Here I must trespass on the impolite, and I'll begin by restoring to the record the excised bits in which Jim Flaherty was a soldier of Mike Harris's "Common Sense Revolution." The idea that he was a non-ideological moderate would have been laughed out of the room, even by the man himself. Moderate was an insult he applied to his leadership rival, that pink and pale McGuinty imitation Ernie Eves. As Ontario's Attorney General and Finance Minister, Flaherty was one of Harris's most consistent and reliable true believers, mocked (like Harris himself) for applying his tough-on-crime universal restorative elixir to homelessness and poverty.
This month, Canadian students finish exams and begin hunting for summer jobs. A student working the counter at Taco Bell for minimum wage would have to work eight hours a day, seven days week, for almost the entire summer to cover tuition, never mind the cost of specialized or technical degrees. Students have a responsibility to work and pay for at least some of their education. Also a responsibility, when choosing their college or university program, to think about whether they are choosing a field of study where there is a real demand for jobs.
In just a few short years, relatively simple technology that enables people to find like-minded individuals with similar tastes in artwork, has eclipsed and then surpassed a 50 year old institution of government. Hopefully, governments will learn the lessons of other industries and choose to embrace this technological advancement for what it is -- the democratization of art
Jim Flaherty stared at me with tears streaming down his face. It was five years ago and I had been asked to speak at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa to support a group that helped with African adoptions. Then when I looked up, Jim Flaherty was facing me with a tear-stained face. I was in shock. We often faced one another across the aisle and it was easy to see when he was mirthful or angry. But my favourite image of him will be of a dignified man, fully encompassed in emotion, who was yet capable of embracing another father -- a Liberal father, even -- and touching that human nerve in me that is the basis of all our compassion.
Expenditures on public health care in Canada appear to be slowing, raising the possibility that the health care cost curve is finally being bent and the system transformed. What does this mean? The economy will eventually recover and relax provincial health expenditure constraints, but federal health transfer growth will be reduced starting in 2017.
The elimination of the Health Council only further underlines this movement away from national planning for better outcomes. That the Council's disappearance is part and parcel of a larger strategy of the elimination of the dissenting and unbiased voice -- something that is so needed in a democracy -- is downright disturbing.
We must face the reality of people like Kenroy and Denville who are punished as a result of laws that do not recognize the situation on the ground. We must address the unfair conditions under which we bring people over for this program, and provide them the services they are due. Canada set out to have a universal healthcare system that covers everybody, and it's about time that we did just that.
The last days of the provincial electoral campaign have made me feel people's disillusionment and frustration at the lack of inspiring options even more profoundly. During the debates Marois, Couillard, and Legault behaved like they were in a cage fight, barking insults at one another. It took all the self-restraint that I had not to switch channels. But, contrary to everything around me, I'm hopeful. I'm convinced that I'm witnessing a new breed of Quebecer emerge. One that isn't so easily defined... and therefore not as easy to manipulate and pigeonhole. Nothing will ever be as black or white as it once was, because the world we now live in is a million shades of grey.
1,000,000 people in Quebec don't file their taxes every year. If each of those people owe taxes of... I don't know... let's say $624 each (an extremely low estimate given that the average amount of taxes paid by a Quebecer is around $10,000), then I'd say an investment of $600k in "FILE YOUR TAXES" billboards, print and TV ads might have helped us to avoid this huge debt hole.
The campaign to save the spirit bear is a full-fledged movement, owned not by the Youth Coalition, but by millions around the world. And having done all we can to take the issue this far, it is up to all of us, as individuals, to take on the responsibility of continuing to make sure that the spirit bear isn't just safe, but will forever be wild and free.
Youth leaders ask tough questions: what studies of the RCMP's "Bias-Free Policing policy" have been, or are being undertaken, to ensure that no bias does exist? Do mothers feel their children's deaths were considered less important because of their background, and do they believe the investigations into their children's deaths were treated the same as other victims?
Canada has made tentative steps in acknowledging racism in our past, like aboriginal residential schools and the Chinese head tax. But there is a tendency to view these as isolated events of history. With our national rhetoric of a tolerant and multicultural society, many Canadians bristle at the suggestion that racial discrimination was and is a force in Canada.
Could you envision Toronto City Council changing the name of Yonge Street to 1 Street? Well, this is what the TTC is doing to our subway lines. Subway lines are underground routes for trains carrying people just like streets are routes for cars or bikes or buses carrying people. Main route names are rarely if ever changed because of their history and because it would cause major confusion.
Paikin offers up another reason women guests are so hard to come by, and this one will floor you. He says "we've also discovered there also seems to be something in women's DNA that makes them harder to book." I think the last time I read something along those lines was in my undergraduate women's studies critical theory course, but it was something written in the 1800's. According to Paikin: "No man will say, "Sorry, can't do your show tonight, my roots are showing." I'm sure these words will find their way in a women's studies course someday too, to be picked apart by clever students who won't believe for a second it was written in 2014.
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.