Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: Business.

Now let’s talk about the real aristocracy in Canada. These are the nobles. They direct the troops that dig our mines, produce products, market the goods, merchandise wares, account for our monies and provide services that all add up to our gross domestic product. It is the chief executives that are the elites of business ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The Politicians.

Sociologists would probably not include this group among the elites but from a political perspective it is hard to deny them. While the elected at the provincial and federal level have obvious influence on our lives when serving in cabinet as prime minister, premier or in a cabinet position, their position as an elite can ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The One Per Cent.

If anyone ever got a bad rap, it is Canada’s one per cent. This group of Canadians is supposed to control about 50 per cent of the country’s wealth and is divided between old money and new money. And there is constant conflict between the old and new. It is simplest to divide them into ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The News Media.

It has always come as a surprise to us that the news media could think of themselves as one of society’s elites. (And just because Donald Trump says it, does not make it so.) But there is a growing distrust of the news media that is hard to deny. We cannot speak as knowledgably of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Not everyone hates Premier Wynne.

It is too bad that Ontario Premier Wynne has no politically smart advisors or staff. Here it is the first week of 2017 and the foolish lady is deep in the do-do of her own making. By selecting the beginning of January to launch her ill-fated cap and trade program, she has been ripped off ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The adults are leaving the White House.

We were never as concerned with George W. Bush as President of the United States. Everyone seemed to understand that ‘W’ is as dumb as a Texas hitching post, but we were probably wrong to assume there were some checks and balances on him. People thought they had more reason to fear Vice President Dick ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the quiet before the storm.

It is the ho-hum time between New Year’s and the real reasons for having a January. In our area, that just means more damn snow. At least the ski hills are buzzing. But we want to talk about how we vote and who we vote for and what’s wrong with our constitution. For a political ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s beliefs bewilder.

After the Legislature of Ontario rose for the holidays there must have been a press gallery gathering to talk about how to handle PC Leader Patrick Brown. The discussion might not have got very far but there must have been general agreement that the socially conservative website LifeSiteNews has a point in referring to him ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tom Clark, we are going to miss you.

That has to be some kind of a make-up or lighting trick. How can Global Television’s Tom Clark look so young and yet admit to 40 years in broadcasting? When he announced his retirement on his New Year’s day West Block program, it came as a surprise. But having been there for Tom’s remarkable career ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Roman God Janus is smiling.

Looking both back and forward is a trick of a God such as Janus. Humans find it easiest to look ahead as we enter a new year. We have already written off the year behind us as a bad dream. And we have much excitement to look forward to in 2017. In North America, the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Happy New Year to Casino Rama.

Many of us have a local pub, restaurant or Legion hall where people know you and make you welcome. We feel that way about our local casino. We have gotten to know many of the staff over the years and they know and welcome us. And we do that knowing that we are going to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Second Front to help the B.C. pipeline fight.

There are people in British Columbia ready and willing to go to jail in their fight against twining the Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby, B.C. It is an abomination that must be stopped. In turning his back on the environmental concerns, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is guilty of hypocrisy. He has betrayed B.C., he has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Petticoats and pantsuits: The politics of gender.

There is a double standard in writing about the politics of gender. A man has to be oh-so careful not to offend while female writers can tramp so carelessly on men. And today, we are supposed to commiserate with the female politicos still drowning their sorrows in gin fizzes over Hillary Clinton’s loss. Face facts ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are they making America great again?

As much as there is an ongoing hullaballoo about President Elect Donald Trump as America runs up to his inauguration, we should never forget the people who elected him. It is quite likely that not even half these people can explain the process of the Electoral College but they are proud of their accomplishment. Their ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Queen advises: “Take a deep breath.”

We can all buy into that advice. It was directed mainly to Great Britain in Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message to the Commonwealth. It was obviously related to the surprise Brexit vote by Britain earlier in 2016. It is also excellent advice for the rest of the world judging by the recent antics of the American ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can O’Leary cow Canadian conservatism?

This is pathetic. This guy Kevin O’Leary thinks he is the Canadian hope for conservatism. Waving a kitchen scraper, he is asking people to endorse him as Canada’s answer to Donald Trump. Frankly the best instrument for the job to be done in Ottawa is still a pitchfork. You would think that O’Leary at 62 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Reprising a year of bad bets.

The regrets of a political junky can be many. After years of easy political prognostications, to be a failure and ground under the heel of a person such as Donald Trump is ignominy. The guy did not even appear on our political radar until March. And we foolishly picked him as an obvious loser. But ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ottawa’s Ghost of Christmas Future.

When Marley’s Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come came to see Canada’s Prime Minister, the ghost looked a lot like American President Elect Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau had many questions for him but the ghost never spoke a word. He just kept on twitting. The ghost took the Prime Minister to breakfast with the Calgary ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ottawa’s Ghosts of Christmas Past.

When Canada’s parliament shuts down for Christmas, the old grey halls along Ottawa’s Wellington Street welcome the respite. They have seen much since their construction for the Parliament of Upper Canada in the mid 19th Century. And they have been under constant repair since. But it is the ghosts who wander those halls that own ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario: The little engine that could in 2017.

There are many versions of “The Little Engine That Could.” There are also various claimed origins of the inspirational children’s story from as far as more than a century past. There are also many adult versions of the theme by many writers, prominent among them (and the most prolific) was the mid to late 20th ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The arrogance of Justin Trudeau.

Weighing the pluses and minuses of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year in office was a tough job. He got off to a good start. How many refugees can claim they were welcomed to their new country by its Prime Minister? In person! And he kept his promise to fix what we used to call ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lament for the CRTC’s Skinny Basic.

It was over three years ago that we last travelled to the nation’s capital to talk with the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). When there, we faced the enemy and their henchmen. We saw Bell Canada and Rogers in action. We talked to the commissioners about ‘skinny basic’ service for cable, fiber and satellite television ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The rocky road to electoral reform.

It seems obvious at this stage that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has still not gained any conviction on electoral reform. He hardly understood what he was promising when he said that the 2015 election would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post. He seemed to have no understanding of the alternatives. As the expression goes, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You told a pollster the truth?

It seems that the privacy watchdog in Ottawa is investigating the Liberal government’s survey on electoral reform. The privacy commissioner’s office is concerned that the Liberals should not have included collecting demographic information in the survey. It might be an invasion of privacy. But since you decided not to give them accurate information, what is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who chose who?

It is grating when we read about Ontario politics and a careless reporter refers to Patrick Brown as ‘winning’ the leadership of Ontario’s Conservatives. He hardly won it. It would be the same as saying Donald Trump won the most votes on November 8, 2016. He did not win the most votes; he won the ...