Entrepreneur and Corporate Director; Liberal Party of Canada Candidate in the 2011 General Election
Dan is president of DDV Enterprises Ltd., an investment and management services company and is a corporate director. He was the Liberal Party of Canada's candidate for the the House of Commons for the constituency of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country in the 2011 federal election.
Throughout his varied career, Dan has been an owner, chief executive, senior executive of a large publicly traded company, a partner in a major strategy consultancy, an operating advisor to a major private equity fund, chairman of a federal Crown Corporation, and policy advisor to senior cabinet ministers in the Government of Canada.
Dan has authored numerous articles on business, public policy, and politics for The Globe and Mail, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Policy Options Magazine, The Mark, Vancouver Observer, among others.
During the past nine years, reputations have been shattered, national institutions have been destroyed, the rules of parliament abused, the federation itself weakened, and the trust in the institutions of democracy profoundly undermined. Justin Trudeau will have to do a lot of heavy lifting to repair the damage.
When we cast our ballot, most of us believe that we are voting for a prime minister. Indirectly, we are. But we actually vote for an individual who, if elected, sits in the House of Commons as the representative of one of 338 federal constituencies in Canada. -- Despite our creeping cynicism and dismissiveness of our MPs, few jobs are as important, and the people whose names are actually on the ballot matter a lot. Yet, we rarely take time to assess whether they should be entrusted with the duties of a lawmaker. Often, our only focus is on the party leader, which comes at the expense of getting to know the person we are actually going to be voting for.
Standard Chartered Bank of London recently reported that foreign investment in Vietnam is growing at one of the highest rates among ASEAN countries. The ASEAN region is on the radar for investors in the hunt for more diversified growth opportunities, particularly in the weak commodity markets and political instability of eastern Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.
On my sixth trip to Vietnam in 2007 I introduced myself to officials at the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi. Our diplomats abroad have never failed to impress me. My first meeting with Canada's senior embassy staff in Hanoi was no exception. But this time, it was also profoundly jarring.
The new Trudeau Effect's consequences on Canada's future are far more profound and far-reaching than most of us understand. When this kind of quality, substance, and stature are attracted to electoral politics for the first time, you just know that we are at the dawn of a very new, exciting, promising time in our nations history.
Last week, Justin Trudeau declared he stands squarely with a woman's right to decide what's in her best interests. He has unambiguously made tangible the predominant consensus within the Liberal Party of Canada that a woman has the right to access abortion services if she so chooses. This position is in the very best tradition of sound evidence-based public policy. And as problematic as this may be for some, particularly those with strong religious dogmas, it affirms a central convention of Canadian democracy: The separation of individual religious conviction with the broader public interest.
The women I know are and have been the rocks of the families. Beyond my own mother, a deep respect for women took root when I was 23 years old. It was during my first trip to Central America. On that journey through dozens of small towns and villages, I vividly recall observing one scene -- again and again: girls and women doing back breaking work, toiling in fields, carrying heavy loads, looking after children -- and serving men. Despite the great strides women have made in most developed societies, there remains much work to do. Yet against that backdrop, I marvel at the perseverance of many women.
As expected, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has called an election this week. Recently published surveys appear to suggest that her Parti Quebecois government is tracking toward a majority government. Predictably, the political and pundit class in English Canada are hyperventilating at the prospect of a referendum on Quebec sovereignty should the PQ win a majority. The citizens of Quebec will vote for a new government in their next election. They aren't going to the polls to vote to form a new country. That may come later. But I doubt it. Like the rest of us, Quebecers are far too preoccupied with questions much more fundamental to them.
The road to reform is always fraught with obstacles and minefields. The people of Vietnam understand these all too well. They have a great deal of experience with both. From our snug perch in the West, it is far too easy for us to express righteous indignation at the"slow" pace of structural and institutional reform in Vietnam.
There can be no winners in an all-out war between industrial sectors. Wood, concrete, and steel literally form the backbone of our national economy. They are indispensable to each other and their future success depends on enlightened leadership, dialogue and cooperation.
The CEOs of the country's largest telecommunications firms are crying foul that the Government of Canada is poised to allow American wireless behemoth Verizon from acquiring small Canadian carriers. The whining of their advertising campaign barrage is more than unseemly; it is hypocritical and intellectually dishonest.
I was 23 years old on September 11, 1984, where along with 65,000 other young people, I attended Mass with John Paul II at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. You could hear a pin drop in that mammoth stadium...
As prosperity spreads and its economy grows there's another 600 million people in China striving to reach middle class status. While this undoubtedly creates challenges for Chinese policy makers, it represents a tremendous economic opportunity for North America, a highly favored destination for Chinese investors.
I was born, baptised and confirmed a Catholic, but I could never relate to the Church. For four straight weeks I attended Father John's 7 a.m. Mass at Saints Peter and Paul in Vancouver in addition to regular Sunday morning Mass. The truth is I knew after my first Mass that I had found my priest at long last.
Like most Canadians, before last week I had never heard of Alberta Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber. How downright refreshing it was to hear a member of the House of Commons talk fervently about the vital role of the legislative branch as a check on executive power. Too bad that conviction didn't surface earlier. Much earlier.
The political style of Harper and Christy Clark has been polarizing and driven by wedges designed to shore up their base. They haven't governed; their modus operandi is obfuscation and public relations. They lie as a matter of deliberate political strategy, but they come out winners. If Adrian Dix and Michael Ignatieff have taught us anything, it is that opposition leaders must not allow themselves to become human piñatas in the name of the "high road". They have a solemn duty to hold governments accountable for their records. That means fully engaging in the fight, not being passive in the face of it.
A new culture and mindset is emerging where entitlement is being exorcised from the Liberal Party of Canada's DNA. Trudeau personifies a new attitude: Canada and the national interest are coming first. The country seems to believe -- with good reason -- that Justin Trudeau and this renewed party, free of its black eyes and self-doubt, is in this for the right reasons and for a noble purpose.
The Vietnamese are a profoundly resilient and fiercely independent people. Scars are fading away and are being replaced by a sense of possibility and optimism. Home to 88 million souls and roughly the total area of the State of New Mexico, Vietnam has become an energetic source of economic and political progress. Change has been quick and spectacular.
British Columbia's Opposition Leader, Adrian Dix, isn't surprised the budget tabled by the B.C. Liberal government plagiarized major features of NDP policy. What genuinely astonishes Dix is the unconcealed cynicism of the B.C. Liberals.
Free trade within Canada remains an illusion. In its report, "Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness", the Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates that obstacles to internal trade cost the economy at least $14-billion a year. Right on cue, this report was ignored, joining a long and distinguished list of excellent studies that gather dust.