When it comes to Canada-U.S. relations, Allan Gotlieb has a unique vantage point.
It's not just that his tenure in Washington goes farther back than any other living U.S. ambassador. It's that his own time in D.C. straddled two distinct eras — the depth of the Trudeau-Reagan relationship to the height of the Mulroney-Reagan-Bush bond that culminated in a free-trade pact.
"I think the relationship is as cool as I ever remember," said the 86-year-old ex-diplomat, who wrote a pair of books about his Washington posting between 1981-89.
Oh it can't be worse than when Diefenbaker was in power.
"I can't speak for the Diefenbaker era, I wasn't at the foreign ministry then. But it's as cool as I remember."
OK I guess that answers my previous snide remark. I really should read the whole article before writing about it. Bad blogging habits. Gotlieb puts a lot of the blame, so far as diplomats place blame, on Obama's general callousness toward Canada's concerns. It's one of those strange ironies of the Obama years that he's created more animosity among traditional American allies than George W Bush ever managed during his two terms.
Under Harper, our national public broadcaster has been under constant attack. Draconian budget cuts have weakened the CBC while Conservative Party donors who now dominate its Board are trying to bring our CBC to heel. Seeking even greater control, the Harper government has given itself new powers to undermine the independence of our CBC.
And if you think that's funny, wait till you see the videos. No seriously they're funny in an unintentional sort of way. Like middle aged white people trying to rap. The premise of the five featured videos is that, wait for it, Stephen Harper is like a dictator! Because we've never heard that one before. Or that every Prime Minister since Trudeau has been described as a dictator, excepting the caretakers (Clark, Turner, Campbell, Martin). Getting called a tyrant is part and parcel of living in 24 Sussex Drive. It goes along with the ancient wiring, poorly insulated windows and the title of Right Honourable. If you do happen to be a Prime Minister of Canada, and you're not called a dictator, it's because people think you're weak.
This isn't the time or place to rehearse the whole responsible government bit about the executive being responsible to the legislative. Robert Baldwin is dead and so are his noble, and largely forgotten, notions of how a free society should work. In the meantime we are confronted with the reality that either a PM rules with a rod of iron or dithers his way out of office. Liberal, Tory, Dipper, Rhinoceros, name the brand and you'll wind up with the same plan of attack.
The Friends of the CBC, being the sort of people who thought Air Farce was funny well into the 1990s, have decided to mock Harper's ham fisted ways by comparing him, wait for it again, to actual dictators. Well not actual dictators just cliched versions of dictators. There's a guy with a vaguely Russian accent dressed like a Soviet commissar. Another fella's got a fake moustache and a faker Latin American accent channelling Fidel or Che. There's a black guy dressed in what might be described as West African by way of your grandmother's closet. The piece de resistance, however, is an East Asian who sounds like some vague cross between a Kim family retainer and an overly enthusiastic amateur Maoist.
I won't call these ads racists but, honestly, if the Tories had put them out the MSM would be in their usual high dungeon.
We're suppose to take this as a kind of joke. You know that a duly elected Prime Minister of a free country is on par with mass murdering psychopaths. Why? Because the Tory government gave a slight trimming to the CBC's budget a few years back. What's a billion dollars a year anyway? Chump change when you've got Peter Mansbridge heading the nightly news. At least I still think he's heading the nightly news. Like most Canadians I don't watch our national broadcaster because, how to put it delicately, it's programs suck. It's last legitimate claim to being a true national broadcaster came and went when it lost out to Rogers for hockey rights.
If the national broadcaster doesn't broadcast the national game it's basically PBS sans the whimsy.
The Friends of CBC want freedom for the Mother Corp. Freedom, above all, from political interference. Leaving aside the absurdity that the Tories have co-opted the CBC, the simplest way to get rid of political inference is to get rid of politicized funding. If the CBC had to survive by its wits, like everyone else not on the public teat, there is precious little any government could do to silence it. That is unless they leaned on the CRTC. So how about this: Remove all government funding for the CBC and send the CRTC to the dustbin of Canadian history. Have a true free market in Canadian communications. Then you'll never have to worry about political interference again.
Then again it's unlikely the CBC would survive if Canadians were given a real choice over its existence.
A shrinking CBC is looking to sell its outsized downtown flagship headquarters in order to cut costs.
But it’s not totally jumping ship — the public broadcaster hopes to stay on as a tenant.
Fred Mattocks, general manager for media operations and technology at CBC English services, said the building has outgrown the broadcaster, whose staff and budget have shrivelled considerably over the years.
In its heyday, the building held about 5,000 staff, Mattocks said. Now, it holds just half that.
Executives have talked for a little while about selling the landmark Front St. headquarters, built for the broadcaster in 1992.
Erfolgswelle is firm devoted entirely to generating unique baby names. With 14 naming experts, four historians, and 12 translators on hand -- not to mention two trademark attorneys to ensure names don't conflict with companies and products -- the staff at Erfolgswelle will spend around 100 hours per client coming up with 15-25 possible names.
The Government of Canada is providing multi-year funding of $60,000 over the next two years ($30,000 in 2015–2016 and $30,000 in 2016–2017) through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund for the Chutzpah! Festival and its PLUS series. Wai Young, Member of Parliament (Vancouver South), announced this support today on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
If there is any word that describes the vote buying activities of the Canadian government Chutzpah! is certainly it.
Administration officials are basking in the falling unemployment rate, even as critics call the measure misleading or — in the words of Gallup CEO Jim Clifton — “a lie.” These critics are technically wrong but qualitatively correct: The unemployment rate misses the 92 million Americans who have given up looking for work; the 7 million others who are involuntarily working only part-time; and the millions more who cannot find jobs whose skills and pay match their educational attainment.