While these politicians are hiding behind a procedural loophole, arguing over certain senators' use of taxpayer funds to cover their living expenses, ordinary Canadians (some of which are unable to make mortgage payments on their ONLY homes) are stuck with the bill either way and are actually financing this ongoing soap-opera. So, here's an idea, and something fed-up mothers have told fighting siblings plenty of times: take it outside!
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) -- with conditions. The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries. Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants.
For Canada's veterans the Throne Speech was a big flop. It devoted a total of 10 sentences to vets, and only two of them said anything about Harper's plans. The other six were self-congratulatory backslapping: meaningless rhetoric from a government which appears to think supporting veterans is as simple as saying those words over and over.
Prime Minister Harper finally has his very own tombstone-ready one-liner, too: "he got us free trade with the Europeans." That seems to be the consensus bouncing around the Canadian punditocracy at the moment, at least. Everyone agrees this trade deal rules. An estimated 80,000 new jobs, an annual $12 billion boost to GDP, cheaper vino from Italy, yadda yadda. But perhaps there's another story here, too.
Ottawa has been steadily deploying all of the resources at its disposal, including spying and corporate influence, to ensure its hegemony over some of the hemisphere's poorest and most oppressed nations.
You will not find a single word in the speech from the throne on solar or wind power, and certainly not a word on climate change. Why isn't Harper looking at products where the markets are expanding, say renewable fuels and related technology?
Whether we're talking bloody tales of yore featuring the Hatfields vs. the McCoys or contemporary Twitter nastiness between Nicki Minaj and Stephen Tyler, acrimony can be amazingly fun to watch. But these fights are only as interesting as the players are genuinely passionate, which is perhaps why the ongoing feud between the Harper Conservatives and the media has got to be one of the dullest prolonged quarrels ever. The assaults being launched and the injuries being claimed in this vendetta are just too weak and inconsequential for anyone not living in the Parliament Hill bubble to give a hoot about.
Since Canada's Economic Action Plan doesn't seem to include me at this juncture, I recently tried my hand at becoming an author. I tried to shamelessl...
The massive increase in beef and pork exports that have been negotiated will put a terrible strain on our water supplies. It takes over 15 million litres of water to produce one tonne of beef, for example. What we need is more sustainable and local food production, not massive new trade deals that will strain our water sources beyond their capacity.
If TransLink is as broke as it claims to be, why are taxpayers so grossly overpaying its chief executive officer? Ian Jarvis received $394,730 in salary, incentives and taxable benefits in 2012, plus another $32,552 in taxpayer-funded petition contributions. On top of that, Jarvis took $11,418 in "other" benefits, including a "Wellness Allowance" that apparently only the CEO is eligible for. That's a total compensation package of $438,700. Jarvis made $140,000 more last year than the province's deputy transportation minister, Grant Main. He made $200,000 more than Premier Christy Clark. Clark wasn't alone; Jarvis out earned Prime Minister Stephen Harper by nearly $75,000.
The expanded pipeline will mean more oil tankers than ever in Vancouver's harbor area and it is a ridiculously short-sighted idea. The math is simple: the more tankers, the more risk of spills and a spill in Vancouver's Burrard inlet, or anywhere on our coast for that matter, puts at jeopardy our thriving multi-billion dollar tourism industry and other coastal economies. Imagine the Seawall around Stanley Park lapping in oil. We would likely have to get rid of the "Beautiful BC" on our license plates.
On Wednesday at 4:30pm EST, Governor General David Johnston will take a seat in the Senate and begin reading the Speech from the Throne to officially open the second session of Canada's 41st Parliament. These are the top 10 policies that need to be addressed.
It's pretty sad to see the U.S. government shutdown and all the havoc it has wrought. Can you imagine if the same thing occurred in Canada and the Harper government was prevented from reading its Speech from the Throne next week as planned?
For me, no one represents what International Day of the Girl Child intends to celebrate more than a young Canadian friend who is making a profound impact in the country of my birth. Hannah Godefa, only 15, exemplifies the best of what it means to be an international Canadian citizen.
What do you do when your opponent has the potential to challenge you in some hard-won ridings, possibly putting your majority at risk? That's the question Prime Minister Harper and his advisers are grappling with. Like it or not, the emergence of Justin Trudeau and his staying power has changed the political dynamics in Ottawa.
Eugene Melnyk owns the Ottawa Senators. He's Canadian. He owns Canadian businesses, but lives in Barbados. Here's where the CBC and the CRA come in. With their recent bit of "hidden-camera" journalism, the CBC concluded that Barbados is a haven for Canadian corporate tax evaders.