During 2015, Canada took a conscious, introspective turn toward a more progressive journey as voters elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Since then, we’ve been making inroads on a significant departure from the attitudes of the prior administration and staying mostly true to this. While there remains a lot of heavy lifting to do in correcting the anti-progress legacy of Stephen Harper, we’re on the road to recovery. There remains a certain faith in government, such that we’ve significantly boosted voter turnout. That in itself speaks volumes.
While these changes are in all respects welcome, and in most cases long past due, it’s the subtle stuff we don’t see going on behind the scenes day-to-day which contributes just as much if not more to the shaping of our character as a culture of many different cultures. The way our politicians behave toward one another, their interaction with the people, their willingness to champion progress and education, their attitudes toward strangers, and their compassion towards the ‘other’ — all of these are the measure of a politician whether that individual is within view of the press or not. One thing I found reassuring about this past election was the conscious rejection of divisive politics by the Canadian people. What we have right now is not perfect by any measure, but it’s a lot better than the alternative might have been.
Posted on2014 November 05|Comments Off on The Canadian Parliament Attack and its Aftermath
On October 22nd, gunshots rang out on Parliament Hill as a single gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, attacked a group of soldiers on ceremonial duty at the National War Memorial, causing the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The gunman then proceeded indoors at Centre Block, where at the time caucuses were still in session, and fired several more rounds before being engaged and killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
While the scene initially unfolded like the wild script of a Call of Duty game, with the added horror and panic among a multitude of onlookers, the difficult reality began to sink in as the events left a strong impression on our national psyche. Since that day, Canada as a nation and as a culture has been left to wrestle with the highly nuanced circumstances of these events and the incidents leading up to them.
Earlier this week, I came home from work late one night only to bear witness to one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve seen in a long time: a family of raccoons out on the town for a night of fun and mayhem.
At first I noticed a noise in one of the bushes outside my house, and when this prompted me to take a look, I quickly discovered a pair of adult raccoons wrestling one another in the midst of a large mud puddle in a nearby vacant lot. Having realized they were being watched, they quickly broke it up and went back to scavenging for food.
It wasn’t long before they were at it again, this time in a tree! A round of loud chittering and squealing broke the silence, this time going on for quite some time, so I grabbed my camera and flashlight and headed for the source of the noise. What followed are two of the most fascinating videos I’ve captured in ages.
I should also add that despite my first impressions, the raccoons’ actions seem to convey something more along the lines of horseplay, play-fighting, or at most, establishing the pecking order. These little guys don’t seem to be causing each other any harm, but damn can they crank up the volume!
This has been one of the many reasons I love Victoria: the wildlife is extremely abundant here, and if you look hard enough, there’s always something cool going on.
So here’s the TL;DR for anyone who’s not been following the issue: the Bedford case ended with a ruling by the Court that Canada’s current laws addressing 3 key aspects of prostitution are unconstitutional, and that they, in and of themselves, have the effect of creating grossly disproportionate safety risks and other problems for the prostitutes themselves. The SCC struck down the laws and gave Parliament 12 months to rewrite this legislation.