T-A-X. Such a simple three letter word, and yet it elicits responses from people out of all proportion to its size. Perhaps it isn’t surprising. Taxes are scary.
But let’s not forget, as much as you may hate them, without them, we wouldn’t have public health care, education, infrastructure, police and ambulances, government, politicians…(OK, maybe scratch that one). You get the idea. Boring and controversial as they are, taxes are essential.
The corporate responsibilty to respect human rights
Detractors of Private Member’s Bill C-300 (IU February 2009) draw attention to the bill’s treatment of human rights. The bill establishes guidelines for Canadian extractive companies that operate overseas. These guidelines must be met by companies that receive support from Export Development Canada, the Canadian Pension Plan and Canadian embassies. The guidelines are to include provisions based on Canada's international human rights obligations.
Government accountability bill returns to the House
On March 3, the Governor General will open a new session of Parliament, ending the recess created when the Harper government prorogued the previous session in December. All legislation that was under consideration at that time was extinguished, with the exception of private members’ bills, which return to the House, unscathed. These bills begin anew at whichever stage of the legislative process they had reached before the plug was pulled on Parliament.
Three ways to pay for aid commitments
EMBASSY – Canada’s Foreign Policy Newspaper
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Stephen Harper’s announcement that child and maternal health will be the signature theme of June’s G8 meeting is certainly timely.
Every day 1,400 women die of pregnancy-related causes. Every day 24,000 children under the age of five die of what are largely preventable causes. Progress on improving child and maternal health is the furthest off-track of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) UN member states committed to in 2000. This focus gives MDGs four and five, on child and maternal health, the push they need ahead of September’s United Nations High Level Meeting and ten year review of the MDGs.
But funding the initiative comes during difficult days – a global crisis and a budget deficit. Resources are tight.
Hon. James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
Hon. Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
1st February 2010
Ref: Immediate debt cancellation for Haiti
Dear Ministers Flaherty and Cannon,
We are writing to commend the government’s efforts to date to mobilise emergency assistance for disaster relief in Haiti and for speaking to the urgency and importance of debt cancellation for the country. The call to cancel Haiti’s remaining multilateral debt, including last week’s highly concessional $102 million loan from the IMF, benefits from a strong Canadian voice. We urge you to keep demonstrating such leadership in the government’s interventions at the Bretton Woods Institutions, and at Haiti’s largest multilateral creditor, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Rethinking the international financial system during a time of crisis
On October 19 and 20, 2009, the Halifax Initiative held a conference, co-hosted by The North South Institute, the University of Ottawa and the School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS), entitled "What’s Missing in the Response to the Global Financial Crisis?" The meeting brought together experts from a range of backgrounds to analyze the challenges facing the global economy, discuss the ways in which the international community has responded to the current financial crisis, and identify shortcomings in these responses.
CSOs push for Common Approaches revamp
Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are currently reviewing a 2007 Council Recommendation regarding export credit agency (ECA) operations. The Recommendation on Common Approaches on the Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits (Common Approaches) is a “gentlemen’s agreement” that seeks to establish a level playing field regarding ECA environmental practice. CSOs argue that the Recommendation’s impact is undermined by the lack of effective accountability mechanisms to ensure consistent and effective application by member governments.