Fixing disaster…

April 28, 2016

Toronto Star – Daniel Brown
Time to tear down last of the Tory crime agenda – Justin Trudeau should move quickly to do away with what’s left of the Harper government’s disastrous tough-on-crime policies

In the face of repeated reversals of the Harper tough-on-crime provisions, the question now is the strategy in resolving the remaining issues.  Brown wonders if the Liberals will allow appeals to the courts to decide on the remaining offensive provisions or whether the government will sweep them away at once, given that the constitutionality of many of the provisions is already determined even before the Parliament acted on them.  Brown includes the hurdles created around parole and the victim surcharge practice.

Toronto Star – Marco Chown Oved
Canadians put $40 billion in tax havens last year – The Panama Papers revelations of widespread use of tax havens are corroborated by Statistics Canada data.

The issues around tax havens continues to startle hard working and tax paying Canadians: this past year, corporations and individuals have quadrupled the amount of money sent to tax havens, according to Stats Canada data.  Says Dennis Howlett of the Canadians for Tax Fairness:  “The problem is bigger than it has ever been…  And you have to remember, this is just the money that’s been declared.”   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Bill Curry  Tax-cheat crackdown nets $1-billion more than expected, CRA data show


Globe and Mail – Tavia Grant
Canadian shelters forced to turn away majority of women and children in need

Would you believe 73%?  That how many of the 416 women and children who typically present themselves at shelters to escape violence are turned away for the lack of capacity.  Lise Martin, executive director of the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses, says:  “It’s rare that a woman will show up on the doorstep of a shelter where it’s a first incident or she hasn’t tried different alternatives.”   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Blair Crawford and Alison Sandstrom    Battle lines drawn over ‘rape culture’ at Carleton University

Globe and Mail – John Ibbitson
The ‘corrosive truth’ behind discrimination of gay public servants

In the 50’s and 60’s, many gays and lesbians who worked for either government or the military were confronted by police and investigators as a security threat were that sexual identity to be used in blackmail.  Now, the presenting issue is whether an apology from government should be extended to these persons.  Ibbitson described the crux of the issues in the lives of two victims who have stepped forward, one of whom is now deceased.  There are shadows of all sorts around these experiences, and perhaps liabilities too.  One victim, Andrew Currie-Beckstead, wants “all Canadians to acknowledge “a corrupted, corrosive truth” about past discrimination against homosexuals in government.”

Toronto Star – Alex Boutillier
Canada’s spies in spat over privacy breach reporting – Communications Security Establishment says reporting details of privacy breaches would jeopardize secret spying operations

Behind the public view, sources are saying that there is a considerable and prolonged dispute going on between the Communications Security Establishment and the National Privacy Commission over what happens when the security forces breech the privacy standards: Does the security force report “material security breaches” to the privacy commissioner and the Treasury Board as required by all other government agencies?