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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
A year ago we had written to Minister Chris Alexander to apologize for treating a refugee patient. We spoke about how cuts to refugee health care had made seeing a doctor virtually impossible for many new refugees. Were you, Mr. Prime Minister, desperately trying to get the Minister to review the file as well?
With the economy contracting, oil prices sliding and the prospect of a balanced budget looking increasingly unlikely, Conservatives feared damage to their vaunted reputation as competent economic managers. As it turned out, Statistics Canada data confirmed that Canada's economy slipped into official recession in the first half of 2015 -- the damage was done.
Has a hashtag ever influenced a vote? Probably not. Did a Twitter meme ever sway a key voting demographic? We will have to ask #bathrobeguy, but I'll wager no. But when we talk about digital, we're talking about strategy far beyond these primitive social tactics. We're talking about a suite of tools that reinforce, strengthen and improve traditional and key campaign functions.
Three widely acknowledged conversational no-fly zones at business or social gatherings are religion, politics and sex. To venture into any of these potentially volatile spaces is to risk triggering a difference in opinion or, worse, an argument with those you are attempting to build a new business relationship with.
The Liberal platform is a grab bag of fine, progressive ideas. I like it. The deficit financing pledge, designed to stimulate a sluggish (if not recessionary) economy, is smart fiscal policy. But Justin Trudeau's attempts to make income inequality the cause célèbre have seemingly fallen flat, perhaps for the simple reason that Canada isn't the United States: we don't have what Bernie Sanders calls "the billionaire class," or at least we don't have as obvious and obnoxious a class. And, to put it mildly, Chyrstia Freeland is no Elizabeth Warren. But it's the lack of any clear policy from any party on healthcare that truly perplexes me. Why is the Liberal Party not aggressively campaigning on a cure for healthcare?
When we ask our political leaders to talk about issues affecting women what we're asking for is a conversation about the unseen and largely unacknowledged inequalities that affect girls and women throughout their lives. I have a daughter. Like every Canadian woman, she's growing up in a country where to be female is to be overrepresented in poorly paid part-time work; under-represented at every level of authority and power; and so devalued as a worker that virtually any sector that attracts a female workforce pays less than sectors dominated by males.
The worse thing that interns -- and any other employees -- can do is to try and cover up the situation. For high achieving kids, admitting a significant mistake can be hard. We like their desire to be liked and their positive self esteem. But sometimes humility and confession go a long way. Which brings me to Stephen Harper and the Mike Duffy affair. Somehow in the political world, leaders and their staffs have come to believe that voters expect perfection. Any admission to the contrary is not tolerated. The result is the cover up.