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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau a terrorist? Yes (but you don’t get to decide)

The attacks in Ottawa on October 22, 2014, by Muslim-convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, in which he killed an unarmed honour guard at the War Memorial and then stormed parliament, have been called “terrorist” by the RCMP, the government and, depending on weather conditions, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
Thomas Mulcair: soft on "terror"? (Source: CBC)

However. Tom Mulcair, leader of the official oppositions, has stated categorically that “When we look at the individual...we are not in the presence of a terrorist act in the sense that we understand it.” 

In Mulcair’s view, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction, and repeatedly sought help, had committed an uncommon and horrific crime, but not a terrorist act.

Unconfirmed audio of Stuart Mclean reading explicit material: CBC in damage control

The top brass at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are said to be in damage-control mode now that an audio has emerged which appears to be radio personality Stuart Mclean reading erotic material.
The audio may come from Mr. Mclean's
"hip" period, thought to be between
July 7 and August 21, 1972 (Source: CBC)

In the clip, the popular host of CBC’s Vinyl Cafe begins with “Dear, Penthouse Forum” and then proceeds into a vulgar account of an onanistic adventure.

If true, Mr. Mclean has clearly not done anything illegal, but may have put himself offside of any contract stipulating that his persona, and any free-time adventures, not compromise the CBC brand.

This is particularly relevant given that the demographic for the Vinyl Cafe, a Canadian version of the Prairie Home Companion, is more familiar with Mr. Mclean’s wholesome, family-centric material.

It also comes on the heels of the dramatic dismissal of Jian Ghomeshi, former host of Q, after accusations of abusive sexual conduct.

By comparison, if true Mr. Mclean will have committed a mere indiscretion, as can be heard in the clip, in which his folksy demeanour is on full display.

The audio clip can be listened to here.

Its authenticity has not been confirmed.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Jian Ghomeshi on track to be Canada’s Pee-wee Herman

After recent allegations of abusive sexual conduct, and the loss of his job as host of CBC Radio’s Q, Jian Ghomeshi’s career as a media personality in Canada is likely over.
Together in the wilderness?

Ghomeshi got out ahead of the game, defending his actions on a Facebook post saying that the behaviour was always consensual, with the attacks against him being orchestrated by a “jilted lover” and an over-zealous journalist. 

It was a shot across the bow but, without anything else in his arsenal, that cannonball may simply sink, forgotten, to the bottom of the ocean.  The same can be said for his $55 million legal action against the CBC, which is essentially a nuisance suit.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bennett's decision to use Mayor’s office for campaign purposes “carefully reviewed according to the City’s guidelines”

Being an incumbent has its privileges, but Mayor Bennett may have taken his too far.

His most recent campaign photo has him in his office at City Hall. The image has been widely disseminated by his campaign, via both traditional and social media.
Bad judgement...again?

To some observers, this would seem to contravene Peterborough’s Municipal Election Procedures (EL 470), which states that “Election campaigning or the distribution/posting of election campaign material at municipally owned or leased facilities is not permitted.”

Some might consider the photo a form of campaigning. It certainly indicates the Mayor's willingness to use his privilege, and taxpayer-funded public assets, to his advantage.

However, Mayor Bennett, addressing concerns on Twitter, said that the decision to use the Mayor’s office was “carefully reviewed according to the City’s guidelines,” though as of this writing Mayor Bennett has failed to clarify who conducted the review. Was it done by his own campaign, a third party, or city staff? La politica has contacted the City to find out, and will keep you posted.

At least Bennett is not claiming ignorance of the issue. After all, the City has made it clear that "Incumbents are aware of a restriction on the use of City resources for campaign purposes."

Friday, 24 October 2014

For mayor of Peterborough, do we vote for a rising star, or a setting sun?

Peterborough This Week recently ran an opinion piece titled “What Peterborough needs in its next mayor”. The local news outlet, which is owned by Torstar Corporation, matched up what it considered to be the skills needed to do the job, as well as the various contenders.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mayor Bennett took top honours due to his “successful leadership roles within the community” and his ability to “make tough choices”. Maryam Monsef, lacking experience managing large groups, “oversimplifies the  job” and is “in over her head” – a pejorative talking point familiar to those who have heard the federal Conservative attack ads against Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau. Patti Peeters is “not a team player” and “lacks diplomacy” (as opposed to Mr. Bennett, one assumes). Alan Wilson can “react badly under pressure” but “has the skills and experience to make him capable of the job”. The other candidates, Terry Leblanc and Tom Young, are simply not up to the task.
Ms. Monsef at the Sales and Ad Club mayoral debate

In its opinion piece, Peterborough This Week made some interesting assumptions. The first was that a well thought out policy platform is of little relevance. Ms. Monsef has one of these, but only “on paper” (perhaps she should have hammered it together with plywood, or used a 3D printer). The second, and of greater relevance, it would seem, is a business background. There is something to that, but, in La politica’s opinion, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Bennett in particular, are unqualified for the job precisely because their own business experience is not relevant to Peterborough’s future economic needs.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mayor Bennett to push for casino during next term

Mayor Daryl Bennett made it clear during the Sales and Ad Club mayoral debate at the Holiday Inn on Tuesday, October 21, that if re-elected to office he would push for a decision on a casino in Peterborough. His specific goal is to accomplish this within his next four year mandate, and his preference is to have the casino within city limits.
Daryl Bennett at the Sales and Ad Club mayoral debate

His reasoning is simple enough. Right now, the majority of gamblers at the Kawartha Slots are from Peterborough. From a numbers perspective, then, money is leaving Peterborough and going to Cavan Monaghan Township. By having the casino in Peterborough’s city limits, the municipality would keep that money – and get some revenue from outsiders as well.

Many people have opposed the casino on the grounds that gambling can be addictive, ruining lives, and that gamblers tend not to spend money outside the casino itself. Casino defenders will say that gambling is legal, and already nearby, while the money that would be going into the casino’s coffers would never have been intended for surrounding businesses, anyway.

Friday, 17 October 2014

An assessment of Mayor Daryl Bennett - and his chances

Daryl Bennett was elected to mayor of Peterborough in 2010. He received, 14, 061 votes, almost 59% of all votes cast. The incumbent, Paul Ayotte, received 9,990 votes, over 41% of the total. There were no other candidates. This time around the citizens of Peterborough have more choice. Mr. Bennett is back up for re-election, with Maryam Monsef, Alan Wilson, Patti Peeters, Terry LeBlanc, and Tom Young also in the race.

Below is a brief assessment of the mayor – and his chances.