Posts Tagged ‘Trudeau’

When do we get back to the environment?

Friday, January 17th, 2020

Between Mr. Trump’s tantrums, the concerns over Meghan and Harry and the disaster in Iran, the prime minister is not getting much done about the environment. And why would we ever be satisfied with just getting to a net-zero emissions target?

Net-zero emissions is not a target, it is a starting point. Net zero is the point when we are adding no new large-scale carbon emissions to our environment. We should have been there years ago.

But back when we became more aware of the dangers our earth was facing, we had the Harper conservatives in power. The environment is famously number 101 on the list of 100 conservative concerns. Harper was a hypocrite who would savage the environment for another nickel. He was always, famously, ‘working on it.’

But Trudeau might be the same. Where is he headed when he buys the Trans Mountain pipeline to speed its twinning and conversion for sending the output of the tar sands to world markets? Does he think we are not responsible for all that pollution?

The supreme court has just given the Trudeau cabinet the green light on the disastrous Trans Mountain pipeline. I guess it is not their problem.

And the cabinet is currently talking about approving the new Frontier open pit mine north of Fort McMurray that will add four million tonnes of carbon to the environment each year. This addition to the carbon pollution is accompanied by the Frontier plan to destroy boreal forests and wetlands the size of a city that could have helped to absorb some of that pollution.

Before the prime minister and his environment minister fly off to another world conference to make irresponsible promises, they need to weigh their progress at home. They have to get our friends in Alberta to back off the bitumen. That is not a move that will endear you to Albertans. Though they might forgive you if your government can find find another base for their economy.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The grief of greed.

Monday, January 13th, 2020

Many people share the blame for the shooting down of Ukraine International Airline Flight 752 over Iran. It is not the first time a civilian airliner has been brought down while carrying out its business.

But what business, other than greed, takes a civilian airliner into a threatening war zone?

There have been many stories written over the years about the last flight from somewhere when the clouds of war were looming. And there is never enough room for the foolhardy who want passage. It makes for impassioned farewell scenes in the movies to be made. It makes for the hollowness in the heart for the loved-ones who are lost to us.

But the commercial greed of the people running the airline gets included in the long lists of people we can blame for the incident. In the Tehran event, you can start with the ineptness of that fool American president Donald Trump. Any distraction will do while he fights off the efforts to impeach him.

Blame the sour disposition of those theocrats who oppress the Iranian people. They are living in the past and, as such, represent a danger to the entire world. They need our help to become a productive part of the 21st Century.

You can blame Canada’s boy prime minister who can say he is furious and not be credible. Anger is not in the language of diplomacy. He promised us four years ago that relations with Iran would be restored. You cannot have a dialogue unless you have the mechanics of communication in place. You cannot help unless you are there.

After the Air India bombing in June of 1985, over the Atlantic, Canadians should have a better understanding that anger and poor communication are a bad mix. We are hardly strangers to the sorrow.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

 

Politics of Oligarchs.

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

In an interesting opinion piece, recently, the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt said that both Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau had to reinvent their respective parties to win election. Neither liked the parties they were taking over in their search for power.

Similar to Donald Trump in the United States, they changed the parties to their needs. Trump now has a slavish republican party to do his bidding. It would appear that Stephen Harper forgot to leave the keys for Andrew Scheer. Justin Trudeau is already reaping the results of his errors with the liberals.

Harper’s process of changing the conservatives was slower and more methodical. You can be sure that Harper wanted nothing to do with the former Mulroney party but he first had to be confident he had wrested the Reform Party from Preston Manning. He got his top-down party off the ground but still only won a minority in 2006. It took until 2011 for Harper to get the party he wanted and he was the oligarch. Power only went to those selected by Harper.

In the meantime, Justin Trudeau cashed in on the sentiments for his father in the liberal party—winning a seat in parliament in a tough Quebec riding and going on the road with his ‘Selfie’ tour. He found that a picture with him was more important to party members than the obligatory speech.

But after the party chose him leader in 2013, he started to put his seal on the party. He did away with party memberships and started the stream of e-mails requesting money from his followers. He also declared that there were no longer any liberal senators, cutting himself off from a depth of knowledge into the party, its fund raising, its functions and its history. He just milked his flock for money.

While Trudeau had to play catch-up with Harper’s conservatives, he made sure that the liberals also had the modern marketing plans, the technology and the more sophisticated ground game that was essential in a party that was losing adherents.

Harper paved the way for the power of the oligarchy based in the prime minister’s office. Trudeau showed how to abuse it. It works for a while, but leaves a bitter taste in the ridings.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

All federal parties need new leaders.

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Canadians are going to be seeing a number of national political party leadership contests in the coming year. The conservatives are blowing smoke and fire as they warm up to their winner-takes-all contest in June. The greens are having another cup of green tea and considering who might replace the wonderful Elizabeth May. Jagmeet Singh is foolishly waiting for the 2020 meeting of the NDP that will fire him. Meanwhile the federal liberals are drinking Mr. Trudeau’s Kool-Ade while he tells them how great it is going to be.

I was laughing at an editorial cartoon in the Toronto Star the other day that suggested that the conservatives were debating whether to go with a social conservative or a progressive conservative leader. Our Canadian conservatives obviously consider progressives passé. They are looking for a populist like Doug Ford but with the management style of Stephen Harper.

I think the greens have the toughest problem in they might have to clone Elizabeth May.

The new democrats have an entirely different problem in that their form of socialism really is dead. All they are sure of is that Jagmeet Singh is not going to lead them anywhere. The NDP have to make the move to be seen as social democrats and that could be awkward with so many liberals already occupying that ground.

Mind you, I would never include Justin Trudeau among the social democrats. He is an elitist and is barely a liberal. He lied to liberals when he ran for the leadership saying that he was going to restore the party’s roll in policy and candidate choice. Instead, he has interfered in riding’s candidate choices and ignores policy input.

Trudeau has treated the lists of party faithful as a piggy bank that he inundates with e-mails asking for money. He has no understanding of the role of the party between elections and ignores the need for party development in the electoral districts. He fails to understand that you govern from Ottawa; you win elections in the ridings.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Trudeau hears from Harder.

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Former government leader of the senate, Peter Harder had some advice for Justin Trudeau as he retired from the senate. He expressed the hope that the prime minister might consider more people with political experience be appointed to the senate. That is the point I have been making for the past five years.

But I would hardly have included someone such as Frances Lankin from Ontario, who was in the cabinet of NDP premier Bob Rae in the 1990s. In my experience, she ran the most politicized and worst ministries in the Rae government. Her presence in Canada’s senate might not be a plus.

And for an elitist such as Justin Trudeau, her appointment might not be the smartest thing he has ever done.

What Harder was complaining about in his farewell to the senate was that there were already too many senators with their own agendas. He thinks the PM should consider adding more people with some political experience. The former senator thinks they would better understand just why the senate exists and what they are expected to do there.

Of course, there are millions of Canadians who also wonder why the senate exists and why we should be wasting tax money on it. After all, why did we elect all those people to the house of commons if an elitist senate is going to pass judgement on what they do?

Even if Justin Trudeau might agree with that, he has absolutely no intention of opening up the Canadian constitution to make any changes. He is hardly his father’s son. He has neither the wisdom nor the intestinal fortitude to tackle the task of updating our constitution.

The younger Trudeau has seemed to be more of a political dilettante and an elitist. His elitist committee that chooses people from which Trudeau can choose independent senators probably does not know of any particularly deserving politicians.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

How much is too much, Mr. Trudeau?

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

Justin Trudeau has obviously not had a really wonderful 2019. As far back as September 2018, the prime minister asked his justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould to reconsider her position on not interfering in the upcoming prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for corrupt practices. Trudeau insisted that the intent was to save jobs in Quebec. Wilson-Raybould appeared to have no idea how tight large corporations are with politicians in Quebec.

It was mid January, 2019 that Wilson-Raybould was replaced as justice minister by former law professor David Lametti, an MP from Montreal. She was demoted to veterans-affaires. And the prime minister’s year went side-ways. It brought his support for feminism into question.

He was already in enough trouble for his dress-up antics on his trip to India the previous year. He hardly needed to have someone dig up old pictures of him in black-face at a party in Vancouver back when he was teaching there.

And it was in Vancouver where he was facing the most objections to his support for the Trans-Mountain pipeline. It was a red flag to environmentalists from coast to coast.

Throughout the year, the prime minister was under constant direct attack by conservative provincial premiers. The only one that laid back was Ontario conservative premier Doug Ford. It was the federal conservatives who asked him to hold back his criticism as it was hurting the federal conservatives more than the liberals.

But despite all the good vibes, Elizabeth May did not capitalize on her best chance to grow the greens in parliament. She only grew her caucus by 50 per cent and she gracefully resigned.

Conservative Chuckles Scheer grew his caucus, won the popular vote and then succumbed to the savagery of his caucus. He resigned.

We are waiting for the guy who lost a third of his caucus, Jagmeet Singh, to do the honourable thing and resign.

But the guy who really blew it and should have resigned back before the election is sitting in the prime minister’s office in Ottawa. It is a temporary position. He is the one who really should resign.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The accidental Newsmaker of the Year.

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

“Tread lightly friend around a lady of a certain age.” You have been warned. Her fecund years behind her, she might be seeking the honours of her peers, the sisterhood, in new fields—and woe to the mere man who stands in her way.

And prime minister Justin Trudeau tells us he is a feminist? A feminist has empathy and understanding. A male feminist seeks to empower women and helps raise their sights.

And now, may we introduce the newsmaker of the year for 2019, as chosen by news editors across Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould. If you had told her where she would be at now, this time last year, she would not have believed it.

She is a former liberal, a former cabinet minister and now an independent member of parliament. There is no power or prestige to her lonely seat in the far corner of the temporary house of commons. Will she find it adequate? Not for long.

Just wait until the house starts to debate fixing her signature bill on the right to dying. In 2018, she helped former health minister Jane Philpott steer the original and faulty bill C14 through the house of commons, when they were both liberal cabinet ministers. The original bill was in the nature of a compromise and, of course, nobody liked it, least of all the courts. Jane Philpott has left the house. The bill still has to be fixed.

But there is no committee appointment scheduled for an independent MP and no time allotted for speeches in the house. She brought down a senior official in the prime minister’s office, she brought down the country’s senior civil servant and she almost brought down the prime minister. Maybe, he has learned to quietly walk around her.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A stealth pipeline?

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

You do realize, do you not, that the Trans Mountain pipeline is being twinned as you read this? Yes, the federal cabinet has obviously, and quietly, given the pipe people the go ahead. There are still some legal issues to resolve but the cabinet is acting as though they do not matter.

I like to think of it as the Justin Trudeau Memorial pipeline. There is some question as to which will do him in first: His amateur approach to Canadian politics or his hypocrisy about global warming? You simply cannot send tar sands bitumen off-shore for processing and not be responsible for the additional global warming that it causes?

Bear in mind that the old pipeline over the Rockies to Burrard Inlet is not just being twinned. This will not be the old pipeline when finished. The twin pipelines will have gas heaters to keep the gunk moving and under higher pressure—putting more stress on both pipes. Any leaks or spills will be harder to clean up and can be ecologically ruinous.

Despite Trudeau’s Quisling-like betrayal of liberals who care about the environment, Jason Kenney’s pal ‘Chuckles’ Scheer accused Trudeau of “of fomenting a national unity crisis.” I must have missed what Scheer refers to as Trudeau’s attack “on the Western Canadian economy.”

It was left to conservative MP Michelle Rempel to sum it all up as “finishing the job that the prime minister’s father started in the 1980s.” She was, of course, citing the conservative interpretation of Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program. It’s funny, this liberal had always thought the idea was to give Canadians greater control of their own natural resources.

But here we are, more than 37 years later, with ignorance abounding as Trudeau The Younger betrays us. And our only real defence against pipelines in the current house of commons is the Bloc Québécois and three greenies.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

There has to be a pony in there.

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

You cannot have all that cast-off material from a barnyard without a pony in there somewhere. The speech-from-the-throne writers must have figured that if you have to use weasel words, you might as well use a lot. So, if you could stand one more reading of that speech, that the governor general struggled so gamely through, please tell us where it is taking this country?

The most positive thing that the prime minister has done this past week, was to comment on the American president’s presumptuousness. And here, all this time, I would have assumed there was respect for the sanctity of the pre-dinner cocktail gathering—at Buckingham Palace for God’s sake! Next thing we know, the media will be following the world leaders into the washrooms!

But I doubt that the prime minister did himself any damage making fun of the American president. In fact, I would bet that his overall approval rating by Canadians has gone up a few degrees.

I would certainly not say that for ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. He must think he is on permanent ‘attack dog’ duty, as leader of her majesty’s loyal opposition to the liberal minority. And for Singh of the NDP to make it a duet defaming the throne speech, is just ludicrous.

Why doesn’t somebody tell those two that the election is over and everyone has to catch their breath, beg for more money from their benefactors and plan ahead. To rush pell-mell into an ill-considered election will hardly solve their parties’ leadership problems.

And why would those guys want to make the point to Canadians that the leader of the Bloc Québécois just might be the smartest politician in that troubled house of commons.

Frankly this situation reminds me more of the Joe Clark government in 1979 than anything more recent. The Clark people could not count and it cost them a government. It makes you wonder if school teacher Justin Trudeau ever taught any mathematics?

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Trump’s Triumph?

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

It will only be after someone translates the French word “merde” for him that Donald Trump will really know what the audience of world leaders thought of his plans for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Trump’s triumph this week is the meeting of the organization in England to celebrate its 70 years of protecting the world with truth and justice, in the American way.

If Brexit goes through as planned, this could be the last time that the United Kingdom will play host or any meaningful role in NATO,. Trump even had the chance to be fêted by the Queen the other day as sort of a farewell gesture. (Would that the Americans could rid themselves of him so easily.)

But Trump’s bête noire, French president Emmanuel Macron, will still be belittling the importance of NATO to annoy him. He and that kid from Canada (with his snide remarks) seem to be there just to make life difficult for the Trump-in-chief. It is assumed though that Trump made no more threats to pull the U.S. out of the alliance.

They would be luckier if Turkey made the same threat. A resignation from that quarter would certainly be accepted. Turkey’s president Erdogan thinks he can keep one foot in Russia and the other in Europe and that is not sitting well with his NATO allies. It seems Erdogan has recently bought an air defence system from Russia and nobody has figured it out yet if it is to fight off the Kurds, the Syrians, the Ukrainians or the Americans?

Turkey’s allies might baulk at the idea of rushing to the defence of Turkey, when it’s overrun by the Kurds.

Trump must be having fantasies about his triumphant return to Washington, such as entering the city with Macron in chains, dragged along behind the Trump chariot.

But like Julius Caesar, Trump might be misreading the “lean and hungry look” of the Democrats and miscounting the number of Republican impeachment knives ready to do him in.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me