Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield Makes Space Cool Again

It was U.S. President John F. Kennedy who set the goal of putting a man on the moon in the early 1960s.  It was Neil Armstrong who would be that first man to step on the moon, saying: “It was one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now, Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield, … Read more


Is Canada’s International Role in Decline?

It’s been said that Canada has usually “punched above its weight” on the international stage.  Whether we refer to the world wars of the twentieth century, the creation of the United Nations, the bipolar era of the Cold War, the conflict in Korea, or the reaction to Afghanistan after 9-11, Canada’s contribution in blood, sweat … Read more

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The NRA’s Hemispheric Reach

With gun violence once again at the top of the U.S. political agenda, the rest of the world waits anxiously for signs that Washington can move beyond the polarizing national debate over gun control and develop even modest improvements to firearms legislation. The issue is particularly sensitive in the Americas, where the trafficking of American … Read more


A Changing Political Landscape in Canada

As the Harper majority government ends its second year in office, the Liberal party, with its third party status, has just chosen a new leader.  Normally, the choice made by the third party in the House of Commons would barely make waves.  However, the overwhelming victory of Justin Trudeau—the son of former Canadian Prime Minister … Read more


Has Canada Undergone a Big Shift to the Right?

It is often stated as conventional wisdom that the United States is a right-of-center country and Canada, with its state-supported healthcare system and greater state-run operations, is left-of-center. In real life, it is far more complex—as we saw when U.S. President Barack Obama handily won reelection last November while the right-wing Conservative Party of Prime … Read more

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Some of our hemisphere’s emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.


Saying “No” to Bush on Iraq: A Defining Moment for Canada

With March 20, 2013 representing the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, historians and journalists in both Canada and the United States have been assessing the wisdom of this historic decision.  The Iraq War, due to its enormous costs in human, financial and material terms, has long fallen out of favor with the … Read more


Can Canada’s Papal Candidate be an Agent of Change?

As Cardinals gather for the conclave in Rome to choose the next Pope, there is growing speculation about Marc Ouellet, a potential Canadian candidate from Québec. The former Archbishop of Québec and current papal legate to Latin America is seen as a serious contender to replace Pope Benedict XVI. A conservative intellectual from the Québec … Read more


The Health of Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

OTTAWA- Jim Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, stunned Canadians when he revealed in an interview about a month ago that he had a serious skin condition but that he was still up to his high-powered job. For months, the minister had tip-toed around questions about his health. But his changing appearance gave it away. His face … Read more


Québec and the Workings of Canadian Federalism

With the election of a pro-sovereignty party in Québec last September, the questions about Québec’s future within the Canadian federation have once again surfaced.  While there is no referendum about Québec’s future on the horizon—in part because the ruling Parti Québécois made only a vague commitment in last year’s election campaign to conduct such an … Read more


Obama, Jackie Robinson and Black History Month

Every February in both Canada and the United States, we celebrate Black History Month.  Originally a one-week affair in the second week of February to celebrate the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, it is now a month-long series of festivities and activities to commemorate the contribution of African Americans … Read more


The Changing Dynamics of Canada-U.S. Relations

President Obama’s Inaugural Address and State of the Union speech have one thing in common.  The emphasis is on jobs and America is changing.  Its demographics clearly showed that the electoral map favors the party that is more attuned to minorities, women’s rights and the youth.  Its social fabric is being tested regarding gay marriage, … Read more


Canadians’ View of Obama’s Inaugural Speech

As Canadians, we tend to watch the Inaugural activities with interest. Sometimes, as in 1961 or in 2009, we marvel at the significance and the majesty of the event. Many times, we are indifferent and see it merely as a news story in the heart of winter every four years. We do not pretend to … Read more


Will Canada’s Liberal Voice Rebound in 2013?

The prevailing narrative since Barack Obama’s decisive re-election victory last November is that America is changing. His most reliable voting blocs included progressives, minorities, single women, and youths, and his campaign was supported by an impressive, technologically-inspired ground game. Even many Republican talking heads acknowledged America’s changing demographics in their post-election ruminations. Canada may be … Read more


F-35 Fiasco Intensifies in Canada

Since taking power in 2006, Canada’s Conservative Party has worked hard to portray itself as the party of sound fiscal practice. All of that went up in smoke earlier this month, as an independent audit confirmed that the costs of stealth fighter jets within the national defense budget had ballooned from $16 billion to nearly … Read more

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