Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ethnic vote report finds serious misuse of B.C. government resources

An investigation into a proposed ethnic outreach plan has found serious misconduct by B.C. public officials, the misuse of government funds and the deliberate use of private emails to hide what was going on.

A team headed by John Dyble, deputy minister to the premier, and three other deputy ministers were called in after the New Democrats released a leaked memo showing that civil servants appeared to be mixing public and party work and using government resources for Liberal party purposes.

Human Development Index: Canada Drops Out Of Top 10 As Rest Of World Catches Up

After spending much of the 1990s in first place, and the next decade in a slow decline, Canada has now dropped entirely out of the top 10 on the UN’s Human Development Index.

Canada ranks 11th place in the 2013 edition of the index, released on Thursday, down from 10th place in the previous report.

Iraq War Cost U.S. More Than $2 Trillion, Could Grow to $6 Trillion, Says Watson Institute Study

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

Detroit Emergency Manager: Gov. Rick Snyder Announces State Financial Takeover

Gov. Rick Snyder will appoint an emergency financial manager to take over control of Michigan’s largest city, he said Thursday in Detroit. The announcement follows his declaration of a fiscal emergency in the city.

"I'm confirming my determination of a financial emergency," Snyder said. "I'm going to ask the Emergency Loan Board to move forward with the plan of appointing an emergency manager for the city of Detroit."

New House Prices Canada: StatsCan Sees 0.1 Per Cent Hike In January

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says its price index for new homes rose 0.1 per cent in January, following a 0.2 per cent increase in December.

The agency says the metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa, as well as the Calgary region, were the top contributors to the increase.

Harper: Canada Pondering Contribution To Proposed UN Mali Mission

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is leaning towards development assistance for Mali rather than a further military contribution as he consults with cabinet and opposition parties on Canada's next steps, says a senior aide.

Harper faces a decision in the coming months on a further military contribution because France is pushing for a possible United Nations peacekeeping mission for Mali so its forces can be brought home.

Harper said Thursday during a press conference with the visiting French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that Canada's contribution to the Mali military mission, a C-17 military transport, "will remain there as long as we feel there is a need."

US war paradigm still useful – former CIA head

The US is currently a nation at war but it’s not the right time to end it, believes retired United States Air Force four-star general Michael Hayden, who served as head of the CIA under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The American intelligence guru spoke exclusively to RT on a whole variety of issues, including the recent developments in Venezuela following President Hugo Chavez’s death, weird and deadly drone attacks in Pakistan and the recent Stuxnet computer virus attacks on Iran.

He also explained why Guantanamo Bay is so important for the US and why he thinks China is now posing the biggest cyber threat to the world.

Secret Service and FBI investigating leaked Obama financial records

The FBI, Secret Service and LAPD are all investigating a website that earlier in the week began publishing financial records and other sensitive information pertaining to some of the biggest names in both Washington and Hollywood.

The website posted the Social Security Numbers, home addresses and phone numbers to an array of influential Americans on Monday, including first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actor Mel Gibson, US Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Robert Mueller and others. Additionally, the hackers have posted documents that they perpetrate to be legitimate credit reports for many of the victims, including singer Beyoncé, rap artist Jay-Z and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, among others.

US plans to allow spy agencies to monitor every citizen’s finances – report

Washington is reportedly considering opening all US financial records to national intelligence agencies in order to prevent future crimes. Only the FBI has had unlimited access to such databases; other agencies had to file case-by-case requests.

The Obama administration is preparing legislation to enable the country’s numerous security and intelligence agencies to spy on the accounts of US citizens, Reuters has revealed. The scheme’s stated aim is to help to identify and track terrorist cells, expose money-laundering schemes, trace criminal syndicates and curb corruption.

NYPD License Plate Readers Will Be Able To Track Every Car Entering Manhattan

NEW YORK -- The ring of steel is expanding. New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced a "major project" at a budget hearing on Tuesday to install license plate reader cameras "in every lane of traffic on all of the bridges and tunnels that serve as entrances and exits to Manhattan."

Soon, no one will be able to drive onto or off of the island without potentially being recorded.

Census: Record 1 In 3 Counties Now Dying Off, Hit By Aging Population, Weakened Local Economies

WASHINGTON — A record number of U.S. counties – more than 1 in 3 – are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.

New 2012 census estimates released Thursday highlight the population shifts as the U.S. encounters its most sluggish growth levels since the Great Depression.

Arrests in Brooklyn in 3rd night of police brutality protest

Eighteen have been arrested in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood as New Yorkers came out for a third night of protest over the police killing of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, police reported.

The demonstration began at Brooklyn's 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, the part of New York's Brooklyn section where Gray was shot to death by police on Saturday. Witness and police accounts differ on whether Gray was brandishing a weapon before he was killed.

According to autopsy results, Gray was shot seven times – four times in the front of his body, and three times in the back.

Brooklynites were heard shouting "murderers!" at the massive police presence Wednesday as officers prohibited people from even stepping onto the street in one of New York's poorer neighborhoods while police helicopters circled overhead.

The event has been marked by a near-absolute lack of commercial media coverage, with most of the slack being picked up by activists livestreaming from the rally or reporting via Twitter.

Original Article
Author: -

Shelter stat shocker

Why do homeless people report being turned away from shelters, when the system shows dozens of empty beds? We may be closer to an answer.

A city report released on Monday, March 11, reveals that shelters are operating closer to 100 per cent capacity than was previously thought, and are using beds on a daily basis that are supposed to be reserved for emergencies.

Strange Economy

The mayor got it half right: the city is overspending on shelter housing for the homeless.

But it’s not too much ($165 million yearly) in the way he thinks. It’s exorbitant because shelters are a pricey way to ensure that people aren’t doing without a roof over their heads in this wealthy city.

And regardless, the system isn’t doing well. As of the start of 2013, the province, which adds its own contribution to the city’s $165 million, capped funding under the positive-sounding Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative. Cash allotted will no longer be adjusted for inflation, nor for actual need based on the number of clients.

Domestic Drone Lobby Pushes Back On Restrictions, Seeks Tax Breaks

NEW YORK -- Its military counterparts overseas may bring Hellfire missiles and death, but the domestic drone industry has a different offer for the American people: jobs, jobs, jobs.

In a new report released Tuesday, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) declares that if the Federal Aviation Administration unleashes drones into the American airspace, the industry has the potential to create 70,000 new jobs and $13.6 billion in economic growth in just three years.

"This is the economic impact of what I call a revolutionary-type technology," said Michael Toscano, the president and CEO of AUVSI.

For Obama’s Judges, It’s Already Late

On the same day as Rand Paul’s celebrated filibuster against drone strikes last week, the Senate engaged in a less noticed but more typical form of delay and obstruction. A majority of the Senate voted to bring up the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but forty-one Republican Senators voted to prevent her from receiving consideration. This is the modern version of the filibuster, far more common than Paul’s thirteen-hour speech. Without sixty votes, it’s now virtually impossible to accomplish anything in the contemporary United States Senate.

Charts: This Is What Happens When You Defund Planned Parenthood

In the past two years, Texas legislators slashed funds for family planning and passed up $30 million a year in federal Medicaid money, largely to squeeze Planned Parenthood out of the state's women's health programs. Last week, hundreds gathered at the south steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin to protest the resulting public health mess: Researchers say nearly 200,000 Texas women have lost or could lose access to contraception, cancer screenings, and basic preventive care, especially in low-income, rural parts of the state. I reported from the rally:

How to curb bureaucratic empire-building

The young Acadian came to Ottawa with impeccable credentials. He was fluently bilingual, had a doctorate from Oxford University and a passion for public service.

There was one problem. Donald Savoie didn’t seem to understand the bureaucratic culture. He went to his deputy minister early in his career and said he felt there were too many people in the department for the amount of work required.

Defiant Canada is pumping out oil at record levels

Canada’s defiant oil industry shrugged off criticism as it cranked up production to four million barrels per day last December – its highest ever output, according to the International Energy Agency.

“Canadian oil production has increased rapidly over the last several months, reaching an all-time high of 4.1 mbpd in December on the back of a record one million bpd in synthetic crude output from surface mining operations,” the IEA said in a report published Wednesday.

Mulcair warns Americans of Chinese energy takeovers in Canada

WASHINGTON – Federal Opposition leader Tom Mulcair stirred American fears of Chinese intrusion into the North American energy market Wednesday by accusing the Harper government of negotiating a secret treaty with China that will give that country unfettered access to Canadian oil and gas reserves.

The American government has been concerned about Chinese entry into North America since 2005 when it refused to approve the takeover of energy giant Unocal by the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation.

No reason to be smug — Canada’s economy performs in middle of a mediocre pack

Stephen Harper and company may like to brag about how well Canada withstood the global recession, yet the country’s economic performance continues to fall short in the hit-and-miss recovery that’s still underway.

For one thing, in recent weeks gaggles of economists have been flocking to downgrade their economic growth forecasts for the coming year to anemic levels in advance of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s impending budget.

What goes on Harper’s legacy list?

Now that some pundits have started to talk about the possibility (remote, in my opinion) that Stephen Harper will not lead his Conservatives into the next election, it’s appropriate to discuss what his legacy as prime minister would be if he stepped down today. Unlike other recent prime ministers who were electorally successful, Harper’s legacy isn’t so clear-cut.

Think of Pierre Trudeau and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms comes to mind, along with the patriation of our Constitution and an official policy of multiculturalism. Brian Mulroney conjures up the GST, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and failed attempts to amend the Constitution that have nonetheless basically become the law of the land today. Jean Chrétien balanced Canada’s federal budget for the first time in thirty years and led the federalist forces in a tight battle over national unity.

Keystone XL pipeline not good for Canada, opposition leader suggests

Canada's opposition leader spoke out against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline during a visit to Washington on Wednesday, breaking with the Canadian government's full-on lobbying push for the controversial project.

In appearances around Washington, Thomas Mulcair, the leader of the New Democratic Party, was scathing of the Conservative government's environmental record and strongly suggested – without saying so explicitly – that he does not believe the pipeline is in Canada's interest.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper introducing more bills through the Senate than past prime ministers

OTTAWA — It’s supposed to be the chamber of sober second thought, but more and more, the Senate is getting the first glimpse of federal legislation.

Since the May 2011 federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has introduced more legislation in the Senate than any other prime minister has over the last 30 years, a Postmedia News analysis shows. Almost one in every four bills the government has introduced since May 2011 has first gone through the Senate, before going on to the House of Commons for approval.

Unequal justice in Canada: Law and order for the poor, impunity for the rich

One law for the rulers and another for the rest of us -- wasn't that supposed to have ended with feudalism?

If a poor person is caught taking a computer or some other piece of property from a federal building you can bet police will be called and the thief will go before a judge to decide if she/he goes to jail. Yet when a Senator who is paid at least $132,000 per year in salary illegally claims many times the value of a stolen computer as a "living expense" they simply have to return the money.

What's Fake about Canada's Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

With only limited fanfare, earlier this month Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced Bill C-56, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. Since no one supports counterfeit products -- there are legitimate concerns associated with health and safety -- measures designed to address the issue would presumably enjoy public and all-party support. Yet within days of its introduction, the bill was the target of attacks from both opposition parties and the public.

The NDP raised the issue during Question Period in the House of Commons, accusing the government of trying to implement the widely discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) "through the backdoor." The public also picked up on the issue, noting that the bill appears to be less about protecting Canadians and more about caving to U.S. pressure (the U.S. called on Canada to implement ACTA on the same day the bill was tabled).

Elections commissioner Yves Côté recommends charges be laid in Guelph robocalls case

OTTAWA — Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté has recommended laying charges over the election day robocalls sent to voters in Guelph in 2011.

After more than 21 months of investigation by his office, Côté has referred a report to Director of Public Prosecutions Brian Saunders, who will decide whether to initiate prosecution in the politically-charged case.

Though neither Elections Canada nor Saunders’ office would confirm the referral, the Citizen and Postmedia News have learned that Côté forwarded the file earlier this year, recommending charges be laid.

Bill Bennett Calls NDP 'Turds'

B.C. Liberal minister Bill Bennett's Internet use is raising eyebrows again. This time, he took to Twitter to call the Opposition NDP "turds."

Bennett, a longtime politician who has been kicked out of cabinet before, tweeted from the B.C. Liberal caucus meeting on Tuesday: "I am with the BCL Caucus tonight. Strange everyone seems to be getting along. Ok. Come on ndp turds. Bring it."

Fox CT's Women's Day Coverage Is Mostly Just A Single Shot Of Breasts

Connecticut's Fox affiliate covered an International Women's Day march in Hartford, but the cameraman seemed to think that the assignment was less about focusing on the achievements of women and the struggle they've overcome, and more about pretty much just some lady's boobs. For a good 13 seconds. And that's it.

Although, the barely-concealed disgust of the female anchor might be even funnier than the regrettable cutaway.

And this appeared to be no accident -- when they did a shorter version of the segment later in the hour, they reran the exact same footage. WTF, Fox CT?

Original Article
Author: Ross Luippold

Ignoring Lei Feng: China’s Failed Revolutionary Biopics

The fastest way to get around the southern Chinese city of Foshan is on the back of a motorcycle-for-hire. Crisscrossing the city this week—more on that later—I saw, in the blur, an unusually heavy representation of my favorite Chinese anachronism: Comrade Lei Feng, the late, great icon of Socialist dedication. His portrait—apple-cheeked, flinty, a rifle in one hand, Mao’s teachings in the other—has always been an occasional presence on bus shelters and billboards. But, suddenly, it seemed he was everywhere: stenciled on a propaganda advertisement beside a KFC; striding, chest out, from a sidewalk kiosk in front of an Italianesque home-furnishings store.

It’s no coincidence. Last week marked fifty years since Chairman Mao advised his people to “learn from Comrade Lei Feng,” an ordinary, young squad leader in a transport unit of the People’s Liberation Army, who was plucked from obscurity and thrust ahead as a kind of Communist Rosie the Riveter, an icon of revolutionary selflessness. Lei Feng, who stood just five feet tall, called himself “a tiny screw” in the “machine” of revolution. After he died, at the age of twenty-two, the Communist Party unveiled his diary, which included such observations as “A person’s life is limited but to serve the people is unlimited.”

Collapse of oilsands boom will scramble Canadian economy

Disregarding global warming and the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket, the Harper government has bet Canada’s economic future on the oilsands. But do we want to return to a time when Ontario consumers paid half a billion dollars to subsidize an imperilled Alberta oil industry, with two-thirds of its capacity shut in for lack of sales?

At risk are hundreds of billions of dollars in jobs, government and industry revenue, and capital investment. Essential to diminishing hopes for an oilsands bonanza are three proposed pipelines, costing $17 billion, to move oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the West Coast for tanker shipment to China. There is no certainty they will be built — even assuming government authorizations.

Why is the chair of Metrolinx a casino lobbyist?

Metrolinx is the provincial agency responsible for untangling the GTA’s gridlock problem.

MGM is the U.S. casino giant that wants to build a gaming resort on Toronto’s waterfront.

Robert Prichard is the link between the two. He’s the chair of the Metrolinx board, and he’s also a registered lobbyist for MGM.

Obama should lift secrecy on drones

From Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, we learned that the Obama administration is “struggling” with how to provide more information on its so-called targeted killing program; that senior officials have “talked about a greater need for transparency” about the program; and that we “will hear the president speak about this” in the future. After a limited document review by the Senate intelligence committee; a spirited 13-hour filibuster led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); and a last-minute admission by Holder that the president does not have the authority to use drones to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil who is not engaged in combat, the White House is still bobbing and weaving on whether to share with Congress the legal opinions and memorandums governing targeted killing, which include the legal justification for killing U.S. citizens without trial.

Pope Francis Against Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Argentinean, was chosen as the first Latin American pope on Wednesday. He will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics as Pope Francis. While his selection may be historic, it may also mean more of the same when it comes to gay rights in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis is a conservative who is anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption. He has described same-sex marriage as the work of the devil and a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” He has also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children.

Aaron Swartz Lawyers Accuse Prosecutor Stephen Heymann Of Misconduct

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutor Stephen Heymann engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by withholding key evidence from the defense team of Aaron Swartz, the late Internet activist's legal team alleged in a letter to an internal Justice Department ethics unit.

Heymann took the lead in the much-criticized effort to imprison Swartz, who committed suicide in January, and was the attorney who handled the case on a day-to-day basis, reporting to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. Swartz' attorney Eliot Peters has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), a step that indicates just how egregious the defense team considers Heymann's professional behavior. A redacted version of the letter was obtained by The Huffington Post.

C. Everett Koop, 1916–2013

A decent enough interval has passed, I hope, to begin to think about an interesting figure of our recent history in a bit of a critical temper. C. Everett Koop died on February 25 this year, the former surgeon general of the United States, between 1981 and 1989—the only person to hold that title to have become a household name, not least for his goofy half-beard and his charming insistence on wearing his ceremonial brocaded Gilbert-and-Sullivan-style uniform everywhere. But also for, it has to be said, serving as an exemplar of honor and courage in a dishonorable time. The Associated Press put it like this:

    An evangelical Christian, he shocked his conservative supporters when he endorsed condoms and sex education to stop the spread of AIDS.

Charles Koch Reflects on Last Election, Promises to Do More to 'Persuade Politicians'

Charles Koch, the chief executive of Koch Industries who is worth an estimated $34 billion to $44.6 billion, has a new letter to his employees. Koch and his brother spent more than ever in the last election, financing anti-Obama attack ads, phone banks voter contact efforts and more—but came up short. In his letter, sent to tens of thousands of employees through the Koch Industries’ “Discovery” newsletter, Koch warns that “November’s election results … are part of a trend that, if not reversed, will destroy the American dream.”

Steubenville and Challenging Rape Culture in Sports

When I was a 14-year-old with healthy knees and an obtuse overestimation of my own athleticism, I played for a basketball club team in New York City. One moment from that season looms above all others. We were in the locker room after practice, joking around and half-naked, when Coach Dan came in through the door. Coach Dan wasn’t much of a coach but he made up for it with relentless, flower-power positively. He was a hippie living in the wrong era, with a ponytail that went down his back, and a pocket of trail mix that would dribble out of his mouth like chewing tobacco. Dan never allowed any roughhousing, did “vibe checks” and spoke to us about pacifism while we stifled smirks. He knew we were laughing at him but didn’t really care.

A New Pope—African, Latin American, Woman, Nice Guy—Will Change Nothing

Editor's Note: The papal conclave has announced that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, will be Pope Benedict's successor. He will be known as Pope Francis I. Shortly after the announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation, Frances Kissling wrote the piece below, in which she argued that a merely electing a pope from Africa or from Latin America wouldn't be enough to spur the fundamental changes the Catholic Church desperately needs.

“In Benedict, the Catholic Church got the pope it deserved,” writes John Patrick Shanley in The New York Times. Shanley, author of the play Doubt, pulls no punches. Pope Benedict, he correctly charges, is “a protector of priests who abused children. He’d been a member of the Hitler Youth. In addition to this woeful résumé, he had no use for women.”

What’s the Matter With Graham Hill’s 'Living With Less'

For the past few days, one of the most popular stories on the New York Times website has been Graham Hill’s op-ed “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” In a majestic display of guileless narcissism, Hill, an Internet multimillionaire, congratulates himself for downsizing his life and getting rid of all the stuff—the homes and cars and gadgets and sectional sofas and $300 sunglasses—he accumulated over the past decade. Now he lives in a 420-square-foot studio and has only six dress shirts and “10 shallow bowls” that he uses “for salads and main dishes.” Imagine that. Eating off the same plate. Twice. In one meal.

This Man Wants You to Believe That BPA-Laced Plastic Is Harmless

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an industrial chemical found in everything from food-can linings to cigarette filters to retail receipts. Nationwide testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found it in "nearly all" of its subjects. A growing body of research has established BPA as an endocrine-disrupting chemical that does harm at tiny doses. But is BPA no big deal, after all?

That's the message of a presentation given at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science last month by Justin Teeguarden, a scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a lab that operates under contract with the US Department of Energy. According to a PNNL press release about the presentation, Teeguarden analyzed 150 BPA exposure studies and found that "people's exposure may be many times too low for BPA to effectively mimic estrogen in the human body." The study's funder, the press release adds, was the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Here's How a GOP Congressman Opposed the Violence Against Women Act—Then Pretended He Was for It

By now, most Americans know that Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on February 28, giving the government the resources to better investigate, prosecute, and stop violent crimes against women. Lawmakers have proudly announced that they helped pass the law—in some cases even when they voted against it.

Brad Wall Accuses Thomas Mulcair Of 'Betraying' Keystone, Oilsands

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall unleashed a prairie storm against national NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, after the head of the official opposition tried to drive a proverbial spike through the heart of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in front of law makers and business executives in Washington.

Mulcair told his U.S. audience on Tuesday the Canadian government "is playing people for fools," and only paying lip service to environmental responsibility, the Edmonton Journal reported.

SXSW: 'Wiki Weapons' Maker Cody Wilson Says 3D Printed Guns 'Are Going To Be Possible Forever'

When is a gun not a gun? According to 25-year-old Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson — the “wiki weapon” guy about whom you will one day be hearing a lot — that would be when it’s a file, even if that code can be downloaded into a 3D printer that (eventually) produces an undetectable and untraceable firearm.

The takeaway from SXSW Interactive, the massive annual technology conference in Austin, Texas, is that this year got away from social media (finally) and started delving into the physical realm, in particular the coming 3D printer revolution.

Harper government’s $60B business tax breaks spark questions and criticism

OTTAWA — It’s a $60-billion venture for the federal Conservative government.

That’s the estimated amount of tax relief Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has offered up to businesses in Canada since taking power in 2006 — reducing the country’s corporate tax rates to some of the lowest in the world.

The government maintains the widespread corporate tax relief has been an answer for the sluggish Canadian economy — spurring investment and job creation, while putting tax dollars back into the pockets of business owners, taxpayers and shareholders.

Stop for-profit blood clinics, doctors urge

Introducing a paid-donor system for blood products could compromise Canada's blood supply and is not justified, a group of physicians says.

The chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare said she was shocked by the news that a company in Ontario was planning to pay for plasma.