The federal government is ramming ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) through Parliament in a process as undemocratic as the deal itself. Bill C-30 to implement the trade deal with Europe was brought before Parliament for second reading this week, and is expected to pass by today.
Repeatedly over this past year, prompted by the American election, one hears the question: "Where are our great leaders?" And then everyone gets down to dissecting politicians, exposing their every weakness, and bemoaning their increasing lack of capability. That is surely accurate, but there's another explanation to add to this rationale: we don't have real leaders anymore because we don't have followers.
My father, Wang Bingzhang, is a Chinese political prisoner currently serving the 14th year of a life sentence for his work in pro-democracy activism. In 2002, while in Vietnam, my father was abducted into China and arrested by Chinese police. Six months later, he had a sham trial, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison.
At the end of the day, reforming our electoral system is an opportunity for Canadians to ensure that the voices of a majority of citizens are represented in Parliament. If Canadians feel better represented in the House of Commons, it stands to reason that larger numbers will also be motivated to engage more fully in our democracy.
As a progressive voter, it was disappointing to watch the press conference announcing the federal approval of Petronas' Pacific Northwest LNG project, an industrial project that would trample the rights and title of First Nations and make it virtually impossible for B.C. to meet greenhouse gas emission targets.
One thing is certain. If he gets elected, she'll be out of a job. There won't be any immigrants to welcome, the Donald will see to that. And the very values America was founded upon, the very values that have made it the greatest, most powerful nation on earth, the very values that have attracted millions of foreigners in search of the American dream will cease to exist.
Nobody likes to pay taxes. However, the pill is easier to swallow when everyone pays their fair share. It's increasingly clear that in Canada -- and in most industrialized countries -- many are not. We have a two-tier system where the wealthy and the corporations can escape their obligations, and the rest of us can't.
It seemed like everyone in Ottawa knew Mike Robinson far better than I did. And yet, like everyone else, I had been touched by his healthy and warm personality in ways that were unusual in that city. His greatest gift to us all, important or, like me, less so, is the sense of goodness and fairness he left us in a world where cut and thrust are essential tools of the trade. He was good in every way that we could possibly imagine that word.
I probably belong to "the majority." I've not really ever had to fight for a right. I cannot recall a time when I have been looked down upon for the colour of my skin, my gender, who I married to or my economic worth. My life has an incredible amount of freedom. Yet I'm not entirely certain I would agree that the majority should always rule.
Kevin O'Leary premiers his new reality show this weekend -- an all-too real show, in fact. The man who made a name for himself as the loudest and most offensive cast member of the Dragon's Den reality TV show will be testing the waters at the Conservative Party convention this weekend for a possible leadership bid. He would be a terrible leader. Terrible for the Conservatives and terrible for the national debate in this country. Being offensive and insensitive to the very real needs and wishes of Canadians is not leadership and it's certainly not prime ministerial.
The greatest worry about Justin's pre-electoral inexperience was his sympathetic talk about oil pipelines and, for those of us in BC, Premier Christy Clark's aspirations for LNG. True, Mr. Trudeau didn't keep his mutually exclusive views a secret. He had already made his thoughts known about how it could be done "environmentally responsibly," a notion that's in contrast to the overwhelming science on climate change.
The belief in a fairer and more just world, never fully prioritized by the other parties, has been the shining "city on a hill" for the NDP for decades and remains a stirring vision. It still sustains them as they move forward and Canadians still require their outlook. The question is: will it remain their principal and overriding passion or will their recent nearness to power have them seeking more power than purpose?
The turn towards targeting certain political figures is concerning. Despite Trump's vomit-inducing charades, the truth remains that as an American citizen, he DOES have the right to say what he chooses. Although some of what he says could fall under the category of "hate speech", we keep forgetting that there is a very simple solution to our Trump dilemma: stop voting for him. Really, isn't it the public's fault that he's still there?
The world's top one per cent own more than 50 per cent of the world's wealth. The ability to make policy and to enforce it at the national level is essential to combat the slide towards plutocracy, under which society is controlled by the wealthiest citizens. Mr. Obama and Ms. Freeland, please listen to your own rhetoric. Pull the plug on the TPP and CETA.