Babel-on-the-Bay: Bad business at Bombardier.

You sometimes wonder what kind of business people are running Bombardier. They got sucker punched by Boeing in the United States and they ran crying into the arms of Airbus. This was a desperation move and was too soon. Airbus smelled the fear and they ended up owning the Canadian company’s C Series aircraft business. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Morneau mourns mendacity.

Having worked with many politicians over the years, you always have to be aware that the higher you climb the political ladder the more prone to attack you become. It is not whether Finance Minister Bill Morneau deserved to be attacked, his position made it likely. Bear baiting never has been legal in Canada and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Horse Race Journalism and 2019?

It is unlikely that Jaime Watt was talking about Babel-on-the-Bay in a recent op-ed piece. The Conservative political pundit referenced “horse race journalism” as being premature and meaningless in discussing the next federal election. Well, it is too early and he is right about that. But we like the horse race analogy and we know ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Will Singh say something serious?

With a new party leader established and MP Charlie Angus taking over the New Democratic Party house leadership, and Thomas Mulcair retiring, the new leader, Jagmeet Singh, is free to roam the country. He can meet Canadians everywhere and press the flesh at local labour halls. The only question is what the heck he is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump stands steadfast, Justin.

Prime Minister Trudeau dropped in to the White House to see President Trump the other day. It is likely that two minutes after Trudeau left the Oval Office, Donald Trump had forgotten what they had said. It is not just that the man has a short attention span but he has absolutely no interest in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does the religious model serve the new politics?

Is it religion that we see reflected in the new politics. Maybe it has been there all along. Canadian politics has been slower to wrap itself in vestments but in American politics, religion plays a constant and visceral part in what is happening. Americans speak of their country as “one nation, under God” and God ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Singing Singh’s song.

On Thanksgiving, the Toronto Star devoted several thousand well chosen words to welcoming Jagmeet Singh as leader of the federal New Democratic Party. It was generous, surprisingly inaccurate, hopeful and gracious article. Jagmeet Singh could never be such a wonderful Sir Galahad. Much was made of the firsts Singh’s success represents. As the first turbaned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who killed Energy East?

There seems to be a lot of blame going around this weekend. The politicians are roasting each other. The environmentalists are giving heart-felt thanks and the rest of Canadians wonder what the noise is about. There are other pipelines still to fight over. Killing TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline solves nothing. It was a bad deal ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Nice suits and empty slogans.”

That comment about suits and slogans was in the last line of the Toronto Star’s pompous editorial on “The challenge for Singh.” The newspaper editorialists want Singh and Trudeau to square off on progressive policy issues in the 2019 federal election. Lot’s of luck on that! But the problem is that the Star writers think ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It is time to fire Bill Morneau, Justin.

Bill Morneau has a straight-forward job. As complex as the Finance Department might appear to the average Canadian, the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre has the credentials that say he should be capable of handling the finance portfolio. He is also considered to be a generally good guy. It is really too bad that ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Netflix should be told to “Get Stuffed.”

Canada’s heritage minister needs a better understanding of Canada’s heritage. Another of the junior grade ministers in the Trudeau cabinet, Mélanie Joly, defended Netflix last week. It was a betrayal of Canadian actors, production capabilities and our French-speaking citizens as well as a allowing a leach to defy Canadian broadcast and tax rules. Joly welcomed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Americans bomb Bombardier.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and the prime ministers of both the United Kingdom and Canada are furious and have spoken out angrily about the proposed 219.6 per cent duty on Bombardier planes purchased by Delta Airlines. This is a direct and brutal attack on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and on the very ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The problem for political pundits.

While waiting to hear the New Democratic Party leadership tallies yesterday, I was reading what Mainstreet Technology’s Quito Magi had to say about the race. Having worked with Quito in the past, I have often had the feeling that he should forego all this technology and make an arrangement with a healthy young groundhog, to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Singh misreads Canadian acceptance.

Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh is heading for some disappointment. It would really be better if he faced it this weekend instead of in the next federal election. As the obvious frontrunner in the announcement this weekend of the first vote in the New Democratic Party leadership race, it would be better if he did not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is NAFTA circling the drain?

You always assume there is hope as long as negotiations continue—as they are for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this week in Ottawa. The only problem is that the negotiators are not the decision makers. The final solution rests with an incompetent occupant in the White House. And you should not try to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau’s terrific travels!

Canadians sure get full measure when they send their prime minister on a personal appearance tour. He did more in two days in New York than most rock stars can do in a week.  The British prime minister and that New Yorker who currently occupies the Washington White House were also in town but the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Chuckles’ cheers the cheaters.

There are two types of people who take advantage of Canada’s tax laws and form private corporations. There are those who legitimately pay family members (and others) for their work and there are those who sprinkle the income among family to avoid taxes. It is this second group that is so delighted that Conservative Opposition ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What ‘New’ Democratic Party?

We are hearing that ‘Love is in the air’ and the New Democratic Party of Canada is facing the future to the beat of new drums. Everyone anticipates that this new day will start with the election of the new leader of the party. And if you believe all this guff, I have a fine ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Canada’s NDP: In the eye of the storm.

It is that period of calm before all hell breaks loose. Everything you could have done, has been done. Everything you have set in motion is now in motion. You are waiting for the results. You cannot sleep. All possible scenarios seem to slip unwished for into your mind. You are waiting for the decision ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Frum, from hunger!

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news used to have balanced panels to help Canadians understand issues. That idea seems to be gone along with Peter Mansbridge. Instead we can now get a biased, neo-conservative David Frum being lobbed soft-ball questions by an admiring news reader. And who trusts that? What is even more annoying, Barbara Frum’s ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The water of life.

A handful of snow melting on a peak in the Rockies can become part of a torrent by the time it reaches the ocean. It is the water of life for the creatures of both land and sea. It is a place for salmon to spawn, the creatures of the forest to drink and humans ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The reluctant reformers!

It must have confused Justin Trudeau’s campaign team in the 2015 federal election when they realized that Thomas Mulcair and his New Democratic Party were running to the political right of them. Their first problem in that overly long election campaign was how to stretch out their planned promises. And obviously more supposed reform promises ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hébert hails the Hair.

It is unlikely that many of political commentator Chantal Hébert’s fans read her Toronto Star columns for the humour. It is only occasionally that she writes with her tongue firmly in cheek. If you missed her most recent column, you missed a gem. She actually wrote of how the Hair (Stephen Harper) saved Canada from ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: How’s the kitchen coming Chrystia?

Though not sure if the analogy of NAFTA negotiations being like renovating a kitchen comes from Canada’s foreign minister, by now she would disown the quote anyway. After meetings in Washington and in Mexico City, it is obvious that the discussions of North America’s trade agreements are going nowhere. By the time the three amigo ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: For love of country.

Travel in Europe, Asia and throughout North America has helped strengthen my love for Canada. When people in other countries tell me how much they admire our country, I rarely try to explain that we are still a work in progress. There is no need to tell them that we could certainly ratchet up our ...