Last week Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled Economic Action Plan 2015: Strong Leadership: A Balanced Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Security. This budget is only the latest in a long string of Conservative promises that have been made and kept, a proud record that will be easy to defend with an election only months away.
Bruce Hyer describes himself as an "independent plus." Strong on representing his constituents, he is a loud voice for conservation, sustainable resource development, small business growth and democratic governmental reform. He has pioneered climate change legislation and fought against the huge subsidies to energy companies.
Thanks to former Prime Minister Paul Martin, I think we've all been conditioned to think that balanced budgets are very good things. But not all deficits are bad. It is prudent or even smart to slash and scrap into a surplus like Stephen Harper has done. Especially considering that Canada's infrastructure deficit is estimated at nearly $400 billion -- and growing.
Good governance means embracing an environmental review process that includes the people and governments who are most affected by proposed projects, rather than one that robs stakeholders of their voices.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Canada for his three-day visit as he ends his three-nation trip. He met PM Stephen Harper on Wednesday morning and later attended a community reception in Toronto and Vancouver. Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the community reception at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. This momentous bilateral trip marks the visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Canada after nearly four decades, Indira Gandhi's visit to Canada in year 1973.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Canada for his first official visit today, drawing attention to the opportunity that India offers for the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have made global market access a priority, and India, a Commonwealth cousin, is at the top of the list.
Sadly, too many public officials are all too eager to scam taxpayers and charge fraudulent expenses. That is especially true if they feel they are accountable to no one. Accountability begins with transparency. After all, you can't judge a person's actions if you don't know what they've done. Just as companies are accountable to their owners and shareholders, so elected officials are accountable to their citizens and taxpayers.
This trial is going to be a long, drawn-out examination of the prime minister's role and vast influence. Harper will take blows from both sides. The Crown has already said it believes Duffy wasn't qualified to sit in the Senate -- that the former CTV journalist and longtime Ottawa resident didn't meet the basic residency requirement to represent his native Prince Edward Island and that he should never have been appointed to the upper house. So why did Harper appoint Duffy?
Since 2010, annual funding for the RCMP has declined in every year except one. The Conservatives claim they need to put new powers in the law, but police forces and security officers cannot fully utilize the laws already there when their budgets don't give them the necessary resources. And new laws will be meaningless without the funding to make them work. The well-being of Canadians is put at risk when these things are undermined. Honest or not, dangerous or not, Stephen Harper has been prepared to compromise even public safety to concoct the claim of a balanced budget before the 2015 election.
If you're looking for more on how Harper's Conservatives will help the struggling Canadian economy they've overseen, well, that's about it. It's not much of a plan and we all deserve better.
In Canada, Stephen Harper led two minority governments before his 2011 win gave him a solid majority. Britain's David Cameron became prime minister in 2010 by virtue of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and would clearly prefer a majority of his own. By imitating Harper's Canadian Crunch, he may have improved his chances.
Environment Canada has been telling us for years that Canada is running off the climate track and -- because of growing emissions largely from the oil and gas sector -- we are getting farther and farther away from meeting our government's self-imposed climate targets. Because of that climate failure, Canada is holding all of us back from prosperity, jobs and better health. That's according to a new study of benefits from international emission pledges made in the lead up to December's UN climate summit. Developed countries around the world -- with the exception of Canada and Japan -- are unveiling their individual climate plans, which were due yesterday.
Not only was Harper's change to the Criminal Code of no value but the real problem is one that he and many provincial governments refuse to acknowledge or rectify. Far too much mental health care in this country is left to the prison system rather than to the health care system.
The new TransCanada pipeline isn't about getting energy east -- it's about getting crude oil east. When discussing the environmental impact of oil sands development, stop using the benign sounding "tailings ponds" when we're actually talking about "toxic sludge." Ducks aren't killed when they land in ponds.
Online polls can be fun and if we want to determine the public's opinion on their favourite colour, or why they like Britney Spears better than Madonna, they can be accurate enough to be newsworthy, I suppose. I think we have to look at the differences between American and Canadian politics and culture to understand why online polls don't accurately reflect public opinion accurately enough when it comes to voting intentions.
Bill C-51 is an omnibus anti-terrorism bill that grants CSIS new information sharing powers and converts CSIS from a covert intelligence gathering organization to a covert enforcement agency. Ms. Soapbox is here to offer four simple suggestions to keep you out of trouble when Stephen Harper's majority government finally passes this monstrous piece of legislation.