Student debt collection to ramp up, according to government documents

By CBC News, 31 August 2015

Hundreds of thousands of university and college students walking onto campuses this week with help from federal loans could find themselves under more pressure than ever to repay billions of dollars in loans and grants.

Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees the Canada Student Loans program, has set more aggressive collection targets after feeling pressure from its political masters to stem the rising amount of student debt the government must write off each year, an amount that topped $300 million just two years ago.

Opinion: Why does Canada jail migrants?

By Vancouver Sun, 31 August 2015

A new multimedia project Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration chronicles a decade of drastic immigration changes by the federal government and its devastating effects on families in Canada.

Never Home finds the number of immigration avenues that grant permanent residency — such as those that facilitate entry of skilled workers, refugees or family members — has plunged. The federal government eliminated nearly 280,000 applications under the Skilled Worker Program. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of family-class immigrants dropped 20 per cent, while the number of accepted refugees dropped 30 per cent.

Canada Without Poverty’s Leilani Farha thinks we can end homelessness

By The Globe and Mailn, 21 August 2015

[Leilani Farha] is executive director of Canada Without Poverty – a think tank and advocacy group geared to the daunting task of alleviating poverty in this country. At the same time, she is also the United Nations’ current “special rapporteur” on adequate housing, a position that sees her travel around the globe and comment on key housing problems and crises.

What’s needed the most, she says, is an awareness among policy-makers around the world that everyone is part of the human family, and that they need to have real empathy with those who are suffering. She says they need to put themselves “in the shoes of a single mom with two teenage daughters who has no bathroom. [We should] try to do policy from that place."

Public servant investigated over political 'Harperman' song

By Ottawa Citizen, 27 August 2015

Tony Turner, a scientist in habitat planning at Environment Canada, was recently sent home on leave with pay while the government investigates the making of Harperman, a music video posted on YouTube in early June that has attracted about 48,000 hits.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents federal scientists, said the union was representing Turner. It said he was put on leave pending the outcome of the probe into allegations that he violated the ethics code by writing and performing a political protest song.

Research Centre reports latest to be destroyed

By Lethbridge Herald, 25 August 2015

For more than a century, Lethbridge researchers have been spurring improvements for Canada’s farmers. Over that time, they’ve created a wealth of reports and studies while working at the city’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Research Centre.

But last week, much of that material was consigned to a dumpster under orders from Ottawa. The Lethbridge centre has become the 16th casualty of a Conservative government war against science, according to the federal scientists’ professional organization.

Canadian government must work with human rights defenders, Indigenous communities, not against them: United Nations Committee report

23 July 2015 (Montreal, QC) – In a scathing report issued this morning, the United Nations Human Rights Committee said the Canadian government must act to protect the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression and to remove obstacles hindering the work of human rights organizations in the country.

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