The Prime Minister is many things, but one thing he certainly is not is "an economist" -- in the world of economics, there are three conditions commonly accepted as entry requirements before someone can wear the label. Harper fails completely.
The sobering truth of the matter is that Canada's refugee policy is not generous at all, neither compared to other countries today, nor compared to that most famous refugee destination historically, the Canada of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
A year ago we had written to Minister Chris Alexander to apologize for treating a refugee patient. We spoke about how cuts to refugee health care had made seeing a doctor virtually impossible for many new refugees. Were you, Mr. Prime Minister, desperately trying to get the Minister to review the file as well?
Alan Kurdi's image has captivated the world's attention and focused it on the ways in which those with the ability to rescue desperate people have failed to do so, to staggeringly horrific effect. It has focused Canada's attention, because whether or not he had hoped to join his family in Canada, he certainly has Canadian family that cared for him deeply. But Canada's government is not alone in being blameworthy; rather, it is in good company.
Unions are being challenged to reimagine themselves beyond their immediate membership -- to include all working people, the unemployed, the precariously employed, the retired and the many diverse communities who are being marginalized within today's economy.
I am a first generation Canadian, the son of a refugee, taken in by Canada and given the chance at a better life. It is a testament to my father's success that I grew up in privilege and comfort. I don't know what it is like to have nothing. By any standard, I am blessed. There are no simple answers to the migrant crisis unfolding in many corners of the world. But at its root this is an economic problem. People living in poverty want a better life. They want my life, the life I enjoy because Canada let my father in as a refugee 60 years ago.
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To the world, Canada looks like heaven. What the world envisions when they think of Canada is not immigration detention centres or deportation. So, while the world mourns the loss of Abdullah Kurdi's family, we Canadians must ask ourselves, do we not have an obligation to live up to the global expectations we have created? Do we not have an obligation to rise to the occasion and create the asylum innocent families fleeing war-torn Syria, Iraq and other regions so desperately need?
Encouraging Canadians to enter into an exceptionally inflated housing market where two houses are being built for every new person added to the working-age population may well lead to catastrophic results once the market goes into correction -- as it did in the United States in 2008, when that country's ownership rate reached 69 per cent.
The worst kept secret regarding the economy was made official today -- Canada is in a recession. There is nothing technical about it; the definition of a recession is relatively straightforward: two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth. The fact that this definition might not be convenient for a sitting government's, which holds itself out as brilliant economic managers, political fortunes is irrelevant. By any objective standard, the Canadian economy is under-performing.
The Liberal platform is a grab bag of fine, progressive ideas. I like it. The deficit financing pledge, designed to stimulate a sluggish (if not recessionary) economy, is smart fiscal policy. But Justin Trudeau's attempts to make income inequality the cause célèbre have seemingly fallen flat, perhaps for the simple reason that Canada isn't the United States: we don't have what Bernie Sanders calls "the billionaire class," or at least we don't have as obvious and obnoxious a class. And, to put it mildly, Chyrstia Freeland is no Elizabeth Warren. But it's the lack of any clear policy from any party on healthcare that truly perplexes me. Why is the Liberal Party not aggressively campaigning on a cure for healthcare?
The CBC is suffering from a series of funding cuts implemented by the federal government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The 2012 federal budget cut $115 million from the CBC over three years. While this has negative consequences for all Canadians as this national institution is forced to cut jobs and scale back its reach and scope, the country's music and arts communities, in particular, stand to lose. In many cases, it's already happening.
The worse thing that interns -- and any other employees -- can do is to try and cover up the situation. For high achieving kids, admitting a significant mistake can be hard. We like their desire to be liked and their positive self esteem. But sometimes humility and confession go a long way. Which brings me to Stephen Harper and the Mike Duffy affair. Somehow in the political world, leaders and their staffs have come to believe that voters expect perfection. Any admission to the contrary is not tolerated. The result is the cover up.
This is a rather short list of the shortfalls of Harper and the disgrace he brings to our country and I urge everyone to fully research candidates and get out and VOTE. I think the newest campaign launched by our veterans says it best when they say ABC: Anyone but Conservative
Canadian policy in Africa can be summed up in nine words: Do what is good for Canadian-owned mining companies. Despite rhetoric about aid to the poorest people in the world, the Harper Conservatives have worked assiduously to ensure that Canadian corporations profit from Africa's vast mineral resources.
Canadians are stuck with $158-billion in new Harper debt -- without much to show for it. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than before Stephen Harper took power. Job quality is at a 25-year low. Household debt is near a record high. Canada's trade deficit this year has topped $13-billion. The Liberal legacy was a decade of balanced budgets, average annual economic growth over three per cent, consistent trade surpluses every month of every year, 3.4-million net new jobs, lower debt, lower taxes, record high Transfer Payments to the provinces. That's what Mr. Harper inherited in 2006. But Mr. Harper blew it.