Sunday, September 28, 2008

Aurora United Church Celebrates 190 Years!

Today Aurora United Church held it's 190th Anniversary Celebration worship service. The celebrations included those young and old as well as a trip down memory lane via the Church's extensive archives. Here is a sampling of the photos of the event:

The Front Sign of the Church
Aurora United Church on the day of the 190th Anniversary Celebration.
The banner accross the front highlighting the 190th Anniversary Celebrations.
The "Memory Wall" of contributions of memories from members of Aurora United Church.
A historical photo dating from 1900 of Aurora United Church.
The Church Sanctuary during the 190th Anniversary Worship Service.
Mitchell Arnold playing his bagpipes at the conclusion of the worship service.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"We went to the Zoo..." and Yvonne came too!

As part of the of the Toronto Zoo's offer of free admission to members of the Ontario College of Teachers' Members, I headed with my fiance Yvonne to the Zoo for the afternoon yesterday. The animals, especially the Lions and Tigers, seemed to be sleepy. The only other dissapointment was the polar bear and penguin exhibits were under contstruction, thus, these animals were not viewable

But nonetheless, the other animals didn't dissapoint as you can see from this sampling (more photos may be seen in the Toronto section of my scrapbook on my website):

A Tiger eying me for lunch?
All the piggies in a row. The Red River Hogs were in the mood for an afternoon siesta.
Of course! Who can forget the ELEPHANTS!
And best of all, A female moose cooperated for a little movie time:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

If you want to vote NDP in Newmarket-Aurora..

If you want to vote for the NDP in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora your out of luck. That is because as of this moment, the NDP do not have a confirmed candidate in the riding of Newmarket Aurora. I first noticed this when reading the local media and noted there wasn't any mention of an NDP candidate in this area or had seen any signs go up in the first week of the election campaign. So I started to look online in a couple of places.

The first spot I looked was the local newspaper's website for information as they had been advertising in their paper to have extensive coverage of the ridings within York Region. I clicked on the "Newmarket-Aurora" section of their website only to find four candidates running, none of which included an NDP candidate. Yet, I noted, the slightly less popular Green Party had a candidate in this riding. So I gave up my search there.

I wondered if perhaps the NDP in Newmarket-Aurora had been caught without a candidate in this area or any type of campaign organizing function to get the word out. But surely the first place to ensure NDP candidate would make themselves known is with Elections Canada. But apparently the list of candidates is not firmed up until September 25th at the latest and there were no official registered candidates in the Newmarket-Aurora riding as of this blog entry. But I have a feeling Elections Canada is a little behind in registering candidates as I imagine there would be a slew of pending applications coming in from accross Canadathat need to be processed.

Also this past week, I had noted the last provincial election's NDP candidate for Newmarket-Aurora, Mike Seaward, was around more than a little normal. I had seen him on the bus and in the local plaza. However, there seemed to be no campaign material (e.g. buttons, t-shirt, etc.) around him. So I guess he wasn't running. The last federal election's NDP candidate for Newmarket-Aurora, Ed Chudak, hasn't been heard from as of yet, so I doubt he is running either.

I also checked with the NDP's website and it only lists the local NDP riding president's contact information. I did note other ridings in Ontario did have candidates listed but there were quite a few ridings that amazingly enough still didn't have candidates selected. One would think the fact Newmarket-Aurora and several other ridings having not selected candidates after a full week of campaigning would be alarming for the NDP Party leadership.

I guess the NDP has given up on the Newmarket-Aurora area. This is mainly true because all the other parties in the riding have candidates already campaigning in the riding for a week already whereas the NDP campaign hasn't even gotten going in this riding as of yet. This the NDP is now handicapped by a week compared to the other campaigns who already have one week of campaigning in hand. Besides, the NDP may have given up on the riding considering the NDP has never won the riding of Newmarket-Aurora or its predessors that either the towns of Aurora or Newmarket have been part of. So even if the NDP tried to start a campaign, the party doesn't have a hope of winning in this riding. But the mystery of where the NDP is in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora is at least intriguing!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Coming Federal Election? You betcha!

There is a distinct smell in Canada of a possible federal election coming up. The clues are out there and they sure point to an election call coming soon. Last week and this week saw Prime Minister Steven Harper meet with the three opposition leaders at his residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. In a nutshell, all the meetings were less than an hour in length and results of these meetings were far from positive. Then this week suddenly there are major announcements of funding for items to resolve issues of crime, health and job losses. A federal election does seem imminent especially when these clues are investigated a little further.

Steven Harper's meeting with Liberal Leader Stephane Dion on Labour Day Monday, lasted less than 30 minutes and, as the Toronto Star reports, produced nothing. EvenLiberal Leader Stephan Dion is convinced there is an election when, as the Toronto Star reported: "Asked if an election was inevitable, Dion replied, 'Yes, we all know that.'" Yet the Conservatives continue to deny an election is coming.

If there wasn't an election in the forefront, then Stephen Harper would be requesting the meetings with Opposition Leaders to possibly come to some compromise on some issues. In these meetings Harper would probably have a list of priorities that he would like to see if the opposition leaders might be able to negotiate on. From these and possible future negotiations there would be leglislation created and passed in the House of Commons and the current minority parliament would continue. But this doesn't seem to be happening as Dion's and the other party leader's meetings were less than an hour and all the Opposition Leaders left 24 Sussex with very little impression that the current minority Parliament would continue. This is the first clue a federal election is more than likely this fall.

This week the federal Conservatives have started making major funding announcements. These funding announcements include (click the links to read more on the announcements):

1. Peter McKay was in Calgary announcing each of 30 soldiers who participated in Cold War weapons testing would receive $28,000 in compensation.

2. Steven Harper promising a probe into the Maple Leaf tainted meet fiasco. The Toronto Star believes this probe is being done so as to not cause problems for the Conservatives on the upcoming election trail.

3. Steven Harper in Windsor announcing $80 million dollars to reopen a car plant.

4. Stockwell Day was in Toronto promising $4.9 million towards a three and half year pilot project to prevent youth in vulnerable neighbhouroods from joining gangs.

Promises of this magnitude coming in rapid succession by a government, in the past, usually occurred when the Governor General was about to be asked to disolve Parliament and start a federal general election.

Finally, if there was ever any doubt, campaign election ads by the Conservatives have been launched. These adds seem to run about three times per half hour on major Canadian networks (e.g. CTV, CBC, etc.). The real question is not if an election is coming, but when? Who knows, but the media seems to be doing a lot of speculating. So stay tuned! This fall could be fun!

Monday, September 01, 2008


Recently I came accross a new blog aimed at sharing one's opinions about the town I live in, Aurora. Seems that someone got so enthused about Aurora politics and community happenings that they required their own soap box.

Problem is, there is no identity to this person except the nickname "Aurora Citizen." The blogger even went as far as registering" for their e-mail addresses. However, if you look at the registrar's file on this internet address registration, there is no name and address provided. How convenient. I don't suppose there is a way to dig even deeper on who is behind this blog (if so, please comment and I would gladly help out in digging further into who is behind this blog). I could speculate here about who might be behind the blog's postings and such, but no matter, it still makes for a great read.

A great read? The blog contains rants about the current occupant of the Mayor's chair, doings of local council that leaves quite a few people scratching their heads and now has added a section about community feedback. Postings from this blog have already ended up in the local newspaper, The Auroran, and probably will be featured well into the future as well.

Stay tuned to this blog if your interested in local Aurora politics and community happenings. Please note I've added it to my blogroll as well, so feel free to watch for the latest on that blog's postings right here. I hope this blog will stick around well into the next municipal election as it could make things interesting!

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