Toronto's Port Authority gets some Conservative appointees

Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon announced some new appointments to the board of directors of the Toronto Port Authority

“Mr. Christopher M. Henley and Mr. Douglas Reid for terms of three years; Ms. Krista L. Scaldwell and Mr. Colin D. Watson for terms of two years; and Mr. Cameron J. Turner for a term of one year. “

According to Elections Canada:
Henley donated $1,000 to two Conservative candidates in the last election. In 2004, Henley donated about $450 to Toronto-area Conservative candidates. In 2005, Henley donated $500 to the Conservative Party.

Reid gave nothing in the last election but in 2004 he gave Liberal candidate (and Speaker of the House) Peter Milliken $250 and also gave the Conservative candidate that squared off against Milliken $150.  Reid is a Queen’s University professor but once “worked for a former Premier of Ontario and as a Chief of Staff to a provincial Cabinet Minister.” Who did Reid work for? It’s Friday night at 9 pm as I write this and I’d call the professor but that seems a bit obsessive … Anyone know who he worked for?

None of the other appointees donated any money to any candidates in the last two elections nor did they give any money to the Conservative party in 2005 or 2006, according to Elections Canada.  According to data published by the Conservatives, none of the appointees gave to Harper’s 2005 leadership campaign.

Doing some down-and-dirty searches of available online databases (again — it’s Friday night ) I can find no connections between Scaldwell, Watson, and Turner and any political parties. If you can, I’d love to hear about it.
UPDATE:Blogger James Calder puts the spotlight on Mr. Watson. Several others, including Toronto Mayor David Miller, have also viewed Watson's appointment in much the same way that Calder does.

Conservative statement on the nomination issue

Garth Turner, Colin Mayes, Mike Lake, Rob Anders, and Deepak Obhrai are all Conservative MPs who, though they were put into their current position in a general election less than seven months ago may all have to face what could be a tough nomination battle to earn the right to carry the Conservative banner in the next general election. Turner now believes he may carry the day (and do read the comments — real interesting).

Late today, Mike Donnison, the party’s executive director put out the following statement:

Conservative Party Nomination Process

August 16, 2006

Ottawa, Ontario

On June 18th, the National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada
pursuant to the Constitution of the Party adopted Nomination Rules and
Procedures to be in place for the next federal general election.  Those
Rules were sent to all 308 Conservative Electoral District Associations
across the country.

The Party clearly stated at that time, that unlike the Liberal Party, our
Party was committed to the principle that all ridings, including those held
by sitting Conservative Members of Parliament should be open for nomination
and that there was to be no automatic re-nomination of those sitting MP’s.

However, given that the Conservative government is in a minority situation,
and although the Prime Minister has stated our desire and commitment to the
continuance of our mandate in this Parliament, the Party has to be ready to
face a general election at any time.   In fact, the Liberals have even
announced that they have put in place a contingency plan to conduct their
current leadership vote on short notice if necessary.

Given those circumstances, it is imperative that all incumbent Conservative
MP’s concentrate their efforts on the business of the House of Commons and
their constituents, especially once the House resumes sitting on September
18th. Therefore, those duties and responsibilities should not be deflected
by efforts they might need to expend in regard to any potential nomination
contests.

Therefore, the Party has decided to open up the nomination process in most
of the incumbent held ridings in order for those nominations to be completed
prior to the resumption of the House in the middle of September.

This decision both meets the democratic requirements of our Party as
mandated by our Party Constitution and at the same time meets the
requirements of a responsible government in a minority Parliamentary
situation.

Michael D. Donison

Executive Director

Conservatives call for tax cuts; increased military spending

I start reporting on Canadian federal politics Monday. The reporters in the Parliamentary bureau at CTV National News have to cover all aspects of politics and the government but each has some specific beat responsibilities. Mine include the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) and the Supreme Court. For that reason, you’re likely to see more items here about those two institutions than others. You shouldn’t mistake the frequency of posts for an endorsement of either.
I hope the writings here will reflect what I think the core mission of any reporter on any beat ought to be and that is to bear witness.
So, with that preamble, let’s get to it.

Monte Solberg
, (left) the CPC Finance Critic, has published an open letter to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, setting out his party’s goals for the annual budget process and reminding Minister Goodale about some of the commitments the Liberal government agreed to in order to have the Speech from the Throne adopted.

. . . the Conservative Party of Canada believes that the time is now for a major assault on the key elements I have outlined in this letter—first, significant tax cuts for working Canadians; second, measures that will enhance business incentives to innovate and invest in Canada; and, finally a boost to the spending that you have promised to help bring Canada’s military to a more effective level. And, just as we argued during the last election campaign, we are confident that our finances can afford it.

The Conservatives are worried that the Liberals will increase program spending.
Mr. Solberg references a recent report by Don Drummond, the chief economist of TD Bank.
In that report, Mr. Drummond argues that “the tax burden on individuals must … be reduced.” In Mr. Drummond’s analysis, “we found that Canadian households indeed have cause for concern – their economic well being has not advanced for many years. This adds urgency to the need to bolster Canada’s lackluster productivity growth and serves as notice to Canadian governments to lighten the tax burden.”
Mr. Drummond’s is an influential voice in policy circles in Ottawa. That’s because, first, all chief economists at Canada’s big banks, including Mr. Drummond, are routinely consulted by top Bank of Canada and Ministry of Finance officials. Second, Mr. Drummond had a long career as a Finance Ministry official, rising to Assistant Deputy Minister in charge of the federal budget planning process.