Canada Day 2017

Happy Canada Day

Saturday July 1 is the day Canada turns 150 years young.

Ontario was one of the ‘original four’ provinces of Canada, along with Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island was very close to joining Canada in 1867, but wanted more time to talk about it. Prince Edward Islanders valued dialogue and discussion as much then as Canadians do now. PEI finally joined Canada in 1873. Manitoba had joined Canada in 1870.

British Columbia joined Canada in 1871, with the promise of a railway (now the Canadian Pacific Railway) to link the east with the Pacific coast. With the Canadian Pacific Railway in service, and settlers populating the prairies (then called “Rupert’s Land”). Saskatchewan and Alberta completed the Atlantic to Pacific provincial lineup in 1905.

Happy Canada Day, Lisgar, Meadowvale and Streetsville!


Ontario Economy

Balanced budget for a strong Ontario


In mid-April, the Ontario PC Party proposed an Opposition Day motion (which was decisively defeated) on the debt that Ontario incurred while rebuilding the Province’s essential infrastructure in the years since the recession began. I spoke about the Ontario economy, and the moves that the Province has made to grow its GDP, and reduce the proportion of our GDP that is net debt.

The Ontario Budget for 2017-18 proposed full pharmacare for all OHIP-eligible Ontarians age 24 and under. See the Party Comparison web page to view how the three parties stack up on pharmacare.

Ontario is well on its way to being the Great Lakes Basin’s first trillion-dollar economy. Ontario’s current net debt to GDP ratio is lower than it was on the last day of the last government’s watch, and has been falling for years. Ontario’s budget is back in balance, right on schedule. Here is what I said about the Ontario economy.


Energy Policies

NDP ludicrous; Conservatives MIA

As we look at the critical area of energy policy, the contrast between Ontario’s evolution to sustainable, non-polluting energy policy, and the mess proposed by the NDP, and the utter vacuum of the Ontario PC Party could not be more stark. Let’s look at the opposition ideas on energy:

NDP: mind-numbing, ineffective waste

The centrepiece of the NDP’s energy policy is to utterly waste more than $8 billion in taxpayer’s money in a re-nationalization of the partly-privatized Hydro One. Such a move would be a wholesale diversion from such infrastructure projects as the re-development of Trillium Health Partners hospitals at the Credit Valley and Queensway sites; cancellation of the Highway 401 widening; and a standstill on public transit projects that keep Mississauga from being trapped in gridlock.

For a complete analysis of the NDP energy policy mess, click here.

Four-point PC Party energy boondoggle

Don’t look for an Ontario PC Party energy policy, plan or program anywhere. It doesn’t exist. Instead, look at what the PC Party has done in the past, and says it will do in the future in the Legislature. Here is the de-facto four-point Ontario PC Party energy program:

  1. Do Nothing. Run all energy-generation and transmission assets into the ground. Don’t invest. Don’t spend. It is what they did in government in the 1990s, and in the years prior to that;
  2. Burn coal. During the Harris-Eves years, the principal electricity generation added by the Conservatives came from burning dirty coal. By the end of the last term of the last PC government, some 25 percent of Ontario’s electricity came from burning coal. Each year, the Greater Toronto Area endured more than 50 smog-alert, dirty-air days;
  3. Buy expensive electricity on the U.S. spot market. When Ontario ran short of power during the Harris-Eves years, which it regularly did, the last Conservative government bought expensive electricity (more than $1.00 per kWh on the U.S. spot market), which it re-sold at a whopping loss at 4.3 cents per kWh);
  4. Blame the Liberals. When all else fails, and under the Conservatives with electricity, all else always fails, they turn to ideology and incendiary rhetoric, and just blame the Liberals.

Get the facts about energy in Ontario

 


Windsor

Meeting with Liberals in Windsor

It was a delightful reunion with my good friend, and former Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza, and members of the Riding Executives from Windsor-Tecumseh and Essex, in Ontario’s southwest. Business sometimes brings me to the Windsor area. It was good to spend an evening in conversation with key people in three ridings that were recently solidly Liberal.

I enjoyed hearing their perspectives and suggestions on what the Party might be doing differently, or better. We talked about what activities the three Riding Associations could do to enhance their chances in 2018.


The Agenda

Electricity in Ontario on TVO

Bob on TVO

Ontario Parliamentary Assistant to Energy Bob Delaney dismantles PC and NDP energy critics and explains the Province’s price reductions on electricity on TV Ontario in March 2017.

Mississauga-Streetsville MPP Bob Delaney knows TV Ontario’s host of The Agenda, Steve Paikin, best as a backchecking hockey player who protects his goalie (which is Bob). On March 2, 2017, Bob appeared on The Agenda to talk about electricity in Ontario with the energy critics of the PC and NDP parties. It wasn’t even close. Watch Bob handle both critics and discuss Ontario’s price reduction on electricity.

Ontario has bought tomorrow’s electricity system, paid for it with yesterday’s money, and financed it at rates close to zero. The rest of the world is scrambling to catch up, seeing its own electricity prices rise faster than ours in Ontario, and needs to buy today’s electricity system, pay for it with tomorrow’s money, and finance it at interest rates that are on their way up.


Membership Renewal

Join your Liberal Party Riding Association

The Mississauga-Streetsville Provincial Liberal Association is looking for a few energetic people who want to help us shape Ontario’s future to join us on the Mississauga-Streetsville Provincial Liberal Association Riding Association Executive.

Together, we organize Liberal political life in northwest Mississauga. Want to see what we do? Click here. When you get right down to it, our Riding Association team has won four consecutive elections together, become good friends, and continue to have a lot of fun doing it.

Interested? Call Riding President Tom Lewis at (289) 929-4881.

This is a good time to renew your Ontario Liberal Party membership. You can renew on-line now. Click here. The Riding Association hosts regular events through the calendar year. Be a part of it. See the Events Page on this web site. Become a Mississauga-Streetsville Liberal. Read more.


Intolerance

Celebrating our diverse neighbours

From a regular festival of our many and diverse neighbours, to resolutions passed by the City of Mississauga, the Province of Ontario and in Parliament, to the annual Family Day Walkathon to raise money for the Trillium Health Partners hospital sites, the families of Mississauga have made statements to celebrate their unity during 2017.

See also Bob Delaney’s MPP web site for more.


Tax Receipts 2016

When donations come home again

The Ontario Liberal Party’s most significant task in the year’s first two months is to issue its annual income tax receipts. You will receive your income receipts for donations you made in 2016 during February of 2017.

If you have not received a 2016 income tax receipt for an ABC membership or for a contribution you made in 2016 by the end of February of 2017, first call the Ontario Liberal Party at (416) 961-3800. If they have not resolved things, please leave a message for our Mississauga-Streetsville Treasurer, Rob Bezaire at (905) 542-3725.

Donating to Bob’s re-election

Find out how Ontario political contributions work. It takes money. It takes good people. We need them both.


Happy New Year 2017

Warm New Year wishes to our neighbours

t’s the time of year to give thanks for our blessings, great and small. The smallest blessings tend to be the most important: family and friends; health and peace; a chance to make a living and a life in a prosperous corner of the planet we call Ontario.

Bob Delaney's 2016 Christmas card photo

Happy New Year! We took our 2016 Christmas card picture in October in our back yard gazebo.

Andrea and I – and indeed our cats, Merlin and Bébé – extend our warmest wishes at Christmas time to one and all in Lisgar, Meadowvale and Streetsville. Whatever the problems of the past, and the challenges of the future, Christmas is a time for living in the here and now. Christmas carols, classic old movies, cards and turkey dinner, the holiday family legends, the anticipation of Christmas morning, and the gifts we give and receive, however small: these are part of what makes the Christmas season special.

As one who was single a long time, through living in four cities in three provinces, I have always been sensitive to helping people avoid being alone on Christmas Day. Remember to reach out to friends and acquaintances whose day would be special if only they spent some of it with you.

Thank you to all our Mississauga-Streetsville Provincial Liberal Association members, and to all our friends and supporters who have worked with us through more than 13 years, and four successful elections. It remains a pleasure, a privilege, and the career opportunity of my working life to represent our neighbourhoods at Queen’s Park, and to work on the projects that make a difference to us in western Mississauga. This coming spring, one of the projects on which I have worked, literally since the week after my first election, comes to fruition with the opening of three new centres for ErinoakKids: the headquarters in Mississauga, and new, state-of-the-art facilities in Brampton and Oakville as well.

Come for a New Year skate

During the autumn and winter, we host free family skates. In December, we all got out for some exercise at Meadowvale. On January 15, it was time for our annual New Year family skate at Vic Johnston Arena in Streetsville.

Sharpen your skates. Don’t want to spend all Sunday watching TV? Come for a free skate at Vic Johnston Arena with Mississauga-Streetsville MPP Bob Delaney. Free coffee and hot chocolate. Bring a donation for the Eden Food Bank, and brighten up the start of someone’s new year.

Please circle the date: Sunday January 15, 2017, at Vic Johnston Arena in Streetsville from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information:

Bring a donation of non-perishable food for the Eden Community Food Bank, and come out for some exercise. Brush up on your skating, and have a chat with me on the rink. Happy New Year, and all the best for Canada’s – and Ontario’s – 150th anniversary of Confederation.

New web site!

Notice the new look and feel of the Riding Association web site?

Back in 1998, our Riding Association was one of the first in Canada to have its own web site and domain name. I did that one on Microsoft FrontPage. Shortly after my election in 2003, I upgraded it to a second generation web site. FrontPage software was old technology, and I used Microsoft’s new .Net technology and adopted a much-improved user interface. That web site saw us through the 2007 election and up to the threshold of the 2011 election.

At Easter of 2011, I put into practice what I had been reading about in my programming books, and designed a much-improved user interface. By the end of Easter week, it was up and running. My design was robust enough to see us through the 2011 and 2014 elections. But that third-version web site did not scale well into tablets and handheld (i.e. phone-based) browsers, which by 2013, accounted for more than half the views of web sites. It was time for a fourth version of the Riding Association web site.

This new website uses a piece of web software that is far and away the most widely used web site content management system on the world-wide web. It is called WordPress. The hard part was to make a piece of software that I did not write do the things I managed to make the last version (that I did write) do. There is still content to add, and functionality to implement. It is coming along fairly well. Christmas time and July are my annual time to brush up on my web developent skills.

The new site allows much easier use of pictures than the old site. It also allows Riding Association members to comment on posts, something the last version did not, largely because I did not know how to program that capability. It lets you stay advised of Ontario Liberal events and news. E-mail me if you’d like to have your name added to our distribution list. We need your first name; last name; and e-mail address. As our Riding Association manages all e-mails, occasional really does mean occasional, and not incessant. As well, we neithe share nor transfer any information about you to anyone else.

Explore the new web site. Please send along any suggestions, and add yourself to our keep advised list.


PC bafflegab 1

Behind the PC Party ‘fake-news’

Over lunch or at the water cooler, there is always a neo-con big-mouth who has bought the right-wing malarkey hook, line and sinker. I took some notes as I returned a few phone calls in recent weeks, and thought I would share the essence of the discussion on such topics as electricity rates; business; manufacturing; debt and pensions. Enjoy.

The Ontario Progressive Conservative opposition has blown four straight elections with a continuing litany of utter nonsense completely at odds with common sense, reality, and usually truth as well. Let’s look at the latest collection of rhetorical rubbish masquerading as Conservative policy. The PC Party is entitled to their own opinion. They are just not entitled to make up their own facts. And they do. Often.

Tories claim that “Ontario has the highest electricity rates in North America”
Wrong! The highest electricity prices in North America are in the New England states in the USA. Industrial power rates in Northern Ontario are among the lowest in Canada, and lower than 45 American states. The rates in Southern Ontario are lower than Michigan, Wisconsin and New Jersey and in-line with Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and  Minnesota. Ontario’s residential electricity rates are higher than in Manitoba and Quebec. Both of those provinces generate virtually all their electricity from existing hydroelectric plants long ago built and paid for. Both provinces have hydro electricity generating capacity well in excess of their own needs. Ontario has almost no remaining untapped hydro capacity. Ontario residential power rates are, however, lower than, or close to, the surrounding U.S. states. The U.S. states with expanding populations and economies, like Ontario, face the reality of replacing greenhouse gas emitting coal-fired plants with green energy, and refurbishing their nuclear reactors to extend their lifetime. Ontario is way ahead of our neighbouring U.S. states in renewing power generation. In essence, Ontario has paid for the same projects that U.S. states have not begun with yesterday’s money at near-zero interest rates. Our neighbouring U.S. states
are a decade behind us.
Conservatives like to claim that “Ontario businesses are struggling with red tape”
Wrong! In the Canadian Federation of Businesses’  2015 Red Tape Report
Card
,
Ontario received a rating of B+, tied for the second highest mark in the country. The truth of regulations in Ontario is that for every new regulation an Ontario Ministry proposes to generate, it must eliminate at least two others.
The Ontario Tories claim “Ontario is losing manufacturing jobs”
Wrong! Try singing that song in Meadowvale, home of the renaissance of Ontario advanced manufacturing. Since spring 2015, Ontario has gained more than 13,000 net new manufacturing jobs. Who says so? Statistics Canada, Table 282-008 – Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employment by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, monthly (persons). In fact, Ontario’s manufacturing sector is leading Canada in growth while western Canada’s
resource economy languishes in low commodity prices.
Ontario Conservatives say “Ontario is faced with runaway debt”
Wrong! Ontario’s debt-to-GDP ratio is roughly the equivalent of looking at how much a family owes compared to how much it earns. Ontario’s debt-to-GDP ratio is about 39 percent. France’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 84 percent. Germany: 57 percent; Japan: 134 percent; South Korea: 32 percent; South Africa: 36 percent; the UK: 83 percent; USA: 88 percent. Canadian families average carry 160 percent of debt-to-income. Ontario did borrow a lot of money to get through the recession. There was a neo-con option: not borrowing the money. The USA largely took that option. It would have cost Ontario the auto industry; all the Province’s infrastructure renewal; and economists estimate between half a million and a million jobs. Now, Ontario has a lot of the state-of-the-art infrastructure that other jurisdictions put off to the future, and paid for with yesterday’s money at near-zero interest rates. And Ontario emerged from the recession more than three full years ahead of the United States. Borrowing and sensibly investing the money succeeded in growing the Ontario economy while other jurisdictions shrank, keeping the Province’s debt affordable.
The Tory mantra is that “pension reform is a payroll tax”
Baloney! By that reckoning, your home mortgage is a ‘housing tax.’ And your RRSP is a ‘retirement tax.’ The proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which is now a reformed Canada Pension Plan, is a savings plan that stays with you, and moves with you as your career progresses, just like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) currently does. The federal government and the provinces agreed to reform the CPP to stay in step with the times. Ontario won’t let working families in the early and middle parts of their career see poverty become inevitable after they retire. See my MPP web site for more details.

If a statement sounds outrageous…

Most intelligent people have pretty good ‘nonsense meters.’ Yet in politics, some of the most outrageous claims don’t get subjected to rigorous reality checks. For example, repeatedly in Question Period at Queen’s Park, both opposition parties repeatedly, and falsely, assert that, for example, local distribution companies and Hydro One can unilaterally raise its electricity rates. Despite even Hydro One’s Preliminary Prospectus contradicting both opposition parties, the patently false claims continue.

Residents sometimes tell me similar patently false claims. I ask where they had heard such nonsense. The answers range from chain e-mails to Facebook comments to talk radio. People ask where they should go to find the truth.

Credible sources:

  • Ontario: The Province has an official web site. It is a great place to start your research check out www.ontario.ca, which is the official Government of Ontario web site. From there, you can link to every Ministry within the government. Also see the Links Page on Bob’s MPP web site.
  • On Energy: Start with the Ontario Ministry of Energy web site. Locally, see the Enersource web site for billing and local service issues.