The Conservatives Party of Canada begins 2016 in a very different place from where they have been for the last 10 years. Defeats are never fun, but they offer the Conservatives a chance to rejuvenate, rebuild and rededicate themselves to promoting Canadian Conservative values.
So far Trudeau has set a new tone and the media are still wrapped up in the photo ops. But it is substance that he has to worry about and as the year progresses Canadians will have different markers to measure him against -- broken promises being one of them.
There is so much hype about the holidays. Unfortunately, our romantic notions are too often dashed and replaced with resentment, exhaustion and financial stress. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a bit of compromise, perspective and goodwill, you can survive and even thrive as a dynamic duo.
Duffy's defence -- which I will refer to as "The Costanza" -- may become a standard courtroom tactic should his lawyers succeed. This new legal principle would hold that one is innocent unless the law, social behaviour and even etiquette are explicitly explained in advance in each case.
I am really confused by my government right now, because when it comes to climate action, it feels like I have two different governments. One government is in Paris, and their words on climate sound like the kind of ambition we need. The other one is in Ottawa, and its actions are looking more and more like the Harper government's on climate change.
The Liberals had promised a new, government-wide appointment process that is open and based on merit. They recently reaffirmed that promise and added that they will ensure gender parity and that indigenous peoples and minority groups are reflected in positions of leadership. Nobody yet knows what this new government-wide process will look like.
Warnings of a housing correction are not new, but the frequency has increased. A couple of southwestern Ontario markets (most notably Toronto) and the Vancouver metro area are pricing out first-time buyers. In other major centres across Canada, the flatness or slowing of house price appreciation has dissuaded potential buyers from jumping in.
Whatever I do and wherever I go, I will benefit from the collective wisdom, experience, enthusiasm and vibrancy of Ottawa Centre. There is so much more to do. But if the last nine years have taught me anything, it is that Jack was right. If we are loving, hopeful and optimistic, we can and will change the world.
Life in the public square is playing itself out online, only the Internet has made the square bigger, more diverse, and capable of operating in real time. With every decision our government makes (or must make), social media in particular allow us to quickly gather, share, discuss, debate, suggest and demand, effectively crowdsourcing solutions to the questions facing the nation. And by the looks of things, Canadians will have suggestions for Justin Trudeau every step of the way.
For more than two decades, Mark Jaccard has been penning "report cards" about Canada's environmental track record. The results haven't been pretty. His annual evaluations were harnessed in the mid-2000s by Stephen Harper as arguments for why the Conservatives deserved a shot at governing the country. Jaccard's latest report card, released on October 6, concludes the Conservative Party has since "implemented virtually no policies that would materially reduce emissions" despite making significant emissions pledges for 2020 and 2050. Jaccard concludes the absence of such actions shows "they must have had no intention" of dealing with climate change.
Forget the election debate over budget deficits and tolerance of the veil. We have another deficit in Canada and it is neither looming nor veiled. We're in the midst of an incrementally created democratic deficit that after nine years of accumulated budget cuts, abuse of power, and muzzling diverse voices has now arguably put at risk our democracy's health and vigour.
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?