Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Democracy'

Comments on the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23)

April 2nd, 2014 · · Democracy

The CCPA was invited to appear before The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to present on Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act. Patti Tamara Lenard, an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and CCPA Research Associate, presented to the Committee. Her remarks are below.

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Thank you very much for inviting the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to speak to the Committee this evening.  I am Assistant Professor of applied ethics at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and I am a research associate with the CCPA.

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Commentaires sur la Loi sur l’intégrité des élections (C-23)

April 2nd, 2014 · · Democracy

Le CCPA a été invité à commenter auprès du Comité permanent de la procédure et des affaires de la Chambre au sujet du projet de loi C-23, la loi sur l’intégrité des élections. Patti Tamara Lenard, professeure adjointe en éthique appliquée à l’École supérieure en affaires publiques et internationales de l’Université d’Ottawa et attachée de recherches au CCPA, a presenté devant le Comité. Ses remarques sont ci-dessous.

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Je vous remercie d’avoir invité le Centre canadien de politiques alternatives à témoigner devant le Comité ce soir. Je suis professeure adjointe en éthique appliquée à l’École supérieure en affaires publiques et internationales de l’Université d’Ottawa ainsi qu’attachée de recherches au CCPA.

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Coupures chez Poste Canada, plus qu’une histoire de lettres

December 17th, 2013 · · Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Poverty and Income Inequality

C’est clair, je n’utilise probablement pas les services postaux aussi souvent que je le pourrais. Cependant, je suis toujours contente de savoir qu’ils me sont accessibles si j’en ai besoin, peu importe où je me trouve et dans quelle situation financière personnelle je suis. J’apprécie aussi le fait qu’ils permettent à des femmes et des hommes d’avoir de bons emplois stables et des avantages sociaux, partout au pays.

La récente annonce de coupure de services faite par Poste Canada aura un impact important sur nos vies (pour certaines personnes plus que d’autres, pensons aux personnes âgées ou à mobilité réduite!). Cette annonce soulève des questions sur notre volonté collective d’avoir accès à des services universels et sur la lente érosion de nos institutions démocratiques qu’annonce ce changement majeur.

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Cutting Canada Post: It’s About More Than Mail

December 17th, 2013 · · Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Income Inequality, Poverty and Income Inequality

I admit it—I probably don’t use the post office as often as I could. But there’s no doubt I appreciate that it’s there when we all need it, regardless of our socioeconomic situation or location. I also appreciate the fact that it provides good, steady, well-paid employment with benefits to so many men and women across the country.

The recently-announced changes to Canada Post impact us all—and some more than others. But we should all be concerned about what it means for our national commitment to universality, and how it will further contribute to the slow erosion of our democratic institutions and sense of social cohesion. Especially when the justification for the radical restructuring of Canada Post relies on such weak arguments.

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Jeopardy, Jackpot, or Wheel of (Mis)Fortune?

September 13th, 2013 · · Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Education, Income Inequality, Maritime Provinces, Poverty and Income Inequality, Youth

It seems all that fuss being kicked up about tuition fees rising faster than inflation, significant levels of student debt, dismal employment prospects for young people, and parents having to postpone retirement to help shoulder some of the burden under which their kids are struggling has not gone unnoticed.

As we discuss in Degrees of Uncertainty, the average cost of tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergrads will rise by 13% over the course of their degree, from $6,610 this fall to an estimated $7,437 in 2016-17. Since 1990, average tuition and compulsory fees, even adjusting for inflation, have tripled since 1990.

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Sociology: I Can’t Quit You

May 3rd, 2013 · · Democracy, Education, Satire

True confession time, people.

I commit sociology.

And not just as a one-off.

You might say—all right, I will say it—that I’m a repeat offender. In fact, I’m practically addicted. Scarcely a minute can go by without my synapses looking for their next fix.

That might not be a politically correct admission. After all, this is tough-on-crime Canada, where such wanton disregard for Father-Knows-Best-ology and doing the “right” thing (and not in that perilously-close-to-committing-sociology Spike Lee kind of way) seems almost, well, unpatriotic.

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Parliamentary reform idea: Get out of the House

February 15th, 2013 · · Democracy

By Seth Klein and Shannon Daub

[Note: Samara Canada has been gathering ideas for reforming Parliament. All the ideas they have collected are being posted on their blog, which you can find here. What follows is our contribution.]

Here’s the big dilemma: Whatever reforms are made to Parliamentary practice and conduct, the simple truth is that, for now, citizens have lost faith in politicians. However, they trust their fellow citizens, and just as they do with juries, are prepared to delegate important decisions to them.

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The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples — Take 2

January 14th, 2013 · · Aboriginal Issues, Democracy, Human Rights, Poverty and Income Inequality

“As an ordinary Canadian I feel deeply that this wonderful country is at a crucial, and very fragile, juncture in its history. One of the major reasons for this fragility is the deep sense of alienation and frustration felt by, I believe, the vast majority of Canadian Indians, Inuit and Métis. Accordingly, any process of change or reform in Canada — whether constitutional, economic or social — should not proceed, and cannot succeed, without aboriginal issues being an important part of the agenda.”

The Right Honourable Brian Dickson
Report of the Special Representative
respecting the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991)

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The CETA and Nova Scotia: Oversold benefits, Untold Costs

October 23rd, 2012 · · Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, International Trade and Investment, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia

A new report on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) concludes that the agreement’s benefits for Nova Scotia are being oversold, while its costs and consequences are minimized or even ignored.

Indeed, EU officials are in Halifax right now selling the benefits of the CETA for Nova Scotia. Media report the officials as reassuring Nova Scotia that our fisheries industry will benefit, and that Halifax will benefit from extra port traffic. As for the costs, media report that Nova Scotia shouldn’t worry too much about the patent term extension for brand name drugs, or about removing municipalities’ ability to consider local benefits in procurement contracts. The evidence to support why Nova Scotia shouldn’t worry was not reported in the media nor, in fact, has it ever been reported anywhere else.

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Charitable Organizations: A Pillar of Democracy

October 15th, 2012 · · Democracy

A variation of this blog post was published in the weekend Huffington Post as part of PEN Canada’s blog series examining freedom of expression for Non-Speak Week.

While you’re reading this, about two million employees are busy trying to make our world a little bit better through their work at Canada’s 80,000+ registered charitable organizations.

Some of these charitable organizations are giants among goodwill agencies. When natural disaster strikes, for instance, Canadians turn to charitable organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross, CARE, Oxfam, or UNICEF.

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