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.]

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kathleen Wynne Misleading Public About Hydro One Plans: NDP

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government is accused of intentionally misleading people about its plans to privatize Hydro One to raise billions of dollars for public transit.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Premier Kathleen Wynne does not have a mandate to sell the giant electricity transmission utility because the Liberals never raised the idea during last year's election campaign.

SNC-Lavalin Rating Upgraded By Analyst After Federal Changes

MONTREAL - Embattled engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin got a boost Monday when an analyst upgraded his rating for the company after the federal government signalled a change in its procurement policy in last week's budget.

Analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital said his new target price for SNC shares (TSX:SNC) is $51, up from $43. The shares peaked at $59.63 last summer and closed at nearly $44 Monday on the TSX.

James Moore: NDP Personally Attacking Veteran Running For Tories

A top cabinet minister has accused New Democrats of attacking a veteran now running for the Conservatives in the next election.

On Monday, Quebec NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat rose in question period to ask why photos of Tim Laidler, the Tory candidate in the British Columbia riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam, keep surfacing on official government websites and social media feeds.

"He is there for a photo op with a foreign dignitary. He is there with the minister for an official policy announcement in Vancouver," said Ravignat of Laidler. "He is even there with the minister on the Veterans Affairs website."

The Virtual Candidate

The relationship between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, the Party’s most likely Presidential nominee, goes back to the second half of the Clinton Administration. Warren told me recently that the most dramatic policy fight of her life was one in which Bill and Hillary Clinton were intimately involved. She recalls it as the “ten-year war.” Between 1995 and 2005, Warren, a professor who had established herself as one of the country’s foremost experts on bankruptcy law, managed to turn an arcane issue of financial regulation into a major political issue.

In the late nineteen-nineties, Congress was trying to pass a bankruptcy bill that Warren felt was written, essentially, by the credit-card industry. For several years, through a growing network of allies in Washington, she helped liberals in Congress fight the bill, but at the end of the Clinton Administration the bill seemed on the verge of passage. Clinton’s economic team was divided, much as Democrats today are split over economic policy. His progressive aides opposed the bill; aides who were more sympathetic to the financial industry supported it. Warren targeted the one person in the White House who she believed could stop the legislation: the First Lady. They met alone for half an hour, and, according to Warren, Hillary stood up and declared, “Well, I’m convinced. It is our job to stop that awful bill. You help me and I’ll help you.” In the Administration’s closing weeks, Hillary persuaded Bill Clinton not to sign the legislation, effectively vetoing it.

Take A Look At The Law Enforcement Officers' Bill Of Rights

This article was originally published by The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization focused on the US criminal justice system. You can sign-up for their newsletter, or follow The Marshall Project on Facebook orTwitter.

It has been more than two weeks since Baltimore police dragged Freddie Gray into the paddy-wagon from which he would emerge, half an hour later, with a fatal injury to his spine. But as another day ticks by, Gray's neighbors and fellow citizens remain largely uninformed about what occurred in that van, and why.

Mike Huckabee: "We Are Moving Rapidly Toward The Criminalization Of Christianity"

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 26 (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopefuls in Iowa and elsewhere have recently begun sounding a call to arms to Christian conservatives, describing what they say is an urgent threat to religious liberty.

Citing high-profile dust-ups over religious freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas, the contenders are painting a vivid picture of faith under fire.

Bill C-51: New CSIS Powers Not So Scary, PM's Security Adviser Says

OTTAWA - Planned new powers for Canada's spy agency seem scarier than they really are, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper's national security adviser.

Giving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service the ability to disrupt extremist plots will help squelch such dangerous activity at a very early stage, Dick Fadden told the Senate national security committee on Monday.

Opponents of the government's anti-terrorism bill have denounced the idea of allowing the spy service to go beyond gathering information to actively derailing suspected schemes.

Israel Fired On 7 UN Schools In Gaza In 2014 War, UN Probe Found

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (Reuters) - Israel fired on seven United Nations schools during the 2014 Gaza war, killing 44 Palestinians who had sought shelter at some sites, while Palestinian militants hid weapons and launched attacks from several empty U.N. schools, a U.N. inquiry found.

"I deplore the fact that at least 44 Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli actions and at least 227 injured at United Nations premises being used as emergency shelters," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in a letter on Monday accompanying a summary of the inquiry's findings.

CCPA: B.C. Court Case A 'Serious Threat' To Health Care System

A much-delayed B.C. court case challenging the ban on private health care slated to begin this fall could have widespread implications and impact all Canadians, according to a new critique.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the Cambie Surgeries Corp. challenge to the provincial Medicare Protection Act is not the first attempt to overhaul the system, “however, it poses the most serious threat to the principles of equality and universality that Canada’s public health care system is built upon.”

Holot prison: Purgatory for refugees in Israel

In 1951, Israel helped draft the Convention relating to the status of refugees at the UN. The treaty -- the first of its kind -- formally defined a refugee and was initially meant to protect European migrants who were victims of the Holocaust. My grandmother, fleeing her hometown in Czechoslovakia after the war, was one of them. 
She lived in Israel for three years during her early adolescence, defining years for any individual. There, she worked and slept on a kibbutz -- a type of collective community in Israel -- deeply entrenched in the quixotic Zionist culture of the time. She was free, and she was building the Jewish homeland. She still remembers those years fondly. 

'We Remember Freddie': Thousands Attend Funeral For Freddie Gray

The six Baltimore police officers suspended after a man suffered serious spinal injuries while in custody should tell the public what happened, an attorney for the man's family said at his funeral Monday.

Bill Murphy's remarks about the officers drew a standing ovation at the funeral of Freddie Gray. Gray died April 19, days after his encounter with police. The 2,500-capacity New Shiloh Baptist church was filled with mourners, many of whom filed past Gray's casket before the service began.

"This is our moment to get at truth. This is our moment to get it right," Murphy said.

Ten Novel, Absurd, And Irrelevant Arguments Made In Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality

Oral arguments for the same-sex marriage Supreme Court case are just over a week away, and just as many groups and individuals from across the country expressed their support for marriage equality, many expressed their opposition. Among them are the more familiar arguments, like that “conjugal marriage” (i.e. “complementary” relationships in which someone with a penis has sex with someone with a vagina) is unique and deserves special recognition regardless of whether such unions result in children, that same-sex parentingharms children even though all valid research points to the opposite conclusion, or that marriage is a states rights issue, not a human rights issue.

Court Says ‘Religious Freedom’ Gives T-Shirt Company The Right To Discriminate Against LGBT Group

A Kentucky judge has validated a printing company’s discrimination against an LGBT group under the state’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA).
The case in question dates back to 2012, when Hands On Originals and its owner, Blaine Adamson, refused to produce T-shirts for the the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO), which coordinates the Lexington Pride Festival. GLSO filed a complaint, and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that Hands On Originals (HOO) violated the city’s nondiscrimination order, which protects sexual orientation.

Baltimore Orioles Exec: Stop Complaining About Protests, ‘People Are Suffering And Dying’

As some Baltimore Orioles fans complained about protests around the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spine injury while in police custody, the team’s chief operating officer countered with a series of tweets expressing larger concerns about the plight of poor Americans. John P. Angelos, the Orioles COO and the son of the team’s owner, published the tweets Saturday night in response to a local radio broadcaster who had complained that the protests, which had shut down Camden Yards while the Orioles were still playing, were inconveniencing fans and other Baltimore residents.

'Canada's Economic Action Plan' signs painted in U.S.

A member of the B.C. legislature wants to know why the provincial government is paying a Washington state company to make road signs extolling Canadian stimulus spending.

The NDP's Katrine Conroy was so taken aback after seeing the signs in her Kootenay West riding she brought it up during question period in the legislature recently.

In Rare Remarks, George W. Bush Argues Against the Lifting of Iran Sanctions

LAS VEGAS — Former President George W. Bush said the United States must show that it can follow through on its promises, and argued against the lifting of sanctions against Iran during rare remarks about foreign policy in a meeting with hundreds of Jewish donors here Saturday night.

Mr. Bush told the 700 donors attending a closed-door Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting that he would not criticize President Obama, whose aim to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State he applauded. But the former president nevertheless offered comments that many in the audience viewed as a tacit critique of his successor.

Elite Universities Are Turning Our Kids Into Corporate Stooges

Duke University, where I graduated in 2002, was as lenient about student infractions—underage drinking, excessive noise, hazing—as most private universities. But there was a limit to its paternal forgiveness: on-campus interviews with company representatives. Miss one, and you'd have to go through a humiliating rigmarole of apologies and counseling. Miss a second one, and you were barred for life from interviewing on campus.

PM Spawns Literary Genre: The Political Horror Story

  • Dismantling Canada: Stephen Harper's New Conservative Agenda
  • Brooke Jeffrey
  • McGill-Queen's University Press (2015)

So many books have been published about Stephen Harper (most of them hostile) that they have become a literary genre of their own. "Harperlit," as I call it, is a distinctly Canadian form of political horror story.

It's the Pill or Nil for Many Health Care Plans

For nearly a decade after the birth control pill made its debut, it remained illegal in Canada. The sexual revolution was in full swing south of the border by the time contraception was dropped from the Criminal Code, and women in this country could plan their pregnancies without breaking the law.

Today, there is a dizzying list of options: The Pill. The Patch. IUDs. Diaphragms. Condoms. An injection. The vaginal ring. Contraceptive implants. Your womb, your choice, right? Not quite.

Among Millennials, No Political Party Has a Commanding Lead

A federal election poll released in mid-April by Ekos Research Associates contained a striking finding. Among respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives were in a dead heat. Each was drawing 26 per cent support from Millennials, with the Greens at 10 per cent. Many studies suggest young people are more likely to lean progressive than older Canadians. But the recent Ekos poll suggested no progressive party yet claims a commanding lead among Millennials.

These types of results tend to fluctuate wildly. At various points this year, weekly Ekos polling shows the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives have each enjoyed small leads among 18 to 34 year-old respondents. "Very little appears settled," the firm has concluded. One statistic, though, has remained remarkably consistent. Support for the Conservatives among people age 65 and older hasn't gone below 39 per cent for the last four months. The Tories "enjoy a huge lead with seniors," Ekos argued.

Woman with cerebral palsy loses Quebec's help because mom saved for her future

A Quebec woman with cerebral palsy had her $900 a month in provincial assistance taken away, all because her elderly mom set up a modest trust fund to pay for her future care.

"Even though I am an adult, it feels like I am being treated as a child," says Sarah Davidson, 38, who speaks slowly but with conviction. Provincial officials cut her off more than a year ago and have denied her appeal.

"I hope they [provincial officials] never have to go through what I have been going through," she says.

Federal budget is now balanced, but billions in future surpluses wiped out, PBO says

The federal budget watchdog says the books are already balanced but that tens of billions of dollars in expected surpluses will be largely wiped out by new tax breaks, lower oil prices and reduced EI premiums — possibly leading to small deficits within two years.

The Parliamentary Budget Office, in a new report released Friday, says the government’s decision to freeze EI premium rates for the next two years at higher-than-necessary levels “continues to be a concern” and is effectively providing much of the fiscal breathing room to offer billions of dollars in tax breaks.

What happened when Canada stopped counting its numbers

TORONTO — When a major Western country stops counting its numbers, bad things can happen.

In June 2010, the Canadian government unveiled a grand experiment in data collection. In the name of privacy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper ended the mandatory long-form census for the country and swapped it out with a voluntary survey.

Five years later, there is a mass scramble to make sense of a rapidly changing country. Despite an explosion of corporate data-mining in most nations, researchers interested in tracking poverty, immigration and public health in Canada know less and less about the country as time progresses. They’re not, for example, entirely sure if income inequality is accelerating, stagnant or closing. Across the nation there is a loud, collective uneasiness among them.

No matter how you add it up, Harper’s fiscal record is a catastrophe

On April 8, Finance Minister Joe Oliver stood up before the Economic Club in Toronto and delivered what can only be described as one of the greatest “fantasy economics” speeches in decades.

It was a message from a parallel universe — one in which the Harper government delivered ‘sound economic management’ through the recession (it didn’t), the economy recovered its pre-recession growth pattern (it hasn’t) and Ottawa is delivering tax relief for the average Canadian household (it isn’t). Stranger still, it’s a parallel universe where Pierre Trudeau is still around, haunting us.

Government refuses prison watchdog’s request for another full term

Ottawa is searching for a new prison ombudsman after refusing to extend the contract for the current Correctional Investigator for Canada beyond one year.

Howard Sapers, who has held the position for eleven years and been a vocal critic of the Harper government’s treatment of mentally ill and Aboriginal inmates, as well as the use of solitary confinement, was recently told he would remain on the job only until a replacement was found.

Difficulty recruiting military psychiatrists blamed on too-low pay scale

OTTAWA—New documents show the Canadian military found recruiting new psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers an uphill battle because the government’s top pay scale wasn’t high enough in some parts of the country.

A briefing note, prepared for former defence minister Rob Nicholson at the height of last year’s suicide crisis, shows National Defence scrambled to fill dozens of vacant mental-health positions.

In 2014, there were 19 suicides among military personnel, according to data released earlier this year by the Forces.

Safe surgery unavailable to 5 billion people, study finds

Five billion people worldwide don't have access to safe and affordable surgery, a critical need for health and welfare that has been overlooked by the global community, says a team of 25 medical experts from around the world.

The report, which appeared Sunday in the online edition of The Lancet, contains an estimate that nearly a third of deaths in 2010 — 16.9 million — were from conditions treatable with surgery, which the authors say far surpasses deaths from communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS (1.46 million), tuberculosis (1.2 million) and malaria (1.17 million) combined.

Suicide on the Great Sioux Nation

Suicide arrives in waves on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
On Christmas Day, a 15-year-old Lakota girl took her own life. Soon afterward, a boy, just 14, took his.
Since then, a young man and six more girls, one as young as 12, have followed as this current wave continues to swell. There have been numerous additional attempts in the last few months on this South Dakota reservation of about 28,000 people.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.

— Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution

A republican form of government is one in which power resides in elected officials representing the citizens, and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison defined a republic as “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people . . . .”

Harper feigns ignorance as Crown’s case against Duffy in shambles

Just who is on trial in Ottawa’s famous current criminal case; suspended Senator Mike Duffy, or the Senate of Canada?

Is the “Old Duff” getting his crack at justice? Or is this some gaudy form of Senate abuse using the courts the way politicians have been known to dump political problems into the laps of royal commissions — much to the disdain of judges? Having failed to reform the Senate, is this PM Stephen Harper’s answer? Deep-fry Duffy to escape from breaking faith with the base?

From Burnings To Beatings, Homeless People Face Violence On The Streets

Tyler Dunlop says his moment of terror came after he passed out in the back parking lot of a building in Edson, Alta.

The 30-year-old homeless man says he awoke to the sound of taunts as he was being punched and kicked by four intoxicated youths.

"They ganged up on me and beat me within an inch of my life," he said of the beating in 2011, which he didn't report to police.

Dunlop's brush with violence offers a glimpse of the dangers faced by people living on the streets.

How many jobs will the budget create? Finance minister admits he doesn't know

Finance Minister Joe Oliver is admitting he doesn't know how many jobs last week's federal budget will create.

Despite insisting that the budget will create jobs through measures such as the small business tax cut, Oliver told CTV's Question Period that he doesn't know how many.

"We have forecasts for the growth and the economy. I don't have a specific forecast for job creation," Oliver said in an interview with Robert Fife.

Lakes across Canada face being turned into mine dump sites

CBC News has learned that 16 Canadian lakes are slated to be officially but quietly "reclassified" as toxic dump sites for mines. The lakes include prime wilderness fishing lakes from B.C. to Newfoundland.

Environmentalists say the process amounts to a "hidden subsidy" to mining companies, allowing them to get around laws against the destruction of fish habitat.

Canada-U.S. border congestion 'negligible,' yet $1B being spent on improvements

An internal Finance Canada document raises questions about the Harper government's billion-dollar project to open up land-border crossings with the U.S.

The report says truck traffic has fallen sharply as Canada's manufacturing sector slumps, and wait times at key border points are negligible.

Altogether, the document drawn up by federal bureaucrats suggests a thinning border, not the thickening border federal politicians have been warning about since 2001, which has prompted massive investments in bridges, highways and customs plazas all along the U.S. border.

Canadian Governments Have Failed to Slay the Real Deficit We Face

This week, we saw a tale of two budgets.

The federal Conservative budget was all about cutting taxes.

The Ontario Liberal budget was all about investing in transit.

Both governments created deficits as part of the global stimulus effort during the Great Recession.

Harper Government Under Fire Over $482 Million In Outside Legal Fees

OTTAWA – The Conservative government has spent $482 million on outside legal fees since it came to power in 2006. And more than $447,045 to defend the Prime Minister, his staff and ministers, according to documents tabled in the House of Commons.

“It’s just a shocking number,” Liberal MP Sean Casey told The Huffington Post Canada Wednesday.

“They closed Veterans [Affairs]’ district offices and saved $5 million bucks, [but] over the past eight years, they’ve spent half a billion on outside lawyers. It’s pretty stark.”

Indigenous People Occupy Brazil's Legislature, Protesting Bill's Violation of Land Rights

Indigenous leaders from the five regions of Brazil traveled for days to an encampment convoked by the Coordinating Body of Brazil's indigenous people (APIB), which took place from April 13 to 16 in the federal district in Brasilia. The district is both a geographical center and a center of power in Brazil, as it is where the three branches of government are headquartered.

Strikes Against Morality

WASHINGTON—Drone strikes, by their nature, are bound to kill innocent civilians. It is all too easy to ignore this ugly fact—and the dubious morality of the whole enterprise—until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners.

Only then does “collateral damage” become big news and an occasion for public sorrow. President Obama acknowledged Thursday that a January strike in Pakistan against a suspected al-Qaeda compound killed two men who were being held as hostages by the terrorist group—Warren Weinstein, an American, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian.

Elizabeth Warren Tells Obama To Put Up Or Shut Up On Trade

WASHINGTON -- Progressive Democrats have been hoping to see a showdown between Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton for years. Instead, they're getting a public feud between the senator from Massachusetts and President Barack Obama.

Obama accused Warren and congressional Democrats on Friday of being "dishonest" and spreading "misinformation" about the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a trade pact the administration is negotiating among 12 nations. The overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress oppose TPP, while Republican leaders support it.

Union condemns Crown agency for lending Volkswagen $526 million

TORONTO - Canada's largest private sector union is condemning a federal agency for lending roughly $526 million to Volkswagen to expand its operations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Unifor issued a statement Friday saying it's "absolutely incredible" that Export Development Canada is helping facilitate the migration of the auto industry to Mexico.

Unifor president Jerry Dias says there is no guarantee that the loan will benefit Canada.

Miyekko Durden-Bosley, Handcuffed Seattle Woman Punched By Officer Sues For $1 Million

SEATTLE, April 24 (Reuters) - A Seattle woman who was punched in the face by a police officer as she was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence has filed a $1 million claim against the city, saying her rights were violated, the city clerk's office said on Friday.

Miyekko Durden-Bosley, 23, suffered a fractured eye socket in the June 22 incident, which was captured on police video.

Canadian military monument program needs U.S. approval: document

A federally sponsored program to create 250 war memorials in communities across Canada honouring the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan needs the permission of the United States government to proceed.

CBC News has learned that the light armoured vehicle to be used for each proposed memorial is clad in special armour that the United States government considers controlled military technology.

Greece Under Fire From Creditors As Bailout Talks Drag On

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Greece's European creditors sought to douse talk that they are making plans for a potential Greek exit from the euro and expressed hope Saturday that recent criticism may prompt the country to push ahead with an economic reform plan needed to unlock rescue loans.

In the Latvian capital of Riga, the eurozone's top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said he hoped "some extra urgency" will be injected into the process following the "critical" meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers the day before.

Freddie Gray Protesters Aim To 'Shut Down' Baltimore Saturday With Biggest Rally Yet

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Freddie Gray should have received medical attention at the spot where he was arrested -- before he was put inside a police van, authorities said Friday.

Baltimore police have come under intense scrutiny after Gray was taken into custody and suffered an unexplained spinal injury that led to his death. Six officers have been suspended with pay as local police and federal authorities investigate.

Cities and States Pay Massive Secret Fees to Wall Street

California’s report said $440 million. New Jersey’s said $600 million. In Pennsylvania, the tally is $700 million. Those Wall Street fees paid by public workers’ pension systems have kicked off an intensifying debate over whether such expenses are necessary. Now, a report from an industry-friendly source says those huge levies represent only a fraction of the true amounts being raked in by Wall Street firms from state and local governments.

“Less than one-half of the very substantial [private equity] costs incurred by U.S. pension funds are currently being disclosed,” says the report from CEM, whose website says the financial analysis firm “serve(s) over 350 blue-chip corporate and government clients worldwide.”

Canada Pension Plan To Vote Against Barrick Gold's Executive Pay Plan

TORONTO - How Barrick Gold Corp. pays its top executives is facing opposition from some of Canada's biggest investment managers, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, ahead of the gold miner's annual meeting next week.

The CPPIB joined other fund managers Friday in saying Barrick hasn't adequately addressed shareholder concerns about executive chairman John Thornton's paycheque.

Four Years Later, Texas Is Still Defending Its Voter ID Law

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in a case that could have national implications for states that require voters to present government-issued forms of photo identification at the polls.

The issue at hand -- Texas' contentious photo ID law -- is expected to ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court. But first a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case. There, voting rights advocates will argue that a federal judge's ruling from October -- which called the law an unconstitutional "poll tax," intentionally discriminatory and an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote -- should be upheld. Critics of the law argued that hundreds of thousands of Texans lacked the correct form of identification, but the state's leadership has insisted that the law is meant to protect against voter fraud and is not an effort to make it more difficult for any demographic to vote.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: bill on trade deals passes key Congress committee

Legislation to speed trade deals through the US Congress cleared a key committee but low Democratic support signalled a looming battle over a Pacific trade pact central to President Barack Obama’s strategic shift toward Asia.

Democrats and Republicans clashed over proposals to punish countries that manipulate their currencies to gain an export edge and ways to give lawmakers more leverage over trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

CIBC Shareholders Vote Against Plan To Pay Execs $25 Million After They Left Company

CALGARY - Shareholders made it known they're unhappy with rich payouts to two former executives at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's annual general meeting on Thursday.

An advisory resolution on the bank's approach to executive compensation was voted down by nearly 57 per cent of shareholders, with about 43 per cent voting in favour.

CIBC raised some eyebrows recently when it disclosed it planned to pay two retired executives a total of $25 million on top of their existing pensions, even though they no longer work for the company.

Looking beyond its goodies, the budget's economic news is grim

The story the 2015 budget tells of the Canadian economy is not a happy one.
The budget may have gotten the majority of its headlines for its (mostly previously announced) boutique tax measures, such as doubling the limit for contributions to tax free savings accounts (TFSA), but this budget is much more than a catalogue of small-bore tax measures.
It also includes a description of the current state and prospects for the Canadian economy, and on that score it is brutally frank.