Trudeau Introduces New Legalized Marijuana Bill in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made good on one of his campaign promises by introducing a new bill that will legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. The bill is drafted as a revolutionary measure to allow marijuana to be treated as a consumer product.

The move came as a surprise for some, but it was not completely unexpected.… [Read more]

Memo to ‘Queers Against Israeli Apartheid’: Get a closet

Talk about a mood killer. Toronto’s Pride Week, a profoundly social success story on every level imaginable, takes one in the nads from….Queers! ‘Tis not a pretty tale.

One stop shopping for tolerance and diversity

For those of us old enough to recall the 1981 Toronto police ‘Bathhouse raids’, or a smugly dismissive urban Ontario mainstream where the love that dared not speak its name was not ready for prime time, the annual Pride celebrations are testament to human capacity to learn, grow, and even revel in diversity.… [Read more]

Funny business: “If you’ve done nothing wrong…”

“If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide…”

The Brits have the best expressions, and events this past week on both sides of the world’s longest undefended border confirming the harsh truths of democracy in the Age of Terror recall a good one – “funny peculiar, or funny ha-ha?” The sinister synchronicity observed between sanctioned NSA snoops and the secret spy directives issued by the Honourable Peter MacKay, our Minister of Defence working his inner Big Brother should scare the bejeezus out of any intelligent democrat.… [Read more]

We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1!

The unthinkable happened this past week. A Canadian not named Justin Bieber got more Google search engine action than President Obama, Lady Gaga, or Michele Bachmann – for real.

Let’s play ‘Spot the Mayor’

Rob Ford, our sainted Mayor of Toronto, achieved this remarkable feat. In an age where media attention and draft beer have the same lifespan (leaving aside the rental payments)[1], His Worship appears to be channeling an inner and rather frightening Marion Barry as he fights the persistent allegation that he may have smoked crack with some less than sterling chaps in the darker recesses of Toronto the Good.… [Read more]

Terror in Tiny Town

The human rights maestro

You can always count on Canada to provide black comedic relief when it comes to how terrorist threats ought to be blunted. We – unerringly – take an American legislative excess and give that delightful, north of the 49th insouciance to make it our own. Remember ‘extraordinary rendition’ in the wake of 9/11, a dark Rumsfledian Star Chamber vision administered by charming Syrian prison officials?… [Read more]

Stompin’ Tom (1936-2013)

Tom Connors died March 6 – our nation is poorer for the loss.

National icon, straight shooter, his foot-pounding three chord poetry was driven by unabashed love of country – as only a Maritimer can do it. Commercial success was less important to Tom than his ability to connect with Canadians everywhere, simple, unaffected music and unsullied nationalism that was always pro-Canada, not ‘anti’ anyone else.… [Read more]

Counterpoint: The (Principled) Case for Taking a Stand Against the Keystone XL

Over the past few months, the question of whether or not to build the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL) has become as divisive as the line its blueprints draw through the heartland of America. One side claims that the pipeline will be ‘game over for the climate,’ while the other asserts it will create jobs and give a much-needed boost to the American economy.… [Read more]

Senate Follies

“Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement…” Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Never a Senator….overqualified

So nice to see in the land of the free and home of the brave the US Senate remains ever vigilant. Not content to convene a Secretary of Defence confirmation hearing reminiscent of Romper Room, the Republican minority brain trust has let slip their dogs of war and …..sanctioned the latest howler, a once-in-a-century filibuster to ensure that the self-styled Great Democracy® again lives down to its formidable reputation for utter stupidity.… [Read more]

Help! Help! My ox is being gored!

The chill January landscapes of the Great White North were briefly thawed this week by the forces of (human) nature. Sun Television Network, unrepentant capitalists and right wing apostles all, are screaming blue bloody murder. The CRTC, our national telecoms regulator, banished the Sun to the cable band nether regions when the network was founded a few years ago.… [Read more]

Canadian Politics: Rob Anders…the redux

Twice in one week? As the  bemused BNV nation turns its lonely eyes to me, doubtless filled with wonder how Rob Anders, the otherwise anonymous Calgary Conservative MP that gives any ‘fringe element’ a decidedly mainstream feel, warrants two Great White North dispatches in a single week. A weird manifestation of our permanent continental inferiority complex – the Canuck mouse that fears a Yank elephant rollover – is the chest-thumping pride that comes from calling out across the 49th – Todd Akin, Bachmann, Newt?… [Read more]

America, please welcome Rob Anders! A great Canadian…

The most inward and insular of nations – that would be you, America– needs a well deserved break from this week’s Presidential air balls (the first debate…yikes) and Republican hairballs (too many to list). So settle in, as I give you talented Alberta funny man, Rob Anders, boffo federal Conservative Party parliamentarian.

A great Canadian

Anders, the Member (in every sense of the word) from Calgary, decided this week that he had best unburden himself with a remarkable conspiracy theory from the May 2011 Canadian federal election.… [Read more]

Heeeeeeeere’s Omar!!!!

Cue that long gone ‘Tonight Show’ orchestra live from Burbank, and avuncular Ed McMahon chuckling off camera. Doc Severinsen on the trumpet, the band riffing on its signature theme, and through the curtains plunges a guest host with his own style and swing – Omar Khadr, rock star status jihadist just released from Gitmo…. and the crowd goes wild!… [Read more]

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

It will get worse

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

The last time out, I explained to America why China is such a swell new Canadian ‘Best Forever Friend’. The former Mao men have no compunctions about buying up other countries national resources, whether farm land in Africa or scoring an ever-greater stake in the gift that keeps in giving, the Alberta Oil Sands.… [Read more]

Canada’s New BFF? Hello, China!

The Ballad of Canada’s Oil Patch (with apologies to the sainted Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and all fans of an old ’60s fave, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’)

  • Tell ya little story ‘bout a man named Steve
  • Canada’s Prime Minister, the best you can believe!
  • He lived the dream of a true North strong and free,
  • Selling crude to the Yanks for a whopping royalty!
[Read more]

Oh, Canada…

Dear America,

I have a beef with you.

But let me back up.  During last week was Canada Day.

Of course as a 34-year old American I have no fricking clue what Canada Day is.  So what did I do?  I asked twitter, of course.

After I wished my Canadian tweeps a happy Canada Day first.… [Read more]

Yo, America! How Health Care (Really) Works in the Great White North – Your Myths, Misconceptions, and Misstatements (Part One)

Nothing like the often brutal and largely ill-informed American commentaries about “Canadian socialized medicine” to set yer obedient scribe’s teeth on edge and raise serious questions (not for the first time) about the most remarkable of intellectual inconsistencies – the United States as the world’s (still) leading economy, a seething cauldron of spirited intellectual exchange, resolute defender of free speech, where the erudite and the idiotic (hi, Nancy G) have equal rights….and its numbing insularity, one that rivals the penetrating world view of a newly discovered Iron Age Amazon tribe.… [Read more]

Greetings from Canada

Together we own almost all of a mighty continent. We are free trade partners. Until 9/11, we shared the world’s longest undefended border. We have remained friends through most thicks and thins, the War of 1812 stalemates and the daft 1866 Fenian raids long past us.

Our ‘peace, order and good government’ constitutional imperative made us a little more circumspect than America and its occasional recklessness rooted in ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.… [Read more]