New democracy is more about citizen activism than backroom shenanigans and pressing for transparency than secret dealings. It ultimately opts for cooperation over contention, public policy over punishing partisanship, and a sense of the integration of power over its ideology. So, can someone send the Old Boys' Club a memo?
Suzanne Legault, Canada's Information Commissioner, says federal officials are suppressing freedom of information in Canada. According to her notes, complaints to the Information Officer in the first five months of the 2013-2014 year are up by 35 per cent.
Prime Minister Harper is often viewed by his many supporters and critics as a calculating political strategist with great political instincts. But here is a case, where Harper's acute political instincts have failed him badly. Harper has permitted his Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to revive Flaherty's all-consuming goal of creating a single federal securities regulator. Accordingly, Harper has committed an enormous political blunder.
A government's claims of economic competence must surely depend upon a sound record in certain crucial areas -- such as economic growth, debt reduction, balanced budgets and management of the tax burden. On all four counts, the Harper regime is a serious disappointment. As for taxes, that's where Mr. Harper brags the most. But check reality! While claiming they never raise taxes, the Harper Conservatives have in fact increased the net tax burden on Canadians in each of their last four budgets. It happens in dozens of nefarious ways which they hope you won't notice.
Dora Award-winning playwright Michael Healey's play Proud has also courted controversy throughout its history. The play is thoroughly political but it also transcends politics. If you're in any way engaged in political discourse in this country you owe it to yourself to see Proud.
Shhhhh. Don't tell anybody, but the Harper™ government is 'consulting' Canadians on Open Government. Well, sort of. There has been no press release about the consultation program. No ad campaign, either. And the program was quietly started in the middle of summer, while everyone was on vacation. It's almost as if Harper doesn't want anyone to know about it. Crazy talk, right?
One of the most frustrating characteristics of the Harper government is that it announces that it intends to take big steps forward on various issues of national importance, then takes furtive steps backward when nobody is looking. This promise-and-retreat routine has stricken our country's capacity to prepare for -- and respond to -- national emergencies, like the recent floods in Alberta and the train wreck in Lac-Mégantic.
"Down Down Harper" one could hear those rants by a bunch of radical Canadian Muslims in Downtown Toronto in Al Quds Rally last Saturday. They were not calling "Down Down Harper" due to their internal political conflicts based on Canadian issues with Harper government. They were denouncing their own Prime Minister for not supporting, according to them, the liberation of Jerusalem from Israel. That's what Al Quds Day is all about.
The Canadian government is doing what it can to help corruption-plagued SNC-Lavalin get a lucrative contract to build a $163-million hospital complex in the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago. The injudiciousness of the decision by one Canadian federal government agency to arrange an untendered, closed-door deal for SNC-Lavalin while another, the federal police force, investigates the company for wrongdoing seems lost on government officials. Canadians would be right to charge that our government is failing to maintain proper standards in the handling of public projects.
If you're a parent who is strapped by a limited income but still wishes you could spoil your children with various toys, an alternative solution might be closer than you think. Most family and community centres have toy libraries, where parents can sign out toys for their children for a couple of weeks at a time, then return them for others to use.
Until I encountered a lithograph of "Pacific" -- a 1967 painting of a shirtless man standing carefree and staring out to the ocean with his back turned to a handgun on a table -- I believed Canadian art was benign. Group of Seven landscapes were beautiful, but they were neither riveting nor cool in the way a 16-year-old would think art is cool. This? This was cool.
For as long as she could remember, Naomi wanted to run her own business. Inspired by a lack of good gluten-free food, she began to operate a small gluten-free bakery, CeleeakNak. After unsuccessful attempts to secure a small business loan, Naomi found Rise Asset Development who offered her financing based on the strength of her character, her work ethic and her business plan.
The Saskatchewan Party is now in favour of abolishing the Senate. This morning the Saskatchewan Party announced the results of the party referendum on the Senate, 86% of the governing party's members having voted to change the party's position on the Senate from reform to abolition.
The Harper government wants to hide all of its secrets. A Canadian Press reported noticed a troubling policy detail buried in the feds' legislative bulletin that would dramatically expand the number of current and former federal government employees under a lifetime gag order, potentially curbing the right to free expression of thousands of Canadians.
Canadians who don't regularly track how governments spend money might be surprised to find how myths crop up about government expenditures. Exhibit A is a new report that claims Canada needs even more "industrial policy," more colloquially known as corporate welfare. Governments are less eager to be frank about the cost of corporate welfare, including chronic government failure on collecting on past loans.
The Governor General is the only one who can remove Harper. If the Conservative caucus were to revolt and kick Harper out of caucus, we could be faced with Stevie-the-Indie-PM. Even if Harper resigns -- which isn't likely -- it is still the GG who chooses to accept.