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daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Notley’s Climate Change plan earns Trudeau’s Pipeline approval

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today the fate of three pipelines that have dominated political debate in Alberta over the past six years. Yes to Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline. No to the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Yes to the… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: I come to bury Castro, not to praise him: unpacking conservative fury at PM Justin Trudeau’s condolences

PHOTOS: Fidel Castrol in his heyday. Mr. Castro died Friday at 90. Below: An affectionate Havana scene … “Viva Fidel por siempre;” Margaret Trudeau, Mr. Castro and Pierre Trudeau in 1976; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who died at 90 last year; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Before I start, let’s just make one thing perfectly . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: I come to bury Castro, not to praise him: unpacking conservative fury at PM Justin Trudeau’s condolences

Alberta Politics: This shouldn’t be a surprise: Trudeaumania 2.0 fails to deliver in Medicine Hat

PHOTOS: Trudeaumania 1.0, the real thing, in 1968. Below: Trudeaumania 2.0, not nearly as effective, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Oct. 13, 2016. Below: Conservative by-election winner Glen Motz, Rudyard Kipling, poet of empire and saviour of the Hat part of the Hat, and unsuccessful Liberal challenger Stan Sakamoto. Well, it’s obviously going to take . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: This shouldn’t be a surprise: Trudeaumania 2.0 fails to deliver in Medicine Hat

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley’s demand for a pipeline quid pro quo demonstrates the steely side of Alberta’s premier

PHOTOS: Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Below: Peter Lougheed, Alberta’s first Progressive Conservative premier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his father, the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau. GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alberta Rachel Notley’s decision yesterday to make support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan put a national price on carbon conditional on getting a pipeline approved . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley’s demand for a pipeline quid pro quo demonstrates the steely side of Alberta’s premier

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

During last weekend’s Conservative Party convention, interim leader Rona Ambrose suggested that Justin Trudeau was not our first “female” Prime Minister, but that that distinction went to Kim Campbell.It was met with a round of applause, resonating wit… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

During last weekend’s Conservative Party convention, interim leader Rona Ambrose suggested that Justin Trudeau was not our first “female” Prime Minister, but that that distinction went to Kim Campbell.

It was met with a round of applause, resonating with the conservative crowd, but not so much with the Canadian public, who saw it as just another opposition cheap shot, born of envy.

She would later deny she said it, or claim that her comment was misinterpreted, but we’ve seen the video.  There’s no backing out now.

However, her closing remark is even more telling.  “So who’s the feminist now!?”  Certainly not Rona Ambrose, because you don’t have to be a female to be a feminist, any more than you have to be a feminist to be female.  Today, it’s about a state of mind.

In fact, for the new generation of millennials, it’s more about sexism in general, not just women’s rights, which they already enjoy.  Income inequality is still an issue, but they will find the solution, and they will do it because it just makes sense.

Looking at the U.S. Primaries, when the country seems poised to elect their first woman president, it should not be such a shock to anyone that the majority of young women plan to vote for Bernie Sanders, rather than Hillary Clinton. They don’t care about gender, but that Sanders has a better understanding of the problems that impact their lives, while Clinton represents “the establishment.”

In Ambrose’s speech, she lauded previous women Conservative trail blazers (none of whom belonged to her party which was formed in 2003).  However, to millennials, these names or their accomplishments would mean little.  They don’t have to look to female leaders of the past.  They see female leaders everyday, and that’s a good thing.  It means that women of my generation have done our jobs.

What they heard from Ambrose would sound like words from the parents in the Peanuts cartoon: “mwa-mwa-mwa”

This is what the opposition and indeed the Canadian media, don’t understand about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  He is the epitome of the modern feminist.  You don’t have to be macho to be masculine, but you can be.  You don’t have to be a female to be a feminist, but you can be.  It’s all about equality and doing what’s best for you.


In the United States millennials now outnumber baby boomers, and in Canada, they now represent the majority in the workplace.

The media and politicians, must adapt to this new reality or step aside.  Of course Trudeau won the “elbowgate” debate.  He was having “a dad moment”.  Young parents could relate.  But modern feminists could not relate to the aftermath.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau came along at the right time, as we baby boomers were coming of age.  We were also anti-establishment and viewed his antics through a different lens than the media and his political opponents.  The same is happening today with his son.

At the Conservative convention they have now embraced the baby boomer generation, even quoting PET’s famous remarks about staying out of the bedrooms, but it’s half a century too late.  We’ve moved on.  

Our children and grandchildren did not grow up with the aproned women chained to the kitchen.  They grew up with us.  

Now it’s time for the media and members of the opposition parties to just grow up. . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Is the sky blue? A Conservative win in Southern Alberta by-election a certainty

Following the death of Conservative Member of Parliament Jim Hillyer on March 23, 2016, Elections Canada has announced that a by-election must be called in the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner electoral district before September 26, 2016. The earlies… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Is the sky blue? A Conservative win in Southern Alberta by-election a certainty

Left Over: A First Step For Government, a Semi-Giant Leap for Labor

Liberal government moves to repeal controversial union laws Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk meets reporters on Parliament Hill at 10:15 a.m. ET CBC News Posted: Jan 28, 2016 10:08 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 10:13 AM ET     … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: A First Step For Government, a Semi-Giant Leap for Labor

Alberta Politics: C’mon … admit it, Wildrosers! Denis Coderre’s zinger burned because it landed a little too close for comfort

PHOTOS: Welcome to Bedrock City, AB. Actual rural Wildrose ridings in Southern Alberta may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Opposition Leader Brian Jean (CBC photo), Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwe… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: C’mon … admit it, Wildrosers! Denis Coderre’s zinger burned because it landed a little too close for comfort

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Monument to Himself Gets Downsized

He was hoping to build this monstrous monument to himself on land reserved for a new Federal Court building, expected to be named after Pierre Trudeau.He was hoping it would be a kick in the face of the Supreme Court, and a final insult to the leader … . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Monument to Himself Gets Downsized

Alberta Politics: Brown shoes may not make it, but Justin Trudeau’s cabinet choices seem pretty sound

PHOTOS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, members of his cabinet and ordinary Canadians walk toward the swearing-in ceremony yesterday morning at Government House in Ottawa. (Vancouver Observer photo.) Below: Mr. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, making the same walk with members of his new cabinet down the same driveway in 1968. Below them: Alberta cabinet members Kent . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Brown shoes may not make it, but Justin Trudeau’s cabinet choices seem pretty sound

Alberta Politics: Scary news for Halloween: Never mind Harper Derangement Syndrome; Notley Derangement Syndrome is a real thing!

PHOTOS: Deficit rode a pale horse … as seen by some Albertans in the skies over Edmonton. Below: Rachel Notley, and Pierre and Justin Trudeau, who are all thought by sufferers of various forms of conservative delusional personality disorder to have economic superpowers. Below them: Two guys who for some reason love being photographed with . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Scary news for Halloween: Never mind Harper Derangement Syndrome; Notley Derangement Syndrome is a real thing!

Alberta Politics: The story thus far from Alberta: the Western Alienation narrative starts today

PHOTOS: A couple of typical alienated Westerners discuss what to do next now that another Trudeau is about to be sworn in as prime minister of Canada. Head for the hills, I guess. Below: The elder prime minister Trudeau, Pierre, and Alberta premier Peter Lougheed toast the mutually satisfactory deal they signed in September 1981 . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: The story thus far from Alberta: the Western Alienation narrative starts today

Alberta Politics: Justin Trudeau’s victory speech was generous, but toughly repudiated Stephen Harper’s divisive rule

PHOTOS: Justin Trudeau addresses supporters in Montreal last night in this screen shot from the CBC’s broadcast of the prime minister elect’s victory speech. Below: the Trudeaus, son and father. Justin Trudeau’s victory speech last night touched a gracious note of tribute to the losers, especially the evening’s principal loser, Stephen Harper, as such speeches . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Justin Trudeau’s victory speech was generous, but toughly repudiated Stephen Harper’s divisive rule

Alberta Politics: ‘Event logisticians’? Give us a break! They’re bouncers! What’s that tell you about the Tories?

PHOTOS: Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets a group of foreign event logistics consultants while travelling abroad (Government of Canada photo). Below: Pierre Trudeau does suppressed fury the right way; Mr. Harper does it with considerably less appeal. Clearly, the continuing uproar about Stephen Harper’s “event logistics team members” tells us something fundamental about the increasingly . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: ‘Event logisticians’? Give us a break! They’re bouncers! What’s that tell you about the Tories?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder

Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget.

In Saskatchewan, he cut funding to education, though it still didn’t balance the books.  He had to take money from the province’s contingency fund, including almost a half million dollars for advertising, that he had balanced the books, when in fact, he had not.

Hiding deficits for politicians is not uncommon.  Jim Flaherty did it in Ontario and Joe Oliver is doing it now.

But in defence of Thomson, Flaherty and Oliver; we have become the enablers of their addiction to the high of being good economic managers.  They had to hide their red eyes and red ink, so they didn’t have to come before us in shame, or ruin their chance for re-election.

The question we need to be asking ourselves, is why balanced budgets are so important.  Does it really matter if the federal government runs a deficit?

Political consultant and commentator, Will McMartin, discussed this recently in the Tyee.  He begins with the announcement that the Conservatives would present a balanced budget.  However, he implies, so what?

A closer look at the country’s finances, however, raises a simple question: why all the fuss? The budget is a thin slice of the Canadian economic pie, and interest costs on our debt are shrinking to near-giveaway size. Ottawa is just one of three government levels, and taken as a whole our government spending is very much under control. 

The federal budget represents just 15% of our overall economy.

The Blame Game

There has been a lot of debate recently, over what political party is responsible for our perceived debt/deficit “mess”.  Since only Conservatives and Liberals have ever formed government, it narrows the debate down to those two.

The biggest targets are Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau.  However, John Diefenbaker, also ran consecutive deficits, but that is not how their legacies should be judged.

Diefenbaker was a visionary, who fought for a united Canada.  He gave us the Canadian Bill of Rights and stood up to the Americans, who wanted us to join their missile defence program.  He may have made mistakes, but his deficits were created in part, by a new universal hospitalization program, and an enhanced Old Age Security.

Lester Pearson also left a deficit, but what defines him, are the many contributions he made.  He expanded Diefenbaker’s hospitalization plan, to give us universal health care and introduced student loans and the Canada Pension Plan.  He also created the Order of Canada, and moved toward abolishing capital punishment.

There’s no denying what Pierre Trudeau did to move our country forward, as he also expanded social programs, and created a more just society, with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Even Brian Mulroney, whose tenure was mired in corruption, left his mark on making Canada a better country. He created eight new national parks, finalized the U.S.-Canada acid rain treaty, and brought in the Environmental Protection Act.

He is also credited with giving us NAFTA, not necessarily a good thing, but it did help Canada in the short term.

All of these men were big idea guys, who had the courage to make things happen.

Diefenbaker’s idea:  a united Canada with a focus on human rights.

Pearson’s: nation building and making Canada a diplomatic player on the international stage.

Trudeau’s:  nation building with a focus on rights and freedoms, and an inclusive society.

Mulroney’s:, a desire to bring Canada into the 21st century, with a focus on business and international trade.

Who cares if they left deficits when those deficits represented only 15% of our GDP?  Look at what we got in return?

I know that a lot of people are critical of NAFTA.  I’m one of them.  Not only did it hurt our manufacturing sector, but it has forced subsequent governments to adopt programs of deregulation, to meet the terms.  Unfortunately, more deregulation may be required, since we are now the country most sued, for not meeting our nefarious commitments.

Election 2015: a Psychedelic Trip to Bizzaro-land

When Thomas Mulcair was the environment minister in Quebec, and wanted to privatize water, shipping it in bulk, he said that “the environmental laws protecting water are considered barriers to trade.” (The Press, Charles Cote and Mario Clouthier, June 16, 2004 ).  Mulcair helped to draft NAFTA.

Everything has become a “barrier to trade”, that will exacerbate with even more international trade deals.

But what about the barriers to helping Canadian society?  We were told that these deals would lead to economic prosperity.  Where is it?  I guess we should have read the fine print, that said only economic prosperity for the top 1%.

During the 2008 economic crisis, the Canadian government bailed out our banks with over 100 billion of our money.  They bailed out companies, and sprinkled largesse over Conservative ridings.  They built libraries and indoor soccer fields for private religious schools and set up an advertising campaign called the Canada Economic Action Plan that would have rivalled Joseph Goebbels propaganda ministry.  (Yes I said it).      

We found money for that, by adding to our deficit and debt.  Adding it to the 15% stake in our country’s GDP.  So why can’t we do the same for the Canadian people?  

We need a National Housing Strategy, a National Food Program, and we need to expand our healthcare to include dental and prescription drugs.  We need a subsidized tuition program, help for our seniors and our veterans, and an environmental plan that works.

Those things are not drains on our economy, but a viable way to grow our economy, that will create good, full time jobs, while reducing poverty and homelessness.    We will see the value for the dollars we spend.

A recent poll shows that Canadians are OK with deficits.  They have different priorities and Justin Trudeau has tapped into that:
That suggests that it’s Mr. Trudeau whose position is in sync with the majority’s mood. The Liberal Leader has refused to rule out running a deficit, arguing he’ll have to see the extent of the “mess” the Conservatives have left in the public finances. 

It is the NDP, traditionally to the left of the Liberals, who have launched the most blistering attacks on Mr. Trudeau for opening the door to running a deficit. Under Mr. Mulcair, the New Democrats have sought to allay concerns about their economic policies by insisting they will balance the books, despite the slowdown in the economy.

What an odd turn of events. 

I’m glad that Trudeau is bringing the Liberal Party back to its roots, that put Canadians first. Now the NDP have to find their way back to the days of Tommy Douglas.
Many people have called me a socialist, but like Will McMartin, the author of the first piece I linked, I’m a conservative.  Although actually a liberal/conservative.  Common sense solutions to social problems.  Grow the economy and the budget will balance itself.

Or maybe I’m just a Diefenbaker, with a dollop of Pearson and a splash of Pierre Trudeau.

Not such a bad thing to be.


. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

Accidental Deliberations: On cautionary tales

I’ve previously offered my take on why all opposition parties – including the Libs – should and will ultimately vote the Harper Cons out of power when given the chance. But I’ll note that Don Lenihan’s argument toward the same conclusion actually offers a reminder why there’s reason for concern.

Whatever lesson one wants . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On cautionary tales

wRanter.com: Four ‘Jewish’ battleground ridings to watch

It’s no secret that Jewish voters have apparently shifted from being largely supportive of the Liberal party to heartily supporting the Conservatives in what seems like majority numbers, due largely to the party’s full-throated support for Israel under Prime Minister Stephen Harper (and to a much lesser degree its commitment to security for religious institutions). . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Four ‘Jewish’ battleground ridings to watch

Alberta Politics: When propaganda becomes memory: Pierre Trudeau and the National Energy Program

PHOTOS: Pierre and Justin Trudeau back in the day, with possibly quite a few Liberal supporters in the background. Below: Prime Minister Steve and Defence Minister Jason Kenney. Everybody in Alberta knows Pierre Trudeau and his National Energy Program laid waste to Alberta in the 1980s, and that would include plenty of people out here . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: When propaganda becomes memory: Pierre Trudeau and the National Energy Program

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The New National Dilemma After Our Sharp Right Turn

I dug out a little book that I’d bought a while ago at a book fair:  The National Dilemma and the Way OutIt was published in 1975, and co-written by Winnett Boyd, chief designer of the Chinook jet engine and the nuclear reactor at Chalk River.  He was also a political activist, first as . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The New National Dilemma After Our Sharp Right Turn

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The Most Powerful Symbol You Will See This Election

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind. . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The Most Powerful Symbol You Will See This Election

Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

PHOTOS: From the sublime to the ridiculous? Liberal Lester Pearson, the top postwar economic performer among Canadian prime ministers. Below: Stephen Harper, the bottom. Below him: Pierre Trudeau (second best) and Brian Mulroney (second worst). Below them: Unifor economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan. One of the most effective ways to keep a population quiet . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair is wrong to Invoke Tommy Douglas and the War Measures Act.

On October 12, 1970, Pierre LaPorte’s wife received a letter from her husband: (1)

The day before Quebec premier Robert Bourassa had also received a letter from his labour minister: (1)

How could Mr. Bourassa not be moved by such a letter?  How could anyone not in that situation?  “You have the power of life . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair is wrong to Invoke Tommy Douglas and the War Measures Act.

Accidental Deliberations: On extended intrusions

There’s been plenty of discussion as to the similarities between the Cons’ terror bill and Pierre Trudeau’s 1970 invocation of the War Measures Act. And it’s certainly worth reminding ourselves that even in the face of an identifiable security concern, the impulse to attack civil rights tends to prove wrong upon reflection.

But there’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On extended intrusions