Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012 Part 2, The League of Super Pets

First came the Wonder Pets, MingMing, Tuck and Linnie.

And now, I am pleased to present to you, The League of Super Pets. This brave group of crime fighters fight a never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the Canine Way.

Introducing (in order of size, sort of), Duke and his feeder, Cousin Lisa

In many ways, Super Duke is the leader of the pack. If you think that's because he's about 10 times the size of the other members, you'd be right. If you think because his human counterpart is the Man of Steel, well, you're right again. I won't say any more, but, when you see the other two members of the League, you will understand why Super Duke is the leader.

Next, let me introduce you to the second member of our League, Motorcycle Mama Porsche.

Now Motorcycle Mama Porsche brings many important attributes to the League. In no particular order, Motorcycle Mama is the only female in the group. That means she's the clear headed thinker. Next, she's got a wardrobe to die for. Motorcycle Mama Porsche and her parents David and Jewel moved to the neighbourhood because their old house didn't have enough closet space to house all of Porsche's outfits. So, Motorcycle Mama Porsche, or Ballet Dancer Porsche, or Mrs. Klaus Porsche is the perfect undercover member of the team.

Finally, there's Spider-Man Myles.

Spider-Man Myles has always been a super hero in our house, and now, he's got the costume to prove it.

Here he is on the couch with his friend the scarecrow.

And, his biggest asset to the group is his alter ego, mild mannered Scrunchie Boy Myles.

As I mentioned before, the boys, Duke and Myles may not be the brains in this League as witnessed by the fact that Scrunchie Boy Myles came by his alter ego costume when it was delivered to him as a Halloween present from Motorcycle Mama Porsche. Thanks again Motorcycle Mama for the lovely Halloween present. 

And, not only is it the perfect look for strawberry blonde Myles, but, it matches the Halloween present that the Beauty and I got for him (on sale at Petsmart!).  What a Deal!

Isn't that the cutest League of Super Pets ever!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why The NHL Strike Favours The Owners

Rumour has it that there is an election campaign going on just south of us. That's nice, now, on to the big story. The owners just cancelled 33% of the regular NHL season, or all the games through November. Now that's big news, but can it continue? You bet.
The owners have a lot less to lose than the players. Let me explain.
In the world of professional sports, the player is like a banana. He starts off as a 'green' child and gradually progresses through the 7 stages of bananahood as illustrated below.

By the time an athlete reaches the pinnacle of his or her career, he is probably already either a stage 5 or stage 6 banana. He's already close to brown, and ready to be discarded, or even worse, turned into banana bread, YIKES.

On the other hand, the owner, unlike the banana players, keeps getting better with age. You might say, the owner is like a fine bottle of wine. The owner isn't worried about one season, he's worried about the long term. So, in his world, missing a season for the sake of a long term solution to his money sharing problem isn't a very big deal. Likewise, history has shown that alienating a specific demographic of fans doesn't matter in the long term. Fans return or other fans develop and franchises keep growing in value.

So, it looks like it's going to be a long strike, and, instead of hockey, we need to find a new pastime. I'm thinking of karaoke, and, courtesy of Louis Prima, here is the first song I intend to learn to sing along with.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Rocky and Myles

There once was a kitty named Rocky,
With an Uncle of similar shade,
The two of them loved to make mischief together,
And plotted their exploits and played.

Now Rocky was a very cute fellow,
Who did not like his meals being late,
But Uncle Myles preferred to bark and squeak toys,
While Rocky dreamt  about Myles being bait.

This weekend they’re having a sleep over,
With both of them sharing a chair,
In the morning they’ll rise, with a whole lot of noise,
And spend most of the day doing the stare.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Was the Infield Fly Rule Invoked in the St. Louis vs. Atlanta Game A Good Call

So, was it a good call? Yes, and, I'll explain why.

Let's begin with the Rule Book. At the end of this blog is the complete text of Major League Baseball Official Rules: 2.00 Definition of Terms. But, for the purposes of this incident, the key sentences are the following:

An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort


When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. 

These are the two sentences that most apply to this incident. However, before I continue, please watch the first 10 seconds of the youtube video, when the play actually unfolds.

Okay, do we all agree that the infielder could have caught the ball with ordinary effort and he most likely would have if he hadn't thought he had been called off of the play by the left fielder.

That being said, it's an out. However, here's where the waters get muddy. If you watch the entire youtube video of the play, along with a replay that shows the umpire, you will see at approximately 1:51 that the umpire does not raise his hand to call Infield Fly until after the ball hits the ground. This is the problem. According to the rules, he was supposed to have called it the moment it was apparent that it was an infield fly,in order to give the runners on base a chance to position themselves appropriately.

So, was it an infield fly or not. Yes, it was an infield fly, but it was also a late call on the umpires part. Had he called infield fly when he felt the play was an ordinary effort for the shortstop, Atlanta would have had nothing to complain about.
At least, that's my opinion.

Official Rules: 2.00 Definition of Terms
ADJUDGED is a judgment decision by the umpire.
An APPEAL is the act of a fielder in claiming violation of the rules by the offensive team.
BALKis an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.
BALL is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter.
Rule 2.00 (Ball) Comment: If the pitch touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone it is a “ball.” If such a pitch touches the batter, he shall be awarded first base. If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes, the ball cannot be caught, for the purposes of Rule 6.05(c) and 6.09(b). If the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action shall be the same as if he hit the ball in flight.
BASEis one of four points which must be touched by a runner in order to score a run; more usually applied to the canvas bags and the rubber plate which mark the base points.
BASE COACH is a team member in uniform who is stationed in the coach's box at first or third base to direct the batter and the runners.
BASE ON BALLS is an award of first base granted to a batter who, during his time at bat, receives four pitches outside the strike zone.
BATTERis an offensive player who takes his position in the batter's box.
BATTER RUNNER is a term that identifies the offensive player who has just finished his time at bat until he is put out or until the play on which he became a runner ends.
The BATTER'S BOX is the area within which the batter shall stand during his time at bat.
The BATTERY is the pitcher and catcher.
BENCH OR DUGOUT is the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes and other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged on the playing field.
BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly within the infield.
CALLED GAME is one in which, for any reason, the umpire in chief terminates play.
CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.
Rule 2.00 (Catch) Comment: A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.
If a fielder, attempting a catch at the edge of the dugout, is “held up” and kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.
The CATCHER is the fielder who takes his position back of the home base.
The CATCHER'S BOX is that area within which the catcher shall stand until the pitcher delivers the ball.
The CLUB is a person or group of persons responsible for assembling the team personnel, providing the playing field and required facilities, and representing the team in relations with the league.
COACH is a team member in uniform appointed by the manager to perform such duties as the manager may designate, such as but not limited to acting as base coach.
DEAD BALL is a ball out of play because of a legally created temporary suspension of play.
The DEFENSE (or DEFENSIVE) is the team, or any player of the team, in the field.
DOUBLE HEADER is two regularly scheduled or rescheduled games, played in immediate succession.
DOUBLE PLAY is a play by the defense in which two offensive players are put out as a result of continuous action, providing there is no error between putouts.
(a) A force double play is one in which both putouts are force plays.
(b) A reverse force double play is one in which the first out is a force play and the second out is made on a runner for whom the force is removed by reason of the first out. Examples of reverse force plays: runner on first, one out; batter grounds to first baseman, who steps on first base (one out) and throws to second baseman or shortstop for the second out (a tag play). Another example: bases loaded, none out; batter grounds to third baseman, who steps on third base (one out); then throws to catcher for the second out (tag play).
DUGOUT (See definition of BENCH)
FAIR BALL is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base, or that touches first, second or third base, or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field in flight.
A fair fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the ball.
Rule 2.00 (Fair Ball) Comment: If a fly ball lands in the infield between home and first base, or home and third base, and then bounces to foul territory without touching a player or umpire and before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball; or if the ball settles on foul territory or is touched by a player on foul territory, it is a foul ball. If a fly ball lands on or beyond first or third base and then bounces to foul territory, it is a fair hit.
Clubs, increasingly, are erecting tall foul poles at the fence line with a wire netting extending along the side of the pole on fair territory above the fence to enable the umpires more accurately to judge fair and foul balls.
FAIR TERRITORY is that part of the playing field within, and including the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bottom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards. All foul lines are in fair territory.
A FIELDER is any defensive player.
FIELDER'S CHOICE is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner. The term is also used by scorers (a) to account for the advance of the batter-runner who takes one or more extra bases when the fielder who handles his safe hit attempts to put out a preceding runner; (b) to account for the advance of a runner (other than by stolen base or error) while a fielder is attempting to put out another runner; and (c) to account for the advance of a runner made solely because of the defensive team’s indifference (undefended steal).
FLY BALL is a batted ball that goes high in the air in flight.
FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses his right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner.
Rule 2.00 (Force Play) Comment: Confusion regarding this play is removed by remembering that frequently the “force” situation is removed during the play. Example: Man on first, one out, ball hit sharply to first baseman who touches the bag and batter-runner is out. The force is removed at that moment and runner advancing to second must be tagged. If there had been a runner on third or second, and either of these runners scored before the tag-out at second, the run counts. Had the first baseman thrown to second and the ball then had been returned to first, the play at second was a force out, making two outs, and the return throw to first ahead of the runner would have made three outs. In that case, no run would score.
Example: Not a force out. One out. Runner on first and third. Batter flies out. Two out. Runner on third tags up and scores. Runner on first tries to retouch before throw from fielder reaches first baseman, but does not get back in time and is out. Three outs. If, in umpire’s judgment, the runner from third touched home before the ball was held at first base, the run counts.
FORFEITED GAME is a game declared ended by the umpire in chief in favor of the offended team by the score of 9 to 0, for violation of the rules.
FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.
A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball.
Rule 2.00 (Foul Ball) Comment: A batted ball not touched by a fielder, which hits the pitcher’s rubber and rebounds into foul territory, between home and first, or between home and third base is a foul ball.
FOUL TERRITORY is that part of the playing field outside the first and third base lines extended to the fence and perpendicularly upwards.
FOUL TIP is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher’s hands and is legally caught. It is not a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher’s glove or hand.
GROUND BALL is a batted ball that rolls or bounces close to the ground.
The HOME TEAM is the team on whose grounds the game is played, or if the game is played on neutral grounds, the home team shall be designated by mutual agreement.
ILLEGAL (or ILLEGALLY)is contrary to these rules.
An ILLEGAL PITCH is (1) a pitch delivered to the batter when the pitcher does not have his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate; (2) a quick return pitch. An illegal pitch when runners are on base is a balk.
An INFIELDER is a fielder who occupies a position in the infield.
An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder—not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire’s judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05 (L). The infield fly rule takes precedence.
IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball which has not yet touched the ground or some object other than a fielder.
IN JEOPARDYis a term indicating that the ball is in play and an offensive player may be put out.
An INNINGis that portion of a game within which the teams alternate on offense and defense and in which there are three putouts for each team. Each team's time at bat is a half inning.
(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter- runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.
Rule 2.00 (Interference) Comment: In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch.
(b) Defensive interference is an act by a fielder which hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch.
(c) Umpire’s interference occurs (1) When an umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base, or (2) When a fair ball touches an umpire on fair territory before passing a fielder.
(d) Spectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field, and touches a live ball.
On any interference the ball is dead.
THE LEAGUE is a group of clubs whose teams play each other in a prearranged schedule under these rules for the league championship.
THE LEAGUE PRESIDENT is the league official charged with enforcing these Rules, fining or suspending any player, manager, coach or umpire for violation of these Rules, resolving any disputes involving these Rules or determining any protested games.
Rule 2.00 (League President) Comment: With respect to the Major Leagues, the functions of the League President pursuant to these Rules shall be carried out by the designees of the Commissioner of Baseball. The Commissioner may designate different officials to carry out different functions of a League President pursuant to these Rules.
LEGAL (or LEGALLY) is in accordance with these rules.
LIVE BALL is a ball which is in play.
LINE DRIVE is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to a fielder without touching the ground.
THE MANAGER is a person appointed by the club to be responsible for the team’s actions on the field, and to represent the team in communications with the umpire and the opposing team. A player may be appointed manager.
(a) The club shall designate the manager to the league president or the umpire-in-chief not less than thirty minutes before the scheduled starting time of the game.
(b) The manager may advise the umpire that he has delegated specific duties prescribed by the rules to a player or coach, and any action of such designated representative shall be official. The manager shall always be responsible for his team’s conduct, observance of the official rules, and deference to the umpires.
(c) If a manager leaves the field, he shall designate a player or coach as his substitute, and such substitute manager shall have the duties, rights and responsibilities of the manager. If the manager fails or refuses to designate his substitute before leaving, the umpire-in-chief shall designate a team member as substitute manager.
OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.
Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: If an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
OFFENSE is the team, or any player of the team, at bat.
OFFICIAL SCORER. See Rule 10.00.
ORDINARY EFFORT is the effort that a fielder of average skill at a position in that league or classification of leagues should exhibit on a play, with due consideration given to the condition of the field and weather conditions.
Rule 2.00 (Ordinary Effort) Comment: This standard, called for several times in the Official Scoring Rules (e.g., Rules 10.05(a)(3), 10.05(a)(4), 10.05(a)(6), 10.05(b)(3) (Base Hits); 10.08(b) (Sacrifices); 10.12(a)(1) Comment, 10.12(d)(2) (Errors); and 10.13(a), 10.13(b) (Wild Pitches and Passed Balls)) and in the Official Baseball Rules (e.g., Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly)), is an objective standard in regard to any particular fielder. In other words, even if a fielder makes his best effort, if that effort falls short of what an average fielder at that position in that league would have made in a situation, the official scorer should charge that fielder with an error.
An OUT is one of the three required retirements of an offensive team during its time at bat.
An OUTFIELDER is a fielder who occupies a position in the outfield, which is the area of the playing field most distant from home base.
OVERSLIDE (or OVERSLIDING) is the act of an offensive player when his slide to a base, other than when advancing from home to first base, is with such momentum that he loses contact with the base.
PENALTY is the application of these rules following an illegal act.
The PERSON of a player or an umpire is any part of his body, his clothing or his equipment.
PITCH is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.
Rule 2.00 (Pitch) Comment: All other deliveries of the ball by one player to another are thrown balls.
PITCHER is the fielder designated to deliver the pitch to the batter.
The pitcher's PIVOT FOOT is that foot which is in contact with the pitcher's plate as he delivers the pitch.
"PLAY" is the umpire's order to start the game or to resume action following any dead ball.
QUICK RETURN pitch is one made with obvious intent to catch a batter off balance. It is an illegal pitch.
REGULATION GAME. See Rules 4.10 and 4.11.
RETOUCH is the act of a runner in returning to a base as legally required.
RUN (or SCORE) is the score made by an offensive player who advances from batter to runner and touches first, second, third and home bases in that order.
RUN-DOWN is the act of the defense in an attempt to put out a runner between bases.
RUNNER is an offensive player who is advancing toward, or touching, or returning to any base.
"SAFE" is a declaration by the umpire that a runner is entitled to the base for which he was trying.
SET POSITION is one of the two legal pitching positions.
SQUEEZE PLAY is a term to designate a play when a team, with a runner on third base, attempts to score that runner by means of a bunt.
STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which --
(a) Is struck at by the batter and is missed;
(b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone;
(c) Is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes;
(d) Is bunted foul;
(e) Touches the batter as he strikes at it;
(f) Touches the batter in flight in the strike zone; or
(g) Becomes a foul tip. 
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the knee cap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
SUSPENDED GAME is a called game which is to be completed at a later date.
TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.
THROW is the act of propelling the ball with the hand and arm to a given objective and is to be distinguished, always, from the pitch.
TIE GAME is a regulation game which is called when each team has the same number of runs.
"TIME"is the announcement by an umpire of a legal interruption of play, during which the ball is dead.
TOUCH. To touch a player or umpire is to touch any part of his body, his clothing or his equipment.
TRIPLE PLAY is a play by the defense in which three offensive players are put out as a result of continuous action, providing there is no error between putouts.
WILD PITCH is one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.
WIND UP POSITION is one of the two legal pitching positions.

Any reference in these Official Baseball Rules to “he,” “him” or “his” shall be deemed to be a reference to “she,” “her” or “hers,” as the case may be, when the person is female. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Justin Trudeau Announces Leadership Bid

Last night, The Beauty and I along with The Professor and Leslie (the best blog in Mississauga, see my blog list) went to hear Justin Trudeau announce his intent to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party in Mississauga.
The crowd filled the place, and there were many politicians and community leaders on the podium, including our beloved Mayor, Hazel McCallion, whom, I might add, got the loudest greeting of the night. Sorry, Justin, nobody outshines our Mayor on her turf. I understand Steve Mahoney was in attendance, but I missed him. Hi Steve :)
As a bonus, they offered a bunch of appetizers, patak paneer, vegetarian samosas, mini pakoras, vegetarian rolls, and pasta(who would eat that when they could eat the other appetizers?). The invitation to arrive said 6 pm. However, Justin didn't speak until 7:30pm, so, we had time to schmooze and to have the appetizers. Wow, those appetizers were great and of course we did not eat pasta, just one of each appetizer for each of us (watching that waist line).

Below is the text from the speech Justin Trudeau made in Montreal on October 2 announcing his leadership bid, along with the youtube video of the speech. Note that it begins with a quote from Goethe, whom we all know was a big fan of Fredrik von Schiller, or as we call him Cousin Fritz.

Text of a prepared speech by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, as posted on his website, announcing his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeau delivered the speech to supporters in his Montreal riding of Papineau Tuesday night.
"Make no small dreams, they have not the power to move the soul"
Now that'll take courage, but more than that, it'll take hard, honest work. So let me start by telling you about the folks who taught me that best, here in Papineau.
On this side of the riding, it’s Parc Ex. People from every nation live here. They make this neighborhood so vibrant. On the other side of Jarry Park, Xavier and Ella-Grace’s favourite park, is Villeray, one of those solidly francophone neighborhoods that defines Montréal. Artists and intellectuals live there, but so too do many families.
In the east side of the riding, there is St-Michel, where you find people like my good friend Ali Nestor – a boxer – who teaches us how to fight poverty, social exclusion and, from time to time, conservative senators.
This community is not just remarkable for our diversity of ideas, of cultures, of beliefs. What is truly remarkable is that this diversity thrives peacefully.
Here, we trust each other and we look to the future together.
This trust that binds us together here in Papineau is the trust that binds this country together.
My friends : I love Montréal. I love Québec.
And I am in love with Canada.
I choose, with all my heart, to serve the country I love. That’s why I’m so happy to announce here, tonight, my candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
So I’m here to ask for your help, because this road will be one long, Canadian highway. We will have ups and downs. Breathtaking vistas and a few boring stretches. And with winter coming, icy patches.
But we will match the size of this challenge with hard, honest work.
Because hard work is what’s required. Always has been.

Canada’s success did not happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. This magnificent, unlikely country was founded on a bold new premise. That people of different beliefs and backgrounds, from all corners of the world, could come together to build a better life for themselves and for their children than they ever could have alone.

This new idea that diversity is strength. Not a challenge to be overcome or a difficulty to be tolerated. That is the heart and soul of the Canadian success story.
That, and the old fashioned idea of progress. The idea that we owe a sacred duty to Canadians who come after us. To work hard. To build a country that offers them even more than we had. More opportunity, more choices, more success, just as our parents and grandparents did for us.
These are the values that define and unite us.
I have seen a lot of this country. And I can tell you that those values are alive and well, from coast to coast to coast.
My fellow Liberals, these values are not the property of the Liberal Party of Canada. They are not Liberal values; they are Canadian values.
I’ve too often heard it said in Liberal circles that the Liberal Party created Canada. This, my friends, is wrong.
The Liberal Party did not create Canada. Canada created the Liberal Party.
Canadians created the Liberal Party.
The great, growing and optimistic middle class of the last century created a big-hearted, broad-minded consensus. And built a better country. For themselves, yes. But more important, for each other, and for their children.
Canadians built medicare.
Canadians built an open and dynamic economy.
Canadians welcomed newcomers from around the world into their communities and businesses.
Canadians developed an independent foreign policy, and when necessary, bled for our values in faraway lands.
Canadians brought their constitution home.
Canadians demanded that their inalienable rights and freedoms be placed above the reach of politics.
And Canadians balanced the budget.
The Liberal Party was their vehicle of choice. It was the platform for their aspirations, not their source.
When we were at our best, we were in touch, open to our fellow citizens and confident enough in them to take their ideas and work with them to build a successful country.
If there is a lesson to be drawn from our party’s past it is not where we landed but how we got there. We were deeply connected to Canadians. We made their values our values, their dreams our dreams, their fights our fights.
The time has come to write a new chapter in the history of the Liberal Party.
This will be a campaign about the future, not the past. I want to lead a movement of Canadians that seeks to build, not rebuild. To create, not recreate.
After all, we live in a very different world, my friends. Twenty years ago, I was part of the first graduating class at my university to get email. I was of the last group of pre-Google high school teachers.
And now, my kids don’t know there was a world before Blackberries.
But if the way we will build it is new, what we have to build is timeless.
We know what Canadian families want. Good jobs. A dynamic and growing economy that allows us to educate our kids as they mature, and to care for our parents as they age.
We want a compassionate society that pulls together to help the vulnerable, and gives the less fortunate a chance at success.
We know that Canada is the freest society on Earth because we trust each other. So we want a government that looks at Canadians with respect, not suspicion. That celebrates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That believes in your choices, your values and your liberty.
Some say that youth carry our future. I say youth are an essential resource for our present. We need to empower all young Canadians, through world-class education, through rich and relevant work experience, and through opportunity to serve their communities and their world. Their voices, their choices, matter deeply, as do their actions: they are already leaders today.
And directly, to our First Nations, the Canadian reality has not been – and continues to not be – easy for you. We need to become a country that has the courage to own up to its mistakes and fix them together, people to people. Your place is not on the margins. It is at the very heart of who we are and what we are yet to become.
We want a foreign policy that will give us hope in the future and that will offer solutions to the world.
We want leadership that fosters and celebrates economic success in all regions of the country. Not leadership that seeds resentment between provinces.
We need to match the beauty and productivity of this great land with a new national commitment to steward it well. My generation understands that we cannot choose between a strong and prosperous economy, and a healthy environment. The conservative approach may work for a few, and for a while. But we know we can’t create long term prosperity without environmental stewardship.
We need to learn what we have forgotten. That the key to growth, to opportunity, to progress, is a thriving middle class. People with good jobs. Families who are able to cope with modern life’s challenges.
A thriving middle class provides realistic hope and a ladder of opportunity for the less fortunate. A robust market for our businesses. And a sense of common interest for all.
The great economic success stories of the recent past are really stories of middle class growth. China, India, South Korea and Brazil, to name a few, are growing rapidly because they have added hundreds of millions of people to the global middle class.
The news on that front is not so good at home; I don’t need to tell you that. You, like our fellow Canadians all over the country, live it every day. Canadian families have seen their incomes stagnate, their costs go up, and their debts explode over the past 30 years.
What’s the response from the NDP? To sow regional resentment and blame the successful. The Conservative answer? Privilege one sector over others and promise that wealth will trickle down, eventually.
Both are tidy ideological answers to complex and difficult questions. The only thing they have in common is that they are both, equally, wrong.
We need to get it right. We need to open our minds to new solutions, to listen to Canadians, to trust them.
And as we face these challenges, the only ideology that must guide us is evidence. Hard, scientific facts and data. It may seem revolutionary in today’s Ottawa, but instead of inventing the facts to justify the policies, we will create policy based on facts. Solutions can come from the left or the right, all that matters is that they work. That they help us live – and thrive – true to our values.
Because middle class growth is much more than an economic imperative.
The key to Canadian unity is the shared sense of purpose so hard to define but so deeply felt. The sense that we are all in this together. That when Albertans do well, it creates opportunities for Quebecers. That when Quebecers create and innovate, it echoes across the country and around the world. That whether you’re in St. Boniface or St. John’s, Mississauga or Surrey, we have common struggles and common dreams.
It is the middle class, not the political class, that unites this country. It is the middle class that makes this country great.
We know some Quebecers want their own country. A country that reflects our values, that protects our language and our culture, that respects our identity.
My friends, I want to build a country too. A country worthy of my dreams. Of your dreams. But for me, that country reaches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Great Lakes to the Grand North.
Quebecers have always chosen Canada because we know it is the land of our ancestors - who built this country from east to west. They were here to write the first chapters of the great Canadian history of courage, liberty and hope. We have left our footsteps everywhere.
Will we put this history aside now because people of other languages came after us with the same dream of building a better country ? Of course not. Our contribution to Canada is far from over.
I want the Liberal Party to be once again the party that promotes and cherishes the francophone reality of this country. I want my party to support francophone communities across the country. And I want the Liberal Party to be once again the vehicle for Quebecers to contribute to the future of Canada.
Now my candidacy has been the source of some speculation over the past months. The odd newspaper article has been written. Some have been very odd indeed.
But I said to Liberals after the last election that we need to get past this idea that a simple leadership change could solve our problems.
I believe that still. My candidacy may shine a few extra lights upon us. It may put some people in the bleachers to watch. But what we do with that opportunity is up to us.
All of us.
And when Canadians tune in, we need to prove to them that we Liberals have learned from the past, yes. But that we are one-hundred-percent focused on the future.
And not the future of our party: the future of our country.
I am running because I believe this country wants and needs new leadership. A vision for Canada’s future grounded not in the politics of envy or mistrust. One that understands, despite all the blessings beneath our feet, that our greatest strength is above ground, in our people. All Canadians, pulling together, determined to build a better life, a better Canada.
To millions and millions of Canadians, their government has become irrelevant, remote from their daily lives, let alone their hopes and dreams. To them, Ottawa is just a place where people play politics as if it were a game open to a small group, and that appeals to an even smaller one.
They do not see themselves or their values reflected in Ottawa
My friends, we will do better.
This is not a personal indictment of Mr Harper or Mr Mulcair. On the contrary, I honour their commitment and their service. But I think they are both dead wrong about this country. And, I want to tell you, together, we can prove it.
There will be many highs and lows between now and April. And if we work hard and find success, I know there will be many, many more between then and 2015.
I do not present myself as a man with all the answers. In fact, I think we’ve had quite enough of that kind of politics.
But I do know I have a strong sense of this country. Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go. And I believe I can bring new forces to bear on old problems. I can convince a new generation of Canadians that their country needs them. That it values their energy, ingenuity and vision. Together, we can convince young Canadians that serving this great country is its own reward.
I promise you this: if you entrust me with the privilege of leadership, I will work long, hard and tirelessly. I learned first-hand from the people of Villeray, St-Michel and Park Extension that there are no shortcuts, no easy ways to earn trust and support. You have to work at it, day in and day out.
Because that’s what it’s going to take, and that’s what Canadians deserve.
Think about it for a moment: when was the last time you had a leader you actually trusted? And not just the nebulous “trust to govern competently”, but actually trusted, the way you trust a friend to pick up your kids from school, or a neighbor to keep your extra front door key? Real trust? That’s a respect that has to be earned, step by step.
I feel so privileged to have had the relationship I’ve had, all my life, with this country, with its land, and with its people.
From my first, determined steps as a toddler to my first, determined steps as a politician: we’ve travelled many miles together, my friends…
You have always been there for me. You have inspired me, and supported me in good and more difficult times. And you have made me the man and the father I have become.
I chose today to launch this campaign because it is my little brother’s birthday. Michel was killed in an avalanche, doing what he loved, in the country that he loved as much as anyone I have ever known. Michel would be 37 years old today. Every day, I think about him and I remember not to take anything for granted. To live my life fully. And to always be faithful to myself.
At Michel’s funeral, my father read from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Paul wrote, “when I was a child, I spoke as a child. But now that I am a man, I put away childish things.”
It is time for us, for this generation of Canadians to put away childish things. More, it is time for all of us to come together and get down to the very serious, very adult business of building a better country. For ourselves, for our fellow Canadians, and for our children.
We Canadians live in a blessed country. We are the most diverse people on Earth, yet we are peaceful. We are tough but we are compassionate. We are confident, but we work hard and we earn it. We have resources that are the envy of the world.
Let us pledge to one another to match those resources with resourcefulness. Let us rededicate ourselves to the glorious, improbable, work-in-progress that is Canada. And to serve its people through the only party willing to speak to and for all Canadians: the Liberal Party of Canada.
So tonight, Sophie and I draw on our love for our family and offer up all we have in service to Canada, and to each and every one of you.
Join us.