By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 9, 2015
Canada Election Shifts Gears After Trying Summer for Harper
After a month of campaigning, the three-way race for Canada’s Oct. 19 election has narrowed as warning signs emerge for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his bid for a fourth consecutive term.
The incumbent Conservative has endured an explosive court case, talk of a recession and a refugee crisis that have eroded his traditional core platform planks: accountability and economic stewardship. Tom Mulcair of the leftist New Democratic Party and Justin Trudeau of the centrist Liberals, meanwhile, are each working to position themselves as the best alternative to Harper.
Polls have shown the three parties essentially tied — though one, published Monday night by Nanos Research, suggests Harper has sunk to third place. The deadlock may break as Canada emerges from an end-of-summer long weekend, with students returning to classrooms and workers settling back into routine.
“The campaign to date has been largely a phone campaign producing little attention,” said Frank Graves of Ekos Research. “All of this will change post-Labour Day as the real war for votes begins in earnest.”
An Ekos poll published Friday showed Mulcair’s New Democrats in the lead with 30.2 percent support, Harper’s Conservatives at 29.5 percent and Trudeau’s Liberals close behind at 27.7 percent. Monday’s Nanos survey, conducted for CTV and The Globe and Mail, found the NDP ahead with 32.7 percent, followed by the Liberals at 30.8 percent and Harper at 26.2 percent.
The election’s first month included two weeks of testimony in the criminal trial of former Conservative senator Mike Duffy that exposed the inner workings of Harper’s office and a plan to cover up disputed expenses. While explosive, that testimony has largely been forgotten now, Graves said. (Source: Bloomberg)
5 Effective Remedies for the Post-Summer Blues
Are you ready for the transition to a new season? A melancholy sadness can creep into our spirit as summer closes. For some, it harkens back to our childhood. The loss of freedom and joy, of carefree days playing with friends, the literal and figurative warmth of summer evenings, combined with the knowledge of imminent confinement to the four walls of a classroom, can create a lasting fear deep inside us that is still felt every year at this time. The quiet child inside our adult selves is still nervous to begin a school year with new classmates and teachers. There is also the dread as adults of vacations coming to an end. September begins a natural time of change in the rhythms of the year — a season for shifting, getting ready for harvest, and preparation for the winter season ahead. The sun is becoming noticeably lower in the sky, rising later, and setting sooner, signaling our biorhythms that there are only several weeks left until the Fall Equinox, at which time the nights become longer than days in the Northern Hemisphere. We start to feel wistful, nostalgic, and sometimes more seriously saddened and heartbroken at a sense of underlying loss.
We are born to be joyous, but sometimes we need a little nudge to get us there. I am a very sensitive person, and I often feel the weight of the collective consciousness. I feel things at a very deep level, and have found that consciously preparing myself for shifts has helped me so much with transitions. I depend on my spiritual practice to carry me. It is not enough to say, “Oh, just change your attitude.” We all have tools that can bring us out of those blues and into the natural joyfulness of our own being.
Here are five wonderful ways to transition out of the late summer blues. These tips can help you swing back to radiance: (Continued: Huffington Post)
Crucial stadium inspection will take five days
The city building department expects to spend five days inspecting the city’s new football stadium before pronouncing it ready — or not — for a fast-approaching Sept. 1 game.
That timeline adds to the deadline pressure facing the beleaguered builder of the $145-million stadium as well as the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The team doesn’t have a local backup venue for the much-anticipated Labour Day classic.
Chief building official Ed VanderWindt said Monday he has two inspectors “on call” to begin a marathon study of the 22,500-seat stadium as soon as the contractor applies for an occupancy permit.
“There is a lot of ground to cover … It’s not just one big walkabout and you’re done,” said VanderWindt, who has scheduled five days for the inspection.
While inspectors could eyeball the stadium in two or three days, the city’s building boss said the extra time accounts for document review and any required repairs.
The two inspectors will roam the city-block-sized venue dozens of times, said VanderWindt, because each critical element — sprinklers, fire exits or hand rails, for example — requires a dedicated walk-about.
VanderWindt said it’s not practical to assign more eyes to the stadium because not all parts of the building will be ready to inspect at the same time.
But he noted a team of in-house engineers will simultaneously be reviewing documents certifying everything from electrical work to structural integrity to fire safety.
The chosen inspectors — whom VanderWindt declined to identify — have a history with the building, including one dedicated to the stadium full-time.
“What I can say is our staff feel very privileged to be part of this project. I think everyone recognizes the pressure there is to make sure everything is done on time, but for our part I can say we’re keeping on top of it and looking forward to getting it done.”
The contractor, Ontario Sports Solutions, maintains the building will be ready for Sept. 1, but the building department hadn’t received an occupancy permit application by the end of the business day Monday.
But VanderWindt said building inspectors will work weekends if necessary, meaning a permit could still be granted by next Monday. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
OTHER NEWS SITES
This cartoon is posted on Yahoo Canada News.