This will be the first generation of Canadians in our history to be worse off than their parents. That blunt fact is the new reality of our country, where seven per cent of workers are officially jobless (and much more if hidden unemployment is included) and youth unemployment stands at over 13 per cent. And that reality is a direct result of the policies and actions of this Conservative government and the Mulroney government that came before it. Friday's headlines point to the 26,000 auto parts jobs at risk as Harper drives ahead to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Data from UNHCR shows that only about one per cent of the world's displaced population resides in Canada. In fact, Canada has yet to meet its own targets for refugee acceptance when it comes to the current crisis, which originates primarily out of Syria and Iraq. Canadians, especially Muslim Canadians, interested in changing this status quo now have a lot more incentive to show up on October 19 to vote and do their part in the political process.
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.
Canada does not follow the U.S. in spending astronomical amounts of funds to develop and purchase weapons and use them in wars. Our health care expense is way lower than that of the U.S. The U.S. spends about 17 per cent of its GDP on health care, whereas the Canada medical share is around 11 per cent. So where has the Canadian government's money gone?
The primary objective of Stephen Harper's absurdly-named Fair Elections Act is to prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens, etc. They know that a large number of people -- students, marginalized people and First Nations -- will have a hard time voting. There needs to be close co-operation among groups to make sure that as many people as possible -- particularly people in some 70 ridings where the Conservatives are vulnerable -- have the identification they need to vote.
Anti-Semitism is what many Canadian Jews experienced who faced quotas when applying for professional degrees, or who were barred from joining certain golf clubs. Anti-Semitism is what my ancestors experienced in Eastern Europe with pogroms, frequent assaults and massacres in Jewish communities. Anti-Semitism is the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. How can it be in any way appropriate to use this term to describe individuals who criticize a modern political entity -- the state of Israel -- which systematically violates the rights of Palestinians?
Attend an all candidate's meeting in your area, and ask what his or her stance is on GMOs. If enough people ask, they'll know that this is important to Canadians, and that their chances of getting elected will depend on where they stand on this issue! Together, we can make GMO labelling an election issue.
We can't shut off the fossil fuel economy overnight, but the science clearly says that we need a real plan to leave fossil fuels like tar sands underground. Politicians need to stop treating this country like idiots and recognize that most people want an economy that's not dependent on the boom and bust of the oil cycle.
Both Treasury Board Guidelines and the Ethics Commission state it is inappropriate for a government official to blur the lines between a government and a partisan announcement. However, Minister Pierre Poilievre felt no apparent shame. He was quick to point out that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats support the UCCB (a half-truth at best). Accordingly, he was not so subtly attempting to persuade an apparently gullible public that only the Conservatives could be trusted to protect families. It's not new for governments to attempt to play politics with taxpayer money; but vote buying has rarely felt more shameless.
Those who support the Conservatives see their party as practicing and upholding traditional family, moral and biblical values. Even though the Conservative government is extreme and disrespectful of science, knowledge, fact and rationality, its supporters would simply overlook faults even when they are glaring.
I was surprised to receive an envelope in the mail from Canada Post informing me that our neighborhood would be converting to so-called community mailboxes next year. Having read the odd news item about their latest plan, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised but maybe I was simply in denial. Maybe I couldn't believe that Canada Post would do something this outrageous and arbitrary.
In the absence of a clear-cut vision from the Liberals, the NDP has become the reasonable alternative. The party is now on record voting against Bill C-51 and voicing a strong opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Mulcair has advocated for a national child care policy worth $8 billion and proposed targeted tax cuts for families.