June 25, 2008

Funding Education needs to be a Priority

A disturbing Globe and Mail news article is very concerning to me. It says that Canadian universities are not receiving anywhere near enough funding per student from governments. Although total funding has increased, it has not kept pace with rising enrollment.

Education needs to be a greater priority than it currently is. We are in a changing and globalizing economy and we need to transition to a higher-educated workforce. Without proper funding, our educations will not be as effective or of a high enough quality. If we can afford to spend billions on a war in Afghanistan, surely we can spend some of it on our students and universities instead.

June 23, 2008

More Proof of Tory Disdain for the Less Fortunate

The recent decision of the Conservative government to restore a small portion of the Court Challenges Program shows their small-hearted and mean-spirited nature. By only allowing limited redress to injustices against linguistic minorities, this plan will do nothing for all of the other groups which were so cruelly abandoned: ethnic and religious minorities, gays and lesbians, and individuals living with disabilities.

They Conservatives have shown how little worth they consider these groups to have. Conservatives think that because they don't vote Conservative, they don't deserve to have their rights protected.

June 17, 2008

Juvenile Conservative Campaign Spreads to Guelph

This past weekend, I was on vacation visiting some family members in Guelph (in southern Ontario). My restful weekend was interrupted, however, by the appearance of a group of young conservatives, all wearing those horrid bright yellow "Dion's Tax on Everything" shirts! Apparently they were canvassing on behalf of the local candidate, Gloria Kovach.

It truly dismays me that this juvenile and pathetic campaign has spread to other cities besides Ottawa. Shame on the Conservatives for using cheap tactics rather than engaging in a serious debate on a serious issue!

June 12, 2008

Prentice Exceeds Low Expectations

Well now that the copyright bill has been tabled this morning, it's not as bad as many, including myself, had been anticipating.

Although it does crack down on the distribution of illegal sharing, the provision allowing legally-acquired music onto other devices, such as iPods and mp3 players, is unexpectedly welcome. Furthermore, allowing individuals to record television shows to be watched later is rightly permitted.

Although I would have preferred to see a less harsh fine ($500) for illegal downloading, I know that we can't expect too much from a conservative government. I say that Prentice exceeds my expectations with this bill, but that wasn't very hard seeing as how low they were.

June 11, 2008

Conservatives Continue to Disrespect the Immigation System

After the recent vote to dismantle the equality of the Canadian immigration system, the news for prospective visitors to Canada continues to worsen. It has emerged that several embassies, including the Canadian embassy in China, around the world are permitted to outsource the processing of visa applications to third-party service providers. This is completely unacceptable!

Ever since the Conservatives have come into power, the quality of service administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada has continued to decline. Canada needs to ensure that individuals applying for entry to Canada (whether that be as a prospective citizen or merely as a visitor) are processed confidentially and promptly. These outsourcing companies cannot guarantee privacy and confidentiality to applicants which is just disgraceful.

We need to get a Liberal government back in power to ensure that Citizenship and Immigration Canada is given the respect and leadership it deserves and requires.

June 9, 2008

Conservative Attack Campaign Immature and Inaccurate

The Conservative attack campaign on the upcoming Liberal policy on carbon reflects a juvenile, disrespectful, and presumptive attack on a policy which Canada desperately needs. Instead of waiting for the policy to be properly launched and then having a substantive debate on its content, the Conservatives are spreading misleading and blatantly false information.

The Liberal party has repeatedly indicated that there will be no tax increase on gasoline, and yet the Conservatives are telling Canadians that it will.

The environment is too important an issue to treat it like this. No one should be so cavalier in their treatment of any endeavor to reduce the burden we place on the environment.

Conservatives, it's time to grow up and treat this issue with respect.

June 5, 2008

Congratulations, Liberals, for Showing your Commitment to Women's Equality

The Liberal Party announced today that once our Party is back in government, we will create an independent Commissioner for Gender Equality. This just further shows the distinctions between our Party and the Conservative Party who have shown nothing but contempt and hatred towards initiatives which would advance women's rights and equality.

We need to recognize that, while women have made tremendous progress over the past decades, there is still a long way to go before true equality will be reached. Women should not have to choose between their children and their careers. Women should not have to accept lower-paying jobs. Women should not have to struggle to work in upper management and influential positions. Women should be fully respected and welcomed as Members of Parliament.

I am proud to be a member of a party which recognizes the realities faced by women today. Advancing the women's rights movement is one of the most important priorities the Liberals can pick. Also, given that half of the population is women, fighting for women could help us during election time.

The proposed Gender Equality Commissioner would be responsible for examining gender equality practices in all government departments and would be required to submit a report to Parliament and Canadians every year.

June 4, 2008

Liberal Convention Document Shows the Inclusive Nature of our Party

The Liberal Party of Canada has posted the guidelines and rules surrounding the delegates and alternates who will attend our party's convention in BC in December on the party's website (www.liberal.ca).

These rules are very positive and will go a long way towards ensuring that we have a productive and enjoyable convention. Firstly, the granting of automatic delegate status to notable party members (leader, former leaders, party officials, national executive, current and past candidates, etc.) will allow the delegations from riding associations to be comprised of grassroots members.

Similarly, the Liberal Party demonstrates its commitment to women's equality by ensuring that no more than half of the delegations from the riding associations can be comprised of men. We are ensuring that spots are set aside for youth and senior delegates to allow the convention to be attended by a broad spectrum of our members. Our recognition of the value that aboriginal delegates will bring to the convention is in stark contrast to the hostility shown to Aboriginal Canadians by the Conservatives.

I look forward to hearing more about the convention as we get closer to December and I congratulate the Liberals for proving their commitment to equality and fairness in drafting the guidelines for delegates.

June 2, 2008

Conservatives Hate Africa

Canada's decision to turn its back on the innocent victims of violence in Congo in Africa is a sad reflection of the policies of the current Conservative Government. Apparently, the UN had asked Canada to provide a two-star general and limited support staff to head the MONUC peacekeeping mission in Congo. We weren't even asked to provide peacekeeping troops to the mission, and yet, we still turned it down, claiming that we were stretched too thinly with the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Canada had the opportunity to really make a difference here and it really wouldn't have cost us much at all. And yet, we refuse!

The Conservative Government just doesn't care about Africa!