Thursday, January 26, 2012

Launching a new blog

I won't be posting to this blog for the foreseeable future. Thanks to those who have read it in the past.

I'd like to invite you to join me on my new website for Ted Hsu, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands where I have established a new blog, plus lots of other stuff.


Monday, July 12, 2010

The uncommon candidate

Yet another reason why this Liberal nomination contestant is an uncommon candidate?
An enthusiastic supporter went and wrote a campaign song!
(thanks Neale!)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video record: Nomination campaign launch

A video record of my nomination campaign launch in Kingston and the Islands earlier this week:

Ted Hsu campaign launch event from Theodore Hsu on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Nomination Campaign Launch Speech

Yesterday we launched my campaign to become the next federal Liberal candidate for Kingston and the Islands. I was energized by our launch event and am looking forward to an exciting summer of campaigning. I wanted to share the text of the speech that I gave:

Ce soir, le voyage commence.

Tonight I, and I hope many of you, we begin a journey.

The first step of that journey is to acknowledge the many accomplishments and
years of service of the Honourable Peter Milliken as the Member of Parliament
for Kingston and the Islands. The person who succeeds Mr. Milliken will step out
of a big shadow and then must aim high if he or she aspires to represent
Kingston and the Islands as well as you have come to expect.

Tonight I want especially to thank my family for being here. I want to thank my
parents, my uncle and aunts, my wife Tara and my daughters Ella and Vera-
Claire – my children who set me on my journey.

My journey into politics did not begin in a boardroom. Or at the office. Or as an
intellectual exercise. It began after my older daughter was born, during the three
years I spent as a stay-at-home Dad, changing the diapers, doing the care and

And that means that many of you will recognize where I'm starting from, my
motives, since I am certainly not the first person to look down at little children and
be moved to ask a big question.

How is everything going to turn out for them when I'm gone?

- Will Ella & Vera-Claire be able to work and earn a living wage from a
meaningful job?
- Will their society be productive enough to properly care for the ill, the elderly?
- Will they be heavily taxed by the burden of environmental damage?

As I studied economic, social, and environmental trends, I realized that I, and my
generation, had to provide a different kind of ‘child-care’. I had to help make sure
that our children and grandchildren don't have to clean up our messes.
It's as simple as that. And it's as difficult as that. We have to take care of
business in a way that we do not hand on a debt of troubles to our children, and
their children.

Our present federal government has no vision beyond taking and holding political
power! If we ignore that, future generations will bear the burden of our
inattention. If we let a government buy power by feeding consumption today and
forgoing investments for tomorrow, future generations will be deprived of the
returns from sorely needed investments in people, knowledge, social institutions,
and preservation of the natural environment.

No! We must harness political power to develop the incredible opportunities that
lie all around us. We must invest in tomorrow so that our children and
grandchildren will inherit a wealthy portfolio of wise choices.

You know, we Canadians have common goals - facing them need not divide us
along party lines.

- Social Justice and fairness to future generations do not belong to any one party.
- Fiscal foresight and responsibility do not belong to any one party.
- Environmental protection does not belong to any one party.

The urgency of these challenges motivates us all.
So I’m talking about common goals.

But I am a Liberal.

- We Liberals believe that every person’s potential should be realized to the
fullest extent possible and that every person’s potential should have an equal
chance to be realized.
- We believe that government should be responsible for ensuring that equity.
- We believe that the government must unite Canadians in order to achieve these

When I say unite I mean giving all Canadians access to things like shelter, a solid
education , decent health care, a healthy natural environment, safe communities,
and security in old age.

With this in mind,
I believe ... that Canadians living tomorrow must be united with Canadians living

I believe the Liberal Party is the best party to take on the job of uniting Canadians
living tomorrow and today, and I believe that I am the best person to help the
Liberal Party take a step towards doing that by winning in Kingston and the

And so I stand before you today, sustained by my family, friends, and colleagues,
and love for the place where I grew up, to declare that I am a contestant to
become the next federal Liberal Party candidate for Kingston and the Islands.

The first duty of a member of parliament is to serve his constituents and my first
qualification for that job is that I grew up in Kingston and, after working abroad, I
chose to come back to Kingston. Not because I got a job here but because I
chose to come back to the city I love, to my family, to the place I want to raise my

As a member of parliament I will advocate for the interests of my home riding. I
will be at the service of municipal leaders in Kingston and the Islands to work for
local priorities. As Executive Director of SWITCH I'm already working to promote
local job creation and investment in the sustainable energy sector, a sector that
has great potential for the Kingston region in the 21st century. My work as a
manager in the financial industry gave me real life business, management, and
economic experience and I will put that to work for Kingston and the Islands.

With your support, I will be a hard-working member of parliament who stands out
in the House of Commons. I will stand out as somebody who instinctively thinks
about facts and numbers, and enjoys creative problem solving more than kneejerk
partisanship. That comes from my background as a scientist. We could use a
few scientists and engineers in our legislatures!

When you compare me to other candidates, you'll see that I am an uncommon

- a Canadian who is grateful to this country and its people for welcoming his
Chinese immigrant parents;
- a physicist whose years in research taught him the value of careful, quantitative
- a business manager, whose global experience has given him a special
perspective on his home town;
- a father taking care of his children's everyday needs, worrying about the world
they will inherit.

When you compare me to other candidates, you'll see that I am an uncommon
candidate who will work for our common goals.

We must have a government with vision - an honest and progressive vision - that
recognizes the dangers of "business as usual".
We must have a government that is willing to ask Canadians to pay their fair
share to ensure the welfare of future generations.
We must ask Canadians for their attention... so they will choose political leaders
capable of doing this important job.

What do I mean by ‘attention’? It’s what you are doing tonight: participating in this
democratic process, the process of choosing a candidate for the Liberal Party in
Kingston and the Islands. When you leave here tonight, this is what our
campaign needs you to do: please go and ask others for their attention. Convince
them to join the Liberal Party so that they can vote at the nomination meeting.
Talk to them and ask them to join up, for you, and vote, for me.

Il s'agit de mes idéaux. Je suis conscient des défis quotidiens auxquels un
député doit faire face. Votre député se devra d'abord de résoudre les problèmes
des particuliers de sa circonscription, défendre Kingston et les Iles, et assurer les
autres tâches parlementaires pour le bien-être de tous les Canadiens. Les
idéaux dont j'ai parlé ne constituent pas une "fiche de poste" décrivant par le
menu le travail quotidien. Mais, à l'heure des décisions politiques difficiles que
j'aurai inévitablement à prendre, ces idéaux seront une boussole et ils m'aideront
à prendre les bonnes décisions en tant que député.

I've spoken about my ideals. But I'm aware of the daily challenges that a member
of parliament faces. As member of parliament, I must solve problems for my
constituents; I must be an advocate for Kingston and the Islands, and I must
attend to parliamentary duties for the good of all Canadians. That's the job
description. These ideals I've spoken about aren't the job description. But ideals
are crucial. When the inevitable tough political decisions need to be made, these
ideals will serve as a compass, to help me make those decisions on my political

Si vous partagez ces idéaux, alors venez, venez, partons ensemble et
appliquons-nous à faire de ces idéaux une réalité.

If you share these ideals, if you are inspired by these ideals, then come – come
make the political journey with me, to make them a reality.

Let the journey begin!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What or where are we driving in Kingston, Ontario?

A recent analytical paper from Statistics Canada claims that Kingston, Ontario has the highest per capita private vehicle greenhouse gas emissions of all census metropolitan areas in Canada

Kingston, the city farthest to the right, sticks out quite a bit! (you'll have to click on the link to get a clean looking graph).

This prompted an article in the local newspaper, the Kingston Whig-Standard
entitled "Unsustainable" which focused on the environmental sustainability and climate change implications of this study.

But these days it pays to remind people of the dollar cost of our use of motor fuel, hence my letter to the editor as follows:

Kudos to the Whig Standard for reporting on last week's Analytical
Paper from Statistics Canada showing Kingston's per capita greenhouse
gas emissions from private vehicles to be the highest amongst all
census metropolitan areas in Canada ("Unsustainable", May 15). I wish
to point out that this fact is important for Kingston's economy too.
All those extra greenhouse gas emissions imply tens of millions of
dollars extra spent on motor fuel each year.

First of all, could the numbers from StatsCan report be wrong? After
all, it is strange that Kingston and, to a lesser extent, Sudbury,
have substantially more per capita emissions than all other
metropolitan areas. Kingston's private vehicle emissions were 3035 kg
per year per person , Sudbury's were 2844 kg, and in third, far
behind, was Barrie at 2221 kg, with the median for all cities being
about 1800 kg (Thunder Bay and Moncton were near the median).
Kingston's total private vehicle emissions figure of 462,000 tonnes/yr
roughly agrees with the result of a study that I did a couple of years
ago on Kingston's greenhouse gas footprint. That study, "Trends in Kingston's Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2000-2006)" which is available online at the City of Kingston website, used a completely
different methodology for calculating the emissions from vehicles
(StatsCan used the Canadian Vehicle Survey. I used data on how much
gasoline was purchased in the City of Kingston), but arrived at
roughly the same answer. So it's hard to believe that StatsCan made
some sort of mistake.

Now to the economic implications. The 460,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas
emissions from private vehicles comes from burning motor fuel - about
190 million litres of it every year. If Kingston's per capita vehicle
emissions went down to the median level for all cities, our motor fuel
use would decrease to about 110 million litres. With gas at about 90
cents a litre, that's $70 million dollars every year that we could be
spending on something else or just saving up for the future. One could
also think of it as 1400 jobs at a salary of $50,000 going out our
vehicle tailpipes every year.

Let's find out why Kingston's vehicle emissions are so high. Is it our
vehicle mix? Our public transportation system? Our city's layout? Are
we getting any benefits from this extra consumption of gasoline? If we
are not getting $70 million of benefits every year, what should be
done about it? Is this something that can be affected by our municipal
government's policies? If so, should it be an issue in this year's
municipal elections?

It is my sincere hope that this Analytical Report is, as the opening
line of the Whig story suggests, a shot of inspiration to Kingston in
its quest to really become Canada's most sustainable city -
environmentally and economically.