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Spain offers a handsome apology

The Spanish parliament still has to pass the new citizenship law, but the cabinet has already approved it and Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón is sure there won’t be a problem.

“In Spain, a clear majority realize we have committed a historical error and have an opportunity to repair it, so I am sure that law will pass with an immense majority in parliament,” he said. READ

Canadian workers first

Almost 30 years at her job apparently wasn’t enough to prevent Sandy Nelson from being replaced by the Harper government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. READ

Ignoring wasted money

In an age when almost any kind of information is available to anyone who knows how to look for it, you’d think it would be almost impossible that an agency with all the resources of government would fail at getting its message out. READ

Quebec royalty dethroned

Some say sovereignty — a polite word for separatism — for Quebec is dead. READ

Humans are plasticizing the ocean

Families of passengers aboard the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are riding an emotional roller-coaster. One day, their spirits are lifted by reports of debris spotted by searchers. READ

Canada’s fixed election date stays unfixed

It may be written in law, but it’s certainly not carved in stone. In fact, our federal fixed election date is anything but. Opposition parties are preparing for a federal election to be held not on Oct. 19, 2015, the fixed date for the next vote, but next spring, about a year from now. READ

Educational reform required to fix skills shortages

Statistics Canada data shows that employment in the professional, scientific and services sector hit a record high in December while factory jobs have continued to decline. READ

Time for a real war on cars?

In railing against everything from bike lanes to transit spending, pundits and politicians often raise the spectre of a “war on cars.” Of course, there is no war on cars — but there should be. READ

Ukraine: stupidity in action

It’s all too easy to imagine the high-level meeting in Kiev where the Ukrainian government decided on its next move. It probably sounded a bit like this: “Very well, gentlemen, we are agreed on our strategy for dealing with the Russians. First we will figure out exactly what they are trying to force us to do. And then we’ll do it.” READ

Harper dodges a bullet

Now that the RCMP has decided not to file criminal charges against Nigel Wright for reimbursing Mike Duffy’s housing allowance out of his own pocket, there remains only a faint possibility that Canadians will ever know for sure whether the prime minister was in the loop of the controversial arrangement between his former chief of staff and the suspended senator. READ

Council does the backstroke

Let’s see ... does Red Deer really need a new aquatics centre, with a competition-grade 50-metre pool and associated amenities to make the centre useful to the widest possible number of users? Of course it does. That needs assessment has already been done. A $200,000 concept plan solving that question has already been completed — and rejected — by a city council more interesting in appearing to consult than in providing leadership. READ

Tories’ anti-democracy push gets help

The push by Conservative senators to amend Stephen Harper’s elections act had all the elements of a marvelous yarn. The unelected senators had taken their revenge, biting back and riding in on their white steed to save democracy, showing their relevancy and putting the government on its heels. READ

New police plan feasible?

It was a most curious thing because it caught everyone by surprise — including City Hall. That being, of course, the sudden resignation last December of Red Deer’s top Mountie, Supt. Warren Dosko. READ

Western decisions put pressure on PM

If indeed, all politics is local, two contests in Western Canada over the weekend, involving no more than 5,500 voters, had the power to shake the Conservative establishment in the nation’s capital. READ

A sports fan’s prerogative

I didn’t watch the game when the Edmonton Oilers finished their eighth straight season out of the playoffs last weekend. But I took some comfort that it was on a hopeful note (a convincing win, and with slightly better than a .500 record in the last 30 games of the season). READ

Celebrate, protect Earth

April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day. We should really celebrate our small blue planet and all it provides every day, but recent events give us particular cause to reflect on our home and how we’re treating it. READ

Sneaky, harsh – put brakes on distracted drivers any way you can

Fans viewing their super-action heroes on the big screen or TV know the powers of Robocop. He always gets the villains in knuckle-gripping arrests that boggle the imagination. But one thing Robocop doesn’t tackle is distracted drivers — those talking on a cellphone, texting or emailing in heavy traffic — flirting to be another deadly statistic. READ

Time to get on board

We all know there are times when getting around in our city can be a hassle. Heavy traffic, bad weather, a stalled car or collision at an intersection — or just feeling over-booked on a too-tight schedule — can make getting from A to B to C and back again a real chore. And that’s for those of us with the means to make decisions about how we will get from A to B to C and back again. There are more people in Red Deer than we might think, for whom there is only one choice on a trip that’s too far to walk: using transit. READ

Terror becomes personal

Journalism is a profession that once depended on lead to help spread the news of communities, countries and people’s lives. The facts, details of countless events, big and routine — and in the early days, written down with lead pencils — became stories typed out on paper. READ

Where will Ukraine crisis lead us?

Two things were clear after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s four hours of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris last Sunday. READ

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