What is most telling is that even given the divisive and downright xenophobic campaign the Conservatives have run thus far, they are still within striking distance to form government. This carefully crafted U.S.-style Republican narrative has set Canada on an extremely dangerous course, and one that only Canadian voters can steer back to the right path. From "old stock Canadians" deserving of greater government benefits, to the ridiculous niqab debate, to the absurd hotline dedicated to reporting "culturally barbaric" practices, the Conservatives are pulling no punches in their quest to mobilize their voter base.
I can't remember feeling this disheartened about a federal election since 1997. Ever since then, there's been a growing malignancy in our body politic -- a malignancy that goes beyond partisanship. Regardless of who's been in power in Ottawa (and provincial capitals, for that matter), we've been watching the gradual but unmistakable enfeeblement of government, to the point where it may well be irreversible.
Surrey needs to start being treated by Victoria and Ottawa as the big city and urban centre in the province!
"This is common within the Harper Tories to find people whose views are based on... I don't know where they get their views from, but they're not scientific."
His voice reminds us to rejoice in living, to celebrate love -- and to check your spelling. He would remind you that spelling speaks to your trustworthiness: if you can't spell right how can anyone expect that you got the rest of it right?
Despite the Black Lives Matter movement focusing media attention on how violence affects black communities, the experiences of women and girls have not received the same sustained media attention and outcry as the experiences of men. Our voices are routinely excluded from political and public discourse. It's critical for us to make an intervention.
By the time you read this column, my membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario will likely be revoked (if not, I will resign). I will no longer be the director of a riding association in the Toronto Centre Conservative Association. This is not because I am no longer useful to the once-proud party of Bill Davis, John Robarts and, yes, Christine Elliott, but because I am coming out against comrade Stephen Harper -- our party's federal counterpart. The Stephen Harper era has made us too partisan, extremely fearful of our neighbours, cheerleaders in world affairs, less tolerant to new immigrants and refugees and mere observers in the affairs of our country -- instead of active actors.
Over the past two days, Canadian entrepreneurs and American venture capitalists met at Venture North, a conference that aims to introduce U.S. VCs to Canada's tech ecosystem. Mayor John Tory started off Wednesday's proceedings by stating that Toronto is a startup-friendly city, and its tech leadership is "simply a story we haven't told yet."
Canada has been receiving global attention, not just as a country, but also for its personality, style and popular cities and neighbourhoods for living. Forward-thinking and forward-moving urbanites and millennials looking to score the right balance between architectural beauty, 21st Century artistic and cultural relevance, consumer amenities and urban chic have fantastic options to choose from to call home.
The Harper government's attempt to frighten voters should be recognized for what it is -- baseless propaganda designed to woo votes in the midst of an election. While there will undoubtedly be some undesirables in the refugee crowd, our immigration processes are perfectly capable of flagging and filtering out those risks. Canadian lives will not be threatened if we let in Syrian refugees. The irony, however, is that the lives of Canadians and our European friends may well be threatened if we do not. The tide of undocumented refugees will continue to flow into Europe if we fail to provide an alternative exit to those refugees still struggling to survive in camps in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Last month, Ottawa's expert panel on PAD -- physician-assisted death -- launched its website so that we could provide our views, not on if it should be legal (the Supreme Court decided that in February), but how it should happen.
Planned Parenthood supports abortion, yes, but this is not newly divisive. So, what could it be? Why specifically now would Planned Parenthood donations diminish? This a question they would rather let fade into obscurity -- A group calling themselves the Center for Medical Progress began releasing an investigative sting operation into the practices of Planned Parenthood south of the border. Two actors posing as buyers of organs for research purposes got undercover video allegedly showing that Planned Parenthood in the USA engages in the sale of fetal hearts, livers, kidneys and heads ("calvarium") for profit.
A year ago we had written to Minister Chris Alexander to apologize for treating a refugee patient. We spoke about how cuts to refugee health care had made seeing a doctor virtually impossible for many new refugees. Were you, Mr. Prime Minister, desperately trying to get the Minister to review the file as well?
You've heard of the recent attacks on women's healthcare in the States, but in Canada, we're feeling the impact too. For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Ottawa has been there for our community, providing unbiased counselling, education, advice and support. But it's become increasingly hard to do our work. Planned Parenthood is under attack, by people who oppose healthcare for women and the trans community, who don't want youth to get the education they need, and who dedicate themselves to cutting our funding every way they can.
This is a rather short list of the shortfalls of Harper and the disgrace he brings to our country and I urge everyone to fully research candidates and get out and VOTE. I think the newest campaign launched by our veterans says it best when they say ABC: Anyone but Conservative
All Canadians, including middle income and lower income households, should enjoy the benefits of rising incomes, not having them eaten away by higher house prices that rise substantially faster. This requires serious policy reforms where urban containment is in place and avoiding implementation elsewhere.