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Ottawa wins praise for endorsing UN indigenous-rights declaration

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

November 12, 2010
The Harper government stepped up to the plate Friday, formally signing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ending Canada’s isolation as one of two countries that refused to endorse the text. The non-binding declaration commits member states to protect the rights and resources of indigenous peoples within the state. The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand refused to sign when the accord was adopted in 2007, claiming that resource rights and other claims included in the text clashed with their constitutions… The government decided it was better to endorse the declaration and explain its concerns, rather than reject the whole document.

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Clement accused of misrepresenting census impact

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Jul. 20, 2010
Growing unrest within Statistics Canada and growing anger from groups of every political persuasion have left Stephen Harper’s government facing a revolt over its plans to end the mandatory long-form version of the census. Officials within Statscan believe Industry Minister Tony Clement is misrepresenting the advice he has been receiving from the internationally respected agency charged with gathering data on Canadians.

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Canadians’ access to information at a crisis point

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Apr. 14, 2010
…the Information Commissioner despairs that the right to information from government is on the brink of being “totally obliterated” through government delay and obstruction… At root are conflicting notions of responsibility. Politicians and public servants typically believe that how a policy is communicated is vital to that policy itself, and that nothing should be compromised through unplanned disclosures. Those outside government insist that in an open democracy everything must be revealed unless there is a compelling reason not to.

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Ottawa urged to end Indian band councils’ post-secondary funding

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Mar. 16, 2010
A new think tank wants Indian band councils stripped of their power to give out post-secondary education grants. Instead, it says, Ottawa should create accounts for each Indian child at birth that would be used later for tuition and living expenses… “The current system is rife with nepotism, corruption, favouritism,”… and much of the money doesn’t get spent on students at all.

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Core support keeps the PM in thrall

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Mar. 12, 2010
Most Canadians – a whopping 65 per cent, in fact – put themselves in the centre of the political spectrum, according to a poll conducted by Allan Gregg of Harris/Decima and professor André Turcotte of Carleton University for the Manning Centre, a conservative think-tank. But the political centre is more conservative than some might think…
…while 31 per cent strongly agreed with the statement: “Government action is the best way to solve economic problems,” 36 per cent counted on the “private sector before government to solve economic problems.”

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PM gambles that voters care about the deficit, little else

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Mar. 05, 2010
By slashing planned spending by $17.6-billion, the government is closing the tap on any major spending initiatives for half a decade, once the stimulus money runs out.
And by balancing the budget without tax hikes – though only if you believe rising Employment Insurance premiums are not a tax – the Tories are offering themselves as the party of no tax pain in exchange for no spending gain. That means little or nothing will be done to fight global warming, to improve preschool education or daycare, to continue with infrastructure renewal…
…the real pain is still a year away.

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