MP Joy Smith's December 10 editorial declares it "appalling" that 25 members of Toronto City Council asked Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to refer the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In imposing her preferred frame of "survivors of prostitution" versus "pimps and johns," she fails to address the crucial point of the councillors' letter.
The North Pole is a single point on the Arctic map that falls in an area claimed by three countries. Directly beneath this spot, below the polar ice, is the Lomonosov Ridge, now at the centre of a land dispute. Canada, Denmark and Russia are jockeying for exclusive jurisdiction of the submerged mountain range. If the pole went to the country that can best govern it, the winner is Denmark. In second place, Canada would not be bad, especially relative to Russia. But between the two, as one expert told the CBC, "there's absolutely no doubt that the North Pole is most definitely closer to Greenland than it is to Canada." Still, here are some alternative factors to consider:
Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has tabled a bill called The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices act in the parliament last month. However, some criticize the name of the bill and call it pretty loaded one. But violence against women is absolutely barbaric act. It must be addressed strongly.
At present, this time-consuming service is an uninsured one and its accompanying opportunity cost -- taking physicians away from attending to other patients on a fee-for-service basis -- is borne solely by the physician. Because the College considers the medical document to access medical marijuana equivalent to a prescription and, since prescriptions and activities related to prescriptions are insured services, physicians cannot charge patients; fair enough. But what about the for-profit corporations who are benefitting at the physicians' expense?
Conservative MPs had an historic, unprecedented chance to throw off their chains and empower themselves and all MPs, and political party riding associations, to represent voters. Instead, they changed the Reform Act to the "Hope for Reform Act," essentially giving up the chance to limit party leaders' powers.
Sort through the statistics and the surprise is how consistently Ontario and Quebec now mimic the weak economic opportunities in the Maritimes instead of the bright economic opportunities available in the West. There's no great mystery as to why. Provinces with substantial private sector investment -- something the West has attracted with pro-entrepreneur policies and by simply saying "yes" to resource extraction in specific -- end up with enhanced employment opportunities, higher incomes and better prospects to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle.
At a recent function, a young woman takes me aside, and complains bitterly about the holidays. She finds them stressful, but not for the reason we might think. She explains that, like thousands across Canada, she had waited for the Status of Women report on eating disorders, and that she was praying that it might offer some hope for 2015, a plan to help struggling families. But these hopes have been dashed. She continued to say that many Canadians are so sick that they need urgent help, and that long wait times, few hospital beds and lack of help in the community are killing people needlessly in our communities.
I am a retired military officer and fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force. I am a business leader. I am a Christian. I was born in Tory-blue Alberta and grew up in the B.C. Interior. I have never smoked a joint in my life, and I always voted Conservative. You could say I'm not your typical candidate to be a Liberal Member of Parliament. Given the conduct of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, the choice was clear.
Here's how I got here.
Recently ISIS released a video featuring former Canadian, 23-year-old John Maguire, now known as Abu Anwar Al-Canadi, demanding Muslim Canadians carry out terrorist attacks on Canadian soil. Though interpretations of religion which fail to uphold universal human rights legitimize ISIS ideologies for men like Maguire, not all Canadian adherents of conservative interpretations of Islam wish to live in a violent dictatorship, bound by the most rigid shariah law. If you are a Canadian Muslim, considering joining ISIS, here are a list of sins you will commit if you do.
Yes, Julian Fantino's shambolic performance as Minister of Veterans Affairs has earned condemnation from coast to coast, and he should resign. But he is not the ultimate source of the problem for Canada's veterans. That shameful distinction rests with Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper's government is a one-man show. Mr. Fantino has no influence, no independence of thought or action. He just does what he's told. That spinelessness -- his failure to stand-up to Mr. Harper -- is Mr. Fantino's greatest offence.
It's appalling that 25 Toronto Councillors have jointly sent a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking her to refer Bill C-36 to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Even more shocking, these councillors are requesting that the premier actually direct police officers to not uphold the law that was just passed by the federal government. The letter from the councillors cites the concern that Bill C-36 will be "dangerous for sex workers" and "will recreate harms that previously existed under the old laws." Their evidence of this -- well they talk about experts, but provide no actual documentation.
A celebration of our history brings us to reflect on the present. There are certain questions we must ask ourselves. What challenges do Norway, Canada, and other like-minded countries face in our efforts, for example, to promote democracy, protect, and live in an inclusive society with equal rights and non-discriminatory practices? What is our role in the global picture?
Mark Twain once said 'Give a man the reputation of an early riser and that man can sleep until noon.' Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney are responsible for three quarters of the national debt. Harper alone has added $170 billion. The Liberals get the rest. How either one gets away with even pretending to be fiscally responsible baffles me. Both parties have slept in well past noon. It's time for a rude awakening.
A committee of MPs is considering important and unprecedented changes that will either restrict the power of federal party leaders and empower MPs to represent voters, or not, and will also either make MPs much more accountable for their conduct, or not. What the committee decides will reveal a lot about the state of democracy in Canada.
Despite government statements that Canada has done "more than any of our allies," our allies have introduced smart humanitarian policies that have moved far more Syrians abroad than anything Ottawa has yet introduced. Canada can look to them - Germany, Sweden, Norway, Brazil and more - for inspiration.
Last week, Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette tabled a bill that, if passed, will strictly prohibit women over the age of 42 from having access to in vitro fertilization (IVF). While the purpose of the bill, on the surface at least, is to lessen financial strain on the healthcare system, this particular section of the bill doesn't seem to have been included for that purpose. It seems much more likely that what the Quebec government is trying to save is donor eggs, not dollars.
Wednesday marked the 23rd International Day of Persons' of Disabilities. Much has been achieved around the world to promote understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. Here in Canada, we celebrate these achievements, but we know that there is still so much to do. As just an example among so many, Marianne found herself relying on credit cards to pay for food and other essentials after rheumatoid arthritis wreaked havoc on her body leaving her with extreme pain. She no longer could keep up with the demands of her bookkeeping business, beginning a spiral that left her in poverty.
When governments impose a minimum wage higher than what would otherwise prevail and without corresponding productivity increases, employers find ways to operate with fewer workers. While the more productive workers gain through a higher wage, their gain comes at the expense of others who lose as a result of fewer employment opportunities.
For the Minister to forego meeting with some of the preeminent experts on mental health in the country gathered over three days discussing the very topic his department was deservedly admonished for is truly regrettable. There is a mental health crisis ravaging our veterans and the Minister needs to show more leadership in solving it. It's patently obvious Minister Fantino has lost his moral authority to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. We need someone who actually gives a damn about the lives of our country's veterans. It's time for him to resign!