No Eastern promises for Justin Trudeau

An unexpected weather report predicts that gale-force umbrage will pelt the prime minister’s ‘sunny ways’ parade all the way to Parliament Hill

No Eastern promises for Justin TrudeauPick any synonym for gob-smacked and you will probably find it on the crib sheet of adjectives commentators across Canada now enlist to describe Justin Trudeau’s decision to wear blackface in public at least twice in his privileged, white-man’s life. But, in the Maritimes, where the federal Liberal Party enjoys only the slimmest margin of…

What’s for dinner this campaign season?

Democracy is not something that merely happens in the natural course of events. And it’s not an unsavoury meal you push away from

What’s for dinner this campaign season?So begins the quadrennial Canadian season of sound with no substance, rhetoric with no relevance and promises with no perspective. In other words, dear reader, it’s election time. But wait, you cleverly elucidate, elections don’t manufacture vapid, gormless, pontificators; politicians are always with us, like potholes. Agreed: No, they don’t; and yes, they are. The…

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricane

In Atlantic Canada, the moment you think you have everything nailed down, a Category 2 storm decides to pop in

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricaneA word to the wise: A daily five-km fast walk and a nightly 15-minute endurance routine on a floor mat doesn’t prepare a 50-something body for a sudden dismount from a handstand – especially if said body lands on its tippy toes, like Baryshnikov on a really, really bad morning. “Crunch!” was the sound heard…

Don’t fear the reaper: Recession

What’s a recession going to do to the East Coast? Reap what’s left in our mattresses and sock drawers?

Don’t fear the reaper: RecessionOh, Recession. So there you are. For months, you’ve been rattling about my back door knocking over rubbish bins like a starving raccoon at night. The sun’s up now. No need to be coy. “The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is nudging the world economy toward its first recession in a decade…

Trudeau tries to weasel his way out of SNC scandal

The only question for Canadians is whether the prime minister of Canada possesses a toddler’s sense of propriety

Trudeau tries to weasel his way out of SNC scandalCanada’s prime minister and penitent-in-chief issued another mea culpa the other day when he accepted “full responsibility” for breaking the nation’s Conflict of Interest Act. But did he actually apologize? In a report released last week, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said Justin Trudeau “directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence…

Have island, will rusticate

Interest in owning islands is on the rise. Are people seeking the quiet life or simply trying to escape societal woes?

Have island, will rusticateBorn and raised to the age of eight in the largest, noisiest, sharpest-elbowed city in Canada, I gave no thought to the pastoral life of country folk I’d occasionally see on CBC television during the supper hour. All that began to change in 1971 when my father managed to acquire a 10-acre piece of land…

Take this job and … uh, love it?

A truly-bad-job phenomenon is gathering on the horizon, particularly for young people. What do we do about it?

Take this job and … uh, love it?Few jobs are uniformly good. But some are unrelentingly awful and you remember them as you would a bully’s fist. I remember the wretched May of 1981 when, at the untempered age of 20, I sold encyclopedias door-to-door in poor trailer parks that ringed the outskirts of Dartmouth, N.S. I remember the unemployed residents, drunk…

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be true

Apparently, as you get older you get happier. Sclerotic, arthritic, calcified, deaf, blind, stupid and poor equals happy? Where do I sign up?

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be trueIn a few years, people my age will get back pain, clogged arteries, brittle bones, hearing loss, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, dementia and schizophrenia. What they won’t get, apparently, is unhappy about it. Citing a recent national survey, Canadian Press reports that older people in this country are generally more buoyant than younger ones. In…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…
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