Scheduled to roll out at the end of this month, the federal government's Web Renewal Action! Plan will change how government information is posted and archived online, and not for the better. It clearly outlines the intention to drastically cut the number of government websites available to Canadians. Even more worrisome is the fact it's also contemplating preserving only that which receives a suitable number of clicks. Because everyone knows the most important information is always the most popular.
Treasury Board President Tony Clement is the federal government's Mr. Open Government, but in many ways, his much-hyped open data schemes testify to the Conservative government's general trend toward secrecy and one-way transparency.
The separation of church and state underlies a modern pluralist society, but it has come under threat by the decision of the federal government to allow civil servants to display religious decorations during the Hanukkah-Christmas season for the second year in a row. To allow the display of relatively inoffensive items such as a "mini nativity scene or a menorah," in the words of Treasury Board President Tony Clement, is to open the door to further displays. If a nativity scene is acceptable, why not passages from the Bible, Torah or the Qur'an? Why not the Ten Commandments or the Nicene Creed?
Alternative medicine may have led to death in the case of Jordan Ramsey in Vancouver. Ramsay murdered his father, Donald Ramsay, and severely injured his mother while in a schizophrenic psychotic state. He had stopped his prescription medication at that time in favour of a vitamin product, Empowerplus ® (EMP). We need to know why it is still for sale now.
...not. Got your attention though didn't I? The old saying "No news is good news" was never said by a journalist. No news = no customers. We feel like bored salespeople, constantly re-arranging the goods in the front window. This isn't to say we wish ill or disaster upon the world (not openly anyway). But is it wrong to wish for more than, say, the Tony Clement/Ezra Levant/Norman Bethune controversy?
Canada's intellectual and political elite have a dilemma: how do they deal with Dr. Norman Bethune's legacy? On the one hand they desperately want to praise Bethune for his so-called "humanitarian" and innovative efforts as a surgeon, but on the other hand there's that nasty little historical fact concerning the good doctor's sordid political beliefs, i.e. he had a crush on Joseph Stalin.
Those who teach the public to shrug at corruption allegations are the genuine crook's best friends. The honest politician does not shrug -- and of all the hundreds of politicians I've known in my life, I've never met a politician more honest than Tony Clement.
In a nutshell, solving wholesale UBB was never enough. The retail issues that truly sparked the public outrage have been left largely unchecked. It is the broader competition issues that have left Canadian broadband slower, costlier, and more capped than many other countries that require political attention.
All too often, the Conservatives designate a minister with little knowledge of a file to defend it against opposition attacks. Quite often this is done by one of their attack dogs. Other than the present administration, I don't recall that happening under previous Liberal or Conservative governments.