In 2003, Dalton McGuinty campaigned to save Ontario. David Orazietti campaigned to give Sault Ste. Marie better representation in Toronto. Both men won, both men have improved the lives of every citizen of Ontario. The record speaks for itself. Billions of dollars have been spent on jobs, on making Ontario a great place to live and a great place to work.
The Conservatives and the New Democrats, they are making this election a referendum on Premier Wynne and the Liberal Party. They are playing partisan politics. They rejected a good budget. Yes, this is a referendum on the Liberal Party. Yes, we will look at their record. The Liberals have done so much good for this province.
While the Liberals were in office, twenty three new hospitals have been built. 23. That's a lot of hospitals. Here in the Sault, the Sault Area Hospital has flourished under the Liberal government. The quality of care in this city has improved drastically. While the Conservatives were in power for eight years, between 1995-2003, they only built three hospitals. The New Democrats between 1990-1995, they built NONE.
Education. In Sault Ste. Marie, David Orazietti has delivered us 5 new schools. Five. And the Liberals have funded expansions and renovations for many more schools. It's incredible what we have been given here! The NDP, they cut teaching wages and increased class sizes, while building very few schools in Ontario. The Conservatives, they did even worse, they cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the education budget, and they closed hundreds of schools. The PC's say that they're committed to education? Their record shows otherwise.
The Premier of the Turks and Caicos is in Canada for a two day working visit with Parliamentarians and businessmen. The Premier of the British-controlled Caribbean Island even met with PM Harper. His territory and Canada have solid relations. Of course, there will always be a question where the Turks and Caicos are concerned: Will Canada ever claim the islands as its own?
The people of both Canada and the Turks and Caicos react quite positively to the idea of Canada annexing the islands. To Canadians, a tropical destination where one doesn't have to show his or her passport, that's a terrific idea. A Canadian vacation hotspot! I can imagine people deciding to sell their winter homes in Florida and buying a home on the shores of the Caribbean. According to recent opinion polls, 60% of Islanders and over 80% of Canadians support annexation.
There are, however, other options that don't include giving the Turks and Caicos islands the title of Province or Territory. Nova Scotia's legislature has already voted overwhelmingly in favor of inviting the islands to join their province should Canada be given control. On Twitter, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says that his province would be interested in taking over the Turks and Caicos. PEI Premier Robert Ghiz supports the idea.
When we have Canadian politicians seriously considering making a play to annex an overseas territory, we have to accept that the annexation of the Turks and Caicos could actually be more than just an idea. The people support it. Canada has a strong economic partnership with the T&C Islands. It's actually quite surprising that they're not using the Canadian dollar there. I predict that within a decade, our currency will be introduced to the people of the Islands.
Today news broke that the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China have signed a $400 billion gas deal. The gas will flow from Russia to China through a Gazprom pipeline built in Siberia. This deal is a clear sign that the Kremlin doesn't give a damn about sanctions from the western nations over the Ukraine crisis. The Russian Federation is looking to China. China and Russia, both countries that would love nothing more than to see the United States of America and her allies suffer.
NATO reports that Russia has not yet withdrawn any troops from their border with Ukraine, despite a vow from Vladimir Putin to pull the army out of the region. China has been accused of cyber-spying on US companies. As well, China is drilling an oil rig in Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. Both nations have also vetoed dozens of major western initiatives in the UN Security Council.
That's the word NASA uses to describe the melting ice in Antarctica. The ice is melting, and it appears that it's too late for the human race to do anything about that. Even if every driver in the world stopped using their cars for a whole year, the ice won't stop melting. The greenhouse gasses are too much. We've screwed up royally. Within the next decade, we will begin to notice sea levels rising. For us here in Sault Ste. Marie, we don't have to worry because we are far from the ocean. Geography is on our side. Thank God for that.
In Atlantic Canada and on the West coast and on the Northern coast as well, there will be consequences. Sea levels will rise. And while a couple of inches may not seem like that much of an increase to us, it actually is a significant problem. Flooding will be more common. Billions of dollars more in damage. All it takes is for a Category one hurricane or even a tropical storm to create waves, push all that water on land, and with a higher sea level, areas further from the ocean, usually safe from catastrophic floods, will be at risk.
Democracy, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."
Now, after reading the definition of democracy, let's examine the results of the Donetsk referendum held yesterday. So far, the results say that 90% of voters chose to secede from Ukraine. This does not mean that the region will join Russia. Another referendum will be held at a later date asking voters if they want to reunify with the Russian Federation.
90% in favor. 71.4% turnout. According to the Separatist regime. The regime that was not elected by the people of the region. This 'government' was created by force, not by democracy. Guns, not votes. We are in 2014. The violent takeover of a government should not be happening.
When the rebels set the referendum in place, the entire West (Europe, Canada and the US) decried it, arguing that the results would be illegitimate. Indeed, the results aren't legitimate at all. Reuters reports that some of the ballots arrived already pre-marked 'yes,' in favor of seperating from Ukraine. There are also news reports that some people voted multiple times.
When people vote more than once, and when ballots come to the polling stations already marked, that's not democracy. It's a farce. Democracy is when an election or referendum is held with blank ballots. People are only allowed one vote. It's unfortunate that the Russian Federation is even recognizing these results.
A year ago, Russia was a growing country, the economy was booming and the people were happy. Now, because of Russia's Soviet-style anti-democratic actions, they will continue to be punished.
This website, www.matthewfrankkot.ca, will be highlighting the beautiful nature and the cities of Northern Ontario. Click on the 'Photography' tab and prepare to be blown away. Our region is naturally gifted. Thousands of rivers and lakes, thousands of square miles of forests and many, many mountains. The wildlife is majestic. The cities are a blend of modern and historic, a perfect balance that guarantees your 100% satisfaction. Please enjoy the photographs that many talented people have taken, and if you have any pictures that you want to be spotlighted, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thousands of people read this website. If you choose to share your works of art with us, I absolutely will make sure that you are credited.
I sincerely hope that you all take some time to admire Northern Ontario's beauty. These pictures are breathtaking, and what you see will make you say "I want to go there. I want to see Northern Ontario."
Note: I'm now writing blogs for Sault Online, in addition to this website! My blog is called "MATTer of Opinion."
Eleven years ago, US President George W. Bush and the American congress ordered the invasion of Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein's regime was in posession of weapons of mass destruction. Canadian Prime Minister Chretien chose not to take part in the war, knowing that it would be pointless. A few Canadian troops did see the inside of Iraq, but they numbered in the dozens, not the thousands that were in Afghanistan, where a real war was being fought. The War in Afghanistan was absolutely necessary. September 11th, 2001. Canadians were killed in that attack too. We needed to destroy those responsible for killing innocent people. We succeeded. Afghanistan is a better place now.
When a leader sends their nation's army into another country, that is a difficult choice. Iraq was a colossal mistake, and Afghanistan was a show of force by the international community to the terrorists: If you kill innocent people, we will kill you.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist organization that has done so many terrible things. They are crawling through the Northern part of the country, destroying everything in their path. Almost a month ago, over 200 innocent young girls were kidnapped by the group. We are learning now that over 300 people were killed in a new attack. This organization needs to be annihilated.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced today that she and her party would not be supporting the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne. Which means that Ontario will be going to the polls in a few weeks.
This afternoon Ms. Wynne confirmed that she has asked Lieutenant Governor David Onley to dissolve the legislature. An election will take place on Thursday, June 12.
As things stand right now, the Liberals have 48 seats in the legislature, the Progressive Conservatives, led by Tim Hudak, have 37 seats, and the New Democrats have 21. Most polls show that the race is between the PC's and Liberals, with the NDP not too far behind in third place.
This election was almost certain to happen. The Liberals for years have been seen as a corrupt party. The cancellation of a gas plant in Southern Ontario has cost taxpayers over $1 billion and has turned many voters away from the Liberals.
Yesterday a court ruled that for the first time since 1999, Ontarian hunters will be able to hunt bears this Spring. The Spring Bear Hunt is coming back. Bears better watch out. Starting tomorrow. Thursday, May 1st, 2014. Numerous City Councils support the program. Our elected officials are endorsing the murder of innocent bears.
In April of 2012, I came across a bear myself. I was walking home from my friend's house, and I walked through the catwalk on Fields Square, into the forest around Grove Crescent. I heard the weirdest noise. It was a growl. Then, it appeared. A bear. A black bear. It was gorgeous. A true gift from nature. I walked towards it, ignoring the advice of countless people to "slowly back away from the bear." Yeah, no, I'm Matt Kot, I don't back away from anything. The bear looked at me. He and I were about ten meters away from each other. I could see his face so clearly. My heart melted. I seen his face for a total of three or four seconds.
He ran. Down the path, towards the Grove Crescent townhouse complex, where I could hear a bunch of the neighborhood kids playing outside. I knew that if the bear revealed itself to the children, there would be a panic. Luckily, the bear decided to go behind the townhouses, running along through the backyards. Nobody knew about the bear until I showed them pictures.
I ran along with the bear, knowing that the creatures could potentially be dangerous. I guessed that what I was following was a cub. But I sensed that his (or her) mother (or father) was nearby. I jumped over one big pile of bear poop, and seen that the bear entered the churchyard right near the townhouse complex. I prayed that no kids would see the bear. The kids liked to play in the churchyard all the time, it was a wide, open space. Perfect for a meeting area. But today, the bear was there, running into the gulley at the back of the churchyard. I continued following it.
In this day and age, people are addicted to technology. I can't put down my iPod. I need the music to soothe me. I need the wifi, I need to be connected to my Facebook friends, to my twitter followers, to this website. An overwhelming majority of people are the same way. People can't let go of their cell phones, their tablets, their iPods. Technology is a new obsession that we can't shake off. We're too far in.
Not even ten years ago, the world was a much different place. Kids climbed trees, built forts in the forests. My, how the world has changed.
Today, Parks Canada announced that Canada's National Parks would be getting WIFI HOTSPOTS. Yes, wifi in the wilderness. People go to these national parks to get AWAY from the stresses of work and technology. Good ol' fashioned tents and bonfires. Now, that's in jeopardy. Of course, many people can opt to not bring their cell phones or tablets or computers, but with the wifi hotspots coming to a park near you, the great outdoors won't be so great anymore. The hotspots, they're going to tempt people.
If I wave your favorite fatty food in your face, you'll eat it, even if you want to lose weight. Why? Because it's right in your face. Same with the wifi hotspots. Technology has invaded the last truly peaceful place people can go to be away from it.
Parks Canada made a very troubling choice. They chose to create distractions, people will be paying more attention to Facebook than to Canada's majestic landscapes. Disgusting.
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.