Canada's economy has lost its balance. Trouble looms. Those are not words you will hear from Prime Minister Stephen Harper but it is the grim reality of the unsustainable economic ethos of his Conservative government.
Instead of the telling us the truth, the government is spending unprecedented gobs of our money to mislead us about the health of the country with the Canada Action Plan advertising campaign saturating the airwaves. In reality, our petro premier has transformed a balanced country into a petro-state that is "hollowing out" the economy.
In the fight against Quebec separatists, its often insisted that Canadian politicians need to "speak with one voice." And that might be true. Everywhere else, however, politics would improve immensely if we could choose between two clear ones. Canada is long overdue for a fundamental re-calibration of provincial politics. Perhaps at the next Manning Centre Conference, all of Canada's supposedly "right-of-centre" politicians can get together and agree to forge a new provincial political brand (say, the "Conservative Party") that's present in all provinces. And then maybe all the left-wing people can meet at, I don't know, David Suzuki's next garden party or something.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, Anacin) is the top-selling over-the-counter painkiller, available without prescription since the 1950s, yet there have long been serious questions about its safety. Canada and the United States do have warning labels saying the stuff is hard on your liver, but the Canadian ones don't exactly jump out at you, often buried deep in the fine print. Meanwhile, sountries like France and Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have even begun restricting where you can buy acetaminophen.
Peter Kent's article "The Truth About Canada's Immigration System" has left me quite shocked, beginning with the headline itself. Peter refers to the government's commitment to resettle refugees. He actually means privately sponsored refugees.
Imagine what would happen if the Crown suppressed thousands of pages of police evidence from an important trial? It wouldn't take a legal expert to tell you there would be an immediate mistrial -- especially if the Crown also prepared a false evidence sheet that mislead the judges. And yet, this was done to the survivors of St. Anne's Residential School.
They say that truth is one of the first casualties of war, but it should not be a casualty in the daily war of words we see in the House of Commons. The public may disagree with what you say, we may argue about the facts you tell us or how you interpret them, but remember that your words will still be there for others to see and read decades from now. We are listening, so at least tell us the truth.
They want to control what you wear. Yes, I'm talking about the Quebec Charter of Values. It will allow the state to tell you what you can and cannot wear as well as what you can and cannot say. As one Prince Arthur Herald editorial also described, it won't only affect people who are religious.
With Quebec now facing an election where it looks increasingly likely that the separatist party will not only win a second term, but a majority government to boot, Anglo and Franco relations are being strained like never before. Separatism is poised to make its third great comeback. The question is whether any Canadians will be willing to carry the flag this time.
As expected, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has called an election this week. Recently published surveys appear to suggest that her Parti Quebecois government is tracking toward a majority government. Predictably, the political and pundit class in English Canada are hyperventilating at the prospect of a referendum on Quebec sovereignty should the PQ win a majority. The citizens of Quebec will vote for a new government in their next election. They aren't going to the polls to vote to form a new country. That may come later. But I doubt it. Like the rest of us, Quebecers are far too preoccupied with questions much more fundamental to them.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has drawn a line in the sand, and if Premier Kathleen Wynne crosses it, Ontario will head to the polls for a spring election. Much to the delight of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, this line in the sand is about tax increases.
Even if you are making fun of him, 1) he's not in on the joke, and 2) you are increasing his chances of re-election through not only name recognition, but helping him to seem "funny" and "cool". This might be hilarious to you, but you are seriously affecting the future of Toronto. He doesn't have to be your mayor, but unfortunately he has to be mine. I've heard Jimmy Kimmel and various Americans (and Canadians) say, "Well, he seems to be a pretty good mayor". Rob Ford also seems to think so too. To help you better understand what you are really doing to our city, here is a list of truths the Ford brothers want us to ignore amidst stories about Hollywood visits and PR gaffes.
Rogers is gearing up to cut off millions of hockey fans from being able to watch Hockey Night in Canada online. Bell and Rogers are using their power and control over our media options to force Canadians into subscribing to what many now view as the outdated medium of TV.
The West, and especially the English-speaking West, has wrongly taken sides in the present conflict in Ukraine. Instead of making empty promises or threats, our message should be clear and decisive: "What is happening in Ukraine is a matter that its population has to sort out for itself. But, if asked, we will work with all interested parties to mediate a speedy and peaceful resolution." No more, no less.
When Kimmel invited Ford to appear as a guest on his talk show, sharing the bill with Gonzo from Sesame Street, most of us knew that nothing good was going to come of this. But what actually transpired was, in my view, unbelievably awful -- more so than I could have imagined. By now, we all understand that Rob Ford is a sick man, in any number of ways. His various addictive behaviours, from food, to alcohol, to lying and yes, perhaps to crack, appear to not even begin to crumble the façade of a man who desperately needs help with some pretty clear physical and mental health issues. And Jimmy Kimmel should be ashamed of himself.
I feel our health care workers and health care system is doing the best it can with the limited resources and support services they have. I am not sure what the solutions are but I feel the status quo is not working. I have been thinking about my experience in the hospital emergency room for a while. How can the system improve so the services are there in a timely and efficient manner when the people need them?
Early this morning, Premier Pauline Marois visited and asked Lt. Governor Pierre Duchesne to dissolve the legislature and issue an election for April 7. This would be a 33-day campaign that the separatist Premier, with a minority government earned a mere 18 months ago, is the front-runner. I am rooting for her defeat.
At some point, the NDP has to learn that their filibustering tactics only result in further efforts to limit debate through closure and time allocation measures. The NDP aren't defending democracy by filibustering -- they're filibustering democracy.
The Canadian government spends about $10 billion a year on consultants. Why? The Canadian public service added about 70,000 positions between 1999 and 2011. Why? In some departments, there are nine management levels between a Director and the Minister. Why? Front line managers have seen their operations reduced substantially in recent years while units in Ottawa have multiplied and grown. Why? Vaguely worded reports designed to deflect criticism and manage the blame game do not measure up.
We know that young people are aligning differently politically. And university students around the country have voted to divest from fossil fuel companies. They do not want to be even tangentially associated with companies responsible for climate change.