Open letter supports fired Alberta park employee, warns of 'deep fear' in civil service

By Edmonton Journal, 23 September 2015

The firing of federal scientists who voice concerns about national parks has instilled a “deep fear” across departments in the civil service, more than 100 former Parks Canada employees warn in an open letter.

The unprecedented missive, released Wednesday and signed by 118 former Parks Canada managers and employees, adds fuel to the controversy about the muzzling of federal scientists by the Harper government.

Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data

By Macleans, 18 September 2015

Records deleted, burned, tossed in Dumpsters. A Maclean’s investigation on the crisis in government data.

The result is a crisis in what Canadians know—and are allowed to know—about themselves. The threat this poses to a functioning democracy has been raised over the past several years, most recently, in the massive, damning June 2015 report “Dismantling democracy: Stifling debate and dissent in Canada” produced by Voices-Voix, a non-partisan coalition of more than 200 organizations and 5,000 individuals.

CBC President Hubert Lacroix: Public Broadcasters ‘Risk Being Boiled To Death'

By The Huffington Post Canada, 18 September 2015

The president of CBC/Radio-Canada says public broadcasters are caught in a “vicious circle” of budget cuts and service reductions that threaten their continued existence.

He said public broadcasters have been too slow to react to changing technologies and a changing political environment.

The Conservative government slashed the CBC’s public subsidy starting with the 2012 budget, reducing the broadcaster’s $1-billion annual subsidy by $115 million.

A haven no more: Canada's conservative refugee policy

By Al Jazeera, 15 September 2015

Nabil Hawara spent 20 years as a political prisoner in Syria before fleeing the war-torn country with his family as refugees in 2013 in the hope of reaching Canada - and the promise of a brighter future.

Two-and-a-half years later, he's still waiting on bureaucratic red-tape that would reunite him with his wife and children in Montreal.

Canadian immigration rules wouldn't allow Hawara to bring his family along from Turkey after he applied for refugee status, and he now spends his days eager for updates from the government, which hasn't provided a reason why they're not with him.

Where the parties stand on charities’ political activities

By The Toronto Star, 14 September 2015

The Conservatives have no plan to change their tune on the issue of modernizing the tax rules governing how much registered charities can take part in debates on public policy, according to a new report on the issue.

However, both the NDP and the Greens have committed to updating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules, while the Liberals have promised to clarify them, the report said.

Fix Canada’s Broken Access to Information System

By Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 14 September 2015

The undersigned organizations have issued a joint letter to the major political parties in Canada calling on them to make concrete commitments to reform Canada’s access to information system.

A strong access to information system is vital to maintaining a healthy democracy. The public has the right to obtain the information it needs to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, while also holding Canada’s public officials and Members of Parliaments accountable. The current system is failing Canadians.

Canada Must Welcome Refugees

By Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law, 10 September 2015

In 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees in the world, with an average of 42,500 people forced every day to migrate due to conflict and persecution. Only about 10% of these refugees were hosted by countries in the West. This year, approximately 3,270 refugees have already died on their journeys to safety.

In under a decade, the Canadian government has implemented 111 new immigration policies without parliamentary approval — compared to 19 in the preceding century and a half.

Accordingly, the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law (CAMWL) stands in solidarity with community and advocacy groups across the country in calling on the Canadian government to welcome refugees.