Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Canada’s Conservatives: A Troubled Political Landscape

On November 25, Canadians went to the polls in four by-elections—two in Manitoba, one in Québec and one in Ontario.  The results were not dramatic, as they maintained the same distribution of seats in Canada’s House of Commons.  The Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper kept its two Manitoba seats—albeit with highly reduced margins.  … Read more


Is the Iran Nuclear Deal a Positive Step?

It has been said that if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, the world will become more dangerous than at any time since the height of the Cold War. The interim accord between Iran, the five members of the UN Security Council and Germany is meant to address this fear. The accord sets specific and significant … Read more


The John F. Kennedy I Remember

Fifty years ago, I was entering university when a tragic event with worldwide repercussions occurred: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.  Many who lived through that day and the following three days can recall where they were, what they were doing and how they felt. Besides the United States, Canadians … Read more


Rudy Giuliani: Recipe for Montreal

On Friday, October 25, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke at Montreal’s Board of Trade on the eve of the Montreal mayoral election. The Board of Trade, anticipating the fervor of the final stretch of the campaign for a new mayor, chose to invite Giuliani for his take on how to revive Canada’s … Read more


Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s Second Wind

While thousands of federal workers in the U.S. went back to work today after grappling with the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, Canada’s Parliament has just now reopened for business, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s second Throne Speech since his party won a majority government mandate in May 2011.  Coming at mid-term, the speech … Read more


Canada’s New American Challenge

With the U.S. administration now engaged in trade talks regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and President Obama’s intention, expressed in his last State of Union address, to embark on a free trade arrangement with the European Union, it is clear that trade policy in the U.S. is in for a major shift.  The Canada–U.S. commercial relationship, … Read more


The Reluctant Commander-in-Chief and Syria

Last week’s address to the nation by U.S. President Barack Obama showed the complexity of the debate regarding Syria and the chemical attack of August 21.  Military strikes were still on the table during Obama’s address, but at the end of week Russia and the United States had come to an agreement regarding chemical weapons … Read more


Montreal’s Non-Partisan Gay Pride Parade

Normally, a gay pride parade would go unnoticed in Montreal. Actually, in many cities across North America, we have become accustomed to the annual ritual of the multicolored, multi-uniformed and occasionally shocking outfits in favor of gay pride and gay rights. While much progress has been made in the last decade to advance the cause … Read more

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Canadian Foreign Minister Concludes Two-Week Tour of Latin America

Globe-trotting John Baird, Canada’s foreign affairs minister, returned to Canada recently after a 13-day trip to Latin America that began on July 28. The trip—his second to the region this year—took him to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil with a focus in each country of promoting business opportunities and exploring new … Read more


Canadian Leadership Following Flooding and a Train Derailment

In the past few days, U.S. media networks have been reporting on the tragic events in Lac Mégantic, Québec, where a runaway, unmanned train carrying crude oil from North Dakota (73 wagons) barreled through a quiet tourist village of 6,000 inhabitants, derailed and exploded, leaving devastation in its trail.  At the time of this writing, … Read more


Canada’s Antiterrorism Bill

The spring session in Canada’s parliament was anything but dull. But while much of the attention was on senators’ unauthorized expenses, an important bill passed under the radar. The so-called Antiterrorism Bill, which revives controversial sections of the Combating Terrorism Act, was passed into law during session. Two sections of the bill deserve a fuller … Read more


Twenty Years Ago, Québec says Yes to Bilingual Signs

Twenty years ago this June, the Québec government under Liberal Premier Robert Bourassa adopted legislation stipulating that all outdoor commercial signage should be in French, but lifted the ban on the presence of English and other languages.  The media often refers to this as the return of bilingual signs since the 1977 Charter of the … Read more


The Canadian Senate: Legitimacy is the Issue

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper was conducting a Latin American tour last week, a firestorm was in full force concerning questionable expenses of prominent Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin.  Before Harper actually left for Latin America, his respected chief of staff, Nigel Wright, had already resigned from his post after making the decision … Read more


Canadian Prime Minister Announces Aid Package in Peru

On Wednesday, during a one day visit to Peru, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a new aid package aimed in part at helping regional governments more effectively reinvest taxes and royalties from mining in programs to alleviate poverty.   During the first official visit to Peru by a Canadian prime minister, Harper met with executives … Read more


The Importance of Civic Engagement

With a full-blown scandal over the expenses of some senators engulfing the Canadian Senate, an ongoing inquiry into corruption in Québec’s construction industry, and the daily whirl of allegations from the Republican leadership toward the Obama administration on Benghazi, the IRS, and Associated Press reporters, it is not surprising that young people may be questioning … Read more

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