Thursday, September 19, 2019

Pre-Approving Suppliers Won’t Solve B.C.’s Transparency Problem

News that's guaranteed to cheer the hearts of a small number of B.C. companies is word that they've been added to a list of pre-qualified suppliers to the B.C. government. The lists are intended to offer all the appearances of open and transparent procurement. They can be anything but. It's one way to get around the bad optics of sole-sourcing too...

You Can’t Have Real Leaders Without Followers

At the peak of her influence, Margaret Thatcher called out to a group of politicians: "Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you." One wonders how that would go over in an age of citizen activism. Clearly, political fortunes around the world have changed. Repeatedly over this past year, prompted by the American election, one hears the...

It’s Time To Make Airport Security Swifter, Smarter And Safer

If you've flown anywhere in Canada recently, there's a good chance you've had to deal with the headache of longer than normal wait times at security screening. You also wouldn't be wrong in thinking wait times are getting worse. Since 2013, the length of screening times has deteriorated so badly that in their submission to the 2015 Transportation...

Trudeau’s Off To A Good Start, With A Long Way To Go

Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Oct. 19, 2016, one year since his Liberals won a majority. (Photo: REUTERS/Chris Wattie) With the spotlight on American politics, it's easy to forget about our own federal government for the time being. But just recently, our prime minister celebrated an important anniversary...

Trade, Not Aid, Will Unshackle Ethiopia From Extreme Poverty

Sacks of food aid are loaded onto a ship in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S. The food aid is destined for Ethiopia. (Photo: Roddy Johnson/Bloomberg via Getty Images) To Canada's Brian Stewart -- the veteran journalist who helped uncover the Ethiopian famine of 1984 to the world, long before Bob Geldof made it an infamous milestone in the world of...

We Are Coming To The Moment Of Truth On Electoral Reform

The committee looking into reforming the voting system in this country is quickly coming to its moment of truth. It's been one year since the election that our prime minister promised would be the last under the outdated first past the post system for electing Members of Parliament. The Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform has...

Nova Scotia Should Follow The IMF’s Lead And Ditch Austerity Economics

Since its election in 2013, the Government of Nova Scotia has made balancing the budget its top priority. Although public officials rarely use the term "austerity" to describe their approach to fiscal policy, the narrow focus on debt and deficits is indicative of their belief that spending reductions are a one-way ticket to a better economic...

The Election That Really Matters Is At The Bottom Of The Ballot

The United States capitol. (Photo: Phil Roeder/Flickr/Creative Commons) There's a lot more to this election than who becomes president. In fact that's the least of it. Because the real power resides in Congress -- with the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. And while I suppose we've always known this, it's never been more...

Can Civil Disobedience Spur Action On Climate Change?

Ninety-nine young environmental activists achieved their goal on Parliament Hill on Monday by carrying out acts of civil disobedience. The boisterous group climbed over restricted-area police barricades near the Peace Tower. Those arrested were part of a group of 200 protesting the possible construction of the Alberta to B.C. Kinder Morgan Trans...

Wishful Thinking Won’t Solve The Israel-Palestine Conflict

The appearance of B'Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad at the UN last week caused a healthy furor. While European and other politicians supported his testimony, Israel's right-wing leaders went so far as to accuse El-Ad of treason. Yet this tiny Israeli human rights organization did what international diplomacy has failed to do for years: it held Israel...