Baby Harris

Baby Harris

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Neconservative Takeover of Canadian Toryism: Introduction

A TROUBLING ALLIANCE: The Neconservative Takeover of Canadian Toryism

In May of 1996, Ezra Levant and right-wing journalist David Frum; held a Winds of Change conference in Calgary, with the purpose of getting together Jean Charest, the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and Preston Manning, leader of the Reform Party.

The goal, according to Frum, was to discuss the prospects of a merger between the two parties. He believed that a vigorous airing of views behind closed doors, would help to develop a common agenda, and create the momentum that was needed to unite the right.

The conference turned out to be both more and less than expected. In terms of bridging the differences between the parties of Preston Manning and Jean Charest, the conference made little headway. The conference did endorse a move that had been underway for some time to field a single Reform-Progressive Conservative candidate in the federal riding of Brant. But the chasm in terms of the egos and pride of the leaders; the different attitudes that the parties have towards populist initiatives; Reform's origins in western alienation, Social Credit, and religious fundamentalism; and the fact that Reform emerged in part as an angry protest against the policies of a Progressive Conservative government made a rapprochement unlikely. The conference also revealed deep divisions between so-called fiscal conservatives who wanted a smaller role for the state and a climate that would foster business growth and social conservatives who wanted greater state involvement in legislating morality whether on abortion, criminal justice, or "family" values. (1)

Ernest Manning, former Social Credit premier of Alberta, and Preston Manning's father; had unsuccessfully attempted such a merger three decades before, but the neoconservative movement now had the media to manipulate public opinion, and an extremely weakened national PC Party.
The Winds of Change conference occurred at a time of both political crisis and rising influence for the right in Canada. On one hand, the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties continue to battle each other for supremacy on the right, splintering the vote. The conference did little if anything to alleviate the problem. On the other hand, the entire agenda of Canadian politics has been influenced by an intellectual climate that is shaped more and more by right-wing journalism. (1)
The executive of the Progressive Conservative party suggested that their members stay away, preferring instead to try to rebuild. Charest attended but nixed any talks of a merger.

However, one speech made at the conference, paved the way for the creation of a party of the right, based on neoconservative principles, already being implemented South of the border. The speaker was Stephen Harper, then a Reform MP, and soon to be president of the right-wing advocacy group, the National Citizens Coalition.

He laid out a plan to build a party "around three main elements: populist reformers, strongest in the West but also present in rural Ontario; traditional Tories, strong in Ontario and Atlantic Canada; and francophone nationalists in Quebec." (2)

Harper detested Red Tories, whom he referred to as 'Pink Liberals', and called the term 'Progressive Conservatism', an oxymoron.

He needed to dig into the conservative base that had rejected the modernization of the party. Whose values fell in line with Reform Party values. And an alliance with the Bloc, was not out of the question.
The Bloc Quebecois is strongest in rural Quebec, among voters who would not be out of place in Red Deer, except that they speak French rather than English. They are nationalist for much the same reason that Albertans are populist -- they care about their local identity and the culture that nourishes it, and they see the federal government as a threat to their way of life. (3)
And while it thought difficult to draw votes away from the Bloc, there was another way to assure cooperation:
...the "alliance" of centre-right parties might require — to finally surmount the Liberal seat count in the House of Commons — an arrangement to be negotiated with the Bloc Quebecois to secure that party's support in Parliament. (4)

Quebec votes have proven to be more fluid than originally thought, as seen with the NDP surge this last election. But can it hold?

The Conservatives will now do everything necessary to take these seats away from the NDP without risking a return of Bloc Quebecois.

But this small book deals with history of the Alliance Party, it's impact on Canadian Conservatism, and the heavy influence of the American right, that contributed so much to it's success.


1. The Winds of Right-wing Change in Canadian Journalism, By David Taras (University of Calgary), Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 21, No 4, 1996

2. Mr. Harper's road map to power: The directions are in the Winds of Change speech he gave 10 years ago this week, By Tom Flanagan, Globe and Mail, May 23, 2006

3. Our Benign Dictatorship, By Tom Flanagan and Stephen Harper, Next Magazine, January 1997

4. Right-wing roadmap? Harper wrote of 'effective coalition' plan in 1996 article, By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The End of Public Healthcare. Are we Really Ready For This?

On May 8th, 2005, then leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper, made a bold announcement. He promised that if he was elected Prime Minister of Canada, one of the first things on his agenda would be to privatize the Canadian Healthcare System. (1)

This was just a week after he gave a lecture at the Fraser Institute, where he was in fact introduced as Canada's next PM.

He doesn't speak about that now, but then he doesn't really speak about anything of substance. Have his views changed since 2005? Hardly. On a visit to the United States during the debates over Obama's healthcare plan, he was asked by CBS about Canada's healthcare system, which is the envy of many other nations. He told the reporter that he really didn't know much about it, because it was a provincial issue.

The CANADA Health Act and the country's leader claimed not to know much about it? Given that he once headed up the National Citizens Coalition, a group founded to abolish public healthcare in this country, I contend that he probably knows the Canada Health Act better than most.

Then and Now

In the Spring of 2005, many were worried about the direction of our medicare. Preston Manning and Mike Harris had just released a Fraser Institute report calling for more healthcare privatization. The report said that those who could afford it, should have the "freedom" to choose their own healthcare – whether it is for-profit or non-profit.

The report failed to recognize the demise of the non-profit healthcare system for everyone, once for-profit health care is allowed to escalate.

Why should we care? I can give you an example.

When Mike Harris was premier of Ontario he began to introduce user fees. My daughter, who is disabled and on the Ontario Disability Support Program, injured her knee when at a soccer tournament for the Special Olympics. The injury required surgery, and the surgeon recommended physical therapy, during the healing process. But there was a catch. We were told that if she wanted to use the public healthcare system, she would have to go on a waiting list, and it could be months before she was called.

Or, she could attend a private clinic, partially subsidized, which would cost her $15.00 per visit. I know that doesn't sound like much, but the doctor recommended three visits a week. ODSP wouldn't cover it since there was a public option available.

$45.00 per week for someone on a pension, or who is a member of the "working poor", is a fortune. It means roughly $200.00 out of the monthly budget. She couldn't afford it so we paid for her therapy sessions. I was later told by her worker that if we gave her money for this, she was supposed to claim it, to be deducted from her benefit.

I don't think that worker ever recovered from the strip I tore off her. I was livid. She never pursued it further. (they have since laxed the rules but only slightly) Of course what this means, is that only the wealthy will get top rate care, while everyone else is at the mercy of what will eventually be a virtually bankrupt public system.

And in the spring of 2005, the hot topic at Canadian water coolers was the future of something, that we by then took for granted (2). That the letter and spirit of the Canada Health Act guaranteed the same level of medicare for everyone, and that this was now being threatened.

It didn't help the Neocons that the Alberta premier at the time, Ralph Klein, was traversing about praising the fact that there would be lots of money to be made in the industry (3). And now Stephen Harper had come out publicly with his pledge. And while Harper retracted his statement six years ago, what has he done since becoming prime minister to strengthen, or at least not further weaken, our medicare?

Our health minister has snubbed important medical conferences
, prompting the question: "Does Canada still have a federal health minister? And, more important, does it have a government with the slightest interest in maintaining the national health-insurance program called medicare? For all practical purposes, the answer to both of those questions is a resounding “No.”

Erroll Mendes
, lawyer, author and Professor of law at the University of Ottawa, was interviewed recently about the Contempt of Parliament charges against the Harper government, and he brought up another important point. Renegotiation with the provinces and the Canada Health Act, is scheduled for 2014.

With Stephen Harper refusing to provide the costs of big ticket items like the fighter jets, corporate tax cuts and his new law and order agenda, how will Parliamentarians know whether or not there is any money to sustain medicare?

Which brings us to another concern. Instead of allowing Parliament to examine the issue, Harper has handed it over to the unelected senate. A senate that he now controls.

Healthcare vs Sickcare

Another issue with the corporate sector taking over the industry, is that the focus will be on what Liberal health critic, Carolyn Bennett, calls "sickcare". An auto mechanic doesn't care what kind of car you buy or its gas mileage. Their only interest is fixing it when it breaks down.

With health becoming a for-profit industry, again the focus will only be on fixing you when you break down. We will be reduced to a series of pay scales, based on the plan that we or our employer has purchased. There will be free plans for the poor, but what quality of care will they receive?

But healthcare is about more than just tending the sick. It's also about prevention of illness, and under corporate care, prevention is a word to avoid at all costs.

Those in the medical profession understand the need to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. But poverty is one of the root causes of illness. So healthcare must also address feeding and housing the poor, if we want to keep everyone as healthy as possible.

The working poor or those engaged in precarious employment, often have no sick leave plan, so they go to work when they shouldn't, not able to lose even a day's pay. Under a corporate system none of these things will be factored in. The more sick people, the more profit. Healthcare should not only be an election issue, but it should be the election issue. And remember, just because Stephen Harper no longer discusses it, does not mean that he has changed his plans. He's just hoping we won't notice until it's too late.


1. Stephen Harper Promises To Privatize Canadian Healthcare, Lilith News, May 17th 2005

2. What separates a wrestling match from a health care, Globe and Mail, April 28, 2005

3. "Tories to Klein: keep your mouth shut",, April 28, 2005

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So Many Reasons

The Pope and Steven Harper are on the same stage in Stadium

in front of a huge crowd..

...The Pope leans towards Mr. Harper and said, "Do you know that
with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep into their hearts and they'll forever speak of this day and rejoice!"

Harper replied, "I seriously doubt that! With one little wave of your hand ... show me!"

So the Pope backhanded him and knocked him off the stage!


Kind of brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

The Tory Party in Canada has Disbanded

Contact the Governor General: The Monster War Criminal Harper is Shutting Down Parliament Again!

Is Jason Kenney a Dumber Version of Joe Lieberman?

How Focus on the Family is Destroying Children

My Postings on How the Reformers Have Embarrassed us on the World Stage

Harper Government has Become an Embarrassment

Henny-Penny McKay Passed Over

Stephen Harper Embarrassed Us on the World Stage Again

Harper and His Government Continue to Embarrass Us.

The Less We Care the Better Harper Looks. How Incredibly Sad

Some Canadians Abroad Now Wearing American Flags on Their Backpacks.

Conservatives Sit Down For Canada and Leave National Portrait Gallery Homeless

When Canada Was a Leader Our Initiatives Saved Lives

Harper's India Trip Marred With Controversy and Chaos

Harper Admits India Trip Not For Us But Him

Stephen Harper Has Failed us Again. We are no Longer a Nation That Dreams.

Harper Fails Us Again. When is he Going to Stand Up For Canada?

Under Stephen Harper we are Weakening

Are we Now Discovering Why Harper Hired Ari Fleischer?

. Stephen Harper Our First Republican Prime Minister

2. Stephen Harper Says "I am Not a Crook"

3. Stephen Harper's True Religion: American Money and Power

4. Will the Ottawa Press Gallery Need an American Passport to Talk to Our Prime Minister?

5. This is Canada Mr. Harper. Keep the Republican Nonsense on the Other Side of the Border

6. Stephen Harper Creates 'B' Movie for Preston Manning

7. This is Canada Mr. Harper. Keep the Republican Nonsense on the Other Side of the Border

8. We've Been "Finkel-thinked", Not Just Republicanized. Thank you Stephen Harper

9. How Do You Keep Karl Rove Off Parliament Hill?

10. Does Stephen Harper Think He's a U.S. President?

1. Elizabeth May Weighs in on Harper's Dictatorship
2. I've Been Practicing my Goose-Step But I Keep Kicking Things.
3. Now That Canada is Officially a Dictatorship, Will we Get Uniforms?
4. News of Canada's end of Democracy Gone International
5. Conservatives Secretly Trying to Create More Conservative Seats Under Guise of Democratic Reform
6. Nova Scotia is Concerned With the Death of Democracy in Canada
7. Canadian Athletes Banned From Playing For Canada
8. The Reformers Changed the Nature of Canadian Politics
9. Ted Sorenson Reminds us of What Strong Leadership Really Means
10. I Want to be Prime Minister so I don't Have to be Accountable for Anything
11. Contact the Governor General: The Monster War Criminal Harper is Shutting Down Parliament Again!
12. The Disconnect Between Harper and the Canadian Identity has Been Exposed
13. It May Take a Parliamentary Crisis to Remove the Dictator
14. Stephen Harper's Comedy Act Takes a Sinister Turn as he Accuses Canadians of Being Evil
15. Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's Off to Work the Liberals Go ... Where they'll Dig, Dig, Dig, Dig ...
16. I Agree With Andrew Coyne. Parliament Should Meet Anyway
17. Harper's Dictatorship Doesn't Have to Mean the Death of the Left. We Just need a Transfusion.
18. How Many Times Can Harper Abuse Power to Prevent Criminal Investigations?
19. Harper the Dictator Must be Stopped But Only the Governor General Can Do It Now
20. My Very Very Melancholy Moment - Hallelujah
21. Stephen Harper is no Longer a Threat to Democracy Because we Have NO DEMOCRACY LEFT!
22. Will Michaƫlle Jean Make Harper's Dictatorship Official?
23. Is Stephen Harper Planning to Prorogue Parliament to Avoid Facing Detainee Investigation?
24. Canadians Turned Off Politics Means Neo-Conservatism Scores Another Victory
25. The Calgary School, the Firewall Letter and Harper's Vision for Canada
26. Harper Gives his Watchdogs an Early Christmas Gift. He Had Them all Neutered
27. Chris White is My Hero. 80,000 and Counting Members of Anti-Prorogation Facebook Group
28. From Sea to Shining Sea a Movement is Growing to Remove the Dictator
29. Taxation Without Representation. Rick Mercer Sure Got That Right
30. Harper Once Again Dividing Country for Political Gain
31. Media Finally Catching on But They Helped to Create This Monster
32. Stephen Harper Underestimates the Canadian People

The Tainting of the RCMP Has Left Them Open to Criticism

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rightwing Ideology: Life Begins at Conception But Ends at Birth

"These proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of “child poverty” and for more business subsidies in the name of “cultural identity”. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects.” (Stephen Harper, The Bulldog, National Citizens Coalition, February 1997)

Gloria Steinem was on Bill Maher this week and they were discussing rightwing/Tea Party ideology.

Their latest protests centre on the abortion issue, and the recent drive to force those considering abortion to have a sonogram first. The idea of course is the belief that once a pregnant woman or girl hears her baby's heartbeat, she will change her mind.

The Tea Party/conservative movement is nothing if not a lesson in paradox, because while they demand that the government stays out of their lives, they are forcing government intervention on the lives of women.

They are even holding public rallies with a pregnant woman on stage hooked up to a sonogram, and a voice over of the baby talking to the crowd.

But Steinem made a very compelling statement, when it comes to the rightwing and the abortion issue. She said that for them "life begins at conception and ends at birth". That's it in a nutshell. Because the new 'right' philosophy is all about ending social programs. They don't care about poverty. In their judgement if you're poor it's because you're lazy.

They just want those babies born.

In 2006 Michael Ignatieff wrote a piece for MacLeans magazine in which he said, in part:
Canadians have created a distinctly progressive political culture in North America. We believe in universal rights of access to publicly funded health care; we believe in the protection of group rights to language; in group rights to self-determination for Aboriginal peoples; we believe in the equality rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, including rights to marriage. Strong majorities of Canadians believe that while abortion should be rare, it should be a protected right for all women. (1)
Few challenged his statements because they were a fair representation of who we are as Canadians. And our views have not really changed, as a recent survey suggests. What has changed is a politicians ability to express those views.

When Ignatieff suggested that Canada's maternal health initiative should include safe abortions, he was accused of promoting eugenics, suggesting that he was trying to decrease the black African population, forgetting that unsafe abortions are doing just that. It has been established that 36,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions in Africa. Good child bearing women, something tea party logic should be fighting against happening.

Many of these women were raped, as that is increasingly becoming common as a weapon of war. Something our foreign service can no longer speak of due to the change in the language of our foreign policy. According to Adrian Bradbury with DFAT:
Make no mistake, these semantic changes represent fundamental shifts to Canadian foreign policy. Each of the banned or altered terms carry with it significant policy implications, most related to the international human rights agenda. For example, when speaking of the war in the DRC, where upwards of 3 million people have been killed, and rape is widely used as a tool of war, the terms "impunity" and "justice" can no longer be used when calling for an end to, and punishment for, sexual violence.
And the Harper government has also reduced foreign aid to Africa, so again, their interest in a woman's reproductive rights, end at birth.

The abortion issue discussed on Bill Maher, included the Tea Party/conservatives attack on Planned Parenthood. And while only 2% of PP's mandate includes abortion, it is estimated that if it is dismantled, abortions would actually increase by about 40,00 a year.

In Canada, Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day have already eliminated funding to this organization. In 2006, they received $1,285,674 in federal grants, while in 2009, only $9,381.

Furthermore, Conservative Brad Trost circulated a petition to go after the International Planned Parenthood Federation in November of 2009 and in 2010:
One of the world’s biggest health-care providers for vulnerable women appears to have fallen victim to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s zero tolerance policy on abortion. In London, International Planned Parenthood Federation is waiting for a call from Canada that will preserve life-saving programs that help 31 million women and children.
Again this is very short sighted, and yet another case where ideology trumps factual information.

Because of organizations like Planned Parenthood in Canada , between 1996 and 2006, the abortion rate in young women, saw a sharp decline. Canada’s teen birth and abortion rate drops by 36.9 per cent. Preaching abstinence doesn't work.

So if the Tea Party/conservative movement was serious about tackling the abortion issue, they would promote safe sex, the eradication of child poverty and income disparity.

And if you think that in 2006, Michael Ignatieff was only saying what he thought we wanted to hear to get elected, this is what he wrote of poverty in 2000, just three years after Stephen Harper boasted that he was a rare public figure who wasn't afraid to speak out against public money going to fight child poverty.
.... abundant societies that could actually solve the problem of poverty seem to care less about doing so than societies of scarcity that can't. This paradox may help to explain why the rights revolution of the past forty years has made inequalities of gender, race, and sexual orientation visible, while the older inequalities of class and income have dropped out of the registers of indignation. Abundance has awakened us to denials of self while blinding us to poverty. We idly suppose that the poor have disappeared. They haven't. They've merely become invisible. (2)
Another fundamental difference between Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff.


1. Michael Ignatieff: what I would do if I were the Prime Minister: From Afghanistan to Quebec, education to the environment, Ignatieff lays out his bold, progressive vision for Canada. A Maclean's exclusive, September 01, 2006

2. The Rights Revolution: CBC Massey Lectures, By Michael Ignatieff, Anansi Books, 2000, ISBN: 978-0-88784-762-2, Pg. 92

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome to Rob Ford's Tea Party

Rob Ford is announcing another Canadian right-wing AstroTurf "Taxpayer" advocacy group. Ho hum.

He's calling it the first of it's kind and suggesting that it will represent centre-right issues. The Tea Party and all of these similar groups have three things in common:

1. They promote privatization so are always funded by corporations.

2. They represent far-right causes and the only thing 'centre' about them is the centre of the last donut Ford ate, and the centre of the Republican Party who usually writes their policies.

3. They are not new but part of a major network of right-wing AstroTurf groups posing as populism.

Harper didn't get his Fox News North so he's hoping this will ease some of his pain.

A few other right-wing, Astro-Turf groups behind Stephen Harper and the right-wing movement (partial list) include:

National Citizens Coalitions

Ontarians for Responsible Government

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

ProudToBeCanadian (mostly old Reformers and Ann Coulter) You'll have a hard time finding anything Canadian about this group. They even sport an American flag and the Tea Party

The Civitas Society (grew out of the old Northern Foundation)

Progressive Group for Independent Business

The Canadian Constitution Foundation

The Canadian Christian Coalition

Hamilton-based Work Research Foundation

Americans for Prosperty (Tea Party group)

Christian Legal Fellowship

REAL Women of Canada

And this is before we get into the think tanks.

In Kingston, Ontario, the Conservative candidate, Alicia Gordon, is presenting herself as a moderate conservative, even suggesting that she will be running on a campaign of strengthening social services. (stop laughing dammit. Every time I say that, the earth shakes from so many belly laughs.)

But Ford reminds Canadians that Harper's party is more tea party, than any kind of conservatism we've ever had in Canada before. It is rumoured that Don Cherry will be promoting Gordon. Don Cherry of "left-wing pinko" fame.

Ford is also suggesting that left wingers include environmental groups. Since when has protecting the environment been a left wing issue?

Ford's Tea party will campaign against everything that is important to Canadians. At a time of record debt and deficit, tax reduction should not be made a priority. Proper use of tax money is a much better initiative.

I hope his tea party is loud and proud. It will be like taking candy from a baby.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will G-20 Horror Show Hurt Tim Hudak's Chances of Becoming Premier of Ontario?

The G-20 debacle that saw riot police beat up peaceful protesters, while under orders to leave vandals alone to do their jobs, was a painful reminder to Ontarians unfortunate enough to have lived under the regime of Mike Harris.

Riot police became the norm then as he locked us out of Queen's Park; our Queen's Park, while also locking us out of his thoughts, except at election time.

His was the party of big business where all the real power was in the backroom.

Head of that backroom was Stephen Harper's current chief of staff, Guy Giorno, and his second in command, was Deb Hutton, now married to current neocon leader, Tim Hudak.
I tell my friend from Brampton that if he wants to get into the cabinet, like his colleague, he should be good to Guy Giorno and Deb Hutton. Deb's now been with the Tory caucus 10 years; celebrating her 33rd birthday in mid-August. She has all kinds of power .... All these people advise, so what I'm saying to the members of the Conservative caucus who want into the cabinet is, yes, be nice to Mike, laugh very loudly at the jokes, lead the applause when Mike speaks and give an answer that zaps the opposition, but the most important thing is to ingratiate yourself with Guy Giorno and the whiz kids. (1)
After reports of "unprecedented" police brutality during the G-20 weekend in Toronto, Hudak wrote a column suggesting that the police were blameless. But not everyone was convinced.
I wouldn't have expected Tim Hudak to put forward a really nuanced post-G20 treatise on the balance between security and civil liberties. That's not the way opposition politics tends to work. Still, I would have expected something a little more sophisticated than this. The Conservative Leader’s op-ed in Tuesday’s Toronto Sun came off like something on that paper's letters page, or like a transcript of a kneejerk call to a talk-radio station.

It's not that Hudak thinks violent criminals should be prosecuted, though I'm unclear who he thinks he's debating on that front. It's not even that he manages to work in "hooligans" five times, and "thugs" another three, which offends me as a writer if not a reader. What bothers me is that those who dare complain about any police conduct whatsoever are dismissed as "usual-suspect special interest groups" engaged in an "orchestrated attempt ... to demonize our police forces." (2)
And this:
Many, many props to my colleague Adam Radwanski for calling out Tim Hudak on his law-and-order screed in the Toronto Sun ... Taking seriously the concerns of citizens who saw the police effectively curb, if not suspend, civil liberties during the G20 is not to side against the cops and with over-privileged affluent white kids with white teeth aka thugs and hooligans, as Christie Blatchford suggested in this newspaper yesterday. The police board inquiry is, one hopes, the thin edge of the wedge. As Toronto councilor Adam Vaughan correctly pointed out, given that policing at the G20 was a multijurisdictional affair, a provincial inquiry is likely the only way to hold all the various levels of government to account. (3)
Yeah, he'll get elected.

The Globe included the following video. Exactly who were the thugs and hooligans? The police had this small group of civilians completely surrounded. They had nowhere to go.

Now watch this video from the Mike Harris days. Protesters marched against the Harris decision to reduce welfare payments by 21.6%. After the riot police manage to get the protesters across the road, they charged them and began their senseless beatings.

Welcome to Neoconservatism, which is just a fancy word for fascism. Tim Hudak is the protege of Mike Harris, and what Harris didn't teach him, his wife took care of.


Official Records for June 23, 1998, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Discussion Bill 25

2. Tim Hudak cops out, By Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail, July 7, 2010

3. Thugs, hooligans and other citizenry, By Douglas Bell, Globe and Mail, July 8, 2010