Babel-on-the-Bay: As the world wearies of Trump.

This is a bad sign. A world becoming wearied of President Trump already? It signifies an acceptance of something abnormal and dangerous. When the king seats his fool on the throne, is the fool now king? And if you accept the largess of the fool while the fool sits on the throne, are you not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a leader betrays a Canadian legacy.

There was a time back in the Pearson-Trudeau era when tensions ran through English-French relations at the usual flash points in Montreal and Ottawa. And those of us not fully bilingual were the bruised. It is sad to tell of the disappointments suffered from those you had supported so fiercely. That is why so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Even an elite Senate needs direction.

It seems you cannot keep a newspaper person from writing. Even with a sinecure such as a guaranteed salary for sitting in the Senate (until age 75) former La Presse editor André Pratte keeps writing. The past week it was a piece he wrote for the Toronto Star on why an evolving Senate must adapt. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a friend gives a friend a lift.

This is not the prime minister’s problem. It must be the ethics and conflict of interest commissioner’s problem. This commissioner acts independently and reports to parliament on those issues that might involve the ethics or any conflict of interest on the part of federally elected persons. We hear that she is currently looking into a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Put in a word for us when you see the PM.

So, what are you going to tell the prime minister? He’s coming to see you. You just need to contact your Liberal M.P. to get an invitation. He is not coming to our riding. We lost to the Conservatives by 86 votes. And please do not ask the PM if it is cold enough for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Concern for Canada’s Conservatives.

If we did not have Canadian Conservatives, we would have to import some from the U.S.A. Admittedly these are not the best of times for Canada’s Conservatives. This coming week we will watch their federal leadership contestants mangle the French language trying to measure up to Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney in a French language ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Culling Canada’s Cabinet.

Cabinet making and cabinet tending are different requirements of a prime minister. Those were sunny days in late 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau chose his first cabinet. Change can come quickly at busy times. What we have to realize is that his perspective on the need for change is quite different from our perspectives. Trudeau ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s march to our own drummer.

It was hardly a surprise when the Prime Minister’s Office said he was not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington next week. Frankly, the Canadian prime minister would just be in the way. It was more of a surprise that he would not be attending the concurrent world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland. It seems ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The Politicians.

Sociologists would probably not include this group among the elites but from a political perspective it is hard to deny them. While the elected at the provincial and federal level have obvious influence on our lives when serving in cabinet as prime minister, premier or in a cabinet position, their position as an elite can ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the quiet before the storm.

It is the ho-hum time between New Year’s and the real reasons for having a January. In our area, that just means more damn snow. At least the ski hills are buzzing. But we want to talk about how we vote and who we vote for and what’s wrong with our constitution. For a political ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Second Front to help the B.C. pipeline fight.

There are people in British Columbia ready and willing to go to jail in their fight against twining the Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby, B.C. It is an abomination that must be stopped. In turning his back on the environmental concerns, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is guilty of hypocrisy. He has betrayed B.C., he has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Queen advises: “Take a deep breath.”

We can all buy into that advice. It was directed mainly to Great Britain in Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message to the Commonwealth. It was obviously related to the surprise Brexit vote by Britain earlier in 2016. It is also excellent advice for the rest of the world judging by the recent antics of the American ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can O’Leary cow Canadian conservatism?

This is pathetic. This guy Kevin O’Leary thinks he is the Canadian hope for conservatism. Waving a kitchen scraper, he is asking people to endorse him as Canada’s answer to Donald Trump. Frankly the best instrument for the job to be done in Ottawa is still a pitchfork. You would think that O’Leary at 62 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ottawa’s Ghost of Christmas Future.

When Marley’s Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come came to see Canada’s Prime Minister, the ghost looked a lot like American President Elect Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau had many questions for him but the ghost never spoke a word. He just kept on twitting. The ghost took the Prime Minister to breakfast with the Calgary ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ottawa’s Ghosts of Christmas Past.

When Canada’s parliament shuts down for Christmas, the old grey halls along Ottawa’s Wellington Street welcome the respite. They have seen much since their construction for the Parliament of Upper Canada in the mid 19th Century. And they have been under constant repair since. But it is the ghosts who wander those halls that own ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The arrogance of Justin Trudeau.

Weighing the pluses and minuses of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year in office was a tough job. He got off to a good start. How many refugees can claim they were welcomed to their new country by its Prime Minister? In person! And he kept his promise to fix what we used to call ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lament for the CRTC’s Skinny Basic.

It was over three years ago that we last travelled to the nation’s capital to talk with the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). When there, we faced the enemy and their henchmen. We saw Bell Canada and Rogers in action. We talked to the commissioners about ‘skinny basic’ service for cable, fiber and satellite television ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The rocky road to electoral reform.

It seems obvious at this stage that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has still not gained any conviction on electoral reform. He hardly understood what he was promising when he said that the 2015 election would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post. He seemed to have no understanding of the alternatives. As the expression goes, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You told a pollster the truth?

It seems that the privacy watchdog in Ottawa is investigating the Liberal government’s survey on electoral reform. The privacy commissioner’s office is concerned that the Liberals should not have included collecting demographic information in the survey. It might be an invasion of privacy. But since you decided not to give them accurate information, what is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The impoverishment of Sir John, eh?

There is a very old saying that people who forget the past will probably screw up the future. It has always been very annoying to us that Canadians can be disinterested in the past. They fail to be aware of or appreciate the people who have given so much of themselves to create and build ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The worst fears of Justin Trudeau.

It is hardly the spectre of Stephen Harper that keeps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau awake nights. It is the spectre of a democratic Liberal Party of Canada. It was something that was very real and credible to his father but for some reason haunts the son. From day one of his winning the leadership of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In defence of Internet voting.

After more than five decades of working with computers, you would think the writer would know a bit about computers. The truth is that we have never programmed a line of code. Our expertise was always in being able to listen to experts and then interpret what they said for the public. Yet we have ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the steps of the Hair or of Trump?

There could be as many as 14 contenders for the upcoming Conservative leadership contest on-stage in Moncton tonight. Which candidates will take their cue from the Hair (Stephen Harper) and who will want to try the President-Elect Donald Trump style is the question? The Moncton event is our first chance to hear from some of ...

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 ...