What a news week it was! Putting aside the Brussels attack (and we do because we can all agree that ISIS is terrible and no one deserves to die on the whim of a madman or men), it was a busy week of big stories, big decisions and big losses here for Open Sources Guelph. Consequently for everyday Canadians, there’s talk about the federal budget and its impact on our roads, and bridges, and pocketbooks… Also in Ottawa, there were money matters for the Red Chamber and the hope that there might be some class coming back there in the future. We also goodbye (hopefully) to over a half-a-century of hostility with the last enemy of the Cold War, and we say goodbye to a giant of Toronto politics who changed the landscape forever.
This Thursday, March 24, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Black and White and Red All Over. The Federal government dropped the first budget under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday, and when he promised deficits on the campaign trail… But seriously, the roughly $30 billion per year deficit for the next three years has the lofty goal of being well-spent on infrastructure, veterans, the arts, and improving the lives of Canada’s First Nations people. It’s a bold gambit, but is it good policy? Good politics? And how will Trudeau and the Liberals respond to the idea that they ran roughshod over at election promise to cap their deficits at just $10 billion? We’ll get out the abacus and crunch the numbers.
2) Bad Senators. Better Senators? First the Trudeau government named seven new senators last week representing a group of tremendously talented individuals from the fields of journalism, law, and provincial politics among others. Then this week, we got the other news. Just as we were starting to feel good about the senate again, the special arbitrator came out with her final report and the final tally of what 14 scofflaw senators are supposed to pay back to the Canadian people, which was, admittedly, lower than originally advertised. Is that the end of the senate expense scandal? Does the due diligence of the Liberals gain the senate an iota of confidence again?
3) So Long, Rob. Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford lost his long battle with cancer Tuesday at the age of 46. He leaves behind a grieving family, legions of supporters, and most importantly, two young children who are now fatherless, but what about his legacy? The nature of Ford as a political animal, and whether or not he was a net positive or a gross negative to the City of Toronto in his 16 years of public service will be debated for decades. We’ll begin that debate by looking at all Rob Ford did, and what he could have done, as this chapter of Canadian politics called “Ford Nation” comes to a close.
4) Havana Barry. Breaking an 88-year streak of zero visits from an American President, Barack Obama headed to Cuba as part of the gradual thawing of diplomatic relations between the two former Cold War enemies. Of course, because this is Obama, and Cuba, it did not come without controversy with opponents attacking Obama for appeasing a dictator, and overlooking the Castro regime’s human rights record. In spite of that though, the majority of the American people believe it’s time to normalize relations, and the Cuban people were welcoming of the Obamas, so was this good politics, or good PR?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.