Say what you will about the NYT it does unearth these quirky little stories:
The number of people of Italian ancestry who live in Little Italy is shrinking by the year, and may soon drop by one more: Ms. Sarno, 85, is being evicted from her apartment after losing a fight to keep her $820-a-month rent from skyrocketing. But what has gotten tenant advocates’ attention is not just her age, but also the identity of the landlord: the Italian American Museum, which is in the building next door.
World War II veteran Harry Leslie Smith, 92, said his time is coming to an end – but first he has a message – elect a progressive government.
Smith told his story, by video, to a captivated crowd at Broadbent’s progress summit in Ottawa Saturday afternoon. He said he grew up impoverished in England and came to Canada after fighting in World War II.
Smith said his generation built a strong social safety network, created universal healthcare, public pensions, built affordable housing and demanded that education was everyone’s rights, but those things are disappearing under Harper’s watch.
As the article goes onto note Mr. Smith left Britain in 1950. That's five years into the first Labour majority government. Rather than stay and help build the New Jerusalem Mr Smith instead opted to leave for what was, at the time, one of the most capitalistic economies in the world. Among our rulers in those misbegotten days was a certain C.D. Howe. This self-made millionaire ran, while Louis St Laurent presided, over one of the most pro-business governments in all of Canadian history.
For some inexplicable reason Canada after the war was a magnet for immigrants while Britain, again in a puzzling manner, was a land for which the term "brain drain" was originally coined. Mr Smith may talk Left now but he acted Right then. Here is another choice quote:
Harper’s brought back the “dog-eats-dog world” of the 1930’s, said Smith.
It's hard not to sound like a villain when criticizing a veteran and a survivor of the dirty Thirties but as needs must. Does any reasonable person believe, not as a bit of rhetorical exaggeration but as a serious historical argument, that the Canada of 2015 is as "dog-eats-dog-world" as the Canada of say 1935? During the Depression there were scores of desperate young men who killed themselves rather than continue to starve and beg. The government of Newfoundland was so broke it abandoned responsible government and threw itself on the mercy of London. Much of the economy of Saskatchewan was literally blown away in dust storms. The Premier of Ontario recruited university students to act as strike breakers.
Today Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are rolling in it and the idea of an Ontario university student doing anything so practical, or physically demanding, as strike breaking would be regarded as laughable. For all the flaws of modern Canada from a material stand point we are a paradise compared to what came before. Never have people lived so well and for so long. To raise the spectre of past horrors, in order to score cheap political points, in a land of plenty is both absurd and obscene.
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, in partnership with the National Association of Friendship Centres, today announced that the Harper Government is helping increase jobs and opportunities for urban Aboriginal women in Prince Edward Island.
Smith wasn't the only former Wildrose member to fail to find footing in the Tory party Saturday. Gary Bikman lost his bid for the nomination in Cardston-Taber-Warner to Brian Brewin shortly after the Highwood vote.
And they say the media never reports good news. From the distance of two thousand miles this has a beautiful ring to it. If any of our Alberta readers has some insights missed by the MSM, please drop them in the comments. While journalists do occasionally commit acts of journalism, they should never be relied upon entirely.
To me this is the grassroots flipping the bird to a floor walker. The defection of Smith and the other Wildrose turn coats must rank as one of the dumbest moves in Canadian political history. This is the kind of stuff that Joe Clark would have taken one look at and slowly backed out of the room. Belinda "Minister of Complex Files" Stronach would have laughed casually before telling security to escort out Jim Prentice's minions. Yet Danielle Smith thought this was a good idea.
Why? We really don't have an answer to that question three months after the pre-Christmas defections. There was every chance that Smith might have been the next Premier of Alberta. When the Wretched Nine crossed even Colby Cosh, native Albertan and as shrew a pundit as types in this fair Dominion, was left grasping at straws. Something about the Wildrose being an unwieldy coalition or perhaps that Albertans have a deep loyalty to the Natural Provincial Party of Government. As if four million fellow Canadians have lost the capacity for independent thought.
Canadian history is replete with examples of chaotic parties being whipped into shape and frog marched into government. The most famous recent example was the Mulroney Tories, a party which made so little sense it promptly imploded the second it became clear the Chinned One's political career was finished. Or are we to imagine that the divisions among the political Right in Alberta are more pronounced than those between Quebecois soft nationalists and Western libertarians thirty years ago?
The most common explanation provided after the crossing, probably because it's the most venal and therefore fits neatly into our implicit understanding of politicians, is that Smith was seeking power. If that was indeed her motive then she is remarkably foolish individual. The path to power was pretty clear in December 2014. Keep hitting the government until it cracks in the assembly and then falls to pieces during the writ period. Imagine the incredible field day Smith would have had if she'd remained on the opposition benches during the recent tabling of the provincial budget. A big fat target even a fool couldn't miss.
The only explanation that seems to make sense is this one: The lady lost her nerve. Politics is a bizarre and at times revolting job. The leader of a party that is a contender for power has to want it desperately. Has to have what the pundits call "the fire in the belly." A leader who surrenders on the eve of victory, with scarcely a shot being fired, is a leader who clearly lacks any fire whatsoever. Danielle Smith will now have a very long post-political career to contemplate her foolish treachery.
Ladies and Gentlemen the "Conservative" Party of Canada:
Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today announced a new grant to improve workplace diversity and inclusion in the logistics, transportation and supply chain industry. Ms. Crockatt made the announcement at the Women in Supply Chain Distinguished Speaker Dinner Series in Calgary.
Under the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity (WORBE) program, the Van Horne Institute will receive $125,000 for a project that will allow them to identify barriers, solutions and best practices of inclusive workplaces by engaging its academic and industry partners. Findings will enable the creation of a corporate change model for industry and academia, and a video promoting the value of inclusive workplaces.
Quebec is a distinct society, but not always in a good way:
In his remarks, Mr. Péladeau — the perceived front-runner in the PQ leadership race to be decided in May — said demographics are working against sovereignty.
“We won’t have 25 years ahead of us to realize sovereignty,” he said. “With demographics, with immigration, it’s clear we lose a riding each year. We would like to have better control but let’s not fool ourselves.”
He is, of course, completely and utterly correct. Quebec nationalism, as the Steyn has been saying for years now, is a dead letter because of demographic decline. The Quebecois, whose ancestors once bore famously large and resilient families, have been failing to reproduce themselves for nearly three generations now. Much the same story has been going on with their old adversaries the WASPs. But with one crucial exception: Integration.
English Canada has a remarkable ability to integrate immigrants into Canadian life. In a generation or two the Pole, the Ukrainian and the assorted Southern European is for all practical purposes a loyal Canadian. The ROC's civic nationalism allows us to absorb and integrate people from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds. The tribal nationalism of the Quebecois does the exact opposite. No matter how hard you try you will never be pure laine.
In a generation or two the Quebecois will be a minority in their own province. Long before that Quebec nationalism will be a dead letter. A new country needs a young demographic. It's the young that can afford to think long term. It's the young that are willing to take chances, stupid or otherwise. The greying cohort of Quebecois Boomers may want independence, but if it risks the purchasing power of their pensions they'll think otherwise.
PKP understands that whatever chance the nationalists have of obtaining independence is fast slipping from their grasp. Time is on the side of Canada and not on the side of our enemies.
A well-known First Nations activist and lawyer says she is being tracked by the federal government departments.
Pam Palmater, a Mi'kmaq lawyer and professor at Ryerson University, told CTV’s Question Period that access-to-information documents show that she is being tracked by three federal government departments.
“I wrote an access to information request to CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), National Defence, the RCMP and Indian Affairs to determine whether or not they were following (or) surveilling me in any way and three out of the group all confirmed that they were,” she said.
Join the club. Virtually every Canadian is monitored by several different government departments at any given time. While I'm hardly delighted at the prospect, or reasonably assured that such scrutiny is either necessary or desirable, I'm also not terribly worried about it. How Orwellian a state do we have when it discloses, upon request, that it is monitoring you? If you press a bit further you can even find out how they are monitoring you. When you consider the routine civil rights abuses conducted by the RCMP and FBI during the Cold War this is sophomore hijinks by comparison.