• Here’s the lede on the Toronto Star story about last week’s Ontario government response to a court decision: “Premier Doug Ford has triggered the nuclear option in his battle to slash Toronto city council.” The “nuclear option” was the invocation of Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which enables democratically elected governments to overrule appointed judges in limited circumstances. The circumstances here had to do with how many politicians it takes to run Toronto. But OMG, according to the Star, the NDP opposition, and much of the media commentariat, Ford has blown up the rule of law in Canada. Oh please, writes Howard Anglin, he’s just exercised a legal tool created by the framers of the 1982 Constitution to maintain the balance of power between the legislative and judicial branches of government. High time, too.

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  • Progressives agree populism is deplorable, responsible for electing xenophobic governments in parts of Europe, the Brexit mess, and that Twit in the White House. But what about Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford? He’s “for the people” too, like other populists claim to be, but instead of picking fights with immigrants and launching trade wars, he’s lowering the cost of beer and energy and trying to shrink Toronto’s bloated City Council. The left and the courts are pushing back hard, but Ford still looks like Canada’s best bet to rescue populism from the pit of elite condescension. Jason Tucker reports.

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  • The term “gunboat diplomacy” was coined in 1850 when Britain dispatched the Royal Navy to defend a British citizen living in Greece. Last month, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland dispatched a tweet to defend Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists who happen to have a Canadian relative. Unlike the Greeks, the Saudis were not intimidated, and they fired back with trade and diplomatic weapons that cost Canada dearly. Gerry Bowler has some advice for Freeland, who apparently could use it: either ditch the impotent virtue signalling or hit the Saudis where it hurts by replacing their oil exports to Canada with homegrown western crude.

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  • One of the really great things about Donald Trump, if you’re Justin Trudeau, is he makes you look so nice by comparison. Especially on immigration. It’s widely understood that Trump is banning Muslims and separating children from their parents and holding them in cages, while Trudeau is tweeting “Welcome to Canada” and deploring family separation. But the truth about “how we do things in Canada” ain’t so nice, writes Hymie Rubenstein, and by any fair current and historical comparison, the U.S. treats immigrants better than we do

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  • The City of Vancouver officially aspires to be “the greenest city in the world”. But if it could see beyond the tip of its upturned nose, it would realize that its transit and land-use policies are dumping its traffic and pollution problems on neighbouring cities and towns in the Fraser Valley. James Coggins, eyewitness to the environmental carnage wreaked by Vancouver’s selfish green virtuousness, reports.

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  • Canada’s national equalization program is supposed to transfer wealth from richer provinces to poorer ones so the latter can have “reasonably comparable” public services at roughly similar levels of taxation. In practice, reports University of Calgary Master of Public Policy student Jake Fuss, the program enables “have-not” provinces to provide better public services than the “have” provinces who subsidize them. Robin Hood supported wealth redistribution too, but even he never intended to make the poor richer than the rich.

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  • The Order of Canada was founded in 1967 as a classic Canadian compromise between the aristocratic traditions of Mother Britain and the hyper-egalitarianism of our American neighbours. Ostensibly untainted by class or politics, it was intended to honour citizens from all walks of life who made significant contributions to the country simply because they “desire a better country”. But as Brian Fawcett explains in his review of a new book about the history of the OC, there is growing evidence that it has evolved into a smug, liberal, elitist club to which conservatives generally need not apply.

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  • If you live in Burnaby, B.C., or are planning a visit in the next few months, consider taking some time to visit “Camp Cloud”, the ramshackle village created to protest the Trans-Mountain pipeline. Best to go soon, before it mutates into something like the massive, filthy, dangerous protest favella that grew up around a North Dakota pipeline project in 2016. U.S. President Donald Trump ended the “Standing Rock Resistance” with bulldozers and the National Guard soon after he took office in 2017. There are many similarities between the Dakota Access and Trans-Mountain pipeline stories, except we don’t yet know the ending of the latter. George Koch previews what may be in store for Burnaby with a detailed account of the anarchy that descended on Morton County, North Dakota.

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