With Harper gone, you would think the Conservatives could return to providing a reasonable alternative for voters. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. We could go on all day about how Harper's tax cuts for corporations and the rich gutted the social programs and economic development that the rest of us depend on, or how his poorly negotiated trade deals put more power in the hand of corporations at the expense of jobs and a stable future for working Canadians, but the real point here is that these sorts of comments show just how out of touch the Conservative Party has become.
As Toronto was getting ready in the first week of March to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pakistan Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination, the Government of Pakistan hanged a man, Mumtaz Qadri, for the brutal murder of Punjab province's governor, Salman Taseer.
SATIRE: Hey, Canadian voter. You've been having lots of fun vacationing, barbecuing and going to the cottage. But guess what? The kids are heading back to school and there's a federal election on October 19 for which you're probably not prepared. Try these sample test questions to see if you're ready.
If Toronto and Canada really want to compete in the new global economy we need to innovate; sticking our head in the sand or relying on outdated statutes doesn't cut it. If there are legitimate concerns about specific facets of these new business models, then legislators need to meet with the firms and address them. It's time to get on with it.
Baird might be partisan to the core but the fact is, he has always been friendly to his opponents and a great mentor to those willing to follow in his footsteps. He was kind, thoughtful, passionate and cared about people. I liked being part of Team Baird.
The PA's diplomatic stunt is a zero-sum game that will only obstruct the peace process and assault Israel's legitimacy. In no way does the Palestinian attempt to join the International Criminal Court advance the prospects for peace with Israel, instead, Palestinian intransigence only impedes its own path to procuring statehood.
China continues to want to do more business with Canada. However, given that many Canadians have serious misgivings about China and the communist party, various media outlets have reported that despite Chinese offers to negotiate a free trade agreement, Canada has yet to agree to such measures.
On Friday, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada would join allies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and others in launching air strikes against ISIL in Iraq. The announcement on Friday builds on the growing engagement that Canada has recently taken part in with respect to Iraq on a variety of fronts. Against ISIL and its genocidal agenda in Iraq, it's timely that Canada has stepped up.
While protests for greater democratic rights continue in Hong Kong, some fear there could be a crackdown similar to what occurred in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Below is a list of the MPs who made reference to Tiananmen on or around June 4 during the past 15 years.
One of the important figures in the democratic movement in Hong Kong is Joseph Cardinal Zen, the retired Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong. Cardinal Zen, aged 82, attended the recent demonstrations. He told Reuters that "It's high time that we really showed that we want to be free and not to be slaves...we must unite together."
In 2010, Canada imposed the toughest sanctions in the world against the North Korean regime, banning all exports and imports (albeit, actual economic activity between Canada and North Korea was extremely limited). Exceptions exist for humanitarian goods.
While it might sound bizarre to say so, the crises, both in Iraq and Ukraine, are playing to the strengths of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Within all of the uncertainty, Canadians have been largely satisfied with Prime Minister Harper's response.
Should the government of Canada denounce the intentional and accidental slaughter of babies and other civilians caught in the crossfire between two military forces? It's a question as redundant as "does Red Lobster serve Lobster?" Yes. Of course the government, or any other organization run by rational and peace-loving people, should condemn such violence. The killing of civilians has always and will always be a reprehensible act. And yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird remain silent on the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza. It's baffling, since a quick peek at Baird's Twitter timeline.
Along with the widely-publicized sentencing of a Canadian journalist in Egypt, several other Canadians are currently being held abroad under dubious circumstances and critics say the Canadian government has repeatedly let them down. "Over the past decade a growing number of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have experienced serious human rights violations in other countries, while imprisoned by governments or held by armed groups," says Amnesty International on its website.
As one of the longest serving Finance Ministers, he introduced such initiatives such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Building Canada Plan and cut the GST. He also took a leadership role in G7 and G20 leaders gatherings and showed smarts at the beginning of the financial meltdown of 2008. He was respected at home and abroad whether one agreed with him or not.
When Parliament reconvenes on October 16, all eyes will be on Stephen Harper's "new" agenda as articulated in the Speech from the Throne. What role will international development play in this speech -- and will it matter? I believe that the most important decisions on the international development agenda continue to be made quietly and behind closed doors, with no public scrutiny.