Babel-on-the-Bay: We are not ready to surrender.

What are we coming to? When fair weather warriors are conceding defeat, are we all supposed to lay down our arms? I have been involved in too many comebacks to go along with that. We should not get mad about the current situation. The smart get to work. What have we failed to do? What ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Morning Line: Ontario’s dilemma.

This is probably the most difficult Morning Line Babel-on-the-Bay has produced in ten years. It might just be the one that besmirches our reputation. The question in this election are the polls following the voters or are the voters following the polls? But I am convinced that the pollsters are busy drinking their own bath ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Three-ring circus versus horse race.

Whatever you want to say about the Ontario election that is going on now, it could never have been a three-ring circus production by P.T. Barnum or his partner James Bailey. The simplest explanation is that if you consider the performer who keeps multiple plates spinning atop long sticks, you realize that the act requires ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Opera ain’t over.

First off today, we want to apologize. We have been thoroughly castigated by family and readers for being rude to Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath the other day. I sincerely apologize to her for my comments on her weight. That was inappropriate. At the same time, I stand by my comments on her outfit. She ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Prepping politicians.

Whatever happened to the time-honoured prepping of politicians for Monday’s debate in Toronto? That opening debate was a disaster for all concerned. It is CITY-TV that should be embarrassed. The candidates’ handlers failed to convince their debaters of anything. And the moment is gone, never to be recovered. It was amateur night at CITY-TV’s Toronto ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Picking politicians.

We now have our main candidates here in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. No, nothing exciting. The local liberals had an acclamation. Only one candidate came forward. The conservatives appointed their candidate when Doug Ford got impatient. So much for democracy in the electoral district! Ford appointed a loser. He is a former Orillia councillor who ran against Jill ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Different directions for divided liberals.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau needs to check the direction in which his mob is headed. It is very hard to get out front to lead them when you are headed in opposite directions. Seeing the directions and concerns of the Liberal Party of Canada at the Halifax gathering last weekend, Trudeau needs to reassess the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The environmental crimes of Justin Trudeau.

Our prime minister might not appreciate the charges but he needs to understand what is involved. Whether he likes it or not, he needs to be reminded of the five basic environmental crimes of the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Number one: While the stock shots of bitumen mining in Alberta show open-pit ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne’s nemesis.

If Premier Wynne really wants to keep her job in Ontario, I would suggest that she should make amends by first firing Ed Clarke as chair of the Liquor Control Board and of the Ontario Cannabis stores. Even at the price of one dollar per year, he is not worth it. She has given a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wait until they are ‘At Post.’

Ontario is in the midst of a ‘phony war.’ People are getting excited about public opinion polls that are meaningless. Babel-on-the-Bay is more than a month away from offering its Morning Line on the coming provincial election. At least wait until then to place your bets on the outcome. You have to remember that not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ford isn’t fast with his math.

It was really very funny last Thursday when conservative leader Doug Ford got pompously to his feet to harangue the liberal government for their election budget. It seems that towards the back of the budget book there is a tax increase for the top 17 per cent of wage earners. The effect of this tax, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can you put it on a hat?

We used to use bumper stickers but cars do not have bumpers any more. Now we are running campaigns that you can put on a hat. We are producing hats that say “Ontario drives with Ford” or “Win with Wynne” or “Horwath or horror.” That is the general view of political campaigns these days. Just ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ageism and Justin Trudeau.

There was an opinion piece in the paper the other day by a favourite commentator. She was writing about the Liberal government not trusting anyone older than the prime minister. That leaves a very large number of Canadians to be disposed of on the ice floes by this uncaring government. I had always been under ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Keep to the left Ms. Wynne.

Not that she would necessarily listen to this writer but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne needs advice on dealing with Doug Ford. There is always the hope that someone who reads Babel-on-the-Bay will mention it to her. We, of course, are expecting her and her Liberal government to continue to discuss left-of-centre initiatives in the run-up ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The troubled travels of Trudeau.

Good advice is a treasured commodity in government. Bad advice is plentiful. It seems that our current prime minister has plenty of the latter and not enough of the former. It could also be that Justin Trudeau has lots of good advice but chooses to ignore it. That was how his father behaved in his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Which Tory Witch is dead?

The other evening, the wife and I gathered in the den to enjoy a streaming video of the Ontario Tory leadership debate from Ottawa. It was only when the hijinks started to encroach on our dinner hour that the wife started questioning the entertainment value of the program. Amazingly, the wife started watching the debate ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin in the pipeline pretzel position.

It is new to yoga. Among the latest postures for the ancient health and fitness practice is the pipeline pretzel position. It is for those who believe they can make money from the tar sands while reducing the carbon we are spewing into our environment. While we might all look silly in the downward dog ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: And Wynne sits in the catbird seat.

The ‘catbird seat’ is a wonderful American idiom for that perfect position in politics providing the politician with a position to observe the disarray of his or her foes. As you can imagine, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is currently enjoying that position. Her main opposition, the Ontario Conservatives are totally involved in their own problems. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario banks on the LCBO.

That banker is back. Do you remember Ed Clark? He was the guy from TD Bank who advised Premier Kathleen Wynne to sell off Ontario’s Hydro One electricity distribution system. Remember how that got the Wynne government in trouble? This Clark is the same guy who told Wynne that she could distribute beer and wine ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Political parties are not private.

There was an interesting question raised last week by Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt about political parties. She was questioning whether political parties are public or private entities. Before we get legal minds involved in determining this, it is important to stress that a political party is created by and owned by its membership. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario votes in June.

While political pundits have obviously thought long and hard on Ontario Premier Wynne’s possible political problems this spring, I doubt her main concern is misogyny. Nobody is mad at her for being a woman and not many voters give a darn about her being in a lesbian relationship. That is not what the provincial vote ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: If there is a wrong way?

The Trudeau government seems to be fated to find the wrong way to do things. Whether it is just a contrariness or a strange quirk is still something we have not figured out. It is probably the reason that we say so little about the coming legalization of marijuana in Canada. Legal or illegal, whatever ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Shilling for the politicos.

Full disclosure requires me to admit that I was a political spin doctor before I knew what a spin doctor was. I am not as proud of it as I should be. Maybe it is because I always felt embarrassed for people who claimed such expertise. Case in point is Barbara and Murray Frum’s son ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In a land where greed beats need.

The last time Canada took a systematic look into its tax system was at the instigation of a Prairie populist, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. The royal commission headed by Bay Street accountant Kenneth Carter was famous for determining “A buck is a buck.” Here we are more than 50 years later and no finance minister ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We will call that a Wynne Win.

Did nobody at the Tim Horton’s head office know about the change in minimum wage for Ontario scheduled for the first of January? Did all those franchisees fail to tell them? And would you not wonder about a major franchiser who dominates the product line in Ontario, not being in control of the situation? Somebody ...