I read this piece in the Globe by Semra Sevi this morning making the case for why Canadian citizens who reside outside of Canada for more than 5-years should be entitled to vote in Federal elections. This is response to the federal government’s appeal of a recent Ontario Superior Court decision in Frank et al. v. AG Canada striking down provisions of the Elections Act which precluded Canadian citizens living outside of Canada for more than 5-years from voting in federal elections. Both the policy and legal arguments for allowing such citizens to vote are misplaced and ignore the local nature of Canadian democracy. Continue reading “No, damnit, Non-Residents Canadians shouldn’t get to vote in Canadian Elections”
Sheema Khan had an interesting article in the Globe today, on the need for Islam to reform to reflect the 21st century in light of the recent incident in Sudan where a young pregnant woman, Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy, allegedly for abandoning her Islamic faith to become a Christian. Ms. Ibrahim has since been released, no doubt due to the massive international backlash her sentence triggered. In her piece, Ms. Khan tries to make the case that sentencing Mr. Ibrahim to death for apostacy is not in accordance with “true” Islam, and only by returning to the true roots of Islam can Muslims advance into the 21st century. In doing so, however, she (unintentionally, no doubt) makes a damning critique both of modern Islam and modern Muslims. Continue reading “The Trouble with Islam? Or the Trouble with Muslims?”
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.”
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.
I’ve already discussed the Iranian connection with the alleged terror plot against a VIA rail train. The other interesting angle is that the alleged plotters apparently came to the attention of the RCMP thanks to a tip from a Toronto-area Imam concerns about the apparent radicalization of one of the suspects.
Yesterday, the RCMP arrested two alleged terrorists for attempting to to attack a VIA train travelling between Toronto and New York. Details of the plot are still sketchy, but according to at least one account, the two alleged terrorists intended to derail VIA train 97 as it crossed the Whirlpool Bridge, near Niagara Falls – plunging the train and its passengers into the Niagara Gorge. Interestingly, in light of Canada’s recent diplomatic history with that country, the RCMP also alleges that the two alleged terrorists received support from “Al Qaeda elements in Iran“.
I’m a bit late on this one, but I read this story over the weekend about students at a York region high school who have taken to wearing clothing, bandannas and jewelry (including rings, a point which I’ll come back to in a moment) sporting the confederate flag, purportedly as a symbol of “country values”. Predictably, the school decided to ban the symbol. From Saturday’s Star:
At the sprawling school parking lot, marked by pickup trucks and snowmobile tracks, most students were angry the administration was intervening in what they choose to wear or accessorize with.
Some students in the town on the east shore of Lake Simcoe said the display of the flag wasn’t widespread, and many debated its meaning.
“It’s more about the country values, we don’t think of it as racist,” said a Grade 10 student, who has T-shirts, belt buckles and hats with the symbol, and plans to keep wearing them.
“I didn’t even know it was racist,” said Grade 12 student Jess Pasco, as her friend agreed. “Then I Googled it.”
Oh my, there are so many things wrong with this. Continue reading “If you had any pride, you woudn’t be wearing that ring!”
Here’s another “Classic Bob” rant from last year on the decision by Justice Malloy, of the Ontario Court of Justice, striking down the provisions of the Criminal Code imposing a mandatory minimum 3-year sentence for possession of a loaded handgun. Justice Paul Bellefontaine later struck down a related provision on similar grounds last summer:
So, Mark Carney is becoming the governor of the Bank of England starting next
February July. Good for him. Now if only we could find some way to put more Canadians in charge of the rest of the EU, maybe we could straighten out their mess.
As an aside, it’s nice to see that the Brits don’t seem to have any hang-ups about appointing a, ahem, foreigner to head one of their most important financial institution (I believe this is the first non-British Governor, though they have had senior American and Australian officials in the BoE). Could you imagine the uproar from the usual suspects in Canada if we were to appoint a Brit (no matter how talented) as the Governor of the Bank of Canada?
Conveniently timed to coincide with next week’s by-election in Calgary Center (where the Liberals were making noise about fighting a competitive race), Justin Trudeau, the presumptive heir apparent of the federal Liberals, is under siege for disparaging comments he made two years ago about Albertans. In a 2010 interview with French-language interviewer Patrick Lagace, on a Tele-Quebec show called Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said:
“Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work,”
When Lagace asked whether Trudeau believed Canada was better off “when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans,” Trudeau replied:
“I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec … This country — Canada — it belongs to us.”