Archive for the ‘Governance Debates’ Category

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New bill will force tech giants to negotiate deals to pay media to use their content

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

“Now more than ever, Canadians need reliable and credible information, especially in a time of greater mistrust and disinformation.” The bill, designed to support Canada’s independent media, is modelled on an Australian law making tech companies such as Google and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, pay for news content on their platforms.

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Close to home: The Canadian far right, COVID-19 and social media

Monday, April 4th, 2022

The far-right benefited from social media’s tendency to privilege reductionist and simplified narratives… algorithmic dynamics helped the far-right in propagating the binary populist framework — “we, the people” versus “the corrupt and evil elites,” “bad politicians and leaders” who implemented COVID-19 measures versus “good politicians and leaders” who don’t — to foster and incite rage among discontent Canadians. 

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Senators overwhelmed by emails, calls pushing conspiracy theories about basic income legislation

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

… there’s nothing new about conspiracy theories but the pandemic has “pushed them into hyperdrive,” fuelling a movement of people willing to believe there’s a global movement to “enslave” humanity… people in these online forums are largely unaware of how the government operates — or how a bill is passed through Parliament — and those knowledge gaps “are easily filled with fantasy.” “It’s easy to see a sinister plot when you don’t actually understand how the government works.

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Ford government appeals to Canada’s top court to keep premier’s mandate letters secret

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Mandate letters traditionally lay out the marching orders a premier has for each of his or her ministers after taking office — and have been routinely released by governments across the country. Ford’s government, however, has been fighting to keep his mandate letters from the public since shortly after the premier took office in June 2018… It’s unclear how many tax dollars and government resources have been spent trying to deny the public access to the mandate letters.

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The ‘care economy’ is growing the government, whether conservatives like it or not

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

The government isn’t just getting bigger. It’s getting bigger specifically in the areas where costs are most likely to grow over the long-term… National child care, having been implemented, stands a fair chance of being permanent now. And COVID-19 has spurred even penny-pinching provinces like Ontario to commit to substantial health-care capacity expansions. 

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Look out Conservatives — big government is back, and Canadians like it

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Sean Speer, former economic adviser to Stephen Harper, wrote in The Hub in February, “We’ve gone from every major political party supportive of balanced budgets as recently as 10 years ago to today’s new multi-partisan consensus in favour of larger and longer deficits. Something obviously changed.”… historians may point to the moment last week when Canada’s social-safety net was significantly, and quite possibly, permanently expanded.

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New evidence that hospital pressured to axe doctor who criticized Ford government on pandemic

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

It’s been more than a year since Dr. Brooks Fallis was suddenly fired in January as interim head of critical care at William Osler Health System, in the hardest-hit part of Ontario. Fallis was respected and admired by peers and employers. He was also a passionate, incisive critic of the government’s pandemic response. One was given more weight by his bosses than the other.

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Run and hide! Lock your doors! The coalition government is coming for your democracy

Friday, March 25th, 2022

The true democratic disorder is when a party receives around 40 per cent of votes but gets 60 per cent of seats in Parliament, and then imposes their will on the country as if they’d received a true mandate. That’s delusional, yet it’s become our political normal. The last time a majority of seats accompanied a majority of votes was in 1984… Coalitions are by their nature improvisational and creative, so they don’t follow rule books. They’re also pretty inevitable now, since elections increasingly return minority governments.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces deal with NDP to support Liberals until 2025

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

The deal, known as confidence-and-supply agreement, would see the NDP support the minority Liberals in upcoming confidence votes, like federal budgets, in exchange for NDP-friendly measures… both parties identified shared policy objectives, including tackling climate change, advancing reconciliation, and delivering a “fairer tax system” for the middle class… Dental care, according to sources in both parties, is the big measure that Canadians will feel almost immediately.

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There’s a fix to disinformation: Make social media algorithms transparent

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

In the period of newspaper and broadcast dominance, anyone could find out what news their neighbours were consuming just by opening the paper or turning on the TV. In the social media era, many of those interactions are dark. The solution is algorithmic transparency. But this is easier said than done, because the algorithms are the special sauce in the platforms… So far, lawmakers have listened politely, but not acted. 

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