Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau plays to the home crowd.

Surprise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau played it safe the other day. He appointed Quebec’s Richard Wagner as chief justice of the Supreme Court. We Canadians have had little chance to hear from Wagner prior to this appointment. We have had no real chance to assess what his leadership might mean. We were left out while ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown plays bad with the big kids.

The first time I met Barrie, Ontario politician Patrick Brown, I wondered what this miserable person was doing in politics? He has no personality. He has little grasp of election issues. What I soon learned was that he is a gamer. And his game is politics. He plays the game of politics as a video ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Beating off the NAFTA bogymen.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might not make it to New Year’s. Who knows? Mr. Trump might just like to go out of this year with a clean slate. He has promised his ignorant and uncaring sycophants a pyrrhic victory and he might as well deliver the killing blow. It looks like the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dealing with diversity.

We often note that Canada’s greatest strength today is its diversity. It is even emphasized as we compare it to the weaknesses in other countries as they succumb to the anger of bigotry. Travelling in England, France and the United States, it is easy to see where an inability to live together in harmony can ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The failing final days of America.

This is a time of unease. America has failed us. The heroes of the Second World War are vanishing. The people who touted democracy to the world’s oppressed are fading into history. Around the globe there is a sense of a collective waiting. People are tense, on a short fuse, wary and concerned. What will ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Denzil decides to do his duty.

Toronto Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong seems to have heard the clarion call of distant trumpets. He tells people that he is challenging for the Progressive Conservative candidacy in York East electoral district. Knowing the voters in that part of Toronto as I do, this is not really exciting news. While Denzil might believe he can leap ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: As the pendulum swings.

There can be a pendulum effect in politics. It means that for every aberration noted in one election there is often an equal and opposite reaction in the next election. We just might be seeing this in Alabama leading up to the special election for a U.S. senator next week. We can see why the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wall of Wonder.

Is the American President going to select his wonderful wall for Christmas? Hopeful contractors have erected eight samples of wall in San Diego, CA for his decision. All he has to do is pick his favourite. His Twitter followers will likely be the first to know which wall he prefers. But how he is going ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Trudeau’s elitism working?

It is getting to the point where even the Conservative opposition in parliament is noticing. They are starting to take verbal jabs at the prime minister’s elitist nature. It is starting small but it will grow. Canada’s poster boy prime minister can ill afford to have his elitist tendencies to become common knowledge. But even ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: King Street. Where T.O. business goes to die.

Did you hear the exciting news? The streetcar pilot project on King Street in Toronto is moving people faster. What for, we are not quite sure. It seems that in the evening rush hour, you can potentially get home for dinner five minutes earlier. For whatever it is worth, you can also get to work ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tories try sleight-of-hand with transit.

When we first saw the Ontario Conservative’s proposal for Toronto Transit, we thought it was one of the silliest we had heard for a while. It just made no sense why they thought the provincial government would make less a mess of the job of running the subways and light-rail systems than the city. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Quebec colonizing continues.

Some of you might be wondering about that silly motion by the Quebec National Assembly last week. It was the one suggesting that Montreal merchants stop saying “Bonjour Hi” to customers coming into their places of business. The motion was proposed by those language snobs of the Parti Québécois and passed unanimously by all parties. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Chuckles needs to change gears.

It is a rare time that we give serious advice to the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. It is that ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is going to have to learn the difference between legitimate political criticism and harassment. Watching Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the House of Commons it seemed to me that the poor ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Ontario come with an owner’s manual?

Maybe Patrick Brown forgot to ask. It has been clear that Premier Kathleen Wynne has been playing the job by ear for the past four years. It is just that the former do-nothing back bencher from the Harper government wants Wynne’s job. The Globe and Mail tells us that Brown is a pragmatist on steroids ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why Sarah is the perfect press patsy.

Her name is Sarah Huckabee Sanders and she is President Trump’s White House press secretary. Watching her in action, you get the feeling that she is something of a female version of Forrest Gump. It is her gullible nature that makes her the ideal press secretary. Having been in her position occasionally, during a career ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Deal with the Devil for our heritage.

The Toronto Star owners have made a deal with PostMedia to divide Ontario between them. Talk about a deal with the devil! Did they think that the Competition Bureau in Ottawa would fail to notice? Is this what heritage minister Mélanie Joly meant when she said the government was not interested in aiding newspapers because ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Promises and Political Promises.

The magazine style “policy platform” handed out to the Ontario Conservative elite at their get-together last weekend is a style of political literature that was developed many years ago. The glossy magazine is a strong sales style that the voter might keep a bit longer. Adding a full-page guarantee was an idea that popped up ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A station ghosts have forgotten.

As the winds of yet another winter blow through the beautifully restored but empty train station by Kempenfelt Bay, you wonder at the foolishness of Barrie’s city council. In the words of an old television series, they see nothing, they know nothing. The story of the train station started about 700 years ago when nomadic ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick’s pathetic policy pantomime.

It was a come from behind event. Ontario Conservative Party Leader Brown hosted a party event over the weekend. Some of the media had noticed that he had no policies. He therefore had an event to announce some policies to start building the scenery for next June’s provincial election. He had already set the centerpiece ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Black on black.

It never pays to be pedantic but enough is enough. I try not to sound off on how others write, spell, punctuate or capitalize. I can make my own mistakes. And if I get on my high horse, the wife calls me ‘Anal Alan’ after the role of the brother in “Two and a Half ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Rachel wants you on her side.

Do you feel threatened by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley? It seems the lady can scare anyone who gets in her way. Right now, she is in a rage against people who think pipelines for bitumen are bad for the environment. You either ride the bitumen bus with Rachel or she might throw you under it. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Longingly looking for liberalism.

A correspondent from British Columbia recently asked “What is a Liberal party bereft of liberalism?” He was, of course, describing the situation today where the Conservative parties are moving farther and farther to the harshest right, Liberals are the new Conservative-Light and the New Democrats are lost in a confused and undetermined world of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Noticing the New National News.

Many of us count on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for reliable, well vetted news. Well, we used to. Despite Peter Mansbridge’s droning, all-knowing, stony style, we liked his panels, the depth and the humour they brought to the concerns of the day. But news is not an art form. The National has been turned into ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: There’s a great job opening here.

This is not your standard help wanted situation. Into every life there is an opportunity that comes knocking. This is an opportunity beyond your wildest dreams. It is fame and fortune. There are no limits. You just have to seize the opportunity. It is not for the faint of heart. To start with, you had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Writing Off NAFTA.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is still on the operating table. While it appears that the gurus at Canada’s banks are giving poor odds, that seems to be what banks always do. They do appear to like spreading doom and gloom. Despite their predictions, nobody is willing to announce time of death at ...