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.
Continue reading Kellie Leitch’s Unique Canadian Identity
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.
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
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.
Democracy is at a premium in Canada, today.
Not dead, but in grave condition.
While many pages have been written on the Harper Conservatives’ subversive means of undermining Canadians’ rights, privacies, freedom of speech and dissent, few have documented their totality over the nine-year reign.
Until today. Voices-Voix, a non-partisan collective of Canadians and more than 200 Canadian organizations concerned with the decline of democracy in Canada, catalogued 102 cases where the Harper Government attempted to silence dissenters or advocates, free speech, equality and transparency during their nine-year reign.
Their comprehensive report is a worthwhile read for any individuals wishing to be more informed of the dismantling of Canadian democracy. From silencing voices of marginalized communities and public servants, to limiting the compiling and dissemination of knowledge, Voices-Voix thoroughly itemizes and expands on how the Conservatives used domestic and foreign policy, and Canadian security forces to remove obstacles perceived to be inconsistent with their partisan governance.
Interestingly enough, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, chose this day to release their 32 point plan on how they would return democracy to Canada.
From committing to open and transparent government, to the restoration of evidence-based policy-making, banning partisan government advertising, a real independence for government watchdogs and Parliamentary Budget Officer, and open and fair elections, The Liberals Real Change Plan attempts to reverse many of Voice-Voix’s findings.
Curious timing or logical strategic plan for an opposition party four months before the Canadian election?
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
“Wouldn’t you agree that the most important thing is the ability of Canadians, who provide a billion dollars a year to the CBC, to access information and stories about themselves? Whether it’s Quebec, Atlantic Canada, the West or the North, they’re interested in knowing more about their own country and in learning about their history, and to talk about their future and to understand each other. That’s the primary reason for the CBC, I think.
“Isn’t there another way you could deliver the same thing and maybe even better, which is that instead of providing the billion dollars to the CBC, you provide it to content providers, producers who make the stories, and then you mandate that private networks through content regulations or what have you carry those stories, so you wouldn’t then need a CBC?”
Senator Stephen Greene
Canadian media, political pundits and social media are rife with talk Prime Minister Stephen Harper might opt to use the cover of stronger polling statistics, the heightened security issues since the attack on Parliament and in Paris, to move up the federal election date to spring of 2015.
Could the declining oil prices causing budget woes, and in fact a delayed budget, instead suggest the Conservatives delay the federal election to 2016? By then oil prices might have recovered sufficiently to allow the tax breaks and spending options Conservatives wish to take to the Canadian public and Conservative supporters.
Would there be any repercussions for Mr. Harper and the Conservatives? What would be the implications for the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Green Party? Beyond social media, would Canadians at large care about any delays?
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