Disaster management is the preparation for, mitigation of, response to, and recovery from adverse events that transcend 'regular' emergencies while political philosophy asks the 'big' questions about power in society -- who gets what, and why? And when a fatal disease without a known cure moves rapidly from human to human it's not just about food supplies and First Aid Kits -- the question of who gets what, and why, becomes central.
Respecting differences is rightfully Canada's claim to fame in the world, but that is not enough to guide this place to its fullest potential. Canadians cannot -- and should not -- embrace any particular race, language, or religion as their national marker, but they can and should embrace their country. Such an embrace constitutes a commitment to the people who share this land and, indeed, to the land itself. Canadians can put aside the fear that flying the Maple Leaf too high may yield a sudden intolerance in the ship's hull. It won't.
Spreading money around for things like community centres, water treatment plants, and social housing is a common practice for the federal government, and is rarely met with opposition. It's hard to oppose dedicating money to good causes. However, those are clearly issues of provincial and municipal responsibility.
Any Prime Minister in his sixth year in office and nine years as party leader has to start looking at his legacy. What will he be leaving Canada with when down the road he decides to leave? Up until this point it was his performance on the economic front that was the strongest item, now how he performs and whether or not he can keep Canada together will also be part of his legacy.
The advent of a PQ government in Quebec is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada. This is a time for renewed national leadership that reaches out to Canadians to offers an overarching vision for Canada in the 21st century -- one where a strong federal government works with the provinces. I look forward to working with Quebecers and all Canadians to build a 21st century Canada -- one Canada, for all Canadians.
The "national energy strategy" recently debated by the provincial premiers is going nowhere fast, not least because the "national" part is completely meaningless. If one province needs the cooperation of another province, for example, to export power or resources across provincial boundaries -- pipelines from Alberta, hydro power from Newfoundland -- this is a matter to be resolved by the affected provinces, not Ottawa.