Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have long been a guarded secret, but critics say the Harper government went the extra mile to keep the latest round of talks out of the public eye. Talks on the world’s largest (so far) free trade area were slated to begin July 3 in Vancouver.
A new study released by two Alberta First Nations communities in partnership with the University of Manitoba reports that certain carcinogens released in tar sands operations are being found in high levels in local wildlife. The study also reports a...
OTTAWA - "We are indeed examining all means to ensure greater diversity. What’s been lost in all the clatter is that the number and percentage of female judges has gone up." — Justice Minister Peter MacKay, in an interview with the National Post.
"TORONTO - A previously secret memo on CIA involvement in drone killings is casting new doubt on whether the American government had any legal basis to prosecute Canada's Omar Khadr for war crimes.In fact, Khadr's lawyers argue in new filings to the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review, the document by the Dept. of Justice emphatically rejects any such legal foundation, and say his convictions at Guantanamo Bay should be set aside immediately."
"TORONTO - A group of 17 Toronto-area General Motors dealers is suing the automaker, claiming GM failed to provide them with adequate financial support despite receiving million of dollars in aid from taxpayers.The Canadian dealers say they have been struggling to make a profit amid a big drop in market share and sluggish sales, and have spent years asking General Motors of Canada Ltd. and its parent company in the U.S., General Motors Corp., for help.But, they say, none of the $10-billion bailout provided to the company by the Canadian and Ontario governments as part of joint funding with the U.S. during the financial crisis in 2009 has been spent in Canada."
"Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.
As a teenager, Carapella says he could never get his hands on a continental U.S. map like this, depicting more than 600 tribes — many now forgotten and lost to history. Now, the 34-year-old designs and sells maps as large as 3 by 4 feet with the names of tribes hovering over land they once occupied.
"I think a lot of people get blown away by, 'Wow, there were a lot of tribes, and they covered the whole country!' You know, this is Indian land," says Carapella, who calls himself a "mixed-blood Cherokee" and lives in a ranch house within the jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation.
For more than a decade, he consulted history books and library archives, called up tribal members and visited reservations as part of research for his map project, which began as pencil-marked poster boards on his bedroom wall. So far, he has designed maps of the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. A map of Alaska is currently in the works.
What makes Carapella's maps distinctive is their display of both the original and commonly known names of Native American tribes, according to Doug Herman, senior geographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
A key piece of science submitted by Kinder Morgan to the National Energy Board for the pipeline corporation to show its understanding of catastrophic oil spill costs was completely rejected by U.S. environmental regulators, a prominent B.C.
Byron Smith, a fourth-generation farm owner from Fort Langley, was nervous but hopeful as he boarded the plane earlier this month to visit the National Energy Board in Calgary, Alberta.He was headed to see the federal energy regulator because of lingering questions over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would bisect hi
"The Upper Chamber is bumping up security, moving to arm security guards within the Senate precinct. Sources who did not want to be named said the employees will be required to carry semi-automatic, 9 mm pistols. The eighth report of the Senate Internal Economy, tabled in the Senate on Thursday and obtained Friday, states that... Read more »"
OTTAWA - Conservatives — including the Speaker of the House of Commons — have been feting Nigel Wright as Stephen Harper's former chief of staff leaves behind Ottawa and a brutal year to return to the private sector.Wright resigned his post a little over a year ago following the revelation he had secretly paid $90,000 of Sen. Mike Duffy's contested expenses. The prime minister repudiated Wright publicly, calling him responsible for the "deception" and saying he was dismissed.Then this spring, the RCMP said there was no evidence to support a criminal charge against Wright over the $90,000 cheque.Two parties for him over the past week point to the respect — and even gratitude — Wright continues to command inside Conservative circles, in spite of his tumultuous year.Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer held a private dinner for Wright on Monday at his official residence outside Ottawa.
"OTTAWA - A forthcoming new report from the parliamentary budget officer is expected to show Ottawa is shortchanging Ontario to the tune of $1.2 billion under the current system of equalization payments, "
"ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - There's no excuse for bare grocery shelves in remote Labrador communities still waiting for spring food shipments delayed by ferry issues, says provincial Transportation Minister Nick McGrath."They have every reason to be upset," he said Monday in an interview of coastal enclaves such as Hopedale and Makkovik that haven't had major freight deliveries by ship since the fall."
"OTTAWA - Two new reports paint a troubling portrait of post-military life for the country's soldiers, suggesting that for many the return to the civilian world is marked by health concerns, a sense of social isolation and less cash.The Statistics Canada surveys, released in tandem Thursday, present a challenge to the Harper government, which has staked a lot of its political reputation on supporting the troops and has poured tens of millions of extra dollars into both the veterans affairs and defence budgets to help ex-service members achieve a soft landing in their new lives.The Pre- and Post-Release Income survey and the Health and Well-Being of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans reports examine the quality of life and financial burdens of the country's former service members over a 15-year period, starting in 1998."
"On June 16, Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project to the Pacific coast to export tar sands oil, just days before Canada’s Supreme Court wrapped up its deliberations on the Tsilhqot’in Nation land claim. Coincidence? Or attempted arm twisting?
The government insists that the pipeline project is of vital national import and is environmentally sound (read: overriding any native sovereignty complaints). The hope was that the Supreme Court justices would soft-pedal native claims and leave room for the government to use its majority to push through its tar sands agenda before the next federal election, leaving a fait accompli."
Michael Harris writes: Harper said never listen to what a politician says, but to watch what he does. Beyond the PR, the lasting impact of his time in public life will be a diminished parliament, toxic politics, and a compromised electoral system that will subordinate citizens to corporate interests. It will be a legacy of tyrants.
"If this is indicative of how the Harper government makes decisions, it means Northern Gateway, and everything that came down the pipe now is suspect," said Don Chapman, a citizenship advocate, on the recent passage of the controversial citizenship legislation. "The whole legislative process has gone awry." Last week, the federal governme
"A new report by the Commons finance committee says the federal government should take steps to ensure unpaid internships are in line with the country's labour laws.The report, which looked at the challenges of youth employment, recommends Ottawa work with provinces and territories to protect unpaid interns under the relevant labour codes.It also suggests the federal government examine unpaid internships to understand their impact on the job market.Estimates suggest as many 300,000 young Canadians work as unpaid interns, but there is little hard data available because employers aren't required to report the numbers to federal authorities.In all, the Conservative-dominated committee put forward 23 recommendations to help address youth unemployment, which has climbed in recent years.A section prepared by the NDP argued for additional, tougher measures, including changes to the federal labour code to protect interns' working conditions."
"OTTAWA - Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay is defending comments he made last week about why so few women are appointed as judges in Canada.MacKay was responding to Wednesday's Toronto Star report about an Ontario Bar Association meeting at which he was asked about the lack of women and visible minorities on federally appointed court benches.MacKay answered the question by saying that women don't apply to be judges because they fear the job will take them away from their children — and that children need their mothers more than their fathers, the Star report said."
At a time of federal belt-tightening, the Conservative government's return to World War II-era ranks and insignia will require new dress uniforms for Canadian soldiers and naval officers at a cost of $4.5 million. Defence Department figures show the bulk of that cost — $3.1 million — will go to buy new jackets for the dark green dress uniforms army officers wear to formal events and on parades.
The risk to this place posed by Enbridge's Northern Gateway project is both serious and unmanageable. I have sailed along the Great Bear's channels. Even in a calm season it is apparent, those waters are as treacherous as they are precious. It is not a question of if an accident will happen, but a question of when and how bad.