Interference with independent institutions

The Supreme Court of Canada

In May of 2014, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s integrity was called into question by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and by Justice Minister Peter McKay, over a phone call Justice McLachlin made to the Minister of Justice regarding the purported appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.  

Veterans

The New Veterans Charter (NVC; 2006) significantly reduced the pension entitlement of Canadian veterans of modern conflicts; 21st century Conservative federal budgets cut services to Canadian veterans; the federal government violated the privacy rights of certain veterans. In response, critics, including the first Veterans Ombudsman, and groups such as the Canadian Legion strongly protested the threat to what they argued was a ‘social contract’ between Canada and its serving men and women.

Rights & Democracy

Rights & Democracy

Rights & Democracy was a respected government organization. Its reputation and effectiveness were undermined by political appointments and bullying designed to prevent support for three small projects that helped Palestinians. The projects represented less than 1% of the organization's budget.

Linda Keen

Linda Keen

Linda Keen was fired in January 2008 after closing down a nuclear reactor for safety reasons. The government cited a shortage of isotopes essential to medical tests and procedures. It was a case of direct political interference of an arm’s length, independent regulator of a potentially hazardous industry.

Marty Cheliak

Marty Cheliak

Marty Cheliak was made Director General of the Canadian Firearms Program in August 2009. He supported the Program’s long-gun registry, uniting all of Canada’s major police organizations behind the cause. A year after his appointment, just before Parliament was to debate the long-gun registry, Cheliak was removed from his post.

Rémy Beauregard

Rémy Beauregard

Rémy Beauregard died on January 8, 2010, at age 66, from a heart attack. His death came after months of conflict at Rights & Democracy with Tory-appointed board members who were ideologically opposed to the organization's grants, and accused Beauregard of improper management and of associating with "terrorist" organizations.

Statistics Canada (mandatory long-form census)

Statistics Canada’s mandatory long-form census was abolished in 2010 by the Conservative government despite protests from all sectors of society and testimony from the country’s two most senior statisticians, who claimed that the voluntary census would result in “useless” data. With the release of the data from the 2011 census, critics have confirmed that the low response rate and

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