David Akin - July 3rd, 2012
Jan Crawford, the Chief Political and Legal Correspondent for CBS News, gets some great — and extremely rare — dish from inside the U.S. Supreme Court in the wake of the historic Obamacare decision of last week.
In her piece, she chronicles how Chief Justice John Roberts — widely seen as a conservative — flip-flopped on Obamacare, was heavily pressured by the other conservative justices, and than was abandoned by them. Read more…
David Akin - May 16th, 2012
The United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Food says Canada is “self-righteous” and says that it is “appalling” that we ignore pronouncements from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council. Olivier de Schutter darkly warned today that Canada’s failure to heed the council – whose current members include Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and the Congo — will do Canada no good!
Meanwhile, as Canadians knew all along, there are too many kids going to school hungry and too many of our relatives, friends, and neighbours who live on Canada’s First Nations can’t get good food cheap.
Well, we’ve had one federal election and seven provincial elections in the last year in Canada. The incumbent government — be it Conservative, Liberal or NDP — won every single one. Given all the opportunities electors had to “throw the bums out” on hunger and poverty issues, Canadians either blew it or they disagree with de Schutter’s diagnosis.
Now, if “eradicating hunger” was a central part of any provincial campaign, I’m counting on you, dear reader, to let me know. You can count on me, in return, to help you keep abreast of federal politics. So let’s look back, just over a year ago, to what the three leading parties were saying in their election platforms about food. Read more…
David Akin - May 9th, 2012
My column across our papers today takes a look at the visit this week and next of a special envoy from the United Nations, the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Its the first time this Rapporteur, who has just wrapped up missions to Syria and Benin, has decided to ‘investigate’ food systems in a developed country:
I’m not so sure Canada should be honoured in achieving this ‘first.’ In fact, it feels rather like there’s a nosy, do-gooder pestering one of the world’s model citizens when there are dozens of ne’er-do-well nations whose citizens would benefit from international scrutiny.
Not only that, this do-gooder reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council, a group whose legitimacy and credibility is untenable so long as that council’s current membership includes Cuba, Saudi Arabia and the nastiest human rights offender of them all, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Please click through to read the rest …
David Akin - December 21st, 2011
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty boldly went Monday where no finance minister has ever gone before when it comes to the billions upon billions Ottawa transfers every year to the provinces for health and social services.
He told the provinces they would continue to get the billions upon billions from the federal treasury and — here comes the bold bit — told them they could spend it however they saw fit.
Imagine that: A federal government program with no strings attached.
Still, provincial finance ministers are a tough act to please. Read more…
David Akin - December 20th, 2011
Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced (too abruptly for some, mostly the finance ministers of provinces east of Saskatchewan) that the rate of annual increases of the federal-provincial social and health transfer will continue to be 6 per cent per year until 2016 and then, from that point until 2024, it will increase at the rate of inflation plus the rate of the growth of the economy, something economists call nominal Gross Domestic Product or nominal GDP.
So: Who’s got some predictions for nominal GDP going out 12 years? Read more…