Like Bob Dechert, Calandra is an old Alliance member, running unsuccessfully for the party in 2000.
He is also from the old Mike Harris gang, having acted as Chief of Staff for one of the worst Harris MPPs, Steve Gilchrist.
I was surprised that Calandra mentioned working for him in his bio, because that's not really a name that I would like to be associated with.
In 1999 he was under investigation, after two prominent developers complained that Gilchrist's personal lawyer, Peter Proszanski, offered to allow them to influence policy for a $25,000 fee.
He was eventually cleared of these charges but the probe unearthed a few other things from his past, including a conviction in 1984 for tax evasion, a government contract recently secured by Proszanski and an alleged conflict of interest during his first term.
Harris removed him from his cabinet post, but not from his caucus. Tony Clement took his place.
Calandra also mentions that he was the MPPs Chief of Staff when Gilchrist was Chair of the Red Tape Commission and first Commissioner of Alternative Energy.
The Alternative Energy Commission never really materialized, but the Red Tape Commission was blamed in part for the Walkerton water tragedy.
Like the 'risk management' policy of the Harper government, under the auspices of removing 'red tape', it also removed proper inspections, and hindered people from doing their jobs.
Mark Winfield, of the Pembina Institute ... called for the elimination of the Tories' much-touted Red Tape Commission the body that O'Connor points to as being a stumbling block for environment ministry staff looking to bolster protections.The Walkerton tragedy killed four people and made hundreds of others severely ill. Harper's scheme killed a dozen people from listeriosis, and yet he still hasn't changed his policy.
"The Red Tape Commission has got to go. It's that simple," Winfield said. "I think its actions clearly placed the health and safety of Ontario residents at risk." In his report, O'Connor says despite attempts by staff at the ministries of health and the environment to push for regulations that would have forced all private labs to notify provincial officials- including the local medical officer of health- about any adverse water test results, the anti-red tape tone of the Harris government got in the way.
Paul Calandra's former boss was also one of the worst little pit bulls in the Harris kennel. In his 1999 book Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog, Linwood Barclay talks about how Gilchrist would go on radio talk show debates, and refuse to answer questions, only make pooch sounds. Grrr! Rrrr! Rufff! Grrrrrr.
During one such debate, Gerard Kennedy, who was then in the Ontario Legislature, commented "I hate to be a bother, but Steve just bit me. Does anyone know whether he's had his shots?'
And he hasn't changed much. During the recent provincial leadership contest, he backed Christine Elliot, wife of Jim Flaherty. But to try and take the wind out of Tim Hudak's sails, he announced that he had been a Hudak supporter but had lost faith, so joined Elliot instead. Of course that was a lie, and Hudak ultimately won.
I used to vote PC in Ontario, but this party has gone to the dogs, no pun intended.
So here's how we will win this riding back. I just learned that Liu Temelkovski will be running for the Liberals again next election. Since strategically he will be the best option to take out Calandra, I'm throwing my efforts into promoting him. He's an experienced member of Parliament with an excellent record.
I couldn't locate a website for him yet, just his bio, but Vejay Sappani has an excellent site for the area, so can provide you with details. He also posted as a guest on Morton's Musings here.
If you live in this riding, here's what you can do:
1. Join the Liberal Party. It's only about $10.00 and is a great way to show your support. They will keep you up to date with what's happening in the community and on the federal scene.
2. If you are able to find a bit of time, volunteer; perhaps with canvassing or some other promotions.
3. If you can afford it at all, donate a bit now and then. I'm set up to contribute a regular monthly donation, but it's whatever you feel comfortable with. Remember that the Conservatives have a lot of wealthy backers and it takes money to launch a campaign.
4. Join Catch 22 Harper Conservatives to learn more tips, and encourage others to join. They also have a website that is currently under construction.
5. Join Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. There are more than 20,000 links to stories with reasons to vote the Reform-Conservatives out. The better informed you are the more motivated you will be.
I'll keep this page updated as often as possible and will continue to provide more reasons why Paul Calandra and these destructive Reformers have got to go. And I will also provide plenty of information, as to why Liu Temelkovski must be brought back.
More Postings on Paul Calandra