I believe Canada must do more and become a global model. Canada should increase its acceptance of refugees, regardless of their home country. A refugee is a refugee, regardless of their origin. Settling a larger number of refugees each year is just one solution Canada could consider. Canada should also provide increased humanitarian assistance in crisis situations, and increase its development assistance in fragile states.
With two political leadership races underway, both of which at this point in time have put everyone to sleep, one can only hope that something happens to inject some life into them. We have had the first NDP leadership bid if you can call it that with the declared entry of Cheri DiNovo.
Luckily for the NDP, unlike the Democrats south of the border, they can scrap their party's name and orange motif without much blowback. And they should. The party's image is irreparable, tattered from years of negative election results and cemented in a state of mediocrity.
Few realize that the position of prime minister in Canada has more power than the President in the United States or, for that matter, any government leader in the G7. The current government already has the majority of seats and therefore control of the legislative agenda. It can use its majority to limit debate on any given bill and it also has control over the committees studying these bills.
Trudeau's apology is illustrative of the behaviour of a child being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, then arguing it wasn't his fault because someone else put the jar there in the first place. His so-called apology was not so much about an acknowledgement of a wrongdoing, it was more about trying to put a spin on his indefensible actions.
The prime minister should not have gone into the crowd in the first place. It is not his duty to get members back in their seats to vote, as he was doing with the Official Opposition Whip Mr. Gord Brown. While his actions were inappropriate: He did not push, attack or harm a woman.
Something got lost in all this childish behaviour, especially once Tom Mulcair transitioned from apparently laughing at Trudeau losing his cool to losing his own cool and screaming that the Prime Minister was "pathetic" for accidentally elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest... What got lost was the bill they were debating, Bill C-14, the government's assisted-dying legislation. And it fell further from prominence once the NDP, the party that allegedly wants to make this bill better, saw an opportunity to use the accident as political leverage against the Prime Minister and perhaps for their own leadership ambitions.
The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) will be held in Istanbul in one week's time. Convened by the UN Secretary General, this Summit has been years in the making, and will bring governments, aid organizations, civil society and business together to embrace a new Agenda for Humanity.
One-off symbolic gestures such as appointing gender-balanced cabinets are not enough. Like the dozens of other countries ahead of us on the international gender equality league tables have discovered, the only way to move toward gender parity in parliament is to enact laws to prompt parties into action.
My life's story has always been about working with people, finding common ground, and delivering real results. I have the political experience we need to proudly bring our Scarborough-Rouge River voice to Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government and deliver on the transit, health care, education and opportunities that will make us stronger. I'm standing up for the progress we've made in Ontario, and the progress we need to make for a brighter future. I look forward to the opportunity to fight with, not against, Kathleen Wynne on her progressive agenda as part of her activist government. Together, we will continue to make progress.
With over a year and a half to work, a new leader could have righted the ship, made this election competitive, saved the careers of dozens of MLAs and perhaps even have won government. What Greg Selinger likely counted on at the time, despite seeing these numbers, is what we saw during the last election, and what historically happens in Manitoba.
Despite my frustration around the outcome of our recent NDP convention, I'm prepared to take Avi Lewis at face value when he says that he didn't expect his Leap Manifesto to be so explosive. And I'd like to try explaining the reaction from many Alberta New Democrats so that Mr. Lewis has a better sense of the road ahead.
At the provincial level, three provinces are led by women, including Premier Rachel Notley in Alberta. Women make up 53 per cent of our province's cabinet ministers. In 2006, it was a mere 11 per cent. So, in a decade, that's progress. Federally, as in Alberta, cabinet is gender-balanced, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau justified with the now oft-quoted "because it's 2015." Yet, in 2016, it must be noted that only 26 per cent of seats in the House of Commons are held by women. So, why is it that the lack of gender parity remains so pronounced in most levels of government across Canada?
The belief in a fairer and more just world, never fully prioritized by the other parties, has been the shining "city on a hill" for the NDP for decades and remains a stirring vision. It still sustains them as they move forward and Canadians still require their outlook. The question is: will it remain their principal and overriding passion or will their recent nearness to power have them seeking more power than purpose?
I'll remember the absolute grace and humility with which Tom Mulcair addressed the crowd following the vote, calling on us to leave the convention strong and united, and to focus on continuing to be the party that dreams no small dreams.
I have seen far too many supporters jump ship lately and the party that we know and love is fading into this mishmash of right and left policies, glazed over by a negative opposition tunnel vision that is getting us nowhere, fast. So please... listen to the people, build a strong platform and be the leaders this province so desperately needs.