Or, possibly, resigning to spend less time with you

Globe and Mail, August 3, 2007:

The early days in the portfolio were stormy as Mr. Smitherman took on doctors, hospitals, nurses, drug companies, community-care advocates and pretty well anybody…Mr. Smitherman acquired a couple of nicknames, Furious George and Old Yeller, from his blunt dealings with health officials.

He told doctors looking for a contract that they could take or leave what he had offered. He pointed a finger at an Ottawa hospital official who was unused to being treated that way. He criticized Taj Ma-hospitals being built with fashionable atriums and he called optometrists “terrorists” for fighting cuts in health-insurance coverage…His staff rotated faster than the turnstiles at cinemas showing the new Harry Potter film…

“Spend more time with his family.” I always love that one.

UPDATE: Ryan adds an update over on Facebook: “Once upon a time I worked for him at Queen’s Park and I know exactly why Jeff, or anyone would quit. In 2003 Smitherman’s Press Secretary quit after one week on the job.”

Malcolm McLaren

Quite a few of you – including a Member of Parliament, a newspaper columnist and assorted others – wanted me to opine on the passing of Malcolm McLaren, the erstwhile manager of the Sex Pistols.

My short answer is that I think what the Pistols think. This is what Glen Matlock said to me when I interviewed him for Fury’s Hour:

More here!

What’s gotten John Gormley’s panties in a twist?

“Fife — and his helper Taber — looked like a couple of lightweight thugs kicking Guergis when she’s down. But, then again, it’s always the weak that go after wounded prey.”

Wow. Gormley’s gormless column about Independent MP Helena Guergis being the victim of a “drive-by smear” (Lord how I loathe that cliché) was so wrong, so wildly off the mark, that it’ll be talked about for a long time to come.

Moreover, his shots at Jane Taber and Bob Fife (full disclosure, friends of mine) were also Hall-of-Fame stupid. John owes them an apology.

L’affaire Jaffer

Apart from everything else – the false claim to still be an MP, the alleged influence-peddling, the association with men under police investigation, the fact that cocaine was in his possession and the fact that he was driving under the influence – this Toronto Star report is going to make for a complicated day (or days) in a number of offices, in Ottawa, Toronto and out in Caledon. It is an extraordinary piece of investigative reporting.

Straight-up, no commentary, no bullshit: it was a joy to read, even if the subject matter should anger everyone.

Rahim Jaffer, your time in the spotlight ain’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

The “strategy” that isn’t

The Reformatories believe they will attract Catholics and “traditional” Christians to their side of the ballot with their retrograde policies on maternal health. They won’t. Notwithstanding Hilary Clinton’s statements on the issue, or the fact that every single Conservative MP showed their utter disdain for the health of women in the Third World, what matters is this: the Harper regime has grossly miscalculated, here.  As a pro-choice Catholic, I can state that they will pay a political price for it.


Catholic group urges PM to include abortion in G8 initiative

Source: The Canadian Press

Apr 7, 2010 8:10
TORONTO  – A Catholic group is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to include family planning in a G8 initiative on maternal and child health.

In a letter to Harper, the group Catholics for Choice argues that access to abortion services is a basic human right and a matter of social justice.

The group adds that maternal mortality can be alleviated through wide access to reproductive health care services.

Harper has so far refused to include abortion in his initiative on maternal health to be presented at the G8 summit in Huntsville, Ont., in June.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said in late March that this stance has turned into an international embarrassment for Canada.

The federal government says contraception will be part of the G8 initiative but that it won’t re-open the abortion debate.


Global warming’s a myth, eh?

I just got word that the ice on the lake where my cabin’s located – and, apparently, hundreds of other lakes in Ontario – “went out” on the weekend. As in, it’s gone.

This is an unprecedented event, something that few can remember happening before: the ice melting away a full month early.

For me, this means participation in Friday Power Play shows will end a month earlier than scheduled – and, of course, I’ll get to enjoy the cabin for a full extra month.

For the planet, however, it may be not so good.