Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.
When someone we dislike passes away, we far too often revert to muted resignation. We purse our lips, dip our heads, and maybe mumble a few innocuous words of remembrance. It feels cheap to assail a dead man, especially when they're survived by a mourning family. So let's not assail Rob Ford The Man, but we should take a good hard look at Rob Ford The Character, or Rob Ford The Gimmick.
The turn towards targeting certain political figures is concerning. Despite Trump's vomit-inducing charades, the truth remains that as an American citizen, he DOES have the right to say what he chooses. Although some of what he says could fall under the category of "hate speech", we keep forgetting that there is a very simple solution to our Trump dilemma: stop voting for him. Really, isn't it the public's fault that he's still there?
The rise of Donald Trump is familiar to Torontonians because Rob Ford speaks the same language. Like Trump, he's a master of slogans, sound bytes, and keeping it simple stupid, delivering a refreshing voice that sounds like a real human being. Trump's Twitter handle @realdonaldtrump drives this point home. They are both rich successful white men, born to wealthy, powerful fathers, who present like average Joes, sweaty red faces and all. We've seen this before, and we've seen it work.
The experts who work in the trenches with Canada's homeless tell us, routinely, vulnerable individuals complete reams of paperwork and attend meetings with as many as five different government agencies and non-profit organizations. Often, the only outcome is severe stress for already devastated families. Provinces need to work with non-profits to adopt a "one family, one file" approach -- creating a single intake form and database. When a homeless family first approaches any agency -- be it for social assistance, child welfare, or a homeless group -- a single electronic file would be started for all necessary information.
Many Canadians are looking aghast at the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican Party's front-runner for President of the United States. How can someone so boorish and who espouses such hard ideas that are regularly called fascist-like be leading contender for president of a country that prides itself as being a freedom-loving democracy? Well, there's an explanation; just not exactly a reasonable one.
Before being elected to Parliament, PM Trudeau spent time working as a teacher, a non-profit leader, a bouncer at a B.C. night-club, a snow board instructor -- along with side gigs such as starring in CBC TV movie The Great War. Far from being a disqualifier, it's his varied past and the skills he developed through it, that might make him an effective leader at a moment of disruptive change. His success will be not in spite of his past, but because of it.
Both Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama are at a unique moment in their political careers -- one that lends itself to bold initiatives: an investment in a shared conversation and strategy to shift the frame on gender, care, equality and parenting in the next generation of boys would be groundbreaking. When that generation of men come of age, it would have a transformative ripple effect on families, workplaces, public spaces and relationships.
Despite its internal problems, Pakistan is slowly emerging as a key cog in the geopolitics of the region. In light of the OPEC market share war and the Syrian crisis, both Iran and Saudi Arabia are looking to tilt the power balance in their favour - a balance that lies with Pakistan as a military power. Instead of gravitating towards its traditional Sunni ally in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is attempting to play a positive role in diffusing tensions between the two regional powers while also keeping its interests in mind.
To Canadian eyes, there is something both familiar and strange about the controversy surrounding President Obama's authority to name a replacement for Antonin Scalia. The issue is familiar because, last year, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Russell Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada only 6 weeks before the federal election (having announced that he would do so a few days before Parliament was dissolved). Examining both cases can help us learn key differences between our two governments.
On February 15, 2016, I went to a Bernie Sanders rally in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is a hero to so many, and even if he does not get the nomination he has begun to make others advocate for what is right. He has done what so many other politicians have failed to do, get the attention of the young voter.
Almost half of Canadian children in foster care are aboriginal, even though indigenous people make up less than five per cent of the population, according to the most recent statistics in the 2011 Census. What's particularly gut-wrenching is the majority of aboriginal children are placed in care, not because of parental abuse, but because their families are poor. Now it's time to invest in progressive initiatives, like the Circle of Care, that keep families together.
Rather than engaging in a robust post-election rebuilding process and seeking to broaden its base, the Conservative party has decided to retreat into their comfort zone of regional grievance politics. Under the leadership of Rona Ambrose, the Conservatives appear to be abandoning any attempt to repair the national coalition that swept them to power in 2006. Indeed, today they look more like the Canadian Alliance of the early 2000s than the governing Conservatives of the last 10 years. The latest and most obvious example of this is the party's recent opposition day motion on the Energy East pipeline.
Ill-conceived measures, like the no-fly list must be made smarter so they do not target the innocent. Otherwise, they have the ironic potential to actually erode our national security by alienating those they single out and stigmatize. But the way the no-fly list works, with a total lack of transparency and overwhelmingly targeting just one group -- Muslims -- feelings of alienation and powerlessness are exactly what the no-fly list is causing.
The Conservative government's approach to countering the Islamic State (ISIS) threat was a three-pillared plan that combined allied military action, alongside direct foreign aid, and support for refugees and the dislocated in the region. In many ways, the plan brought to the last Parliament by the Conservatives was consistent with the Pearsonian worldview that Canada has a duty to take collective action with our friends to advance liberty for others and provide security at home.
The role of the Canadian government in both the short and long term should be to embrace and foster the growth of all parts of our diverse economy. The government should certainly not champion some sectors and demoralize others. Sadly, we have already started to see that approach by the Trudeau government.
Contrary to popular myth, Powerball players are, in fact, quite rational and realize that they won't win the jackpot. Everyone's notional value invested in playing a lottery ticket differs. To call the majority of Americans who take small risks in small pleasures 'stupid' is anti-liberty, and emblematic of elitism.