Posts tagged as:

stephen harper

Wow. Just wow.

Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway.

I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority.

The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as the leader of the party — the only leader the party in its current form has ever had. A long decade of darkness in Canada is drawing to a close.

The NDP dropped back to third place, its Quebec bubble having burst. One of the ridings it hung onto was my own of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where Gilles Duceppe was defeated by Helene Laverdiere. I’m happy about that and proud to have played my part.

Overall, though, the NDP simply couldn’t compete with the Liberal surge as undecided progressive voters looked for a bandwagon to jump onto. Our broken First Past The Post system simply left no room for vote-splitting on the left, and Mulcair was unfortunately the loser on that front. I still respect him and think he ran a solid campaign. And I hope he will stay on as party leader and MP for Outremont, and participate actively in government. He and Trudeau agreed on quite a few issues, and the NDP could certainly make their mark in this next parliament.

The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats, but got a lower proportion of the popular vote than they did back in 2011. Duceppe lost his riding and will probably retire again — for real this time.

Justin Trudeau will have his work cut out for him. A majority means he can get things done. It also means he has no excuses.

The real work begins tomorrow. And don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of it. Canada has suffered greatly under Harper, and a lot of work will be needed simply to stop the bleeding and start reversing the damage. Restoring funding to gutted federal programs, improving the status of women, minorities, immigrants, First Nations, restoring human rights and equal citizenship for all. Fulfilling his promise to amend Bill C-51. Dealing with the fallout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as details emerge. Healing the wounds caused by wedge politics driven by racism. Bringing back openness, transparency, science and information to Parliament. Healing the wide chasm between Conservative and Progressive voters. The list seems never-ending and the work is surely daunting.

But that’s all for tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate.

Merci, Canada.

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John Oliver is one of my favourite comedian-slash-pundits. Last night, he took on the topic of the Canadian federal election, as only he could:

Now, it’s true that this is a bit of a lighthearted treatment of the topic, with plenty of room for moose jokes and Canadian stereotypes. But remember that Oliver is addressing an American audience and trying to condense a lot into a 15-minute segment.

Point is, it’s nice to get some support. Appreciate the sentiment, John.

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Let’s do this, Canada!

10.18.2015

Well, it’s been a really long slog of a campaign. But either way, it all ends tomorrow. So I’ll just leave you with this plea: Please get out and vote — it CAN and WILL make a difference. If you’re not sure where or when to vote, visit www.elections.ca. If you aren’t sure who to […]

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Pre-election thoughts

10.16.2015

Thoughts heading into the weekend before the election: ‪ Polls showing a Liberal surge are going to help Trudeau‪‬, as anti-Harper voters get off the fence and hop on the bandwagon of the party they perceive as most likely to beat the Tories. Having said that, recent polls don’t reflect the Dan Gagnier resignation over […]

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The Guardian on Stephen Harper

10.15.2015

The Guardian has published a damning, point by point account of how the Harper‬ government has cheated, lied, blustered and outright steamrolled over democracy on their way to three consecutive election victories.   An unkind cartoon this summer showed the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, kneeling before the statue of another politician, asking: “What now, […]

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Environment? We don’t need no stinkin’ environment.

09.24.2015

In case you needed another reason to vote out Stephen Harper, Canada under the stewardship of the Tories has fallen to dead last in environmental protection, in a ranking of 27 wealthy countries by the Washington-based Center for Global Development: Canada dropped from 12th place last year and did far worse in the environmental protection […]

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Stephen Harper’s war on data

09.19.2015

So let me get this straight: Hillary Clinton deletes a few personal emails and it causes a national uproar. Stephen Harper deletes DECADES of statistical, scientific and historical records and nobody bats an eyelash? As this piece in Maclean’s explains, the Tories under Harper have gone to war on information. And we’re all losers: Stories […]

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The war in Europe is over. Now, to turn our attention to the Pacific.

04.08.2014

“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.” — Winston Churchill. For the past 18 months, it’s felt a bit to me like we’ve been fighting a war on two fronts: On the one hand, against Pauline Marois and […]

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By the numbers: Canada’s debt load

08.02.2011

As the eyes of the world have been on our American neighbours and their efforts to make a deal childish grandstanding and petty squabbling to avert a default on the national debt, it’s understandable that many of us Canadians have been feeling pretty smug. After all, we may have problems, but not problems to the […]

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The first 50 days

06.21.2011

What will Stephen Harper do with a majority government? That was the question on everyone’s lips just 50 days ago, after an election shocker gave the Tories their long-awaited majority with 166 seats. Oh, I heard all the platitudes. It won’t be so bad, people said. Give them a chance. They’re not so scary. They […]

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