Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Work sharing

February 28, 2013

Work sharing discussed on Exchange.

SHOULD CANADA HAVE A LAW GOVERNING ABORTION?

April 26, 2012

Today the House of Commons is debating a private member’s bill about whether a fetus is a human being.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair charges this is the Conservative’s way of smuggling the abortion issue back onto the public agenda.

Canada is one of the few western countries that has no law whatsoever governing abortion.

Should Canada have a law governing abortion?

What do you think?

SHOULD CANADA HAVE AN ELECTED SENATE?

April 23, 2012

Today is election day in Alberta – two women leaders vying for office.  It looks very much like the Wildrose party will defeat the sitting government. But what caught my attention is the fact that Albertans will elect three federal “senators-in-waiting”.  Alberta is the only province with legislation to complement Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s scheme to “elect’ the entire Senate by appointing individuals chosen in this back-room way.  Three more provinces are considering joining this game.  This is the most harmful and radical item on Harper’s agenda.

But do Canadians want an elected Senate?

An elected Senate would bring the worst of America’s  dysfunctional system to Canada, eviscerating Canada’s advantage in making tough, timely decisions with transparency and accountability in the parliamentary system.

Should the Senate be abolished?

Should Canada have an elected Senate?

What do you think?

SHOULD CANADA RESTORE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

April 16, 2012

To my astonishment a recent survey reveals that 61 per cent of Canadians favour restoring capital punishment. Thirty-four per cent are opposed.

These figures are hard to believe.  Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976.

The main argument for the death penalty is that it is a deterrent.  If that were true it would make sense to televise executions in living colour.  But it is not true.

Also it costs millions of dollars to keep an inmate in jail without parole.

Should Canada restore capital punishment.

What do you think?

DOES CANADA NEED TO PAY BILLIONS FOR NEW FIGHTER JETS?

April 11, 2012

The Harper government has contracted to 65 F-35 military jets for nine billion dollars.  But that ‘s not the whole story. Factor in maintenance costs over a 20 year period and that adds another  5.7 billion.  According to the Auditor-General the Harper gvernment is budgeting $26 billion over a period of 33 years. And that figure could go as high as $40 billion.

Now in all the ink that has been spilled on this subject, I have seen very little on why we need these expensive jets in the first place. One writer says we need them to protect our sovereignty .  This is rubbish.  Our sovereignty is guaranteed by our membership in alliances such as NATO and NORAD.  To think that these 65 new jets could repulse a serious military challenge is fantasy.

So why are we buying these jets at all?

Imagine if we invested these billions in education and health care.  That would make a lot of sense.

Does Canada need to pay billions for new fighter jets?

What do you think?

SHOULD CANADA RESTORE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

February 9, 2012

I thought Canada had put capital punishment behind us by a parliamentary vote in 1976.

Apparently not.  A new poll, just out, reveals that 61 per cent of Canadians support reinstating capital punishment.  Thirty-four per cent are opposed.  The poll found opponents of the death penalty were mostly in Quebec (45 per cent),  another sign of the enlightenment of this province.

That a solid majority of Canadians would want to bring back the rope after an absence of nearly 35 years is mind-boggling.  Are we that savage a nation?  Capital punishment is an act of barbarity perpetrated in cold blood by the civil arm.

I would consider bringing capital punishment back with one condition.  All executions must be open to the public in large venues like the Roger Stadium in Toronto or the Olympic stadium in Montreal.

Then we could see with our own eyes what our savagery had wrought.

Can you see any reason why a majority of Canadians would want to bring back the rope?

Should Canada restore capital punishment?

What do you think?

SHOULD CANADA BREAK WITH SYRIA?

February 8, 2012

Every night there on the news, you can see the slaughter on the streets of Syria – its roads sloshed in blood.  And you can hear the pitiful cries for help to stop the carnage.  Yet by and large the West does nothing.

Oh some little things. The United States closed its embassy in Damascus.  Britian also recalled its envoy to Syria.  Canada?  Canada is standing pat amid the bloodshed.  Our ambassador is staying put.

The NDP says its time to recall our ambassador from Syria.

The Liberals say we should keep our embassy open because it plays a role in protecting Canadian lives.

Should the world, including Canada, stand idly by while Syria goes up in death and smoke?

Should the West consider military intervention to stop the slaughter?

Should Canada break diplomatic relations with Syria?

What do you think?

IS THERE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN CANADA?

January 27, 2012

A new study shows that visible minorities are not getting their fair share of Canada’s economic pie.  The report shows non-whites in Canada earned 81 cents for every dollar made by Caucasians.

Visible minorites were also found to have a higher unemployment rate, of 8.6 per cent in 2006 compated with 6.2 per cent for white Canadians.

The figures show that equal access to opportunity eludes many racialized Canadians.

From 2000 to 2006 the income of white Canadians grew 2.7 per cent while racial minorities experienced a 0.2 per cent slide in average pay.

Sheila Block, an economist, says the prosperity gap betweeen white and non-whites in Canada is largely the result of racial disrimination.

Block says, “It’s an issue that’s in someways is inconsistent with how we perceive our society.  But it’s there, and it’s something that we have to address and have a public discussion.”

Is this Canada’s dirty little secret?  That we have a racism problem just like Americans have one?

Should we have a public debate about racism in Canada?

Is there  racial discrimination in Canada?

What do you think?

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CRUISE -

This morning Catharine and I are leaving for an 11-day cruise in the Carribean. I  am not sure how regularly I will be able to blog but I  will do my best.

Best wishes to all  our bloggers.  Neil

SHOULD CANADA HAVE A NATIONAL DRUG PLAN?

January 25, 2012

One in four Canadians who do not have drug insurance are unable to afford to take their prescription drugs as directed, a new survey reveals.

One in 10 Canadians struggles to pay for their drug treatment even when they have insurance.

This means that millions of patients fail to fill or refill prescriptions, or skip doses to cut costs.

This raises the question whether Canada should institute a universal drug insurance plan (Pharmacare)

As of now public prescription drug coverage tends to be limited to seniors and people on social assistance.

(Quebec is the only province where all residents have drug insurance;  low income residents are covered by the state, but others must purchase it from private insurers.)

Doctors say a national drug plan would lower costs, not increase them.

Canadians spent $26.1-billion on presciption drugs in 2010.

Should Canada havea national drug plan?

What do you think?

IS BILINGUALISM WORTH THE MONEY?

January 23, 2012

Canada, an officially bilingual country, is a world leader in the promotion of second language knowledge.  We should also note that Ottawa and the provinces spend more than $2-billion a year offering government services in both French and English.

Yet the actual ability of our population to speak both French and English remains stubbornly low.  While 35 per cent of francophones in Quebec speak English, only 7.4 per cent of anglophones outside speak French.

In the Unitd States 9 per cent of the population speaks two languages – to say nothing of the European Union where 56 per cent of citizens can hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue and nearly one-third have mastered a third language.

No fewer than one-third of people from British Columbia and Alberta think Spanish and Mandarin might be better choices as a second language than French.

Is there resentment in parts of the country at the push for French?  Mastering both of Canada’s official languages may be wrongly perceived as an historic anomaly, or an expensive government-imposed obligation.  The fact of the matter is there is no official requirement for anybody to learn French and English  except for public servants.

If  you don’t like French on your cereal box just turn it around.

Was there anything more ridiculous in the GOP than criticizing Romney for speaking French or Huntsman for speaking Mandarin?

Surely learning a second language should be viewed as a gift to society that confers significant global advantages and bridges cultural divides. Bilingual employees are more likely to be better paid, especially in Quebec, and in the public sector.

Canadians should feel blessed – not cursed – to be home to two of the world’s great languages.  Our bilingualism reflects our fundamental history.

Is bilingualism worth the money?

What do you think?

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