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An accountable act

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

May 05, 2012
Although this bill on its own won’t undo the damage of the Indian Act, it helps to address one of the fundamental problems on many native reserves today — a lack of accountability for taxpayers’ dollars spent… This legislation is meant to deal with the worst of the worst, so individual band members can ask their leaders where the money went when the water isn’t running, the heat isn’t turned on, or the school isn’t being built. It’s a direct way of empowering natives to question their leaders, without fear of reprisal.

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Canadians ’empathetic’ to those with mental illness, addiction: Report

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

May 01, 2012
In the report, Canada Speaks 2012: Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty… 87% said the government needs to make mental illness a higher priority, and 84% said there should be more services to help those with addictions… When it comes to mental illness and poverty, 80% said there is a link… the results of this year’s survey are “promising and reveal a population that recognizes the barriers and obstacles facing Canadians that suffer from either mental illness or addiction.”

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Top 10 reasons why Office of Religious Freedom is a bad idea

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Jan. 7, 2012
“Freedom of religion is one of the first things in the Charter, it’s one of the first things in the Bill of Rights, it’s front and centre in the UN Declaration of Human Rights – it’s an essential human right,” Baird told The Canadian Press… I can’t recall Baird or his government being particularly enthusiastic about the Charter before – his boss, Stephen Harper, once called it “seriously flawed” because it promotes equality… this initiative – which the Opposition has largely been silent about — is a very bad idea. Here’s 10 reasons why:

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Canada’s wealth gap widening

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

July 13, 2011
The gap between the rich and poor is widening as the rich get richer, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada. The richest Canadians increased their share of the national wealth between 1993 and 2009, while poor and middle-income individuals lost ground… “While the poor are minimally better off in an absolute sense, they are significantly worse off in a relative sense…
“High inequality can diminish economic growth if it means that the country is not fully using the skills and capabilities of all its citizens or if it undermines social cohesion…

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Out in the open [Aboriginal sexual health education]

Monday, July 4th, 2011

June 30, 2011
First Nations women and youth are at disproportionately higher risks than the mainstream Canadian population to have other adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes. These communities are more likely to suffer high-risk pregnancies, pre-term deliveries, sexually transmitted infections and instances of sexual violence… The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)… online initiative, AboriginalSexualHealth.ca (link to: http://aboriginalsexualhealth.ca/), [is] a website meant to educate and empower First Nation, Inuit and Métis women and their health-care providers.

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Michael Ignatieff’s policies target Jack Layton’s base

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

April 4, 2011
We can vote for a centre-right party, the Harper Conservatives, who represent steady-as-she goes, cautious economic management, lowish taxes and a philosophical bent towards individualism and smaller government. Or we can vote for a centre-left party, the Ignatieff Liberals, who represent a significant increase in the role of the state in Canadian life, with ramped-up social spending on education, health care and pensions, and a much more active role for government in the economy… If enough voters buy Ignatieff’s vision, then Canada is headed for something quite different from what we’ve lived for the past 25 years.

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Multicultural hogwash

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

February 9, 2011
Canada is now a multiracial, multi-ethnic society of disparate, segregated communities. This so-called Canadian multiculturalism may ultimately lead to a crisis similar to the one facing Britain and Germany where Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor Angela Merkel have been honest enough to admit the failure of this policy… True, Canada may not have one large monolithic immigrant group… but it has its multiple monolithic enclaves that are getting bigger by the year with the influx of new entrants… the way to address the issue is to rejig immigration policies

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‘Poor school’ a poor idea

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

February 1, 2011
The aim is to attract children who aren’t performing well in the public school system, and provide them with special supports so they can go on to college or university. While that’s a laudable goal, the way they’re going about it smacks of the kind of misguided Victorian do-goodism that sent poor children to the workhouses. Welland MPP Peter Kormos calls the plan “educational apartheid,” and says it won’t address the root causes of poverty… The way to help kids reach the top is to provide them with appropriate supports within the system — not corral them in separate silos, according to race or economic circumstances.

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Outsourcing shafts workers

Friday, January 28th, 2011

January 28, 2011
The battle cry from Bay Street and the Mayor’s Office calls for a full-scale outsourcing of all kinds of work… After all, if money can be saved, why not? That has been the guiding rule for powerful CEOs when they look at their own operations. Lots of them have outsourced – sometimes overseas, sometimes to contractors here at home… Of course, nobody stays long when they are being so poorly paid, so the turnover was constant. The job changed from one that paid a living wage, down to one that paid poverty wages. But the CEO got a bonus for “achieving efficiencies.”

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Human rights minister a good first step:

Friday, January 21st, 2011

January 19, 2011
The House of Commons’ foreign affairs subcommittee on human rights said in its latest report that Canada’s human rights obligations are spread across at least three departments making it difficult to measure any progress or hold anybody responsible… The[y]… urge the government to designate ministerial responsibility for the domestic implementation of Canada’s human rights obligation; for the monitoring of Canada’s human rights record and reporting those finding to appropriate UN bodies; and that the minister be given the necessary tools and resources to carry out the mandate.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

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