democratic renewal

Broadbent Institute raises new questions about bias in tax audits

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A left-leaning think tank is raising new questions about the possibility of political interference in audits of charities.

The Broadbent Institute says a review of financial records from 10 right-leaning organizations show none of them report carrying out any political activities despite public statements which could be interpreted otherwise.


Right-leaning charities reporting zero "political" activity raises new questions about CRA’s auditing program

Report shows inquiry needed to examine CRA processes to ensure transparency and fairness


Progressives and the future of the labour movement

Labour day is an appropriate time to reflect on the accomplishments of the labour movement -- and the challenges that lie ahead.

There is increased recognition that strong unions were a key pillar of the period of shared prosperity, which lasted for some 30 years from the 1950s through the 1970s. Unions negotiated wage and benefit increases in line with growing productivity, and these gains gradually spread to non-union workplaces.

Unions made Canada a much more equal society by raising the wages of formerly low-paid workers; by narrowing pay differences, including between...

Ferguson: Not so far away

Picture this: it's about midnight, and two black men are walking up the street in their neighbourhood after enjoying a meal out.

Up ahead in the distance, four young white men, guitars on their backs and shoulders, are walking on the street. The two black men notice a Toronto Police Services car coming south towards them. The car passes the young white men, but as it approaches the two black men, it slows down deliberately. The two officers look at the black men, making sure the men see their stare, as they continue to drive slowly down the street.

My partner and I now...

The decline of evidence-based law making

The old adage holds that law is like sausages, you don’t want to see them being made. The problem is, in making our federal criminal and correctional law, seeing how things are put together is of decisive importance. 

The Department of Justice has responsibility for ensuring federal compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Bill of Rights, and for developing policies and legal reforms in key areas such as criminal justice. Unfortunately, it does this work behind closed doors, so the general public doesn’t get to see what is...

Ed Broadbent adds 'democracy' to issues defining left versus right

Canadian Press

Left and right-wing politicians have traditionally clashed over economic, social and environmental policy.

Now Ed Broadbent is adding democracy to the list of issues that differentiate so-called progressives from conservatives — at least in Canada.

The former NDP leader says the Harper government's proposed overhaul of national election laws has turned what used to be a shared value...

How the (Un)Fair Elections Act would play out on the ground

The perception that a Conservative party agenda is written into the so-called ‘Fair Elections Act’ has the national media and pundits talking. And for good reason. In light of recent Conservative run-ins with Elections Canada and the RCMP, the skepticism towards the changes to the powers of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Commissioner of Elections Canada are understandable

While the media focus on these elements of the Act is warranted, there are other aspects...

Fair Elections Act attacks participation and debate

For many months the Conservative government has blatantly taken away by fiat the right to strike of union members within federal jurisdiction. They are now threatening to shut down environmental charities that are talking about climate change. And they are ramming through Parliament changes to the elections act that will almost certainly mean that many thousands of Canadians will not be able to vote.

Taken together these actions restrict


Questionable motives drive changes to Citizenship Act

The long list of changes in the Conservative’s newly introduced “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act” seem like a solution in search of a problem.

Thus far, media reports have primarily focused in on how the changes will affect wait times.  For example, those applying for citizenship will have to reside in Canada for 4 out of 6 years before they apply, rather than 3 out of 4 years.  Applicants will also be required to prove that they have spent 183 days per year residing in Canada and they will have to...

Do you see yourself in those who shape the news?

Column space in Canadian newspapers remains dominated by middle-aged white males – even while our communities become increasingly more diverse.

Dylan Robertson, a freelance journalist, recently published a piece on J-Source citing a survey that showed new evidence of distorted age and gender representation among Canada’s newspapers columnists.

Seventy three percent of the 339 news and general-interest commentators at 76 English-language daily newspapers...


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