The worst kept secret regarding the economy was made official today -- Canada is in a recession. There is nothing technical about it; the definition of a recession is relatively straightforward: two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth. The fact that this definition might not be convenient for a sitting government's, which holds itself out as brilliant economic managers, political fortunes is irrelevant. By any objective standard, the Canadian economy is under-performing.
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?
With a strong plan to invest in jobs and economic growth, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has boldly distinguished himself from both Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair. Mr. Harper's growth record is the worst of any prime minister in eight decades. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than before he took office. And Mr. Mulcair has strangely sided with the Harper austerity agenda, meaning billions of dollars in program cuts and/or broken promises to concoct the appearance of a balanced budget next year. The Mulcair plan and the Harper plan are formulae for going nowhere. Justin Trudeau is offering the only agenda for real change.
The CBC is suffering from a series of funding cuts implemented by the federal government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The 2012 federal budget cut $115 million from the CBC over three years. While this has negative consequences for all Canadians as this national institution is forced to cut jobs and scale back its reach and scope, the country's music and arts communities, in particular, stand to lose. In many cases, it's already happening.
Let's take a look at the Harper Conservatives. Basically their ads and messages are there to create an illusion of good economy, sound fiscal management and the country under the threat of terrorism. In short, the Conservatives are faking their governing record.
On a hot Sunday in August 2015, Governor General David Johnston dissolved Parliament at the request of Prime Minister Harper. Thus, the 41st Parliament concluded and Canada was thrust into a 78 day campaign, much of which will be fought over the summer months. This campaign is not about the decided voter. It isn't about keeping the base happy. It is about the undecided, meandering, and regular Canadian.
This year's election will probably mark a watershed when it comes to how the Muslims see themselves politically. Different narratives animate various camps within the community, but there seem to be sizeable movement on both ends of the spectrum.
Traditionally, no one cares about guards working in prisons with the lowest of the low in society, yet that is where my life's work began years ago -- working as a Correctional Officer in a human warehouse that systematically destroys staff and inmates alike. Notwithstanding, I've dedicated my life to seeing through the development of this idea because I have seen, first-hand, the goodness of inmates, guards and administration who are in an out-of-control system that can't alone meet the needs of everyone, or even come near being able to deal with the multiplicity of internal issues involved.
Despite the whining by self-interested elites which has dominated the national discourse thus far, there is a silver lining to an extended writ. For many Canadians, it is a prime-ministerial present. Whatever your political stripe, take advantage of this extra time to make your vote matter.
Attend an all candidate's meeting in your area, and ask what his or her stance is on GMOs. If enough people ask, they'll know that this is important to Canadians, and that their chances of getting elected will depend on where they stand on this issue! Together, we can make GMO labelling an election issue.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is right to say no to any coalition talks with the NDP. It's a con game by the NDP and one that would make voters punish the Liberals. For one thing, the Liberals and the NDP are very different on issues like the Sherbrooke Declaration and the Senate. Then there's the question who'll lead and for how long. A coalition also begs the question why should you vote if the second and third status parties are going to knock out the sitting government.
Justin Trudeau has said that, if elected, he would end ISIS' combat mission. Further operations in the region will only benefit ISIS, as it has become a major source of attraction for foreign fighters from all over the world, coming to defeat the West and establishing the caliphate. The West is losing the war against ISIS so far.
Reducing inequalities, if well done as per the progressive Trudeau Plan, will benefit our economy; increasing inequality -- the regressive Harper or Mulcair way -- will only harm it. A strong economy, a just society, a healthy environment: why should we have to choose? If we make the right decisions, we can better achieve all of these goals, precisely because we will not have given up on any of them. Trudeau's plan for fairness to the middle class is one of those good decisions Canadians have to make, in the interest of all.
Coalitions are part of our democracy, part of many democracies. Politicians who don't believe in coalitions are like lawyers who don't believe in the law. All of our federal leader have shied away from this aspect of our democracy and shame on them for it.
Canadians now realize that the most likely party that could defeat the federal Conservatives and bring real change is the NDP. As a result, we could see from the recent polls that support for the Liberals is withering whereas that for the Conservatives is stagnant, and that for the NDP is rising.
Justin Trudeau is simply not qualified for the job of prime minister. That's the argument of the first hard-hitting book that looks at Justin Trudeau's record as leader of the Liberal Party, The Dauphin: The Truth about Justin Trudeau.