Jordan's Blogarama

This is a blog telling about what I did in the run of a day and/or my opionion on whatever topic I feel like posting about.... yep, check back often for more details and don't be afraid to spread the word about my blog!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Response to the VOCM Poll "The federal opposition parties say they will topple the Harper Government over its' economic update."

Hey everyone, here is my response to the VOCM Poll titled " The federal opposition parties say they will topple the Harper Government over its' economic update. Do you think they should? Why or why not?"


" Bill, to be clear, the conservative do not hold a majority of seats. (This is why the Conservatives are in a minority government) The Conservatives simply have a plurality of seats (the most of any parties, but less than when you add the seats of all 3 opposition parties plus the 2 independent MPs)

Just thought i'd clarify that.... As a result, if the Liberals head a coalition with the NDP having some Cabinet positions, and the Bloc props it up, they would have 10-12 more seats combined than the Conservatives.

That is one of the effects of ABC in this province. If harper had won every seat in Newfoundland and Labrador, he'd have a majority right now. Why? Because when you subtract 7 seats from the opposition (165-7=158) and then add 7 seats unto government side (143+7=150) you've just narrowed the gap from 22 seats in the difference to a 8 seat total in the difference.

In other words if that had happened, Harper would only have needed to convince 9 opposition MPs to cross the floor, in order to get a majority.

But because of the effectives of ABC in NL, there is no way Harper will be able to get 23 opposition MPs to cross the floor at the same time to give him a majority.... In other words, this opposition coalition government could be fact be quite stable.

For example, the 3 opposition parties created an amended "Clean Air Act" in committee, which could be re-introduced as it was beefed up by all 3 opposition parties in committee, and pass one of the most comprehensive pieces of environmental legislation swiftly...."

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Real News Network

This is a video called "The West Owes Afghanistan", which can be viewed at

They're basically a non-profit, donation driven news network, being independent of corporations, lobbyists, or the government

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Comments on Ryan Cleary's Campaign Blog Entry: "

Hey everyone,
having worked on Greg Byrne's campaign (he was the Newfoundland and Labrador First Party Candidate in the Federal District of St.John's South Mount Pearl in the 2008 Federal Election) as Campaign Manager and Official Agent, I find myself sympathizing with Ryan Cleary's statements that working on a campaign that can one of the most difficult, yet rewarding jobs/tasks someone can take on. (Of course, social workers, nurses, manual labour jobs,etc... definitely match, if not outstripe the amount of work, time, and energy, compared to campaigning... But ya, it would make for an interesting case to make).

As you may be aware, the 2008 Federal Election Results in the Federal District of SJS-MP (as MP-elect Siobhan Coady likes to call the district of St.John's South-Mount Pearl likes to call it) are as follows (Source: Introductory page of

Liberals [Siobhan Coady]: 14,930 votes

NDP [Ryan Cleary]: 13,883 votes

Conservatives [Merv Wiseman]: 4,324 votes

Greens [Ted Warren]: 643 votes

NLF (Newfoundland and Labrador First) Party [Greg Byrne]: 485 votes

Independent [Terry Butler]: 179 votes

Either way, I must say that the quality and credentials of all 6 candidates who run in this riding were stellar. With the exception of the Independent Candidate Terry Butler, I got to speak to each of the candidate in this riding at least once in person. This mostly occured at venues such as the NDP Town Hall on September 15th 2008, and CFS-NL (Canadian Federation of Students- Newfoundland and Labrador) Candidates Debate (October 9th 2008).

That being said, I found Ryan Cleary's Campaign Blog ( ) to be quite remarkable. Below, you can find the comments I posted on his blog entry titled "51st State" (Posted October 1st,2008---> I'll verify that)

" Hello Mr.Cleary,
all I can say is Wow! Glad to see that more prospective politicians are using use of blogs. I believe Garth Turner, former Conservative-turned Independent-turned Liberal MP has one at

As a Social Work Student in my 3rd year out of a 5-year Bachelor of Social Work program, i'm glad to see a politician who's using a blog to not only campaign for change, but to educate the public about the massive inequalities that exist within our society.

From my conversation with you after the NDP Town Hall on roughly September 15th,2008, before, and just after the CFS-NL (Canadian Federation of Students- Newfoundland and Labrador) debate, I can see that you're a "Fighting Newfoundlander [and Labradorian]". I must say, the fact you were able to come within 950 votes of becoming the NDP MP for St.John's South-Mount Pearl is rather remarkable.

This is especially so, considering the fact that this is Siobhan Coady's 3rd-time running. So ya, here's to hoping that she takes note of the observations you've made on your blog, in the debates, and through the campaign lecture. Even though I ended up working on Greg Byrne's Newfoundland and Labrador First Party MP candidacy, I must say that I saw yourself and Siobhan as being the main contenders.

That being said, other candidates such as Mr.Wiseman, Mr.Warren, and Mr.Butler did raise important issues on the campaign trail. I'm sure all the candidates running in this district did so, because they have a vision of how they'd like to see politics change. I remember Mr.Wiseman telling me how difficult it is for local farmers and fishermen to make a living, given the fact that 90% of the food consumed in this province is imported. (A great portion of which is done through Marine Atlantic).

He told me that more money needs to be spent on developing sustainable fisheries and agriculture. I also spoke with Mr.Warren after the CFS-NL Debate, and he told me how shocked people were that he campaigned on a bicycle. I had mentioned the shock Greg said he saw in people's faces when he campaigned on a Metrobus Route or two that passes through the riding! The issue of social, economic, and environmental sustainability is key, and groups like FEAST (Food Education and Security St.John's) could tell you all about that.

Either way, here's to hoping you decide to maintain a blog, even after the Election Campaign is over! Also, best of luck on any future career you pursue, be it in politics, journalism, or otherwise.

Jordan Lester"
Another memorable moment in the campaign was when I was out one Sunday dropping off Greg Byrne (NL First Party) brochures in every 3rd mailbox or so from Hopeall Street, down part of Canada Drive, on Markland Street, and part of Frecker Drive, was this:

While I was doing so, I noticed two Siobhan Coady canvassers just across the road. Not thinking too much of it at first, I went on with the campaigning. However at one point, I decided to cross the road, in order to put a brochure in the sme mailbox two of Ms.Coady's campaign workers had just visited. About a minute ago, I walked over to introduce myself as they were exiting the ladder-like front porch (no joke, the porch was 3-4 feet off the ground, connected to the sidewalk by a 10-15 foot ladder-like wooden plank bridge with guard rails).

The dialogue went something like this:

' Myself (Jordan Lester): "Hi, how's the campaign going?"

[Siobhan Coady]Campaign worker(s): "Oh hi.... (confused look)So who's campaign are you working on?"

Myself:"I'm actually working on the campaign for the Newfoundland and Labrador First Party candidate in this riding."

[Siobhan Coady]Campaign worker(s): And who would that be?

Myself: That would be Greg Byrne.... i'm actualy his campaign manager

SCCW's: Ah, so you must be doing what we're doing...... going door-to-door [on his behalf], that is]

Myself: Ya, I must say, it's not every election that have you 6 candidates running in a riding. It certainly makes things more interesting (they nod in agreement)

SCCW's: (look of surprise) Would you mind if you give me a copy of one of his brochures? (I give him one) Because honestly, i've never seen one of his brochures before. This will help give me an idea of what he stands for, as his brochure is the only one [running in this district] that we don't have.

Myself: Sure thing, I mean it's only fair that you know what he's running on. After all, things such as this help keep politicians and prospective politicians honest.... Would you mind if I exchange this [NL First Party] brochure for a Siobhan Coady one? Although i've seen some of her brochures before, it'd be nice to see if she's added any new details in her new ones....

SCCW's: Either way, we need to get back to campaigning....

Myself: Same here...

SCCW's: It was nice talking with you, and seeing Greg's Brochure. Either way, good luck on the campaign

Myself: The Same to you....

When time permits, i'll have more to write about the 2008 Federal Election in general, but these were the SJS-MP (St.John's South-Mount Pearl) highlights!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My response to the CBC story " 'Loser' Layton laughs off NDP candidate's prior critiques

So here are my comments."I also was that that Town Hall Meeting. There must have been at least 100 MUN (Memorial University of Newfoundland) student there's, ranging from Polsc (political science) students to student leaders, Social Work students (me),etc... Jack Layton came across as a charismatic, informed, humourous, and visionary leader. The guy nailed the issue of how developments like Hebron are going to make it harder for working families to get affordable housing.

In addition, current Affordable Housing funding expires in March of 2009. So unless something is done soon by the new Federal Government, you could see large numbers of people losing their homes. In other words, they'll have a job, but not a house. When I asked him about introducing a National Poverty Reduction Strategy, based on the Quebec and NL models, he said and I quote, "The short answer is yes, and i'll be making an announcement tomorrow in Toronto about that, and the details, so stay tuned'! (the Town Hall lasted from 12:30-1:30p.m)"

After this, I watched as Ryan Cleary (former Editor of the NL [nationalist] weekly The Independent, and nominated NDP St.John's South- Mount Pearl Federal Candidate), Jack Harris (the former MP for St.John's East, former Provincial NDP leader for almost 16 years,etc..), and Jack Layton (Leader of the Federal NDP, whose home riding is in Toronto-Danforth, and who is the first NDP Leader to have been born in Quebec... Guelph, Quebec to be exact!) take part in a press conference.

There, not only was Cleary criticized for previous comments, but some of the national media were accusing him of being a separatist, a nationalist,etc... He basically explained that he believes the province of NL has and isn't getting a far cry, and I quote "It's time the people of Newfoundland and Labrador woke up, and realized we're not getting a Fair Deal. We have to work within Canada to reform the Reform, because right now, it's just not working!" (this is an approximation as it occured about 4-5 hours ago!) He had said this when asked why his position from being a Nationalist who might want NL to separate from Canada (around January 1st,2 006, the reporter claimed) to a soft nationalist (when he won the nomination last Thursday). He replyed: "I make no apologies for the comments i've made in the past as a journalist. I said what I said at the time because I believe it's time for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to wake up, and realize we're not getting a Fair Deal. But rather than getting out, we've first got to get in. I'm a proud Canadian, but we need to press for reform within the system."

In a nutshell, he (being Danny Cleary) looks like the best chance for a NL soft nationalist/reformist MP within a national party, being second only to a Newfoundland and Labrador First Party St.John's South-Mount Pearl candidate!

I also spoke with him about working on his campaign in the district, but only on the condition that he realizes it's because the NL First Party doesn't have a candidate in St.John's South-Mount Pearl at the moment. Should that change, I make it clear to him I would need to shift my support to that other candidate. I suggested that hosting a Town Hall meeting in St. Matthews Elementary School would be a viable way to press his case for reform within the Canadian system, since all three major parties used that school to host a Town Hall on Education issues(i.e. Establishing a West End High School) during the 2007 NL Provincial Election Campaign.

He seemed to like the idea, and said he'd get in touch with me again. (Hint: This campaign manager is Ivan Morgan, the former Columinist for the NL Weekly "The Independent", and with Ryan Cleary serving as his editor). Before the start of the Town Hall, Ivan Morgan told me about how 'in journalism, you're not going to be popular. The key thing is that you keep writing....' When I mentioned my interest in The Muse (MUN newspaper), he said, "don't just think about it, do it. To be honest, that's where I started out! So if you're passionate about it, go for it!" (Time permitting of course, since i've already got alot on my plate).

In addition to this, I have 5-6 30-second audio clips of what 1. Jack Layton said about Honouring the Atlantic Accord, and Ryan Cleary's responses to (a) accusations he was a separatist, (b) that he was only running because he needed a job given the dissolution of "The Independent",etc... Either way, that and so much more coming soon!

Also, i'll be heading out to the OLP (Our Lady Peace) concert tonight at Mile One Centre, where i'll be taking 30-second videos and photos (I hope Anne gets to see them on Facebook)! So once I get the chance, i'll be uploading that all as well.

If you're looking for more readings about the Federal Election, check out the following:

1. "'Loser' Layton laughs off NDP candidate's prior critiques (CBC News, Friday, September 12th 2008)


2. "Hey, 'losers'! Journalists-turned-candidates haunted by political critiques (Wednesday, September 10th 2008:CBC)


3. "Journalist wins over NDP supporters for St. John's South nod " (Thrusday, September 11th,2008:CBC)


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

NDP Petition I Support: "Stop the text message cash-grab"

Hey everyone, there is the Petition I support... "Stop the text message cash-grab"...

Stop the text message cash-grab

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

" Federal apology will ring hollow: Labrador Inuit " -CBC News

Hey everyone, I was shocked to learn that not only are the Labrador Innu not recognized as Aboriginals and First Nations, they aren't recognized. Plus, since the school in Central and Northern Labrador was run by the Roman Catholic Church of Canada, with the consent of Premier Joey Smallwood (according to a documentary I saw in Scwrk. class), then Premier Williams will need to be pressured to start an NL Provincial "Truth and Reconcilation Commission".

Why is that? See this CBC Story- " Federal apology will ring hollow: Labrador Inuit
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | 9:06 AM NT Comments16Recommend17CBC News"


Here are the comments I posted on the article:

" In order for the Labrador Inuit to get healing, the Roman Catholic Church of Canada will need to apologize. Why? Because the Provincial Gov't under Joey Smallwood gave the Roman Catholic Church permission to open up schools not only in Central Labrador, but also Davis Inlet. Sounds like it's time to demand Premier Williams set up his own "Truth and Reconcilation Commission", but on a provincial level!"
(june 12/11th 2008)

This is my response to the story " PM cites 'sad chapter' in apology for residential schools " found on CBC News at the following


' This statement isn't correct. There were Residential Schools in North-West River, Labrador, and in Davis Inlet. Unlike other provinces, when NL (Newfoundland and Labrador) joined Canada, the provincial gov't remained responsible for the administration of such schools, with the Roman Catholic Church actively administering them, with the sanction of the provincial government. As a result, an formal apology (in the same spirit as Mr.Harper's) must be made, as the Labrador Innu are the only group to've not received an apology now.

My evidence? " Inuit React to PM's Apology
June 12, 2008"- VOCM News


The Labrador Innu Leader said they feel more excluded than ever, since they've yet to be acknowledged for what they've gone through, so it rings hollow from them until the provincial gov't issues a similar apology. Why? Because Premier Williams only apologized for the 2 aboriginal resettlement programs that Premier Joey Smallwood did in the 1950's, NOT what came after that!'

"Your Interview: Truth and Reconcilation Commission"

Here are my comments on "The Truth and Reconcilation Commission"( Comments (10)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | 11:05 AM ET) (Source: )

Original segment of the article.... ' The Canadian government recently announced that Justice Harry LaForme would lead a federal commission that will dig through and hear personal stories from survivors of the residential school system.

The five-year commission will give voice to victims and take steps towards healing for those who suffered through the schools' systemic abuse.

On Thursday, May 8 Justice LaForme took your questions on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Read his answers below.'

Comments leading up to my own...

(1) " Garnet Angeconeb

Reconciliation is a process that is ongoing in terms of making lasting social change. Once the mandate of the TRC is over, what measures will be place to ensure the process of reconiliation continues?

Justice LaForme: In general terms, the work of the TRC includes deciding or making recommendations regarding this important issue. Of course reconciliation is only possible if there is a collective desire to do so. At the least, it will include education (e.g. a rewriting of the history of Canada ); perhaps some form of research/commemoration facility; and continued healing.

In the end, we expect that the answer to this question will flow from the truth and reconciliation process itself."....(Source:

(There are 9 others, but I won't post them, in order to avoid copyright infringement

' " It has been mentioned that New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador weren't part of the Federally Funded "Residental Schools Program". I had remembered learning in a Social Work Documentary that the program in NL was run by the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Davis Inlet and Sheshasiu. In what way did the NL (Newfoundland and Labrador) program vary from those in provinces such as Alberta and BC?"