Thursday, October 4, 2012

Worth Reading – October 4, 2012

The Toronto Standard is one of my favourite sources of news for the GTA. They have a great culture and city section. The editorial voice is great, very dry and a good mix of humour and satire. That does not mean they hide from serious news. This week I read this interesting article stating that Canadian cities are among the least taxed in the world. In fact, Toronto is the fifth tax-friendliest city in the world by this research’s measure.

The big news earlier this week was MP Rob Anders (CPC –Calgary West, AB) alluding to the bizarre and insane notion that Mr. Mulcair(NDP – Outremont, QC) hastened Jack Layton’s death. This article provides a nice summary to this flare up of an “issue”. Anders is frequently the target of media and public scrutiny. Apparently his riding association has tried to dump him but the party establishment protected him. I heard on CBC that that will not be the case in the future, in light of these developments, I am sure.

This article does not fit within my usual topics on this blog, but I loved this article and decided to share it anyway. I love video games and find the discussion around them fascinating. Jeremy Parish from 1UP discusses the public’s perception of Japan and explains why some of these perceptions exist and persist. Parish rightly chastises the media for the portrayal, but also holds up a mirror to western culture that commonly dismisses Japanese culture as “weird”.

From the Globe and Mail, it looks like the Ontario Legislature is on its last legs again. It was assumed the Progressive Conservatives would work with the Liberals on the wage freeze legislation, but they have once again become hostile to the McGuinty government. The ONDP will not support a wage freeze so this legislation may die. Once again Premier McGuinty and the Liberals are without a governing partner.

Mayor Ford has rejected road tolls as a funding mechanism for transit. Road tolls have been implemented around the world and are considered a wise way to address traffic and support transit. When is the next Toronto election?

John Ivison wrote an interesting column this week suggesting that the Harper government is threatened by its backbench. A similar post appeared in The Hill Times. While on the surface this is true I am not sure I buy it. The piece claims that the backbenchers are feeling neglected and taken advantage of. Ivison suggests that we will see more disruption of the Prime Minister’s agenda from within his own caucus and leaks. I will believe it when I see it. The problem with brutal centralization is that it builds up pressure and anger against it. I hope the Conservative backbench is frustrated, and I hope they do something about it. 

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