Canada Democracy

What's Happening on Burnaby Mountain Should Surprise No One

Carol Linnitt | Posted 11.25.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

The way tensions between pipeline opponents and Kinder Morgan contractors have escalated during the last week should come as a surprise to no one. The mishandling of the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker proposal has created the conditions for the situation now unfolding on the mountainside.

Most of Latin America Has Adopted Democracy. Will Cuba?

Michel Kelly-Gagnon | Posted 11.13.2014 | Canada Politics
Michel Kelly-Gagnon

Though still very far from the ideal, countries like Chile, Columbia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico have adopted political democracy and market economics, and are moving forward because of it. With any luck, Cuba's dictatorship will also soon crumble, and at long last allow its people to live in freedom.

The Best Way For B.C. To Honour Canada's Soldiers Is To Vote

Lizanne Foster | Posted 11.04.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Lizanne Foster

I hope that our respect goes beyond pinning the poppy on our lapels. I hope our respect extends to standing in line at a polling booth.

Now, More Than Ever, Canada Must Remain Free and Open

Josh Tabish | Posted 10.27.2014 | Canada Politics
Josh Tabish

It has never been clearer that Canada has a growing privacy deficit that needs to be addressed. Unless we work together, we could end up with a society that's more spied on and policed than ever before.

5 Ways To Enhance Local Government And Democracy In Surrey

Alex Sangha | Posted 10.15.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Alex Sangha

Surrey needs to return to the ward system. A candidate doesn't need thousands of dollars to run a city-wide campaign or to seek the nomination of a political slate. Independents would have a good chance of getting elected. This is because the elections would be held in smaller neighbourhood districts or wards. This would give Surrey the same representation as Vancouver -- which is more than appropriate considering the growing size and stature of Surrey.

Why Do Schools Implement These Ridiculous Rules?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 10.11.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

A rule that has an unclear or ridiculous purpose is, on its face, unfair. A rule that cannot possibly achieve its purpose is pointless. A rule that has more negative than positive effects is unfair and undemocratic. Discipline or punishment that does not address the behaviour it purports to correct is tyrannical.

Why Does China Get To Renege on Its Promise of Democracy in Hong Kong?

Diane M. Francis | Posted 10.10.2014 | Canada Politics
Diane M. Francis

China's recent ruthlessness has shocked many including Emily Lau, a long-standing Member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council. In a recent interview, she said: "These demands are modest and reasonable and protesters are peaceful. There is no compromise. The ball is now in China's court. Promises were made."

Where Is the Support For Pro-Democracy Groups Right Here in Canada?

Michael D. Nicula | Posted 10.02.2014 | Canada Politics
Michael D. Nicula

The Ontario Provincial government is working on their promise to allow municipalities to use Ranked Ballots in the 2018 elections 'as an option' which would be a timid step in the right direction. However, Toronto Mayoral lead Candidate John Tory is opposed to the idea and yet, that doesn't seem to have an impact on his polling numbers.

Why the Quebec Student Protests Are Still Relevant

Johanu Botha | Posted 10.02.2014 | Canada Politics
Johanu Botha

Is any of this relevant almost three years later? Yes, because mini-versions of the Quebec protests still play out on Canadian campuses. They may not be about tuition, and their ideological bent could be left or right. But too often when students organize around political causes they take on the same unsavory tones that reject dissent and make straw men of opposing arguments.

One of Hong Kong's Most Influential Demonstrators Is in His 80s

Paul Hong | Posted 09.30.2014 | Canada Impact
Paul Hong

One of the important figures in the democratic movement in Hong Kong is Joseph Cardinal Zen, the retired Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong. Cardinal Zen, aged 82, attended the recent demonstrations. He told Reuters that "It's high time that we really showed that we want to be free and not to be slaves...we must unite together."

Canada, You Have Two Days Left To Tell Health Canada to Label GMOs

Rachel Parent | Posted 11.09.2014 | Canada Politics
Rachel Parent

It is not too late to exercise your democratic rights and voice your opinions. I may not be old enough to vote in the polls yet, but I am definitely old enough to vote at the cash register. I have also had the honour and privilege to speak with thousands and thousands of people across Canada about GMOs, and it's pretty clear.

The Government Needs to Get Serious About GMOs

Rachel Parent | Posted 10.25.2014 | Canada Politics
Rachel Parent

As you may already know, I've been on a mission to meet Canada's Health Minister, Rona Ambrose in person to discuss the important and urgent issue of GMO labeling. To date, I've sent her three letters via courier, and received absolutely no response. Below is the third letter that I sent her.

Free Trade Agreements Attack Democracy And Human Rights

Michaël Lessard | Posted 10.25.2014 | Canada Business
Michaël Lessard

At the Peoples Social Forum, six representatives of prominent civil organizations were heard. These organizations consider that the agreement does not seek to improve trade between countries, but instead are give new special rights to corporations, which undermine the democratic rights of peoples.

How Tories Bully Charities and Abuse Power

Gareth Kirkby | Posted 09.15.2014 | Canada Politics
Gareth Kirkby

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.

Can Surrey Learn From A British System Of Local Government?

Alex Sangha | Posted 08.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Alex Sangha

Democracy and governance in Surrey is essentially at a crisis. It is not very responsive to the needs of the citizens and the system is becoming less and less accessible for the average citizen. So what is a potential solution.

Harper's Pipeline Decision Is a Blow to Democracy

David Suzuki | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada Politics
David Suzuki

A pipeline to carry diluent from the coast to the tar sands to dilute bitumen that would then be carried back to the coast in another pipeline for export to world markets in supertankers does not have a "sufficiently direct connection" to the tar sands? And the impacts of the tar sands and its products on climate are not relevant to the project that makes these impacts possible? What the hell? This project should never go ahead.

Why Is Question Period Full of Fifth Graders?

Will Braun | Posted 08.11.2014 | Canada
Will Braun

Why can't the premier and the leader of the opposition demand that their MLAs refrain from heckling, name-calling, inane repetition and unnecessarily charged language? That would at least bring them up to the level of civility expected in any fifth grade classroom. Maybe we can turn question period into something worthy of attendance.

The Fourth Revolution: A Good Read

Diane Francis | Posted 08.08.2014 | Canada
Diane Francis

"The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State" by Economist Editor in Chief John Micklethwaite and Economist Managing Editor Adrian Wo...

Norway Celebrates 200 Years of Democracy

Mona Elisabeth Brother | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Politics
Mona Elisabeth Brother

In Norway, 1814 is known by many as "The Year of Miracles" because of the huge national and political changes that suddenly and rapidly took place that year. 1814 is the starting point for modern Norwegian democracy. It had both a national and a democratic element: independence for the state of Norway and liberty for Norwegian citizens

Let's Shake Up Civic Elections, Starting With Surrey

Alex Sangha | Posted 07.06.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Alex Sangha

Now that the civic election is coming up, I would like to propose electoral reform of local government for big cities in British Columbia, especially my hometown of Surrey. It's the ideal place for a mixed "at-large" and "ward system" of electing city councillors and the mayor.

Which MPs Have Your Back When it Comes to Privacy?

David Christopher | Posted 07.04.2014 | Canada Politics
David Christopher

On Monday afternoon, the government's reckless online spying Bill C-13 came a small step closer to becoming the law of the land. It didn't get through without a lively debate which saw many MPs speak out strongly about how Bill C-13 would enable a wide range of government authorities to spy on the private lives of Canadians.

The Spring Of Our Discontent

Ranjani Iyer Mohanty | Posted 07.01.2014 | Canada
Ranjani Iyer Mohanty

The epic task is well underway. The first week it happened in Kerala, Haryana, and some of Assam. The second week it happened in Karnataka and parts...

'Fair' Elections Act Changes Don't Go Far Enough

Duff Conacher | Posted 06.28.2014 | Canada Politics
Duff Conacher

The federal Conservatives are finally backing off on some of the measures in their proposed so-called "Fair Elections Act" (Bill C-23). Minister for Democratic Reform Poilievre is trying to claim he has listened with an open mind, but this is yet another misleading spin statement from him about the bill. The truth is much more that playing games with democratic voting issues was hurting the Conservatives with their soft supporters, and with swing voters, and they realized they would only recover by compromising.

Squamish on the Precipice: Saying 'No' to LNG

G. Elijah Dann | Posted 06.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
G. Elijah Dann

We were told how other towns that accepted this industrial turn now look. It's not pretty. "Drive through some of those towns," we were told. See for yourselves what industry has delivered. Smell the air. Look around. See what these oil and gas facilities have done to communities.

Canada Loves Fair Elections, Just Not For First Nations

Ravina Bains | Posted 06.16.2014 | Canada Politics
Ravina Bains

As international champions of democracy and with so much debate over federal election reforms, how would you expect our elected officials to react when democratic rights are being stifled in First Nations communities in Canada? Unfortunately, in recent weeks, they've responded with neglect and evasion.