By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 0 Comments
Liberals earn decisive victory, though Clark loses seat
VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s Liberals defied common wisdom and months of abysmal polling numbers to win a majority government Tuesday, a stunning turnaround for a party and a premier written off for dead when the election started just a few weeks ago.
But while Premier Christy Clark bucked expectations around the province, she failed to win a seat for herself in the legislature. The NDP’s David Eby defeated the premier in Vancouver-Point Grey by 785 votes, leaving Clark with the awkward task of finding a riding — presumably held by a Liberal who was just elected — where she can try again.
Despite the results in Clark’s Vancouver riding, the Liberals won a decisive majority throughout the province. It was the Liberals’ fourth-consecutive victory and Clark’s first win as leader.
“Well, that was easy,” a beaming Clark joked with supporters at the Liberal victory party in downtown Vancouver.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 5:32 AM - 0 Comments
Pollsters had reported NDP leading the campaign by 20 points
VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s New Democrats are dazed and confused today, pondering a stunning election defeat that saw Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals capture a majority despite pollsters reporting the NDP leading the campaign from start to finish by as much as 20 points.
New Democrats, some in tears, others jaws gapping and walking around as if hit by a speeding truck, could only suggest their decision to run a campaign free of personal attacks needs a second look: Nice guys, it appears to them, do finish last.
Pollsters had tracked the election as a guaranteed win for Adrian Dix’s New Democrats throughout the campaign, but Clark’s Liberals defied the claims of NDP momentum and lowly polling numbers to win a majority government Tuesday, posting a stunning turnaround for a party and a premier written off for dead when the election started just a few weeks ago.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM - 0 Comments
It can happen here…
People in this country are wrong to sit comfortably with
It can happen here
People in this country are wrong to sit comfortably with a false sense of security (“Hitting close to home,” Special Report, May 6). Canada is on the infamous list of al-Qaeda’s five target countries: did we forget? It would be wrong to feel smug and assume we are too good a people to have anything bad happen to us. Anyone can board a train without a security check and have no one taking a peek as to what may be inside their bags. Via Rail claims the costs would be too high and pose too great a hassle to its passengers. What will it take, a death toll of a few hundred to have the public put up with a little inconvenience? Frequent flyers got used to it quickly enough. I once saw someone at a train platform get on the train that was stopped for a short while, put a suitcase in the baggage rack, then jump off again. The train departed without the individual. That made me nervous.
Louise Chaput, Terrace, B.C.
Is the sudden putting forward of the S-7 anti-terrorism bill this week merely a coincidence with the RCMP announcement of the Via Rail terrorist plot? What better way to create an atmosphere conducive to passing of this bill that transgresses fundamental principles in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Why has the news of RCMP directives to deny interviews between senior Mounties and MPs and senators occurred this same week? These developments smack dangerously of a police state in the making.
By Charlie Gillis - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM - 0 Comments
The muted response to Israel’s strike on Syria is just one more sign of a troubling new Middle East reality
The mission went off with surprising ease. In separate sorties over the weekend, Israeli warplanes slipped unopposed into Syrian airspace, wiping out missile sites and destroying a major military research centre near Damascus. In past years, it might have been enough to trigger a full-blown crisis—Syria answering with a tit-for-tat strike; Israel pressing the U.S. and other allies for support; the entire Midle East watching helplessly as the cycle escalated. And there was certainly no lack of fuel for outrage: on Monday, Syria’s Arab-language news agency circulated pictures showing the smoking expanses where the bombs had landed, killing as many as 42 people.
But this time, the fallout was strangely muted. Yes, the crippled regime of Bashar al-Assad mustered a pro forma protest, decrying the attacks as a “declaration of war,” and threatened unspecified acts of retribution. But Israel seemed unworried about the prospect of immediate retaliation. Even as images of the wreckage flashed across TV screens around the globe, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu jetted off to China for a long-planned trade trip, while a close political ally, Tzachi Hanegbi, declared the government had returned to “business as usual.”
By Nancy Macdonald - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM - 0 Comments
With abysmal approval ratings, the French president will auction off some of the world’s finest wine
“We are not the sick man of Europe,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici angrily protested in a recent interview. He may be right. While France and its hapless, broke Mediterranean neighbours occasionally appear to be in a kind of sick race for last place, the French have yet to fall behind Greece when it comes to levels of debt and unemployment or wretched fiscal policy.
Despised by both the left and right, François Hollande has seen his approval ratings plunge to historic lows. The French president, signalling his increasing desperation, has ordered wines from the presidential cellar at Élysée Palace be auctioned off next month to raise funds for the state budget. More than a thousand bottles will be sold, including some of the world’s rarest and most expensive champagnes. The three bottles of 1990 Château Pétrus are expected to each fetch more than $3,000; a 1975 Château Lafite Rothschild could bring $1,500. The Élysée wine cellar is a national treasure. Selling its contents is not unlike hawking the family jewels.
By Julie Smyth - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM - 0 Comments
If anyone had predicted several years back how Maxime Bernier might indulge a landmark mid-life birthday, it likely wouldn’t have been training for a 100-km run.
The Quebec MP, who turned 50 this year, is halfway through eight months of preparation for a gruelling ultramarathon in September to raise funds for a local food bank, la Fondation Moisson Beauce.
Bernier’s plan is to run the length of his riding of Beauce, Que., starting in the south end at Saint-Ludger, crossing 10 municipalities, and ending at Saint-Bernard in the north. His goal is to run the entire 100 km in less than 12 hours, with no walking breaks and only slowing his running pace to eat or drink.
“People in my riding they say, ‘Maxime, it’s crazy to do that,’ ” the MP said during an interview in Ottawa.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM - 0 Comments
As she takes over chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Aglukkaq spoke with Luiza Ch. Savage on her new role, her childhood in Nunavut and her take on the European Union’s bid for observer status:
Q: As someone who is of the North, who grew up there, how does that shape the perspective you bring to chairing the Arctic Council?
A: I was so very thrilled when the Prime Minister asked me if I would consider the chairmanship. I’m from the Arctic, I work in the Arctic, I live in the Arctic. Sometimes I feel—not just at the Arctic Council but at other forums—that there are people talking about the Arctic, the wildlife, the climate, without ever having ever set foot on the ground and met the people who live there year in, year out, for years and years. I am hoping that, during my time at the Arctic Council, I would be able to bridge some of those gaps and put a voice to the people who live in the Arctic.
Q: What was it like growing up in the Arctic? I understand you didn’t have electricity until you were eight years old.
A: It was peaceful. We lived off the land. My family lived around the Thom Bay area, north of Taloyoak [in Nunavut]. We moved into the community of Spence Bay in the 1970s, and that was the first time I saw structures—buildings, power, power plants. We didn’t have cars. We didn’t have roads. We walked on the tundra from the Thom Bay area to the community with our dogs and our supplies.
By Kate Lunau - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:03 AM - 0 Comments
On the iBooks Top 10: A behind-the-scenes look at the man and his mission
Astronaut Chris Hadfield is back on Earth after five months in space.
The first Canadian ever to command the International Space Station (ISS), Hadfield has opened a window into life in space as never before, inspiring millions to closely follow his mission. Maclean’s marks his return with a new ebook that gives an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into Hadfield’s mission.
Since launching aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Dec. 19, and even before then, Hadfield has been an enthusiastic Twitter user (his followers number 913,000 and counting). And yet his responsibilities stretched far beyond the songs, videos, photos and messages he shared from space. He and his crew have performed more than 130 science experiments on this mission. Crewmates Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy completed a five-hour spacewalk to fix a dramatic ammonia leak aboard the ISS, with Hadfield as their spacewalk choreographer. In one week, the crew finished a whopping 71 hours of research, setting a new record for the Station.
In September, Maclean’s reporter Kate Lunau travelled to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to shadow Hadfield. She was the only Canadian print reporter to attend, and watched Hadfield, Marshburn, and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko as they trained for what would become the mission of a lifetime.
For the first time, Chris Hadfield: #GoodMorningEarth brings together her reporting and never-before-seen photos from NASA, as well as Hadfield’s Twitter diary, photos, and more.
Chris Hadfield: #GoodMorningEarth includes:
- A behind-the-scenes look at Hadfield’s training at NASA’s elite astronaut facilities
- A chronicle of Hadfield’s journey as told by his tweets
- Dozens of his best landscape photos of Earth
- A glimpse into some of the science experiments—which total more than 130—that Hadfield and his crew performed aboard the Space Station
- A collection of Maclean’s writings on Canada’s first space commander
“By using the technology that’s available now, we can really make this experience alive, in real time,” Hadfield told Maclean’s earlier this year, from the ISS.
“When I look out the window and see something magnificent go by, I can immediately broadcast it, and people can ride along with me.”
Chris Hadfield: #GoodMorningEarth shows just what an incredible ride it has been.
By James Cowan - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM - 0 Comments
James Cowan on the problem with the Mother Corp.’s digital push
Kirstine Stewart switched in April from running the CBC’s English service to leading Twitter Canada. Plenty of self-styled media critics interpreted Stewart’s move as a high-profile defection from stagnant traditional media to a shiny digital upstart. That assessment is not just wrong, it’s backward: Twitter hired Stewart specifically to court established, traditional media outlets because it wants to establish paid partnerships with content producers; meanwhile, CBC is a dominant digital player in Canada, competing hard—and successfully—against private news, music streaming, and video-on-demand providers.
The online success of the CBC should be laudable. Its website received an average of 6.2-million unique visitors last year, making it the most popular Canadian website. Around 4.3-million people visit the CBC News site each month, besting both The Globe and Mail and Huffington Post. Adding to this success is an ambitious five-year plan that will open digital-only news operations in cities like Hamilton and Kamloops and allocate 5 per cent of the overall programming budget to digital content. Once upon a time, it was only private TV and radio broadcasters who had reason to grumble about competing with the Crown corporation; in building its online empire, the CBC is taking on everyone from newspapers to Netflix.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 6:56 AM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – Voters in British Columbia go to the polls today in what was…
VANCOUVER – Voters in British Columbia go to the polls today in what was the provincial New Democrats’ election to lose.
It was the Liberals’ to survive — early polls suggested the best they could hope for was to save their party and prevent a rout in a province known for not just voting governments out of power, but sending them into political purgatory.
If that was the case, then both of the province’s main political parties appear to have succeeded in a hard-fought four-week election campaign.
New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix ran a populist campaign, appealing to voters’ desire for change after 12 years of Liberal rule. There was a lot of water under the government bridge, a fact Dix reminded the electorate of as doggedly as he avoided missteps.
“They didn’t have to run a great campaign. As long as they didn’t screw up then the election was probably going to be theirs all along,” says Hamish Telford, a professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley.
By Nancy Macdonald - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 10:08 PM - 0 Comments
Seven years after Queen of the North tragedy, families see measure of justice
It was, perhaps, the best-known rumour in B.C.
Just days after the Queen of the North sank, on March 22, 2006, killing Shirley Rosette, 43, and Gerald Foisy, 45, word began to spread that Karl Lilgert, the officer in charge of the ferry, had been on deck with his former lover. What exactly the pair had been doing was the source of speculation and innuendo.
The story was made all the more appalling when, for years, it seemed Lilgert, with the help of his union, would not pay for his careless actions.
First, the B.C Ferry and Marine Workers attempted to delay BC Ferries investigators from talking to Lilgert and its crew. When asked to testify at an inquiry into the fatal collision, Lilgert, with the union’s help, stonewalled. The Ferry and Marine Workers threatened labour unrest if Lilgert was sanctioned for refusing to co-operate.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM - 0 Comments
‘The people of Labrador wanted change,’ candidate says of victory over Peter Penashue
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Conservatives urged Labrador voters to overlook spending rule violations and return incumbent Peter Penashue to Ottawa as a cabinet minister — an offer they answered with a resounding No.
Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones won the federal byelection Monday in Labrador, recapturing a traditional Grit bastion and handing the Harper government its sole byelection defeat in a Tory-held seat.
The riding became vacant when Penashue quit due to campaign overspending and ineligible contributions during the 2011 election. He finished a distant second.
Jones, a former provincial Liberal party leader and 17-year veteran of the legislature, vowed that she would be a strong voice for Labrador who wouldn’t dodge tough questions.
By Dirk Meissner and Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM - 0 Comments
The leaders of British Columbia’s two main political parties sprinted to get their message…
The leaders of British Columbia’s two main political parties sprinted to get their message out Monday, one day before the finish line would deliver one of them an election victory.
New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix was to campaign for 24 hours straight, making 15 election stops during his 1,700- kilometre tour as far north as Prince George.
He planned to continue his efforts to woo voters until 7 a.m. Tuesday, an hour before polls open.
Liberal Leader Christy Clark also had a long day ahead, with 10 events scheduled until Monday night in her home riding of Vancouver-Point Grey.
For Clark, the last full day of campaigning was similar to the first, as she warned voters about what the New Democrats could do to the provincial economy.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7:50 PM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – The navigating officer in charge of the Queen of the North passenger…
VANCOUVER – The navigating officer in charge of the Queen of the North passenger ferry the moment it struck an island off the northern British Columbia coast seven years ago, sinking and leaving two passengers missing, has been convicted of criminal negligence causing death.
The jury, which heard nearly four months of testimony, had been deliberating since Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, they returned to court to ask the judge questions related to whether Lilgert directly caused the deaths of the couple.
Lilgert will be charged next month.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM - 0 Comments
In temperature and politics, the Arctic has never been hotter. As other nations try to get in on the action, Canada is gearing up for a fight.
Ólafur Grímsson, the jovial, globe-trotting president of Iceland, likes to tell the story of his first state visit to Russia 11 years ago, when he asked to meet with Vladimir Putin to talk about the Arctic. The snow-haired Icelander was told that such esoteric matters would be best discussed with local authorities in Kamchatka and Murmansk, thousands of miles from the Kremlin. These days, says Grímsson with a chuckle, Putin himself gives speeches at Arctic conferences—and sends emissaries to Iceland to personally invite Grímsson to attend.
In temperature and in geopolitics, the Arctic has never been hotter. The ice cap is melting rapidly; new shipping lanes are opening up, as are previously inaccessible reserves of oil, gas and minerals. It is estimated that one-fifth of the world’s petroleum reserves lie in the Arctic. Whether these riches will be developed and transported, under what conditions and by whom, are high-stakes questions that are growing in urgency for governments and industry around the world. Some projections say a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean could occur by mid-century. “For the first time in human history we will witness the creation of a new ocean,” Grímsson told a conference in Washington last month. And the rest of the world wants in. Last summer, a Chinese-owned icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, sailed from Shanghai to Iceland. The purpose of that expedition was ostensibly to research how the melting of the sea ice creates extreme weather patterns in China. But China is also building cargo ships to sail across a polar route this decade using the ice-free summer months, cutting the distance to Europe and America.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – A witness who has delivered bombshell testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry is…
MONTREAL – A witness who has delivered bombshell testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry is admitting he told a lie on the stand.
Gilles Cloutier returned to Quebec’s corruption inquiry this morning with a message: that although he had testified that he was the owner of a home in Quebec’s Charlevoix region he was, in fact, renting it.
The former political organizer admitted that he lied about owning a house used to entertain clients for Roche, an engineering firm.
He chalked it up to a misplaced sense of pride.
By Rosemary Westwood - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM - 0 Comments
Vintners from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia are embracing effervescence
Maclean’s tells the story of Canadian wine from coast to coast in words and pictures in Wine in Canada: A Tour of Wine Country. Look for it on newsstands now. Or download the app now. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek:
Break out the made-in-Canada bubbly. Champagne isn’t just for drenching champion athletes, New Year’s revelry and the French anymore. Producers at home are challenging the famed region’s monopoly on the finest sparkling wine.
Nestled among the rolling green hills of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley near the Gaspereau River, Benjamin Bridge is part of the new wave of Canadian vineyards creating a buzz with high-calibre bubbles.
Last year a $75 bottle of its 2004 brut reserve stunned some of the country’s most discerning palates in a blind tasting—they preferred it to a $250 bottle of Louis Roederer 2004 Cristal (yes, that Cristal, from one the world’s top champagne houses).
In 2011, L’Acadie Vineyards—also from the Annapolis Valley—won a silver, the only medal awarded to a North American vineyard, at an international competition for sparkling wines held, where else, in France. And the Okanagan’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery won the “best bottle fermented sparkling wine” at the 2010 International Wine and Spirits competition in London. With a growing list of Canadian wineries chasing that bright and delicate zing, competition for the top national sparklers has become fierce. It may not be champagne, a name reserved for wines made in that region, but it sure tastes like it. And Canadians are lapping it up.
By Katie Engelhart - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
What’s at stake in today’s parliamentary elections
On Wednesday, March 20, a 41-year-old man in the Bulgarian village of Sitovo paid a visit to his local gas station. There, Todor Yovchev doused himself with gasoline and lit himself ablaze. He died two days later, at a hospital in Varna—shortly after telling doctors he was unemployed and unable to buy bread for his child and he “could not stand it anymore.” Novinite, a Bulgarian news agency, called the man’s death the latest “in the country’s unprecedented self-immolation wave.” Yovchev is reportedly “the sixth Bulgarian self-immolator in the course of just one month.”
After so many iterations of “Occupy” X and This-or-That “Spring,” tumult in Bulgaria has failed to capture international headlines. But something momentous is happening in Sofia. In February, Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov was forced to resign after weeks of sometimes bloody demonstrations by thousands of Bulgarians in dozens of cities. Borisov was either the latest victim of pan-European austerity, or a sign of early “Spring” in southeastern Europe.
Then, this week, allegations that the former government was involved in illegal wiretapping stirred the pot anew; several shady recordings, featuring top-level politicians and judges, were leaked to the press. Borisov denies the allegations, but observers are already speaking of a “Bulgarian Watergate.” Just weeks before the next national election, the country’s caretaker prime minister warns that “Bulgaria’s democracy is sick.”
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 5:30 AM - 0 Comments
NORDEGG, Alta. – An evacuation order has been issued to two small Alberta communities…
NORDEGG, Alta. – An evacuation order has been issued to two small Alberta communities due to wildfires.
Emergency alerts have been issued for Nordegg and Lodgepole because two separate fires are burning within a few kilometres of each community.
The fire near Nordegg, which is 200 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, has been burning for several days and residents have been on a one-hour evacuation notice since Thursday.
Duncan MacDonnell with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development said crews had the fire contained, but officials were still poised to issue an evacuation order if the blaze broke through any containment points.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 5:29 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – After tonight, astronaut Chris Hadfield might become a more typical social-media user…
MONTREAL – After tonight, astronaut Chris Hadfield might become a more typical social-media user and start posting pictures of mundane subjects — like food.
The Canadian space veteran is scheduled to return to Earth this evening after a five-month stay on the International Space Station.
The astronaut best known for having shared stunning pictures from space says what he’s really looking forward to now is the aroma of a rich cup of coffee, and other such delights.
“One of the things I miss here is the smell of food,” Hadfield said during his final news conference from space, last month.
“The rich aroma of a coffee or the smell of something that’s in the oven and the textures of food,” he said.
By The Canadian Press - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 10:19 AM - 0 Comments
The federal byelection in Labrador boils down to a choice: a former cabinet minister…
The federal byelection in Labrador boils down to a choice: a former cabinet minister who says he’ll wield influence in Ottawa, versus Liberal and NDP challengers who say they’ll chart a new course for political change.
It has also been cast as the first test of how fledgling Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair stack up on the campaign trail.
Henry White, who runs Bert’s Barber Shop in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, knows how he’ll vote.
By The Associated Press - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM - 0 Comments
Experts say ‘we’re stuck’ with global warming
WASHINGTON – The old saying that “what goes up must come down” doesn’t apply to carbon dioxide pollution in the air, which just hit an unnerving milestone.
The chief greenhouse gas was measured Thursday at 400 parts per million in Hawaii, a monitoring site that sets the world’s benchmark. It’s a symbolic mark that scientists and environmentalists have been anticipating for years.
While this week’s number has garnered all sorts of attention, it is just a daily reading in the month when the chief greenhouse gas peaks in the Northern Hemisphere. It will be lower the rest of the year. This year will probably average around 396 ppm. But not for long — the trend is going up and at faster and faster rates.
By Nancy Macdonald - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:41 PM - 0 Comments
Who is going to win? Depends which pollster you trust
Just weeks ago, pollsters in B.C. believed the SoCreds’ 1991 demise could be repeated this spring. Its Liberal heirs would be similarly routed, some predicted, reduced to a handful of seats.
With days to go before British Columbians head to the polls, it’s still far from clear how exactly they plan to vote. But that Liberal rout, it’s become clear, is no longer in the cards.
The yawning, 20-point lead the NDP once held over the governing Liberals has evaporated. But by how much depends on which polling outfit you trust.
An Angus-Reid poll for the Globe and Mail-CTV released yesterday had it halved, giving the NDP a nine-point edge.
But a Forum poll for the National Post released a day earlier put the NDP and Liberals in a dead heat: 43 per cent, compared to 41 per cent for the Liberals.
Then Ipsos-Reid came in down the middle, putting the NDP lead at six per cent.
So who’s right? Who knows. Remember that Wild Rose majority Alberta pollsters were predicting just three days before Albertans instead handed the majority to the Conservatives? Pollsters were similarly oblivious to the Orange surge that gave Quebec to the NDP in 2011, and the Liberal rout next door, in Ontario in that same election.
As response rates to telephone surveys have plummeted, polls have become increasingly unreliable. Pollster Allan Gregg blames the profession for having “fallen in love with the sound of its own voice,” and rushing out flimsy results.
So B.C.’s 2013 election is down to the wire. Or not. Whatever happens Tuesday, pollsters won’t be blamed for getting it wrong. With results all over the map, one at least will have to have got it right.
As for the race, it’s been a weird one. The NDP opted to run a “positive” campaign, à la Jack Layton. This has allowed the public, once so desperate to flog the Liberals for their many sins to have forgotten what it was they were so mad about in the first place.
Both the Conservatives and NDP have had to turf candidates for conduct unbecoming, though the NDP is inexplicably standing behind one, who once labelled Chinese-Canadians “chinkasaureses,” and was repeatedly caught padding her resumé.
The premier, an incredibly polarizing figure in B.C., has somehow been able to keep the conversation firmly turned to jobs and the economy, and has starkly defined the choice: four years of sound fiscal management with the Liberals’ free enterprise coalition, or runaway social spending that would send the B.C. back to its darkest era.
Christy Clark has done this despite playing fast and loose with claims of having balanced the budget, and a face-palm worthy gaffe as the campaign was in full swing—running a red on a dare from her son with a reporter along for the ride.
Adrian Dix, by flip-flopping on the twinning of an existing pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver, played into Liberal fear-mongering, scaring off centrist voters. The NDP leader is also pledging to put fracking to an environmental review, kill at least one mining proposal that has government support, and reverse the go-ahead on a new all-season resort in B.C.’s Kootenay region. Small wonder the Liberals have dubbed him Mr. Nix.
But there are some areas in which he is inclined to say yes. His party is promising new spending totalling $2 billion, including $210-million per year on a “family bonus,” for low- and moderate-income families and $100-million a year to hire more teachers (in a province which continues to see declining enrolment).
And yet Dix, who’s shown no interest in balancing the budget, somehow continues to present a moderate face. He’s gone to lengths to dampen organized labour’s heady expectations, at least for the short term, and has burnished his business credentials by making inroads in Vancouver’s business community.
He’s not unlike Stephen Harper, a plodder, methodical in his approach. He didn’t marry until his 40s. His approach to politics is equally deliberative. Just as Harper has slowly moved the country to the right, a Premier Dix could eventually push B.C. several clicks to the left. That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll know Tuesday whether British Columbians are willing to let him take them there.
By From the editors - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
Today, pizza. Tomorrow … the world.
Agriculture Canada has announced that restaurants will soon pay less for their mozzarella cheese: a move that’s designed to cut the cost of pizzeria pizza and bring joy to hungry undergrads across the country. It certainly sounds like good news. But it’s really just a small step toward unwinding Canada’s antiquated supply management system that keeps prices high at home and discourages farmers from selling abroad. The best plan? Canadian cheese should follow Canadian wine into the bracing world of free trade.
Canada’s Byzantine supply management system uses quotas, tariffs and price controls to restrict imports and boost farmers’ incomes. As a result, mozzarella cheese, the dominant ingredient in most pizza, is signiﬁcantly cheaper in the United States. To help make them competitive, makers of frozen pizzas have enjoyed a discount on mozzarella tied to U.S. prices since 1995. But not restaurants. This new rule addresses the discrepancy between frozen and fresh pizzas. According to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, which has been lobbying for decades for the change, mozzarella costs should drop five to 10 per cent. This could cut the price of a large takeout pizza by a dollar or so.
As pleasing as cheaper pizza sounds, however, Ottawa’s new policy doesn’t go nearly far enough. And, bizarrely, it creates a new federal pizza bureaucracy.
By The Canadian Press - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM - 0 Comments
Senator said his legacy would be his family
OTTAWA – Doug Finley, the organizational “pitbull” behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s rise to power, built a reputation in conservative circles for mercurial temper, implaccable calm, fierce loyalty and prodigious work ethic.
Finley, 66, died Saturday after a battle with colorectal cancer that the media-shy campaign general had shared openly with the world in his last months.
He is survived by his wife Diane Finley, a senior federal Conservative cabinet minister, his daughter Siobhan by a previous marriage, and three grandchildren.