I can’t get enough of the silliness behind Quebec’s proposed Secular Charter.
Pauline Marois, Quebec’s Premier, is quoted in today’s Le Devoir defending her proposal to impose secularism on civil servants (well, except Christians, apparently, unless you think secularism means having a giant freaking crucifix in the National Assembly). According to her, the French model of secularism she’s proposing to adopt will prevent Quebec from turning into England, where:
“they whack each other on the mouth and send bombs because it’s multiculturalism and nobody can find a place for himself anymore in that society.”
Continue reading “Pauline Marois talks Bombings – Well, Separatists Know a Thing Or Two About That”
Remember that movie “Groundhog Day“? An arrogant weatherman, played by Bill Murray finds himself living through groundhog day over and over, until he finally mends his ways? I kind of feel like that with Quebec.
About this time last year, I had a post about the Party Québécois’ (the “PQ“) proposal to prohibit Quebec civil servants from displaying religious symbols at work, well, other than crucifixes (see Secularism – Iran Style). Well, here we are, a year later, and guess what, we have a post about a new PQ proposal to ban all religious headwear and dress by public sector workers in Quebec (which, given that Quebec’s public sectors is massively bloated is half the work force). Sigh. Continue reading “It’s Groundhog Day in Quebec”
I was thinking some more about NDP tax policy the other night and I was struck by the dichotomy between left-wing thinking on tax and monetary policy and their implications for corporations.
The NDP and its fellow-travelers have, for years now, been lamenting the strength of Canada’s dollar, suggesting that it has hollowed out the Canadian manufacturing sector, undermining jobs. Whether it’s NDP Leader Thomas Mulclair complaining about “Dutch Disease” or labour economists Erin Weir or Andrew Jackson proposing ways to control the Canadian dollar, the economic brain-trust on the left seem to agree that a rising dollar is bad for both Canadian corporations in the manufacturing sector and, ultimately (though perhaps foremost) their workers.
Continue reading “Coporate Income Tax, Dutch Disease, and Left-Wing Economic Incoherence”
It’s been a slow month, so I’ve been following the low profile policy bun-fight that’s broken out in NDP ranks in reaction to Thomas Mulclair’s commitment that, if elected, the NDP won’t raise taxes (other than the corporate income tax, which I’ll come back to). Dawn Black, over at ipolitics.ca (in an otherwise strange article trying to link the Harper Conservatives with the lunatic “freeman” movement of tax protestors) goes to the crux of the matter, surely the NDP believes that taxes fund social programs that Canadians that make Canada a better country, in which case “[t]ax hikes are a reasonable option that reasonable people can discuss“. By avoiding that discussion (or at least, sharply circumscribing it), Mulclair and the NDP are ceding the tax policy space to the Tories. Continue reading “If the NDP Wants to Start a Conversation About Taxes, Here’s Where they Should Start”
Poor Rob Ford, he’s got more problems than Jay-Z (without the upside of being married to Beyoncé). And they keep piling on. Take yesterday’s news.
Continue reading “Rob Ford’s Got 99 Problems”
As if the Rob Ford gong-show couldn’t get worse, we have breaking news that both of his press-secretaries have quit, citing ethical concerns about continuing to work under the Ford administration. According to the Star:
George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary, and Isaac Ransom, Ford’s deputy press secretary, both resigned and walked out of city hall Monday, a source with knowledge of their departure told the Star.
So, after 8 days of sitting on his ample backside, Rob Ford has finally gotten around to making a statement about his alleged crack use. Boy, and what an utterly fucking useless statement it is too. He might as well have confessed.
Here’s the money quote (the rest of the statement being self-serving hand-waiving):
“There has been a serious accusation from the Toronto Star that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist. It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence.
This past week has not been an easy one. It has taken a great toll on my family and my friends and the great people of Toronto. For the past week, on the advice of my solicitor, I was advised not to say a word.” Continue reading “Rob Ford’s “Denial”: THAT’s The Best He’s Got, He Might As Well Have Confessed.”
Unlike many Torontonians (yeah, yeah, I’m a suburbanite asshole now, but once a Toronto boy always a Toronto boy) of my class and background, I don’t have a hate-on for Rob Ford. On the contrary, compared to the NDP assholes who used to run this city, his administration has been a refreshing breath of fresh air, and a significant improvement over that of his predecessor, David Miller. If nothing else, the fact that he started privatizing garbage pick-up – ensuring that Torontonians won’t be held hostage by their public “servants” every few summers – represents a real win for the City (a point conceded by even his fiercest critics at the Toronto Star). That he drives the editorial board at the Star and the downtown cognoscenti nuts, well, so much the better. Sure, he’s boorish and stubborn and he might over-indulge in fried chicken and booze (although I can’t criticize on that last point), but compared to the usual blow-dried and manicured phonies who pass themselves off as politicians, those rough edges contribute to his appeal. In short, I’m a member of Ford Nation.
Continue reading “This is where I get off the Rob Ford train”
First, we had the story of Faith McGregor, the woman who insists on compelling a barber to cut her hair, in violation of his (seemingly) sincere religious beliefs. Then, we had the story of Arun Smith, the “7th year human rights student” (and, already, my nominee for ass clown of the year for 2013) who “promotes” human rights by violently suppressing the speech of others. Now, we have Ashu Solo, a self-described atheist, who has filed a human rights complaint against the city of Saskatoon, because a city counsellor said grace before a volunteer appreciation banquet. If the name sounds familiar, he had previously filed a complaint seeking to bar Saskatoon from running “Merry Christmas” signs on its buses. Continue reading “Why do self-described “human rights” activists act like assholes?”