He looked at me through moist eyes and wanted me to know how delighted he was that our adopted kids from South Sudan had arrived and were seated in the visitor's gallery above the parliamentary chamber. Question Period had just concluded and his face had been a mixture of anger, mockery and clear disdain the entire time, and yet here he was, one of Stephen Harper's attack dogs, fighting back tears and being touchingly human.These thoughts came back to me as I watched the video of Dean Del Mastro being led into a paddy wagon following his conviction for electoral fraud in the 2008 federal election.
You simply cannot live in Canada and ignore the past. It's a pretty strong statement but reading the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into Aboriginal residential schools, that's the conclusion I've come to. The truth may be out but the reconciliation is going to take a while. So just as all Canadians share accountability for what is past, we also share a responsibility for making things better.
When climate scientists refer to "tipping points" it is usually bad news -- a moment beyond which elevated levels of greenhouse gas emissions will result in extreme weather and catastrophic damage to life upon this planet. Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment may be seen as another "tipping point" -- towards ensuring that communities of faith take up the moral challenge to preserve and protect creation.
Simply because you disagree with someone's opinion does not make the person wrong or a moron or any other name flung around out there. In fact the personal attack on an individual commentator or subject of a news story reflects badly on the person doing it because it suggests that they do not have an evidentiary basis for offering an alternate opinion. If you disagree, state clearly why you disagree and the evidence for it. The same goes for our politicians. It is harder to advocate for civility when we often see anything but civility being displayed by our elected representatives and leaders in this country.
Fixating on Russia is not going to solve the various human rights crises facing the West. Russia does have several of its own human rights abuses, several of its own problems that harm the society there. But let's not pretend for a second like the West is somehow incredibly different. By doing so, we forego the responsibility to address the problems that we have right here at home, and prove to the world that we are still holding onto simplistic "scary Russia" sentiments that were just as misguided and ignorant during the Cold War as they are now.
Jacques Parizeau was a passionate and principled man who believed in Quebec's independence, but he was at times a divisive politician. Judging by the many hateful comments I saw last night, his "money and the ethnic vote" speech after the razor-thin Quebec independence referendum loss in 1995 will continue to haunt his legacy. The over-the-top indignation I'm seeing from some is getting on my nerves. Is that one sentence from 20 years ago the only thing some of you can remember from his entire political legacy? Parizeau was so much more than just a rant, more than just one ugly moment in time.
Canadians are worried about their retirement. Recent polls show that among working aged people there is a growing concern that they simply won't be financially secure in retirement. This concern is validated by statistical data showing that a significant segment of society is having trouble saving enough. Instead of turning a blind eye to a known problem, the Government of Canada should be trying to help Canadians retire with dignity. Clearly, the time is right. All that is missing is federal leadership. Unfortunately, Canadians just won't get it from Stephen Harper, who has always disliked the CPP.
I think we should all put on an oxygen mask when we see the smoke of politicos' personal lives being pushed in our faces. Their work should be the measured based on their achievements as our representatives. All's fair in love, war, and politics? Each seems to contain an element of the other in one way, and each needs rules of its own. Let's see who can play the election game fairly and not manipulate voters into believing a flaw in someone's personal life equates to them being ill suited to honourably serving the public with devotion and distinction.
In the context of a fluid reality, one in which expectations and potentials for sexual minorities in both society and sports are both changing and not quite resolved, Michael Sam held an historic press conference in Montreal. And, reflective of both the desire for more change as well as the fact that we're not quite sure what to do to take those final steps, there was neither consensus on what needed to be asked and said about sexuality and sports nor on whether anything had to be asked or said about that subject at all
B.C.'s Charter for Public Education is a public owned document, which stands as a testament to everything we as a community want and expect from our public school system. It is a document long forgotten somewhere between the never ending war against our public schools, funding cuts and dragged out court cases.
This week my Facebook news feed has blown up with profile pictures featuring the red equals sign and posts about the SCOTUS hearing. The one that has the potential to grant (or continue to deny) same-sex couples rights that most heterosexual couples take completely for granted. Rights about what happens if their spouse dies. Rights about recognizing non-gestational parents as parents. It is absolutely horrifying to me to think that if The Bean were born in the U.S. rather than Canada that I would not be recognized as his parent. I am also holding my breath. For my friends. For my family. For rights that I usually take for granted, but know many are still struggling to achieve.
The Conservative budget's failure to initiate a process of comprehensive tax reform is a missed opportunity to lift Canada's prospects for long-term prosperity and growth. Tax reform and simplification would improve Canada's international competitiveness, productivity and economic growth, from both a personal and corporate perspective.
The documentary Danny is as much about Newfoundland and Labrador as it is about Danny Williams. Despite the usual incursions through mass media and recently the Internet, Newfoundland and Labrador remains quite unique in Canada. A part of the North American land mass, it is also a huge, crazily desolate island off the Atlantic coast.
While most of the Indian diaspora as well as some Canadian politicians were very excited about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Canada, there were others who were outraged and saw it as an opportunity to express their displeasure with protests. But Modi is not the first leader of a nation to be accused of some form of transgression.
Any potential UKIP induced Labour gains vis-à-vis the Conservatives will be offset by significant projected losses Labour will suffer at the hands of the Scottish National Party or SNP. Its leadership has made clear it will do what it can to defeat a new Conservative government, preferring to hold the balance of power in a potential Labour Government.
A ceremony designed to showcase our national values of freedom of religion, expression, accommodation and speech? Well, let's just say that this election year, the Prime Minister should focus on reaching elsewhere for points rather than conjuring fear from diversity at a time where cultural understanding and unity are desperately needed.
History doesn't exclusively disappear through a sword, a bomb, or a mallet. It can as easily be brought about through a lack of attention to detail as it can through explosives. The affluent countries of the West are showing disturbing signs of neglect for values that once were sacred to how they worked.
No matter how you slice it, Harper has failed to lead Canada towards a sustained economic recovery from the financial crisis seven years ago. It doesn't matter how much public money he spends on ads claiming otherwise. Facts are facts. So, what does a government facing re-election do when its top agenda item, economic management, is in tatters? It changes the channel to something else.