As international sanctions against Iran were lifted over the weekend and as U.S.-Iranian relations dominated the headlines, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion implied on the sidelines of a Cabinet-level retreat that the Government is considering dropping its sanctions against Iran, a move that would align Canada with its closest international partners. That the government recognizes the economic and strategic disadvantages associated with its inherited Iran policy is a major step toward constructive re-engagement with Tehran.
How many times did we hear the media complain that the Conservatives used talk points all the time, often reading them from prepared scripts? We are now starting to see the Liberals doing the same thing. When asked about the need to get our downward spiraling economy moving, Trudeau's stock answer was, "We are going to do this right. We are going to do this responsibly." The only thing lacking was a piece of paper while he read the answer. For the party that promised to do things differently, it is much of the same. We haven't seen anything concrete to address the sinking dollar or get the economy moving.
On the same week that Ottawa condemned the most recent human rights violation in Saudi Arabia, it confirmed that Canada was set to proceed with plans to arm the perpetrator. Every indication is that the $15-billion deal, which the Canadian Government brokered on behalf of General Dynamics Land Systems of London, Ontario to provide Saudi Arabia with Light Armoured Vehicles, will go ahead. But can this largest-ever Canadian military exports contract comply with the human rights safeguards of Canadian exports control policies?
The Conservatives Party of Canada begins 2016 in a very different place from where they have been for the last 10 years. Defeats are never fun, but they offer the Conservatives a chance to rejuvenate, rebuild and rededicate themselves to promoting Canadian Conservative values.
So far Trudeau has set a new tone and the media are still wrapped up in the photo ops. But it is substance that he has to worry about and as the year progresses Canadians will have different markers to measure him against -- broken promises being one of them.
This will prove an interesting year for the NDP as they transition from Official Opposition status to third party status. They will be functioning with fewer MPs, fewer staff, and fewer resources. But the most pressing question is: How does Mulcair keep his job?
I am hopeful that the new Trudeau government will make good on their promise to listen to diverse voices and make evidence based policy decisions. If so, they will overcome the social structural flaw of innovation and reconsider their campaign promises to dump $200-million per year more into government led hubs and clusters.We can do better, with a combination of a true tax credit that enables angel investors to write off losses and make more small investments faster. This will keep investment decisions decentralized, in the hands of investors, instead of government gatekeepers.
Canada continues to make important strides toward more equality. But there are storm clouds on the horizon that endanger the continuing pursuit of true equality. What started as a legitimate change to bring about equality and transformation of how we viewed, treated and spoke about each other has now ossified into a rarely breached wall of silence, a silence reinforced by the onset of the West's indifference to its own good, bad or ugly -- but distinct -- societies, their values and norms. Call it white man's burden or guilt, a guilt for the sins of the past now manifesting itself in the white man's fear.
HuffPost Canada bloggers bring unique and thoughtful perspectives to the events that shape our world, adding an important depth to the online discussion. So to toast the end of another year, we look back at some of the most notable blogs we published in 2015.
Whoever said you that you can't take brand equity to the bank never dealt with a knife to their reputation. Looking back over 2015, some notable stories stood out for being classic PR blunders, but there do exist a few situations that give us hope that doing right by doing good is still possible.
Due to the heated political atmosphere from which the initial promise emerged, with Trudeau's Liberals keen to position themselves in stark contrast to Harper's Conservatives, I feel that the massive attention this has garnered from both sides -- both of acclaim and censure -- has been greatly exaggerated. With all the rhetoric from proponents and opponents, we forget that this is a simple act of charity.
There is little argument that Canadians deserve a fair tax system. It is unacceptable that there be even the slightest perception that corporations and wealthy individuals can avoid tax investigations by hiring a lobbyist or high-priced tax lawyer. The minister should be demanding answers -- on behalf of all Canadians -- from her senior managers.
It happens every four years.The United States holds a presidential election -- and many of its citizens claim they will move to Canada if one of the contenders is elected. This year, with the advent of people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the right (and Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the left), these mutterings have become increasingly louder.
The problem with establishing a Federal Cannabis Tax Fund is that somebody needs to ask for it, now, before the legislation is drafted. Mayors and councils across Canada may be reluctant to raise this publicly while marijuana is still illegal and because there is no formal recognition of municipal governments in our constitution.
The most abused cliche in politics is the concept of 'change,' yet a young movement among academics and techno-scientists seeks to overhaul the current system with a computerized, politician-minimal alternative. Algorithmic governance is a radical, digital reimagining of government centred on computerized processes. Algorithms -- which already have many applications like sorting incoming emails and controlling traffic lights -- would be unified to create a governing network. Algorithmic government may sound far-fetched, but it is already happening in smaller, more localized ways.
Justin Trudeau said he was favourable to changing the electoral system and that he would prefer alternative voting to our actual majoritarian system. What would be the alternative? And what considerations should we have in mind when discussing whether to implement it by referendum or not?