As many people know who pay attention to Canadian politics, Ontario became the first province to have an openly gay politician as premier for the last few years, and also the first openly gay first minister (leader of a province or country) in the British Commonwealth, and the first openly gay serving premier or governor in North America.
There have been gay leaders before, in both the US and Canada, but they weren't out during their term of office (Jim McGreevey of New Jersey came out in the speech where he resigned).
Well, there was always a bit of an asterisk next to that datapoint because Kathleen Wynne had assumed leadership of the Liberal Party of Ontario through their leadership convention last year. She hadn't been elected to the job during a provincial election.
Tonight, that changed.
RCMP has confirmed that the suspect in the murder of three RCMP officers and the attempted murder of two others in Moncton, New Brunswick was arrested with no shots fired approximately 45 minutes ago.
Recently there has been some confusion regarding how to tell the difference between a group of armed thugs threatening innocent people with firearms, and criminals who are not members of Open Carry Texas. In order to ease your mind should you happen to encounter a person on the street carrying a military-grade rifle and so you know whether to nod politely at someone exercising their Second Amendment rights and or run and hide from the crazed lunatic about to commit mass murder, I've assembled a helpful guide below the Orange Squiggly.
As everyone should be aware, recently the top leadership of the US military was taken somewhat to task for their, to be charitable, somewhat insufficient efforts in dealing with the problem of sexual assault and abuse. And, as has been documented in other stories, they promised to really, really, try and think about possibly doing better.
This isn't a problem confined to the American military (or even militaries in general), of course, but it might be instructive to take note of what American allies are doing regarding the situation within their organizations.
Let us take, for example, the Australian Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Chief of the Army. What kind of mealy-mouthed platitude does he express on the issue, as a result of a recent sex scandal involving male personnel accused of creating porn degrading to women?
Those of us living in the largest part of the continent, while finding endless amusement in what you quaintly call a democratic process to decide who your new leaders will be, do realize that at some point there will be a vote and about a quarter of eligible voters or less will decide what
assho well meaning and inspiring politician will become president of the United States. Or at least the blue states. Possibly the red states. Maybe the coast versus heartland? Whatever. Anyhoo, we see the strain this decision is causing given the quality of the current competition and, like the good neighbours we are, have come up with a solution.
Not so long ago, Canada Customs received a great deal of grief on websites such as this one, and quite warranted, for the actions regarding an American journalist who wanted to visit Vancouver and the reception they gave her.
Well, at least Canadians can now proudly say she wasn't punched in the faced, pepper-sprayed, handcuffed, kicked while she was down and then tossed out outside in winter without any coat. No, that sort of behaviour comes courtesy of the US Border Patrol.
As everyone by now should be aware, Canada has universal health care. How this happened is not as well known and can provide an example of how apparently piecemeal systems can end up providing universal coverage.
Recent reports that Rahm Emanuel passed wind following a spicy dinner has environmentalists and liberal Democrats in a flurry as it demonstrates the White House is not serious when it talks about climate change.
"How can Obama talk about reducing greenhouse gasses when his chief of staff is himself emitting them?" one Daily Kos contributor asked. Another opined this this was a clear signal to the energy industry that they will not have to deal with any restrictions on carbon emissions.
No really, we are friends. And as a friend, I have to say that you sort of hurt our feelings, those of us who are Canadians, when you start going on about the comparing your health care system to ours.
Oh, not about the misrepresentations about it, lordy no. You can go on about waiting lists that don't exist, and death panels that don't exist, and faceless government bureaucrats who inhabit the space between us and our doctors who also don't exist (the bureaucrats, not the doctors), and about all those Canadians running south for medical care, who mostly don't exist. We really don't mind that. See, in the 142 years of our existence, we've long accepted the fact that your country is full of morons who can't find their own nation on a map (although some can see Russia from their house), let alone actually know anything about someone else's nation.
You'd think that the McCain camp was running the Harper operation in the Canadian election which will take place on Tuesday. And why'd I say that? Follow me into the sordid tale of bribery, the fate of governments, a dying man, and one of the single most funniest example of self-inflicted foot-shootings in recent memory.
No, not the one you gutter-dwellers might be thinking of.
Far be it for me, a Canadian, to tell you nice ladies and gentlemen and Republicans south of the border on how to describe a political opponent, but I've been rather amazed that of all the descriptions of Palin and McCain that I've seen over the last week, one rather notable and yet accurate word has been remarkably underutilized, all the more remarkable for the impact of said word when utilized as it can be, and should be, especially on a politician.
The word is coward.
If you've watched any news for the last week or so, you've probably heard about the murder on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba, where one passenger stabbed, and then decapitated (according to witnesses, unconfirmed by authorities) another.
Tim McClean was 22 years old, and will be buried on Saturday.
Guess who wants to come to the funeral? Fred Phelps.
(more after the flip)