• Only proportionality will fix our democratic malaise

    … only a proportional system can meet the government’s first principle: To ensure that votes are fairly translated into elected results. No more staying at home because our preferred candidate cannot win. No more so-called strategic voting in which we vote to stop a party we like the least rather than choose the candidate or party that best reflects our views… Electoral reform is… about the public interest, what works for voters, what makes our democracy stronger.

  • Hot!

    Canada Revenue Agency needs a new playbook

    … the CRA has not had a single successful prosecution of international tax evasion in the past 10 years… Crowns have no interest in taking on time-consuming cases that can drag on for years… Even if the CRA could interest prosecutors, the CRA simply does not have the resources or experience to investigate such cases. And on cross-border white-collar crime, the RCMP is like a fish out of water… The line between legal international tax avoidance and offshore criminal tax evasion is blurry.

  • Tax-cheat crackdown nets $1-billion more than expected, CRA data show

    The 2013 budget estimated and booked $550-million a year by 2014-15 in additional revenue from added enforcement. The CRA now says the final net impact of the measures was $1.57-billion for that year… the 2013 changes required the disclosure of the name of the institution holding the foreign funds, the specific country where the property is, and the specific amount of foreign income that was generated.

  • Wernick ties DMs’ performance pay to workplace well-being

    … deputy ministers… will be assessed on the health and well-being of their departments. That means a portion of their performance pay will be tied to how well their departments are faring in building a “respectful” workplace. It’s the second year in a row that the public service’s top bureaucrat has made mental health a management priority… a much-anticipated strategy on how to make the public service a healthy workplace.

  • Ottawa to step up efforts on tax cheats in bid to collect $2.6 billion in back taxes

    … the new Liberal government said it will provide $444.4 million to the Canada Revenue Agency over the next five years so it can crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance. The government says it expects these efforts to result in the collection of $2.6 billion in back taxes over the next five years. The crackdown will extend to what the federal government describes as “aggressive tax planning.”

  • Canada Revenue targeted progressive non-profits while wealthy tax dodgers get free pass

    Tax evasion by the rich, with fewer investigators to stop it. What could possibly go wrong? We aren’t talking chicken-feed here, either: an estimated $170 billion has been squirrelled away offshore. That’s a heck of a lot of tax avoidance, to put it mildly. A lot of missing revenue that could be put to good use on behalf of ordinary Canadians… now that the CRA rock has been turned over. This had better not be the final chapter.

  • Disability benefits dogged by arduous, outdated paperwork, auditor general finds

    Canadians with terminal illnesses are waiting too long for disability pension benefits from the federal government, and those with grave conditions are being snowed under with paperwork… 20 years after vowing to assess how legislation and programs affect men and women, the federal government had made limited progress… gender-based analyses were not always complete or consistent across departments.

  • Take pride that Parliament reflects the face of Canada

    The 45 foreign-born MPs come from everywhere: 16 from Asia, 10 from Europe, eight from the Middle East, six from the Americas, five from Africa.Our Parliament is notably more aligned with its population than are the legislatures of other countries with high immigration rates… the 42nd Parliament is… one more significant, if incremental, step in a long move toward a national legislature that represents the identities, experiences and perspectives of all Canadians.

  • Public Servants ‘blow the whistle’ on tax system shortfalls

    “The picture that emerged was of an organization struggling to carry out its function in the face of government mismanagement. This includes major budget cuts, a poorly conceived restructuring effort, and targeting those who make tax filing mistakes rather than prioritizing big time tax cheats,”… politicians and lobbyists influence the agency’s operations, corporations successfully lobby to avoid prosecution, and there allegedly is political interference in audits to stop investigations.

  • Federal cabinet secrecy is being misused

    … government departments and agencies invoked cabinet secrecy more than 3,100 times in 2013-14, in response to requests for disclosure of federal records under the Access to Information Act. This represents a 49-per-cent jump in confidentiality claims over the previous year, which itself saw a 15-per-cent jump from the year before that… Legault has several recommendations for boosting accountability by giving the Access to Information Act more teeth