A Toronto Oddity?

Vanilla Dip

…the vanilla dip donut.

This is a memory from my childhood; of after the Saturday swim, stopping by at a local donut shop with my mother and having a plain vanilla dipped donut with a glass of milk. It was a simple yeast donut with plain white icing on top. I doubt that the flavour was actually vanilla. Perhaps “plain icing” would have been more appropriate, or perhaps “sugar”, but the donut’s topping, as white as chocolate dip was brown, got it labelled “Vanilla Dip”.

And I’ve not seen it anywhere outside of Toronto.

In Tim Hortons’ “Vanilla Dip” has the same white icing, but it’s always topped with something extra: multi-coloured sprinkles, usually, or sometimes chocolate sprinkles. In Toronto, the multi-coloured sprinkles would get the donut known as a “Hawaiian”.

So, to get a classic Vanilla Dip donut, I have to head back into the GTA and sit in a Coffee Time or an independent store. It has to be within the GTA — Milton and points east. Here, even the independents put coloured sprinkles on their Vanilla Dips.

Any theories as to what gives?

Further Reading

History in Hindsight

In this web exclusive article from the Globe and Mail, former Kitchener MP John English compares the first months of the Pearson minority governments to Paul Martin’s record so far, suggesting that we could still look back on these days quite differently once time has been allowed to pass.

I should point out that Mr. English is a Liberal whose opinion I very much respect. He was a perfect example of a pragmatic Liberal, who spoke strongly on behalf of his constituents and who, at the end of the day, put his family ahead of his political career. Sure, he is probably making guesses like the rest of us, but when he talks about the potential for Paul Martin’s legacy, I’ll sit up and take notice.

Karen Redman, I Expected Better From You

The Liberals continue to race the Conservatives for the bottom. This little tidbit puts the Liberals slightly out ahead:

The federal Liberals would consider ignoring a House of Commons defeat should they lose any of the several coming votes that are matters of confidence between now and the end of the spring session, Chief Government Whip Karen Redman says.

Although no final strategy has been decided, Ms. Redman said the government could respond to a defeat by bringing in a motion on whether the government has the confidence of Parliament to make sure MPs actually want an election.


It may be time to trot out my YOU’RE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS mantra.

Let’s be clear, Karen: you backed away from a pretend non-confidence motion on a technicality and you bought yourself some time by surviving a real vote of confidence. You only get that kick at the can once.

You know what the next votes of confidence are. And everybody around you knows the consequences of not passing those votes. And those that don’t want an election will signal their intensions by voting for those motions to pass. If those motions don’t pass, you go to the electorate.

Its. That. Simple.

Now will you please stop handing the opposition the brickbat with which to bludgeon you and govern as if you have a shred of intelligence in that skull of yours!

Thank you!

Seriously though: do you wonder if the Liberals are cribbing from the Republican playbook and trying for outrage overload? Like the Bush Administration, they keep on piling on the foolish mistakes and examples of contempt for the democratic process. The response from the opposition was fiery rage, and more fiery rage, and more fiery rage, until they and their supporters got fatigued.

This tactic is as good as any explanation as to how the Bush Administration managed to get themselves re-elected despite getting so many things patently wrong. And it may well explain how the Liberals are maintaining their lead despite putting on a performance that would make Kim Campbell blush.

Sour Grapes

On the other hand, Conservatives who are whining over NDP plans to grant the Liberals further support in exchange for further Liberal commitments to NDP policies are showing their powerhungry stripes through their sour grapes. Where is it written that an opposition’s obligation is to oppose a government blindly?

The fact is, the Conservatives worked with the Liberals earlier in this parliament in order to extract concessions of their own. First the Throne Speech and then the budget were written in such a way as to curry Conservative favour. Then the Conservatives, for defensible reasons, decided to take their support away. Is it any wonder the Liberals looked elsewhere for support and altered their policies accordingly? And if the earlier behaviour was fine for the Conservatives, why is it so bad for the NDP now?

And don’t give me any guff that the NDP are attempting to foist any policies that the majority of Canadians didn’t vote for. For one thing, that’s precisely what the Conservatives were doing when they worked with the Liberals. That’s precisely what the Conservatives are doing when they’re trying to bring the government down with an early election. The reality is, NDP MPs were elected by their constituents to do their jobs in parliament, and that was to advocate on behalf of their constituents, just as the Conservative MPs are doing, and as Liberal MPs are doing in deciding which policy proposals from which opposition MPs to accommodate.

To Mr. Layton, here’s my suggestion for the next item to put on the Liberal’s agenda: moving the country away from first-past-the-post.

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