Until recently, some of my American friends continued to urge me to return "home'. They said I must find it boring to be in Canada. Or that I must get tired of the cold; or the high taxes; or the dipsy-doodle currency we affectionately call the loonie. The truth is, I am home. And it feels pretty good.
As a backbencher in Ottawa, no one paid much attention to Brian Jean. But now that's he's the leader of the Official Opposition here in Alberta, what has he actually said -- on the record -- about the environment, climate change, wind energy and carbon pricing? Let's look and see.
After being shamed into action by media report and letter writing campaigns, the Ontario Liberals have finally introduced an election financing reform bill. Unfortunately, it doesn't go far enough. The changes move the dial in the right direction -- by banning corporate and union donations, for example. But privileged hands can still find their way into the cookie jar. Quebec may have the solution to this problem.
Canadians might be surprised to learn that many health and social services widely available in the community are not available in most of Canada's correctional facilities -- this needs to change. We are missing a critical window of opportunity to reframe the period of incarceration as a time to help people improve their health and well-being before returning to our communities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Tokyo this week for a bilateral visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well a G7 leaders summit in nearby Ise-Shima. While increasing trade is a major focus of the Prime Minister's visit (Japan is Canada's fifth largest trading partner), Canadians should cross their fingers that Trudeau doesn't ask his Japanese counterpart for advice on fiscal policy and the virtues of massive infrastructure spending.
Does the inevitable stagnation that comes with a decade in power automatically cast a departed leader as the worst in history? Many will point at Harper's dictatorial approach to governance, his deficits, his disregard for science or his political gamesmanship as proof that he was. I don't think this type of hyperbole is worthwhile nor productive.
Approximately 140,000 new businesses are started every year in Canada, yet half of them don't make it to their fifth year. Small businesses are key drivers of economic growth in our country and we must equip entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need for long-term success in order to help transform Canada into the innovation hotbed we know it can be.
When I hear about more suicide pacts, attempts, successes, my heart breaks into pieces. I see their faces. I see them smiling, joking, wrestling with life's mysteries, reaching out to their grandparents and my heart bursts with love, pride and despair. When I see them dance, sing, drum, draw, write and speak eloquently about the world as they see it, my mind is overwhelmed by their potential. And I am struck dumb by the idea that their potential is being smothered. Willfully. With impunity.
Kevin O'Leary premiers his new reality show this weekend -- an all-too real show, in fact. The man who made a name for himself as the loudest and most offensive cast member of the Dragon's Den reality TV show will be testing the waters at the Conservative Party convention this weekend for a possible leadership bid. He would be a terrible leader. Terrible for the Conservatives and terrible for the national debate in this country. Being offensive and insensitive to the very real needs and wishes of Canadians is not leadership and it's certainly not prime ministerial.
Recently the Ontario government asked for comments on potential reductions in the maximum total cost of borrowing a payday loan in Ontario. In particular, the Ministry was recommending that the cost be reduced from the current $21 per $100 advanced, to either $15 per $100, $17 per $100 or $19 per $100.
If Conservatives are shrewd as they convene in Vancouver this week for their party's convention, they will plead with Ambrose to run for the party's permanent leadership while requesting a not insignificant change to the party's constitution that would allow the party's interim leader to contest the permanent leadership.
Yes, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau asked for help. And with that request, a firestorm has ensued that has attacked her station. I don't mean her ambiguously political role as the spouse of Canada's prime minister or her status of privilege. I very much mean her standing as a working mother.
Swept up in the dream of democracy, it seemed, her hubby took a consulting role. But the civil service in which he served was as short-lived as a drumroll. No sooner had he turned 34 (on his birthday, no less) that he was slammed in jail by a general who ruled the state under duress.
Over the long weekend, many Ontarians took time to visit friends and family across the province. For many, a topic of conversation over dining tables or dockside drinks was the state of the province and revelations from the past week of the conduct of Premier Kathleen Wynne. But where to begin?
Few realize that the position of prime minister in Canada has more power than the President in the United States or, for that matter, any government leader in the G7. The current government already has the majority of seats and therefore control of the legislative agenda. It can use its majority to limit debate on any given bill and it also has control over the committees studying these bills.
The gender identity and expression bill is long overdue, with similar bills having already been introduced seven times before. But what makes this a cause for celebration is that for the first time, it's the government who is tabling the bill. Unlike previous private members' bills, this one is much more likely to pass. This bill would go a long way toward equal protections for all trans people across Canada, and could be a promising example to follow for provinces and territories who haven't yet adopted similar protections.
Cannabis Canada, the trade association that represents Canada's Licensed Producers of medical marijuana, has been lobbying the city quite extensively. But these efforts have been ongoing now for some time -- why the urgency to crack down now? The answer is not as simple as we'd like it to be.
We're looking at roughly 220,000 payday lending customers here in Alberta. Thankfully the NDP government here in Alberta has announced new legislation on payday lending. The government is proposing the lowest payday lending rates in the county while simultaneously fostering better alternatives to help people get short-term credit.