Babel-on-the-Bay: Spring clean out for Ontario booze.

Have you got it figured out yet? Every few years, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) thinks it will be a good time to clean its warehouses. To facilitate this house cleaning, it tries to clear all its warehouse shelves. It makes it easier to dust them. But you never see the LCBO doing ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Granny Wynne knows best.

The current argument between Ontario’s New Democrats and the Ontario Liberals is like a school yard spat over who did what. It is not only childish but it makes both sides of the argument look foolish. They are arguing over who thought of having a mediocre pharmacare plan first. Neither side has much of which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The political position in public protests.

One of the most important classes you attend in the reality school of politics is that of the public protest. You have to learn your lessons fast. You learn how people can organize and lead and maximize the media value. You also learn to find the other guy’s organizer and how to neutralize the person ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Gambling with losers.

You find by being observant that the people in a hurry to get to the cashier at a casino are usually the ones wanting to get more money to gamble. Why a casino would extend credit to people is a question that is hard to answer. The question was partly answered recently when it was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The attention span of four-year-olds?

You sometimes wonder about the Ontario Liberal government. The kids in the cabinet are too easily distracted. Just the other day, we were reading about transportation minister Stephen Del Duca bragging to a newspaper reporter about the regional express rail expansion—a $13.5 billion electrification program to quadruple commuter train service in the Greater Toronto Area. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The wonder of Wynne’s waffling.

They tell us that Premier Wynne is wondering why she has failed to connect with Ontario voters. She thinks she won the last provincial election as a politician. In truth, she was given a conditional go-ahead because her opponents fell on their faces. She won a chance to prove herself. She failed. Andrea Horwath was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Chasing ghosts with Chantal Hébert.

In the pile of books set aside for summer reading was Chantal Hébert and Jean Lapierre’s analysis of The Morning After.  It is supposedly their take on the 1995 Quebec Referendum.  By starting with their book, this might become a long hot summer. The book had come to the pile as a gift. It had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did he say ‘Premier’ Brown?

It was the kind of chill that our granny used to say was caused by someone walking on her grave. It is the combination of cold and a sad premonition. It was the feeling left the other day when noting Bob Hepburn’s column in the Toronto Star about getting cosy saying ‘Premier Brown.’ There was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The omens are in the ridings Ms. Wynne.

The true politico pays attention to what is happening in the electoral districts. Those readings mean far more than the public opinion polls that are such a waste of time in the year before the election. If you do not grasp what is happening in the field, you are not even in the race. The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The poop power in waste water.

The one thing for sure is that some reader somewhere is going to give me heck for talking about fecal matter instead of politics. It seems that everyone is expert when it comes to human waste. It was delightful to read though the other day the Ontario’s environmental commissioner wants the politicians to get off ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Planes and Trains and…

Flying used to be glamorous. Not any more. It has become a demeaning and uncomfortable experience. Those people in line for security in their smelly stocking feet should bleat like sheep as they are fleeced by money-grubbing airlines. They are shoved into uncomfortable seats only to be abused by airline employees. There is no fun ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tory Odd Couple Challenge Wynne.

A pair of losers could be Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s nemesis. Meet ‘The Kid’ and the ‘Big Guy.’ They just got back from the Soo were they took a solid Liberal seat in a bye-election by 40 per cent of the votes. These cowpokes are riding high in the saddle. But they are an unlikely ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Keeping B.C. on edge.

It looks like friends and family in British Columbia could be kept on edge politically for much of the next four years. A one-seat majority in the Legislature holds no promise of stability. The accord between the provincial New Democrats and the Green Party holds no guarantee of long-term success. And you can imagine the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario’s Trillium Party wins an MPP.

What? You have never heard of Ontario’s Trillium Party? Just think of founding a new party like the creation of a fine wine. First you have to plant the vines. It is a lengthy process before you need a bottling plant. While the Trillium leadership—a guy named Bob Yaciuk (and no, I don’t know how ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

That hackneyed expression is used to describe politicians who stupidly work to defeat themselves. A good example today is the desperation we are seeing at Queen’s Park as the Liberal’s Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to destroy the Liberal legacy in Ontario. She has so many irons in so many fires that the voters are completely ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Everyone’s an expert on High-Speed Rail.

You can hardly blame an old friend such as David Collenette. His career has been in service to the Liberal Party. He was executive director of the Ontario party in 1974 when he was asked to be the federal candidate in York East when the earlier nominee had to resign. We were pleased when David ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We can blame Cousin Oliver.

It is all Oliver Mowat’s fault. The myopic Father of Confederation had a mainly rural and agrarian Ontario to oversee in the early years of confederation. His picture hangs over our desk today, not as a distant relation but in the form of a preserved and framed, full front-page of a Saturday Globe published in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The anger is real Ms. Wynne.

It is the time of year when Canadians come out of their winter refuges. We travel. We talk to each other. And if we are smart, we listen. What we are hearing here in Ontario is the strong desire for change. That is not necessarily bad if Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also listening. What ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fixing Ontario’s out-of-date work laws.

Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has a tough road to travel with the Wynne Cabinet. He is seeking to address the antiquated labour laws in Ontario. He wants to restore balance to the rights of part-time workers. He wants to guarantee a minimum wage on which someone can live. What will be interesting in these ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Take it to heart Ms. Wynne.

Yes, there is a lesson to be learned from the B.C. provincial election by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The lesson is that when voters are mad, you best get out of the way. Take a page from former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s book: he knew when to get out of the way. Except for the gas-powered ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Those tree-hugging Greenies did it!

When we wrote our Morning Line for the British Columbia provincial election, we admitted the weakness to our assessment. Here it is four days after the election and we still know very little. Blame the Greens! With the B.C. Liberals one short of a majority, the absentee ballots and the recounts will be critical. The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A politico posits on Patrick Brown.

One of the more interesting aspects of some politicians is the effort they will take to make sure you do not know them. It is like Ontario voters should be less worried about Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s lack of policies than his lack of personality. Having moved to Barrie 13 years ago, we were ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Andrea Horwath circling the drain?

There had to be some confusion in Ontario New Democratic Party ranks last week. It was caused by an unfortunate story about the NDP getting a second wind “With Horwath at the helm.” This was after the party had the wind taken out of its sails by the Liberals announcing Pharmacare for all Ontario residents ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A rookie mistake in Don Valley North.

In October last year we wrote some personal comments about the area of Don Valley North electoral district in Toronto. The wife and I had our home there in that part of North York for more than 20 years. It was just down the street and around the corner from the historic home of former ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Creating conflict for city and province.

They really cannot be doing it to ‘sell’ newspapers in this day and age. The Toronto Star has been busy building a supposed conflict between Mayor John Tory of Toronto and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. It is based on the recent Ontario budget that did not mention more funds for Toronto’s subways and other infrastructure ...