An increasing number of Canadians are supportive of NDP MP José Nunez-Melo's Air Passenger Bill of Rights, which has received plenty of attention this month following a deplorable flight delay aboard a Sunwing Airlines flight on February 8. But more public pressure is needed to sway the ruling Conservatives.
What an exciting time to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren't paying attention, that's who. First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was removed from office. Second, we find out that Mark Carney got headhunted to the U.K. And elections, you know, the best sport ever? There were three! And they weren't boring, at all.
This Thursday a new treaty is due to come into effect between Canada and China without debate or public discussion. It is called an Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. his agreement will allow both countries to go to binding arbitration at an international tribunal. Under this agreement, "unreasonable" attempts to stop foreign takeovers could be brought to this very arbitration board and either mandated to be allowed or incur huge fines against Canada. Unsurprisingly, a lot of Canadians, especially in the West, don't like the sound of that
This coming week, Parliament will vote on my amendments to Bill C-299, Conservative legislation that would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years on people who kidnap children. It would seem as though this would be just the kind of issue on which members of all parties could collaborate in good faith. Instead, however, this bill has become a prime example of how excessive haste -- and an uncooperative attitude toward parliamentary opposition -- can make for bad law and bad policy. It should be deeply troubling to Canadians that the laws governing our criminal justice system are being altered quite so nonchalantly. Surely, despite our differences on principle and policy we can at least agree that any proposed changes to the Criminal Code should be the object of serious scrutiny and debate.
Every July, around 10 Canadian universities scattered across the country play host to 500 students from all provinces/territories and even internationally. Although the program is for open-minded high school students who are not afraid to delve into any subject and become challenged or inspired in ways they never thought possible in one month, I hope to break the stereotype that this is "nerd camp". My program consisted of 56 total Shads and we lived in residence at the university.
Stephen Harper has stayed true to his word, maintaining his stand that the issue of abortion will not be reopened in Canada so long as he is Prime Minister. That being the case, how did we reach the point where the blame for Motion 312 and it's implications on the reproductive rights of women in this country are perceived to be solely with Stephen Harper and the CPC?
We, as the electorate, have a certain level of expectations for children at school: don't be rude, respect each other and your teachers and complete your work to the best of your ability. I certainly don't think that it's too much then to ask the same of our MPs and our government. We cannot continue to remain silent as our elected "adults" act like children while they represent us, as Elizabeth May did recently.
Parliament resumes this week. MPs have returned from their 308 ridings rested, connected with their constituents and ready for another round of political gamesmanship. We here at Samara thought it was a good time to revisit some of the ideas for Parliamentary reform put forward by those who've survived politics on the front lines: the Members of Parliament themselves.
Elections are about the choosing representatives to govern in our stead. They are about policy and the future of the country. They are about Canada's place in the world, how to prepare our children for the future, how to maintain the richness and beauty and wealth of our nation for them as well as ourselves.
You'd have thought Maclean's would have blazoned the death of Section 13 all over its front cover. With a massive headline along the lines of "SCREW YOU, CENSORS!!!" Or "WE WON!!!" Instead, the cover featured a generic picture of an innocuous youngish woman and an innocuous youngish man grinning maniacally and the silly headline: "The majority of us are singles. So why do we still live in a couples world?"
Maybe I'm starting to sound like a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy but that's only because...I'm a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy! How can you not be when she gets up in the House, as she did Monday, and makes an epic speech -- one of the greatest pieces of parliamentary argument we've seen in a Ottawa since forever.
It's rare that a government accused of undervaluing science and making policy decisions based on predetermined outcomes, rather than rational analysis, comes straight out and admits that's how they function. But recently, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird did exactly that in relation to carbon taxes.
The Komagata Maru incident occurred during a time in Canadian history where there was a deep-seated prejudice against minorities and immigrants. NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu's motion today urged the Government of Canada to officially apologize in Parliament to the South Asian community in the House of Commons. I commend him.
If Bill C-31, "Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act," passes in parliament, Canada will lose its reputation for fairness and human rights and, more importantly, hundreds if not thousands of people's lives will be adversely affected. Refugees would be ineligible to sponsor any immediate family members and these refugees would be second-class people in Canada.