Category Archives: Canada

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

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

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

Profiles of a possible (Conservative) Leader: Dr. Leslyn Lewis

I have been pondering these posts for a long time before putting fingers to the keyboard.  Now that ballots have been mailed, this seems like the appropriate time to talk about the campaign to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

This race has been on since October 2019 and the Leadership race was launched early 2020 with the original date to have a new leader selected was last weekend.  COVID-19 came and took two candidates, Marilyn Gladu and Rudy Husny, out of the race.  One candidate was booted out, reinstated by the courts and then booted out of the race again.  After all the dust settled there are four candidates vying to be the next Leader of the Opposition, and hopefully the next Prime Minister of Canada.  

The final four to appear on the ranked ballot are (alphabetically): Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole and Derek Sloan.  I Have voted for Peter for Leader in 2003, for the Progressive Party of Canada and Erin for CPC leader in 2017.  Both have qualities I need to see in a leader, but only one name will be in my number one spot.  

For the this and the three next posts I’ll take a dive into the candidates for the party leadership, alphabetically.  Today I’ll look at Dr. Leslyn Lewis, followed by the Hon. Peter Mackay, the Hon. Erin O’Toole and rookie MP Derek Sloan

I find Leslyn Lewis to be the most interesting of all the leadership contestants. I also have respect for her campaign; of the four campaigns, she is the least mistake prone and appears true to the message she is communicating.  

I liked how Lewis performed in the English debate. I liked her responses to the post-debate scrum on Canada’s systemic racism.  If I was prepared to wait a two-term election cycle before seeing a Conservative Prime Minister I might be willing to put Lewis number on my ballot.  Serving as a Minister in a Conservative government will prepare Lewis to be a successful Prime Minister in her own right.  We’ll have to see if either MacKay or Lewis will be brave enough give Lewis in a role that allows her to shine.  

I listened to former MP and a previous leadership contestant Tony Clement interview Dr. Lewis on his podcast; And Another Thing Podcast, I was duly impressed with the clarity of her answers and honestly the last spin she gave – it was very refreshing.  In the interview she noted that she does a lot of the policy, speech and video writing herself, she does know that will change to a degree if she becomes leader, but I doubt she’ll be completely hands off – making sure her message is HER message will be a constant focus, and possible challenge for the staff in the Office of  the Leader of the Opposition.  Lewis’ background and education are interesting.  What was most interesting is how she and her team have been able level the playing field, meet and exceed the criteria of the Conservative Party leadership organizing committee.

I am intrigued by her Masters in Environmental Studies from York University; has the Conservative Party ever had someone that might be as qualified as Dr. Lewis to talk about the environment?  Though her platform on the environment mirrors most of what was talked about in the 2019 election and what other leadership candidates have been saying in this leadership contest.

Unlike one other candidate, Dr. Lewis’s personal values, the ones she was brought up on, these values about family values and qualities of generosity, hard work and equal opportunity may those that Canadians, of every political stripe.   It’s not beyond belief that Lewis’ values would challenge those of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party that a Conservative Leader could stir a self-confidence in voters that recently may have belonged to Liberal voters. 

To learn more about Dr. Lewis, her policies and background please visit her website www.leslynlewis.ca.  

Thank you for taking a few minutes of your day for reading RHBS Post #292. Stay safe (and healthy)

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 COVID projects – Part 2 – The Podcast

Rode Mini-USB Microphone and Marley Headphones

More than 100 days of COVID19 and I have listened to almost just as many podcast episodes.  I wrote in May on RHBS Post #286 about the podcasts that I have been listening to. If you missed it, “Watcha Listening to” can be found here: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/whatcha-listening-to/.  In that post I provided a review of some podcasts that have grabbed my attention. Here I am today telling you about a podcast I am going to launch in the coming weeks.  I have decided to put out there for you Red Heart Blue Sign: The Podcast. 

Even before that post in May I have been putting together the pieces of what a podcast would sound like.  I have taken a few steps along the way.

The Equipment.  I purchased the equipment in May, I ordered it in April.  COVID must have had caused many people to want to start a Podcast as what I originally ordered was on backorder.  The supplier in Montreal called and made a few other suggestions that they could ship right away. What you see in the cover photo for this post is what I ordered, the Rode USB-Mini Microphone.  I decided on this model after watching a review on You Tube.  This choice may present limitations down the road, but for now I think It will be good.  I have a set of Sony headphones I’ve used for DJing that will work and Marley Headphones, the set in the photo, that I’ve been using during the testing. 

The Software. The choice of the Rode Mini USB microphone allowed me to plug and play very easily onto Garage Band on my MacBook Air.  Here as well I have watched some You Tube Tutorials on the basic use of Garage Band for podcasting.  Recording, editing, mix and saving the final product.  This week I’ve recorded a test episode, making sure I understood the processes of Garage Band.  Getting comfortable with the technical processes will take time.  I’m getting there and I am sure the final production value of the podcast will improve with each episode posted.

The Time.  Putting together the idea, concept and the test podcast have shown the time commitment needed for each episode of the podcast.  Unlike this blog where I may not know what I am going write about until I sit down and start clinking on the keyboard, the podcast will need to be planned out.  I am sure that a natural schedule will develop as the weeks go by, but before that a production schedule is needed and kept.  I’m confident that a natural schedule will develop as the weeks go by, but before that comes a production schedule is needed and kept.  An episode script or outline will have to be developed weeks ahead.  The production schedule has to be adhered to as will the schedule for posting the podcast.  I realize that in the beginning there can’t be any vacations form working on the podcast.  What this means to me is that wherever I go, so does the MacBook Air and the microphone.  I know that getting into the groove of having a weekly podcast is going to require adjustment and commitment.  I am looking forward to putting the podcasts out there for you.  

The Episodes.  Waiting for the equipment to arrive allowed me the time to start planning the episodes, coming up with an episode guide.  This is helping with the process of what RHBS: The Podcast will really be about.  I have developed 7 topics into podcast ideas.  As I was coming up with these episodes, it became clear to me that the podcast should become an extension of what this blog is about.  I know that some of the posts have not resonated with readers, but I also know what posts readers have really liked.  The podcast will give me the time I need to go deeper into the discussion of what have been successful blog posts. I’m pleased with how the first seven shows are going to sound.

Finally, I look you to, I’m interested in your thoughts, what do you want to listen to and when do you listen to podcasts?  Please email me at rdmedia@bell.net or DM me on Twitter at @RedHrtBlueSign.

As always, I appreciate the time you take for reading, look for episode 1 of Red Heart Blue Sign: The Podcast (or whatever it ends up being called) soon!  Stay safe.

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

How do you Protest?

This week’s post will cut close to the bone for many, but it comes after almost two weeks of protests around the world and closer to home in Canada and Ottawa.  Millions of Americans and 10’s of thousands of Canadians marched because of racism, police brutality and needless deaths.  One name was the centre of the protests this week, George Floyd.

Discarded Ottawa protest signs, photo by Danno Saunt-Videoman Ottawa

The Parliamentary Protective Services released a statement that more than 7,000 people protested with very little disturbance.  That number is very impressive, they gathered, marched went down on their collective knees in an organized demonstration against racism.  They shared a collective voice in silence in that act.

I have friends who march in the demonstrations and many others who don’t. There is a common thread through my circle of friends though, we know we can all do something to make change take place.

I have run for office three times, each time I did because I felt that it was the best way, I could form change – with policy and legislation.  The process of good policy and legislation is not difficult; listening is pivotal as is understanding why and how good policy can lead to effective legislation.  

Today I work to research, investigate and understand how a policy has been helpful or a hindrance.  That leads to new policy, questions to ask the experts and an opinion that will form a solution that will become legislation.  Understand, that the entire last sentence does not include the rigour of debate, counter opinions and disagreements that take place to form the what is hopefully a key to good public policy.  This is how I can be effective in having good public policy. 

I didn’t walk in the protest in Ottawa.  I posted once on social media, on #BlackoutTuesday, regarding the injustices of the death of George Floyd and racism. I’ve seen posts from social media influencers who have chosen to post often and others that have posted very little.  I read one post that suggested that just because they didn’t post on the issue that they didn’t agree or support that cause. I understood where that person was coming from when they posted it and I supported them by liking the post.

If your means of protesting is walking, carrying some very creative signs then I support you.  If you choose words to protest, choose them wisely, select words that can go miles to making change effective and good, for your positive message will go further than anything negative can.  If you chose silence, then make the silence effective by listening. If you choose to question, ask questions that help you understand.  If you make your protests personal, act in a way that creates good.  If you teach, show kindness and when you act, make your parents proud.

Our global village is gathering its voice asking for change, there may be more turbulence as the change comes and is eventually achieved.  The turbulence will come out of frustration because those that NEED to hear haven’t. 

We all have a voice, use it as you must; chant loudly, pray silently, ponder wisely and write with profoundness.

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

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 http://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net