Category Archives: Government

Canadian self-reliance

In my latest National Post column I talk about how odd it is that instead of Canadians mistrusting government, we now allow it to mistrust us. It doesn’t believe we can shop by ourselves, ride a bicycle or get in a boat safely, defend ourselves, speak freely without speech codes or build a deck without rules about the height of our railings. And instead of insisting that we know what we’re doing, too often we let it tell us what to do.

In doing so we are losing our heritage. Servile incompetence is not a Canadian value. This country was built by self-reliant people who kept their governments in check, and it’s high time we went back to that arrangement.

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Baby Hitler, Jeb?

In an excruciatingly studied effort to show more passion on the campaign trail, Jeb Bush says he would have killed baby Hitler given the chance. Apparently the question is a thing these days thanks to New York Magazine, and Bush’s response was a mild obscenity (wow, such authenticity) followed by “yeah, I would!” Phooey.

If I might refer you to my Sept. 28 post on the apparent opportunity of Henry Tandey, VC, to shoot a wounded Hitler on September 28 1918, it’s absurd to suppose that anyone could have known a corporal in the trenches of World War I would have turned into a successful genocidal warmongering maniac politician in the 1930s. It’s not even a category into which that young soldier could fall.

As for the notion that you could identify a baby who would later certainly do great evil if you didn’t slaughter it in its infant innocence, that you could determine scientifically its necessarily malignant influence on history and preemptively exterminate it with a clean conscience, let’s leave that for Minority Report and stick with the fairly elementary fact that killing babies is wrong.

So is appeasing dictators, but that’s a story for another decade.

As for politicians faking passion, it’s always a sorry sight.

Your problem is in the mail, Mr. Trudeau

In the National Post:

The Canada Post Corporation just delivered a problem right to Justin Trudeau’s door. But there’s also an opportunity inside the package.

The problem is that Canada Post has suspended plans to move from home delivery to community mailboxes in much of urban Canada, daring Trudeau to follow through on his pledge to reconsider and by implication reverse the change. The opportunity is that he can really rethink mail delivery in Canada instead of surging cheerfully back to the future.

Early in the election, Trudeau hid behind the all-purpose objection of inadequate consultation and promised a moratorium on community mailboxes pending comprehensive review, which could mean anything, or nothing, and take forever if necessary. By platform time the Liberals went further, promising “We will save home mail delivery. We will stop Stephen Harper’s plan to end door-to-door mail delivery in Canada and undertake a new review of Canada Post.”

The reflexive personalization and demonization of “Stephen Harper’s plan” was an unfortunate nasty undercurrent in an allegedly sunny campaign. But it’s also completely beside the point in this case. Canada Post is a Crown Corporation supposedly insulated from “political” interference, so it wasn’t Harper’s plan in the first place. It was a reaction to losing business relentlessly thanks to that darn Internet.

Click here to read the rest.

Canada’s sinking navy

More evidence, from Maclean’s, of the Harper administration’s incompetent and frivolous neglect of defence, the first responsibility of government. Can’t wait to hear the deep blue partisans explain why we don’t really need a navy and how awful it would be if Trudeau or Mulcair was in charge. Why, we might have no destroyers or supply ships.

Good thing we’re nowhere near an ocean.


One rarely gets such a compliment

A nice comment on iPolitics about my “Why I Can’t Vote For the Harper Tories” National Post column, from Michael Harris, who I worked with at CFRA. There’s something fishy about him calling me an “old trout” as I don’t make a habit of saluting colleagues as “abalone” or “plaice” or other terms associated with aquatic life. But nice otherwise.

When sheep go to court

Our friends at the Canadian Constitution Foundation are asking for help in the case of two Ontario farmers at odds with the Canada Food Inspection Agency. You can read their appeal here and Brigitte’s post about it here. And I’m asking you to consider chipping in to the Indiegogo defence fund for Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt.

I’m not familiar with the detailed facts of the case. But it certainly sounds as though they’re being ground down by the bureaucratic machine in a way that undermines the rule of law. Especially as Karen Selick of the CCF inform us that there’s some sort of publication ban on the whole business.

Magna Carta guarantees access for all to the justice system. But when enormous regulatory agencies with the financial resources of the state behind them go after the little guy, or gal, the latter just can’t fight back unless we rally round them. This case has already dragged on for nearly three years, an eternity for defendants but just more time on the clock for the system.

If you can spare even a few bucks, please read the CCF appeal and consider helping out.

As I was saying about China

Following up my column in today’s National Post about China’s perilous moment on the world stage, I note that the New York Times has a lengthy piece today about China’s increasing financial and economic assertiveness, often in troubled parts of the world and capitalizing on reckless anti-Western sentiment in nations that have badly mishandled their own affairs.