Babel-on-the-Bay: Different directions for divided liberals.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau needs to check the direction in which his mob is headed. It is very hard to get out front to lead them when you are headed in opposite directions. Seeing the directions and concerns of the Liberal Party of Canada at the Halifax gathering last weekend, Trudeau needs to reassess the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Devolving Deception.

When responsibilities are passed to a lower level (devolved), it helps to have a glossary of terms available so that the lesser levels will get their words right. It seems that Toronto Star writer David Olive has stuck carefully to this glossary in his story on the weekend touting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Olive hits ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Commonwealth at bargain price.

Our prime minister Justin Trudeau has been in London this past week, pressing the flesh with the long-running Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth, as we usually call it is the fallout of the old British Commonwealth and is made up of former colonies and protectorates of times past when Great Britain ruled the seas. This ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Confrontation of Confederation.

Even on a government VIP  Airbus, a flight from Lima, Peru to Ottawa is over 11 hours. I did that type of flight more than once and they were always an awful experience. I was able to reset my watch and I knew what time it was. My problem was that for a week, I ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Standing with BC’s John Horgan.

It is a memory from many years ago that sticks with you. It is this time of year. After being awakened by the sweeps rowers training on the harbour, you walk to downtown Vancouver from the Bayshore Inn, along streets lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom. You drink in the wonderful freshness of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The environmental crimes of Justin Trudeau.

Our prime minister might not appreciate the charges but he needs to understand what is involved. Whether he likes it or not, he needs to be reminded of the five basic environmental crimes of the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Number one: While the stock shots of bitumen mining in Alberta show open-pit ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Has anybody seen Jagmeet?

This is becoming ridiculous. The New Democratic Party of Canada has to have some leadership. Without leadership, it is going to become the forgotten party and the efforts of many fine people over the last 80 years will be wasted. The party can hardly continue as present with no leadership, no direction and no clear ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ceding Civility in Canada.

Writing about civility in politics the other day, we never got to the situation here in Canada. Despite our Canadian reputation for civility, things have lately gone to hell in a basket. Federal and provincial politics in Canada have become noisy arguments between spoiled children. Our politicians are not working together to meet the needs ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Keep the Russians, Kick out the Yankees.

Public safety minister Ralph Goodale got some television coverage the other day. He was enjoying himself. He was being asked about the Russian spies being told to leave the country. In his usual enigmatic style Goodale was explaining that he could not say anything about what these spies were doing in Canada. He was implying ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Beatification of Bill Blair?

It took the questionable memory of Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee to relate it and the writing skills of Toronto Star writer Tim Harper to forge it. And it took them over seven years to prepare it for publication. It purports to be an explanation of what took the G20 Summit in Toronto ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Teaching our youth to hate.

Conservative MP John Brassard from Barrie-Innisfil has a problem. He thinks it is alright to teach our youth to hate and to work against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The people in his electoral district might like to ask him about this before mistakenly re-electing him next year. John Brassard used to be a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: To be murdered in Mali.

Our government wants us to send some Canadians in harms way in Mali in West Africa. As the country with the highest mortality rate for peace keepers, we are not going to enjoy Mali. “Don’t worry” our defence minister tells us, “We are only going to send a few helicopters, pilots, ground crews and people ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau has to dump Morneau.

We have been waiting. We have been patient but it has not happened. Prime minister Justin Trudeau still has that millstone Bill Morneau dragging him down to the depths of neoliberalism. It is not 2018 for this government until finance minister Bill Morneau is gone. It is the story of Jean Chrétien’s government revisited. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The conflicts of Jagmeet Singh.

New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh has a problem. He appears to want to be a separatist in India but a nationalist in Canada. Perhaps it is his devout Sikhism and his seeming lack of understanding of what ties Canada together. It is hardly an enviable position for a national party leader. It seems to me ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ageism and Justin Trudeau.

There was an opinion piece in the paper the other day by a favourite commentator. She was writing about the Liberal government not trusting anyone older than the prime minister. That leaves a very large number of Canadians to be disposed of on the ice floes by this uncaring government. I had always been under ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In defence of populism.

From the first time I met John George Diefenbaker, I have admired populist politicians. For the benefit of our younger folk, John Diefenbaker was a Prairie populist politician who served as prime minister of Canada from 1957 to 1963. As a young liberal, I did not agree with much of ‘Dief the Chief’s politics but ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: There are some real royals.

It is too bad that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was too busy to meet with the King and Queen of Belgium when they were in Ottawa the other day. These are a somewhat different type of royal. They are useful. They are not just figureheads and dilettantes. The Belgian royals brought 150 business leaders and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “We stand on guard for thee.”

The last time our parliamentarians screwed around with Canada’s national anthem, they were trying to make it gender neutral. What they accomplished was to have some of us singing different words, others of us confused and all of us stuck with awkward phrasing. And it is tough to fake that you are singing along under ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The troubled travels of Trudeau.

Good advice is a treasured commodity in government. Bad advice is plentiful. It seems that our current prime minister has plenty of the latter and not enough of the former. It could also be that Justin Trudeau has lots of good advice but chooses to ignore it. That was how his father behaved in his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Bully Pulpit of Donald Trump.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, more than 100 years ago, that the White House is a bully pulpit. It means something very different to the bully in today’s White House. Roosevelt saw the bully pulpit as a position for good. Trump sees it as a position to abuse the less powerful. He is a bully in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The mild-mannered Minister Morneau.

To think that it was only during the last half of last year that I was calling for the finance minister’s head. This week’s budget hardly left me feeling fonder. I thought Bill Morneau showed his true patrician colours in failing to defend his budget last year. What the hell is he going to do ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Elitism bites Trudeau’s ass.

It is hard to say what embarrasses Canadians more. Seeing pictures of Trudeau and his family dressing up Bollywood-style to the amusement of the Indian Sub-continent is bad enough. As often as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been warned though about his elitist approach, those chickens have come home to roost. It looks like the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did the Lion roar or snore?

Since the name ‘Singh’ for Sikhs means ‘lion,’ it makes you wonder about New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh. Is he just a cowardly lion, looking for a political Wizard of Oz to give him the courage to address the real needs of his party? He certainly failed to deal with any of the real ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A tag day for journalism.

It should be admitted up front that this writer is a news junky. With a career in public relations and politics, I believe in the independence of CBC/Radio Canada and I have been known to pester the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). A strong, independent news media makes for a strong nation. But I am ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Jagmeet’s first challenge.

The new leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has been busier than you think. Taking his party’s leadership was Jagmeet Singh’s easiest task. His journeys around Canada since then have been to convince the party members that an observant Sikh does not have two heads and can also be an effective politician. Now he ...