Monthly Archive: August 2023

Foreign affairs

There’s been a lot of foorfaraw lately about the 800,000 foreign students in Canada including: whether it’s all just a smokescreen for immigration, a trip through a diploma mill, or working underground for less than minimum wage. Among the numbers I’ve recently read was that foreign students comprise 17 percent of Canadian university enrolment and supply cajllions in annual revenue for those institutions. I’m going to address an even thornier and far-less-discussed issue: what are those foreign students actually learning in university classes? A few years back, I was regularly invited to speak for several years running to a university...

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Hugh Segal 1950-2023

Let me begin by telling my favourite Hugh Segal anecdote. In 1972, Hugh ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate in Ottawa Centre. Although the riding had been a Liberal stronghold for years, he managed to finish second, falling only 1,202 votes short. Another election was likely within two years, so while he continued campaigning, he was made a special assistant to Opposition Leader Robert Stanfield, and moved into the leader’s Parliamentary office next to me where I was press secretary. Among his early assignments, Hugh was asked to write the annual Christmas message for Stanfield, words that would be distributed...

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Positive steps

It’s been almost a month since Olivia Chow was elected mayor of Toronto and I have to admit I like the tone and tenor of her comments and comportment far more than I thought I would. I also have to admit I did not vote for her. My ballot was cast for Ana Bailão who came second with 37 percent to Chow’s 40 percent. With the vote counted I realized how important former mayor John Tory’s late-in-the-campaign endorsement of Bailão was. But let me add an aside. Once Tory resigned as mayor because of an affair with a staffer, he...

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