History suggests Justin Trudeau’s national child care proposal is already doomed. Could Doug Ford be its saviour?

Monday, September 28th, 2020

The pandemic and its dire impact on women’s participation in the workforce have given the file more impetus than at any other time in recent history… Trudeau’s cabinet similarly boasts a sizable number of women who are liable to hold their government’s feet to the fire, starting with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland… Who knows? Ford could be as instrumental in securing a more productive outcome to the latest round of child-care politics as the billions of dollars Ottawa (again) promises to put on the table.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »

Meech Lake foes won the battle, lost the war

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Jun 29 2011
Over the second half of Jean Chrétien’s tenure, billions of federal surplus revenues were transferred to the provinces and/or spent on tax cuts. With that money went the federal capacity of initiate a top-down expansion of Canada’s social infrastructure. In Chrétien’s wake, Paul Martin negotiated separate child-care funding agreements with each province. In the name of asymmetrical federalism, he offered Quebec different modalities in the 2004 Health Accord… Today, Stephen Harper is poised to rush through the door that Martin pried open in 2004.

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No common ground left in the Commons

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

May 02 2011
Canadians turned their backs on more than a century of centrist elite accommodation on Monday and selected a Parliament where the populist right and the populist left will be going head to head for the first time… In the process, Canadians have traded a dysfunctional minority Parliament for a more polarized one… Once the NDP celebrations of Monday’s historic advance have come to an end, the realization will sink in that trading places with the Liberals on the opposition benches is not a cure to a split progressive opposition.

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The winner of this campaign? Citizen engagement

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Apr 30 2011
Canadians… are less jaded about their country’s public affairs than much of the political and journalistic elite that purports to represent and inform them… the developments of the past five weeks have shown that there is a lot more appetite for a discourse based on hope than one based on fear… Serious policy never really made it to the centre stage of the campaign… But the reality is that there are ultimately less irreconcilable policy differences between the parties than their partisan hype would lead to believe…

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | 1 Comment »

Public servants find their voice; Harper MPs and Senators silent

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Aug 20 2010
… more and more former senior civil servants are uncharacteristically speaking out in public against the actions of the Harper government. Not surprisingly, the public opinion ripples are widening with every purge. Last winter’s prorogation backlash was unexpectedly strong. Over the summer, the level of engagement of Canada’s civil society on the census issue has been unprecedented… This week, the circle widened again to include more otherwise natural allies of the Conservatives like the veterans and the country’s police associations.

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Standing on guard for linguistic duality

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Mon Feb 22 2010
The 1969 Official Languages Act changed the optics on mastering French in a significant way. With middle-class English-language children flocking to immersion schools to get a head-start up the bilingualism ladder, command of French acquired the status of a value-added commodity for anglophones and francophones alike…
Today it is politicians like Moore, who was educated in the immersion school system of Western Canada, and the MPs whose minority-language communities have been expanding their educational frontiers since the advent of the Official Languages Act who really stand on guard for Canada’s linguistic duality.

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