TheGorryDetails
TheGorryDetails Issue 1, Vol, 26

It seems that there is an endless supply of topics I could write about seeing it’s been quite a long time since the Details graced the pages of your social media outlets however, today I’m focusing on a couple of issues that have placed a fire in my head.

Recently the City of Ottawapassed a By – Law to increase the scope of the No Smoking regulations.  Council passed new regulations stating that it’s against the law to smoke on Patio’s, Beaches and in almost every public space in Ottawa.  Council was presented with two (2) studies on the effects of second hand smoke for reference while debating the merits of this new extension.  Contained within these pages of these reports was that the effects of second and third hand smoke in open spaces, each report was inconclusive, yet council has undertaken a position that the effects of second hand smoke and third hand smoke in open spaces is detrimental to our health.  As a non smoker I appreciate the fact that bars and restaurants are smoke – free but I disagree with Council dictating to private enterprise what they can and can’t do based on tenuous research at its best.  Council voted on February 22nd 2012 to enact this By-Law, there was only two (2) dissenting votes, with twenty – three (23) council members and one (1) Mayor, twenty – two (22) elected officials decided to vote in favour of an extension to a By – Law using inconclusive evidence.  This should be alarming to all residents ofOttawa! Furthermore, a quick overview of the By – Law indicates City staff did not perform their due diligence when drafting the By –Law definitions section.  In the final version of the By – Law as posted on the cities website they have defined a bar as the following;

"bar" means an establishment licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario where persons under 19 years of age are not permitted to enter, either as a patron or as an employee; 

However, if you refer to Section 30 Sub Section (5) of the Ontario Liquor License Act it states, 

Exception to subss. (3) and (4)

(5)  Subsections (3) and (4) do not prohibit a licensee or employee or agent of a licensee from permitting a person eighteen years of age to be in possession of liquor during the course of the person’s employment on the licensee’s licensed premises. R.S.O. 1990, c. L.19, s. 30 (5). http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90l19_e.htm#BK34 

You can clearly see that Council has passed a By – Law that for all intents and purposes is invalid.  The definition leads to the application of the By- Law, my argument here is that if the definition of a ‘bar’ is incorrect then how can a ticket be issued to a person or establishment given that the definition of said establishment contradicts the legislated actions allowed by the governing provincial body, the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)? Food for thought…

Ontario’s Lackluster Budget

The second issue that has been rattling around in my head the past little while is the possible impending provincial election.  The governing liberals presented a budget on March 27th 2012 and since then have been raving how it is crucial to the future ofOntario that the budget be passed.  The budget lacked vision and was confusing, for one, why would a government pick a fight with doctors and nurses when both areas are under serviced across the province?  Don’t get me wrong I am all for adding some competition to the market but this is not about adding competition this is about shifting cost, which seems to be the modus operandi of this government.  Instead of taking the chance to make a real change to the health system this government simply took the road they always do and shifted the cost of things to universities or clinics that will perform certain procedures they are pulling from hospitals.  Don Drummond, in his recommendations to the government recommended the government spend 2.5% on healthcare; McGuinty agreed to 2.1%.  When talking about savings the only mention was naming a few projects to be cancelled, there really is no clear path outlined as to where these savings will come from.

Additionally, if we look at the budget spending we see that overall spending is projected to be $126.4 Billion but the estimated revenue is $112.2 Billion in 2012-13, the budget projects a deficit of $15.3 Billion for the 2011-12 year and a $15.2 Billion deficit for 2012-13 year. With the unemployment rate trending lower and lower between now and 2015 it seems near impossible for this government to eliminate the deficit as promised by 2017.

This budget overall is lackluster and confusing all while lacking a real focus, it has been further complicated by the NDP now that they are making demands in order to support the budget.  Andrea Horwath, NDP leader has outlined several items they want to see movement on in order to support the budget, the big ticket item being increasing the taxes on those that make more than $500 thousand dollars a year; this is not a solution and one that the liberals appear to be refusing to entertain.  However, the CBC is reporting that the liberals will increase spending in daycare programming and in the Ontario Disability program.  This is a significant retreat for the liberals; taking $242 million out of the education budget to pay for daycare programming is going to impact our children’s education experience significantly in a negative way but the liberals don’t seem to care about that now do they.  In the end my estimation is that the NDP will be spineless and vote in favour of the budget.  I believe that the liberals will make enough concessions to appease the NDP into supporting the budget all the while touting the ‘massive’ and ‘sweeping’ cuts.  But let’s be honest, after taxing Ontarian residents to some of the highest levels in the country, and all of the wasteful spending on scandal after scandal it is amazing Minister Duncan can claim they will eliminate the deficit by 2017.

Alberta votes

The third issue rattling around in my head is theAlbertaelection, the emergence of Danielle Smith and the Wildrose party as the next government shows the power of grass roots politics and principled conservative policy.  For far too long the PC party ofAlbertahas been walking down a path of centrism and people in the province are fed up with budget deficits and out of control spending.  This is a lesson the PC Party ofOntariocan learn from, in the last election the party establishment forgot that the party was the member’s party and not their own.  We did not provide a clear differentiation from the Liberal platform and in the areas where we stood alone we did not profile those ideas.  Overall, I hope my friend Richard Ciano is taking notes on how the Wildrose have managed to capture the hearts and minds and support of theAlbertaelectorate.  Here’s hoping Monday night we see a monumental shift inAlberta, one that is focused on the grassroots and the people.  

TheGorryDetails Issue 1, Vol 23.

There is nothing more shameful than the enslavement of ones peoples and loses of hope and the shattered despair of a dreamless existence.  What happens on reservations in Canada can be described as just that.

 Recently we have seen Attawapiskat in the news their housing conditions are deplorable.  There have been much reported on who’s to blame and who’s shifting blame and there seems to be a lot of consensus that what is going on there is not acceptable.  Where the conversation shifts is when it comes to how to fix the problem.  Many people simply believe that the federal government should shoulder the cost to fix the issues.  Some say that the reserves get enough money and they need to a better job managing their funds.  Whatever side of the issue you find yourself on the reality is that this problem is bigger than just one reserves declaration of a state of emergency.

 The underlying issue in my opinion has sub – causes, first, the lack of trust between First Nations people and the government.  This is by far the most reasonable cause looking back at how First Nations people have been treated by the government.  However, the government’s solution to this for decades has been to throw money at it, the First Nations leader’s solution has been to ask for more money and criticize the government and the white people.  This is also by far the hardest cause to repair, building trust within a relationship that has been fractured for decades and decades is no easy task, but how much longer can this really go on?  If we look at arguably the most horrific act against people, the German Nazis attempted to exterminate all the Jews, rightfully so there were a lot of hard feelings; the international community forced the German government to pay retribution.  The final payment was made in the last 12 months bringing a definitive closure to the issue.  The point I am making here is that in light of a horrific and despicable act, the parties involved managed to come to a resolution so everyone could move forward.   That is not what we are seeing in Canada, what we are seeing is the blame game; holding this type of hostility is counterproductive to moving forward.  At some point, and this may not be popular with First Nations people but to be honest I don’t care, they need to let it go and come to peace with what the reality is that they are faced with so we can all work together to make sure everyone is successful and adequately cared for.  None wants to see people living in despicable houses or drinking contaminated water, which leads me to the second sub cause.

 Additionally, there needs to be some critical questions asked by those that inhabit these reservations, such as, why is the Chief of Attawapiskat making 71K a year?  The population of the reservation is under 2,000 people, the reservation is 1.19 Km sq and ¾‘s of the population are under the age of 35.  The Peterborough Examiner reported about a year ago that of cities with a population of 20K – 30K the lowest paid Mayor (Kingsville – Pop 20,908) received 27,052 and the highest paid mayor (Stratford – Pop 30,461) received 60k a year.  With a population that pales in comparison of these smaller cities the Attawapiskat Chief receives significantly more in compensation.  For the money being invested in the Chief are the people living on this reservation receiving adequate representation?  I find it hard to answer that question in a positive manner.

The second sub-cause is the Indian Act; having legislation, to this degree in my opinion is choking off the potential for growth.   The major issue with this legislation I find is two-fold; first, all expenditures put forth by the reservations has to have ministerial approval.  I understand the need for fiscal accountability, and with Attawapiskat’s willingness to publish their audited financial statements it appears that there is some level of accountability.  Can we say that for all reservations, I’m not too sure, but either way by not allowing more flexibility when it comes to spending for projects like housing and maintenance it can cause obstacles which cause delays and increase the cost of these projects given its remote location, shipping and receiving goods is more of a science than it is in other parts of the province.

 The second part of this lies in the fact that on these reservations there is no potential for First Nations people to own a stake in their homes.  When you own something that you have worked hard to acquire there is a sense of pride attached to that.  First Nations people are very proud people; there is nothing to suggest that with a stake in ownership that these residences would be allowed to fallen into this state of disrepair seen on their reservation today.  If you have no stake in the well being of the property than why would you maintain it?  Simple amendments to the Indian Act have been overlooked for years and years, the time has come to overhaul the system because what was being done, clearly isn’t working and to be honest may have never been working.

However, to fully hand over the funds these reservations receive with no clear direction or mandate would be asinine to say the least.  But enslaving First Nations people to this constrictive legislation is a parallel.  Why are we, as a nation dictating the lives of First Nations people that chose to live on reservations?  None can argue that allowing First Nations people more freedom is a bad thing.  But that also comes at cost, and one I’m not too sure that First Nations people will pay.  Like with any battle for freedom there is a cost, and that cost in this case is monetary.  In one scenario we completely abandon the Indian Act and allow these reservations to sink or swim on their own.  Basically these reservations would act like any other hamlet, township or city.  They would be tasked with pursuing and securing private enterprises to create jobs, they would be subject to the same rigor that every other municipality is in Canada currently is, this is would include delivery of services such as community services.  This is the price to be paid for full autonomy, is it one that First Nations people are willing to pay?  I don’t know that answer, but there is a second scenario.

 Amendments to the Indian Act could be passed through parliament that allow for tiered ownership of homes, a more focused curriculum in the school system that focuses on a mix of tradition and modern principles that allows the possibility of success on a higher level.  Additionally, allowing these reservations more autonomy of spending and contracting work to build and repair will increase the quality of living standards.  The problem with this scenario is all the bleeding hearts that think we as a country owe an undying debt to our First Nations people.  Until people start to realize that having First Nations people standing on their own, proud and part of a united Canada with a distinct heritage we will never see a solution to the bigger issue

TheGorryDetails Issue 1, Vol. 22

Today is always a tough day for me, Remembrance Day for me reminds me just how much I miss my grandfather who served in the Korean War.  My grandfather was in the Provost Core as an MP and he cherished his service years.

As an immigrant from the Ukraine my grandfather was proud to serve in the military, he was a strong man, confident man, and a wise man.  Like everyone he had his faults but to me he was my hero and my idol.  Whenever things were tough in my life I would reach out to him, I could sit with him for hours and listen to him talk to me about life, music, food but my most cherished times with him were the times when he would tell me about being in Korea.

None wants to go to war, let’s face it; people that serve and have served would rather be relaxing on a beach or sitting at the dinner table with their family.  However, there comes a time in life when people need to stand up and say they won’t accept certain actions.  When the country called my grandfather happily accepted to stand up against what he believed was wrong.  The decision to leave your family and travel across the world and pick arms to combat tyranny is no easy decision and one I was told was not an easy one to make but the burden was lightened knowing that going to combat was the right thing to do.

What did I learn from those conversations with my grandfather, well I learned how to be a man, how to be a respectful person that stands up for what is right.  It may have taken a while to set in but youthful indiscretions are part of the growing up process.  Looking back I value those conversations more and more now that he is resting in peace, I miss those conversations, I sometimes find myself replaying them in my head when I’m hit with the overwhelming feeling of grief.

It saddens me to see just how little respect our veterans receive from the younger generations, I would like to see, and I believe the time has come for Remembrance Day to be a National Holiday.  We need to embrace the sacrifices that our nation has paid in the pursuit of freedom and democracy; we need to be teaching our countries rich history in the development of the free world.  There is nothing wrong with being proud of the contributions we have made, there is nothing wrong with being proud of the battles we have fought, we are a country that has been there in the world’s darkest hours and fought for the values that make our country amazing.  When we blur the lines between our contributions and misrepresent the nature of our military we are undermining the sacrifices of those that paid the ultimate price.

Today, be thankful and remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy.

TheGorryDetails Issue, 1. Vol 20

So it is unusual that I post multiple blogs in one day but after the last couple of days and the shenanigans that have transpired I felt the need to post a second blog.

 Nothing gets me hotter than the suppression of my fundamental freedoms, truth be told I hate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I subscribe more to the Bill of Rights that Prime Minister Diefenbaker ushered in but that is for a later discussion.  Nonetheless, it burns my internal flames when people censor my opinions.

 Just to recount the issue at hand, over the last several days it would seem that the divide between blue conservatives and red Tory conservatives that exists on campus at Carleton U has emerged.  Some people feel that airing out the differences on conservative chat groups is wrong, some people believe that challenging the leadership and questioning these differences in the open is about accountability.  Some would say that we all need to appear like we are getting along but in private air out our differences.  The theory is that we don’t want our enemy to see any cracks in the armour. 

 Well, wrong guy for that mushy politically correct crap.  I believe the strength in any association is the ability to question those steering the ship, being told to act like everything is fine but question it in private is a caucus thing.  I refuse, to, on principle act like that.  First off, I am not an elected MPP, MP or a candidate for a party.  As someone who is politically experienced and literally bled on the campaign trail I refuse to be relegated to the back of the bus because my view point or my criticism is unpopular or met with contempt.

 The issue clearly touched a nerve with some campus conservatives today, this morning I posted a link in the Carleton Conservative group that highlighted the recent poll showing PCPO Leader Tim Hudak trailing in the election.  What was once considered his to lose, he has; as it appears in the polls done just that, lost the improbable.  After a few comments on the link from people that are obviously concerned as I am, the link and subsequent discussion was deleted.  The only correspondence I had with the group executive was a one liner from the president saying “you’re not even a member” then he disappeared from the facebook chat window.  I’m not to sure how my membership status impacts the posting of relevant information particularly when I chose not to be a member of the party, not because I don’t conform to conservative values but because I disagreed with the back tracking of the leader on key issues as well as what I consider a shift to the centre in a hope to attract votes. 

 After this act of censorship I responded with a professional but stern reply of disgust.  As conservatives we strive to protect the freedoms of people and the censoring of thought, ideas and conversation is what the lefties do in the media and on our campuses.  If we start down that path then we are no better than the guys in power now.  Standing on principles and making fiscally solid policies will bring credibility to the party.  I’m not ignorant enough to expect all of my views to be what the party endorses but I do expect certain fundamental policies to be I place and movement on others.  I can accept that compromise will always be made in this world especially in the political arena but when you have a news network that openly promotes being right – wing and they can’t bring themselves to endorse the platform it might be time to accept some criticism and admit that mistakes were made and there is room for change.

 Getting back to the scathing retort, clearly conversation ensued on the topic and some of it was vitriolic in nature but for the most part it was passion and frustration coming out on all sides of the issue.  What happened next was nothing short of disgraceful and childish.  I received a message in my facebook in box from the CC President asking me to stop “trolling” and act as a “team player”.  In past conversations with this individual he appears to be hard working but very condescending and acts like if you’re not on the team then you’re not relevant to him.  Of course reading this PM I was upset to be called a “troll” and I was further upset to be directed to be a “team player”.  I was a team player long before this guy knew what his political views were, I had battled trolls on campus and in elections that hated me so much I was painted as a racist and my organization was vilified, threats were made against members of my executive and arguments were constant on my campus.  To ignorantly imply that I’m a troll because I don’t hold a party membership or openly support the party platform does not negate my opinion seeing I am a member of the campus club.

 This issue erupted because a group of party hacks got their knickers in a knot over being called out on their lack of presence on campus and their support of censorship.  If I was not a member of the club for sure, delete my posts and my links and ban me from the group.  But I paid my membership fee and ran for an executive position at the last AGM so I have every right to ask for accountability of the people who defeated my team, I have every right to hold the conservative leader and its party platform to task for not remotely representing my views.  What I don’t expect is to be censored for these views by fellow conservatives.

 This is the time now; to step up and admit that work needs to be done to bring everyone into the fold, but instead this group of partisan actors is saying one thing in inbox messages and another in open forum.  The party platform is not perfect, not even close to my liking but what to do on voting day is the question.  I have friends of mine that are running in various ridings.  People I consider to be very principled conservatives so I’m in a quandary when it comes to how do I vote.  The devil we know has killed this province in his 8 years in office, the NDP is never an option for me, so do I hold my nose and vote for the PCPO and hope that the party shifts back towards the right?  I’m not sure, I need to review Changebook and see if there is anything I can get behind.


 

Scott Gorry

TheGorryDetails, Issue 1. Vol. 19

The right to vote is something that we here in Canada seem to take for granted, looking at data from the last decade voter turnout is not getting any better.  This is not comforting to see as we are heading into one of the most important elections this province has seen.

 This election is critical for our province; we have been under the rule of Dalton McGuinty for 8 years and in that time we have seen the largest tax imposed on Ontarians with the Health Tax.  A lot of people seem to forget about this tax because it was brought in under the first budget back in 2003, the tax was staggered on income with a rate of $300 to $900 and called a “Health Premium”.  What seems to be most forgotten is that not only did McGuinty break his promise not raise taxes with his “Health Premium” but he also cut services previously covered for Ontario residents such as eye exams and physical therapy.  Cutting services after raising taxes to pay for campaign promises is deceitful.

 This is the man who as our Premier decided that banning pit bulls was in the best interest of Ontario residents.  Instead of holding owners responsible for their pets and the care of their pets, he decided in out best interest to ban the breed from the province boundaries.  Additionally, he went so far as to order the shelters in Ontario housing pit bulls to euthanize them and send them off to be researched.  What exactly he was looking for I don’t know but I would love to see that reports findings.

 But that wasn’t enough for Mr. McGuinty; he proceeded to waste billions of our tax dollars on his E-Health plan, a plan that only benefited some IT firms and computer programmers.  In 8 years Dalton McGuinty has broken more promises than he has fulfilled.  His promise to close coal-fire plants and bring Ontario into the “Green” energy fold never even came close to being completed, this shift to green energy with his wind turbine farms has had an adverse effect of property owner’s assessments, and it has resulted in foreign companies seeing huge profits while Canadian companies close their doors.

 McGuinty, throughout this campaign has been touting what a wonderful job he has done with our healthcare system, well some numbers to consider.  Since 2005 he has spent 17% less on hospital beds than the rest of the country, all at a time when the administration cost have increased over 180%.  Under the Harris and Eves government healthcare spending went from 17 billion to 28 billion that is a 65% increase in 8 years.  Under Premier Dad, healthcare spending went form 28 billion to 42 billion a 50% increase in 8 years.  For a guy that likes to highlight his healthcare accomplishments he sure forgets to add the real numbers.

 McGuinty has ruined our provinces credit rating, seeing it downgraded.  We have become a have - not province, we have seen the erosion of personal freedoms with his regulations on top of regulations.  McGuinty inherited a deficit from Eves yes, and Harris received an $11 billion deficit from Rae.  McGuinty has spent the $11 Billion, and an additional $5 billion to bring us to a $16 billion dollar deficit.  That is roughly a debt of $121.11 per person in Ontario provided the government decides not to spend anymore taxpayer dollars.  When you factor in that close to 550,000 Ontario residents are unemployed and don’t forget to add in the children under the age to work that number of $121.11 is close to double that.

 You have to ask yourself, can Ontario afford another 4 years of this guy, broken promises, huge tax hikes, increased union ties and a degraded credit rating with a stagnate job market,  all spells danger for our great province.  This guy has earned his eviction notice, please give it to him on Oct. 6th.

 Scott