First Nations spending accountability is essential

Forward-looking Indigenous governments realize that transparency is the only way to improved social and economic conditions

First Nations spending accountability is essentialIt’s distressing that Indigenous activist Harrison Thunderchild has been forced to go to court to make leaders of Saskatchewan’s Thunderchild First Nation disclose expenditures. Parliament passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act in 2013, when the Conservatives were in power. The law made chief and band council salaries and benefits public information, as well as…

Emails destroyed, justice denied?

What part of ‘Don’t delete government emails’ did these Ontario cops not understand?

Emails destroyed, justice denied?Deleted government emails have been hot news in Ontario since former premier Dalton McGuinty’s aides David Livingston and Laura Miller were charged with deliberately destroying records relating to cancelled gas-fired power plants. Now an unrelated Ontario trial has revealed another alleged incident of deliberately deleted government emails. In late 2015, government employees and police raided…

#MeToo movement gains traction in Ottawa

Ottawa’s corridors of power have been buzzing about a coming bombshell. The revelations will bring a speedy end to many political careers

#MeToo movement gains traction in OttawaThat didn’t take long. Last week, I wondered why the #MeToo movement had yet to alight in Ottawa. Within days – and just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was about to take the stage at his annual Christmas party – TVA broke a major story: a senior staff person in Trudeau’s office was under investigation.…

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferers

The federal government routinely denies the Disability Tax Credit to those who need it – and are eligible by law

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferersThis story began when I offered to represent the mother of a three-year-old with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, in a federal tax court. She had never even fought a parking ticket before she went against the federal government. We won. It turns out, evidence matters. But the story doesn’t end there. We went to…

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferers

The federal government routinely denies the Disability Tax Credit to those who need it – and are eligible by law

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferersThis story began when I offered to represent the mother of a three-year-old with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, in a federal tax court. She had never even fought a parking ticket before she went against the federal government. We won. It turns out, evidence matters. But the story doesn’t end there. We went to…

Don’t keep parents in the dark about their child’s transgenderism

A handful of Ontario school boards have decided that parents shouldn't be told if their child has adopted a transgender identity

Don’t keep parents in the dark about their child’s transgenderismA handful of Ontario school boards have implemented policies that allow children from junior kindergarten to Grade 12 who have adopted a transgender identity to keep it from their parents. It’s a presumption that the choice may not be as readily accepted in the household, and that schools and educators will provide a safer environment.…

So long Hector-Louis Langevin: erasing a nation’s history

For the crime of being a man of his times, Canadians are being asked to wipe the memory of a Father of Confederation clean

So long Hector-Louis Langevin: erasing a nation’s history“We do not allow the dead to rise up against us. … You will be lifted clean out from the stream of history. Nothing will remain of you, not a name in a register, not a memory in a living brain. You will be annihilated in the past as well as in the future. You…

Trudeau government’s hidden tax increases flaunt democracy

The government wants to increase taxes on booze based on the Consumer Price Index, while denying the same right to revenue it provides to Canadians

Trudeau government’s hidden tax increases flaunt democracyCanadians can be smug. Our country is safe, secure, beautiful, clean and free. And we have an open, democratic government whose job it is to improve our lives. Or do we? A close look at the 2017 federal budget suggests otherwise. It’s cruel and unusual to ask ordinary citizens to go through the hundreds of…

An open government doesn’t close doors to information

The case of Vice-Admiral Norman shouldn't be about disclosing cabinet secrets, it should be about loyalty, ethical behaviour and adhering to codes of conduct

An open government doesn’t close doors to informationIn addressing the issues raised by the situation involving Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, some commentators, and the federal cabinet, are confusing the requirements of loyalty and ethical behaviour that apply to federal public officials with the much more limited duty to keep cabinet secrets. Based on the evidence made public, Norman's communication with an executive from the…

When Khrushchev spilled the beans

60 years this month Nikita Khrushchev blew the whistle on (the safely deceased) Josef Stalin’s crimes

When Khrushchev spilled the beansIt’ll be 60 years this month since Nikita Khrushchev blew the whistle on (the safely deceased) Josef Stalin’s crimes. And while the revelations were no surprise to savvy observers, it was a punch in the gut for many true believers and fellow travellers, particularly in the West. What they’d fondly imagined as a Marxist utopia…
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