What are the trend lines in this time of recession and difficulty in Canada? How are we responding to this crisis? From Obama-mania spilling over the border to international aid, discover some major trends emerging in Canada. Read an excerpt from executive director Joe Gunn's speech at the CPJ AGM on May 7, wherein he explores the trend lines that have emerged since the financial crisis struck in late 2008.
We believe that freedom from poverty is a human right.
We believe in equality among all people.
We believe that everyone is entitled to social and economic security.
We believe in dignity for all. NOW is the time to end poverty in Canada.
Millions of Canadians aspire to a life free from poverty – the hungry, the homeless and the disenfranchised; the working poor, the unemployed and the socially assisted; the Aboriginal, the immigrant and the person of colour; the person with disability, the parent and the pensioner.
On May 12, BC voters have the option of choosing a new electoral system: Single Transferable Vote. STV is a more proportional system that respects voter preferences while also providing local representation. CPJ encourages our BC members and supporters to vote in favour of STV. CPJ’s interest in electoral reform grows out of our strong belief in justly accommodating diversity and respecting the reality of pluralism. Our legislatures should reflect the true diversity of opinion found in the country.
It’s tax time in Canada and people across the country are crunching their numbers, filling out the forms, and crossing their fingers for a good tax return. Chances are, very little consideration is being given to the benefit of paying taxes, or to the services we receive in return.
The extent to which taxes have been disassociated from public services is astounding. Across the Canadian political spectrum, taxation is consistently presented in a negative light. Yet the truth about taxes is that they finance the mechanisms by which the health, safety, and well-being of our society are promoted. They also provide us with tremendous personal benefits.
Earth Day, which always falls on April 22, has become a worldwide cultural icon, described by some as “the largest secular holiday in the world.” The first Earth Day was held in the United States in 1970, after concerns about the environmental effects of rising population growth and oil spills off the California coast galvanized public opinion. Now more than 500 million people and governments in some 175 countries around the globe celebrate Earth Day in a wide range of ways.
Should supporters of CPJ celebrate Earth Day? And if so, how?
In 2008, a man named Imani Nakpangi was convicted of trafficking a 15-year-old girl. For over two years, Nakpangi sold her daily for sex and controlled her through beatings and threats of violence. By the time he was discovered by police, he had made a personal profit of over $360,000 from exploiting her.
Many Canadians might be disturbed to learn that human trafficking still exists today – and even more shocked to discover it is happening in their own backyards.
Two weeks ago, Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney stated that he believed immigrants should be required to speak English or French before being accepted into Canada, arguing that this would encourage newcomers to integrate more into Canadian society. His statement has since sparked a heated debate about immigration policy in Canada. How do we integrate newcomers into Canada? Is a language requirement fair and necessary for integration?
Cabinet minister Gary Goodyear recently made headlines for refusing to state his beliefs on evolution. The response highlighted the uncertainty with which many Canadians approach the topic of faith and politics. Some Canadians believe that faith has no place in politics; others believe that politics is a power struggle in which people of religion must seek to impose their religious values on others. These are both problematic propositions. Faith cannot be separated from politics, but people of all faiths have a responsibility to engage in respectful, dialogue-based politics that practice public justice and seek the common good.
While Canadians responded with fear and outrage to the possibility of a coalition government, many other countries are used to coalition governments. Experience from Germany and the Netherlands suggests that coalition governments can work well, offering stability and good governance. They represent accommodation of multiple viewpoints, and offer a positive platform for governance that does not restrict the role of other parties to opposing the government. Lessons from Europe could provide useful alternatives for the Canadian system, offering a more collaborative, transparent approach.