During my first visit to British Columbia's north coast, I was immediately struck by the area's extraordinary natural wealth. It's a place renowned for its rich ocean habitats, temperate rain forests as well as humpback whales, bears, salmon and orca. We refer to this region as the Great Bear Sea.
Since the jihadist terrorist assault on Paris, the most glaring double standard has come into view. It seems that while the victims in France have our sympathy and concern, the Jews murdered by Arabs in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel do not.
Whether our numerous interventions are justified or not, we cannot continue to let our self-imagined grand delusions make us blind to the fact that our actions abroad can come back to haunt us here at home. The problem with this admission, however is that it forces us to look in the mirror to confront our very own imperfections. Yet until we're able to do so, peace in our times will continue to remain an elusive fantasy and the carnage is destined to continue.
Unlike any comparable country, Canada's universal public health care system effectively ends as soon as a patient is handed a prescription to fill. Millions of Canadians have no drug coverage at all and millions more have coverage that is inadequate to ensure access to medicines.
I don't fault the New York Times liberal editorial pages celebrating a Liberal victory in Canada. It's their paper and they can print what they want. What got me were the Canadian journalists who rushed to their liberal friends down south with op-eds to complain how awful things were up here under Harper.
To attribute Justin Trudeau's ascendancy to a rock star phenomenon such as his father Pierre Trudeau experienced back in 1968 is to misread current Canadian politics. What happened, in fact, was less a cult of personality than a national plebiscite on the rule of the much-hated incumbent, Stephen Harper.
The coordinated killings that rocked Paris over the weekend are an unspeakable horror. But we must not allow the horrific nature of this atrocity to drag Canada back into the racism, Islamophobia and war-mongering that characterized our last government. The burden to hold firm on the change that we demanded in the October election is jointly shared between Canadians and our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The challenge isn't simply to get youth to vote. First, you have to inspire youth about the act of voting itself. There's no point in getting youth to vote if it's an activity they really would rather not be doing; that won't form a lifelong habit of voting. You have to first sell the benefits of voting before you can push youth to the polls.
Unfortunately, there is a stubborn quality to the Prime Minister's current commitment to meet his election promise of admitting 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by Christmas. There is an easy solution to this current impasse between the facts on the ground today and an election promise made months ago. Set a reasonable timeline and follow the responsible policies of the American government.
If you want change; be the change. Remember the power of one. If you don't do anything, nothing will change. So do something. Our future depends on it. No act is too small. How will you contribute?
Those who were indifferent before the Paris attacks are now outspoken critics of Prime Minister Trudeau's commitment to accept 25,000 refugees and bring our CF-18's home. Some of the comments I have seen are downright vitriolic. It has been suggested to me by a number of people that we re-consider reminding people at this time that we're sponsoring a refugee family. It might be bad for business and could alienate more than a few friends. I find it incredibly sad that the current state of affairs is such that I have even faint concerns about a backlash for my desire to help those in need. I certainly won't let it deter me.
Parliament will reconvene on December 3. While the priority focus will be on marginal tax rates for the middle class and those making more than $200,000, it's worth paying attention to a proposal that was a key promise from the Liberals: rolling back TFSA contribution limits from $10,000 to $5,500.
For Trudeau, the reality of jumping from the skillet of an election campaign into the fire of world diplomacy and emergency response must be something of a foreboding transition. And yet he has brought an aura of freshness and innovation to the G20 that likely couldn't come at a better time.
Over the last 50 years, Bombardier has received $2.2 billion in federal government assistance -- of which Industry Canada advises only $543 million has been repaid. In short, if history is any guide, Bombardier is far more likely to be calling on taxpayers again shortly with its hands outstretched, than to actually mature into a bonafide competitive business.
Quite frankly I would rather have our government express ambitious goals that will stretch their capability than easily met goals. Is this not the reason they were elected? Similarly for Canadians as a whole. Why should we not have audacious and ambitious goals in our lives that challenge us every day and give us reason to get out of bed every morning fully alive and ready to do our best toward meeting the goals?
As soon as Trudeau walks in, everyone, and I mean everyone including CEOs, politicians and senior level bureaucrats from around the world move in his direction. They want to shake the hand of, and take a selfie with, the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada.