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All In Hand

January Supper Club!

Miss Vicky Mon Jan 12, 2009

The next Hintonburg Supper Club event will be held at Hino's, a great Japanese fusion restaurant at 1013 Wellington West. .

It takes place on Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30pm.

If you are interested in attending, or have any questions, please do not contact the restaurant directly. Instead, send an e-mail to supper@hintonburg.com or leave a message at (613) 798-7987. Reservations will be accepted until January 20th on a first-come, first-served basis.

Try the steak Hino's style. Yum!

Ice Time

Miss Vicky Sun Jan 11, 2009

Kudos to the folks who maintain the Fairmont Park skating rink. We walked over in the brilliant sun today to give G some ice time. He is doing really well on his bobskates, but we were finding the Canal a little too much - he was so enthralled with watching people skate by, he would not want to leave. No matter how tired he was, he'd cry and cry and cry all the way home.

Turns out, it's the skating he loves. Because we had the same reaction when we left Fairmont today!
Poor G

The ice was lovely there - nice and smooth. There's a rink with nets and a second for skating, built around a fantastic old tree.
Fairmont Park
Great work, Fairmont folk!

No means...

Miss Vicky Fri Jan 9, 2009

...get back to the table and negotiate!

So the ATU has rejected the city's final offer by a margin of three to one (nice try by Mayor Larry to fudge the numbers on the radio this morning, counting those absent as no votes.... sorry, Mr Mayor but no matter which way you count it, a strong majority of members said no.) Now it's time for the city to do what it should have been doing since this strike began: sitting down at the table and negotiating in good faith. Time to let go of the delusion that you can "hold firm" to a position that requires the workers to give up the rights they have already negotiated.

But what incensed me the most about Larry's statement was the news that council won't be meeting until Wednesday to discuss what to do next. Wednesday! Almost a full week!

I listened to Council's rhetoric after their meeting on Tuesday and wondered if their Plan B was really just allowing cars on the transitway and giving taxi chits to vulnerable Ottawans. I figured they had discussed their response to a rejection in the in camera session but were keeping mum about it in public for strategic reasons, until after the vote. I guess I overestimated them. Won't be doing that again!

Can there really be a whole council full of people who don't understand that collective bargaining means you, um, bargain? Give-and-take? Find an acceptable compromise? Do they really intend to continue to hold the city hostage over the scheduling issue? The union was willing to send it to arbitration or conduct a separate round of talks focusing on that issue alone, agreeing on everything else and ending the strike in the meantime. But oh no, Mayor Larry and his council wanted the members to have their say. Well, they've had their say. And they've said no. So let's shelve the egos and do some real negotiating, shall we?

And as for the union, Miss Vicky doesn't want to leave them out. They need to start communicating their message more effectively to the public. If Andre Cornellier isn't a good spokesman (and he's not), then find someone who can do the job, give them a title and the authority to speak and get them out in front of the cameras and on the airwaves. It's not a good idea to refuse media requests when you're in strike. The scheduling issue is complicated and the union needs to explain to the public why this is so important to their members.


One Member, One Vote

Miss Vicky Sat Jan 3, 2009

Here in Ottawa, it's easy to ignore provincial politics - especially when local and federal politics is so darned interesting. What with coalition governments-in-waiting and prorogation and transit strikes and a mayor about to go to jail, who's paying attention to the goings-on at Queen's Park? Goings-on like, say, the leadership contest in the Ontario NDP.

The deadline for nominations has passed and four current Members of Provincial Parliament are running: Gilles Bisson, Andrea Horwath, Michael Prue & Peter Tabuns. The vote takes place on March 7 at a leadership convention in Hamilton - but every Ontario NDP member gets a vote, whether they do it at convention, by phone, by internet or by regular mail. This "One Member, One Vote" system replaces the old system of having leaders chosen by convention delegates, and it's the first time every ONDP member has had a chance to vote for the next leader.

Trick is, the deadline for new or renewed memberships is Monday, January 5 at 5pm. So if you've ever contemplated taking the step of joining a political party and you feel the NDP reflects your values(or maybe you let your membership slide, for whatever reason), what better reason to take the plunge than helping determine who will carry these values forward in the next election?

Click here to join online.

I know, I know, Miss Vicky doesn't wear her partisan hat very much on the blog (not even during elections). But this is a unique opportunity, so you'll have to bear with me. And while I'm going all partisan on you, I'm going to take an even bigger step and endorse a candidate: Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath.

Miss Vicky has known Andrea since 1996, the early days of the Harris government, when Andrea was a community organizer and the co-chair of the Hamilton Days of Action, and Miss Vicky was involved in the Canadian Federation of Students and the Ontario Coalition for Social Justice. Andrea has got a ton of energy and drive, is a great listener, and knows that the party can only succeed with an engaged and mobilized grassroots. I think she'd bring a fresh approach to leadership that the NDP (in my opinion) desperately needs.

But you don't have to take my word for it. There are debates taking place across the province in the coming weeks, including one here in Ottawa on January 31. You'll be able to compare the different candidates, listen to their ideas, and pick the person you want... after all, every member gets a vote!

Speaking of membership, here's that link again. Remember that your membership needs to be in by 5pm on Monday January 5!

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