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The Scott Ross: Senate Saves Canada… Again

How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.

In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate’s actions. In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate.  Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Meet two ambassadors from Canada’s indigenous tar sands resistance

by Kristin Moe | First published by YES! Magazine on March 5, 2014

In 1885, a revolutionary leader wrote, “My people will sleep for one hundred years” and then wake up. In the “genocidal” wilderness of Canada’s tar sands, that renaissance has begun.

The debate over the tar sands has heated up once again in the United States, with nearly 400 students arrested in a protest at the White House last weekend. The arrestees were demanding that the Keystone XL pipeline be stopped.

But First Nations groups in the heart of Alberta, the Canadian province where the tar sands are (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Illegal Spying: Class action lawsuit filed against Canada’s electronic spy agency

by: BC Civil Liberties Association | Press Release | April 1, 2014

VANCOUVER – Today, lawyers for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed a proposed national class action lawsuit on behalf of Canadians whose private communications and metadata information has been collected by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) in a manner that violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The proposed class action statement of claim, filed today in Federal Court, is a companion case to the claim filed by the BCCLA in the B.C. Supreme Court in October of 2013. If the BCCLA’s original lawsuit (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Majority of Canadians Oppose Harper’s “Unfair Elections Act”: POLL

by: Council of Canadians | Press Release

A new poll released today shows that a majority of Canadians oppose central features of the so-called “Fair” Elections Act, known as Bill C-23.

The provisions in the Unfair Elections Act that would eliminate the voucher system, prevent Elections Canada from publicly reporting on election fraud, and cancel Elections Canada’s research and public education programs received the most significant opposition. The poll was jointly commissioned by the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students, and LeadNow.ca.

Seventy per cent of respondents said that the act’s elimination of Elections Canada’s ability to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: In Open Letter, 19 Professors Denounce Harper’s Fair Elections Act

by: Various

We, the undersigned, international scholars and political scientists, are concerned that Canada’s international reputation as one of the world’s guardians of democracy and human rights is threatened by passage of the proposed Fair Elections Act.

We believe that this Act would prove [to] be deeply damaging for electoral integrity within Canada, as well as providing an example which, if emulated elsewhere, may potentially harm international standards of electoral rights around the world.

In particular, the governing party in Canada has proposed a set of wide-ranging changes, which if enacted, would, we believe, undermine the integrity of the Canadian (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Parliament’s Sham Report on Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women Trashed

by: Obert Madondo

Many had hoped the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women would move Canada closer to addressing the perennial issue of more than 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

The committee’s final report, delivered in parliament last week, turned out to be another government-sponsored sham. Most shocking is the fact that the report killed Canadians’ call for a national public inquiry, which is only a first step towards addressing this national tragedy.

Rights advocacy groups and opposition parties express their disappointed.

Once again, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is disappointed and frustrated.

(Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Rights groups demand independent oversight of federal agency CBSA

by: BC Civil Liberties Association | Press Release

Public inquiry recommended oversight in 2006 – no action since that time

The BC Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers today called on the government to end its long inaction on the need for an independent and effective complaints and monitoring mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The Maher Arar judicial inquiry recommended that CBSA’s national security activities be subjected to independent review in 2006. The federal government has failed to act on this recommendation.

While CBSA has sweeping police (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian “Fair Elections” Act Violates Canadian Constitution

by: Obert Madondo

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Photo by Remy Steinegger

The Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-23, the so-called “Fair Elections” Act, violates Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It’s clear the Conservatives are preparing to steal the 2015 federal election. Bill C-23 is part of their ongoing war on the politically-marginalized. It unequivocally proposes to disenfranchise non-Conservative voters and marginalized groups.

The Charter’s Section 3 clearly states that “Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Commentary: Legal safeguards for tenants are meaningless without enforcement

by: Kendra Milne | First published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Housing is a right. [Photo by Obert Madondo/The Canadian Progressive

Safe and secure housing is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being. The housing affordability crisis in BC is common knowledge, but less well known is the fact that the lack of enforcement of tenancy laws threatens the safety and security of rental housing across the province.

Roughly one third of British Columbians live in rental housing. They depend on BC’s tenancy laws to ensure that their rental housing is safe and reasonably well maintained, that they (Read more…)

drive-by planet: RT interview with president Grimsson of Iceland – the little nation that stood for democracy and rights over banks

Came across this RT interview recently. It was recorded earlier this year and features host Oksana Boyko with President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Grimsson served as a representative the left-wing People’s Alliance in Reykjavik and was finance minister from 1988-1991. More on his background – here.

The description accompanying the video says in part: As Iceland’s banking system went into meltdown at the start of the global financial crisis, it came under enormous pressure from the rest of Europe to accept crippling austerity measures that would have burdened its people for generations to come. And yet the tiny island (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4

Federal public sector unions are joining forces to legally challenge the Harper Conservatives’ latest assault on Canadian workers’ rights through Bill C-4.

The post Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Neil Young’s 4-city concerts to benefit First Nation’s tar sands fight

Neil Young’s 4-city Canadian concert tour to raise money to support the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s legal defense against tar sands developments.

The post Neil Young’s 4-city concerts to benefit First Nation’s tar sands fight appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: FINTRAC collecting personal banking information of innocent Canadians

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart accuses FINTRAC of collecting the personal banking information of thousands of innocent Canadians.

The post FINTRAC collecting personal banking information of innocent Canadians appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: More than 30 organizations uniting to safeguard Canadians’ privacy rights

With Parliament set to resume, coalition calls for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against government intrusion

The post More than 30 organizations uniting to safeguard Canadians’ privacy rights appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: CHRC statement on meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya

Canadian Human Rights Commission statement on meeting with James Anaya, the visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The post CHRC statement on meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Maude Barlow: Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever

In her new book, Blue Future, international bestselling author and activist Maude Barlow warns about the grave consequences of the deepening global water crisis.

The post Maude Barlow: Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Canada: Violence Against Indigenous Women Demands Inquiry

The recent visit by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights shows that violence against indigenous women in Canada demands inquiry, says Human Rights Watch.

The post Canada: Violence Against Indigenous Women Demands Inquiry appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Union concerned about Verizon spying on Canadians

If New York-based Verizon Communications takes over Canada’s telecommunications, it will pass Canadians’ personal data to US intelligence agencies, says Canadian union.

The post Union concerned about Verizon spying on Canadians appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Manning case shows that US government’s priorities are ‘upside down’

The Bradley Manning verdict is about sending the message that “the US government will come after you”, says Amnesty International’s Senior Director of International Law and Policy Widney Brown.

The post Manning case shows that US government’s priorities are ‘upside down’ appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: European Parliamentarians Ask President Obama To Free Bradley Manning

In this open letter to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, European parliamentarians demand the immediate release of Bradley Manning.

The post European Parliamentarians Ask President Obama To Free Bradley Manning appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: The ‘irony’ of Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Latin America

Experts on Latin America issue open letter to the media, highlighting the ‘irony’ of Edward Snowden’s request for asylum in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The post The ‘irony’ of Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Latin America appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian government enemy lists: Voices-Voix open letter to PM Harper

In this open letter, Voices-Voix, a coalition of more than 200 civil society organizations across Canada, tells Harper that his government’s “enemy lists” violate freedoms guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The post Canadian government enemy lists: Voices-Voix open letter to PM Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Tim Hortons blocks customers’ WiFi access to gay and lesbian website

Last week, Canadian coffee titan Tim Hortons blocked the website of popular gay and lesbian newspaper Xtra from its public WiFi network.

The post Tim Hortons blocks customers’ WiFi access to gay and lesbian website appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Marriage equality becomes law in England and Wales

Marriage equality became law in England and Wales after Queen Elizabeth granted Royal Assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill last Wednesday.

The post Marriage equality becomes law in England and Wales appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives ignoring housing, food security needs in Canada’s North

Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are making the cost of living unsustainable for families in Canada’s North, according to Yvonne Jones, the Liberal MP for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The post Conservatives ignoring housing, food security needs in Canada’s North appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.