Last week new Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson continued a Harper government tradition of lauding deceased Saudi royalty. In a release the MP from Niagara Falls said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal" and "impressed by his distinguished career serving the people of Saudi Arabia." Of course, Nicholson omitted any mention of the former Saudi foreign minister's efforts to undermine the Arab Spring democracy movement or arm the fundamentalist opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, which has led to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Justin Trudeau has said that, if elected, he would end ISIS' combat mission. Further operations in the region will only benefit ISIS, as it has become a major source of attraction for foreign fighters from all over the world, coming to defeat the West and establishing the caliphate. The West is losing the war against ISIS so far.
Reducing inequalities, if well done as per the progressive Trudeau Plan, will benefit our economy; increasing inequality -- the regressive Harper or Mulcair way -- will only harm it. A strong economy, a just society, a healthy environment: why should we have to choose? If we make the right decisions, we can better achieve all of these goals, precisely because we will not have given up on any of them. Trudeau's plan for fairness to the middle class is one of those good decisions Canadians have to make, in the interest of all.
Those who support the Conservatives see their party as practicing and upholding traditional family, moral and biblical values. Even though the Conservative government is extreme and disrespectful of science, knowledge, fact and rationality, its supporters would simply overlook faults even when they are glaring.
How far has Canada's economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada's economy was "the envy of the entire world." That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous. We must look to government for a more effective response to the recession. Unfortunately, however, that looks like another policy dead-end. Because so far the response of federal Conservatives has been as ineffectual as it is predictable: deny, point fingers, and spread fear.
One of the slogans I've seen on buttons handed out by the Green Party is "Because, KIDS." For me, that is the heart of the environmental issue, and my motivation for writing about climate change and trying to raise awareness of the seriousness of this crisis that threatens our very survival as a species.
Coalitions are part of our democracy, part of many democracies. Politicians who don't believe in coalitions are like lawyers who don't believe in the law. All of our federal leader have shied away from this aspect of our democracy and shame on them for it.
Canadians now realize that the most likely party that could defeat the federal Conservatives and bring real change is the NDP. As a result, we could see from the recent polls that support for the Liberals is withering whereas that for the Conservatives is stagnant, and that for the NDP is rising.
Listening to Stephen Harper talk about the economy, you get the distinct impression that someone else entirely must have been running the country for the past 10 years. Since 2006, Canada has been stuck with the weakest economic growth record in eight decades.
To put it in its simplest terms, this election will be like a feeding frenzy -- there is blood in the water and the sharks are circling. There is definitely a megashark in the water, he is ready to rip and tear his opponents apart to assert his role as the apex megashark. He's a shark, it's what they do.
It's been a while, but I've been thinking about the importance of civility as we ramp up for a fall election. I know, I know -- it's a bourgeois notion, shot through with elements of class and privilege and advantages not everyone has, but at its heart, isn't it really about treating each other with simple decency?
While Canada Day is usually a time to celebrate the swearing in of new citizens, this year will be the first time that their citizenship will be marked with an asterisk, thanks to Harper's passage of Bill C-24. The new law threatens dual citizens and immigrants to Canada with revocation of their citizenship. Now, citizenship can be revoked by a Citizenship Officer without a live hearing, without opportunity for appeal, without a judge, and for reasons other than a fraudulent application.
Making the case to deepen ties with Mexico to Canadians on the basis of a thoughtful review of the arguments and the evidence of twenty years of NAFTA experience is a valuable contribution to the Canadian debate, and very much in the tradition of sober second thought on issues of the day.
Stephen Harper's decisions on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and the United States have officially shut the last nails on the coffin of Canadian relevance in global governance. The Conservative government's hard power strategy officially commits Canada to the role of a fireman in an incandescent region, at the taxpayer's expense, with zero influence on the regional levers at the core of the Middle East's most pressing fires today. It is time for the opposition parties to fine-tune their foreign policy chops in the coming official campaign period in order for Canada to chart its way back to the world's bargaining table.
On June 16, Justin Trudeau released a comprehensive platform to modernize Canadian democracy. The plan builds on legislative proposals already presented to Parliament and commits to even more ambitious reforms.
Now that Gilles Duceppe is back and has declared his willingness to support a coalition that would offer an alternative to the Conservatives and which is in Quebec's interest, the dilemma for voters in the province changes dramatically.