Babel-on-the-Bay: Will Singh say something serious?

With a new party leader established and MP Charlie Angus taking over the New Democratic Party house leadership, and Thomas Mulcair retiring, the new leader, Jagmeet Singh, is free to roam the country. He can meet Canadians everywhere and press the flesh at local labour halls. The only question is what the heck he is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s like a long race on turf.

The next Ontario general election is scheduled to be held June 7, 2018. This race will be like a mile and a half on the turf track and requires horses with great endurance and energy. That makes it the time for the old and tired to retire. And that is what is happening with all ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Cole considers claiming the mayor’s chair.

The Toronto Star’s columnist on city issues, Edward Keenan, thinks black activist Desmond Cole would bring some excitement to the race for mayor next year. He thinks that the race would be a bit of a snooze without Cole. When you consider that the main contenders so far are incumbent Mayor John Tory and wannabe ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Two NDPers on bicycles.

Reading a fatuous op-ed in the Toronto Star the other morning was funnier than the comics. It was signed by two city councillors who are New Democratic party supporters. And it was not just the superficial treatment of the subject and the bad editing that was funny. This was a highly biased opinion piece by ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump stands steadfast, Justin.

Prime Minister Trudeau dropped in to the White House to see President Trump the other day. It is likely that two minutes after Trudeau left the Oval Office, Donald Trump had forgotten what they had said. It is not just that the man has a short attention span but he has absolutely no interest in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does the religious model serve the new politics?

Is it religion that we see reflected in the new politics. Maybe it has been there all along. Canadian politics has been slower to wrap itself in vestments but in American politics, religion plays a constant and visceral part in what is happening. Americans speak of their country as “one nation, under God” and God ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Singing Singh’s song.

On Thanksgiving, the Toronto Star devoted several thousand well chosen words to welcoming Jagmeet Singh as leader of the federal New Democratic Party. It was generous, surprisingly inaccurate, hopeful and gracious article. Jagmeet Singh could never be such a wonderful Sir Galahad. Much was made of the firsts Singh’s success represents. As the first turbaned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown does not have a problem. He is the problem. His handlers are not sure how to present him to provincial voters. They are concerned that the more people they introduce him to, the fewer people like him. It is not supposed to work that way. At first, they thought they ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who killed Energy East?

There seems to be a lot of blame going around this weekend. The politicians are roasting each other. The environmentalists are giving heart-felt thanks and the rest of Canadians wonder what the noise is about. There are other pipelines still to fight over. Killing TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline solves nothing. It was a bad deal ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hepburn’s humour.

Columnist Bob Hepburn must be weaning off the writing habit as he continues for his 30th year at the Toronto Star. Luckily, he has not lost his sense of humour. He wrote a couple weeks ago that the media should not ignore former Toronto Councillor Doug Ford. And then he wrote more recently that Toronto ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Nice suits and empty slogans.”

That comment about suits and slogans was in the last line of the Toronto Star’s pompous editorial on “The challenge for Singh.” The newspaper editorialists want Singh and Trudeau to square off on progressive policy issues in the 2019 federal election. Lot’s of luck on that! But the problem is that the Star writers think ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “What to my wondering eyes should appear…”

Christmas was in in October this year. The wife needed some parmesan cheese for our spaghetti dinner and insisted I stop at the local Metro grocery store. I went in with her, mainly because I always enjoy that store. It is expensive but it is well run and I often find a bargain at the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It is time to fire Bill Morneau, Justin.

Bill Morneau has a straight-forward job. As complex as the Finance Department might appear to the average Canadian, the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre has the credentials that say he should be capable of handling the finance portfolio. He is also considered to be a generally good guy. It is really too bad that ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Netflix should be told to “Get Stuffed.”

Canada’s heritage minister needs a better understanding of Canada’s heritage. Another of the junior grade ministers in the Trudeau cabinet, Mélanie Joly, defended Netflix last week. It was a betrayal of Canadian actors, production capabilities and our French-speaking citizens as well as a allowing a leach to defy Canadian broadcast and tax rules. Joly welcomed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Americans bomb Bombardier.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and the prime ministers of both the United Kingdom and Canada are furious and have spoken out angrily about the proposed 219.6 per cent duty on Bombardier planes purchased by Delta Airlines. This is a direct and brutal attack on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and on the very ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The problem for political pundits.

While waiting to hear the New Democratic Party leadership tallies yesterday, I was reading what Mainstreet Technology’s Quito Magi had to say about the race. Having worked with Quito in the past, I have often had the feeling that he should forego all this technology and make an arrangement with a healthy young groundhog, to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It will be news when Trump says it is.

For the longest time, Americans have been struggling with the concept of ‘Fake News.’ Is it fake if Donald Trump says it is fake? Or is it fake because Donald Trump says it? And if you are puzzled by the nuance between those two questions, you have a problem. In fact, it is more of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Toronto’s Tory talks the talk.

It was Doug Ford’s challenge. He actually asked Toronto Mayor John Tory to rename Etobicoke’s Centennial Stadium after his late brother Rob. It is very hard to say whether Tory—considering that Doug Ford says he will challenge him for the mayoralty next year—was baiting a trap or just proving Ford is an egotistical ass. Now ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Use child psychology on Mr. Trump.

This is a bit of advice for our world leaders. It is very simple. It is not even difficult. It is the realization that we have been mishandling the president of the United States. We have been erroneously treating him as an adult. He does not seem to want to be treated as an adult. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Singh misreads Canadian acceptance.

Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh is heading for some disappointment. It would really be better if he faced it this weekend instead of in the next federal election. As the obvious frontrunner in the announcement this weekend of the first vote in the New Democratic Party leadership race, it would be better if he did not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The myopic Mr. Brown.

It reminds us that even a stopped clock can be right twice a day. Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has no policies but we know what he is against. He tells us that he will cancel the Liberal Cap and Trade environmental protection plan. He has no idea what he might replace it with but ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is NAFTA circling the drain?

You always assume there is hope as long as negotiations continue—as they are for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this week in Ottawa. The only problem is that the negotiators are not the decision makers. The final solution rests with an incompetent occupant in the White House. And you should not try to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who’s crazy?

Interesting editorial cartoon the other day. It is of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader is shown pulling a child’s wagon with a small rocket on it put together with tape. The American president has an array of rockets behind him and he is wearing a straight jacket. The balloon of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau’s terrific travels!

Canadians sure get full measure when they send their prime minister on a personal appearance tour. He did more in two days in New York than most rock stars can do in a week.  The British prime minister and that New Yorker who currently occupies the Washington White House were also in town but the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Chuckles’ cheers the cheaters.

There are two types of people who take advantage of Canada’s tax laws and form private corporations. There are those who legitimately pay family members (and others) for their work and there are those who sprinkle the income among family to avoid taxes. It is this second group that is so delighted that Conservative Opposition ...