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J. Dan Aiken

J. Dan Aiken holds a Political Science degree from the University of Prince Edward Island. He has previously worked as a policy analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and as a researcher for the Legislative Assembly of PEI. He's currently working as a freelance consultant in Prince Edward Island.

PEI loves tourists, but tourists with an abortion agenda try our patience

Earlier this month Prince Edward Island was jolted into an abortion debate, largely due to outside groups traveling to the Island. The University of PEI hosted about 70 individuals at a conference calling abortion an “unfinished revolution” in PEI. In response, another group of about 70 people came from Ontario to protest abortion. Both sides are supported by small groups of actual Islanders who have a tireless interest in bombarding our local newspapers with letters to the editor. One side insists PEI has essentially made abortions illegal. The other side believes PEI actually should make abortions illegal. Until recently PEI could have won a Guinness World Record for ‘most people rolling their eyes at once.’ Reasonable people understand that abortions will continue and that the procedure isn’t more important than treating a patient in imminent danger of dying. Everything changed when the Ontario-based anti-abortion group went full-blown Westboro Baptist on Charlottetown, publicly displaying aborted fetuses on some of our busiest streets. Reportedly, many children were subjected to the imagery. (Full disclosure, one of my own nephews was disturbed by the images). Hundreds of people signed a petition calling on the mayor to ban these images in the future. The city then acknowledged that they lack the legal authority to block freedom of speech. I support the mayor’s fidelity to freedom of speech. The petition, though, is an understandable response to unacceptable imagery in a public space. What makes this display worse, in my opinion, is that this debate is purely ideological and increasingly imported from other provinces. PEI’s health care system provides publicly-funded abortions in Halifax. Some say that isn’t good enough because traveling to Halifax, although only 4 hours away for most Islanders (maximum 4.75 hours), means leaving PEI soil. In terms of travel distance, PEI is providing abortion… Read More

UN peacekeepers needed in Gaza; Hamas infrastructure must be destroyed

The situation in Gaza can no longer be tolerated, and neither Palestinians nor Israelis should be forced to endure the status quo. A liberal democracy cannot be expected to tolerate indiscriminate rocket fire while infiltrators try to kidnap and murder its citizens. Neither can innocent families and children in Gaza, who are trapped under inhumane conditions and used as human shields, be mercilessly subjected to this warfare of which they are not a party. The belligerency in this case is clear. Hamas is seeking warfare against Israeli civilians with an openly stated desire to destroy Israel. It is a conflict of racism and backward barbarism, owing only to a shameful anti-Israelism which often includes anti-Semitism. Israel is compelled to respond leaving the Palestinian population as little more than captives to an unjust conflict. This disgrace must stop. To suggest that Hamas terrorism, which targets Israeli civilians, intends to establish a Palestinian state is akin to defending drunk driving as a mere political statement against fossil fuel-powered cars. When one randomly brings violence against unsuspecting innocents the logical response can only be greater security precautions to defend those innocents. All that is necessary for peace between Hamas and Israel is the demilitarization and cessation of aggression in Gaza. So long as Hamas governs Gaza the prospects for peace are dim and its implementation only episodic. Israel knows that it can finish its mission against Hamas now, or come under attack from its rockets again and again. Ultimately, Hamas must be disarmed. Thousands of tons of concrete were provided by Israel to Gaza to build schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure. Hamas took those resources and built terror tunnels into Israel to attack, kidnap, and murder innocent civilians. The people of Gaza deserve better than to have their basic human needs come behind… Read More

Sun News Network needs to cut sarcasm, deliver more of what works

Canada needs a right-of-center news channel but I’m left wondering if Sun News Network (SNN) is up to the task. The channel risks being known equally for its sarcasm and drive-by analysis as it does for its conservative leanings. When serious issues are reduced to guffaws and giggles, serious people turn back to CBC and CTV. It’s time for SNN to take an inventory of itself and grow those aspects of its programming that work well, and weed out the elements that redirect viewers to other networks. SNN, if you’re listening, it’s time to eliminate those irritants that are undermining viewership loyalty to your network. I believe that SNN is necessary in Canada. Canadians thus far have been forced to choose between center-of-the-road CTV news channel, which so prides itself on blandness that it actually covers up the edges of background TV screens with 1960’s linoleum wood panels, and CBC’s news channel which proudly displays its liberal bias. Canada has always needed a voice from the opposite side of the spectrum. I wish I could applaud SNN for filling that void in Canadian content, but I can’t. Here’s why. Firstly, SNN takes American conservative issues more seriously than most Americans. Canadians aren’t looking for a Canadian perspective on America’s issues. If we want a conservative take on American issues, we’ll watch Fox News. What Canadians are looking for is a conservative perspective on Canadian issues. Call me irregular, but as a Canadian I don’t feel any great need to stand up and defend the US 2nd Amendment. I don’t want to cheer on a gun company, as SNN recently did, for offering military-grade weapons to average Joes. And I don’t want to hear about guns, guns, guns. Other people like to hunt or need a gun for pest control. That’s… Read More

Kathleen Wynne & the problem with provincial governments

One truly wonders how Ontarians have tolerated so much bluster and fortitude from their unelected, holier-than-thou premier. Ontario is home to the biggest offender in underperforming provincial governments with seemingly no one but Tim Hudak satisfied with an election to test a party-selected premier. Wynne is an arrogant, tax-and-spend liberal who would sleep easier wasting billions on her own election than step forward to be honest with voters. Ontario Liberals are on the hook for a billion dollar boondoggle which flatly screwed the taxpayers in a desperate attempt to cling to power. As if that weren’t justification to throw the bums out, Wynne actually threatened legal action against the Opposition Leader for asking questions about the scandal. For Ontarians, a top ballot box question ought to be: Who is going to jail and for how long? Voter should support the most competent candidates who commit to fully investigating and repairing damage caused by the Liberal gas plant scandal. Wynne would rather confuse voters with the question: Who would you rather have as premier of Ontario, me or Stephen Harper? It’s a question that many provincial leaders have been putting forward in recent years. Blurring federal-provincial lines allows leaders, if granted the opportunity by a lazy media, to score points by campaigning against a straw man -- Stephen Harper’s face duct taped to made up political positions. “I want you to have the best possible post secondary education. Unfortunately, that awful Stephen Harper won’t pay for it.” Or, to be more current, “I want you to have an even bigger pension plan, but that awful Stephen Harper won’t raise your taxes at my request.” Wynne is the most bombastic of provincial government leaders who throw stones from their glass houses. Her poor provincial/federal relations aren’t an isolated case, however; from Saskatchewan… Read More

No Thoughtful Debate on Fair Elections Act

Any legislation dealing with our national elections ought to be treated with the greatest care and respect. The electoral system is truly the heart of our democracy. Ensuring the rules, referees, and teams on the ice are all playing in a fair contest should be of paramount importance to all Canadians. It’s sad, then, that the Fair Elections Act is being treated like hot potato wedges the Tories can’t wait to unhand and the NDP is determined to rub on Harper’s face. Parliament called on the Conservative government to introduce electoral reforms in the aftermath of the robocalls affair in 2011. The Tories have complied with that request, drafting the Fair Elections Act based upon recommendations of the Neufeld Report (among other consultations). Now the government is going it alone to support the legislation. Both the NDP and Liberals have suggested the proposed reforms will make it more difficult to vote and oppose the bill. On the one hand, at least one of their complaints is valid in that the Tories appear to have taken a shot against elections chief Marc Mayrand, whom Tories openly believe is biased against them, to limit his powers of activism. On the other hand they complain that voter ID rules -- which offer 39 different ways for voters to identify themselves -- will make it too difficult for Canadians to vote. Voting under the new reforms will be easier than buying bread, but you can’t blame a politician for trying. The reality of the situation is this: there are serious flaws in our electoral system ranging from criminalized Tweeting of local results from Atlantic Canada while British Columbia’s polls are open, to failed regulation on telecommunications (robocalls/regional TV advertising), and even an outdated nobody-would-lie-with-their-hand-on-a-Bible mentality of voter vouching left over from the Salem Witch… Read More
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