In 2014 all NATO countries agreed to a spending guideline of 2% of each member country’s GDP on defence. If you count a portion of the RCMP and Border Services Agency budget as defence spending Canada spends about 1.2% and is 23rd out of 28 NATO countries. The U.S. is pressuring other NATO members to live up to their 2% commitment and this is something in which I am in agreement with the Americans.
I wonder if merry old England has opened up Pandora ’s Box and will come to regret what is termed Brexit, the acronym for Britain exiting the European Union. The British prime minister triggered the EU exit mechanism last Wednesday that starts a 2-year period to negotiate the UK’s withdrawal. But, and there are a few “buts”, the departure looks like it won’t be easy and Britain can’t blame anyone but itself.
The race to be the leader of the federal Conservative party is rounding into the clubhouse turn with the leadership convention in Vancouver a month and a half away. 13 horses in the race, a dozen politicians and one outsider, Kevin O’Leary. Do you think Canada’s prime minister needs to be bi-lingual? The idea that our political leaders should be able to hold a conversation in both official languages is embedded in our minds.
I saw a poignant post on social media that resonated with me. It said, “Politeness has become so rare that people mistake it for flirtation”. Politeness and good manners have really taken a nosedive here in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century led by someone considered to be the most powerful person on the planet, the President of the United States.
The cat is out of the bag, and the bag is full of grass. It seems the liberal government is set to announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1st, 2018. Does that mean Diefenbaker Park in Saskatoon on Canada Day next year will be rife with pot fumes? We will see. This could prove to be one of the most dizzying social changes this country has ever seen, certainly in the modern era, and Justin Trudeau’s father will be rolling over in his grave because, if memory serves, Pierre Trudeau wanted to legalize marijuana in the early 1970’s but Canadian society wasn’t ready for it.