Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Kassandra Bidarian: New Democratic Party Candidate, Newmarket – Aurora

Posted by auroracitizen on April 21, 2011

We have established this post to allow readers to ask Kassandra questions directly — it will be up to Kassandra whether to take the opportunity to respond.

Her website is:

Moderators will review the questions to ensure they are really questions and not simply an attempt to promote another candidate/party in the guise of a question. Anonymous comments will face a higher standard 🙂

93 Responses to “Kassandra Bidarian: New Democratic Party Candidate, Newmarket – Aurora”

  1. Kassandra said

    Hello everyone,

    As you all know, yesterday was election day and the results are in. We now have a Conservative Majority government but yesterday we also created history. This is the highest seats the New Democratic Party has ever held. In our riding specifically, this is the highest percentage of votes the NDP has ever received since 1990. This could not have been done without those who took the time out of their day to cast their ballot and I wish to thank them.

    Also, I would personally like to thank ALL of those who took the time to comment on this post. I learned a lot from our discussions and about things that I can personally improve on. It was because people took the time to engage in conversation that I was able to obtain a multitude of information and I appreciate it. I sincerely apologize if I came off as defensive or as a “scolded teenager”, but with the experience I learned in this election, I will carry it forward into the next one.

    I look forward to further discussions and it was a pleasure being able to interact with each and every one of you.


    Kassandra Bidarian

  2. JOHN H SARGENT said

    Hello-Kassandra Bidarian –You had the courage to stick to the NDP platforms believes and made a good attempt to get it out onto the Aurora Citizen,, Aurora-New market was not ready for Jack Layton now or in 4 years ?(times do change thou) , but thanks for the dedicated effort..JOHN

  3. Kelli said

    Wow – from what I can see here not only is this candidate not available enough to appropriately focus on the task at hand, but not mature enough to answer questions above with respect and thoughtfulness vs. defence and quite frankly comes off sounding like a scolded teenager.

    • Guy L. Poppe said

      In all fairness, it is Kassandra`s first go at a significant political adventure. She is perplexed that the responses were unsupportive, and at times, somewhat demeaning:(I was party to that). She will learn political tactness and acumen.

      Let`s give her credit for putting herself forward by responding, after the debate issue.

      Both Ms. Long and Ms. Bidarian are part of our political future.

      I thank them, and all, for their interest and wish them well.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Kelli in fairness she is an idealistic neophyte who did in the end put her hat in the ring and ran for office. While I am may not agree with her and despite her lack of responses to my “facts” which would have pushed her off script, she did try and for that she deserves our thanks.

    • Kassandra said


      I could not have done it without my supporters and also this blog has taught me a lot. I may come off as “defensive” but I do not mean to and apologize for doing so. I take everything everyone says into consideration and view it as constructive criticism to see what I need to change. This has been an experience and I will take what I have learned into the next election.

      Best Regards,


  4. Kassandra said

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for taking the time to submit comments and I enjoyed reading all of them (even the negative ones) because everything that is stated is taken into consideration.

    Unfortunately, it seems like this thread has become somewhat attacking towards either myself or the New Democratic Party, including underlying tones of insult (subtle, but still evident).

    I have taken the time to try and reply to every post (and I do acknowledge that I have missed some), which is why I guess I have the mosts post out of all the ones on this site.

    With the amount of posts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is stating what and it would be easier if we conversed one-on-one, also making it more personal.

    It would also be more immediate because we would not have to wait for our posts to be moderated. If any one has more concerns or issues that they need answered please email me at:, that way we can have a more personal atmosphere with quicker responses.

    Everyone here has raised excellent points but the there is such thing as “perspectivism” (Nietzsche). Basically, it is where people have many different perspectives on issues and therefore many different judges of truth or value can be made.

    Everyone knows where I stand as I am running under the New Democratic Party. The platform is available online and so is the budget that shows the costs. This is what I believe in, and some of you do and some of you do not.

    I am not going to try and force my beliefs upon people, or provide statistics because those who already enter this post with a particular mind set will have a certain perspective that differs from mine and vice versa. I can state one thing that can be argued one way, another states something, and it goes back and forth back and forth. I am not simply saying lets not converse but stating that it would be preferred through email, and I do not want this post to also become twisted. I am basically saying, people know my stance on issues and if they want to further ask about my stance, please feel free to email me.

    I hope everyone votes tomorrow for the party that best represents their views and perspectives and thank you for taking the time to contact me.



    PS: I know this post was created for asking me questions directly and I am NOT deterring from participating in discussion, it would just be more efficient through email–so I am providing a different outlet for discussion, not taking away from it.

    Thank You 🙂

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Kassandra-thanks for your closing statement–It a little refreshing as it seems to be about the fist one you posted, that has not had very evident attacks and insults to-ward-Stephen Harper,the Conservatives or anyone that would vote for them at this time. There was little as to why one should vote for *you* now or in future.Just questions answered with statistics after statistics.. I think most experienced voters still vote for the person who they think will best represent their riding-its not always about the party as none are perfect-in time even the young votes will change from time to time when the thrill has passed ,Were in a country were its free to vote as you wish,unless you are a elected member in the House who belongs to a party.then the freedom to vote as you wish ends..maybe that will change in time ? Take-care and thanks for including the citizen blogger s and the Aurora Citizen to be part your young political journey-john PS– I not think anyone tried to insult you personally-may have tried to pry you away from your fact sheets 🙂 BYE -from a non party member or follower..John

    • It is election day. To all candidates good luck. To Ms Bidarian, I would suggest that you review your posts here after it is all done – I think based on these posts, you are the Darryl Moore of the federal election.


  5. Evelyn Buck said

    To Broderick Epps

    The nation provides the Prime Minister with a house. The Liberal Leader also has a house. Not sure if paid for by the party. Monsieur Duceppe likely sleeps in his own bed most nights.Hull is just on the other side of the river. Montreal is a short commute.
    There is plenty of criticism to go around.
    At least we should be comparing apples to apples.
    Mr Layton and Ms Chow at least have the comfort of being together.
    What about other families of M.P.s whose family lives are disrupted by thousands of miles of distance.Who couldn’t make it home for the week-end, regardless of expenses being paid and no matter how badly they might want to be there.

  6. Evelyn Buck said

    Google Google …Cock-a-doodle

    This article is about bread and circuses. For other uses, see Bread and circuses (disambiguation).

    “Bread and Circuses” (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel).

    In modern usage, the phrase has become an adjective to deride a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes the triviality and frivolity that in popular culture is supposed to have characterized the Roman Empire prior to its decline

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      MRS E BUCK-We needed a wise and knowledgeable person to spell the winds before the storm -( was going to put woman instead of person_but did not want to create the winds again 🙂 thanks

  7. Guy L. Poppe said

    To Kassandra:

    I am very sympathetic to your frustrations with the costs of education.

    Over forty years ago, when I went to law school, tuition, and books cost around $7,000 annually. In the summer, I earned about $1,500.
    My parents wanted me to earn my degree by myself. They demanded $15 a week to live at home. I sold every valuable thing I owned, including my decrepit Studebaker.

    Thank God for a small bursary, and kind employers who helped me through the financial challenges. I am forever grateful to the people of Canada who saw their hard earned cash go to the subsidization of higher education.

    I had no notions of entitlement. I felt very lucky.

    The challenge made me stronger and more caring about those less fortunate. I volunteer and do pro bono work.

    I would do it all over again.

    Keep the faith; the challenges are very rewarding.

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Mr. Poppe,

      Thank you for your sympathy and I am in the same boat. I pay my own rent, my own tuition, my own expenses (such as cell phone), my own money for transportation, and so on and so forth.

      Unfortunately, my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and had a surgery that went horribly wrong, so she cannot provide for me.

      I had to work multiple jobs at a time to afford schooling but the wages I make are still not enough to amount to $30,000 a year (excluding text book, transportation, and living expenses).

      It also hard for youth to find jobs that will hire them because of university and to stay in my university you need to have a high GPA. To enter law school you need a 4.0GPA, and work prevents most people from obtaining it.

      I am glad to hear that you are sympathetic and I thank you for it. I am hopeful that more and more people will start to understand the challenges of post secondary education.



  8. This is a general comment about the NDP platform.

    Because of the latest NDP surge, I forced myself to read the NDP platform. No doubt that one will vote for NDP after reading approximately 200 promise items. It is a beautifully and well scripted list. It made me think, if it is really practical and affordable as he says: ‘Today I’m releasing my affordable plan to get Ottawa working for your family – one practical step at a time.’. Now, am I confused more than ever, experiencing a massive headache (for real). All I can say, ‘GOD HELP CANADA’ if JL is our new PM after May 2nd. I really encourage everyone to read this massive PRACTICAL FIRST STEPS platform, and re-evaluate how practical really it is, and affordable too. JL is shooting himself in the foot and re-inventing a wheel. He is definitely targeting every squeaking wheel in this country, until there will be no more oil to support the wheels, and then what? With close to 200 items in this platform, I just cannot see how all that can be implemented or accomplished. He will have to add few more items to his list, just to create a task force to work on all the tasks. As a business person, I seen big task lists like that leading to bankruptcies. No doubt that JL is a good NDP leader, and he can lead people, but with his management and ‘great’ ideas he can lead us all into a hole.

    Again, those who consider NDP platform, PLEASE read it again. It is definitely not practical, and not affordable. It is definitely a leaders dream list.

    Anna 🙂

    Just one last thing I wanted to pick in the NDP list of things to do: ‘We will work with provinces and territories to expand access to shelter and transition houses to support women fleeing violence’.

    Someone tell me why do women need to flee from violence, why can’t we put violence behind the bars?

    • Anonymous said

      “Someone tell me why do women need to flee from violence, why can’t we put violence behind the bars?”

      Because the “let’s hold hand and sing kum-by-ya” sort of solutions held by the NDP and their ilk will require more jobs and government funding than the real world solutions of “do the crime and do the time” as being proposed by the Conservatives.

      Remember the NDP don’t want to do anything for the country unless they can’t get and easy high-paying permnament government job for themselves all their friends and “families”

      They don’t give crap about anybody else and what they think except that they can be taxed to pay for it all.

  9. Guy L. Poppe said

    to NDP in Newmarket

    I apologize for perhaps not using the correct name of the government programmes to spend money on job creation because of the recession.

    Whether it is the earlier programme or the economic action plan, both were job stimulus programmes. My characterization was a generic term.

    While you challenge my credibility, neither you, nor Kassandra, have responded to my comment that the NDP wanted greater spending for these programmes.

    I have the record, so your insult sadly tells me all I need to know.

  10. Kassandra, you said: ‘Harper closed 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices and changed the agency’s funding rules to exclude organizations that research or promote women’s equality, and the list can go on.’

    You stated that he did this and that, but can you elaborate more on WHY Harper closed 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices and changed the rules? For every thing there is a reason. I would like to hear why?

    And here is the reason I ask. Government has lot of programs to help Canadian companies to be more innovative in science and engineering. Recently rules changed to ‘hard to get’. The reason being is that there was lot of abuse going on in those areas. Companies would write up projects for fundings, and never even put foot in them. Government agents give out funding or more tax credits to ‘favorite’ companies. This is a fact. I heard it and saw it.

    My point is that Conservative government was and is investigating every corner of organizations and businesses. Yes he is tough on the corporations too. I find PM is tougher on the current systems, and I respect that because I hate seeing money going down the drain. People are not accountable for their actions. Money are wasted and it all starts with us.

    The truth is no government will hand anyone big fat cheque. We all have to work for it.

    Secondly, you emphasized ‘changed the agency’s funding rules to exclude organizations that research or promote women’s equality’ – this one I will never understand. May be I am living in the dark ages, but I thought that we did not have issue with women’s equality here in Canada. The truth is that there are not many of us ‘women’ out there that would do men’s job the same way men do. On the end those who qualify for the job will be chosen, woman or man. I probably don’t have good bases to support this one, but all my life I worked with man and I had not any issues. I used to get crap all the time for nothing sometimes, but so did other man in the office. To me it all boils down to how experienced individual is.

    … and now turning over you

    Anna 🙂

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Anna

      Instead of spending billions on corporate tax giveaways, he could have supported women more. I also stated that Steven Harper eliminated funding of legal voices for women, including the National Association of Woman in Law. He eliminated funding for “Sister’s in Spirit”, an internationally praised organization leading investigations into 600 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. Since 2006, he has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43%. I do not know why Harper has done this, but maybe a Conservative could provide an answer and I noticed they usually have an answer on my post for everything.

      I agree that we should earn our money and not just receive fat cheques as you stated, but how can I earn money when this is the highest unemployment rate Canada has seen? Not only that, I am a youth and as you see from previous comments no one believes in our capabilities unless we have a degree–this stems to the world of trying to obtain jobs. The only jobs I can work are part-time and for 10.25/hour. And I only can receive part time hours because I attend school. My school costs about $7000 a year, and soon $30 000 (law school). How can I work for my money when I cannot receive a job because I have not finished schooling, but how can I finish schooling without a job to pay for it? It is a vicious cycle that needs to end.

      There are plenty of women equality issues that I previously mentioned in other posts, and I will write more when I am at home. Right now I am in a Mac store at the mall and I do not like keeping people waiting for my reply, so I choose to respond as quickly as possible.

      Thank you for you comments though.


    • Kassandra, just to give you heads up, this is not a personal attack against you, even though you bring lot of personal life to the picture in your comments.

      You said: ‘I do not know why Harper has done this, but maybe a Conservative could provide an answer and I noticed they usually have an answer on my post for everything.’ – well then may be you should know because you opened the topic, and I don’t like when people fight only for the headlines.

      Suppose I was undecided on my vote, directing me towards Conservatives for answers, is not a way to win votes. I thought that is what campaigning was all about.

      If comes to education costs, you just have to go with it. I went through the same thing what you are going through right now. I started to work in high school and save money because no body was going to pay for it, and no body did. I was at threat of not getting my diploma because I was not able find 600 of engineering work (there was absolutely no work in my field), I applied for loans, some years I got enough to cover, and some years I got very little that covered tuition, books and transportation only. I was very lucky that my parents were able to give me the roof and food. On top of that I couldn’t really stand up for myself as you can, because of my language barrier. On the end it isn’t just education, it is the process how you get there teaches you lot of personal attributes.

      Saying that, on the end is how you look at it. It thought me a responsibility, discipline, and everything else I can apply now in life. I just kept going from year to year with one goal in mind to finish school, and I am proud of it. Having said that, feeling sorry for yourself about those things, is not the society we want to be. Somethings just got to be that way, and now with alarming things like kids spending 40 hours a week front of the TV after school is something we should worry about. You may be one of the kind to be very ambition, but there are kids out there your age that stop part time job because its hard work, because they don’t like it, it pays too little etc. This is another alarming fact.

      The women equality I wouldn’t even want to continue with you because I do not agree with lot of things you said, especially about the pay.

      Good luck to you. You will do well.

      Anna 🙂

  11. Guy L. Poppe said

    Kassandra states that women earn 70% of men’s earnings.

    While there there is a gender gap in all OECD countries, Canada’s mean gap is 76% (not 70%) and depending the nature of the job and other criteria, Canada’s performance can be viewed quite favourably.

    For example, for women in higher income positions, the gap is minimal. With her educational background and obvious acumen, I would expect that Kassandra income would be gender competitive, and not 30% less as she claims.

    The most authoritive paper I have found on this subject is the Parliamentary publication 2010-30e.

    • Kassandra said


      No I did not state that a women earn 70% of men’s earnings, but for every dollar a man earns, I earn .70.

      There is also the “Glass Ceiling”, which many pieces of writings have published information on. A women can only earn so much, and then she stops while a man can continue on, hence “Glass Ceiling”.


    • Kassandra said

      And in 2011, there should be NO GAP between a woman and a man. We should be treated as equals. For very dollar you make, I should be making a dollar.

      Maybe Canada is doing exceptionally well to you, but women still face many challenges.


    • Anonymous said


      I’m not doubting what you’re saying about the glass ceiling and that there should be no gap, I completely agree. However, maybe I’m missing some other point you’re trying to make, but $0.70 of $1.00 is 70%. Please correct my math if I’m wrong.

  12. Guy L. Poppe said

    Kassandra accurately states that “I do know that Stephen Harper has run the largest deficit in Canadian History”.

    However, what she doesn’t explain is that most of this deficit was caused by the stimulus programme, which Layton and the NDP argued was not soon nor big enough. They insisted on greater spending.

    Credibility is a major factor in my vote selection.

    • Broderick Epps said


      Excellent point.We all await K’s response.

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Guy L. Poppe,

      My statement was accurate and here are some more facts. The NDP believes that it is important to offer good and sound fiscal policies – to benefit the country and to demonstrate fiscal responsibility that reflects made-in-Canada solutions.

      As you probably know, our NDP platform is fully-costed, third party validated and plans to balance the budget by 2014-15. It outlines practical first steps to balancing the priorities of Canadians in the current fiscal situation.

      Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that, while the Conservatives will continue to argue that they are the most fiscally responsible party, the fact remains that New Democrats have, statistically speaking, balanced the books better than any other party in terms of provincial leadership.

      According to the federal Department of Finance, provincial NDP governments have held surpluses 51 per cent of the time, staying ahead of the Conservatives. Liberals, on the other hand, have held a surplus only 30 per cent of the time. You can see the results here:

      (Here is another site that includes charts:


    • NDP in Newmarket said

      Credibility? Guy L. Poppe asserts “most of this deficit was caused by the stimulus programme”. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

      Maybe Mr. Poppe should get his terminology straight.

      Is he referring to the $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund established by the 2009 Federal Budget to provide funding towards the rehabilitation or construction of provincial, municipal and community infrastructure projects. The idea was to provide $2-billion in 2009-10 and $2-billion in 2010-11 for projects that can begin construction quickly and be built during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons. The purpose behind the Stimulus Fund was job creation.

      That’s the program Jack Layton described this way, “uneven, suspect, and completely without vision from the start,” and which Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page found hadn’t created many jobs at all. Needless to say, Stephen Harper responded that Mr. Page’s report “lacked credibility”.

      Now it could be that Mr. Poppe is merely confused and was actually thinking of Canada’s Economic Action Plan when he said “most of this deficit was caused by the stimulus programme”. That’s the plan referred to in the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2009–2010, issued by the Department of Finance, which states:

      “About $21 billion of the $55.6-billion deficit was attributable to actions taken under Canada’s Economic Action Plan.”

      Whether I agree or disagree with the competency or even the extent of the actions taken under Canada’s Economic Action Plan is another story, but no-one who grossly mis-states the facts should be impugning Kassandra’s credibility.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Kassandra—Like you said, text can get confused , spun– or mistaken* Before any more communication can occur i need to know ??)* ( what that) I only gave you a few examples about this poorly run co-op and immediately you jump into defense mode( yet nothing about wanting to know more in person).. *Yes* were is the protection for the good people in this co-op who do pay their rent ,keep their hose in order or the ones who pay full rent..Even more demoralizing what of the ones who are on a waiting list while this is going on.(what has it got to do if they not working)– more time to clean etc :).A couple both working at minimum wage are worse off than most in this co-op–no * free drug plan* -market rent-tax’s off what they do make.So lets not even go there with this post. a drug plan,monetary assistance about 300.00 $ or less in rent, would be low and awesome in their eyes..No one, at least i, is questioning your credibility unless you are unable to accept the facts as they be,when they are presented to you..The main problem i see is the way the co-op is allowed to be run ..Well a will drop out and enjoy rest of weekend after just spending 9hr Sat volunteering with a helping hand to people- including members of both above mentioned groups Take_care–Hey you got the most posts of all candidates it seems 🙂

    • Broderick Epps said

      To support your position you wrote “My statement was accurate and here are some more facts. The NDP believes that it is important to offer good and sound fiscal policies – to benefit the country and to demonstrate fiscal responsibility that reflects made-in-Canada solutions.

      Firstly you use an NDP press release to support your position.Are you saying that is fact If so you are showing a high degree of naivity or worse.
      Secondly, about the provinces , please explain what happened in Nova Scotia where the HST was raised to 15%, retail business escaped to New Brunswick and Darrel Dexter next election will be turfed if public anger is a consideration.

      A pattern is emerging in your responses, you seem to have tunnel vision.

    • Anonymous said

      With all due respect Kassandra, you are being rather one-sided on this. The Liberal media has always given Bob Rae and the NDP a pass for the ill fated NDP reign in Ontario during the nineties when he racked up for that time the largest deficit in history. The reason being a rather nasty recession hit the North American Economy. Now that we are just getting over an even worse one, both Ontario and Canada have record deficits. Are you saying the BOB Rae Ontario NDPers were also incompetants? A recession is a recession after all.

    • Enough about elections said

      Reading the various exchanges has been entertaining but not especially enlightening. If the purpose of running for elective office is to get elected, and if given enough seats for a given party, then to form a government and accept the responsibility of governing. None of the parties in this election has so far demonstrated this intention.

      To be successful in today’s democracy it is necessary to combine fiscal prudence with social consideration for all the people of the country. Political philosophies are things of the past, when things were smaller, slower and far less complicated than today, nationally and globally. We still think of ourselves as peacekeepers to the world; the reality is we cannot afford this, neither in weaponry nor in personnel. We have the ability to act diplomatically provided we have policies that make sense and that we can support; unfortunately we are lacking here also.

      In many ways we are still the depository of significant raw materials that the world now needs, some desperately. Yet our manufacturing industry is weak, our universities must be improved so that we can produce the skilled professionals that we are now having to import from India and China; they revere education, we play games and point fingers – the blame game.

      This election, quite unwanted by Canadians and totally unnecessary, is going to cost, according to some sources, upwards of $300 million. This money could have been put to better use. Ditto that Harper unleashed $1 billion on the G20 countries last summer in a mad ego boost. The G20 or the G8 have not really accomplished anything of substance since then. It’s only natural that every country thinks of its self interest first and if there is something left over they can dish out the scraps under the guise of grand gesture.

      I have not seen a single comment from any candidate from any party, leader or follower, that can form the nucleus of a coherent, responsible government. People are tripping over each other chasing votes, accomplishing nothing of meaningful value.

      This last thought is truly disturbing. Look to the south to the “home” of liberty and you will see a once great nation on the brink of financial bankruptcy and quickly approaching moral bankruptcy as well. We are different from them, let us stay that way and not follow down their path.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Bill Allison RE * I think Mr Sargent s comments were rather glib on a issue that should be taken seriously and treated with respect-Well sir there was definitely no insincerity,superficial or lack of concern in my comments.Yes there is poverty, lack of housing,and social issues in both the males and females..So lets all drop the tunnel vision(thank-you Broderick Epps for that word) and treat the issues as they really and truly stand stand.. Constantly reading from fact sheets and or data is very misleading at the least,,I have personalty witnessed how some data is composed and put in print on poverty–Always in favor of the vision any group is pushing? well sir the numbers are not always fact and poverty keeps flourishing??..Ever wonder if more actual actual funds went directly into the hands of the poor being data ed and then more grants be cut back as they have to some groups that poverty in Canada might decrease and a lot of social agencies or groups would have to close or be closed .. Wow would that not cause another issue.Look what happened when Municipal or Ontario Welfare offices tighten the strings,years back because of reported abuse in the system.. their are now probably more people actually making a good pay cheque or business in Canada because of poverty,than the ones receiving help.. Where is the data on those numbers..not to be glib on any issue, just saying have to look at all four sides to come up with a solution whether it be poverty or equality ect( after years of believe the Earth was not flat after all)-So yes i do take these issues very seriously and with respect,and that is why i commented in the fist place to Kassandra’s constant data out bursts.( …Some nights i wonder if it worth the time i put in to try and help people (i quit in my mine) then the next day get up and start over ,as i know its not about me its just who i am .- ( I do not know the solution to these issues, yet someone has to speak out,regardless of the flack they receive back..One thing i am certain of is, handing out grants to silence the critics does not seem to be working in favor of less fortunate..That is just government passing the buck ? Thanks

    • Broderick Epps said

      In reveiwing public disclosures on MP expenses I found the following.

      Among party leader’s, NDP Leader Jack Layton racked up the highest expense account despite being the leader of the smallest party. Layton billed taxpayers for $628,913.68.
      Another MP Olivia Chow expenses are: $530,304.73
      So total NDP leader family expenses we paid are:$1,159,218.40

      This family cares so much about vulnerable people but also make sure not to forget themselves. Just like the public housing fiasco.

      A similar pattern was experienced when both were City of Toronto Councillors
      Buyer beware!

      Happy Voting !

    • Anonymous said

      Further to Mr. Epps,

      The basic facts regarding the Laytons’ housing aaarngement while they were councillors in Toronto are as follows.

      Layton and his wife Olivia both sat on Toronto City Council for years before making the move to federal politics. While on City Council, they were making around $100,000 a year. They used a fraudulent scheme to get into subsidized housing. What they did was register the appartment in the name of Chow’s mother who was an unemployed immigrant. In this way, they lived for years in a taxpayer funded house while being paid $100,000 yearly from taxpayers. They only moved when a reporter exposed the story.

      The real irony is that Chow styled herself as an advocate for the homeless on City Council.

      It astounds me that the media never mention this. It was theft, pure and simple.

      Just wait till they gets their hands in the big till.

  13. Guy L. Poppe said

    To Mr. Allison

    I agree with Mr. Sargent.

    There is a vast difference between a women’s shelter and a dozen or more offices expounding women’s rights.

    We are not Afghanistan.

    While I am adamant both men and women should be treated equally, perhaps Mr. Allison could explain where more financial focus on this issue is deserved in this country.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      To-Guy-Poppe- Thank you for a more *educated* ability to say the same on equality as i,yet in a more short defined the point, harder to ignore or attack.. Will Bill Allison or Kassandra Bidarian-NDP response.?? John

    • Bill Allison said

      Mr. Poppe, Since this is Ms. Bidarian’s thread, I will allow her response to stand as well as any further comments she cares to make on this or any other issue. Let me just say again that I found Mr. Sargent’s comments to be rather glib on an issue that I think should be treated with seriousness and respect. Thanks.

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Guy L. Poppe,

      While I do admire that you are adamant that both women and men should be treated equally, I do not believe that the Status of Women Canada offices were just “expounding” women’s rights. They are more active than that.

      Status of Women Canada works to advance equality for women by focusing its efforts in three priority areas:
      •increasing women’s economic security and prosperity;
      •encouraging women’s leadership and democratic participation; and
      •ending violence against women

      Through the Women’s Program and its two components, the Women’s Community Fund and the Women’s Partnership Fund, Status of Women Canada plays a vital role in supporting the work of women’s and other Canadian organizations. The mandate of the Women’s Program is “to advance equality for women across Canada by improving their economic and social conditions and increasing their participation in democratic life.” Accordingly, the objective of the program is “to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.”

      Furthermore, Status of Women Canada works to advance equality for women and girls. As part of its strategic policy role, the Agency advises other federal departments and agencies on long-standing and emerging issues, opportunities and best practices for achieving change where needed. Status of Women Canada’s work is currently focused in three priority areas: women’s economic security and prosperity, women in leadership and democratic participation, and ending violence against women.

      The issues that affect women are as diverse as the circumstances in which they live and can seldom be viewed in isolation. For this reason, Status of Women Canada promotes an awareness of the combined impact, or intersectionality, of a variety of factors in women’s lives such as age, place of residence, economic status, level of education, immigration status, and whether they are Aboriginal, among other factors.

      To fulfill its strategic policy role, Status of Women Canada collaborates with federal, provincial, territorial and international organizations, and with the non-profit, voluntary, academic and private sectors. Partnerships foster information exchange and collaborative interventions in the pursuit of equality for women.

      Status of Women Canada promotes the Government of Canada equality objectives for women in domestic as well as international fora, including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Through our participation, reporting of progress to fulfill obligations, and provision of strategic input to international agreements, Status of Women Canada helps to advance Canada’s international reputation and ability to protect women’s human rights around the world.

      By influencing the development of government policy, by analyzing its impacts on Canadians, and by providing expert advice and support to its many partners, Status of Women Canada is helping to advance the full participation of women.

      More information can be found at:

      Best Regards,


    • Equality said

      Some seventy years ago in Great Britain and in North America women went to work in factories producing guns and planes. Men went out to foreign lands and fired and flew them.

      We should be eternally grateful for the role that women played then and there is no reason to expect less of them now, if given the opportunity.

      Equal pay for equal work, with some reasonable adjustment for their role in perpetuating the species.

    • Anonymous said

      Hey Equality,

      In those days the women who helped build those guns and planes were paid more than the men who were using them.

      That’s equality for you..

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      KASSANDRA–Long.. Under P.Trudeau (Canada History).. The debt soared 1200% from 17 billion to 200 billion dollars during his terms..but yes Stephen Harper, they say holds the o the worst one year record.. So–sorreeeeee

  14. Florin R said

    I live in Aurora with my 13 years old boy, who has a neuromuscular disability. The Conservative Government has frozen the Special Services At Home program two years ago, and although my son was approved for this program he is still on a waiting list (lots of families like ours waiting), while other families receive the program support.

    Please confirm if, once elected, you would un-freeze this program for children with disabilities. Also, please list any concrete objectives you might have to help children with disabilities and those affected by medical conditions with no cure, and how you plan to assist their families.


    • Florin,

      I think your question is unfair to ask Kassandra if she would un-freeze the program. The reality is local MPs have little influence over government policy. This is even more true if the local MP happens to sit across the house from the government.

      So, if Kassandra was elected AND the NDP had enough MPs elected to form at least a minority AND they gave her the Health portfolio, she may haev a chance to review and discuss policy.

      Tuesday morning if the NDP forms a minority government or worse, I am selling my house to the highest bidder and moving to Turks and Caicos. I lived through the Bob Rae era in this province, I can’t imagine the turmoil if Layton got in.


    • Florin R said

      Fuimus, you are right, thanks. Indeed, if elected she could only lobby for policy change within NDP caucus, and then there are subsequent steps, depending on election result.

      I was not here during Bob Rae era, but I would give the left a change to govern after years of right wing Government. To be more precise, the center-left, because from my assessment NDP is not a left/socialist party. This will balance things out in this country for a while in favor of families as opposed to corporations, which took enormous advantage of all those corporate tax cuts and special policies approved by their friends in Ottawa. Besides, another type of Government, be it Liberal, NDP or a coalition between the two (although Ignatieff has stupidely rejected the idea before even counting his votes), would preserve our Canadian identity as opposed to Harper’s plans to dilute it within an ever tight alliance with the US.

      I am somehow amused by you plan to leave this country if NDP forms a Government, but wish you good luck in any case.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Florin R

      Just a small technical point.
      My understanding is that the Special Services at Home (SSAH) Program is provincial – run by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.

      I do not dispute the value of the program or the fact that cuts have been made, but isn’t this an issue best raised with the candidates in the upcoming provincial election in October?

    • Kassandra said

      Dear Florin R,

      Today, there are more than 4.4 million Canadians living with disabilities. While we have made tremendous progress in some areas of accessibility, too many Canadians continue to face needless obstacles to their economic independence and full participation in society.

      We may have won the battle in the House of Commons by forcing the government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities— but now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start implementing the measures needed to realize its promise.

      That’s why in the last session of Parliament, our New Democrat team passed a motion calling for an in-depth study of the remaining barriers facing persons with disabilities in Canada.

      It is unfortunate that the Conservative government froze this program and Fuimus is correct in stating it is a Provincial issue (but I will see to it that the NDP Candidate for Member of Provincial Parliament is aware of this issue and that it will be handled accordingly). However, “Disability Rights” are included in our Federal NDP Platform and we will implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by:

      * Supporting the development of a National Action Plan to Implement the CRPD, including mechanisms for collaboration, monitoring and reporting progress, and strategies for achieving such priorities of the disability community as disability supports, access and inclusion, poverty alleviation, and labour market participation.

      * Ending Canada’s reservation on Article 12 (equal recognition before the law).

      * Holding Parliamentary hearings on the CRPD to hear from the disability community and other key witnesses and creating a high-level panel with representation from national disability organizations to map the way forward.

      I wish you and your son all the best, and I will do everything in my power to see to it that your son receives the proper care that Canadians deserve.


      Kassandra Bidarian

      To Fuimus,

      I was not around during Bob Rae’s era, but is he not the Liberal running in the Toronto Center? He was before my time, but I do know that Stephen Harper has run the largest deficit in Canadian History.


    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      KASSANDRA Re * I was not around during Bob Rae’s era, yet I know Steven Harper has run the largest deficit in Canadian history*– You say in a reply, ask the Conservatives who post on my blog, as they seem to have all the answers.well again, before your time before your time:) ,but it is in the archives, think that honor probably belongs to PM P Trudeau, as he left the political arena with about a 125 billion deficit on the books

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      TO AURORA CITIZEN ADMINISTRATORS–Please do not post my May 1 8.40 post as Harper did have highest *single year deficit, even thou Trudeau did leave Canada in the worst debt of all PRIME MINISTERS in Canadian history–do not want to miss quote–Thanks -JOHN S

    • Kassandra said

      Hello John H Sargent,

      I do not know where you find that Trudeau left the political arena with about 125 billion deficit but I would appreciate it if you could show me that information.

      Here is some (non-NDP) information that states otherwise:


    • John Sargent, your post was moderated and published before we received your request to remove the post. We have published both since Kassandra had already responded and we respect your desire to set the record straight. We hope this provides the appropriate balance of fairness for both.

  15. Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

    I support the NDP more than any other party, but I know that a vote for the NDP is a vote for Brown and the CPC. Therefore I’m going Liberal because they are the lesser evil, and that’s how you have to work it given our voting system.

    • Broderick Epps said

      KVP. A vote for the NDP is also a vote for the shameless media whore Jack Layton.Lets not forget his less than stellar moment when during the celebrations following Sid Crosby’s overtime goal at the last Olympics there was Jack pushing aside A FEMALE celebrators arm so he could be in the picture being beamed from Gretzkys across Canada!

    • Anne said

      I always think of that too Broderick – that few seconds showed his true character.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      I did not see the photo referred to by Broderick Epps that brought forth such intemperate language.
      But I have seen similar unfortunate snaps.
      I saw the prime Minister on his first election,both arms raised in jubilation by supporters which caused his shirt button to snap and expose his bulging expanse. For weeks after he ran from photographers and took care to turn his back and make sure all was in order before allowing a camera to tell an unattractive tale.
      I saw the smooth handsome urbane countenance of David Petersen twisted in a sneer in an unguarded moment during one of the Charlotte Town Conferences. Robert Stanfield let a foot ball slip from his hands in a fateful moment and President Ford slipped when on a staircase to a plane.
      For the want of a horse some other character in history lost a kingdom. On such a moment as this does a nation’s destiny rely.
      “Democracy the worst system there is except for all the rest”

    • Observer said

      People are starting to get sillier the closer we get to e-day. Harper’s pot, Iggie’s brain, Layton’s reach and Duceppe’s laser eyes. What sort of creature do we have here? Leadership! I’m going to throw up!!!

      Take a break and watch the wedding tomorrow and try to imagine an event like that taking place in Canada.

    • Anonymous said

      “Democracy the worst system there is except for all the rest”


      Reference and context please…

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Anonymous at 9:16.

      The reference is to Winston Churchill. He is quoted on several websites as having said:

      “Many forms of Gov­ern­ment have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pre­tends that democ­racy is per­fect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

      The idea that democracy is the worst form of government was apparently not origial, but was also never cited.

      It’s one of those obviouse statements to those who live in democracies in the developed world.

    • Kassandra said


      If that is the worst someone can possibly exaggerate about Jack Layton, then so be it. When looking to leadership, it comes down to who you can trust. Stephen Harper failed to provide a trust relationship between the government and the people and look at him…he is found in contempt of Parliament. Furthermore, he is the first Prime Minister in history to be found in contempt because he lost confidence. So you may have the accusation of “shameless media whore Jack Layton”, but let us look at what we can say about Harper (other than being found in contempt). He spent 60 billion dollars on tax giveaways for big corporations, he left Canada as the only G8 country with no national housing plan–while homelessness grows and 3-million Canadians struggle with housing they cannot afford, Harper closed 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices and changed the agency’s funding rules to exclude organizations that research or promote women’s equality, and the list can go on.

      To “Anonymous”, democracy is the worst system there is except for all the rest is a quote related to Winston Churchill who said: “Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”


    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      KASSASDRA–What is wrong with getting rid of wasteful offices of government I understand you are a young woman, but if you do your home work, you will find that woman’s rights and equality have long ago been researched and promoted to the point that they supersede that of a man in a lot of cases.and the list goes on.( so why the need for all the offices , when work is done close them down, (a no brainier) Was NDP not not part of the group that was demanding government give the stimulus packages,,RE housing -take a look at some co-ops -right here in Aurora even–Who would want to invest money in them as the law stands..some tenants are thousands of dollars in arrears and rent is very low to start with– hard to get the money or evict them(they know this so why pay rent)-they can destroy a unit, then just move into another one in the co-op, board spends thousands of dollars cleaning up and repairing abandoned unit,,Sad part is this type of tenant can do the same thing again few years down the road ..This is not hearsay or fiction ,it is a *fact* ..The tenants rights are controlled by the board of the co-op and the board is composed of co-op tenants ??Do the math -if you get pass the board its a waste of more money to take to court as these people have the right to housing..As a society how are we helping anybody by throwing good money to waste,,Money itself will not fix the problem of housing if socialist groups not take the time to look into some of the real issues, and not just the funding and or grants for their particular cause .Yes there is a need for housing ,but their is also a need for rules and discipline,which does not take away from ones fundamental rights

    • Bill Allison said

      John, I am sure that there are people much better educated than me on the issue of women’s rights typing furiously on their keyboards right now in response to your post above. I look forward to their responses. However, in the meantime, I find your comments on the subject to be naiive at best, and dangerous (as an idea) at worst.

      In the history of mankind, it is true to say that in the VERY RECENT past (i.e. since the Suffragettes), progress has been made, in some parts of the world, conerning the equal and equitable treatment of women. The same can be said for other historically disenfranchised groups, e.g. visible minorities and aboriginal peoples, though the progress can be debated. Do you really think that it is “job done” wrt women’s rights, and that, even if it was agreed that “equality” has been achieved (and I am sure that many would argue against that), that it will not take continued vigilance to ensure that society does not backslide?

      For heaven’s sake we are fighting a war in Afghanistan that is largely (appropriately and rightly) rationalized on the basis of the good we can do to help establish even the minimum of safety, respect and dignity for women. Women are routinely mutilated in several regions in Africa. They are pressed into a life of servitude and perpetual subservience to men in many countries in the world. And, all of this under threat of violence, by their own communities, and as often as not, by their own families.

      If you really believe that there is no more work to be done in the area of Women’s rights – and I guess you do, a “no-brainer” right? – , and that any gains made to date do not need to be fought for in order to be preserved, then I suggest that you go explain that to the women and children who seek refuge at Yellow Brick House. Let us know how your argument goes over there.


    • Kassandra said

      Hello John H Sargent,

      You raise an interesting debate. As a women, I am shocked and offended to hear that you believe our Status of Women Canada Offices are “wasteful offices of government”. Yes, Canadian women have made important strides toward equality. After decades of significant gains, efforts to achieve equality must continue as there is significant work left to be done.

      Canadian women earn just 70 per cent of what men do, and more than half of single women over age 65 now live in poverty. Regardless of their job status, women are struggling to make ends meet as the primary caregivers to children and the elderly. Meanwhile, half of all Canadian women will experience criminal violence in their lifetime–including sexual assault and domestic abuse.

      How can you make the statement women have superseded men in equality?? For every dollar a man makes, I make 70 cents. How is that equal? This is unfair and unequal and it should not be like this in the year 2011.

      Women’s growing labour-force participation and their political activities are often viewed optimistically because many people think these developments generate more money and power for women. Yet the fact that women are now part of the public sphere of paid work and politics DOES NOT mean that gender equality exists. Women’s labour-force participation rate is still lower than men’s. (The labour-force participation rate is the proportion of women of working age who work full-time for money, expressed as a percentage). Women are still less likely to become politicians than men. Substantial gender inequality remains in the labour force and in the political sphere. The list of inequalities can go on.

      For housing, every Canadian has the right to affordable and secure housing. Today, rents have skyrocketed and buying a home is harder than ever. One in five families are struggling to pay for their homes, and that can mean making unreasonable choices such as cutting back on food or turning off the heat. Half of all families say they’re just a couple of missed paycheques from failing into financial crisis. And some 250,000 will actually experience homelessness this year. This is a fact, not hearsay or fiction. Harper left Canada as the only G8 country with no national housing plan…the only G8 country.

      To respond to the Aurora Coop Housing, I am very familiar with it. I do not know where you get the notion that the rent is already low, but it is not and many families struggle to make ends meet. There is a board but who is to say if you don’t pay your rent that you can still live there for as long as you want? There is also a long waiting list for those in need to live in coop housing, so how can “they destroy a unit, then just move into another one in the co-op,” as you previously stated? And by saying “they can destroy a unit” is very demeaning to people in co-ops because you are insinuating that they will destroy units.


      Hello Bill Allison,

      Your comment moved me, because after reading the previous comment by John H Sargent, I was beginning to worry that women’s rights are not going to be taken seriously. Thank you for taking the time to respond and I greatly appreciate your comments.


      Kassandra Bidarian

    • Broderick Epps said

      Kassandra. Google “Layton shoves woman” to see for yourself.I am glad you brought up the homelessness issue. Layton scores high here too. As part of Toronto Council in the nineties (you were a small child then) he helped push through subsidized housing and used a loophole in a co-op housing project to gain housing for him and his councillor wife in a property whose mortgage was being paid by the taxpayers. Combined income over 100G’s living with the less fortunate.Yes a leader you can trust. As for the contempt charges. Lets not let the facts get in the way. Yes Harper was found in contempt. A partisan committee comprised of Liberals and Dippers coined the phrase because the Tories wouldn’t answer questions. Where was Jack and the NDP when the Liberals under Chretien pulled the same stunt TWICE and PROROGUED Parliament anytime the whiff of scandal was in the air? Yes parliament voted to echo the Committee findings. The Tories did nothing illegal, by Canadian Parliamentary Standards. But in the world of gotcha politics the whole issue has ballooned into a scandal greater than ADSCAM and HRDC Squared!Yes the Tories could have answered the questions of the committee, but by not answering we have now have this monumental tempest.Sorry but I feel things like a good standard of living lower taxes and a healthy economy are whats important. You were a young child when the NDP gained power in Ontario. The mess they made still resonates with those whole held jobs and had mouths to feed. I am absolutely afraid of the thought of Jack Layton and Olivia Chow with direct access to the public purse. Their track record as councillors in Toronto should stand as a stern warning of what could be.Too bad you weren’t around back then.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Bill Allison-Your reply April 29 1.53pm-thanks for your concern on women s rights– No i an not back tracing, just a little clarification .I was referring to the closing of 12 of 16 offices for research and promoting..nothing about women not having rights or to stop ensuring they do .The research job part has been done in Canada (yes-no)-so put the money to-ward a solution not more consultants (yes a no brain er) By the way i do have a letter of appreciation from the Women s Center in New Market and do have a name in good standing with the Yellow Brick House in Aurora for the past 10 years and always welcomed with open arms at Teen Challenge Center for Women in King to this day( easy for you to confirm) ..Please- Please do not twist my comment into negativity to-ward women-not so-I was responding to Kassandra’s comment to-ward the Conservatives supposedly not caring about women s rights here in our country by closing some offices for the States of Women–I know that’s a political statement from her ,yet could be dangerous none the less.Unwarranted statement to make to-ward any elected government of Canada who believes in women s rights.there may just be as many more educated people than me ready to respond to her thoughts as well.. JOHN

    • Kassandra said

      To: John H Sargent,

      My response to your statement, “Unwarranted statement to make to-ward any elected government of Canada who believes in women s rights.”

      If closing down 12 out of 16 offices was not enough, Steven Harper eliminated funding of legal voices for women, including the National Association of Woman in Law. He eliminated funding for “Sister’s in Spirit”, an internationally praised organization leading investigations into 600 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. Since 2006, he has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43%.


    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Kassandra NDP I did not say *women exceeded men in equality*_i said in a lot of cases they do..Spin it as you wish..also a did not say Aurora Co-OP i said a co-op in Aurora– Thanks for asking how can one destroy a co-op unit as there is a waiting list–exactly what i was saying ,needs to be rules and how is this allowed to happen ..Yes they destroy a unit(making it inhabitable) and then allowed to move into another unit and board repairs cupboards, walls and paints and then cleans or replaces appliances and then has to replace carpets,while the tenant is comfortable in his or her new digs..How can you call my comment which is true. insulting or demeaning..Yes my concerned politician,one tenant has moved 3 times in about 10years in same co-op–another moved recently in same co-op..lots of back rent owed in same co-op-and yes rent is very low in about have the units,with the rest at market rent.If you really concerned about the others on the long waiting list( and i do know it is long) and how this is allowed to happen would be glad to discuss it in private and you will feel the same as i (one would hope)– I sent bill a reply to Bill on his reply to me–Thank -you JOHN..PS–There is a lot of waste and lax rules and everyone knows a system can be abused,the problem is who wants to be the honest and yet still caring person to do justice when it is exposed, and not hide it under dirty carpets..Sounds like i open a can full of worms and a attempt is being made me to look somewhat?–Buts it happening in a co-op in your possible riding

    • Kassandra said

      Hello John H Sargent,

      I sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for the misunderstanding of your last post, but that is what happens when communiation is through text.

      I am taking the information you are providing about co-op housing in Aurora very seriously and appreciate the concerns you have shown. Systems do get abused and I believe in appropiate regulations, but their are those living in co-ops who do not abuse the system and who do not do what you said about the other tenant (“moved 3 times in about 10years in same co-op–another moved recently in same co-op..lots of back rent owed in same co-op…”). The people who do not abuse the system and rely on co-op housing should be taken into consideration.

      As for the rent, maybe it is low to you but I do know residents of co-ops struggling to make ends meet, so to them it is not low, especially for those who cannot work.

      Again, I appreciate the insight.

      Best Regards,

      Kassandra Bidarian

    • Kassandra said

      To John H Sargent,

      Before any other miscommunications can occur let me clarify. I apologized about misunderstanding: “Aurora Co-OP” and “a co-op in Aurora”.

      However, I would like to know where woman “exceed men in equality…in a lot of cases…” and by “Aurora Co-Op”, I did mean a co-op in Aurora.


  16. Anne said

    One of her signs is on Orchard Heights.

  17. I really don’t care what the reason for not attending debates is. But learning that it was because it conflicted with her exam schedule is even more insulting. Yes her education should come first, but it begs the question why would she avail herself to a position that she is unable to commit to.

    Colin was asking about signs. There are a few scattered around, among them are Jack Layton signs because the party knows that they will only score votes on party, not candidate.

    • I think Mr Watts’ outrage would be valid if the NDP had a chance to win the riding, but based on the way the party has filled the nomination and the reality of the riding’s electorate, she is nothing but filler to make sure the NDP has a candidate running.

      To be fair to her, I do not know when the NDP had their nomination meeting and as a parent of a university student, the exam schedule is defined a lot sooner than a) this election and b) the little debates. For those reasons, I don’t think we should condemn her for not committing to the position and missing the debates.

      Remember, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”


    • Kassandra said

      Hello Christopher Watts,

      I apologize for not being able to attend the debates. Unfortunately, I cannot control the dates that are set for my exams. I attend the University of Toronto-St.George campus where I am currently maintaining a 4.0GPA. However, I did attend the Rogers debate and I am doing all that I can in order to accomplish everything possible. The issue I faced was one that affects other youth as well through their part-time jobs and other commitments. I feel that youth should not be doubted because of their education or other commitments. Just like anyone else, we have conflicting schedules. I again apologize that my schedule did not allow me to attend the debates.

      I am committed and I am a person dedicated to achieving all that I can. I have always committed myself to multiple avenues in the past with positive results, and if need be, I can continue that here. My educational load will be lessened next year, leaving me ample time to work as a Member of Parliament.

      All the best,

      Kassandra Bidarian

    • Kassandra,

      Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to respond to my concern here.

      Not outrage, but the concern that I raised has merit and has been addressed in wider circles as covered in a recent Toronto Star article here:–in-french-speaking-riding-ndp-candidate-speaks-little-french

      The candidate in the article was not available for an interview, and apparently doesn’t speak the language of her riding very well.

      What was more of an eye-opener is that your party confirmed the candidate in the article has spent part of the campaign vacationing in Las Vegas.

      That doesn’t speak highly of the caliber of candidates that your party is running.

      I don’t doubt your ability to commit yourself to this riging, I flat out reject it given your current commitments.

      You suggest that your “educational load” will be lessened next year.

      If you are enrolled in any program of note I seriously doubt that statement.

      Your GPA is irrelevant when it comes to your commitment to being a federal MP and although I believe that your education comes first, you have obviously over committed yourself here, and even recognized it.

      We had a councilor recently join Aurora council, and he has proven to be a welcome addition.

      The difference is he finished his schooling first.

      I suggest that after May 2nd you may want to reconsider and do the same.

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Christopher Watts,

      “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” as Voltaire stated. However, I disagree with your opinions. In high school I worked multiple jobs at the same time (how else can I afford university?) and still managed good grades. On top of that, I took care of an ailing mother suffering from stomach cancer. Secondly, in University of Toronto I worked 6 days a week, 2 jobs and managed both with positive outcomes.

      The new Aurora councilor that recently joined is VERY LUCKY that he finished his schooling first. How can I reconsider doing the same when the unemployment rate is so high? Especially among youth because many people share your views that schooling should be first, and therefore they do not hire youth because according to this stereotype, we are not credible.

      Thirdly, tuition costs are approximately $7000 a year. Students make $10.25 per hour. How can we afford schooling? My next step in schooling will cost $30,000 per year. Let’s not forget the cost of text books, transportation and other necessities.

      So, I can’t finish school without having a HIGH paying job to afford it but I can’t have a HIGH paying job without a degree. See the problem? This needs to stop and it needs to stop now! You could have a high IQ and could be very well capable of achieving a 4.0GPA, but if you can’t afford it…then what?

      A side note, please do not doubt that my educational load won’t be lessened next year because seeing how I will be a part time student (most likely with only 2 courses), it will be. I am enrolled in a program but that does not mean I have a set number of courses to take per year. A person can take one course per year and graduate in 20 years if they wish too, although it is unreasonable it still is possible.

      Also, there are MP’s in place who are enrolled post-secondary eduction and who seem to manage just fine. One thing my generation learned or had to learn was multi-tasking. Because in this society, if you cannot handle taking on a multiple of avenues then you will not make it, the way society is going. If you do make it…consider yourself an anomaly.


    • Kassandra,

      I can’t, nor do I wish to speak for the councilor as you have, but don’t believe “Luck” as you have described it was a factor in his decision making process.

      If you are after a “High paying” job, as you claim, than I expect you will incur costs on your path of education to build the qualifications and experience to make you the right candidate.
      Do not assume you are the only one who has had to hold down multiple jobs while attending school. I paid my way through school without a high paying job, it takes hard work and perseverance, but if you truly desire the education you are enrolled in you will see it through.

      I believe you are truly naive when it comes to educational work load, as you will learn, fewer classes doesn’t necessarily mean less work.

      As for your comment on taking courses over a span of 20 years, perhaps this approach to timetabling is the problem with your inability to secure a high paying job.

      My greatest concern with your post is that I believe you have confused multi-tasking with some positive attribute, it is not.

      Society is, and always has been looking for results driven people, not those that can seemingly manage phone calls with clients, apply make-up, cook and eat breakfast, update their facebook status and book travel arrangements while at the wheel going down the 400 on the way to the office or back.

      The real world, especially when you are talking about matters at the national level are much different than your experience at high school.

      All the more reason to finish up your education, even get a job (not even necessarily high paying) or two before you take on such a responsibility.

      I expect after the election is over, that you will have ample time to reflect on how finishing your education before availing yourself to the position of a member of the Federal Government would be in both your constituents and your own best interest.

      Best of luck in your endeavors, perhaps we’ll see you run again in 4-10 years.

    • Kassandra said


      To clarify, I referred to high paying job because that is what I need to afford university (approx $7000/year excluding text books, transportation, etc). I cannot afford living expenses and university on $10.25/hour (which is minimum wage). And I was not only referring to my high school experience but in university I worked 6 days a week plus taking care of an ailing mother who suffered from cancer. That seems close to the real world to me, but I am sure I will learn more about society as I gain more experience within the next couple of years.

      And I do have a job now but it is still not enough to meet the bare necessities and my university costs for my upcoming year considering I am still in debt from last year. I am looking for 2 more jobs, however it is hard to obtain one because most companies will not hire students due to the fact we will be unavailable come September.

      It is my goal to finish my education and when I do run again in the next election, I will have received my Bachelor’s degree.

      Thank you for all of your comments and best of luck in your future endeavors as well!


    • Anonymous said

      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (C Watts). He will wear you down trying to argue with him. He will go away if you ignore him.

    • To anonymous 2:17 pm

      Its a shame you couldn’t have taken the time to frame your own opinion and contribute that with your real name, but I guess that would require more intellect and courage than you possess.

      Unlike yourself I don’t hide behind a curtain of anonymity, nor do I just the rules of engagement in response to your kind.

      Your post is a prime example why anonymous postings start with negative credibility.

      Like the majority of AuroraCitizen readers I expect Kassandra is grown up enough to know who to pay attention to or not without your childish contribution.

    • Guy L. Poppe said

      To Christopher Watts:

      There is one common feature in your responses;if the author disagrees with your views, you launch a personal attack.

      I also have been the subject of your vile diatribe, as have many others. Remember, you wrote about your concern about my having masturbated on the hand that wanted to shake yours. You characterized me as an “air guitar.

      However, your latest posts showed some level of civility (and frankly, intellect).

      I even began looking forward your input.

      Sadly, you seem to need to revert to the old ad hominem style when an meritous response presents you.

      I know I will be your renewed target, but at least I’ve always told you who I was. You cannot say the same.

      Mr. Watts, as a professor of the media, do you think your approach is the right way? Can we openly debate this issue without insult?

    • Mr. Poppe.

      I’m confused as to why you wish to get involved in this thread.

      If you want to speak to items I have posted in response to previous posts of yours, or others in other threads on this blog you have had ample opportunity to do just that.

      I don’t write posts here for your enjoyment or feedback, and I can safely say I do not look forward to your input because I see no consistency, or intelligence to your offerings.

      For some reason you chose to respond here with respect to old posts on my personal blog in this thread here, and take them out of context.

      My personal blog is a different entity and through this post you seem to want to confuse the two.

      If you wish to address any of the posts on my blog I’d invite you to do so there. I hardly see where doing so here constitutes the “right way” which seems to be of utmost concern to you.

      The common feature in my posts here is if an author disagrees with me I point it out and address it. All of my posts here are moderated. Not all of them are approved, some have been revoked. If you have an issue with them you also have the ability to address them with the moderator.

      As for vile diatribe I believe you are mistaking my contributions perhaps with some email exchanges from members of our past council, perhaps former councilor Evelina MacHeckron, who for some reason you supported regardless of her pattern for less than civil behavior.

      When you were endorsing her for re-election did you believe that she was capable of open debate without insult? I believe several tapings of council meetings show otherwise.

      You claim to “always tell me who you were”

      I’m not sure what that means or why it is that you believe I am not capable of saying the same, nor do I believe any of that, or anything in your entire post is of any consequence.

      I don’t know who you are, and from the brief encounter of you confronting me at the Farmers Market when I was shopping there with my family I don’t wish to.

      As a further disclaimer because you haven proven yourself incapable of respecting boundaries when plodding around in the obviously less than familiar environment of social media please do not phone me as you chose to do another poster on this blog.

      Such an approach can be hardly construed as the “right way”, nor does it make you a poster child for civility on this blog.

      The only portion of your post that has any merit seems to be more applicable to yourself :

      “Sadly, you seem to need to revert to the old ad hominem style when an meritous response presents you.”

  18. Evelyn Buck said

    Last night I learned from my grandson the NDP candidate is a recent graduate fro Sacred Heart High School in Newmarket and currently a university student in the midst of exams. It speaks well of her she is willing to let her name stand as a candidate.

    The last several NDP candidates have been members of organised labour.

    The NDP was organised in the sixties. They had had fifty years to gain strength if that was their destiny.

    Naming a candidate in every riding allows the NDP to claim legitimacy as a national party capable of forming the government.

    They have had outstanding leaders, As they do now. Unfortunately, their constitution does not allow their leaders to be leaders in the real sense of the word.

    In this riding, unfortunately, the NDP is not a player.

    • Sillier & Sillier said

      “It speaks well of her she is willing to let her name stand as a candidate.”

      This is absolute nonsense. No “national” political party should permit candidates who are unable to fulfill the responsibilities of that position, for whatever reason.

      What are the criteria to be a candidate for any of the major parties? This would make interesting reading.

      Conservative – able to follow directions without a second thought – possibly even a first thought.

      Liberal – blowing in the wind – who is my leader?

      NDP – anyone willing to be a candidate.

    • Sillier & Sillier said

      “It speaks well of her she is willing to let her name stand as a candidate.”

      While this is no doubt admirable personally. it does not reflect well on the party. This is essentially a wasted exercise so far as the present election is concerned.

      How are we to take the NDP seriously as a major Canadian political force. This is silly!

    • Evelyn Buck said

      Sillier and Sillier said

      This is absolute nonsense. No “national” political party should permit candidates who are unable to fulfill the responsibilities of that position, for whatever reason.
      Then proceeded further to say:
      What are the criteria to be a candidate for any of the major parties? This would make interesting reading.

      The contradiction is evident.If the writer has to ask the criteria for choosing candidates how would he know what is silly or what is not?

      Let me give a couple of examples; one recent, one current.

      Belinda Stronach, a candidate for leadership pf the hybrid conservative party then a riding nomination and successful election :no experience.
      Julian Fantino nominated and elected in the Vaughan riding in a recent byelection; no political experience.
      Jag Bhaduria,nominated and elected in Markham. Expelled for bringing disrepute on the party but sat, useless, outside the government bench for the rest of the term. And sought nomination again in the next election.
      OMG, the list is endless.

      So, a young person committed to a particular political philosophy, sees merit in allowing her name to stand, so that NDP followers will have a place on a ballot to mark their choice. For no better reason than that. She knows she will not be elected. Should she sacrifice her year at university as well? She didn’t decide when the election would be held.
      It is for her to decide her own future.
      I could go further and offer reasons why the first three were elected that had nothing to do with experience.But I think the point is proven.
      The criteria to be a candidate is only one point removed from criteria to be a voter. Canadian Citizenship and party nomination.
      A more relevant question might be, what does it take to be a political party? Has anyone ever heard of the Animal Alliance Party?
      What does the Rhinocerous Party stand for? Just none of the others.

    • Evelyn lists two candidates that got elected with “no experience”.

      Belinda Stronach had no public political experience but as an officer of Magna, “politics” would have been a huge part of the corporate culture – do not discount that experience at all.

      Same is true of Fantino. While I am not a fan of his, he had to negotiate the politics of Toronto, London and York’s police forces before taking on the OPP and the politics of dealing with a premier as his boss. I would not discount either as having no experience.

      By the same token, Justin Trudeau had “no experience” when he first ran as an MP – name recognition does wonders. I guess he is part of that “endless list” Evelyn makes mention of above. At some point, every MP that has ever sat in the House of Commons was a newbie.

      I have never heard of the Animal Alliance Party.

      Unfortunitly, the Rhino party no longer exists. I loved their solution to fix the parking problem…. pave over the Bay of Fundy!


    • Kassandra said


      Thank you Evelyn Buck for listing such strong points and examples. I want to make it clear that it is not just “anyone willing to be a candidate”, but that there was a long democratic process involved. Firstly, I had to fill out detailed papers containing my information and have them approved by Ottawa. Secondly, there had to be a nomination meeting with the New Democratic Party members of Newmarket and Aurora. During this meeting, I explained my credentials and what I plan to do and I was democratically voted in, unanimously. Thirdly, I had to obtain about 120 signatures from residents in Newmarket and Aurora, which basically stated they are giving me their permission to be a candidate for their riding.

      Prior to all of the above, I was already involved within the party attending caucus’, being politically active, and speaking up for the youth and issues we faced. I was also the Youth Representative for Newmarket and on the executive of Ontario New Democratic Youth. To further my experience, I am also attending University of Toronto-St.George Campus and doing a specialist in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science. So the statement that “anyone willing to be a candidate” can, is completely false. If anyone had any concerns over my candidacy, they could have asked.

      Kassandra Bidarian

  19. sue said

    I have not seen a sign for Ms. Bidarian.

    How did you get involve in this election , do you have any to say about your experience.

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Sue,

      Unfortunately, there was a delay in retrieving signs that was out of my control. But as soon as we received them, we have been putting them around Newmarket and Aurora, would you like to take one?
      Secondly, I was on the executive for Ontario New Democratic Youth and I represented the Youth Representative for Newmarket and Aurora, both of which entailed a lot of political involvement. I am also studying Political Science and Philosophy at University of Toronto and I am currently maintaining a 4.0GPA.

      Best Regards,

      Kassandra Bidarian

  20. George Jacobs said

    After reading various platforms I found my worldview fit best with the NDP. However after researching the candidate in Newmarket/Aurora I was quite upset to realize they seemed disengaged with the community. Why didn’t you feel it necessary to attend the debates to inform the community of your stance on relevant issues? Are you taking this nomination seriously on any level?

    • Kassandra said

      Hello George Jacobs,

      Thank you for the concern and I apologize that I unfortunately could not attend the debates. It was not because I do not take the nomination seriously because if that was the case, I would not take the time to respond to these comments. Unfortunately, I cannot control the dates that are set for my final exams which are worth the majority of my mark. I attend the University of Toronto-St. George Campus, and my exams fell on the days of the debates. However, I did attend the Rogers TV Debate which is airing on the Rogers Channel.

      Best Regards,


  21. Colin P said

    I’m normally a pro NDP voter, but I’ve taken it upon myself to actually research the members in my riding (newmarket/aurora).

    I haven’t found any information about Ms. Bidarian’s political views other than her bio. I found a couple news articles (that interview the other parties) but Ms. Bidarian failed to comment?

    I’m confused as to what Ms. Bidarian will bring to our community?

    Has anyone seen an NDP sign in aurora/newmarket as I have not…

    Colin P

    • Kassandra said

      Hello Colin,

      I believe it was one article I failed to comment because there was technical issues with the email, and the reporter could not reach me in time to provide a comment. If you have any specific questions regarding mine and the New Democratic Party’s stance, please feel free to email me at Also, if you would like a sign please visit my website at

      Thank You,

      Kassandra Bidarian

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