Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education. But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.
“My name is Donald Sutherland. My wife’s name is Francine Racette. We are Canadians....” [The Globe and Mail]
“Did you know that? If you don’t live here all the time you can’t vote. Americans who live abroad can vote. They can vote because they’re citizens! Citizens! But I can’t. Because why? Because I’m not a citizen? Because what happens to Canada doesn’t matter to me? Ask any journalist that’s ever interviewed me what nationality I proudly proclaim to have. Ask them. They’ll tell you. I am a Canadian. But I’m an expatriate and the Harper government won’t let expatriates participate in Canadian elections.”[more inside]
In January, braving -40C weather, 18-year old David Kawapit and half a dozen other young Cree supporters set out wearing snowshoes and pulling sleds laden with supplies from the isolated community of Whapmagoostui in northern Quebec, to trudge the 1,500 kilometres from the edge of Hudson Bay to Ottawa in support of better conditions for aboriginal people. Yesterday, their numbers swelled to about 270 they arrived in Ottawa, where they were met with cheering and wild applause. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt agreed to speak with some of the young people who completed the trek, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper had more important matters to attend to.
"The wide-ranging Forum Poll for the National Post sought the opinions of a sample of Canadians of voting age... The voting intentions, if actual ballots, would translate into a minority government for the NDP." The Canadian public is on a distinct tilt to the left, says a new national public opinion poll. Criticism of the Conservatives' spring budget, Bill C-38, continues: it is "anti-labour" (repeals The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act; reforms Employment Insurance) and "guts the Fisheries Act"; a website protest against the bill is planned for June 4. [more inside]
Shit Harper Did Does exactly what it says on the can. Example: "Canadian PM Stephen Harper weakened regulations so that more pesticide residue could be left on your fruits and vegetables." "Harper decorated the government lobby in parliament with photos of just himself, instead of the traditional portraits of former Prime Ministers." And much more.
Maybe America needs Barack more than Barack needs America... It's got to be tough being Barack Obama these days. Just managing to hang onto a slim lead in the polls against a truly horrifying Republican ticket - after eight years in which a Republican administration has all but destroyed the nation. Having to explain to people over and over again that no, he's really not a Muslim, and people still don't believe him. Sarah Palin. Maybe America isn't worth Barack's trouble. Maybe there's other fish in the sea, America. Maybe you ought to think about that a little and stop being this way. Canada has an election coming up too, and given what they've got to work with, more and more Canadians are starting to take a hard look south of the border.
PM Stephen Harper’s Canada Day greeting Harper adopts a hawkish, true-blue Tory tone for this year's Canada Day greeting, with an uncharacteristic (for a Canadian) shout-out to God: From championships in hockey to humanitarian and military leadership roles in Afghanistan and Haiti, we can say again this year, Canada is a citizen of the world and we make our contribution a positive one. And why shouldn`t we? From the natural wealth of the land that God created, to the talents, energy and imagination of people drawn from all the nations of the earth, we are a country that has been truly blessed.
Quebecois now a nation. Arguably, this all started with Liberal Party leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff opening the Pandora's Box of Quebec nationhood earlier this fall, pondering whether the French-speaking province of Quebec should be granted some sort of special status. Canadians old enough to remember Meech Lake and the Charlottetown Accord feared the worst. Before you knew it, the Bloc was arguing that Quebec ought to be viewed as a "nation without conditions". Prime Minister Steven Harper then presented a motion to Parliament recognizing the Quebecois as a nation. The controversy raged, both from the Conservatives and the Liberals. Yesterday, the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for the motion. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong has resigned. His statement. How will this change the country? How do nations operate within other nations? Who is a Quebecois anyways? How does this work? Could other groups in Canada be recognized as nations? And what about those separatists? Looks like they already want their own hockey team.