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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The True North Strong And Free!!'s LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 13th, 2015
7:15 am
Cyber Infrastructure
I have been a loyal Liberal before I was voted and I have voted you in Millwoods for councilman.  I volunteered for the Young  Liberals since Mr. Dion.  Now as a Infrastructure Minister in  Justin Trudeau's cabinet I would please consider this approsal in Canada that I believe needs to be done now and fast in the 21st century.  That plan is having a smartphone for every smartphone for every person in Canada even 14 year old students and homeless in Canada we need to have this tool for everyone.  I also believe that these smartphones should be free, and as Infrastructure Minister you should create a free wifi network all over Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast.

Having thousands of these wifi spots even in Nunavut or Hinton and giving usernames and passwords for every person of Canada.  This will be necessary in this information age and quaternary industries will make Canada the greatest and productive economic engine to will reduce our deficit in 4 years. I Truly believe in this new brave world for Canada and I hope that you will also feel as deeply as I am.  I am excited to see your possible start in Edmonton as a pilot plan.  We hope that you will improve education and increase a lot of jobs.  Humbly awaiting you reply.

Current Mood: busy

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Friday, November 14th, 2014
3:01 am

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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
2:37 am
Divorced lesbian new Premier of Ontario!

Some thoughts on the importance of historical context

Kathleen Wynne (left) with Sandra Pupatello.

And something is happening here But you don't know what it is Do you, Mister Jones? — Bob Dylan, "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Early Sunday morning on Facebook, I posted a knee-jerk response to the selection of Kathleen Wynne as the Liberal Party of Ontario's new leader — and thus, the province's new Premier. Wynne won on the third ballot, edging out Sandra Pupatello. The women had been the front-runners right from the start. (Entirely coincidentally, but most serendipitously, Wynne's victory came only two days before the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision declaring that women have a fundamental right to control their own bodies.)

I wrote:

Those of you who think that nothing changes, please take note. In some very important ways, the world *is* getting better and it's important we remember that. A divorced, gay, woman is now Premier of Ontario.

Woman. Gay. Divorced. 30 years ago (or less!) any *one* of those facts would have automatically disqualified her.

That's a sea change, ladies and gentleman. A fucking sea change.

There is more to it than that, of course, and finding myself living in a country in which six of its 14 First Ministers are women does not mean we have reached Utopia.

But it is significant.

So significant that it deserves not just an emphasized paragraph all of its own, but consideration at some length. The perfumes of change.

Or is the sex, sexual orientation or race of our elected leaders only a trivial distraction from the real issues facing us?

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Monday, December 10th, 2012
4:58 am
Neil Young, Crazy Horse and Me (then, and now)
"I too was disapointed [sic] in Neil's concert... I wished I had stayed home and watched one of his old DVD's.. I personally thought he had lost his mind!! Really a song that carries on for 15 minutes with the only lyrics "You're a F*&&up?" I put my coat on and left.."

     — Commentator Mrsopinionated on a message board at the Ottawa Sun.

Trawling the web after seeing Neil Young and Crazy Horse on the last Saturday in November, I came across quite a few complaints similar to Mrsopinionated's, from people who clearly expected to encounter the folkie troubadour famous for songs like "Helpless" and "Harvest Moon".

Instead of the sensitive folk-singer, they got four old men bent over their instruments like a coven of witches torturing cats to produce an orgy of distortion and feedback, steel strings twisted to breaking in jams pushing half an hour of sonic indulgence.

"I put my coat on and left.." I can empathize, I really can.

I once was Mrsopinionated, or someone a lot like her ...

Some of you may know this story; I've dined out on it at my own expense for years. So, feel free to skip it and go straight to my review. But for those of you still reading ...

Cut to spare your friend's page. But really, you should click the link.Collapse )

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Monday, March 5th, 2012
3:14 pm
defibrillating the turks and caico horse
Remember this?

It's so bloody cold. It looked beautiful yesterday, so sunny and warm when I touched the window glass, and then I headed out with too thin a scarf and my face was partially eaten by the sharp icy wind.

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Sunday, December 4th, 2011
11:03 pm

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11:16 am
Where to find immigration information
I have some friends who might want to immigrate into our fair country. Where is the best place to find immigration information for them?

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Thursday, September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm
The 10th Annual Small World Music Festival Sep 22-Oct 2: The Beat Of The Globe

Small World Music Presents
September 22 to October 2
Venues: Lula Lounge, Armenian Youth Centre, Yonge Dundas Square, Koerner Hall, The Great Hall, and Enwave Theatre

The tenth anniversary of Small World Music's signature annual program marks a milestone, both for the organization and for Toronto's world music community. Over the past decade, this passionate and dedicated organization has worked with thousands of people to weave the thread of world music through the fabric of the city.
As always, this year's Festival embraces the past and future of global sounds, showcasing new sounds infused with youthful energy and the spirit of cross-cultural collaboration that makes for a Brave New World of Music. As always, Toronto and Canada are proudly and diversely represented by the likes of David Buchbinder's Andalusia to Toronto, Autorickshaw, Eccodek, Njacko Backo, Boogat, Drumhand, Prince Enoki's Insect Orchestra, Lemon Bucket Orchestra, and The Tich Maredza Quartet. The festival's centrepiece Small World in the Square on Saturday, September 24 at Yonge Dundas Square. Appropriate to the occasion, this most ambitious day of programming in Small World's history will offer 10 mainstage concerts featuring sounds from all over the world -- absolutely free!!
For ticket information, artist bios and audio samples, please visit the Small World website at smallworldmusic.com.

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Saturday, July 30th, 2011
1:23 pm
The Droz Report #7: Have you listened to a Ford, lately?

The brothers Ford reveal the naked neocon truth

July 29 2011, OTTAWA —It sounds like a skit from a Marx Brothers movie. On the one hand, the Mayor of Canada's largest city is said to have given the finger to a six year-old girl and her mother while at the wheel of his van and while talking on his cellphone; and on the other, the Mayor's brother (and also a City Councilor) falsely claims there are more libraries than Tim Horton's coffee shops in his part of the city and tells Canada's leading novelist to butt out of municipal politics unless she gets elected to city council.

Yes it's farce, but it's also deadly serious politics, that reveals volumes about neo-conservative attitudes and the triumphalist agenda the radical right-wing. Read the full story here.

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Monday, May 23rd, 2011
2:56 pm

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
9:15 pm

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011
11:04 am
A unexpected wind blows from Canada's (centre) left

Jack Layton's positive campaign bears unexpected fruit


(Originally posted at True North Perspective.)

Same old boys' club.

I admit it. Neither I, nor anyone else here at True North Perspective, saw it coming. And even now, there is an aura of doubt, of disbelief, as we watch the polls and see the continuing ascent of the New Democratic Party under Jack Layton.

Can this really be true? we wondered last week, when the New Democrats began to poll even with Canada's one-time Natural Governing Party. One poll led to another and another and another.

If stated intentions turn out to be votes on Monday, it looks like it really is true.

If present trends continue, it's just (barely) possible that Monday night will see Layton elected Prime Minister of Canada.

Read the full story at Edifice Rex Online.

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Monday, April 11th, 2011
12:54 pm
The Droz Report #4 - Weasel words, weasel's truth

Harper's self-serving 'apology' exposes the cowardly venality lurking beneath his unbutoned shirt

"... if anybody is kept out of any of our events that's there to hear our message we obviously apologize to them. Our interest is in having as many people out to hear our message as we can. We're having huge meetings, we had another huge one last night and we want people to hear our message." — Stephen Harper 'apologizes' after being asked if he would take responsibility for a teenager's eviction from a rally because her Facebook page included a photo of herself with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

Incriminating evidence: Awish Aslam's Facebook profile phto.
Incriminating evidence: Awish Aslam's Facebook profile phto.

On April 3rd, two young women, students at the University of Western Ontario, attended a Conservative Party rally and were taught a valuable lesson about Conservative values and ethics.

About a half-hour after being admitted, both Awish Aslam and an un-named friend were hustled out of the meeting, publicly berated and had physically stripped of the stickers pinned to their shirts — all because they had both had the naive temerity to post a photo of themselves taken while meeting Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff on their Facebook profiles.

The London Free Press broke the story on April 5th.

"A week ago, Aslam, readying to vote federally for the first time, attended a Liberal rally in London where she and a friend snagged a photo with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Both made it their Facebook profile pictures.

"A few days later, the pair attended Harper’s rally, for which they signed up in advance online.

"But about 30 minutes after arriving, Aslam says, they were ordered out by a man who accused them of having "ties to the Liberal party through Facebook."

"He ripped Conservative stickers off their shirts, tore them up and ordered them out, Aslam says."

Note that no one accused Aslam or her friend of being disruptive in any way. They weren't demonstrating, or passing out leaflets or even asking questions — they were just, y'know, watching.

Further note that the Conservatives consider it an efficient use of their time to stalk the Facebook pages of attendees at their rallies, that they consider public humiliation of teenagers appropriate behaviour (Ms Aslam was reduced to tears) and that, as we'll see, Stephen Harper himself sees nothing wrong with any of this.

The Globe and Mail ran the story and followed up with the Prime Minister Who Would Be President himself.

Harper ducked the issue. "The staff runs our campaigns," he said, "and I can't comment on individual matters like that," typically passing the buck of blame to those below him.

See An apology means never having to say you're sorry for more.

Edited to fix terrible typo.

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Sunday, April 10th, 2011
1:39 pm
Bloc, NDP want to change date of debate to avoid hockey game conflict
Only in Canada: leaders push for election debate date switch due to Habs game

MONTREAL — File this one in the only-in-Canada category.

A movement is afoot to change the date of a federal election debate to avoid overlapping with a first-round Montreal Canadiens playoff game.

The French language debate is scheduled for Thursday, the same day the Habs will face off in their first playoff game against the Boston Bruins.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe got the ball rolling, by saying there's little doubt hockey-mad Montreal fans will choose the game over the debate. NDP Leader Jack Layton has since echoed those sentiments.

The Bloc leader says he wants to unite with other party leaders to convince the consortium of broadcasters who organize the debates to move it back a day.

He points out the first English debate is scheduled for Tuesday, before the playoffs begin.

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
7:05 pm
The Unsinkable Elizabeth Green

It's not easy being Green

For Elizabeth May, it's debata-vue all over again

Tuesday was a good news/bad news sort of day for the Green Party.

On the one hand, Elizabeth May's band of political upstarts lost their bid to have the Federal Court make an emergency ruling giving her a seat at the table for next week's televised leaders' debates.

On the other hand, if the results of a poll commissioned by the Globe and Mail are to be believed, a significant majority of Canadians either "strongly" or "somewhat" support her presence at the boys' table.

Now May is calling for a boycott of next week's debates by the other party leaders and hoping for a repeat of 2008, when an enormous public outcry more or less forced the broadcasting consortium to let her in (and, don't forget, for Jack Layton and Stephen Harper to rescind their threats to withdraw should she be permitted to take part).

But should the Green Party have a seat at the table? After all, they've never elected a Member to the House of Commons and the party managed only 6.77% of the popular vote last time out.

Read the full article at Edifice Rex Online.

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
5:35 pm
Harper criticized for 'unfriending' teen from rally
Any thoughts on this?

Harper criticized for 'unfriending' teen from rally

Stephen Harper is drawing fire from his rivals after party officials "unfriended" a London, Ont., university student who wanted to attend one of his rallies.

London teen Awish Aslam, said she and some friends were kicked out of a Conservative rally on Sunday when organizers saw her Facebook profile picture, which was a snapshot of her with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

"We were waiting for Harper and then an official came by and said, ‘We need to talk to you girls outside,'" the 19-year-old Western student told A-Channel London. "(The official) said, ‘You are no longer welcome here.'"

When Aslam asked why she was being kicked out of the rally she said the official told her: "We know you have Facebook ties to the Liberal Party."

She said her only link to the Liberals was the picture of her and Ignatieff that was snapped at an earlier election rally.

"It was something to show off to our friends, we met Michael Ignatieff, that's cool," the second-year political science and criminology major said.

Harper's opponents jumped on the issue, tying it to the recent revelations about his former adviser Bruce Carson, who has been convicted on five counts of fraud.

"It's certainly quite a dichotomy that someone with a Facebook picture that bothers the Conservatives isn't allowed close to the prime minister but someone who is a convicted fraudster... is allowed to have the closest access," said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton, speaking at a campaign stop in Winnipeg.

"I think it says something about Stephen Harper and his administration, and it's not pretty."

Ignatieff also lashed out Tuesday, questioning why Harper would allow Carson -- a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record -- into a position of trust, but apparently checked the background of attendees at a campaign stop and decided some were inadmissable.

"I just think when you get to a situation where people can't come to a public meeting in Canada, and get thrown out by two heavies because they have a Facebook friend from another party, you're in a bad place," Ignatieff said today in South Conception Bay, N.L.

"You're in a very un-Canadian place."

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe also got in on the action, suggesting it's inexcusable for Harper to claim he wasn't aware of Carson's past.

"When someone is working for me I am checking where he is coming from," Duceppe said in Rimouski, Que.

"It's very curious: Mr. Harper is checking those participating to the meetings, but not those working in his own cabinet. Curious, curious."

When asked about the allegations of campaign screening on Tuesday in Victoriaville, Que., Harper said his staff members organize his campaign events, not him, and he had no intention of commenting further.

Another person at the London event, Aref Hamadi, said he was asked to leave by an organizer because he had an NDP bumper sticker on his car, according to local reports.

Aslam said she wanted to attend the Liberal, Conservative and NDP rallies in London to make an "informed decision" for her vote.

"This is actually a good way to get informed and hear exactly what the party stands for out of the leader's mouth," she said.

Harper's chief spokesperson Dimitri Soudas later said he planned to apologize to the teen.

Leaders' itineraries

After starting his day in Newfoundland, Ignatieff was scheduled to travel to Quebec later Tuesday, including a stop in Victoriaville, where Harper was earlier in the day.

Ignatieff is facing a potential backlash in Quebec where Premier Jean Charest has complained about his announcement Monday that a Liberal government would support Newfoundland's massive Lower Churchill hydro electric project.

Charest maintains the feds shouldn't interfere in the electricity market.

Layton, in Winnipeg on Tuesday, made an announcement about proposed changes to Employment Insurance and other initiatives aimed at the so-called "sandwich generation."

Layton will spend the day trying to generate momentum for the NDP's bid to take back Winnipeg-North, which they lost in a byelection last year.

Later Tuesday Layton will fly to Prince George, B.C. for the night.

Duceppe will remain, as per usual, in his home province while May will spend the day canvassing in Saanich, B.C., where she hopes to win a seat.


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Monday, April 4th, 2011
3:53 pm
Just my Iggy-dignation

'Parliamentary democracy?' Wat dat?

Can we say 'presumption of privilege', ladies and gentlemen?

Iggy's leap at comic's tweet shows he shares Harper's contempt for Canada's democratic traditions

'Ok i'll produce a Iggy Harper debate. 50 grand to a charity of their choice. I'll find a broadcaster or 4.' — Rick Mercer, tweeting on Saturday, April 2, 2011.

'I'm in.' — Michael Ignatieff, Saturday, April 2, 2011.

I wish he Rick Mercer for trading in his satirist's badge in favour of court jester's (forgive the generic link to the Mercer's homepage; if one of you can tell me how to make a permanent link to a tweet, I'd be most obliged), but that wasn't fair. If Mercer ever was a real satirist, he gave it up a long time ago. And you can't blame a comedian for cracking wise. That's his job.

Michael Ignatieff, the Other Man Who Would Be President

You can, though, blame Michael Ignatieff for taking the comic's bait.

The ostensible public intellectual and one-time Professor of Human Rights showed no respect for, or understanding of, Canada's history or our parliamentary culture and traditions in answering Mercer's tweet with his own, "I'm in."

I'm in.

On the proverbial first glance the idea of a Harper/Ignatieff face-off sounds not so unreasonable. After all, neither Jack Layton nor Gilles Duceppe (let alone Elizabeth May, whom the aptly-self-styled "consortium" of Canadian broadcasters has once again refused a spot in the boys' room) has a realistic chance at making the Prime Minister's office their own, so why not let the 'front-runners' have at at each other one-on-one?

In fact, this isn't just an example of a politician serving himself at the expense of his competitors, but a betrayal of Canada's political culture and traditions.

Click for more behind the cut (just for a change).Collapse )

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Friday, April 1st, 2011
7:24 pm
A spectre is haunting Canada

The main issue of this election is personal


"This government is willing to sacrifice Canadian soldiers to bring democracy to Afghanistan and Libya. But it cavalierly dismisses democracy at home.

Cynics hold that Canadians don’t care about such abstract matters, that as long as our bellies are full we will put up with anything. We shall see. The cynics have been surprised before." — Thomas Walkom, in The Toronto Star, March 25, 2011.

It's been a week since the Conservative government of Canada (also known as "The Harper Government", about more of which anon) was finally defeated in the House of Commons. Stephen Harper had decided to roll the dice and put Thomas Walkom's claim that Canadians do care about such abstract matters as integrity and democracy to the test.

Having survived two and a half years, there was no great surprise that the government was defeated on a motion of non-confidence; what was (or should have been) a surprise was that that motion also declared that the Harper government had not just lost the confidence of the House but that it was in contempt of Parliament, an historically-unprecedented occurrence.

Some have no doubt argued that the charge was strictly political — and maybe it was — but sometimes the strictly political is based in reality.

In this case, the opposition had insisted — quel horreur! — that the Harper Government provide cost estimates for its proposed "anti-crime" bills (I use the quotation marks deliberately, and will return to Harper's "tough on crime" posturing in a future column). Contemptuous of Parliament indeed, the government of the Prime Minister Who Would Be President simply refused to tell the House of Commons — and by extension, the people of Canada — what the new prisons and guards, etcetera, would cost, insisting the measures be approved on faith.

Such a patently unreasonable stance can only mean that Stephen Harper wanted the election, no matter how much he protests otherwise. Harper was gambling that he could campaign his way into that ever-elusive majority government at last — at which point, if it happens, the gloves will come off and the spectre haunting Canada will will solidify into a very real neo-conservative nightmare.

Click here for more at Edifice Rex Online.

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Monday, March 28th, 2011
2:07 pm
Anyone got/know where i can find any pro Harper/Conservative icons that can be used for the duration of the election?

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Monday, March 14th, 2011
11:51 am
Soldier completes 5K run on fibre carbon leg


MacIntyre and his loving son Ronin, almost 3 year old, after the run.(Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - Jamie MacIntyre has run five-kilometre races in the past -- but Sunday marked the first time he did it using a carbon fibre leg.

The sergeant with the First Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group lost his left leg in Afghanistan in June when an improvised explosive device went off.

He went for treatment at St. John's Rehab in Toronto, where he learned to walk using a prosthetic leg.

Joined by his friend, Master Cpl. Jody Mitic -- who also ran on carbon fibre legs -- the pair finished the 12th annual Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5K Run/Walk.

"It was a lot of fun. A little bit chilly at the beginning, but we got into a good stride," said MacIntyre, 34, of Collingwood.

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