Canadian Policy

Let’s show more respect for the politicians we elect to serve us

Would anyone care to second a motion that we declare a National Day of Appreciation for Politicians? 

Anyone?

Perhaps not. Our instinct as citizens, taxpayers and voters is to criticize and condemn, not to compliment and thank, the men and women we elect to do the heavy lifting of democracy.

But surely this is an appropriate occasion – a year into the COVID-19 pandemic – to contemplate what a bruising year it has been for elected representatives. Although I’m thinking of the federal variety, provincial politicians have taken their share of the bruising. 

Weak leadership and a profusion of local health boards spells COVID confusion in Ontario

No one has ever claimed that Canada is a breeze to govern. We have too few people spread too thinly over too much territory, too many overlapping layers of government, too many politicians scuffling over jurisdiction – and over cash. Not to mention a constitutional division of powers written in and for the age of the horse and buggy. 

The dolt factor: When responsible public officials behave like insensitive fools

As a general proposition, the upper levels of the federal and provincial governments in this country are well stocked with informed, capable people – cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and heads of major boards and agencies. They don’t have to be rocket scientists – we had one of those at Rideau Hall and how did that turn out? – but for the most part, they are smart, responsible people, sensitive to the policies and priorities of their governments. 

Justin Trudeau owes Joe Biden a favour (or two)

In a remarkable week when he had to ask for the resignation of the Governor General, when a new COVID-19 variation took hold while the original strain continued to rage out of control, and when a supply interruption disrupted the distribution of vaccine, there was one bright note for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Wars against pandemics cannot be won province by province; it is time Ottawa took command

If COVID-19 has taught us nothing else, it is that deadly pandemics cannot be fought successfully on a piecemeal basis with each province or local authority going its own way, imposing its own control measures, or none at all.