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April

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    ndp
    Happy 420! I hope folks who voted for legalized weed have the long-term memory required to hold this government to account on another broken promise ;)
    Apr 20, 2016 6:01 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Great to see the leaders of the provincial NDP, PC's and Greens working together today to push the Wynne Liberals to be open and transparent in finance reform. You know it's vital when cooperation like this happens.
    Apr 19, 2016 9:16 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    From an email by the Put Food in the Budget! Campaign that I suggest people follow: "People with progressive politics need to discuss some critical questions including: - How long will it take to design, implement and evaluate a pilot? Is the talk of Basic Income pilots another deliberate mirage to herd activist energy into another dead end – like the poverty reduction strategy? - Can we trust Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government to set a basic income level that ensures a livable income when the Liberals have failed to restore the Harris cuts of 1996 and has allowed social assistance rates to fall more than 20% behind the consumer price index? - Will a Liberal government in Ontario that has failed to raise minimum wage rates to a level that lifts people who work above the poverty line create a Basic Income plan that lifts everyone out of poverty? - How does the promise of future ‘pie in the sky’ put food in the budget now?"
    Apr 18, 2016 9:00 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Cullen seems the likely choice for leader at this point. Probably months away from any announcements from any potential candidates - but Cullen is a breath of fresh air and has a personal magnetism to go with his smarts and is an excellent communicator.
    Apr 18, 2016 8:25 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    So, what really happened with the viral video of the PM explaining quantum computing? I feel bad for the reporter who was doing his job and is being vilified. The reporter was not in any way making fun or deriding the Prime Minister but asking an important question and refusing to play along for a manufactured media hit. In a week where pressure was mounting around arms deals and the PM utilizing tax shelters he criticized during the election a way to change the channel was manufactured. It might be petty to bring up but it is petty to do in the first place. Just because something seems cool - doesn't mean it is. And reporters - why the hell aren't you telling the truth and going to bat for one of your own who didn't do a damn thing out of line?
    Apr 17, 2016 12:19 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    They are saying it in a backhanded way - the HuffPost is the biggest Big L Liberal news source in Canada after all. BUT the point remains Parliament is better with Tom Mulcair as a part of it. Especially a relaxed Tom Mulcair with nothing to lose working for the people in a general sense and not for an election result.
    Apr 16, 2016 8:12 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I'm happy to be a member of the 100 Men Who Give a Damn - Brantford-Brant Chapter. If you live in Hamilton and the surrounding area check out the 100 Men Who Give a Damn Hamilton-Wentworth Inaugural Meeting coming up soon. Spread the word!
    Apr 15, 2016 10:02 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I received a very rude-trolling comment recently telling me to stop doing community work because of the result of the Federal Election. I lost an election - not my voice and my ability to do good things in the community. I've thought about closing up this page because of stuff like that. Having a child puts a lot into perspective and I was tempted BUT I think we owe it to our children, all of our children to engage in our communities and in the world. That's how things get better - so you're stuck with me ;)
    Apr 12, 2016 10:23 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    A very classy set of remarks from outgoing leader and someone I consider a friend and ally. This was the Tom Mulcair I saw time-and-again behind the scenes. Public service is a difficult path and in numerous ways our country is better because of Tom Mulcair's work over decades.
    Apr 10, 2016 2:20 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    #ThankYouTom For all the support and attention to Brantford-Brant and South-Western Ontario and for taking principled stands throughout the last election. It costs us all but principles are worth it. Now let's rebuild, renew and keep pushing the boundaries of political discourse and action in Canada. As Stephen Lewis pointed out this weekend there is much to do and New Democrats have a long history of getting things done.
    Apr 10, 2016 12:35 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    "What kind of 'feminist' government allows arms sales to a government steeped in misogyny?" - Stephen Lewis at NDP Convention 2016
    Apr 09, 2016 5:35 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    While I'll be watching with interest my friend's posts from the #NDP Convention the only policy debate I'll be having this weekend is whether to use a patting burp or rubbing burp with the baby! Happy convention! Make good choices :)
    Apr 09, 2016 1:47 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Wab getting the endorsement of Naomi Klein. #ImWithWab
    Apr 08, 2016 2:38 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    With the start of the convention this by Luke Savage is worth repeating: "Beware of any and all concern-trolling or narrative massaging in the Canadian media. The same types who bleat about the NDP being too left wing when it's doing well have a way of complaining it's become too centrist the moment they think it's vulnerable. Depending on the context, the party is either represented as 1) a project of naive, pie-in-the-sky idealists who would harm the country and shouldn't be trusted with power; 2) the social conscience of the nation which has sold its soul and become cynical and calculating. The people who oscillate between these two poles whenever it suits them will never understand or respect the passion and the thirst for justice that animates so many NDP activists and supporters, and has done since the CCF was founded in the 1930s. One of the party's strengths is that it's capable of vigorous internal debates, even/especially at moments of frustration and disappointment. So I say: argue away about the leadership or the Leap Manifesto, annexing Turks and Caicos, or whatever - but ignore the trolls. All of them."
    Apr 08, 2016 12:49 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    From Pat Martin: “Tom has been called the best opposition leader in living memory and, guess what, we are in opposition for the next four years. There is no one better in the political landscape today to do what needs to do for us in the foreseeable future,” he said.
    Apr 06, 2016 2:12 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    When Harper did this Liberals had quite a lot to say. Now they just smile and the public shrugs: Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Fréchette is giving poor marks to the Trudeau government’s first budget, warning it is less transparent and overestimates the number of jobs that will be created. In a report released Wednesday, the PBO takes issue with several key points related to how the budget numbers are presented. “The government has made changes to the presentation of its fiscal plan that have made it more difficult for parliamentarians to scrutinize public finances,” the report states. The removal of key financial data from this year’s budget has limited the parliamentary watchdog’s ability to report to MPs, according to the report.
    Apr 06, 2016 10:30 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Really worth reading. I changed the buffonish picture that the HuffPost chose to go with however. Enough from the media with that stuff - but what was written by Peggy Nash is well worth considering.
    Apr 05, 2016 4:52 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    We are unfortunately too good at letting others define us. It is the biggest political vulnerability we have as a party and it gets us again and again. Lazy and often completely untrue narratives become seen as fact because they are repeated often enough in national media - sometimes by our own supporters even but most often by Liberals and Liberal surrogates. There are many problems to overcome but that might be the biggest. Here is a decent and fair article in its criticism and praise - and above all it is factual, a thing not often true enough in coverage of the NDP.
    Apr 04, 2016 7:00 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    RIP Jim. One of the good ones. A sad day for his family, friends and those who were with him in solidarity.
    Apr 04, 2016 5:27 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    According to our Federal Government we can't "rush" action on climate change because....national unity. Real change or Harper policy with a smile? Do better.
    Apr 03, 2016 10:04 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Go Wab Go!
    Apr 02, 2016 6:25 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Are you guilty of "Virtue-Signaling?" Am I just for posting this? Interesting term, interesting idea and interesting article. Think Humble-Brag but through acting in disgust towards others.
    Apr 02, 2016 11:25 am | Ontario, Brant

March

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    ndp
    "Sanders is helping people make the connection between their private troubles and public issues. He also draws on shared values that transcend left and right showing how extreme economic inequality undermines equality of opportunity, how the concentration of power undermines democracy, and how, together, they make impossible a just and sustainable economy and inclusive society." http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/03/24/what-bernie-sanders-has-accomplished.html
    Mar 31, 2016 9:32 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    This was among the best panels I've ever had an opportunity to participate with. Big crowd gathered at Laurier Brantford to hear about cyber-abuse and some incredibly heart-wrenching personal stories from mother's who have lost so much because of it. Important issue as we become more-and-more immersed in the digital age.
    Mar 30, 2016 4:08 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    These two met while working on my Federal Campaign last year. They impressed me to no end on that campaign and their continuing to impress me and the entire community. Love their community development mindset! Keep going! Great work!
    Mar 30, 2016 11:19 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I'm seeing more and more of this and loving it - former MPs and Candidates from the last election continuing to do the work they are passionate about. Changing Canada for the Better. Kudos to Andrew Cash who worked on precarious work issues in the house and isn't letting not being elected stop him from continuing on that important issue. There are lots of temp and precarious jobs out there - and lots of improvements needed.
    Mar 29, 2016 8:27 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Happy Easter to all who are celebrating. It's been a great weekend of family - new and more seasoned ;)
    Mar 27, 2016 7:40 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Politics and governance might get in the way of 20k affordable homes. Smart developers are tackling these problems: The team is trying to address all of the issues the house faces at once. "The most daunting problems aren't brick and mortar problems, they're these network and system problems that are threaded together and all intersect in the built environment," he says. "We're able to attack all these problems simultaneously—when we see a lever over here and wiggle it, we can very clearly see the implication it has on other systems down the road."
    Mar 26, 2016 8:31 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Beautiful and powerful piece of campaign lit. Hearts and minds.
    Mar 26, 2016 7:38 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Mulcair, a lawyer, said sexual assault is crime that is seldom reported and one that leads "even less frequently" to a conviction. That needs to change, he said. "During my tenure at the professions board in Quebec, I encountered the culture of dismissive victim-blaming when it came to sexual abuse by physicians," he said. "I learned that it was not only the rules that needed to be strengthened — and not only the protection that needed to be increased – but also that culture that needed to change, and drastically." It is beyond dispute, he said, that the fear of not being believed can prevent a sexual assault survivor from stepping forward "I believe we need to strengthen protections for survivors of sexual assault. I believe that access to comprehensive support services for survivors should be a right," he said. "And most importantly, I believe survivors."
    Mar 25, 2016 4:30 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I've long been a supporter of the EI fund being independent and used for the reason it is collected. Instead we've seen fewer unemployed being able to access what is supposed to be an insurance policy for when/if one loses their job. When that happens people who play by the rules end up having to dip into their savings or retirement if they have those options or on public assistance.
    Mar 24, 2016 3:58 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Love this positive reminder: "Even though Canadian social democracy has yet to achieve the political breakthrough its architects desired (and today faces challenges in an increasingly globalized world) the fruits of its efforts can still be found throughout institutions Canadians cherish - from public pensions to medicare." "Had it not been for the tireless campaigning of social democrats from Ed Broadbent’s generation, these precious gains might never have been won or preserved, and the prospects for future progress might be bleak or even non-existent."
    Mar 23, 2016 7:29 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    A cogent and intelligent critique of the budget in both official languages by Tom Mulcair. Every budget has some good things in it but not every budget triples deficit spending while breaking major promises including: - promises to First Nations obligations - no promised funding for home care and palliative access - raiding the EI fund of billions of dollars while 800,000 unemployed Canadians remain ineligible - broken promises to small and medium sized business around tax-cut specified in election - not closing the stock option loop hole which will benefit the absolute richest among us - biggest cost a tax cut to top 15% - no plan to get back to balance etc A lot of money being spent without national pharmacare, child care etc. Opposition exists to remind Canadians of campaign promises and to provide alternative ideas. Hopefully the majority government looks at these in the fullness of time - or the electorate will.
    Mar 23, 2016 4:53 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    NDP MPP Percy Hatfield: "Our seniors aren’t rich. They watch every penny and the Premier wants to nearly double the cost of their prescriptions! This is the wrong thing to do..." (video clip from Question Period March 22, 2016)
    Mar 22, 2016 2:09 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Happy 80th to Ed Broadbent. Getting to work with him and being endorsed by him was one of the absolute highlights of my time in politics. One of the good ones! Happy Birthday Ed!
    Mar 21, 2016 5:23 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Some great events happening locally this week. Just an FYI for those interested in combatting bullying in Brantford: Many people are familiar with the story of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd, her YouTube video about cyberbullying and eventual suicide. But her mom Carol says the reality of her daughter’s story sometimes doesn’t hit home until you hear about it in person. Carol Todd will be speaking at Laurier Brantford on Tuesday, March 22, and Wednesday, March 23, in her role as an advocate for cyberbullying and mental health awareness. Carol’s presentations will be open to the public. On March 22, she will be speaking at 2:20 p.m. in the Research and Academic Centre west building, Room 002. On March 23, she will be speaking at 7 p.m. in the RAC east building, Room 004. Additionally, there will be a community panel discussion on March 23 at 10 a.m. in the multipurpose room of the Laurier Student Centre, 103 Darling St. Panel members will speak about their experience with cyberbullying and mental health and respond to questions from the audience. The panel will include Carol Todd, Brook Gardner of Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services, Dylan Stewart from Why Not Youth Centre, youth probation officer Frank Casale, Six Nations representative Janie Jamieson and social worker Marc Laferriere. http://www.brantnews.com/news-story/6390518-sharing-the-story-of-amanda-todd/
    Mar 21, 2016 1:06 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    During the election when I would be confronted again and again about Niqab I would ask how many people did the caller/person at the door know who had to deal with this issue. Then I would ask how many people they knew who struggled with the cost of pharmaceuticals and medicine? It was always "none" to the first question and "lots" to the second. Yet - make no mistake about it - Niqab and not pharmacare was a major turning point of the election. Glad to see the NDP continuing to fight for affordability with prescriptions in Brantford and across Ontario. Good on you Catherine Fife.
    Mar 20, 2016 10:42 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Credit where credit is due. Good policy from Trudeau's Liberals.
    Mar 17, 2016 4:04 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Premier Caveat - that should be moniker for Kathleen Wynne. Caveats on ethics, on spending, on programs and on basic words like "free tuition." She says she's concerned about the way this promise is being marketed...if only she somehow had control of the marketing... When will Ontarian's be sick of the smoke and mirror Party?
    Mar 17, 2016 8:46 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    "'Free' tuition isn't exactly free" One clarifying story after dozens and dozens of stories out saying "Free" tuition. Lazy/bias reporting and a provincial government not moving mountains to correct the record. I work in post-secondary and I am blown away by the amount of people who work in the field who saw have been saying "free" as well. As I said previously - keep saving and don't be caught unprepared when applying to school in the future.
    Mar 16, 2016 7:04 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Good work by MP Niki Ashton and NDP staff on shining a light on EI issues regarding maternity and sickness benefits for parents. Keep feet on the fire of the government to end this lawsuit and the 2.2 million in taxpayer money (and climbing) that has been spent fighting moms in a class-action lawsuit.
    Mar 15, 2016 6:41 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I've been in contact with Tom since the defeat - he's sincere, he's open, he's making the calls and taking the meetings and doing the work needed to do better. He's fighting for Canadians when he could be making a lot more money as a lawyer in Montreal. He still has my support. New Democrats are going to need a name people know in the next election and though many voted strategically for the Liberals in the end at several points in the election Tom was at the top of the polls and the most trusted. New Democrats tend to give leaders a chance - I remember how much Jack grew from his first election as party leader. I think except for exceptional circumstances leaders need time to grow into the role.
    Mar 14, 2016 5:00 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Change is a funny thing. The change in your life when you lose something is so different than the way your life changes when you gain something. I know everyone experiences the first sometimes but I hope everyone gets the second too. To the good.
    Mar 11, 2016 3:39 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Literally everything I tried to stand against. Ontario Liberals selling "one-on-one" access to the premier and Ministers for $6,000 apiece. I get flack from ALL parties about never holding an expensive fundraiser despite 6 years of running and organizing. I lost - but not my self-respect and integrity.
    Mar 09, 2016 7:04 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    I've developed a keen interest in food systems. Here's a well thought out model from Brazil that moves away from food groups and into concepts about fresh vs. processed etc.
    Mar 09, 2016 5:52 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Happy International Women's Day. Love this message! Can't wait for next year - will be our first IWD with our daughter :)
    Mar 08, 2016 9:17 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, resulting in unprecedented inequality between generations.
    Mar 07, 2016 8:05 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Wab Kinew entering politics is a game-changer. So proud he's a New Democrat. The future of our party is bright when amazing young people take the plunge.
    Mar 06, 2016 5:36 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Since the election I have been spending more time with my family and focusing more on my professional life but I've been staying involved in community building too. Its just how I'm wired One area I've been concentrating on is public transit and how some transit reform can help our local economy and provide better access to health care, jobs etc while lowering transportation costs for agencies that can redirect funds to front-line services. With GO coming and city/county boundaries changing now might be a really good time to make some changes. Happy to be part of the article below on the subject and am encouraging folks to fill out an online survey on the subject at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/86FFMVX.
    Mar 06, 2016 8:35 am | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Recently Bek and I watched "99 Homes" an excellent drama about evictions in the US that felt very real - here is why - more Americans are being evicted now than during the depression. Then it caused riots now apathy.
    Mar 05, 2016 8:25 pm | Ontario, Brant

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Marc Laferriere

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