Celebrating Jim Flaherty

Jim’s untimely death five years ago today shocked many in Canada. For those of us who worked with and for him as a politician, we knew a person of unparalleled intelligence and ethics. We also knew him as a person of extraordinary grace!

For those of us who knew him well from Whitby, we were all so very anxious to see how well he performed while in politics and most especially for what he would do in life after politics. That’s why it’s so hard to comprehend a life so large cut so short.

I recall when I was a hospital administrator in Whitby and going through a particularly difficult time in 1997 because of a government mandated restructuring. The town was in a foul mood over the prospect of potentially losing its acute care services at the hospital. Jim came to my office and sat in the one chair I had for visitors and folded his arms, “Kealey”, he said, “hold fast! What you’re going through is the scourge of leadership. If you can’t handle this, you should get out! But I think you can handle this!” That advice has stuck with me throughout my career and I heed it often. Life can be difficult at times, but when the world has the benefit of advice like that from Jim Flaherty it makes things that are tough seem possible – and it’s simply a better place!

I had the opportunity in 2011 to host Jim for a fundraiser at my home in Mississauga. It was an interesting start to the evening because some trouble-making people in Mississauga had alerted media that the Minister of Finance was coming to my home and they assembled at the end of my driveway. When his car drove up, he stepped out, greeted them warmly and invited them into my home. As if knowing that they were intruding, they politely declined. Vintage Jim Flaherty – he was simply a better man!


Posted in Politics |

Responding to Bullying – A Perspective

In recognition of Pink Shirt Day – here is our perspective on anti-bullying that we co-authored in 2016. Sadly not much has happened in the way of any government legislation or regulation against bullying since then:


Posted in Health Care, Politics |

Video: Health advocates pushing for e-cigarette crackdown amid surge in teen vaping


Source: Global News, Simon Little and Nadia Stewart on February 27, 2019

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Health advocates in B.C. are calling for a crackdown on e-cigarettes in a bid to keep the devices out of the hands of teens.

The group, which includes the B.C. Lung Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, says recent data shows a surge in teen vaping habits.

It points to the latest U.S. National Youth Tobacco Survey, which found that the number of young people who said they had vaped within a 30-day period was up 78 per cent in 2018 from 2017.

A 2016-17 Canadian study found that about 10 per cent of students in grades 7 to 12 had used an e-cigarette within the last 30 days.

“When you have flavours in e-cigarettes like chocolate cherry, piña colada, birthday cake, those are definitely not the kind of flavourings we think an adult who is trying to quit would be using,” said Jack Boomer, director of the Clean Air Coalition.

The group says the permit process for selling tobacco products in B.C. is too easy and that the process to be able to sell vaping products — which have nicotine but no tobacco — is even easier.

“There seems to be research coming out which indicates that youth are four times more likely to start smoking combustible cigarettes if they start using e-cigarettes,” added Boomer.

The coalition is calling on the province to require tobacco and vape product retailers to pay permit application fees and annual renewal fees and also to cap the number of tobacco and vaping retail stores in the province.

It also wants to see the sale of tobacco and vaping products banned near schools or youth-oriented facilities, as the province does with alcohol and cannabis, as well as in stores with pharmacies.

However, advocates for the vaping industry say they’re open to working with health groups to keep the products away from kids — but no one has asked.

“We have never, never received one phone call from those organizations to say, ‘How can you work with us?’” said Marc Kealey with the Canadian Vaping Association.

“We’ve been very bullish on this with governments across Canada, that there needs to be a certification program with a third party, that our industry would commit and submit to, that says if you want to be in this business, you must know these kinds of things.”

Kealey said the association has been working with Health Canada and the province, advising both on changes that could help to restrict access for teens, but that, overall, they believe the current system to be robust.


Posted in Politics | Tagged |

Research and Analysis – Election Ontario 2018 (final summary)

Our final summary of Election 2018 Ontario:


Posted in Politics |

Has any other election been as strange as the 2018 Ontario General Election?

By Marc Kealey
Kealey & Associates

Given the run up to this election and the weirdness from each of the three main Party campaigns, I’d venture to say that there has not been an election this strange since the “Dooms Day Election” of 1917, when then Prime Minister Borden- fighting against Wilfrid Laurier tried to create a win by introducing the strangest of legislative initiatives. It backfired.

Sound familiar? In a sense, the Wynne Government took great pains to move the government so far to left with legislative and policies decisions that long-time Liberals scratched their heads wondering if this was really the Liberal Party anymore. The Budget in 2018 was likely the last straw for Wynne’s government, notwithstanding that her popularity had taken the biggest hit in polling history – the lowest at 12% – the promise of a balanced Budget was thrown to the curb so that the science experiment created by Wynne and her brain-trust to control the left of the political spectrum would pay dividends – they thought.

They could not have been further from reality.

Ontario is a centrist province. Always has been! The Party that controls the centre – or gravitates to it with policies invariably wins government and retains it.

voteSo, when Campaign 2018 in Ontario hit the hustings, the battle lines were drawn. The Wynne Liberals at the centre left – wallowing, the Horwath New Democrats at the far left and going even further left – shoring up their numbers, and the Ford Tories singularly holding the far right and staying there – in hope to swing the province back to some modicum of centrism.

Campaigns are about themes! Generally, few campaigns are won on the record of the government – they are always about hope and creating more hope. The Horwath campaign bounded out of the gates with a cheery, positive almost pitch perfect start and her polling numbers reflected that from the start. At the same time, the Ford campaign – if that’s what it could be called, was equally buoyant. The Progressive Conservatives chose not to have a campaign bus and focused most of the Party’s attention on Doug Ford and his “Help is on the way” slogan. It seemed to catch fire. That coupled with the “buck a beer” slogan seemed to generate support from voters looking for a break. Conversely, the Liberal campaign seemed to start off sluggishly. But at the debate – 2 weeks before election day, Wynne caught fire. She was stellar in the debate and won the contest – but her polling numbers didn’t move a bit. With the prospect of a pure blow out – meaning no seats – Wynne did the unimaginable – she quit the race! She did what no leader ever did in Ontario political history – retreated because she felt voters didn’t like her. When asked why the Party chose this course of action, pundits in her camp said it was designed to “free up” voters to vote their conscience – with the proviso that they vote strategically to ensure that Liberals (without Kathleen Wynne) would get elected and provide the kind of check and balance between the far-right Ford Tories and the far-left Horwath New Democrats.

The outcome, of course, is inevitable. The Liberals are excoriated and forced into political wilderness, the Tories assume Government and the New Democrats will form the Official Opposition. The next provincial election will be in 2022 – 4 years from today.

There are lessons to be learned for certain. Sorry – not sorry – doesn’t cut it! Voters demand authenticity and they want leaders who don’t operate in secret. The Liberals under Wynne may have started out as authentic but lost their appeal when they moved legislative initiatives that scared off even traditional Liberal supporters. She will go down in history as a very bad politician. The Progressive Conservative Party has a unique leader, but many talented people in the caucus from which the leader can choose to govern. The New Democrats may be Official Opposition and may need to take a lesson from their federal cousins on how best to stay there.

The new Government’s transition will be over the next month followed by a swearing in at Queen’s Park. It is the dawn of a new era in politics in Ontario and many more stories to follow. What a crazy campaign – what a strange time in Ontario politics. Stay tuned!

Click for a definitive analysis of Ontario’s election, or request at info@kealeyandassociates.com


Posted in Politics |

Video: The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario: Changing the Strategy

The Ontario Liberal Party has been in power at Queen’s Park for 15 years and Kathleen Wynne has been the premier for last 5, until now. Over the weekend, just days before the election, Wynne gave a concession speech and encouraged voters to elect either a PC or NDP minority government. The Agenda welcomes Kathleen Wynne to discuss that decision and why voters should still consider the Liberal platform.

Presented by Steve Paikin, The Agenda on June 4, 2018

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Premier Wynne Admits Defeat: The Thinking Behind It

This weekend, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, stepping ahead of her abysmal poll numbers, admitted defeat in Ontario’s 42nd general election. Wynne said that she would not be leading the province once the votes were tallied, but that party supporters should remain steadfast to prevent a PC or NDP majority government.

The Agenda gathers a panel to discuss what this surprise announcement means for an election only days away and the future of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Presented by Steve Paikin, The Agenda on June 4, 2018


Posted in Politics |

Liberals will do Better Next Week than Anyone Thinks


CP24 story: Liberals will hold more seats than expected
Broadcasted: May 30, 2018

 

 
Source: CP24 News
(click to open video in new window)
 


Posted in Politics |

Research and Analysis – Election Ontario 2018 (2nd edition)

Our second iteration of Election 2018 Ontario:


Posted in Politics |

Research and Analysis – Election Ontario 2018


Posted in Politics |

Cross Border Health: Launch of feasibility study in Surprise, Arizona

Former Canadian Prime Minister John N. Turner visited with students to discuss the importance of participation in democratic institutions.

photo gallery credit: Courtesy of the Dysart Unified School District
 
 


Posted in Events, Health Care, Slideshows | Tagged , |

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