Payday loan companies have managed to fly beneath the radar of public scrutiny for far too long. I suspect it's because their victims are the weakest among us who don't have a voice.
Mark Twain once said 'Give a man the reputation of an early riser and that man can sleep until noon.' Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney are responsible for three quarters of the national debt. Harper alone has added $170 billion. The Liberals get the rest. How either one gets away with even pretending to be fiscally responsible baffles me. Both parties have slept in well past noon. It's time for a rude awakening.
The NDP offers a unique political agenda at the federal level, capable of building bridges between Canadians of different stripes. Tom Mulcair is an experienced politician who provides reassuring, strong, well-respected, and balanced leadership. He knows the issues like the back of his hand. Under his guidance, the NDP has become a formidable Official Opposition.
Mulcair made the biggest blunder in the exchange at Tuesday's Question Period. His frustration in his inability to get the government to respond is understandable, but as the rules currently dictate, the Speaker was enforcing the rules of Parliament. Mulcair's criticism of the Speaker in this scenario is thus akin to disrespecting the institution of Parliament itself.
The values we used to be most proud of as Canadians are slipping away. We used to differentiate ourselves from the States because of our kindness. Our compassion. Our politeness. Our open-mindedness. Socialized medicine. These are progressive values. These are Canadian values. Or so I thought. Our heros have been fighters for the underdog. Tommy Douglas. David Suzuki. Jack Layton. Nellie McClung. Terry Fox. Yet somehow, most Canadians seem to be saying that progressive values don't speak to them anymore.
If there's one thing that the Harper Conservatives are good at, it's message discipline. Sure, they have taken this to the extreme of muzzling everyone else they can, but you have to admit that they bring logic and consistency to all their communications. Less so Canada's opposition, which has some catching up to do.
Labour Day is a day of camaraderie and solidarity that I enjoy, and look forward to each year. It's a day to celebrate all that we've achieved, a day to feel the power of togetherness and to recommit ourselves to the struggle ahead. From Leamington, to Toronto, it's clear that this economy is not working for people and their families. Factories continue to close, and unemployment in this province remains stubbornly high. Our once strong, stable middle class is quickly becoming a class of precarious workers.
If you hope to repeat the success of May 2, 2011, I invite you to take a firm stand against the TransCanada East pipeline and you must demand that the National Energy Board hold public hearings that are not mere rubber stamps for the oil industry.
For 43 years, we have been stuck with the same, outdated, right wing status quo. Right wing policies have failed us in nearly every way imaginable: on education, on health care, and on the environment. Most of all, right wing policies have failed to ensure all Albertans get the most from our oil and gas resources. I am ready to work hard to change our province's politics and I know that many of you are, too.
Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette is proposing a private member's bill that will institute a quota system that will mandate that 40 per cent of all corporate board members must be female. Gender quotas result in good numbers on paper, but that's about all they do for the advancement of women. In reality, gender quotas simply reinforce tokenism and push the sexist belief that women somehow aren't "good enough" to earn power on their own.
With the New Brunswick Morgentaler Clinic closure last week, New Democrats urge the Minister of Health to work directly with her provincial counterparts in New Brunswick to ensure that safe access to abortion services is publicly available.
Jamie Heath simply wants to drag John Tory through the mud by any means -- to the benefit of Ms. Chow. This, of late, is a consistent "best practice" of many official agents in both the Chow and Ford camps. The premises of his argument however, do deserve scrutiny.
Make no mistake, everyone on that list is worthy of inclusion. They all made great contributions to our country and our world. But where are the women and non-whites who have contributed just as much? A pantheon so steadfastly monochromatic and male hardly reflects the diverse and multicultural nation we claim to be.
The biggest loser in this election is not the Hudak Conservatives, but the NDP. Had Ms. Horwath not defeated the May budget and triggered this election, she would have kept the minority Liberals hostage to her dictates. While the NDP is set to gain an additional seat in these elections, it has lost all legislative power it enjoyed only a few weeks ago. Hardly a success by any measure. Tim Hudak's Conservatives ran a far right Tea Partish campaign that took comfort and strength in ideology, flawed as it may be, and not in rationality.
Andrea Horwath wants things to 'Make Sense,' Tim Hudak 'Wants a Million Jobs,' and Kathleen Wynne has 'A Plan for Ontario.' One can't expect too much from platform titles, but none of the policy books display a focus on improving the health of Ontarians via bettering their social conditions as a primary driver. This leaves it up to the voters to read between the lines.
The words "enabling environment for civil society" must mean something different to Minister Paradis than they do to the rest of us. His message does not reconcile with the Harper government's methodical actions to silence progressive civil society organizations with a disturbing combination of funding cuts, reputation assassination and appropriation of government agencies for their intimidation scheme.