Category: Politics

Federal Liberals backing away from democracy

(special to TideChange) The federal Liberals were elected on a platform that promised change, but have not done what they promised, Comox Valley MP Rachel Blaney claimed in a media teleconference. To the contrary, they seem to be moving backwards, away from a more open democratic process to one with restrictions, she said. The suggestion put forward that the Prime Minister spend only one day a week in the House is not good.  We are fighting for democracy in Canada,  Blaney stated, and we need more accountability, not less. Suggestions about shortening the work week for MPs is also...

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Federal budget short on details

(special to TideChange) The federal Liberals budget was a disappointment to Comox Valley MP Rachel Blaney. In a media teleconference, she repeatedly pointed out that, even where money was allocated for aparticular purpose, there were no details on how it would be allocated. As the NDP critic for seniors issues, Blaney was hard on a budget which provided no money at all to address the aging and growing population of seniors in Canada. One of her concerns is the increasing cost of prescription drugs, especially in the future when the European Canadian Trade Agreement (CETA) takes effect. This is just one area where a pan-Canadian national strategy is required, she said. Other areas include seniors care and home care initiatives, and support for those caring for aging relatives. Subsidized senior care beds do not exist where they are needed, she pointed out. The caregiver benefit in the budget applies only to relatives of veterans, and requires that taxes be paid, since it’s a tax credit only. It will exclude the poorest people who most need help, Blaney remarked. She also pointed out that small communities need more housing, since a low vacancy rate such as exists in the Comox Valley, also affect businesses. It’s impossible to attract workers where no accommodation exists. The Liberals have promised $11 billion dollars to address this issue, but have given no indication how...

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Water: A Public Forum with Maude Barlow

Water is one of the most important issues facing our times. Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, passionate water rights activist and award winning author, will be in B.C. to discuss her latest book, Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis. Speaking in Courtenay on April 6 at the Filberg Centre, she is joined by Vancouver Island water advocates, David Stapley and Coree Tull who will highlight the issues we face here in the Comox Valley and in our province. This public forum is extremely relevant as we head into the May 9 provincial...

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B.C. Liberals are a rogue government that must be dispatched

The experience of anything approaching good government or robust democracy in the province of B.C. is now such a distant memory that the present danger is people’s low expectations. The Liberal government of Christy Clark is not so much a government as it is an anti-government: contemptuous of both the public good and of the citizens it is supposed to be governing for. From reckless and damaging tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (which leaves a budget shortfall of over $3 billion a year) to the $9-13 billion Site C dam catastrophe, to the financial commitment to an...

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Canada’s 150th time to review landmark names

A group in Regina under the leadership of Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway has submitted a proposal to city council that Dewdney Avenue be renamed Buffalo Avenue to respect the First Nations people who lived in the territory first. The area took its name from Wascana Creek. Wascana means buffalo bones in Cree. Meanwhile in Ottawa, another group is trying to have the Langevin Block renamed. The Langevin Block is an historic building located across from the parliament buildings. It houses the Prime Minister’s office as well as the Office of the Privy Council. The only problem is that Langevin was a...

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North Island – Powell River Federal Greens AGM with Andrew Nikiforuk – 2 April, 1pm at Dove Creek Community Hall

You are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting for the North Island – Powell River federal Green Party Electoral District Association (EDA). The meeting will take place on: Sunday, April 2nd, 1:00pm-3:00pm at Dove Creek Community Hall, 2400 Burns Rd, Courtenay (map) Guest Speakers will include: Andrew Nikiforuk, Canadian journalist and investigative author who has won multiple National Magazine Awards for his work on energy and economics. Ernie Sellentin, Provincial Green Party candidate for Courtenay-Comox Sue Moen, Provincial Green Party candidate for North Island – Powell River This will be a time to elect a new Executive...

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B.C. Liberals’ electoral finance reform package doesn’t amount to much

Last week Premier Christy Clark heard the four letters that every politician dreads, particularly when it’s hitting close to home: RCMP. Only five days after announcing its investigation into the Globe and Mail’s report that some lobbyists may have had their personal donations to the B.C. Liberal party and NDP reimbursed by unknown third-parties, Elections B.C. called on the RCMP to take over. The Sensitive Investigations Unit – part of the Federal Serious & Organized Crime’s Financial Integrity Group – has been tasked with investigating the possible ‘cleansing’ of political donations in the province. One gets a sense from...

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All Candidates Meeting Hosted byThe Comox Valley Global Awareness Network

The Comox Valley Global Awareness Network is hosting an All Candidates Meeting on April 4th, from 7-9pm at the K’omoks Band Hall. The event is called ‘Decent Work For All – Tell Your Next MLA What You Need’ Not your usual candidate forum. ‘Decent Work For All’ offers you a chance to tell local candidates what’s important to you about finding and keeping a good job. All Candidates from the Courtenay/Comox and Mid-Island ridings have been invited as ‘Guest Listeners’ and will be offered a short opportunity to speak in response to what they have heard. Your participation is...

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NDP MP Rachel Blaney is holding informational seminars on the Canada Revenue Agency’s disability tax credit (DTC). Every year, many eligible Canadians neglect to apply for the DTC, which can offer substantial rebates to people who face difficulties in their daily activities. ‟The disability tax credit can reduce someone’s income tax bill by more than $1300 per year,” said Blaney. ‟If you haven’t claimed it in the past, you can request a retroactive adjustment as far back as 10 years. This can mean a significant return for some.” ‟If you want to know whether you or someone close to you...

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