When Elijah Harper passed away on May 17, 2013 I felt as though an arrow had pierced my heart. The man who inspired me to become what I am today was dead. In my childhood, there was only one Elijah Harper. Today, because he inspired an entire generation of First Nations youth, there are thousands of us.
Canada is a superb creation and initial credit for that must, obviously, go to Canada's founding fathers. How we came about is a fascinating tale of seemingly intractable regional disputes resolved, at least for a time, by new institutions and a new country. Thus, today, inter-provincial debates are similar to pre-1867 tussles where one province's citizens complain of how others are on the federal dole courtesy of tax dollars from the more prosperous regions. And all the provinces again regularly press the federal government for more money.
Canadians who don't regularly track how governments spend money might be surprised to find how myths crop up about government expenditures. Exhibit A is a new report that claims Canada needs even more "industrial policy," more colloquially known as corporate welfare. Governments are less eager to be frank about the cost of corporate welfare, including chronic government failure on collecting on past loans.
Every year, provincial health care systems across Canada dutifully reduce the volume of services they provide in preparation for the summer vacation season. This planned-for reduction has the inevitable effect of lengthening waiting times for Canadians over the summer months (and during Christmas holidays). The added twist this year is the slowdowns might be extended in a bid to reduce expenditures.
Early Monday morning I received a phone call from an urban hen owner and contributing member of CLUCK Canada (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub). She had just been served by Calgary bylaw for possession of livestock, her three hens (no roosters), and was ordered to remove her hens. She was fearful for her pets.
Today, The Rosedale Club -- which has no formal website, instead operating through personal tweets, Facebook event pages, and a Gmail address -- announced that their next meeting would be held on July 1, and feature "guest of honour" Conrad Black. Inevitably, critiques culminated in the all-too-familiar refrain: "What's with all the white guys?"
At a recent seminar in Tokyo designed to generate investment in Canada's natural resource sector, the interest among Japanese investors was evident. But it was equally clear that Canada faces stiff competition to woo investors. Simply repeating that "Canada is open for business" and expecting the investment dollars to roll in won't work.
On the heels of the Quebec Soccer Federation banning children from wearing turbans while playing in kiddie league games, the Province of Quebec has extended the ban to include cowboy hats being worn anywhere in public by adults or children. "Cowboy hats are destroying our natural French love of toques," said Premier Pauline Marois, making the announcement from the steps of the Assemblee Nationale (National Assembly) in Quebec City, wearing a green paisley beret to match her business suit.
Here Warren Kinsella's oft-repeated maxim rings true. In Kinsella's latest book he states that what is true of car crashes is true of political life. When polled, voters will insist they hate negative ads. But when they thinking no one is looking they will slow down, take a look, and remember what they see.
Over the last several months, the federal government has repeatedly thrown up the claim that theirs is "the most transparent government in Canadian history," even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is categorically untrue. Even the practice of stomping on backbenchers who push for more transparency is nothing new for this government.
Human tenants can just as easily ruin walls by putting nails in them, or allowing kids to draw on them. They can ruin carpets by walking around in muddy shoes in-house -- and by a multitude of other more creative ways. Arguably, some pets are better than their human counterparts. In fact, many pets are perfect citizens with impeccable manners. Some are not.
Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, wife of the Governor General of Canada's teenage audience members were victims of sexual abuse participating in an after-school art therapy program that helps them open up and talk. It's one of the many programs at Stepping Stones International -- a small organization working with orphaned and vulnerable youth in Botswana.
No politician or citizen stands above the law, and each citizen must pay income taxes. When the lawmakers fail to follow their own regulations, citizens should demand better. In order to take parliamentary suggestions and regulations on tax avoidance and evasion seriously, citizens should feel confident that their MPs, first and foremost, are following the rules.
While the Ikea Monkey "Darwin" had the fate of his permanent residence decided in court this week. Darwin isn't the only monkey business that continues to concern Ontario. As if being a Maple leaf fan wasn't bad enough, controversial allegations of financial evasion continue to be thrown "monkey poop style" at Prime Minister Harper.
At present, Canadians are of the belief that the political class has sunk so far beyond redemption that little of importance remains in the Senate. That's an illusion, and deserves some further thought and reflection. While there are non-trivial problems within the Canadian senate, it still serves a purpose.