This month marks the 32nd anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a landmark achievement in the promotion and protection of human rights, and which has served as a model for other countries drafting constitutions of their own. While Canadians have occasion and cause to celebrate this transformative constitutional document, silence is to be expected from Canada's Conservative government. The government's consistent refusal to fully acknowledge the Charter's importance is regrettable not only as a matter of symbolism, but as one of substance as well.
Flaherty's family wasn't hardscrabble poor, but he had to deliver newspapers for months to earn enough to buy himself a pair of good hockey skates to make the team. It was to prove an investment that allowed him to soar to the very top of the world's political roster, skate with the best and earn many goals and assists.
State funerals are expensive -- Layton's cost taxpayers nearly $370 grand -- so it behooves us to set some ground rules. If our new standard is simply to honor the passing of any politician who's "important" according to the fancy of the prime minister of the day, the practice -- and price tag -- is in deep danger of ballooning out of control. A difficult decision to make? Perhaps. But establishing clear rules today will sure be a lot easier than turning down a grieving family tomorrow.
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has turned into one of the most hotly debated topics in North America. There are so many ways to debate about the pipeline and the tar sands oil that would fill it. But, what does it mean when 10 Nobel Peace Laureates, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and landmine activist Jody Williams, take a stand and call for a rejection?
As international champions of democracy and with so much debate over federal election reforms, how would you expect our elected officials to react when democratic rights are being stifled in First Nations communities in Canada? Unfortunately, in recent weeks, they've responded with neglect and evasion.
These challenges facing Ontario are well documented. Yet the government's policy direction is not moving in the right direction. Recent developments suggest that the government intends to continue growing spending on the types of policies that have contributed to the problem such as high deficits and a new round of corporate subsidies.
Flaherty, who was only 64 when he died, was devoted to his family and one of the most popular Members of Parliament. And while his life achievements and humanity should be praised, it also needs to be said that during his time in the federal government his policies severely discriminated against the vast majority of Canadians. With apologies to Clint Eastwood, the Flaherty/Harper contributions to the economic life of the country can be broken into three main areas: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Tuesday's amendments proposed by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs do remarkably little to change the spirit of the Fair Elections Act. The Act is and continues to be an affront to the democratic rights of Canadians.
As one of the longest serving Finance Ministers, he introduced such initiatives such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Building Canada Plan and cut the GST. He also took a leadership role in G7 and G20 leaders gatherings and showed smarts at the beginning of the financial meltdown of 2008. He was respected at home and abroad whether one agreed with him or not.
The CPC's push for its absurdly named Fair Elections Act would make infamous Republican strategist Karl Rove proud. At best, it has been a campaign to mislead the public, at worst, an attempt to rig the electoral system to favour the Tories in 2015. Conservative Senator Linda Frum says its a conflict of interest for Elections Canada to promote voter turnout. But the real conflict of interest lies with the Conservatives, who are pushing through a bill that radically reshapes our electoral process just one year before they'll seek to win a second majority government.
For a real-life example of how scaling back government has led to positive and practical economic benefits, Americans should look north. In Canada the conventional wisdom for much of the second half of the 20th century favored increasing the size of government. This led to significant growth in government as a share of the economy.
If Health Canada spent as much time and money on researching medical marijuana and creating a properly run system as they have on court battles against patients, then we'd all be a lot better off. But unless you've just taken a big bong-hit, I wouldn't hold your breath.
Politics shouldn't be a sour competition among unhappy people about who can make voters angrier. It should, instead, be about who and what to vote FOR, and the greater country we can build together for our children. That attitude is Justin Trudeau's greatest advantage.
The Fair Elections Act, when you examine all its parts, is designed to fix the next election so the ruling party who are the Conservatives win. That is not fair or democratic for 2015 or any future elections. So here are five things that are unfair about the Fair Elections Act.
It's funny. For all the squawking on the left about the need to preserve and strengthen democracy in this country, no one on the progressive side seems terribly interested in standing up for one of the key principles of the practice. Namely, the right of the elected part of our government to make law and the obligation of the unelected part -- the bureaucracy -- to respect and enforce it. we shouldn't tolerate the emergence of a political culture in which an elected government's ability to pass legislation is understood -- if not encouraged -- to be subject to the veto of unelected civil servants with the most to lose.
After 20 years of providing uncompromised abortion services to women in New Brunswick, and from PEI, the Morgentaler Clinic is being forced to close its doors due to funding shortfalls. It is shameful that Canada now has two provinces that refuse to uphold a woman's right to choose, and provide necessary medical procedures free of cost to women.
Although we got to know each other through politics, my own favourite memory of Jim is entirely personal. Whenever we ended up at the same event, same function -- as soon as we spied each other across the room, he'd smile a big grin, as would I. His eyes would twinkle. Thank you, Jim, for your friendship and your service.
The only scenario in which the NDP may be organised and stable enough to enter the Québec fray would be if it were to win consecutive mega majorities federally. That would bring us to 2023. This is neither a sustainable nor a realistic political alternative.
The seized marijuana all came from designated growers who were licensed to grow for up to two patients each under the old system. These are the same home gardens which Health Canada ordered to be shut down, claiming that they are all mold-ridden, unsafe and unhealthy. Yet at the same time, it's allowed for these growers to sell their product to the newly licensed producers, who can then flip it to patients at a profit? How does any of this make sense?