I can understand why President Obama referred to the beheading of Peter Kassig by ISIS as "an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity." In many ways, I share his sentiments. But such terms actually only cloud over the real problem, the real defect, upon which we should really be focusing.
Twenty five years ago this month, our government unanimously made a promise to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today the number of children living in poverty in Canada is the equivalent to the population of Calgary.
The government's own National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy has stated that a vibrant shipbuilding sector is strategically important for Canada. But with the number of ships being continuously eroded, the shipyards involved may be out of work far sooner than expected.
Justin is a natural as a grassroots politician. His father was not. He tired quickly of grin and grips, so we spent public events moving him quickly from one admirer to another. Justin revels in the book describing the thousands he met in Papineau. He credits this skill from observing the friendly political skills of his grandfather, James Sinclair. I gave a fundraiser for Justin for the Papineau campaign. He approached my daughter and immediately remembered they took a film class together at McGill. His father had trouble remembering first names! Justin has deliberately been his own man in some policies.
The Conservatives should be commended for sticking to their commitment to the balance budget. But balancing the budget cannot become an end in itself or it can come to serve as a justification for spending increases with limited economic benefit. Reducing personal income tax rates and capital gains taxes would be a productive use of future surpluses.
Since its creation, the key impetus of the G20 meetings has been to get the most important leaders of the G20 in a room to decide on ways to promote economic growth and help solve the economic, political, and social issues of the time. In absence of a crisis, many of the G20 meetings will be little more than photo ops, unlikely to result in any profound policy moves. But these photo ops are still important and valuable in signalling to markets and the global community that the G20 leaders have their eye on the ball.
If the law is changed, physicians must be given a choice as to whether or not they will practice assisted suicide. In all likelihood there will be a limited number of physicians who actually offer the service, and, just as doctors who prescribe methadone are specifically registered to do so through their governing bodies, likely similar regulations will be imposed on physicians who do elect to practice assisted suicide. For that reason, in the event physician-assisted-suicide becomes legal, there needs to be a corresponding immunity protecting doctors who have acted in good faith and that prevents family members from suing them.
Is ethnic discrimination alive and well in Canada? Not according to a new CBC poll published this week in which 75 per cent of respondents say Canada is "a welcoming place for all ethnicities." An Insights West poll reported in the Vancouver Sun last month suggests, by contrast, that Canadians are not terribly willing to face the facts about ethnic discrimination, and that it is a bigger problem than most would like to think.
As allegations of sexual assault seem to be flooding out of Parliament Hill, I want to pretend that I am as shocked as the rest of the nation. But I'm not. The reality for survivors is that we don't have the luxury or privilege of being shocked when sexual assault happens.
To be a candidate who actually gets elected, I also have to be unique. As far as I know, I'm the only candidate that's marketing by getting matches on the dating apps Tinder, Grindr, and Scruff. I figure these are some of the best places to meet people these days. I go where my peers are and use the technology designed to connect us.
Last week, MPs debated Bill C-2 -- an Act to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The primary purpose of the bill is to obstruct the establishment of safe injection sites in Canada, despite over a decade of successful harm reduction at Vancouver's Insite. This is just one example of how politicians of all stripes get drug policy wrong.
It was obvious to everyone that the Couillard government's proposals will simply make inequalities worse. The government wasn't mandated to dismantle public services. Philippe Couillard didn't get a mandate from the population to do what he's doing. Philippe Couillard is implementing the CAQ's program.
When you remember our veterans today, don't think of the glorification of war. Instead, think of the men and women who lost their lives, lost their limbs, lost their souls, so that you can stand here today, freely, without fear of recourse for your words.
All levels of government and the private sector must begin to see the tremendous social and economic benefits of doing the right thing. Canada can end homelessness and our elected officials have a duty to work together on funding community based solutions.
Taking this time to reflect on the dedication of our armed forces is not the same as blindly supporting war. Remembrance Day is really about being present to the experiences of those who sacrificed their mental and emotional well-being in the name of our country. It's about expressing gratitude to those who gave up their dreams so that the rest of us can pursue ours. After all, while the poppy historically symbolizes the blood of fallen soldiers, it also represents a flower that was able to grow in land too infertile for much else; transforming from a mere community of poppy seeds while simultaneously converting the land into fertile and beautiful possibility.
In a word, Dr. Wang's and Dr. Liu's continuing detentions are case studies of the Chinese government's massive repression of human rights defenders and violations of their own undertakings to us to respect their domestic and international legal obligations. Regrettably, the Chinese government has succeeded in having the narrative focus on the regime's openness to trade, technology, and business, and away from justice, democracy, and human rights.
In his column, Kristof claims Backpage refused to use screening software that might detect ads for underage girls. Yet such software doesn't exist, according to McDougall. "There is no software or easy formula to identify a victim of trafficking online," she says. "It would be a godsend to all of us if there was."
Forced marriages? Women forced to give birth in private and give away their children? Women trying to end an unwanted pregnancy with a coat hanger and the help of some back-alley doctor? All barbaric acts condoned, perpetuated, or conveniently ignored by the Catholic Church right here in Canada only a few decades ago. How soon we forget and pretend we're the evolved ones now...