And it is very encouraging, in that it appears Canadians are beginning to wake up to the true nature of the Harper regime:
Nearly two-thirds of Canadians believe that the ruling Conservatives are settling political scores with their Fair Elections Act, a new poll has found. You can read all about it here.
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In light of her refusal to say much about anything, a political disease she may have caught from her federal cousins, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath is being viewed increasingly as little more than a political opportunist. Probably the most recent example of this sad state is her reticence to articulate a position on Ontario’s minimum wage.
Two weeks ago, Martin Regg Cohn offered this:
When did the party of the working poor lose its voice? Listen to the sound of Horwath clearing her throat when she finally emerged from the NDP’s Witness Protection Program this week — nine days (Read more…)
Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick has a lacerating assessment this morning of the political landscape we now inhabit, thanks to the machinations of the Harper cabal. Owen, over at Norther Reflections, has a post on her piece that is well-worth reading.
I shall only add this from her column:
What an extraordinary thing to live a pleasant life in a western nation and yet fear your own government. But the Canada Revenue Agency’s new audits of environmental charities like Tides Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence in the midst of their continuing warnings about the effects of (Read more…)
Contrary to what our self-described economist Prime Minister would have us believe, the jobs that are being created in Canada today are but a pale echo of what once existed. Responding to a January report about the creation of 29,000 new jobs, Star readers have this to say:
Jump in jobs eases economy fears, Feb. 8
The article begins by saying “the labour market started 2014 with a bang adding 29,400 jobs,” presenting a positive tone regarding unemployment. This is misleading. From 2004 to 2008, according to Statistic Canada, nearly 350,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs disappeared, to be replaced by a (Read more…)
I can think of not one positive thing to say about Julian Fantino. Apparently, Toronto Star readers can’t either:
Fantino ‘absolutely regrets’ clash with veterans, Jan. 30
There is no possible excuse for the shameful treatment of our veterans by the federal Conservative government. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino’s arrogant and disdainful behaviour with a delegation of veterans who met with him to lobby for keeping eight regional Veterans’ Affairs offices open is another low point of his career. He should resign or be fired.
These veterans put their lives on the line for our country without questioning whatever political (Read more…)
First and foremost, how do you see yourself? Are you a citizen more than a consumer, or vice-versa? Are high-minded principles and vision your defining characteristic, or is how to get the best value for your money what drives you?
The questions that I just posed are, of course, on one level ludicrous, inasmuch as they suggest an either/or answer. Realistically, or at least ideally, we can be both. Yet to examine the rhetoric of our political ‘leaders’, our lives are defined by angst over cable selection, gasoline prices, and cellphone bills, and little else.
One of the books I (Read more…)
Since he was elected to the position, I have written several posts related to Pope Francis; several of them express a renewed hope that the plain-speaking pontiff can generate some hope in a world badly in need of inspiring leadership, something almost wholly absent in our current crop of politicos, obsessed as they are first and foremost with the attainment and retention of power.
In response to a recent article by the Star’s Carol Goar, readers offer their perspective on what politicians could learn from Francis:
Goar: World leaders respond to Pope’s message, Opinion Jan. 12
Carol Goar’s piece on (Read more…)
Narrowcasting can be defined as the process of aiming a radio or TV program or programming at a specific, limited audience or consumer market. While it is a term that is applied to traditional media, Noah Richler suggests in an interesting article in today’s Star that increasingly, the Internet, by the choices people make, is quickly becoming a medium that is narrowing, not expanding, our capacity for critical thought.
While his article perhaps does not constitute a fresh insight, Richler points out that we are becoming increasingly susceptible to what he calls the tyranny of measurement, our propensity toward (Read more…)
Like a bloated, aging and wounded lion who realizes his hold over his pride is at an end, Conrad Black is lashing out. Still licking his wounds from lacerations received at the hands of the CBC’s Carol Off, Black used his column in Saturday’s National Post (which as a rule I do not read, but more about that later) both to justify his journalistic ineptitude and to strike back at his growing list of adversaries who include Star editor Michael Cooke, Star columnist Rosie DiManno, The Star itself, and well, just about anyone else who finds fault with him.
While I readily admit to not having wasted my time watching Conrad Black’s interview with Toronto’s pretend-mayor, I did take special delight in the dressing-down he received at the hands of As It Happens’ Carol Off, as noted yesterday. One hopes that he learned something about real journalism from the encounter.
Today, two Star letter-writers offer their comments on the actual interview. Short version: they were not impressed. And given the fact that Star reporter Daniel Dale has decided to sue Vision TV, Zoomer Media, and Rob Ford, perhaps Moses Znaimer will have reason to reconsider his decision to employ (Read more…)
Here is a letter from today’s Star that puts responsibility for the proliferating problem of deceitful, inept, corrupt and demagogic political leaders where it belongs: on all of our shoulders:
Re: How to cover a deceiver without airing mistruth? Opinion Nov. 6
Publisher John Cruickshank’s wonderful piece addresses what should be a deep concern in our society: the prevalent and amoral use of “spin.” In the 1960s, when I was being raised in Toronto, we called “spin” what it was: a lie.
The temerity of many people in our society, most notably those with whom we should have the (Read more…)
As fashionable as it is to denigrate the mainstream media for their frequent timidity and conservatism, public knowledge about both Rob Ford’s disgraceful performance as Mayor of Toronto and the current Senate scandal embroiling Stephen Harper, impeaching the integrity and honesty of both politicians, would not exist were it not for a diligent media, especially the press.
I have often stated in this blog that I am both proud and pleased to subscribe to The Toronto Star, given the integrity of its work and the fact that many of its investigations have resulted in change at both the local and (Read more…)
If the above interests you, you may wish to take a few minutes to check out Haroon Siddiqui’s column in today’s Star. Entitled Pauline Marois issues fatwa on Quebec secularism, his thesis can be summed up in his final paragraph:
Marois is engaged in an ugly cultural warfare of the rightwing Republican kind. She is using religious minorities to fire up her base constituency. She figures that the more English Canada reacts strongly, the better for her. But we cannot fall into the trap of abandoning fundamental Canadian constitutional values.
While Siddiqui concentrates on the damage the Quebec purity (Read more…)
As usual, Star readers offer their penetrating commentary on recent events and the benighted Tim Hudak. Enjoy!
80-year-old woman tasered a day after rules changed, Sept. 4
I find it extremely disturbing that Peel Region police officers called to Thomas St. and Erin Mills Parkway on Aug. 28 around 3:30 a.m. were unable to “talk down” an obviously anguished 80-year-old woman. According to the article, the woman was “walking along the road,” which is not at all busy with traffic at that time of the morning. Surely, even if they could not get her off the road of her (Read more…)
Were I a Toronto resident, Richtree Market, a restaurant located in the Eaton Centre, is a business I would refuse to patronize. Its union-busting tactics should appall anyone who cares in the least about workers’ rights.
As reported in The Toronto Star, Reichtree Market began its dark anti-union journey in January, when it terminated all of its employees and closed the business. For Nazrul Islam, their chef for 25 years, it was a devastating blow:
“It was my first job in Canada and it had good benefits,” said the 57-year-old man who came from Bangladesh. “I was king of (Read more…)
Leadership is a word that evokes many associations; strength, vision, determination and resolve are a few of the positive ones. Selfishness, careerism, expediency and cowardice are but a few of many negative associations. In my own working life, I had perhaps three administrators I looked up to, the ones who put the good of education above personal ambition, pettiness and self-centreness. They were people I would have done anything for.
The rest I merely endured because I had no choice.
As I have often written in this blog, I see Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair as a failed leader, one (Read more…)
Despite the misspelling in the caption, I rather like this cartoon, probably for obvious reasons.
As well, you may enjoy these letters from Star readers who have an even less flattering view of Mr. Harper as it pertains to his northern junket, escaping the heat via prorogation, and his ongoing senate ‘problems.’
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When you are leading a major provincial political party, it is never a good sign when the country’s largest-circulating newpaper makes editorial sport of you:
Memo to Tim Hudak: Please stay as Ontario PC leader: Editorial
You lost an Ontario election in 2011 that you were to supposed to win; failed in two byelections last year; and dropped four out of five this month against a tired and scandal-prone government. But so what? You’re Tim Hudak, head of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, and winning isn’t everything.
Ignore the growing number of Tories worried they’ll never achieve power as long as (Read more…)
Reflecting upon a recent visit to Berlin, Toronto Star columnist Edward Greenspon had this to say:
I was particularly struck by the lessons to be drawn from 1933 and 1934, when the Nazis were not yet at full swagger. Arguably, as the depths of their hatreds quickly surfaced, they could have been tripped up by foreign pressures and a modicum of domestic spine. But elite opinion and statecraft took the passive course of hoping the accidental chancellor would fall to his own excesses. When he didn’t, foreign powers sought to mollify rather than confront him.
He goes on to write:
When it is proclaimed by Chris Spence, the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board who lost his job earlier this year for extensive plagiarism.
In what the Toronto Star describes as a ‘far reaching interview,’ Spence says “there are no excuses for what I did; I didn’t give credit where credit was due.” Yet in the next breath he blames the work of a number of assistants over many years for the unattributed material.
Spence talks about the ‘soul-destroying depression’ that has engulfed him since the scandal broke, but also blames his own (Read more…)
Last evening I wrote a very brief post with a link to pictures depicting the violence that ensued in St. Petersburg, Russia recently at a small gay pride gathering. I opined that one might want to carefully consider whether to spend one’s tourist dollars in a country where hatred and prejudice against gays is widespread. Getting ready for bed, I said to my wife that I suppose if one were to use national behaviour as a travel criterion, while Canada would likely fair reasonably well in attitudes toward the gay community, it would not come out very well in its (Read more…)
Both Richard Nixon and Stephen Harper certainly seem to have been raised with the same bedtime story, and to have taken it at face value.
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Some days, all I have to do is open my newspaper for my blog post. Today is one of those days. Enjoy.
Harper kept public in dark, July 6
When the stuff hits the fan, “plausible deniability” allows politicians to say, “I didn’t know; no-one told me.” This is what our Prime Minister would have us believe about Mike Duffy’s bailout with Nigel Wright’s cheque.
But now we hear from the RCMP that at least three others in his office, besides Wright, knew about it. This contradicts the Prime Minister’s claim that it was all Wright’s doing.
By all (Read more…)
Many in the blogosphere are doing a stellar job covering the climate-change beat, including The Disaffected Lib, who has had several recent thought-provoking posts on the subject. So I really have nothing new or insightful to add, other than to draw your attention to a story covered in today’s Star, written by its environment reporter, Raveena Aulakh.
Writing her story around a new report released by the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization covering the world’s climate from 2001-2010, Aulakh reports the following:
It was the warmest decade for both hemispheres.
There was a rapid decline in Arctic sea (Read more…)