Ontario’s Conservative Party Asks Liberal Government To Commit To No Carbon Tax

carbon tax imageNews from the Ontario Conservative Party, March 30th, 2015)
(A Brief Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – It is entirely predictable that a Mike Harris/Tim Hudak residue of a Conservative Party in Ontario would align with its Harper brethren in Ottawa in believing that climate change has little or nothing to do with exponential increases in carbon (i.e. – gas, coal, etc.) emissions over the past half century in this country and others on this globe.

It is also entirely interesting to me, and should be to all of you, that Conservative politicians who claim to care about what comes out of our pockets are not equally concerned about the impacts that climate change and all of its extreme weather, has on droughts, floods, super cold winters and other weather-related matters that trump prices up on our grocery bills, insurances rates, the damage and maintenance necessary to keep our roads and other infrastructure working, and other core expenses. Where are Hudak, Dykstra, Nicholson and other puppets for Harper when it comes to that side of the balance sheet? Or are they interested in any balance sheets beyond those of their corporate masters in the petro-chemical industry? if we don’t make some effort to reduce carbon emissions? All they seem interested in doing is running Canada as if it were little more than a gas station.)
(Now here is the media release from the Ontario Conservatives.)

QUEEN’S PARK, March30th, 2015 – The Ontario PC Caucus today asked the government to commit to not levying another misguided tax on the people of Ontario, specifically a carbon tax.

This is the second in a series of commitments the PC Caucus is asking of the government in advance of its budget. Speaking on behalf of her party, PC Environment and Climate Change Critic Lisa Thompson discussed the financial burden a carbon tax has placed on residents and businesses in locations where it has been introduced.

“In B.C. the carbon tax is costing farmers an extra $4,300 a year and in Australia it raised energy prices by 9%. A carbon tax is simply a cost Ontario’s residents and businesses cannot afford. Ontarians already pay some of the highest energy costs in North America and a carbon tax wills only further drive jobs out of this province.”

Additionally, Thompson charged that the consultations the government has been holding about Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy are really just a cover for the next tax they will be putting on the people of the province. “In last year’s election the only thing you said to the people of Ontario about a carbon tax is that you wouldn’t implement one,” said Thompson. She asked whether the Premier would stick to her promise and commit to not introducing a new tax.

(Niagara At Large invites you to join in the conversation by sharing your views on the content of this post below. For reasons of transparency and promoting civil dialogue, NAL only posts comments from individuals who share their first and last name with their views.)

Ontario NDP Member France Gélinas Introduces Legislation In Memory Of Niagara’s Late Peter Kormos

Peter Kormos speaks out at a public rally in St. Catharines' Montobello Park following the disgraceful arrests at the G20 Summit in Toronto, where few other provicincial or federal reps in this region had the courage to do it. File photo by Doug Draper

Peter Kormos speaks out at a public rally in St. Catharines’ Montobello Park following the disgraceful arrests at the G20 Summit in Toronto, where few other provicincial or federal reps in this region had the courage to do it. File photo by Doug Draper

News from Ontario’s NDP Party(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara at Large publisher Doug Draper – Has it really been two years already that Peter Kormos, a native Niagara, Ontario resident and long-time politician in the tradition of progressives like Tommy Douglas let us? I fear we may never see his level of determination and passion for standing up for working families in this country, even if it meant losing a seat in cabinet and more, again.

Bless you Peter, and may your spirit inspire others to vote, run for public office and stand up on principle for your progressive cause.)
QUEEN’S PARK, March 30th, 2015 – Nickel Belt NDP MPP, France Gélinas, introduced two pieces of legislation today to commemorate the second anniversary of former Welland MPP Peter Kormos’ passing.

Gélinas said the first legislation, the Labour relations Amendment Act (Strike and Lock-Out information), 2015, will honour Mr.Kormos’ commitment to the rights of workers.

“I didn’t want to let the day go by without mentioning his name, and without doing a little something for him,” Gélinas said. “People who knew him would remember that he always had an anti-scab bill on the docket. That was something that he would present at every session of question period in the legislature. This bill is a bit more timid. All it asks for is to identify when temporary replacement workers are used.”

Gélinas said the second legislation, the Trillium Gift of Life Network Amendment Act, 2015, will continue Mr. Kormos’ work to save the lives of Ontarians in need of organs.

“Around ten years ago, Peter introduced this bill to amend the Trillium Gift of Life Act to presume the consent of citizens. The people of Welland can be proud that their MPP was a champion for the over 1,500 people on the waiting list for organ donations.”

March 30, marks the second anniversary of Peter Kormos’ passing. This is the second year MPP Gélinas has introduced legislation to commemorate Mr. Kormos. “Peter Kormos was a formidable parliamentarian and I was fortunate to serve with him and learn from him,” Gélinas said.

(Niagara At Large invites you to join in the conversation by sharing your views on the content of this post below. For reasons of transparency and promoting civil dialogue, NAL only posts comments from individuals who share their first and last name with their views.)

When It Comes To National Security Our Farmlands Should Be Our First Line of Defense

buy_fresh_buy_local-300x264A Commentary by Chris Wojnarowski
In times of geopolitical stress, a country that loses its ability to produce its own food, make things and control its energy & resources, ceases to be a sustainable nation.

Food is at the top of the list of these national security issues, and it would be in everyone’s interests to take this subject seriously. As a nation dependant on trading internationally for food, we are irreversibly heading into the jaws of a major calamity.

Recent devastating droughts in the United States, Mexican and Chilean farm belts will likely result in the cessation of seasonal food exports to Canada. Political turmoil in places like Argentina, Ukraine, and the Middle East, normally able to feed themselves will strain and possibly overwhelm the international supply chain.

There may come a point where certain foods will not be available at any price, and supermarket shelves begin to resemble those of Stalinist Russia. It would not be a stretch to see other trading partners reflexively ration their exports.

In such a situation, what would happen if say China decided that it would no longer be in their national interest to export food produce? It is a matter of record that Chinese government has foreseen the coming global food crisis, and has mandated state agencies to purchase large areas of arable land in Africa to secure food supplies to ship back to China. And China has the means to defend such food supplies. No conspiracy. Just good government looking after their citizens.
What if food production becomes “weaponized” by a hostile power? What if the only food available to Canada is with-held or hyper-priced as is the case of Russian exports to Ukraine?

Canada’s existential needs should mobilize a sense of urgency in our Provincial & Federal governments to reassess their punitive policies of marginalizing non-urban agricultural communities in pursuit of their own political agendas. Urban voter blocks that have come to expect that food comes in a package from nicely lit supermarkets. The oh so clever elites have created a culture of contempt for the “low class dirty farmer” that feeds him. Our farm youth are not blind or deaf to this. Farming is no longer an aspirational form of employment. They rightly feel stigmatized and flee family farms in droves. The tragic loss of our farming heritage is a logical result.

Agricultural policy cannot be spun on a dime like war-time manufacturing – it a lagging enterprise requiring serious lead times. They should do so before we are confronted by food shortages, rationing with the resultant civil unrest.

Chris Wojnarowski is a Niagara, Ontario resident who has had well-researched and thought-provoking commentary on a host of issues published and posted in area newspapers and other media venues for a number of years. Niagara At Large is pleased that he has accepted an invitation to post the commentary above, on an issue that is near and dear to NAL’s heart, by the way, on our site.
(Niagara At Large invites you to join in the conversation by sharing your views on the content of this post below. For reasons of transparency and promoting civil dialogue, NAL only posts comments from individuals who share their first and last name with their views.)

Niagara’s Regional Chair Al Caslin’s First State of the Region Address – Moving our People, Moving our Performance, Moving our Region Forward

State of the Region Address by Alan Caslin Niagara Regional Chair, March 25th, 2015, Niagara Falls, Ontario

(A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – NAL has always believed in posting the annual State of the Region Address delivered by the Chair of Niagara, Ontario’s regional government unabridged, without the usual reporters and editors deciding what parts of it to highlight for you.

NAL and our readers will get our turn to praise or citicize the messages in the Chair’s speech soon enough. For now, here is the first State of the Region addressed delivered by Al Caslin, a St. Catharines regional councillor chosen by a majority of fellow regional councillors late last year to serve in the top political job in Niagara for the next four years.)

Niagara Regional Chair Al Caslin

Niagara Regional Chair Al Caslin

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for being with us today.

 A big thank you to Wade and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce for hosting today’s event.

I’d also like to congratulate Mishka Balsom, the GNCC’s newly appointed CEO.

It’s great to see organizations like the GNCC and area Chambers of Commerce working hand in glove with business to grow the Niagara economy and locking in jobs in across the Region.

I’d also like to acknowledge Bob Watson and Pen Financial for sponsoring today’s event. I must say, it looks like Bob may be competing with Meridian to be the Regional Chair’s favorite Credit Union.

Brian Merrett also deserves a big thank you and an Oscar for his performance. Brian was Niagara’s 3rd Regional Chair and I’ve been impressed by his continued commitment to Niagara and its residents.

Please hold your applause as I welcome a number of important guests here today.

I’d like acknowledge my colleagues on Regional Council in the audience today, including…

In addition, please join me in welcoming other public figures that have joined us today, including…

To kick off my remarks, I’d like to offer you a “Chair’s Eye View” of my first 100 days in office. Continue reading

Continued High Growth In Ontario’s Public Sector Wages Shows Government Has No Financial Control

News from Ontario’s Conservative Party

(A Brief Foreword Note from NAL – Lest are not old enough t remember or choose not to remember, there were certainly enough provincial public sector emloyees who were paid and/or misspent big bucks under Mike Harris’s Conservative government in the late 1990s and early 2000s.)

QUEEN’S PARK, March 26th, 2015 – The 2014 Sunshine List shows the Liberal government continues to allow public sector wages to rise at an unsustainable rate, to the detriment of all of the people of the province.canadian currency 

The number of people on the list grew by 13.9% over 2013.  In actual numbers of people, this is the highest single increase ever – an inexcusable amount given the financial situation in the province. 

“The fact that the Sunshine List has grown again and so rapidly, proves the Liberals are not serious about meeting their deficit reduction targets, nor do they appear to be concerned about the implications of ballooning public sector salaries as they pertain to public service cuts and layoffs.  There is a direct correlation,” said Lisa MacLeod, PC Treasury Board critic. Continue reading

THIS EARTH DAY – You Are Invited To A Niagara, Ontario Town Hall On Climate Change And The Green Economy

Tom Rand, clean-tech venture capitalist, environmentalist, and author of “Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit” and “Waking the Frog” will provide a no-nonsense look at climate change with special emphasis on the economic opportunities involved in moving to a low-carbon economy.

Click on this image to enlarge it

Click on this image to enlarge it

A panel of local experts will be on hand to discuss issues specific to the Niagara Region and to suggest ways to get involved.

Come out and join the discussion. Everyone welcome!

No charge. Refreshments served.

Get your free tickets through Eventbrite (https://eventbrite.ca/event/16168758191/).

Tickets help us plan seating and refreshments but if it’s a last minute decision….come anyway.

 The Town Hall is sponsored by the St. Catharines Federal Liberal Association as a non-partisan, community-outreach event.

Time and place:   April 22, 2015, 7 to 9 pm, Holiday Inn and Suites Parkway Conference Centre,   327 Ontario Street, St. Catharines, Ontario 

Contact  Jane Dywan  jdywan@brocku.ca 905-641-5185

(Niagara At Large invites your comments on this post. We remind you that we only post cmments from individals that share their real first and last names.)

Ontario’s NDP Calls For Ban On ‘Fracking’ For Gas In Province

News from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

QUEEN’S PARK, March 25th, 2015— MPP Peter Tabuns, the Ontario NDP Environment and Climate Change critic, will introduced a bill this March 25th to ban fracking in Ontario. Quebec, New York state, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick already have similar bans.ourwater

“There is no need for Ontario to risk environmental damage and lawsuits by leaving the door open for this controversial business. Let’s learn from the hard experiences of others and act now,” said Tabuns, MPP for Toronto-Danforth. Continue reading