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EDITORIAL: Internal trade barriers have no place in Canada

A small battle has been won in the movement to secure liberal trade between the Canadian provinces. In R. v. Comeau, a New Brunswick judge has ruled that provisions in the Liquor Control Act that restrict the transport of alcohol across New Brunswick’s borders are unconstitutional. We say a small battle because it is just that; likely, the province will appeal and the long process of litigation will leave such laws – on the books throughout the country – in limbo for some time. You might think that a political union, founded with the express purpose of federating the British North American possessions into a single dominion, might have managed to get the common sense of free internal movement for goods, services, and people down to a science. The men who authored our constitution understood this well; they could not have written the relevant clause in clearer language. Goods shall be “admitted free into each of the other provinces.” In fact, the protectionist national policy that characterized early Canadian trade – jeopardizing pre-Confederation reciprocal trade arrangements with U.S. states – could only have been premised on prioritizing internal economic activity over international trade. Without the premise of a free trade “zone” between the Canadian provinces, the national policy would never have been thinkable in the first place. The judge in the Comeau case recognized how adamant the Fathers of Confederation were that no future generations should veer away from unhampered internal trade. Expert historical testimony was heard regarding the Fathers' intentions, bringing new evidence to an old debate. The first draft of Section 121 only stated that “All Articles the Growth or Produce or Manufacture of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick, shall be admitted free into all Ports in Canada.” By removing the name of the provinces and the mention of… Read More

An election for the ages

Donald Trump has faced more media criticism than any other candidate in recent memory. Yet he beat Ted Cruz and John Kasich in the Republican primary in Indiana on May 3 and is all but assured of his party’s nomination. He has also bested all of the 15 other entries that started the marathon back in the fall. That field included Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, who had piles of cash from the “donor” class. But the talking heads in their silos on CNN, MSNBC, and elsewhere immediately announced that Trump will lose to Hillary Clinton in November. They’re sure of this! The mainstream media, especially the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post, concur, and remain positively vitriolic in their denunciations of Trump. The fact that they’ve been wrong all along about this race doesn’t matter, because they have the Ivy League diplomas and go to the right Washington cocktail parties. They’re forgetting, but Trump will remind America, that Clinton has now been around for almost four decades, starting with Bill Clinton’s victories in Arkansas, serving as an enabler for her sexual harasser husband. And that she is the candidate of the financial establishment on Wall Street. Certainly Clinton is more vulnerable than the “punditocracy” thinks. An April Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll found that just 20 per cent of independents viewed Clinton positively, compared with 62 per cent who viewed her negatively. And in a Washington Post-ABC News survey taken in March, only 37 per cent of respondents said they found Clinton honest and trustworthy, while 59 per cent said they did not. She has a scandal-ridden past. It’s possible that more Americans hate Clinton than hate Trump – and that includes a lot of women, holding down horrible jobs while their unemployed husbands sit at home. These are… Read More

Tribulations and triumphs in commercial aviation

Fierce free market business analysts like Kevin O'Leary have been raining curses on Bombardier for at least two decades now. The losses! The share price! The government handouts! The family-dominated ownership structure! However, while I understand the accounting ratios, and have no personal interest in Bombardier, I think bean counting doesn't tell the full story in dealing with innovations in science and engineering, sometimes mistaking diamonds for beans. Makers of military and civilian aircraft, and their equally important power plants, are almost bound to be condemned: not only Bombardier and Pratt&Whitney, but the tight little field of their surviving giant competitors. All these firms often have terrible quarterly financial numbers, but they are not composed of spendthrifts or incompetents. They are doing difficult things that are not easily timetabled. People forget this, when overcome with taxpayer or shareholder rage. I am less censorious. I started getting a different outlook when living in England over forty years ago. First of all, I was studying the contributions of British scientists and engineers to winning World War II; secondly, I was watching the near-death agonies of Rolls-Royce from the end of the 1960s through the early 1970s. The war research was showing me that all kinds of potential innovations were understood in principle much earlier than many popular histories assume to this day. Talent and dedication were available, and some government willingness to assign high priority and adequate resources, but specific 'bottlenecks' still brought unavoidable delays. When Churchill, for example, asked his scientific adviser Frederick Lindemann to explain, early in the war, what jet engines were all about, Lindemann wrote him a concise memo with an accurate description, but pointed out that the immediate problem was in obtaining new alloys that could withstand the very high temperatures the turbines produced. The earliest reverse… Read More

In six months, the Liberals have gone from sunny ways to governing hypocrites

Oh, how quickly the sunny ways have come and gone from our nation’s capital. Take, for example, the parliamentary proceedings of just one day, April 19, 2016 – the six month anniversary of the Liberals being elected to office. The day started on a poor note for the Liberals.  Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has been on the defensive for more than two weeks now over her hosting of an intimate and private fundraising event at a Toronto law firm, and Conservative MP Michael Cooper moved that the House of Commons debate why Wilson-Raybould wasn’t following her own Prime Minister’s guidelines to avoid actual and potential conflicts of interest. The entire day was filled with Liberal MPs and ministers apologizing for and defending the minister. Mere months ago, these then-candidates were elected under the banner of hope and transparency and “better is always possible.” But on this day, what the Justice Minister did was apparently good enough. But the debate went even lower when the Democratic Institutions Minister spoke. Maryam Monsef boldly complained that those mean Conservatives were really debating this issue because the Justice Minister is a successful aboriginal woman. She implied, several times, that the Justice Minister’s race was true reason for the day’s debate. It was something else to watch an MP who was elected just six months ago on a positive message come so close to complaining of racism in the House of Commons – no less the MP who is also in charge of Canada’s democratic institutions. The day only continued to get worse for the Liberals. Speaker Geoff Regan, a Liberal MP, ruled that the Liberals had potentially committed a prima facie breach of privilege by leaking advance copies of the assisted suicide bill to members of the media before that bill was tabled in the House of Commons. “There was a… Read More

The Liberal big brother Is watching & the Usual Suspects

The never-ending quest to fulminate outrage in the United States of Bernie Sanders has many iterations. The most baffling, to Canadians at least, is the concept that showing photo ID before voting is all just a racist plot to suppress the black vote. In an Esquire piece by Charles P. Pierce entitled “North Carolina's Voting Laws Are Conspicuously Suppressing the Vote”, Pierce blames a George W. Bush-appointed judge for upholding a law that, he says, represses the black vote in the“consistently insane state of North Carolina”. All to solve “a virtually non-existent` problem”, claims Pierce. How was this insanity cultivated? By making citizens wear a yellow star? By holding elections in secret locations? By having militias beat up anyone voting the wrong way? Of course not. Pierce’s monumental grievance is the insistence that citizens produce an approved form of photo ID to vote in state elections. He cites tales of bureaucratic incompetence in recent elections to buttress his case. Pierce then applies the progressive conceit that it’s somehow harder for blacks to obtain a driver’s license or passport— the same IDs required to legally purchase liquor, beer or tobacco in the state. While Pierce alleges voting numbers from blacks don’t seem proportionate to their population in North Carolina, similar declines are not reported in the purchase of these products requiring photo ID. For Canadians who have used photo ID in elections, this outrage may come as a surprise. But the patrician attitudes of white Northeast U.S. liberals like Pierce in “protecting” rights of blacks or women or transgendered are essential to maintain their positions as the well-funded advance troops of enlightenment in the media. Pierce is particularly virulent about the judge saying that perhaps North Carolina has made progress in race relations the past quarter century. “The conservative movement has… Read More

#WeBelieveWomen: Hostages of Modern Feminism

“Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us.” – Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (1987) “The normal fuck by a normal man is taken to be an act of invasion and ownership undertaken in a mode of predation: colonizing, forceful (manly) or nearly violent; the sexual act that by its nature makes her his.” – Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (1987) “I feel that man-hating is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” – Robin Morgan, Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist (1978)   The above are not little known and long forgotten passages from disturbing fictional stories; they illustrate what our daughters and sons learn at universities in North America as part of their curriculum in various disciplines – particularly in gender studies, but also in history, philosophy, sociology, and others. As part of feminism classes, students are taught that white men by definition and by birth are privileged in society, that they systematically oppress and rape women, and that women as perpetual victims should restructure the entire socio-economic and political system in order to end their domination by men. This cynical and subversive outlook is found in the writings of Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, D. A. Clarke, Robin Morgan, Germaine Greer, and others, which are very popular readings in schools and universities  and which dominate today’s feminist discourse. Having already made significant progress in the 20th century, the promotion of women’s rights and the struggle for equal opportunity for women and men remain very important issues in the modern world. Domestic violence, grave institutional discrimination, violent and brutal cultural practices, and social and economic repressions are currently an everyday reality for… Read More
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