Politics and its Discontents: Words Versus Deeds

Our Prime Minister, always keen to appear as a progressive on the international stage, is decidedly less so at home, as recent events are demonstrating. Another reminder of the gross disparity between his words and deeds came when he met in London with Teresa May, who is planning to ban the sale of plastic straws ...

Politics and its Discontents: Last Gasps?

Some days, writing this blog is quite easy, as I only have to turn to the letters page of my newspaper to aggregate the well-considered thoughts of my fellow Canadians. Today is such a day. To believe our Prime Minister, we can have our economic and environmental cake served upon the same plate. His fatuous ...

Politics and its Discontents: Defining The National Interest

As the video included in yesterday’s post shows, Justin Trudeau likes to defend the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline as in ‘the national interest.” The term itself is a contentious one, given its nebulous nature. For the Prime Minister, it seems to mean economic growth, moving Alberta’s bitumen to port, and bolstering Rachel Notley’s ...

Politics and its Discontents: That Was Then; This Is Now

Funny about campaign promises. Most people take them with a large grain of salt, yet once in awhile, large segments of us are drawn in by the hope for a better day, hope fueled by an earnest politician who seems intent on upending the traditional shoddy, cynical and ultimately heart-breaking way of doing things that ...

Politics and its Discontents: That’s Another Fine Mess He’s Gotten Himself Into

In a post yesterday, The Mound offered a searing assessment of Justin Trudeau’s abject failure on the climate-change file. Only the most ardent acolytes of the Prime Minister will fail to see that his soaring rhetoric has far outpaced his level of achievement. Says Mound: Raising public awareness about climate change as needed to secure ...

Politics and its Discontents: Are Two Sellouts Pending?

He’s loved of the distracted multitude, multitude, who like not in their judgement, but their eyes. Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 3 As Claudius in the above states, there will always be those who suspend their deeper thinking when evaluating public figures, preferring to reflexively accept the public images the latter so carefully cultivate, often at ...

Politics and its Discontents: A New Record In Canadian Debt

It is $1 trillion and counting. While I am by no means a fiscal hawk, such a high debt level should concern all of us, given the looming spectre of interest rate hikes, which means the cost of servicing that massive debt has only one way to go – up. Sadly, Justin Trudeau’s promise to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Who Do You Trust?

When it comes to a choice between believing a government with a vested interest in protecting a $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia and independent reports that those armaments are being used against domestic populations, I tend to side with the later. Consider the evidence.The Saudi Arabian National Guard, a buyer of Canadian-made light ...

Politics and its Discontents: Seeking Some Substance – Part 2

In Part 1, I tried to establish that there is a gross discrepancy between the rhetoric and the reality of Justin Trudeau’s promise to makie sure corporations pay their fair share. Indeed, if truth be told, his government has done little or nothing to alter the CRA ethos, imposed during the Harper era, to give ...

Politics and its Discontents: Seeking Some Substance – Part 1

In yesterday’s Star, Christopher Hume had occasion to call Prime Minister Trudeau the princeling practitioner of the politics of appearance. In light of an alarming shortfall in revenues that is crippling our services thanks to the government’s anemic corporate tax policies, that struck me as a particularly apt description. Indeed, that element of his persona ...

Politics and its Discontents: Trudeau Town Halls: Baubles Of Distraction, Not Questions Of Substance

Prime-Minister-For-A-Day Kim Campbell is probably best remembered for saying, “An election is no time to discuss serious issues.” She might just as well have been talking about town halls, particularly the kind our Prime Minister is currently in the midst of. Justin Trudeau’s meet-and-greet will undoubtedly constitute a public-relations success. That success, however, will be ...

Politics and its Discontents: Not At All Like His Father

That is the opinion of Star letter-writer Colin Languedoc who, along with Mubashir Rizvi, shares my disappointment in Justin Trudeau’s craven capitulation to bullying by Donald Trump and his minions. Canada sits on its hands for UN vote, Harper, Dec. 22 Tim Harper’s excellent column about the UN vote denouncing the U.S. embassy move brings ...

Politics and its Discontents: Is There No Bottom To Canada’s Shame?

Apparently not, if you are talking about the craven, rudderless and unprincipled Trudeau government that is making us all look bad. As reported by CBC, a toadying and craven Canada is accepting the above Haley invitation, a thank you for not opposing the Trump resolution to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: U.S. Ambassador to the ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Public Asset Sales

Selling off public assets that yield steady and lucrative revenue streams is rarely a good idea. In Ontario, Kathleen Wynne did just that with 60% of Hydro One so she could claim a balanced budget. It is a betrayal I will never forgive her for. As I have written previously, Justin Trudeau would like to ...

Politics and its Discontents: An Increasingly Tattered Cloak

That would be the one Justin Trudeau wraps himself in with such rectitude whenever he attempts to convince the public of his climate-change bona fides. Increasingly, both his cloak and his rhetoric are wearing thin. The latest example of the hollowness of his public persona comes with news that his government is doing something it ...

Politics and its Discontents: C’mon Bill. Just Answer The Question

The beleaguered Bill Morneau continues in his refusal to answer questions about whether he sold a whack of shares in his company, Morneau Shappell, before the government introduced changes to tax rates dropping the income tax rate for middle-class Canadians while boosting it on high-income earners. Those rates were to take effect on Jan. 1, ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Sad Day In The House

It is indeed a sad day in public life when a worm like Pierre Poilievre can stand up in the House of Commons and seem to occupy the high moral ground as he renders ethical judgement on a minister of the Crown. Yet the government of Justin Trudeau has brought this odium on itself by ...

Politics and its Discontents: Bill C-27: A Followup

In yesterday’s post, I discussed Linda McQauig’s article about the purpose of Bill C-27, the Trudeau- Morneau pension bill that would eviscerate Defined Benefit Plans for those working for the federal government and those industries that are federally regulated, including the obscenely profitable banking sector. In today’s Star, readers express sentiments that few would disagree ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Secret Handshake

In her column in today’s Star (which does not yet appear to be available online), Linda McQuaig points out the remarkable similarities between the government of Justin Trudeau and that of Stephen Harper when it comes to facilitating the erosion of defined benefit pension plans. She observes that as a consequence, it is becoming easier ...

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 ...