Wednesday, June 24, 2009

RIP Romeo LeBlanc

Romeo Leblanc dies at 81

My sympathies go out to Dominic Leblanc and his family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Serious Crimes Down...Thanks to the Liberals!?

wait...what? But Libs are soft on crime and we need to be saved by the tough on crime Tories /sarcasm

Thursday, January 29, 2009

And so the attack ads start....

from the NDP!?!

At Least We’ll Have Nice Shiny Labs

I read this morning that there seems to be a hole in the budget where the Genome Canada funding used to be. This is just another budget issue that really gets my goat. At a time when I believe we need to build our “knowledge based economy”, the Tories seem to have taken away hundreds of millions of important funding dollars to Canadian researchers while at the same time sending money flowing to universities for upgrading labs.

In fairness, it should be noted that they have increased funding for NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC, to the tune of $87.5million, which is good. BUT, that increase is far less then has been lost by Genome Canada. The net effect being that researchers are going to fight even harder for money, money that isn’t exactly easy for even top researchers to get right now given that donations to universities and other funding agencies are drying up a fast pace.

Maybe its just me, but it seems counter-productive to fund new and spruced up labs while at the same time cutting funding for the people inside those labs. What’s the point of having new labs if researchers don’t have the funding to use them?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me - you can’t get fooled again

Politically I can see where Iggy is coming from. By not proposing amendments, he's making this budget 100% Harper's. So WHEN it fails and we go back to the polls, Harper will have one less out, so Canada will be better in the long run.

Unfortunately, the long run doesn’t feed families or keep/put people back to work NOW, unless you’re a current and potential Liberal MP's that is. There are some issues that I would have felt acceptable to leave alone, tax cuts and university funding for example. Other aspects of the budget, like EI qualification and infrastructure funding matching requirements, are absolutely unacceptable and HAVE to be change.

Iggy needed to put policy over politics for the good of the country. His failure do so has convinced me where his loyalties lay, and they aren’t in the order I hoped. There’s an old saying in Ottawa - I know it’s in Toronto, probably in Ottawa - that says, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me - you can’t get fooled again. Well sir, I won’t be fooled again.

The Devil is in the Details

On the surface, the budget isn't horrible. Infrastructure spending, money for home buyers & reno's, increasing the flow of credit to consumers, retraining funding, changes to EI are all good, but as usual, the devil is in the details.

The conditions attached to the infrastructure spending, ie funds need to be matched at provincial & municipal levels needs to modified, if not entirely removed as they simply don’t have the money, nor the ability to borrow, that the Federal government has.

EI rules need to be expanded so that more people qualify for it, because if you don’t’ qualify, the extra 2 weeks don’t make that big of a deal.

The lack of funding for Green initiatives, while a start, doesn’t go far enough. This is the best time to be spending money to “green” all area’s across the country, including our manufacturing sector. Ideally I’d like to see more money flow to companies transforming their factories so that they produce less pollution and produce green products, especially those building electric and other high efficiency “Made in Canada” vehicles as this is the perfect time to make our manufacturing sector a leader in what will inevitably become the biggest chunk of the automotive sector for years to come

I’d also like to see funding for NSERC and CIHR increased more then it was in the budget because these are the groups that will truly help drive a knowledge based economy. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council funds programs that lead to new technological innovations that we can build both a knowledge AND manufacturing industries from. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funds important research into such area’s diseases associated with aging, which is becoming more and more important with the baby boomer’s entering retirement age.

I’m sure there are other things that I have missed but I feel what I’ve mentioned above would be a good starting point for recommending changes to the budget.

As an aside, I submitted these suggestions to Mr. Ignatieff’s website but it seems that while he wants our opinions, he doesn’t want them to be too long or in too much detail. I had to break this up into 4 sections because the word limit in the comment box is woefully low.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Iggy Announces Shadow Cabinet

With yesterday’s announcement of the Liberal critics, I was quite happy to see Iggy came through and gave the two other former leadership contenders get prominent positions, Rae in Foreign Affairs and LeBlanc in Justice, and will give MacKay and Nicholson a good run for their money respectively. Scott Brison, whom I thoroughly enjoyed listening to call Deficit Jim to task each and every day was moved to International Trade so that John Mccallum could take over Finance, which I think are two smart moves.

On a personal note, as LeBlanc supporter in the Leadership race, I’m happy to see him put in position where he can make up for his biggest perceived flaw, lack of experience and exposure.