It was on Aug. 6, 1983 — decades before her twin Booker triumph with the novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies — that a young Hilary Mantel looked out the window of her apartment and began plotting the murder of Britain’s prime minister.
That was the day Margaret Thatcher was due to leave a private hospital in Windsor after undergoing eye surgery. And it became the day when the seed was planted in Mantel’s mind for the unsettling tale that was to emerge 31 years later under the title The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher.
There is no book or short story, so far that I'm aware, entitled The Assassination of Ted Heath. The very suggestion, at least to those of us who remember Mrs T's ignominious predecessor, is likely to provoke a very simple response: Why the hell would you bother? We hate things that matter. We may be annoyed by the trivial but hatred is something we reserve for the important. Nearly a quarter of a century after leaving office she still matters. That should give us all hope.
He took to Facebook yesterday to criticize the president's lack of respect "for the millions of Quebecers who hold the opposite opinion."
Peladeau then pointed out that Gauck is an East German "who battled the communist regime imposed by the agreements from the Yalta conference."
"Did he (Gauck) properly question whether it was legitimate for a country to impose a constitution on a nation, like Pierre Trudeau's 1982 constitution had been inflicted on Quebec, despite being rejected by all of the political parties at the National Assembly?"
Ahem. This very old lie omits the small detail that almost every one of Quebec's federal MPs was a Liberal in 1982. Trudeau did have the support of Quebec, he wouldn't have been PM otherwise. What he didn't have is the support of a separatist government in Quebec City. A support that never would have materialized no matter what concessions Ottawa made.
Kim Campbell, who served briefly as prime minister in 1993, has proposed the latest bad idea for reforming Canada’s electoral system.
Ms. Campbell told a “women’s leadership conference” in Prince Edward Island that Canada needs more women in elected office. To that effect, she suggested establishing split ridings, with the requirement that each riding elect a woman and a man.
And a dog. Let's not forget the importance of the canine contribution to Canadian history. From John A Macdonald's basset hound to The Littlest Hobo dogs have played a vital role in Canadian history. It would be wrong of us, in our hectic modern world, not to aid the election of more dogs to the House of Commons.
I'm sorry for that last paragraph. I have no idea if John A Macdonald even had a dog much less the breed. Apparently it's something that missed Donald Creighton's otherwise meticulous attention. Where were we? Right! Onward we go!
It's 2014 and we're still doing the women in politics routine, eh? Is there a normal woman in Canada who really cares? Does it matter what gender the lying pol happens to be when they're lying to you? Is rent-seeking that much better when it's done by a woman?
So far as I've been able to tell the possession of a vagina does not lead to better public policy decisions. The modern world has shown that women can be as cruel, vindictive and underhanded as any man. You've come a long way baby. Sorry but there isn't that much further you can fall.
As Ayn Rand, who was insulted by the very idea of quotas, once observed: "Don’t bother to examine a folly--ask yourself only what it accomplishes."
Officially this policy is suppose to improve women's representation in Parliament. This is absurd because women have been able to vote in Canada for nearly a century. Are you less represented by a person of the opposite sex? How exactly? There is no answer to such questions. The whole thing is a pre-text for the real purpose of this proposal: Jobs for Nitwits.
Our current political process is already heavily slanted toward women and minorities. A white European male has to have much better qualifications than a woman in order to nab a party's nomination. This informal quota system has been around for at least three decades. The result has not been better government but more grossly unqualified women sitting in Parliament. Exhibit A would be Kim Campbell.
The practical outcome of her proposed policy is that women barely capable of standing upright will be drafted into political life. It is already exceedingly hard to attract qualified women candidates. This policy will mean a lowering of the bar well below the permafrost. Kim Campbell is indeed arguing that more people like her should be in political life. By like her I don't mean women, I mean incompetents holding jobs well beyond their abilities.
Ontario is helping student entrepreneurs gain business skills, mentorship and hands-on experience to start and grow a business.
Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) is investing over $6.8 million to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial programs at GTA colleges and universities. On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) is providing more than $600,000 to support GTA academic institutions that are committed to entrepreneurship on their campuses.
The thing about entrepreneurs is that they're independent types. Many of them left comfortable private sector billets because of the excessive bureaucracy of the corporate world. Dealing with government bureaucracy is unlikely to be an appealing alternative. If you think getting money from one of the Big Banks is a pain imagine having to pry funds out of the hands of the Province of Ontario. This isn't to say that all this money will be wasted. If you throw enough money at something a certain small portion will eventually find its way into the right hands. But if that's your goal it would be much cheaper just to toss money out of an airplane.
All eyes will be on Sun Media following a report it is poised to offer Justin Trudeau an apology for a derogatory rant by one of its most controversial television commentators.
The Liberal leader’s office announced last week that he would ignore questions from Sun reporters after Sun News Network’s Ezra Levant used a television segment to insult Trudeau’s and his parents.
In the five-minute rant prompted by a photo of the Liberal leader kissing a bride on the cheek earlier this month, Levant referred to Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, as a “slut” and said similarly derisive things about his mother.
Facts are stubborn things.
No matter how much I like Ezra and no matter how much I despise Trudeau Elder and Junior, it was a silly and juvenile rant. Rehashing thirty-year old tabloid stories, however accurate, is not relevant. Pierre Trudeau is dead. Justin Trudeau is running for office. Dragging up the personal lives of a man's father and mother has no bearing on the future of Canada. The rant has convinced no one of Justin's unfitness for office, it has however convinced some conservatives to stop taking Ezra seriously as a political commentator. That's an incorrect response but it is inevitable one.
For close on twenty years Ezra Levant has been a superb political provocateur. He has had the guts and the brains to do what few conservatives and libertarians could or would do. Into a stuffy world of right-leaning technocratic commentators Ezra brought some real colour and verve. His ability to mobilize and convince is surpassed only by Mark Steyn himself. From to time to time he "goes too far." By that I don't mean he asks uncomfortable questions or speaks necessary truths. I mean he acts like a clown.
That's more than a pity it's a great waste. In a culture war there are only a small number of committed partisans and ideologues on either side. There is a great middle that leans one way or another depending on the luck and skill of the advocates on either side. Those in the middle are not greatly familiar with the ideas or the personalities. For them Ezra's rant comes off as nothing but a vulgar and cheap attack. It will mean that when Ezra does have something important to say they will be less likely to listen.
Because of his remarkable popularity the right-end of the blogsphere has gone into complete partisan mode over Ezra's comments. We cannot speak ill of our own kind even when they behave like an ass. That sort of blindness simply encourages more of this type of talk. What makes for an effective movement is internal criticism. When one of yours behaves like a fool you call them out. That doesn't mean abandoning a friend, it means refusing to sanction bad behaviour.
Now Ezra will be forced to apologize. This is like a gift to Gerald Butts. Just as Stephane Dion's numerous blunders were used by the Right against the Liberal Party, Ezra's rant will be used to stir up the Liberal Party base. The only winner in all this will be Justin Trudeau. The damn pratt comes off looking like a victim. The rant has backfired perfectly. You don't win a war by shooting yourself in the foot. You don't help win a war by applauding self-defeating behaviour.
Ezra we love you but for God's sake think before you talk.
The fifth-floor kitchen in the Government Conference Centre was the spot where future prime minister Jean Chrétien and the attorneys general, Roy McMurtry of Ontario and Roy Romanow of Saskatchewan, reportedly hammered out a compromise that helped save the tense constitutional talks from failure.
If I had my way they'd raze the building and salt the earth.
Nice little internet business you've got here. Would be a shame if something happened...
Netflix refused to heed a demand from Canada’s federal broadcast regulator to hand over confidential customer data by Monday evening despite threats its exemption from regulation would be revoked if the video streaming service did not comply.
“While Netflix has responded to a number of the CRTC’s requests, we are not in a position to produce the confidential and competitively sensitive information ordered by the commission due to ongoing confidentiality concerns,” said Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo in a statement Monday night.
Caudilho Jean-Pierre Blais of the CRTC actually ordered Netflix to hand over their confidential information. Acting as if he was a judge in a criminal trial instead of a busybody interfering with a successful business that is violating no one's rights. It's questionable as to whether the CRTC even has the legal power to make such a request. Netflix is not a broadcaster in any traditional sense of the word. The story behind the story is that a Trudeau-era regulatory framework is running smack up against the modern world.
With technology speeding past the CRTC Mandarins they are confronted with three options: 1) Acquiesce and watch as time turns them into a medieval guild during the industrial revolution. 2) Lobby the government to explicitly expand their powers over the internet. 3) Say to hell with the rule of law and see what they can get away with.
Option 1 ain't happening because too many cushy jobs are at stake. Option 2 ain't happening because the Tories may not understand capitalism but they don't actively hate it. This leave us with option 3. As you can tell it is by far and away the worst option. This isn't just a bad for consumers story it's a bad for freedom story as well.
At the moment much of the media is focused on the pick and pay cable model debate. But the debate is little more than a statist three card monte trick, the government's crude attempt to legislate business into behaving like what they think a free market should look like. The future, however, is being decided in the Netflix case.
Since the CRTC's ability to regulate the internet is at best questionable, despite the agency's repeated insistence that it can regulate whatever and whenever, the fight with Netflix is an obvious test case. They're hoping that if they can force the 800 pound gorilla Netflix to cave it will be easier to intimidate the rest of the Canadian web. They are seeking to accomplish this largely on the basis of bluff. It's like threatening to shoot someone without showing them your gun.
Netflix, which thinks of the Canadian market as a side salad in its global strategy, is not backing down. If they surrender to the tin pot tyrants of the CRTC it will set a terrible precedent when dealing with the big boys at the American FCC or the umpteen regulatory bodies of the European Union. Whatever it's rationale Netflix has struck a small blow for freedom. Since large companies have an unfortunate habit of not seeing past their cash registers don't expect it to last. This is likely the first salvo of a bargaining war. Netflix might succeed in fighting off any regulatory supervision, or it may just partially cave. Agree to some "voluntary" regulation while keeping most of its data private.
If the Tories understood the case for freedom, instead of paying it so much blue sweatered lip service, this would be a perfect time to show it. The CRTC is an arcane and technical body. Most Canadians are aware of its existence only so far as it relates to their cable bill. A reform minded government, how I love that word reform, could quietly gut the CRTC and let history take its course. In ten years the very word broadcasting is going to sound as quaint as Telex and telegram. Let the CRTC fade into that twilight where FIRA and NEP now reside. It belongs nowhere else.