Gerald is a consultant based in Atlantic Canada. He is a writer, artist and development strategist who helped pioneer design in northern Ontario and with his partners built the region’s largest advertising agency in the early 1990s.
In a career that spans four decades, he helped design a tethered submarine, marketed a major national fast food franchise, launched Northern Ontario’s first international tourism brand, successfully campaigned to get a full med school campus for northwestern Ontario, managed economic development for a small town on the East Coast, managed a provincial political party, built an in-house creative agency for the City of Edmonton, and has won numerous advertising awards.
After three years in Alberta, he and his family have returned to New Brunswick where they live on a seaside farm near St. Andrews by-the-Sea.
There's an aura growing around Trudeau, or perhaps there has always been one, that gives liberals (I use the small "l" intentionally) hope for the future. Especially in the face of Stephen Harper's quietly draconian governing style rising up again in the form of a new omnibus bill as the fall session starts. "Can Trudeau reignite the flame of the centre-left?" Canadians wonder.
Trudeau's aura brings with it a halo effect to liberal/Liberal politics that's been missing since, well, I don't know when. Yesterday, for example, I got an accidental phone call from a disaffected NDP supporter in Montreal (which is odd, since I'm based in the provincial Liberal office in Edmonton). She was upset that the NDP in Quebec were drifting toward what she termed "soft nationalism" and she didn't want to remain with a party that supported separation, no matter how softly. Toward the end of the conversation she asked whether I knew if Trudeau had officially declared his nomination. "Ah, there it is," I thought.
To say that this guy is controversial is an understatement. Stories roll of his tongue like chapters of a rags-to-riches novel. Apparently, his family already had a long history in Canada before Raj was born in India. By the age of six the family had migrated to Squamish, BC, where Raj learned the ropes in a tough frontier logging town where East Indians weren't exactly welcomed. While his father moved into the labour union movement, young Raj accepted the prejudice, smackdowns and bruises stoically.
The parking lot on St. Andrews' Indian Point must be the best RV park in North America. For the past 400 years it seems to have been trouble for the Passamaquoddy people. It rather conveniently generates a lot of profit, a good chunk of which goes directly to the Town of St. Andrews every year. So the point has been repurposed from sacred burial ground to sacred cash cow.
I just read that the Chinese are modifying cow's milk to produce human breast milk. According to a piece on the Natural Society website, "The milk is still undergoing safety tests, but with government permission it will be sold to consumers as a more nutritious dairy drink than cow's milk." I don't know what I could possibly add that you're not already thinking. It's almost as bad at Monsanto's hormone-laden Frankenstein of a milk product.
Yahoo is under new management, and according to the business media this week it's up to talented Marissa Mayer to "pull a Steve Jobs" to turn around the company. But today Google still dominates the search engine category, the Huffington Post corners content, and Yahoo dominates, well, nothing. So, sorry, Yahoo. I just don't get why we'd need you any more.
There are nearly a quarter of a million more of us on the planet every day, and the more each of us has, the more we want, and that's something our economies are happy to supply. So how is it that with all this activity we still have massive levels of unemployment and inequality?
We are living in Canada's only bilingual province. As such, in order to get a job with the province (in mine and many other fields) one must be fully bilingual, which I am not. What angers me about my province's system is that, being the only bilingual province, New Brunswickers have to be fully bilingual if they wish to work in government.
There have been two recent suicides in our small community, which I find distressing. When a suicide happens we usually learn about it from the local whispering network, but rarely from the news. The reason is obvious: local media still protect surviving families from guilt or shame. Suicide is too common, yet preventable, and the the subject is still taboo.
Besides cleaning up the yard, there's just one thing on my mind: what to do with the kids for the summer. The first thought is a road trip to visit my parents. That's a 30-hour drive and I know every kilometre of the trip in advance -- from the Montreal pee breaks, to the moose. On second thought, maybe we'll look for adventure elsewhere this summer...
Kevin O'Leary is no rebel or outsider operating at the edges of society. He, in fact, operates at the top, much as a parasite does on its host. Does that make O'Leary a bad man? Not if we see him as merely a symptom of who we are -- a nation entranced by reality TV. The problem is, with a daily media diet of this kind of tripe, we and our society overlook the real issues.
The government is actively gutting both the Fisheries Act and environmental protection legislation. One has to wonder what is happening to our democratic governments. Are they working for us, or for the anti-environmental corporations? The question is rhetorical, of course. We already know the answer.
Real estate in some parts of Canada is expensive, which makes the East Coast, with its affordable real estate, attractive to potential retirees. So the question becomes, how does a small tourist town accommodate the diversity? Does it want to cater to folks who like art galleries, crafts shops and upmarket restaurants, or does it want to cater to people who like stripper bars, fast food, loud entertainment and rebel paraphernalia?
How does the fact of U.S. journalists winning against the Obama administration in court on Thursday connect to stealing signs and punishing driver's tests in New Brunswick? It's all a part of an overarching pattern. We're living in times of growing intolerance and diminishing trust. And if civility and trust disappear, what do we have left?
This week an all-out war has been declared on environmentalists -- from Suzuki's foundation coming under attack to a viral American video opposing green energy. What is most maddening is that the new anti-environmentalist approach has become a war on actual fact, being interpreted by audiences as simply a war of conflicting opinion.
After reading two Canadian prisons are shutting down, I expected there would be some new, high-tech facility to replace them. But I was wrong. The prisoners are being merged. Those people we're tossing in our jails are our neighbours and fellow Canadians, not scum to be cleaned off the soles of our shoes.
I can't help comparing the Titanic to our world. The Titanic was a floating city on the ocean, with everything that means: a complex set of systems, management teams and routines. Depending on the point of view, I think most of us feel we've already hit the iceberg -- or flown too close to the sun. Are there answers? You bet.
Both men have a dark stain on their records: Douglas once wrote a thesis favouring the practice of eugenics, and Ron Paul made those racist comments in his newsletters from the 1980s. But there's more to it than that. Just as Tommy Douglas is considered the greatest Canadian, Ron Paul might go down in history as America's greatest politician.
If Canada doesn't wake up soon, the world as we know it, and all our most easily harvested non-renewable resources -- including fish, according to Dr. Boris Worm -- will be gone before 2050.Me? I'll be gone by then, too. And other than buying a hybrid car, I'm officially out of answers for my kids. How about you?