Political Best and Worst of 2014

I’m heading over to Sun shortly to talk about my picks for 2014 with Warren.

Here are my picks:

BEST MOVE: Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers saving the lives of countless politicians and visitors the day a gunman opened fire on Parliament Hill. It’s political because of where it happened –  his heroic behaviour that day on the Hill should be on the minds of every politician as they take their seats during Question Period.
WORST: Sexual harassment on the Hill, and how the parties (badly) handled it. But also Conservatives behaving badly –  Brazeau, Duffy, Del Mastro, to name just a few.
MOST SURPRISING: Wynne winning a fourth Liberal government and Rob Ford dropping out of the mayoral race (which significantly changed the course of the race).
MOST IMPROVED: Liberal Party of Canada’s showing since Justin Trudeau became leader.
MOST DISAPPOINTING: Olivia Chow’s performance in Toronto’s mayoral race and the federal Liberal Party’s ongoing ‘open nomination’ fiasco.
NEWSMAKER(S): Rehtaeh Parsons and the impact she (and her family) has had on the Canadian conscience, our laws, and issues surrounding consent/sexual assault. What happened to her should never happen to anyone else.  



Can’t believe it’s been 43 years.

Top Ten list of Conservatives being ignorant, ineffective and insensitive

By the time you read this, I’ll likely be on my way to CTV for our weekly True North Politics panel debating Conservative insensitivity. So, I post my points here for your reading pleasure. Yes, I realize there’s only nine but I thought I’d leave it empty and waiting for your suggestions because I know there are plenty Now there’s 11.

  1. Minister Leona Aglukkaq reads a newspaper in the House of Commons when a debate was raging among Parliamentarians that her constituents were in the midst of a food crisis and that there were reports of an elder being forced to rummage for food in a dump.
  2. Nearly 25 years to the day after 14 women were murdered in Quebec, Justice Minister Peter MacKay says we may never understand why this happened. Except we clearly do know why: it’s because they were women. I wish the justice minister of all people would admit that misogyny exists in society. And that women are murdered simply because they’re female.
  3. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino and this government continue their campaign of misinformation about funding for veterans programs. And then he’s absent from Parliament when the Auditor General releases a damning report about the availability for mental health services for our veterans.
  4. In 2008, then Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz joked about 17 people who died from eating contaminated food products referring to it as “death by a thousand cold cuts.” And upon hearing that there had been a death in PEI, Ritz had reportedly said he hoped that it was Liberal MP Wayne Easter.
  5. When Minister James Moore was asked last year about what his government is doing to reduce and eliminate child poverty, he said: “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”
  6. When Tory MP Rob Anders said Mulcair hastened Jack Layton’s death:  “I actually think one of the great stories that was missed by journalists was that Mr. Mulcair, with his arm twisted behind the scenes, helped to hasten Jack Layton’s death.”
  7. When Pierre Polievre used racist language in Parliament.
  8. When Pierre Poilievre said that First Nations need a better “work ethic” instead of compensation.
  9. When Conservative MP Ryan Leef used the break-in at Justin Trudeau’s house as an opportunity to make a partisan jabs.  “Since Justin thinks budgets balance themselves maybe he thinks doors lock themselves.”
  10. When Conservative MP Gerald Keddy said that there was an increase in EI claims and food bank visits because “all those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk” are lazy and won’t get work.
  11. Recently, Conservative MP Robert Gougen used a woman’s rape to score political points.

John Tory bars woman because of her male partner


And Toronto mayoralty candidate again attempts to bully news media

TORONTO – Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory has decreed that Lisa Kirbie will not be permitted to provide political commentary for CityNews at his Election Night gathering – because of who Kirbie’s partner is.

Kirbie is the Senior Vice President of the Daisy Consulting Group, and a regular political commentator on CTV and Sun News Network.  CityNews asked Kirbie to provide commentary during the station’s election night coverage at the Liberty Grand, John Tory headquarters.

Despite the fact that Kirbie’s appearance was confirmed as recently as late Friday afternoon, this morning CityNews was advised that Kirbie would not be allowed on the premises – because her partner is Warren Kinsella, a Toronto lawyer who has been critical of Tory in the past. CityNews was told they would not be granted accreditation for Kirbie.

“I am my own person, with my own views,” Kirbie said.  “John Tory knows me, and he knows that.  It is frankly pathetic and cowardly that Tory is barring me from being the guest of an established news organization, simply because Warren is my partner.”

She continued:  “It’s also worrying that Tory has again been caught bullying a news organization.  They should determine who they have on-air – not a thin-skinned mayoralty candidate.”

Tory campaign operative Amanda Galbraith allegedly told CityNews that Kirbie was being barred because she is “a material witness” in a lawsuit between Kinsella and Tory’s most senior campaign advisor.

“That’s not just false, it’s a lie,” Kirbie said.  “I am not named in either the Statement of Claim or the Statement of Defence in that case.  And my lawyer this afternoon wrote to the defendant’s lawyer, to alert him to the fact that the Tory campaign is lying about a court process.”

Kirbie concluded: “I thought John Tory had learned his lesson when he was slammed for chauvinism when he said that young women should play golf to get ahead.  Apparently not.  He’s just as sexist, it seems, as the mayor he is seeking to replace.”

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For more information, contact:
David Shiller, LLB

Head to head: Do you need social media to win a political campaign?

In this month’s IABC magazine, Warren and I were asked to argue opposite sides of the issue. He says yes, while I say no (sort of).

Unfortunately, you must be an IABC member to have access to the magazine, but I’ve uploaded our piece to Issuu. Or, if you have younger eyes than mine, you can check out the graphic, below. Enjoy!




Feminism is not “man hating”

This is so important.

Daisy, 50 years later

Earlier this month was the 50th anniversary of the infamous “Daisy” political ad that won incumbent president LBJ re-election. If you didn’t know, our consulting firm is named for it. Here, I discuss the importance of the ad in a column by Ashley Csanady.

Good riddance to former Liberal MP Tom Wappel

The fact that guys like Tom Wappel could not only reside within the Liberal Party of Canada, but get elected to represent Canadians as a Liberal MP has always irritated me. I was happy when he left politics.

To those of you who’re  asking who the Hell is Tom Wappel anyway… . Wappel is an anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-”family values” (whatever that means) bigot who once said that homosexuality is “abnormal.” As an MP, he opposed protecting gays and lesbians from hate crimes legislation; he opposed protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination; and he once voted against recognizing same-sex marriage.

There should be no place for people like this in the Liberal party.

Today, he and his cronies (all male, by the way), wrote an open letter to leader Justin Trudeau imploring him to return “democracy” to the Liberal party and overturn his “discriminatory” policy on women’s reproductive rights. That’s right, Wappel – who’s incidentally not even a Liberal party member anymore – who regularly voted in favour of discriminatory policies is now crying foul.

This letter he and his pals wrote today – and had published on an anti-choice website – does nothing except increase support among Liberals for Trudeau’s decision. Even those of us who didn’t necessarily agree with it.


This happened today on Sun

Every Tuesday I appear on Sun News Network to talk all sorts of politics. Today’s topic was a discussion about pot, a wanna-be Liberal candidate and Justin Trudeau. Watch right to the end – I had no idea what was coming… Also, Kinsella is in big, big trouble.


My email to Shawn Jeffords

“Dear Shawn:

I understand you are claiming you have been trying to reach me.  That is interesting, given that I was at the Sun just this afternoon.

The picture that you consider important enough to write an entire story about is of me, posing with a toy gun.  Your attempt to link it to the Olivia Chow campaign, on which I volunteer, is ridiculous.  It is beneath any serious journalist.  It is absurd. 

I confess I also recently played Battleship with my son.  Perhaps you would like to write a lengthy feature about the relevance of toy ships to municipal politics.  If so, let me know. 

In the meantime, I intend to post this widely, so everyone else gets to see how laughable it is.


Lisa Kirbie”