Merrily off a cliff

October 1, 2020

It's pretty astounding to watch as the provincial government continues to do nothing.

In mere weeks hospitals will again be forced to shut down normal operations as COVID-19 patients continue to climb. And no one seems to care.

In mere weeks deaths will start climbing. Maybe that will alarm someone? Why they aren't alarmed now when we know it is inevitable is the question. 

Why is everyone just watching the bus head towards the cliff? Why aren't Queen's Park journalists shouting the obvious questions at Doug Ford and his hapless Chief Medical Officer of Health?

Why has this bizarre apathy overtaken us as cases climb, as cases among older people climb, as LTC outbreaks climb, as hospitalizations climb? It's the Spring all over again and everything is the same except for our collective alarm and action. 

There are people who seem resigned to the Fall being worse than the Spring. Why? Why do we suddenly not care that people with cancer won't get treatment? That we'll zoom past 10,000 deaths nationally? That if things get bad enough we won't be talking about Phase 2 but about a full lockdown again? 

What the fuck is wrong with everyone? 


It's time for resignations

September 28, 2020

The Ontario government refuses to act. This reckless apathy in the face of a 2nd wave - one that Doug Ford himself is now saying will be worse than last spring - amounts to criminal negligence, at least in a moral sense.

Following the announcement by Quebec that major regions will be forced to shutdown bars and restaurants and that prohibit private gatherings, the Premier's office in Ontario released a statement lamely saying that each province is different and that the government is followin...

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700 new cases today in Ontario - It's going well

September 28, 2020

For weeks some of us were ringing alarm bells. The rolling average of new cases grew from 80 to 120 to 150 to 200 to 250 to over 300. We asked why the province was sitting on its hands, doing nothing in the face of an emerging 2nd wave. We asked why bars and gyms were open. We asked why we didn't roll back to phase 2 so that we could avoid another full shutdown. We asked why the province's idiotic school policy did nothing to limit class sizes.

Well, today the province reports 700 new cases, t...

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The Pandemic, the Limits of Expertise, and Policy Failures Galore

September 25, 2020

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's most common response to questions about his governments action - or inaction - in response to the pandemic has been "we're listening to the experts." It's a deferral to expertise from a man who has a history of deriding 'elites', but there is at least some evidence that he's being honest who he's listening to in the context of COVID-19. 

The problem? Public health authorities have demonstrated that they're unable or unwilling to push for the measures necessary to co...

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The PM's televised address

September 23, 2020

The Prime Minister just gave an inherently political speech that added nothing to what we know or on top of today's Speech from the Throne. That was a campaign speech, not a nationally televised address by a prime minister.  Broadcasters now have a great precedent to tell him to get stuffed next time he demands airtime for an allegedly 'non-political' speech. That was pathetic. 

Meanwhile, the provinces continue to fail us miserably by not shutting down places like bars and gyms immediately. T...

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Canadians Can't Name SCC Judges: Is Ignorance Truly Bliss?

September 23, 2020

In light of the drama (some might say calamity) that is the partisan Supreme Court appointments process in the United States, a number of Canadian commentators have eagerly pointed out that Canadians can't even name our Supreme Court justices. This, they assert, reflects our non-politicized Court.

Without dismissing this entirely as the typical Canadian superiority in the face of the utter disaster that is contemporary American politics, I think an important distinction needs to be made betwee...

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About Me

I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. My research focuses on the intersection of governance, constitutional law, and public policy in Canada, including work on Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, constitutional change, and free expression. I am the author of Governing from the Bench: The Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role (UBC Press, 2013) and Constitutional Pariah: Reference re Senate Reform and the Future of Parliament (UBC Press, 2021), and the editor of Constitutional Amendment in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2016) and Policy Change, Courts, and the Canadian Constitution (University of Toronto Press, 2018).