In Politicians We Trust (?)

March 10, 2014

Corrupt, embarrassing, pathetic, typical. I’ve heard these words a lot the past year in conversations about Canadian politics and politicians. The first three accurately describe high-profile scandals, such as Senator Mike Duffy’s expenses and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s crack smoking. The fourth, however, is most troubling. The widespread perception that these antics are “typical” is [...]

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More than just a toe

April 28, 2013

When I was first married many years ago, I found myself having to mow my own lawn. Not having a whole lot of experience with lawn mowers, one day I accidentally set my foot just under the mower deck and yanked on the starter. Fortunately, I only shaved off the top of my shoe. As [...]

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Good News! It’s Tax Time Again

March 26, 2013

Life is full of variety, but it’s lived within the familiar cycle of annual routines that characterize the various seasons and events of the year. We’re into spring now, and for many people this is a favourite time of year—except for the annual obligation to file your taxes. I recently read an article about tax [...]

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The Puck Stops Here

November 15, 2012

As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m still waiting to see whether or not I’ll be able to watch my favourite hockey players play this season. There’s been no word lately from the powers that be, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, head of the NHL Players Association (NHLPA). Some of you may not [...]

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A good thing to struggle with

April 3, 2012

Are you for the oilsands or are you against them? These days, we hear a lot of passionate debate from both sides in Canada, the US, and around the world. From environmentalists we hear that continued development of the oilsands will lead to irreparable damage to the landscape and catastrophic climate change. Their opposition to [...]

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Rebooting the “brand”

February 14, 2012

“Unions must overhaul themselves dramatically—and fast—or face a slow death.” This was the conclusion of a recent leaked document, as reported by the Toronto Star. The “secret” paper was prepared for discussion at merger talks between the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers (CEP) union. According to the Star, the [...]

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Power Politics

December 19, 2011

It was a done deal. The recent decision by the International Trade Union Confederation of (ITUC) to suspend CLAC’s membership clearly had been made long before the process even got started. The suspension came at the request of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and was an exercise in pure power politics. The investigation, report, and [...]

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Lessons From e-waste

March 14, 2011

I was watching CBC recently and Patrick Brown was doing an update on a previous story on recycling e-waste, that is, computers and other electronic gadgets. He traced e-waste shipments to China and learned that the electronic garbage was being dismantled in the most unhealthy way, and children were drinking chemical-laden water as a result. [...]

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