Is your vote for sale? The Ontario NDP thinks so with its absurd policy to give every household a $100 hydro refund. Will the NDP pay for this with the same magic money and fairy dust they propose to fund transit? How much do you want for your vote? The whiff of an election in the air can bring out the silliness in politicians.
The Quebec election campaign became a bit more interesting this week with Pierre Karl Péladeau's decision to run for the Parti Québécois. Péladeau brings a unique and coveted background to the PQ, having for decades dined on the earnings of tabloid agitprop and rabble-rousing emotionalism. Just as Marois shrugs off recent and bad economic news, Péladeau thrusts his fist into the air and chants inspirational slogans. And somehow, in combination, these are intended to add up to the sum of economic credibility. His business acumen and his knack for rube exploitation are simply the latest assets to be nationalized by a now desperate campaign.
On February 7, the government announced it would give almost $2 billion in new funding for aboriginal education. But it will take years to build all the new schools required, let alone create new community-run school systems. The real impact on aboriginal communities will take at least a generation to manifest. When next year's federal election rolls around, this agreement will provide few tangible, here-and-now marshmallows for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to offer voters.
With Quebec now facing an election where it looks increasingly likely that the separatist party will not only win a second term, but a majority government to boot, Anglo and Franco relations are being strained like never before. Separatism is poised to make its third great comeback. The question is whether any Canadians will be willing to carry the flag this time.
When 78-year-old Aboriginal education activist Verna Kirkness heard Harper promise legislation giving aboriginal communities full control of on-reserve education, backed with $1.9 billion in new stable funding, she choked up. "I thought I would never hear such words. That feeling that, after all these years, something could finally happen."
The current mayor has personal defects including doing and buying drugs, binge drinking of alcohol and has been videotaped using profane rants and videotaped with faulty characters while in office. John Tory, while not prefect, does not and will not embarrass the city. I trust and admire his judgement.
Sometimes it isn't the government that's to blame for back door deals. Back in 1869, two wily financiers, Jay Gould and James Fisk, thought they could outsmart the government and corner the gold market, but were foiled by the administration. Gould and Fisk tried to buy massive amounts of gold at a low price and then sell high using insider information.
Once again we have a spending scandal occupying the attention of Canadians. This time however, it doesn't involve our esteemed senators but two former generals, Andrew Leslie who is presently a senior Liberal advisor and Daniel Menard who retired in disgrace from the armed forces. Leslie claimed $72,000 for moving expenses and Menard claimed $40,000.
This week, First Nations leaders are meeting in Fort St. John at the First Nations LNG Summit to find ways to balance all the information pouring in about LNG and to determine the path ahead. We are hoping to find a balance between protecting our traditional and cultural ways and moving forward with development, while making sure that people in our communities understand and can make informed decisions.
There's so much pandering pap, Machiavellian crap and factory-processed opinion swirling around these days that when one encounters a fragment of truth, it is shocking and heart stopping. Trust me, you want people to buzz about your product, service, or cause? Then turn the bullshit generator off and tell it like it is.
Only days ago, news leaked that Penguin Books India had quietly settled a 2011 lawsuit filed against it by a conservative Indian education reform group, which required the publisher to withdraw and destroy all available copies of the Indian edition of University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History.
At a time when it seems we're paying less attention than ever to political news, it's even more crucial for politicians to identify with voters on another level. Be honest -- how many of you watched either the federal budget speech or the B.C. throne speech online? How many of you, by contrast -- have been sneaking peaks at the live-streamed Olympics from your desk?
More and more often, we are reading in the news about the federal government and various intelligence and law enforcement agencies allegedly "spying" on aboriginals and pipeline opponents. I am both of those things. I have no idea whether strangers are picking up shards of information from my emails and text messages. I have no idea what kind of beautiful stained-glass mosaics their imaginations might create.
The Jewish community in Canada didn't even concentrate on Israeli politics until the Six Day War in 1967. Resulting, however, from the fear that Israeli Jews were facing a second Holocaust, as well from a new confidence that was born out of decisive victory in the war, Israel was officially adopted by the Canadian Jewish mainstream.
From Haiti to the Philippines, matching government donations have become the golden carrot of Canadian humanitarianism -- the tool for inspiring the already legendary generosity of Canadians when global emergencies arise. What many Canadians may not realize is that charities don't necessarily get the matched funds from their donors. The government doles them out. And it's difficult for a researcher, let alone the average Canadian, to find out what happens to these matching funds and who benefits.
As the Serial Minister of Various Affairs, the man has blustered and blundered, alienating constituents and stakeholders and using the resources of his office to engage in partisan attack. His latest insult, this time against war veterans, is proof of his unsuitability -- one more instance in a long career of similar proofs. The time is overdue for him to reap the final reward he so richly deserves. Rehearsing the long career of this one-time Toronto shopping mall security guard, one can't but notice the unbroken and uniform trail of soot which seems always to have attended him. Indeed, a pattern emerges.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to figure out that not everyone is going to agree with him and his government's policies -- and that's okay. Rock legend Neil Young is making his way across Canada this week on a high-profile concert series in support of First Nations who oppose further expansion of oil sands extraction into their lands. Harper, through his spokesperson, responded to Young's concerns with empty talking points, reiterating that the natural resource sector remains a "fundamental part of our country's economy."Okay. Thanks Captain Obvious. Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to speak with people who disagree with him?