As a young Canadian woman, I have grown up knowing that there was a certain security related to being born in my country. I am not talking about political or economic security, but rather the way in which my rights as a woman were entrenched in the Canadian constitution, the Criminal Code of Canada, and Canadian Employment Insurance.
I hate writing politics posts about specific bills, because invariably with this government they boil down to “augh, this is terrible, ineffective, and profoundly uncanadian, and I’m embarrassed that these yahoos are running our government,” which while accurate, doesn’t make for much of a read. So, new tack this week: let’s talk about the (hilarious) reactions to it, and see what that says about us as a nation. Read More #TellVicEverything: A Peculiarly Canadian Sort of Protest
Having the progressive political views that I do, I am on the mailing list of Lead Now, a non-partisan Canadian organization dedicated to building a better, more progressive government and democracy. I (and presumably everyone else on their list) got an email last week titled, “Maybe the most important question we’ll ever ask you,” and the question read:
Public broadcasting gets a bad rap in Canada. Shows produced by the CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for the non-Canadians) are often written off a boring dreck by the general viewing public. The CBC is generally acknowledged to do news, hockey, and some very specific stripes of comedy (ie, Rick Mercer) very well, but beyond that, in my opinion, it doesn’t have a lot of pan-Canada cultural clout.
Part of this is simply because that in the early days of radio and television, the CBC was the only national network, whereas now there are considerable numbers of competing networks and stations crowding the airwaves. Part of it is that the CBC operates on a comparatively shoestring budget and can’t put on the razzle-dazzle that for-profit media conglomerates can afford. That razzle-dazzle is what draws in eyes in a visually saturated cultural environment, so the CBC has become sort of the staid uncle of the airwaves: not exceedingly cool, but reliable, relatable, and while maybe you wouldn’t admit it to your friends, someone you like hanging out with.
I can empathize with Justin Trudeau. Sometimes government MPs say truly galling things, and sometimes all you can do is to let loose a cuss to let the steam out of your ears.
Last week, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Accord, to no-one’s great surprise but everyone’s collective shame. Megan Leslie, the NDP’s environment critic, was taking Peter Kent, the Environment Minister, to task about his conduct at the Durban climate meeting (in which he, as always, did absolutely nothing useful and stalled and hindered much progress). Kent then starting railing about Leslie’s lack of attendance at Durban, saying that if she was so concerned about what went on, she should’ve been there herself. Read More Sometimes you Just Need to Cuss Out the Environment Minister
It’s an understatement to say that Canada has a troubled relationship to the First Nations communities, and this time around, it’s Attawapiskat in the news, with an extreme housing deficit and inadequate housing, with an approaching Northern Ontario winter.
Okay, it seems like it’s time for a change of pace. There’s been quite a handful of both federal and provincial elections this year and women are increasingly in positions of power in various Houses across the nation. I thought I’d do a bit of a summary of where women stand in Canadian politics, and in the future do some writing about specific women.
The short answer is, depressingly, women are still poorly represented in politics at all levels of government.
I swear, I’ll stop talking about specific legislation as soon as problematic legislation stops being introduced and hustled through Parliament without debate. Promise!
Last week, the Conservatives tabled legislation to not only scrap the long gun registry, but also to destroy all the data it currently holds, and again used closure* to shut down debate on it. The registry has reduced gun deaths overall by about 45% since it was introduced, but the Conservatives say it’s too expensive and infringes on the rights of hunters and rural citizens.