Colin Alexander

Colin Alexander was publisher of the Yellowknife News of the North and the advisor on education for the Ontario Royal Commission on the Northern Environment. He lives in Ottawa and has family living in Nunavut.

Most Recent Articles by Colin Alexander:

Canada’s horrendous justice system needs an outside inquiry to recommend reform

Mar 7, 2019 — Colin Alexander

Canada’s horrendous justice system needs an outside inquiry to recommend reformAccountability is a buzzword of our time—except for Canada’s lawyers and judges. But things can change. Making it happen requires concerted pressure on politicians at all levels. Only they have the power to impose the collective will of citizens against collective resistance in the justice system.

Judges in the Supreme Court of Canada said this about good-faith dealing, in Bhasin v. Hrynew: “Commercial parties reasonably expect a basic level of honesty and good faith in contractual dealings. … A basic level of honest conduct is necessary to the proper functioning of commerce.” But lawyers’ and judges’ own operations echo too often the famous saying by Lord Acton that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even senior judges protect rogue colleagues when they can—as in any other trade union.

Canada’s SNC Lavalin corruption scandal—Should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau go to jail?

Feb 18, 2019 — Colin Alexander

Canada’s SNC Lavalin corruption scandal—Should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau go to jail?Canada’s SNC Lavalin bribery scandal strikes at the heart of the legitimacy of capitalism operating presumptively under the rule of law.  It also strikes at the foundations of credible accountability—read honesty and lawful conduct—in the office of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

It’s been common knowledge for years that SNC Lavalin engaged in corrupt practices, both at home and abroad. The immediate focus is the company’s payment of $48 million in bribes to secure contracts in Libya. It’s not just Canada that has laws against paying bribes to foreigners. The World Bank barred SNC Lavalin from its contracts for ten years because of the company’s corruption in Bangladesh. There was also bribery at home. They paid $2.3 million to Michel Fournier, former head of the Federal Bridge Corporation, in relation to a $127 million contract to upgrade the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal. Recently, he pleaded guilty. Chief financial officer Pierre Duhaime also pleaded guilty to breach of trust in the bribery case arising from construction of Montreal’s $1.3 billion McGill University hospital project. The company paid illegal contributions almost entirely to the Liberals in the last general election. The list goes on.

The Shocking Conditions in Canada’s ‘Third World’

Dec 6, 2018 — Colin Alexander

The Shocking Conditions in Canada’s 'Third World’
Until its destruction by fire last July, this packing case was home for five Inuit in Iqaluit, capital of Canada’s Nunavut territory. (Photo—Courtney Edgar)

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s father was PM, it was said in western Canada that he yearned to be the supreme head of an undeveloped country—like his friends Fidel Castro of Cuba and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. So he set about achieving that objective at home.

There are never exact comparisons, but Argentina comes close. With resources roughly equivalent to Canada’s, in 1945 that country ranked among the world’s richest. The slide gathered momentum under Juan Peron. Similarly, in 1995 The Wall Street Journal nominated Canada as an honorary member of the Third World on account of the national debt, then almost unmanageable thanks to Trudeau Senior’s profligacy. Since then, there’s been a respite, until now.

Aboriginals need help that works

Feb 15, 2018 — Colin Alexander

traditional headdress on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
On giving thanks for his commitment to indigenous issues, the Tsuut’ina First Nation near Calgary bestowed the traditional headdress on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and gave him an aboriginal name Gumistiyi, which translates as the one who keeps trying.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week: “We need to get to a place where Indigenous peoples in Canada are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about their future.”

That contradicts what Indians and Inuit have always told me. Young or old, they don’t believe that legislation and phony recognition of aboriginality can enable themselves or their children for the much-vaunted Middle Class where they want to belong. They say leaders don’t speak for followers, and they don’t see equality of citizenship and opportunity as culture-specific, or that it conflicts with their identity. As individuals, they want help that works, and they aren’t getting it. That’s what Chief Poundmaker thought he was getting when he affirmed Treaty Six in 1876.

Open Letter to Julie Payette

Sep 26, 2017 — Colin Alexander

Dear Governor General:

Welcome to the highest position in our great country as our viceregal representative!

For all Canada’s greatness, however, I implore you to bring leadership and moral suasion to the needs and aspirations of our desperately marginalized and burgeoning underclass, doubling every twenty years. They’re largely but by no means exclusively Indians and Inuit, and not only in remote settlements. Life lacks hope or purpose for children and youth seeing from television the gap widening exponentially between what they have and how our much-vaunted middle class lives.

Never mind name-changing: For Indians and Inuit the reality is now

Aug 27, 2017 — Colin Alexander

As the Roman historian Polybius wrote, learning from history can avert repetition of past mistakes. Most name-changing unnecessarily corrupts history.

One lesson from history, and geography, is that Aboriginal leaders—and grandstanding busybodies—don’t speak for the burgeoning cohort of followers doubling every twenty years. Multigenerational welfare recipients need help that works. Why don’t ostensible leaders demand the opportunities for education, sports and skills training that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation commissioner, now a Senator, Murray Sinclair had, for example, when growing up in Selkirk, Manitoba?

You don’t have to be fascist to oppose immigration

Aug 22, 2017 — Colin Alexander

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose immigration into Canada. Presumably a man of the Left, Environmentalist David Suzuki opposes immigration: “Canada is full! Although it’s the second largest country in the world,” he says, “our useful area has been reduced. Our immigration policy is disgusting: We plunder southern countries by depriving them of future leaders, and we want to increase our population to support economic growth. It’s crazy!”

Canada has a burgeoning underclass of multigenerational welfare recipients, many but by no means all of them Indians and Inuit. The Fraser Institute says there’s an intensifying jobs shortage, and that recent immigrants receive tens of billions of dollars more in benefits than they pay in taxes.  The root of this challenge, then, is not just that so many of the marginalized seem to be unemployed and unemployable. It’s that they’re unequipped for participation in the modern economy.

What’s a Canadian soldier’s life worth?

Jul 10, 2017 — Colin Alexander

It should not be the end of the matter that Canada’s juvenile terrorist Omar Khadr got a C$10.5 million payout for temporary sleep deprivation at Guantanamo, and no lasting disability.

For background, Khadr was born in Toronto and therefore his Canadian citizenship is not in question. His father and mother were immigrants from Egypt and Palestine respectively. During Khadr’s formative years, the family shuttled between Canada and Pakistan. His father became a close associate of Osama bin Laden and he was killed in a raid by a Pakistani helicopter team in 2003.

Under the influence of his parents, and perhaps implied compulsion, Khadr joined the anti-government guerrillas in Afghanistan. He became involved in an engagement with American forces during which he is said to have thrown a grenade that killed combat medic Christopher Speer, and blinded another soldier, Layne Morris, in one eye.

Canada’s dumbed-down education system—A social and economic disaster

Jan 13, 2017 — Colin Alexander

Canada’s dumbing down of education never rests. In Ottawa, there’s a debate over whether gifted students should all be educated together, or instead stuck with ones whose interests and aptitude lie elsewhere.

Why’s it necessary to consider whether students learning calculus should be schooled with ones who can’t tell the product of 11 x 12?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as accessory to Aboriginal suicides

Oct 16, 2016 — Colin Alexander

It may seem over the top to denounce Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett as accessories to death. But let’s wake them up! The PM lives by the $500 gourmet dinner on the prime-ministerial airplane, daily photo-ops and acceptance of the ritual headdress from the Tsuut’ina First Nation near Calgary. But like President Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, what’s Trudeau been doing for Aboriginals to justify the honour?

Young people are dying while Trudeau and Bennett shilly-shally. I name them, therefore, as accessories responsible, by implication even criminally, for the recent death by suicide of three girls, aged between 12 and 14, of the Lac La Ronge First Nation in northeast Saskatchewan.

First off, there’s the principle of command responsibility, normally applicable for war crimes but also for anyone holding a senior position of personal or corporate trust. Inherent in the Canadian government’s relationship with Aboriginal peoples there’s still a paternal responsibility. Trudeau more than any previous Prime Minister has gone out of his way to affirm the government’s duty of care, and he’s in command.

Canada’s Apartheid Budget for Aboriginals

Mar 22, 2016 — Colin Alexander

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first budget departs obscenely from his Mandate letter to Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett: “We committed to provide more direct help to those who need it… No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples.”

It’s equally impossible to relate it to what he said to world leaders when grandstanding in Davos:

What refugees cost for a family of five: But what about our own people?

Dec 28, 2015 — Colin Alexander

Do refuges get more than our own people in need? Yes! Some are in hotels and getting $61 per day for food. But someone on welfare in Ontario gets just $10 per day to cover food, clothing and everything except accommodation. And tens of thousands of Aboriginal children live in conditions like what refugees are leaving, in remote settlements under boil-water advisory.

Without even considering the immense relocation costs, for 25,000 refugees here’s a pro forma for the annual ongoing costs for a family with three children of school age moving to Ontario:

  • Accommodation—$16,000
  • Cash spending allowance—18,000 (90% more than Ontario welfare recipients get)
  • Schooling for children—36,000 (provincial average per student x 3)

  • Health care—30,000 (provincial average per person x 5)
  • Total annual cost per family $100,000