Random Thoughts – A Third WHA Reunion, Erin O’Toole’s Last Stand, School Taxis and More
November 21, 2021
1. First, there were two WHA 50th anniversary reunions being planned for October 2022. Now there are three. This past week, former Winnipeg sportscaster Peter Young held an introductory press conference for another reunion, this one scheduled for Whistler, BC. Why Whistler you ask? And as if they were reading my mind, they answered. The beautiful surroundings combined with the amenities, including a golf course, and accommodations that are all within walking distance. They’ll also have plenty of activities for the whole family. Concerts. A floorball tournament. A memorabilia show. And a gala dinner. I’ve never been there, but I’m sure it is a nice place. The late Tim Gassen always told me how the players like to golf. That will be a drawing card to get players out. But there are plenty of places in North America that offer plenty of amenities and golf courses. I wish them well, but just like with the Las Vegas reunion, I still ask why Whistler and not a former WHA city where more fans could partake in the event and where it would be much more meaningful.
1a. I only found out about the aforementioned reunion through the manager of a radio station who interviewed me recently. And he wasn’t aware of the Quebec or Las Vegas reunions. Sounds like all three reunion committees need to do a better job of promotion. The “you’re just supposed to know” credo only works in St. Catharines.
2. Dear Erin O’Toole: (again) Let me tell you about a man named Greg. With an iron fist, he ruled as premier in a province you called home when you were stationed at 17 Wing. Much like you, he went completely off the rails to the point that many in his caucus openly called for him to step down for the good of the party. The writing clearly was on the wall. Yet rather than accept his inevitable fate, he dug in his heels and put his own interests before those of his party. Sure, he managed to hang on as leader following a fractious leadership review that went right down to the wire. But fate caught up to him in the next general election, when he and his party were hammered. Not only did they lose, but the talent pool in his party was so badly decimated that it may take a couple of decades for them to recover.
Today, you are where Greg was before the leadership review.
I get that you want to stay on as leader. I also get that you want to keep your caucus united behind you. Public disunity will only help your opponents. But you have completely betrayed your supporters and lost their trust. You can never get that back. And even if you somehow manage to ride out the storm and hold onto the leadership, your odds of ever becoming prime minister grow increasingly slim with every passing day. If the members of your own party aren’t in your corner, how can you expect any broad support from Canadians in the next federal election?
This is not a battle you’re going to win. For the good of your party and your country, you need to step down and make way for a strong, principled conservative. The sooner, the better. Otherwise, you will share Greg’s political fate. You know what they say about those who fail to learn from history.
3. Speaking of strong, principled conservatives, Maxime Bernier is asking PPC members whether or not they want a leadership review. What a novel concept. A leader seeking a vote of confidence from the members of his own party. Don’t suppose Erin O’Toole or Doug Ford would consider such a thing.
4. Speaking of Doug Ford, I got a call from his party a few days ago. “We have some important news from the Ontario PC Party,” the caller said before a meaningful pause. Hey, good news, I thought. They’re kicking me out of the party. Just like they did with Belinda Karahalios and the entire Cambridge riding association. But alas, my hopes were dashed when the caller went on to say there was going to be an online nomination meeting for the St. Catharines riding this coming week. I was floored. Because if there’s going to be a nomination meeting, that implies there’s actually someone willing to be nominated for the unenviable position of being our Doug Ford Party candidate in next year’s provincial election. That is, assuming we’ll be allowed to vote and that Ford won’t just continue to rule by decree indefinitely. For the life of me, I can’t imagine who’d be brave or stupid enough to take on such a role. Whoever it is must not have any designs on any other political office after the election. Because being Doug Ford’s stooge is going to hang around that person’s neck like an albatross that will be nearly impossible to shake.
5. I am old enough to honestly say I regularly walked a mile through the snow to get to school. And that was in Winnipeg. Future generations of children, however, have not had it nearly as difficult. It soon became that walking to school at all was a big deal. Then walking all the way to the bus stop became the gold standard for endurance. And recently, I saw a new low when I spotted a taxi pulling up to the front door of an elementary school where a kid got out. Someone actually sent their kid to school in a taxi. And not in a well-to-do neighborhood either. Downtown, in fact. What is this world coming to?
6. Apparently the Ontario government has taken to calling people to book poison injections. After putting people out of a job, denying them the opportunity to earn a living and shutting them out of society, Doug Ford thinks that some sweet words from a teenager working part-time at a call center to put herself through the Gender Studies program at Artsy Fartsy U are going send such people running right to the pharmacy. Right. And Santa Claus will be shimmying down his chimney on Christmas morning.
7. Is it right for a government to even take a position as to whether or not you undergo any medical treatment, let alone force you do to so?
8. Blind obedience is not a virtue. Quite the contrary, it is healthy to question authority.
9. “Law without a foundation in morality becomes injustice,” Pope Benedict XVI.
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