I can’t bring myself to refer to the new Ontario government as “Progressive Conservative,” though technically that is the name of the party that won the June 7 election, and with 40.6 percent of the popular vote ended up with a large majority of seats in the provincial Legislature. Continue reading
In the morning I take some time to stand amid the buckwheat, fully in bloom now, and listen to the murmur of countless bees and other insect pollinators. The bumblebees seem to be most prevalent, certainly most visible. Where they go when they’re not hear gathering nectar from dense proliferation of white, buckwheat flowers, I don’t know. I let them be, no pun intended, but I think a lot about the great danger posed to them and their buzzing friends by the widespread use of the most recent type of human-made pesticides, neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. Continue reading
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.
-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s twitter message, January, 2017
There it is. That’s what the fuss is all about, the entire reason why, according to Conservative politicians in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada is in the midst of a “migrant crisis,” or more succinctly, in a “mess.”
Words are important, especially hyperactive words like that, with hateful, anti-migrant, populist/political movements coming to power in the U.S. and Europe while millions of displaced people are risking their lives to find a safe haven, or barely surviving in squalid refugee camps. Continue reading
The highly politicized manner in which newly-elected Ontario premier, Doug Ford, announced a commission of inquiry this past week into how 15 years of previous Liberal governments handled the province’s finances has already tainted its outcome, whatever that may be. Continue reading
A few days of occasional, light showers, amounting to a scant 2.2 millimetres of rain is not yet enough to end the extended drought the Bruce Peninsula has been experiencing through the most critical period of the current growing season. But it’s better than nothing when your field crops and vegetables are in dire need of any amount of moisture they can get. Continue reading
“This too shall pass,” says the old adage, reflecting since ancient times on the changing nature of human existence.
I offer it up here as an expression of hope in the deeply troubled times of crisis ahead.
We’re heading toward such a moment, here in Canada, as we celebrate the 151st anniversary of this good and worthy country. Continue reading
There’s an “elephant in the room” regarding the Government of Canada’s controversial decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipelines, existing and planned, from Kinder Morgan Canada, a subsidiary of a much bigger company based in Texas, for $4.5 Billion.
And its name is Donald Trump.
There is no better example in the world of the importance of a well-functioning public transportation infrastructure than Canada. It is a country that was knit together by that very thing. Indeed, it’s fair to say Canada might not exist as coast-to-coast nation it now is – or at all, perhaps – if the Canadian Pacific Railway hadn’t been built 133 years ago.
It was a remarkable achievement for a brand, new country of a few million people in the face of a huge geographic challenge. In 1867, the year Canada was formed, British Columbia, Britain’s west-coast colony north of the 45th parallel international boundary with the U.S., was not included. But Canada promised to build a transcontinental railroad, if B.C. joined the Confederation, which it did in 1871.
Construction was delayed by political controversy and a change in government. But the return of a Conservative government with John A. MacDonald as Prime Minister got things moving, with the eventual help of millions of public dollars.
Thousands of Chinese labourers were hired to help build the most difficult, Rocky Mountain section, and hundreds died in dreadful working conditions. The last spike was finally driven in 1885.
In the decades that followed an extensive network of rail services connected the towns and cities of the fast-growing country. At one time Canada had more miles of freight and passenger, railroad track than any country in the world.
However, as the end of the 20th century approached, much of that track was abandoned as economically unviable. For a while, highway bus transit took up the passenger slack, in southern Ontario, for example. But that too suffered the same fate. Meanwhile, fiscal conservative political thinking made government investment in public transportation less likely. By the second decade of this century public transportation to and from parts of rural Ontario was in big trouble.
I doubt any other place in rural Canada is a worse example of that than the Owen Sound, Grey-Bruce area of southwestern Ontario. Continue reading
Something called the incel movement has been in he news lately, in connection with the horrific murder of 10 people in Toronto, and the serious injury of 14 others, when a man deliberately drove a rented van down several blocks of sidewalk.
The suspect now in custody and at last count now facing 10 charges of first-degree murder, may have been radicalized by the hateful, tantrum language toward women often used on websites frequented by unhappy, angry men.
Their complaint is their state of “involuntary celibacy,” hence the “incel” name of their movement.
But I’m confused. I find it hard to understand how a man, or woman, for that matter, could be celibate for an extended period of time and not at some point discover the good side of it. Better than good. I went through a period of celibacy when I was a young man, starting when I was 20 and lasting for a couple of years. Continue reading
The first time I saw that now-famous video of Toronto Police Const. Ken Lam arresting the man who had just allegedly run down 24 people in Toronto I, like a lot of other people, was impressed for all the obvious reasons.
Const. Lam’s courage and patience during a highly tense confrontation with the suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, has received widespread praise as remarkable, including in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.