It has been too long! The last time I posted a newsletter was just before the Canadian general election. I told you that I had voted for the New Democratic Party (“NDP”).
Well, the election has come and gone. The make-up of the House of Commons hasn’t really changed. The Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau have a minority government with about 160 seats, ten short of a majority.
Will Erin O’Toole survive? I think that Jason Kenney of Alberta was seen as he leader-in-waiting. Now he is badly damaged goods. His pandemic management has probably scarred his reputation permanently. This is good for O’Toole. Is there anyone else?
I find it very difficult to take Maxime Bernier seriously. I probably should but he has a weird following and a strange history. Nicholas Pereira who ran for the PPC in New Brunswick claims expertise as a testicle breather. And I remember the Julie Couillard relationship. The linked picture prompted George W. Bush to comment to Bernier: “Well well well, haven’t you been keeping good company”. Early signs of the sense of humour so enjoyed by Michele Obama?
Trudeau is an empty vessel? If this minority government survives beyond eighteen months, the Liberals will replace him. Chrystia Freeland or Melanie Joly anyone? Also, many in the party dream of a Mark Carney leadership bid. He is a committed Liberal.
Jagmeet Singh is a thoroughly decent human being but he is not Jack Layton or Tom Mulcair. Will we even have a Green Party?
Québec’s municipal elections take place this November. Not enough people vote in these contests but should. These elected officials have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives. Cars or people, garbage collection, sanitary sewers, safe drinking water, community planning, public transit, and hundreds of mundane issues get managed at town and city halls.
And then, there will be a Québec election. If it were held today, Barney Rubble (aka François Legault) would win in a landslide. He knows he is popular and it is leading to arrogance. The press is slowly exposing this arrogance and things could get very interesting over the next twelve months.
Also, Legault lost a lot of brownie points for taking sides in the federal election. Ottawa’s Liberal government has money Legault wants and it will have opportunities to make him sweat. Nobody wants to go back to the dark Duplessis years. Dominique Anglade, the opposition leader, effectively skewered Legault by comparing him to a parish priest telling people how to vote during the Duplessis era.
I don’t want to discuss politics for a while. I want to get back to writing about the things that interest me most. So this is my segue newsletter. It has been too long!
I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]
Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]
We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie and Norry Wilson. So, we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]
Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]
Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land. Or a vertical build-out that […]
Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice, the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]