Arms, taxes loop-holes…

April 7, 2016

 Globe and Mail – Steven Chase
Arms deal by Canadian firm violated international embargo: UN report

Libya, engulfed in civil war since dictator Moammar Gadhafi lost power in 2011, is described by one US General as a “failed state” and is under UN embargo for arms shipments.  This UN report says that the shipment of armored cars by Streit Manufacturing in Innisfil, ON, in 2012 to Libya violates the UN embargo.   Ken Epps with Project Ploughshares says that there is a loop-hole in that a Canadian company can ship its blueprints and manufacturing overseas with immunity from Canadian arms regulations.  This transaction happened from the United Arab Emirates to Libya, beyond the rule of Canada’s export laws.  The sale of $15 billion in armored cars to Saudi Arabia, a known human rights violator, is again, say the critics, reason to end the contract which is shrouded in secrecy.   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Steven Chase    The Big Deal   Related article: Montreal Gazette – Steven Potter    Stéphane Dion’s complicated dance to justify Saudi arms deal

CBC News – Neil MacDonald
Panama Papers taunt the masses with more proof that game is rigged  Massive data leak is only the latest of many signs that the ultra-rich are playing by different rules

In the last few years, even the Davos meeting became alarmed by the repercussions of income inequality and the insistence, repeatedly illustrated, that the rich play by different rules, largely their own.  The Panama Papers apparently have 350 wealthy Canadians who fit into that category.  The revelations have prompted widespread and instant denial among those named to date.   Related article: CBC News – Dean Beeby   CRA’s pursuit of Panama Papers tips likely to take years   Related article:  CBC News   RBC denies wrongdoing after being named in Panama Papers   Related article: National Newswatch – Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press    Panama Papers leaks show change doesn’t happen by itself, says Edward Snowden   Related article: Globe and Mail –  Senator Percy Downe    Why Ottawa must stop evading the tax gap   Related article: Globe and Mail – Robert MacDermid    Six steps to clean up political financing rules   Related article: Toronto Star – Sunny Freeman    Why did Canada’s money-laundering watchdog keep bank’s name secret?

CBC News – Lucas Powers
Panama Papers only a glimpse into ‘astonishing’ wealth stashed offshore  –  Some estimates suggest between 8 and 14 per cent of global wealth is kept in tax havens

The UK Guardian is ranking the law firm in Panama as the four largest provider of tax havens on a global scale, suggesting that even if the full details of the extent of use of this tax haven is exposed, the results are only scratching the surface of an estimated 8 – 14% of global wealth hidden in other havens.   Related article:  National Newswatch –  Alexandra Posadzki, Canadian Press    RBC to comb through four decades of records following Panama Papers fallout

BBC News / Amnesty International (UK)
Amnesty highlights ‘disturbing rise’ in global executions

Amnesty International is reporting “state sponsored killing sprees in the countries at the top of the list for executing its own citizens.  China is at the very top and the numbers are likely not at all reliable but Iran is a close second.  Pakistan has also reversed a moratorium on civilian executions since 2014 and its numbers are increasing as well.  Next comes Saudi Arabia and then the US with 28 executions in 2015.

Toronto Star – May Warren
Miscarriage is a disability, says Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

In an interim decision the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has declared miscarriage to be a disability.  David Doorey, a professor of employment law at York University, said the ruling has “carved out a new space within the meaning of disability” and gets to the issue of what a disability is.”

National Newswatch – Will Leroy, Canadian Press
Detainees from Toronto G20 summit win right to sue via class actions

Remember that famous G20 Summit and the kittling of protestors by Toronto Police almost six years ago in June 2010?  The Ontario Court of Appeal says that the remedies sought by the plaintiffs have not been achieved by the various commissions and investigative bodies so the plaintiffs have grounds for a class action lawsuit.  Others hope that the lawsuit becomes helpful in reforming police practices.