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Changing the focus

Pay no attention to that little man in the courtroom.

The Conservative government may be stealing furtive glances over its shoulder at the downtown Ottawa courthouse, but it is mainly going about its business, flexing the muscle of incumbency. READ

A ‘world class’ oil mess

This country just received a bracing environmental wakeup call. It has led to understandable anger on our West Coast, some very blunt political finger pointing and has shone a light on federal cutbacks, which critics believe endanger some of the most pristine waters and parkland in Canada. READ

Just a political farce

Mike Duffy’s fraud and breach of trust trial, which passes for entertainment in Ottawa, cannot possibly be further from the point that upsets Canadians about the workings of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Senate. READ

The weight of evidence

Two floors below, the charges include assault, assault with a weapon and uttering threats. READ

Why Prentice is in a rush

How can the average Albertan not be cynical about the provincial election that has been dropped into our laps? It is as contrived as any election called in the almost 44 years of uninterrupted Progressive Conservative control of this province. On Tuesday, Premier Jim Prentice announced (after weeks of speculation) that Albertans would go to the polls on May 5. “I am asking Albertans for a mandate to implement the changes that this province needs so badly,” he said. READ

From terror and war, to entitlement and economy

The next chapter in this country’s political debate opened with elusive Finance Minister Joe Oliver standing in Toronto’s Canada Goose factory in front of a gaggle of employees who could have been charitably described as bemused. READ

To the polls Albertans go?

Let’s see ... Alberta is expected to enter a recession this year, unemployment is rising, home values are stagnant or dropping, and the provincial government raised 59 taxes and fees in its budget, while projecting a $5-billion deficit. Good time to call an election. READ

Should the Middle East worry about Iran?

“This (Arab) nation, in its darkest hour, has never faced a challenge to its existence and a threat to its identity like the one it’s facing now,” said Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the ruler of Egypt. READ

Water is life; we can’t afford to waste it

How long can you go without water? You could probably survive a few weeks without water for cooking. If you stopped washing, the threat to your life might only come from people who can’t stand the smell. READ

Mulcair has momentum

Matters of terror and war do not lend themselves to nuance or half-measures. On these two issues, at least, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is finding it difficult to claim a middle ground that has long been his party’s traditional turf. READ

Harper has upper hand

In jumping on American shoulders and sending Canadian bombers into Syria, Stephen Harper had to wind his way down two disparate paths. Internationally, he is moving this country into murky waters, working with dubious allies in a mission that will be extended for another year ... and counting. READ

Giving away prosperity

A pair of well-travelled news stories ON Monday shine a better light on Alberta’s current fiscal mess than the government would have us realize. READ

Another civil war looms in Yemen

The last American troops are being pulled out of Yemen after al-Qaida fighters stormed a city near their base on Friday. Houthi rebels who have already overrun most of the country are closing in on Aden, the last stronghold of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. READ

Anyone but Harper?

How deep is the mistrust and hostility between Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau? It’s not just an idle thought plucked from the annals of the Canadian political soap opera. READ

Ready for the inevitable

Of course, I have no insider’s access and I do not know what is said in cabinet meetings, but I suspect the Harper government already has a team of civil servants drafting a law to allow suffering and dying patients to request the help of a doctor to ease and aid their death. READ

Punishment fits crime

The case of self-admitted “arrogant pissant” Justin Bourque signals a new era for Canada’s criminal justice system, which now has the power to lock up killers and throw away the keys. READ

Energy agenda loses steam

Just when Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to join other world leaders on the podium of the United Nations climate change summit, the climate for his ambitious energy agenda continued to deteriorate across Canada. READ

Tories defy democracy

There was little doubt the federal government would approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, regardless of public opposition or evidence presented against it. READ

A transit system travesty

The Advocate article on Tuesday said Red Deer is the largest city in Alberta that has no program for a lower-cost transit pass for low-income and disabled people. While that is true as far as it goes, the reality behind this is actually worse. READ

The time to act on climate change is now

Because we enjoy relatively pure air, clean water and healthy food systems, Canadians sometimes take the environment for granted. Many scarcely blink if oil from a pipeline spills into a river, a forest is cleared for tar sands operations or agricultural land is fracked for gas. If Arctic ice melts and part of the Antarctic ice sheet collapses, well… they’re far away. READ

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