This week, ministers from 12 countries representing 40 per cent of the world's economy will meet to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the largest trade agreements ever. As talks are rushed to conclusion, Canada is still fighting to have its supply management system excluded from the deal. We wish the government well in its quest to protect supply management, but we wish it would go to bat for other core Canadian values and industries. Unlike our European and even American counterparts, Canadian discussion on the TPP has been limited to chickens, eggs and milk.
As news of your appointment and details of the process you will follow have spread, it has become clear that you will face extraordinary challenges in providing alternatives that enable each citizen to realize their own individual desire regarding the manner of their own death.
To debate or not to debate -- that is the question? Election fever has begun in Canada well before the election call. So much for the concept of a six-week election blitz. One of the issues floating through all of the talk is a push for a leaders' debate on women's issues similar to the televised one held on August 15, 1984. In 1984 few could imagine that a need would exist for another debate in 2015. Surely all of the issues facing women in Canada would be resolved by then! Sadly this is not the case. Canada, once a leader respecting advancement of women has slipped behind other countries.
In the wake of Sandra Bland's death, artists Kalkidan Assefa and Allan Andre painted a mural in Ottawa in remembrance. Less than 48 hours after it was completed, the mural of Sandra Bland was defaced with "All Lives Matter." Make no mistake, this is an act of white supremacy. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of white supremacy that ignores history, social relations, power, and, most of all, the lives of non-white people. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of peaceful multiculturalism that proclaims equality in the face of disproportionate violence against black and indigenous peoples, in particular.
We can't shut off the fossil fuel economy overnight, but the science clearly says that we need a real plan to leave fossil fuels like tar sands underground. Politicians need to stop treating this country like idiots and recognize that most people want an economy that's not dependent on the boom and bust of the oil cycle.
Those sparkling Pan Am cars sitting unused in lots under the Gardiner were sparkling for a reason. Instead of collecting dust, these vehicles were treated to regular washes at Big Wax and Imperial Oil. Throughout the games, Pan Am vehicles can be seen regularly rolling through these same car wash facilities.
It's time to end this perverse nonsense, to put CBC television back on the rails producing objectively high-quality programs to serve audiences both as citizens and consumers, enriching rather than impoverishing their lives. We know how to accomplish this: the senate committee archives are stuffed with sane, solid suggestions, almost none of which showed up in the report released last week. Yes, it will cost some money, but what price do we put on the maintenance of democratic values, the spread of education, and the promotion of cultural literacy?
Quality, universal childcare is good for kids and it's good for families. It is also good for the economy and the tax base as gainfully employed parents spend their pay cheques and pay taxes. And, access to affordable childcare helps reduce poverty and inequality, meaning that it's good for society.
Both Treasury Board Guidelines and the Ethics Commission state it is inappropriate for a government official to blur the lines between a government and a partisan announcement. However, Minister Pierre Poilievre felt no apparent shame. He was quick to point out that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats support the UCCB (a half-truth at best). Accordingly, he was not so subtly attempting to persuade an apparently gullible public that only the Conservatives could be trusted to protect families. It's not new for governments to attempt to play politics with taxpayer money; but vote buying has rarely felt more shameless.
Justin Trudeau has said that, if elected, he would end ISIS' combat mission. Further operations in the region will only benefit ISIS, as it has become a major source of attraction for foreign fighters from all over the world, coming to defeat the West and establishing the caliphate. The West is losing the war against ISIS so far.
The premiers' Canadian Energy Strategy focuses on energy conservation and efficiency, clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. But details are vague and there's no sense of urgency. Although the language about climate change and clean energy is important, the strategy remains stuck in the fossil fuel era.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates -- The Saudi curriculum is laced with references faulting any minority that doesn't follow Wahhabi teachings, referring to them as "deviants" and "polytheists." And Iran's continuous support for its sectarian proxies has widened the Shia-Sunni divide and prompted Saudi Arabia to launch its current war against the Houthis. While both sides fuel the flames, ISIS is thriving in the fire.
Reducing inequalities, if well done as per the progressive Trudeau Plan, will benefit our economy; increasing inequality -- the regressive Harper or Mulcair way -- will only harm it. A strong economy, a just society, a healthy environment: why should we have to choose? If we make the right decisions, we can better achieve all of these goals, precisely because we will not have given up on any of them. Trudeau's plan for fairness to the middle class is one of those good decisions Canadians have to make, in the interest of all.
How far has Canada's economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada's economy was "the envy of the entire world." That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous. We must look to government for a more effective response to the recession. Unfortunately, however, that looks like another policy dead-end. Because so far the response of federal Conservatives has been as ineffectual as it is predictable: deny, point fingers, and spread fear.
All Canadians, regardless of their home province, want a principled federal Government that gets things done, not one that panders, not one that is reckless, and certainly not one that lowers the bar for the break-up of our country. Thomas Mulcair hopes to woo separatists into voting NDP and he's putting the healed wounds of our national unity at risk to do so. Our country is at a crossroads. After nearly a decade of Harper they are hungry for real change and a positive new course.
Those who support the Conservatives see their party as practicing and upholding traditional family, moral and biblical values. Even though the Conservative government is extreme and disrespectful of science, knowledge, fact and rationality, its supporters would simply overlook faults even when they are glaring.
The Greek failure to successfully address tax evasion should prove instructive to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who in 2014 pledged to crack down on tax cheats. Greek measures to tackle evasion with enforcement have resulted in only small improvements. An enforcement only strategy should not be the model Ontario follows for tackling the underground economy. Relying on enforcement and punishment squeezes legitimate businesses who are already faced with high compliance costs and tax and regulatory burdens.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair is already taking measurements for new drapes in the Prime Minister's Office, but he might have a more pressing matter to deal with: whether he should even be allowed to contest this fall's election.
The recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were on the agenda of Canada's premiers, meeting at Happy Valley-Goose Bay earlier this week. The Premiers did more than discuss the wide-ranging recommendations.