I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s papers, but here’s a fun little chart based on some data obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency for QMI Agency by researcher Ken Rubin. Every year, Revenue Canada gets about 25,000 tips on tax cheats through its National Informant Leads program. The data we got has the leads from snitches broken down by province.
So here’s the breakdown of which province has the highest rate and lowest rate of reporting on tax cheats. Continue reading Ranking provinces by their tax snitches
The work of electoral boundary commissions in Canada’s provinces continues. Today, the commission in Manitoba proposed some tweaking of 12 of that province’s 14 ridings. While provinces like Ontario, Alberta and BC are getting more ridings, Manitoba seats will remain unchanged.
Continue reading Tweaks to Manitoba's federal riding boundaries; no changes in PEI
Canada’s Access to Information (ATI) system was broke long before Stephen Harper became prime minister in 2006 but the Conservatives, like the Liberals before them, have failed to fix the system that gives Canadians the right of access to records the government holds, creates, and collects on all our behalf. [For more on our broken ATI system, see “30 Years of ATI: And It’s Getting Worse”]
Indeed, despite promising to fix the ATI system in its 2006 campaign, the Conservatives have made it worse. Great example? Over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, John Baird as much thumbed his nose at the Information Commissioner of Canada — an officer of Parliament, no less — when she told him earlier this year, in response to a complaint that I had made, that the steps his bureaucrats were taking to prevent the release of documents was flat out wrong, likely against the law, and that he ought to tell his bureaucrats to change their ways. [See: “Foreign Affairs Minister Ignores Information Commissioner’s Recommendations”]
Continue reading Waiting for years: Canada's oh-so-broken access to information system
I’m a smug Canadian when it comes to political financing. Corporations, unions, and NGOs are not allowed to donate a penny to federal candidates or parties in Canada. Only regular Canadians can kick in and we are all restricted to donating no more than $1,000 a year to a candidate or a party.
Though we still have some improvements we could make to our system, we have successfully removed the distortions of “Big Money” from our politics. Every party in Ottawa would agree with that assessment. (It’s very much a different matter in provincial politics and I encourage Premiers Redford, Wall, McGuinty, etc. to do something about that.)
But in the U.S., billionaires, giant unions, and mega-corporations can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to warp the political process. Continue reading Not that U.S. politicians can be bought or anything …
Does this sound like the sort of thing you might read today — in 2012 — from any number of Canadian newspaper columnists?
Our provider-state is being hollowed out. Social programs and payments will be cut back and parcelled out among the provinces by way of “block grants.” Nation-defining institutions Continue reading A lament for a lost Canada