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Babel-on-the-Bay: “Well here’s another nice mess, Ollie!”

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are probably too young to remember the 1920s to 1950s Hollywood comedy team of Laurel and Hardy but they seem to have a comparable act. It was Monsef’s turn on Thursday to dismiss the work of her own committee on electoral reform. She had given . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: “Well here’s another nice mess, Ollie!”

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brassard’s charges without answers.

It is interesting reading knee-jerk conservatism these days. The local Sun Media newspaper here in Barrie gets a glance when an occasional free copy comes our way. We particularly like checking on the editorial page where you can read Libertarian, Green or Conservative political views but apparently never Liberal. Last week it was the turn . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Brassard’s charges without answers.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bias of Toronto Star’s Paul Wells.

What is a writer such as Paul Well’s doing at the Toronto Star? Does he provide insight you wonder? Is his writing progressive? Does he know the Ottawa scene as he tries to explain it? We have given him more than enough time to get comfortable. He has been found wanting.

The final straw was . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The bias of Toronto Star’s Paul Wells.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau betrays the environment.

Babel-on-the-Bay intended to run a very sincere support today of Justin Trudeau’s eulogy for the late Cuban Leader Fidel Castro. It was ready for posting. And then we learned that the damn fool had announced approval of twinning the American-owned Kinder-Morgan TransMountain pipeline. All the kind words are off the table.

Justin Trudeau’s timing is . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau betrays the environment.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lord Black lauds buddy Trump.

You get the feeling that there could be another boring book by Lord ‘Cross-the-Pond’ in this. Yes, Conrad Black came out of seclusion on his Toronto estate the other day to promote another book that will look good on your coffee table. He told the news media that his raison d’etre for the lordly appearance . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Lord Black lauds buddy Trump.

Babel-on-the-Bay: That Tory Leprechaun Leitch.

You would swear that woman was a graduate of Trump University rather than a medical specialist. We are talking about Kellie Leitch M.P. here. She is the Conservative member for the next door electoral district of Simcoe-Grey. It is a rural riding of farms and small towns, including Utopia. (We bet you did not know . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: That Tory Leprechaun Leitch.

Babel-on-the-Bay: A failure to communicate.

After a lifetime of communicating with government, we blew it. We really wanted to help the Trudeau government solve its problems with the leader’s promise that 2015 would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post voting. And dammit all we tried.

When we knew that the MP for Peterborough would be holding that portfolio, we . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A failure to communicate.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s have a tag day for journalists.

Professor Penny Collenette wrote in the Toronto Star the other day that “all news is not fit to print.” Frankly Penny, your problem is that you need to define ‘news.’ Do we really know how to separate bias, comment, opinion, speculation and reporting from the comic pages?

And do we have the right to define . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s have a tag day for journalists.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Party is Over?

The good news is that we are doing away with organized political parties. The bad news is that we are doing away with organized political parties. And one or both of these statements has the seeds of a problem in it.

The bad news is that non-political people with very large egos and lots of . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The Party is Over?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Breaking in the new POTUS.

POTUS is what the U.S. Secret Service, who are charged with protecting the President, call the President of the United States. The service has a long tradition of doing that job. It is a job that can involve four years of excruciating boredom and three seconds of horror.

It is a job that has been . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Breaking in the new POTUS.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The rise of the exurbanites.

Trump reached for it in America and the exurbanites coalesced behind him. With these new rural voters who have fled the cities and in sync with the traditional American Gothic farmers, he dominated state after state. These people resent and fear our conglomerate cities, the liberal attitudes they promote and the crush of the ethnic . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The rise of the exurbanites.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching Justin suck and blow again.

One of our favourite progressive bloggers is on the West Coast and he likes to refer to Prime Minister Trudeau as ‘le Dauphin.’ He actually wrote that the Dauphin’s announcement of a $1.5 billion fund to upgrade responses to tanker and oil spills on the Pacific coast was a good start. Start at what?

The . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching Justin suck and blow again.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Our electoral discontent?

There was an item among progressive blogs the other day that said Canada needed to change how it votes so that what happened in the U.S. did not happen here. The writer seemed confused by the way Americans elect their President. The reality Tuesday night was that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Our electoral discontent?

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a tax is a better answer.

Canadians have not really joined the dispute between carbon tax and ‘Cap and Trade’ yet. It is of increasing importance that they do. And while nobody really wants to choose taxes over industrial deals, there are good reasons for us to choose carbon taxes.

The primary reason why a carbon tax is the best answer . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: When a tax is a better answer.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Those who forget the past…

Those who forget the past are going to screw up our future. Those are not the exact words of the old cliché but they certainly fit. This occurred to us the other day when Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the Trudeau government’s solution to cheaper air travel—let foreigners own a larger share of our airlines. . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Those who forget the past…

Babel-on-the-Bay: Public-Private Partnerships revisited.

Canadians have had limited experience in public-private partnerships over the years and while one government can launch a public-private project it only takes the next government to destroy the value achieved. The two projects (other than the Canadian Pacific Railway) that immediately came to mind listening to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s elite panel report last . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Public-Private Partnerships revisited.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Revisiting electoral reform.

As the special commons committee on electoral reform finishes hearings and prepares to enter into its deliberations, there is a sense of deja vu. Canadians in six provinces have already had a variety of commissions and citizens’ forums study different voting reforms. British Columbia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island have had votes in which the . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Revisiting electoral reform.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The silence of Trudeau’s lambs.

You wonder what a writer such as Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs) would make of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most recent elitist appointments to the Senate of Canada. What is really different in this circumstance is that these people are reported to have actually applied to be appointed. It is a strange type . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The silence of Trudeau’s lambs.

Babel-on-the-Bay: CETA: The devil is in the details.

Tried the other day to reread the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and finally gave up in disgust. Maybe this deal between Canada and the European Union is just too comprehensive for this non-trade expert to comprehend. And when you find the mainly French-speaking Wallonia area of Belgium is the last hold-out on the deal, . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: CETA: The devil is in the details.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau tests veto on vote reform.

This scenario has taken place before. He does it in Quebec thinking nobody in the rest of Canada is going to hear about it. Justin Trudeau is hardly the first politician to test the waters before diving into the deep end of the pool. In this case the prime minister gave an interview to Quebec’s . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau tests veto on vote reform.

Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s in it for us?

That is not a selfish question. It came up the other day when reading another boring presentation to the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform. “What is in it for us” is likely to be the cri de coeur of Canadians when they see what the months of gestation of the electoral reform . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s in it for us?

Babel-on-the-Bay: The one shouting loudest tells the truth.

What? You do not believe that? Why just the other day, we received a large envelope from the Liberal Party of Canada. In big capitol letters across one side of the mailing were the words “Transparent. Open.” and “Real.” And if you believed that you were deluding yourself. Inside the overly large envelope were the . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The one shouting loudest tells the truth.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin’s honeymoon rolls on.

The other day columnist Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star gave Justin Trudeau’s Liberals an ‘A-‘ for their first year grade in office. Bob is a fine gentleman and a good writer but much too generous in his assessment. The truth is that much of this first year in power has been wasted by a . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin’s honeymoon rolls on.

Babel-on-the-Bay: What gender wars are these?

It is among the usual platitudes of those proposing proportional voting systems for Canada that more women will be elected if we just switched to a proportional voting system. Nobody can tell you why this is supposedly the case but they point to countries such as in Scandinavia that have a higher ratio of women . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: What gender wars are these?

Babel-on-the-Bay: A nugget among the dross.

When you find you have been panning the provincial and federal Liberal parties, it is wonderful to come across someone who just might be a nugget of real gold. This is a liberal who thinks for himself, invests time in research and speaks out with truths as he sees them.

We are speaking here about . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A nugget among the dross.