Babel-on-the-Bay: Weep not for vote reform.

Among each successive generation there are those who seek to change how we elect our representatives to run our cities, our provinces and our country. Good for them. It is important that we think about it. We need to be sure we have the best system possible. And we do. Now that we have completed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The more things change…

There has been a reluctance here to comment on the current leadership race for the Alberta Conservatives. It is not as though the outcome does not seem obvious but our best insight into Alberta Conservatism died last year and she is irreplaceable. It has left a serious sinkhole in our understanding of the Alberta political ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: One person can spoil your whole day.

No, this is not about the poor, sick misfit who is charged with murdering six Canadians in a Quebec City mosque. It is about the guilt we all share for bigotry world-wide. We share the guilt because we let it happen. Sure, you can pile the guilt on the pathetic President of the United States. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Which truth matters?

Yet another report has been written on the train wreck of Canadian news media. Frankly, the Library of Parliament is already overloaded with such studies. There is always lots of hand-wringing and consoling for each new version but this new one can be guaranteed to gather dust as the many written before. It seems to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The fix in foreign affairs.

When Stéphane Dion was so unceremoniously dumped from foreign affairs by Prime Minister Trudeau, all most people could say was they hoped it worked. How would you feel if you were the new foreign affairs minister and the PM kept casting about for the advice needed to handle the situation in Washington? And how does ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: May comes; May goes.

Did you see that lovely picture of British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump holding hands outside the West Wing? It was all the lady came to Washington to get. And it was all she wanted. You really do not think anything substantive was agreed to, did you? It was entirely a public ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Orwell Observed.

There must be a dearth of honest work for lawyers these days. It seems more and more of them are devoting billable hours to being published. It must be part of their contract to get their firm noticed and to attract real lawyering work. One such example of this phenomenon is the recent op-ed in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We needed to hug Trump’s ‘Deplorables.’

In the heat of last fall’s U.S. election, Hillary Clinton foolishly claimed that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.” These were the obvious Trump supporters who were vocally responding to his speeches that pandered to racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic mind sets. Instead of offering our hand to these ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The proud pomposity of the Toronto Star.

There are few things funnier than a Toronto Star editorial that lambastes the Ontario government for all the wrong reasons. And nothing deflates the pomposity better than getting their facts wrong. We are looking at the Star editorial demanding an end to the proposed increases in community college presidents’ salaries. What would really help here ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: As the world wearies of Trump.

This is a bad sign. A world becoming wearied of President Trump already? It signifies an acceptance of something abnormal and dangerous. When the king seats his fool on the throne, is the fool now king? And if you accept the largess of the fool while the fool sits on the throne, are you not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Myths of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system.

An associate professor at McGill wrote an interesting op-ed last week in the Toronto Star seeking to answer the four major myths about the Ontario-Quebec cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gasses. The only problem with Christopher Ragan’s column is that most of the myths he attempts to debunk are answered with arguments for a straight ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In debate with a demagogue.

The signs around the White House should read: Danger, Demagogue in power. And yes, there is no denying that President Donald Trump is a classical demagogue. Rational debate is now passé. It is a time of alternative facts. Facts as only President Trump perceives them. And Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet are meeting in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a leader betrays a Canadian legacy.

There was a time back in the Pearson-Trudeau era when tensions ran through English-French relations at the usual flash points in Montreal and Ottawa. And those of us not fully bilingual were the bruised. It is sad to tell of the disappointments suffered from those you had supported so fiercely. That is why so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: On Bastille Day in America.

Watching the self-indulgent speech by President Donald Trump at his inauguration, it was as though he believed that his promises to the people of America were unique in world history. He was wrong. The same speech could have been made as the Bastille fell in Paris in 1789. But the difference was that the continuing ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sometimes the answer is in plain sight.

Writing about the problems the Barrie Liberals face in the 2018 provincial election recently, we should have stated the obvious answer. It has been there for the past seven years. The problem is that there will be two electoral districts covering Barrie for the 2018 provincial election. These are identical to the federal electoral districts ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s have a truce for Mr. Trump’s day.

It all becomes real today. That person will become President of the United States of America and there is nothing we can do about it. We can share our shock with the rest of the world. We can ridicule the corrupted system that allowed it to happen. Finding fault is so much a fool’s game. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Even an elite Senate needs direction.

It seems you cannot keep a newspaper person from writing. Even with a sinecure such as a guaranteed salary for sitting in the Senate (until age 75) former La Presse editor André Pratte keeps writing. The past week it was a piece he wrote for the Toronto Star on why an evolving Senate must adapt. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who is worried about Patrick Brown?

This advice is just for Ontario Progressive Conservatives. They are the ones who need to worry. The reason for this is the statement made last week by Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown’s good friend and campaign chair Walied Soliman. He is reported as saying, “We know that the Liberals are going to unleash a campaign ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a friend gives a friend a lift.

This is not the prime minister’s problem. It must be the ethics and conflict of interest commissioner’s problem. This commissioner acts independently and reports to parliament on those issues that might involve the ethics or any conflict of interest on the part of federally elected persons. We hear that she is currently looking into a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne: Colour her gone.

It seems more and more likely that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberals are on the slippery side of the slope. Nothing says it more emphatically than the situation in which we find ourselves here in Babel. (You know Babel as Barrie, Ontario.) We are less than two years from a tough election situation ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Butt out Ms. Fonda.

While it is so very nice of actor Jane Fonda to lend her celebrity concern to the rape of the environment for tar sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadians should certainly say ‘Thank you.’ It all helps, but celebrity endorsements and support can come across as self-serving and really do not carry much credibility. Celebrities ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Put in a word for us when you see the PM.

So, what are you going to tell the prime minister? He’s coming to see you. You just need to contact your Liberal M.P. to get an invitation. He is not coming to our riding. We lost to the Conservatives by 86 votes. And please do not ask the PM if it is cold enough for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Concern for Canada’s Conservatives.

If we did not have Canadian Conservatives, we would have to import some from the U.S.A. Admittedly these are not the best of times for Canada’s Conservatives. This coming week we will watch their federal leadership contestants mangle the French language trying to measure up to Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney in a French language ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Culling Canada’s Cabinet.

Cabinet making and cabinet tending are different requirements of a prime minister. Those were sunny days in late 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau chose his first cabinet. Change can come quickly at busy times. What we have to realize is that his perspective on the need for change is quite different from our perspectives. Trudeau ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s march to our own drummer.

It was hardly a surprise when the Prime Minister’s Office said he was not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington next week. Frankly, the Canadian prime minister would just be in the way. It was more of a surprise that he would not be attending the concurrent world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland. It seems ...