Target's mistakes have caused untold hardship for thousands of people across Canada. But the hardship didn't start with its retreat. Minimum wage is appallingly low, and it is extremely difficult to make ends meet. When profits didn't meet expectations, hours were cut, further adding to our financial worries. Many thousands of us were notified a year ago that we were no longer eligible for benefits.
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.