Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jimmy the Slasher (tax Cuts) and shootout in Downtown TO

Trick or Treat!!! Finance Minister Jim Flaherty doling out Tax Cuts instead of candies this Halloween.

Jim the Slasher...Finance Minister Jim FlahertySlashes Taxes Left and Right..

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's election-ready minority government has offered most Canadians tax savings of several hundred dollars a year by trimming income taxes and cutting the GST by one percentage point

With the Government projecting a Budget Surplus surpassing last year $13.8 billions, it is getting ever ready for Election by further trimming down the Good and Services Tax another 1% from 6 after another 1% was trimmed last year. Personal Income tax was also lowered .5 (half a percent) point to 15 %.

And here is what the Slasher said about his mini-budget (annual budget would be tabled in Spring):

Canadians deserve a tax cut and all Canadians will get one.

And here are where the taxes are cut:
1. Goods and Services Tax..further 1% from 6% on top of 1% reduction last year, effective January 2008..Cost to Govt. in lower tax revenue $5 billions.

2. Income tax for personal income cut to 15 % from 15.5%, retro-active January 1, 2007.

3. Personal Exemption increase to $9,600 from the current threshold of $ 8,929 (the amount where all Canadians can earn without having to pay Federal Income Tax. And will further increase to $10,500 next year..

Combining 2 and 3 would mean income tax savings next year of $300 on average for a family bringing in between $30,000 to $45,000 a year. A Family earning 15 and 30 thousands would save 180 in 2008.

And while the two income tax measures will benefit all taxpayers, they are of particular value to low-income individuals. As a result, 385,000 people will be removed from the income tax rolls altogether, Flaherty estimated.
Including the latest GST cut, the government yesterday proposed personal tax reductions of $9.4 billion annually.

Flaherty also used his budget surpluses, which would have hit $16 billion this year without the new tax measures, to reduce corporate taxes "much deeper and much faster than ever contemplated before."

(So everyone gets a Treat from Ottawa this Halloween.)

Finance Minister Flaherty had to deliver his mini-budget in National Press Theater across the House of Commons because the opposition NDP (New Democtratic Party) refused his 11th hour request to deliver the Mini in the house.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said he would not co-operate with the Conservative Publicity Gimmick.
(No wonder the NDP ever since its founding could not win a Federal Government, even though its Provincial counterparts have been winning governments most especially in Saskatchewan and Manitoba).

Well the NDP has always been in opposition, so it is getting comfortable with its role, whereas the Liberal and the Conservative have been alternating leading the Government. Forget about the Parti Québécois, it is only running candidates in the Province of Quebec, not Federally all over...

And what the Provincials and Municipal government have to say about the Federal surplus. Nothing much except asking some handouts, instead of putting their own houses in order...

For the mini budget and more, it’s h e r e


Betsy Powell
Crime Reporter--Toronto Star
A wounded man was the only victim of a running gun battle between two armed groups who fired at least 40 shots on a downtown Toronto street early yesterday, police said.
The fusillade blew out car windows and left bullet holes in storefronts on Adelaide St. W.

It was 3 am and the rival gangs decided to shoot it out after a night a partying and maybe some ‘praining’.

For eye witnesses accounts and video visit thetoronto star here

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tackling Official Corruptions...the Canadian Way..

Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser..started the ball rolling after an article in a Daily Paper Globe and Mail questioned the Government in what it suspected as "fraud" in Sponsorship Program...

Tackling Official Corruptions, the Canadian Way..

Corruptions by Elected Officials and Public Servants are happening in almost Every Government and Country anywhere. It is endemic to most countries where Governments are weak and to some where Poverty and Widespread Inequity are the realities of everyday existence. But First World countries are not exempt, not even in our case to which a few years ago the now famous Sponsorship Programs Scandal was exposed and made every Canadian wondering why such corruptions of the scope unimaginable would ever happen in this Country so Proud of its Transparency and Accountability of the people who were elected to led.

What is the Sponsorship Program?

It was the Federal Program set up in the wake of 1995 Quebec Sovereignty to help promote Federalism and the money was supposed to be used to raise Canada’s profile in Quebec.

How the Scandal was exposed?
In 2002 the PM of the day, Jean Chretien was forced to address the issue when the Globe and Mail, a major daily paper, Under the Access of Information Act, tried to find out why the Government paid $550,000 to the advertising firm Groupaction Marketing for a report that could not be found, and no one at the Public Works ministry or the ad firm could answer it.

PM Chretien called on federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser to look at the matter. She found out a lot to launch a full investigation and ask the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to get involved as well..

Short of two years later, Fraser released her explosive report, and not shy to use the words such as “appalling”and “scandalous” to describe how the Liberals abused the system.

She found out that money in the amount of $100 millions were paid to various communications agencies in the form of commissions and fees and said the program was basically designed to generate commissions to the said companies than to benefit Canadians.

That Public Works officials “just broke every rule in the book” awarding contracts to the company Groupaction which was paid millions. Details of federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s report can be checked here (auditor’s report 2004)

PM Chretien had already resigned after 11 years and Paul Martin replaced him as the Party Leader and PM and Martin promptly called on Justice Gomery to conduct an Inquiry and promised to resign if there was evidence that he knew of the frauds in the program. Final reports didn’t implicate Paul Martin, but he resigned after the Liberal lost the government after the election that was called when the Parliament lost the confidence of the Government due to the Scandal.

Justice Gomery's Reports phase 1 and 2 can also be read here..phase 1 and phase 2 and final report

Important note: Both PM Paul Martin and former PM Chretien appeared before the Inquiry to give testimonies under oath. For PM Martin it was the first time since Canada was Six Years old that a sitting PM appeared before a Public Inquiry.

The RCMP was also involved, investigating allegations of fraud beginning in May 2002.


Justice Gomery's reports were conclusive and painted the picture clearly of what happened to the program. Who were responsible and also recommended to the Government of measures to strengthened accountability in governance.

RCMP criminal investigations resulted in Criminal Charges and Convictions for the officials and business people involved in frauds and conspiracy.

Former PM Chretien against his strong protestation was implicated lightly as not diligence in his watch, but absolved of any direct knowledge of fraud committed by his party members and officials. He was a Good Prime Minister and still other than this scandal during his Eleven Years as PM, will be remembered as One Great Leader and a very distinguished career for his decades of government service in many other positions.

PM Paul Martin was not implicated as having any knowledge of the ongoing scandal while Finance Minister during the time.

Although he lost the government due to the scandal and resigned as party leader, he came out clean and his reputations untarnished. Another Good Leader who didn’t have much chance to prove himself, but proved it in another capacity as Former Finance Minister, bringing Canada to a healthy budget surplus, that is still enjoyed by the current government, from deficit in previous years. A very successful businessman in his private life, a well respected family man and he has done a good job to his country and people in public and private.

Thus, we have concluded one of the biggest scandals in our history as a nation born some 140 years ago (1867). We may have some in the future, but I believe that if it ever happens again, we have the resolve to face up to it and have the courage to deal with it squarely and in our own way bring each and everyone to proper resolution...

For indepth details and related items you may go tothis site

And for more readings here arethe top 10 scandals in Canadian Political History...some were just scandals and remained scandals while others were later proven more than just scandals, some funny, some serious..

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Government Introduces Law banning veiled voting...

Lifting the Veil

Just last month, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, challenged the government on the law that requires voters in federal elections to identify themselves and noted that the law does not specify... how? And said that he will allow Muslim women voters wearing veil to vote without uncovering their faces for identification. Threat and counter threats of lawsuits between the Government and the Chief ensued, but during a press conference the Chief challenged the Government if to show faces is what the MPs intended, then change the law and the Government responded by doing just that, introducing the law banning veiled voting". And more debates ensued...funny those politicians..

And here are the Two Cents from some of them:

Peter Van Loan, the minister responsible for democratic reform:
said he hopes the bill will settle the potentially corrosive debate over the accommodation of diverse religious beliefs.

Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff:
I do not want this debate imported into the House of Commons,"
While he supports requiring all voters to identify themselves, he added "What I don't like about this whole project is the idea that we take a bunch of women wearing veils and we make a whole big deal about this . . . Let's not have politicians fishing around and creating divisions between Canadians about this."

Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress:
the law is unnecessary and will feed discrimination against Muslim Canadians. And he suggested the Tories are hoping to make "political mileage among Islamophobes."

Sameer Zuberi, of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Canada:
the federal Tories are trying to "win over Quebec" by jumping on an issue that is already raging in the province. He questioned the urgency of the matter given that "there are hardly any" women in Canada who choose to wear niqabs or burkas to cover their faces.

The issue of veiled voters first came up during the Quebec provincial election last spring, adding fuel to an already heated debate over how far the province should go in accommodating newcomers. Action démocratique du Québec Leader Mario Dumont's popularity surged after he suggested Quebec has gone too far in catering to immigrants.

Last month, the issue popped up on the national radar during three federal byelections in Quebec. Marc Mayrand, the country's chief electoral officer, opened a political storm when he said the law did not require byelection voters to uncover their faces.

For details and more Two Cents from all parties of interest, you may go to the link in first paragraph, for the background and how it all started here is my previous post on the subject but here is for the sunshines of the week...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Measures Against Crime and Terrorism...

UPDATE: TTC’s Cameras face Probe...

Toronto Star
Oct 25, 2007 04:30 AM Paola Loriggio
Staff Reporter
Ontario's privacy commissioner will investigate whether installing thousands of security cameras in Toronto's transit system would breach riders' privacy.

Privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian's involvement was in response to a complaint filed yesterday by the London-based organization Privacy International, which argues there is no public-interest justification for the $21 million security system approved by the TTC last spring.

The London organization contends the security project violates Canadian privacy laws.
TTC chairman Adam Giambrone, who has not seen the document, said the transit authority is acting in line with privacy regulations.
He said the cameras will not be monitored and that only police can access the footage.
"This kind of system is common in transit communities across Canada," including Montreal and Vancouver, Giambrone said.

The project calls for up to 10,000 cameras to be installed in TTC subway cars, buses and streetcars, on top of the 1,500 or so currently in place.
Many of the new cameras have already been installed but are not yet switched on, Giambrone said.

The project's completion is scheduled for June.

"It would be unusual if only Toronto were segregated when every major city with a transit authority has a surveillance system," Giambrone said.
He said the TTC will co-operate with the probe by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, but will not interrupt the project unless a stop order is issued.

The commissioner's office will take a full look at the complaint, though it's too early to say how this will play out, spokesperson Bob Spence told The Canadian Press.
"We're looking at exactly why they're putting up cameras – are they putting up signs so that people are aware of the cameras?"

Well, there you go... Less than a week after the installation of the surveillance cameras had been announced, challenge number one has already on the book...

In my Main Entry, I am quite sure that someday if the challenge is brought before the courts, the installation of Cameras will be upheld as reasonable since all precautions and assurances to respect privacy of every citizen been carefully considered...but it is always better to have all the challenges cleared, before switching the Cameras on...

TTC announced Installation of Additional 10000 Cameras on all TTCs vehicles, stations and properties...

TTC chairman Adam Giambrone shows off a newly installed security camera at Ossington subway station yesterday. (Alex Urosevic, Sun Media)

Every Rider in Toronto Transit System will be on Camera.
Another anti-crime, anti-terrorism measure will be in place by June. In a world where a threat from terrorists attacks anytime is now everyone subconscious state of mind, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC, the public mass transit system, serving 1.5 million riders daily) is trying to help ease up this concern a lot.

City Councillor and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone is quoted here for his Security Measures..
"There will be cameras everywhere. Everyone who enters the TTC legally or illegally will be photographed. He said the photographs will be accessible only to police to help solve crimes"."

"Workers or police at the TTC's command centre will be able to instantly view live video or hear audio from any of the security cameras installed on subway cars".

"We don't believe this is an invasion of privacy since police will be the only ones with access to the information. We believe the cameras will help solve crimes and act as a deterrent. We want to ensure the safety of the public traveling on the TTC"."

Controllers will also be able to obtain a live audio feed for incidents on other TTC vehicles for emergency issues..

The Chair added:
"The tiny cams (12000 of them) are one of many features of an overall TTC security plan that includes increasing the amount of TTC constables and adding motion detectors on its property".

TTC spokesman Marilyn Bolton said transit officials worked with police to obtain good-quality cameras that can capture images that will stand up in court.

"Our employees have no access to the images," Bolton said. "The information is not available to everybody."

Councillor Peter Milczyn added his two cents:

"There was a need for the cameras to protect the traveling public.
This is something that we need in our society today. They can help with terrorism and day-to-day cases."
(Now you said the dreaded word T).

But on the other side of the coin, Alice Barton, of Toronto Public Space Committee, said her group disagrees with the use of the TTC cameras, which she feels violate the privacy of riders.

"We are very opposed to the use of cameras in public spaces . It is very intrusive when police can keep track on the movements of people."

She said her group is concerned that police will have full access of the images without oversight of their use.

But then it was calls from the public for cameras that escalated after a number of robberies and shootings, including a stabbing in one of the subway stations. Police issue photos by TTC on a regular basis for wanted criminals.

Proponents also maintain the cams can be used -- as was done by police in London, England -- to nab terrorists or break up their cells.
For more of the story visit the other Toronto's daily toronto sun. and for the sunshine of your life just point your mouse you are the sunshine of my life and clik..

My thoughts: someday some accused arrested and charged as the result of the images and audio taken by the TTC cams will challenge its constitutionality as a violation of privacy. But recent rulings by the courts that give precedence to Public Safety may rule that such limits to privacy rights are reasonable under Section 1 of the Charter which states:

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
So, the question if this measure and other measures being installed and implemented by the TTC are reasonable limits? I believe so, considering the crimes and vandalism on the properties of the Publicly Funded Transit system is on the rise and the threats of Terrorism on a daily basis is of everyone concern, the courts would be taking the safety of the public as their primary consideration and would let the limits stand as constitutional...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Take it or Leave it...

Prime Minister Harper responding to the Liberal Amendment to his Anti-Crime Bill...
Take it or Leave it..Government warns oppositions to pass the Bill without changes

That’s the message of PM Harper Minority Government to the Oppositions in the house for the Omnibus Crime Bill to be introduced after the Throne Speech that outlined the Government Plan of Action during this year’s session of Parliament.

That daring do challenge was the result of Opposition Liberal Leader Stephan Dion announcement that his Party is not ready for an immediate election for not supporting the Throne Speech.

Some of the provision of Tough Crime Legislation is the Automatic Refusal of Bail for Gun Crime and the other contentious one is the Strike Three you’re out Provision for individual convicted of Serious Crimes.

And still the other one is the raising the age of consent of sexual activities from 14 to l6...for details on this proposed change, you may read here the intentions of the ressurected bill , the move that will Bring Canada in line with other countries such as U.S, Britain and Australia.

The proposed bill revives Criminal Code reforms to:
*Automatically refuse bail to those charged with gun crimes.

*Provide longer mandatory minimum jail terms for gun- and gang-related crimes.

*Make it easier for police to detect and charge drivers impaired by drugs.

*Raise the legal age of consent for sexual activity to 16 from 14.

*Make it easier to prosecute and indefinitely jail "dangerous offenders" after three convictions for serious crimes.

With the omnibus bill, and the threat of a confidence vote on it – which could trigger an election if the government doesn't win – the Conservatives are boasting of having boxed in the Liberals.

"If they have a problem with the area on dangerous offenders and that's the hill they want to die on – standing up for dangerous offenders in this country – that's their decision," said Nicholson.

Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings said the Liberal caucus would have to decide, given the government's threat, "if that's a battle we want to fight."

The Prospect of Election is still with us, if the Liberal do not support the Bill without Changes or do not support the bill at all, as promised by the Government every vote will be a vote of Confidence and the defeat of any bill as outline in the Throne Speech will be a lost of Confidence...

To read the details of this Take it or Leave it offer check the Threats Here..

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Mistake Corrected..the Mullins-Johnson Case...

William Mullins-Johnson gets a hug from his aunt, Linda Lariviere, yesterday. He said most family members spurned him after his conviction.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals of Ontario, acquited Mullins-Johnson for the Murder and Rape of his 4-year old niece for which he already spent 12 years in Jail..

For details of this case you may check the previous entry, in which I first posted the developments leading to the latest decision by the Appeal Court archives...

Also the Crown Prosecutor offered an Apology to Mullins-Jonhson and family on behalf of the Attorney General of Ontario..

Mullins-Johnson's lawyers, James Lockyer, David Bayliss and Michael Lomer, are also asking the court to more formally express a belief in their client's "factual innocence," if indeed that's what the court believes. "This is a human request ... not a legal one," Lockyer told the panel, which reserved its decision on the issue.

For more of this, and how the Panel came to its decision you may go the toronto star for details ..

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Federal Election in fall or winter... the Trap is set....

Prime Minister Steven Harper... confident and ready for Election...

Update: October 18, 2007 8:30 am.. the official opposition Liberal Party decided that it is not ready for Election now. Leader Stephan Dion announced in the House that his party is not going to vote against the Throne Speech by the Governing Conservatives..the other two parties already announced that they are not going to support the Speech, but between them, they don't have enough numbers to force an Election. So for now business as usual...

Canadians, are you ready for the Fall Election? Or maybe the same as the last one, in Winter?
The sign is that, the Minority Conservative Government is primed and ready for election. The PM may not call it, but let the oppositions get in the trap and it is about to be set...

And from today’s Toronto Star headlines the trap is set.. Read the rest of the story of the possible showdown this fall or winter ...

OTTAWA — Since his first Speech from the Throne 20 months ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a high art of treading thin political lines and carving off even thinner wedges of territory in which he can plant the Conservative party's flag.

He has courted ethnic votes across the country, ramped up support for the military, shifted focus on the environment and championed a get-tough approach to criminal justice. This is to say nothing of the many efforts Harper has made to win over Quebec voters.

His second throne speech, which will be delivered Tuesday evening, is expected to trumpet those causes as promises both made and kept, and to build on them in small but meaningful ways. Harper has promised a tax cut, a limit on Ottawa's ability to spend money in provincial jurisdictions, more crime bills and additional initiatives to protect the environment.

But the Prime Minister's framing of the debate that begins with the throne speech also promises to kick off a frantic period of political jousting in the capital. It will ensure that MPs are never more than a phone call away from Parliament Hill. They will be keeping their flashy election signs even closer.

In his search for a stronger hold on power, Harper has laid down an aggressive ultimatum to opposition parties that puts the trigger for an election in their hands, but ensures that he remains the one directing the firing squad.

His audacious threat to make every piece of legislation that stems from the speech subject to a confidence vote – meaning a defeated bill would spark an election – appears designed to force the hand of a Liberal party in disarray that is ill-prepared for an election. It comes from an election-ready government that, as of last week, was said to be writing the throne speech, campaign platform and debate preparation all at the same time.

What is the Throne Speech...

A Speech from the Throne is prepared by the Prime Minister’s office and delivered by the Governor General (as the representative of the Queen) that reveals to the House of Commons and Senate, the work the Government proposes for the new session of the Parliament. It contains comments on the state of the nation and outlines measures on which the government will seek Parliamentary action.

The Parliamentary system of Government as adapted in most commonwealth and former British colonies follow the system of the present United Kingdom set-up, although some have modifications and refinements, best suited for each independent country.

Canadian system as it is now, the Party in Government has a mandate of 5 years (usually election is called in four years) but the Government of the Day has the option of calling it anytime within the process.

In a majority government, where it can proceed and implement it’s own programs and can assure of the vote of the house of commons, it will call election almost to the expiration of its mandate. But it is a different matter for a minority government (which the sitting government is the minority). It is governing with the support of anyone party or combination of parties, in every major legislation that it proposes. And the defeat of the Budget is an automatic loss of confidence that will necessitate dissolution and call for election.

And also a minority government can call an election when it feels the tide is in its favour to return a majority government. But short of calling the Election, it can force the opposition by exactly doing what the Current Government is doing. Setting the Trap and let the oppositions decide if they are as ready for the Showdown...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Liberals back in Government with a Majority...

A triumphant Dalton McGuinty gets a congratulatory kiss from wife Terri, as supporters chanted, "Four More Years".. First Back to Back majority for the Liberals in 70 years...

Provincial Election Results:
Liberal Back in Government with a MAJORITY:

Liberals: 71 seats - 42 % popular, lost 1 seat.

Conservatives: 26 seats -32 % popular vote. gained 2 seats.

New Democrats: 10 seats - 17 % popular vote. Gained 3 seats same popular vote.

Green: 0 seats - 8% popular vote..about the same as last election...

(four seats added from 103 to 107, regular re-adjustments).

Forgiving his broken promise not to raise taxes in 2003, voters yesterday handed Premier Dalton McGuinty the first back-to-back Liberal majority government since Mitch Hepburn won 70 years ago. Read the complete coverage here..

I would say, Conservatives leader John Tory ran a very, very bad campaign...

First, the issue of Publicly funding all faith-base schools at an estimated initial costs of $400 annually for 53,000 thousands students, a 3 % of the total provincial students (Separate School system, the Catholic Schools account for 600,000 students) and could grow up is just too much for the voters. I mentioned in previous post that this is the hottest issue, that voters almost disregard all other issues Election hottest issue..

However, the gravest concern with the Conservative plan came from within the party, where there are still wounds from Davis's (former Conservative Premier) Catholic school funding proclamation a generation ago. The unrest within the party forced Tory to reverse his stance and say that a free vote would be held in the Legislature on the issue.

Second, Party leader Tory run against Liberal Education Minister Kathleen Wayne, a very popular member of the Liberal who promised to also strengthened her Education Ministry, hoping to Unseat the minister on his promise of Funding all faith-based schools that even Fragmented his own party candidates. Tory Failed to win a seat.

Tory has forgotten the rule of Politics, a good manager does not really translate to being a winning politician. That he can not underestimate the voters by forcing his agenda before consulting the public for their sentiments or even his own caucus, which were not unanimous with his major campaign programs..

For Referendum results, the first referendum in 83 years was a disappointment, not because the voters voted 2-1 to stay for the same First Past the Post system than to change to Mixed Member Proportional Representation, but because of the failure by referendum body to fully inform the voters what the Referendum was about...

I myself was surprised that so many voters do not even knew or understood what a mixed member proportional meant. Considering that the province has no referendum experience for the last 83 years, this is not surprising....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Election Day - polls open 9:00am to 9:00pm EDT

Party Leaders: Left top-Dalton McGuinty-Liberals
Right top-John Tory-Conservatives
Bottom left-Howard Hampton, New Democrats
Bottom right-Frank De Jong-Green

Last words from the Leaders:

Dalton McGuinty:We’re working with Toronto and cities across Ontario — fixing the problems created by the Harris Tory party. We have uploaded costing and responsibilities. We’ll keep working together, and we have asked the federal government to do its part too.

John Tory :Throughout this election, I strived to be straightforward, honest and accountable. I have not shied away from difficult issues or from real voters, and have willingly answered all of their questions.
My party has laid out a plan that is affordable, realistic and fair for every person in Ontario.

Howard Hampton:More and more people are coming to the New Democrats. They know we're the only party they can count on to stick up for them and fight for a fair deal for Toronto.
The NDP has run a positive campaign, speaking about issues that working families care about. We put forward a clear alternative – six practical, fully-costed and affordable commitment.

Frank De Jong:Ontarians should vote for the Green party because ours is the only party that's willing to say what needs to be said, and to do what needs to be done to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a future.
Our policies recognize that the health of our society, environment and economy are interdependent, and that any solution to current challenges must address that reality.

To read more of the last words from the four leaders, you may go to the Star forcomplete coverage

Reminders to all Voters: If you can not be able to vote before going to work, that by law each eligible voter is allowed a Three Hours window after the polls opening and before closing. That you should be off by 6:00pm or start after 9:00 up to 12:00 noon..inform your employer if you're going to vote... it is the Law...

9:50 am - just back home from 3 kms. walk to the polling place to cast my vote. all the way to the Public School Gym where the polls located there was not a single campaign poster along the way. There are few in some houses down our road and they are all small ones in a removable posts displayed on the lawn. clean up is done within two days after election day.

How we vote in the Provincial Election:
The voting process is as simple as it can get. Voter bring along a registration notice mailed at least two weeks before election day to the polling place where young clerks will direct the voter to the poll assigned. Present the registration card to the returning officer and he or she will jot down the voters name along with the registration number, cross out the voter's name in the list and the clerk will give out the ballots with his or her initials. An id (preferably driver's license or any valid photo id maybe asked for verification) then a voter will proceed to a table where a pair of two cardboard boxes with a pencil and mark X opposite the name of candidate of choice, only one candidate..Candidates are listed in alphabetical order and noted within the box under which party they are running for.

Takes less than a few seconds to do the X inside the small circle and this year there is a referendum proposed by the Citizen Assembly to give the voters a choice to change the election system to Mixed Members Proportional Representation or stay with the status quo First Past the Post system. also an X will indicate the choice.

After all the Xes done, bring back the ballots to the clerk folded with the clerk's initial showing. The returning officer will note in his logbook that voting is done. Ballots are returned back to the voter to drop in a ballot box where they will stay until the closing time, where they will be brought to a location for electronic counting.

Results will start pouring in the Media counts within 30 minutes and as long as everything is going fine, final tallying will be available by midnight, 3 hours after closing, unofficially, but usually the same as the official results. Ballots are kept in safe locations known only to the election officers and witnesses, and will be retrieved only under court order if there is any election protest or if automatic recount would not resolve the issue...Automatic recount is only done if the winning candidate margin is too narrow within the pre-established number.

If the party who win the election is in majority, the mandate is four years at a fixed date for the next election, unless the parliament is dissolve for any other reason. If it is a minority, election can be called anytime if the government loss the confidence of the Parliament...done my civic duty in about a minute...


Monday, October 08, 2007

American Desperately Seeking Medicare....

Jeanne Sather as pictured in her WEBSITE... assertivepatient .com,

Lately, we have been bombarded with a few ‘Brouhahas’ directed to the medical profession of the Philippines and also to the former President, what most Filipinos all over the globe considered as some kind or racial slurs and belittling of the Filipinos as a whole.

Well there are too many already who have taken the cause; wrote about them, demanding this and that from the parties of interests so instead this Entry is about one American in particular who again raise the issue of the U.S. very “excellent” health care for many but not all Americans.

It concerns one American named Jeanne Sather who initially as joke put out an ad which contents I will post here:

Me: Writer, artist, teacher ... mother of two almost-grown sons ... vegetarian (but you don't have to be). Loves animals (two large dogs and three cats), gardening, house projects. The beach. Books. Travel. Financially solvent except for absurdly expensive health insurance premiums and medical costs.

You: Age 45 to about 57. Canadian citizen living in Vancouver, B.C., or willing to relocate there. Cancer patient or survivor. Open-minded. Bit of a risk taker. Warm hearted but not clinging. bald OK.

Check this article from to know more about Sather search for Canadian Husband..

This ad solicited all kind or responses, some for support and also scorn from both Americans and Canadians.

Just two days after she posted her ad on her blog assertivepatient .com, on Labour Day, Sather received her first serious response. That set her wondering if she could connect with someone who could solve her financial worries.

What began as a joke has become a serious enough quest that Sather has found herself fantasizing about marriage to two men she has never met.

A third proposal is from a female University of Toronto student who is not gay but nevertheless offered to marry Sather.

And here's what a female U.T. student has to say of her proposal: "The fact that your country doesn't have a universal health-care program when most every other industrialized nation in the world has seen to putting one together is completely inexcusable".

"As such, I'm offering my hand in marriage if it will help you receive treatment without having to declare bankruptcy."

To read more of the articles and the one from Canadian Daily check this out..Deserately Seeking Medicare..

Although most Americans are covered by their “Excellent Medical” care, there are also a large percentage that fall thru the Non-Universality of the system that is Profit Oriented. And considering the cost of today’s Health care, it will put even a middle class family among the marginalized segment of the great American society.

This coming Presidential Election, presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton floated the idea of adapting a universal health care scheme for the whole U.S.A. The idea was floated during the tenure of her Husband Bill Clinton, but never gain any ground due to strong resistance from the Insurance business and the profitable health care providers.

Will the Americans ever see a Universal Care system the likes of United Kingdom, Canada and most industrialized countries? It will take a great courage and convictions for any administration to push the system, considering that Health Care American style is a Big Business. Still it is possible. Americans are a people of great convictions and courage and can do whatever they set out to do. She is economically sound and ready for such system, but then it is up for the Americans as Americans are the master of their own fate...

And most of my family members reside, work and study in America and that is including our bibs...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ontrario Vote Countdown -- Three more days to go...

Ontario Vote Countdown – Three more days to go...

Parties Platforms: start with governing party, the Liberals to Conservatives, the official opposition and the New Democrats, the other party in Government. The Green party, although has candidates in every riding is not included as it has to win a seat yet.

Liberal Party Platforms: * Continue levying health tax up to $900 per person.

Begins measuring emergency room wait times.

100 new medical school spaces.

Free PSA test for men and fertility test for women.

Electronic health records for every citizens by 2015.

Progressive Conservatives:
* Phase out Health tax over four years.

Electronic health care records by 2014.

Send out Premier John Tory to the U.S. to lure more than 9000 Canadian Doctors working there. (Come home sis and bro-in-law).

Allow more Private Clinics but only if Ontarians would be able to pay for care with OHIP cards (our health care cards, all residents have one)

Allow private sectors to build more modern Health-Care facilities.

New Democrats:
*Reduce health tax for people earning less than $80 thousands and eliminate it under $48 thousands.

Raise price of cigarettes by 17% to encourage smokers to quit.
Resume health care coverage for optical care, physiotherapy and chiropractic care removed by the current Liberals.

Minimum of 3.5 hours of personal daily care of residents of nursing homes.

Note: the NDP platforms look so good, but chances of winning the government is quite dim.

On Education:

**Expand kindergarten to a full day.

Ban trans fat from school cafeterias and require healthy menus.

Introduce on line Homework help.

$300 “textbook and technology” grant for post secondary students.

$10 Millions to prepare school to deliver Autism Therapy (I like this one).

Review school funding by 2010.

Conservatives: **$400 millions to extend funding to all Faith based schools following the Ontario curriculum and hiring accredited Teachers.

Annual Review of school funding formula.

Frequent standardized testing of students.

Limit homework to TEN MINUTES per grade level each night.

$75 millions annually to expand Autism therapy into classrooms. (Even better).

New Democrats: **$800 million to expand kindergarten to a full day.

$100 million to improve services for children with autism. (much better than the Liberals).
Roll back and freeze University and College tuition to 2003 level.(University and College fees are not fully funded, but subsidized to up to 60 % and student loans are available to qualified post secondary students).

$75 Millions more for School supplies so Parents would no longer to have to hold Bake Sales (True: some parents do hold bake sale to supplement their children school supplies).

I just post the platforms for two of the most important issues in our society. To check the rest regarding the Environment, Poverty, Economy, and download to Municipalities and Cities you may check the complete list at this PDF files..Political Parties Election Campaign Platforms here...

My comments: The polls show that the Liberal is still leading three days going into the polls. Polls survey give the Liberal 43%, Conservative 32% and the New Democrats 18%. The rest are for the Green party and other independent candidates. You may check the complete polls surveys by several polling agencies,surveys here.

The Conservatives going into the Campaign as the favourite to unseat the Liberals. But their Trojan Horse that may bring back the Liberals is the Promise of Public Funding to all Faith based schools that the Public is not quite ready to embrace yet. Although party leader John Tory, did a “wee bit” of backtracking that if elected Premier, he will allow a Free Vote on the issue. Maybe a little too late, because the issue even caused fragmentation within the Party Caucus.

On Matter of Referendum..Note; the parties are not allowed by law to campaign on referendum issue:

The YES VOTE: Allowing Mixed Members Proportional(MMP) Representations in Provincial Parliament. Explanation: if carried, the Parliament will be adjusted to 129 members from l07 by 2012, 90 of which will be elected directly by voters in 90 ridings and the other 39 from the Party List in proportion to their Popular votes..

The NO VOTE: Maintain the Status Quo or First Past the Post ( or a simple majority votes).

My Prediction: the NO Vote will carry the day. Voters, minority of which would like to see other parties, like the Green or even Communist Party get representations in the Parliament, the Majority still prefer the old system where Members are Accountable to both their Parties and the Voters of every riding. Most voters feel comfortable meeting their representatives face to face and talk about the issues of the day and that is not possible for party list members that represent no riding and only accountable to their parties and the chance of representatives nominated by their parties not acceptable to the General Public...I will vote a Big NO.

For Ontarians of voting age, no matter how you vote, Please go out and Vote this Wednesday, October 10, 9:00am to 9:00pm. Plenty of time before and after work. Or make sure to remind your employer that a THREE HOURS window is in effect and it is the Law. And even if not registered go to your polling station, (the list is available from Election Ontario) and register right at the Polls. Bring at least two ids with photo. Do not let others speak out for you... Vote...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Filipino Housekeeper Found Slain in her Employer's House...

Jocelyn Dulnuan - Peel Police file photo...

UPDATE: October 7, Sunday 12:15 pm

Help sought to help send Jocelyn home.

A trust fund for Jocelyn is set up and be ready by Thursday at Dominion Bank.

Meanwhile, the friends of Jocelyn has not heard from the Philippine Consulate about the request to help facilitate the shipment of her body to her family home. There were already reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs has instructed the Philippine Consulate in Toronto to extend full assistance to the victim. For details of the update, you may read it here
help sought..

Maid Found Slain..Peel Police released the name of the Filipino Maid found slain in her Employer’s House Monday afternoon. Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old and has been here since November of last year on working permit.

Homicide detectives have remained tight-lipped about who killed the 27-year-old and why, but friends say she'd been feeling uneasy.
"There's a second door in the back of the house that leads to the basement where her room is. She told me the last time I saw her that there's a river behind the house, so someone could just pass onto the (property) there, around the gates," said Lyn, 27, who is also a housekeeper. Lyn, who did not want her last name published, said she spoke with Dulnuan the morning she was killed.

Peel homicide Insp. Norm English refused to say how many suspects are being sought or reveal details of the crime, including how Dulnuan died and when.
"The persons that would know that are the killers and I'll hold that off until we interview them," he said at a media conference.

Peel police assured the public this is an Isolated case and the place was targeted for some specific reason (but would not say if it's roberry) and its Homicide Investigators are working around the Clock to try and solve the Crime. Forensic personnel are doing the painstaking gathering of evidence and said it may take a week to process the Crime Scene..
And it is also asking anyone with any information to call the Peel Police or Peel Crimes Stopper.

Jocelyn Dulnuan is a graduate of Criminology from the University of Baguio and has worked in Hongkong, where her mother is laso working, before moving to Canada.

She left a 3-year old daughter and fiancee. The family would long to have the body home, but Unfortunately the Philippine Consulate can not fund the Shipment..

Friends are planning to set up a Trust Fund for Jocelyn.
For details of the case and more from the Police and Friends of Jocelyn, please read more at... toronto star, gta section here..

Monday, October 01, 2007

If I were an Idiot-I would be among the first 28s

A very Important Breaking News--9:30am, October 3..Police say they have reason to suspect foul play after housekeeper found dead in Mississauga.
Radio Stations reported in their News update that the victim is a 27 years old Filipino woman working as housekeeper maid in the sprawling two-story mansion.
Police said they will release the name of the victim at the news coference this morning..
For details of this incident check the initial reports at the Toronto Star here.

A very Important Reminder to those who drive with a lead foot and say "ain't too drunk to drive tonight, darling". The New Street Racing Law takes effect Midnight tonight (Sept. 30, 2007) and the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) warms that this will be 'shock and awe' to those that have the inclinations to do following things.

>>go over the limit at more than 50 kms, car will be impounded on the spot and license suspended for one week immediately (pending resolution of the charges) and minimum fine of $2000 and a few other stunts that might endangered those who want to share the roads.

For those that still do not know, the immediate suspension of Licence of 1 week for these offences pending resolution of the charges, have no right for appeal.. take a look at what's coming on your streets and highways and drive accordingly or be very ready to get a Bus Pass out or have money for a ride home. The Police will just drive the apprehended driver to a safe place and it is your responsibility how to get home. Street racers warned..OPP warns street racers to get a bus pass don't blame me, I warned you...Mario Andretti!!!

UPADATE ON THE New Street Racing Law, October 1, 3:l5 am:

The law was in effect barely less than 24 hours ago and the Police already announced as of 8:00pm yesterday, Sunday that the already netted 28 drivers, breaking the 50 kms. over the limit. Following are the excerpt from the announcement:

For the 28 drivers charged today, the costs hit home immediately: vehicle impounded for seven days, driver’s licence suspended for seven days and, if found guilty in court, a minimum $2,000 fine.

It was enough to drive one young man to tears after he became one of the first stopped by the Ontario Provincial Police after the law — aimed at drivers doing more than 50 kilometres over the speed limit — came into effect today.

“A young man started crying as his mom’s car was impounded,” said OPP Sgt. Cam Woolley, unable to say if the tears were prompted by the temporary loss of the car, the potential fine, or in anticipation of mom’s wrath.

Another driver, who just got his new car, promptly lost it after he was clocked doing 174 km/h on Highway 401, which has a 100 km/h speed limit. “He only had the car for two days, and the car will be impounded longer than he owned it,” Woolley noted.

for more of the lead-foot who ignores the new traffic law check...some just don't get it

Now, don't wonder why vast majority of Ontarians are inclined to obey the law, instead of breaking it for the Pain of Penalties is too much to bare and the enforcement of the law that cater no favour to whom the "braves" (or idiots) who dare...

Posted by vic at 2:56 AM 0 comments