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Kerry Nation

About Kerry Auriat:

Kerry Auriat is a lifelong Brandon resident and an advisor with a local brokerage firm.

  • Kerry Nation -- Warmbier tragedy valuable lesson for travellers

    We don’t know much about how American student Otto Warmbier died after serving more than a year in a North Korean jail. We also don’t know much about how he was treated during his incarceration there, although we believe it to have been extremely harsh. The facts, such as they are, are scarce. What we do know is the dictatorship of Kim Jung Un does not tolerate dissent, and clearly doesn’t care what the world thinks of it. Warmbier, a 22-year-old university student, visited North Korea in January 2016. He was there as a tourist. He stole a propaganda poster in a hotel lobby and was subsequently arrested, convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labour.
  • Kerry Nation -- Israel, Syria border tour an eye-opener

    Last week, while in Israel, I took time to hire a former Israeli military official to guide us on a private tour of the border with Syria and to provide insights into the current situation there. It is, in all honesty, worse than I previously thought. Understand that since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Syrian-Israel border on the Golan Heights has been the most peaceful of Israel’s borders. During that period, Syria was governed by the Al Assad family, an Alawite Muslim family that basically ran the country like its own kleptocracy. It was once described to me by an Israeli intelligence official as if “… the Sopranos owned a country.”
  • Kerry Nation -- Curbing kidney disease key goal for Sun columnist

    This week, I was fortunate to travel to Israel to participate in the Rambam Health Care Campus annual summit, of which I have written before. This world-class academic hospital is located in the beautiful city of Haifa, Israel, and I proudly serve on the board of directors of the Canadian Friends of Rambam. The focus of the summit was kidney health, and I came away with a new understanding of the significant impact of this disease on our population today and projected into the future.
  • What does Scheer bring to table?

    Did the Conservative Party of Canada made a mistake or the right choice in selecting Andrew Scheer as its new leader? On the 13th ballot last Saturday night, the Tories elected Regina MP Andrew Scheer with 51 per cent of the vote to Maxime Bernier’s 49 per cent. What should voters expect of this new leader?
  • Trump, pragmatism and realpolitik

    Could it be that U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is based on a simple approach — acting in the best (narrowly defined) interests of the United States? It isn’t a new approach, and certainly isn’t unique, but this ideological philosophy could be making a bigly comeback under The Donald. Many are unfamiliar with the term, but Trump’s ideological foreign policy philosophy could simply be referred to as realpolitik, a German term which basically means the sole operating principle is the advancement of practical best interests.
  • How to go about removing Trump

    Impeachment or the 25th Amendment? This is the choice facing many politicians in Washington these days as the unhinged U.S. President Donald Trump is leading his nation into confusion and disarray unseen since the halcyon days of Richard Nixon. It is important for us to get the language right, so let me walk you through both impeachment and the 25th Amendment.
  • More solutions, fewer slogans

    There were three powerful slogans uttered by Donald Trump in his election campaign — “lock her up,” “drain the swamp” and “make America great again.” The first slogan referred to Hillary Clinton and capitalized on the Clinton family’s history of questionable ethical behaviour. Of course, the fact former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with the Attorney General on a private jet, (while the FBI was investigating Hillary), was a perfect encapsulation of how tone deaf the Clinton machine was, and played perfectly into the public perception of their self-serving behaviour.
  • P3s make sense for debt-laden Manitoba

    This week, Manitobans saw their provincial government pursue an old direction in a new way when it came to providing us with services — the Triple P or P3. It can be a complicated issue, so let’s take some time to discuss this timeless strategy. P3 means public-private partnership. Simply, business and government are working together in an effort to provide infrastructure. Rather than the traditional approach of the government simply hiring contractors and funding the project itself, the P3 turns the process on its head.
  • Trump, O'Leary make for quite a week

    Were you surprised this week when U.S. President Donald Trump started a trade war with Canada in a unilateral decision to impose a 24 per cent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports? Or that Conservative leadership hopeful Kevin O’Leary quit the race? Or that the first Trump tax proposal was full of holes and nonsense? It was quite a week.
  • Flying the unfriendly skies

    It has been two weeks since Dr. David Dao was forcibly hauled off a United jet. Most of us have seen the video and few would argue the Chicago Airport Police acted appropriately. Today, with United shareholders having lost millions of dollars of value and its CEO back-pedalling daily, let’s ponder lessons we can garner from this episode. The background is largely accepted as fact — Dr. Dao was flying home to Louisville from Chicago on a United flight. He was in his legally paid-for seat. The flight was full and fully-boarded. Four United employees then showed up at the gate and advised they needed to be seated on the flight as they were required to be in Louisville the next morning.
  • Sensible steps to fix finances

    Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it? After 11 months in office, and NDP fear-mongering that preceded last year’s election for months, Premier Brian Pallister delivered his second budget on Tuesday. With respect, it wasn’t nearly as austere as one would have anticipated or, quite frankly, feared. In fact, the rumoured cuts were nowhere to be found.
  • Few good choices in Syrian crisis

    As if past photos of the Syrian tragedy weren’t enough, with refugee children lying dead on a beach or bombed-out buildings, this week’s latest pictures are quite sickening and remind us, once again, of the ongoing devastation that is the Syrian civil war. In a New York Times article this week, it was revealed that, according to sources, 69 men, women and children were killed in a chemical attack on the northern, rebel-held province of Idlib. Details are still being gathered and the death toll may increase.
  • Trump's border tax plan cause for concern

    It’s fallen below the radar, but U.S. President Donald Trump’s much-discussed border tax is still rumoured to be part of his tax reform proposal. Why does this matter to you? If you export to the United States, and your products have an additional 20 per cent added to their price tag, then you might think it will matter.
  • Allowing tuition hikes strikes right balance

    In your life, spending money is a clear reflection of your personal priorities and values. Investing in a house, travelling abroad, buying new golf clubs, or pursuing higher education — these are all decisions about how you view yourself and the world. Money, simply, is the tool you use to fulfil these wishes. As a laissez faire individual, this columnist really has few issues with how anyone chooses to spend their money, but hopes it is done wisely. In other words, short of destructive habits, I respect your individual freedom.
  • Development fee a bad idea in principle

    Even though I already own a home, allow me to state for the record that I stand in opposition to the general principle of development charges on future home building in Brandon. This is a highly complex issue with many moving parts. No one has all of the information required to make a complete determination on whether we should institute this tax, as has been proposed by the city. Why do I stand against it?
  • Storms bring out the best and worst in us

    “You know, we’re living in a society. We’re supposed to act in a civilized way.” So spake George Costanza in a classic “Seinfeld” episode. He was frustrated by his inability to access a pay phone being monopolized by another customer at a Chinese food restaurant. In addition to being hilarious, it also reminded
  • What we shouldn't be taking sitting down

    One is a video, substantive and full of “value” discussion. The other is a still photo of a woman, sitting on a couch, texting. Both were a focus of attention for media consumers this week. The still photo was of U.S. President Donald Trump’s special assistant Kellyanne Conway, sitting on a couch in the Oval Office with her feet tucked underneath. She was wearing a short skirt and typing on her smartphone. This photo has captured the ire of the anti-Trump/Conway folks.
  • 'Anti-vaccination' headline doesn't tell the story

    They grab our attention, but sometimes the headlines just don’t do justice to the facts of the story, or so I found perusing The National Post this week. The headline? “Ontario High School Teacher Who Pushed Anti-Vaccination Views Found Guilty Of Professional Misconduct.”
  • Are Trump's follies enough disruption for you?

    During the U.S. election, Donald Trump often fell back on the themes of “draining the swamp” and “can it get any worse?” In other words, while voters may have been taking a risk on an inexperienced Trump, he argued things were so ugly under President Barack Obama there was literally no risk in electing The Donald.
  • Downtown deal raises hopes, questions

    As a cautious but consistent supporter of most things Brandon, I want to both congratulate and warn our city council, Renaissance Brandon and Brandon University after Monday’s exciting announcement.
  • Let's focus on real issues confronting Manitobans

    Welcome to Manitoba, where all problems must be inconsequential. After all, if the two biggest stories about our province over the last few years were about Winnipeg being racist and Premier Brian Pallister’s Costa Rican vacation home, then it must be good to be us. Of course, that paragraph drips with sarcasm — that is entirely intended. Manitobans face a massive deficit and compounding debt and no promising way to get out of this morass. We clearly are a have-not province and face challenges on a compendium of social and economic fronts.
  • In praise of a prudent budget

    This week, after lengthy deliberations, Brandon City Council brought forward an annual budget with a tax increase of 0.94 per cent, including an increase in infrastructure spending of one per cent. Mayor Rick Chrest, justifiably, boasted of his council by stating “I’m extremely proud of the work our council has done during this budget process. Not only did we achieve a tax increase below inflation for the third year in a row, but we were able to enhance many services, and also accumulated spending on infrastructure in a meaningful way.”
  • Welcome to the Trump years

    It’s hard to believe we finally got here, but Friday was the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States. After all of the tweets, the inarticulate and irresponsible personal attacks, and the wrongheaded policy statements, the wait is finally over. Donald J. Trump is the president, my friends, and so the fun begins. Trump begins his term as the least popular president-elect in four decades. In some respects, this doesn’t matter at all, for he has the immense power incumbent to his office. Concurrently, he faces challenges as both Congress and the Senate will be aware of his popular support numbers (or lack thereof) in their dealings with the White House.
  • In praise of 'steady as she goes'

    The editor of the Brandon Sun may, in an unguarded moment, reveal that this columnist tends to disagree with the paper’s positions too often. Thankfully, he views the role of the columnist, and the editorial, as fomenting debate and encouraging free thought.
  • If they took a holiday … so what?

    Why do we care where our elected officials vacation? In this past year, stories of Premier Brian Pallister or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vacationing abroad have appeared on a regular basis, with the obvious intent of fostering voters’ ire. After all, if we are stuck here in the frozen north, why are these two, among others, enjoying the warmth of southern climes?
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