During Peter Kulchyski's talk two weeks ago, he talked about his work with Indigenous groups in northern Manitoba who were negotiating with Manitoba Hydro to come to a fair development deal for a dam on their lands. One of the stories he told was about the contrast between the riches of the Hydro companies offices in downtown Winnipeg and the poverty among the many Indigenous groups who had signed supposedly beneficial agreements with the Hydro company.
Published Dec. 30, 2013, in the Waterloo Region Record.
In 2013, the political universe did not unfold as the savants and the players themselves thought it would. Far from it.
A year ago, who would have predicted that the biggest political stories of 2013 year would be a penny-ante Senate expense scandal (abetted by a clumsy cover-up by the Prime Minister's Office) and an astonishing crack cocaine scandal starring the mayor of Toronto?
Published Dec. 13, 2013, in The Waterloo Region Record.
After pushing Toronto into the international media spotlight for some months, most of us have difficulty fathoming what motivates Mayor Rob Ford, or what sustains his bond with the apocryphally named "Ford Nation."
Presumably it was coined as an ego-driven public relations gesture to simulate some ongoing affinity with the masses, as with "Maple Leaf Nation" or "Red Sox Nation."
A few weeks ago Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a new policy of "Open Government". I read it with interest, but remain highly skeptical of, well, it. On its face, the policy seems to be composed of the appointment of a team of leaders from business, politics and the public sector. There are no trade union representatives, although perhaps one should not be too surprised by this in today's age.