OTTAWA – The lack of a reply accorded Canada’s Auditor-General by two parliamentary committees promotes a further disconnect between citizens and our democratic system. So says Mark MacKenzie, nominated Green Party of Canada candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean.
Sheila Fraser placed formal requests to audit the close to $520 million dollar parliamentary budget before the Board of Internal Economy (House of Commons) and its twin body in the Senate ten months ago. “The fact that a response has not been forthcoming is disappointing and suggests that our parliamentarians are not anxious to be open with voters about their expenses,” asserted MacKenzie.
Recent audits in the United Kingdom and Nova Scotia have revealed sweeping improprieties, leading to the resignation of the Speaker of the British House of Commons and two Nova Scotian MLA’s (Members of the Legislative Assembly).
“What is at stake is transparency in government and the ability of voters to have faith that their money is not being used improperly. The inability to meet the Auditor General’s requests has given people further pause before participating in our democracy. What we need is a parliament that is unafraid to be open about its own expenses,” stated MacKenzie.
“This is one more example of how far divorced from reality the other parties really are. In the year 2010 secret meetings allocating funds is not good enough. My candidacy will be vigilante on the subject of true accountability versus the smoke and mirrors we are treated to from our existing representatives,” MacKenzie promised.
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Chris Alders Media Liaison Officer Mark MacKenzie for Ottawa West-Nepean
I may pick alternative candidate in by-election
Re: Fighting for Ottawa's 'champion,' Feb. 28.
Ottawa-The Citizen's profile of the Ottawa West-Nepean candidates dovetails with the debate my wife and I are having over whom we wish to support...
As an engineer in Ottawa's high-tech scene, I find Mark MacKenzie compelling for the simple fact that it's the first time that I can say that I might vote for the Green party.
The Greens are running a candidate that I can relate to: a man who understands the challenges of the real world, managing a business, meeting payroll, and and all the daily concerns that the majority of the citizens in Ottawa-West Nepean need to deal with.
OTTAWA – The Ontario Municipal Board should not intervene or overturn Ottawa City Council’s decision to limit development to 220 hectares, largely within existing bus routes and support systems. So says Mark MacKenzie, the Green Party of Ontario candidate in the Ottawa West-Nepean by-election.
There are indications that developers who wanted to utilize upwards of 2000 hectares and had their plans dashed are appealing to the OMB. “The Ontario Municipal Board should not be the final arbiter of decisions made in good faith by local and elected community-based governments. The Ottawa City Council has a right to place restrictions on urban sprawl when and where it sees fit,” asserts MacKenzie.
“The OMB is not an elected body. It is made up of officials appointed by the Premier. It was created in 1897 when the City of Ottawa had only 100,000 people and stopped at Billings Bridge. OMB is a relic of the past and no longer relevant to the people of Ontario,” states MacKenzie.
“We are very concerned that the OMB is simply overriding local governments. The recent Manotick decision is further evidence of this lamentable situation. As your prospective MPP, I will move a motion at Queen’s Park for the abolition of the OMB because it has become an endangerment to our community-based democracy,” says MacKenzie.
Voter turnout has been on a downward decline in Ontario and municipal elections. “A clear disconnect exists between the people and the democratic process. On March 4, 2010, voters in our communities have the ability to vote for community-based democracy by voting for me,” states MacKenzie.
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Green Party of Ontario Candidate
For Ottawa West-Nepean
Ottawa-The other day, former NBA bad-boy Charles Barkley was asked if he would consider entering politics.
He said no, with this addendum: All politicians are scumbags.
I thought about Barack Obama, and Sir Charles’s emphatic choice of words: “All.”
Then I met Mark MacKenzie in the CHUM studios down on George St. Mark, who looks a little like Cal Ripken a few years away from the game, has just won the nomination to carry the Green Party banner in Ottawa-West Nepean in the next federal election.
(I have it on good authority that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be calling that vote in either East Anglia or Rangoon.)
Now Mark looks as wholesome as the name of his environmental business — Appleseed Snowblowing Services. He is oh so green; he also offers organic lawn care and organic landscaping. He was one of the moving forces behind the passing of Bill 64, which banned the sale and use of pesticides in Ontario. So I didn’t want to tell him that Charles Barkley thinks of him as a wannabe scumbag.
Instead, we talked about the usual things. What did Mark think about the Harmonized Sales Scam that politicians in both mainline parties are pushing as a gift from Robin Hood to the poor.
Well, it just so happens that Mark doesn’t like the tax for the same reason that anyone with a volt or two of electricity still pulsing through their brain doesn’t like it: The bony, long-fingered hand of the taxman is poised to plunge into pockets never before plundered. In Mark’s case, the tax will apply to the service he offers — removing snow.
“This is a detrimental tax to small business because it places levees on items that were not taxed under the PST.”
Mark, who is an extremely personable man, also thinks his riding has been the victim of the wholesale sellout of Nortel by the federal government.
“They have money for the car companies and money for banks but nothing for Nortel. People in Ottawa-West Nepean lost jobs and pensions and the country lost brilliant Canadian technology.”
Voters should think Green
Party provides real political alternative
OTTAWA — Life seems a tiny bit unfair for voters in Eastern Ontario’s two provincial byelections. Like kids with a detention, they have been assigned to pay attention to provincial politics while the rest of us get to focus on the Olympics.
People in Ottawa West-Nepean and Leeds-Grenville have the dreary assignment of weighing the merits of the political parties. That can be depressing. There are the Liberals, with their scandals and broken promises; the PCs, still trying to figure out who they are; and the NDP, for those who think we don’t have enough socialism and big government.
Fortunately, for voters who are sick of all of this, there is one other alternative, although it’s probably not top of mind. Yes, Ontario does have a Green party and it has fielded solid candidates in both ridings. Better, it has a leader who comes across as a normal person, not a politician. Better yet, the Greens have policies that are much more in sync with real life than those of their competitors.
The Greens’ new leader, Mike Schreiner, has released a platform aimed at Eastern Ontario. Imagine some political party thinking of us. Schreiner and the Greens are talking about the kinds of things that are actually on people’s minds like the food we eat and where it comes from, doing more for the environment, the energy efficiency of our homes and our right to make decisions for our own communities. It’s an attractive blend of populism and environmentalism.
The Greens naturally advocate more green jobs and a green building program, but their focus is on small Ontario manufacturers with new technologies and homeowners or builders who want to increase energy conservation. It’s about what you can do, not what a South Korean multinational corporation like Samsung can do.
The whole focus of the Ontario Green party is on local, community-based decision making. It’s a sharp contrast to the top-down management favoured by the Liberals and the PCs before them. The underlying idea is that people are smart enough to figure out what’s best for their communities without a lot of paternalistic advice from government.
Not every detail of the Green platform is entirely convincing. For example, the Greens want to lower taxes on work and increase taxes on behaviour. Government might make up the lost income taxes by taking in more in new taxes on fuel-consuming vehicles or over-packaged products. It sounds attractive, but if people actually respond to the incentive it would quickly erode the government’s tax base.
In Ottawa West-Nepean, the Green candidate is Mark MacKenzie. He’s the sort of grey-haired, well-dressed business guy the PCs would have loved to get as a candidate. MacKenzie, who runs an organic-lawn-care company, is articulate and passionate about the Greens and the possibility of change.