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!