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As Canadians, it is fairly easy to separate ourselves from the problem. It is easy to chalk it up as "their problem, not ours" -- and it is tempting, because the problem is complex, disturbing and uncomfortable. But not so fast. We have our own problems when it comes to the systematic discrimination of minorities
The Trudeau government seemingly called off the CRA from harassing Canada's charities on January 20. Well, not really, in fact. The Trudeau government's timidity so far in fixing this abuse of power by the previous government will probably result in some of Canada's most popular and important charities heading toward decertification and oblivion.
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Forget the election debate over budget deficits and tolerance of the veil. We have another deficit in Canada and it is neither looming nor veiled. We're in the midst of an incrementally created democratic deficit that after nine years of accumulated budget cuts, abuse of power, and muzzling diverse voices has now arguably put at risk our democracy's health and vigour.
Here's the full depth of the problem with CASL. When Parliament enacted this confusing and ambiguous legislation, it relinquished its legislative power to those regulators charged with enforcing the law. And since those same regulators have the power to directly levy enormous penalties, CASL permits bureaucrats to play the roles of legislator, police, and judge simultaneously. This combination has no place in a free and democratic society like our own.
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Canadian charities are experiencing an "advocacy chill" and changing the way they go about their work as a result of what they say is "bullying" by the Harper Conservative government. My just completed Master's thesis research finds that the denunciatory rhetoric of government ministers against charities, followed by stepped up audits is having its toll not only on charity operations, but also on the strength of Canada's public discussions and thus on the vigor of democracy itself.
In November 2008, Diab's life was turned upside-down when the RCMP arrested him at the request of the French government, which wanted to extradite him in connection with a bombing in Paris in 1980 that claimed four lives. He spent the next six months in jail, but was eventually released in April 2009 under extremely invasive bail conditions.