Canada has been called a laggard when it comes to climate action, but the reality is that it's far worse than that, our policies and politicians are making us into a climate denier as a nation. Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkaq's statement that climate change was "debatable" is just a tiny glimpse into the harsh reality of the Harper government.
Because of its inherent independence from election cycles, the Senate can provide an indispensable public service that enriches our democracy. Does this mean that we ignore the real problems in the Senate? Definitely not. Reforms are needed. Standards that were tolerated decades ago are no longer acceptable today.
The report from the Commissioner for the Environment goes on and on through painful chapter after painful chapter cataloguing, in great detail, highlighting failure after failure by the Harper government to address everything from biological diversity and the conservation of migratory birds to Recovery Planning for Species at Risk and Ecological integrity of National Parks.
My views of China are too conflicted for me to name it as the country I most admire. However, I remain grateful that Justin Trudeau had the intellectual courage to encourage Canadians to learn from China. If we want healthy political discourse in our country, we must listen and learn when politicians answer questions with responses that are honest rather than poll tested. If our politicians are not willing to study and learn from China, Canada is not benefiting from the political leadership we need.
In addition to the Keystone XL which would increase total capacity of the pipeline to 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen per day, Enbridge filed plans to Monday to build the $2.6B Sandpiper pipeline project across northern Minnesota. If approved, the project will move 225,000 barrels per day of unconventional oil to Minnesota, and 375,000 barrels to Wisconsin.
The SCC is supposed to act as a check on the concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet. However, due to the current appointment process, albeit better then it used to be since reforms introduced by Harper in 2006, the SCC is still largely an extension of the power of the Prime Minister who appoints SCC judges.
With talks starting this week in Warsaw Harper and his new environment minister, Leona Aglukaqq, have an opportunity to redeem themselves. It would be good for our international reputation to do so, not to mention my children's children who, as it stands today, face a pretty bleak future
The senators are suspended without pay for two years, a.k.a. November 2015, just after the date for the next election. In a perfect world, the Conservatives won't have to deal with them until then. But this isn't a perfect world. They have banished three senators, two of whom are master story tellers and media savvy. Two household names who have nothing to lose by fighting back. How many binders of emails and documents do they have in their possession? How many will find their way into the public domain?
Just this morning, BC Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Allison Redford have announced that they have penned a deal to ram a pipeline from Nor...
Back in June Canadians were more likely to say they would judge the Prime Minister based on his economic stewardship rather than his handling of the Senate expense controversy. Four months later, Canadian opinion has flipped. Fifty one per cent of Canadians said the Senate expense controversy was more important than his record in promoting an environment for job creation.
A fair compromise concerning pay for suspended senators and other politicians would be to establish a rule that if a politician is found guilty of the alleged violation, they would be required to return any pay received after the allegation was first made.
For a party that once appeared expansive and confident, the Conservatives now appear divided, shrinking and defensive. Even delegates arriving in Calgary are puzzled why media has been given such limited access to the convention. One quipped, "It's because of the Senate stuff going on."
I do not know Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). I do know, that prior to his appointment to the PMO, as a managing director of the Onex Corporation, he was very well-respected on Bay Street as a very intelligent and successful deal-maker and investor.
The Tories have money on their side, and lots of it. They are a powerhouse when it comes to grassroots fundraising, outperforming both the NDP and Liberals by far. In 2012 alone, when one would expect fundraising dollars to be on the low side, the Tories raked in $17.3 million from 87,306 contributors.
With the Senate scandal continuing unabated, there is tremendous wear and tear on everyone involved. These scandals tend to take over your entire day, you become buried in the muck, either throwing it or slipping deeper into it. A political crisis of this magnitude wears staff down and it always impacts on the man at the top. It is time for the Prime Minister to pause and reflect.
The majority of hardworking Canadians don't give to two figs about the personal trials and tribulations of three Senate politicos pigging out at the public trough. Most Canadians, earn nowhere near the annual $130,000 salary of the senators. We should strongly urge Prime Minister Harper to slash each senator's annual salary to $65,000. To avoid any funny business, no senator will be entitled to any additional living, travel or personal expense benefits. In addition, no senator will be entitled to the benefits of any two tier gold-plated health care coverage. Each senator will have the benefit of the same health care coverage as average Canadians.