Bob Rae's sudden retirement announcement shouldn't have come as a complete surprise and yet it left everyone in a kind of shock that only gets reserved for those whose lives have counted for something. History will reveal that Bob Rae outgrew all the labels that people used to identify him. They will remember him as a recipient of the Order of Canada, as chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. Twice under consideration as the Governor General of Canada, we will yet hear of his further exploits. Politics is a phase; service to others is a life, and Bob Rae isn't nearly finished with the latter.
The Governor General is the only one who can remove Harper. If the Conservative caucus were to revolt and kick Harper out of caucus, we could be faced with Stevie-the-Indie-PM. Even if Harper resigns -- which isn't likely -- it is still the GG who chooses to accept.
I have decided to return to my profession as a lawyer and mediator, to continue working for the Matawa Tribal Council, and to step down as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. This has been a difficult personal decision. I was first elected to Parliament in 1978, and was deeply honoured to have had the chance to serve again these past five years, as well as to lead the Liberal Party at a time of change and renewal. Helping to improve the life of First Nations people has been a long-standing commitment of mine, and this opportunity to serve is one I felt I could not decline.
This week one is likely to summon the well-remunerated speaker and federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in that connection, and in doing so an opportunity arises to look into this important matter of verbal performance -- not only as it pertains to the aspiring Trudeau but to his category of persons in general.
Between NDP MPs not paying their income taxes and members of the federal Conservative caucus being accused of defrauding taxpayers through false spending claims, neither party has the moral authority to determine whether Justin Trudeau acted inappropriately in being compensated for speeches he was being asked to deliver that were outside his mandate as an MP. At its core the vitriol and stunning rhetoric regarding this issue has little to do with Trudeau's actions and far more to do with the fear of what Justin Trudeau at the helm of the Liberal Party of Canada could do to the government and official opposition.
The fact that the G8 addressed tax fairness means the tax haven issue has made its way to the top of the global political agenda. That it quite an accomplishment for a small global tax justice network campaigning for the past decade to get governments to take action.
Stephen Harper's decision to protect those who use international tax havens to evade paying their taxes is inexplicable and unacceptable. Canadian companies should be good global citizens paying their fair share of taxes in countries where they operate, not hiding behind tax shelters and shell companies. After all, tax evasion is hurting the Canadian economy as well -- one estimate puts the cost at $7.8 billion per year, or slightly more than the amount the government will spend on infrastructure in First Nations communities over the next decade. Yet the government will not even provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the data necessary to calculate an official figure.
Today, The Rosedale Club -- which has no formal website, instead operating through personal tweets, Facebook event pages, and a Gmail address -- announced that their next meeting would be held on July 1, and feature "guest of honour" Conrad Black. Inevitably, critiques culminated in the all-too-familiar refrain: "What's with all the white guys?"
Climate change deniers are out in full force, many employing methods common to those who reject science. Science isn't perfect, but it's one of the best tools we have for understanding our place in the cosmos.
The transmission grid remains the inflexible behemoth it was 50 years ago. The central idea of distributed generation -- where nimble, low-cost generators generate electricity where you need it -- is the equivalent of going from mainframe computer that takes up half a building to an iPad.
The new Ontario government believes in a strong, sustainable future for the horse racing industry in this province. We have a plan, guided by the report of the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, for a way forward that will put the industry on a sustainable path. I know how important the horse racing and breeding industries are to the culture and economy of communities across Ontario, and that is why our government will continue to work with the industry to ensure that it has a strong, sustainable future.
Corruption takes many forms: the theft of public resources; the sale of political influence; the betrayal of the public trust. In all cases, however, corruption thrives when political power is able to operate in the shadows, and it withers before the glare of public scrutiny.
Being chief of staff to the president of the United States seems like a tough job. But while the gig may drip with stature and power, one thing it's decidedly not is high-paying. At least by Canadian standards. This is basically the story at every level of the Canadian government; we're paying more cash to more people to do almost certainly less work than their closest American equivalent.
My advice to Stephen Harper is this: the RCMP needs a union, to improve the lot of the rank and file, to be sure, but also to help managers improve the institution. In fact, I would say forming a union is critical to rehabilitating our national police service, where efforts at reform keep spinning their wheels. .
I'm troubled that the police knew about the video showing Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine before Gawker and The Toronto Star revealed its existence. I'm troubled that the Chief of Police won't answer direct questions. I'm troubled that the wider implication is that Ford is involved with a gun-running gang, with people who smuggle guns up from the US, through Windsor, and into Toronto in order to shoot and kill people. I'm troubled about what this means for future business in our city.
From the beginning of his leadership campaign, that has been Justin Trudeau's strength -- giving Canadians good reasons to vote FOR him, not just AGAINST the other guy. In that constructive spirit, he has also developed an aggressive agenda for Parliamentary, electoral and political reform to strengthen Canadian democracy and improve financial transparency.
Yes, I've smoked marijuana. And yes, I've inhaled it. Marijuana lessens pain (I have a bad back). It's an anti-depressant (the freelance writing, filmmaking and communications training business are in terminal decline). And it increases both sexual enjoyment and staying power (no need to explain).
Voters can sour on their election picks quickly -- this is true everywhere, but much more so in the present Arab Middle East where it's seemingly always spring. Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani can tinker with the economy all he wants, but the fact is the only way to repair it is to have the sanctions lifted. And the only way to do that is to start negotiating on nukes.
Iranians overwhelmingly elected a "moderate" cleric, Hassan Rowhani, as President, an outcome that has been hailed as a harbinger of positive change. Rowhani is probably not as moderate as his campaign speeches suggest, and Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains the repressive autocrat he has always been. Yet, the new Iranian President has clearly been successful by reflecting the democratic sensibilities of the population, while the Ayatollah desires to legitimate the aging theocratic regime; perhaps both will begin to see the benefits of a softer tone. But will a change in tone presage a change in substance?