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OPCW wins Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai losing the Nobel Peace Prize to OPCW is like Martin Scorsese losing the Oscar to Kevin Costner.

Top 10 reasons why the NDP lost the election

I was talking to Terry “Aislin” Mosher about the NS election and why the NDP lost so decisively. It inspired me to write the top 10 reasons why the NDP lost the election:

1.  They disappointed their base at just about every turn.

2.  They broke their promise on the HST.

3.  The lacklustre economy and the closure of two pulp and paper mills.

4.  They seemed to embrace corporate welfare after being the party in opposition who most opposed it. [see 1.]

5.  Nova Scotia’s MLA spending scandal undermined Darrell Dexter’s credibility from the start.

6.  Cancellation of the Yarmouth ferry completely alienated one end of the province.

7.  Voters who were willing to give them a chance because they were completely unlike Nova Scotia’s traditional parties were disappointed when they governed exactly like Nova Scotia’s traditional parties. [see 1.]

8.  The opposition was successful in pointing the finger at the NDP for high power rates even though many factors were to blame that were out of the government’s control.

9.  They oversold Ships Start Here [Canada’s military contract for building new warships] as the magic bullet that would solve all of Nova Scotia’s economic woes. When it didn’t pan out right away as billed, people were disappointed.

10.  The NDP weren’t completely successful at selling their balanced budget. The balanced budget seems to be heavily dependant on budget trickery. Spending seems to be temporarily held down by duct tape just to get them through the election and give the perception that they kept their promise*.

*Half of these failures were merely failures of communication. The NDP actually did a lot of good but had difficulty touting these successes. So technically you could erase this entire list and write the top reason why the NDP lost the election: communication.

NS Election cartoons

Chronicle Herald cartoons for October 7/8:



October 5, 2013

My book is still on the Globe and Mail bestseller list. [NOTE: That is not my thumb. My nails are not painted Race Car Red. I’m more of a Cotton Candy.]


Calendar of events

At the end of each month I draw a calendar for the Halifax Chronicle Herald. It’s probably the most labour intensive thing I do. It takes longer than Cabinet Shuffles.

I don’t like doing the lettering part, but I enjoy the drawing. Below is four months of events in Nova Scotia:





Roy Peterson’s advice to a young cartoonist

Roy Peterson, the longtime political cartoonist for the Vancouver Sun, has passed away.

One of the most important moments of my life happened when I came upon the book “The World According to Roy Peterson.











I see you can get three used on Amazon. Here’s my used copy:

There’s nothing left of the cover. Pages are covered in filth. And the binding is just glue.

Every cartoonist under the age of 50 has a copy of Roy Peterson’s book that looks exactly like my copy.

In my twenties I wore this sucker out from reading over and over and over. Carrying it around with my pencil, erasers and sketchpad. This and another book- Aislin’s Another 180 Caricatures.

Roy Peterson was one of three cartoonists who influenced a generation of Canadian cartoonists. When I think of cartooning, I think of Roy Peterson, Aislin and Duncan Macpherson.

When I was just starting off in this field, the Chronicle Herald’s Bruce MacKinnon actually gave me Roy Peterson’s number to call in Vancouver to ask him for advice. I think I was too frightened to call and sat on it for a couple months. But one Saturday morning, feeling low about my career, I did phone him.

A deep voice, like a television news anchor’s voice, came on the other line. OMG, it was seven time National Newspaper Award winner and Officer of the Order of Canada Roy Peterson talking to me, on the phone.


“Hi, you don’t know me,” I said with a shaky voice. “I got this number from Bruce MacKinnon. I was wondering if you could give me some advice.”

There was a long pause. I expected to hear a click and the phone to go silent.

Then he started talking.

“The most important thing,” Roy said, “is to just get published. It doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter how often, just get published. Get yourself a deadline. Until then, you won’t get better. Having a deadline makes you draw. I drew for small local papers while working for Sears Canada.”

It went like that for a full hour. It was a full hour, I looked at the clock. Each tidbit of advice being noted. “Maybe I can be a political cartoonist,” I thought to myself. “Roy Peterson’s struggle isn’t that much different than my own.”


I met him in person a few years later in Ottawa, in fact he became my friend. Roy had time for everybody like that. It didn’t matter how good you were. You could be Pat Oliphant or a guy off the street with a sketchpad, and he’d talk to you the same.

And guess what, the most important thing was to just get published.