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.
Canadian policy in Africa can be summed up in nine words: Do what is good for Canadian-owned mining companies. Despite rhetoric about aid to the poorest people in the world, the Harper Conservatives have worked assiduously to ensure that Canadian corporations profit from Africa's vast mineral resources.
Ottawa is enjoying a bit of an independent coffee revival that includes new cafes, small-batch roasters, and knowledgeable, artistic baristas. It's worth noting that this trend isn't just hitting the downtown core, but is also spreading to the suburbs and rural areas as well. East or west, downtown or outskirts, we've found some of the city's best coffee to quell your caffeine craving.
Though World War II has long since concluded, the conflict still lives on for many in Ukraine and the country's foreign Diaspora. For Kiev, which has been locked in a deadly stalemate with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the public relations stakes are high.
There was a very telling disconnect earlier this week between what passes for priorities inside the Ottawa bubble and the issues that really matter to Canadians. While federal leaders and backroom organizers debated the debates, Canadians were still stuck in traffic. They still worried about finding a home they could afford. They still faced the frustration of trying to be globally competitive with inadequate and aging infrastructure. These issues are critical to the quality of life of Canadians and they need to be front and centre in this election campaign.
One of Donald Trump's biggest attractions is that he is a successful businessman, one who says he can apply business principles to reform the workings of government. Trump claims he can run the U. S. like he runs his businesses -- with attendant efficiencies and savings.
In the wake of Sandra Bland's death, artists Kalkidan Assefa and Allan Andre painted a mural in Ottawa in remembrance. Less than 48 hours after it was completed, the mural of Sandra Bland was defaced with "All Lives Matter." Make no mistake, this is an act of white supremacy. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of white supremacy that ignores history, social relations, power, and, most of all, the lives of non-white people. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of peaceful multiculturalism that proclaims equality in the face of disproportionate violence against black and indigenous peoples, in particular.