The Twelve Wastes of Christmas

While the newest Conservative Senator Larry Smith complains about having to take a pay cut in order to sit in the upper house (he's also opportunistically planning to resign from the seat soon in order to run for the House in West Montreal), here's a great Liberal list of the Twelve Wastes of Christmas.

Remember that as the holidays are near, and instead of you getting to have some more of your tax money in your pocket to buy gifts, or services being provided to those who unfortunately have hard times during the holidays, John Baird and his backroom buddies wasted your tax money on careless vanity projects like these:

“Everyone’s giving out money. We’re spending like it’s Christmas.”
Conservative MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Nov. 9, 2010)
1) A fake lake and pavilion to house it in – Although Lake Ontario was less than a kilometer away from the G20 summit, the Conservatives spent $2 million building a temporary fake Muskoka lake for journalists to lounge beside.

2) Thousands and thousands of glow sticks — Although Public Safety Minister Vic Toews claims he doesn’t know what a glowstick is, he oversaw the purchase of $14,049 worth of them for use over the course of one June weekend.

3) A tiny wooden lighthouse — While the Conservatives were pushing a plan to sell off some of Canada’s iconic lighthouses, such as the one at Peggy’s Cove, they were busy building a fake wooden lighthouse, safely land-locked, deep in Industry Minister Tony Clement’s riding.

4) A puddle of water — This $20,000 puddle of water was briefly an ice sculpture on display at the G20 summit in Toronto.

5) Personalized fortune cookies – Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he didn’t buy them, but that doesn’t explain his department’s $429.95 receipt for personalized fortune cookies.

6) Steam Boat Tony’s S.S. Bigwin — Tony Clement, wanting to spiff up his riding and impress some visiting international dignitaries, spent $380,000 fixing up a steamboat that launched two months after the dignitaries had left the country.

7) Party like it’s 1999 – Stephen Harper personally authorized the purchase of $7,400 worth of “refreshments” for a meeting thrown at a posh hotel across the street from the Prime Minister’s Office.

8) Expensive speeches – James Moore paid a speech writer $26,825.24 for one month’s work. That’s $500 more than the Prime Minister makes in a month.

9) Expensive press releases — Taxpayers paid a consultant $3,400 to draft and send out two press releases for Via Rail. After Via paid what amounts to about $2.62 for each word the consultant typed, Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro hired him.

10) Buying ad space on explicit sites — The Conservatives pride themselves on overseeing every single aspect of the entire government’s communications strategy. Part of that strategy was advertising the Government of Canada on explicit websites. Reverend Charles McVety called the move “pretty outrageous,” and suggested that the Conservatives shouldn’t be using tax dollars to advertise on websites that “may contain child pornography.”

11) Unexpected moving costs — Bickering inside the Conservative Cabinet and their poor treatment of one of Canada’s strategic allies got the Canadian Forces kicked out of Camp Mirage in the UAE with just 30 days notice. The moving bill is estimated to be $300 million.

12) A monument to commemorate government spending — Mr. Clement, perhaps worried that Canadians might forget that his government has been spending like its Christmas, erected a permanent brass plaque in North Bay to do nothing more than commemorate government spending. A photo to the plaque commemorating the year the Conservatives spent, ‘Spending like it’s Christmas,’ is below.

See the Liberal link for the photos mentioned.

Harper government leaves students out in the cold

Good words from the Liberal Party on how the priorities of the Conservatives are hurting students. Ottawa West-Nepean has thousands of post-secondary students living in the riding, from the in-riding Algonquin College to students attending Carleton, the University of Ottawa, St. Paul's, in addition to the thousands of soon to be post-secondary students attending high schools in the riding. The MP for Ottawa West-Nepean needs to be a champion for youth and students, not backroom political interests like John Baird.

Rather than shifting the $121 million left over from the Millennium Scholarship Foundation to help students struggling with enormous debt and rising tuition costs, the Harper government has hawked the money away while they struggle to pay for their skewed priorities, Liberal MPs said today.

“They are stealing this huge sum of money from students who desperately need it to help pay for their tax cuts for wealthy corporations and their untendered fighter jets,” said Liberal Human Resources Critic Mike Savage.

“Once again, we see a government completely out of touch with the needs of Canadian families, just as they were when they secretly cut Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) pension payments from low-income seniors.”

Reports today claim that the $121 million recovered by the Treasury Board when the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation closed its doors last July has gone unaccounted for in government coffers. Created in 1998, the fund was a 10-year program designed to lower financial and social barriers to post-secondary education and to encourage student achievement.

“Students are drowning in debt and tuition keeps rising. This money could have been used to help nearly 40,000 more students attend post-secondary education, but instead we have a government who thinks spending billions of dollars on mega-prisons and untendered fighter jets is what Canadians want,” said Mr. Savage.

According to Statistics Canada, average undergraduate tuition this year rose to $5,138 – a nearly $1,000 increase in just the last five years – with graduate tuition rising at a 6% faster pace than undergraduate tuition. As well, one in three student borrowers do not receive enough aid through the student loan system to offset their education costs – and this is happening at the same time as student unemployment is nearly double the general unemployment rate.

“The Conservatives have consistently cut funding to essential learning programs at a time when investing in higher learning is critical,” Liberal Industry, Science and Technology Critic Marc Garneau said. “Stephen Harper’s ideology constantly gets in the way of real progress for the future, where education today is needed if we are to create the jobs of tomorrow.

“Liberals understand that the more educated our population is, the better Canada’s economy will be.”

The Liberal Party’s pan-Canadian learning strategy is a plan to create jobs and a highly skilled workforce by helping more students attend post-secondary school, no matter their financial situation. It also includes investments in early childhood education, improvements in Aboriginal education, workforce literacy, 100% high-speed internet connectivity for distance learning, language training for New Canadians, and access to skills training.

Tories don't care about Status of Women: Hill Times Poll

The Hill Times Poll is out, which asks MP's, staffers, lobbyists, academics, and others various questions about the state of Canadian politics. One question and answer is particularly telling about the priorities of the Conservatives:

Which House and/or Senate committees are a complete waste of time?

None 18.6%

House Status of Women 14.6%

...Those who were keen to choose a committee they just can't stand said the House Status of Women Committee, chaired by Liberal Hedy Fry is considered a waste. The committee was discounted almost exclusively by Conservatives...

A female Liberal MP said Conservatives "despise and ignore it so obviously."

Women, and all citizens of Ottawa West-Nepean deserve better.

"..the Conservatives think they can get away with it at the ballot box because youth don't care. Tonight, you've shown that you do care!"

Some great words from a great candidate! The Youth Voices Youth Choices event was a tremendous success, with a wonderfully diverse crowd demonstrating the full multicultural nature of the riding, and of course, plenty of youth were around supporting Anita. Anita and our special guest, Justin Trudeau, both spoke about the need for youth to get engaged and be active. We've got a strong youth team to take on John Baird! One line from Anita's speech particularly resonated with the room, from which I've drawn the title of this post from.

"We've seen the highest youth unemployment rates on record. And Mr. Baird, Mr. Harper, and the Conservatives think they can get away with it at the ballot box because youth don't care. Tonight, you've shown that you do care."

Great stuff, that really puts the mishandling of the economy by the Conservatives into a youth perspective.

Youth Voices Youth Choices event with Justin Trudeau TONIGHT!

The Youth Voices Youth Choices event is tonight! Please join the Anita Vandenbeld for Ottawa West-Nepean team and our special guest Justin Trudeau tonight! We'll have great live music, great food, and of course, lots of great Liberals! For those in Ottawa, the venue is pretty easy to get to from downtown, so we hope to see you all come out for our great candidate, Anita Vandenbeld!

Anita Vandenbeld and Young Liberals standing up for the environment

Last Wednesday, Anita Vandenbeld and many youth from the Anita Vandenbeld campaign attended a roundtable co-hosted by the Ottawa-Vanier Federal Liberal and the University of Ottawa Young Liberals. Gerard Kennedy, Liberal Party critic for the Environment led a vibrant and enlightening discussion about Environmental and Water Policy with the 20 or so Young Liberals and a few young-at-heart Liberals.

It was great to see Liberals talking about environmental policy, as the Harper Conservatives throw caution to the wind when it comes to climate change and any form of eco-consciousness, citing conflicts with economic and fiscal policy. As, the Conservative MP Steven Fletcher, so emphatically and wrongfully asserted: "Bill C-311 would have destroyed the Canadian economy". Fact? Absolutely not. There have been three separate reputable studies (that I know about), that in fact, totally disprove his stubborn and narrow-minded hypothesis. Their main points are summarized below with links to the reports:

  • Main point: ANY delay on climate change action would be dangerous and more costly

  • Main point: there are efficient, effective and equitable resources to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies within a global agreement

  • Main point: key economic indicator trajectories are followed under three possible scenarios, and economic growth is predicted in each scenario except for "business as usual" (i.e. inaction on climate change, as is the case for this Regressive Conservative government)

This is exactly the kind of proof and substance that the Liberal Party must use to counteract the myth of the dichotomy between the economy and ecology. The Conservatives have been successful in demonizing environmental policies as having negative effects on the economy - asking the questions,

"Do you want jobs? Do you want to be able to continue to put food on the table, keep your money in your pocket and a roof over your head?"

The Liberal Party of Canada fundamentally opposes the current Conservative government's priorities when it comes to the environment and the way that environmental/climate change policies and legislation are portrayed as antagonistic to jobs, employment, and the economy. In Ottawa West-Nepean we will fight this opinion and give the riding constituents another option, and provide them with a third choice to the question of priorities:

"Do you want a Liberal MP (Anita Vandenbeld) and a Liberal government that offers a BALANCE between the economy and the environment? Do you want positive and effective environmental and climate change legislation that actually enhances and betters the economy?"

The talk around the table was particularly interesting for me as a former YLC/JLC delegate to COP15, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change last year that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Twenty-five or so Young Liberals from across Canada ventured across the Atlantic ocean to participate in the global discussions about what we should collectively do about climate change.

John Baird, the part-time Minister of the Environment, is actually traveling to Cancun for the talks, but all his talking will only add more hot air and set Canada's record back even more. Already, on Day 1 of the conference Canada won all 3 Fossil of the Day Awards and should also have been co-conspirators with Japan on Day 2 for their cooperation on killing further progress of the Kyoto Protocol.

Luckily for us, the Liberal Party is also attending the conference this year as part of the international delegation IFLRY and Gerard Kennedy and the Young Liberals of Canada will be in Cancun to show the rest of the world and the media that Liberals are not just there to criticize; we are there to show that Liberals have quite a different perspective on climate change action - do something - compared to the inaction strategy proposed by people like John Baird. The YLC and Gerard Kennedy are there to collectively represent another option to Canadians and to say that the current government does not represent Canadian opinions and priorities on climate change action.

The Liberal Party is talking seriously about our carbon footprint - we wear size 21 shoes (in terms of tonnes of CO2 emissions/year as a resident), not including travel and energy production! The mantra we are now talking about is sustainable development - whether its looking at the rate of change in the Oil Sands or re-examining the Species At Risk Act, the Liberal Party is set on valuing our natural capital with the goods and services it provides, and making sure that market values reflect not only the practical and economic value, but the innate, emotional and recreational value of nature.

This makes me a very content member of the Liberal Party and happy to be part of a team that is willing to address the important issues, such as climate change, and talk about real solutions.

Follow the great Young Liberal team in Cancun, Mexico:

Thank you so much!

With your help, Anita Vandenbeld was nominated as the Liberal candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean for the next election to take on John Baird!

It was a great youth effort, and we couldn't have done it without you. I have been honoured to serve as youth chair for a campaign with such a great positive message, fantastic candidate, and eager volunteers. I can honestly say this would not have been possible without the help of all the great youth volunteers we have had.

You showed that you want to change the path this country is going down. Taking it off a road where independent voices are muzzled, where the needs of women and youth are ignored, and where big issues like the environment and an innovative economy are pushed to the back burner in favour of more Tory talking points. With your continued help, we can make Ottawa West-Nepean a Liberal riding, and elect a progressive, inclusive government!

Looking forward to seeing you all again on the campaign trail!

Hillary Buchan-Terrell
Youth Chair



We've come so far in this campaign. Together as youth, we've built a strong youth campaign to help elect a champion for Ottawa West-Nepean. Anita has done an excellent job at engaging youth from across Ottawa to play a role in her campaign, and with just one final push, we can put her over the top!

I'm so excited and honoured as youth chair for the campaign to have met so many energetic and active youth, we've added real passion to the campaign, and we will play a crucial role today.

Don't forget the meeting takes place at St. Paul's High School, 2675 Draper Ave, starting at 1 pm. Looking forward to seeing all of you!

Hillary Buchan-Terrell
Youth Chair, Anita Vandenbeld Campaign

Top 10 reasons to support Anita Vandenbeld for Ottawa West-Nepean

With the nomination coming up tomorrow, here are 10 reasons why I think she deserves to win the Liberal nomination.

10. She has been a dedicated Liberal for decades, including being an active Young Liberal, serving as president of the University of Calgary Young Liberal club.

9. Her experience with the United Nations and other international organizations to promote women's rights and protect democratic institutions across the world.

8. An experienced political campaigner, Anita will run a strong campaign by listening to the people of Ottawa West-Nepean and taking on the backwards and drifting Baird Conservatives.

7. Anita will deliver for her riding, compared with "Two jobs John" who is busy defending his government's indefensible record on the environment.

6. She understands the importance of our democratic institutions and knows that Canadians can't have good government without an independent public service.

5. She has a great youth team behind her, of course!

4. After 4 years of attack-dog Baird, the people of Ottawa West-Nepean deserve an MP who will stand up for the real people, not attack any dissent on government.

3. She's ran an open and positive campaign, engaging with the membership and embracing the full diversity of the riding.

2. She's practicing what she's preached - after a career of helping encourage women across the world run for elected office, she's taking the plunge herself. We need more strong, experienced female candidates like Anita!

1. She's been a champion at getting youth engaged in politics, with young people across Ottawa being drawn to her campaign to win back Ottawa West-Nepean and build a progressive government.

Un autre fort engagement envers Anita!

J'ai rencontré Mme Anita Vandenbeld il y a quelques semaines et j'ai eu l’opportunité de l'entendre et d'apprécier sa vision politique et sociale des grands enjeux qui nous confrontent. Dans ces temps troubles ou dans chaque pays les questions d'intégrité reviennent constamment, lorsque l'on parle de politique, il est rassurant que des personnes comme Anita veuille s'impliquer activement. Anita a une feuille de route impressionnante étant une experte en développement démocratique et en défense des droits des femmes. Mais au delà de tout c'est une femme d'honneur et de convictions qui, si elle est choisie, représentera les citoyens d’Ottawa-Ouest--Nepean avec honneur et dignité.

Francis Bertrand-Lafreniere

Positive energy

I've worked on over two dozen campaigns in my time as a Young Liberal, but I would place a select few as holding a dear place in my heart, where I knew without a doubt that I was supporting the right candidate, with the right experience, and the right energy to be elected to office. Anita Vandenbeld's campaign for the Liberal Party of Canada Ottawa West-Nepean nomination is one of those campaigns.

Political campaigns are not the easiest things in the world, folks, particularly when you get to a point where you not only want to help out, but actively play a leadership role. But when you find a candidate who you know deep down you need to help, because they would be a valuable addition to Canadian democracy, suddenly things become a lot easier. Speaking as a grizzled political vet at the age of 22, it has been inspiring to see some many youth get involved with Anita's campaign. For many of them, it is the first political campaign they have ever been involved with, and I cannot think of a better campaign to be involved with. The youth who have been involved with our campaign have gained valuable political experience, and most importantly, been inspired by a candidate who not only talks about building a better Canada, and a better world, but has walked the walk, fighting for democratic institutions and women's rights across the world.

On November 28th, I look forward to helping out, alongside all my fellow youth who have supported Anita's campaign, a real champion for youth engagement and involvement, the next Liberal MP for Ottawa West-Nepean, Anita Vandenbeld.

Another great female Liberal Ottawa-area candidate!/pages/Karen-McCrimmon/324070040947

Karen McCrimmon is the Liberal candidate for the riding of Carleton-Mississipi Mills, and she has been increasing her social media profile lately, so we thought we'd highlight another great female candidate running for the Liberals in the Ottawa area.

Karen is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Canadian Forces and was the first woman ever to command a Canadian Forces airforce squadron. She served as Commanding Officer of 429 Squadron, which flew tactical transport C130 Hercules based in Trenton, carrying out many humanitarian and military operations around the globe.

Karen served in many operational theatres including the first Gulf War, the Balkans and a tour in Afghanistan. In 1995, Karen was awarded the Order of Military Merit (OMM), which is among the highest peace time military awards, given in recognition of distinctive merit and exceptional service.

Karen is also a small business owner and has been an active volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Show some support for Karen by liking her on Facebook!

And don't forget to link Anita on Facebook, we're so close to 300 likes!!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455

Fantastic post from University of Ottawa Equal Voice chapter on Anita!

Thanks so much to the U of O Equal Voice Chapter for naming Anita the woman of the month! Anita has a long personal and professional history promoting democratic institutions and women's rights, and it is great to have her fellow political engaged women give her campaign some notice.

It's all part of Anita's energetic and positive campaign, which has gotten youth from around Ottawa - both young women and young men - talking about what's going on in the West end. What's going on is an open, inclusive campaign which has put youth in some incredible leadership positions, and will work hard to represent the people of Ottawa West-Nepean, who deserve an MP who will stand up for them, not just be the pit bull for a government which has abused our democratic principles and institutions.

Join us on November 28th and help elect a real Liberal champion, Anita Vandenbeld!

One week to go!

Only one week remains before the vote for the federal Liberal nomination for Ottawa West-Nepean, and the energy around Anita's campaign is great. Anita had another of her successful Starbucks meet and greets yesterday, talking with lots of great Liberals and lots of interested non-Liberals who have been drawn to the positive energy of her campaign, and later today I'll be going to a campaign meeting to prep for the nomination day. We've got a great youth team, and I'm grateful so many people have volunteered time and energy for the nomination campaign to try and help to elect a real champion for youth engagement.

Stay tuned to the Youth for Anita Vandenbeld blog throughout the week for all your nomination info!

Support Anita on Facebook:!/pages/Anita-Vandenbeld-for-Ottawa-West-Nepean/117490804958455
Let's try and break 300 likes before nomination day!

Anita on Twitter:

And Anita's campaign website:

Youth apathy in politics? I don't think so...

We have a great number of endorsements up from youth across Ottawa who are rallying behind Anita's campaign. Anita is a champion for youth engagement, and has been heads and shoulders above the other candidates in having youth play a leadership role in her campaign. Join our team to help get Anita nominated on the 28th and then to take on John Baird in the next election! Read some of the kind words here and keep checking out the endorsements page to see what's new.

Anita is talented, enthusiastic, experienced, dedicated, and tireless. Still, I am most impressed with her integrity, openness, and honesty. Good nominees and good candidates must also be good people - and with Anita, we have found someone who is able and willing to represent the finest aspects of the Liberal brand. She is hopeful and idealistic and will work to bring out the best in others and the best in ourselves. Her experience in international affairs, expertise in women's rights, and focus on youth make her not only a qualified candidate, but someone who is able to embrace the job of a Parliamentarian on day one, and use that position to affect positive socio-political change. I am confident in her ability to take back Ottawa West-Nepean, and serve the constituents well. What more could one ask for in a nominee?
Adam Leclair
Former Eastern Regional Coordinator, Ontario Young Liberals (2009-2010)
Former President, Ottawa-Vanier Young Liberals (2007-2009)
I've had the pleasure of meeting Anita a few times and in addition to her incredibly friendly and welcoming personality, I am always struck by her experience and expertise in a variety of areas. Whether you just want to have a simple conversation or an in depth discussion, Anita knows her stuff! She takes heart to learn your name and to remember it for the next time that you meet (and you will see her again because she is everywhere in the community!) and really cares about the people that she wants to help. I would be honoured to have her as an MP.
Ben Mitchell
Young Liberal
Anita Vandenbeld has demonstrated a firm sense of integrity and a strong commitment to the Liberal Party of Canada. Having worked on several international projects with the United Nations, Anita has the experience to be an effective Member of Parliament. Therefore, I am happy to personally endorse Anita Vandenbeld’s campaign for the Liberal nomination of Ottawa West-Nepean.
Matthew Conley
President of the University of Ottawa Young Liberals
I’ve volunteered on over two dozen Liberal campaigns over the years, and it is rare that one comes across a candidate as talented, experienced, and importantly, as committed to engaging youth in the political process. As an expert in international affairs, building democracy, and women’s rights, Anita Vandenbeld is exactly the kind of candidate the Liberal Party of Canada needs for Ottawa West-Nepean.
William Norman
Young Liberal
Communications Director, Carleton Public Affairs Society
A Youth Activist, a Women’s Rights fighter, a Democratic Promoter, a Dedicator, a Colleague, a Friend, a Supporter, This is YOUR Anita Vandenbeld.
Sharan Bhella
Young Liberal
With her international experience in promoting women's rights and democratic participation, I believe Canada needs more MP's like Anita Vandenbeld. She will be an excellent voice for the people of Ottawa West-Nepean.
Lynne Lessard
Young Liberal
Anita is THE ideal candidate for the Liberal nomination for Ottawa West-Nepean thanks to the fine balance of her unique international experience and commitment to politics in the Ottawa area, but also because of her commitment to engaging all demographics of people, especially youth, in the political process. Anita invokes a tremendous amount of passion in all of those that have had the pleasure of meeting her. Never before have I met a politician so open-minded, inviting, and kind.
Miriam Pineau
Young Liberal
From the first time I was told about her by a friend, I was excited to meet a woman as accomplished and motivated as Anita. On meeting her, I was pleasantly surprised by how humble, informed and approachable she was. Her passion to have youth involved in our communities inspired myself and numerous other students to get involved in her campaign. Working with her has been both an honor and a learning experience. I truly believe she is the best fit for MP for Ottawa West-Nepean.
Bismah Haq
Young Liberal

Carleton Equal Voice Chapter Launch and Reception

Last night, Anita Vandenbeld and I attended Carleton's Equal Voice Chapter Launch and Reception at Fresco's. The event was a blow-out success with a packed room, comprised of many female role models (both in politics and be
yond) and more than a few handfuls of male supporters as well.

It was truly inspiring to be in a room filled with role models and supporters of Equal Voice's noble cause: to elect more women in politics, at all levels of government in Canada. Promoting and enabling women to run for political office was something that Anita committed to in her career working for iKNOW Politics. Now running for the Federal Liberal Nomination in Ottawa West-Nepean, she carries with her a wealth of experience, knowledge, and dedication to women in politics and the promotion of democracy - Anita is working hard to ensure that she can play a role in achieving Equal Voice's goal.

The special guests of honour included:
  • Tracey Hubley, the President of Summa Strategies
  • The Hon. Caroyln Bennett, MP for St. Paul's
  • The Hon. Michael Chong, MP for Wellington Halton Hills
  • Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill
Here is a photo of Anita Vandenbeld meeting with two other female candidates for the Liberal Party of Canada, Karen McCrimmons (from Carleton-Mississippi Mills) and Kimberley Love (from Bruce-Grey Owen Sound), who brought her daughter and drove 7 hours to attend the event.

Kimberley Love brought her daughter for the trip and earlier that day had taken her to watch Question Period in the House of Commons. Hopefully the next time her daughter attends, the young lady of only 10 years old will be able to watch her mother, Kimberely Love, Karen McCrimmon and Anita Vandenbeld all work together in Parliament.

With less than two weeks left until the nomination meeting on November 28th, let's make sure to elect Anita Vandenbeld as the Liberal Candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean so she can join these two strong, intelligent and driven future Members of Parliament!

-Hillary Buchan-Terrell
Youth Campaign Chair
Anita Vandenbeld for Ottawa West-Nepean
Youth for Anita Vandenbeld
Authorized by the Official Agent for Anita Vandenbeld
Copyright © 2010 Youth for Anita Vandenbeld for Ottawa West-Nepean All rights reserved.