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Opinion

Time for bystander effect is over

Thousands of protesters gathered on the Parliament Hill on June 5, 2020, for a rally to call attention to anti-Black racism and police violence against Black people across Canada and the United States. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As Independent Nova Scotia Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, a highly regarded  social worker, researcher, educator and community activist, told The Hill Times last week, “the reality of anti-Black racism, the violence of racism, the reality of racism in this country, seems to be lost on people. And I find that very annoying … [that] we still insist on this default narrative that says we’re not as bad as they are in the U.S.” For a lot of white people, unfortunately, it took the death of George Floyd, an American Black man, who was killed by a white police officer in broad daylight on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while three other police officers stood by, to finally wake them up. Captured by video, the horrifying and ugly calmness of the violence against one Black man ignited a firestorm of worldwide protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality in the U.S. But it also ignited a worldwide protest against all racism and police brutality everywhere, including in Canada, which has a long history of both anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism.

MPs back more modest option for Parliament visitors’ centre as Centre Block renos roll on

'I appreciate we’re not going for the Cadillac option. …  The larger option was much more expensive,' says NDP House Leader Peter Julian. 'We’re talking about over $110-million in savings.'

Canada ‘ill-prepared’ for potential coronavirus second wave, says Senate committee

News|By Beatrice Paez
The committee noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada has yet to revise or finalize its guidance for long-term care homes in light of concerns about its current relevance.

Cultural assessments needed for sentencing reform, say advocates, amid calls to address high Black incarceration rates

Justice advocates agree with the Black Parliamentary Caucus’ recent call for pre-sentencing reports, similar to the Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders, to be used for racialized Canadians.

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum

Argentina, Chile, DRC, Hungary, and Madagascar say they backed Canada’s UN Security Council bid, but closest allies are silent

News|By Neil Moss
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were among 17 countries that wouldn't comment on whether they backed Canada's recent bid for a Security Council seat.

Feds’ fiscal snapshot puts deficit at more than $340-billion, with promise of an update in fall

News|By Beatrice Paez
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a decision on whether the government intends to release a full budget in the fall will be dependent on efforts at managing the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Feds should more clearly verify who is allowed to repay student loans at reduced rates, says auditor general

News|By Palak Mangat
According to an auditor general report, ESDC 'did not properly check the accuracy of applications.'

Poor data, deficiencies in case management to blame for slow pace in enforcing deportation orders, says auditor general

News|By Beatrice Paez
According to CBSA, most of the cases in its 'wanted' inventory involve individuals 'considered a low risk to public safety and are not an agency priority.'

Canada needs to protect Arctic sovereignty to confront emboldened Putin, say MP and expert

News|By Neil Moss
Liberal MP John McKay says there will be 'incursions and intrusions and aggressive actions taken increasingly in the Arctic' by Russia.
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