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Election boring by design

For those who have trouble discerning between Canadians and Americans, here’s a difference you can’t miss: how election campaigns are run.

The American campaigns ahead of party primaries to determine who will become the standard-bearer in the presidential run are like reality TV. Canadian campaigns to form Parliament are designed to be ... boring. READ

Campaign of fear hurting Tories

Poor Finance Minister Joe Oliver! Is it any wonder that he had initially booked himself to speak at two of Toronto’s private clubs in the middle of a busy election season? How else was he supposed to reassure his corporate friends that he is not just a nominal federal finance minister? READ

Web of deceit on the web

In our house, we have two computers. My wife has the laptop, and I prefer the one you can’t lug around. We share an email address, which is used as our online identity for I don’t know how many site logins connected to a large number of largely forgotten passwords. READ

Truth and consequences

It didn’t take long for the bad stuff to hit the national fan, and it didn’t take long for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair to clarify that the party was all for energy development, as long as it was done in an environmentally responsible way. READ

Awash in bad choices

It was a dramatic image: millions of cubic metres of waste cascading from the Mount Polley mine breach into the Quesnel watershed in B.C.’s Interior. READ

Ignoring a simple solution

There’s no such thing as a “normal” day in Vancouver’s drug scene, but last Sunday must have broken all records for abnormality. In that one day, there were 16 potentially lethal overdoses — at least those that made it into the official record. In one hour alone, there were six. The drug involved? It was a pink concoction of heroin, mixed with fentanyl. READ

Seventy years without a nuclear war

We have been hearing a lot about the 70th anniversary of the first use of a nuclear weapon on human beings, in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The more important anniversary, however, was Aug. 9, when the last nuclear weapon was used in war, on the city of Nagasaki. 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

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

Waiting on another coup in Thailand

If you are trying to get rid of the legitimately elected government of your country, it helps to have the Constitutional Court, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Election Commission on your side. And Thailand’s Constitutional Court has come through for the opposition once again: it has just ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her cabinet ministers for improperly removing a civil servant from office. READ

Who will take charge of climate change?

It’s fitting that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released during Earth Month. After all, the third chapter of its Fifth Assessment focuses on ways to keep our planet healthy and livable by warding off extreme climatic shifts and weather events caused by escalating atmospheric carbon. READ

Profitable pot revolution

When actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper hit the road on their choppers in the counterculture film Easy Rider, they cruised onto the big screen at the heart of the rise of recreational drug use, with marijuana at its epicentre. READ

Retirement concerns are exaggerated in Canada

With talks to expand the Canada Pension Plan having stalled, the Ontario government has pledged to roll out its own provincial version. 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

Queue jumping inquiry a waste

On Wednesday, Justice John Vertes released his Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry Report on allegations of health-care queue jumping in Alberta. READ

How people can adopt you with kindness — and rum pie

Have you ever met someone who made a surprisingly positive and important difference in your life? Did she make you rum pie? READ

Canada's internet is slow, costly and under-used

Canada seems to be missing the boat when it comes to participation in the Internet economy. READ

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