Bell No Longer the Green for Guelph
In a bit of surprise election news, though not in the election we expected, Bob Bell has officially stepped down as the Green Party candidate for Guelph in the next federal election. Bell's reason is that he believes that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a spring election, which will conflict with the busiest time in Bell's bicycle-trailer manufacturing company.
“My business is seasonal — busy in spring and slow in fall,” Bell told the Guelph Mercury. “Originally it appeared as though we’d have a fall election and I was ready for that. But now an election is likely in the spring, and that’s not good timing for me.”
Bell continued to say that while the responsibilities of being a federal candidate were minimum outside of an election period, the 40-60 hour per week commitment would be too much for him in the event of a spring election. As for Bell's other job, the one that he's got to run for again in a few months anyway, he's still not sure if he's going to have another go at city council. “Some days I’m going to run again; some days I’m not. I just don’t know right now,” he said.
In an interesting side note, Bell's runner-up for the Green Party nomination was Russell Ott, is now running for Ward 1 city councillor, one of two seats currently held by Bell. As for the Greens, Bell expects a new nominee to be named before year's end, probably in the fall.
Just Take the Compliment
An article in the Guelph Mercury last week examined an unusual bit of bipartisanship:
Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman suggested [Liz] Sandals missed getting a cabinet position in favour of less-experienced politicians during Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle. “Liz Sandals, who has been an MPP for seven years, was once again passed over for cabinet by MPPs elected less than one year ago,” the Thornhill MPP wrote in a press release.
Sandals holds the position of parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, but I suppose it's always nice to be affirmed by others, especially in the esteemed opposition, that you've got potential to be more than a parliamentary assistant.
That wasn't all Shurman had to say about the cabinet shuffle. On CTV.ca, Shurman is quoted as saying that instead of overhauling his cabinet, Premier Dalton McGuinty opted for "cosmetic changes that won't provide any relief for taxpayers" with the creation of new ministers. "What he's doing for Ontario is acting like a speeding train -- going in the wrong direction," Shurman said. "And the two new faces represent an additional opportunity to tax and spend."
Still, one appreciates Shurman's sentiment, but you have to wonder what the idea behind it was. I know it seems unusual in modern politics for people to do things out of the goodness of their own heart, but maybe Shurman's just looking out for a colleague. “Liz Sandals has been toiling away ... for a very long time,” Shurman said in a telephone interview with the Mercury last Thursday. “She can take the compliment. Maybe she would have been a better choice.”
Nothing like bipartisan support. Weird.
In Special Occasion News…
So we’re going into the last couple of weekends of summer, and you might be looking for something to do. I believe there was something this coming weekend, what was that again? Oh yes, I believe it was The Top Freedom Day. A pair of young ladies from Guelph, Lindsay Webb and Andrea Crinklaw, are picking up the baton thrown down by Gwen Jacob, who won legal recognition for a woman’s right to walk around topless after the landmark 1996 Ontario Court of Appeals case. Jacob was charged after walking down the streets of Guelph without her shirt in 1991.
As for the official celebration, organizers Webb and Crinklaw call it “a step towards making it acceptable for a woman to be top free in public” and a chance to continue the effort to “desensitize the masses to the female breast.” The festivities begin at 2:30 pm in St. George’s Square and runs until 10 pm with music, speeches and, of course, body painting. For more information, check out the day’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=133537073352921&ref=search