The Manning Centre’s annual Ottawa-based gathering of Conservatives has come and gone for another year. Reform Party founder Preston Manning and his wife Sandra created the organization in 2006 to act as a training ground for …Read More
Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’
A pained and strained relationship
Politics and flawed principle
Stephen Harper has returned from a feel-good trip to Israel on which he was accompanied by an entourage of 208 people, largely at government expense — cabinet ministers, MPs, Senators, rabbis, officials from …Read More
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its most recent report. The blue ribbon group of scientists concluded that is 95 percent certain that global warming is occurring, that it is caused mainly …Read More
The Conservative government will soon announce an Office of Religious Freedom, fulfilling a promise made in the 2011 election campaign. The stated intention of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is to create an organization that will monitor and criticize religious persecution and to promote religious freedom around the world. There is no shortage of persecution in countries as diverse as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Colombia and Mexico, but as is always the case in politics it is important to scrutinize the intent and the fine print of any undertaking. Doing so raises some genuine questions about the wisdom of this idea, a fact that may also explain why the government has been so slow in fulfilling its promise.Read More
We are approaching an important anniversary in Canada, which doesn’t appear to be getting the same amount of attention as are events to celebrate the War of 1812. It was on July 1, 1962 that publicly administered …Read More
In October 2011, the leaders of about 30 faith communities met in Ottawa to talk about the urgent need to take a stand on climate change as a moral issue. These deliberations were organized by the Commission on Justice and Peace of the Canadian Council of Churches. The faith leaders crafted and released an interfaith call for action in advance of an international conference in Durban, South Africa. They held a news conference, lobbied politicians on Parliament Hill and created a petition that MPs could table in the House of Commons. Recently about 100 people, including Green party leader Elizabeth May and three other MPs, gathered in a meeting room near the Hill for a panel discussion about whether last October’s interfaith call is having an impact.Read More
On May 2, 2011 Canadians held a federal election that provided Stephen Harper and the Conservatives with a majority government. I wrote a piece for my blog at the time reviewing the election through a religious …Read More
Public hearings are occurring for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would transport crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to the northern British Columbia port of Kitimat. There the crude would be loaded onto oil tankers plying the B.C. coastal waterway and sent to China.
There are billions of dollars at stake and the Prime Minister, it appears, will not tolerate anything but a swift and affirmative decision for the project. Various government ministers have, in effect, labelled those who raise concerns as “radical environmentalists” and enemies of the state who are financed from abroad. The government signalled in its recent budget that it will have the Canada Revenue Agency crack down on charitable organizations considered to be too political. It is no secret that they are taking aim at environmental groups.
David Suzuki has chosen to step down from the board of the foundation that he created so that he can continue speak his mind – and he hopes that the Suzuki Foundation will not become a target of the government. The government has also promised that it will shorten the time that it takes to hold an environmental hearing. This kind of activity by governments is common in most petro states. The amount of money at stake is astronomical and that usually trumps democratic process or environmental concern.Read More