Canadian Politics

It Will Take More Than One Election to Fix Canadian Politics

Sol Chrom | Posted 10.14.2015 | Canada Politics
Sol Chrom

Austerity, privatization, deregulation, outsourcing -- yada, yada, yada -- all served up with noxious sides of deficit hysteria and tax cuts, not to mention the attendant knee-capping of government's ability to act. Brian Mulroney. Jean Chretien. Paul Martin. Nods to the knuckle-draggers aside, Harper's just peddling more of the same. Seriously, can anyone point to a substantive change in the country's direction over the past few decades?

Is Canada a Country, Or a Commodity?

Sol Chrom | Posted 10.11.2015 | Canada Politics
Sol Chrom

I can't remember feeling this disheartened about a federal election since 1997. Ever since then, there's been a growing malignancy in our body politic -- a malignancy that goes beyond partisanship. Regardless of who's been in power in Ottawa (and provincial capitals, for that matter), we've been watching the gradual but unmistakable enfeeblement of government, to the point where it may well be irreversible.

Giving Thanks for 'New-Stock Canadians'

Michael Rowe | Posted 10.11.2015 | Canada Politics
Michael Rowe

Aside from the ludicrous notion that anyone other than Canada's Native population is truly "old-stock Canadians," there is a certain divisive, chamber-pot snobbery to the term. It's not a celebration of "lineage," it's a wedge. It has no use other than to separate the speaker from others. Without even having to wonder why it was never used in our house, I know that my parents would have considered it vulgar. We are all "old-stock" Canadians, no matter where we're from, or how recently we've arrived.

How One Man Helped Canadian LGBTQ+ Rights Take Flight

Ron Levy | Posted 10.10.2015 | Canada Living
Ron Levy

Consider the butterfly effect. Wings flap and set off a hurricane. Canada's most dramatic civil rights movement was set in motion by one man who quietly and privately pursued his carnal pleasures. His libido ignited a chain of events that continue to profoundly shape and redefine sexual, gender and cultural identities today. The butterfly in question was a mechanic named George Klippert.

Stephen Harper and the Death of Canadian Culture

Hadani Ditmars | Posted 10.10.2015 | Canada Politics
Hadani Ditmars

In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?

Harper Is Throwing a 'Veil' Over the Women's Issues That Matter

Martha Muzychka | Posted 10.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Martha Muzychka

Every day we see another poll, another tracker, another analyst examining this or that issue. The latest is the niqab, the face veil some Muslim women wear. But women's issues and politics in Canada encompass more than a face veil. In fact, I'm going to come out and say there are far more pressing issues we have to deal with from a woman's point of view than whether or not some women wear a veil. Stephen Harper's continuing waving of the veil in our faces is nothing more than a distraction and a deflection from what truly matters.

The Tory Tip Line Will Turn Canadians Against Each Other

Nicholas Ashmore | Posted 10.07.2015 | Canada Politics
Nicholas Ashmore

The issue here is that such a tip line will do nothing but draw deeper lines in the ground between race, religion, and so on. We will notice that "barbaric cultural practices" is a purposefully vague descriptor that could encompass a plethora of different acts, yet Canadians are only left guessing as to what Kellie Leitch and her party would classify as such practices. This proposed tip line has already been compared by some to similar situations in place in interwar Germany and the Soviet Union.

What Will Be the Political Impact of the TPP?

Shachi Kurl | Posted 10.06.2015 | Canada Politics
Shachi Kurl

Given that the TPP is now under the Election 2015 microscope, that lack of awareness and engagement is bound to change to change fast. It's something the Liberals and NDP are brandishing as a weapon in these final days of a marathon election campaign, while the Conservatives bat away such criticism by pointing out trade deals are not supposed to be negotiated in public.

Harper's Use of Fear as a Political Strategy Is Very Familiar

Adam Bunch | Posted 10.06.2015 | Canada Politics
Adam Bunch

"Fear is not a policy. It is not an election platform," Stephen Lewis, the former NDP leader, recently declared during a campaign speech. "Using fear to get power suggests a deep and abiding cynicism." It does. But it can also be an effective strategy. It has been for centuries. It distracts.

Saskatoon's Housing Crisis Is a Health Emergency

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 10.02.2015 | Canada Impact
Dr Ryan Meili

Despite a strong economy, Saskatchewan has a deficit in access to safe and affordable housing. The Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership performed a "point-in-time" count of people without a home on a given night and found 405 people. The number from these counts has steadily increased. What's especially disturbing is that 45 of the homeless individuals in this year's count were children. Across Canada, an estimated 235,000 people will experience homelessness in the course of a year, with 35,000 homeless on any given night. Beyond those who are homeless, many Canadians struggle to maintain the housing they have.

What Canada Can Learn from the U.S. on Reporting Medical Errors

Kathleen Finlay | Posted 10.01.2015 | Canada Living
Kathleen Finlay

A recent report from one of the most respected medical authorities in the world, is yet another jolting reminder that reducing harm to patients and families remains one of the foremost challenges facing our healthcare systems.

Black Voices Must Be Heard in the Conversation About Gender Violence

Black Lives Matter – Toronto | Posted 10.01.2015 | Canada Impact
Black Lives Matter – Toronto

Despite the Black Lives Matter movement focusing media attention on how violence affects black communities, the experiences of women and girls have not received the same sustained media attention and outcry as the experiences of men. Our voices are routinely excluded from political and public discourse. It's critical for us to make an intervention.

Foreign Policy Should Have Taken Centre Stage at the Munk Debate

Carlo Dade | Posted 09.29.2015 | Canada Politics
Carlo Dade

Monday's Munk Debate is probably going to generate a lot chatter about in the small circles in Canada that actually care about foreign policy. That the three candidates themselves had trouble staying on the foreign side of issues and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, back to foreign policy is only one indication.

If the Party Leaders Made More Mistakes, Canadians Could Vote Decisively

Nicholas Nazar | Posted 09.29.2015 | Canada Politics
Nicholas Nazar

On Monday night in Toronto three major party leaders showed their wares and clashed swords in front of a well-dressed crowd at the Roy Thomson Hall. While the leaders debated foreign policy, the viewers, in essence, looked to gauge who looked best to represent Canada on the world stage.

In a Stagnant Economy, Spending Is Key to Stimulating Small Businesses

David Gens | Posted 09.29.2015 | Canada Business
David Gens

With the confirmation of the Canadian recession by Stats Canada earlier this month and the government's subsequent announcement of a $1.9 billion surplus, spending has become a particular point of interest in our upcoming election. Small business owners, who make up 98 per cent of employer businesses in Canada, will be looking to see which party's proposed spend will have a tangible effect on their bottom lines.

Why the Liberal's Fiscal Plan is the Most Sound

Ralph Goodale | Posted 09.29.2015 | Canada Politics
Ralph Goodale

With almost all of our 2015 election commitments now in the public domain, the Liberal Party published on Saturday the fiscal plan that will guide the implementation of our platform over the next four years.

Why Rob Ford is a Cautionary Tale For Donald Trump's Supporters

Peter Landry | Posted 09.25.2015 | Canada Politics
Peter Landry

The Donald Trump phenomena in the United States reminds me of our experience in Toronto, Canada, when a so-called everyman mayor who appealed to angry populism was elected. Ford's behaviour proved to be such a distraction that much of his agenda, such as it was, stalled at every step. Ford, like Trump, loved to attack people on their appearance, ethnicity and gender. Over time, personality-driven, badly behaved leaders will get to the point of alienating all but their most ardent allies.

Changes to Ontario 'Death Tax' Puts Additional Burden on Grieving Families

Christine Van Geyn | Posted 09.24.2015 | Canada Politics
Christine Van Geyn

When a person dies, their assets are managed by an estate representative. In most cases, that person is the grieving spouse or children. Ontario has the highest Estate Administration Tax (EAT) the country. The EAT was previously called a "probate fee," but in this rare instance of honesty the Ontario government has changed the name to reflect what it really is -- an estate tax. Failure to comply with these new burdensome rules can result in fines starting at $1,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both.

Second-Past-the-Post and Other Innovative Ways to Vote

David Martin | Posted 09.22.2015 | Canada Politics
David Martin

Both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are committed to ending our outmoded first-past-the-post (FPP) voting system. However, it's still unclear what they'd replace it with. The problem as I see it is that Canadians haven't been offered a good substitute for our outmoded FPP system. We should have a whole smorgasbord of truly Canadian electoral options.

As a Family Doctor, Ontario's Latest Cuts to Physicians Make Me Want to Quit

Dr. Ming Yu | Posted 09.18.2015 | Canada Politics
Dr. Ming Yu

Ask yourself this: Do you have to pay back part of your salary because your employer is poorly run and losing money? Do you have to start saving six months in advance for potentially not being paid two and half months and not being told exactly how much until only months before you're getting the cuts?

What Each Party Leader's Communication Style Says About Them

Evan Thompson | Posted 09.17.2015 | Canada Politics
Evan Thompson

We are in the midst of the most closely contested (and lengthy) political campaign our country has seen in decades. The question every voter asks about any politician is: "Are they for real?" Many judge solely on each communication style and how they appear physically versus their beliefs on complex issues or even track record.

5 Questions for Federal Leaders on the Economy

Raymond Louie | Posted 09.16.2015 | Canada Politics
Raymond Louie

The economy is not an abstract concept to be debated like some complex math equation. It is the day to day moments of our life that tell us whether it is safe to dream of something better for ourselves and for our children. The truth is this: on Thursday night, if a party leader does not spell out a serious plan to work with cities and municipalities, then don't be fooled. They don't have a serious plan for jobs and the economy. With that it mind, here are five questions federal political leaders need to answer in Thursday night's debate.

Why Wynne Weighing in on Election May Be a Win for Liberals After All

Peter Landry | Posted 09.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Peter Landry

There has been some controversy about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne warring with Stephen Harper in the battle for federal votes in Ontario -- The other parties' partisans have argued that it is unseemly for a premier to partake this way in a federal election. They doth protest too much, methinks.

Strong Voter Registration Campaigns Scare Stephen Harper

Nick Fillmore | Posted 09.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Nick Fillmore

The primary objective of Stephen Harper's absurdly-named Fair Elections Act is to prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens, etc. They know that a large number of people -- students, marginalized people and First Nations -- will have a hard time voting. There needs to be close co-operation among groups to make sure that as many people as possible -- particularly people in some 70 ridings where the Conservatives are vulnerable -- have the identification they need to vote.

Canadians Want to Believe a Different Way Is Possible

Deborah Coyne | Posted 09.10.2015 | Canada Politics
Deborah Coyne

When we no longer have confidence in collective action, why would we even bother to ask something of our anemic government? By not taking firm steps to deal with the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis from the beginning, we have allowed a ticking time bomb of humanity to destabilize the Middle East and give comfort to vocal xenophobic factions in Europe.