Last week the B.C. Liberal government approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. They have stated that Kinder Morgan has met their five conditions and have added 37 new conditions with their approval. From the National Energy Board hearings, to the recent to governmental approval, the process was problematic right from the start. It was nothing more than a public relations exercise.
Kevin O'Leary and Kellie Leitch are both taking lessons from the worst of what we saw in the U.S. election and embracing a style of negative, irresponsible populism.
This year is Canada's 150th birthday, and Justin Trudeau does not want you to forget it. Actually, he's counting on you to never, ever forget. Instead of focusing on the economy, or health care initiatives, or explanations for ongoing scandals, we are about to be inundated with Canadiana.
In 2016, an index that ranked the world's best countries placed Canada in second behind Germany. Published by U.S. News and World Report, this index saw Canada take the top spot amongst among the nearly 6000 millennials that it surveyed (18-35 years old). Other assessments of Canada's international image have yielded similar results.
That this presidency could have serious impacts on reproductive rights in the U.S. is clear. But another serious concern is the global impact the election will have; the U.S. is the biggest donor for reproductive health in developing countries. This could mean the closure of organizations and clinics that provide life-saving services.
The world is changing rapidly. We have witnessed the success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Amid the social and political turmoil, some political groups and social movements are emerging to exploit this climate of tension and fear and make political and financial gains out of it. Canada has not been immune of this.
Before we get too happy with ourselves, we should remember that we're a country that elected Harper for two terms and that few people in Toronto believed that Rob Ford would be elected. Once he was, it was easier to satirize him, to act bemused or distance ourselves with irony. It was much harder to watch the way his decisions and statements affected our lives.
At last count we had 12 people who have entered the Conservative leadership race or who have said they will enter it, all believing in their own mind that they can be the next prime minister of Canada, assuming of course they win the next federal election.
I had the pleasure of moderating a debate - actually, more of a discussion - among six candidates for the Conservative Party leadership. Present were Kellie Leitch, Brad Trost, Erin O'Toole, Andrew Scheer, Michael Chong and Maxime Bernier. There is serious talent in the field.
How you feel about this decision depends on how you felt about the target was in the first place. The Harper target is a 30 per cent reduction in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. That works out to eliminating 208 million tons of carbon over the next 14 years. Is that ambitious? Maybe not, if you think Canada's goals should be judged by what our peers are doing.
Since announcing this proposal former Ms. Leitch's opposing leadership candidates, interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have all condemned the policy. If we subscribe to Trudeau Sr's idea that there is no such thing as a model Canadian, that a society that emphasizes uniformity creates intolerance and hate how can we classify anything as "anti-Canadian"?
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper apparently isn't satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world's largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.
The wedge politics and fearmongering of the Conservatives in the last election were resoundingly rejected by Canadians. Whether it is Kellie Leitch playing to xenophobia with her values test or Tony Clement gleefully trampling our rights, it seems the Conservative Party still hasn't gotten the memo.
As with most leadership races (regardless of political party) the voting public will be treated to leadership candidates turning on each other like dogs fighting for a bone. While the nastiness and name calling might end in May 2017, the divisions and animosities created will linger on until well after the 2019 election.
Members of the Ethiopian community in Winnipeg recently called on Canada to sanction the country. The protesters are angry about the regime's violent crackdown in the Oromiya and Amhara regions. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been killed and many more jailed since unrest began over a land dispute 10 months ago.
With Harper gone, you would think the Conservatives could return to providing a reasonable alternative for voters. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. We could go on all day about how Harper's tax cuts for corporations and the rich gutted the social programs and economic development that the rest of us depend on, or how his poorly negotiated trade deals put more power in the hand of corporations at the expense of jobs and a stable future for working Canadians, but the real point here is that these sorts of comments show just how out of touch the Conservative Party has become.