Hopefully the summer break will allow all the parties to reflect on the good and the bad of this past session. When they return let's hope they can tone down the hyper-partisanship a bit and work in the best interests of all Canadians. After all that is why we sent them there.
Between NDP MPs not paying their income taxes and members of the federal Conservative caucus being accused of defrauding taxpayers through false spending claims, neither party has the moral authority to determine whether Justin Trudeau acted inappropriately in being compensated for speeches he was being asked to deliver that were outside his mandate as an MP. At its core the vitriol and stunning rhetoric regarding this issue has little to do with Trudeau's actions and far more to do with the fear of what Justin Trudeau at the helm of the Liberal Party of Canada could do to the government and official opposition.
I am writing an open letter to urge you to show leadership and honour your commitment to meet and work with the provinces to provide Canadians with the opportunity to increase their retirement investments in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). You have the opportunity to do the right thing and improve the pension savings of all working Canadians in this country.
Obviously, the face of B.C., quite literally, is changing. Immigrants account for 45 per cent of the population in Vancouver, 52 per cent in Surrey, 59 per cent in Burnaby and 70 per cent in Richmond. Immigrant populations are rising everywhere, even in the whitest regions of the province. And they aren't buying what the NDP is selling. Big government. Vast social programs. Union allegiance.
While the effect of Election BC's ad on next week's election remains debatable, one thing's clear. Its message echoes NDP and/or Green Party rhetoric, and therefore, counters the candidacy of many BC Liberal and/or Conservative candidates, particularly in ridings outside Vancouver. Anyone interested in democracy should be concerned about that.
Fiscal responsibility has been the hallmark of the Harper government from day one. It's therefore quite interesting to see in year seven of his reign that the opposition is focused on trying to destroy the credibility the Tories have on that front. It's a good strategy on their part, enabled by some help from the government side.
Sometimes it feels like the NDP MPs are still nursing their hangover from the election-night party two years ago. They need to sober up, and soon. Canadians are still waiting for the full weight of the Official Opposition to be pressed against the Conservatives.
According to Tourism Vancouver, in 2011 visitors to our city spent an estimated $92 million, and "cruise passengers increased by 15 per cent over 2010. Between May and October 2011, Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 663,425 passengers on 27 different vessels over 199 cruise ship calls." While Vancouver has many amazing attractions, restaurants and cultural centers, it is the ocean and all the nature around that bring people from all over the world to visit our city. Quite frankly, if it wasn't for the amazing oceanscapes and natural beauty, Vancouver would be nothing more than a small version of... wait for it... Toronto.
Ten percenters are sent out through the House of Commons (i.e.: using taxpayer's dollars) and they are a mail out that is designed to allow an MP to communicate a few times a year with a mass mailing to 10 per cent of their constituents. In this day and age of technology and multimedia communications do we even need ten percenters?
Both the Conservative and Liberal parties have declared themselves victorious over the recent Trudeau attack ads but the real winners of these ads have been the NDP. These ads allow the NDP the luxury of not spending money on, or bearing the negative condemnation that comes with running attack ads. Moreover the NDP benefit from the actual attack that the Liberals and Trudeau are taking because attack ads do work.
What was supposed to be an exercise in showing how good the NDP could be at managing the public purse and proposing sensible, balanced policies turned into the usual radical, job-killing, tax-raising, disorganized chaos for which the left wing has always been known.
Whomever is in charge of event scheduling for the federal New Democrats ought to be fired today -- how in heavens did the NDP wind up holding its all-important policy convention on the same weekend the Liberals were to crown their new leader? Were Christmas eve and day already booked at the convention centre?
While always nice to get a lot of media coverage, Trudeau should be concerned that in the long run all the hype could hurt more than help him. Expectations are so high for him that I wonder if anyone could live up to them. Remember all the media hype around the previous savior of the Liberal Party, a gentleman by the name of Michael Ignatieff. It didn't help him.
Whether or not to allow more free votes in the House is an option to consider. This allows an MP more freedom to represent their constituents on key issues and gives them some freedom when moral issues such as abortion or capital punishment are raised. Why not let government MPs stand and be recognized to ask one of their own ministers a question? If Parliament is to be relevant, it must change.
There's always been a back-and-forth in Canadian politics. Every few terms, the public would tire of either the Conservative or Liberal party and vote...
The authors of a report by the Canadian Foundation of Labour Rights warn that the enactment of right-to-work legislation will weaken unions and effectively toss Canadian workers under the jackboot of the corporate elite. But the fact of the matter is not as clear-cut as the CFLR and its sources of information let on.