trump referred deferentially to North Korea’s dictator as “Chairman Kim.” Trump aides say the president intentionally refers to Trudeau by his first name “to be diminishing,” Maggie Haberman, a prominent New York Times reporter, wrote on Twitter.

Trump then launched into his familiar complaint about the post-G7 news conference in which Trudeau repeated his measured criticism of Trump’s new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Trump baselessly suggested again that Trudeau gave the news conference because he thought Trump could not watch it while stuck on a long Air Force One flight to Asia.

“I get onto Air Force One. And he doesn’t understand that Air Force One has 22 televisions. So I come on — they have televisions in closets, they have televisions in areas that no place has — unlimited budget, Air Force One, right,” he said.

“So I get onto the plane and I see Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, saying, ‘Canada will not be bullied by the United States.’ I said, ‘What are we doing here? The fact is that Canada has a 275 per cent tariff on dairy products.’ Little thing called dairy product. Their lumber is a disaster with us. I say, ‘Why aren’t we using our own lumber?’”

The U.S. imported $5.7 billion (U.S.) in Canadian softwood lumber in 2016, according to Trump’s Commerce Department. The two countries are still embroiled in a years-old lumber dispute.

“Energy is a disaster,” Trump continued without elaboration. The White House has never explained the president’s occasional vague complaints about the energy relationship.

Trump then adopted a mocking voice to dismiss Trudeau’s argument that Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, officially imposed on “national security” grounds, are an insult to a close military ally like Canada.

“I see Justin said, ‘We fought World War I together, we fought World War II together.’ That’s true. We love Canada. But Canada’s charging almost 300 per cent tariff on dairy products and many other things,” he said.

Canada’s supply management system for dairy involves a quota on foreign imports and then high tariffs above the quota levels. The Canadian dairy industry argues that U.S. dairy farmers also get signifaicnt help from governments in the form of subsidies.

Trump continued: “I said, look, if you want to do that, we’re going to put a little tariff on your cars.”

When will Justin Trudeau stop taking this shit, and fight back?

Your guess is as good as mine.