Babel-on-the-Bay: Denzil decides to do his duty.

Toronto Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong seems to have heard the clarion call of distant trumpets. He tells people that he is challenging for the Progressive Conservative candidacy in York East electoral district. Knowing the voters in that part of Toronto as I do, this is not really exciting news. While Denzil might believe he can leap ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tories try sleight-of-hand with transit.

When we first saw the Ontario Conservative’s proposal for Toronto Transit, we thought it was one of the silliest we had heard for a while. It just made no sense why they thought the provincial government would make less a mess of the job of running the subways and light-rail systems than the city. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Quebec colonizing continues.

Some of you might be wondering about that silly motion by the Quebec National Assembly last week. It was the one suggesting that Montreal merchants stop saying “Bonjour Hi” to customers coming into their places of business. The motion was proposed by those language snobs of the Parti Québécois and passed unanimously by all parties. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Ontario come with an owner’s manual?

Maybe Patrick Brown forgot to ask. It has been clear that Premier Kathleen Wynne has been playing the job by ear for the past four years. It is just that the former do-nothing back bencher from the Harper government wants Wynne’s job. The Globe and Mail tells us that Brown is a pragmatist on steroids ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Deal with the Devil for our heritage.

The Toronto Star owners have made a deal with PostMedia to divide Ontario between them. Talk about a deal with the devil! Did they think that the Competition Bureau in Ottawa would fail to notice? Is this what heritage minister Mélanie Joly meant when she said the government was not interested in aiding newspapers because ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Promises and Political Promises.

The magazine style “policy platform” handed out to the Ontario Conservative elite at their get-together last weekend is a style of political literature that was developed many years ago. The glossy magazine is a strong sales style that the voter might keep a bit longer. Adding a full-page guarantee was an idea that popped up ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick’s pathetic policy pantomime.

It was a come from behind event. Ontario Conservative Party Leader Brown hosted a party event over the weekend. Some of the media had noticed that he had no policies. He therefore had an event to announce some policies to start building the scenery for next June’s provincial election. He had already set the centerpiece ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Rachel wants you on her side.

Do you feel threatened by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley? It seems the lady can scare anyone who gets in her way. Right now, she is in a rage against people who think pipelines for bitumen are bad for the environment. You either ride the bitumen bus with Rachel or she might throw you under it. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: There’s a great job opening here.

This is not your standard help wanted situation. Into every life there is an opportunity that comes knocking. This is an opportunity beyond your wildest dreams. It is fame and fortune. There are no limits. You just have to seize the opportunity. It is not for the faint of heart. To start with, you had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Watt’s ugly leopard doesn’t wash.

We might be mangling some metaphors here but Jaime Watt can never wash the spots off that ugly leopard. The head of Navigator Ltd., Mr. Watt has spent many years advising Conservatives in the fine art of winning votes. He might be taking on too much of a challenge to try to sell us on ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The late lamented Liberals.

When discussing the sorry state of the Liberal Party of Canada the other day, we never did mention the provincial Liberals. It is actually an interesting subject. Would you believe I am old enough to have met the last surviving Father of Confederation? Okay, that is a joke, but Joey Smallwood loved that introduction. My ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Diminished democracy of Canada’s Conservatives.

In looking at the major political parties in Canada in their headlong dash for irrelevancy, we might as well start with the Conservatives. Since the end of the 90s and the machinations of Stephen Harper to finally achieve the promise to ‘unite the right’ across Canada, the separated federal and provincial conservative parties have been ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The despotism of First-Past-the-Post?

One of our favourite political bloggers wrote a desperate ‘cri de Coeur’ the other day against what he perceives as the despotism of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. He lives on Canada’s Left Coast and writes under the pseudonym ‘The Mound of Sound.’ Rather than simply refuting his assertions, I think it is important to find the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Koi Keepers of Quebec.

Reading Chantal Hébert’s national affairs column recently, she referred to the tectonic plates of Quebec politics. I was unsure of the analogy. I tend to think of Quebec politics as a series of koi ponds. These ponds are not necessarily linked. The lesser regional ponds revolve around the axis of Quebec’s National Assembly in Quebec ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The withering world of Premier Wynne.

Most successful politicians feed on their egos. It is what carries them through the tough times, the questionable times and eases their doubts and concerns. It also blinds then to the disasters of their own creation. For Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, it is her ego that prevents her from realizing that she is head of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The anti-women legacy of Patrick Brown.

Patrick Brown was first elected to the ultra-Conservative Barrie, Ontario city council at age 22. As a Barrie councillor, he fit right in. It took him another four years to win election in the local federal electoral district and be part of the back-bench yes-men for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It was in Ottawa, that ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Excessives beat Progressives in Alberta.

Friends in Alberta have been asking why this commentary had nothing to say about the race to run that province’s United Conservative Party? It was not because we did not have an opinion. It was sleazy, it was corrupt, it was predictable and we wanted no part of it. I never thought in this lifetime ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bad bodings for Brown.

A large piece of the Ontario provincial Conservative’s election campaign went bye-bye the other day. Brown and his buddies must have been sitting around the party headquarters war room contemplating what might have been. The directed verdict of a Sudbury, Ontario judge cut the campaign off at the knees. The campaign using Donald Trump’s “Corrupt ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s like a long race on turf.

The next Ontario general election is scheduled to be held June 7, 2018. This race will be like a mile and a half on the turf track and requires horses with great endurance and energy. That makes it the time for the old and tired to retire. And that is what is happening with all ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does the religious model serve the new politics?

Is it religion that we see reflected in the new politics. Maybe it has been there all along. Canadian politics has been slower to wrap itself in vestments but in American politics, religion plays a constant and visceral part in what is happening. Americans speak of their country as “one nation, under God” and God ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown does not have a problem. He is the problem. His handlers are not sure how to present him to provincial voters. They are concerned that the more people they introduce him to, the fewer people like him. It is not supposed to work that way. At first, they thought they ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “What to my wondering eyes should appear…”

Christmas was in in October this year. The wife needed some parmesan cheese for our spaghetti dinner and insisted I stop at the local Metro grocery store. I went in with her, mainly because I always enjoy that store. It is expensive but it is well run and I often find a bargain at the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The myopic Mr. Brown.

It reminds us that even a stopped clock can be right twice a day. Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has no policies but we know what he is against. He tells us that he will cancel the Liberal Cap and Trade environmental protection plan. He has no idea what he might replace it with but ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Corrupt Kathleen’ campaign comes to Canada.

It hardly took long. Sleaze spreads. The Ontario Conservatives had to think of something to overcome their lack of leadership, ethics, ideas and policies. When your party leader is a nobody, you attack the person people know. It makes you feel superior. It worked for Donald Trump did it not? We can certainly assure you ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hyperloop hardly halts high-speed trains.

Do you want to be sent by pipeline down the Montreal-Toronto corridor? They are suggesting that the city to city trip will be in as little as 39 minutes. It sounds like a great idea but I am not sure that 39 minutes of claustrophobia, g-forces and sheer terror would be worth it. Damn it ...