Secular Education

I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on election day, so I’ve spent the afternoon doing school work and listening to the Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board’s meeting with the candidates in Ottawa Centre (my riding). If I get a chance, I might take a listen to those for Dalton McGuinty and Frank de Jong, if only because McGuinty’s is supposed to be a hilarious, if frustrating, example of a total aversion to answering straightforward questions.

Now, I’ll be getting my teeth pulled on E-day, but it’s quite clear that getting a coherent answer on the question of religious education from either the Liberals or NDP takes much the same process. The Liberals have a logically untenable position, but the NDP isn’t much better. Will Murray, the NDP candidate and Human Rights lawyer, suggests that while the existence of a Catholic system to the exclusion of others is a violation of rights, just isn’t big enough a deal to talk about right now. The board presses, suggesting examples where multiple boards hurt the student experience and that the not being on the short list is a pretty hollow defence of injustice, and Mr. Murray waffles. In fairness, Trina Morrissette, the P.C. candidate, doesn’t have a very good answer about how the John Tory fund everyone plan would deal with private schools like Ashbury, and comes perilously close to suggesting that the Tory plan would do away with private education in general. Whoo!

This has been an election largely without any big or important issues to talk about, so it is nice during much of the rest of the meeting to hear about some interesting things from people whom by all respects are talented and bright. But the one issue that has captured the public imagination is education, and it is frustrating that the three parties that stand a chance of winning seats in this election have positions that can’t withstand even the most basic of questions.

This doesn’t help me cast my ballot. Maybe I’ll just wait until the 10th, and let the codeine do the voting.

Sometimes, to buy low and sell high, you need to sell low and buy high.

” If Canadians value their privacy, they must be willing to surrender personal information, submit to electronic body-scans at airports and prepare for other technological invasions to help security officials identify potential terrorist threats, United States Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday.

“I actually believe that many of the measures we take serve to enhance security and serve to enhance privacy,” said Mr. Chertoff, the keynote speaker at a conference of privacy commissioners and experts from around the world.”


Radio Topics for September 25th

As usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm from 7 to 9:30am. For those outside of Ottawa you can listen live on the web at the CKCU website.

At 8:10 we will be having our own Ontario Election round table discussion. Representatives from all four major parties Carleton campus clubs will be joining us live on-air to discuss the big issues in the campaign so far and what they see as the defining issues in this election.

More expensive to fix Landsdown than actually tear it down and replace it.

Vancouver looking into opening co-op brothel.

Arctic sea ice at lowest ever recorded levels.

Loony hits parity with US dollar!

Another lawsuit over light rail in Ottawa.

Radio Topics for September 18th

As usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm from 7 to 9:30am. For those outside of Ottawa you can listen live on the web at the CKCU website.

We will be having two interviews on the show. At 8:15 we will be speaking with Wallace Beaton, who is on the steering commitee for the Westboro Community Association. We will be discussing the results of the Westborough Community Association AGM. Then at 8:35 we will be talking with Don Stewart from the Federation of Citizen’s Association regarding their Property Tax Working Group Report.

By-election fun in Quebec!

The Danish cartoons row: Swedish style!

Police still need a warrant to access internet user data.

Conservatives are bringing the sponsorship program back.

The X-Prize version two: Put a robot on the moon for 20 million.

Nova Scotia to outlaw strikes by heath care workers in the province.

Ottawa City vehicles to have “Support our Troops” decals on them.

Michael Byers on Intent for a Nation

I had the chance to speak with Michael Byers, professor of International Politics at the University of British Columbia and author of Intent For A Nation to day about his new book. I plan on writing a proper review later, but should point out that the subtitle “A relentlessly optimistic manifesto for Canada’s role in the world” is very apt: at times, the book almost feels like it could be titled “Things Lloyd Axeworthy might be doing if he was Prime Minister and not President of the University of Winnepeg.” I’m cool with that, as even if I hold a much more cynical view of things, its nice to know that someone can make a passioned, hopeful case that we can do more than trade against perceived past glories as we fiddle about as a nation.
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First Part Not the Same as the Last.

From todays Citizen, on the issue of the Mayor sniping some of the City Manager’s roles:

Mr. O’Brien says he has full confidence in Mr. Kirkpatrick, “as an individual and as a professional. But if things were done in a way to meet all my expectations, I would not be making this request.”

Now, the first part of that sentence does not mean the same thing as the last part.

Moreover, the means that Ottawa is uniquely suited as a city where one level of government based here wants, at least officially, to remove politicians from appointments and contracts as much as possible, and another wants politicians more involved.