Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Coming War

If you missed my piece from last weeke regarding the coming war between drivers and other road users, it can be found here.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Await the Facts Before Denying a Casino

One of my more recent pieces for the Women's Post. If you missed it last week, find it here.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

One in five children

More than fifteen million children in North America have psychiatric learning disorders, but few of them will be identified due to stigma, lack of awareness, and misinformation. This week, people are coming together to recognize the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (occurring in the United States and Canada). The theme of this year’s week is ‘Youth Overcoming Trauma’ particularly relevant given the Government of Ontario’s recent passage of Bill 13; the Accepting Schools Act.

Mental health is becoming epidemic among youth, and an important part of why is the increased prevalence of bullying in schools. There are children in schools right here in Toronto, who are victims of bullying. Sometimes they may be impacted mentally or emotionally. Other times they may be impacted physically; and, too many times they will have to face both. Unfortunately many that find themselves victims will already be impacted by a mental health issue.

Statistics demonstrate that one in five students at the TDSB is impacted by a mental health issue, and only one in six of those students will get the help they need. The first symptoms of mental illness generally appear between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four; which is why early intervention is so critical. However, recovery is possible with proper consultation and treatment. Becoming a victim of bullying will only make this process more difficult.

With that in mind, this coming week has become more important than ever. To promote Children’s Mental Health Week, Torontonians are encouraged to connect with their locals schools to discuss plans for the week.

It is time for Torontonians to come together; as parents; as neighbours; as aunts and uncles; as friends, to address children’s mental health issues head on. When one in five of our children are affected by some form of mental health issue, there is a problem. When children are considering ending their lives because the bullying has become too much, there is a problem. When one of the three parties in the Ontario Legislative Assembly votes against a landmark piece of anti-bullying legislation, there is a problem.

It is time to end the stigma of discussing mental health. It is time to actually demonstrate how important children truly are. Their lives may very well depend on it.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Harper majority turns one year old

Four days ago Canadians celebrated the one year anniversary of the election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority government. Approximately one year ago Canada elected its first Conservative majority government in twenty-three years. The Prime Minister deserves much of the credit for this. He successfully guided Canada’s Conservative Party through the wilderness of division back to the promise land of government. For that he should be commended. Parties become lazy when they do not face challenges, and for the first time in more than a decade Prime Minister Harper gave the Liberal Party of Canada a challenge. Ironically, it has been Harper’s time in government that has inflicted Conservatives with the same problem that once ran ramped through the Liberal Party. This is a party and a government that has become lazy.
The impact of a government that does not face challenges can be soon throughout this government. Constantly plagued with spending scandals, this is a government that has ballooned Canada deficit and debt while failing to meet all its promises regarding excessive taxation.
Recently Canadians have seen Bev Oda, Minister of International Development, as the face of this government’s inability to control the spending of money on behalf of the Canadian taxpayer. However, readers would be remiss if they did not talk a moment to recall the scandalous actions of Tony Clement, a former leadership candidate and current President of the Treasury Board, and Peter Mackay, a founding father of the modern Conservative Party and current Minister of National Defense. These scandals have come together to cost the Canadian taxpayer billions of dollars.
The Prime Minister first took his oath in 2006 as the leader of a minority government. It was here that he learned that if Conservatives wanted to win they would have to buy their votes. Engaging is social engineering experiments like paying Canadians to play sports, join a gym, or even engaging in music lessons; this Prime Minister embraced the notion that a Conservative does not necessarily have to be a conservative. He extended this theory into the 2011 election that would see him attain his much sought after majority government.

This has been a primary problem for this government. It is why Canada’s nation debt currently stands at more than $583 trillion dollars. For those counting that breaks down to approximately $17,000 per Canadian. What this amounts to is a tax on Canada’s future. Some might call this odd for a government and a party that campaigns on its fiscal prowess; but the lack of any competitive opposition party has left in a government with absolutely zero reason to restrain its spending habits.

Whether Canadians like it or not, it seems the Harper majority is here for at least another three years. That includes all the growing, debt, deficit, and taxation that come with it. Buckle in. It is going to be a bumpy ride.