What we have here is a refusal to communicate. We have a prime minister who refuses to explain why three of his Conservative senators have been forced to resign from his party. When it comes to codes of silence, His Worship the oafish mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has learned a lot from the nation's chief magistrate.
Approximately 20 per cent of Canadians cannot sing the words to "O Canada" without being hypocrites. They are atheists; "O Canada"'s words are theist in both languages. The words to "O Canada" need updating in both languages. This should not be difficult if we accept the notion of separation of church and state.
Rob Ford has chosen to imitate an ostrich when it comes to questions regarding "the video." He has buried his head in the sand. It's a lousy strategy, highlighting only his ability to run away from trouble. It's not leadership - it's panic. And it's especially sad when he had so many options open to him. Instead, he ran away and hid like a scared, petulant child. And it's this complete and total lack of leadership that has doomed him. At this point, it doesn't matter whether the video is real or not - the electorate has seen their Mayor as someone who clearly cannot handle dealing with a rough situation when the chips are down.
Will environmentalists be consistent in their treatment of emission intensity targets now that China has embraced them? Or will they simply forget what they've said in the past about such targets and hold China up for adulation to preserve the "China has taken a key step" rhetoric that would enable global carbon controls?
In an article reacting to my blackface blog post, I am accused of calling all Quebecers racist. Somehow, by sharing my thoughts and experiences as a Quebecer, I ceased to be one myself -- placed by this media outlet as a spiteful outsider to the only society, culture, and civic family I've ever intimately known.
I don't know for sure if Rob Ford's alleged use of coke/crack/alcohol/weed is the reason he's been such a terrible mayor. If so, then I would certainly encourage him to step down and seek treatment. However, if his incompetence as mayor exists independently of his alleged substance use, then the substance use pretty much a non-issue for me.
As a Muslim, I can say without fear, the latest terror attack -- the brutal hacking death of a British soldier by two fearless jihadis chanting "Allah O Akbar" -- has a basis in Islam. It's time for us Muslims to dig our heads out of the sand.
Really, the PMO scandal shouldn't surprise anyone. It is a living incarnation of this government's modus operandi. But this time, they got caught. And they are trying to spin the most ridiculous lines to get out of it without showing any sign of contrition and accountability. At the end of the day, it comes down to this. There is one man who must be accountable for all this and we all know who it is. Stephen Harper's character is the real story here. It always has been. And it will always be.
Instead of doubling the exemption level to $800,000, as the Green Party advocates, the Liberal NDP budget raises it by a paltry $50,000. The budget essentially gives businesses a break on hiring one new employee. So much for bold action.
Spreading money around for things like community centres, water treatment plants, and social housing is a common practice for the federal government, and is rarely met with opposition. It's hard to oppose dedicating money to good causes. However, those are clearly issues of provincial and municipal responsibility.
I thought Andrea Horwath had the political smarts, toughness and experience to lead her party, the NDP, to its first victory since Bob Rae. I am terribly sorry. I was wrong. Last year Horwath was novel. A ballsy, earthy authentic female leader. This time around. Not so much.
In modern Canada, alas, that critical detachment between press and politics -- the notion that these two worlds are incurably hostile parties locked in existential opposition -- seems to be steadily eroding, as notables on both sides make peace in a cozy truce. It's a tragedy because, as usual, it's the public interest that suffers the most from the vanity of the elite. Has reporter so-and-so stopped pursuing the prime minister quite so vigorously because he's pining for a patronage plum? Is columnist X hesitant to speak ill of the opposition leader lest he not sign her nomination forms someday?
Imagine if your city government decided to take a public vote to determine whether you and your family members should have access to health care. Based on what the public decides about your mother and her illness, and not what her doctors think, your city government says it will pass a bylaw that prevents her and others in her situation from receiving that treatment in their home community. Preposterous and unreasonable? Absolutely.
It may not be "classy" to pay $200,000 for video that allegedly shows the mayor inhaling from a crack pipe, but it's not unethical to do so. The press buys photos and videos all the time. We live in a society where people are legally allowed to sell things that they own which have some sort of market value.
It may not constitute criminal behaviour to apply for bogus housing allowances. But three people crossed over a moral line that a hundred other senators didn't. Doesn't that call for censure on the part of the institution that they hoodwinked? You can't just sweep things like this under the rug and pretend its business as usual. Wrong is wrong, and without formal censure, the Senate becomes part of the wrong. In dealing with this situation, the government has turned the concept of punishment upside down. No punishment for the housing allowance transgressors. But sweeping new rules to stymie senators involved in legitimate Senate business.
Trudeau needs to attack Harper's strongest point: the economy. While he has been doing that in the House of Commons, only avid politicos will be aware of it. He needs to bring those criticism on a larger scale and reach more Canadians via advertisements.
The Prime Minister's personal poll numbers are receding (dropping almost by half since 2010), as are those of his government. Sensing the decline, the Conservatives have taken to their historic method of going negative, as with their recent attack ads on Justin Trudeau. Yet it's not working as effectively because Canadians themselves have faced too many negative indicators in the last five years.
Acadia Solomon just wanted to swim with her friends. Unfortunately the signs posted last year at her favourite swimming spot were clear: it was not safe to swim in or drink the water. So when she heard about a group of First Nations youth walking from Winnipeg to Ottawa to speak out about the "killing" of our nation's lakes and rivers, no power in the world was going to stop her from joining them.
Tweets are brief. I get that. But Robyn Doolittle's response to my earlier blog post is telling. She failed to address the widespread concerns about her reportage, and opted instead for a straw man strategy starring yours truly. It's a familiar defense aimed at ending debate. Call someone a sexist, a racist, a homophobe. I've heard them all. But I've never used them.