The detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson was at the forefront of all Canadians' concerns for the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora Prison. Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in my riding and John Greyson is an acclaimed film-maker and professor at York University. They are now home safe.
For 40 years or so, the economic forces of this global economy have reshaped, physically and socially, too, cities around the world and even delivered some, once mighty, into bankruptcy. Witness Detroit. Here in Toronto, vast expanses of our car-oriented post-war suburbs have become food, transit and social service deserts with scarce opportunity for employment,
I've been to a lot of doors this summer. At some point early in the conversation I ask, "Do you follow federal politics?", or some variation on that theme. Some say, "Yes." These are the brave souls who dare, the political junkies who can't help but watch, or the very hardened. Most say, "No." With little deviation, virtually all tell me that what time they're prepared to give over to politics is given to municipal politics.
Canadians continue to struggle with job security, stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs for essential goods. Household debt is at a record 166 per cent of disposable income; and with two-thirds of Canadians living paycheque-to-paycheque, family budgets are stretched to the breaking point. In a country as prosperous as ours it is unacceptable -- and entirely avoidable -- that so many hardworking Canadians find themselves living from hand to mouth. New Democrats recognize that the government can, and must, take action to alleviate this financial strain. Strong, consumer-focused policies like the NDP has proposed for many years are a good first step.
Like Bob Rae's accidental NDP government in Ontario that was also soundly rejected by Ontarians in 1995, the NDP in Nova Scotia became a government that was arrogant and incompetent. This was even truer when it came to justice and equality issues, particularly its treatment of children of African ancestry at a Dartmouth orphanage who have for years alleged sexual and physical abuse.
What do you do when your opponent has the potential to challenge you in some hard-won ridings, possibly putting your majority at risk? That's the question Prime Minister Harper and his advisers are grappling with. Like it or not, the emergence of Justin Trudeau and his staying power has changed the political dynamics in Ottawa.
The Liberals' strategy appears to focus on fanning the flames of controversy around past efforts to amend the constitution in order to bolster cynicism, in the hope Canadians will adopt the same defeatist attitude they have. This is a party paralyzed with fear of their own constitutional shadow.
When Parliament reconvenes on October 16, all eyes will be on Stephen Harper's "new" agenda as articulated in the Speech from the Throne. What role will international development play in this speech -- and will it matter? I believe that the most important decisions on the international development agenda continue to be made quietly and behind closed doors, with no public scrutiny.
For seven years now, Indigenous women, men and children have gathered on Parliament Hill to ask the Government of Canada to acknowledge and act upon the murders and disappearances of hundreds of their family members. Their vigil is a powerful symbol of the strength that is born in grief and loss.
I must confess that there was an awful lot about Canada's 2011 General Election I simply didn't "get." But I certainly didn't get why Michael Ignatieff, a perfectly ordinary if uninspired Canadian party boss, stirred such loathing his Liberals plunged to a historically unprecedented third-place standing. And neither, it seems, does he.
Yawn: I see the NDP held a virtual Question Period on Twitter in an attempt to hold the Harper government to account. That effort was even less interesting than watching them try to do that live in the House of Commons.
On Wednesday, Statistics Canada will release the delayed National Household Survey data, which highlights income and housing issues across our diverse nation. The one question on everyone's mind will be "where have all the good jobs gone?"
It's an interesting dilemma for the opposition. They largely wasted the summer months and only once in a while popped up to remind the public about Conservative scandals. Come September they will have to make up for lost time and lost opportunities, but they won't have Question Period to do that in.
Jack Layton was a die-hard Trekkie, and had his own custom-made Trekkie uniform that he wore at conventions. He was a musician, and loved to gather his friends and colleagues, singing songs from the 1960s. He would encourage everyone to sing, even if you didn't know the words. He wore funky glasses and blue jeans. He kept his hair long.
The week Jack died, I watched in awe as Torontonians came together to share their love for Jack. Our famously cold, unfriendly city began to bare its soul in chalk messages written all over Nathan Phillips Square. When thunderstorms washed away the chalk, the people came back and filled the square with writing all over again. I have rarely seen something more beautiful than that.
BALI, Indonesia-- Former United States President Bill Clinton likes to tell the story about the time Nelson Mandela first took him to see his old pris...