Author Archives: redheartbluesign

About redheartbluesign

I think about things and occasionally write about what I think about. I am expanding my horizons beyond politics - though as a former Ontario PC Candidate, the politics will always be there.

A 3rd Rate Speech from the Throne

How many of you listened to Governor General Payette read the speech from the throne?  Could you hear the cash register go ching, ching and ching?  While no dollar amounts were mentioned you just must know that at least another $250 billion is going to be spent.  

How many of you watched the Prime Minister and the other Party Leaders later the same day?  I imagine many of you watched, it was a condensed and straight to the point of the hour-long throne speech a few hours earlier.  

Parliament was prorogued in August to prepare for a new session and a reset from the last throne speech delivered less that 10 months earlier.  We all know what the government and parliament has had to do since March 13th, the economic impacts of COVID-19 have been intense and immense..

In the five weeks from proroguing to the throne speech Canada was turned upside down.  The biggest concern we faced was the return of our children to the classroom.  There was a shaky optimism, but families were moving forward (with fingers crossed). Without warning COVID case numbers started rising in BC, then Ontario and then Quebec; the roof was caving in on Trudeau government’s plan to announce a recovery plan and its intentions to take a hard left to a green economy and an election. 

The government’s messaging slowly changed over the course of a couple of days from a new economy to a cautious approach to recovery to a full defense against COVID-19.  What the GG delivered was a rushed third or fourth version of the speech.  It could have been written by any parliamentary staff who is given the instructions to’ mention this, that, more of this and more of that and don’t forget to state the how bad a second wave of COVID is going to be’.

In 2014 I was campaigning in Ottawa Centre as the Ontario PC Candidate and we were out the day after it was announced one million jobs would be created by a new PC government.  We were mocked at the doors and in the media for promising such a huge number of jobs (along with reducing the government workforce by 100,000 positions).  Ontario Liberals said that was a number that could never be proven as being achieved.

From 2014 jump to last year when Trudeau announced 1 billion trees would be planted to fight climate change, 100 million tress a year for 10 years.  Now jump to this week’s throne speech, Trudeau promised 1 million jobs.  There was no indication they would be new jobs or recovered jobs.  The problem with these promises is that the numbers are unrealistic for us to understand.    Could Hudak have created those jobs?  How many of the 1 billion trees have been planted?  Will Trudeau deliver 1 million jobs?  Anything less will be a broken promise.  These are big numbers and most Canadians don’t think in terms of numbers that big; this will be lost.  Most Canadians that are out of work only know of a single number, one, the job they need.

Listening to the throne speech and watching the Prime Minister the thought going through my head must have been ‘he’s thinking about what this speech should or could have been about’.  Rather, the Governor General outlined the four pillars for the governments next moves; Fighting the Pandemic, Supporting Canadians and Canadian Businesses; A stronger and more resilient Canada and Standing Up for who Canada is.  All these pillars made perfect sense.

Money and more money was announced for current programs, new programs. Missing was the idea that there will be a recovery plan and there can’t be a recovery until we beat this second wave.  What did happen though was the threat of an election was pulled off the table, for now.  Elections are fought on what should take place in the future, people want a vision.  Trying to protect the “now” is not an election campaign theme.  

With the Prime Minister telling Canadians the second wave is here now, he’s telling us he’s prepared to stand put until next summer and then he’ll hope that the opposition will have had enough of him.  His expectations of a bad fall and winter is not prime election time and Trudeau is lamenting his lost opportunity, for now.

Five weeks of committee work, five weeks of asking the hard questions to the government and their accountability have been lost and all we got out of was a third rate speech.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading this, please leave a comment and if you like what you’ve read please click the follow button.  Let me know what you’re watching and hearing, what is making you excited or anxious.

Cheers,

Rob

—Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

Waiting for the next train

Back to the Future III

I have not written a single word for #RedHeartBlueSign since post 300 was published 21 days ago.  I’ve not even had ideas swirling in my head, which is what normally happens.  An idea comes into my head, it germinates and after a few days I can sit at the keyboard and the 700 words that form a RHBS post come out.  

Prior to today, not one of those 700 words has been written since my previous post was finished on August 30th.  It is not for a lack a topic to write about, here are some of the items I’ve pondered:

  • The City of Ottawa Ward Boundary Review
  • Trudeau and Speech from the Throne
  • Trudeau and the threat of an election (and now the two by-elections he’s called)
  • My latest books, my latest music
  • And the idea that has been foremost in my mind, being charitable and charitable organizations during COVID

The last idea REALLY deserves to have its own 700 words to it.  

In between August 30th and today a few things have been occupying my time.  First, there was my 60th Birthday, I got through it by getting away with a handful of friends and made it as much of a non-event as possible.  Work responsibilities changed, for the better, with new duties and a focus of our new accountabilities.  The office has adjusted how we respond in my employer’s new role.  

What the previous 21 days have looked like for #RedHeartBlueSign

All this has left me feeling that I am waiting for the next train after just missing the train I was planning to be on.  I know the next train is coming, but I don’t know when.  Leading up to my previous post I have been very reliable, 4 posts a month.  In 2020 32 posts have been published and compared to previous years in 2018 I published 35 posts and last year there were 36 posts, I was on track to meet and exceed that.

The good news is that the train is coming into the station, there will be more of #RedHeartBlueSign this month and through the remainder of the year.  The return of Parliament and the Speech from the Throne and talk of an election that will spur will interesting to watch.  COVID just won’t go away, the City of Ottawa Public Health Office declared on September 18th that the second wave has arrived.  How will our leaders react and how will society HAVE to act?  

This fall will be exciting to watch and listen, thanks for bearing through the last 21 days of silence. I am settled in my seat and the train is moving out of the station and this post starts the next journey.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading this, please leave a comment and if you like what you’ve read please click the follow button.  Let me know what you’re watching and hearing, what is making you excited or anxious.

Cheers,

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

300

I have reached the milestone of writing my 300th post for this project called #RedheartBlueSign. I began this October 2011 following Ontario General election that year and it has allowed me to comment on politics, music, books and what was happening around me.  The name comes from a profile on my campaign written that election, https://emilydickinsoncu.wordpress.com/politics/red-heart-blue-sign/.

Image from Three Angry Nerds Podcast

There have been posts that have resonated with you the readers of RHBS and others not so much.  Some posts that I have been very proud of did not get many reads, and others have led to other opportunities.  

The post “Y2KXX a new normal’ was written about a recent vacation that took place just as COVID-19 shutdown Canada.  It described a wedding we attended in BC and how the pandemic was going make all of us adjust to a different reality.  COVID continues to do that 5 months later.  That post led to being asked to expand the post to be included in a book being compiled of stories of kindness and hope in a pandemic.  Honestly, it was a huge moment for me, I will forever be thankful to Heather Dawn and Wintertickle Press for the opportunity.  It has opened the door to doing more long-form writing of longer than a 700 words blog post.  The book “Not Cancelled: Canadian kindness in the face of Covid-19” not only includes my expanded reflection, and 48 other stories that show the kindness from across Canada. 

I took the blog on the road last fall to Barrie Ontario and wrote a series on the election that was not political (well maybe a little) and gave a glimpse into campaign life.  The nine posts during written between August and October and through those posts shared my campaign experience.  If I do it again, and I know there will be more campaigns, I’ll bring more of campaign life to #RHBS. 

There have been many books read and reviewed here. I have purposely read books I would never pick up for recreational reading; these books were all about learning from others.  Books by Naomi Klein and David Moscrop confirmed what I thought about some left leaning writers, especially Moscrop whose ‘Too Dumb for Democracy” is one on the worst and most left partisan books I have ever read.  Happily, that same post in March of 2020 was mostly about the best book I’ve read in a while; Beyond the Trees by Adam Shoalts and a completely partisan book in the favour of our nature and the beautiful and unforgiving terrain of Northern Canada. 

One book review that continues to get views is from Ottawa’s Brian McGarry, posted May 2012. The book was his life and the life with the McGarry Funeral Home, which has, as the book title suggests “From Paupers to Prime Ministers: A Life in Death.” It is a fascinating look at his life and service to his community.

Some of the older posts are also good reads; there is December 2011’s “Collective Benefits of Ending Homelessness”, sadly we still haven’t solved that.  My post on Canadian music “CANCON: The Making of MAPL Music” from May 2017 still gets attention.

Politics remains a topic of interest to write about, and thankfully still being read.  Focusing on Ottawa I’ve written on a few municipal cycles that receive a good response.  Another municipal election is here in a short two years, next month.  With a Ottawa ward boundary review now upon us the 2022 election presents some unique situations and decisions by our local elected officials.

I have enjoyed sharing my music with you.  I’ve reviewed new music by many and looked back at music and the part it plays in our lives as I did in the September 2017 post “No Music No Life” written after seeing a movie on Tower Records.  I’ve also written about music in my family with the post “Ode to my Father” September 2016 and the influence of having music in my home from a very early age.  The last two weeks I’ve shared a playlist with 60 years of music, I now have the playlist of  those songs on my Spotify profile https://open.spotify.com/user/dekker.ra?si=eNdAD9eYTrmJA1DUheSdGA,  take a listen and let me know what you think.

As I wrap up post 300, number 301 is already swirling around in my mind; thanks to all the readers, especially those that follow #RedHeartBlueSign, your ‘likes’ and comments are all appreciated.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading this, please leave a comment and if you like what you’ve read please click the follow button.

Cheers,

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

60 Years On, Music of My Life 2

Some milestones just scare the crap out of you!  30, 40, and even 50 didn’t worry me but 60, oh my!  While I wonder if this birthday will be the birthday where in my head I feel the age me birth certificate says I am, I know I can look back at the last 60 years and know that there has been so much music that I have loved!

In Part One, I shared the music of my first 30 years, today I reveal the music that has been part of my second 30 years.  My music influences have changed in these three decades, they were shaped by the music I was playing while DJing, something I started with great regularity after my move to Ottawa in 1990.  In the early years I worked for Bytown Boogie, by 2000 I moved on to be a part of the Professional Entertainment Group where I have formed a great friendship with Helen and Steve.  It’s with the ProDJ Team I’ve learned more about music and got a much better understanding of the technology of the mix and and sound we can create.

Another factor that shaped the music I’ve listened to in the last 30 years is technology and how we access our music.  I did grab music from Naptser but evolved eMusic.  Here eMusic provided access to music that was up and coming or was released on smaller labels. From there it was iTunes and then now onto Spotify.  Working in Radio, I have always appreciated that artists rely on royalties from the sales from their music and have advocated, and sometimes berated friends who ripped music for free.    This applies to how I stream in 2020.  

Before I list the music from 1990 to 2020, here are the Top 10 songs and 10 most listened to Artists:

 SongListens
1Cut to the Feeling – Carly Rae Jepson207
2Slow Burn – Kacey Musgraves110
3I Got You – Olivia Lunny (from The Launch Season 2)95
4Butterflies – Kacey Musgraves73
5Space Cowboy – Kacey Musgraves71
6We are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift68
7Criminal – Lindsay Ell67
8Roy Rogers – Kacey Musgraves65
9Delirious Love – Neil Diamond with Brian Wilson57
10The Middle – Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey57
 ArtistListens
1John Mayer555
2Carly Rae Jepson422
3The Beatles408
4Ryan Adams326
5Kacey Musgraves319
6Elton John318
7Lindsay Ell285
8Michelle Branch269
9Ruth B209
10Coldplay190

Here you are…my second half of my 60 years of music, 1990 to 2020:

YearSongArtist
1990Freedom 90George Michael
1991Lovers in a Dangerous TimeBarenaked Ladies
1992CourageTragically Hip
1993RainMadonna
1994All I wanna DoSheryl Crow
1995Made in EnglandElton John
1996Dark HorseAmanda Marshall
1997Calico SkiesPaul McCartney
1998You Get What You WantNew Radicals
1999When you say Nothing at AllRonan Keating
YearSongArtist
2000I won’t back downJohnny Cash
2001Set Me FreeMichelle Branch
2002Somebody Like YouKeith Urban
2003Find Your way backMichelle Branch
2004Pieces of MeAshlee Simpson
2005Delirious LoveNeil Diamond w/ Brian Wilson
2006Me and Mr. JonesAmy Winehouse
2007BelieveSuzie McNeil
2008Lovers in Japan/Reign of LoveColdplay
2009Slow Dancing in a Burning Room (Live)John Mayer
YearSongArtist
2010I BelieveNikki Yanofsky
2011The AfterlifePaul Simon
2012Call Me MaybeCarly Rae Jepsen
2013Give You What You LikeAvril Lavigne
2014Gimme Something GoodRyan Adams
2015Runaway with MeCarly Rae Jepsen
2016CloserThe Chainsmokers
2017Cut to the FeelingCarly Rae Jepsen
2018SlowburnKasey Musgraves
2019I Got YouOlivia Lunny
2020??????

You may have noticed that there is no song for 2020. I have plenty of new music to listen to, including Bob Dylan, Dua Lipa, Lindsay Ell, Tennille Townes and I’mm excited to hear the new Alanis Morrisette and Kathleen Edwards, so the 2020 song is yet to be determined. It could be a song that took me completely off guard as Olivia Lunny did last year.

All my songs from 1960 to 2019 will be put into a playlist on Spotify, follow me there if you would like to follow and listen to that playlist. 

I appreciate the likes and comments from last week’s post, I hope you enjoy this post as much.  Thank you for letting me share these musical moments in my life. 

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

60 Years On, Music of My Life 1

Some milestones just scare the crap out of you!  30, 40, and even 50 didn’t worry me but 60, oh my!  While I wonder if this birthday will be the birthday where in my head I feel the age my birth certificate says I am, I know I can look back at the last 60 years and know that there has been so much music that I have loved!

I remember riding my bike in ’75 at the age of 15 and singing “Someone Saved my Life Tonight” out loud.  People hearing me as I rode past might have thought they should call for help or ignore crazy kid.  It never occurred to me what others may have thought when I did that because it was such joy to be able to it!  Even today I’ll close my eyes, listen to John Mayer’s live version of “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” and imagine trading guitar licks with my nephew Brad (who is a very good guitar player) in my brother’s backyard.

Elton John’s Greatest Hits

Music has always been a constant in my life, from my first vinyl; Elton John’s Greatest Hits in 1974  (thanks for the BEST Christmas present that year Mom and Dad) to the latest purchase; Lindsay Ell’s new album “Heart Theory” (which will be arriving in the mail next week). 

Another piece of evidence that music has been part of me is that I have years of the weekly 1050 Chum Charts cut out and filed away.  I also have CFTR 600 music charts and years of the annual music charts published by radio stations in newspapers at year end.  I would go on a hunt on December 30th, 31st and January 1st looking for these charts. It still saddens me that these charts are no longer published, to be kept as mementos of the past year. Sometimes going digital just sucks!

Kasey Musgraves – Golden Hour

I’ve decided to create my “life playlist’ with my favourite song for each year from 1960 to 2020.  My methodology was simple, using the number of plays on my iTunes library the song with the highest number of listens determined the song for that year.  As an example, my song for 2018 is Kasey Musgrave’s “Slowburn” from the Album “Golden Hour”.  I’ve listened to that song 110 times since it I bought it.  In fact that album is my favourite of that year with other songs from it “Butterflies” (73 listens) and “Space Cowboy” (71) getting the 2nd and third listens for that year.  Kasey also took the #4 song of that year with her version of Elton John’s “Roy Rogers” from the Elton John ‘Restoration’ compilation having 65 listens.

Putting this together, there were some years where I didn’t have any song in my digital library, there were 8 years like that.  I researched the top songs of those years and just picked my favourite. It is not very scienttific, but it works. My starting point is September 5, my birthday and by default I put the #1 song on the Billboard chart on that day in 1960.  The song is “Walk don’t Run” by The Ventures. 

Today I’m giving you the first 30 years in music; next, I’ll post the following 29 years and my song for 2020.

YearSongArtist
1960Walk, Don’t RunThe Ventures (#1 September 5, 1960)
1961Shop AroundThe Miracles
1962Hey! BabyBruce Channel
1963P.S. I Love YouThe Beatles
1964Oh, Pretty WomanRoy Orbison
1965Like a Rolling StoneBob Dylan
1966Ain’t Too Proud to BegThe Temptations
1967A Whiter Shade of PaleProcol Harem
1968Hey Jude The Beatles
1969Suite: Judy Blue EyesCrosby, Stills & Nash
YearSongArtist
1970What is LifeGeorge Harrison
1971One Fine MorningLighthouse
1972(Make me) Do Anything You WantA Foot in Cold Water
1973Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies BleedingElton John
1974You ain’t seen Nothing YetBachman-Turner Overdrive
1975Lucy in the Sky with DiamondsElton John
1976BreakdownTom Petty and the Heartbreakers
1977Loadout/StayJackson Browne
1978Girl’s SchoolPaul McCartney and Wings
1979Fool in the RainLed Zeppelin
YearSongArtist
1980TragedyBee Gees
1981Hold on TightELO
1982AfricaToto
1983Let’s Stay TogetherTina Turner
1984I can Dream about YouDan Hartman
1985Feel it AgainHoneymoon Suite
1986DreamsVan Halen
1987Somewhere Down the Crazy RiverRobbie Robertson
1988Roll with ItSteve Winwood
1989Something Happen on the way to HeavenPhil Collins

Thank you for letting me share these musical moments in my life. As I mentioned earlier, the follow up #RedHeartBlueSign will have the next 30!

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

My best laid plans for a vacation…

I am going in a different direction with this week’s post, mainly because I went in a different direction personally this week – I took a few days off work.  I had a few thing things that I had aimed to accomplish in my few days away from the ‘home office’, but even the ‘best laid plans’…you know how the saying goes.

For this short staycation, we planned to spend a day or two with the grandkids, J & J, as Mom was working, and Dad was away on a fishing trip in Northern Ontario. I wanted to get the podcast in good shape for a September launch and I has books I wanted to read.  It all seemed very doable.  All this would take place after one day of working to clear up some issues, this because the idea of taking some time off was late coming to me.  This would be the first vacation since our time in BC for a wedding which appeared in the post Y2KXX in April (and which I have chronicled for the book Not Cancelled: Canadian kindness in the face of COVID-19 from Wintertickle Press).

Our two day stay lasted four. We cooked, cleaned, continued the build of a LEGO research boat at a pace and attention span that a 7-year-old can give you.  We play ‘Lava’, this involves putting cushions on the floor and on the count from three you have to get off the floor (of lava) and get on a cushion before the lava gets you.  This game can go one for quite a while. Days were filled with games, an excursion to a water pad and many walks where we were chasing scooters and bikes.  We even squeezed in a shopping trip to Costco.  We just couldn’t leave but had to as I have a hair appointment late Friday afternoon.

The last 20 weeks has had me do so much, I’ve taken up a few things outside of working hours.  Here is a break down.

Since the end of March, I’ve read 6 book, 20 weeks for 6 books.  The bulk of that time, about 7 weeks was dedicated to reading Margaret Mitchell’s two volumes on WW1 and the Treaty that followed the war.  I read the books in the reverse order they were written, starting with “The war the ended peace” and then on to “1919’.  My reasoning was that “Peace” really outlined the issues that brought war on that would play a role in the treaty negotiations. This order of reading the books gave more ink to the Leaders of the UK, France, Germany and other nations.  It was insightful to read about these leaders and how things would play out in 1919.

I’ve started reading the Stephanie Patrick series of books written by Mark Burnell; I’ve read ‘The Rhythm Section’ and ‘Chameleon’ with “Genesis’ and ‘The Third Woman’ waiting to be opened. Liz has also been reading a lot, we don’t normally share books, but she insisted that I read ‘Where the Crawdad Sings’ by Delia Owen. I loved it!  Maybe I loved it too much as there were a few passages that just might have had a few teardrops dampen the pages.  I have also started reading the ‘Bones’ books written by Kathy Reich – this started due to the fact that Liz and I have been watching episodes of the TV show recorded from the CTV Drama channel. The shows are aired chronologically.  While we started late, we watched the end of the 12-year series and then immediately moved to episode one season one.  As of today, we’ve watched the first 5 seasons and the last 2.  We’re working through the series, but that’s how I turned to reading the books that the TV show has been based on. I’ve finished the first book “Deja Dead” and have another ready to go.  I’ve selected Adam Shoalts’ “A History of Canada in Ten Maps” is next on my reading list.

Hopefully you’ve read my post on my upcoming podcast, the good news is the test episode is complete I’m comfortable with the editing and now I’m writing new episodes.  I’ve been calling the podcast ‘Red Heart Blue Sign – The Podcast’, well now I have finally come up with the moniker for it, it is based on my years in Stratford.  I would spend hours talking with a friend about music and more in his record shop ‘Laughing Gnome Records’.  I am looking forward to sharing with you this new and exciting project. 

Musically, I’ve complied a new playlist called “60 years on” (a nod to Elton John) as a celebration of my 60thbirthday in September.  I have selected 59 songs representing the years 1960 to 2019.  There will be a 2020 song, I haven’t discovered or ‘felt’ which song from this year that should make the list.  I’ll be writing about this in the next few posts.

My song for 2019, “I Got You” by Olivia Lunney

Finally, this is post is number 297 of #RedHeartBlueSign, I’ll be posting the milestone 300th post written since I started the blog in October 2011 in a few weeks.  I don’t know what that will look like as a finished product, but I have a few ideas swirling around, I am just waiting for them to land.

Thank you for taking time to read #RedHeartBlueSign, stay safe, wash your hands and protect your social circles. If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19 get tested.

Rob

The Boys and Girls are Back in Town

This weekend marked the return of the NHL and the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Other major league sports teams have already returned are or are making their plans to return.   COVID-19 interrupted the NHL and the NBA, it stalled the return of baseball.

Sports is a huge part of our of our pastimes, we argue over it, we come together is moments of celebration and we play sports together.  With the return of the NHL I invited a Humber College Radio Alumni to answer a few questions about his views on big league sports returning to our social circles.

Steve Kee is the host of the #Kee2Travel podcast, is the Director of External Communications at the Insurance Bureau of Canada – but more importantly for the purposes of #RedHeartBlueSign readers, he is a sports fans and a great observer of sports.  Steve lives and breathes Toronto sports.  I asked Steve five questions about the return to action of big-league sports.

The NHL, MLB, NBA are all coming back from a COVID induced break in the season.  Who has managed this the best, the worst and why?

Steve Kee: Baseball has been a joke.  Unnecessary travel is just a recipe for disaster.  I’ll be surprised if the season ends.   As for the best, I have to say the NHL.  They chose Canadian hubs – areas with fewer cases than any of the major markets in North America. 

Red Heart Blue Sign: Though I haven’t mentioned it, the MLS soccer has done a good job in their return.  I’ve read a lot about the National Women’s Soccer League, they just wrapped up well run ‘Challenge Cup Tournament”.  I agree with the comments about MLB, I have high hopes for the NHL ‘City Hub’ return to play.

What can North American sports leagues learn from European and English soccer leagues who have just wrapped up their seasons after pausing their seasons?

SK: Appropriate social distancing….no fans….and a commitment to safety.  Also, the European markets seemed to have a head start on the recovery from Covid, something we are just starting to see trend better here in North America. 

RHBS: They has a couple of situations that almost ended the comeback, but the teams and league prevailed.  Our North American leagues will need to diligent and strict with the teams and the players if any of the big three will have a successful season.

After the Stanley Cup is (hopefully) handed out in October when can we expect to see hockey back?  Will the league have to take a break until 2021?

SK: You can’t wait too long.  So, if the league is back December 15 is that enough time for those players who have competed to recover.  I imagine 2020-2021 will be a strange year with more injuries as a result of the starts and stops of this season. 

RHBS: Can the league afford to have a shortened season in 2021?  Don’t even get me started on the sham about the NHL Draft and a playoff team getting the #1 selection.

Then there will be football, how can the NFL or CFL possibly play in an empty stadium?

SK: They would dress the stadium like they have done for NHL and NBA.  You shoot football for what’s on the field.  I can see the NFL starting…because of the TV money…but can the CFL really justify these costs?

RHBS: It would be like the Argos playing The Rogers Centre (before BMP Field was built. 

Which sports league may be in danger of not surviving 2020-2021?

SK: Of any, the CFL could be the one to die.  They aren’t in the best of financial shape…period.

RHBS: I am I agreement here, if the CFL can’t pull off the planned Winnipeg hub city season this fall they are in trouble.  Best case scenario is the league taking a year off.  Worst is the league folds. If the CFL folds, does that mean the NFL can finally make a shot at a team in Toronto or Montreal?

Which Toronto team walks away with a championship this year?  The Leafs, the Raptors or the Blue Jays? 

SK: Optimist in me says all of the above.  Pessimist says better luck next year. 

RHBS: Of the Toronto pro teams, The Raptors have the best opportunity to win and recapture the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

My thanks to Steve for taking some time to assist with this week’s post.  You can follow Steve on Twitter and Instagram at @Steve_Kee.  If you love and miss travelling, follow Steve and his wife Cynthia on the #Kee2Travel podcast, https://www.buzzsprout.com/790535.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, it is the 296th post I have written for the blog since October 2011! 

Stay safe, wash your hands and protect your social circles. 

Profiles of a possible (Conservative) Leader: Derek Sloan

This is the last of four posts looking at the candidates running to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.  The previous post was a glance at the campaign of Erin O’Toole.  In the last of our candidates I focus on Derek Sloan.  

Derek Sloan

I had no idea who Derek Sloan was when the announcement was made that he was going to run for the leadership of the party, I knew he had won back the riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington for the Conservatives from the Liberals.  Here is what I knew about Sloan, he is a lawyer and has run several small businesses – all this from his website.  He won the Conservative nomination over three others.  His riding association has asked the Conservative Party to strip Sloan from the party because of statements he has made about gender identity.  He had only sat in the House of Commons seven days before he became a candidate for the leadership of the party.

In an interview with Tony Clement on the podcast “And another thing”, Sloan told Clement his reason for running was all about not apologizing for being a conservative.  He has stuck to that mantra; his campaign slogan is ‘Conservative. Without apology.” According Sloan, party members want a conservative, not a ‘liberal lite’, as their next leader.

Now, he has not had the smoothest sailing through the campaign.  He’s hit a few rough spots and hit some controversy.  Issues of conversion therapy, family values, marijuana and his criticism of Dr. Theresa Tam make him different from the other three candidates – from what I can see, he welcomes the stage to stand apart from Leslyn Lewis, Peter Mackay and Erin O’Toole.  It was that criticism of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer that gave him headlines; it was the call from some members of the Conservative Caucus to have him removed as a member of the caucus and a leadership candidate that gave his campaign life from the section of the party that supported him with emails of support to the Conservative MPs and donations to his campaign. But for all the controversy Sloan may generate, he stands behind every word and policy his is presenting in his campaign, without apology.

Each of the candidates know their target audience, what I found interesting in the Sloan campaign is that it is the only campaign that is working hard to attract the Chinese vote with a translation of his website in Chinese.  

Sloan’s campaign touches on similar themes as the others; Carbon Tax, Freedom of Speech and Canada’s international duties.  It is on this last theme he veers away from the other three with a ‘Canada’ theme of pulling out support for the WHO, withdrawing our signature from the Paris Agreement and slashing Canada’s immigration by 200,000 people/year. There are Canadians on the (extreme) right and left who will agree with Sloan’s sovereigntist approach.

Does Derek Sloan have a chance to win the leadership?  Of, course there is always a path to victory; but will a path to the leadership of the Conservative also take Derek Sloan to the Prime Minister’s Office?  Derek Sloan is not who I think should be leading the party, the divisions in the party would be too great and the swing voter would swing away from a Derek Sloan led Conservative Party. 

To learn more about Derek and his platform visit www.dereksloan.ca.

Thank you for taking to time to read this post and the entire series of posts with the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. 

Stay safe, wash your hands and if you have a ballot for the CPC Leadership make sure you get it to the party before August 21st.

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

Profiles of a possible (Conservative) Leader: Erin O’Toole

This is the third of four posts looking into the candidates running to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.  Last post I looked at Peter Mackay and in today’s post I’ll take a peak at former Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole.

Erin O’Toole

Three years ago, Erin O’Toole finished third to Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier for the party leadership.  Three years ago, was also a completely different campaign. Thirteen candidates were on the ballot.  Erin O’Toole was also my #1 choice on the ballot and like so many more my decision to place Andrew Scheer above Maxime Bernier on my ballot helped elect Scheer as the leader of the party.

What a different three years, one election and a pandemic make.  Erin O’Toole is back in the race to win the leadership.  This campaign seems so much different than in 2017.  In 2017 candidates were fighting a campaign on multiple – twelve – fronts, and the Conservative right was aligned with three solid candidates. You didn’t know where the next attack was coming from.  In 2020 the field is much smaller, and campaigns can focus on fewer fronts and target messages with greater accuracy.  

Because of these changes, the Erin O’Toole running in 2020 is different from the 2017 candidate.  The 2017 O’Toole campaign was a kinder and gentler candidate that candidate in 2020, but It makes sense.  O’Toole knows where he needs to focus his campaign, and it is focused right on Peter Mackay.

On the issues, O’Toole has been aggressive on China, Huawei and recently has taken on the United Nations wanting to reform the world institution. O’Toole says he will make sure Canada is a leader in global affairs, again not a country that comes third in a three-country race for two seats on the UN Security Council.  He’ll begin with the creation of CANZUK, an economic alliance with the UK, New Zealand and Australia.  O’Toole has also laid out an economic plan for Canada he’ll implement if elected as PM in the next election.

In 2020 it’s not a given that a right leading candidate will lead the party again.  Where does the values base of the party go?  O’Toole has been courting the supporters of Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan asking them to make him their number two selection on the ranked ballot.  He’s been talking about protecting rights and values that the Liberals want to have removed.  Being loyal to Andrew Scheer as a valued member of the Scheer Shadow Cabinet certainly will score points for Scheer supporters.

One requirement that could make him the winner is if party members want a sitting MP to become the next leader and to be able to join the Opposition as Leader in the House of Commons from day one of their leadership.  In this area the choices are O’Toole or rookie MP Derek Sloan – most party members would choose O’Toole if that were the number one criterion, however there is much more to consider. 

O’Toole has the knowledge, experience and the leadership for the party, he also has the support of 37 caucus members, but is that enough to make him look like the leader that party members want that will upend Trudeau in the next election?

To learn more about Erin and his plans for Canada and the Party if elected Leader visit www.erinotoole.ca.

Thank you for taking to time to read this post, next and last in the series of four on the Party Leadership Candidates is Derek Sloan.

Stay safe, wash your hands and if you have a ballot for the CPC Leadership make sure you get it to the party before August 21st.

Rob

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @RedHrtBlueSign and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rob.dekker.54.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

Profiles of a possible (Conservative) Leader: Peter Mackay

This is the second of two posts looking into the candidates running to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.  Last post I looked at Dr. Lewis and in today’s post I’ll look at former Minister and last Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Peter Mackay.

Photo from Wounded Warriors

In 2017, Peter Mackay watched from the sidelines as 13 Conservatives vied for the leadership of the party he helped create, the Conservative Party of Canada.  In the years between deciding not to run in the 2015 election Peter Mackay has set his sights on Bay Street in Toronto and his family.  

As a co-founder of the present-day Conservative Party of Canada, Mackay did not run for the leadership and he did not endorse any candidate for the party leadership.

What is memorable about Mackay in this leadership race is what was said leading up to it, not during it.  In a post-election panel event, he spoke the words ‘stinking albatross’ when referring to the election results of October 21, 2019.  Was he wrong or was he right with those words? Perhaps that is what this leadership campaign is all about; the ability of the Conservative Party of Canada to form government and how the beliefs of a strong portion of the party base reflect the values and how Canadian voters see that.

As a co-founder of the present-day Conservative Party of Canada, Mackay did not run for the leadership and he did not endorse any candidate for the party leadership.

What is memorable about Mackay in this leadership race is what was said leading up to it, not during it.  In a post-election panel event, he spoke the words ‘stinking albatross’ when referring to the election results of October 21, 2019.  Was he wrong or was he right with those words? Perhaps that is what this leadership campaign is all about; the ability of the Conservative Party of Canada to form government and how the beliefs of a strong portion of the party base reflect the values and how Canadian voters see that.

Peter’s platform is conservative voter friendly, there isn’t a lot of controversy and it could be seen as something that swing voters could accept.  What his and other platforms lack would be a clearer environmental plan.  Voters rejected the Scheer environmental plan in the last election, I don’t know if Mackay thinks he could win a general election without a more substantial plan on the environment and climate change.  I would suspect Canadians and more importantly Liberals would emphasize that Conservatives haven’t learned from 2019 on this issue.  

He has one candidate he is focused on, former Cabinet colleague Erin O’Toole.  While he doesn’t appear to have reached out to the supporters (that I have noticed) of Leslyn Lewis or Derek Sloan, he does mention issues like the conscience right of medical practitioners not to assist in medically assisted deaths on his website. 

What Mackay should be worried about is second and third ballot support if he doesn’t have the numbers to win on a first ballot.  Mackay seems to have unwittingly taken on the burden that Maxime Bernier had in 2017, of not having enough down ballot support to take it all.

Unlike Bernier, Mackay does have something that perhaps Party members and Canadians want; a Leader they can support to defeat Justin Trudeau, a Conservative Leader that can earn the support centre-left voters that are tired of Trudeau his mistakes, his leaning into NDP policy and his personal ethics violations.

With Peter Mackay, Conservatives know who they may have as a leader of the party, it will be up to the members to decide if they like what they see.  I encourage you to visit www.petermackay.ca before you complete your ballot and send it back to the party to make sure it arrives in Ottawa before August 21st

Thank you for taking a few minutes of your day for reading RHBS Post #293. Stay safe and healthy.  I will feature the next leadership candidate in this series with Erin O’Toole. 

Rob