Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver

Canadians think Justin Trudeau represents the real change from Stephen Harper

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The Liberal Party of Canada is back in power after a 9-year absence during the reign of the Harper Government. For the first time in 11 years, the Liberals have a majority government.

Canadians had the longest campaign — 78 days — in modern political history. The country wanted change, but had to decide between Tom Mulcair of the NDP or the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau. Though Mulcair and the NDP had the early edge, perhaps they got a little cocky. Trudeau took awhile to find his voice, but once he did, the Liberals rose in the polls.

Stephen Harper wanted nothing to do with the English language broadcast consortium debate. Tom Mulcair took the Conservative bait and said he wouldn’t be there if Harper wasn’t showing up. Mulcair made that decision when the NDP was doing well. By the time of the scheduled debate (which wasn’t cancelled), the NDP was in 3rd place. A chance to debate with all the non-Conservatives would have been valuable.

There were more debates than usual: 4 instead of 2. But that 5th debate would have helped the NDP.

Here are links to our 2015 Canadian election coverage courtesy of our sister blog,

2015 Canadian election: Some final thoughts

Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act gets attention south of the border

Justin Trudeau begins new era as Canada’s newest prime minister

Our 2015 Canadian election coverage comprehensive guide

Canadian Canadian politics coverage


Dick Cheney wasn’t afraid of waterboarding, is afraid of Canadians

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We interrupt the scintillating 2012 GOP presidential race to give you an update from a blast of the past. Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz cancelled a speaking engagement in Toronto over what happened in Vancouver last fall. Just like blaming a reception in Los Angeles for not going to New York City.

Cheney should know that Canada is a diverse country, but it sounds more like sour grapes for being branded a war criminal by protesters. Waterboarding, torture, and an unjustified war will do that. After all, Cheney and George W. Bush lived in bubbles from 2001-2009, so they didn’t get much of a differing opinion against their own views.

If Cheney really had that bad a time in Vancouver last fall, and blames a whole country for those actions, then why did Cheney schedule a speaking engagement in Toronto?

For more coverage, check out this column from our sister blog,

Dick Cheney’s Vancouver book tour stop: protests, calls for arrest for war crimes

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While George W. Bush sticks to Calgary, Dick Cheney went with Vancouver for his book tour. Those that order waterboarding and torture aren’t supposed to be allowed into Canada. Yet Cheney went through and had a $500-per-table book club event in the Winter Olympics city.

Protests were loud. A Canadian politician got into the headlines.

For more, check out our column from our sister blog,

America is the ‘land of the free’ but Canadians can go topless

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America prides itself on freedom, yet Canada is a country where women have the right to go topless.

In seeing the recent protests sponsored by, we see the ridiculousness of men wearing bikini tops to show the other extreme of equality.

The women who were protesting in Chicago painted the “offending area” as to not risk arrest. Arguing that companies should be free of regulation, yet women don’t have an equal right to go without a shirt in hot weather — well, that isn’t freedom.

More on this and the upcoming protests in Canada on Sunday, here via our sister blog at

Written by democracysoup

August 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

CBC stands to lose viewers, American and Canadian, thanks to August 31 digital conversion

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We’ve been praising Canada lately for its ability to produce jobs and even a small riot. But your sympathy can go out to Canada on one issue that troubled Americans back in 2009: converting analog TV signals to digital TV. Remember the clamor over the coupons for converter boxes? This is when Americans knew they were going to get all the digital signals, unless they lived too far away from the digital signal.

Well, a significant number of Canadians and some Americans are going to lose access to CBC on the August 31 deadline unless they go to cable or satellite. Saskatoon, SK, London, ON, Kitchener, ON, Moncton, NB, and most of Quebec among others will lose English language service; Calgary, Windsor, ON, and Halifax among others will lose French language service.

For more, check out the coverage via And scroll to the bottom to relive magical memories of American TV conversions with archival material from Democracy Soup.

U.S. best in Olympics; in business, Ontario is a better choice

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Canada is in the spotlight for the last half of February with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in one of the most beautiful cities in the world in Vancouver, British Columbia.

With the focus being on the Great White North, there are opportunities to showcase what Canada has to offer. One organization is running ads during the Olympics to do just that. is running an ad touting Ontario’s favorable tax rate as a reason for businesses to invest in the province.

The ad notes that “Ontario’s combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate is lower than the average combined federal/state rate in the U.S.”

While I don’t run a business, the tax rate might be something to seriously consider, though there are likely more corporate loopholes in the U.S. tax system than in Canada’s system. But if I were running a business in 2010, I might invest in Ontario (or another Canadian province) for two more vital reasons.

In running a business, I would want better educated workers. In the Western world, most countries blow away the U.S. in terms of education. We fall way short even when things are normal. But when Utah seriously considers getting rid of 12th grade, when Hawai’i cuts back on its school year, this doesn’t inspire confidence.

Better educated workers might not make some CEOs think twice, but there is one other area where Ontario — and Canada — shines that would perk up the ears of a CEO: health care costs.

If you set up in Ontario, or elsewhere in Canada, there are no administrative costs, no hassles, no money to put into a system.  No worries about running a health care are system in Ontario or any other province for that matter.  And no incentive for employees who are stuck in a job to stay where they are miserable just because of health insurance in the United States.

The mess that the United States has made over health care is costing this country in ways that normally inspire change. After all, since corporations are now people, and to politicians, people they have cared more for than regular people, if corporations are upset, they should get changes they need.

But politicians are listening to health insurance companies and Big Pharma more than they are listening to General Motors and other companies affected by the disparity of health care costs.

Whether you are in favor of the public option or insist on “tort reform,” separating the employer from the health insurance system should be something we can all agree on doing. Corporations and people (not one and the same) should agree that having an employer-based system hurts employers, workers, and the American economy.

Want to improve the economy and create jobs? Those on the left and right all agree: getting rid of employer-based health care would be a huge jump start.

The only ones that don’t agree are those in non-corporate power. Politicians standing in the way against progress: employers and workers agree on few things, but this would be one of them.

We are competing on ice and snow against countries from all around the world for 16 days on the international stage. By that count, the United States is currently far ahead of everyone in the medal count. The United States has more medals (18) and more gold medals (6) than any other country, and the Americans have a 7-medal lead over second-place Germany.

However, in the international economic world, we aren’t up for a gold, silver, or bronze medal. We aren’t even in the top echelon. We need a lot more training and practice. But more importantly, we need to see what works in other countries, and how we can adapt it to work in our country.

If we want to compete with the rest of the world outside the Olympic Games, we need to act like champions. Olympic champions have talent, but they also have the desire to work hard to do what they can to make themselves champions. We have the talent; we need to put in the work.

We’re being passed by. If Ontario were a state, it would be the fifth most populous state. The province has North American access, strong trade relationships and agreements, incredible resources, and borders five U.S. states, including four of the eight most populous states. And they speak English, though with a few different spellings. All of this combined with strong education and no health care costs: This is a medal contender. Not to disparage Canadians, but if the United States can’t compete with one of Canada’s 10 provinces, the U.S. is a long way from gold.