Canadian youth haven't given up on politics. They discuss it on social media, debating with their friends and family online about policy implementation and other issues. They have given up on expressing their opinions, not between themselves, but to the politicians because often times this dialogue is a one-way street.
Given that the TPP is now under the Election 2015 microscope, that lack of awareness and engagement is bound to change to change fast. It's something the Liberals and NDP are brandishing as a weapon in these final days of a marathon election campaign, while the Conservatives bat away such criticism by pointing out trade deals are not supposed to be negotiated in public.
The biggest financing issue that SMEs face is when banks reject their loan; SMEs are not aware they have alternative options. As we head into the homestretch of the Federal Election, I want to send a message to the successful leader that this issue hasn't been talked about yet, but should be part of their consideration moving forward.
In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?
Commerce is a desirable economic activity, but it should never force us to renounce our fundamental values. Democracy and due process of law, based on humanistic values are way above the dollar sign. The legal basis of the lawsuit of Lone Pine are incompatible with the principles of a free democratic society.
These B.C. ridings could make a significant difference in defeating Harper's Conservatives on election day.
"Fear is not a policy. It is not an election platform," Stephen Lewis, the former NDP leader, recently declared during a campaign speech. "Using fear to get power suggests a deep and abiding cynicism." It does. But it can also be an effective strategy. It has been for centuries. It distracts.
From an environmental perspective, trade agreements have both positive and negative aspects. They have the negative effect of slowing down the development of unilateral environmental regulations, but they have a positive effect by forcing environmental laggards to catch up with the pack.
The emergence of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a leading election issue comes as no surprise. The TPP's arrival in the public conversation confirms this campaign has the most focus on foreign affairs than any previous election.
We're not waiting for parties to take us seriously, we're going to the polls to show them we're serious about electing candidates who make postsecondary education a priority in a meaningful way. We need to hear of plans for reduced tuition fees, increased access to grants and forgiven student debt. This election, students know the stakes. Students don't need to be convinced to vote for an abstract reason -- the truth is as a student, you must vote this election because if you don't, you're giving our next government permission to continue ignoring you and your future.
So, what can we do? We have seen tremendous success in other countries: setting clear goals and targets has been key to slowing the HIV epidemic and beginning to envision how we might end this ongoing public health crisis. The goals set by the global community are attainable -- science is on our side. What's needed is good policies and programs, taken to scale.
Stephen Harper is campaigning on fear, using the niqab as a wedge issue scapegoating Muslims. It is no coincidence that a senior adviser on the Conservative campaign is an Australian strategist known for dogwhistle politics against cultural minorities.
I am a reluctant activist. I don't like rocking the boat. But when our federal election was called in August, it occurred to me that the entries in my blog might be worth sharing. So I'm posting 78 of them to a Facebook page, 78 Days, 78 Reasons. It's my hope they'll help reasonable Canadians, particularly young people and small c-conservatives, see that we deserve better.
Marineland has launched lawsuits targeting myself, former orca trainer Christine Santos and animal care supervisor Jim Hammond. My latest round of legal bills totaled more than I will earn in this year -- $100,000. Our lawsuits are shining examples of the urgent need for the anti-SLAPP legislation that is Bill 52: Protection of Public Participation Act. It is unbearable to think that this historic piece of legislation -- as it is currently written -- will not apply to the very people who have largely inspired it. Why is the province turning its back on us and leaving us behind? Where is the procedural fairness for those of us who are already proceeding with unfair cases before the courts in Ontario?
Lefties too often believe that right-wing women are not feminists. While it's true that on the whole the NDP, Liberal and Green Party platforms tout women's equality and protection from discrimination, not every policy is obviously more feminist than another. Had the Up for Debate event included a right-wing speaker, she would not have showed up in an apron. She would have argued how different values can still lead to equality. That kind of diverse political debate would have proved women aren't a special interest group; we represent the entire range of a political spectrum.
There are 235,000 Canadians who experience homelessness in the course of a year. And 1.6 million more Canadians are at risk of losing their homes according to CMHC. All this misery while study after study shows that it is cheaper for the public purse to house someone than leave them on the street, moving in and out of shelters, emergency hospital rooms and even jails in some cases. I think we all understand intuitively the importance of having decent shelter. A home anchors a person, anchors a family.
By the time you read this column, my membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario will likely be revoked (if not, I will resign). I will no longer be the director of a riding association in the Toronto Centre Conservative Association. This is not because I am no longer useful to the once-proud party of Bill Davis, John Robarts and, yes, Christine Elliott, but because I am coming out against comrade Stephen Harper -- our party's federal counterpart. The Stephen Harper era has made us too partisan, extremely fearful of our neighbours, cheerleaders in world affairs, less tolerant to new immigrants and refugees and mere observers in the affairs of our country -- instead of active actors.
In 1992, Canada was the world's leading contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Canada now ranks a dismal 68th in personnel contributions to UN peacekeeping. This dramatic decline began under the Liberals. Our international engagement programs took us from #1 to #32 by the time the Conservatives took office in 2006 -- they continued the Liberal abandonment of UN peacekeeping as a key role for Canada.
My relationship with several key people in the Harper government was -- "interesting." But when I took the job as Canada's first parliamentary budget officer, I never envisioned the PBO as being involved in an "us versus them" dynamic. We were in our office to serve parliamentarians who had reasonable requests for costing or other fiscal information. But the relationship that had developed between our office and the ruling Conservative party was, to put it mildly, somewhat strained.