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 today's world where digital innovation is driven by the ability to access and leverage the open Internet, the TPP proposes regressive Internet regulations that would be imposed on 12 countries party to the agreement (including Canada) by unaccountable U.S. conglomerates, with little to no meaningful consultation with the public.
The failure to grant aboriginal peoples the dignity and opportunity of a land base also comes at a tremendous cost -- economic, social and moral. It is the cost of an entirely unacceptable status quo. Aboriginal rights are complicated and often poorly understood by Canadians, but behind the intricate issues of rights, title and treaties is the essential notion of sharing. Change is required. That change can come through arduous, adversarial court battles or through a more co-operative nation-building process.
Stephen Harper recently announced that dealing with climate change will not come at the expense of crippling the economy, and said that he encourages other countries to do the same. He claimed he was just being honest and that no leader really wants to take action on climate change, but based on recent actions by China, United Kingdom and the United States, this doesn't seem to be the truth.
First Nations will undoubtedly take the project to court and if need be, tens of thousands of British Columbians have pledged to stand with them and take direct action to stop this pipeline. Hopefully it won't have to come to that. Ultimately, if after everything, Enbridge still tries to ram their pipeline through B.C., it may make Clayoquot Sound look like a walk in the park. Assuming he doesn't surprise us by rejecting Enbridge outright, Harper will end up regretting that he didn't oppose this pipeline, as it will likely cost him some critical seats in a close election.
If frankness is the new ingredient for climate policy action, then governments and opposition leaders should state as much up front. Then, they could frame the economic and environmental choices before us as a country in deciding to meet, or not, stated climate goals.
Astute readers of the Harry Potter series and keen political observers may see parallels to the current Harper Government™ as it seems to operate in a parallel universe clinging to its fantasies, denying obvious facts, and not helping Canadians adapt to the profound changes climate disruption will inevitably bring. Minister Aglukkaq is entitled to her fantasies; however she is not entitled to the facts.
Obama has declared a war on coal that's taking direct aim at his country's largest polluters. In Canada, meanwhile, Prime Minister Harper is using his mandate to muzzle weather forecasters from even mentioning climate change. The two major trading partners have their differences, but seldom have they been so out of sync.
To support children as they grow into adulthood, it's essential that we make lifesaving vaccines affordable for families in poor and middle-income countries the world over. Only then will the world's generosity truly be in line with its objectives.
We are currently embroiled in a controversy over the appointment of a new privacy commissioner. Daniel Therrien, a long time senior government lawyer working on issues like immigration and national defence, was apparently chosen instead of the candidates preferred by the government's own selection committee.
Canada, which has pulled out of the Kyoto Accord and has refused in 2013 to ante up the $400-million contribution to the UN's Green Fund (which we had provided to underdeveloped countries in each of the previous three years) appears to be increasingly offside with the global effort.
Are Prime Minister Harper's dreams of Canada becoming an energy superpower going up in smoke? In the last decade, his Conservative government has done...
An overwhelmingly male echo-chamber of pundits, scholars, theologians, Catholic clergy and politicians is in an uproar, because Justin Trudeau directed the Liberal Party to adopt the status quo ante on women's health that has been settled law in Canada for decades. And who's not howling with outrage at Justin Trudeau's audacity in supporting women's access to abortion, or wringing their hands at his shocking breach of parliamentary conventions? Women, that's who.
Sylvia, a community health worker in Guatemala, helps mothers in her community to treat diarrhoea with zinc and ORS.In poorer countries and communitie...
It looks like the rumble against the government's Online Spying Bill C-13 is turning into a roar. We hope that pressure from Canadians will encourage Conservative MPs to start speaking out about the hugely unpopular blanket spying measures in Bill C-13. They should put both public and private pressure on Defence Minister MacKay to split the bill and remove the online spying provisions. Tens of thousands of Canadians are now speaking out to demand an end to online spying, and new privacy rules to safeguard law-abiding Canadians from government surveillance. It's never been more important to keep up the pressure.
On May 16, 2014, the RCMP released their National Operational Review on missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Importantly, while this report gives us a good picture of the scope of the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women, it fails to address some important issues that could help Canada meaningfully address this violence. Here, I want to outline some of these failings as a means of provoking critical reflection on the RCMP's response and to contribute to ongoing discussion about how to end this violence.