Politics 27 results

Dog by Dog points a paw at AKC

New doc exposes dogs as cash crop The American Kennel Club, big agri-business and -- surprise! -- the Amish emerge as chief enemies of the humble and lovable canine in a new documentary aimed at changing how the consumer purchases a pet.   By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER – It’s enough to make you burn your VHS tape of Witness and boycott the Westminster Dog show, because according to a new documentary film, the Amish of Pennsylvania and the American Kennel Club resist efforts to curb puppy mills. “It’s about money. Dogs are a cash crop” says Christopher Grimes, the director behind Dog by Dog, a feature documentary airing on PBS later this year. “Papering dogs is a big part of the American Kennel Club’s budget… and for the Amish, they will do what is most profitable, and right now, they can get $3000 for one puppy. They have no other commodity that they are raising that can command the same price.” On the surface, there’s nothing inherently ...

Lest We Forget

First-hand history lessons Every Remembrance Day, reporters are asked to speak with those who witnessed history from the trenches, today, Rod Mickleburgh looks back at his personal archive and the stories that still haunt his Boomer-peacenik psyche By Rod Mickleburgh There’s nothing quite like the experience of talking to a veteran. They have so much to tell us of a time we peacenik baby-boomers simply can’t comprehend. Death and carnage and mayhem all around them, seeing buddies blown up or shot before their eyes, killing enemy soldiers themselves, and yet they carry on with the fight. Not quite the ordeal of finding a downtown parking spot. Over the years, I’ve interviewed veterans from the Boer War (no, I wasn’t there…), World War One (the worst of all wars), and the Second World War against fascism. Never have I failed to come away in awe at their courage in signing up, the hell they experienced, and their vivid recollections of a distant past. My own ...

A Haunted House of Commons

Halloween on The Hill After a gruelling campaign and a hard-fought battle, half the capital looks like an Edvard Munch painting or a Walking Dead extra, but everyone will look right at home on All Hallows Eve -- a night that gives everyone a chance to wear a mask and ask for handouts By Chris Lackner OTTAWA -- With many incumbents swept away in the Liberal tide, there are plenty of long-faced ghouls and goblins wandering Parliament Hill these days. On Halloween, they’ll be able to blend in. After an epic campaign full of tricks and treats, the kids in the red costumes went home with the biggest haul on election night – enough to gorge themselves for four years. But Halloween provides a well-deserved gift to Canadian politicos of all colours. After being stuck playing themselves for 11 weeks, they can wear any mask for one special night. The faint-of-heart can become the fearsome, the politically dead can rise again as the undead – and Canadian pollsters can finally show ...

Justin Trudeau: Is he just like us?

Talking 'bout my generation When he is sworn in as Canada's 23rd Prime Minister November 4, Justin Trudeau will assume the reins of power and speak for Generation X -- but how much of an X-er is he? We made a checklist. By Katherine Monk Canada’s Prime Minister-designate has already been called the voice of his generation, and at the age of 43, that places him in the middle of Generation X — which only seems fitting given he’s the child of a West Vancouver dynasty, another one of Douglas Coupland’s obsessions. But as an X-er, I wanted to make a checklist of the traits that define our oft-cited but little understood generation, to see if our new voice will be speaking for us, and the cluster of people and experience that make us who we are. Justin Trudeau: Is he just like us? He grew up when Pierre Trudeau was the Prime Minister. He looks good in a suit, but not like he was born in one. He’s into being a parent. He’s got a kid named Xavier. The older generation ...

Liberal Sweep!

If the election were an Oscar race... Ex-Press film critic Katherine Monk says Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would walk the red carpet to the podium thanks to campaign spots that banged the magic gong of belief   By Katherine Monk They can be as intoxicating as a deep whiff of gasoline — a head-rush that makes you step back with a dizzy feeling, and a brief sense of awe. Political ads are high-octane experiences that fire your brain cells with all the engineering of a German automobile, as well as all the crafty deception. The very best ads are a high form of propaganda that can be called art (as long as you’re willing to defend Leni Riefenstahl and Triumph of the Will as a great piece of cinematic persuasion), and as the Canadian election campaign draws to a close and the pundits have had their say, it's finally time time to look at the past 80 days through a slightly different lens: That of the film critic. Sure, I may not have the insights of Chantal Hébert ...

Guide to the 2015 Canadian election

The Ex-Press takes its democratic duties seriously, and is happy to bring you this definitive Guide to the 2015 Canadian election. As a responsible media outlet, we feel obliged to offer readers our considered opinion as to the party and leaders best suited to govern our country. Such choices are always difficult. However, we have been inspired by the Globe and Mail of Toronto, which has endorsed the Conservative Party but not its leader, Stephen Harper. “His party deserves to be re-elected. But after Oct. 19, he should quickly resign,” the Globe wrote. Up until now, members of the Ex-Press editorial board did not realize such distinctions were possible. Now that we know, we are pleased to offer you our choice for Oct. 19. Ex-Press believes that the best choice for Canadians is an NDP government, however, with a different leader: José Bautista. Both deserve consideration but surely Bautista’s beard is less flawed than that of the present NDP incumbent, Thomas ...

We’re Doomed! A Star Wars Guide to Canada’s Election

The force of apathy awakens, but if you see it as Darth Harper versus Justin Trudeauwalker, things almost look dramatic From the Sith Lord Mike Duffy's allegiance with Darth Harper to rebel insurgents sporting plaid shirts and carrying a cup of Timmy's in their holsters, the election has turned into a stellar war of ideologies featuring a leader who lives behind a mask By Chris Lackner Now, in a galaxy far, far too close. There. Got your attention? My Star Wars ploy worked? Now stay focused, Canada. When it comes to our election, I know most of you are either bored, indifferent, disgusted – or blissfully unaware it even started. Much like the Death Star, I’m going to blow your mind in one shot. With only months to go before the franchise reboot, we can all agree the space opera is waaaaay more interesting than politics. But what if our election was a Star Wars movie?! (Given the cookie-cutter dialogue of recent debates, it already feels like the election was written ...

Feeling Blue in a Red State

Blow a kiss? Fire a gun? Bonding with your neighbor can be a blast, but not always in the best way writes one veteran scribe who went for a walk and stared down the barrel of an ugly reality in her own backyard By Carla McClain A beautiful part of the world this is - rural southern Arizona only a couple dozen miles from the border with Mexico. Big sky, big mountains embracing a valley of rolling grasslands and evergreen oak trees. A land of quiet, peace and tranquility. Usually. Walking home from an evening trek with my dogs, high on the solitude of nature only, our reverie was shattered by gunshots - one, two, three, four - a terrifying sound that triggers fight-or-flight in the primitive brainstem, much like the rattle of our venomous snakes when you get too close. I whirled around, to see the distant figure of a man up on a hill, his arm raised, his weapon aimed….at us. Having no time to flee and no way to fight, I screamed, a demented howl of sheer terror. The dogs, as ...

Escape the Labour Day pains with a movie

The trials and tribulations of organized labour powered more than one Hollywood epic before the idolatry of corporatism took hold in the wake of Wall Street, but even in the age of a Donald Trump presidential bid and Wal-Mart wages, the union cause still looks heroic though a high-end lens By Rod Mickleburgh My mother hated Labour Day. For her, a high school English teacher, it was not only a day to pay tribute to workers and unions, but a signal that the lazy, hazy days of summer were over, and it was time to go back to work. Every year, the prospect of facing classroom after classroom of demanding new students caused a thick knot of apprehension in her stomach. And my mother was an excellent teacher. Long after she retired, she continued to feel those same old familiar twinges of Labour Day dread.   Last year. B.C. teachers were on the picket line. Classrooms sat empty. This year, one hopes some of them reflect back on the original purpose of Labour Day, a ...

It’s never too late to remember the fallen

REMEMBRANCE DAY SPECIAL Seventy years ago, fighting men and women returned home from the battlefields and POW camps in the Pacific to a less-than-warm welcome, a sad testament to the forgotten sacrifices of veterans that continues to this day   By Rod Mickleburgh Amid all the wonderful crazy sports stuff going on, there was a very sombre anniversary. Seventy years ago this past weekend, the last, bloody gasp of World War Two came to end, with the surrender of Japan, after years of unimaginable killing. Canada was involved in the war at the very outset, when this country dispatched about 2,000 raw recruits in a hopeless move to buttress British forces in Hong Kong shortly before Pearl Harbour. A month later, the Japanese invaded. After a relatively-brief, murderous skirmish that lasted perhaps a week, Hong Kong fell to the Japanese. More than 550 Canadians were killed in the fighting or died later as starved, over-worked prisoners of war, their bodies reduced to little ...