It's a terribly sad day for Parliament when a member of the Senate gets hauled before the criminal courts to face 31 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. The formal trial of Mike Duffy is about to begin. The damage Duffy has done flows directly from the fact that he was a duly appointed Senator. So who put him there? Who gave him that position? Stephen Harper cannot escape responsibility. He demonstrated enormously bad judgment in making Duffy a Senator. Canadians need their Prime Minister to provide fulsome, accurate answers.
Restoring the corporate tax rate would be a good start. When Ontario began cutting that rate in 2010 it was based on an idea that companies would use the savings for job creation and to develop new markets and products. That has not panned out. Instead Canadian corporations are sitting on $600 billion of hoarded cash that benefits very few.
The United States has a nation-wide network that alerts its citizens through just about every communications device possible when natural or man-made disasters have hit, or are about to hit. Not us lulled Canadians. Albertans can boast they're in pretty fair shape after the establishment of the Alberta Emergency Alert, created after a tornado swept through Edmonton in 1987, killing 27 people. Alberta is ready. The rest of Canada isn't.
Canadian charities are experiencing an "advocacy chill" and changing the way they go about their work as a result of what they say is "bullying" by the Harper Conservative government. My just completed Master's thesis research finds that the denunciatory rhetoric of government ministers against charities, followed by stepped up audits is having its toll not only on charity operations, but also on the strength of Canada's public discussions and thus on the vigor of democracy itself.
Canada's reputation with regard to the politicization of charity audits for "political activities" has been tarnished both domestically and internationally. One can only hope that CRA audits would be governed by the rule of law rather than a political agenda.
Mr. Harper's only imperative is "looking good" for an election in 2015. To him, that means claiming a surplus, not matter how temporary or artificial. Never mind the nation's sputtering economy or tens of thousands of Canadians out of work.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa complained on Thursday that the federal government underfunds Ontario. The complaint is part of a political effort by some Ontario politicians and others to distract Ontarians from the real issue: made-in-Ontario policy that is killing investment and jobs in that province and creating massive provincial deficits.
Around 9 p.m. Israel time on Tuesday, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne and a group of Canadian parliamentarians were forced to take cover in one of many bomb shelters across Israel when a siren warned of missiles fired from Gaza headed for Jerusalem, the nation's capital. While all emerged safely, the experience -- and the knowledge that several missiles landed in the city's vicinity -- will not be soon forgotten. Being Canadian is among the greatest gifts in an often-dangerous world.
In the case of someone like Rob Ford, he may have very little control over his cravings for alcohol, and this is where he deserves sympathy. In a culture where everyone has something -- coffee, cigarettes, marijuana, shopping, alcohol, need for approval, etc. -- it shouldn't be too hard for us to sympathize with someone dealing with a dependence problem. However, as a man who has good financial resources and who is capable of accomplishing significant person goals, he has considerable, personal influence over the treatment of this problem.
The new Trudeau Effect's consequences on Canada's future are far more profound and far-reaching than most of us understand. When this kind of quality, substance, and stature are attracted to electoral politics for the first time, you just know that we are at the dawn of a very new, exciting, promising time in our nations history.
Anyone who has been down to the Harbourfront recently knows that Queens Quay is under construction. The streetcar tracks are being replaced and Waterfront Toronto is building a new tree-lined promenade that will be spectacular once complete, but creates traffic chaos in the meantime. Although I expected the construction on Queens Quay, nothing prepared me for the trifecta of traffic interruptions that followed. Traffic was already heavy because it was the season home opener for the Argos. That would have been fine, if the rest of the transportation network had been working.
Those who don't outright deny the existence of human-caused global warming often argue we can't or shouldn't do anything about it because it would be too costly. Take Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently said, "No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country." But in failing to act on global warming, many leaders are putting jobs and economic prosperity at risk, according to recent studies.
The view that prostitution subordinates and victimizes women and girls is not particularly popular, but I have seen it first-hand when I lived on Granville Street in the early 1970's and in Vancouver's west end in the 80's. The image of a "happy hooker" is a Madison Avenue gimmick that has no basis in reality. When my husband, Doug, ran the Vancouver Vice Squad, I saw again the squalor and exploitation of young, addicted woman, both tragic and poignant.
The mayor is only relevant if people make him relevant. For every time we make a sensation about Rob Ford and his latest scandal, we give him attention that he does not deserve. His election chances were ill-served when social media went quiet, and we are now ill-served by perpetuating stories about how he is a tactless, corrupt, and bigoted embarrassment to the city.
There are few rights more important in any healthy democracy than the right to privacy. When citizens believe they are being watched, their willingness to engage in democratic debate is eroded, which in turn undermines our whole democratic process. Yet we clearly have a privacy deficit in this country.
I write in response to the misleading piece by Corey Levine, "Canada Day Makes Me Feel Uneasy About My Citizenship." Ms. Levine attempts to mislead Canadians about the reasonable reforms of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act to no avail. Canadians are able to see through her conspiracy theories.
Health Canada should be talking to our nation's hemp farmers, helping them to start harvesting and using the valuable resins they're now throwing away. This is our best source for cheap and effective cannabis medicines, with whatever potency, cannabinoid mix and psychoactive effect desired.
On Sunday I drove through the village of Nantes, 11 kilometres to the northwest of Lac-Mégantic. This is where the fateful train began its out-of-control journey, a massive weapon rolling inexorably towards the heart of a community. I could see very clearly how the rail bed sloped downwards on its way out of Nantes, allowing the train in question to build up speed from the simple effect of gravity. How could this have been allowed to happen? To put it bluntly: it was a failure to take the proper safety measures to prevent the train from ever moving by itself. It was also a failure to understand the explosive nature of the crude oil being carried by the train.
Sexism is beyond male ignorance. It is a cultural problem that we all must confront every day, at work, at home and everywhere else. As a lawyer and a Senator who is currently tabling a bill (Bill S-217) designed to increase gender equality in the private sector's leadership, I cannot stand by and be silent. I find it extremely perplexing that the government's Minister of Justice believes that gender equality is not his concern. It is unacceptable for a Minister of Justice to be ignorant of the injustice of sexism.