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Putting Women on the Glass Cliff

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:18

In British Columbia, the premier is a woman. In Alberta, the premier is a woman. Both women inherited successful political dynasties. Both are likely to lead their parties to defeat.

Call it the "Kim Campbell Phenomenon." Successful political parties that make women leaders have an unfortunate tendency to lose.

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Sympathy for the Boomer

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 09:12

I was born in the middle of generation X. The job market I entered was dismal, so I got nowhere, went back to school, piled up debt, and returned to a slightly less dismal job market. Then I turned 30. And the whole time I envied baby boomers, with their Beaver Cleaver childhoods, their memories of Woodstock and disco, their golden job markets, their yuppiedom, their stocks, real estate, and Club Med vacations. It all came to them on an engraved silver tray.

And now? Of course. For my generation, and the rest of us in third class, the age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be pushed up, but only after the boomers retire and start living off our taxes.

Oh, the generational unfairness of it all.

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A Compromise On Old Age Security

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 10:19

The government insists disaster will befall the nation if Old Age Security costs aren't curtailed. The opposition says that's nonsense and vows to fight any change. Most Canadians have lined up with one side or the other. The trenches are dug. The ammunition stockpiled. We wait for the battle to commence.

Which seems awfully un-Canadian.

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What's So Special About 65?

Friday, 03 February 2012 21:13

Conspicuously missing in the uproar about Old Age Security is the most basic question: Why do we have a publicly funded retirement pension? Let's answer that. Then we can talk about when the age of eligibility should be.

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Courageous, Admirable, and Misleading

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 20:45

What Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week was courageous and admirable. It was also misleading.

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According to the United Nations, the world's population will top seven billion on Oct. 31. By 2050, there will likely be more than nine billion people on Earth.

So how do you feel about that? For many, these statistics are frightening as hell. Soaring population will surely lead to famine, resource depletion, poverty, disease, war, and environmental calamity. But for others - probably fewer in number - they are nothing to worry about. More people means more minds, more innovation, more technology, more wealth, and a better world.

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Our Idea Of "Too Old" Must Change

Wednesday, 30 June 2010 11:34

John de Chastelain, the acclaimed general and diplomat, said something enormously important last week when he responded to rumours that he would be the next governor general. It's not on, said de Chastelain, who will be 73 in July. He's too old. "It would be appropriate to have someone younger and perhaps with better qualifications than mine," de Chastelain told the Globe and Mail.

Discount that bit about qualifications. The accomplishments expected of a governor general have been declining for a generation and de Chastelain's résumé towers over that of any recent occupant of Rideau Hall. But he is indeed almost 73. And he is far from alone in thinking that makes him too old.

Which is a problem for all of us. A big problem.

Why Environmentalists Should Love Babies

Saturday, 08 May 2010 11:30

Environmentalists should be worried about Canada's fertility rate. It's too low. We need to make more babies. It's the green thing to do.

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Grey Storm Clouds Ahead

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 21:07

When political parties convene to discuss policy, they generally invite speakers who can be counted on to deliver pleasant platitudes and uncontroversial twaddle. There were some of those speakers at the Liberals' deep-think in Montreal this past weekend. But there were also serious people telling the audience what it urgently needed to hear, no matter how uncomfortable it was to listen.

And it was plenty uncomfortable.

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Why Immigration Won't Save Us

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 11:29

Why worry about how many babies Canadians have? If the country needs more people, we can loosen the tap on immigration. Problem solved.

Anyone who has ever suggested people should be concerned about Canada's fertility rate -- which is far below what is needed to maintain the existing population -- has heard this response. There are almost seven billion people on the planet. Why do we need to make more?

I wish it were that simple. But it's not.

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