Since the Conservatives have come to power, that same trend has unfortunately continued and a number of small-c conservative MPs have begun to voice their disapproval. The latest to do so is Brent Rathgeber, over what he referred to as the Conservative's lack of commitment to "open government."
While it might sound bizarre to say so, the crises, both in Iraq and Ukraine, are playing to the strengths of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Within all of the uncertainty, Canadians have been largely satisfied with Prime Minister Harper's response.
The Western interest in dismantling the Syrian regime was motivated by two factors. First, the Syrian regime had proven to be a sustained source of discomfort for Israel. Containing Syria meant additional operational space for Israel. The second factor had to do with the Arab regimes' interest in containing Iran's rising influence in the region.
MPs on both sides of the House support the creation of the Rouge National Park, but it must be done properly. The Park is very close to my home and I have taken my children and my grandchildren to it often, both in winter and summer. So, I am quite familiar with the land and am very pleased to see that we have moved to the point of presenting legislation.
Mercy Osagie ended her kids' first day of school lying on her couch in tears. The 38-year-old who moved to Toronto from Nigeria 13 years ago is still waiting for a Permanent Resident Card, but that night her cheeks were wet with a different worry: back-to-school expenses had left her with only $400 for September. While many students view the back-to-school season as a chance to show off new kicks and gel pens, for some children it's a reminder of the chaos poverty creates at home. And too many are being reminded.
It is not too late to exercise your democratic rights and voice your opinions. I may not be old enough to vote in the polls yet, but I am definitely old enough to vote at the cash register. I have also had the honour and privilege to speak with thousands and thousands of people across Canada about GMOs, and it's pretty clear.
From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it's harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame. The latest example comes from Nova Scotia.
For decades we have heard how we are becoming a global family. There is little trace of that now, as division and selfish pursuit better characterize what is happening to our fragile globe. We require new leaders who can put the health of the globe above their own parochial and partisan concerns.
According to Environment Canada, there are more than 525 plant and animal species -- including the woodland caribou, greater sage-grouse, and piping plover -- at risk of disappearing from the country.
Canada's so-called "War on Science" has made international headlines, especially after deep funding cuts led to the closure of some of Canada's most important research centres. Thousands of federal scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as Environment Canada have lost their jobs as a result of the cuts. Since 2006 the Harper government has introduced strict communications procedures that prevent scientists from speaking freely about -- and at times even publishing -- their research.
The trouble is that recent years have invigorated the mayor's brand of hyperbole politics. It pays out in spades for those willing to join the bandwagon and echo the "us versus them" chorus. Its cronies transcend party lines; its victims and resisters fade quickly from memory ("not a leader", anyone?). It is the Ford Nation creed. A new, normalized nastiness has imbued the body politic, harshly demarking who is "one of us" and who is to be cast aside. Its candidates bob in the fickle surf of prejudice or fashionable platitudes, instead of wading into their own vision or fair-minded convictions.
In Canada, I quickly realized, depression is one of the only life-threatening illnesses that you have to be rich to get proper treatment for. Since 1961, Canadians have taken care of our neighbours, our family, and our friends if they have illnesses like heart disease, or diabetes. But if they're suicidal or depressed? We've basically said tough luck -- deal with it yourself. This while more people are actually suffer from mental health issues each year then heart disease and diabetes combined.
When we have eight or more students in a class who have various levels of learning difficulties or special needs and there is only one education assistant to help, we are being asked in effect to either perform a miracle, or to play God and decide who gets the help and who does not. We cannot do this. We cannot perform those miracles.
You have to feel badly for John Tory in some ways. After months of having the contortionist field all to himself, Cirque du Soleil is back in town, giving him a run for his money on the flexibility front. I speak, of course, about the TTC's number one priority of a subway relief line.
Stephen Harper is known as a free market enthusiast who believes that unfettered competition is vital to any country's economic well-being. Yet the federal government continues to force Canadian families to squander in excess of $275 per family per year to protect the lucrative Canadian dairy and poultry industries. What gives?This system isn't supporting thousands of small Canadian farmers. It's supporting a small group of agricultural industrialists who are inhaling money at Canadian consumers' expense.
We have all lost a family member or loved one. How those loved ones were treated in their final days -- whether through a holistic palliative service or while waiting for a bed in an emergency unit -- profoundly impacts how we approach this issue. This past spring the Parliament of Canada supported the New Democrat Motion 456 on establishing a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy. Across this country, palliative care is being delivered in a patchwork manner. Some regions have wonderful palliative services while other regions make do with volunteerism and fragmented service options.
In nearly nine years as Prime Minister, Mr. Harper has had only two brief meetings with all the Premiers in the same room at the same time. And on the issues raised in Charlottetown -- healthcare, elder-care, pensions, the missing and murdered women, infrastructure, sustainable energy, and a "Team Canada" approach to trade and marketing -- Mr. Harper has largely abandoned the field.
Our government has been very clear that we have no plans to legislate. That would only keep us on the same dysfunctional treadmill we've been on for the past 30 years. As hard as it is, we intend to stand firm and hope the union leadership drops its unrealistic demands so we can negotiate a fair agreement.
Birds have long been the "canaries in the coal mine" for our destructive ways. Extinction of the passenger pigeon sparked the first large environmental movement in the U.S., and led to restrictions on hunting, as well as federal and international regulations to protect migratory birds. Now, birds face a range of new problems, most caused by humans and many serving as further warnings about our bad habits.