• (CBC Photo)(CBC Photo)

    The Harper government will comply with a court ruling to reinstate a health care package for refugee claimants. 

    Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander made the announcement in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of a midnight deadline set by a federal court judge last July.

    “Under the temporary measures, most [asylum seekers] are eligible to receive coverage for hospital, medical and laboratory services, including pre- and post-natal care as well as laboratory and diagnostic services,” the statement reads.

    “This coverage is similar to what Canadians get under provincial and territorial health-care plans.”

    The deadline emanated from the government’s decision in 2012 to restrict health benefits of most refugees and eliminate health services for rejected claimants and asylum seekers from countries designated as “safe”  countries that generally do not produce refugees, which respect human rights and offer state protections. 

    A group calling itself Canadian

    Read More »from Harper government set to provide details on revising refugee health coverage
  • Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger announces his ministers during a signing-in ceremony. (CP)Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger announces his ministers during a signing-in ceremony. (CP)

    Embattled Manitoba NDP Premier Greg Selinger may want to commiserate with Gordon Campbell, Ed Stelmach, Kathy Dunderdale and Alison Redford.  

    Selinger becomes the latest premier in Canada to face an internal caucus revolt. 

    And this one is pretty harsh. 

    On Monday, five cabinet ministers — finance minister Jennifer Howard, justice minister Andrew Swan, health minister Erin Selby, jobs and the economy minister Theresa Oswald and municipal government minister Stan Struthers  resigned their posts stating that Selinger wasn’t listening to their advice. 

    "I’ve deep respect for the office of the premier and for the office of cabinet ministers," Oswald said during at a press conference.

    "I know that I am unable to effectively continue doing that job when the only way that my voice will be heard is if it is in total agreement with what the leader says."

    The five, now ex, cabinet ministers  who have each vowed to stay on as NDP MLAs and run in the next election slated for 2015  are part

    Read More »from Can Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger hang on to his job?
  • A woman places a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Remembrance Day 2013.A woman places a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Remembrance Day 2013.

    Every November, it seems, a debate rages about whether or not Remembrance Day should be a national holiday. Currently, people in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia have to work on Nov. 11. 

    Well, Dan Harris, the NDP MP for Scarborough Southwest, hopes to put an end to that debate once and for all.

    Harris is the latest member of Parliament to introduce a private member's bill to make Remembrance Day a national statutory holiday to be treated just like Canada Day. 

    That bill  Bill C-597  will be debated in the House of Commons for the first time Monday evening. 

    In a telephone interview with Yahoo Canada News, Harris argued that all Canadians should have the opportunity to go their local cenotaphs on Nov. 11th to pay their respects to the veterans who have risked and lost their lives in service to our country. 

    "Every year at the cenotaph in Scarborough there’s always some people who can’t make it because they have to work," he told Yahoo Canada News. 

    He notes that the recent deadly

    Read More »from Following soldier slayings, renewed interest in making Remembrance Day a national holiday
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    A Health Canada review of a new insecticide has reignited the debate about what’s killing our bees.

    At issue: a product called flupyradifurone  currently at the public consultation stage with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)  which, if approved, could be applied to vegetable, fruit and nut crops to interfere with the nerve functions of insects that come into contact with it. 

    Some of Canada’s leading environmental groups, however, warn that it could harm Canada’s already dwindling bee population. 

    "While dithering over neonicotinoids — bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe — Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word," Lisa Gue of the Suzuki Foundation wrote on the organization’s website

    "Inexplicably, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has yet to take action to curtail the use of neonics, and now the agency is preparing to give the green light to a

    Read More »from Save the bees? Environmental groups call on Health Canada to not approve new insecticide
  • Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. (Reuters)Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. (Reuters)

    If you're a high-income earner, you may be feeling that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's latest tax cut just isn't for you.

    And you're right, it probably isn't; but that doesn't mean you should be complaining that it should be taken away.

    On Thursday, Harper introduced several tax measures targeted at families with children under the age of 18. 

    One of the measures was income splitting which would allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket as a strategy to lower their overall tax burden. 

    Pundits and analysts were quick to jump on that particular measure claiming that it didn’t help Canada’s middle or low-income earners. Some well-off analysts even claimed that they  personally  didn’t need the benefit. 

    Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also inserted his own family situation into the debate. 

    "Income splitting is an idea that will give a $2,000 tax break to families like mine or Mr. Harper’s. That’s not good enough.”

    Read More »from Don't like the Harper government's tax cuts? Donate your savings to the federal government
  • The Conservative Party caucus room is shown shortly after shooting began on Parliament Hill. (Reuters)The Conservative Party caucus room is shown shortly after shooting began on Parliament Hill. (Reuters)

    There’s a lot to criticize our public safety officials about following last week’s attack in Ottawa. 

    After all, a gunman — Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — was able to penetrate the security perimeter of Parliament Hill and get within metres of our elected officials and even the prime minister. 

    But the latest critique is a little unexpected. 

    The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is calling out the public safety ministry for sending out an emergency safety alert, just minutes after the attack, in only English. 

    As explained by the Ottawa Citizen, the alert was sent to departmental security officers across the country urging public servants to stay where they were and not leave their buildings until further notice. 

    "Public Safety officials say they were trying to get information out as quickly as possible," notes the Citizen's report, adding that the alert was at a time when it wasn't clear how many gunmen were involved. 

    "Meaning they didn’t have time to get the alert

    Read More »from Canada's language watchdog to intervene about English-only security alert following Ottawa attack
  • A group of Canadian Muslim woman hold a candlelight vigil in memory of the fallen Canadian soldiers. (Reuters)A group of Canadian Muslim woman hold a candlelight vigil in memory of the fallen Canadian soldiers. (Reuters)

    The Harper government has talked tough about the need to beef-up anti-terrorism legislation following last week's attacks in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa. 

    On Monday, the Tories introduced Bill C-44 which would give CSIS the ability to cooperate with international spy agencies and give legal protection to informants who provide them with evidence. 

    The Feds have also indicated that there’s more legislation on it’s way. 

    But even before the new laws make their way through the House and the Senate, it appears that officials have already ratcheted-up their counter-terrorism efforts. 

    And they’re being creative about it. 

    The Globe and Mail is reporting on the case of Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, a Pakastani national now living in Ontario. 

    Ansari’s lawyer tells the Globe that his client was arrested this week  with threat of deportation  under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for being a danger to the security of Canada. 

    "[Lawyer Anser Farooq] said federal officials allege Mr.

    Read More »from Security officials utilize alternative strategies while they wait for anti-terror legislation
  • Doug Ford waves to supporters after failing to be elected as mayor in Toronto. (Reuters)Doug Ford waves to supporters after failing to be elected as mayor in Toronto. (Reuters)

    Doug Ford might not be done with politics just yet. 

    The runner-up to John Tory in the Toronto mayoral race  and brother of former mayor Rob Ford  is now musing about running for the leadership the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. 

    "I think we would have a big base of support," Ford told the Toronto Star on Tuesday. 

    "We have to start focusing more on the hard-working blue-collar people. Out of the votes I had (for mayor) I would say probably three-quarters of them would never vote PC in their lives.

    "My personal opinion, I don’t think any of the candidates could beat Kathleen Wynne … they don’t attract a certain base in Toronto and the 905 that we would attract."

    Nobody knows for sure if this is for real or if it’s another one of the Ford brothers’ reveries. 

    Personality is a factor in elections and can work in favour — or against — of appealing to voters.
    —Maddie Di Muccio, political analyst

    Doug does have several other options on the table. He could go back to

    Read More »from If he runs, could Doug Ford actually win the Ontario PC leadership race?
  • Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney and Canadian detainee Omar Khadr (CP)Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney and Canadian detainee Omar Khadr (CP)

    Cabinet Minister Jason Kenney has taken umbrage with the Ottawa Citizen's decision to publish an op-ed column written by Omar Khadr

    Khadr, of course, is the Canadian citizen who spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay for killing a U.S. soldier as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan.

    He did plead guilty to the crime but but since suggested that he confessed as a means to come home. He was transferred to Canada in 2012, after a U.S. military commission sentenced him to eight years in jail. 

    In his op-ed  presumably written from his medium security prison cell — Khadr recounts his time at the infamous Guantanamo Bay complaining that he was never “accorded the protection” he deserved as a child soldier.

    "I have been through so many other human rights violations. I was held for years without being charged," he wrote.

    "I have been tortured and ill-treated. I have suffered through harsh prison conditions. And I went through an unfair trial process that sometimes felt like it would never end."

    Read More »from Jason Kenney derides newspaper for publishing Omar Khadr op-ed
  • Should the federal government be doing more to close the gender gap in Canada?

    On Tuesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released it’s 2014 gender equality report, an annual analysis that captures the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities around the world. 

    Canada ranked 19th out of 142 countries, and has actually improved in the rankings over the past few years.

    "Canada moves up one spot to 19th place, having closed 75 per cent of its overall gender gap, up from 74 per cent in 2013," notes the report.

    Looking further back to 2006, Canada has closed 4 per cent more of the gender gap than it had in 2006.”

    There are, however, some areas of concern. 

    Particularly, Canada ranks 27th in the world when it comes wage equality for similar work and 40th with regard to the percentage of female legislators, corporate executives and general managers. 

    According to a spokesperson for Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Kellie Leitch, the government has made significant

    Read More »from Gender inequality: Canada ranks 19th of 142 countries around the globe


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