Thursday, May 28, 2009

And some of us thought he'd gone as low as possible...

PM threatens Ignatieff with old tapes - Canada -
PM threatens Ignatieff with old tapes
`Every day that goes by he's more like Richard Nixon,' Liberal leader says after Harper comment
May 28, 2009 Richard J. Brennan,OTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA–In a move described as "Nixonian," Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested he would release potentially damaging videotapes of Michael Ignatieff after the Liberal leader called on Harper to fire Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
During question period yesterday, Harper told the Commons he had lots of videotapes featuring Ignatieff, raising the spectre of using them to discredit the opposition leader before and during the next election campaign.
"I cannot fire the Leader of the Opposition and with all the tapes I have on him, I do not want to," he said.
Ignatieff described the comment as the "most Nixonian" of Harper's many remarks to him. "Every day that goes by, he's more like Richard Nixon," Ignatieff told reporters.
While U.S. president, Nixon installed secret audio recording systems in the Oval Office, his cabinet room and at Camp David and surreptitiously recorded hundreds of conversations from February 1971 through July 1973.
"We are in the middle of the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War and the Prime Minister ... is wasting his time listening to tapes of me," Ignatieff said.
Yesterday, Ignatieff called for Flaherty to be fired after he announced Tuesday that the federal budget deficit will be more than $50 billion, up from his projection of $34 billion earlier this year.
Ignatieff is the target of Tory political attack ads focusing on comments he made before he entered politics and criticizing him for living out of the country for 34 years.
"I will not be intimidated by the Prime Minister. I've got a job to do, which is to hold him to account," Ignatieff said.
The Conservatives are reported to have hundreds of hours of video clips of Ignatieff speeches and interviews and hope to mine a lifetime of his musings from his career as a journalist, author and public intellectual.
New Democrat MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) told the Star all Harper has left is "mudslinging" to divert the public's attention away from "the appalling economic situation he's got all of us in.
"We have really stooped to a new low in Canadian politics if that's what it comes down to in the time of economic crisis," Martin said.
"His tone implied something sinister on Ignatieff. It is the cheapest kind of mudslinging because it invokes suspicion without any real substance."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nearing the Finish Line

In sports jargon, Stephen Harper is nearing the finish line as head of the Conservative Party (note not the "leader", but the head)

We can see it coming, and he probably has it planned.

The most frightening thing is to contemplate his successor: Jim Flaherty?

Spare us!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raging duplicity

It's been a long time since Canadians were treated to two examples of duplicity at the same time.

Watching and listening to the Oliphant Inquiry, and reading about the NHL's braintrust spinning their dealings about the Phoenix Coyotes is almost more that the average person can stomach.

There's no doubt that Mr Mulroney is a master spinner and that Mr S, his nemesis, is (shall we say, just to be charitable) a prevaricator. And the NHL's version of events, and their repeated claims that the Coyotes were not in financial trouble are both incredible.

One wonders just how long Mr Mulroney and the NHL brass think we will believe them. Few do at this point, and this only goes to show that they are so far out of touch with the people, that they'll never be believed again.

And, to add to these two shows, the Conservative Party is starting "attack ads" against the Liberal leader.

Now, as the best example of incredible behaviour, this takes the cake.

Mr Mulroney described yesterday how well shielded the PM is. Should this be true, it explains why the current PM would put attack ads on the TV. He's out of touch and badly thought of. And hasn't any way of knowing it. So much for one's most favoured advisors.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

2009 Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Coach locks up honour

HALL OF FAME CEREMONY: Since his parents didn't have enough money for him to play hockey, Tom Mastantuono turned to wrestling and fell in love with the sport
Posted 1 hour ago
Twenty-five years ago, when Tom Mastantuono started high school wrestling, he never imagined it would begin a path to the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame.
Mastantuono said last night at the 14th induction ceremony at the Ambassador Conference Resort that he was just combining the things he loved to do -- wrestling and coaching.
"If you told me six months ago I would be (going into the hall of fame), I would said, 'No way.' I didn't even think of this stuff," Mastantuono, one of six people inducted last night, said.
"I was doing it because I loved the kids. I loved the fact I was coaching wrestling."
Three of the newest inductees, Leonard Coyle, Bill Fitsell and Mastantuono, were recognized in the builders category.
Mary Skeggs and Sean Reade were inducted for their athletic accomplishments, while Aldo Popazzi, who played soccer and now continues to coach, entered as an athlete/builder.
"I am very honoured to be amongst some of these legends that I've seen in the past," said Mastantuono, 53, who was born in Tufo, Italy.
He said he turned to wrestling in his youth because his parents couldn't afford to enrol him in hockey.
"When I got to wrestling I said, 'Hey, this sport is for me.' I saw that the harder I worked, the more opportunities it might get to win medals," Mastantuono said.
It was that same hard-work approach Mastantuono, a teacher for 25 years at Regiopolis- Notre Dame, handed to his wrestlers. He founded the Regi wrestling team in 1984 and over the tears his athletes won 20 Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association titles.
"Some of those kids who weren't big enough or maybe tall enough to play other sports really fit in well with our program," Mastantuono said.
"Some of them grew to become stronger and went on to excel in other sports."
Mastantuono founded the Kingston and Area Olympic Wrestling Club in 1985 and out of it would come Olympic wrester Paul Ragusa and Canadian university champions Cleopas Ncube and Terri McNutt.
"Tonight, I'm thinking about a lot of those kids. This honour has given me an opportunity to pause and reflect (on) the 25 years I spent with some of these great kids,'' he said.
"There were kids too that maybe weren't great athletes, but just great kids. Those are the kids I admire very much."
Reade, a high school track and football star at Sydenham High School 20 years ago, returned for his induction from Houston, where he now works in the gas and oil industry.
Reade, 35, was in awe walking around reading the stories of the athletes and builders already in the Kingston Sports Hall of Fame.
"To go around the room and see all those inductees, it really is an hour to be amongst them," Reade said.
"There are a lot of individual memories that are coming back. I remember the high school football championships and the 1994 championship (Vanier Cup) with Western.
Hockey historian W. J. (Bill) Fitsell said coming to Kingston in 1953 from his native Lindsay and working as a reporter forThe Kingston Whig-Standardallowed him to seek and unravel the roots of hockey.
"A scribe going into the hall with real athletes and builders," said Fitsell, who made a pitch for some forgotten Kingston athletes to be included in the hall in the near future.
The historian also showed his knowledge of current events when he pointed out two proud hall members who were key builders for the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs, Scotty Martin and Bill Reason.
With the Vees headed off to the RBC Cup Canadian junior A championship in Victoria, Fitsell led more than 300 people in attendance in a special shout-out.
Instead of the signature thumbs up of Don Cherry, another hall of fame member, Fitsell asked for a 'double Vee' salute from peoples' hands.
"Go Vees Go," he said, adding, "that's to prove historians aren't always in the past."

Copyright © 2009 The Whig Standard
Article in the May 2, 2009 Whig Standard, written by Doug Graham