Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phili Vanilli

Loads of letters have been written into the Expositor regarding the water treatment plant since Phil McColeman made this "new" announcement. Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development made the announcement that the residents of Oshweken will receive $10 million for a "new" water treatment plant. When I first read this, I was puzzled: This announcement had already been made in 2005 and the funds have also been available since 2005! So will there now be TWO new water treatment plants for residents of Oshweken, or will one plant cost $20 million?!

A basic Google search revealed that former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Hon. Andy Scott had committed $10 million to Oshweken for a new water treatment plant, under the First Nations Water Management Strategy (FNWMS), this announcement is on the Ministry's website under 2005 news releases. Now, why did the government reannounce this funding three years later? The reason is that Stephen Harper became Prime Minister, then cancelled the historic Kelowna Accord and chose not to pursue this project. He probably figured that if the Six Nations had waited this long, they should wait until Brant elected a Conservative MP before getting any money. This is the same Prime Minister who also opposed a UN Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

A Conservative Indian Affairs Minister has not visited Brant since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister, all because of two words: land claims. Jim Prentice a former Minister of Indian Affairs, only visited Brant during the election and when he was no longer minister in charge of land claims. Why didn't Chuck Strahl make the water treatment plant announcement? Why did the PMO allow another patsy (Phil) to go up and make a reannouncement of something that had already been announced?

The answer will be revealed in the next round of campaign pamphlets full of more false claims by our shameless Member of Parliament. In Mr. Lloyd St. Amand's post-election interview he stated that he had worked hard to secure $10 million for a new water treatment plant in Ohsweken three years ago. He said it's unfortunate that the Harper government hasn't honoured that commitment.

In a letter addressed to Mr. McColeman published a few weeks ago, a letter writer hilariously comments,

Like Milli Vanilli, MP should not take credit

Phil McColeman: I was certainly happy to see some action from the Harper government on the water treatment plant for Six Nations residents, but this is too much. There was a letter in the newspaper about your "new" announcement, pointing out this commitment was originally made by the previous Liberal government.

Is this not shameless? I feel you owe the Hon. Andy Scott and Mr. Lloyd St. Amand apologies and should send out a news release soon. Are you familiar with the band Milli Vanilli? They were also dishonest and took credit for other people's work.

: )

NBC had this old saying to promote reruns during the summer: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you"

"Phili Vanilli & Chucky S"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Witness: Phil's Committee Meeting

This past weekend I had the luck to visit Ottawa, and took an opportunity to sit in on one of Phil's committee meetings. The Tuesday-morning meeting was scheduled to discuss a review of the Sex Offender Information Registry Act, and to discuss the inquiry into Taser use in Canada.

During the first half of the meeting, the Sex Offender Registry part, Phil spent roughly 80% of his time playing on his BlackBerry under the table, 15% of the time staring distantly out the window across from him, and nearly the rest chewing on his glasses and furrowing his brow. During these two hours, by my count, he made only three written notes.

Other Committee members such as Andrew Kania and Mark Holland asked hard-hitting questions about how to improve the Registry, and illuminated a lack of action by former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day. They were certainly NOT playing with their BlackBerrys. When Phil was finally called on to speak, however, his lack of preparedness was evident – he asked a witness to repeat facts that had actually been clarified earlier:
(clears throat) Well thank you ah again ah for being here and taking the time as you know this committee is charged with the review of ah this legislation and– and we're hearing from all sides and ah of course there's ah been representation on people who feel it's an infringement on human rights. (clears throat) I'll make a statement and then ask my question. I've spent a lot of time with special needs individuals over my life, both children and adults and it concerns me greatly (clears throat) their innocence, just as all victims I suppose, but especially in this and it's gut-wrenching for me to– to contemplate ah uhh uhh the situations that some of them may find themselves in. Ah so I– I definitely bias towards ah giving you the tools you need to do the job in law-enforcement on the street in a time– on a timely basis. It– it was mentioned earlier I think ah by Mr. Nez– Nezan [RCMP Officer in Charge, National Sex Offender Registry] that the– "the current ah setup is inefficient and the integrity of the data is compromised," that's the note that I made from your comments. Can you expand on that a bit?

We pay Phil $155,000 a year for this???

The second half of the committee focused on the Taser Inquiry, following the tragic death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver Airport. This is accordingly a very high-profile inquiry (and one in which Phil has already made a fool of himself). Once all the reporters, observers, and TV cameras entered the room, Phil could no longer play on his BlackBerry under the table without people noticing. So he spent the rest of the meeting chewing on his glasses and furrowing his brow, and contributed… absolutely nothing to the discussion.

A summary of Phil's performance in the Committee is that he is probably a nice, decent guy, but he is an awful politician. And he really, really likes his BlackBerry.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A couple of MPs who also need to be replaced...

Around 2:00 this afternoon while watching Question Period on CPAC, Ron Cannan, a Member of the Conservative Reform Alliance Party rose to deliver a Statement or SO 31, (The House of Commons ritual allows for fifteen minutes of what are called "Standing Orders 31's" which permit members to read statements. Before Harper's team arrived they were reserved for members praising the achievements of a local school or athlete, remembering a distinguished citizen, or speaking out on an issue of local concern.) As the Hon. Bob Rae puts it best, "the hooting and hollering has returned, and so have the nasty SO 31's, timed just as the Leader of the Opposition is about to get to his feet. So instead of praising local achievement we have the worst kind of personal attack, cheap shot and character smear." Even though it had sadly become routine for Mr. McColeman's colleagues to attack the Hon. Stephane Dion, who has done more for Canada then Mr. McColeman and all his backbench cronies ever will or will read about... I was disgusted with today's line of attack by the Despicable Ron Cannan:
The Conservative MP—”The voice of Kelowna-Lake Country in Ottawa“—rose immediately after Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua had delivered a statement on the earthquake in Italy this afternoon and announced to the House the following.

Mr. Speaker, I too add my condolences to the folks in Italy. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all those folks in Italy.

But there is an earthquake happening in our own country.

I would like to remind Canadians what the Liberal leader said on April 14th, just last week, and I quote, “We will have to raise taxes”. We thank him for honestly revealing the Liberal plan.
A lot has been blogged and documented in regards to Mr. McColeman being muzzled by his party, Mr. Cannan not only needs to be muzzled but should resign immediately. The earthquake in Italy is a serious matter and nothing our Parliamentarians say can be equated to the loss of life in L'Aquila, Italy. The shocking thing is that Mr. Cannan probably did not write his outlandish statement – it is common knowledge that the Prime Minister's office is usually in charge of writing the smear attacks and forcing some patsy to swallow their self-respect and read them in the House of Commons. This shameful action was well documented by Mr. Glen Pearson in March:
I was upset today - I admit it. The Conservatives have taken to denigrating Michael Ignatieff in their statements just prior to Question Period, much like they used to do with Stephane Dion.

Today’s developments almost bordered on irreverence. Prior to Ignatieff giving his statement, another Conservative clone rose in the House to speak of his unsuitability for leadership. Then, to everyone’s surprise, the Liberal leader got up and delivered a deeply reflective statement on the death of the three Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan yesterday.

Not sooner had Ignatieff sat down than another Conservative stood up for the last statement before QP and unleashed his torrent at the Liberal leader. To people of finer senses it was jarring. I know that Conservative. He’s a decent man and wants to help others. But he was told to get up and read a speech written by someone else. The entire House just wanted him to sit down and be quiet. His intervention was highly unsuitable and out of place. During one of our finer moments in the House, a man permitted himself to become a patsy for the party and demeaned a meaningful moment and the soldiers’ memory in the process.

And for my friend, the Conservative who permitted his party to defeat his own sense decorum, he’s just one of many in that place that can’t discern a sacred moment from a profane one. I will remember those speeches for some time to come and how they not only elevated the House but the memory of those faithful soldiers and a former Speaker as well. And I will recall how quickly one frivolous and partisan remark almost snuffed out a sense of enlightenment for the sake of the irreverent.

Mr. Pearson is too polite to point out the patsy by name, but a quick Hansard search revealed that the Member of Parliament was
James Bezan,of Selkirk—Interlake in Manitoba.

The common link between those two jerks is that they are from really Conservative voting ridings, where even a brainless insensitive dimwit can get elected, they have won their ridings with over 50% of the popular vote, so it is up to the local riding association to replace or continue to re-elect these men. Case in point is the Conservative riding association in Calgary West:
Calgary West MP Rob Anders is an outsider even inside his own party. Raise his name with Conservative MPs and they wrinkle their noses like they've just taken a big whiff of the stuff spring uncovers in an off-leash dog park.

But five-term Anders is among the best MPs at winning Conservative nomination meetings in this all-Tory, all-the-time riding. And this week he'll have to fend off a challenge to replace the riding board of directors he controls from a potential rival's move to elect friendlier types eager to dump their incumbent MP.
If you are a resident of Brantford and the name Rob Anders sounds familiar, it is because Mr. McColeman relied on Mr. Anders to help him get elected. Mr. Anders' office sent multiple partisan flyers to Brantford months before the election was called last year. I do not recall if Mr. Bezan and Mr. Cannan sent flyers to Brantford but would not be surprised if they did. A quick dictionary search defines tacit consent as, unspoken consent or tacit approval indicated by smiling, winking or silence. Please email your local MP and articulate your disapproval of such despicable tactics,

EMAIL, we know how to use it!

Dear readers,

We have decided to open this blog up to YOU! If you have something you want to send us or want to submit a column, you are more than welcome to. You can even CC or BCC us when you attempt to contact our local Member of Parliament.
The email is:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dr. Phil’s Formula for Economic Recovery

Renovate houses.

That's basically it. And build some other things, like a few roads. Never mind that property values in Canada are falling as fast as Conservative poll numbers.

In his maiden speech in Parliament, Phil meandered on about his years spent working in construction, and how every Canadian wants a bigger house. Then he proclaimed the virtues of a new construction tax credit, and infrastructure investment. You could almost see the gears slowly turning in his head:
  1. I like construction!
  2. But housing sales are falling…
  3. People can renovate their houses instead!!
Since then, Phil has been rushing around to get Brantfordians building. He went to Brantford city council and told them to 'pick an infrastructure project, any infrastructure project.' Then he did the same thing in Paris. He announced funding toward a new ice arena. He let us know that he's been having lots and lots of meetings with Infrastructure Minister John Baird (who must be pretty darn patient to put up with all Phil's pestering).

All of this is good news for Brantford. But if it stops there – and it does – it is not nearly enough.

In his Parliamentary speech, Phil noted a similar initiative in the early 1990s that kept workers working. It is true that in the recession of the 1980s/90s there was a lot of federal money coming into Brant projects – that's how we built the rail trail, for example. But it was a band-aid solution: Brantford continued to deteriorate throughout the '90s, the downtown crumbled, unemployment stayed high. Why? Because at the end of the day, when the federal money dried up, the workers had the same unmarketable skill-set, and the same reliance on heavy industry that continues to leave town.

What we need to do is invest in retraining our workers with marketable skills, not just keeping them busy for a little while. Invest in people, not just in edifices. We need a government that will invest in sustainable, long-term solutions, such as wind and solar energy manufacturing, and building more hybrid/electric autos. The Conservatives' unimaginative economic plan, on the other hand, says, "Here's a hammer, get to work until the money runs out again."

Brantford is less-educated and poorer than average. This is a huge turnoff for investors choosing where to place their money, and renovating houses isn't going to change this. Let us remember that the single greatest factor for downtown Brantford's turnaround was the construction of a university campus in 1998. That's the type of forward-thinking investment that's needed, in addition to building houses and roads.

In a weary voice, a downtown businessowner once told me, "Brantford's always been a day late and a buck short." That, in as many words, perfectly describes the economic plan of Phil McColeman and the Conservatives.

Tased and ConPHused...

What would happen if somebody had not died? Would they be alive? Would there still be a funeral? Would said person renovate their home?

At the February hearing of the Public Safety Committee on taser use, MPs had the opportunity to see if recommendations had been applied and their results. Our current Member of Parliament, Mr. Phil McColeman brought his palette of skills and experience to this committee.

He asked the insensitive and worst question one could ask at his committee:

"…is it a reasonable question to ask, in a debriefing situation, what the probable outcomes might have been had the taser not been used? "

So, is he asking if such a stupid question is reasonable or, what would have happened if the taser, that caused the untimely and tragic death of Mr. Robert Dziekanski, had not been used???

Commissioner William Elliot of the RCMP has the kindness and patience to not embarrass Mr. McColeman in front of his colleagues and everyone else for such sheer stupidity, kind of like when your parents play Hide-and-Seek with you and pretend that they don’t see you when you’re in plain sight.

Phil’s insensitivity and the inanity of his question was in plain sight that morning and "after McColeman finally winds down his impromptu monologue on what a good idea it would be to include all that wonderful alternate scenario information would be, Elliott has to remind him that, in general, it’s not always a good idea to focus so heavily on speculation although he agrees with the BASIC THEORY behind it."

Commissioner Elliot kindly responded:

“I think it is more appropriate and certainly more common for us to ask our officers to describe the facts and what they perceived, and to record them, and not generally to have them speculate what might have happened otherwise.”

This blog is sincerely embarrassed for Mr. McColeman who ironically had his victory party at the Polish hall in Brantford on election night. This committee is a very important one based on the debate that the taser incident at the Vancouver International Airport has caused. Mr. McColeman is truly out of his depth at this committee, which is a shame. Maybe someone who is familiar with the justice system and its procedures maybe has some law and committee background and who is also an eloquent speaker would have better represented the riding of Brant that morning…

Mr. McColeman thinks that he simply has to show up at Committees and the House of Commons and not put any actual work into being a Member of Parliament. Is Phil for REAL?

We can see why Fil is not in the Phoreign Affairs Committee or Phinance committee…

This post will be entered in this contest. Your constructive criticism is more than welcome!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Phil's "Visit With Agriculture"

On Phil McColeman's latest mailout which was covered yesterday in another Brantford blogger's website , titled:" Tory MP Phil McColeman's Taxpayer Funded April Fool's Joke "
Speaking of Jokes, Phil showed us pictures of him visiting with constituents, Green Briar students and AGRICULTURE. Yes, agriculture:
  1. The science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, and raising livestock; farming.
  2. the production of crops, livestock, or poultry.
See for yourself!

Phil's office is also in the business of selling popular books such as:

Agriculture Joe goes to the City

and... the Agriculture's Almanac.