Archive for October 2010

US midterms, selling your birthright for a mess of potash, and a streetcar named Rob Ford …

Oct 31st, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

The big North American political news this coming week is of course the US mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 2 – which may or may not put Barack Obama and his beleaguered Democrats in some kind of dog house (and almost certainly will: the only real question is just how dirty it  will be?). Meanwhile, […]

Has Iggy been going to Mackenzie King night school : ethical mining if necessary, but not necessarily, etc, etc?

Oct 29th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

Concerns about how “Canada’s mining, oil and gas firms behave ethically abroad” have been a staple of  certain kinds of cocktail party and after-work-drinks conversation for several years now. And testimony from at least some in the field suggest some reasons for concern. Thus we have just had “Liberal John McKay’s private member’s bill to […]

Has a right-wing tide really swept Toronto?

Oct 26th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

It is of course strictly a Toronto prejudice that the results of a Toronto municipal election mean anything to anyone in any other part of the true north, strong and free, la belle province qui n’est pas comme les autres (is that the right French – probably not?) : to say nothing of any other […]

Tale of two mayors .. and the case of the hospital consultants (“who spent freely on travel and entertainment”)

Oct 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

Even in Toronto the local intelligentsia are moaning: “No Torontonian can look west … without feeling a pang of jealousy. The election of Naheed Nenshi as mayor of Calgary is the most exciting political event of the year. He makes the trio of candidates for mayor of Toronto  look like stale remnants of another age.” […]

Immigration policy up north and down under – Harper borrowing Abbott and Howard

Oct 20th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

It’s no secret that Stephen Harper likes to swap notes, and speeches, with his Australian counterparts in the conservative Liberal Party.  Mr. Harper  once shamelessly plagiarized a speech about the war in Iraq from the man he fairly swooned over, former Australia Prime Minister John Howard.  It seems that Mr. Harper and/or his advisers have […]

Brother Andr̩ is a saint Рand Governor General of Canada is real head of state

Oct 18th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

You may feel that the pope in Rome has no real power to sanctify anyone. And we share that view. But if you harbour any attachment to Canada’s interesting province of Quebec, you may also feel some warmth towards the news that, this past Sunday “Pope Benedict XVI canonized the first male saint born on […]

Gilles Duceppe’s a nice guy – but really out to lunch on what real Quebec independence would mean

Oct 15th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

If you search “Gilles Duceppe” in the online editions of either the Washington Post or the New York Times at the moment, you will just get “No Results Found” or “Your search – Gilles Duceppe – did not match any documents under Past 30 Days.” Even if you try the same game on Le, […]

Coming of age in Copiapó .. Chile mine rescue just another sign of the times

Oct 13th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED OCTOBER 14]. According to the customary North American prejudice, South America, while sometimes entertaining (like Ricky Ricardo on the old “I Love Lucy” TV show, eg), is for most purposes not quite up to handling the real world. At the time of writing here (October 13, 2010, 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT), […]

Canadian Thanksgiving 2010: who’s afraid of “the failure of the left”?

Oct 10th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

It is a strictly parochial contest. But on this Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend (some six-and- a-half weeks before the real Thanksgiving in the USA) the competition among the four daily newspapers that Canada’s largest city is still so lucky to enjoy may have been won by the Toronto Star. For me at least two particular […]

Commonwealth Games and fantasy coalitions .. what is “the Commonwealth” today anyway?

Oct 7th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

Toward the end of the first full week of October 2010 (or 10/10: and apparently marriages at the local city hall for this coming Sunday 10/10/10 are way over-booked), Canada  seems to be doing somewhat better in the Commonwealth Games. As we write (“Friday, October 08, 2010″ in New Delhi, but still just Thursday, October […]