A May Morning

Spring: the leaves popped on the Manitoba Maples along the creek back; serviceberry bushes bloomed white together with the spirea;  daffodils, mine at any rate, ended yesterday; the hummingbird returned last weekend, a few days early; the red-breasted grosbeaks returned to the feeder.

A long, harsh winter left some ornamental bushes bereft of leaves. My gorgeous Vibernum “Shasta” has growth only at the base, but the branches are green when I scrape them so I have hope. No hope for the Purple Smokebush and the Blue Mallow, I’m afraid.

Most of the roses and clematis have survived except for a little beauty—Blue Sprite clematis—that appears to be gone. But one’s never sure with clematis and it was buried deep so it may come along.

At the local nursery—Hills—I found two hybrid tea roses on their own root! I couldn’t resist and bought four: 2 dark red Royal William and  2 pink Royal Kate. They are supposed to be disease resistant and have a strong fragrance.

Writing: I’m within sight of the end of my first draft of my new Dangerous Journeys mystery with Anne McPail. This time she’s in Spain, her life endangered by her concern for a mysterious little girl.

Ontario is in the midst of an election. I see the Conservative Party is trying to position itself as the party of hope. Hope, as demonstrated by planning to eliminate 100,000 civil service jobs. A mythical number, neatly dissected by an editorial in the Globe and Mail. Hudak appears to pull these numbers from an imaginary hat. How many civil servants do you know? I can count at least three, not including the teachers, hospital workers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, police and whomever else the party fears to cut. That leaves social service, and labour and the environment, all unnecessary from its collective point of view. The ones I know are not at the top, not even managers, but workers who are on the wrong side of senior and likely to be cut first. Hope? Not too much. Read the editorial here. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/can-tim-hudak-win-election-by-100000-job-cuts/article18629579/#dashboard/follows

That’s about it for this Sunday in May.



My vote

In March I wrote a post about my reasons for not voting for Harper. My reasons for voting Liberal are based on history:

1)The last government left us with a surplus–Harper spent it on things like 300 million for security at the G20/G8, but mostly on dropping taxes. How much of that did you see on your bottom line? Did the economy improve? Not.

2)This country had a reputation for intelligent foreign policy. Now, do we have a foreign policy. Harper had some on the job training. Ignatieff comes with a wealth of knowledge of the outside world.

3)We used to feel secure without social safety net. As a lady waiting to have her blood drawn for tests  said this morning,”There’s no security any more.”

4)We need money spent on our colleges and universities. The Liberals will do that.

5)We need more thought, less ideology on the subject of Law and Order. Attention to relevant statistics would help. The Liberals will do that.

It’s time for a change.


The attack ads, and the language of war in the reporting of the campaign, the appeal to fear, the creation of panic, all of these are part of this election as they have been of the last several. I’m tired of it, and of the politicians who have such contempt for the voter. We haven’t had a discussion of the major problems in this country.When one starts, ie the Liberal discussion on health Care, Harper falls back on the  “oh-my-god they might form a coalition”.  I

t appears to me that most people don’t even know what a coalition is, or that it is the usual way of doing politics in many vibrant democracies. If parties won seats in proportion to their popular vote, we would all ready have a government that represented the majority of people in this country, and yes at least two of them would have to agree on how to govern. That means that the NDP concern for the social network, the Liberal concern for health care and the social programs of the Bloc, as well as the environmental agenda of the Greens would be taken into account when drafting policy.

Or perhaps the Conservatives could convince one of the others to join them.

We would be less likely to have a government that was unresponsive to the majority of the  people, reflecting only the views of the neo-con right.

But what was Ignatieff thinking, giving Harper a gift like this? I suppose he got into the habit while teaching to answer questions honestly, and so continues. Yes, under our system a coalition is possible. Will that happen? Would it mean the government was any less representative of the people’s will. i don’t think so, to either question.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Happy birthday, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms! …and thanks for nothing, Stephen Harper


The Liberal Party invited readers to share this post from their website.

I’m old enough now to have gone through many changes of Prime Minister, from Mike Pearson(the first one I can remember) to John Diefenbaker, to Pierre Elliott Trudeau–I first voted in his first election–to Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien and so on. I have been inspired, enraged, alienated, hopeful and full of despair that the country would survive. But I never felt the leaders didn’t embrace our rights and freedoms until now.

The mistrust began with Harper’s first public statements and has gone on. The proroguing of parliament, the police on the streets during the G20/G8, and the treatment of citizens as though they were cattle, made me call enough. Many people think this election was for nothing. It wasn’t for nothing. The government has been held in Contempt of Parliament. That is constitutionally a very big deal, meaning the government tried some American-style politics, withholding information until the eleventh hour,  within our parliamentary system, and got caught. The loyal opposition has the right to information, whether Harper like it or not.

Look at the quote from 2011. Harper fails to understand that the Supreme Court is the check on the government and if he doesn’t like a ruling he has to go back to Parliament and change the law. If he can’t, that means the majority doesn’t agree with him. Too bad.

So I don’t trust him, certainly not with a majority.

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Charter is universally treasured by all Canadians, guaranteeing their fundamental civil rights from infringement by any level of government.

There is one person who won’t be celebrating the Charter’s birthday, and that’s Stephen Harper.

Today, Stephen Harper committed to reinstate Bill C-49, legislation that targets refugees instead of human smugglers, and according to the Canadian Bar Association breaches the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Stephen Harper has never embraced the Charter:

“I agree that serious flaws exist in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that there is no meaningful review or accountability mechanisms for Supreme Court justices.” (Stephen Harper,Globe and Mail, June 13, 2000)

“I consider the notwithstanding clause a valid part of the Constitution . . . It’s there to ensure that the courts themselves operate within the Charter and don’t become a law unto themselves.” (Stephen Harper, Canadian Press, May 15, 2004)

“‘We’re concerned and we think Parliament, not the court, should be making these decisions.’  Harper also agreed with Premier Ralph Klein’s stance that the Alberta government invoke the notwithstanding clause with respect to the decision.” (Stephen Harper on the Ontario Court of Appeal Decision that legalized same-sex marriage, Calgary Herald, June 13, 2003)

“‘Right from the beginning, the Charter has been controversial. There were a large number of politicians, a large number of provincial premiers who did not support that approach to civil liberties in this country.” (Stephen Harper, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, September 29, 1994)

Leaders Debate

First I didn’t watch it all. I get tired of spin and “talking points” and mostly of Harper. I did see the exchange in which Ignatieff said :

“A majority? … Majorities are things you earn when you earn the trust of Canadian people and you haven’t earned the trust of the Canadian people because you don’t trust the Canadian people.”

He hit it square on as far as I am concerned. A few posts ago I went through the events this year that have upset me most, but it all comes down to this. Harper is a control-obsessed man, whose attitude is his way or the highway. I have always liked the Canadian history of compromise and negotiation. I don’t trust him to govern for all of us if he gets a majority. He sure didn’t when he had a minority.

How many more odd ideas like cancelling the long form census are hiding beneath that perfectly-coifed hair.

What about his insistence on following a punishment instead of rehabilitation agenda? He calls it law and order, but I see him ignoring facts, or bending them to fit his pre-conceived ideas.

And throwing young women out of his rallies. How’s that for controlling?

If we must have a minority, I hope it’s a Liberal one. After all, most people in this country vote for left of centre parties.