Federal Politics

How much do we really have to shut down to keep Canada safe? When will life be able to return to normal?

As public demands escalate for governments to do more to combat the ever-worsening novel coronavirus pandemic, two distinct camps seem to be forming: one essentially calling for a lockdown of the country, the other demanding a massive expansion of testing, isolation and monitoring. In other words, some are urging a "close everything down - everyone stay at home" approach with all the economic and social fallout that portends, while others are urging an aggressive effort...

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The World Health Organization had a plan for the coronavirus but much of the world ignored it.

It is increasingly obvious that if there was a set of globally enforceable rules regarding public health practices that all nations had to implement at the first signs of a possible pandemic, we would not be facing the catastrophic health and economic crisis we are facing today with the coronavirus. What most people don't know is that in 2005, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) put in place a set of practices to prevent a coronavirus...

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Interim agreement reached in B.C. pipeline dispute.

On March 1, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and Ministers from the federal Liberal government and the B.C. NDP government, announced that they had reached a proposed arrangement in a pipeline dispute that has prompted solidarity protests and blockades across Canada in recent weeks. Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and British Columbia Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser would not give details on the proposal, saying it first has to be reviewed by the Wet’suwet’en people. Fraser...

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Privacy watchdogs take on Clearview facial recognition

Four of Canada’s privacy commissioners have launched a joint investigation into whether a U.S. company’s facial recognition technology, which scrapes facial images from the internet, violates privacy laws in Canada. The federal privacy commissioner and commissioners in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec said Friday they are investigating Clearview AI about whether the company is collecting and using personal information without consent. “Media reports have stated that Clearview AI is using its technology to collect images...

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Broadcasting report calls for CRTC to expand mandate to include regulation of internet based content.

The Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its much anticipated report last week. The report's recommendations call for substantially expanding the notion of what is considered broadcasting in Canada and consequently calls for a broader mandate for a renamed Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The expanded mandate of the renamed CRTC would include regulatory authority over internet based services such as Netflix, Facebook and YouTube - regulatory authority it does not presently have. The...

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Canada continues to be an international laggard in the fight against money laundering

In September, 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conducted an evaluation of the Canadian anti-money laundering regime and, while noting a number of minor shortcomings and some strengths, found two important features lacking. The first was a lack of transparency in who owns, controls and benefits from Canadian corporations and trusts. The second was that lawyers are exempted from Canada's anti-money laundering regime and do not have to report suspicious transactions. The FATF report...

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Why Donald Trump chose the most extreme option presented to him in dealing with Iran

On Wednesday, a Ukrainian jetliner crashed in Iran, killing everyone aboard. After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had shot down the passenger jet by mistake. Here is the sequence of events leading up to the missile attack that killed 56...

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Why the public has lost confidence in government: Too many government programs and policies just don’t work

Populism is on the rise and voters seem disenchanted with politicians and cynical about politics more generally. "Elites" who supposedly "look down on the common folk" have become punching bags for the populist right (think Doug Ford) and a general feeling of distrust of many institutions (media, government, the courts, financial institutions, etc.) seems to be pervasive. This article is the first in a series of Canada Fact Check posts that argue that many of...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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The 2019 election: Canada resists right wing populism but fragmentation remains a real threat

On October 21, Canada had an election and our rather mild version of right wing populism lost. Andrew Scheer's Conservatives received 34.4 % of the vote and Maxime Bernier's People's Party 1.6%. That's only 36% of the vote for Canada's right wing, populist parties. Centre-left parties received over 63% of the vote with the Liberals receiving 33.1%, the NDP 15.7%, the Bloc 7.7%, and the Greens 6.6%. In contrast, U.S. President Donald Trump's "favourables" continue...

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