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UPDATE: Experimental Lakes Area should not be run by Enbridge-funded institute

UPDATE: Experimental Lakes Area should not be run by Enbridge-funded institute | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it

“We question the autonomy of the science and independence of the scientists – either real or perceived – under a government- and industry-funded organization that needs to be ‘client-friendly’ to cover its bottom line.” - Diane Orihel on the reported transfer of the now publicly-funded Experimental Lakes Area freshwater research facility to the International Institute for Sustainable Development which has among its funders Enbridge, Suncor, Alcan, Investors Group, the World Bank, HSBC Bank of Canada, the International Council of Mining and Minerals, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament
What Canadians think about the 41st (Non Westminster)Parliament
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The power of one

The power of one | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA -- There are 308 members of Parliament. In the House of Commons, Elizabeth May occupies seat ... - FYI - Winnipeg Free Press.
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Harper wants your vote badly enough to bribe you for it – with your own money

Harper wants your vote badly enough to bribe you for it – with your own money | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Does the Universal Child Care Benefit really help children?

Stephen Harper first introduced the UCCB in 2006, giving out $100 for every child under six years of age. It was essentially a no-strings handout to adults, not to children. It didn’t have to be used for daycare, despite its name; it could even be used, as one political strategist suggested, for “beer and popcorn”.

Now that payment has increased to $160 for a child under six years of age, and there is an added $60 per month for children six to 17 years of age.

While the “enriched” UCCB is intended to function as a bribe to entice voters, it’s actually a pseudo-bribe— because it’s a pittance relative to the actual cost of daycare in Canada.

Real-time daycare costs in Canada average nearly $40 per day or about $750 a month for pre-schoolers. In Toronto actual costs are more like $1300 a month; in Vancouver they average just over $1200 a month.

The new rates will therefore cover about four individual days of daycare services, or just over 20 per cent of the average monthly costs of such services – and in Toronto, barely 12 per cent.

For low-income working single mothers or families, this very modest increase in financial support won’t help them keep their jobs, which can be totally dependent on their being able to afford child care.
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Northern lake to fall of cliff due to climate change melt: scientist

Northern lake to fall of cliff due to climate change melt: scientist | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Previous story
Some time in the next few months, a small northern lake will burst through the shrinking earthen rampart holding it back and fall off a cliff.

"It's got a ways to travel," says Steve Kokelj of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey. "This lake happens to be perched about 600 feet above the Mackenzie Valley."

It will be spectacular, but it won't be unique. Melting permafrost caused by climate change is causing changes in the northern landscape on a scale not seen since the end of the last ice age, says Kokelj.

"It's changing the form of the landscape in ways that have not impacted this environment in the last several hundreds of thousands of years."

The doomed lake, which has no name and sits in the northern corner of the territory near the community of Fort McPherson, is a victim of the region's geology and changing climate.
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UN Report On Canada's Human Rights Record A 'Wake-Up Call'

UN Report On Canada's Human Rights Record A 'Wake-Up Call' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has accused Canada of failing to take effective action on a range of issues, including missing and murdered aboriginal women, political audits of charities, and the federal government's anti-terror legislation.

The report, published Thursday, is the first substantive review of the country’s human rights record under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

“This should be seen as a wake-up call by governments and courts in Canada that increasingly serious violations of civil and political rights in Canada can no longer be tolerated,” said Canada Without Poverty president Harriett MacLachlan.
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Harper Can't Stop Talking About This, Liberals Say

A new Liberal ad attempts to turn the tables on Conservatives who want Justin Trudeau to be seen as a leader without substance.

The upbeat spot, released online Wednesday, charges that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is more fixated on Trudeau’s hair than the concerns of Canadians.

The ad also hammers home that Trudeau, who was accused by rivals of coasting on his famous last name in lieu of sharing policy priorities, has been making some pretty big announcements lately.
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Seven more Alberta coun­ties con­sid­er de­clar­ing states of agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter

Seven more Alberta coun­ties con­sid­er de­clar­ing states of agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
DMONTON - Seven more Alberta coun­ties are con­sid­ering declaring states of agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter as persistent dry weather threatens the livelihoods of farmers across the province.

Leduc, Athabasca, North­ern Lights, North­ern Sun­rise, Barrhead, Westlock and Thorhild counties all have votes planned in the next few weeks on weather to make that step. Tuesday, Parkland County west of Edmonton and McKenzie County in northern Alberta announced they had declared a disaster.

A declaration of a state of agricultural disaster does not automatically trigger provincial or federal action, although several counties hope for a relief fund to be developed.

The province has not yet made any decisions, a spokesman for the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture said Wednesday.

“It’s too early, but what it does is it put us on notice,” spokesman Mike Long said.
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The Underground Economy Is Eroding the Integrity of Our Tax System

The Underground Economy Is Eroding the Integrity of Our Tax System | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
How is it that everyone seems to know someone who's paid under the table, but no one concedes to doing it? Of course, that's no surprise. Who wants to admit to putting personal gain ahead of the greater good?

But, of course, that's exactly what the underground economy (UE) does. It costs jobs, undermines businesses that play by the rules, and deprives the government of much needed revenue for vital programs. It also erodes the integrity of the country's tax system.

Statistics Canada says the UE totalled $42.4 billion in 2012, roughly 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product, much of it occurring in the construction, finance and real estate, retail and hospitality industries.

As a member of the Minister of National Revenue's UE Advisory Committee, I welcome the opportunity to work with people from industry and academia to advise on the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRAs) three-year strategy. The strategy, announced last fall, focuses on reducing the UE in Canada by having the CRA:
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LOOK: Canada Less And Less Important To U.S. Economy

LOOK: Canada Less And Less Important To U.S. Economy | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
It was a little alarming to hear the Bank of Canada declare Wednesday that it was “puzzled” by the lack of strength in Canadian exports. After all, if even the central bank can’t explain why exports haven’t boomed under a low loonie, what chance do the rest of us have to understand what’s going on with Canada’s economy?

But what appears to be happening is that Canada is losing its pole position on exports to the U.S.

As recently as the late 1990s, about one-fifth of the U.S.’s imports came from Canada. But since then that has fallen by a third, and Canada now accounts for only about 13 per cent of U.S. imports.
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B.C. Tory MP Compares Party's Bill C-51 Support To Jesus

B.C. Tory MP Compares Party's Bill C-51 Support To Jesus | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A Conservative MP has found herself in the middle of a controversy after audio surfaced of remarks she made at a Vancouver church, comparing Stephen Harper to Jesus.

Backbencher Wai Young is heard in a recording of her June 28 address to the congregation at Harvest City Church.

“Jesus served, he saved, but he acted as well,” she said.
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'Canada's Shifting Job Market Revealed In 1 Simple Chart'

'Canada's Shifting Job Market Revealed In 1 Simple Chart' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
If oil prices don’t bounce back soon, we might have to start thinking of Western Canada as one of the poor parts of the country.

That might be hard to conceive right now, but consider the recent data coming in.

According to last month’s establishment survey of payrolls, the Maritimes and central Canada are now leading wage growth in the country, while Western Canadian provinces fall behind.

And in a client note Tuesday morning, BMO chief economist Doug Porter notes a “sign-of-the-times” statistic: The unemployment rate in London, Ont., is now the same as Calgary and Edmonton — 5.9 per cent.

Why does this matter? Because London is “shorthand for the manufacturing-based Southwestern Ontario economy,” Porter writes. And when its unemployment rate is the same as Calgary’s, that suggests a major shift in the economy, away from energy exports and towards consumer-driven growth.
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How an enviro minister spent her day not attending a climate summit

How an enviro minister spent her day not attending a climate summit | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Canada's federal environment minister’s decision not to represent the country at The Climate Summit of the Americas this week in Toronto raised the question: how did she spend her time instead?
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Canada's Ukraine Embassy A Pawn In 2014 Uprising: Report

Canada's Ukraine Embassy A Pawn In 2014 Uprising: Report | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
KYIV, Ukraine - It was one of those events that simply appeared and disappeared during the bloody, swift-moving events of Ukraine in the winter revolution of 2014.

Canada's embassy in Kyiv was used as a haven for several days by anti-government protesters during the uprising that toppled the regime of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The Harper government never fully acknowledged — during the upheaval or since — the depth and extent of the security breach, which has had far-reaching implications on how Canadians are perceived in the region.
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Obama Urged To Toss Canada Out Of Trade Deal: Reports

Obama Urged To Toss Canada Out Of Trade Deal: Reports | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
U.S. politicians are pressuring the Obama administration to leave Canada out of a major and controversial trade deal, if Canada doesn't agree to deregulate its dairy and poultry industries and open them up to foreign competition.

Reuters news service cites “two sources” close to the issue as saying the U.S. may go forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without Canada if the Harper government refuses to dismantle the supply management system that governs the country’s dairy.

Canada is under pressure from places as far away as Australia to open up the dairy industry to foreign competition, and closer to home from Washington politicians who urged U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to move forward on the TPP without Canada unless a "serious offer" is made on dairy and poultry, the Wall Street Journal reports.
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Don't Believe The Forecast, Canada's Budget Will Be Balanced: Oliver

Don't Believe The Forecast, Canada's Budget Will Be Balanced: Oliver | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Finance Minister Joe Oliver has re-affirmed his government's commitment to balance its books, two days after the federal budget watchdog warned a slower-than-expected economy will keep Ottawa in the red this year.

In a letter to Liberal finance critic Scott Brison, Oliver says there was room built into the spring budget to account for an economic downturn.

But he's not saying whether he'll provide an update of the government's fiscal projections.
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'Bill C-51? Disgusting!' Journalists and CCLA launch Bill C-51 challenge

'Bill C-51? Disgusting!' Journalists and CCLA launch Bill C-51 challenge | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Journalists and lawyers are spearheading a legal challenge against Stephen Harper’s Anti-terrorism Act, saying Bill C-51 is so clumsily-written that reporters could end up in jail just for doing their job.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) launched a Charter Challenge against C-51 at the Ontario Superior Court this week, on the grounds that certain sections were unjustified in a democratic society. The two groups filed their challenge just weeks after the Anti-terrorism Act came into force on June 18 despite a widespread popular outcry.

“It’s disgusting, it’s enraging, it’s frightening. Rights aren’t taken away by the swinging of an axe, it is by teaspoon,” Tom Henheffer, executive director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expressiom said.

“It is sloppily-written legislation where the government said ‘to hell with Charter rights [and] testing of constitutionality, it doesn’t matter [as] we want to make this as broad as we possibly can’,” said Henheffer

Even before C-51’s passage into law, Henheffer said that freedom of the press in Canada was under attack, citing Harper government restrictions on media access such as that experienced during press conferences and increasing difficulty in accessing information.

Now that C-51 is law, Henheffer said that journalists would face additional difficulties in doing their job in reporting stories related to national security or street protests such as those against the G20 five years ago, as the government could selectively target people to ensure their own agenda dominated the headlines.
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Harper team 'hypocrites' on charities and politics, critics charge

Harper team 'hypocrites' on charities and politics,  critics charge | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
As controversy surrounds Canada Revenue Agency audits of social justice and environmental charities, experts are raising questions about Conservative MP Wai Young's controversial remarks at the Harvest City Church in June.

While the Vancouver South MP's 17-minute speech made national headlines for its unorthodox statements mixing the Harper government, Jesus, CSIS and Air India, Canadian charity and philanthropy leaders noted the Tories' double standard:

“Essentially the Conservative government has gone after the top charities in the country who express any opinion on an issue they don’t like," charged Harvey McKinnon, an advisor for national and international charities and foundations. “They’re using the CRA to harass organizations where there is anything that would be perceived as different from Conservative Party policies." 

But when it comes to advancing the Harper government policies, he explained, "They’re willing to put forward their political positions in front of charitable organizations and encourage them to promote these... Conservative Party positions. They are hypocrites.”

Meanwhile Debra Bowman, minister of Vancouver’s Ryerson United Church, took exception to Young's "flouting" of the CRA guidelines for registered charities in an interview with the Vancouver Sun.

“I really hope someone will track whether (such churches) come under the same financial scrutiny that many justice-environment-church groups have been experiencing,” she said.
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Premier Clark fears raging wildfires new norm, blames climate change

Premier Clark fears raging wildfires new norm, blames climate change | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
One of the more than 1,300 B.C. wildfires this year is about to gain more national attention when Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to join Premier Christy Clark in her own riding this afternoon.

Relentless forest fires burning across British Columbia may be the new normal, Clark warned media yesterday, speaking near the Westside Road fire outside West Kelowna, where flames have forced emergency officials to issue evacuation orders to the residents of 70 homes.

It's one of 10 evacuation alerts or orders across the province, where more than 250 blazes are burning, 43 of which broke out on Tuesday following a series of lightning storms.

The premier said she is concerned that climate change has altered the terrain, drying out the land and making it more vulnerable to fire, and as a result what B.C. is seeing isn't unusual and will happen more often.
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Canada's deficits and surpluses, 1963-2012

Canada's deficits and surpluses, 1963-2012 | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The deficit is a key consideration for all parties as the federal government brings down its budget. Use the chart to explore Canada's budgetary surplus and deficit history, including revenue and expenditure figures for every fiscal year from 1963-'64 to 2013-'14.
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Mr. Harper's Feeble Leadership Has Resulted in a Feeble Economy

Mr. Harper's Feeble Leadership Has Resulted in a Feeble Economy | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Listening to Stephen Harper talk about the economy, you get the distinct impression that someone else entirely must have been running the country for the past 10 years.

Since 2006, Canada has been stuck with the weakest economic growth record in eight decades. Most recently, our GDP has actually been shrinking -- for four months in a row, maybe more. Growth forecasts for this year as a whole have been slashed by 25-30 per cent.

Job creation is weak and sporadic. It markedly slowed in the second quarter of this year compared to the first, and the first quarter was barely mediocre. There are 200,000 more jobless Canadians now than just before the 2008 recession.

That recession was milder than expected. It lasted less than one year and ended more than six years ago. But still, Canada has not recovered -- and it's all on Mr. Harper's watch.

Job quality is at its lowest ebb in 25 years. Long-term unemployment is high. Young people are especially vulnerable. Incomes are largely stagnant (except for the most wealthy). Household debt is near record highs. Inequality is getting worse.

Business investment is down. Manufacturing is in the doldrums. And Canada has just recorded five consecutive months of massive trade deficits -- the worst ever.
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malek's comment, July 16, 1:31 PM
excellent pick, Stephi H never blamed his predecessor for leaving a surplus of $B13?!
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Feds' CSIS Claims Contain 'A Lot Of Baloney'

Feds' CSIS Claims Contain 'A Lot Of Baloney' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - "With its new mandate, CSIS could take measures, at home and abroad, to disrupt threats when it had reasonable grounds to believe that there was a threat to the security of Canada. … Intelligence services in most of Canada's close democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years." — Public Safety Canada backgrounder on proposed anti-terrorism bill, January 2015.
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Secret Industry Canada Report Warned Of Bad Times For Manufacturing

Secret Industry Canada Report Warned Of Bad Times For Manufacturing | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
As the Harper government touted the "good news" of a big rebound in Canada's manufacturing sector, an internal report painted a more pessimistic picture.

A Feb. 4 report by Industry Canada suggests that some manufacturing jobs have disappeared forever, investment in equipment is weak and that there's been a jobless recovery even in areas where manufacturing has rebounded somewhat.


The findings are from an analysis of long-run trends in manufacturing prepared for the deputy minister and obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act.

"Industries highly sensitive to the exchange rate have shrunk, while a significant drop in the number of establishments points to a permanent loss in manufacturing capacity," says a censored summary of the 18-page document prepared by Philip Jennings, a senior bureaucrat.
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Water is a precious commodity, but B.C. is just giving it away

Water is a precious commodity, but B.C. is just giving it away | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Swiss-based Nestlé pays roughly the price of one its chocolate bars for each million litres it takes for bottling

Via SustainOurEarth
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NDP's Latest Ad Highlights The Downfalls Of Top Conservatives

NDP's Latest Ad Highlights The Downfalls Of Top Conservatives | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A new ad by the federal NDP takes aggressive aim at the Conservative government, targeting the bad behaviour of several high-profile Tories.

Released in English and French on Monday, the 48-second video was included in an email sent to party supporters. (Watch the ad above)

“Enough is enough,” it read. “It’s time for change in Ottawa.”
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Harper support buckles in B.C.

Harper support buckles in B.C. | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Results of polling in four key British Columbia ridings suggest support for the governing federal Conservatives may be buckling in the province as widespread unease with oil tankers takes hold, according to an Insights West poll published Friday.
 
The NDP surge seen in national polls is borne out by significant voter support for Tom Mulcair as prime minister, even in traditionally Conservative ridings where a full-throttle three-way race is complicated by strong support for the Green Party. 
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Veterans Affairs failing to answer phone calls quickly: Documents

Veterans Affairs failing to answer phone calls quickly: Documents | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Veterans Affairs Canada has been struggling to answer the thousands of phone calls it receives from current and former military personnel each month because of technical glitches, staff shortages and poor planning, newly released documents show.

Problems with the processing of new disability claims from injured ex-soldiers have also had a trickle-down effect by creating delays in other areas, meaning more veterans are waiting longer to receive support from the government.

The revelations, contained in internal performance reports, appear to confirm complaints voiced by veterans groups and opposition critics about service at the department, and have prompted fresh allegations the Conservative government is failing those who have served in uniform.
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Tories Hammered Over Childcare Benefit

Tories Hammered Over Childcare Benefit | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - Opposition parties hammered the federal government on Monday after it boasted about the economic benefits of childcare cheques set to be mailed out to Canadian families next week.

NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen says the Conservatives appear to be owning up to the fact the Canadian economy is slumping.

"You almost want to celebrate the fact they're acknowledging the Canadian economy needs a boost. But this isn't what this tax measure was designed for and it is not what it does,'" Cullen said in a phone interview.
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