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Silver linings and steep fears over Monsanto-Bayer merger

By Denis Calnan      

Takeover could improve reputation of bio-tech companies in the agri-food industry, but could also shift costs to farmers and leave powerful intellectual property in the hands of few big businesses, experts say.

“I think its actually better for the entire industry to move forward on this deal. It would allow the industry to change its image a little bit,” said Prof. Charlebois, referring to the poor reputation Monsanto has for its role in Genetically Modified Organisms in the agriculture sector. Photograph courtesy of Waywuwei, Wikimedia Commons

The creation of a monolithic biotech company with the merger of Monsanto and Bayer could allow the industry to reinvent its negative image, but some say it is another step towards leaving bio-tech and genetics intellectual property in too few private hands, and could lead to higher input costs for farmers, say Canadian industry reps. The massive takeover is also just one of more mega-mergers on the horizon.

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‘Piecemeal reforms have not saved the lives of Black people’: anti-racism, police brutality protests raise visibility, urgency of long-overdue reforms, say activists, some Parliamentarians

Even as support for structural reforms seeps into the mainstream, some noted it’s dismaying that some politicians continue to deny the existence of systemic racism. 

Amid three million unemployed, digital minister extols benefits of departmental cooperation, rapid rollout of online benefit-finder tool

News|By Mike Lapointe
'I think the government did a very good job of thinking through what kind of programs would support people in different circumstances,' said Minister Murray.

House suspension deal offers ‘insufficient’ scrutiny of feds’ spending amid COVID, say politicos

Four hours to study $87-billion in government spending is inadequate, says Liberal MP John McKay, calling it ‘short-term gain for a long-term pain.’

Pandemic makes delayed MMIWG action plan more urgent, say Senators, advocates

Consultations are ‘dragging on,’ say some who argue COVID-19 shouldn’t be used as an excuse for slow work and bad communication from the Liberals.

‘We’re past talk’: MPs call on feds to re-examine policies underpinning systemic racial inequities

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Breaking a Starbucks window is vandalism; getting tear gas in the face is violence. We must never confuse the two,' says NDP MP Matthew Green.

Don’t piss on our shoes and tell us Black lives matter

Opinion|By Erica Ifill
Unless Trudeau plans to be out on these streets, fighting against police brutality or in cabinet drafting legislation to curb police powers, his, and all the other white voices of his ilk, have no merit here.

Parliamentary association chair defends Canada-China group as critics call for its suspension

News|By Neil Moss
'I think we do need to review the activities of the legislative association,' says Conservative MP and vice-chair Michael Cooper.

Feds extend mandatory face-covering rule to flight workers, weeks after requiring passengers

News|By Palak Mangat
'I do agree that things need to be implemented as quickly as possible. We could've done this a lot sooner. The good news is that we’re doing it now and announcing it today,' says Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

Some MPs express concern over looming changes to disclosure of travel expenses

News|By Palak Mangat
'We saw this during the last election, where members and their designated travellers were singled out, targeted, and exploited for partisan gain,' says Conservative Whip Mark Strahl.
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