Rally for Canada today!

Today, in 24 cities coast-to-coast-to-coast, Canadians will assemble at legislatures, city halls and other gathering locations to send a message to Ottawa.

They will let the Parliamentarians know that they are concerned about political games at a time of economic crisis and that the last thing Canada needs now is political instability. Many Canadians breathed a sigh of relief when the Governor General granted the Prime Minister a prorogation of Parliament. This is encouraging because the Minister of Finance will continue to tend to Canada’s books and there over the next 90 days at least, we’ll see a sound and stable political direction on the economic file.

I had no idea that RallyforCanada.ca would receive such a response. Since Monday, the website has received hundreds of thousands of hits and tens of thousands of people have signed up with their email addresses to indicate that they either want to organize or participate in a rally today. It is a grassroots movement; a couple of guys named Matt O’Brien and Ed Woolley started a Facebook event while I kicked off RallyforCanada.ca to draw as many people as possible to the somewhat bizarre idea of rallying for the status quo and against a threat to its stability. We want to rally for the democratic principles of Canada, to let Parliamentarians know that while they within their technical right to flip power at any time, doing so after a Prime Minister earns a mandate on the issue of the economic downturn lacks moral authority and is nothing but a cynical grab for power.

If you’re headed out to a rally today, I’d love to hear your story when you return. Drop me an email or put a comment in this thread. Rally participants will be twittering, youtubing and flickr-ing so hopefully we’ll have some content up soon.

Dress warm, stay safe and enjoy the day.

Former Liberal MP slams coalition, suggests Western separation

Simma Holt
Author / Lecturer / Broadcaster
Member: Canadian News Hall of Fame
Member: Order of Canada
Member: Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians
Member: Editorial Board: Beyond the Hill (CAFP)

The only way the three losers can get power is by total contempt of the Canadian voters–with this Coalition. They jeer and yell across the floor of the House of Commons charging Stephen Harper with only one motive–wanting to hold power. The only sound we hear across the miles is their hysterical demand for their own power–power none of them could get from the voters. Canada did not vote for Stephen Dion as the leader of this country.

I was a Liberal MP in the Government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau 1974-79. But there is no place in the Liberal Party of Canada for a true Grit. Nor is there a place for western Canadinans in this Insane Hysteria from the eternal losers–the NDP, the Bloc, and their chosen leader Stephen Dion — to succeed in this Contemptible Coup.

This cries out to us on the Pacific Rim: “if any part of Canada should separate it is British Columbia.

The contempt of the voters of Canada, and indifference to the economic and political crisis not only of Canada but the world, makes all of these power seekers unfit to service in the Nation’s Parliament…

Simma Holt

More cracks in the coalition?

GuelphMercury.com

OTTAWA — Frank Valeriote does not favour a coalition government and instead hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper can work toward rescuing the Canadian economy.

“I believe in working toward a solution, not working toward a coalition,” Guelph’s Liberal MP said Wednesday.

Valeriote added he does not believe a Liberal-NDP coalition, with support from the Bloc Quebecois, will unseat the Tories.

“I have given no thought to that,” Valeriote said when asked whether he saw himself in a cabinet role under such an arrangement. “I am not, frankly, anticipating moving into government.”

Liveblogging the PM’s address

6:59pm: PM’s address on Global delivered via Youtube!

7:00pm: Canadians selected the Conservatives on October 14th to bring Canada through the economic crisis

7:00pm: First points past intro are details of the Conservative economic measures.

7:01pm: January 27th will be a budget.  Additional measures there.

7:01pm: “We are consulting with the opposition [on the economy]”

7:02pm: “Instead of a new budget, they propose a coalition that includes a party that wants to break up the country.”

7:03pm: “This is a pivotal moment in our history”

7:04pm: “will use all legal means at our disposal to protect our democracy”

7:06pm: Media coverage: Bob Fife of CTV speculates that if the GG turns down the PM’s request to prorogue, the PM may resign creating urgency for the GG to appoint a new PM.

7:07pm: Craig Oliver upset there was no contrition in the PM’s speech.

7:15pm: Fife suggests Conservatives are actively trying to poach Liberal MPs or have them miss the confidence vote on Monday.

7:16pm: Peter Donolo slamming the PM on CTV.  CTV presents Donolo as a pollster instead of Jean Chretien’s former Director of Communications.

7:17pm: Fife complains that Dion’s hasn’t presented a tape to CTV yet.  Lloyd complains that network time is expensive.  They presumed that they’d be back to prime time television by now.  Fife reveals that Layton wanted equal time as part of the coalition.

7:25pm: CBC says that Dion’s tape delay shows poor communications by the Liberals.  Maybe Dion didn’t understand his own speech.

7:26pm: Liberal tape has a poor start.

7:27pm: Jeffrey Simpson’s global warming book on Dion’s bookshelf.

7:28pm: Dion mentions the Bloc and the Green party will support the Liberals (on issues of confidence – what?)

7:28pm: Dion: Consensus is a great Canadian value

7:29pm: “Rivals are working together elsewhere in the world.  Why not here?”

7:29pm: Dion messaging against possible prorogation.

7:30pm: Dion outlining a potential economic platform.

7:31pm: Dion moves past allotted network time.

7:32pm: Dion describes his letter to the GG.  Outlined his suggestion to her not to prorogue.  “If [Harper] is to suspend parliament, he must face a vote of confidence.”

7:32pm: Dion says he’ll work day and night on the economic crisis.

Here’s Prime Minister Harper’s speech

RallyforCanada.ca by the numbers

It is now just before 11am on Wednesday. Since I launched RallyforCanada.ca at 10am on Monday morning, the rallies have attracted a lot of attention.

After 48 hours, here are some stats:

127,149 hits on the website
20,400 people signed up with their email addresses (and province)
358 followers on twitter

I’ve done a lot of media on the rallies:
CBC: Don Newman’s Politics
CTV Alberta
CHCH
CBC: The National
Citytv

National Post
Le Devoir
La Presse
Metro News (Ottawa)
Canadian Press (CP)
Toronto Star
Hill Times

CHQR (2 hits)
CJAD
CFRB
CBC Winnipeg
CBC Montreal

On my Blackberry, I have 1121 unread emails.

I’ve received calls of support from across the country and a small trickle of hate mail.

Perhaps the most bizarre call I got was from a group calling themselves “les jeunes patriotes du Quebec”. They described themselves as a group of separatists that are against the Bloc joining the coalition and selling out to Stephane Dion. They wanted to know if they could rally with us.

“You want to rally? ‘for Canada’?” I asked.
“Uh, yes” they said.

How disgusting, I thought. This was hardly a group coming on side to support strengthening our country with rallies. I tried to tease as much information out of them as I could by sounding as if I was perhaps considering their ludicrous idea. I invited them to send me an email with their info and request so I could expose it here on the blog. They never did. Too bad.

I think that what bothers Canadians most about this crazy week in politics is the proposed coalition government’s association with the Bloc. If the rogue-faction from the separatists want to rally, they can have their own. As for the rest of the separatists, they can rally with the “Progressive Coalition” which is supporting the proposed NDP-Liberal-Bloc coalition government.

The role of the Bloc in the coalition government

Consider the following talking points from the Liberal Party website:

and consider this set also from the Liberal Party website:

The “Issue” from the first reads:

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, New Democrat Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe have agreed to form a cooperative government to address the impactof the global economic crisis on Canadians. The NDP will support this agreement until June 30, 2011.

and from the second, the issue reads:

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, New Democrat Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe today announced that an agreement has been reached among the
three opposition parties to support a cooperative government to address the impact of the global economic crisis on Canadians.

A subtle difference but it does concede that the Bloc Quebecois is part of this proposed coalition government.

The Liberals must be scrambling around this calming members of their own party. Yesterday, their website featured a picture of Dion, Layton and Duceppe at the signing ceremony to compliment their featured story on their homepage. The picture was quickly dropped for the image of the Canadian flag that is now displayed instead.

Coalition cracks?

Asked about the first thing he’d do as Prime Minister, Jack Layton in the English leader’s debate said that he’d roll back the $50 Billion corporate tax cut. That would have been his #1 priority. Now we learn that the Liberals won’t support this. Since Layton has supported this coalition, has he sold out his socialist roots? Or is it more likely that the proposed coalition wouldn’t be stable or agree upon much after mere weeks in power?

Announcing RallyforCanada.ca

In response to the madness that has occurred on Parliament Hill within the last week – the Conservatives announcing their economic statement, the Opposition foaming at the mouth over it, the revelation that this was all contrived as a NDP-Bloc plan to install a Liberal government was in the works for “a long time” and so on – RallyforCanada.ca has launched.

I for one think that while the opposition has the right to play their games, this is the wrong time for Canada. We just came through an election and the Prime Minister earned a mandate to lead Canada through the economic crisis. Do we really want the Bloc Quebecois dictating the terms of the next government? Do we want the NDP at the economic helm as people stand on the verge of losing their jobs across Canada?

I put together the website to support the grassroots efforts already underway to organize rallies in cities all across this great country. People who want Parliament to stop bickering and get back to work are joining up and spreading the word. Less than 1% of Canadians are members of political parties and most people think of politics for a full 7 seconds a week. The rest of Canada worries about their kids, their paycheque and their mortgage payment.

So, go join up at http://www.rallyforcanada.ca and if you can help organize or provide logistical support, please email me.

If you’re on Facebook, please donate your status update to include “http://www.rallyforcanada.ca”.

If you’re using Twitter, tweet using the hashtag #canadarally.

If you’re a talkshow radio host or producer, let’s get the word out.

We need to get Parliament back to work and provide political stability so that we can attain economic stability.