Friday, September 18, 2015

Trudeau breaking away in the home stretch

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau flanked by supporters, arrives at The Globe and Mail Leaders Debate in Calgary, Alberta on Thursday 17, 2015. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The election campaign is starting around the clubhouse turn, heading for the tape.

Mulcair is getting bogged down by trying to out-Con the Harper Cons -- to the despair of NDP supporters.

And Harper has spent way too much time in his prettified, stage-managed photo ops.  The Harper Cons have drifted into a state of such boring irrelevancy that even the Aussie wunderkind will be unable to get their voters out.

I think it is Justin Trudeau who is beginning to break away. His ideas are the ones that are getting talked about --  Trudeau emerges as leader with new economic vision for Canada - The Globe and Mail -- and his bold infrastructure plan is supported by Canadians.

Here are some Trudeau lines from the debate:

Trudeau to Mulcair "Mr. Mulcair, who's talking about child care, the fact is that a young family with a two-year-old doesn't need child care eight years from now when their kid is in Grade 5. They need it right away, but Mr. Mulcair is not making a choice that's going to allow to invest in his promises. They're puffs of smoke."

Trudeau to Harper on the need for public transit: “What Canadians can’t afford is to continue to be stuck in traffic every morning because there’s no reliable transit because the federal government hasn’t stepped up as a partner. You’ve been stuck in a motorcade for the past 10 years.”
Trudeau on refugees: People cross oceans to come to Canada, only to have Harper take away their health care, Trudeau said, and security concerns should not be an excuse to close Canada's doors.
"Mr. Harper plays (to) fears all the time," Trudeau replied.
"Fears of others, fears of different communities. We have a prime minister who prefers to pander to fears. That's not right, sir."
Trudeau continued the attack while speaking to reporters following the debate, taking issue with Harper who differentiated between "new, existing and old-stock Canadians."
"The fact that he referred to something called old-stock Canadians demonstrates that yet again, he is choosing to divide Canadians against another," Trudeau said. "(He's) undermining new Canadians' legitimacy. For the Liberal party, for me a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian and it will always stay that way."

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Harper Cons set up our refugee system to fail

It's now clear that the Harper Cons set up our refugee system to fail.
They can pretend to have compassion but they don't have to actually admit any of those pesky refugees to Canada. Win-win.
Because three years ago they changed the rules to make it all the refugee's own fault that they can't get in -- now, they can say that the refugees just didn't have their paperwork done right and so what can we do? /shrug/
Compare and contrast: in 1979, the Canadian government bent over backward to fast-track desperate refugees:
Mike Molloy was the Canadian government official who oversaw the airlifting of the Vietnamese boat people and removed bureaucratic obstacles. “The motto out there was not ‘do the thing right,’ it was ‘do the right thing,’” the 71-year-old, who lives in Ottawa, said in an interview.
...“When the government said, ‘Go,’ the civil servants knew we had clear instructions.” Many of the refugees were on remote islands in southeast Asia. Mr. Molloy sent over teams totalling between 20 to 25 people to process the applications. They worked fast and in rough conditions – no bathroom facilities, rats crawling over them as they slept.
“Typically, you had about 12 minutes per case. You had to figure out who they were, and make a guess about whether they were capable of landing on their feet.” A written explanation of why an applicant was expected to succeed in Canada and a description of the family composition constituted the entire visa, he said. “That’s it. There was no intermediary paperwork.” Only medical papers and a security clearance were needed before final acceptance – usually no more than eight weeks after the interview.
“When the sun went down, they would light oil lamps and they would continue until they couldn’t keep their eyes open,” Mr. Molloy said. A small team at the Anambas Islands off the coast of Malaysia interviewed families amounting to 1,200 people in four and a half days, and when they began to pack their bags, they realized thousands of people had gathered. “The refugees stood up and gave them a standing ovation.”
He said another difference from today is that the Canadians tried to keep extended families together. “If there was an old granny, she’s an asset. Brothers and sisters, bring them along. We know from experience that when refugees arrive, if their family is intact, they have a better chance of establishing more efficiently.”
Mr. Molloy said he had “fantastic” assignments in a career that included being ambassador to Jordan, but the highlight was the Vietnamese-refugee project. “We never lose with refugees. Refugees arrive with no place to go but up.”
The Harper Cons don't agree.  The Conservative base don't like all those poor people cluttering up the country. Better we should be admitting more teenagers to work at MacDonalds and protect business from having to raise Canadian wages.
So the Harper Cons deliberately set up our refugee system to fail:
The refugee groups say they have repeatedly called on Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and the government to exempt Syrians from the rule — which says the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) or another country must first designate a person as a refugee before immigration officials will consider letting them be privately sponsored to come to Canada....Then-immigration minister Jason Kenney implemented the new rule in October 2012 as part of a broader Conservative government overhaul of Canada’s refugee system....Briefing notes obtained by the Citizen say the change was intended to protect against fraud, but also to deal with a large backlog of applications from private sponsors while speeding up applications. “It is anticipated that this regulatory change will reduce G5 submissions by 70 per cent,” reads one memo to Kenney.
The goal wasn't to help people, it was just to reduce the number of applications.  The results has been to slow-track our refugee system
The government pledged in 2013 and in January of this year to take in a total of 11,300 Syrian refugees, and Mr. Harper promised during the election campaign to bring in another 10,000 from Syria and Iraq over four years. But just 2,347 have been resettled in the past three years, and the current process has so many bureaucratic stumbling blocks that refugee advocates doubt the target will be reached.
And the Harper Cons can blame the refugees for not completing the paperwork correctly, so its their fault not ours.
I tell you, it used to be a lot easier to be proud of Canada.