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.
A motion to be introduced by Tory backbench MP Michael Chong proposes giving the inner elite of Canada's political parties the power to overturn the public's clearly expressed preference for who should be PM. Under the terms of his redundantly-named Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act, if, at any moment, just over 50 per cent of the MPs of the prime minister's party vote to turf a democratically-elected PM, out he goes. Though the bill wouldn't take effect until after the next federal election, 50 per cent-plus-one of all current Conservative MPs is just 81 people.
The late Godelieva De Troye, 64, of Belgium, sought euthanasia because of a breakdown from a breakup. Lucky for her, she finally found a psychiatrist who agreed with her that her depression was incurable. And off she went with her "permission to die" note. For those who say this will not happen in Canada, I say prove it.
Taken overall, the Harper government's response to the Iranian deal is symptomatic of its wider foreign policy, which has abandoned any sense of realism. Instead of welcoming the accord as a major breakthrough and a potential chance to help stabilize the Middle East, Canada appears intent on mirroring Netanyahu's futile zero-sum, intensely hostile approach to Iran.
There's something about Justin Trudeau with his sideways smiles, V-necks and ladies' night that reminds me of smarmy men from my past. That connection is hard to break, even though as a friend recently pointed out, he's probably the politician who best reflects my views. As with our personal relationships, we are often blind to our favourite politicians' faults. We defend them when others bring up their shortcomings -- "You don't know the real Barack!" -- rather than accept the facts. That's why it stung so much when I recently read a piece in the Globe and Mail titled "From messiah to lame duck: How Barack Obama fell to earth."
This week we learned of the case of an RCMP officer who has a prescription for medical marijuana to treat his PTSD. The RCMP says he can't smoke his medicinal pot while in uniform or in public, but he says he has a right to do so. It's a legal and legitimate medical treatment, after all. (Though try explaining that to a pot-grower who gets sent to prison after being raided by a Mountie with a joint hanging out of his mouth.) The RCMP and this officer could probably compromise, perhaps by having the officer ingest his pot in benign-looking baked goods. But our inconsistent and hypocritical approach to marijuana is not so easily solved.
Development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine is still a dream for the future. We have a Canadian strategy that's proven that it can act now to decrease transmission and lower the number of new cases -- a strategy that provides a real opportunity to end the HIV pandemic in our lifetime.
Every year, political corruption kills as many as 140,000 children worldwide, by depriving them of medical care, food, and water. Yet, far too often, the perpetrators of the most outrageous acts of corruption are able to use their illicit wealth and power to pervert the very laws and institutions that should call them to account.
So apparently Justin Trudeau fancies himself the next Jack Layton. How adorable. On Monday night he told a crowd of supporters "make no mistake, the NDP is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton... it is the Liberal party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear...." When Jack spoke of "hope" and "optimism," he was envisioning a leadership rooted in substance. Jack was hopeful that policies could be embraced based on principle, not on what the latest poll told you to believe. A word of caution to Justin Trudeau: I knew Jack Layton. Jack Layton was a friend of mine. And you sir, are no Jack Layton.
I know I will leave here one day, perhaps soon. I have long been cleared, for six years now. But what of the other men here? Again, I worry about the 80 people who have not been cleared more than I do about myself and the other 83 who have. Some might get a trial of sorts, but scores never will. They say it's because they can't use the evidence against them in court. Even if we believe this excuse, we might well ask why the evidence is inadmissible - is it because they tortured the men? If so, then a thousand years of experience tells us that the statements are certainly unreliable, and probably false.
Once every few months, the Canadian public is asked by one polling firm or another how it feels about a Canada-European Union free trade agreement. Consistently, between 70 and 80 per cent of respondents say they generally like the idea of a deal.
Rob Ford, should you be legally allowed to run for mayor again, though I may not have the courage of many of my neighbours to cast a vote in your direction, I most certainly will watch delightedly as you sweat your way through a seemingly endless string of awkward hallway press scrums and barely-veiled bigotry. You have taught me to accept what I do not understand.
Quebec's Muslim women have been threatened -- violence against veiled women has increased dramatically since the Charter debate was introduced. In Quebec, the issue of choice and self-determination around the veil is critical. It would seem, then, that in matters of fashion, religion, and secularism, Montreal's Muslim women are being held to a higher standard by their provincial government. Montreal's young Hijabistas -- and those who support them -- told us what the veil means to them.