• Let science and scientists speak for themselves

    … the federal government, its chief science adviser, Mona Nemer, and the unions representing public-sector scientists… have collaborated on a model policy that enshrines the freedom of government scientists to speak publicly, and helps protect them from political interference. Individual departments… will hew to several core principles, including: the timely release of findings; long-term monitoring of the policy’s effectiveness; and encouraging discussion over differing interpretations of results.

  • How the underfunding of legal aid is clogging up the justice system

    “It should be obvious to any outside observer that the income thresholds being used by Legal Aid Ontario do not bear any reasonable relationship to what constitutes poverty in this country”… With the heightened scrutiny on delays in the criminal justice system, which can lead to cases being tossed for violating an accused person’s right to be tried within a reasonable time, one area that experts have said warrants further attention is the chronic underfunding of legal aid.

  • Canadians with offshore holdings evade up to $3 billion in tax per year

    … the government estimates Canadian individuals are hiding between $75.9 billion and $240.5 billion in offshore tax havens and elsewhere, and not paying tax on it… the fact that so much wealth is being hidden offshore reveals a dangerous attitude among the wealthy… After years of refusing to estimate how much tax was being lost to cheating… the CRA did an about-face and started issuing partial tax gap estimates in 2016, shortly after the Panama Papers were made public.

  • We can’t return to a Senate ruled by partisan politics

    Diluting the worst partisan excesses of a Chamber’s operations after 150 years and replacing them with a less partisan, more open, balanced and considered operational context is not to be sneezed at. It has the genuine impact of improving the legislative framework of how our parliamentary democracy works – no small achievement – especially when, on a global basis, democracy is under significant dysfunctional pressure.

  • Number of police officers per Canadian hits 13-year low, Goodale told

    … there were roughly 69,000 police officers in Canada on May 15, 2017 — about 188 officers for every 100,000 Canadians. It’s a slight drop from the 2016 policing strength rate and the sixth consecutive annual drop… While the ratio of police officers to citizens is decreasing, the briefing note to Goodale notes the number of civilians working for police forces is growing. About 30 per cent of all police service personnel are not police officers

  • Can the federal public service fix its culture problem?

    the public service of Canada has a problem of truth-telling – or, as we say in the public sector, speaking truth to power. But it is not alone. In fact, every large, hierarchical organization, in the public or private sector, has the same problem of truth-telling. For obvious reasons. Managers are only human. And so they have an inevitable tendency to surround themselves with people who agree with them, support their ideas and directions and tell them what they want to hear.

  • Ontario voters cheated by first-past-the-post with PC false majority by Fairvote Canada

    Ontario’s voting system took only 40.5 per cent of the votes to manufacture a majority for Doug Ford’s PCs as voters were cheated by First-past-the-post… “That’s the way our system works, or more accurately, this is how our system does NOT work, to elect a government that reflects the views of the majority. How are voters supposed to hold the government accountable when it answers to only 40% of the voters?”

  • Openness, not secrecy should rule the day in Ontario’s tribunals

    Ontario’s network of provincial tribunals rule on matters as important as human rights, workplace safety and police conduct, and they have been operating well outside the spirit and practice of an open court system for far too long… Tribunals were born of the court system and designed to hive off specialized matters and relieve overburdened courts. They were not created to drop a veil of secrecy over important matters of public interest.

  • Addressing delay in the courts: Flirting with transformative change

    The preliminary inquiry historically served the central purpose of weeding out non-viable cases. But it is a resource- and time-intensive procedure. And with the evolution of professional policing, constantly improving investigative standards, talented and spirited defence-bar oversight and pro-active case-vetting by prosecutors, the preliminary inquiry as a screening mechanism has been in a death spiral for years… the costs and delays to maintain it system-wide are no longer broadly justifiable.

  • Information watchdog blasts Liberals ahead of her retirement

    “Bill C-58 is a bill for the bureaucracy, it’s definitely not a bill for transparency,” she said of the proposed legislation now in front of the Senate. “The government has made some amendments to the proposed legislation, but it is still regressive in many respects.” Ms. Legault laments the fact the legislation would allow the government to refuse to respond to requests that are too vaguely defined, stating that goes against the principle at the heart of access to information.