Rick Salutin

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Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright and critic. He is a strong advocate of left wing causes and writes a regular column in the Globe and Mail.
Columnists

Kathleen Wynne sells one public asset to create another

Photo: Premier of Ontario Photography/flickr

"What does Kathleen Wynne think you do with a majority?" moped a friend. "What does she have a majority for? Harper knows what to do with one. He even knew what to do with a minority."

When she ran, Wynne seemed committed to new tolls or taxes -- to expand public transit. Then she backtracked, and decided to sell off parts of Hydro One instead. Why would it matter if you sell one public asset to create another? You're just robbing Peter to pay Paul. To understand why, stroll with me down to the newly "revitalized" Union Station on Front Street.

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Columnists

During elections, it's all about the leader

Photo: Don Voaklander/flickr

I wish I could muster more fury over Stephen Harper's attempts to neuter the TV debates leading to next fall's election. His designated irritant, Kory Teneycke, says they'll refuse to appear on traditional "consortium" broadcasts run by the big networks. Instead they'll spread themselves on minor outlets like City. Hence, they say wittily, there'll be more exposure. Maybe they should book one on Tiny Talent Time on channel 11 in Hamilton.

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What the NDP victory means for progress and politics in Alberta

Photo: Don Voaklander/flickr

So what should we make of the NDP victory in Alberta? What does it mark politically and does it proclaim anything new about social democracy or democratic socialism? And what would Abe Rotstein -- U of T economics prof emeritus who died last week at 86 -- make of it?

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Charlie Hebdo, free speech and the problem with writer celebrity

Photo: Alan Weir/flickr

The Prominent Writers Unit of PEN, the international authors group, has been scuffling over whether to honour Charlie Hebdo at their annual elegant fest in New York. The issue is: should Charlie's alleged anti-Muslimism bar them from a "courage" award despite the lethal attack on them, which everyone deplores? Canadian Michael Ondaatje is among those who withdrew as hosts.

I think the problem here is that very prominence, the cult of writers as celebs, turned to expectantly about areas other than their work.

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Columnists

The Mediterranean refugee crisis is a human-made disaster

Funeral procession for boat refugees, April 23, 2015 - Brussels. Photo: Amnesty

Would whoever makes these decisions please stop treating refugees who drown in the Mediterranean as if they're another earthquake or tsunami? This isn't a natural disaster, it's a hands-on human one. Anyway, even natural disasters like global warming aren't merely natural now.

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Toronto Maple Leafs and the joy of hockey

Photo: Randy McDonald/flickr

Brendan Shanahan gets us! He really does. I've been sitting in first row greens for 40 years watching Leafs teams fail. But this year we began talking about switching to Raptors tickets. Brendan Shanahan had given no sign he understood that mood shift since taking over the team. He's been terse and general. Then at Monday's press conference, he did it.

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Mike Duffy strikes back

Photo: Raj Taneja/flickr

This must be Mike Duffy's finest hour. He finally is what he always falsely claimed to be: a little guy standing up to the gasbags of power. His career was spent providing cover for the powerful while pretending to bravely challenge their hypocrisy. Now he's genuinely doing it.

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The Daily Show's new host brings the devastating satire of an outsider

Image: Post Memes/flickr

Spare some pity for Trevor Noah. He got thrown into the deep end at The Daily Show where he'll replace Jon Stewart -- as we just learned. Won't be easy. How to summarize Stewart's achievement? I'd say: he popularized Chomsky.

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Art brings insight into war that's missing in politics

Photo of Bassem Youssef by Hossam el-Hamalawy/flickr

Like this article? Chip in to keep stories likes these coming.

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Luis Hernandez Navarro on the indignation of Mexico's crisis

Photo: Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México/flickr

Luis Hernandez Navarro was in Toronto this week to speak about the crisis in Mexico after the deaths and kidnappings of student teachers last fall. He's an eminent journalist and opinion editor at La Jornada, Mexico's second largest daily. It's well to the left of leftish papers elsewhere like the Star or Guardian.

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