Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Slammers reload in hopes of another shot at RBC Cup

The Woodstock Slammers have been busy reloading their roster in hopes of getting another shot at the national title.

For nearly a month, the defending Kent Cup champions have been making several trades and acquisitions in effort to rebuild their squad for the upcoming season.

2011-12 Season Background

The 2011-12 campaign for the Slammers was a successful one. They remained undefeated for nearly twenty consecutive games, and clinched their third consecutive President's Cup trophy, finishing the regular season with a 45-6-0-1 overall record.

Woodstock won their third Kent Cup on April 20th, defeating the Yarmouth Mariners 4-3 in triple overtime in game seven of the Kent Cup Finals. The Slammers had swept the Campbellton Tigers and Summerside Western Capitals in four games, but faced more of a challenge against the Mariners. However, the Slammers maintained a 12-3-0 playoff record.

Woodstock Slammers - 2012 Kent Cup Champions

At the Fred Page Cup in Kanata, Ontario the following week, the Slammers remained undefeated in preliminary play, defeating the host Kanata Stallions, Princeville Titans and Nepean Raiders in the prelim round and earning a berth to the final game. They beat Nepean yet again, claiming the regional title.

Woodstock Slammers - 2012 Fred Page Cup Champions

At the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, the Slammers faced an unprecedented challenge. But with a 1-3-0 record, they advanced to the national final, only to fall short late in the third period and lose 4-3 to the Penticton Vees. Though they finished only second in the nation, the Slammers proved their true capabilities and put Woodstock on the map. The Slammers were also the first non-host squad to reach the national final in their first RBC appearance.

Slammers head coach Jason Tatarnic says that they have found out what the RBC Cup is like, and would like to make it that far again.

"After you experience the RBC Cup, you want to get back and that's our goal," Tatarnic stated in a press release on the team's website. "Its our goal every year to make it to the RBC Cup. Our goal is to become a national champion."

"I'm pretty sure we opened some eyes out west to the level of our program. We will be busy in the off season recruiting players to help us achieve our goals."

MHL Draft

Tatarnic said prior to the MHL draft in Yarmouth that they had some prospects they were consulting with.

"We have a couple of players that we have been in discussion with and it looks like they are coming our way," Tatarnic stated.

At the MHL draft held in Yarmouth on June 16th, the Slammers selected thirteen players and made four trades.

Bradley MacDonald was acquired from the newly-renamed Metro Shipbuilders (formerly Metro Marauders) in exchange for future considerations. The 20-year-old MacDonald has posted 38 goals and 52 assists in 187 games with the Halifax-based squad.

"Bradley will add offense and experience to our team," Tatarnic stated in an online press release of MacDonald's acquisition. "I've watched Bradley over the years and had the pleasure of coaching him at the World Under 17 tournament, and we know what we are getting in Bradley."

Ian Lewis was also acquired from the Shipbuilders in return for a fifth round pick and future considerations. In 52 games, Lewis scored 20 goals and assisted 25.

"[Ian] Lewis is another player that adds offense to our lineup, and we're happy to have him in Woodstock," Tatarnic said.

Defenseman Brandon Leonardo was dealt to Metro, along with list player Anderson Snair, in exchange for the rights to forward Brandon Hynes and d-man Stephen Gillard.

"We want to thank Brandon Leonardo for his time in Woodstock and wish him all the best in Metro," Tatarnic said.

The eighteen-year-old Leonardo failed to score but managed one assist in 23 regular season games, and failed to score or assist in one playoff game in 2011-12.

The Slammers selected Thomas Leonard of Rothesay first overall in the first round of the 2012 draft. The sixteen-year-old d-man stands 5'10" and weighs 177 lbs. Leonard scored four goals and posted five assists in 24 games with the Saint John Vitos Midget AAA squad.

A complete list of the Slammers' deals and draft picks will be posted in an upcoming post on The Shiretown Blogger.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rothesay by-election results

A by-election held yesterday to elect a new MLA for the riding of Rothesay proved victorious for the Progressive Conservative party.

PC candidate Hugh John (Ted) Fleming III was elected in Rothesay on Monday, June 25th to replace former PC MLA and Minister of Energy Margaret-Ann Blaney.

Blaney, who also served as the Minister of the Status of Women and Minister of Environment under Premier David Alward, resigned her seat in mid-May 2012, citing personal reasons. She was then appointed to the position of President and CEO of Efficiency NB, a Crown corporation seeking to promote energy efficiency.

Blaney will earn an estimated $150,000 to $170,000 in her new position, which opponents criticize, saying it is a case of political patronage on the part of Premier Alward.

Margaret-Ann Blaney
Fleming's most significant challengers in the by-election were Liberal candidate John Wilcox, a former police officer, and New Brunswick NDP leader Dominic Cardy, who ran in hopes of earning the New Democrats a seat in the New Brunswick Legislature.

The grandson of former Premier Hugh John Fleming (1952-1960) was also provided a challenge by Sharon Murphy, who ran for the Green Party, and Marjorie MacMurray, an independent candidate.

With Fleming's victory, the Rothesay riding continues to be a Tory stronghold. The provincial PCs have held Rothesay since 1999, while the Liberals held the riding prior to that, and were within 100 votes of claiming Rothesay in the 2006 provincial election.

Fleming finished the election with a total of 1,625 votes, or roughly 36 percent of the vote, while Wilcox and the Liberals had 1,328.

Cardy emerged with 1,158 votes. Murphy and the Greens had only 69 votes, while independent MacMurray had 62.

There were 9,357 registered eligible voters. Voter turnout was 45.4 percent, or 4,248. A total of 846 people voted at the advance polls, which were held over a two-day period.

Fleming claimed to have campaigned hard, and acknowledged that Rothesay voters were disappointed with patronage appointments and other issues.

Ted Fleming
"I campaigned hard door-to-door," Fleming stated in a press release published on the CBC website. "I know there [are] issues. I know that in a by-election, halfway through a term, people have a tendency to want to let off a little steam."

"So they did. But at the end of the day, I think our hard work prevailed and the record of the Alward government prevailed."

Wilcox, who finished second place, said that more than half of voters voted against the Tories.

"Its a shame the vote is split," Wilcox stated. "But you know what? A message was sent to the Conservative party."

John Wilcox
Cardy told the CBC that his party has been working to rebuild and modernize, and that Monday's by-election defeat in Rothesay means that the NDP need to continue on that path.

"My goal as NDP leader is to make sure our party can take government," Cardy stated. "And this was a first shot for us to try out our new campaign techniques."

Like Fleming, Cardy reflects on campaigning hard, while increasing the NDP presence in Rothesay.

"We managed to knock on every door in Rothesay and massively increase our vote over previous results, and clearly re-establish ourselves as a contender for power in the province," Cardy told the CBC. "But we didn't get there yet."

"So my party has to continue to change, to modernize, to move forward."

Dominic Cardy
Cardy feels the NDP did accomplish a lot in this by-election, and will be prepared for the 2014 provincial election.

"In just three and a half weeks, we managed to put together a team that pulled nearly thirty percent of the vote," Cardy reflected. "Just see what we can do in two years."

With files from Elections NB and

Demolishing former Patterson Equipment building in Woodstock

This building on Connell Street in Woodstock was home to Patterson Equipment for many decades until Patterson's constructed a state-of-the-art Toyota dealership on Scott Street in Hartford to keep up with Toyota dealership standards.

Bayview Equipment sold farm equipment out of this location following the relocation of Patterson Toyota, later relocating to Jacksonville.

Chuck Chiasson, the Liberal candidate for the riding of Tobique-Mactaquac in the 2011 federal election, used the building for his campaign headquarters in the spring of 2011.

The building remained vacant for the most part afterwards, and there are rumors that Pizza Delight will be constructing a restaurant here.

A car drives along Connell Street in Woodstock while the former
Patterson Equipment building was being demolished by Cooks
Construction crews.

A Toyota car drives past the site of Woodstock's former Toyota
dealership. This Toyota model is too late a model to have been sold
at this Patterson Equipment location.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The blogger speaks about PM Harper

Nearly a month ago, I listened to a seminar presentation by a student in my World Issues class about the foreign policies of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and how they have affected Canada's influence on the world around us, and the way Canada is perceived by other nations.

But while his policies have altered the world's perception of the second-largest country by land mass, Harper's neo-con ideology has also negatively impacted Canada itself, let alone what the rest of the world thinks.

Stephen Harper was first elected Prime Minister of Canada on January 24, 2006, when the Harper-led Conservative Party defeated Paul Martin's Liberals. Despite winning 127 seats out of 308, the most seats in Parliament, the first Harper administration was only a minority government.

On October 14, 2008, Harper won yet another federal election. In the 2008 election, the Conservative Party, led by Harper, won sixteen more seats, increasing their total to 143 (155 seats out of 308 are needed for a majority government), so Harper still only had a minority government.

Harper made it evident that he fears anyone who stands in the way of doing things his way when he asked then-Governor General Michaelle Jean to dissolve Parliament on December 4, 2008 in effort to avoid a confidence vote the next Monday.

Harper then asked Jean to prorogue Parliament once again on December 30, 2009 for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This dissolution of Parliament lasted until March 3, 2010, and Harper said that this move was “necessary for Canada's economic action plan,” according to Wikipedia. The reasons for the second prorogation were indeed questionable. Prince Edward Island Liberal MP Wayne Easter told CBC News that Harper was “shutting democracy down.”

Though I do not traditionally support or agree with the policies of the Liberal party, I do agree that Harper's second dissolution of Parliament in a year was highly undemocratic. It wouldn't be the only time Harper would behave undemocratically in his regime. I'll explain later.

The Harper regime was found in contempt of Parliament on March 25, 2011, when Conservative MP and Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda directed one of her staff members to add a hand-written message to an already-signed Canadian International Development Agency document in 2009 that led to the ignorance of a funding recommendation. The word “not” was added to the recommendation line. The Harper administration being found in contempt of Parliament led to a non-confidence vote, which defeated the regime and triggered a federal election.

The success from this attempt to get rid of Harper was short-lived. Harper won his coveted majority in the May 2, 2011 federal election, earning 166 seats. This would be the first majority government won by a right-wing party since the last Conservative majority in 1988.

Proving that Harper isn't trustworthy is a piece of cake. He promised to avoid deficit spending, but Canada's deficit sits around $36 billion as a result of the Harper regime. Some political experts say that this is the largest deficit in Canadian history. However, Canada had the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 countries, surviving the recent recession stronger than any other rich nation in the G7.

Harper was criticized by former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff for cutting African foreign aid by $700 million. This move, combined with Harper's absence at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, continued to make Harper's already-negative track record look worse, as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

However, this won't make me very popular with many people, but there are just as many people in Canada who need the help, so the money would be much better spent on our own soil.

Harper also promised an open, transparent, and accountable government. However, he has insisted that he have the right to choose which reporters ask him questions at press conferences. The Harper administration, whether they have a minority or majority, tend to be very secretive, when Canadians deserve and have the right to know what their government is up to.

Other strikes against his government's transparency record include the purchase of F-35 fighter jets for Canada's air force. The true costs of the jets were not released to the public. Instead, figures that were significantly lower than the true cost of the acquisition of the jets were shared.

It was also discovered in late 2011 that Harper's Minister of National Defense, Peter MacKay, had used a federal government search and rescue helicopter in July 2010 on a fishing trip, and that MacKay's helicopter use cost around $2 million.

In 2006, Harper announced that over the next ten years, all border security officials would be armed with weapons to track suspected criminals, including anyone possessing firearms, that may cross the Canada/United States border on either side. Harper also spent more than $100 million to increase border patrol staff by over 400 new officers.

The Harper regime committed to increase the budget for Canada's Department of National Defense by $5.3 billion over a five-year period in 2006. Harper's increases in military spending and border security have slightly changed the world's perception of Canada from a peacekeeping nation to an aggressor.

Most recently, the Harper regime has made drastic changes to employment insurance without consulting with any business owners to determine the impact on employees. His government encourages those who are unemployed or living in areas of high unemployment to relocate to where the jobs are. Harper is making it difficult for those who need employment insurance to access it.

He is also saying that those living on employment insurance should find jobs that pay little to nothing more than minimum wage, and that they should commute further for those jobs. Is it worth it to commute over an hour for a job that pays roughly $10 per hour (minimum wage in New Brunswick)?

Harper also changed the age at which Canadians can access old age pension from 65 to 67. This is estimated to rob seniors of $30,000 over the extra two years that they wait to collect a pension.

The Harper regime has also passed two omnibus bills. One of them is supposed to be “tougher on crime,” at a time when statistics show that crime in Canada is decreasing. The regime's Bill C-38 will crack down on smaller offenses. How is this move logical?

The other omnibus bill is the regime's most recent budget. But most of what Bill C-10 includes is irrelevant to the budget, including reductions in areas of environmental protection. The opposition parties proposed extensive reviews of the majority of Bill C-10, but the Harper regime worked effortlessly to limit the amount of debate the bill would receive in the House of Commons. A huge undemocratic move on the part of Steve.

A control freak, Harper has the mindset that he is representing the majority of Canadians. In fact, he is representing roughly only 5.8 million of 14 million people who voted in the 2011 federal election. (There were approximately 24 million registered voters in Canada in that election). Harper is also representing the interests of large corporations, clearly attempting to sell us out while behaving similar to George W. Bush.

Unless the Liberal, NDP, or Green parties (the Bloc was reduced to 4 seats in the 2011 election) manage to prove that they are better than Harper's Conservatives before the next election in 2015, I think I will spoil my ballot in the next federal election.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grads dress to impress and show off cool rides at WHS prom

The Woodstock High School prom was held on Tuesday, June 19th. Shortly after 6 pm, graduates and their dates paraded down Connell Park Road from the Carleton Civic Centre and around the school, getting out of their vehicles then and heading into the school to prepare for the Grand March, which was held at 8:30 pm.

The WHS graduation ceremonies will be held on Thursday, June 21st at 7 pm at the Carleton Civic Centre.

The pictures can do the blogging in this particular case.

Tim Rose and WHS graduate Tayler Hunt
Dexter Pelkey arrived at the prom in a Chevrolet Corvette

WHS graduate Kyli Cheney and her date, Kyle Wright, went to prom
in a John Deere tractor

WHS graduates Erin McLellan and Tyler Hamilton
Emma Smith and Cody McKinley arrive in style on a side-by-side
Shannon Weeks and her date Quintin McKinley in a Mustang convertible

Jordan Hutton waving for the camera while his date, Jenny Monteith, holds back a smile
Woodstock grad Tyler MacDonald and his date, Kristen Shannon,
arrive at prom comfortably on the back of a half-ton truck
He cleans up well. Isaac Gray is seen here driving his date, Jillian
McNally to the Woodstock prom. McNally happily waved for the camera

Woodstock grad Ryan Buckingham and his date, Jamie Rose
WHS grad Nick Ritchie and his date, Janna Walker, lounge on a couch
on their way to the WHS prom. Matt MacDonald and Jesse Sawyer were
the chauffeurs on the ATV. 
Solita Campbell and Craig Cluff

WHS grad Mariah Cummings (right) and her date Ethan Wilkinson

WHS grads Katie McCain and Harry Teague were escorted to prom in
a Mini Cooper convertible, driven by Sally Teague

WHS grad Jake Porteous drove his date, Rachelle Smith, to the prom
in a black Mustang convertible

WHS grads Britany Gray and Jake Haley
WHS grads Victoria Polchies and Paul Nozicka

There is no height difference between WHS grad
Sammy Jo Hathaway and her date Colin Anderson.
Jenny Monteith and Jordan Hutton

WHS grad Sam Gray and his date,
Jaime Veysey

WHS grad Kathleen Creagh and her date, Dallas Tomah
Kyle Patterson and Sierra Keary
Ryan Buckingham heads towards the school with Jamie Rose
Matching attire: Nick Ritchie's tie and hat matched
his date Janna Walker's beautiful yellow dress.

WHS grads Caroline Fletcher (Miss Woodstock 2012) and Cole Giberson

Brooke Sherwood and Kevin Anderson