Yesterday's Throne Speech was a Seinfeld-like moment -- it was about nothing. Instead of using the Speech from the Throne as an opportunity to finally lay out a bold vision for tackling the most pressing issues facing Canadians, the Harper Conservatives served up more political gamesmanship, gimmicks and recycled, old policies.
The detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson was at the forefront of all Canadians' concerns for the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora Prison. Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in my riding and John Greyson is an acclaimed film-maker and professor at York University. They are now home safe.
The latest U.S. government shutdown dominated headlines this week, prompting questions as to whether a similar situation could happen here. I sat down with my colleague at Samara, Jane Hilderman, to talk about the government shutdown and why -- for better or for worse -- it can't happen in Canada. What's at the heart of a government shutdown like the sort we're seeing in the U.S.?
The Saskatchewan Party has launched a political advertisement against the new leader of the Saskatchewan NDP and Leader of the Official Opposition, Cam Broten. The advertisement attempts to tether Broten to the previous NDP leader, Dwain Lingenfelter, and to the party's 2011 First Nations resource revenue sharing policy.
I must confess that there was an awful lot about Canada's 2011 General Election I simply didn't "get." But I certainly didn't get why Michael Ignatieff, a perfectly ordinary if uninspired Canadian party boss, stirred such loathing his Liberals plunged to a historically unprecedented third-place standing. And neither, it seems, does he.
Like most religious minorities in Quebec, I am only slightly shocked by the proposed charter of values. The people that at the short end of the proverbial legislation stick are kids. Because our kids will live the rest of their future in the shadow of the laws and governments we support, it is imperative to consult them. So I decided to put my ear to the ground, and asked my youth group girls and their friends what they thought of the Quebec charter of values. Here are some reactions by girls age 12-16, all from different backgrounds and religions.
The week Jack died, I watched in awe as Torontonians came together to share their love for Jack. Our famously cold, unfriendly city began to bare its soul in chalk messages written all over Nathan Phillips Square. When thunderstorms washed away the chalk, the people came back and filled the square with writing all over again. I have rarely seen something more beautiful than that.
At first sight, the reaction of the three big players to Verizon's possible entry onto the Canadian market seems to be another illustration of their tendency to quash competition. A casual observer might be tempted to think that they're trying to secure government protection against a new player that poses a real threat to their market shares. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Since the start of his campaign for the leadership of the Official Opposition New Democratic Party of Canada, there has seemed to be a subtext of waiting whenever Thomas Mulcair is the topic of conversation. You would often hear panelists talk about his temper or hosts of political shows bring up the "angry Mulcair" meme. What has been striking is his composed and controlled demeanour in the face of anger-inducing situations. But if he wants to win the country, Mulcair must find a way to translate that legendary anger into passion.
Prime Minister Harper's cabinet shuffle has established four new female faces in ministerial positions. But a recent study that finds women are out of touch when it comes to politics. According to study author, "It's not only that women tend to know less about public affairs, but they are more disconnected to the political process ... Women are more inclined to say they are not interested in politics than men. Women are also more inclined to say politics are complicated and difficult to understand." As a man, I say the following with much discomfort: This will not do, ladies. Politics is important, no matter your gender. You need to do better.
Instead of denouncing the direct democratic actions of Egyptians, perhaps the pundits and Canadian leaders should be asking themselves: how can we re-enfranchise Canadians to participate as willingly and energetically in their country as Egyptians are in theirs? Canadians blog and tweet, but we do not cover Parliament Hill with protestors. Our lives are comfy in comparison to the Egyptians, so maybe that's why we do not protest. Yet there must be a sense of powerlessness, of hopelessness even among the comfy for fewer and fewer Canadians to be going to the polls.