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Atleo needs to go back to the beginning

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

20 July 2012
[Shawn A-in-chut Atleo] has the misfortune of serving as the country’s highest-level First Nations spokesman coincident with the term of arguably the most aboriginal-indifferent federal government in decades… Children attending on-reserve schools receive, on average, $3,500 less funding than other Canadian students. First Nations child welfare agencies receive, on average, 22 per cent less funding to do their important work than similar provincial agencies across the country… It will be Shawn Atleo’s task… to hold all Canadians… to live up to the letter of their own constitutional and court laws…

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Europe caricatures don’t tell the story

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

July 19, 2012
[Scandinavian] countries have higher taxes than we do. That’s how they pay for the social services their people want without piling up debt. But has that stifled economic growth? According to the OECD, the average annual growth rate in Finland and Sweden, between 2000 and 2010, was equal to or higher than in Canada… Of course, reality is not the Conservatives’ concern. Winning is. And the European bogeyman is very useful for that…

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Canadians want results for cash: poll

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

July 1, 2012
… frustration is aimed at all levels of government, including aboriginal leadership, for an “ongoing inability to get started in modern society that exists within the aboriginal community.” … the only way out of poverty is to focus on economic development: looking at ways for the community to generate its own revenue, business plans, education and skills development… In response to the statement “Canada’s Aboriginal People receive too much support from Canadian taxpayers,” younger and more well educated respondents were less likely to agree than other age and education groups.

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »

Apologize to UN rights expert, Tories urged

Friday, June 1st, 2012

May 31, 2012
… more than 100 organizations, supported by former parliamentarians Flora MacDonald, Ed Broadbent and Warren Allmand, sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling on him to apologize for the government’s “unprecedented attacks” on Schutter during his 11-day mission to Canada. “Prime Minister, there is no line to be drawn between protecting human rights at home and protecting them in the rest of the world. Human rights are universal and do not only apply to developing countries or countries in which there are military dictatorships,” the letter states.

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StatsCan, or StatsCan’t?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

May 2, 2012
Just two months ago, economists and policy wonks were cheering the news that Statistics Canada, the much lauded government statistics office, had eliminated fees for its online databanks, making millions of figures available for free. Now the quantity of that data is under threat from the biggest budget cuts in recent memory… Nearly half of the agency’s 5,700 staff have received the layoff notices… Three-quarters of the savings would come from cutting programs, meaning fewer surveys, less data and less analysis.

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Posted in Governance Delivery System | 1 Comment »

Smart public policy

Friday, April 6th, 2012

April 6, 2012
Our investments have removed 20,000 children from poverty. The income tax cuts we introduced in 2009 mean 90,000 low-income people pay no income taxes at all. We are committed to increasing the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310, although on a slower schedule than we would have liked. The choices we are making are fair, balanced and reasonable. Our government has presented a strong plan to strengthen the economy and protect the gains we have all made in education and health care.

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Why the federal government picked a fight with charities

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

April 3, 2012
Stephen Harper’s majority government has issued a stern warning to charities to quit doing advocacy, and behave more like charities, in the most paternalistic sense of that term. If you represent a charity committed to eradicating poverty, do you need to stop advocating for poor people? Any government with a keen sense of the ephemeral nature of its own political future should pay close attention to what groups have to say, even if they abhor those views. Sadly, this government has demonstrated, time and again, its utter contempt for the views of groups that disagree with them, even groups that can back up their advocacy with evidence.

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Austerity isn’t for everyone

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Feb. 17, 2012
… the austerity refrain is the same: protect the rich, hit the middle class and leave the poor for later. This is not an argument against frugality, or in defence of sacred cows. The sacred cows are able to defend themselves. But it is an illustration of what can happen when political leaders, and their advisers, live in a sheltered world where seniors golf in Florida all winter… They forget — or don’t care — that most Canadians don’t live there.

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Government faces Aboriginal challenge

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012
Facts that could prove the federal government is discriminating against aboriginal children by underfunding child-welfare services on reserves need to be heard in court, said lawyers for the Canadian Human Rights Commission… The complaint argued the underfunding of child-welfare services on reserves leads to poverty, poor housing, substance abuse and a vast overrepresentation of aboriginal children in state care. However, the federal government argues that because it sends funds to band managers – who administer the services – the government cannot be held responsible for the services delivered.

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Harper wins when voters snooze

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Jan. 27, 2012
Many [voters] have given up – in cynicism or despair. They turn their back on politics, don’t bother to vote, even imagine it is fashionable to remain aloof. They claim all politicians are the same, but they aren’t. They claim it doesn’t matter which party holds power, but it does… Nothing seems to penetrate public indifference – to Harper’s benefit… waiting four more years for Conservatives to self-destruct – isn’t a strategy. It’s a confession of impotence.

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