Babel-on-the-Bay: Budgets and other eulogies.

Seeing finance minister Bill Morneau finally get to his budget last week produced a measure of disappointment and nostalgia. He brought back distant memories of the clean-cut young Anglican priest who came to our grade six class at Rosedale Public School in Toronto to try to entice us wayward kids back to Sunday School. The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Coddling the Cyberphobic.

Why are we doing this? Why are we catering to the cyberphobes among us? Why should they dictate progress? Or lack thereof? After a career in computers with a side interest in politics, it should be easy to convince the politicians and their retainers of the ease of computer voting. It’s not. Cyberphobia is a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lies. And Trudeau-Trump lies.

You have come to expect it in the daily reports from the American White House. You know that the man in the White House tells lies. You just do not expect it from the guy in charge in Ottawa. And you already knew that the guy in charge at the White House does not give ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The silliness of slagging Sorbara.

This could have run Wednesday but there is really no point in running more than one commentary per day. The problem here is that it does not matter if someone has managed war rooms or washrooms there is absolutely no point to slagging former Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara for telling the truth. This writer has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You want Trump to go? And then what?

There seems to be a growing consensus among mental health professionals that Donald Trump might be crazy. After all, he thinks he is President of the United States. How crazy can that be? And the man does seem delusional. We all saw it early in his campaign. He would preen himself in front of his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Kenney is running on ‘Empty.’

The new and unsurprising leader of the Alberta Conservatives is taking a trip to nowhere. He tells Albertans he is there to unite the right but there are two rights and those two rights do not necessarily make a new right or even a better right. And neither of the possible leaders, Jason Kenney or ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Branding the PC’s Patrick Brown.

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are trying to sell Patrick Brown. Since few Ontario voters know the Conservative Leader, they think it is important to introduce him. They call a recent series of YouTube ads, ‘Brand Brown.’ Mind you they want to paint him as something other than we know him in Barrie. Brown is a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Kevin O’Leary meets a real reality.

Welcome to Canadian politics, Kevin O’Leary. You have brought a few laughs to an otherwise dismal contest for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Though you would think someone from reality television would know what to expect? Did you really think leadership races are run within some foolish rules? And that anybody pays for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Shell bites the bitumen bullet.

This story takes us back to the 1970s and a lengthy discussion with a board member of Royal Dutch Shell. He was a “works committee” member of the board and our discussion was enlightening. He represented the employees of Shell on its board and was a highly-respected university professor. He was in Toronto visiting his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What will an Ontario pilot prove?

The possible acceptance of a pilot project in Ontario of the idea of government providing a basic guaranteed income to its citizens is long overdue. There have been previous pilots—opened with great ballyhoo and then quietly dropped when the political will failed us. But like all such pilots, they are dramatically over-managed, over-promoted and are ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Could Chantal Hébert be so diabolical?

Is it whimsy or a diabolical intent? Is Toronto Star political guru Chantal Hébert really that devious? She recently proposed that Rona Ambrose, the federal interim leader for the Conservatives as the ideal person to step in and take over the reins of the combined provincial Conservatives in Alberta. That is a wonderful proposal and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Trudeau fighting out of his weight class?

The reason why boxing promoters will not allow a lightweight boxer to take on a heavyweight is that the lightweight might not last two minutes. The lightweight might be fast on his feet but the heavyweight only needs to land one punch. That is why Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs all the help he ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Airing the rants of the Right.

Canadians are too politically correct to accept a politician such as right-wing Geert Wilders who has been running in the Netherlands for that country’s parliamentary elections yesterday. At one point the pollsters were suggesting that the right-wing anti-Islam, anti-EU politician’s Freedom Party could get as much as 20 per cent of the popular vote. And ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Revisiting the hopes of Dr. Zamboni.

As past president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, we have known for a long time that the Liberation treatment for Multiple Sclerosis patients does not work. It never had credibility to begin with. It was over seven years ago that Dr. Paulo Zamboni of Ferrara, Italy excitedly announced a treatment he had developed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What happened in Saint-Laurent?

All rebellions have to start somewhere. And it looks like Justin Trudeau miscalculated and let one start in the Quebec electoral district of Saint-Laurent. The riding had been held by Stéphane Dion until Trudeau bounced him from the cabinet and sent him to be ambassador to the European Union and Germany. It looks like the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is this Toronto’s coming of age?

In a scholarly work this past week from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, we learned that the City of Toronto is ready to cut the parental apron strings of the Province of Ontario. If you have never been involved in Toronto politics, you might even believe that is possible. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Morning Line: Canada’s Conservatives (2).

Now you get the possible winners from among the 14 contenders for the Tory leadership. We have checked their blood lines, their daily workouts and their past performances and all we can tell you is that the following is possible. THE POSSIBLES: Kevin O’Leary, 20 to 1. Our only advice to Kevin O’Leary (if he ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Morning Line: Canada’s Conservatives (1).

You can hardly deal with 14 contenders for the Tory leadership in just one commentary. We will divide our Morning Line into two parts: The Losers and the Possibles. THE LOSERS: Rick Peterson, 100 to 1. There seems to be no justification for this gentleman to be leader of the Conservative party of Canada. While ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who’s sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom?

It used to be that if you donated enough to the American President’s political party, you could get an invite to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House. There is a possibility that is where President Trump is trying to sleep when in Washington. And Honest Abe is now haunting him. Why else ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Where our New Democrats are headed?

Now that Canada’s New Democratic Party has some thinking and articulate players running for the national leadership, we better pay some attention. The hope is that Canadians will find out where the former Co-operative Commonwealth Federation—the party of Tommy Douglas—is headed in the 21st Century. The not so subtle nudging we are seeing today is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What would Dr. Goebbels say?

Did you miss the new lie from Donald Trump? He dreamed up a complaint that President Obama had his phones at Trump Tower in New York tapped during the campaign last year. It seems a novel suggestion but nobody can come up with any idea why Obama would bother. If you really want to know ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A liberal look at leadership.

Ontario Liberals are finally realizing that there is a problem at Queen’s Park. It appears to be endemic. It affects every political party on the premises. It is the serious lack of leadership. Even the Liberal Party backbenchers are drawing lots to see who will be the Cassius who drives the first (rhetorical) knife in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario is billing it forward.

If you have heard of paying it forward, you should have no problem with the concept of billing something forward. It is the reverse of paying it forward. It is when you take a bill, you had put off for tomorrow and you stick it in a drawer to pay next year. It is the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: And we thought Harper was an autocrat?

It was Pierre Trudeau in 1970 who said “Just watch me,” and showed us the real power of the Prime Minister’s Office. Later it was Stephen Harper who showed us how a Prime Minister can abuse that power to use it to his own ends to keep his sheep-like party in power. And yet there ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Asking the right people.

The report from Ottawa is that the Liberal government wants Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to advise politicians and Elections Canada on computer security. Just why these should be the people to ask is the important question? And since the listening agency is no longer so secret, one can now ask that question. It was ...