When I first started to give business etiquette workshops, I labelled politics along with religion, money and sexual matters, as "inappropriate" topics of conversation. I have since renamed them as "slippery." Meaning, yes you can chat about government actions, policies and their decision makers but beware. To avoid wanting to rewind the conversation tape, here are four don'ts and two dos.
The "advocacy chill" in Canada is due to the politicization of the regulator rather than the law of charity. I am still only a reluctant supporter of increasing the rights of charities to engage in political activities, and my participation in this debate is firmly rooted in my belief in the rule of law and in opposition to the politicization of the current Charities Directorate.
Without Tahltan consent, and against the clear wishes that our people have expressed, Fortune Minerals continues to press ahead with its plans to build the Arctos Anthracite open-pit coal mine on Mount Klappan in Tahltan territory. We will continue to work hard for our people and hope both the province and Fortune see that their current approach is not working, and the current path they are on is the wrong one.
Recently, a scathing report on the United States' health care system was issued. Surprisingly, little was made of this report in Canada. This was a shocking oversight, given that our performance on this same report was abysmal. Our health care system ranked second last in the study. How did our once-vaunted health care system become such a very expensive failure?
Earlier this week, on CTV news, I predicted that two political parties would be looking for new leaders if the Ontario Liberals prevailed. Election day had yet to expire when Tim Hudak announced he would be stepping down, fulfilling half of my proposition. What I didn't say, but had meant to, was that defeating the party of Dalton McGuinty should be effortless, and that any leader unable to pull the thing off must be regarded as unfit. Never in my recollection has Ontario suffered a regime so deserving of a rude dismissal, and yet here we are, and here they are too, nothing having been altered by an election that may as well never have happened.
The newest hot trend in the trying-so-hard-not-to-expend-one-iota-of-independent-self-guided-research crowd is declining your vote. In less than 24 hours all manner of articles have sprung up that read like the person writing them caught a case of spontaneous narcolepsy when forced to talk about the election. Nobody is going to argue the fact that the Ontario party leaders we've been presented with this time around come across as flat and less than engaging, but when was it ever going to be an option that Hudak's lifeless floating grin be the one I could hold accountable were something to happen to me in my own neighbourhood? Did everyone forget how our political system works?
If you can master this skill our research demonstrates that you can increase trust in leadership by 9 per cent in as little as 13 weeks. What does this mean to business higher productivity? Less churn. What does the mean to politicians, the difference between losing and winning, especially in a horse race election like Ontario's.
It should be said that the Ontario Progressive Conservatives Party's name is its own twisted type of false advertising. In fact, were Tim Hudak's policies implemented, the amount of tuition that I have to pay would increase by at least 30 per cent due to Hudak's proposed elimination of the current post-secondary grant. Under Tim Hudak, it seems that post-secondary education -- and indeed, university education in particular -- would return to being something for only the upper echelons of society.
Something's rotten in the port of Manila -- and the stench is 100 per cent "Made in Canada." In June, 2013, 50 school bus-sized shipping containers arrived at the docks of the Philippines' capital city. Philippine media reported how port officials cracked the giant crates open to find tonnes of plastic mixed with garbage -- including dirty diapers.
If Canada's $3.5 billion towards maternal health in low income countries is to be effective, we must not only deliver the funds, we must do so in programs that will be accepted by women and children in Africa. The goal must be to ensure that the ultimate measurement of success is that our funding is appropriate and accepted by individual women and children in Africa so that we do indeed enhance maternal, newborn and child health.
Remember when John Tory's top priority was a subway relief line? He was so keen about building the Yonge Street Relief Line. So very keen, he often sounded like Rob Ford, demonizing Olivia for wanting a mix of above- and below-ground rail. Irrespective of expert advice, he vowed to start "immediately," because it's "job one." Ah, the clarity of yesterday, as printed in the Toronto Star on April 4: "I said at my [campaign] launch I would make the Yonge Street Relief Line priority number one. And I meant it." Not so. Now there's a new priority and faster than you can say Eurasia was never at war with Oceania, yesterday's priority is gone. Poof.
For reasons which are amply documented and well-known, as a Senator Romeo Dallaire committed himself to the most serious of issues: prevention of genocide, Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD), child soldiers, conflict resolution and investigation into crimes against humanity. He is, in other words, a champion of causes that are for most politicians quagmires to be circumnavigated. The departure of Romeo Dallaire means that there will be one less serious, hard-working and principled member in the Upper Chamber.
According to one theory, whose origins I've long forgotten, the business of voting has undergone an evolutionary transmogrification. In earlier times, citizens voted for the candidates they liked the most. Soon, a cynicism having seeped into the civic fabric, they began to vote for the candidates they disliked the least. And now? People vote against the crooks and liars that they hate the most. The problem with this theory is that it presumes a golden age, and no experienced person could reasonably indulge a notion like that.
The expectation that all politicians would be honourable gentlemen determined to avoid shame, in turn, was seen as providing a safeguard of integrity and accountability to the British style of parliamentary government, which tends to shun stricter rules. Seems almost quaint now. Take Mayor Ford. The only reason he's still in office is because he's deliberately turned off the shame sector of his brain. Ford has committed ghastly crimes against the dignity and integrity of his town and government, yet happily clings to office despite it. And he's far from the only one.
Like millions of Ontarians, I don't care about Ontario politics; Why should I? Have no doubt: the Ontario premier is an insignificant figure on the world stage. Premier Wynne: Welcome to the new economy. Young people are more politically engaged and self-aware than older generations. Want to stop an election scandal or influence Senate reform? Don't write a letter to the editor of legacy print media. Start a YouTube channel. Tell us the truth and we might vote. We're smarter than you think we are.
Dig deeper into the current headlines and the sickening stories mount. The so-called "honour killing" of women by their husbands and families in Afghanistan is rising. Police in Paris allegedly raped a Canadian tourist. Rebels in the forgotten crisis in the Central African Republic rape and murder women with relative impunity. And it's not just about high profile atrocities. When was the last time media talked about the missing women of Asia?
Very little mitigation or adaptation activity is happening at any level of government. For example, the Mayor of the City of Toronto seems to have much more enthusiasm for tax cuts than installation of storm sewers, notwithstanding last summer's catastrophic storm which the TD economists price at $944 million.
As a pro-life woman, it is certainly heartening to see the lack of receptivity to Justin Trudeau's position that pro-life candidates need not apply to be nominees for the Liberal Party. There has not been much (any?) support for this bold declaration that freedom of speech and conscience ought to be denied Liberal nominees. His position sounds extreme. But is it? In my opinion, Mr. Trudeau's remarks are a logical extension of pro-choice philosophy. In spite of the rhetoric, being pro-choice is not actually always in favour of choice. I'm not talking about the woman here; I'm talking about the developing human in the womb.
Pushers for Trinity Western and its faith-based law school -- which is an oxymoron up there with civil war and old news -- would like you to believe this whole deal is about religious freedom. How can any law school be able to create, foster, and spit out our next generation of lawyers when it doesn't hold our values? Not just Canadian values but simple human-to-human values.