Canadians have long spent parts of their lives in the United States without actually living there. Montrealers’ ocean beaches are in Maine; we ski in Vermont, swim in Lake Champlain, and shop in Plattsburgh, easy alternatives to the Laurentians, Eastern Townships, and the local mall.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal characterized current events in the US as “an American Jacobin moment”, citing the efforts to tear down historical symbols and alleging that a new and intolerant liberal orthodoxy is sweeping America. Although I don’t buy this right-wing scare-mongering, it is an interesting historical analogy to see dredged up. Jacobin Paris went through a true “bonfire of the statuary”, with royal monuments toppled all across the city. Perhaps the grisliest episode was at the Basilica of Saint-Denis where the bodies of deceased kings and queens, including Louis XIV the Sun King, were disinterred from their sculpted sepulchres and scattered in a mass grave outside the church.
A. Reiner Hollbach
Reflections on the Core Values of Western Civilization
When you log in to your favourite news website – or opening a newspaper, the old fashioned way – you are greeted by an un-ending stream of news about wars and other violent conflicts abroad as well as angry divisions and political confrontations at home. What happened? World peace has not unfolded as we had expected.
After the Soviet Union collapsed and Francis Fukuyama famously declared the End of History, it seemed evident that the West, the guys in the white hats, had prevailed. Alas, we all know that this is not the way it worked out. Democracy as we know it in the West did not march triumphantly around the word. Instead, we are faced today with a depressingly long list of violent conflicts with no signs of abatement.
In July I wrote to my Member of Parliament, questioning the size of the settlement. I received the response below from the PM’s office. I think it makes a good case, and does not make it in an overtly partisan way.
Let’s get this out of the way up front. Donald Trump is a sexist, a race baiter, a vile, repugnant, vulgar and mean-spirited man who demeans and attacks or sues all who disagree with him. He is a narcissist who thinks that only he has the answers to the nation’s ills some of which he has invented out of whole cloth. Yet.
The following were printed in the Globe and Mail's Letters to the Editor Section:
How can your bosses get such pay ?
Your C-series required a bail-out;
You can't get your Toronto rail out;
You sent your workers out on lay-offs
While begging governmental pay-offs.
You're living off the public purse
And now to make it even worse
The Beaudoins and the Bellemares
Get more champagne and faster cars.
And when I hear "It's private sector",
I just get vexed and even vexter.
But then I'm middle class, you know;
It must be different with True Dough.
Many Canadians worry about the implications for social cohesion and economic growth as the number of immigrants to Canada continues to grow. What would you say? is a discussion about the integration of newcomers into the Canadian social, economic and political landscape.
Robin Higham sets eight friends in a coffee shop where they test-drive remarks that they would make if they were asked to be the guest speaker at a Canadian citizenship ceremony. They themselves represent both newcomers and long-established Canadians. Rather than obsess over host community obligations, each speaker unapologetically outlines what he or she thinks newcomers themselves need to understand about settling here.
To give you a flavour of Robin’s book, take a look at the Preface and at the Introduction..
There is an order form here .
Also available on Amazon/Kindle.
In the 2016 election campaign, the Conservative spin machine marketed a story of international statesmanship and principled policy, of economic action plans and historic trade agreements, of a rediscovered warrior spirit and newfound hard-nosed diplomacy. It is worth examining the broad lines of the Harper government’s international performance.
Donald Savoie on Governing from the Centre
There has been a good deal of comment on Stephen Harper’s obsession with command and control, and how the entire government apparatus is controlled in great detail by Harper from his prime ministerial office.
It was against this background that my ears perked up when I heard Donald Savoie interviewed on the CBC a couple of weeks ago. Savoie, as you probably know, was a senior public servant and then for many years a professor at the University of Ottawa. He is now Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the University of Moncton. He was on-air promoting his new book entitled What is Government Good At ? : A Canadian Answer. Amongst other things, this new book deals in considerable detail about the power in Canadian government gravitating inexorably to the office of Prime Minister.
TEMPORARY VISA VERSUS REFUGEE STATUS REFORM
The beginning of the twentieth century ushered in the increased need for global travelers to obtain a visa before entering another country for a temporary period. The visa is a means of pre-screening to ensure that people who may be inadmissible for health, security or criminal reasons are prevented from arriving at a port of entry. On the other hand, it is also a means of facilitating the entry of people who are genuine visitors without intentions of remaining permanently. Although possession of a visa is not a guarantee of entry it speeds up examination procedures upon arrival.