By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 9 Comments
Keith Martin suggests we send the professors to Africa.
His early ideas had focused on getting doctors to developing nations. But Martin, a physician who has been to Africa 26 times, realized medical help alone wasn’t enough: without essentials like clean water, a local doctor’s good work could be quickly undone. So he hit upon the idea of centres for international health and development in universities that could serve as talent pools for the developing world.
He says campuses have the array of talents so often in demand in Third World countries – medicine, nursing, engineering, veterinary sciences, law, business and education. His pitch isn’t aimed at students. Rather it’s targeted at the professors, perhaps those nearing retirement, who are the experts in their fields, have the skills to work unsupervised and at this point in their life, have the time to spend in a developing nation.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM - 1 Comment
Steyn’s Ezra quip and a very busy Mr. Oliphant
Those people on the Hill sure like free food
The Canadian Pork Council held a BBQ on the Hill (free pulled pork sandwiches!) to publicize the safety of their product in the midst of swine flu panic. It was the longest lineup Capital Diary had ever seen for a Hill reception. The final 30 people did not even get meat—some of them grabbed buns to soak up the leftover liquid in the serving pan. New Democrat Peter Stoffer was one of the few MPs who waited his turn in the endless line, even when organizers tried to pull him to the front for preferential treatment. The line went slower when cabinet ministers like Gerry Ritz (Agriculture) and Jean-Pierre Blackburn (National Revenue) took over from staff to do the serving. Everyone from Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to Grit Leader Michael Ignatieff was chomping down. Conservative MP Shelly Glover noted she loves ham. “My kids live off of it,” says the mother of five, who was elected in the last election. (She is on leave from the Winnipeg Police Service, where she used to investigate crack houses and went undercover as a sex-trade worker.) Quipped deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer at the BBQ: “This is the good kind of pork on Parliament Hill.”
Who knew Justin had a tattoo?
Last year, Nova Scotia Grit Mike Savage was the lone MP to take up the Canadian Paraplegic Association’s challenge to spend a day in a wheelchair. This year, several politicians participated, including Conservative MP Dona Cadman and senators such as Olympic skiing gold medallist Nancy Greene Raine. They experienced first-hand the challenges of being in a wheelchair—travelling over carpets or hitting inaccessible committee rooms on the Hill. The day ended with wheelchair races. When Justin Trudeau took on his Toronto Liberal colleague Martha Hall Findlay, he suggested she remove her jacket. When she did and it was revealed she was sleeveless underneath, Trudeau, who was already without a jacket and tie, stripped down to his sleeveless undershirt. (A few people were surprised to see a small tattoo of the earth on his upper left arm.) He won for fastest male MP, but beat Hall Findlay only by a slim margin. It should be noted, however, that Hall Findlay had a “wardrobe malfunction.” Her bra straps slipped off her shoulders and she had to pause to push them back up.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 6:11 PM - 27 Comments
The Scene. It was Marlene Jennings’ turn to ask why. Or, more specifically, it was her turn to ask when. As in: “When is the government going to establish a national standard of eligibility that is fair to everyone?”
The subject this day was employment insurance. It has been the same subject for some time now. For weeks, it seems, the Liberals have been asking the government to amend the system through which benefits are doled out to the those Canadians who’ve most recently been unceremoniously separated from their jobs. And for months, it seems, the government has been arguing that changes have already been made, what problems still exist are the responsibility of previous Liberal governments and, anyway, any future Liberal government will just raise punitive and punishing taxes on the poor and jobless.
No doubt the unemployed have watched enraptured each afternoon by the nuanced exchange of ideas, proposals and slander.
In response to Ms. Jennings this day, the minister responsible, Diane Finley, reviewed the charges noted above and proceeded to her standard finish.
“They want to increase taxes and rhetoric,” she said of the Liberals, “we are increasing profits.” Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 13, 2009 at 2:56 PM - 3 Comments
His latest wacky idea: decriminalizing pot.
The illegal drug trade and substance abuse must be taken out from the shadows, stripped of their myths and put front and centre on the political agenda. We need to treat substance abuse as a medical problem and use the full force of the law against the organized crime gangs that are eating away at the fabric of our society. Only by doing this will we reduce criminality, reduce use and save people’s lives.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 12:08 PM - 4 Comments
Keith Martin takes his health care campaign to the other national newspaper.
Health care has been used for too long as a political stick to club those who would like to modernize our system. Some have found it too seductive to wrap themselves up in the status quo, suggesting that this is the route to prevent Canada from adopting an American-style system, which has poorer health outcomes at a higher cost.
These same people make a profoundly flawed statement that our health care system defines ourselves as Canadians. They have trotted out the pervasive myth that Canada has “the best health care system in the world.” This, however, has been a big lie, often rooted in political expediency at the expense of patient care.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:10 AM - 52 Comments
Keith Martin wants to reform the health care system.
If we fail to modernize our health care system and live with the illusion that we have the “best” system, more and more people, particularly those of modest means, will fail to receive the care they need. This would be a national disgrace — and an entirely avoidable one at that. We can have the best health care system in the world, but we must adopt those solutions that will allow us to achieve this noble goal. We must have courage and we must not fear change.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 5:23 PM - 43 Comments
Posted without comment for the moment. Some attempt at analysis to follow after some consideration now offered below.
Intergovernmental Affairs Michael Ignatieff
House Leader Ralph Goodale
Deputy House Leader Marlene Jennings
Whip Rodger Cuzner
Deputy Whip Marcel Proulx
Finance John McCallum
Foreign Affairs Bob Rae
Defence Denis Coderre
Environment & Energy David McGuinty
Health Carolyn Bennett
Industry, Science & Technology Marc Garneau
Public Safety & National Security Mark Holland
Natural Resources Geoff Regan
Justice and Attorney-General Dominic LeBlanc
International Trade Scott Brison
Public Works and Government Services Martha Hall Findlay Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 7:56 PM - 0 Comments
Back when Maxime Bernier took his leave, there was much hueing and crying about the Prime Minister’s promoting an unqualified—but pretty—MP to the front of the government’s benches. Of course, the outrage of this only holds if you assume that Mr. Bernier was advanced ahead of several more qualified peers. And that is a dubious claim at best.
Not, of course, that Max wasn’t completely unqualified and ill-suited to the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Let there be no debate on that. He was, by various accounts, a failure from the start.
But is surely not coincidence that the PM’s most respected minister at this point is the one he lifted directly from the Liberal side after the last election. It is David Emerson who’s been quietly signing free trade deals with a dozen little countries. It is David Emerson who heads the war cabinet. It is David Emerson who does not generally make a habit of insulting the population’s intelligence. And, according to several reports, it is David Emerson who will fully control Foreign Affairs after tomorrow morning’s visit to Rideau. Continue…
By Paul Wells - Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 4:19 PM - 0 Comments
And from her Opposition critic?
Indeed. Keith Martin, in the scrums today, on the…
And from her Opposition critic?
Indeed. Keith Martin, in the scrums today, on the CIDA minister’s decision to untie Canada’s food aid from any requirement that only Canadian food suppliers be used:
“It’s very important. The untying of aid is a good decision on the part of the government. Untying aid enables the World Food Program to be able to get the best bang for the buck.”
We offer this up, not to facilitate Tory nyah-nyah look-even-our-critics-have-nothing-bad-to-say — although of course this will facilitate Tory nyah-nyah look-even-our-critics-have-nothing-bad-to-say — but to congratulate Martin and to wish Opposition critics would take this sort of cue more often. (The Conservatives and Alliance and Reform were usually just as bad on this.) If you’re outraged all the time, you’re not Continue…