If ever proof were needed that one person can change the world, Nelson Mandela was that proof. His unwavering commitment to peace, tolerance, justice, and equality embodied those very concepts. Mandela inspired a movement, transformed a country, and reshaped our understanding of what the world could be. With the leadership of his External Affairs Minister Joe Clark and the influence of Canada's UN Ambassador Stephen Lewis, Prime Minister Mulroney diverged from his Conservative cousins in the U.K. and U.S. and stood strong against apartheid -- heeding the call of Mandela. Canada's stance in those days continues to be a source of pride for all of us.
Rolihlahla "Nelson" Mandela is a global icon. His legendary ascension from prisoner to President is the stuff of fairytales. In this time of international mourning, our leaders should wipe their crocodile tears and reflect upon their actions, or lack thereof, in fulfilling the promise of racial equality which Nelson Mandela stood for. Mandela may no longer be with us, but his legacy, his message and his estimable struggle live on. They reside inside all of us who acknowledge that the pursuit of integration and equity belongs not in the apartheid past in a foreign land but in the bosom of our beloved nation.
The last couple months have taught me a lot about youth, bullying and the politics of it all. As I tell the youth, I am "just a guy named Tad" and I am not an expert or professional on this topic at all. Having reflected on this recently, I believe it is safe to say that I do know a lot about bullying however, directly from the source ... the youth.
No sooner had Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded, swept across the Philippines than everyday acts of courage and humanity surged forth in response to its aftermath. With Typhoon Haiyan we have together risen to the occasion. But in Syria, we as an international community are failing the civilian population.
I don't like when tax dollars are wasted -- whether at the provincial level by relocating gas plants, or at City Hall by tearing up LRT contracts willy-nilly, or even by the federal government straight up losing $3.1 billion (whatever happened to that scandal, by the way?). And I get that times are tough. Saving pennies matters to a lot of people these days, and it should to our governments, too.
A great many pundits don't seem to have any problem in theory with Chong's enormously regressive idea that a small group of MPs should have the right to unilaterally depose a party leader democratically-elected by thousands of party members (or a prime minister elected by millions).
When I read that Romeo Dallaire had been in a car accident on Parliament Hill just outside of East Block, I wondered if it was due to fatigue. I have never known him to be other than fully occupied and frequently exhausted in the course of his heavy schedule. Romeo has a lot more than just memories to fight. As he explained this week, he fights depression and remains medicated for PTSD. But he has turned his pain into a purpose, and in so doing he can get up every day.
There are hints that Ford's type of behaviour, and in particular his adamant refusal to resign, are becoming an ugly trend. Far too many leaders these days are in it for themselves. So will we be inflicted with a Prime Minister Rob Ford?
If human-induced climate change is the cause of death and destruction, is not Canada's failure to reduce its CO2 emissions at least morally negligent? Does not the conscious pursuit of economic policies that actually exacerbate climate change display "wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons," particularly so if alternative paths are available?
The Conservative government's recent volleys against workers and their unions will only serve to undercut the well-being and security of middle-class families in Canada if they succeed in pushing through their anti-union legislation. Canada's labour movement is not just about decent jobs, it's about a better life for everyone.
Ex-New York Senate Leader Joe Bruno will prevail in court. But I wonder how many more of these prosecutorial travesties have to take place, and how many more innocent people have to be ruined, before the justice the founders promised reigns again in the courts of a country that sings to itself that it is "the land of the free."
Anyone who actually analyzes the dramatic uptick in Liberal fortunes, both in the polls and in voters in the recent byelections might conclude that there is in fact an ongoing, well thought out incremental strategy which may well position Justin Trudeau as a real threat to Harper in the next federal election.
A closer look at the Canada-Israel relationship reveals that Canada has exercised moral clarity by standing up to double standards, dictators, and outright hypocrisy. Canada, under Stephen Harper's administration has confronted terror, upheld international law, and promoted peace between Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole.
There is an ongoing trend by our federal government to marginalize people living with HIV and AIDS. Ottawa will rightly pride itself about their investments in research aimed to develop a cure or possibly a vaccine. However, what good would it make to support research if we are not going to implement their results? InSite and HIV "Treatment as Prevention" are just two examples of Canadian successes that are simply not palatable to the federal government. And now globally, Canada has failed to match the contributions of key donors in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The Five were not members of some insidious spy ring stealing America's deepest military secrets, and they had no role in the Cuban government's decision to shoot down those planes over the Straits of Florida. The Cubans were indeed trained intelligence agents. But their primary mission was to combat terrorism aimed at their homeland
Canada is blessed with some of the last vestiges of pristine nature on Earth -- unbroken forests, coastlines and prairies, thousands of rivers, streams and lakes, open skies, abundant fresh air.
We are also defined by our Constitution. Our Constitution's Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives us freedom of expression, equal protection from discrimination and the right to life, liberty and security of the person. But it doesn't mention the environment. How can we fully enjoy our freedoms without the right to live in a healthy environment?
I go to the Newsana debate in Toronto. Headline for the gathering: "Toronto's Watergate? The inside scoop on how the media exposed Rob Ford." Up there on the platform is a fine balance of newspapers leftish, centreish and rightish. Here are some highlights, condensed and edited.
Cutting through northern British Columbia is a notorious stretch of highway. Along what is now widely known as the Highway of Tears, a staggering number of First Nation women have been murdered or gone missing. For many First Nations women, however, the Highway of Tears just keeps going, shearing its way across the country through our small towns and inner cities, bringing with it sexual exploitation and violence. Some 130 years later, the Highway still pushes itself mercilessly from the west coast, then across the Prairies, to run the length of this country. The problem cuts to the very core of Canada's long standing, abusive relationship with First Nation people.
Despite the importance of travel and tourism to the Canadian economy, the Conservative government's failure to show leadership in this area has created serious challenges for the sector over the past decade. By cutting the budget of the Canada Tourism Commission, the Conservatives are moving Canada in the wrong direction.