Depending how they manage the federation, Canadian prime ministers have been variously described as headwaiters, cheerleaders, referees or dictators. The latter was often attached to Stephen Harper, the supposed autocrat who shunned first ministers’ meetings and allegedly ran roughshod over the provinces. But on his watch, especially compared to the tumult of the Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney eras, there was relative peace in the kingdom: Western alienation and Quebec nationalism both receded. It may be a tough act to follow for new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – the self-described “referee” of the federation – who is already facing a nasty East-West divide over pipelines. D’Arcy Jenish explains.
Author: D'Arcy Jenish
Like it or not, marijuana decriminalization and probably legalization is coming. Prohibition is toppling like dominoes in U.S. states, the grey market in medicinal herb is flourishing in Vancouver and Justin Trudeau is promising a bud in every bowl. But if legalization means government regulation, taxation and monopolization from seed bed to storefront, a lot of stoners fear a major buzz kill. If we must go down this road, writes D’Arcy Jenish, it would far better to privatize the pot business than socialize it.
Expect to hear a lot about taxes in the coming federal election. The ruling Conservatives will be flogging expanded TFSAs and family income splitting; the opposition parties will insist they only benefit the rich. The truth will be the first casualty of the election tax war, but in the long run Tory tax changes are going to provide some shelter for younger generations from the government debts, health costs and public sector pension liabilities racked up by the baby boomers. D’Arcy Jenish explains…