If you need a symbol for the budget challenge facing Stephen Harper, look no further than the old Nortel campus in Ottawa's western suburbs. The site is turning into a costly hot potato for the government. Three years ago, military planners shocked analysts with their initial $623 million estimate for fixing the place up. Now the price tag is said to have jumped over 40 per cent.
For many Iranian-Canadians, the marriage between defence minister Peter MacKay and Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam was meant to absolve our alienated condition as distant participants in Canada's development. For Afshin-Jam and her cohorts, the closure of the embassy represents the full blossoming of this ancient but till now unrecognized unity. Is this unity actually real?
While it is of paramount importance to actively struggle against conspicuous violations of the most seriously thought out and radical ethical systems, this industry of human rights activism constantly puts Iranians in terribly compromising positions by encouraging the federal government to enforce retrogressive measures.
One can tell it is summer in Ottawa because there is a never ending speculation about a cabinet shuffle. With Bev Oda resigning, what will happen next? Will Peter MacKay become justice minister? Will Vic Toews take a judicial posting in Manitoba? And what will happen to the Defence Department?
Though the Department of National Defence is cutting 1,000 jobs for austerity, some 157 employees will be sharing $2 million in bonuses. The whole bonus tradition in both public service and the private sector should cease. None of us has any control over what the private sector does, but government employees get enough perks as it is without extra money for doing the job they are paid for.
Lies and miscalculations rule the day in Canadian politics and we don't seem too bothered. Who needs data, facts, or expertise to make hundreds of billions worth of decisions? Since lies seem to work, politicians scatter them liberally. Candidates spew promises they have no intention or clue how to keep. We are repeatedly shocked to see them broken.
Although the punditry failure in Alberta made headlines, it's not the first time "experts" have been completely and utterly wrong. For instance, I did a little historical research and discovered several examples of failed pundit predictions: "No Cabinet Minister will ever pay more than $14 for a glass of orange juice."
What, one wonders, are the "secrets" S/Lt. Deslisle would be handing off or peddling to the Russians? We don't have much of a navy these days, and telling the Russians (presuming Delisle was) which dry-dock our four aging submarines (that the British conned us into buying) are being repaired in, can't be a much of an espionage coup.
What advantage would nuclear subs give Canada? Well, we could better detect Russian subs under Arctic ice. What would we do if we detected Russian subs? Well, we could inform the CBC which would relay the fact to Canadians. Would we consider torpedoing a Russian sub? Good gracious no!
Today, veterans are coming back to a country that never really suffered during the war. Forget those elegant, top-down accounts of the noble victories of commanders. For the military employees who actually do the fighting on the ground, war is horrific beyond imagination. And the horror is coming home.