Thursday, January 19, 2006

You can't disenfranchise all of us, Ianno!

Tony Ianno's campaign team seems to think that their best strategy at this point is to disenfranchise as many voters as possible. The shutdown of campus polls engineered by Team Ianno was just the beginning. Now, Ianno's campaign manager is claiming that more than 4000 names on the Elections Canada voters list are improper. According to the Toronto Star,

Campaign officials for Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno say they have filed many objections with Elections Canada asking for a review of each of the names to rule out the possibility of fraud.

... [Olivia Chow spokesperson] Nader questioned why the Liberals were raising this in the final days leading up to the Jan. 23 vote. "The timing is interesting. We have the U of T students' vote cancelled, then all of a sudden 4,000 names are errors?"

There is no question that students are furious about the last-minute machinations to block on-campus voter registration stations. According to a Globe and Mail article,

"To students, this looks like an outrageous and desperate attempt to thwart our voting," Paul Bretscher, president of U of T's Students' Administrative Council, said in a statement yesterday. The council is the main student government group for undergraduates.

Livejournal blogger blindapprentice grumbles:

I think that it's shameful that a candidate would be opposed to measures
which are meant to increase voter participation. It isn't just about this
election - students who are being screwed over now may become disillusioned
with the whole process and give up on voting entirely. The last thing we
need is lower voter participation - it's already at 25% among people under

Most bloggers saw the shutdown as a transparent and desperate attempt by the Ianno team to prevent students from voting. The "Greg and Mail" says

In an earlier post I suggested that the students voting at the U of T might just
tip the balance in favour of Olivia Chow in Trinity Spadina. Guess I'm not the
only one thinking that way. As a result of complaints from the Ianno campaign
Elections Canada has put the kibosh on plans to set up polling station on the U
of T downtown campus on election day. I still don't think it will help him.

Macleans blogger Colby Cosh also wrote about the controversy.

I don't see how this can be construed as anything but a horrifying faceplant for Kingsley and Elections Canada. Ianno took two weeks to complain, either because of astonishing inattention on the part of his campaign staff or because he knew it made sense to have the registration drive cancelled just 14 hours before it was to begin.
One thing is clear: I have no doubt that election day will be intense in Trinity-Spadina, with Ianno doing their darndest to challenge the eligibility of anyone who looks like they might vote against the Liberals (i.e. everyone except Tony's infamous "busloads of 'instant Liberal' old ladies in black dresses").

Oh, in other news: apparently an anti-Olivia Chow blog popped up briefly last night and disappeared just as fast. People were laughing at it, calling it "classic liberal smear and fear campaigning" by "desperate Ianno workers". After the Klander affair, you'd think the Liberals would be more cautious about blogging. And, of course, at this late stage in the game it is unlikely that any new blog will have any effect. I've been writing this blog since April of last year, and only very recently has anyone begun to notice it; it has a pretty low pagerank on Google. That said, there are comments coming in so some are reading... thanks to all of you for your kind words and support.

Is Ianno quaking with fear?

The very-local newspaper, the Annex Gleaner has published an editorial cartoon critical of Tony Ianno. Thanks to artist Brett Lamb for allowing us to republish this image!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ianno shuts down campus polls

Elections Canada has reportedly caved to pressure from the Liberal Party and cancelled special voting stations for students at the last minute.

According to a press release from U of T's student council and the Canadian Federation of Students:
Elections Canada had officially notified the students' union, as well as candidates in the riding, that special ballot student voting would occur over three days, at seven locations in campus residences. The students' union had widely publicized these arrangements, in an effort to encourage students to participate in the Federal Election. On Saturday, January 14, at 9:45 pm, the evening before voting was set to begin, Elections Canada informed the students' union that these voting arrangements were being cancelled. No explanation was provided.
According to the Progressive Bloggers site:
This is incredible and perhaps the truest indication of how low the Team Martin will go in their quest for power. Taking a page out of the George W. Bush Florida Team’s handbook, the Liberal Party of Canada has apparently filed a legal complaint to prevent advance polling and special balloting at the St George U of T campus. Ianno’s team has confirmed that it was a Liberal Party challenge which caused the cancellation of the voting initiative effecting thousands of students. This is an important issue for the Trinity-Spadina riding because of the high rate of NDP support among students. Every student that doesn’t vote is likely a positive thing for the Ianno campaign.

Tony Ianno: Antihero

Maclean's magazine blogger Paul Wells pointed out some Liberal hypocrisy last week. On Friday morning, Paul Martin announced that the Liberals would create a "heroes fund" to compensate the families of 'first responders' - firefighters and other rescue workers who are killed in the line of duty.

Of course, this fund was in fact first proposed in October as an NDP motion in Parliament. When that motion came to a vote, nearly the entire Liberal cabinet voted against it, including junior minister Tony Ianno.

Despite Liberal opposition, the bill passed by 49 votes, but the Liberals have not yet done anything to make it happen. However it seems they have nothing against using it to gain votes.

The NDP calls these "values of convenience".

Friday, January 13, 2006

Projecting a defeat for Ianno

DemocraticSPACE's Jan 12 projection predicts that Tony Ianno will lose to Olivia Chow by a 9% margin (43% NDP, 34% LIB).

Of course, it was a lot closer than that last time, so it may be a little early to be counting chickens. However, I think a lot of factors point to a defeat for Ianno:
  • the Conservative surge: there's no way local CPC rep Sam Goldstein can win, but I would bet that he'll be siphoning votes away from Ianno, rather than the NDP
  • the Klander racial slur, and the Chinese head tax issue, will hurt Ianno in the Chinatown polls
  • Ianno is finally being taken to task for his support of the rogue Toronto Port Authority and the much-hated Island Airport
  • Recent revelations about possible corruption at the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative have tied Ianno's riding association to the companies that received untendered contracts
  • NDP supporters who were bitterly disappointed by the extremely close loss in 2004 will be redoubling their efforts to elect Olivia Chow this time around

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Corruption on the waterfront tied to Ianno

Breaking news from the Globe and Mail this morning. Federal officials failed to publish the most critical findings of an audit into how public money has been spent by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. The decision not to release these findings was made during a federal election in which government transparency and ethics has been a major campaign focus. Several of the companies that were improperly awarded waterfront contracts are large donors to the Trinity-Spadina Liberal riding association, thus linking Tony Ianno to the corruption.

The TWRI has spent almost $30-million since 2001. One of the recommendations of the audit team that was not included in the published report was that there should be an investigation as to "whether there was unauthorized usage of funds" involving some waterfront contracts.

The public report noted that two contracts were signed after work had already begun and that 10 contracts were awarded without competition even though they were above the $75,000 level that requires an open bid.

According to the Globe and Mail:

The public version of the internal audit by Human Resources Skills Development Canada also omits a chart that lists the 10 sole source contracts that were awarded in violation of the rule requiring public bids. The document shows some were well above the $75,000 maximum.

They include $2.2-million to Goodmans LLP for legal services; $1.7-million to KPMG for "procurement, financial reporting and bookkeeping services," including a contract signed Nov. 25, 2004, for work done between Sept. 1, 2003, and Aug. 31, 2004; and $1-million to McMillan Binch LLP for corporate legal services.

Several of the companies on the list were large donors to the national Liberal Party and riding associations of current and former Liberal MPs in the Greater Toronto Area, including Tony Ianno, Bill Graham, Carolyn Bennett, Bonnie Brown, Albina Guarnieri, Elinor Caplan and David Collenette.

I can hardly wait to watch Lazy Tony try to weasel his way out of this at upcoming debates!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

CBC misrepresentation

Last night's 6 o'clock CBC news had a short feature on the race in Trinity-Spadina, illustrated with coverage of Sunday's waterfront debate. Unbelievably, reporter James Murray described Tony Ianno's demeanor at the debate as "cool under fire". Murray must have been out of the room a lot; the reality is that Ianno repeatedly lost his temper and shouted angrily at the crowd at least twice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More Trinity-Spadina debates

Just a quick post to let readers know about two all-candidates forums in the riding. I will be at both of them and will be sure to give you my impressions of Ianno's performance in both.

The first is tonight (late notice, I know - but y'all check this site obsessively, don't you?)

Tuesday, 10 January 2006, *7:30pm: Trinity Spadina Federal Election Candidate Forum at Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (SW corner of Bloor and Spadina). Sponsored by local business improvement area organizations

The second is on January 16th, at U of T's Hart House:

WHAT: Trinity-Spadina All-candidates Debate
WHEN: 6:30 pm on Monday January 16, 2006.
WHERE: The Great Hall, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle.
This event is organized by the Hart House Debates Committee, Get Your Vote On, Canada 25 and the Hart House Social Justice Committee as part of the January 16th National Day of Action on Youth Voting. The Day of Action is part of national non-partisan effort to get voters to the polls.
I hope that a lot of students will attend the Hart House forum. I wonder if many of them are aware that Tony Ianno voted against an NDP bill that would have eliminated the discriminatory way that student loan debts are treated by bankruptcy law. Basically, if you are in debt on your credit cards, or car payments, going bankrupt will discharge those debts... but not student loan debt! No, you have to carry that debt for at least ten years.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tony Ianno's Terrible Temper

I attended the Trinity-Spadina debate at the Harbourfront community centre yesterday. Tony Ianno took heavy fire from residents, particularly over the issue of the rogue Toronto Port Authority that he helped create, and the expansion of the Island Airport. You can read reports in the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, and Globe and Mail.

I've lived in this riding for ten years, and this was actually the first time I've seen Tony Ianno in the flesh. It quickly became clear that one reason Ianno keeps such a low profile in the riding is that he has a serious temper control problem. At least twice during the debate, Ianno stood up and raged at the audience. It was admittedly a largely partisan crowd, but still, you'd think any smart politician would know better than to shout at his constituents in a public meeting. I think Ianno has developed a sense of entitlement when it comes to this riding, and he seems to take challenges as a personal insult.

Another thing that was obvious is that Ianno has a major hate-on for Toronto mayor David Miller. You could hear the venom in his voice every time he mentioned the mayor, and he mentioned him a lot, trying to shift blame for the 35-million dollar bridge payoff Ianno engineered for the Port Authority.

The debate format itself was painful. Ten different community groups sponsored the event, and each submitted one question for the candidates in the first half of the debate. It seemed like eight of the ten were re-phrasings of the same question: what is the future of the Toronto Port Authority and the island airport? Are there really no other issues affecting this community? The ham-handed moderation by York prof Susan Swan was also poor.

By about the fourth question, even Ianno was claiming that he would listen to the community and work to close the airport, although he claims it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do so. Of course, he has very little credibility, as he has been the incumbent for 12 years and has done nothing to date. His big claim on recent developments in the TPA/airport issue was that he had sent a letter to the Minister of Transportation inquiring about it. Oooh, a whole letter! And the Minister had "agreed to communicate" with him on it! Such progress! Such dedication!

The individual questions from the audience in the second half were slightly more varied, but still, about a third of them continued to harp on the airport. One questioner brought up the trust fund issue, which brought cries of protest from Ianno's team in the audience, who shouted "there is no trust fund"! Well, there isn't NOW. Apparently (and this only became clear a few days ago) Ianno's trust fund was dissolved two years ago when the election finance laws were changed to close that loophole. He still refuses to disclose the donors or reveal how the money liquidated from the fund was spent. As the questioner pointed out, the residents of the waterfront would dearly like to know if any of the people with financial interests in the Island Airport are amongst those donors. Surprisingly, the Conservative party candidate, Sam Goldstein, leapt to the defense of Ianno, pointing out that the trust funds were not illegal when they were established. Of course, while they were not technically illegal, they were never ethical. They made use of loopholes in campaign finance laws, and obviously any anonymous, unregulated donation to a political candidate raises major ethical issues. We must know to whom our members of Parliament may feel financially beholden! This is currently a major issue for MP Sarmite Bulte, and it should be an issue for Tony Ianno as well.

On's discussion board, some have suggested that it was unfair for Ianno to be "ambushed", "not shown any respect", and "heckled" by the audience. The fact is, Tony Ianno has had twelve years to gain the trust and support of the Trinity-Spadina community. Instead, he has hidden out in the backbenches for 12 years, stayed invisible to his constituents, and done essentially nothing but show up for photo ops. He clearly doesn't respect the citizens of this riding, so he shouldn't expect them to respect him. In addition, it wouldn't be possible to 'ambush' a politician with a record of accomplishment. Most incumbents who've been around for 12 years could easily produce a long list of things they've done for their constituents. Since Ianno has no such record (look at his own website - his own campaign team can't come up with anything significant), he has no positive defence. Any promises he makes in the campaign (eg closing the airport) are significantly weakened by the fact that he's had 12 years to make things happen and has not done so.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Talking to Team Tony

In an amusing post, Urban Sherpa describes a telephone conversation with a member of Tony Ianno's campaign team:
“Actually, no. We’re voting for Olivia Chow. We just think it’s time for some new blood in this riding…..Are you kidding me? Isn’t Tony Ianno the most ineffective MP in Parliament?… No, I didn’t read that in the Annex Gleaner, it was in the Globe and Mail….Well, I don’t think that Hansard Notes is totally erroneous. Okay. Merry Christmas.”

I keep hoping I'll be home when Team Tony comes to my door, so I can look one of his volunteers in the eye and ask them how they can possibly respect themselves, campaigning for such a useless candidate.

Catching up with Lazy Tony

OK, time to play catch-up with all sorts of news on the Terrible Tony front.

First I want to encourage any readers (ha! wishful thinking I'm sure) to attend the Waterfront debate this Sunday.
Federal election: Waterfront debate this Sunday
Date: This Sunday, January 8, 2006
Time: Noon to 2pm
Place: Harbourfront Community Centre — SE corner of Bathurst St. and Queen’s Quay W.

It has been 1,444 days since the Federal Transport Minister said the best plan for Toronto’s money losing island airport would be to close it down. How many more days before the Feds finally act? We’ll find out this Sunday at the Trinity-Spadina candidates’ debate. For more specifics on the event and questions that will be asked click here.

The focus of this debate will be the role and the future of the federal government’s waterfront airport on Toronto Island and the role and the future of the federal Port Authority, which runs the airport. This is your chance to hear from and question the four main candidates in the Trinity-Spadina race:

Conservative — Sam Goldstein, Green Party — Thom Chapman, Liberal — Tony Ianno (sitting MP), NDP — Olivia Chow

CommunityAIR and other waterfront community groups are sponsoring this debate.

As I said over at (which I just joined, at least partly in hopes of attracting more eyeballs to this site), I am hoping that Ianno gets reamed at this debate -- if he's brave enough to show up. Basically, due to his support of the Toronto Port Authority (see my previous posts!), he is personally responsible for much of what is wrong with Toronto's beleaguered waterfront. If only the Liberal condo-dwellers had done their research in the last election!

Tony Ianno's trust fund is also getting some attention. Blogger Inaki Mondragon seems to have been able to generate some traction on the issue of Ianno's $250,000 slush fund, which, due to loopholes in election finance laws, allows people to make large anonymous donations which Tony can use for just about anything he wants. Torontoist picked up the story on Wednesday, and apparently CBC radio had an item about it this morning. With luck Ianno will not be able to remain under the radar on this.

Torontoist also had a recent story about the 'Stop the Violence' vigil for Jane Creba, the girl who was shot while shopping at Yonge-Dundas square on Boxing Day. Apparently, Ianno stood next to the Torontoist reporter respectfully for most of the ceremony, but when rival Olivia Chow came forward with city councilor Pam McConnell to dedicate a candle, he wasted no time pushing his way to the front of the crowd. Wouldn't want to miss a photo op, now would we?

Going back even further, I must admit I was surprised to read that Ianno had spoken out against the racist blog comments by Liberal organizer Mike Klander. Surprised because first of all, we know that Ianno rarely speaks out on anything, even when he's being well-paid to do so as a Member of Parliament. Secondly, it seems entirely out of character for Ianno. If you'll recall, after Ianno won the last election, rather than graciously acknowledge his opponents, which is standard practise, he took the opportunity to insult Olivia Chow. I wouldn't be surprised if he had the insulting Olivia Chow graphic as his screensaver.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Comments disabled

I have 'elected' to disable comments rather than deal with a semi-literate troll.

For the record, this is not a pro-Olivia Chow blog. In fact, I've barely mentioned her name, nor the names of the other candidates in Trinity-Spadina.

This blog exists solely to point out the considerable failings of Trinity-Spadina's current MP, the demonstrably useless Tony Ianno. I do this mostly by commenting on, and linking to, media reports on his performance and his parliamentary record.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Election 2006

Well, with an election underway I guess it's time for an update to the Lazy Tony blog. What is "Tony who?" up to these days?

Over at, they are hosting a mini-survey asking who will win Trinity-Spadina. Olivia Chow is leading 27-17 at the time of this posting. Commenting on the poll, Michael writes:
What is it about Tony that gets him votes? I've met the guy, can it be his personality? If so, I must be missing something. Is it his big shindig he throws at the CN Tower restaurant every year? Party affiliation and strategic voting should only go so far. It is time for someone new.
On December 3rd, the Globe and Mail listed Trinity-Spadina as one of 10 "ridings to watch" in an article called "Election Dogfights 2006".

Main card: Tony Ianno (Liberal) vs. Olivia Chow (NDP).
Last round: 23,202 (Liberal), 22,397 (NDP).

The third round of a heavyweight battle. In 2004, Mr. Ianno succeeded in pulling more votes from lakeshore condo residents, while Ms. Chow saw the Green Party siphon almost 2,300 votes. Mr. Ianno, a tough-talking Martin loyalist, was able to tout his advocacy of seniors' issues and has since served as minister of state for families -- a position that allows him to dole out grants to community groups. But the riding's big issue remains the status of the island airport. The Toronto Port Authority continues to press ahead with plans to build a modern ferry to the moribund facility as a means of kick-starting air service. Anti-airport activists have targeted Mr. Ianno for failing to rein in the federally regulated agency.

The non-confidence motion that triggered the election was tabled on November 24. During the speeches, Tony Ianno was one of a handful of Liberals who had to be told to shut up, as they were heckling like schoolchildren:
Acadie-Bathurst NDP MP Yvon Godin said he wasn't surprised by Bradshaw's persistent heckling which continued into NDP Leader Jack Layton's speech. Midway through his speech Layton asked Ontario Liberal MP Tony Ianno and Bradshaw to stop the chatter.
Here's exactly what Layton said about the heckling (from Hansard):
Hon. Jack Layton: The member for Trinity—Spadina is once again making his customary contribution in the House, which is to heckle meaningless remarks. I will say no more about that at this time.
Over at, a 'babbler' asked about Tony's latest mailing:

I got a flyer from Tony Ianno in my mailbox Friday. It was his constituent newsletter, but longer than the usual, full of pictures and government propaganda. Is it legal for a sitting MP to use his constituency budget to send out mass mailings to the riding during an election campaign?

The answer: it's legal as long as it was mailed before the writ was dropped. Ianno is not the only MP to pull this trick. I don't know why he bothered, though; the newsletter is terrible. He does so little for the constituency, even his own staff can't figure out how to make him look like he's doing a good job.

Well, I'm out of time, this about wraps it up for now. I'll try to update more often as the campaign unfolds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tony Ianno, boy reporter

Tony Ianno's name made a rare appearance in the newspaper on the weekend. From the Globe & Mail's 'Inside City Hall' column, September 10:

This week, it took two federal Liberal cabinet ministers (not counting two ministers of state and a handful of other local MPs) to hand Mayor David Miller a cheque for $24.5-million, the first instalment of gas-tax money for transit over the next five years.

The love-in at Union Station took an odd turn when Liberal Minister of State for Families and Caregivers Tony Ianno jumped to the microphone during the news conference to play reporter. He asked the mayor and TTC general manager Rick Ducharme "How much of a break can we get for low-income seniors?"

While the TTC has a discount fare for seniors, it has no special rates for the poor, prompting the mayor to quip: "Sounds like a new federal program to me. I look forward to participating."

Tony Ianno has been a Toronto MP for many years now and has never spoken out for TTC funding.

Ianno has also been spotted around town recently, enjoying special gala movie screenings and parties at the Toronto International Film Festival. I'm glad he was able to find the time in his exhausting schedule.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How'd they vote?

First of all, yes it has been a long time since my last post. What can I say; when you're tracking the activity of the most slackerly of MPs it is hard to come up with new material: "Day 266: Tony Ianno still hasn't done anything of note."

That said, his name did appear in a recent article in the Hill Times. The article isn't about him, but about junior cabinet minister Claudette Bradshaw, who hasn't said a single word in Commons this past session.

The Hill Times got the info thanks to a website called "How'd they Vote?", which bills itself as "a resource for political accountability". Here's the 411 for Ianno.

Statistics for the 38th Parliament:
Rank: 196
Name: Tony Ianno
Province: ON
Dissentions: 0
Absences / Abstentions: 4
Bills: 0
Quotes: 30
Words Spoken: 8478

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lazy Tony on Torontoist!

It appears that this humble little blog has been noticed... today the über-cool city blog Torontoist has linked to li'l ol' us in a funny piece about Tony Ianno's crappy constituency materials (which, a friend noted, were filling his mailbox at a frantic pace in the weeks leading to the budget confidence vote).

Torontoist's Sarah writes, in part,
"But taking the cake was Tony Ianno's newsletter, usually just a boring, tree-wasting, badly designed thing listing advancements Ianno claims to have had a hand in. Until this week. This week Lazy Tony decided to show the world that he, along with Ralph Goodale, is a friend of the old people."
Thanks Torontoist!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ding dong, the bridge is dead

The federal government has finally put an end to the Toronto Port Authority's plans for a fixed link to the Toronto Islands, nearly a year after City Council said they would not allow the bridge to happen. The government will be making a $35-million dollar payout to kill the deal.

From John Barber's column in the Globe & Mail:

"Remember the deal that was going to cost no money to anybody?" asked island airport MP Tony Ianno, poking Mayor David Miller for the apparently overbold
promise he made prior to his election. "Somehow to resolve it all will cost $35-million."

But how exactly? Who gets all that money? And why do they all get it?

"I don't know all the specifics," Mr. Ianno replied. "Everybody that had a claim -- as long as they had a legitimate claim -- is off the table." The good news is that the bridge is dead, he said. We boldly stepped forward to clean up the city's mess.

Barber goes on to note that "nestled oh-so-confidentially within the skirts of this backroom deal there lurks another big, fat subsidy to the bankrupt, ever-troublesome Toronto Port Authority."

Of course, the Toronto Port Authority was Ianno's creation (along with since-deposed MP Dennis Mills). Rather than taking credit for cleaning up the mess, Ianno should be apologizing for having created it in the first place. One wonders if the beneficiaries of the government's $35-million largesse are among those who keep Tony's quarter-million dollar slush fund topped up.

NOW magazine notes that it has taken 18 months for the Feds to honour their promise to kill the bridge deal.

The Grits reiterated that pledge during last year's federal election when it looked like Trinity-Spadina MP Tony Ianno might lose his downtown seat to Councillor Olivia Chow. But after Ianno eked out a 1,000-vote win, the Grits suddenly fell silent on the matter.

"The bridge to PEI was announced 14 times before it was built," one local Liberal insider said this week to explain the federal government's "why do today what you can announce again tomorrow" approach.

Neat how everything just managed to work out now, before Chow has decided if she wants to try for third-time-lucky against the resilient Ianno. Invisible Tony, as his detractors like to call him, has been all over town in the past couple of weeks, inviting Environment Minister Stéphane Dion to the riding and showing up for photo ops with Volpe and other local Liberal MPs.

Perhaps they're hoping that handing out federal money in T.O. will save them
from NDP challengers, as anti-Tory fear-mongering did less than 12 months ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Gossip yes, hard-working no

The Hill Times is a weekly newspaper produced by political staffers on Parliament Hill. Each year they publish the results of an annual "Best-Dressed/Politically Savvy/Sexy" survey.

You may be interested to know that Tony Ianno made the list in 2002, and again in 2003, for the category "Who is the Biggest Gossip?" (he came in 3rd place).

Other categories included: "Best Constituency MP", "Hardest Working MP" and "Most has Cabinet's Ear". Ianno has yet to place in any of these categories.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On the Waterfront

Tony Ianno's win during the 2004 federal election was credited by many to the waterfront condo owners in the southern part of Trinity-Spadina.

One wonders if they were aware that Ianno was one of the co-conspirators behind the creation of the Toronto Port Authority, a federal body that appears to have made a mission out of fleecing Toronto taxpayers and destroying Toronto's waterfront.

The Port Authority was key in promoting the Island Airport bridge and expansion, and in generally holding back efforts to revitalize the waterfront. At a community meeting in June 2004,
"Tony Ianno was the only one who defended the Port Authority. He said it “had an important role to play”. Mr. Ianno worked with fellow Liberal MP, Dennis Mills, to co-found the Port Authority in the late 1990s. This was done despite a promise from the federal Transport Minister of the day that Toronto would retain control over its port, as have many other municipalities. The federal takeover of Toronto's port and some 415-acres of prime waterfront land, formerly controlled by the City of Toronto was against the wishes of City Council. And in late 2002, a near unanimous vote of Council reaffirmed a desire to see the port lands (including the Island Airport) and operations returned to City control."
One of the Port Authority's primary pasttimes appears to be suing the City of Toronto. A 2003 editorial in eye magazine notes:
"Shortly after its inception in June, 1999, the TPA sued the city of Toronto for $1 billion (Toronto's entire annual budget is $6 billion) to compensate for lands handed over to the city by TPA's municipal predecessor, the Harbour Commission. It wasn't until this past June that the case was finally laid to rest for a hefty $49 million. Two weeks ago, in an attempt to dissuade city council from revoking its approval of the fixed link to the island airport, Harbour Master Lisa Raitt threatened another massive lawsuit that could reach into the hundreds of millions in addition to reopening the recent settlement. Though a meeting Dec. 8 between the TPA and the mayor's office seemed to calm down the litigation rhetoric, cancelling the bridge will still certainly cost us money. That's on top of the agency's annual budget shortfall of $4 million the city pays."
Even the right-wing National Post has questioned the rogue nature of the Port Authority, noting that it continued to spend millions of dollars on the Island Airport Bridge project even after Toronto City Council, and even Prime Minister Paul Martin, said that the project would not go forward. Most recently, the TPA embarassed Canada by failing to construct a terminal for the Toronto-Rochester ferry project.

So, Tony Ianno and his buddy Dennis Mills were basically responsible for the creation of a rogue agency which has cost the city millions and does more harm than good to Toronto's waterfront redevelopment. Imagine how much higher waterfront property values would be, if the waterfront were not such a mess. What were those condo owners thinking?

More on secret slush funds

Here's another article, from the Globe and Mail (posted on an NDP website) about the secret trust funds that are used to get around laws on political contributions.

. . . Duff Conacher, co-ordinator of Democracy Watch, a citizens advocacy group for democratic reform, called trust funds "a horrendous loophole" in the new legislation.

"If people can give money in secret, it's a recipe for corruption."

Tony Ianno's personal slush fund, worth $260,000, was exposed in 2003. What kind of influence do you suppose that kind of money buys?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tony Ianno: the senior's friend?

The last mailing I got from Tony Ianno's office was a listing of all the wonderful things the Liberals claim to be doing, or planning to be doing, for Canada's senior citizens. In his role of Minister of State for Caregivers and Families, this is Ianno's bread and butter. He was already infamous for "rounding up busloads of 'instant Liberal' old ladies in black dresses to stack nomination meetings.*"

Shortly after winning his seat in 2004, Ianno made a rare appearance in Parliament to make the following statement:

Hon. Tony Ianno (Minister of State (Families and Caregivers), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and answer the question of the hon. member. He knows, as we have spoken earlier, that the government is very committed to ensuring that all senior citizens who are eligible for guaranteed income supplements get what they deserve. This government is working hard to ensure everyone is aware of it and we will continue to do so, as we promised in our election platform, to ensure that senior citizens who deserve guaranteed income supplements will get an increase.
With all this in mind, you have to ask yourself, if Tony Ianno and the Liberals love seniors so much, why are they trying to screw lesbian and gay Canadians out of their pensions?

On November 26, 2004, Ontario’s Court Of Appeal released its judgment on a class-action lawsuit against the federal government over CPP benefits for gay men and lesbians. It upheld a lower court’s ruling that the feds violated equality rights of widowed gay men and lesbians by denying them retroactive pension benefits. The federal government owes an estimated $80 million to as many as 1,500 gay and lesbian seniors. It’s been estimated that someone like Toronto's George Hislop could receive as much as $150,000 in back payments.

Rather than accept this ruling, and pay these vulnerable seniors what they are fairly owed, the Federal Government has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada requesting to reverse the decisions of the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and thus to deny survivor's benefits to these seniors.

So, if Tony Ianno is so committed to seeing that all senior citizens get what they deserve, why hasn't he spoken out against his parties' choice to appeal the court rulings in favour of lesbian and gay seniors?

Tony Ianno's secret slush fund

Did you know that Tony Ianno controls a $260,000 trust fund of a type that has been called "one of the easiest ways that donors funnel secret money to MPs"?

"[in 2003] Parliament passed Bill C-24, a sweeping overhaul of Canada's political fundraising rules. Modeled after the Quebec elections law, Bill C-24 places a partial ban on corporate donations and a limit of $5,000 on how much individual donors can give in their efforts to gain access and influence over politicians. However, the new law turns a blind eye to so-called "trust funds" controlled by MPs or parties. These funds currently exist -- for example, a $260,000 fund managed by Liberal MP Tony Ianno -- and can be expected to multiply as more MPs learn to use them to circumvent the new law's provisions."

Read the full article at Democracy Watch. Who are Tony Ianno's secret donors? What benefits are they getting in return? Will Tony Ianno be linked to the sponsorship scandal? Inquiring minds want to know!

Does Tony Ianno hate Toronto?

Tony Ianno doesn't seem to care much for Toronto. Maybe his hatred for our mayor is why he hasn't bothered to work to represent Toronto's needs in Parliament. Or maybe he's just lazy. From eye magazine:

"Tony Ianno, who won Toronto's Trinity-Spadina riding by exactly 800 votes in the recent federal election, made clear in an interview with John Barber printed in The Globe and Mail July 1 that he's incapable of being gracious in victory. While defeated fellow Liberal Dennis Mills went out of his way to compliment his opponent after the election, the victorious Ianno heaped scorn on Olivia Chow, complaining he got tired during the campaign of hearing "how wonderful and how glorious and how awe-inspiring [Jack Layton and Chow] are, the first couple in power to reign in the halls of the House of Commons." He denied that the Green Party's 2,249 votes had anything to do with his victory and also played dumb on strategic voting. Then the possible broker of Toronto's interests turned his sights on Mayor David Miller, who enjoys something like 80 per cent support from his city and who supported Chow. "So much for 'the most famous and competent mayor Toronto has ever had.... We cleaned their clock,'" Barber reports Ianno crowing. "Is there something that maybe I've got going for me that adds some value to the equation of politics and democracy in this country?" the longime back-bencher asks. If there is, we can't for the life of us figure out what it is. "

Tony Ianno: Backroom Boy

From wikipedia:

"In 2004 it was revealed that Ianno had missed over 70% of all his committee meetings, by far the most of any Liberal MP. Ianno responded by saying it's not what is done in the House of Commons or in committees that matters, rather it is what one does in the backrooms."

Tony Ianno: Bottom of the barrel

This is from They reviewed each occasion in which Toronto MPs addressed the 37th Parliament of the House of Commons including Members' Statements, Oral Questions and Debate.

Parliamentary Participation Summary (2000)
Sessions spoken in: 4
percent of 393 sessions: 1%
Rank of 22 Toronto MPs: 22
In case you're wondering, two of the "issues" Tony Ianno finally felt strongly enough to speak out on were obituary notices for Al Waxman and David Iftody.

Compare Tony Ianno's summary to that of Dennis Mills, who was MP for Toronto-Danforth until he was ousted by NDP leader Jack Layton. Mills was not exactly a political powerhouse but even his record blew Tony Ianno out of the water:

Sessions spoken in: 43
percent of 393 sessions: 11%
Rank of 22 Toronto
MPs: 15

Why is Tony Ianno's record in Parliament so weak? Was he even there? Doesn't Trinity-Spadina deserve an MP who will speak out for us in Parliament?

Tony Ianno: fighting for the little guy... yeah, right!

Most laughable Tony Ianno quote in recent history: "I got into politics because of social justice and fighting for the little person. I'm not there for the photo-op."

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tony Ianno -- Canada's Laziest MP

Welcome to Lazy Tony; the blog dedicated to Canada's laziest MP, Tony Ianno.

Tony Ianno is Member of Parliment for Trinity-Spadina, in the city of Toronto, Canada. He was first elected in October 1993, and has been reelected three times since, in 1997, 2000, and 2004, riding the coattails of the Liberal Party.

Inexplicably, Tony Ianno was appointed to the Cabinet in 2004 as Minister of State (Families and Caregivers).

In the 12 years since he was first elected, Tony Ianno has done virtually nothing. His own website ( struggles to find anything at all to say about him.

Tony Ianno has been sucking at the government teat and shirking his responsibilities for too long. He is Canada's laziest MP, and it's time to get rid of him!