It's strange indeed to see the federal government and the central bank headed in opposite and contradictory directions. The Bank of Canada is moving to stimulate greater growth, while Mr. Harper pushes more austerity -- with the net effect of reducing aggregate demand.
Trudeau is the most impressive, practical, and smart political leader since the Jean Chrétien era. Since taking over a near-bankrupt, third place, humiliated party less than two years ago, he has made it a growing political movement. The party is now well-organized, better funded, and has attracted strong candidates and volunteers that truly represent the new Canada.
It is also interesting to note that 43 per cent of CEOs, who can afford to pay for their retirement without other contributions, have set up defined benefits pension plans that will provide them $1.9 million every year from the time they turn 65. Less than 11 per cent of the general population has a defined benefits pension plan, in stark contrast with a full 43 per cent of the wealthiest in our society. But the Couillard government is doing absolutely nothing to improve the lot of the 89 per cent who are excluded.
How did things go so badly that Canada doesn't have the heft or goodwill in Washington to add a single pipeline to a nation benoodled with them? The answer lies in the delusional hubris of Stephen Harper.
CTV News in Edmonton recently highlighted the case of John Calvin, a gay Palestinian who converted from Islam to Christianity and was recently denied refugee asylum in Edmonton by the Canadian government. We urge our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to take action immediately to withdraw the deportation order and allow Calvin asylum in Canada.
Canadian foreign policy has often been said to be principally a policy toward the United States with other countries taking second place politically and strategically. If brokering talks between Havana and Washington was intended by the Harper government to win favour with U.S. leaders, the results were predictably mixed.
The federal government has finally backtracked on some of their cuts to the refugee health program brought about in 2012. After significant public opposition and a legal challenge on the basis of violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in July 2014, a federal court deemed the cuts to the refugee health program "cruel and unusual" treatment.
The United States and Canada do not allow for full competition, but Americans benefit from a bigger market given their much larger population. Thus, a continental market in airline travel would serve passengers if an American airline could compete head-to-head with Canadian airlines on domestic routes. But the federal government won't allow it. The result? Higher airline fares in Canada.
It's not too late for B.C. to become a true climate champion.
Conservative MPs had an historic, unprecedented chance to throw off their chains and empower themselves and all MPs, and political party riding associations, to represent voters. Instead, they changed the Reform Act to the "Hope for Reform Act," essentially giving up the chance to limit party leaders' powers.
Canada's negotiators are working hard to sidestep the issue of the country's growing greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector while simultaneously keeping quiet about the oilsands as nations come up with their "intended nationally determined contributions" in the global climate agreement.
I am watching negotiators from impacted countries like the Philippines working earnestly on a new agreement to reduce global climate pollution. At the same time, I am reading stories back home about Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling the House of Commons yesterday that regulating greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's oil and gas sector would be "crazy." Let's be clear who is crazy here.
In recent years, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come under fire for disallowing scientists working for the Canadian government to speak directly to the press.
Many thousands of us who love the CBC -- and love to hate some parts of it -- spend a lot of time discussing its future and not doing enough to help save it. But now, with the election only a few months away, we can do something constructive.
If Stephen Harper wants to boost tourism, why has his administration cancelled all advertising for Canada in the U.S. market? Every step he has taken (slashing access for seasonal workers to EI, cutting the programmes to allow visitors to claim back their GST and HST, and ending our advertising in the U.S.) appear geared to undermine the tourism sector. And our national parks are to be sacrificed to take up the slack.
This week the eyes of the world are turned towards Lima, Peru, and the UN climate talks known formally as the 20th gathering of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20). The road to progress in Lima is full of pot holes and is poorly illuminated. For Canadians, progress on the road to Lima passes right through Langevin Block, home to the Prime Minister's Office. To date this road has been blocked.