Green Party leader Elizabeth May is calling on Canada to avoid being party to a U.S. law seeking to collect financial information on Canadians, arguing that it amounts to a violation of privacy.
Her appeal comes on the heels of regulations released by the U.S. Treasury Department mandating that foreign financial institutions report information on American taxpayers investing money abroad – the result of a major effort to crack down on tax evasion.
"I continue to hold (Finance Minister Jim) Flaherty to his commitment to protect Canadians from the extra-territorial application of U.S. law," May wrote in an email to iPolitics about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. "FATCA is moving fast down a track that violates our rights as Canadian citizens."
Elizabeth May had a surprise for everyone at the very end of question period Tuesday.
"I rise today with a genuine concern and I hope the prime minister can allay my fears," she began. "I have heard from credible sources within the government that there is a proposal to eliminate Environment Canada by merging it with Natural Resources Canada."
It was quite the bomb to drop on MPs who, as they usually do near that time of day, were packing their belongings to flee toward the exits.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says senior sources who would lose their jobs if they went public have told her that the Conservative government is planning to eliminate the federal environment department and merge any remaining functions with Natural Resources Canada. The government categorically denied the suggestion.
Ms. May asked the government about the rumour at the end of the daily Question Period on Tuesday. “If it had not been from credible sources, I would not be putting this question to you,” she told the Commons. “I would like assurances that no such plan is under consideration.”
But if Ms. May was hoping to hear that her sources were mistaken, her fears were not allayed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “I would be delighted to meet any of these credible sources and to correct any misinformation that may have been given the honourable member,” was Mr. Harper’s brief reply.
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The Green MP had the the final question this afternoon and rose with the following.
Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a genuine concern and I hope the Prime Minister can allay my fears. I have heard, from credible sources within the government, that there is a proposal to eliminate Environment Canada by merging it with Natural Resources Canada. If it had not been from credible sources, I would not be putting this question to him. I would like assurances that no such plan is under consideration.
Local opponents to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline came out in force Saturday night, filling a local church to hear five prominent speakers denounce the project, as well as blast the federal and provincial governments for they have handled the issue.
About 400 people packed into First United Church to hear Green Party leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May, provincial NDP environment critic and Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, filmmaker and environmental journalist Damien Gillis and Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and his wife, aboriginal activist Joan Phillip speak.
May, who made history in 2011 when she was elected as the first Green Party MP in Canada, said the federal Conservatives have "skewed" our economy by putting all the countries resources into fossil fuel expansion.
Electoral co-operation between Liberals and Greens could be a "game-changer" that ensures defeat of the Harper Conservatives - even if New Democrats refuse to go along, Grit leadership hopeful Joyce Murray says.
A Liberal-Green united front during last November's by-election in Calgary Centre could have prevented Conservative Joan Crockatt from eking out a narrow victory with just under 37 per cent of the vote, Murray said. The Liberals took almost 33 per cent and the Greens 25 per cent, enough to win if - and it may be a big if - their votes had combined behind a single candidate.
On a national scale, however, it would be difficult for the Liberals and Greens, without the help of the NDP, to unseat the Conservative government. Based on the 2011 election results, a combined Liberal-Green vote could have theoretically defeated the Tories in just over a dozen ridings - not enough to defeat the governing party, although sufficient to reduce it to a minority.
There is a prevailing myth that Canada's more than 600 First Nations and native communities live off of money—subsidies—from the Canadian government. This myth, though it is loudly proclaimed and widely believed, is remarkable for its boldness; widely accessible, verifiable facts show that the opposite is true.
Indigenous people have been subsidizing Canada for a very long time.
Conservatives have leaked documents in an attempt to discredit chief Theresa Spence, currently on hunger strike in Ottawa. Reporters like Jeffrey Simpson and Christie Blatchford have ridiculed the demands of native leaders and the protest movement Idle No More. Their ridicule rests on this foundational untruth: that it is hard-earned tax dollars of Canadians that pays for housing, schools and health services in First Nations. The myth carries a host of racist assumptions on its back. It enables prominent voices like Simpson and Blatchford to liken protesters' demands to "living in a dream palace" or "horse manure," respectively.