January 31, 2016
Paul Bronfman, a Canadian film industry bigwig and nephew of late World Jewish Congress leader (and corporate bigwig) Edgar Bronfman, recently made headlines by throwing a temper-tantrum about a mural at York University in Toronto.
The mural at the York University Student Centre, by artist Ahmad Al Abid, shows a Palestinian, stone cupped behind his back, watching an Israeli bulldozer raze olive trees. If it befuddles you why something so innocuous could cause such consternation, then you are not alone.
Israel undeniably razes olive trees. It often uses bulldozers to enforce a brutal military occupation. It evinces no respect for Palestine’s natural environment. And stones have long been Palestinian symbols of defiance and resistance.
It’s clear that the imagery of defiance and resistance inspires Bronfman’s histrionics – and his decision to withdraw his donations to the university.
January 23, 2016
WASHINGTON — For an American presidential contender, Bernie Sanders is considered a pretty radical left-winger: a proud socialist who boasts of corporate America hating him, warns of an oligarchy destroying democracy and promises tax hikes to be offset by more generous social programs.
But what if he were Canadian? Where would the senator sit on Canada’s political spectrum — far left, centre-left, centre, or centre-right?
January 21, 2016
Even the loudest advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership concede that the macroeconomic benefits for Canada will be small, as we have written before. Canada’s former trade minister promised a $3.5 billion boost to the Canadian economy — a fraction of a percent — if the massive trade treaty goes ahead. The most optimistic forecasts, including a recent report from the World Bank, point to an increase of around one per cent to the Canadian economy by the year 2030.
January 21, 2016
Our usually hard bitten media pundits are predicting that Justin Trudeau’s political honeymoon may continue for many months, but I believe that it’s time to begin holding the Liberals to account.
January 21, 2016
As Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) begins hearing testimony on the controversial Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline expansion project in British Columbia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire from environmentalists and First Nations activists who say he’s breaking an election promise to fix what they call a broken pipeline approval process.
January 20, 2016
Blowback. Karma. Unintended consequences. A corollary to the golden rule. We have many words to describe the concept: Doing harm to others often results in bad things happening to us or people we “care” about, sometimes many years later.
Since the November attacks in Paris Boko Haram has killed nearly twice as many people as Daesh/ISIL/ISIS did in the City of Lights. But the carnage in northern Nigeria has received much less attention and Canada’s connection to it none at all.
January 5, 2016
The Canadian government has “no intention” of cancelling a controversial $15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia despite decrying the oil-rich kingdom’s execution of 47 prisoners, according to reports.
December 24, 2015
The big lie is a propaganda technique generally employed when telling the truth would be unfavorable to your side. It goes like this: never admit doing any wrong and instead always insist on a story that portrays your side as the good guys. What really happened is irrelevant. The key is repetition. Do it often enough and loudly enough until most people believe you.
While the big lie is most often associated with authoritarian governments, its use is actually quite widespread. For example, the Montreal Gazette recently published a front page article claiming Jewish students at Concordia University were “feeling like the target of a hate campaign.” The reason cited, as far as this writer can tell, was simply that many students were standing in solidarity with Palestinians.