Politics and its Discontents: On Tax Fairness

Ed Broadbent recently wrote on the need for real tax reform, calling for an end to the various favours our government bestows on the ultra rich. His thesis was compelling: Tax avoidance and evasion by the rich ultimately undermines democracy: it starves social programs and public services, increases after tax income and wealth inequality, and ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Pro Forma Response

While Justin Trudeau will undoubtedly be praised by some for his polite reaction to these activists, his perfunctory response tells all you need to know about the disparity between his usual soaring rhetoric and his increasingly disappointing environmental inaction. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked a pair of environmental protesters for their “activism” after they interrupted ...

Politics and its Discontents: Canadians React To The Paradise Papers

If you aren’t yet outraged over recent revelations, check your pulse to make sure you are still amongst the living. Happily, signs of life are plentiful among Toronto Star readers: Liberal Party fundraisers held family millions in offshore trust, Nov. 6 Coverage of the Paradise Papers’ celebrity tax evaders has tended to revolve around the ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Point Is

In her latest iPolitics article, Kady O’Maley offers the view that the revelations of The Paradise Papers do not constitute a scandal for Justin Trudeau and his government. And while the Scheer-led Opposition is making every predictable effort to connect non-existent dots, few are suggesting that Trudeau had any personal knowledge of the alleged offences ...

Politics and its Discontents: Politics and its Discontents 2017-11-08 20:20:00

PM Justin Trudeau says he’s satisfied with Liberal fundraiser Stephen Bronfman’s explanation of his ties to offshore accounts, but Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls those remarks inappropriate. The Prime Minister is either tone deaf, intellectually challenged, or truly and inextricably linked to the values represented by the world of the Bronfmans that he can so ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Paradise Papers

The prospect of real tax reform in Canada just got a lot dimmer. Today’s release of the Paradise Papers suggests why. CBC News is reporting this about Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser, Stephen Bronfman: In the early summer of 2015, Justin Trudeau was the star attraction at a private fundraiser in Montreal hosted by philanthropist and ...

Politics and its Discontents: Dear Justin

Stand.earth, formerly Forest Ethics, has this message for Justin Trudeau. You can help spread the message by clicking here. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Guest Post: A Response To Flying Blind

Yesterday’s post dealt with the announcement that a degree of self-regulation is to be conferred on the airline industry by the Trudeau government. Given the fraught history of self-regulation in this country, it is alarming news. BM, a frequent commentator, offered an analysis of the situation as well as an interesting perspective on what is ...

Politics and its Discontents: Flying Blind

Many will recall that during the Harper era, our country moved toward greater self-regulation in various industries, often with disastrous results. From tainted meat to railway disasters, the lesson is clear: leaving safety up to the corporate sector, whose prime directive is to maximize profit for their shareholders, is a dangerous gamble with the health ...

Politics and its Discontents: Seeing With Clear Vision

H/t Toronto Star Those who believe analysis must trump hyper-partisanship will enjoy this backgrounder provided in today’s Star as part of its transparency series. The piece makes the point that The Star is guided by the progressive Atkinson principles and has endorsed in the 12 federal elections between 1968 and 2008 … the Liberals nine ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Foundering Ship Of State: A Followup

Following up on last evening’s post, I am adding the comments of Gyor, who listed several more failures of the Trudeau government thus far: You forgot Trudeau’s attempt to increasingly centralize power in Parliament. Many parliamentary posts still go unfilled 2 years in, the filling of which Chantal Herbert called the governmental equivant of tying ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Foundering Ship Of State

Were you to examine my blog posts prior to the last election, you would see that I had grave reservations about the fitness of Justin Trudeau for Canada’s top office. He seemed wedded to platitudes, and there was little to indicate anything substantive in his thinking. After he and his merry men and women were ...

Politics and its Discontents: Rosy Rhetoric Won’t Get The Job Done

Those of us who pay even a modest amount of attention to the ever-increasing toll that climate change is exacting on the world know or sense that we have reached a reckoning point. People living in the Western Hemisphere see all too clearly the havoc being wrought by ever-more powerful storms hitting the Caribbean and ...

Politics and its Discontents: He Takes A Nice Selfie, But Secrecy Is His Real Forté

Those of us who follow politics fairly closely know that there is frequently less than meets the eye in the Trudeau government. Certainly, the Prime Minister talks a reasonably good game, and his selfies are world-renowned, but scratch the surface and you will find increasing evidence that the emperor is, at the very least, scantily-clad. ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Outrage Grows

I suspect that, if they had their druthers, both Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her boss, Justin Trudeau, would much prefer that we trust their administration to always do the right thing and just go on enjoying the always-too short days of summer. But the electorate can be fickle, even unpredictable, engaging in issues ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Cheap Talk And Photo-Ops

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.-George Orwell Regarding the misuse by the Saudis of armoured vehicles Canada sold them, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says all the right words. She says … she’s “deeply concerned” about recent videos that appear to show Canadian-made armoured vehicles being used ...

Politics and its Discontents: Are There Cracks In The Liberal Fortress?

Justin Trudeau and his band of sunny men and women have had, up to this point at least, a pretty easy ride with the Canadian electorate. After years of darkness under the Harper regime, the liberating promise of an open government bent upon truly representing citizens had an allure and cachet too strong to resist. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Will It Be All Talk And No Action?

There will always be those who see Justin Trudeau only through the public image he has so assiduously cultivated. Others, however, refuse to suspend their critical faculties despite the Prime Minister’s fine hair, sunny rhetoric and public earnestness. They demand that his ‘sunny ways’ be met with the kinds of actions a leader with character ...

Politics and its Discontents: Whose Sovereignty Is It, Anyway?

He’s loved of the distracted multitude,Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes.-Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 3 For a long time I have found little to fault in Justin Trudeau’s tactful dance around the Trump administration. Rather than denigrate a particular benighted American initiative like the Muslim travel ban, for example, the Prime Minister ...

Politics and its Discontents: Justin’s Secrecy

There will always be those unable to see beyond the obvious when it comes to Justin Trudeau. His sunny smile, his platitudinous assurances that we can have our pipelines and climate change remediation simultaneously, and his opaque insistence upon the necessity of an Infrastructure Bank seem to carry the day for some, apparently happy to ...

Politics and its Discontents: While You Were Venting

While many Canadians continue to vent their spleen over the compensation awarded to Omar Khadr, something really important is taking place but is being given little media coverage. It is something that, if enacted, may have irreversible consequences. Justin Trudeau and his sunny band of men and women like to portray themselves as progressives with ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Litany Of Failure

While I normally do not read the National Post, a tweet by @trapdinawrpool about a column caught my attention. Written by Kelly McParland, the article offers an uncompromising assessment of a Liberal political landscape littered with broken promises coupled with a return to the party’s traditional arrogance. Why is this important? Because with its brilliant ...

Politics and its Discontents: Omnibus Bills: Another Liberal Betrayal

When Justin Trudeau and his merry band of men and women were campaigning for our vote, they railed against the Harper propensity for passing omnibus bills; those documents, being so dense and long, meant that almost anything could be slipped in. Said the erstwhile earnest Trudeau in 2015: We will not resort to legislative tricks ...

Politics and its Discontents: He Can Talk The Talk

But his sandal-clad feet cannot walk the walk. After the disastrous tenure of Paul Wells as national political affairs commentator, it was a real pleasure to see that The Toronto Star has called Tim Harper out of retirement. In his column today, Harper reminds us of some things that Justin Trudeau acolytes would prefer to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Zelig, Anyone?

I don’t know how many of you remember the 1983 Wood Allen film, Zelig, in which Allen plays an individual with the uncanny ability to take on the characteristics of those around him. The only problem, as I recall, was that there was no real individual at Leonard Zelig’s core, just a skilled chameleon whose ...