Category Archives: NDP

01 Sep

Selinger’s Soliloquy

I’m Greg Selinger, leader of Today’s NDP

Seems like some people aren’t too happy with me

Like a drunken sailor, I’m recklessly spending their cash

Emptying every bit of their private stash

What’s money, old chum

There’s plenty more where that came from

Eventually the public treasury won’t have even a dime

It will be someone else’s problem by that time

They tell me that absolute power corrupts more and more

Absolute nonsense, oh yeah, I’ve said that before

Against their will, I can raise the PST

What do they think this is, a democracy?

You’ll still be gullible folk if history is any sign

At election time, I’ll promise the moon and you’ll buy every line
Manitobans are terrible at math, you see
They don’t understand that for every dollar I give them, it costs them three
I’ll kiss a donkey or a goat
If it meant getting another vote
In the meantime, you can picket or protest, whatever the case may be
It doesn’t mean a thing to me

03 May

Anti-PST Hike Rally

Yesterday evening, I attended the rally against the proposed PST hike at the Legislature. To my surprise, several hundred people, many of whom were seething mad, gathered around the front steps to voice their displeasure at the most recent tax grab by the Non Democratic Party. 

For those who are unaware, Manitoba Premier “Greasy Greg” Selinger has proposed to raise the provincial sales tax from 7% to 8%. In doing so, he also proposes to do away with existing legislation that requires a referendum before the PST can be increased. In short, he is again acting like a Central American tin-horn dictator who has an outrageous spending problem.

Many carried homemade signs such as this, while others proudly displayed signs distributed by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, organizers of the rally.

There was someone dressed as Pinocchio carrying a sign. Selinger has probably needed plastic surgery to cut down the size of his growing nose since he’s broken so many promises throughout the course of his regime. He had specifically promised not to raise taxes during the election campaign two years ago and look where we are today.

More signs on display:

You know things are bad when Manitobans begin clamoring for Gary Doer’s return.

These two protesters struck me as particularly hypocritical:

As the sign says, “Taxation is Theft”:

Yet, those two protesters were wearing paraphernalia from the Blue Bombers and the Mark Chipman Personal Hockey Club. Both organizations receive massive amounts of the proceeds from that theft. As I wrote in a recent tweet, someone has to pay for your taxpayer-funded toys. It might as well be you.

The crowd gathered around to hear the speakers.

There was Colin Craig of the CTF, a speaker from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and an anti-poverty advocate whose name I didn’t catch.

For some reason, Dr. Jon Gerrard was invited. Never missing an opportunity to get his face in front of the cameras, he spoke to the crowd. I suspect that he would have also appeared at a rally in support of a tax hike. He is a political opportunist desperate for publicity, but not terribly successful at getting it.

The last speaker was the Leader of the Opposition, the newly-elected MLA for Fort Whyte, Brian Pallister, spotted here in the crowd:

Crawling out of the cave that he’s been sequestered in for months, he spoke to a riled-up gathering waving his arms as if his voice was hand-activated.

What Pallister failed to address was why he and his predecessor have been so deathly silent while the Non Democratic Party throws money around like drunken sailors. Where were they when Selinger threw another $200 million at the Bombers for their new saloon in Fort Garry? Pallister barely made a peep when Selinger decided to build a casino for Chipman that would provide him with an annual $12 million stipend to play NHL general manager with our tax money.

It was good to see so many people turn out for this cause. But I have no optimism that Selinger will listen. Not only do I expect the PST increase to go through, I expect that many of you will turn around and vote for him in the next election.

Selinger continues to take Manitobans for suckers.

Sadly, he’s probably bang-on in his assessment.

01 Apr

Harper, Flaherty to Join NDP

The unthinkable has happened.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has left the Conservative Party and joined forces with Canada’s New Democrats.

“Today, the Prime Minister informed his caucus that he and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will be crossing the floor and sitting with the New Democratic Party,” said a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office. “He encourages all of his former Conservative colleagues to join him in unifying the country under the leadership of Canada’s New Democrats. Given the values that we share including reckless spending without bounds, it is only natural that our parties should combine forces to achieve our common goals.”

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair shakes hands with Stephen Harper, the newest member of the New Democratic caucus.
On the heels of the recent Federal budget, this move has been rumored for weeks. The controversial budget, which continues to send Canada’s debt skyrocketing, brings the Conservatives so closely aligned with the New Democrats, Canada’s official opposition, that today’s announcement at Parliament Hill was seen as inevitable.

“This is a great day for all Canadians,” said a spokesman for NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. “The Prime Minister’s decision to join the NDP truly indicates that the momentum of our movement is growing by leaps and bounds. We welcome him, Minister Flaherty, and all of the Conservative caucus members who share our vision of bankrupting the nation. We intend to move forward together and follow the lead of our comrades in Greece and Cyprus who have plunged their nations into financial ruin.”

Both Mulcair and Harper deflected questions regarding the leadership of what is expected to become one unified party. However, both indicated a willingness to cooperate until a leadership convention is held. Insiders say that plans are already being made for a convention later this year in Quebec City.

A spokesman for prospective Liberal leader Justin Trudeau declined comment.

22 Mar

Questions to Ponder

1. Are there more cell phones, dogs, or people in Winnipeg?
2. With all the furor over the expenses that Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth is billing to the Manitoba taxpayer, wouldn’t you like to see what expenses Garth Buchko of the Bombers is racking up? Or Mark Chipman, owner/GM of the so-called Jets? Since both the Bombers and True North are publicly-funded organizations, don’t we have the right to know?
3. Is Winnipeg the largest city in North America without a law enforcement agency?
4. Is Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister a genetic clone of his predecessor? Pallister seemed like a fighter. Someone who could really take on the Non Democratic Party. I had such high hopes for him. But then, like his predecessor, he sits silently while the NDP turns Manitoba into a Canadian version of Greece. Then he comes out of hibernation to speak about welfare rates. Oy.
5. Why does the government continue to use the slogan “Friendly Manitoba” on the license plates?
6. Has there been a day in the last five years in which there has not been a stabbing in Winnipeg?
7. Am I the only person in Winnipeg who has not watched an NHL game this year? And has not missed it one bit?
16 Feb

Thomas Mulcair Speaks in Winnipeg

Recently, I watched a movie in which there was a scene involving the owner of a comedy club announcing that he was going to hear a political opponent speak. When asked why, he responded, “I’m not supporting him, for God’s sake. I need new material.”
When I heard that federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair was going to be speaking in Winnipeg, I became the owner of that comedy club. What better opportunity for writing fodder could I ask for?
For those that don’t know me, my political views vary significantly from those of the NDP. Stephen Harper is too much of a leftist for my tastes. I’ve ridiculed MP Steven Fletcher personally on the Conservative government’s wasteful spending.
So I bundled up and made the multi-mile walk to the Sir John Franklin Community Center, where Mulcair was to speak this morning.
Or so I thought.
The parking lot was less than half full and the place was less than a beehive of activity. More people did show up a little later, but I was shocked that an appearance of the federal Leader of the Opposition could barely fill a small hall like this. To paraphrase Jim Carr from the classic movie Slap Shot, good seats were still available.
When I walked in, organizers were asking people to sign a register. There was a spot for name, “adress”, telephone number and email address. I declined to give my “adress”, though I did point out the spelling error. The person at the counter seemed less than interested. Oh well. 

I sat down, pulled out my camera and notepad and waited for the fun to begin.

I looked around at the eclectic collection of attendees. There were a large number of starry-eyed 20-somethings, a few seniors and a scruffy-looking older gentleman who looked like he had just crawled out of a BFI dumpster. Wolseley in a microcosm.
Needless to say, I didn’t brag about my membership in the Conservative party among this group.
Master of Ceremonies Rebecca Blaikie then called the meeting to order.
The first speaker was Pat Martin, the outspoken honorable member for Winnipeg Center.

Warming up the crowd for the keynote speaker, Martin passionately railed against the Harper government. Surprisingly, he showed some unusual restraint and refrained from using profanity during his speech. Given his prior childish behavior, it came as quite a shock to me to see this petition on his own party’s Web site.

Perhaps he read it. Or not. Agree or disagree with his views, when you think Pat Martin, “civility” is not the first word that comes to mind. His behavior in and out of the House of Commons gives politicians across the spectrum a bad name.
Moving on, the keynote speaker was introduced.

Mulcair spoke for approximately 15 minutes. Of course, he praised the Manitoba NDP government, saying “you’ve got to be the model for our breakthrough.”

And what a model it is. We’re drowning in debt and the only reason our heads are above water is the same federal government that Mulcair kept hammering during his speech. 40% of Manitoba’s revenues come from the federal government, compared to 18% for Saskatchewan, a province Manitobans once made fun of. Now we’re the butt of their jokes.
Mulcair failed to mention this in his speech as well as the fact that Saskatchewan’s economic boom has coincided with the removal of its NDP government.
It wouldn’t be an officially-sanctioned NDP speech without wailing on bank profits. Mulcair obliged. As the crowd applauded, I wondered how many of them were invested in bank stocks.
Mulcair took the opportunity to praise the public insurance model in Manitoba.
A fan of Manitoba Public Insurance either doesn’t live here or hasn’t been involved in an auto accident yet. Perhaps Mulcair should check out to find out what Manitobans really think of their public insurance system before his next visit. Extolling the virtues of MPI is not going to win him any new friends in this part of the world.
Manitoba Public Insurance has shown the ability to absorb endless numbers of bureaucrats and create jobs. Their premiums may be low, but so is the coverage you get. And if you don’t like it, go to another insurance company. Oh right, you can’t.

Mulcair raised an important point about not enough Canadians casting a ballot in the last federal election. Rather than put the blame on people like the renegade MP seated to his right, however, he had the nerve to suggest that it is the National Post and Sun Media’s “attacks” on the NDP that turns voters away.

I, for one, have never let the constant barrage of left-wing propaganda from media outlets like the CBC and the Winnipeg Free Pressstop me from casting a ballot.
As he spoke, he seemed deeply offended that his party does not have a monopoly on the mainstream media. Such tolerance, indeed.
People often bristle when I jokingly refer to the NDP as the Communist party. Yet it was Mulcair himself who openly used the term “comrades” to describe his supporters in the room. If the shoe fits.
After Mulcair left, so did I. The rest of the attendees gathered around to discuss various issues pertaining to their party. Perhaps I could have picked up some more fodder, but I got my fill for the day. It was a worthwhile trip.

23 Jan

Viable, Indeed

Ever since Mark Chipman seized control of the Atlanta Thrashers a couple of years ago and relocated the franchise to Winnipeg, I’ve been asked many times as to how I think the team will fare off the ice.
I said at the time that I do not believe that an NHL franchise in Winnipeg can be viable over the long term and that, within five to ten years, it will be on the move again.
Since that time, there has been a run on tickets. Fans have bought them. Crown corporations, exceeding their mandate to provide a thinly-veiled handout, have bought them.
There has also been an explosion of merchandise sales. You can’t turn around without seeing someone with an “I Love Mark Chipman” T-shirt or jersey. Fans even expressed their love for Winnipeg’s most prominent used car salesman by purchasing special license plates with his logo on it.
At the end of the season, the team made so much money that it didn’t need to dip into NHL revenue sharing.
You were wrong, people told me.
“More than that it stated to the community and the world that no subsidies are needed in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Period,” said Chipman’s sugar daddy, David Thomson, to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press.
But the weight of evidence is very much against the 3rdBaron Thomson of Fleet.
Even before the ink was dry on the purchase agreement for the Thrashers, Chipman was bounding up the steps of the Legislative Building. Into Premier Greg Selinger’s office he went bucking up for another handout.
In addition to the generous subsidy packages the three levels of government provided to build his arena and the practice facility that sits at the western edge of the city adjacent to his auto dealerships, he wanted more.
Sadly, “Greasy Greg,” eager to buy votes in an election year, gave in. And far too easily. “Help,” he euphemistically called it.
While farmers in the western part of the province and residents along the shore of Lake Manitoba, devastated by the flood of 2011, still wait for fair compensation, Chipman certainly didn’t have to wait for his most recent handout. This morning’s Free Press reported that $6.9 million of our money went to True North in 2011.
In that same Free Press article this morning, we get word that a casino is going up in cityplace that will pump even more money into Chipman’s pocket.
But I thought that they didn’t need subsidies. The 3rdBaron Thomson of Fleet said so.
Well, obviously they do.
You may argue that the revenues from this new casino don’t really come out of the taxpayer’s pocket. It’s a voluntary contribution. An “idiot tax” if you will. If I don’t want to subsidize Chipman, all I have to do is not gamble there.
Gambling revenues, however, are not limitless. The amount that people gamble is not likely to increase significantly as a result of this latest casino. All it means is that people who would gamble might spend money at this casino instead of going to, say, Club Regent or McPhillips Street Station.
And that means that money that would be going to the government is instead being diverted into Chipman’s pocket.
Guess who has to make up the difference.
Should the government be subsidizing Chipman or any other sports owner or team is another question. It is true that Chipman’s team does bring in other revenues that makes an arguable case, unlike the Blue Bombers, for example, who are simply dead weight on the public treasury.
But the next time someone wants to debate the viability of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, I’ll gladly debate the topic when and only when Chipman is taken off welfare and repays all the money that he’s taken from public coffers.
Then we’ll see if the cadaver that is the so-called “Winnipeg Jets” can breathe without life support apparatus.
15 Oct

McFadyen Awarded Honorary NDP Membership

Yesterday, Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen was awarded honorary membership in the party he’s unsuccessfully tried to defeat in the last two provincial elections.
At the ceremony held in front of the Grand Staircase at the Legislative Building, Manitoba Premier and New Democratic Party leader Greg Selinger presented McFadyen with a certificate bearing his name, making him an honorary member of the NDP.
Hugh McFadyen and Greg Selinger pose for the cameras.
“I’m very honored, Mr. Premier,” said McFadyen. “Despite the differences between us that I’m sure exist, I’m very pleased to accept this certificate on behalf of my entire campaign team. I will never forget this gesture. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“We were disappointed to learn that Mr. McFadyen was stepping down as the Conservative leader,” said Selinger. “We decided that we should do something to honor his years of helping us stay in power. It’s because of the work of Mr. McFadyen and his campaign team, not to mention the gullible Manitoba voters that we are embarking on a historic fourth straight term in office. This was the least we could do for Mr. McFadyen and we only hope he decides to reconsider, stay on as the Conservative leader, and keep his campaign team fully intact.”
“I learned the hard way that trying to outspend Mr. Selinger is like trying to pray better than the Pope,” added McFadyen. “I gave it my best and now it’s time to step aside and let someone else take the ball and run with it.”
After the ceremony, McFadyen received a warm round of applause from Selinger and his entire team of elected and appointed members. Some admitted to shedding tears upon hearing that McFadyen was stepping down.
“I owe my entire political career to him,” said an emotional Erin Selby, the MLA for Southdale. “I thought that the Conservatives could run a rhinoceros as their candidate and win in Southdale. But it was Hugh who finally convinced me that I could win.”
“Without Hugh and his fabulous campaign team, I’d be sweeping the floors at Global,” added Selby, a former television reporter with A-Channel in Winnipeg. “Just look at me now!”
“The Premier flagrantly broke election law, our MLAs insulted flood victims this summer and McFadyen didn’t say a word. We’ve been ripe for the picking for over a decade and yet here we are with a fourth term,” said one senior party official. “We’ve pretty much had the province to ourselves. We can’t thank McFadyen and his team enough.”
The Conservatives have yet to announce a successor to McFadyen.