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Click for moreJul 10, 2010 - 1st Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show

This morning I was planning to run errands, but then I remembered the First Annual Yorkville Exotic Car show was on. There's not much that would deter me from going to see Porsches and Ferraris spanning 7 decades of design excellence, so of course, I went. Did I mention there would be Porsches?

I've been in love with Porsches since I can remember. It started with the 911 Turbo Carerra, and over time I started appreciating the initial designs as well, especially the "bathtub" style 1950's Porsches. The 911 series has obviously continued on and presented stunning models ever since.

And then there's Ferrari. Hand made. Hand stitched. Track tested. Perfect. Ferrari clearly has a very unique red paint, it's like no other colour, so vibrant, like it's wet. The Ferrari models on display included the Testarossa, Enzo, 16M Scuderia, and so many more.

The Yorkville Exotic Car Show was sponsored by Porsche, Ferrari, and supported the Sick Kids Foundation.

This show was awesome. I hope it takes place each year and grows. Thanks to all the owners who allowed their cars to be on display. Clearly, the owners of all these vehicles take extraordinary pride in these works of art.





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Click for moreJan 25, 2010 - A Great Day for Democracy!

On Saturday January 23rd, 2010, Canadians across the country, as well as in San Francisco, New York, Texas and even Europe, took the "grassroots" facebook group "Canadians Against Proroguing of Parliament (CAPP)" to the streets.

What was the goal? To protest against Prime Minister Harper's decision to shut down our parliament, a tactic many believe he used to avoid accountability on Afghan detainees, among other issues.

"When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern" - Stephen Harper - April 2005.

I am not an activist by any means, but standing up for our system of democracy became necessary, and I was extremely proud to stand up, yell, and be counted as one of hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are tired of not being heard or represented by our elected officials.

The rallies across Canada took place in over 60 cities. From small towns to the largest cities, people took the initiative to leave the virtual/facebook world and show themselves in person.

On New Year's eve, our Prime Minister quietly shut down parliament, clearly at a time he thought nobody would notice. We did. He downplayed the cowardly tactic a few days later when speaking with Peter Mansbridge, stating that it was a routine occurance and that issues such as the torture of afghan detainees (and Harper's ongoing refusal to provide access to documents relating to it), is "not on the radar of Canadians". Well guess what, apparently you're wrong Mr. Harper.

On the day of the rallies, Stephen Harper held a rare press conference to divert attention away from the protests discuss Haiti, a very real and important issue the world is trying to help with. When asked about the protests taking place across Canada, our Prime Minister arrogantly brushed them off, attacking the opposition parties for arranging these protests. Nice try on the spin, we're not buying it.

Sadly Mr. Harper, if you or your advisors were paying any attention whatsoever, you'd realize that it's not opposition parties that organized these rallies, it's the very Canadians you claim to know the priorities of. Rallies were attended by citizens affiliated with all political parties, including yes, the Conservatives.

Attending the rally in Toronto, I intended to document the size and demographic turnout. I was there 2 hours prior to it starting, and enjoyed watching the crowd grow as the 1:00 start time approached.

The attendance in Toronto was estimated to be between 8000 and 15000 people. We exceeded the limits of Dundas Square, and during the march through Toronto streets, we picked up many more supporters along the way.

In writing this article, my intent is not to side with any one political party. I'm proud to say that the group that united on Saturday was as diverse as Canada. Young & old, activists and people who've never rallied for a thing in their life, it was a great group of people truly concerned about what's taking place in our country.

This said however, to quote our Prime Minister, "let me be perfectly clear" the people were angry at one man, and came out to stand against him. It was his decision to prorogue, it's his ongoing decision to muzzle his Conservative MPs, and it was his tactics that brought Canadians together for an important purpose - democracy NOW.

Frankly, while marching in Toronto, I found it surreal to think that in our free and democratic country, thousands found it necessary to protest to protect, of all things, democracy.

For too long, the apathy of our citizens has been something our politicians could rely on. On Saturday we proved that when you threaten our democracy, we will not passively stand by.

Saturday's rally was the first step for CAPP. We didn't succeed in re-opening parliament but really we didn't expect to, the mission is broader than that. We certainly succeeded in raising awareness and ending our apathy. Saturday's protest is just the beginning, and I'm proud to be involved in a movement where the core value is the very fabric that our great country is made of.

For more information, please visit www.noprorogue.ca, or join the facebook group, and talk about this with friends and family! We will have our democracy.



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Jan 20, 2010 - Jan 23rd 2010 Canada-wide Rally - Canadians Unite for Democracy



Hi all. This is a message I sent to my own family, and figured it was worthy of sharing on my non-partisan bird & photo blogs :)

I know there are varying degrees of interest in this, and just based on my own family I'm in a dismal minority if I'm the only one involving myself in this, but I want to share anyways, please give the below a read and thought.

You know I don't normally "do" politics, nor do I send out chainmails or info about joining this or that group, but this is important. Passing along info to others is just one way to get this conversation going.

Without siding with any political party I think the "CAPP" facebook group has opened a new, significant conversation with our politicians. What Harper thought he could get away with is being strongly objected to by people of all ages and political loyalties. Over 40 Canadian cities, large & small, plus Westminster England, New York City, and Texas are protesting this Saturday.

It's not about 3 weeks vacation, it's about accountability, democracy, and calling the PM out on his claim that we don't care about anything other than the economy, and making it clear that refusing to provide documents regarding Afghan detainee torture actually is “on the radar of Canadians”.

It's about stopping proroguing of parliament from being used when embarassing/criminal problems arise for our PM. He is clearly documented for strong-arming his MPs, he defies court orders, and he misuses rules to serve himself when he's supposed to represent us.

I've spoken to many folks who don't think we can change how things are. There's now 205,000 people on facebook alone that beg to differ. Mothers, veterans, seniors and students, Liberals, Conservatives, NDPers and Greenies, who together think democracy is important enough to stand up for. Simply joining a Facebook group doesn’t mean a thing unless people get out into the real world and do something. I've written MPs, helped share press releases with the media, and am otherwise just doing what I can.

I don't expect you to go rally Saturday (though it would be cool if you did), and I know rallying isn’t for everyone, but at the very least, be aware of why thousands of your fellow Canadians are so angry and why we can't accept the abuse of our democratic system.

Here are a few links. There are thousands out there if you want to read more, I just picked a few, the "Coles Notes" version.

Watch the above video about Sat Jan 23rd. You won’t see it on TV, but it's one of many made by proud Canadians and worth watching:

Get Back to Work

Take a look here, a central site created by one gent to help share info and organize rallies in all the participating cities, plus press releases being sent to the media. Find a rally in your city!

www.noprorogue.ca – check out the right column for cities that have signed on to rally.

Here’s Richard Colvin’s testimony regarding Afghan detainees. He’s since been dragged through the mud and Harper’s government has refused to turn over documents relating to this case.

Richard Colvin testimony Part 2

And lastly, check out or even join this facebook group. It’s an amazing group to follow, loaded with eye-opening information from media sources across Canada and around the world, and definitely the first time I’ve felt a Facebook group was worth joining. It's not joining that makes the difference, it's what we do once we have.

Canadians Against Proroguing of Parliament

I know there’s a debate over whether or not all the noise created by the "Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament" group will amount to anything. I believe it will, and I’m very proud and excited to be a part of it. On Saturday Jan 23rd at 1PM I will be at Dundas Square in Toronto with thousands of others, doing my part instead of being content to accept things as they are. Don’t worry, I’ll take pictures for the blog…

Thanks for hearing me out!
Mathew






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