Thank you to every Canadian MP


The pro-Russia group denies any connection to the Kremlin, but lawmakers say the push fits a pattern of Moscow-backed interference in the West. And they say that the lobbying campaign, which began in 2014 and grew with attacks last spring on Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, highlights the dangers of Russian meddling in Canada.

Nonetheless, the bill passed unanimously in Parliament on Wednesday evening. It allows Canada to sanction, freeze assets or deny entry to foreigners from any country that has violated human rights or engaged in corruption.

Abortion and politics, apparently

Apparently PC MPP Lisa MacLeod invoked my name in a scrum over at Queen’s Park this morning.  Apparently it came up because she was denouncing the abortion-related trap the Ontario Libs had apparently set for the Ontario PCs.  Apparently she said it was the kind of thing I would do.

The following aren’t apparent, they’re manifest (look it up):

  1. Notwithstanding what Coyne et al. think, the nation’s highest court settled abortion in 1988.  The Supremes pronounced on the matter.  They said politicians could pass a new law if they wanted to. The politicians didn’t.  So, that’s that.  The absence of an abortion law is the law.
  2. Ipso facto (that’s me being lawyerly), it’s all a phoney debate, as Holden Caulfield would say.  It’s moot.  There’s nothing that any politician can say, at any level, that will meaningfully change the reality.
  3. Yasir Naqvi this week said that women seeking abortions should “have the right to access abortion services safely and securely with their privacy maintained, free from any intimidation or interference.” I support that.  However, I wish he would extend the same protections to those of us wishing to be free of the ongoing “intimidation and interference” of the racist, homophobic, Holocaust-denying neo-Nazi rag, Your Ward News.  But I’m not holding my breath.
  4. The abortion thing is about politics, not the law.  The Libs indeed set a trap for the Tories, as MacLeod claimed.  The best thing the Tories could do, therefore, is to not fall into the trap by talking about abortion instead of jobs and the economy and hydro and whatnot.  Patrick Brown didn’t fall for it, just as he didn’t fall for the Islamophobia motion trap.
  5. My name ain’t on any ballot, Lisa.  No one cares about me anymore.  Leave me alone with my punk rock records and memories of six back-to-back majorities.

(Well, apparently.  The last majority came up short by one damn seat.  But the other five – in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2007 – were pretty good.

And there’s nothing apparent about them!)

More on the Ford Park thing

I’ve stated my view: I thought it was a kind gesture on John Tory’s part.

That said, Doug Ford – Who I don’t dislike! We’ve had a few laughs together! – does himself no favours in this radio interview.  In it, he says of the councillors who voted no:

  • “They hit a new low…[they’re] really disgusting.”
  • “They’re disgusting people down there.”
  • “Rob has done a thousand times more than those councillors.”
  • “He was ten thousand times more popular.”

Look, the guy loves his brother.  That is is understandable and defensible.  (I kind of have strong feelings for mine, too, although I’d never say so publicly.)

But I don’t know how this helps make the case that Doug can get along with, and work with, councillors he’s just called “disgusting,” “low,” and “unpopular.”

In politics, I always like to advise: be critical if you have to, make your case.

But don’t overstate your case.


Melanie Joly Watch: the latest media roundup

She’s a disaster, but you knew that already.

From the Canada Day fiasco, to these:

  • Globe: “Her fall from grace in her home province has been swift and merciless, sped by her maladroit attempts to sell a deal with Netflix…”
  • National Post: “[Joly] she has been savaged in Quebec media, artistic and political circles.”
  • Globe: “The Minister has been roasted and ridiculed to her face on live radio and TV, and dismissed by commentators of all stripes as naive and – worst of all – unable even to understand what the fuss is about.”
  • Québec’s culture minister: Joly makes him “speechless and angry…[she] legitimizes a fiscal inequity which grants preferential treatment to a foreign company over Canadian companies.”
  • Globe: “No magic will restore Ms. Joly’s footing…She needs to stop making rookie mistakes and start thinking about policy in terms of clear rules that make sense from every angle, not just one.”
  • Gerald Fillion, Radio-Canada: “You [Joly] are not hearing us.”
  • Paul Arcand, 98.5FM: “You can’t be naïve and sign blank cheques for American multinationals…[Joly] is a nice cassette.”
  • Sophie Pregent of Union des Artistes: “She underestimated the furor in the industry, on the ground. I think she didn’t see it coming.”
  • Michael Harris, iPolitics: “Joly’s medicine worse than the disease…[Joly’s policy] is absurdity in hot pursuit of farce.”
  • Journal de Montreal: “[Joly has engaged in] dereliction of duty.”
  • Richard Martineau, Journal columnist: “[Joly sounds] like a living answering machine having a nervous breakdown.”
  • Tout le monde en parle: “She makes us fucking angry.”

Wow! Great job, Minister Cassette!

But she wasn’t done.  No, Melanie Joly and her whiz-bang staff weren’t finished alienating millions of Canadians.  No, just a few days ago, Joly’s department approved a Holocaust monument plaque…that doesn’t mention Jews.

I’m not making this up.


Joly’s Holocaust memorial fiasco attracted headlines around the world. It made Canada look ridiculous, or grossly insensitive, or both.

Joly hastily announced that the plaque would be replaced, but the damage had been done.

So, again, we ask: does Melanie Joly have photos of the Prime Minister in a compromising situation? Because there no longer is any rational explanation for her have “P.C.” appended to her name.


About that Rob Ford park decision


  1. It’s dumb because it gives Doug Ford an issue with which to rally his base. 
  2. It looks mean because the guy is, you know, dead. Don’t speak ill of the dead, etc. 
  3. It would have hurt no one. No one. 

John Tory deserves credit for being the bigger man, and for trying to do something nice about a longtime critic. 

City council, not so much. 

Coming soon: a new look for this here web site!

Stuff you will see:

  • New regular contributors – from the Left, Right and Centre!
  • Regular news updates – Canadian news and top news stories!
  • Smartphone-friendly content!
  • Less clutter!
  • Still not a blog, because I was here first and hate that stupid word!

Why the change?  Various reasons.  One, the present design doesn’t work well on your device.  Two, I want it to be an aggregator as well as an opinion web site.  Three, I’ve been doing it for more than 15 years – it was time for a totally new approach, with new voices and a new look.

Stay tuned.  It’s going to be neat.