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warren-headshotby R. Michael Warren

From now until October all the federal parties will be telling us how they plan to help the shrinking middle class. Much of what they are proposing is simply competing forms of income redistribution. Most of it misses the underlying causes.

The Liberals promise to tax the rich in order to reduce taxes for the middle class. The NDP will help by hiking the minimum wage and not raising personal income tax rates. They'll raise corporate taxes instead. The Conservatives say income splitting and targeted tax credits are the best way to help the middle class.

These promises are merely playing at the edges of the income stagnation and job dislocation being experienced by some of Canada's middle class. Our political leaders don't talk much about the core causes because they're short on solutions.

For example,

TRC logo flag-featBy Jon Farmer
At its centre, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) report is a beautifully written and painful call to action. Its 94 recommendations offer tangible steps toward recognizing historical abuse and addressing ongoing injustices. The cost of this report was too high – thousands of children's lives and the suffering of countless families – but it offers solutions to the most important social and environmental challenges we face. If taken seriously, the TRC could help Canadians to right our relationships with one another and this land. That is a tall order: a shift in our collective culture.

muleskinner-regby David McLaren

Well the campaign has officially started. Jim Merriam has stopped praising mules and started talking up Tories.

In a recent article in the Owen Sound Sun Times he claimed the heartland of Ontario for his Party, including Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. The riding is apparently Larry Miller's (and therefore Mr Harper's) to control "as long as he wants it."

If, as Mr Merriam insists, Ontario's rural heartland gives Mr Harper an advantage, it may be the only one he has left. After all it is Mr Harper himself who:

  • left our economic eggs too long in one basket and now the whole economy stinks,
  • appointed foxes to guard the Senate only to find they had cooked the goose and were lapping up the gravy (EEE-eye-EEE-eye-Oh-oh),
  • preached to the PIGS about fiscal management and had our Security Council seat at the UN swiped by one of them – Portugal,
  • tried some serious horse trading with the Chinese on a Foreign Investment Protection deal and lost his shirt (and the horse).

Those are just some of the road apples Mr Harper's government has left behind. As they say in England, there's more shite than shovels on this farm.

TRCMulcair-featureby MaryAnn Wilhelm

I am a damaged package of goods, worse than a suitcase that has gone through a US airport - I was a child, my mother was a child. These residential school adults were only children then. Rather than learning, kindness, love and compassion; they were stripped of parents, stripped of identity, raped, abused - neglected. I will never be whole and perhaps many more are like me and have come to those terms of understanding. I've long since accepted that reality. The void will always be there, a reminder of the past, like a grave with cross without a name.
My fingers fumbled their way this morning; a little hungover from the aftermath of last night's ‪Trith and Reconciliation conversation- #‎TRC2015‬. My fingers danced across the keyboard, searching for the words that represent what I experienced last night. For countless others across this country, spirits fight for survival, seek to find meaning, to find pride. Last night should have been a proud moment for all Canadians and Aboriginals but it's been smeared by one act. This act is an indignity to the dead, indignity to the nations, an indignity to all our missing and murdered aboriginal women and a cyber slap to all those who are missing family members. Even if Conservatives don't support the inquiry, Valcourt was a guest and should've at least stood up, at the least - stood up. No - he choose to stay seated, defiant and as a representative of the Conservatives he tells the nations of the world a story told over and over again in the history books of Conservative rule. "We have an Indian problem."

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