Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching Justin suck and blow again.

One of our favourite progressive bloggers is on the West Coast and he likes to refer to Prime Minister Trudeau as ‘le Dauphin.’ He actually wrote that the Dauphin’s announcement of a $1.5 billion fund to upgrade responses to tanker and oil spills on the Pacific coast was a good start. Start at what? The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Our electoral discontent?

There was an item among progressive blogs the other day that said Canada needed to change how it votes so that what happened in the U.S. did not happen here. The writer seemed confused by the way Americans elect their President. The reality Tuesday night was that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a tax is a better answer.

Canadians have not really joined the dispute between carbon tax and ‘Cap and Trade’ yet. It is of increasing importance that they do. And while nobody really wants to choose taxes over industrial deals, there are good reasons for us to choose carbon taxes. The primary reason why a carbon tax is the best answer ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Those who forget the past…

Those who forget the past are going to screw up our future. Those are not the exact words of the old cliché but they certainly fit. This occurred to us the other day when Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the Trudeau government’s solution to cheaper air travel—let foreigners own a larger share of our airlines. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Public-Private Partnerships revisited.

Canadians have had limited experience in public-private partnerships over the years and while one government can launch a public-private project it only takes the next government to destroy the value achieved. The two projects (other than the Canadian Pacific Railway) that immediately came to mind listening to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s elite panel report last ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Revisiting electoral reform.

As the special commons committee on electoral reform finishes hearings and prepares to enter into its deliberations, there is a sense of deja vu. Canadians in six provinces have already had a variety of commissions and citizens’ forums study different voting reforms. British Columbia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island have had votes in which the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The silence of Trudeau’s lambs.

You wonder what a writer such as Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs) would make of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most recent elitist appointments to the Senate of Canada. What is really different in this circumstance is that these people are reported to have actually applied to be appointed. It is a strange type ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: CETA: The devil is in the details.

Tried the other day to reread the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and finally gave up in disgust. Maybe this deal between Canada and the European Union is just too comprehensive for this non-trade expert to comprehend. And when you find the mainly French-speaking Wallonia area of Belgium is the last hold-out on the deal, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau tests veto on vote reform.

This scenario has taken place before. He does it in Quebec thinking nobody in the rest of Canada is going to hear about it. Justin Trudeau is hardly the first politician to test the waters before diving into the deep end of the pool. In this case the prime minister gave an interview to Quebec’s ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s in it for us?

That is not a selfish question. It came up the other day when reading another boring presentation to the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform. “What is in it for us” is likely to be the cri de coeur of Canadians when they see what the months of gestation of the electoral reform ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The one shouting loudest tells the truth.

What? You do not believe that? Why just the other day, we received a large envelope from the Liberal Party of Canada. In big capitol letters across one side of the mailing were the words “Transparent. Open.” and “Real.” And if you believed that you were deluding yourself. Inside the overly large envelope were the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin’s honeymoon rolls on.

The other day columnist Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star gave Justin Trudeau’s Liberals an ‘A-‘ for their first year grade in office. Bob is a fine gentleman and a good writer but much too generous in his assessment. The truth is that much of this first year in power has been wasted by a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What gender wars are these?

It is among the usual platitudes of those proposing proportional voting systems for Canada that more women will be elected if we just switched to a proportional voting system. Nobody can tell you why this is supposedly the case but they point to countries such as in Scandinavia that have a higher ratio of women ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A nugget among the dross.

When you find you have been panning the provincial and federal Liberal parties, it is wonderful to come across someone who just might be a nugget of real gold. This is a liberal who thinks for himself, invests time in research and speaks out with truths as he sees them. We are speaking here about ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patience: Elites at work.

It seems we might be seeing more of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s elitist senate. A committee of senators think they should have their own television channel. It is just a recommendation at the moment but you never know with these things. After all, who would have believed a TV channel that does nothing but burn ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: How green is my gas?

There has been another example of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can suck and blow at the same time. It took three federal cabinet members to burst the environmental bubble in B.C. They travelled from Ottawa unnecessarily to provide word that the government would allow the building of a gas pipeline from Alberta to the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Another redneck heard from.

You would think in this era of instant communications and extensive broadcast media coverage throughout rural Canada, there would be little excuse for rural politicians to have so little understanding of their country. And yet, Leamington, Ontario Mayor John Paterson has joined Conservative MP Kelly Leitch in demanding that newcomers to Canada conform to their ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Oh, what wimps these Liberals be!

This would have run sooner if we had not written the weekend’s commentaries earlier last week. Have these Liberals learned nothing from watching former Prime Minister Harper over the years? Those hypocrites on the Conservative benches ridiculed the new and experimental House Leader who gamely tried to stick her fingers in the dike. The neophyte ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dullness Reigns.

It was during one of the overly warm days in this past August that are often referred to as the dog days of summer. It had to be a dog day because a reporter with a major Canadian newspaper got away with comparing the royal offspring of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pedigree ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Selling Canada or just selling PR?

Found in the pile on the desk today was an op-ed written a few weeks ago by a former communications director for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. A quick re-read had us smiling. It reminded us too much of being a young public relations person almost 50 years ago. Back then Hill + Knowlton Canada did ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The pride in losing.

The submission by Fair Vote Canada to the special parliamentary committee on electoral reform recently claimed that 9 million voters in the 2015 federal election were unable to make their votes count. This assumption was made because they voted for losing candidates. And they did not even get a lollipop for their trouble. That is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What does electoral reform solve?

With one of the least experienced ministers in the government responsible for democratic institutions, you sometimes wonder what this special committee on electoral reform is supposed to solve. It seems to be a distraction. If there was a list prepared of the 100 most serious problems facing Canada’s democracy, it is likely that how we ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A rocky road for Trudeau.

Into every life a little rain must fall. And there might not be many sunny days this fall for the Trudeau government. After almost a year in office, it is time for some tough decisions. You can hardly please all of the people all of the time. And most of these decisions are landing with ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The School Mistress’ Lesson.

This lady does not beat around the bush about to-day’s lesson. She is from an organization called Leadnow.ca and she and her organization think that our present voting system is broken. That seems to be a common theme among the do-gooders who come out to talk about electoral reform across Canada. But fear not folks, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Update on Electoral Reform.

These electoral reform committee meetings are more and more boring. The special commons committee sitting over the summer was supposed to give us commentators something to write about. The only problem is that with the usual slump in readership over the summer, this has proved to be a yawn. It provides nowhere need the entertainment ...