I call the areas that used to have an office "Veteran Dead Zones" and encourage any soldier who will have to rely on Veterans Affairs to avoid living in these areas. The frustrating experiences that soldiers have to endure at the hands of an overworked understaffed offices only serves to exasperate soldiers further, resulting in a refusal to seek the services required. In essence, the government saves $5-million in operating costs, but the savings in providing the services will be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Conveniently, the fear appeals being made by ISIS, Al Shabab, and the other myriad terror groups we tend to lump together are quite literally textbook examples of fear appeals. What's more, the terrorists and our own government actually work together for a good part of the process, increasing the fear we feel for their own insidious ends.
Instead of demanding more money from the federal government, Ontario could a) cut provincial spending or b) reform everything from labour laws to regulation to tax policy and electricity policy, to unleash the economy and thus produce more at-home tax revenue or c) both. Ontario should not expect continued billions in annual equalization payments. While the exact decline in equalization is unknown -- it depends on how badly the resource economies and their provincial treasuries are hit -- Ontario should face reality and act accordingly.
Medical marijuana is not a legal drug in Canada. It is an illicit (illegal) substance and Health Canada's current accessibility policy hasn't changed that fact. Marijuana has not been designated a prescription medication or medication of any kind. Not only does it not currently have a DIN, it looks like it will not have one any time soon. According to the Medical Use of Marijuana section on Health Canada's website, DIN's can only be issued after Health Canada scientists have assessed a drug's safety, efficacy and quality in order to be sure it meets Regulations and the requirements of the Food and Drug Act.
I think our inter-faith leaders -- every priest, rabbi, pundit, imam and granthi -- would do this country a great service if they enforce a message of peace and harmony against and speak to their captive audience against the symptoms of sadistic behaviour -- manipulation, the thrill of violence, power, and control that comes from inflicting pain on other.
No matter how you slice it, Harper has failed to lead Canada towards a sustained economic recovery from the financial crisis seven years ago. It doesn't matter how much public money he spends on ads claiming otherwise. Facts are facts. So, what does a government facing re-election do when its top agenda item, economic management, is in tatters? It changes the channel to something else.
While Canadians were relieved to see Mohamed Fahmy released on bail last week, it is far from clear that his long ordeal is over. Officially he is still scheduled to face a retrial beginning on February 23. During his first trial, he was found guilty of multiple charges and sentenced to seven years imprisonment on the basis of very dubious evidence in an arbitrary process, which was widely condemned around the world as a miscarriage of justice. The Government of Canada has an obligation to do its utmost to help its citizens when they are facing such trying situations. Unfortunately, that does not appear to have happened in this instance.
Convicting and incarcerating those who return to Canada from fighting with extremist groups overseas alone is not enough. Radicalization spreads, particularly in prison, where many individuals feel wronged by the system and society more generally. Once those prisoners return to civilian life they take with them their twisted and radicalized beliefs and spread them in the communities where they live. Many of Canada's allies have their own de-radicalization programs in place for those who return home after joining terrorist organizations abroad.
On Valentine's Day, a film was released that is set to warp the minds of a new generation. 50 Shades of Grey, a film based on the bestselling book of the same name, is being portrayed as a 'date night' movie of romance and intrigue. Except that the movie (and the book) is about humiliation, degradation and the emotional and physical abuse of women by men. The fairy-tale ending of the film, just like Pretty Woman, is one that millions of victims of sexual violence never experience. As one survivor of sexual violence shared "50 Shades is a horrible reminder of my own abusive relationship, repackaged as a 'love story'."
The history of the Canadian flag is a success story. Indeed, what do we ask of a flag if it isn't that it embody the country, unite its citizens and trigger its recognition by the other peoples of the Earth? Few symbols are as identified with a country as the maple leaf has been with Canada for the last 50 years.
Huge numbers of Canadians, including key Ottawa decision-makers, are pushing back hard against the government's Bill C-51, which proposes unprecedented new powers for Canada's security agencies. The bill effectively turns CSIS into a secret police force and would place every Canadian under a government microscope.
With much ado about crossing the floor from the Conservative to the Liberal Party, the talk seems to centre on whether Justin Trudeau's Liberals gained much, if anything. That talk misses the point: the question is not what the Liberals got, but what the Conservatives lost. Coming on the heels of the clearly unplanned departure of John Baird, the real story is not the questionable value of the asset Trudeau has acquired but the fact that a sitting government member has crossed the floor to sit with a third party.
On January 30, a reporter asked Harper how newly-introduced anti-terror legislation will differentiate between somebody who is "radicalized" and "a teen who's just messing around in the basement." Harper answered by saying promoting terrorism is a serious offence no matter "what the age of the person is, or whether they're in a basement, or whether they're in a mosque or somewhere else." Harper's response to this question associates hundreds of mosques across the country with the promotion of terrorism and violence and is misguided for multiple reasons.
Justin Trudeau warmly ushered Adams into the Liberal tent, calling her "value-driven" and lauding Adams' "commitment to public service." Fair enough. But the Conservative-turned-Liberal Adams raises some interesting questions about the nomination process and begs the question, once again: Are the Liberal nominations actually open? Of course they are not. By continuing to insist that Liberal nominations are open and democratic, Trudeau is undermining his own efforts to present himself as a positive alternative to Stephen Harper.
By appointing a unilingual Foreign Affairs Minister, Rob Nicholson, Prime Minister Harper fails to understand his role to protect this precious heritage. He also handicaps heavily our country's ability to take advantage of our linguistic duality on the world stage. In 2015, it is totally unacceptable.
Several weeks ago, when I learned about the potential requirement for a veteran who has lost a limb to have to continually verify their injury I asked for this to be examined to ensure such a procedure never takes place. To date, my department is ensuring that this is not a requirement from a VAC administration requirement and we are determined to work with third party insurance providers to ensure that such requirements are not part of the process facing the veteran either.
We should all be asking how the government plans to engage Canadians regarding the sustainable development goals, which will focus the global development agenda for the next 15 years, and what Canada's position is on these goals.
Elliott understands that and Hudak never did and that is why he failed as a leader. The inexperienced life-time career politicians, the obnoxious Patrick Brown and the not-ready-for-prime-time, Monte McNaughton, do not certainly understand that reality.
German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Ottawa for a visit on Monday, but she may not be bringing the news Stephen Harper wants to hear when it comes to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). That's because the German government wants to re-open CETA and amend the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. This controversial provision allows a transnational corporation to sue a national government that passes public interest or environmental legislation that impacts their future profits.