While it's so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh at it, it's also unjust, anti-democratic and something that Canada's new prime minister promised would never happen again. Last June, now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his party's environmental platform standing with his back to the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighborhood. With a withering critique that Stephen Harper's government had "chosen to be a cheerleader instead of a referee" when it came to pipelines, he promised a complete overhaul of the National Energy Board assessment process.
A woman can wear a burka or she can walk the streets stark naked (or anything in between). It doesn't matter! Her safety cannot be guaranteed in either case. What can be guaranteed is that if and when she is harmed, some people will make public their opinion about how what she was wearing contributed to the crime.
That a man like Kevin O'Leary, famous for his nasty turn on the CBC's Dragon's Den TV show, would consider himself a good candidate to lead the Conservatives exposes what the right wing in this country is truly all about. He as leader would at least be an honest admission by the right about their true values.
First it was the Liberals' failed promise to receive 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. Thanks to Tory pit bulls on the Hill, Justin Trudeau has had to admit a delay of 60 long days in meeting his government's target. Who knows? The goal may now not even be reached until the end of March!
I am really confused by my government right now, because when it comes to climate action, it feels like I have two different governments. One government is in Paris, and their words on climate sound like the kind of ambition we need. The other one is in Ottawa, and its actions are looking more and more like the Harper government's on climate change.
As both a taxpayer and a stay-at-home mother, I am upset with the Trudeaus on so many levels. Not only is the Prime Minister clearly a hypocrite, but the fact that his wife (who seemingly does not hold a full-time job) requires not one, but two nannies is offensive no matter your political stripe.
As the debate raged and the cross-border rhetoric went nuclear over Keystone XL, the good folks at Enbridge were craftily and quietly shipping hundreds of thousands of barrels per day of tar sands bitumen from Alberta. This line, cavalierly called the Alberta Clipper, which at first shipped 450,000 barrels a day from the tar sands is designed to carry an astounding 800,000 barrels a day to Illinois.
Is Justin Trudeau prepared to defy Canada's powerful mining industry and adopt legislation to constrain their abuses abroad or will he continue to place the full power of Canadian foreign-policy behind this controversial industry?
I don't fault the New York Times liberal editorial pages celebrating a Liberal victory in Canada. It's their paper and they can print what they want. What got me were the Canadian journalists who rushed to their liberal friends down south with op-eds to complain how awful things were up here under Harper.
To attribute Justin Trudeau's ascendancy to a rock star phenomenon such as his father Pierre Trudeau experienced back in 1968 is to misread current Canadian politics. What happened, in fact, was less a cult of personality than a national plebiscite on the rule of the much-hated incumbent, Stephen Harper.
The coordinated killings that rocked Paris over the weekend are an unspeakable horror. But we must not allow the horrific nature of this atrocity to drag Canada back into the racism, Islamophobia and war-mongering that characterized our last government. The burden to hold firm on the change that we demanded in the October election is jointly shared between Canadians and our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The challenge isn't simply to get youth to vote. First, you have to inspire youth about the act of voting itself. There's no point in getting youth to vote if it's an activity they really would rather not be doing; that won't form a lifelong habit of voting. You have to first sell the benefits of voting before you can push youth to the polls.
Unfortunately, there is a stubborn quality to the Prime Minister's current commitment to meet his election promise of admitting 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by Christmas. There is an easy solution to this current impasse between the facts on the ground today and an election promise made months ago. Set a reasonable timeline and follow the responsible policies of the American government.
There needs to be a concerted effort to confront the rise of prejudice that was encouraged by the Conservatives in their bid for re-election. Although Steven Harper has been defeated, the lingering "permission" given to bigotry needs to be challenged in every workplace and community across Canada. Canadians have never been immune to the corrosive influences of racism and anti-Semitism. At this point in history we are called upon to specifically challenge Islamophobia. The fact is that our Muslim brothers and sisters have been made to feel defensive about their faith and unsure of how their neighbours accept them.
The true test of the Trudeau team's openness will come when actual decisions are being made, when real people start to object, when the human beings running the place start making mistakes. The national press gallery may be charmed for now, grateful that the Harper years of cold war are over. It will not last. Parliament Hill reporters are top professionals who will be ready to pounce when things inevitably go off the rails. When that happens, will the smiling ministers of day one remain available to be interrogated, challenged, or even hectored?
By blaming Palestinians for the Nazi Holocaust, Benjamin Netanyahu wildly distorted Jewish suffering for Israel's ends. A lack of widespread comment by Canada's main Jewish organizations speaks to their own use of Nazi crimes to serve Israel and power more generally.