Today, the Liberal Party of Canada has announced a council of “non-partisan” experts to provide advice and be a sounding board for leader Justin Trudeau on international affairs issues, from military procurement to international aid to global security threats. The professional qualifications and accomplishments of the members of this council are impressive but it cannot be accurate to brand this group as “non-partisan”.
Indeed, this council is made up of 14 individuals, 11 of whom are Liberals MPs, current or former Liberal candidates, or Liberal donors. No one should be confused: This council does not believe that the way Stephen Harper has positioned Canada on the world stage is a good thing. And eight of them – the current or hope-to-be Liberal MPs — would have voted with their leader against the current combat mission against ISIL in Iraq. Nothing wrong with that. But let’s avoid the marketing sheen of “non-partisan.” Continue reading Justin Trudeau's partisan brain trust on foreign affairs
This Sunday, we will mark the first ever International Day To End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, an initiative of the UN General Assembly. This is a good idea. But I would say that. I’m a journalist. Who once had thugs hired by Egypt’s secret police put a machete to my chest and the chest of my TVA cameraman. It all turned out Ok for the two of us but for way, way, way too many journalists around the world, bad things happen.
Justin Trudeau is facing the first serious test of his leadership of Canada’s Liberals in the wake of a parliamentary vote to send Canadian fighter jets to Iraq.
Trudeau and most Liberal MPs voted agains the idea.
But Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister and a globally recognized human rights defender, abstained from the vote, saying in a statement that his “principled absention”, as he called it, was a result of his recognition that military intervention against Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria is required but that the Harper government’s proposal lacked “clarity.”
Late last week, a recording was forwarded through a third party to the Ottawa Sun and and to my newsroom in Sun Media’s parliamentary bureau. The recording, about five minutes long, contained a conversation from Aug. 19 between Lt. Gen (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie and, at the time we received it, an unidentified woman. In the process of verifying that circumstances and content of this conversation we contacted Leslie and the office of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Leslie also made a recording of this same conversation and, on Tuesday, provided us with his transcript of conversation. His transcript matches the transcript we made from the first recording we received. The Liberals also identified the woman having the conversation with Leslie as the Parliament Hill assistant to Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders, Alexandra Constantinidis. Attempts to reach Constantinidis Tuesday to confirm she is the other participant in this conversation were unsuccessful. (Constantinidis’ Facebook page indicates she is a student at Mount Royal University and may well have returned to Calgary to start classes this fall there.)
A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Continue reading Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?
Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to the first-ever Progress Summit put on by the Broadbent Summit. Gillard led a left-leaning goverment and the Broadbent Summit is named after Ed Broadbent. (I surely don’t need to tell you who he is.).
Here is the text of the remarks Gillard was to give, provided by the event organizers:
In my home town in Australia, Adelaide, it is going to be 32 degrees today but the warmth of the welcome I have received has compensated for the difference between that and the freezing Ottawa air. So I am simply delighted to be here to join you for this important event.
While the weather is so starkly different, Australia and Canada share so much in common.
We are both vibrant liberal democracies in the Westminster tradition, with national and provincial level governments and we share our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
Our nations are rich in the resources the world needs and have large scale, efficient agriculture. Our economies are sophisticated and increasingly reliant on knowledge and service industries. We came out of the Global Financial Crisis, less damaged than many other nations in the world, in part because of the superior regulation of our banking and financial sectors.
The life expectancy of our people is more than 80 years, our GDP per capita is over $40,000 dollars and the World Bank puts us both in the top three best places to start a business. As a patriotic Australian please forgive me for pointing out we slightly beat you in each of these measures. All these indices are telling us that Canadians and Australians share the good fortune of living in two of the most prosperous places on the planet. We have the joy that comes with living not only in wealthy nations, but in peace and freedom. Continue reading Former AUS PM Gillard rallies the left in Ottawa speech