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Liberals come out against Tory ‘dumb on crime’ legislation

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

February 9, 2011
“We’re all in favour of cracking down on serious criminals, but this bill doesn’t distinguish between massive grow-ops and a first-time offender with a small amount,” he said. “What’s more, the Conservatives won’t tell us what the fiscal implications of this bill are. How many billions will it cost? How many mega-prisons will have to be built? For these reasons, we just can’t support it.” … That looming expense has convinced Liberals they can safely vote against S-10 without suffering political consequences.

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Harper’s senators: Conservative, diverse and obedient

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Dec. 22, 2010
The senators appointed by Mr. Harper have been effective tools of the Conservative government. They turn out for votes and keep to the party line… (NDP Leader Jack) Layton… said it is a departure from the way previous governments have treated the Red Chamber. “The idea of explicitly being there to block the will of the majority is new,” he said, “and shamelessly, they are proud if it.”

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Scores of native chiefs out-earn PM

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010
…at least 30 chiefs were making more than the after-tax income of Canada’s provincial premiers… 222 reserve politicians were making more than their respective premiers in 2008-09. And more than 700 received an income that was the equivalent of a off-reserve salary of more than $100,000… “a lot of reserve politicians are abusing their ability to set their own pay levels and to keep it hidden from the public.”

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Five years later, information access is still stalled

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Oct. 09, 2010
… the number of complaints received by the federal Information Commissioner is up 17 per cent since the Conservatives came to power. Major government departments have hired outside consultants to clear the backlog of delayed files, often by asking journalists and other requesters to simply abandon their requests. The Harper government has a reputation for controlling information, but some Conservatives question whether its worth it.

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Alberta eyes ‘people first’ overhaul of health care

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Sep. 16, 2010
Once considered among the foremost advocates for two-tier health care in Canada, the Alberta government has released a report that calls for changes that could reshape the province’s health system into a more public model… “Make no mistake about it: [the AHA] will be in the parameters of the Canada Health Act, and it will reflect one of Albertans’ central values – for a single-tiered, publicly funded health system.”… the system envisioned in Thursday’s report would emphasize wellness over treatment – guaranteeing access to primary care, setting up multidisciplinary teams to provide it, developing performance standards, creating a Health Charter and hiring an advocate to enforce it.

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Posted in Equality Debates | 1 Comment »

‘Third wave’ of feminism urged by prominent Canadian women

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Sep. 09, 2010
The second wave of feminism, which began nearly 50 years ago and which followed the first wave of the suffragettes, “was about enshrining in law [women’s] rights,”… The third wave [said Maureen McTeer] has to be about “changing attitudes.” “There’s been a lot of pushback against women’s equality and against what it stands for,” Ms. McTeer said. “There’s a need now to move beyond accepting that law is enough.”

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Why we’re census-obsessed

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

July 23, 2010
… government’s decision to replace the mandatory long census with one that is voluntary is “terrible policy.” But… fits very well with the overarching Conservative objective to reduce the size of government… for conservative activists and intellectuals, what is “truly infuriating to them is the suspicion that these types of knowledge play a role in actively cultivating non-conservative values and a public philosophy that acknowledges a role for government in addressing and reducing certain structural inequalities of society…

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Money for real things like fake lakes, but not poverty

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

June 9, 2010
… the government has decided to send a message to the entire sector and it is ‘watch out what you say. It will cost you a very great deal.’” The irony, said Mr. Barr, is that the strategy won’t work. The CCIC will continue to exist and the sector, he said, will be even more convinced “that the government needs a critical analysis.”

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Provinces fear hefty costs of federal get-tough crime bills

Friday, May 21st, 2010

May. 21, 2010
The federal government has not attached dollar figures to its many bills that aim to put more people behind bars for longer periods of time. But federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews revealed late last month that just one of his government’s bills is expected to cost $2-billion over five years. Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, is expected to release a report next week that will say Mr. Toews’s cost estimate for Bill C-25 is billions of dollars too low, and that the provinces will be on the hook for 75 per cent of the money.

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Opposition balks at steep price of Tory crime bills

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

May. 18, 2010
The government is gradually restoring legislation introduced in the previous session that would impose longer sentences for some types of crimes and mandatory incarceration for others. Opposition members – the Liberals in particular – admit they were not fully supportive of the measures when they were originally introduced but were reluctant to block them because the Conservatives would accuse them of being soft on crime. But the slow trickle of information about the money that will be required to keep thousands more people in prison is providing them with a counter-attack.

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