Prime Minister suggests Electoral Reform isn’t necessary because Canadians are “satisfied” with his Government #electoralreform #cdnpoli

Prime Minister Trudeau indicated in an interview with Le Devoir that electoral reform might not be necessary at this time because Canadians are satisfied with his government.

“Under Mr. Harper, there were so many people dissatisfied with the government and its approach that they were saying, ‘We need an electoral reform so that we can no longer have a government we don’t like,'” Trudeau explained.

“However, under the current system, they now have a government they are more satisfied with. And the motivation to want to change the electoral system is less urgent.”

The Liberal Party did campaign in the last election that the 2015 federal election would be the last fought under the first-past-the-post system.

The government has received criticism for setting up the parliamentary committee on electoral reform in order to put forth a system that would best advantage the Liberal Party of Canada, a ranked ballot system. The government has since conceded to the opposition and modified the committee membership to include all parties in the house of commons.

The United States, the United Kingdon and Canada are the last western democratic countries that continue to use the first-past-the-post voting system.

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Health Canada will reduce barriers to safe injection sites #insite #HarmReduction #cdnpoli

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has asked Health Canada to make it easier for communities to approve and set up safe injection sites because of what she calls a public health emergency.

The minister made the comments in response to a question from Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies. He said Canada was on track for 2,000 overdose-related deaths this year and wanted to know what Philpott was doing to make safe-injection sites easier to set up.

The Liberal government has long supported the expansion of safe injection sites as a means of harm reduction for addicts, but have been slowed in approving new sites by legislation brought in under the previous Conservative government.

The Respect for Communities Act, which came in in 2015, requires 26 criteria to be met before the federal government can begin considering a new safe consumption site.

Critics of the law say that meeting all 26 criteria is onerous and takes so long that addicts literally die in back alleys because there is no supervised location where they can be treated when they overdose.

Philpott has told officials to take into consideration the public health emergency that is occurring in many communities and directed staff to review all 26 criteria and remove or amend anything that poses an unnecessary barrier to getting a site up and running.

Source: CBC

Federal Government Announces Terms for Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls #cdnpoli #MMIWG

The federal government announced the terms for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Marion Buller, British Columbia’s first female First Nations judge, was revealed as chief commissioner of the five-member panel.

The other commissioners are:

The other commissioners are:

Michèle Audette: leading women’s First Nations advocate, Innu francophone and former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada

Qajaq Robinson: Ottawa-based lawyer specializing in Aboriginal issues and land and treaty claims, born in Nunavut

Marilyn Poitras: constitutional and Aboriginal law expert at the University of Saskatchewan

Brian Eyolfson: First Nations and human rights lawyer, former vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

The inquiry will begin Sept. 1 and run until Dec. 31, 2018, at an estimated cost of $53.8 million.

The government is taking an arm’s length approach and it’s up to the commission to decide when and where to meet and who to interview. The commission will have the authority to summon witnesses and compel documents.

The commission will examine the factors driving a systemic, high rate of violence against Indigenous women and girls, and the role of various institutions, including police forces, governments and coroners’ offices.

It will also review various federal and provincial laws, but will not find criminal liability.

Dawn Lavell-Harvard, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), says she’s grateful the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women is in the spotlight, but worried about the commission’s direction. She’s concerned that family members won’t be able to reopen cases through the justice system.

The commission’s interim report is due before Nov. 1, 2017, and a final report with their expectations exactly a year later.

Source: CBC

Special Committee on Electoral Reform to Reserve Time for Audience Participation #cdnpoli #electoralreform

The special committee on electoral reform is holding meetings over the summer in order to come up with recommendations for replacing the first-past-the-post electoral system.

The committee will met on the 6, 7th, 25th and 26th of July. It will meet again July 27th, 28th, August 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th, 31st and September 1st. The minutes don’t clarify where all those meetings will be held, and the chair of the committee is authorized to make changes as necessary.

The committee has decided there will be an open mic at each meeting with time set aside at each meeting for people to speak “on a first-come first-served basis”.

Canadians can also use the Twitter hashtags #ERRE and #Q to submit questions to the committee.

Finally, the committee is inviting Canadians to submit briefs, up to a maximum of 3,000 words, by October 7th. Canadians have until that date to make requests to appear before the committee.

For more information on the committee, visit the Parliament of Canada’s website.

Source: ipolitics.ca

Grassroots Liberals Concerned About New Party Constitution #lpc #cdnpoli

A large group of Liberal party members are asking the party to withdraw the proposed new party constitution because it was put together without adequate “member consultation and engagement.”

Tom Addison, president of the federal Ontario electoral district association of Kingston and the Islands has said the proposed new constitution is an attempt to centralize power “within a small circle around the leader.”

The proposed constitution makes the membership free for any Canadian who wants to register, overhauls the party structure, and makes significant changes to the financial management and governance mechanisms of riding associations and commissions. If the proposed party constitution is passed at the convention this weekend, the party will have only one constitution. The party’s board of directors will draft bylaws to run the operations of the party, its federal wings in provinces and territories, and electoral district associations and commissions.

Mr. Addison has set up an online discussion group website called “liberal-members-matter.ca” for party members who want to offer their opinion on the proposed constitution.

Critics charge that the party drafted this constitution without adequate consultation from members; that it “diminishes” the role of grassroots party organizations like executive boards, riding associations, councils of presidents, commissions, and provincial and territorial associations; and centralizes power in the hands of a few top party officials.

Braeden Caley, Liberal Party’s director of communications, said that the proposed constitution aims “to modernize, strengthen, and open up” the party. He disagreed with the suggestion that the party membership was not consulted adequately for the proposed constitution. Mr. Caley said that more than 2,000 Liberals participated in a survey. He said that 98 per cent of survey participants said that they support modernizing the party, 91 per cent said the party should have one constitution like other parties, 96 per cent said they want to make the party more open, and 99 per cent said that they want to make the policy development process more innovative and open.

Liberal Party members will have a chance to vote on the new constitution at the party’s biennial convention May 26-29th in Winnipeg.

Government Appoints Four-Member Panel to Review Canada Post #cdnpoli

The federal government has appointed a four-member independent panel to conduct a formal review of Canada Post. Public Services Minister Judy Foote said the review would not rule out anything, including a review of whether or not the crown corporation should continue door-to-door mail delivery.

Members of the panel are:

Françoise Bertrand (chair) — A former chair of the CRTC and former CEO of Télé-Quebec

Krystyna Hoeg — A chartered accountant who sits on the board of several Canadian companies and organizations, including Sun Life Financial and Shoppers Home Health Care

Jim Hopson — A former educator and professional football player who most recently served as president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders

Marena McLaughlin — A former senior federal public servant now working as a consultant

The federal Liberal Party campaigned in the last election that they would restore door-to-door mail delivery service. The Liberal platform stated they would “undertake a new review of Canada Post to make sure that it provides high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians, no matter where they live.”

The minister stated that home delivery would be restored, but that it may not be 5 days a week. She stated she did not want to pre-judge the decision of the panel. She indicated that privatization is not on the table with this review.

Seniors groups are criticizing the plan, saying the government is using the review as cover to break an election promise.

A parliamentary committee will also hear what Canadians want from their national postal system, aiming to report back to Parliament by the end of 2016.

Canada will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal but may still not Ratify It

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the Canadian government will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement in New Zealand on February 4th. However, this does not mean that the government will necessarily ratify the deal.

Minister Freeland indicated the text of the deal would be introduced in Parliament before a decision is made. A majority vote in the House of Commons would be required to ratify the deal.

The minister recently concluded a series of public consultations on the deal. She indicated that some Canadians have serious reservations about what the TPP would mean for Canada.

The deal at this point in the process can no longer be re-negotiated.

The Conservative Party has shown support for the deal, having been in government while it was negotiated.

Canadians that want to express support or concerns regarding the TPP should contact their member of parliament.