Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to figure out that not everyone is going to agree with him and his government's policies -- and that's okay. Rock legend Neil Young is making his way across Canada this week on a high-profile concert series in support of First Nations who oppose further expansion of oil sands extraction into their lands. Harper, through his spokesperson, responded to Young's concerns with empty talking points, reiterating that the natural resource sector remains a "fundamental part of our country's economy."Okay. Thanks Captain Obvious. Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to speak with people who disagree with him?
My community is largely based in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, 200 km downstream from current tar sands development. It's a place of great beauty and history, but we are now at risk from irreversible impacts that will permanently change our lands and our lives forever. The immediacy of the crisis demands attention, which is why I am so honoured to be on tour with Neil Young and Diana Krall as we travel across Canada to raise awareness and resources to defend ourselves from wanton development and interests that don't seem to care about our rights or our community.
The Tories can't even mention Justin Trudeau and his plan to legalize pot without resorting to a plea to 'think of the children!' They'll tell you pot can fry a developing brain, spoil an academic career or even turn your son or daughter into an addict. But prohibition isn't keeping pot away from teens. It is ruining young lives across the continent. As it so often with misguided legislation, it's the disadvantaged who suffer most.
Is there something wrong with Zionism? Has it been declared verboten? Is he suggesting that Zionism is racism? These organizations talk about bringing peace to the conflicts in the Middle East. No, wait, I must amend that. They are only interested in the conflict regarding Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state amidst multiple Muslim states particularly with regards to the Palestinians.
Creating laws that are overly broad and ineffective will just push sex work back into the shadows, and will continue to make it less safe for all those involved. Sex work can be safe, clean, and beneficial to those of us who choose it as a career. It can be conducted ethically, honestly, and freely, with the full consent of all participants. It can be done right, in the privacy of our own homes, without exploitation; we just need to ensure that governments do not restrict our right to choose what we do with our own bodies.
Instead of using the recommended language that Canada takes global warming seriously and that we recognize that human-caused climate change is a serious issue that must be dealt with, the Harper Government touted their non-existent record and resorted to taking pot-shots at the opposition. It seems that Conservative Peter Braid (Kitchener-Waterloo) has grown tired of this silly cycle.
Too much is to be gained from the energy sector to expect that the federal government will be anything but aggressive in the fulfillment of contracts and quotas and grand business ambitions, and the opposition be damned. What is troubling is the heavy-handed manner in which the operation has been brought forward.
One of the unhealthier byproducts of a prime ministerial political system with no term limits is that the media spends an awful lot of time analyzing the vigour and vitality of the current incumbent, eagerly hoping for some subtle sign or signal that his tenure in office will be soon coming to an end. Does he seem bored or listless with the mundane tasks of governing? Is he openly grooming a successor? When's the last time he was seen in public?
Yann Martel the author of Life of Pi is an expert on stories. He believes we need to make it a conscious practice to regularly reexamine the stories we tell ourselves which make sense of what happens to us.
Surplus budgeting is a worthy goal; however, the means by which the Government gets there has to be transparent. Increasing El premiums beyond sustainment and reducing eligibility is not transparent. Sale of undisclosed assets is not transparent. Lapsing budgets by stealth is not transparent.
The National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel (JRP) has now released its final report on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project. The project would see 525,000 barrels of the heavy oil diluted bitumen (dilbit) transported across British Columbia each day and loaded onto super tankers for shipment to international refineries. This puts British Columbia at significant economic and environmental risk.
All the pundits basically agree Canada's public-sector post office is an increasingly useless anachronism in the digital age. Many would say its costs, services, and employees are downright terrible, in fact -- and have been for ages. Yet any government that fails to reverse this decades-long status quo of irrelevant mediocrity is also said to be running the risk of triggering a massive public backlash, capable of leaving its re-election odds, at best, in doubt.
2013 is almost done. Canadians and their political leaders will hopefully find the time to enjoy their families. Maybe they will return in a better frame of mind in the New Year, but then again do we really think that is possible?
In case you missed it, the Harper Conservatives claim that they have "done more for women and girls across Canada than any other government." The actual evidence simply does not support such a wild claim. Instead of addressing pay equity, the lack of which means about $126 billion in lost income potential of women in Canada, former Heritage Minister Bev Oda was more interested in freeing up $700,000 from unnecessary rent and utility bills after a $5 million funding cut to Status of Women. One out of three women in Canada suffers violence.
Though Chong's clear intent with this bill is to give more power to the MPs and reduce the power of the Prime Minister and other other party leaders, I believe that possible consequences of this bill are that certain MPs may gain the power to reopen the abortion debate with the goal of criminalizing abortion.
At first glance Harper looks very much the accountant he was trained to be: dull and lacking in passion. But don't be fooled, he has a determined even subversive vision for the country. Harper is bound to American style conservatism, yet his battles are not fought in the open. As a new book illustrates, Stephen Harper's path is a subtler one.