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Alex Tsakumis is Back …. in The Province.

May 29th, 2014 · 23 Comments

Alex is back … in print.   The ground-breaking on-line blogger, investigative reporter and  vox-populi is now being published in the The Province newspaper on Sundays.

And he tells me he still plans to return to blogging once his new site is ready: the old one hasn’t seen any action since January.

Meanwhile, with Alex’s permission, here is a reprint of his latest Province column, entitled:

“To win, Harper Must Pass an Abortion Law

By Alex Tsakumis

In the aftermath of the last federal election, the angst and associated moaning by the anti-Harper crowd couldn’t have possibly been more frenetic.

The epithets were endless.

Then newly minted Prime Minister Stephen Harper would “ruin the country aided by his social conservative base,” bellyached perennial whiner and Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies.

An accusation that didn’t appear to stick during the campaign in spite of the repeated character assassinations by the Liberals and NDP against Mr. Harper, who as recently as Jim Flaherty’s funeral admitted, mid-eulogy, what a task it is — a revelation I gather was not all tongue-in-cheek — to get his friends to like him.

The Prime Minister confesses that it’s perhaps not an easy row to hoe. How do you come to like, not believe in (that’s different), a man who is often described by a less-than-adoring press as cold, calculating and all too cunning, by half? To be sure, these are, sadly, requisite qualities for a successful political career.

Only blind partisans offer up admiration for baseline nastiness in the world’s second-oldest profession — a business whose mere survival depends on a moral low ground not unlike in the first.

Since the Conservative election victory of 2011, if you listen to his critics, they’ll tell you that Stephen Harper has, in fact, regressed. He often comes across as mean-spirited; he’s blithely lunching with Lucifer — they’re comparing notes, if you will.

More significantly, the polls reflect not a dissimilar conclusion.

Hence, the ascension of Justin Trudeau, the most intellectually thin leader of any Canadian party — ever. He’s the nation’s Christy Clark, with less testosterone, but better hair.

Here’s a man as dulcet on substance as he is in proffering meaningful policy. Despite an Eastern Canadian media apotheosis reserved, one thought, only for his late father — inclusive of rewriting the evil Pierre Elliot left behind (with apologies to Mark Antony), young Justin has proved a grating, infuriating ignoramus, who has, in no particular order: Dared showcase his admiration for the totalitarian, actively murderous government of China; sympathize with the islamofascist terrorists responsible for the Boston Marathon plot; affiliate an ever-dangerous, border-flexing Vladimir Putin to a Russian Olympic hockey loss; demonstrate a breathtaking incomprehension of the 1988 Supreme Court Morgentaler decision (which he consistently misrepresents); and, insists that marijuana provides so little harm to consumers (a contemptible lie), we should make it more available, not less, because spending hundreds of millions nationally on infrastructure for a pastime in decline, proves consummate economic sense.

I gather it’s not called dope for nothing.

If this continues, Trudeaumania 2.0 should be lost in its own plot, as the next election will be about who can provide real, centred leadership with measure and reason.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair will be without that opportunity, since the recent provincial rejection of even the softest nationalism in Quebec will leave him minus the “Layton Love-in.”

And Justin the Dim won’t be lighting up the intellectual scoreboard enough to turn around a 120-plus seat deficit in the Commons.

Which leaves Stephen Harper who won the last election in the political middle, not from his so-called right-wing, social conservative base, but with independents — red Tories, navy Liberals, women and workers — who rightly believed, as he has surely since delivered, that an even hand on the tiller will save us in these continually uneven economic times.

Yet Harper trails in the polls, badly enough that it’s starting to cause rapidly growing tides of doubt in key harbours of his own party. The Senate scandals, the successive policy redraws, attacks on the judiciary and the media — it’s all hurt Stephen Harper and he needs a game changer.


No, I’ve not been spending the late evenings in a thick haze with Justin. The one issue that has forever dogged Harper; a potential policy initiative, some claim, that he may trot out to satisfy what his critics wildly overestimate as his political base, could be, if properly vetted, his winning policy plank.

This country is absent an abortion law. In this regard, we are the outlier of civilized countries the world over. Only China and North Korea — neither being exactly civilized, can lay claim to such mutual ignominy.

In Canada, you may have an abortion at any time during a pregnancy, with some doctors openly declaring the performing of abortions as late as 26 weeks — when medical science confirms the ability to feel pain.

Unless due to medical need, late- term abortion on demand is the zenith of barbarism, an act of flawless evil. With rapid, progressive medical advances and other supports in place to assist any woman facing such a daunting decision, there was long ago absolutely no reason for late-term abortion on demand.

If Harper wishes to remain Prime Minister, he should fully protect and codify the right of every woman to continue to have a full array of reproductive health care options, but, as well, include in such legislation, a law that will equally save from any harm, the rights of the well-developed unborn — a fetus in late term.

No law in this land guarantees the right to an abortion, and one should that includes the protection of the unborn past the second trimester from an act of sheer whimsy.

In the end, it’s not about being counter-intuitive, it’s about balance and reason.

It’s about being a real leader.

Alex Tsakumis is a Vancouver columnist, radio commentator and political blogger. He can be reached at ”

And don’t forget to check out his take on the recent shootings in California  …..    in The Province next Sunday!

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 spartikus // May 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Well Harvey,

    Beyond failing to cite any reputable statistics on just how many late-term abortions are being performed “in a whimsy” (ie. situations where the mother’s life was not in danger, or the foetus wasn’t viable, etc)…

    …or any mention of the strict professional guidelines of the Canadian College of Physicians governing this procedure…

    …or the general “mansplaining” attitude where those frivolous women-folk are whimsically having abortions and thus serious-minded men need to step in…

    …is any sort of detailed analysis of why this would be a game-changer favourable for Stephen Harper. Which segments of the electorate currently not voting for the CPC would be energised into action by this stance? More than those energized into voting against the CPC, I mean.

    Mr. Tsakumis, I think, feels there is a statistically significant number of current LPC supporters with anti-abortion views who would switch allegiance. More than non-socially conservative pro-choice CPC supporters – particularly women CPC supporters – who would switch the other way. But why he thinks this, and thus why this is good advice, we aren’t told.

    (Response: My purpose in pointing to his return and featuring his latest op-ed piece was not to agree or disagree with him… I pointed out MY OWN viewpoint re the topic on a recent blog. But I have heard from MANY readers who missed Alex’s on-line blog and his on-air radio show …so when I found out he is now in The Province …I decided to let them know and welcome him back …regardless of whether I agree or disagree with his point of view. h.o)

  • 2 codotte // May 29, 2014 at 10:10 am

    The new freedom of expression brought by the Internet goes far beyond politics. People relate to each other in new ways, posing questions about how we should respond to people when all that we know about them is what we have learned through a medium that permits all kinds of anonymity and deception.
    Who cares what Alex is doing these day’s, so he’s back at msm,
    where is his next stop cknw. what a loser just like the rest of the MSM.

  • 3 Larry Bennett // May 29, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Agree or disagree, and I tend to the latter on most things Alex believes; it has some badly needed “hope”, the one virtue so missing on that particular subject, though charity and faith are greatly lacking too. Mr. Harper might give it some thought!
    Indeed, we should all give it some thought.

  • 4 ron wilton // May 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Sounds like AGT is gunning for Irre Levant’s job.

    Oops sorry, I meant Ezra LeRant.

  • 5 seven // May 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Alex Tsakumis was the ONLY voice to expose the biggest ongoing public sector scandal in BC history. Period.

    Give a thought to $2 part-time paramedics when you enjoy your road trip this summer. Do you know if the small towns you are passing through have adequate coverage?

    So far, seven down at our once proud BC Ambulance Service. The Kingpin at PHSA survives and prospers. For now.

    Google: One Loose Siren.

  • 6 Larry Bennett // May 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    ron wilton – Call Ezra whatever you want, he’s pure entertainment, and the only one we know who is willing to go to the bricks with the same ole whiners and complainers who are in an eternal search for something to protest.

  • 7 morry // May 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    1) Glad to read that heeeeeessss back.
    2) and it matters not a fig whether we agree / disagree with AGT.

    PS AGT if your reading this .. hire yourself a new web design team. it should take no more than 3 weeks to redesign ///four months and waiting

  • 8 nonconfidencevote // May 30, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Alex is baaaaaaaaack.

    Well its good to see.

    Although I must disagree with him on Mr Harper. I voted for Harper in the last 3 federal elections because I felt his economic policies were the best option for a fiscally responsible govt. I have been sadly disappointed.

    His arrogance ( percieved or not) at ramming through legislation in these ridiculous “omnibus” bills should be illegal. His expenditures in the military, while needed, have devolved into pork barrel politics ( The F35 plane that wont fly , the ongoing submarine multi billion dollar “reburbishments ” that have yet to allow them to “sink”, the endless talking about the shipbuilding contracts).
    The Conservative party political machine has regressed into the very thing that Harper hated when he first became elected.
    Arrogant, bloated, untouchable, self serving, greedy and totally devoid of an ounce of compassion.

    I’ll sit next years’ federal election out.

    Unless there is a spot for “None of the Above)

    (Response: You pose a really interesting dilemma that will face MANY British Columbia voters. It’s very easy to dislike Harper and many of his policies, his arrogance, his disrespect for freedom of information, for even answering questions and want to turf him out; until you look at the federal NDP and Liberals. They have REPEATEDLY abandoned, spoken against …even voted against … BC’s interest and even basic rights (MP representation, Senate reform, now the Champlain Bridge funding disgrace). How could ANY self-respecting British Columbian vote for that!!!! So it’s a matter, for me, of which evil is better for BC … and I’m not happy with my own answer … so far. h.o)

  • 9 persey // May 30, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Thanks, Harvey

    (Response: You’re welcome. It was actually a tough one to write …but after all, the name of my blog is Keeping it Real …even if I personally am uncomfortable with that reality on some level. h.o)

  • 10 G. Barry Stewart // May 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    It’s old news to me!

    Somehow I discovered him when I was poking around the on-line paper last Sunday.

    I don’t know how I got there, as when I later used the paper’s search tool, ‘Tsakumis’ turned up nothing.

    I’m glad to see him back at it. Another voice to keep the heat on government.

  • 11 nonconfidencevote // May 31, 2014 at 7:56 am

    As for Alex’s assertion that Mr Harper needs a “game changer” to get re-elected.
    Revamping the Abortion laws? Are you kidding me?
    That issue has been flogged to death (no pun intended). The Courts have made their descision, and to revamp the entire process would be seen for what it is.
    Pure political posturing.
    Sorry Alex, all Mr Harper has to do to get reelcted is to abolish the Senate.
    It really is that simple.

  • 12 e.a.f. // May 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Harvey, thank you for letting us all know AGT “is back”! It is much appreciated.

    Now on the topic AGT has written: Don’t agree with any of it. In my opinion is “bulltweet”, etc. However, as usually AGT has written his article very well. His command of the English language is excellent. Its worth the read for that alone, and to once again confirm, on some subjects, AGT, you are so out to lunch. Others you are brilliant on. Mostly that depends upon whether I agree with you or not.

    Welcome back. Look forward to future articles.

    (Response: Well, people often disagree with things I write too (hard to imagine!) but I enjoy reading and publishing their thoughts, ideas .. that’s the great thing about the blogosphere … the open discussion of ideas. And Alex sure adds to that! h.o)

  • 13 wildgoose // May 31, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    As usual Tsakumis has his head stuck so far up his ass he can’t articulate because of a lack of oxygen.

    ” who rightly believed, as he has surely since delivered, that an even hand on the tiller will save us in these continually uneven economic times.” Really!
    Harper’s election will prove to be the darkest period in Canadian history.
    How much longer will the Liberals and Cons tag team Canada with government for corporations funded by bought sleazy politicians.
    Hows the Mcpay at McProvince so far Tsakumis or is a volunteer thing?

  • 14 13 // Jun 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for the heads up Harvey. To be honest Im not a big fan of Alex but I enjoy the rancor and hyperbole. I have a few friends that worship the ground (computer screen) he types upon. Its lots of fun to make them come up with facts and figures to back up their heroes claims. Having said that like him or not its good that his opinions will return to a blog.
    Interesting that he wound up at the Province.

    Slightly unrelated, did you ever cross paths with Doug Collins? Its funny how polliticaly incorrect he was and how many of his concerns have proven to be valid.

    (Response: I not only crossed paths with him … I worked at The Sun the same time he was there. And of course, ran into him occasionally after I went to BCTV. As far as writings/musings went, that was a long time ago and I don’t recall much … although I seem to retain the sense that his personality and abrasive style caused him as much trouble as some of his writings. h.o)

  • 15 Joe // Jun 1, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Concerning AGT’s return, one would think he should have updated and provided some explanation to his followers for his extended absence from the blog scene. He at least owed them that for their continued readership and faithfulness over the years. Instead, he left them hanging and it took a third party to end the mystery. Not very classy on his part and showed very little common courtesy.

  • 16 kootcoot // Jun 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    “Sorry Alex, all Mr Harper has to do to get reelcted is to abolish the Senate.
    It really is that simple.”

    Thank you for this, as of course not being the total dictator he would like to be, this is impossible for him to unilaterlly accomplish. I wish I could then be confident he won’t be re-elected. Perhaps you remember Meech Lake and how wonderful that worked out for the Jaw that walks like a Man?

    Even a Canadian Supreme court packed with six Con appointed justices (five by the Head Conman Harper himself) felt obliged to point out to him that without the provinces on board (highly unlikely) there is little he and his crew of boys in short pants can do to change the Senate as it is part of what passes for a constitution in Canada.

    One should realize that they are really wrong when a court packed with his own appointees is obliged to rule against him time after time…….and he can’t blame it on those damned Liberal appointed justices, all two of them! Canada is supposed to be ruled by the law, not Harper’s Reich wing, fundamentalist ideology and even (thankfully) the judges he appointed realize that!

    BTW, the best writing in the Province, a poor excuse for a newspaper, is in the sports section!
    Otherwise the content ranges from the illiterate to the innumerate. Just last week alone in the slightly superior Sun Andrew Coyne described the THREE halves of Tim Hudak’s 1,000,000 jobs plan that starts by firing 100,000 people while Pete McMartin, proved that in 18 years of education (apparently aimed at a career in writing) he missed out on the part about the agreement between nouns (or pronouns) and verbs or his editors did!

  • 17 nonconfidencevote // Jun 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Well Kootcoot,

    I realize that to abolish the Senate would involve a change in the constitution and then the agreement of all the provinces ( Quebec would have to be bribed of course).
    But a nice simple national referendum would get the ball rolling.
    What politician, federal OR provincial, would stand in the way of a popular vote to abolish the Senate?
    Spinal fluid isnt a prerequisite for Canadian political bravery. Merely doing what one is told. seems to work every time.
    A referendum followed by years of negotiation with all the Provinces and then a Royal Commission should keep all the trough feeding lawyers and their friends happy.
    And 10-ish years later……….
    No more Senate.

    I can deam cant I?

  • 18 nonconfidencevote // Jun 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    And I have to agree with Kootcoot about the Province.
    Fishwrapper with biodegradable ink……..

  • 19 Gini // Jun 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    I very seldom read anything in the Province except Michael Smyth’s column, and sometimes not even that, especially when he gets stuck in ‘the government vs the teachers’ rut.

    I sure as heck won’t be reading the radical right-wing Tsakumis’ rantings. I didn’t know he’s been MIA since January, but I’m not surprised. There can’t be very many of his toadies left out there.

    As to Herr Harper, his chances of winning another election is akin to the proverbial snowball. Taking a stand on abortion can’t possibly save him from the Senate scandal, his interference in the Supreme Court, and his latest boondoggle…….his ‘monument to the lives lost due to Communism’. His madman-like ravings against Putin leave most Canadians extremely embarrassed, to say the least. I wish he’d just call the election now and save us even further embarrassment.

  • 20 e.a.f. // Jun 2, 2014 at 1:47 am

    absolutely howled with laughter when I read the Canadian press reports on Harper’s anti communist rant. Actually wrote him and asked when I could expect him to stop negotiating with Communist China on a free trade agreement and when he would ban Communist Chinese government and Red Army corporations from operating in Canada and buying into Canadian companies, buying Canadian land, and being able to import their goods into Canada. I’ll most likely still be waiting when I’m “planted” in the ground.

    Who buys the Province? Who buys the Sun? both are awful.

    enjoyed reading AGT’s blog, will welcome it back, whether you agree with AGT or not, he is always entertaining and sometimes he does do some good reporting.

    He stopped writing at the end of Jan. and quite frankly he doesn’t owe anyone any explanations. He was doing it for free. The guy does have aging parents, an extended family, wife, 3 kids, a business to run, oh and a life.

  • 21 kootcoot // Jun 2, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Actually I would like to see the Senate reformed and become a real regional counterbalance to the gross first past the post population based House.

    Unfortunately that would require a fair distribution of seats instead of the current advantage that some, especially Atlantic and Central Canada enjoy thanks to the original bribery used to get some provinces to join Confederation. As long as the vote of one person from PEI or Quebec is equal to that of many westerners it is unfair, but getting those provinces to give up their advantage seems likely to be as difficult as elimination – or virtually impossible.

    A unicameral legislature, based purely on population can easily lead to mob rule with little protection for minorities or sparsely populated regions.

  • 22 nonconfidencevote // Jun 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Sorry Kootcoot, we need fewer elected politicians ….not more.
    “Heave ho! Out they go!”
    Would be a wonderful slogan…………

  • 23 Alex B // Jun 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    “seven” the commenter above, is AGT