An area in urgent need of attention is the continuing mishandling of judicial appointments and the government's astonishing neglect of Atlantic Canada, where I am proud to be from. The Liberals hold all 32 federal seats and all four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada. One would think some gratitude might result. Yet like the whittling away of the shipbuilding contracts in Nova Scotia and the decision to make an Ontarian the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the latest slight over a Supreme Court seat has been accepted with barely a whisper.
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant seems poised to follow through on a campaign promise to institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. News reports suggest he'll implement that moratorium before Christmas. Quite a lump of coal for the people of his province in need of additional jobs and higher incomes.
She would get a quality education in any of these places, to be sure. And she would learn about navigating life independent of her parents, whether she is in residence in Hamilton or Kingston or Fredericton. But would she experience a new culture in Kitchener-Waterloo? Would life be so much different in Eastern Ontario than it is here in Niagara?
The world first heard urgent climate change warnings in 1988, issued by an international meeting of climatologists in Toronto. The evidence then was so compelling that one report declared global warming a threat to human survival second only to nuclear war and called for a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 15 years. The anecdotes in a new film, Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, add up to an overwhelming warning that social, economic and ecological costs are rapidly mounting and we must take climate change seriously. As one person says, "If you don't believe it, just look out the window."
We sometimes too easily overlook Canadians in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador -- coastal regions, like ours, on the front lines of climate change. Atlantic Canada faces risks if climate change is left unchecked, with more severe storms causing surging tides, flooding and widespread coastal erosion.
National business journalists and columnists have bought into Prime Minister Stephen Harper's demeaning view that folks in the Atlantic region are backward and have a defeatist attitude. Framed in contemptuous language, they're promoting untested economic ideas that, if adopted, would seriously damage the economy -- and the people -- of the region.