No anti-poverty measures in 2015 budget

Minister Joe Oliver avoids any mention of poverty   

Joe Oliver & PM in Australia at G-20, PMO photo

Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered a 37-minute budget speech on April 21 without once mentioning the word “poverty” as it applies to Canada. …

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PM Harper a deadbeat on climate change

Canadian premiers provide the leadership

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, MP website photo

Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq wrote recently to the provinces, criticizing them for not providing enough information about how they will combat climate change. She says Ottawa needs that data in order to submit Canada’s emission reduction plans to the United Nations. This is politics at its crudest. Aglukkaq is a minister in a government that has earned a well-deserved international reputation as deadbeat, laggard and obstructionist when it comes to taking action on climate change – yet she chooses to criticize those who are trying to accomplish something.

Aglukkaq’s letter arrived just prior to a scheduled announcement by the premiers of Ontario and Quebec on April 13 that they would sign a cap and trade accord which will attempt to have industry in their provinces reduce carbon emissions. The ink was barely dry on that agreement when federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver opposed it as “negative for the economy . . . negative for consumers and taxpayers.”

Aglukkaq’s epistle also preceded a meeting of provincial and territorial premiers in Quebec City on April 14. They gathered to pool their various climate change initiatives into something resembling a unified plan. The premiers are doing this in the absence of federal leadership from the Conservatives, who oppose pretty well anything that would reduce Canada’s carbon emissions.

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Canada extends war in Iraq and Syria

Church leaders are skeptical

CF-18 fighter plane, Canadian forces photo

After a debate in the House of Commons, the Conservative government announced that Canada will continue its war against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and extend its bombing runs into Syria …

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Charles Taylor on Muslims in Canada

A race between solidarity and division  

Philosopher Charles Taylor in media scrum

The celebrated Canadian political philosopher Charles Taylor made headlines recently when he said that the prime minister’s critical comments about Muslim women wearing the niqab (a partial face covering) were …

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Churches plan related events

Anglican mission school, La Ronge, Sask. LAC photo

On June 2, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will release its report on the legacy of residential schools. The TRC was appointed by the federal government to examine the …

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Security versus civil rights

Debating anti-terrorism Bill C-51

Stephen Harper announces anti-terrorism measures. PMO photo.

There’s an intense debate happening in Parliament and now in the streets over Bill C-51, which the Harper government says is needed to prevent terrorism on Canadian soil. …

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Manning talkfest showcases "vapid conservatism”

MP John Williamson, foot in mouth

Preston Manning fancies himself a big thinker and his recent networking conference in Ottawa was billed as an intellectual event for the conservative movement. But National Post columnist Andrew …

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Pope Francis’ second anniversary

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Pope Francis, Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2013

Fascination with Pope Francis continues as he approaches on March 13 the second anniversary of his election. The New York Review …

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