My name is Ian, and I'm from Guelph Ontario. Originally I'm from Toronto (more specifically Scarborough, and to those who say that Scarborough isn't apart of Toronto deal with the fact that it is). I moved to Guelph to go to the University of Guelph, but stayed here since 2012 because of how much I like the feel of a smaller city. I haven't graduated yet, but I'm working on it and should be done very soon. I decided that I wanted to really become independent of my parents and pay off some of my student debt, so that's why I've prolonged my education. My degree is just a Bachelors of Arts, but I took a wide variety of classes and came understand a number of different subjects. Primarily I studied politics because it’s been a passion of mine since before high school, and I would love to get involved in it one day. Hopefully if all goes well, the Honest Canuck can be the start down that path.


The idea for the Honest Canuck is to be a blog about politics, and focused almost completely on Canadian politics. The mainstream media is constantly going on about the United States’ government and Donald Trump. The Toronto Star has an article every week counting how many false statements Trump makes, while briefly going over (if at all) the mistakes, controversy, and delusion of the Trudeau government. And that’s the federal government, the provincial government's get away with even more. I'm not entirely sure about the other provinces, but Wynne's Ontario government has been immune to real, tough criticism since the American election began, not to mention the complete ignorance since Trump won. I also find that people have become more and more fed up with the mainstream media and they way they present the news. Ever since the 24 hour news cycle began, the major news in both Canada and the United States have focused on giving their viewers 5 minute segments on current events without having all of the facts right. People are opting more and more to listening to podcasts or reading blogs on issues because it is more of a long-form styled platform. When CTV or CBC have experts on to discuss something happening in Canada’s political sphere, they tend to stack the panel with a one sided opinion (usually in support of the Liberals) and explain a complex subject in a matter of minutes. These newer long-form platforms allow readers, listeners and viewers the chance to really try to understand what is going on, and to form their own opinions based on the facts.


In case you haven't already noticed, I'm not exactly Justin Trudeau’s or Kathleen Wynne’s biggest fan. If you've taken note of that, you're absolutely right. I believe Wynne’s time as the Premier of Ontario needs to come to an end come June. Trudeau has a government that only wants to virtue signal to the point of limiting our freedom of speech more than it already is. I was raised Conservatively, but without the religious aspects of it (that being said I do believe people have the right to their faith so long as it jives well with Canada’s values). I don't remember a time without a Progressive Conservative Premier, because Wynne (and before Mcguinty) have been in power since I really started to follow our politics. My first vote that I ever cast in a democratic election was for Rob Ford in the Toronto municipal race for mayor that he won. I really agreed with a lot of what the Harper federal government did, and commend Mr. Harper and the late Jim Flaherty for pulling Canada out of the 2007/2008 financial crash. The growing debt in Ontario, and the constant deficits in the federal budget have only made me more of a fiscal conservative. I also do believe that climate change is a legitimate threat to the world, and should be taken more seriously by governments around the world. I also believe that the climate change we’re experiencing is the result of a number of factors, including but not exclusive to human-made emissions, and that carbon taxes are not the solution. In my opinion promoting innovation and job creation in the renewable energy sector, be it through grants to universities to develop new technologies or to subsidies to companies willing to work with renewable energy. I'm a fan of smaller government over big government, giving individuals more freedom to do what they want. I also believe that a strong border is important, and that the Trudeau’s tendency to allow people to cross illegally into Canada is a problem and is something that the federal government needs to control before it causes an issue for the safety and security for Canadians. Those who think that it's an exaggeration to think that open borders are dangerous, just look at the European Union. On a broader stance, I am very much pro-capitalism and anti-socialism/communism/Marxism. Today’s capitalist societies are the most productive, advanced, free, and safe societies humans have literally ever come up with. If you disagree, that is entirely your choice, but you should venture down to Venezuela or over to North Korea and tell me how great socialism works. Without capitalism we wouldn't have the healthcare we have today, or the communication technology that we all use. Just because you choose to wear a Che Guevara t-shirt and have a hammer and sickle in your Twitter bio doesn't make you a socialist. Be sure to throw out your iPhone, your computer, cancel your internet, and donate all of your money - then I'll take you more seriously about socialism. One more thing that gets taken from you in a socialist society that I hold above almost all else; freedom of speech.


For me, our freedom of speech and expression are some of our most important rights. It allows us to voice our opinions and criticize bad ideas, and keep the government in check. Lately, the federal government has been limiting those freedoms (Motion 103 and Bill C-16). I believe that it's important to continue the conversation on certain subjects, and the government should not be able to hold us criminally responsible if we do. That does not mean that I believe that people should be racist, sexist, or any other buzzword that some people like to throw around right now. It means if someone decides for themselves to spread those beliefs, we all have the right to challenge their beliefs and prove them otherwise. Living in a society where everyone believes in the exact same thing and no one sways from the status quo is a dangerous place to be in. A diversity of opinions is evidence of a strong, healthy democracy.


Before anyone makes assumptions based on what I just said I also want to say that I cannot stand the current President of the United States. I really disagree with the pandering for votes that Trump did during his campaign, and regardless of which party in either their elections or our election, I hate dirty attack politics. I find Trump extremely hypocritical, and he needs to have his Twitter account taken from him before he causes major destruction in the world. I also hate that he may have opened the door for other celebrities to throw their hats into the political ring, making the good, hard work of real politicians worthless in the eyes of voters. There are some policies he’s enacted that I agree with, such as their new tax reductions, but that doesn't hide the fact that he isn't suited for the job of president. But I also believe he didn't win because of sexism and racism in the United States like the media claims, but rather because Hillary Clinton was the worst presidential candidate in either its history or at least in my lifetime. And again, not because I don't think women would do a good job, of course I believe that they can. It's because of her obvious corruption and her involvement in so many things that Americans are sick of (war, for example). However, the Honest Canuck is about Canadian politics, so back to true north, strong and free.


My aim with the Honest Canuck is to start a conversation. I want to present the facts of whatever topic I'm writing about, as unbiased as I can. If I forget facts or overlook something, it is not because I'm trying to mislead you or feed you false information. Things just happen so quickly online and it may be hard to keep a post completely up to date as more information is released. If I get something wrong, please contact me and I will address it. It's important to express both sides of any argument, whether I agree with any given side or not. It's important to listen to all sides of any discussion in order to truly understand the topic. If you have to lie or leave out crucial facts against your own point in order to prove yourself, you don't actually have a good point to prove (or you just don't entirely understand the point you're trying to make). It's also important to have these discussions, because we can all learn something new. In his new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Dr. Jordan Peterson’s 11th rule to live by is to assume that everyone that you talk to - and therefore (should be) listening to - knows something that you don’t, and learn from their viewpoint. Living in an echochamber is never a good thing, and the consequences of living in one is easy to see. Just look south of the border.


All of this is not to say that I will not include my opinion, of course I will. But I will also openly criticize the sides of arguments that I am on.  There are plenty of things that Conservatives do that I disagree with, and at the same time there are things that the Liberals will do that I agree with. It just so happens right now that both Ontario and Canada are under Liberal majority governments, so more criticizing will be directed at them. When the PCs win in June for Ontario (because even with the scandals the PCs had to endure because of Patrick Brown they still will probably win over Wynne) I am going to be hard on them as well. Regardless of who is in power or what topic is being discussed, the facts matter, and as much as you have the right to your own opinion you don't have the right to your own facts. When facts change, my opinions very well may change as well; it would be ignorant to not allow new or updated facts change how I view things. But what is important is that a discussion is had over the issues that our governments are dealing with, and not have the reactionary method of reporting that the media uses to sway the conversation or the attitudes towards our voting population. It's important to get the facts in any discussion, and to be honest with the facts and your opinions.