In 1992, Canada was the world's leading contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Canada now ranks a dismal 68th in personnel contributions to UN peacekeeping. This dramatic decline began under the Liberals. Our international engagement programs took us from #1 to #32 by the time the Conservatives took office in 2006 -- they continued the Liberal abandonment of UN peacekeeping as a key role for Canada.
Former MP for Ottawa Centre and NDP Foreign Affairs Critic
The planned Memorial to the Victims of Communism has attracted ever-greater controversy over its design and location, evoking strong and remarkably united criticism from a broad array of commentators, including architectural associations, legal experts, the Mayor of Ottawa, the NCC, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court -- not to mention the vast majority of local residents. Perhaps most astonishingly, nearly two-thirds of Conservative supporters nationwide oppose the plan. Yet the Conservative government perseveres, obstinately rejecting any reasoned debate or compromise.
06/11/2015 05:36 EDT
One year ago this week, a girl named Tahmina went to work. That morning, the Rana Plaza factory where Tahmina worked collapsed. She survived, but her supervisor and over 1,100 other workers were killed in one of the worst industrial disasters in history. We all want to know what we can do -- individually and collectively -- to prevent a future tragedy.
04/23/2014 12:37 EDT
As we prepare for the holiday season, many of us are thinking about how we can be responsible consumers. The conflict in the Congo is fuelled and funded by minerals -- gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum. Too often, these minerals end up in our cellphones, computers, and jewellery. Just as people can now give ethical diamonds, we should be able to give electronics and jewellery in good conscience.
12/13/2013 05:47 EST
If ever proof were needed that one person can change the world, Nelson Mandela was that proof. His unwavering commitment to peace, tolerance, justice, and equality embodied those very concepts. Mandela inspired a movement, transformed a country, and reshaped our understanding of what the world could be. With the leadership of his External Affairs Minister Joe Clark and the influence of Canada's UN Ambassador Stephen Lewis, Prime Minister Mulroney diverged from his Conservative cousins in the U.K. and U.S. and stood strong against apartheid -- heeding the call of Mandela. Canada's stance in those days continues to be a source of pride for all of us.
12/05/2013 05:41 EST
Treasury Board Secretary Tony Clement has repeatedly suggested that individual public sector wages and benefits are to blame for rising government costs. These cuts are part of a whiplash hire-and-fire cycle under successive Conservative and Liberal governments that have hurt public servants and their families.
10/17/2013 12:45 EDT
I am very concerned by reports of escalating unrest in Sudan, and in particular of civilian deaths, injuries and arbitrary arrests following the suppression of peaceful protests by government forces. The recent violence has taken place amidst a growing crackdown on independent media.
10/15/2013 05:45 EDT
Freedom of speech and association are not options in a democracy -- they are the very foundation of democratic life. I am therefore deeply concerned by last week's announcement by Egyptian authorities that the state of emergency will be extended for a further two months.
09/17/2013 12:23 EDT
Dear Minister Baird, I write to you today regarding the discrimination and attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Russia. I call upon you, in your role as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in addition to continuing to speak out against the homophobic legislation and attacks on LGBT Russians, to institute a visa ban for the originators of the law in question. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development should also identify opportunities to support LGBT activists in Russia.
08/09/2013 08:23 EDT
Stephen Harper's decision to protect those who use international tax havens to evade paying their taxes is inexplicable and unacceptable. Canadian companies should be good global citizens paying their fair share of taxes in countries where they operate, not hiding behind tax shelters and shell companies. After all, tax evasion is hurting the Canadian economy as well -- one estimate puts the cost at $7.8 billion per year, or slightly more than the amount the government will spend on infrastructure in First Nations communities over the next decade. Yet the government will not even provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the data necessary to calculate an official figure.
06/17/2013 05:32 EDT
On Monday I asked Canada's foreign affairs minister about the Arms Trade Treaty. Shamefully, the Conservative government acted as a spoiler during the treaty negotiations. The only civil society representative on Canada's delegation was from the gun lobby -- a man who was hailed by the NRA as one of its "beacons of hope." Hundreds of thousands of people die every year as a result of armed conflict. This treaty will help them. Dozens of countries have realized this, and have joined together to pursue a safer and more prosperous future. Canada should join the world in ending the illegal flow of weapons to the world's worst conflicts.
06/04/2013 08:21 EDT
Like never before, families are feeling the squeeze of inadequate support for seniors, shaky retirement savings, skyrocketing tuition, and lack of affordable childcare. Women and their families are increasingly shouldering these burdens without assistance from the federal government. Harper's policies are actually significant setbacks to the strides women have taken towards equality in the last generation.
02/01/2012 11:23 EST
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