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Doug Ford's power play on Toronto has implications far and wide

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So here we are with a discussion around Section 33 of the Charter of Rights, known as the Notwithstanding Clause. Not a gripping debate in many circles, except that it should be. Its usage could have a profound impact on Canadians.

In a nutshell, it permits a government to set aside a court ruling on the constitutionality for up to 5 years (pending legislation to repair/fix what was judged, or an election). So if a court rules an act is unconstitutional, a government may invoke section 33 and disregard the court ruling - so that the offending law remain in effect.

What?!

Further, Section 33 applies (when invoked) on Section 2, and section 7-15 of the Charter. Meaning, section 2's fundamental rights could be swept aside by a bully Premier. If you're keeping track, Section 2 is where your right of everything you hold dear is nicely housed.

A union's right to strike, bargain in good faith, even "exist" are threatened by S. 33. But wait! That's not all. That thin…

Populist "rent freeze" catch phrase may bring unintended consequences

Again, I don't want to minimize the struggle by middle and modest income earners who already struggle to pay rents in BC, but this call for a 'rent freeze' by some civic political candidates I believe is misguided and fraught with risks.

A Rent Freeze by definition is a price control mechanism. BC already has a rent control device, which apparently is inadequate for it to allow a 4.5% annual maximum increase for 2019. Its true that the regulatory framework that the Residential Tenancy Branch uses to establish such rate controls could use some reform.

But to arbitrarily freeze rates would open a can of worms that I believe are unintended consequences of their intended goal. In real world experiences where this has been done, its triggered an ironical result of higher rent increases and a drop in rental supply; almost the same result as general price controls in the early 70's in the OPEC Oil embargo, fuel shortages were triggered. I haven't signed up to the neo-libe…

Opinion: Donald Trump is the leader of the Tea Party and white nationalist movement

Let this be a lesson to those looking to those looking to emulate the populism, reactionary philosophy of Trumpism elsewhere; your movement is a fraud and your God is a false prophet.

Donald Trump endeared himself to the racist fringe with his parroting of conspiracy theories about former President Obama's birthplace ("birtherism").

Because media and pundits would have eviscerated anyone for doing so, no one used the 'N' word in dismissing Obama's candidacy as far back as 2008, why not nullify him by professing that he's not a natural born citizen - and given the real world antipathy towards Muslim folks since 2001, accuse the guy of being Islamic too.

All of these patently racist, debunked theories were repeated by far-right hate-pimps, and it didn't matter that they were false. As a certain German cabinet minister in the 1930's proved, the bigger the lie, the more often its repeated, the more folks will believe it. That tactic, if nothing else, …

Unpopular opinion: annual maximum rent increase

Firstly, I completely commiserate with folks facing potential rental rate hikes of up to 4.5%. That's no small sum of cash, and unless you're in the CEO income bracket (which is almost none of you), you're going to feel this one.

So in light of this approved maximum rate hike, I've learned that the Residential Tenancy Branch made this approval based on a set of provincially established criteria.

Rental advocates are demanding that the NDP government act immediately to either suspend the increase or lower the increase. This is problematic because advocates here are demanding that there be political interference in an otherwise independent government agency.

I'm sure it could be done, but it runs opposite to those angry at the previous government for political interference with ICBC where insurance rate increases were held artificially low because elections. The result of that interference is the dumpster fire that the NDP is now charged with cleaning up. One of the …

Right on cue, conservatives over-reach on #TransMountain decision.

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As if planned this way, Conservative cry-babies react to the Trans-Mountain decision by appropriating the pipeline setback as "western alienation".
Spare me for a moment while I try not to throw up.
Albertans and pro-pipelines folks are no doubt upset by the Appeals Court to overturn Cabinet approval for the pipeline project, but not because the Ottawa Liberals suddenly turned anti-West. 
To be sure, I have never seen such a pro-pipeline party as Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party; so much so that the Natural Resources Minister had to apologize for threatening to call in the military on pipeline protesters. Even Stephen Harper didn't go that far.
What Trudeau is guilty of is betraying a central campaign promise. He said that his new government would reboot the approval process as the 'current model' was flawed. He was right. The process was flawed - it is still flawed. That is why the court acted as it did. The problem is that Trudeau didn't deliver on his p…

Of Kinder Morgan, Trans-Mountain and the new reality

It seems like only yesterday that Premier Rachel Notley was demanding that protesters camped out on Burnaby mountain disperse after having lost another court challenge in regards to #tmx prep work being carried out. The Alberta Premier was loud and clear about her insistence that folks respect the law of the land and do as the courts demand. Well, funny thing about that; no sooner the Federal Appeals Court rules against the proposed pipeline that the good Premier throws a Trump-style tantrum and demands federal intervention.Now, I don't mean to make light of this; the pipeline project being put on hold (possibly stopped altogether) is a serious setback for a province who's primary industry is linked to the fate of said proposal.It wasn't long ago that 3rd party leader, Rachel Notley was campaigning on the notion of more diversification of the Alberta economy. She made serious political mileage in bashing 44 years of PC rule that put almost all of its economic eggs into one…

Maxime forgets an important chapter in Canadian history that creates the diversity we celebrate today.

Pseudo-libertarian Maxime Bernier made a stink during this last week. By railing against 'extreme PC and diversity', he woke up the crowd that also has a problem with diversity. This is music to the ears of those looking to replicate the Trump-style populism here in Canada, but its problematic as far as our own history.

This goes back a fair distance in time, but the legacy of multiculturalism and diversity was born out of the aftermath of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The 1759 battle settled the Anglo-France question in the colonies with the British Army vanquishing the French. Out of the Seven Years' War between the two global empires, Quebec was ceded to England. But in that acquisition, the french speaking, Catholic settlers of lower Canada were allowed to keep their civil code, laws and customs, language and religion.

The first patch was sewn into the mosaic of Canada, and its been that way ever since.

This may be an over simplification of matters, and doesn…