It's great to hear that the B.C.government has begun work on a new climate action plan has begun. But this plan needs to be grounded in an honest assessment of our success to date, not wishful thinking.
In anticipation of the next federal election, the Conservatives launched an ad campaign last September with the less-than-inspiring slogan, "We're better off with Harper." No expression of grand ideas for Canada. No glorious visions for our national future.
We still have a foreign person, a queen living in a castle on another continent -- Victoria's great, great, granddaughter, in fact -- as Canada's head of state. And it's a pretty safe bet that Canada isn't on her mind a whole lot either, if at all. So why do we put up with it? Without question, Canada deserves to have its own head of state, chosen by us and from among our citizens. How have we made it this far without taking the final step to full nationhood? The reason lies with misinformation.
It will irk NDP partisans seeing their newly crowned Alberta premier mingling with those they traditionally oppose. But Notley's speech made it clear she plans to work closely with other provinces and the PM, in addition to First Nations, union and local government leaders to benefit her province.
Canada's Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau, has been riding high in the polls and many observers consider him well-positioned for the October general election. Yet Britain's election results contain some warning signs that Trudeau should heed. Voter behaviour in an actual election provides an insight into the complicated mood of a comparable electorate, and it would be a mistake not to observe and learn from Britain's example less than six months before Canadians go to the polls.
In what many have criticized as a cynical and desperate election ploy, the Harper government is forcing Canadians to choose between safety and privacy. The trouble is that it is a false choice. Canadians must protect both.
No federal government in recent memory -- possibly ever -- has precipitated more fights with its appointed watchdog officials or special interest advocacy groups than the current one. It's an issue largely fuelled by Harper's insatiable appetite to control the flow of information and the substance of political debate. It is no surprise, then, that the Canadian Association of Journalists has twice given Harper its "Code of Silence" award, handed to a government or publicly funded agency "for keeping secret what it should make accessible."
On Tuesday April 21st, Joe Oliver presented his first budget as Finance Minister. Its 518 pages have been universally described in less than flattering terms. It is really the Conservative platform dressed up as a budget -- long on promises, short on funding. It's been obvious for years that climate change is not a priority for this government, but to produce a 518 page document that is the basis for the Conservatives' next election platform and not mention the existential threat of the century is truly appalling.
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?