Ralph Surette

Ralph SuretteSyndicate content

Ralph Surette is a veteran freelance journalist living in Yarmouth County.
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In a time of media meltdown, the Chronicle Herald is the last of news as we know it

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We in the media, who report and comment on the world, are not so good at reporting and commenting on ourselves. But here goes.

The media world, the newspaper business in particular, are in something resembling a full-bore meltdown.

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Rough ride ahead for assisted suicide legislation

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Here's some serious business that's in a muddle.

The Supreme Court decreed last February that assisted suicide can be allowed under the Charter of Rights and gave the government a year to pass a law conforming to this ruling. The Harper government dragged its feet and the election intervened. The Supreme Court, doing the issue no favours, has given the new government a measly four extra months.

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The best hope for reforming the worst Senate

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Have we given up on Senate reform? The debate seems to have drifted down into a muddle about how to fill 22 vacant seats.

This is not good enough. Let us remind ourselves of what the real scandal is. It's the fact that the damn thing costs nearly $100 million a year to run -- or nearly $1 million per senator -- something largely lost amid the expenses scandals of this or that senator.

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Climate change charges on unabated

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For all the nations of the world to agree to anything is remarkable enough. To have them take fright and agree to pull in their belts on climate change is as unusual as having them pull together to create the United Nations and other world institutions at the end of the Second World War.

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Teachers' contract talks raise questions of education reform

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I must admit, it did look a little bit surreal -- that teachers and the bulk of civil servants would quietly accept a long-term contract with hardly any increases in pay, even if it was duly negotiated by their unions.

The teachers have thrown the whole thing into a cocked hat by massively turning down the agreement. Civil servants are due to vote in January on theirs.

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Nova Scotia sparks hope for a better energy policy

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Having watched the electricity spectacle in Nova Scotia since the early 1970s, my expectations have taken a hit over time. Whereas I once naively believed that, surely, reason would prevail, recently I've been inclined to consider it progress if a government -- any government -- can serve its four years without leaving behind yet another white elephant or equivalent bung-up.

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Right to the centre: Canadian politics after Harper

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Let us join the hallelujahs arising from the capitals of the Western world and beyond, celebrating the disappearance of a nasty troublemaker from the global stage -- a Canadian, embarrassingly -- and thank our lucky stars that our flawed democracy still works, and that we could get rid of a budding despot.

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Harperism is finally facing the end, and just in time

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It's election day and, at last, hope that what has to happen if this country is to recapture its integrity is actually about to happen: that Stephen Harper and his scurrilous despotism are about to get the heave.

If so, it will be just in time. The world is suddenly paying attention, and what it sees is not pretty -- one of the rocks of democracy and human rights in the world coming unstuck.

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Harper trumpets Canada's international role even as our reputation declines

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There was a cute moment in last Monday's leaders' debate on foreign affairs. Stephen Harper, with the worst environmental policy in the developed world, was arguing that he actually had the best -- the most "responsible," "balanced," "transparent" and so on.

"He's always doing that!" an exasperated Justin Trudeau blurted out, but he couldn't nail him down.

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Are you sure you can vote under Harper's Unfair Elections Act?

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Are you sure you can vote? Are you sure that on election day you won't be told that your ID, including your voter identification card from Elections Canada plus testimonials from sound citizens as to who you are that used to suffice, isn't enough under the Harper government's Fair Elections Act? It is the centrepiece of the Harper government's assault on democratic process and arguably its most devious piece of work.

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