Raising the minimum wage, diversifying Alberta's economy and supporting working people have my full support, but I'm sorry Premier Notley, I just can't get behind you on pipelines. New pipelines aren't good for the environment, they aren't good for the climate, and I'm sorry, but they aren't good for working people or good governance, either.
This weekend, the NDP is meeting in Edmonton to decide their direction moving forward. Eugene Levy once complained about filming a season of SCTV in Edmonton because "It's Edmonton." While I'm sure it's a great city, this is a party who is dreading at the Big E. The election of the past year saw an early lead blown, notable key members of the party lose their seats in the House of Commons, and a third place finish for Tom Mulcair's rookie federal election run. As the NDP head to the Gateway to the North, it's time to begin paving the highway towards the future.
Despite tens of millions of dollars in government support, the hunt is at one of its lowest points in history. Processors have relied heavily on government loans in recent years in order to purchase sealskins, but with 35 countries now banning the import of seal products few commercial markets remain.
There has been a historic allocation of funding at levels the previous government did not have the courage or desire to put forward. Monies have been directed to the inequality of education on reserves, to housing, to an Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Women and Girls, to Child Welfare, and a number of other critical areas.
Two degrees is the absolute red line that scientists say the world must not pass if we are to have any chance of stopping a growing climate crisis before it spins beyond our control. The 2-degree mark was only breached temporarily but it is a worrying sign that everyone, especially our elected leaders, need to pay attention to.
Questions about the dubious eligibility of Saudi Arabia as a recipient of Canadian-made military equipment have been raised for over two years. Yet two successive governments have failed to address the most basic question: how can the authorization of this deal be consistent with the human-rights safeguards of Canadian export controls?
This generation is among the most talented, educated and globally connected ever. While some of the experiences and expectations of these young people are unique to their cohort, they have much in common with Canadian workers of all ages and backgrounds: they are looking for a way to make a difference -- be it at the local, national, or global level. The federal public service must innovate to attract more young people. We need less rigid hierarchies, fewer layers of bureaucracy, more open and transparent decision making, a culture of intelligent risk taking, more opportunity for continuous learning, and greater mobility in and out of government.
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.
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.
Rather then talking about increasing the damage for short-term gain, Premier Wynne and Notley should be talking about how they can create jobs by collaborating on solutions. Solutions that keep carbon in the ground, create jobs, and that could benefit everyone from coast to coast to coast for generations to come. Let's make the discussion about creating good green jobs, healthy communities, and clean, renewable solutions that allow everyone to participate and benefit. It's time for Canada to build its clean energy dream not expand its tarsands nightmare.
Bill C-51 is simply unCanadian: it's vague legislation that violates the human rights and freedoms which define us as a country. The Liberal government has committed to rewrite what they describe as "problematic elements" of Bill C-51 and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability in regards to national security, balancing this with rights and freedoms.
That a man like Kevin O'Leary, famous for his nasty turn on the CBC's Dragon's Den TV show, would consider himself a good candidate to lead the Conservatives exposes what the right wing in this country is truly all about. He as leader would at least be an honest admission by the right about their true values.
A fresh start begins with a refreshed agenda and here's where conservatives ought to focus their attention in 2016. The role of civil society is too often ignored or undermined by public policy. The expansion of the state in the second half of the 20th century came largely at the expense of civil society. Leviathan grew and civil society contracted.
Sunny ways leadership is about setting priorities and convincing citizens about the need for these priorities to ensure we have a bright future. It is about being honest with people and at times making difficult choices and explaining why you have to make them. Being all things to all people is not sunny ways leadership, nor is simply doubling or adding a zero to the investments of your predecessor. That appears to be the central hallmark of the new government. Spending is already wildly out of control.
rime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement that his parliamentary secretaries will be given real responsibilities -- including on policy matters central to the government's agenda -- is welcome news. It is also good management. Smart parliamentary secretaries will use the opportunity to dig in and deliver results that will get noticed.