Charity in need…

April 20, 2018

CBC News – Dean Beeby
Charities ‘worried’ after meeting with Morneau on ‘political activity’ law – Environmental charities press Morneau to implement changes to law restricting political activities

As part of their election promises, the Liberals appointed a panel to review the laws around political activity for Canada’s 80,000 plus charities.  Now, a year later, the concern of a number of these charities is the lack of progress in easing the restrictions and a fear that the Liberals have decided to put on ice the recommendations of the panel and the election promises.  Rather than active engagement with partisan politics, the charities ask that “the legislation should be rewritten “to explicitly allow charities to fully engage, without limitation, in non-partisan public policy dialogue and development,” the panel recommended.”   Many charity supporters and advocates would insist that bad policy often contributes to the need for these charities.    Related article:  National Newswatch – Andrew Jackson   Capital Gains Tax Loophole Swallows More Needed Tax Revenues  Related article: HuffPost – Liberal MP Scott Simms Punished For Backing Tory Motion On Summer Jobs Attestation

National Post – Andrew Coyne
Three points on the GST, to end poverty? Guaranteed income sounds like a good deal –  We now have a better handle on how much it would cost, based on a concrete proposal, with a fighting chance of being implemented. It’s a start

At first the notion of a guaranteed basic income was scary and rejected out of hand.  But several experiments around the idea have softened even conservative views about the potential for overcoming poverty across the country. Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Fréchette says that maximum and minimum payouts as well as the model for claw back will ultimately determine the cost to the taxpayers. Currently, Ontario is practicing guaranteed Basic Income in three experimental communities and the PBO has estimated the cost of this model nation-wide, giving perhaps some legs to the thought:  “The PBO puts the cost of a nationwide rollout of the Ontario program, guaranteeing every adult of working age a minimum of $16,989 annually ($24,027 for couples), less 50 per cent of earned income — there’d also be a supplement of up to $6,000 for those with a disability — at $76.0 billion.”   Related article: CBC News – Mike Crawley   How Doug Ford’s pledge of ‘zero income tax’ leaves minimum wage earners worse off – Doing the math reveals Liberal, NDP plan for $15 hourly rate puts more money in workers’ pockets

Policy Options – Lori Spadorcia
The overrepresentation of people with mental illness in our jails is a tragedy. Mental illness should be treated by policy-makers as a health issue.

The numbers of mentally ill or addicted people in prison and the number of calls for assistance incidents involving mentally ill persons has been growing alarmingly.  Spadorica is concerned that the prisons are becoming the new asylums but without much of the capacity for treatment of either the illness or the addiction, both of which, she insists, are public health problems.  She is calling for increased spending on mental health and seeking out alternatives to incarceration.   Related article:  Vice News – Rachel Browne   Black and Indigenous people are overrepresented in Canada’s weed arrests   Related article : Ottawa Citizen – Joanne Laucius  In the trenches of Ottawa’s opioid epidemic: ‘A good kid with a big heart’ dies of suspected overdose

CBC News
‘We deserve better:’ Family of Colten Boushie calls for United Nations to study systemic racism in Canada

Family members of Colten Boushie have brought the verdict in his murder to a hearing in the United Nations asking for a UN “study of systemic racism against Indigenous people in Canada’s judicial and legal systems.”  Boushie’s cousin Jade Tootoosis told the hearing:   “The acquittal was celebrated by the majority of settlers on the notion that material property is worth more than an Indigenous life…”  (Ed note: In May, 2018 Canada comes up for its universal periodic review in Zurich by the United Nations Human Rights Council   cf )

Toronto Star – Alexandra Jones
Toronto Star Grassy Narrows investigation awarded 2018 Canadian Hillman Prize for journalism

Star Reporters Jayme Poisson and David Bruser have won a prestigious journalism award for their expose of the continuing scandal around the mercury poisoning of water on the Grassy Narrows reserve, a plight long known for its health impact on the people of Grassy Narrows and Dog River.  The problem has been known since the 70’s but only in 2017 with the repeated attention from these two reporters did the Ontario government pledge $85 million to the clean-up.  The two reporters called the award an honour.  The award is intended to highlight “journalism in service of the public good.”