Kellie Leitch’s Unique Canadian Identity

Last week, I took part in a discussion on Twitter regarding the best way for Canadians to respond to Kellie Leitch’s celebration of Donald Trump’s victory. While I initially argued (social) media’s focus on her divisive tactics merely fed her free airtime and eyeballs, a very astute and prolific tweeter reminded me ignoring these tactics in the U.S. propelled Trump’s momentum.

And the absolute need to call it what it is.

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The Middle East: The Liberals’ plan strives for more

A national economy underpinned by the extraction and export of Alberta’s oilsands.

A Canadian mission, the nexus of which, six CF-18 fighter jets, contributes two percent of all sorties, to the global fight against the Islamic State.

The former disintegrating steadily, and piercing every region across Canada, as the price of oil plumbs depths not seen in a generation or two.

The latter, the public flagpole upon which many fly their security blanket.

As if something as complex as a national economy or response to a group of barbaric thugs intent on recreating a caliphate in a region of mistrusting and murdering factions, can be whittled down to one variable.

One narrow element that will act as a sole pillar on which governments define, plan, and act, as Stephen Harper’s government did, from 2006-2015.

Continue reading The Middle East: The Liberals’ plan strives for more

Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Stephen Harper.

The strategic, pragmatic, secure, proven leader.

Adjectives, repeated by journalists, conservative politicians and supporters during his nine-year tenure as Canada’s prime minister.

Adjectives, some of which, aptly describe his Machiavellian gamesmanship in the art and science of politics.

Adjectives and a positioning, in contrast to his administration and its implications for Canada.

Risk

Economy

From the time he prorogued Parliament, Act I, Stephen Harper pursued a high risk, low reward economic plan, focused on one industry.

One industry in need of a low-cost transportation method to move landlocked oilsands bitumen to refineries in the United States and markets overseas.

Calling himself a friend to this one industry, Harper proceeded to expunge environmental and waterways regulations and standards. In cahoots with Canada’s security agencies, the federal government spied on any parties objecting to oilsands expansion, and obstructed any and all attempts at legitimate carbon pricing.

He also used hundreds of millions of public dollars to advertise the virtues of Alberta’s oilsands in North America and Europe. Under cover. At least until recently.

Continue reading Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Canada’s Economic Record Under Harper Government

In the weeks ahead, I will be referring to Unifor’s comprehensive report comparing the economic record of the various governments that have formed to lead Canada from 1946 to 2015.

From Mackenzie King to Stephen Harper, Jim Stanford methodically analyzes all factors that contribute to economic performance of any nation. While you may be quick to dismiss the report because of its source, the political cartoons which it could have done without, and its conclusions, it is hard to dismiss the stark statistical evidence.

I strongly encourage you to review this report. Its an eye-opening exercise that may inform you in a way you least expect.

There is no Truth without Reconciliation

Truth. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. (Oxford dictionary).

Reconciliation. The restoration of friendly relations. The action of making financial accounts consistent; harmonization. (Oxford dictionary).

A commission born on July 1, 2009 to unearth the realities of Canada’s residential schools and their impact over 125 year period on the 150 thousand Aboriginal peoples who were forcibly removed from their homes, beaten, abused, sexually assaulted, and denigrated until the Indian was extinguished from their body, mind, culture and souls.

A commission necessitated as a result of the negotiated and funded settlement of several class action law suits brought by residential school survivors against the federal government and several churches.

A commission that shed light on the six thousand plus Aboriginal children who died while in the care of the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United Churches entrusted with delivering the assimilation of all Aboriginals into Canadian society.

A commission tasked with finding a pathway for Canada and our Aboriginal peoples. A pathway that would recognize, respect and commence the healing for the three plus generations of residential schools survivors and their families.

That commission delivered an interim report last week. Noting Canada had subjected its Aboriginal peoples to a cultural genocide, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) defined this as the “destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group.”

Continue reading There is no Truth without Reconciliation