Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau on Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, In the wake of Sunday’s horrendous terrorist attack on Quebec’s Muslim community, I am writing to ask that you forcefully condemn not just the shooting itself, but the rising tide of Islamophobia that appears to have prompted it. On January 27, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Elizabeth May Regarding BDS

Dear Elizabeth May, Please don’t resign over Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Far from being “polarizing, ineffective and unhelpful,” the BDS movement seeks to employ moderate, non-violent means (i.e. boycotts and other economic measures) to pressure Israel to end its decades-long occupation of Palestinian land. Originating in 2005 with a call to action by 170 grassroots ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Janet Fraser

Dear Janet Fraser, First of all, let me start by congratulating you on your school board election victory this past Saturday. I voted for you enthusiastically, as I did your running mate Mischa Oak and the rest of the Green Party team on the city council and park board slates. It is truly gratifying to ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to TransLink Regarding the “Disappearing Palestine” Ads

Dear TransLink: I am writing to express my wholehearted support for your decision to display the pro-Palestinian transit ads recently unveiled at the Vancouver City Centre Skytrain station and on several buses. The ads offer an important perspective that needs to be heard as part of any informed debate on the Middle East conflict. My ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Barack Obama and John Kerry

Dear President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry: As a concerned Canadian, I am writing to urge you to reject TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline for purposes of transporting dirty oil from Alberta’s tar sands to refineries in the United States. I assure you that not all Canadians are quite ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Israeli and Palestinian Hawks

Dear Israeli hawks: What are you thinking? I realize that you consider every destructive, civilian killing, infrastructure shattering air raid you launch on the impoverished people of the Gaza Strip to be an act of self-defence against the terrorism of Hamas and other militant groups, and that every cheap rocket fired at you from the ...

Song of the Watermelon: The Point of Taxes

What follows is my submission to BC’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Any other British Columbians interested in influencing next year’s budget have until October 18 to do so by clicking here. Taxation has three major purposes: raising government revenue, redistributing wealth, and discouraging “bads.” The first is the most obvious. Taxes ...