Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Canada, meet your new Tory MPs!

Given that we've won the election, there are a number of new Conservative MPs sitting in the House of Commons. Just for fun, here they are...

HAROLD ALBRECHT, MP for Kitchener-Contestoga, Ontario
MIKE ALLEN, MP for Tobique-Mactaquac, New Brunswick
JOHN BAIRD, MP for Ottawa West-Nepean, Ontario
MAXIME BERNIER, MP for Beauce, Quebec
JEAN-PIERRE BLACKBURN, MP for Jonquiere-Alma, Quebec
STEVEN BLANEY, MP for Levis-Bellechasse, Quebec
SYLVIE BOUCHER, MP for Beauport-Limoilou, Quebec
PATRICK BROWN, MP for Barrie, Ontario
ROD BRUINOOGE, MP for Winnipeg South, Manitoba
BLAINE CALKINS, MP for Wetaskiwin, Alberta
RON CANNAN, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, British Columbia
LAWRENCE CANNON, MP for Pontiac, Quebec
TONY CLEMENT, MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ontario
PATRICIA DAVIDSON, MP for Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario
DEAN DEL MASTRO, MP for Peterborough, Ontario
RICK DYKSTRA, MP for St. Catharines, Ontario
ED FAST, MP for Abbotsford, British Columbia
JIM FLAHERTY, MP for Whitby-Oshawa, Ontario
ROYAL GALIPEAU, MP for Ottawa-Orleans, Ontario
JACQUES GOURDE, MP for Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere, Quebec
LUC HARVEY, MP for Louis-Hebert, Quebec
LAURIE HAWN, MP for Edmonton Centre, Alberta
MIKE LAKE, MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont, Alberta
PIERRE LEMIEUX, MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Ontario
FABIAN MANNING, MP for Avalon, Newfoundland and Labrador
COLIN MAYES, MP for Okanagan-Shuswap, British Columbia
RICK NORLOCK, MP for Northumberland-Quinte West, Ontario
CHRISTIAN PARADIS, MP for Megantic-L'Erable, Quebec
DANIEL PETIT, MP for Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, Quebec
BEV SHIPLEY, MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Ontario
BRUCE STANTON, MP for Simcoe North, Ontario
BRIAN STORSETH, MP for Westlock-St. Paul, Alberta
DAVID SWEET, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, Ontario
GARTH TURNER, MP for Halton, Ontario
DAVE VAN KESTEREN, MP for Chatham-Kent-Essex, Ontario
JOSEE VERNER, MP for Louis-Saint-Laurent, Quebec
MIKE WALLACE, MP for Burlington, Ontario
CHRIS WARKENTIN, MP for Peace River, Alberta

Good luck to all our new MPs!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Flies. Dropping. You get the idea...

The Liberal leadership race is fast becoming notable for who ISN'T running rather than who is. So far its seen John Manley and Frank McKenna take a pass (these two were, in my mind, the most credible prospects).

Barring some kind of unknown dark horse, the not-yet-begun Liberal leadership race has been reduced to a rump of flip-floppers and snake oil salesmen.

Although with two big competitors out of the way, I suspect this guy is pretty happy...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Old dogs and new tricks

I'm writing this from Gate 12 at Edmonton International Airport.

Amongst other things, I was in town for this year's U of A Model Parliament where I had the pleasure to serve as the Minister of Transport.

Between BC and Alberta, this is my 10th Model Parliament but my first as Government. It was a great experience for the Conservative caucus, finally getting to say our piece on how we want to see this country run with some authority.

The Liberals, though, seemed absolutely beside themselves. Apparently, the Canadians who voted for us are complete morons and will soon see the error of their ways. They got even more surly when it became very apparent that we knew what we were talking about when answering questions.

I know after 12 years in Government, the Liberals are a bit rusty at this whole opposition thing.

They should practice up, though... methinks they're going to be there for a LONG time.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Same old song?

Premier Klein has people talking about his plans for private health care or "the third way" once again.

I'm not going to comment on the idea of the third way yet. We've heard this chest-thumping before and nothing ever seems to really change in its wake.

What I will say, though, is that it was very thankful that the Premier chose to wait until after the federal election before making this announcement.

Another mid-election intrusion on the conservative media cycle would have been devastating for more than just the federal Conservative party.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yet more proof...

... that Al Gore is a moron.

At the Sundance Film Festival, he suggested that the Canadian election was partly about the oilsands in Alberta. He also accused Prime Minister Harper of having a pro-oil agenda which would move him much closer to President Bush's administration.

Now i'm all for better relations with the Americans, but the Former US Vice President is clearly trying to suggest that we're going to be nothing more than a puppet state.

Which is an argument I think some people actually bought. That is, until they saw THIS.

Prime Minister Harper is obviously sending out the clear signal early in his mandate that, while we are certainly going to work more closely with the Americans, we are not going to give up our sovereignty simply because they choose not to recognize it on occaision.

As for the election being about oilsands, that's ridiculous. Most people in Ontario and Quebec are as clueless about the oilsands (or Alberta in general) as the Americans are.

The fact that he thinks we have that kind of influence is flattering, but its also dead wrong.

An entirely different election...

If you believe in the Middle East Peace Process, THIS should scare the living bejesus out of you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Blog: Day 1, New Canada: Day 2

Welcome to my new blog!

Some of you will remember this forum formerly hosted on www.blakerobert.com. I've let the website lapse, pending some redevelopment. In the meantime, I thought this was the best way to keep my e-commentary going.

So Monday night was a pretty good one for me, as you can imagine. Its been 12 long years since Canada has had a Conservative government, and I couldn't be prouder of the one that Prime Minister Harper is about to lead.

As you can imagine, there is simply too much to comment on vis-a-vis this election. But I will let you know what I did on e-night, then some various bits and pieces.

For the first time since the 1997 election (when I was in the 10th grade), I spent Election Day doing something other than Get Out The Vote for a campaign. I wasn't involved at all in the campaign here in Fort McMurray-Athabasca, so I hopped on the plane to Edmonton after work to partake in what I hoped would be a victory party for Laurie Hawn in Edmonton Centre.

Laurie and his team are people I have the highest degree of respect and admiration for. They are dedicated, thoroughly professional, highly skilled, and very personable. When I run, I would be fortunate to have a team like Laurie's.

Anyway, I finally arrived at the Hawn HQ at about 9pm on Monday and walked into a veritable who's who of conservative politics in Edmonton and Northern Alberta. Among the crowd were provincial Ministers Dave Hancock, Lyle Oberg and Ed Stelmach, former Edmonton Councillor Wendy Kinsella, longtime organizer Hal Danchilla, Mark Norris' right hand man Tim Shipton, party stalwart Louise Hayes, and the list goes on.

Hal and a lovely reporter from SRC (French CBC) recognized me and, more importantly to them, that I was bilingual. 2 minutes after walking in the door, I was in front of a camera and a microphone giving the party spin en francais.

The rest of the night is, as they say, history. Laurie Hawn was elected as the new MP for Edmonton Centre with a margin greater than all of Anne McLellan's previous margins combined.

Onto some odds and ends that I found interesting on E-night...

Laurie Hawn in Edmonton Centre

John Capobianco in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. He would have been a much better MP than Ignatieff, and he's the kind of person you wish we'd see more of in politics.

Belinda. Although it was somewhat satisfying to watch her cry during an acceptance speech, it pains me to think that her voters reward blatant opportunism.

Royal Galipeau in Ottawa-Orleans. Of all of the seats in Eastern Ontario I pegged for us to win, this wasn't one of them.

Cindy Silver in North Vancouver. All my spidey-senses told me we were going to get this seat back, i'm not sure how Don Bell hung on.

Blair Wilson in West Vancouver. Same deal as North Vancouver, I figured we'd keep Reynolds old seat on the North Shore.

Reg Alcock in Winnipeg South. I didn't think Manitoba would change at all, with the exception of Churchill. Not that i'm dissapointed, Reg Alcock sure got what was coming to him.

Irene Mathyssen in London-Fanshawe. I suppose this shouldn't surprise me, she was once the NDP MPP for the area. Again, the spidey senses failed me.

Svend Robinson in Vancouver Centre. Hedy Fry has been a waste of space in Ottawa for 12 years, and she's embarrassed the people who vote for her with some of the statements she's made. Granted, Svend has a lot of baggage of his own, but I thought Van Centre would have chosen him over Fry.

None. I frankly thought they'd do better... although i'm not dissapointed to see them falter one bit.

Richard Marceau in Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles. Marceau was a rising star in the Bloc Quebecois... young, talented, and very articulate in both French and English, he was one of the BQ poster boys and certainly the most frequent Bloc commentator in the English media. What's more is that he lost to a Conservative.

I realize that was far longer than a blog posting should be, but I had some catching up to do.

Thanks for stopping by!