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2003 - Articles by Margret Kopala


Let’s hope for some civilized and reasoned debate in 2004

"Newspaper columnists enjoy many privileges, not least among them the opportunity to pontificate about or indulge pet causes and ideas. And if they want to make corrections, add information, send cheers, jeers, or simply reflect they get to do that too. Here are mine for the year that was"... (more)

December 27, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

A fitting site to honour the struggle for human rights in Canada

"At the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, just where the Canadian Shield gives way to the Prairies, you will also find The Forks National Historic Site. Here, centuries ago, in what is now the city of Winnipeg, tribal chieftains pow-wowed and achieved an enduring peace. Later, a few blocks away, Nellie McClung conducted her Mock Parliament and across the river, in St. Boniface, Louis Riel was born and buried. Down the street is where General Strike demonstrators marched in 1919. Adjacent to The Forks, on 17 acres of prime, downtown real estate, the latest contribution of the Jewish people to Canada is being built: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, scheduled to open in 2007"... (more)

December 20, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Forest depletion is at core of softwood disputes

December 13, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Another golden opportunity for Canada’s oil and gas industry

"In a development destined to make Canada an energy superpower, the United States has indicated interest in Alberta’s vast Athabasca tar sands oil deposits, whose estimated capacity can supply North America’s oil needs for generations."...(more)

December 6, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Meet a western NDPer who could teach Paul Martin a thing or two

"This week’s headlines suggested Paul Martin would chop HRDC, but anyone who’s read Janice MacKinnon’s Minding the Public Purse could have seen this coming. In a comprehensive yet up-close-and-personal look at the deficit-cutting era of the 1990s, she argues that Paul Martin’s 1995 budget had already determined Canada’s future. In fact, as a former Saskatchewan finance minister, MacKinnon knows so much about the era of deficit-cutting and its implications for Canada, it’s a wonder no one — Liberal or new Conservative — has drafted this erstwhile New Democrat for a key position in their future governments"...(more)

November 29, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

The time is right for Canada's leaders to unite on Senate reform

"It was a weekend dense with political activity -- the Liberal leadership convention, the Grey Cup Summit between Paul Martin and the premiers, plus the annual Alberta PC policy conference. That another key political event should escape notice is therefore understandable. But there it was, tucked away in the fine print, lurking, daring to be discovered: Paul Martin agreeing to consider Senate reform"...(more)

November 22, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

'The little airline that could' shows Air Canada the way

"The announcement earlier this week that Air Canada would receive a $650-million injection from business magnate Victor Li brought its nemesis and Canada's biggest airline success story, WestJet, to new prominence on the nation's business pages"...(more)

November 15, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Paul Martin needs to find some new ideas for placating the West

"Pierre Trudeau famously declared that someone else would have to save the West. Paul Martin clearly aspires to the job so, early in September, the Canada West Foundation helpfully offered some suggestions: less party discipline, fairer distribution of Commons seats, annual first ministers’ conferences, more provincial say in federal decisions and programs, more westerners in the federal bureaucracy, monitoring of the regional benefits of federal spending, provincial input into appointment of senators, etc."...(more)

November 8, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Canada’s ‘jewel in the crown’ gets some well-deserved praise

"Recalling the smells of the Pacific Ocean, the tulips in February and high tea at the Empress Hotel, anyone who has ever lived in Victoria, B.C., won’t be surprised to learn that among its 2003 Readers’ Choice Awards, the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler magazine rates it the top city in the Americas, and Vancouver Island as the top island destination in North America"...(more)

November 1, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

David Orchard’s love of Canada is something we can all believe in

"Following two bids for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives and a week of wall-to-wall media coverage in which he railed against the Canadian Alliance/Progressive Conservative unity deal, David Orchard is no better known than he was in 1985 when he founded Citizens Concerned About Free Trade. Scorned as a “tourist” in the PC party, the fourth-generation Saskatchewan farmer’s best-selling book, The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance of American Expansionism, reveals instead a man who may be Canada’s last radical tory."... (more)

October 25, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

The long road to unity was paved by many loyal conservatives

"Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative leaders Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay have achieved a significant event in Canadian politics. By providing the basis for uniting their parties, they have secured their place in history. Neither would deny, however, that from the time of the Tories’ spectacular defeat in 1993, others laid the groundwork for unity and kept it nourished in order that they, this week, could reap the harvest."... (more)

October 18, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Cowboys and Indians can be a deadly game in today’s Canada

“Most people… especially the males, can probably remember that the first arguments they had as a kid were who is going to be the Cowboy and who is going to be the Indian. Then they set about killing each other and arguing over who was killed and who wasn’t …”
- Cowboys and Indians, CBC TV drama, Oct. 5 .... (more)

October 11, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Never mind a united right if it can’t decide how to pick a leader

"As a political party governs itself, so will it govern the nation. The Tory/Alliance unity talks are important not only because they will create one national party from two based in the regions, but also because they have the opportunity to create new standards of self-governance. Invoking the emissary process is itself an auspicious beginning."... (more)

October 4, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

A Canadian institution fends off Machiavellians with wheat envy

"The future of the Canadian Wheat Board, now under attack from without and within, appears uncertain. Since 1989, when the Free Trade Agreement was implemented, this prairie icon and national institution has successfully deflected nine challenges from United States’ farming interests. In the 10th, most recent challenge, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed duties of up to 14 per cent annually on Canadian spring and durum wheat. The U.S. International Trade Commission, now investigating whether the alleged subsidies and dumping practices injure U.S. farmers, will decide in October whether the duties should be permanent."... (more)

September 27, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

At last, the Canadian Alliance seems to have its act together

"It has been a good week for the Canadian Alliance. Proposing its resolution on same-sex marriage, it demonstrated a clear understanding of the ambivalence Canadians and their elected representatives feel about this important issue. By forcing a vote in the Commons, it exposed divisions in the ruling Liberal party and a flailing Paul Martin. For the first time in a long time, the party appeared resolute, capable and connected -- a party ready to govern."... (more)

September 20, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Canada's 'most dangerous man' is back -- and he's worried

"Western Canadian alienation has a voice, a face and a name and, after a brief hiatus, it has resumed its 19-year career as Vancouver's most popular radio talk show host. Rafe Mair, the acerbic, knowledgeable bane of federal and British Columbia politicians, was felled by the forces of political correctness when, earlier this year, CKNW fired him for upsetting his female producer. Among other things, he had suggested she was "acting like a little girl with her knickers in a knot.""... (more)

September 13, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

How Alberta might argue against gay marriage

"Three provinces have applied for intervener status when the Supreme Court considers the federal government's draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage next April. Only Alberta so far opposes the bill, though its arguments remain undisclosed. Of all the provinces, why Alberta? And on what grounds might it make its case?"... (more)

September 6, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Add the summer of 2003 to Canada's forest fire mythology

"Between SARS, mad cow, West Nile and the Great Ontario Power Outage, not to mention the heat wave that wilted most of Europe this summer, it is tempting to view the British Columbia forest fires as part of some apocalyptic nightmare in which the man-made forces of globalization and global warming conspired to wreak their worst. Tempting, yes, but valid? Take the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire that consumed 248 Kelowna homes and which, despite a summer wrought with disaster, riveted a nation. Headlines about the inferno that threatened to engulf a small city, reduced grown men to tears and mobilized tens of thousands of residents are receding, but a place in the annals of Canadian forest fire mythology, rather than apocalyptic nightmares, is the more likely outcome for this tragic event."... (more)

August 30, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Canadian tradition of marksmanship should not be allowed to die

"Some of Canada's finest civilian marksmen will be competing for the Governor General's Medal at Connaught Ranges today, but Her Excellency won't be there to do the honours. Neither will the minister of National Defence, whose department, along with the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA), co-sponsors this annual event. This reveals a government out of touch with the traditions and history that inform responsible gun use in Canada or, worse, one simply pandering to political correctness. Certainly it betrays a lack of understanding of how firearms use in Canada is grounded in an institutional framework consistent with peace, order and good government and the best civil society traditions."... (more)

August 23, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

The East should realize that the West isn't what it used to be

"Paul Martin recently mused about establishing a roving PMO in the West. However he or any other political leader chooses to address western Canadian issues, they should first read The West by Manitoba historian Gerald Friesen. It will disabuse them of outdated ideas and crystallize some important challenges the West and Canadian federalism now face."... (more)

August 16, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Ukrainians prove that a century-old immigration policy was right

"The second Sunday of August is Ukrainian Day in Alberta. Like many stories about the opening of the Canadian West, the Ukrainian immigrant story is a compelling tale of perseverance and citizenship acquired by sweat-equity. It begins with John A. Macdonald. In 1878, Macdonald's National Policy proposed a new railway and external tariffs to protect industry. But it wasn't until 1897, with the appointment of Clifford Sifton as minister of the Interior, that its third objective, opening western Canada, became a reality."... (more)

August 9, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

New western force gathers steam in its rush to 'fix' Canada

"Alberta senator-elect Ted Morton announced this week he will seek the tory nomination for a seat in the provincial legislature. This is significant because the University of Calgary professor could, ostensibly, fill one of Alberta's senate seats when it becomes available. That he would choose provincial politics instead is another sign that some westerners are losing hope of increasing their influence in Ottawa."... (more)

August 2, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

From dust bowls to mad cows, Prairie farmers endure it all

"A staple of Canlit studies, Sinclair Ross's novel As For Me and My House tells the depression era story of a childless couple's search for meaning and significance in a time and a place which permitted neither. Written in diary form by the character Mrs. Bentley and set in Horizon, Sask., it's a haunting, gritty story of resignation, reconciliation and ultimate triumph over the stultifying effects of small town life."...(more)

July 26, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

What this country needs is a political leader like Diefenbaker

"When conservatives aren't fighting with each other, they are good at delivering truly national government. Their first leader, Sir John A. Macdonald, is a Canadian legend, but it was John Diefenbaker who in 1958 famously put western conservative populism on the national map. Winning 208 of 265 seats, he led the Progressive Conservatives to the biggest victory by a single party in Canada to that time. With little support in the regions, the Liberal party has since struggled to regain its status as a truly national party. But if recent reports are accurate, that may no longer be true."...(more)

July 19, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Ralph Klein is set to leave his own national legacy

"There was a time when federal conservatives would swoon at the idea of attracting Alberta Premier Ralph Klein to be their leader. When he declined, few were surprised. After all, why give up leadership of Canada's most prosperous province to take on the problems of a divided federal right? What no one anticipated was that the former journalist, ex-Calgary mayor and resident expert on western alienation would find himself in a leadership role in federal-provincial relations -- a role which, in today's Canada, is arguably the biggest political role of all."...(more)

July 12, 2003

Ottawa Citizen

Much at stake with Alberta's initiative on Senate reform:
A Senate under provincial control could change the face of Canada

"OTTAWA - Western premiers are preparing for their conference next week at which Senate reform will be high on the agenda -- and not a minute too soon. The actions of the current Liberal government have exacerbated tensions in the regions while the Quebec government of Jean Charest is seeking greater co-operation between various levels of government by promoting the creation of a Council of the Federation made up of representatives of the provinces"... (more)

June 7, 2003

Edmonton Journal











Let's make Canada shipshape for the 21st Century