• OpenMedia is among the groups supporting the national day of action in protest of Bill C-51 (OpenMedia.ca)OpenMedia is among the groups supporting the national day of action in protest of Bill C-51 (OpenMedia.ca)
    Critics of the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation will be gathering in over 50 cities across the country Saturday in an effort to raise awareness about the controversial bill and encourage the government to go back to the C-51 drawing board.

    LeadNow, OpenMedia and Amnesty International are among the organizations involved in or throwing support behind what’s been dubbed the national day of action against Bill C-51 on March 14.

    OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson told Yahoo Canada News that over 15,000 individuals have RSVP’d for the cross-country events online.

    “More and more Canadians from all walks of life are concerned about this bill,” he said. “We’re just hoping to make that more clear to the government and educate more Canadians, because … the real kind of challenge for those of us who understand the dangers of the bill is to educate [other] Canadians.

    The government’s anti-terror bill, which was introduced in Parliament at the end of January, has received

    Read More »from Thousands expected at cross-country C-51 protests
  • Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know

    Explaining the Tories' controversial anti-terror legislation

    The scope of the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation is broad, and it may be difficult hear what the real issues and concerns are amid the noise and clatter of Ottawa.

    So, as best we can, Yahoo Canada News presents an anti-terror bill 101; or, as we’d like to call it, “Bill C-51 for Dummies.”

    What is Bill C-51?

    Bill C-51 was introduced at the end of January, and sets out to extend Canada’s anti-terror laws beyond legislation the then-Liberal government implemented just after 9/11.

    The bill comes at a time when tension over threats of terrorism on home soil are high. Attacks on two Canadian soldiers in October, as well as the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, are often cited by members of the government as justification for tougher laws.

    Bill C-51, according to Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, is in line with the government’s “firm commitment” to protect Canadians from jihadist terrorists who seek to destroy the values Canadians hold dear.

    “The

    Read More »from Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know
  • The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations says aboriginals in Canada are worried that the Tories’ proposed anti-terror legislation will brand them as terrorists.

    AFN chief Perry Bellegarde appeared before the House of Commons national security committee Thursday morning and raised a number of concerns over Bill C-51.

    He said that First Nations people in Canada have a long history of dealing with laws that threaten their rights. Bellegarde made a recommendation that the bill be scrapped, and rewritten with proper consultation of First Nations people.

    “The key issues at stake in Bill C-51 are the state’s power to place individuals or groups under surveillance, to monitor their everyday activities, to create criminal offenses that affect our ability to exercise our legally recognized rights, and the overall relationship of state power to fundamental human and indigenous rights,” Bellegarde said.

    This generation is not going to forsake our ability to protect our lands and
    Read More »from AFN chief wants C-51 scrapped, fears bill will brand First Nations people as terrorists
  • Addressing Canada’s income inequality is more of a political challenge than an economic one, according to a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    The CCPA’s David Macdonald was one of the guests at Wednesday’s Senate Liberal open caucus meeting to discuss income inequality. He told a roomful of Liberal senators that something like a guaranteed annual income — an option that has been floated by many thinkers and economists as an answer to poverty — needs substantial political capital to be implemented.

    He said that such a policy may never become reality due to the political heavy-lifting that would be required.

    Those who trumpet a guaranteed annual income believe that every citizen has the right to a certain standard of living, including a certain level of income. The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) has been campaigning to set $20,000 as the base income for all Canadians so they can make ends meet.

    David Macdonald of the CCPA (policyalternatives.ca)David Macdonald of the CCPA (policyalternatives.ca)Those who oppose this sort of policy tend to believe

    Read More »from Politics, not economics, the main hurdle to addressing income inequality: expert
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands to speak in the House of Commons Mar. 10, 2015. (Reuters)Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands to speak in the House of Commons Mar. 10, 2015. (Reuters)

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comments on women, the niqab and Muslim culture is facing significant—and sometimes amusing—backlash online.

    On Tuesday afternoon during question period, in response to a question from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Harper told the House of Commons that such face coverings like niqabs comes from a culture that’s “anti-women.”

    “The leader of the Liberal Party continues to bring up his position on the niqab, not seeming to understand why almost all Canadians oppose the wearing of face coverings during citizenship ceremonies,” the prime minister said.

    “It is very easy to understand. We do not allow people to cover their faces during citizenship ceremonies,” he continued. “Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice at that time that is not transparent, that is not open and frankly is rooted in a culture that is anti-women. That is unacceptable to Canadians.”

    The prime minister’s words were quickly criticized on Twitter, with some

    Read More »from Harper’s niqab comments spark #dresscodePM hashtag
  • A man looks at a giant inukshuk as the moon rises above it in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in this file photo from August 21, 2013. The inukshuk is a stone landmark or cairn used by the Inuit people in the arctic. Canada's Arctic territory of Nunavut has opened long-awaited talks with the federal government on gaining control of the region's vast natural resources, a move that could boost exploration and development.  REUTERS/Chris Wattie/Files   (CANADA - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT)A man looks at a giant inukshuk as the moon rises above it in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in this file photo from August 21, 2013. The inukshuk is a stone landmark or cairn used by the Inuit people in the arctic. Canada's Arctic territory of Nunavut has opened long-awaited talks with the federal government on gaining control of the region's vast natural resources, a move that could boost exploration and development. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/Files (CANADA - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT)
    Recent discord in the Nunavut legislature suggests that even governments representing large aboriginal populations find it difficult to be culturally sensitive to indigenous traditions.

    Last week, elder MLA Isaac Shooyook of the Nunavut legislative assembly walked out on question period in protest of what he said was a lack of Inuit traditional knowledge in the government’s practices and policies.

    Shooyook, who was first elected in the fall of 2013, told the legislature on March 5 that he would not return to the chamber after standing up to ask questions of the government.

    “There is flowery language about incorporating traditional Inuit knowledge, yet many times the department [of culture and heritage] refuses to implement this knowledge,” Shooyook said during question period on March 4, as reported by Nunavut news site Nunatsiaq Online.

    Isaac Shooyook  Photo: CBCIsaac Shooyook Photo: CBCSooyook’s concerns may be surprising given Nunavut’s aboriginal population, especially compared to other jurisdictions in Canada. But Terry Audla,

    Read More »from Cracks appear in Nunavut legislature over accommodating traditional Inuit knowledge
  • Justin Trudeau addresses students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. March 4, 2015. (CP)Justin Trudeau addresses students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. March 4, 2015. (CP)

    Defence and multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney is hitting back at Justin Trudeau after the Liberal party leader accused the Conservative government of stoking fear and prejudice against Muslim Canadians.

    On Monday night, Trudeau delivered a speech at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada in Toronto and said the government is using the same kind of rhetoric against Muslims as the country has in other past, shameful, periods.

    He likened the government’s policies to other “dark” episodes in Canadian history, including the internment of Ukrainian, Japanese and Italians during the world wars, as well as turning away boats of Jewish refugees.

    Trudeau pointed to the government’s anti-terror legislation and the prime minister’s stance that it is “offensive” for Muslim women to cover their faces during the Canadian citizenship ceremony.

    "It is a cruel joke to claim you are liberating people from oppression by dictating in law what they can and cannot wear," Trudeau said.

    "Fear is a

    Read More »from Trudeau's Toronto speech 'obscene,' says multiculturalism minister Kenney
  • Alberta Premier Jim Prentice speaks to media at a political event in Ottawa March 6, 2015. (Reuters)Alberta Premier Jim Prentice speaks to media at a political event in Ottawa March 6, 2015. (Reuters)

    Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says comments he made earlier this week blaming Albertans for the province’s dire fiscal situation were taken out of context by critics.

    Plummeting oil prices have darkened the province’s future. On Wednesday, Prentice told a CBC radio talk show host that “in terms of who is responsible, we need only look in the mirror. Basically, all of us have had the best of everything and have not had to pay for what it costs.”

    The comments were picked up quickly online and sparked some serious backlash against the premier with the #PrenticeBlamesAlbertans hashtag.

    Alberta’s NDP leader Rachel Notley also chimed in and said the premier’s words

    Read More »from Prentice shrugs off criticism over radio show comments
  • Panelists at this year’s Manning Networking Conference believe that conservative values are true to what young Canadians want from their country and say rising numbers of youth flocking to right-wing events is proof of that.

    The annual Manning conference, which takes place this weekend and has been dubbed the “Woodstock” of events for “small-c” conservatives and “big-C” Conservatives, is boasting more young delegates than ever before, with 200 registered as of Thursday and more expected as the conference gets underway. A spokesperson says last year’s conference drew 140.

    Aaron Gunn works for the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation in Victoria, B.C. and describes himself as a non-partisan, ‘small-c’ conservative, who believes in fiscal responsibility and small government.

    He will be one of five speakers at a lunchtime panel on Friday discussing the next generation of conservatism and how young people can find employment within the conservative movement.

    Aaron Gunn of the Canadian Taxpayers FederationAaron Gunn of the Canadian Taxpayers FederationGunn is in charge of the CTF’s

    Read More »from Conservative values 'attractive' to young Canadians, say Manning conference panelists
  • The Harper government’s new no-parole legislation, announced Wednesday afternoon and to be introduced next week when MPs return from some time back in their ridings, is, as it turns out, an opportunity to fall down the rabbit hole of ancient Crown prerogatives.

    The legislation will include a provision allowing cabinet to decide on the release of some killers, which caused a bit of a tizzy on Twitter after the prime minister announced the pending bill. Could the Conservative cabinet use this power to its advantage, for political gain, somehow? Is it not troubling for ideological politicians to be given this kind of legal power? Yes, possibly, but to be sure this isn’t anything new.

    Basics on the bill

    The government is planning to table legislation in the House of Commons that, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, would ensure Canada’s “most heinous criminals” stay in jail for life, without chance of parole.

    "Next week, our government will introduce legislation to ensure that for the most

    Read More »from Cabinet ministers granting clemency? Harper's new no-parole law reminds us they can

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