One's mind goes back to arrogant Harper-era shenanigans such as the 'Fair' Elections Act. That was arrogance fuelled by the "we-know-better" attitude of the Harper regime, particularly in its later years. If one is not misreading its actions, there seems to be a similar degree of willful blindness in the moves of the Trudeau government.
Not only did Canada vote against starting negotiations for a nuclear weapons ban treaty this fall, but now that the international community is moving ahead with the negotiations beginning March 27, Canada is boycotting them. The Liberals have given three different excuses, but none of them make much sense.
The Trudeau government's second budget is more a cautionary one than one with the revolutionary zeal of the first. The budget does show us that the military is not a priority, with no increases and deferred spending on purchasing for eight years. From the time of Trudeau's father and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau to the times of Jean Chretien, the military has never been the priority of the Liberals.
There is neither scientific evidence that grey seals are impacting salmon stocks, nor anything to indicate that a seal cull would improve salmon recovery. In fact, scientists warn that killing off top predators such as seals could make the situation worse, resulting in unexpected and undesired consequences on salmon and other species.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently expressed frustration around the current cannabis landscape, explaining, "Until we have brought in the proposed system... the current prohibition stands," and encouraging police to enforce the law, particularly as it pertains to the continued expansion of medical cannabis dispensaries in major cities across Canada. The response has been one of uniform frustration from many angles, but I don't believe Justin Trudeau actually lied about the Liberal party's intentions on the cannabis file.
Back in 2011, Canada made history by being the first country to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. It was a bold move, but yesterday, Justin Trudeau actually managed to one up the feat, albeit in different style. On Tuesday, he approved the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 tar sands pipelines making Canada the first country on the planet to, in effect, promise to break the commitments they made to under the Paris Climate Agreement.
There are issues requiring tough decisions that a few selfies will not provide him with enough cover nor will they help him to change the channel to better issues or allow for better optics. His recent foot in mouth moment over his comments on Fidel Castro is just this past weekend's storm cloud. We also have other storm clouds developing on the horizon.
Is it because a consensus is forming not around a ranked ballot -- which is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously said he preferred -- but rather around the NDP and Green Party's preferred option of a proportional system as long as Canadians, in a referendum, say they want it? Despite their claims, do the Liberals truly have the "broad support" of Canadians in mind when it comes time to put forth a new electoral system?
The previous Conservative government, imperfectly but sincerely, applied a principle-based lens to foreign policy decisions. This approach periodically won acclaim across the political spectrum, finding adherents even within the Liberal Party. Yet, to some Canadian Liberals, this approach was not only wrong-headed, it was entirely unintelligible.
It's been one year since the election that our prime minister promised would be the last under the outdated first past the post system for electing Members of Parliament. The Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform has crisscrossed the country getting input from Canadians about what kind of electoral system they want -- and the message has been clear.
This is a bit like commenting on a married couple who have severe marital problems, complete with shouting matches and physical abuse. While all their friends may agree that the marriage is in trouble and that the couple should get counselling, no true friend would allow the husband to repeatedly beat his wife as they wait for counselling. But Canadian political leaders seem perfectly willing to allow the "beating" to continue as they await the ever elusive negotiated solution ("counselling") between Israel and Palestine.
A year has gone since Trudeau first came into office, offering a welcome message of change throughout his campaign. Yet, although Trudeau has had some accomplishments in office so far, Muslim Canadians must remain skeptical of his government and must be prepared to hold him accountable on issues that directly or indirectly impact our community.
To be fair no government can deliver on everything in their first year. As the Trudeau Liberals are finding out, promises cost money and even free spending Liberals have to draw a line on what gets spent now and what gets pushed further down the road. Some of that is hidden under the guise of "consultation."
Under new mortgage rules just announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, all insured mortgage borrowers must now pass a "stress test" proving that they can carry a mortgage at a realistic rate (the Bank of Canada's conventional five-year fixed posted rate), and not simply the "teaser" rate offered for a short period by the mortgage lender.
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.