• Paradise Papers show Ottawa must crack down on offshore tax havens

    … these revelations promise to deepen the longstanding problems of distrust and cynicism that inhibit needed tax reform and corrode our democracy… more than 3,000 Canadians are among those who made use of byzantine tax-avoidance schemes chronicled in the leaked documents. Most of these schemes are ethically dubious, some possibly illegal, and many might have been avoided had the government listened to the experts.

  • Ontario policing reforms will mean officers can be suspended without pay

    The creation of an inspector general to monitor police services, penalties for officers who fail to co-operate in police watchdog investigations, and the ability to suspend officers without pay were part of an announcement Thursday to revamp policing and the police oversight system in Ontario…. Other proposed changes include: Greater SIU powers of investigation… Expanded SIU powers to lay criminal charges… Penalties for non-cooperation…

  • Supreme court ruling clears way for B.C. ski resort on sacred Indigenous land

    The Supreme Court ruled the approval of the ski resort did not violate section 2(a) of the Charter, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion. “The Ktunaxa’s claim does not fall within the scope of s. 2(a) because neither the Ktunaxa’s freedom to hold their beliefs nor their freedom to manifest those beliefs is infringed by the Minister’s decision to approve the project,” said the decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe.

  • The era of big government isn’t over. It may be about to start

    The mystery is why anyone ever thought private companies were the way to cover huge costs like health or pensions. It’s costly and patchwork; public programs make far more sense. They’re stabler, better funded and include some democratic oversight. But before the economy got financialized, and mighty companies turned into hedgies’ playthings, they could at least pretend to fill the need. Public programs, however, mean you need revenues to fund them.

  • Ottawa has made a mess of Indigenous policy in this country

    … the entrenchment of their right to comprehensive negotiation about anything they claim affects their lives as natives, has placed the whole country in the absurd position of being held to blackmail by this nebulous community… by a policy of exaggerating their authority, vesting the natives with the right to extort treasure, retard reasonable development and tar the 95 per cent majority of Canadians of other descent as trespassers, interlopers, and usurpers, we have created a monster…

  • Liberals need to get back on track to tax reform

    While the economy is booming the government can afford to have it both ways – increase benefits for the middle class and working poor, while sweetening the pot for small business. But the economy will inevitably hit bumps in the road (starting with the Trump threat to NAFTA) and to make its vision sustainable over the long run the government must produce a plan to shore up its finances with true tax reform.

  • First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy

    The AFN’s rebuke on what they believed to be “co-development” of environmental legislation illustrates the significant challenges the Liberals face as they look to put those principles in practice. Rather than insist on the right to free, prior and information consent, the Liberals’ principles for relations with Indigenous people says the government “aims to secure” their consent “when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.” Mr. Carr said last week that the government must strike a balance among interests when assessing major projects like pipelines and mines.

  • Why the CRA thought it could take a bite of your free lunch

    The idea of taxing income equally is at the heart of any idea of tax fairness. Unless we want to encourage the creation of tax loopholes, our tax system has to try to respect it… [but] It comes down to a question of proportionality and reasonableness. There’s an old Latin expression: De minimis non curat lex. The law should not concern itself with trifles.

  • Election reform is coming to Canada — somewhere, somehow, and soon

    Justin Trudeau may have put the issue on ice at the federal level, having quite spectacularly reneged on his 2015 campaign promise to make that the last election to be held under first past the post. But elsewhere change is very much in the air. Ontario has passed legislation allowing the province’s municipalities, if they choose, to use ranked ballots for their elections… B.C., too, voted by a majority to switch to a form of PR…

  • A good day for press freedom

    … Members of Parliament passed the Journalistic Source Protection Act, which originated as a private member’s bill in the Senate, marking a major step forward for press freedom. We will finally be joining the United States, Britain, France and others in providing a legal safeguard for the privileged relationship between source and reporter.