Featured articles

Barack or Stephen: Who really stimulates you?

On February 19, Barack Obama flew into Ottawa for his first presidential trip outside the United States. His host, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is yearning for some of his visitor’s high approval ratings to rub off here at home.

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Strengthening Women’s Equality through Childcare

While women in Canada enjoy relative equality in comparison to many other countries around the world, gender inequalities still exist. Government policies can help strengthen the status of women by offering opportunities for women to participate more fully in society. One such policy is childcare. Accessible, affordable, quality childcare can help promote women’s equality by assisting them with their domestic caring responsibilities and enabling them to engage in the paid workforce if they choose.

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On Dignity

Worth. Honour. Respect.

These terms are all included in the Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary definition of dignity. Several others could easily be added: integrity, virtue, self-esteem, independence, pride, strength.

Dignity. It the basis for who we are as human beings and it is the foundation of international human rights agreements. But how does it translate into our daily lives?

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CPJ's Alternative Speech from the Throne

What we’d like to hear read in the Senate chambers on January 26th, 2009: “The holiday season allowed all Canadians and our Government to reflect more deeply on the challenges we face as a nation and how we can best act together to meet them.

“We have learned that our well-being is linked to others, so we need to work together. We have learned that putting our faith in the marketplace alone will not solve our needs. We have learned that governing is not a game for scoring points. Responsible government is essential for a healthy marketplace, a productive society, and for Canada’s future.”

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A Deeper Look at GLI: Can We Pay People to Do Nothing?

In our previous web feature on guaranteed livable income, we looked at whether the only thing that motivates people to work is money. This time, we explore the second issue: is it okay to let people live in poverty if they don’t work? Or, as the question is more commonly framed, is it right to pay people to do nothing?

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Loving Thy Neighbour: A Biblical Call to End Poverty

Poverty is an unnecessary injustice, for God created a world with abundant resources to use for sustaining healthy and dignified lives. The cause of poverty does not lie in the availability of resources and capital, but in the scarcity of practices such as stewardship and neighbourly love.

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It's Not the Stanley Cup

Recent events on Parliament Hill have revealed a deep problem: far too many Canadians are unfamiliar with our system of government. In our Westminster parliamentary tradition, no one is elected as the government. Unlike the Stanley Cup, government is not a trophy to be handed over at the end of a long contest. Any government must therefore have the confidence of the House of Commons and coalition governments are perfectly legal. The recent political events underline the unfairness of a party with a minority of votes having 100% of the power to set the parliamentary agenda and suggest the need for electoral reform.

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A visionary stimulus package

It seems there is only one sure thing in Ottawa: whichever government survives in 2009 will spend into deficit to help Canadians weather the economic downturn. So how can government best invest in order to help Canadians now, while creating the basis for a greener, more secure and just future?

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The Economic Statement that Wasn’t

On November 27th, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty rose in the House to deliver the government’s Economic and Fiscal Statement…but then didn’t. Rather than granting reprieve to Canadians struggling with the uncertainty of a gloomy economic scene, the Conservatives announced the government’s intention to end subsidies to political parties, end pay equity bargaining, legislate future salary levels and suspending public servants’ right to strike. While many of the more contentious issues have since been withdrawn, Canadians are still left looking for a stimulus package that will serve, not only to boost the economy, but also respond to the needs of those living in poverty.

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“Protecting Canada's Future” Needs more than Security

Entitled “Protecting Canada’s Future,” the Speech from the Throne named security as the government’s fundamental duty. But what about responsibilities like justice and seeking the common good? CPJ believes that public justice is the primary duty of government. From a public justice perspective, this speech offered some small progress but also considerable issues of concern. We applaud the government’s conciliatory tone, willingness to run a deficit if necessary, and recognition that the environment and the economy are linked. However, the absence of any mention of poverty and the government’s approach to energy and security are cause for serious concern. Protecting Canada’s future requires much more than a commitment to security.

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