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Free Speech Motion DEFEATED

Free Speech Motion DEFEATED | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - A Liberal motion aimed at enhancing freedom of speech in the House of Commons was defeated Thursday.The motion failed by a vote of 150 to 96.The NDP backed the Liberal bid to have statements made by MPs follow an alphabetical list, rather...
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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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Canada's Human Rights Record Under UN Review For First Time Since 2006

Canada's Human Rights Record Under UN Review For First Time Since 2006 | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Canada's human rights record will be under the microscope at the United Nations this week in the first substantive review since Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power in 2006.

Several of the country’s most high-profile advocacy groups are in Geneva to participate in UN Human Rights Committee hearings over a three-day period. Among them is Canada Without Poverty, an Ottawa-based charity that leans on using human rights and international law to advocate for impoverished and homeless Canadians.

Subject to an on-going political-activity audit for the past three years, the group has been under continuous risk of losing its charitable status. CWP’s executive director Leilani Farha told The Huffington Post Canada the federal government has used the CRA to act “with a vengeance” against the organization and others similar to it.
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Canada's tar sands aren't just oil fields. They're sacred lands for my people | Eriel Tchekwie Deranger

For years, concerned members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) in Canada, like myself, have voiced concerns about the impacts caused by oil sand exploitation. The vast majority of our community resides downstream from large scale oil sands surface mining and has seen first hand the complex impacts this industry has.

Now, over 100 renowned scientists and academics have echoed our concerns about oil sands in a call for a moratorium on expansion, which is being taken seriously by the public and the media.

Moratoriums have been called for and debated for many years with little traction. Keepers of the Athabasca Watershed, a local NGO, documented these calls to action from First Nations to mayoral and union representatives calling for either a full halt or a progressive slow down in the oil sands.
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The Canada-China FIPA Restricts Canada's Climate Options

The Canada-China FIPA Restricts Canada's Climate Options | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
his is a guest post by Gus Van Harten, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and author of Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada's Lopsided Investment Deal with China. This post originally appeared on the Globe and Mail.

For years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government told Canadians that it could not act on climate change until China joined in. Yet, in 2014, the government quietly finalized a 31-year investment treaty that, in essence, gives Chinese oil companies an advance bailout against a range of steps that Canada may need to take on climate change.

Take, for example, the call by more than 100 scientists for limits on oilsands expansion until a serious Canadian plan on climate change is in place. What is a serious plan? The scientists said it would need “to rapidly reduce carbon pollution, safeguard biodiversity, protect human health and respect treaty rights.”

Now, consider Canada’s new Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. 

The deal gives Chinese companies powerful rights to frustrate even modest steps that reduce the value of their oilsands holdings. That is, if governments in Canada put new limits on the oilsands, they face major liabilities under the FIPA’s system of foreign investor protection. Worse, Canadians cannot know reliably how the FIPA is being used – and whether it is affecting government decisions – because the agreement makes special allowances for confidential settlements with Chinese investors.
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Ottawa reverses stand on health risks of asbestos in ‘landmark shift’

Ottawa reverses stand on health risks of asbestos in ‘landmark shift’ | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Health Canada has strikingly revised its position on the health risks of asbestos exposure, bringing the federal government more in line with other developed countries.

The recent changes to the department’s website are significant, with the page about asbestos replacing information that was dated from 2012.

Among the shifts, the site no longer says one form of asbestos – chrysotile, the type that Canada mined and exported for years that is still most commonly used – is “less potent” and does less damage than other types. The World Health Organization and other medical bodies have long said all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic.

In addition, Health Canada no longer says the danger comes when asbestos is inhaled in “significant quantities” (the WHO says there is no safe threshold); and it now clearly says that “breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.”

The last line represents “a landmark shift” by the government, “an important fact that was not previously acknowledged on the website,” said Linda Reinstein, an asbestos widow and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. The changes are “promising, but it is just the first of many steps required to protect the public from asbestos.”
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Free Expression Is Slipping Away

Free Expression Is Slipping Away | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Free expression is democracy. Without it, political choice is a farce. You can have all the elections you want and they will mean nothing without the secure right to express, share information and advocate for your views. But the boundaries of these rights of citizenship are always vulnerable, and right now, political, technological and commercial forces are converging into a chilling anti-freedom force.

Canada's federal government has been no friend of the right to know since Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power. It was a shock back in 2008 when Linda Keen, then president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, was fired for publicly disclosing safety concerns and refusing to restart the Chalk River nuclear reactor. This doesn't surprise us now because being terminated for speaking out has become routine in Canada's civil service.

Remember Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin, whose credibility was attacked by the government in 2009 for exposing the fact that the Canadian military was turning over Afghan detainees to torture? Then there's Sylvie Therrien, who got the axe in 2013 for revealing that Employment Insurance investigators had to meet a quota of savings by denying EI applicants their benefits.

The public service has got the message loud and clear. Everyone knows they will keep quiet or pay with their jobs.
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Advocates argue voting rules could hurt public confidence in election

Advocates argue voting rules could hurt public confidence in election | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Strict new voting rules make it so hard for some Canadians to cast a ballot that the public may lose faith in the legitimacy of the upcoming federal election, a lawyer for two advocacy groups argued Thursday.

Tens of thousands of eligible voters could be turned away at the polls, according to the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Federation of Students. So the two groups have asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to grant an interim injunction against one aspect of the Fair Elections Act, allowing voters to use the voter information cards they receive in the mail as valid ID at the polls.


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Everything you need to know about the Fair Elections Act
The groups say the cards, which are no longer accepted as ID in the name of preventing fraud, would allow many people who might have trouble presenting other acceptable ID – including students, aboriginals, elderly people living in care homes and the homeless – to vote this fall.

Lawyers for the government, which passed the Fair Elections Act last year, will make their arguments on Friday.
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Tory Hopeful Said Harper Had 'No Integrity' Just Years Ago

Tory Hopeful Said Harper Had 'No Integrity' Just Years Ago | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A former Newfoundland and Labrador cabinet minister will run for the federal Conservatives this fall despite stating publicly just a few years ago that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had "no integrity."

Kevin O'Brien, a longtime Progressive Conservative MHA who was shuffled out of Premier Paul Davis' cabinet in March, has reportedly been green-lit as the federal Tory candidate for the new riding of Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame. O'Brien will take on veteran Liberal MP Scott Simms.

The news was broken online Thursday by CBC journalist David Cochrane, who tweeted that O'Brien will resign as the MHA for the riding of Gander.
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Wealthy Canadians will gain more than previously estimated from TFSA expansion: economist

Wealthy Canadians will gain more than previously estimated from TFSA expansion: economist | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
How to encourage Canadians to boost their savings is shaping up as a key issue for the fall election, as the left-leaning Broadbent Institute takes aim at the Conservatives’ expansion of tax-free savings accounts.

The institute is releasing an in-depth report Monday by Simon Fraser University professor Rhys Kesselman that argues new data prove the increase will benefit high-income Canadians more than previously understood.
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Environment: Tar sands oil releases 20 percent more greenhouse gas pollution than conventional crude oil

Environment: Tar sands oil releases 20 percent more greenhouse gas pollution than conventional crude oil | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Study bolsters arguments against more tar sands exploitation

Staff Report

FRISCO —A new study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory will add fuel to controversy over development of tar sands oil.

The analyis shows that gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands release about 20 percent more carbon into the atmosphere over its lifetime than fuel from conventional domestic crude sources.

The research, which was conducted in collaboration with Stanford University and the University of California at Davis, shows some variability in the increase of greenhouse gas, depending on the type of extraction and refining methods.
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The cheaters on Harper's watch

The cheaters on Harper's watch | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
OTTAWA - Three elections. Three cheats. One party leader.

We’re talking about the Conservative Party of Canada and its leader, the incumbent prime minister now actively seeking re-election, Stephen Harper.

For three elections in a row, a judge determined that a Conservative or the party itself cheated. And there could be more.

In 2006, top party officials along with the party itself were accused of cheating in a complicated scheme to skirt spending limits on the national campaign. This was the so-called in-and-out scandal.

The charges against party officials were dropped but the party itself pleaded guilty to exceeding election spending limits and submitting fraudulent election records. A fine of more than $230,000 was paid.

In 2008, it was a Conservative MP, Dean Del Mastro, who would play the role of Conservative cheater. Del Mastro was convicted last November on three counts of violating Canada’s election laws, also having to do with spending limits. This week, a judge sentenced him to a month behind bars, another four months of house arrest, and a $10,000 fine.

Del Mastro is appealing and on Friday was released from jail on $5,000 bail until that appeal is heard.

In 2011, it was a Conservative campaign worker, Michael Sona, who was convicted of cheating in the Ontario riding of Guelph. His crime involved robocalls in an effort to prevent people from voting.

Also alleged to have cheated in 2011: The campaign of former Conservative MP Peter Penashue, where there are yet more charges of campaign overspending and attempts to hide those infractions after the fact. The trial of Penashue’s campaign manager continues in August.
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One native family’s haunted history

One native family’s haunted history | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
On June 25, in Manitoba’s remote community of Norway House Cree Nation, 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg, the 33 Grade 12 students at the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre graduated with their high school diplomas.

Helen Betty Osborne, a Cree from Norway House, would have been 63 if she were alive, perhaps principal of the school – her ambition was to be a teacher and she had moved west to The Pas to complete her secondary school education (there was then no high school in Norway House) and prepare to enter a teacher-training program.

Instead, on Nov. 13, 1971, at age 19, she was abducted by four young, white men on a street in The Pas, raped and murdered with a screwdriver.

It took 16 years before the RCMP, under intense pressure from the province’s native people, implicated her killers. Only one was ever convicted. A provincial aboriginal justice inquiry concluded that racism, sexism and indifference stained the police investigation from its outset. The RCMP finally closed the case on Feb. 12, 1999. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw (the Cree word for “people”) Education Resource Centre opened in 2004.
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Majority Of CEOs Say Canada Too Dependent On Alberta: Survey

Majority Of CEOs Say Canada Too Dependent On Alberta: Survey | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A majority of Canadian business leaders believe the economy is too dependent on the oilsands and other natural resources, according to a new survey.

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian executives polled —including about 60 per cent of Albertans surveyed — said they believe the country should be less reliant on resources. They think Canada should invest more in technology and innovation in sectors such as aerospace and clean energy, according to the latest quarterly C-Suite Survey.

About half of all respondents said the country relies too heavily on Alberta’s economy and its natural resources.
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pdeppisch's comment, June 23, 11:59 AM
Chretien was no angel. Very, very autocratic in the end. Paul Martin had no charisma at all. But an excellent Finance Minister. Ah well :)
malek's comment, June 23, 4:57 PM
Chretien is still an enigma: now meeting with Putin??
pdeppisch's comment, June 23, 5:10 PM
Yup! I wish Trudeau would look at Chretien's tactics, like the Redbook, and strategies and learn. The Liberals need more than just a pretty face if they want to win.
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Tough days for salmon as Fraser River hotter, lower than expected

Tough days for salmon as Fraser River hotter, lower than expected | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
In the annals of climate change you can record another notable event. The Fraser River is running hotter and lower in the first week of July than it usually does in the dead of August.

The water temperature is currently about 19 C, the level at which salmon start to show physiological stress, and the flow has dropped to extreme lows.

“These flows are definitely lower than anything we’ve experienced and I’d say the temperatures right now are warmer than anything [on record for July],” said Mike Lapointe, chief biologist for the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC).

“I just looked this morning and went ‘Gee, it looks like the temperature at Hope is right around 19’ and I think it was as high as 19.5 a few days ago. That’s ridiculously high for this time of year,” he said.

Usually, the river is still swollen with snow melt and is typically about three degrees cooler. But with the snow pack long gone, and a record hot, dry June melting into an unusually warm July, Fraser River salmon are facing tough conditions.
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Domestic violence a bigger threat than terrorism, poll shows

Domestic violence a bigger threat than terrorism, poll shows | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Three-quarters of Australians believe domestic violence is as much or more of a threat than terrorism, new polling shows.

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty said the results show governments need to reassess their priorities and allocate more funding to preventing and responding to domestic violence.

The Essential Research poll of 1000 people across the nation, conducted for gender equality organisation Fair Agenda, found 74 per cent of Australians believe domestic violence is as much or more of a threat than terrorism.

Forty-eight per cent of those surveyed said they consider domestic violence more of a threat than terrorism while 18 per cent said it was less of a threat. Twenty-six per cent of respondents said the threat of domestic violence was "about the same" as the threat of terrorism.
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Construction on Site C Dam Will ‘Indefinitely Scar’ B.C.’s Relationship with First Nations: Chief

Construction on Site C Dam Will ‘Indefinitely Scar’ B.C.’s Relationship with First Nations: Chief | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The Treaty 8 First Nations have received notice from BC Hydro that work on the Site C dam could start as early as July 6 — despite court proceedings still being underway.

Treaty 8 First Nations have applied for judicial review of the federal government’s decision to grant an environmental assessment certificate, arguing the Site C dam infringes on their treaty rights. The joint review panel’s report on Site C found the dam will result in significant and irreversible adverse impacts on people in the Treaty 8 communities.

The federal appeal begins the week of July 20, 2015. But Treaty 8 First Nations say that BC Hydro has ignored requests to put construction on hold until the outcomes of the court proceedings are known. BC Hydro did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

“The provocative activities that the B.C. government is recklessly trying to advance are irreversible, and will leave an irreparable and permanent scar on the land,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. “These deliberate actions will also indefinitely scar B.C.’s relationships with First Nations.”
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Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in 'very big trouble'

Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in 'very big trouble' | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
It's the most expensive weapon ever built in human history. But after decades of internationally-funded research and development at an estimated cost of a trillion dollars, a leaked report from a mock combat test reveals that the F-35 is terrible at air-to-air combat.
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Nova Scotia 'Virtually Nonexistent' In Business World: Study

Nova Scotia 'Virtually Nonexistent' In Business World: Study | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
HALIFAX - A report commissioned by the Nova Scotia government says awareness of the province among some global business people is "virtually non-existent."

It says many business people found that their interactions with global business partners almost always necessitated an explanation of where Nova Scotia is and why they were doing business in the province.

Quoting an interviewee, the report says: "I think the overwhelming phrase is 'Where is it?' and 'What are they doing up there other than fishing?' "
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RCMP probed appointment of Arthur Porter to spy watchdog

RCMP probed appointment of Arthur Porter to spy watchdog | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The RCMP investigated the Conservative government’s appointment of Arthur Porter to Canada’s intelligence oversight agency after allegations surfaced the physician was involved in a kickback scheme in Montreal, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Dr. Porter made high-profile friends in the Conservative Party after he arrived in Canada from the United States in 2004 to run the McGill University Health Centre. He eventually got the attention of the Prime Minister’s Office, which invited him to sit on the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) in 2008.

Dr. Porter died this week in Panama, where he was fighting extradition on charges of fraud and bribery laid in 2013. According to Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, Dr. Porter received $22.5-million from the health centre’s awarding of a $1.3-billion hospital contract to engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.
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Hundreds Of Low-Income Families Shortchanged

Hundreds Of Low-Income Families Shortchanged | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The federal government hasn't provided hundreds of low-income families their full government benefits since at least 2007, an internal review has found.

A staff member at Employment and Social Development Canada recently identified a "system anomaly" that has been withholding employment insurance money from about 800 needy families in each of the last eight years.

The money was supposed to be paid as a family supplement to top up EI claimants whose household income, including spousal income, is no higher than $25,921.
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Harper Playing Politics With Infrastructure Cash: Liberal MP

OTTAWA - The federal government's marquee, multibillion-dollar infrastructure fund has been handing out money at a slow pace, newly released figures show, prompting complaints that the government is playing politics with the cash.

About 92 per cent of the $10-billion provincial-territorial stream of the New Building Canada Fund remains unspent, with about $782 million allocated through the start of this fiscal year, according to figures tabled in Parliament last month.

Infrastructure Canada, the department responsible for overseeing the cash, says that it may take some time to get the money out the door, especially given that the commitment is for a 10-year period.
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Federal infrastructure fund spending favoured Conservative ridings

Federal infrastructure fund spending favoured Conservative ridings | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it

"A federal infrastructure fund aimed at fixing up arenas and community centres was spent disproportionately in ridings represented by Conservative MPs, a Globe and Mail analysis shows, as the governing Tories prepare to roll out a nearly identical fund in the months before the fall election.

Ridings that elected Conservative members of Parliament in 2011 received, on average, 48 per cent more money from the $150-million Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund than ridings that elected opposition MPs, a Globe tally of more than 1,600 projects across Canada shows.

Under the program, on average, Conservative ridings received $561,332 and had six projects funded. Opposition ridings, on average, received $379,337 and had four projects."

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'Offensively tasteless' Mother Canada statue plan sparks outrage against PM

'Offensively tasteless' Mother Canada statue plan sparks outrage against PM | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
A plan to erect a 10-storey statue in a national park on one of Canada’s most scenic shorelines has prompted outrage and sparked a growing political row as the country heads towards a general election this fall.

The statue of Mother Canada – a cloaked female figure with her arms outstretched towards the Atlantic Ocean – is intended to honour the country’s soldiers who died overseas.

But growing anger over the plan has made it a new focus of opposition to the increasingly unpopular government of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

The proposed monument is an awkwardly remodelled, vastly upscaled version of an earlier statue, known as Canada Bereft, which adorns the memorial to the country’s first world war dead near Vimy, France.

The design has been widely lambasted both for its design and its proposed location in Cape Breton Highlands national park. In an editorial this week, the Globe and Mail newspaper described it as “offensively tasteless” and a “hubristically arrogant act of arrogant unoriginality”.

“The bigger-is-better approach to art is best left to Stalinist tyrants, theme park entrepreneurs and insecure municipalities hoping to waylay bored drive-by tourists,” the paper wrote.

The project is the brainchild of Toronto businessman Tony Trigiani, who was inspired after a chance visit to a Canadian war cemetery in Italy and set up the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation to realise the plan.
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malek's comment, June 29, 8:38 AM
Soviet Canada is in competition with Putin. Just check how many "mother Armenica, Ukraine, & others" in mother Russia
pdeppisch's comment, June 30, 10:16 PM
LOL - Mother Canada = Good Grief, Charlie Brown or should I say Harper.
malek's comment, July 1, 7:35 AM
I was expecting Charlie's Angels,,Happy Canada Day, go for the beer
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Fort McKay First Nation, holding onto nature in the middle of the tar sands - APTN National News

Fort McKay First Nation, holding onto nature in the middle of the tar sands - APTN National News | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
FORT MCKAY FIRST NATION — When Melinda Stewart grew up in Fort McKay she used to fall asleep to the sounds of the frogs croaking outside.

Now, Stewart puts her children to bed to the pre-recorded sounds of frogs and nature so that they don’t have to listen to the continuous booming from the nearby tailings ponds.

“Now, my children, that’s what they’re used to, listening to cannons going off all night,” said Stewart.

She fears that one day her children will become “textbook Aboriginals” because their homelands are disappearing. Tears well up in her eyes as she expresses her lament over the destruction of the environment caused by oil sands activity.

“I think in 50 years, our children are going to learn from a textbook how to be native. When I take my children hunting or fishing, if there’s something nice, I tell them to take a picture because when we come back it might not be there…”
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WHO says insecticide lindane causes cancer - BBC News

WHO says insecticide lindane causes cancer - BBC News | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
The insecticide lindane causes cancer in humans, says the World Health Organization after conducting a review.
A specialist panel found sufficient evidence to link the chemical, already banned in the EU and the US, to a cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lindane is still used in some developing countries.
And it is an ingredient in some head lice and scabies treatments used in some countries, including China, India, the US and Canada.
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In the heart of Harperstan and the Republic of Trudeau

In the heart of Harperstan and the Republic of Trudeau | Conservatives and Canada's 41st Parliament | Scoop.it
Previous story

Control. I could feel it bearing down on me the second I stepped through the gates and presented my accreditation to a guard inside the booth that marked the entrance to Harperstan.

I was now inside the hulking complex of the Toronto Transit Commission and its sprawling web of warehouses and garages on Bathurst Street that, to accommodate a press conference, had been transformed into the type of militarized zone beloved by Harper— complete with police officers and guards from the PM’s own security detail, out in force to prevent anyone from straying off track.

I was tasked with finding out more about Conservative Senator Don Meredith, his illicit relationship with a teenage girl, and what vetting process the PM had used to select him for a senatorial role.

My inquiries were, superficially at least, quite unrelated to Harper’s official reason for being in Toronto on June 18 alongside with Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Mayor John Tory. Harper and Oliver had come to Toronto with a campaign-trail pledge to offer funding for improving public transit in Toronto— up to one third of $7.8 billion in ‘SmartTrack’ funding.

But Senate scandals and infrastructure investments will be only two of many factors that decide the outcome of the Oct. 19 federal election.

“This way please,” a police officer said, directing reporters from the front booth across a paved lot to a desk manned by an attractive blonde staffer, who handed out press tags and vetted our questions.

Next, journalists were directed into a holding area set up in the TTC workers’ canteen, where I caught a whiff of fish and chips from the kitchen area.
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