dewline: (Default)
Up here in Canada yesterday, we had two speeches I would consider noteworthy and related in ideals somewhat. The first by our global affairs minister Chrystia Freeland here in Ottawa-Gatineau, and the second by Barack Obama in his visit to Montréal.

I can't help but feel that something's changed in a permanent way here.
dewline: (Default)
I would argue that at least two of our politicians at the federal level in Canada are among many people worthy of our attention and respect for coping with hard situations, even if/when we watch them in the midst of coping with errors strategic and/or tactical.

Ahmed Hussen is our current minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Erin Andersson and Michelle Zilio filed a piece with the Globe and Mail that gives us a sense of his progress, from Somali refugee to federal cabinet minister.

Chrystia Freeland went from reporter to minister for Global Affairs and International Trade. Being of Ukrainian ancestry and opposed to Russian interventions in her family's old country, that has made her a target for desinformatsiya efforts centered upon her maternal grandfather's role in local media as dictacted by the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. There are two opinion pieces, one by Paul Wells for the Toronto Star and another by Michael Harris for iPolitics, that frame some of my thinking on the matter.

The situations each of them are now facing will change - at times, dramatically, I expect - in the days and months ahead. But I do believe each of them is working to rise to the challenges of these moments.
dewline: (Default)
Yesterday, there was a bunch of protests against M-103, a motion by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid of Mississauga targeting Islamophobia as a Problem to be studied and solved to whatever degree possible (along with other forms of bigotry) in several cities across Canada.

What brings me continued hope for the future of Canada is that in every case, opposing rallies were organized and fielded in defence of M-103.

Calgary.

Edmonton.
Regina and Saskatoon.
Winnipeg.
Toronto.
Montréal and Ville de Québec.

I haven't heard of the like in Ottawa-Gatineau, and I don't know whether to be hopeful or worried about that. If you know of similar events elsewhere in Canada, I'd be glad of links to the reports.

Again: counter-protests against bigotry? Cause for hope.
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For all the problems they're having with these town hall meetings, I can't help but consider these town hall sessions Mr. Trudeau - I no longer feel comfortable calling him "Trudeau the Younger", for several reasons - has been hosting as a good thing. He's taking hard questions directly from the public. The answers he gives are not always comfortable ones for him to give or for the audience to hear, but I get the sense that they are largely honest ones.

We'll see how things go.
dewline: (edutainment)
I know: after the last couple of years of expense scandals, who'd want to get a job in our upper house AKA the Red Chamber, right?

Even so, you might know a Canadian who might qualify. Someone you suspect could be productively useful in politics but wouldn't cope well with the traditional election processes in place for the House of Commons. (Hint: Not me. I don't meet the property-holder requirement.)

And there is now a process in place for applying or recommending potential members.

Details available here. Limited time for this process, so get moving!
dewline: (Sketching)
A Tor.com report on SF&F in Nairobi.

From Regina: a story about the consequences of not properly funding the details of international justice...within Canada. (No, I did not make a mistake using "international". There is at least one treaty involved here.)

David Brin asks - and is not alone in asking - when did optimism become Uncool?

Pete Evans at CBC News gets to the heart of the dispute between Canada Post Corp. and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers: the need of workers to avoid starvation in retirement. Even if Evans doesn't frame it with that language.

Also, we note Jason Kenney's quest to save Alberta from civilization. (This is not Mr. Kenney's POV about his goals, to be sure. But as Stephen Colbert once noted, reality does have a certain bias about these matters.)

Congratulations to NASA's Juno team for getting their probe into Jovian orbit yesterday. I won't call what you did "conquering" Jupiter, mind you, because of colonial-mindedness in the undertones of that. But what you did is a positive achievement!
dewline: (edutainment)
We had a bit of a blow-up at a press conference here in Ottawa last week involving Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and mainland China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi with iPolitics reporter Amanda Connolly. Something to do with whose idea of proper behaviour on the part of reporters should dominate press conferences held in Canada.

In my opinion: one of the more insightful commentaries on the incident and its immediate consequences was written up by CBC's Terry Milewski.

A word he taught me via that essay in the link that I need to remember: hòuyánwúchǐ. Apparently, it's roughly equivalent to the Yiddish word chutzpah.
dewline: (canadian media)

For your review and opinionation:



Oh, and the reaction to Ruth Ellen Brosseau's reaction to being jostled? At least, the ones I'm reading the most about? Ridiculous, rude, and just plain Wrong. And more than a tad on the cruel side too...which is part and parcel of what makes it Wrong. 

New Shoes

Apr. 10th, 2016 08:31 pm
dewline: (education)
It was finally time to get those new shoes today. I'd prefer to deal with Letellier down on Rideau rather than Payless at the local mall, but there are still limits to live within. Those limits will be there for a while, probably.

I noticed that Thomas Mulcair's had to face some limits of his own today. Different scales, different kinds of limits, yes. But, still limits. He tried to do as best he could for his party since Jack Layton died, but it didn't work to the degree anyone supporting that party might have hoped for.

Lots of people across Canada are going to put his run under the microscope for decades, perhaps centuries if Canada lasts long enough. But regardless of how accurate their conclusions will be, there's limits there too. How much those conclusions will matter, and to whom, for example.

What happens next? I don't know yet. But limits will be encountered, and resisted.
dewline: (canadian media)
We have some comparisons of how the end of the Ghomeshi trial was opined about by news services inside and outside of Canada. Warnings for trigger-topics in the links. Also, I have to say that I don't think I was going to be even remotely pleased by the verdict, whatever it ended up being for a whole mess (and "mess" is the operative word here) of reasons and/or excuses.

Our trade arrangements with the House of Saud are still on. Cause for concern, also. And there's other stuff to consider as well.

The ideology of the President and Board currently in place at CBC/Radio Canada seems to still be in force, despite the change of government. I have issues with that. Also, issues with the relative paucity of funding being restored to CBC/SRC.

More on other topics later during this laundry day...
dewline: (Puzzlement 2)
There's an old quote that's been coming back to mind after reading news and opinion pieces from places ranging from CBC News to iPolitics.ca. It comes from a book about a TV series - one of the earliest examples of what we now call "dramedies" - a portmanteau showing the blending of comedy and drama - on American television that won many Canadian hearts as well.

“I think there is a misconception on the part of a lot of people in this country that Frank Burns is unusual. My hope is that they see he is not unusual. He is fairly ordinary. He comes in sleeker packages, God knows. I hope when people think about who they are going to vote for, or who they’re going to work for, or whatever, they cast an eye toward Frank Burns and say ‘Now, does this person behave the same way? Am I dealing with this kind of monster?.’ Watch for him, be careful of him. There are Frank Burnses everywhere. Learn to know the type. Don’t elect them. Don’t make them chairman of the board. Frank is a dangerous man because he acts without reason, often without true intelligence, and, perhaps more importantly, with no real knowledge or perception of what consequences an action will bring out. He is not a man with perception and, consequently, he is incredibly dangerous.”

- Larry Linville, interviewed by David S. Reiss for the book M*A*S*H - the exclusive inside story on TV's most popular show (1)

Putting that quote into a more recent, Canadian-minded context: I wonder if those who supported Stephen Harper and his fellow believers might not have had a certain dislike for M*A*S*H while it aired in first-run on TV. Certainly, they had problems with CBC, which had the Canadian first-run rights for the series.

(1) Well, the people at Bobbs-Merrill weren't exactly shy about picking a sub-title for promoting that book, were they?
dewline: (canadian media)
A couple of friendlisters have noted elsewhere on the web the existence of an essay for the Ottawa Citizen - shall we rename that newspaper "Postmedia Ottawa" and be done, by the by? - by Andrew Potter on what Stephen Harper's real intentions behind many of his actions as Prime Minister might well have been. Take a look for yourselves. I'm not entirely sure that Mr. Potter's wrong in his analysis, whatever I think of his other writings.

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