National

OP/ED: Unplug the MP pension money making machine

OP/ED: Unplug the MP pension money making machine

By: Jordan Bateman, British Columbia Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation

If you could put a loonie into a machine and get $23.30 out every time, would you ever stop?

Probably not. That human nature may explain why Members of Parliament have been moving so slowly to reform their platinum-plated pension plan. Unfortunately for taxpayers, we are that cash machine.

Expect more from your government

Expect more from your government

Something is happening in Canada that seems, in the context of a majority Harper government, counter-intuitive. Harper continues implementing his right-wing revolution by fiat, and Preston Manning’s “democracy” institute says Canadians actually want “less” government and more individual responsibility. Yet a flurry of polls in the past few weeks and months suggest two dramatic counterpoints to this self-serving narrative.

RCMP get their man in case of missing McCanns

Travis Vader . . . charged with two counts of 1st Degree Murder

RCMP in Alberta announced Monday that over the weekend, they arrested and charged Travis Vader, aged 40, with two counts of First Degree Murder in the deaths of Lyle McCann and Marie McCann.

The elderly couple was reported missing by their family on July 10, 2010. They were last seen alive on July 3, 2010.  Mr. Vader was arrested at the Edmonton Remand Centre where he was being held on unrelated charges.

Canadian swordfish eco-certified despite deaths of endangered sea turtles and sharks

Canadian swordfish eco-certified despite deaths of endangered sea turtles and sharks

Despite strong opposition from conservation organizations, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has granted eco-certification to Nova Scotia’s swordfish longline fishery which is responsible for killing 35,000 sharks and 200-500 endangered sea turtles each year as ‘bycatch’.

Budget 2012: At least the war on the environment is going well

Budget 2012: At least the war on the environment is going well

Until this year, the purpose of the annual Canadian federal budget was to project government revenues, lay out spending priorities and forecast economic conditions for the upcoming year. Reading Budget 2012, announced last week by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, it soon becomes clear that this government has no intention of being encumbered by pedestrian fiscal objectives. The Harper government has instead opted to present what is first and foremost a policy document – one that brazenly asserts the government’s ideological agenda for the coming three years.

Planet a big loser in 2012 Tory Budget

Planet a big loser in 2012 Tory Budget

by Marc Lee, Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives

First off, the 2012 federal budget that makes no upfront claim to be a budget. Indeed, the cover states only “Economic Action Plan 2012: Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity.”

While we have been accustomed in recent years to budgets with their own titles, this one does not actually say “Budget” anywhere.

This frames it as more of a framework economic document that includes gutting of environmental assessment in the name of the economy.

Mourning Mulcair’s win

Mourning Mulcair’s win

There will be lots of soul searching and head scratching going on this week about what happened with the NDP leadership race. The mechanics of the convention, the interesting lack of deal-making, and how the balloting progressed are all fodder for those who enjoy going through the entrails of leadership conventions. Others will be analyzing the various campaigns of the frontrunners, looking for weaknesses to explain how they could collectively have let Thomas Mulcair, the right-wing Liberal, pro-Israel, political bully become head of their party.

NDP faithful picks Muclair as new leader of the party

A jubilant Thomas Mulcair celebrates victory.

The Huffington Post

Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair has been chosen to succeed Jack Layton as leader of the New Democrat Party.

Mulcair claimed 57.2 per cent of the vote in a fourth-ballot victory over chief rival Brian Topp, who claimed 42.8 per cent.

The two front-runners were the last men standing after a day-long voting marathon that was plagued by online delays, the result of an attempted cyber-attack on the party's website.

Local MP criticizes Fed plans to 'gut' Fisheries Act

Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield

MP Alex Atamanenko (BC Southern Interior) said the Conservative’s plan to make changes to the Fisheries Act in an omnibus federal budget bill next week has been exposed and the federal government needs to come clean on its agenda.

A former DFO employee Otto Langer leaked documents last week that shone a light on government plans to strip the Fisheries Act of habitat protection provisions.

Nathan Cullen would get my vote

Nathan Cullen would get my vote

There are so many factors that NDP members have to look at when choosing who to vote for in their leadership race that I don’t envy them (I am not a member). How do you weigh the various elements: policies, philosophy, engaging personality, ability to take on Stephen Harper in the House, co-operation with the Liberals, and support for proportional representation? Are they likely to bring people together or cause divisions within the caucus and party?

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