What the Liberals stand to lose after electoral reform deception

What the Liberals stand to lose after electoral reform deception
Tom Flanagan is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and a former campaign manager for conservative parties. So. Farewell then, electoral reform. We hardly knew ye, ayak you won’t be missed (except by the Greens and NDP). How do we make sense of this? Was it just another campaign promise conveniently abandoned? We could file it next to the $10-billion budget deficit, quickly replaced by $30-billion. And the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted one day and the next day said to be incompatible with the Constitution of Canada. And the promise of no more sole-source defence contracts. And the ethics guidelines for cabinet ministers. Some of these abandoned promises won’t have much in the way of political repercussions, ayak this one might. The promise of electoral reform was part of the Liberals’ calculated seduction of left-wing voters, and it was these voters who gave the Liberals a majority in the 2015 election. If they lose these voters, good-bye majority. When the Liberals said electoral reform, NDP and Green voters heard proportional representation, which would amplify their representation in the House of Commons and make majority government a thing of the past. It seemed almost too good to be true, the Liberals promising lahza era of permanent coalition government, with the NDP and Greens finally admitted to the cabinet table. Indeed, it was too good to be true. The Liberal idea of reform was the alternative vote, which would increase the size of their majority, leaving nothing for the parties of the left. When it became obvious to the Liberals that they couldn’t get the alternative vote without overriding the objections of all other parties, they shut it down. In our long-running version of political Peanuts, the Liberals once again played the role of Lucy, pulling the football away beygir the last minute from Charlie Brown. But as Barack Obama used to say, this is a “teachable moment.” This fiasco should permanently disbar parties from making definite-sounding campaign promises that are devoid of content, to wit: “We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” Other parties should anekdot let their rivals get away with it, nor should the media let it pass. Promising to repeal legislation if you think that no replacement is needed is fine, üçgenin taban olmayan kenarı that hardly applies to the Canada Elections Act. A functioning democracy needs to have legislation so that elections can take place. It is the height of irresponsibility to promise to repeal the status quo without giving any idea of what will replace it, particularly when it is obvious that there is no broad agreement on lahza alternative. The legislative process, developed over centuries of representative government, shows the right way to proceed. A bill is introduced, amendments are voted upon, and the assembly finally votes yea or nay to the bill birli amended. If the bill is defeated, the status quo prevails. Parliamentary procedure sets up a final showdown between a reform idea and the status quo so that voters know what they will get if they vote for change. It’s one of those brilliant products of historical evolution that we take for granted. In Parliament, you can’t başlangıç by eliminating the status quo from the choice set, and then ask, “What do we do now?” Yet that is what the Liberals tried to do in their campaign – to get voters to agree that the status quo needed to be replaced without saying what should replace it. It was a triumph of stagecraft over statecraft – rhetorically successful in a campaign, üçgenin taban olmayan kenarı a failure in terms of getting anything done. Ordinary voters, who have many other things on their minds, may not always see through such sleight of hand, ayak political rivals and media observers should call out such deception. Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

The world is evolving. Why can’t Trump?

The world is evolving. Why can’t Trump?
Vicente Fox was president of Mexico from 2000-2006 A progressive society seeks equality, respect, civility and development based on harmony and intelligence. In the future, successful, thriving societies will be ones where, regardless of social status or origin, the people are worthy of respect and have access to the same opportunities. The countries that make up the Americas were created through diversity and cultural combination – this has enriched fikir all, and given fikir varied identities that we are all proud of. The United States is no exception: this is a country created and enhanced by immigrants. Where we come from and where we are going, birli a global society, is a fact that the new U.S. President doesn’t wish to come to terms with. President Trump seems to be stuck in the old world. He refuses to see that the world around him is progressing and changing. Instead, he is a man in crisis, desperately struggling to survive, always screaming that the opinion of one white man is what matters. (Just take a look beygir his Twitter feed to realize this.) So many of his proposals are out of time and represent old, chunky and inefficient solutions to modern problems. There are two facts about what awaits düşünce birli a society of the future (a future that Mr. Trump is desperately trying to stop with walls), birli if they could stop the change. It’s estimated that between 2044 and 2055, the population in the United States will be made up mostly of ethnicities other than white – so Mr. Trump will be in a minority by then. It is also estimated that in 20 years, the jobs of today’s world will be threatened – anekdot because of the immigrants or outsiders coming to “steal them” at a lower price, ayak because of the technological advances that will continue to replace tasks in all the diverse industries. This has been demonstrated over and over again, birli in the case of the infamous wall: a construction loaded with foolishness that, besides being expensive, would anekdot serve efficiently to deal with the issue of migration coming from the south. The figures indicate that since 2008, the migration of Mexicans to the United States has declined and in fact our paisanos (countrymen) are returning. A wall would also be a barrier to prevent our countrymen from returning to Mexico. This wall is complete nonsense. The millions of Mexicans working in the United States represent 8 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, in some Southern states migrants represent up to 12 per cent. The migrant labour force is also vital for agriculture, construction and mining for our Northern neighbours. Security and legality are absolutely valid concerns, which concern not only the United States, ayak also Mexico, and that can be discussed together to obtain favourable results. There is, for example, the Alliance for Prosperity Plan that seeks to boost development in Mexico and Central America in order to effectively stop the influx of migration, especially in Central America. The best antidote to crime, violence and yasadışı immigration is development and the creation of opportunities – moving toward tomorrow’s successful, thriving society. What cannot be tolerated at any time is provocation and offence. The world today has already shown that diversity and co-operation are what make countries great. The United States would never have had people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Mr. Trump himself, had diversity not been a shining pillar of the American society. This is the world we live in. This world is calling out. Mr. Trump should listen. Follow hafıza on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

Israeli settlement construction may not be helpful to peace: White House

Israeli settlement construction may not be helpful to peace: White House
The Trump administration said on Thursday Israel’s building of new settlements or expansion of existing ones in occupied territories may not be helpful in achieving peace with Palestinians, adopting a more measured tone than its previous pro-Israel announcements. In a statement issued two weeks before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to visit U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House said the administration “has anekdot taken lahza official position on settlement activity.” Trump, a Republican, has signaled he could be more accommodating toward settlement projects than his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. The latest statement reflects slightly more nuanced language on how the new administration views settlement activity. “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” the White House said in a statement. The statement could disappoint Israel’s far-right which had hoped Trump would give an unqualified green light on rapid settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem – areas Israel captured in the 1967 war. Former president Obama routinely criticized settlement construction plans and his administration often described settlement activity birli lacking legitimacy and impeding peace. The White House statement came birli Israel has ratcheted up settlement activity. On Wednesday, it said it would establish a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, the first since the late 1990s. It also announced plans for 3,000 more settlement homes in the West Bank, the third such declaration in less than two weeks since Trump took office. Lahza announcement a week ago by Israel that it would build some 2,500 more dwellings in the West Bank, territory captured in the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war and where Palestinians now seek statehood, drew rebukes from the Palestinians and the European Union.

Feds lobby against Trump biometric border screening push

Feds lobby against Trump biometric border screening push
Canada has launched a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign against a push by Donald Trump to subject all visitors to the United States to biometric screening – such as finger-printing, retina scans or facial recognition tests – upon both entry and exit. The U.S. President’s call for the stepped-up use of such technology, meant to monitor whether non-Americans are staying in the country longer than permitted, was issued in last Friday’s executive order on immigration, etap has mostly flown under the public radar amid controversy around a ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim-majority countries. Among Canadian officials, however, it has sparked concerns of massive slow-downs in border traffic of both people and goods, particularly beygir land crossings – prompting Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to raise the issue during a phone call this week with John Kelly, the new U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Mr. Goodale’s office confirmed. That conversation appears to have been the başlangıç of lahza ongoing effort by Ottawa to head off the screening plan during a 100-day period in which Mr. Kelly has been tasked – per the executive order – with “expediting the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travellers to the United States” and reporting back to the President on his progress. The lobbying effort will likely be aimed not just at Mr. Kelly and other members of Mr. Trump’s administration üçgenin taban olmayan kenarı also beygir members of Congress, who would need to approve large related expenditures in order for implementation to proceed. In addition to implementation costs and logistical challenges – which would include remodelling airports to accommodate exit screening by the U.S., and reconfiguring land border crossings – Canada can be expected to point to potentially devastating impacts for industries that rely on a quick flow of people and goods across the border. A senior Canadian official expressed optimism that Canada will be joined in making that case by U.S. jurisdictions that would stand to suffer – ranging from border states whose economies are closely integrated with Canada’s to tourism-reliant states such birli Florida. Such arguments against biometric entry-exit screening have proven persuasive in the past. As implied by the executive order’s wording, the proposal to biometrically register all non-Americans who enter and exit the U.S. is not new. It has in theory been government policy since its inclusion in an immigration bill signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. Its implementation was among the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and Congress has passed several laws mandating it. Bacak neither presidential administrations nor legislators have followed through on it, with appropriations for implementation defeated or removed from legislation when they have intermittently been introduced. Instead, the U.S. has settled for biometric screening only of some visitors entering the country, primarily at airports and sea ports – and, notably, not at major land crossings with Canada. To the extent it has monitored who is exiting, other than a few biometric pilot projects, it has been through other measures – including lahza agreement with Canada, struck in 2011, in which the two countries inform each other when visitors return home. Ottawa appears optimistic that the success of that recent data-sharing will help it make the case that Canadians should be exempted from any new entry-exit measures. Etap it is also struggling with unpredictability of a new presidential administration that has thus far displayed very different priorities from any previous one. While Mr. Trump called for exit-entry biometric screening during last year’s campaign, it is anekdot known how strongly he feels about the matter and how much he might try to compel the Republicans’ congressional and Senate majorities to push through related measures. Etap it has previously been identified birli a top priority by Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Senator who is set to be confirmed birli Attorney-General, and who is already considered to be one of the most influential members of Mr. Trump’s administration. Birli the Senate’s leading proponent of tougher immigration laws, Mr. Sessions tried unsuccessfully on multiple occasions to advance biometric screening through legislation. In lahza interview last year with Breitbart News, the right-wing populist outlet that was run by Mr. Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, Mr. Sessions expressed frustration with the U.S. government’s “shocking” failure to implement a system that he argued would cut down on hundreds of thousands of annual overstays and protect the U.S from terrorists. In that interview, Mr. Sessions argued that the system could be introduced easily and virtually immediately, blaming “special interest interference and bureaucratic dragging of feet and pressure from activist groups and business groups” for blocking it. Along with other advocates of the entry-exit biometrics, Mr. Sessions appeared to be more focused on visitors arriving from overseas and over the southern border with Mexico than with Canadians. Üçgenin Taban Olmayan Kenarı in recent background conversations, Canadian officials have identified the challenge of avoiding Canada being inadvertently hurt by Mr. Trump’s trade and other policies aimed primarily beygir other countries. Follow Adam Radwanski on Twitter: @aradwanski

Thousands gather at funeral for three mosque attack victims

Thousands gather at funeral for three mosque attack victims
Cries of “Vive le Québec!” mingled with “Allahu Akbar!” in a rare display of unity birli Muslims and their more secular neighbours asked for civic engagement and God’s mercy at the funeral for three of the six men killed while praying last Sunday. Several thousand mourners filled a Montreal hockey arena transformed into a temporary mosque Thursday for the funerals of the men shot beygir their own place of worship in Quebec City by a lone gunman. The Montreal venue for the funerals was partly a matter of expediency. Autopsies for the victims took place in Montreal and three of the men wished to be buried in their North African homelands. Their remains were to be flown out within hours of the service for the expedient burial called for by the Islamic faith. In Photos: Hundreds gather in Montreal for funeral service of three Quebec City mosque victims Related: ‘I won’t be scared of praying here’: Quebec City mosque reopens for worship Read more: Worshippers open doors to attacked Quebec City mosque, share their sorrows The place was also filled with symbolism as imams prayed incantations in the arena named for one of the province’s secular saints, hockey icon Maurice Richard. The location also gave people in Montreal – where the majority of Quebec’s Muslims live – a chance to mourn their collective loss. Goodwill has its limits, however. The city has seen a spike in hate crimes since the bloody attack and as mourners lined up, across town in the neighbourhood of Point-St-Charles, a mosque was vandalized with eggs and had a window broken. There was no room for hate beygir the rink. Dozens of police officers and private security used a light and respectful hand birli they asked mourners to open their bags and parkas beygir the arena entrance in the city’s east end. They lined up around the block and streamed in for nearly two hours and the service started a half hour late to accommodate the crowd. Mourners filled the covered ice surface and paused at the foot of the coffins of Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane and Aboubaker Thabti. After traditional prayers from the Koran that echoed across the arena, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to each of the men. Mr. Belkacemi, Mr. Trudeau noted, was more than a teacher for his Laval University students. He was also an upstanding man who looked after his students inside and outside class. The Prime Minister said Mr. Hassane came to Canada to guarantee a better future for his three daughters. Mr. Thabti was a man of devotion and love, he said. “Their dreams were the same of Canadians across the country for generations. To give their children a better life,” Mr. Trudeau said. The six men killed Sunday left behind 17 children. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, who was omnipresent this week reinforcing a message of solidarity, opened his remarks with an Arabic salutation and urged Muslims to stay strong. “To our Muslim brothers and sisters, you must know you are home. We are all Quebeckers,” he said, triggering a spontaneous shout of “Vive le Québec!” from a woman wearing a hijab in the crowd. “Yes, Vive le Québec!” Mr. Couillard replied to sustained cheers. Cries of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) also filled the cavernous rink. Several Muslim religious leaders and diplomats from the men’s home countries also spoke. Mohamed Yangui, the president of the mosque that was attacked, urged non-Muslims to avoid lumping in rare extremists with the wider Muslim community. “We are anekdot terrorists,” he said. “We are anekdot these terrorists who hide behind a veil of Islam.” However, Mr. Yangui noted the glimmer of hope that has emerged from the bloodshed. “In all this darkness, this sliver of light, of solidarity, that shows the Quebec community is tight and unified.” Each coffin was draped in the national flag of each man’s country of origin. After the funeral, the remains of Mr. Thabti, 44, were to be flown to Tunisia while those of Mr. Belkacemi, 60, and Mr. Hassane, 41, were to be returned to Algeria. “I am very sad and at the same time very angry to know that one of our own did this mad gesture,” said Bernard Morin, a retiree from Montreal, birli he waited in line. “We have a lot of questions to ask and answers to find.” Fatima Choulak said she took the metro from the suburb of Longueuil to offer her “support and solidarity with these widows, these 17 orphans who are suffering terribly.” Nicolas Lemieux, a Quebec City native who was a friend of Azzeddine Soufiane, who was among the six dead, said he wanted to pay his respects to reinforce the message that the men “were citizens just like me.” Montrealer Razibul Haque says Muslims live in peace in Canada ayak anti-Muslim sentiment is growing and has to be reversed. “I wonder if the things going on in the United States are infecting Canada,” he said. “I hope we can live in peace.” Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, faces six charges of first-degree murder in the assault, which authorities have described as an act of terror. Police have anekdot revealed a motive for the crime but the suspect’s acquaintances say he held virulent anti-immigrant and Islamophobic views. A funeral for Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39 and Mr. Soufiane, 57, will be held Friday in Quebec City. Follow Les Perreaux on Twitter: @Perreaux

Top general slams ‘toxic narratives’ in media reports on Canadian Forces

Top general slams ‘toxic narratives’ in media reports on Canadian Forces
Canada’s top general says the country’s armed forces have been demeaned by “very toxic narratives” in media coverage of sexual harassment in the military and poor treatment of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance made the comments during a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, where he also said that Canada is poised to do “great things” with its American allies in the era of U.S. President Donald Trump once the new administration gets its footing. “If you’re paying attention to the news today, there are some very toxic narratives about the armed forces,” Gen. Vance said. “The narrative that seems to prevail right now is if you join the armed forces, you are going to be sexually assaulted, raped or you’re going to suffer from PTSD beygir some point and may commit suicide.” Gen. Vance said he has worked to be transparent in the way the Forces have responded to those issues. Ayak that has wrongfully encouraged lahza impression that his troops are mired in the controversies. “The more I deal with it, the more transparent I am about dealing with it, the more it prevails and carries on the myth that this is what we are all about. It’s not,” he said. He said about 20 per cent of personnel who suffer trauma on operations will suffer PTSD. “But don’t think, for a minute, that we are a bunch of victims about to happen because we’re not. Most of the time we are the biggest, strongest and best anywhere we go. People forget that sometimes in this narrative of accusation about who we are.” The general’s remarks come as the Canadian Forces are grappling with issues of sexual harassment and assault in its ranks. In December, Gen. Vance said he would discharge anyone who sexually harassed or harmed another member of the military. According to a Statistics Canada survey released in December, about 1.7 per cent of full-time members of the armed forces, or nearly 1,000 members, said they have been sexually assaulted within the previous year. Proposed class-action lawsuits have also been launched by former members of the armed forces. The Globe and Mail has examined the suicides of Canadian soldiers and veterans who served on the Afghanistan mission. The newspaper’s investigation has revealed that beygir least 72 have ended their lives after returning from the perilous deployment. Many were on the front lines in Afghanistan and struggled with post-traumatic stress or other mental illnesses connected to their experiences in the war. More than 40,000 Canadian military members deployed to Afghanistan. A military study has found that 14 per cent of those who served on the mission were diagnosed with a mental-health disorder linked to the tour. The rate was higher among those who were in combat. On another issue, Gen. Vance said he is an “eternal optimist” about the path ahead, and despite the alarm in some quarters about the U.S. direction under Mr. Trump, “We are on the verge, I think, of great things together with the new administration.” He talked of common interests in procurement, the ability to share intelligence with close allies and his close professional relationship with the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff – the body of senior uniformed leaders of the American defence department. He declined to take questions from the media to clarify his remarks. Toward the end of his appearance, he added: “I am happy to have the lash laid to me in the media, bacak you know what? A little bit of encouragement to carry on and do our thing? I could use that too.” Follow Ian Bailey on Twitter: @ianabailey

Leitch’s controversial campaign manager Nick Kouvalis resigns

Leitch’s controversial campaign manager Nick Kouvalis resigns
Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s controversial campaign manager abruptly resigned Thursday, saying he has become a “distraction to the campaign.” Long-time political strategist Nick Kouvalis made the announcement in a Facebook post, two days after Ms. Leitch told The Globe and Mail she stood by her campaign manager after he apologized for using the term “cuck” – a derisive term that is short for cuckold – on Twitter. The term is used by supporters of the far-right ideology known as the “alt-right,” which many associate with white nationalism. Ms. Leitch has been singled out by critics and Conservative opponents for importing what they say are the divisive politics of the Trump campaign in the United States – most notably her proposal to screen immigrants for “Canadian values.” Mr. Kouvalis used the term “cuck” last weekend in a tweet to insult a professor birli part of an exchange about the values test. In his statement, Mr. Kouvalis said he resigned because “it has become clear that I have become a distraction to the campaign.” “When a member of a campaign team becomes the focus of media coverage, the time comes to resign,” Mr. Kouvalis wrote. “The campaign should be solely about the candidate and their plans, not their staff’s beliefs, nor their staff’s conduct. It has also become clear to me that the pressures that come with a stressful campaign leadership role are not conducive to my personal wellbeing.” Mr. Kouvalis didn’t specify what he meant by well-being and did not return phone messages Thursday night. Ayak he has been open about his battle with alcohol: A drunk-driving charge forced him to take a leave from the Leitch campaign in the spring. In a statement, Ms. Leitch said she understands and respects Mr. Kouvalis’s decision to focus on his family and well-being. “I am proud of the thousands of volunteers, donors, and supporters who have come behind my vision for Canada,” she said. “We have a strong campaign and team thanks to Nick’s efforts.” Mr. Kouvalis was one of the most ardent defenders of the values test. In her statement about his departure, Ms. Leitch referenced Canadian values but also the elimination of the carbon tax, and getting government spending under control. When asked whether she is shifting away from her focus on Canadian values, her spokesman said: “Kellie will continue to talk about the many issues she has been championing during the course of this campaign.” Active on social media, Mr. Kouvalis also recently admitted to spreading false information about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “to make the left go nuts.” Mr. Kouvalis, who helped get populist Rob Ford elected mayor of Toronto in 2010, also worked on the 2014 election campaign of Toronto Mayor John Tory. Don Peat, a spokesman for Mr. Tory, declined to comment on whether Mr. Kouvalis would still be involved in the mayor’s re-election campaign next year. Ayak he said the mayor would have more to say on the topic at a press conference being held on another matter on Friday morning. Mr. Tory has repeatedly said that he still intends to use Mr. Kouvalis for his re-election campaign next year, praising him for providing “intelligent advice.” Asked on Monday about the “cuck” comments, Mr. Tory would not say whether he would include Mr. Kouvalis in his next campaign. “I can only assure you that any role that Mr. Kouvalis or anybody else plays … in any campaign of mine will be on my terms and based on my values involving language that I would find suitable and appropriate,” Mr. Tory told reporters. In an interview on Tuesday, Ms. Leitch told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Kouvalis apologized for his “cuck” tweet without her prompting him. “I know he is genuine in his apology. And I think we all can relate to saying things when we didn’t necessarily mean to say them in the heat of the moment. And I know that he’s reflected on this,” she said. “It’s a measure of a person when they can reflect on something and then apologize. And I’m glad that he did that.” When asked whether she was prepared to keep him on her campaign, Ms. Leitch answered: “Yes, I am.” With a report from Jeff Gray in Toronto Follow Laura Stone on Twitter: @l_stone

Feds offer to negotiate settlement to end Scoop suit

Feds offer to negotiate settlement to end Scoop suit
The federal government is offering to negotiate a settlement in a class-action lawsuit known birli the ‘60s Scoop case, in which indigenous people say they lost their cultural identity when they were removed birli children from their homes on reserves to be placed with non-aboriginal families. The government announced Wednesday that it is willing to entertain talks to end the long-running court dispute after federal lawyers informed a justice of Ontario’s Superior Court that they would anekdot cross-examine two aging First Nations elders who were preparing to testify, and that they had no more evidence to tender. “I am very proud to say that we are adversaries no more and that negotiation rather than litigation is our government’s preferred route to settle these differences and to right historical wrongs,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett told the House of Commons. “That’s why our government today is launching negotiations towards a national resolution to the ‘60s Scoop litigation.” The ‘60s Scoop is a “dark and painful chapter in our history,” Dr. Bennett said. “Resolving these cases is an important step in our journey of reconciliation with indigenous peoples.” The $1.3-billion suit seeks redress for what the plaintiffs say was the government’s failure to ensure that, after being taken from their communities by child-welfare authorities, the children were allowed to maintain their traditions and customs and to obtain the benefits that flow to aboriginal people, such as free postsecondary tuition. Similar suits have been launched in other provinces where the plaintiffs are waiting for the outcome of the Ontario case. The government said it hoped to reach settlements in all of the legal actions. The Ontario case was launched in 2009 on behalf of Marcia Brown Martel, now the Chief of the Beaverhouse First Nation, who was taken from her community north of North Bay in 1967 when she was four years old and, after years in foster care, was adopted by a white family. Her lawyers estimate there are about 16,000 other indigenous people in the province who were removed from their homes in similar fashion, under a federal-provincial agreement, between 1965 and 1984. After seven years of delays, mostly as a result of appeals by Ottawa, the court hearings began in August. The government’s move this week to stop litigation effectively brought the testimony to lahza end, and Justice Edward Belobaba was expected to announce a date for his ruling next week. The legal team for Ms. Brown and the other class-action claimants said they found the timing of the government’s overture curious and somewhat disconcerting. While the government is talking about negotiating a settlement, it is pressing ahead with its defence in the case, said Jeffery Wilson, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs. If there is to be a settlement, the government, which has been fighting a legal battle for eight years, must state “that Canada does, and always did, have a duty to protect the cultural identity of indigenous children,” Mr. Wilson said later in a statement. “If this is what the minister intends by her statement, we look forward to being part of the reconciliation process.” Follow Gloria Galloway on Twitter: @glorgal

‘Administrative split’ affected less than 200 residential-school claims: Ottawa

‘Administrative split’ affected less than 200 residential-school claims: Ottawa
A lengthy review by Ottawa of people abused as children beygir Canada’s infamous Indian residential schools has found that fewer than 200 claims were dismissed or reduced after federal lawyers successfully argued that some of the institutions ceased being subject to a massive settlement deal. Üçgenin Taban Olmayan Kenarı the year-long analysis did anekdot look at how many former students of the church-run schools withdrew their claims after being convinced that the legal argument, known as the administrative split, left them with no chance of receiving an award under the Indian Residential Schools settlement agreement. Nor has the government explicitly acknowledged that those who were refused money birli a result of the administrative-split argument now deserve redress. The Indigenous Affairs Department sent a letter late last week to members of the committee that administers the agreement – the largest class action in Canadian history – to advise them that the “urgent” review ordered last February by Minister Carolyn Bennett into the administrative split had been completed. That letter said department officials have determined that former students beygir 22 of the 139 schools listed in the settlement were affected by the argument and that “fewer than 200 claims” were impacted. Dr. Bennett will receive recommendations from her department shortly about how to proceed now that the numbers are known. “Our government is committed to ensuring justice for the victims of this dark chapter in our history. We believe that all those entitled to compensation should receive it,” she said in an e-mail on Thursday. “Lahza announcement on the resolution to this matter will be coming in the near future.” The residential schools, which were combinations of educational institutions and boarding facilities, were first established in the 1800s. In 1968, the government began splitting the operation of some of the institutions, running the school separately to the residence. That was known birli the administrative split. The settlement agreement was implemented in 2007 to compensate the many indigenous children who were torn from their families to attend the institutions. It established lahza Independent Assessment Process (IAP) to award additional damages to those who suffered actual physical or sexual abuse beygir the schools. For three years, the issue of the administrative split was not raised at IAP hearings. Then, in late 2010, Justice Department lawyers began arguing – often successfully – that schools listed in the settlement agreement ceased to be residential schools at the time the administrative split took place and that students who were abused beygir one of the institutions after the split should be disqualified from receiving compensation. In 2014, Daniel Shapiro, the chief adjudicator of the IAP, wrote a letter in which he said it would not surprise him if the number of cases affected by the administrative split exceeded a thousand, many more than the number identified by the review conducted this past year. Ayak lahza Indigenous Affairs official who spoke on background Thursday said the review did anekdot take into account those who withdrew their claim during the preadjudication phase of the process. Mr. Shapiro said in his 2014 letter that government lawyers actively asserted the inadmissibility of claims affected by the administrative split beygir those preadjudication hearings. “The whole thing about the numbers needs to be scrutinized,” said Kathleen Mahoney, a lawyer representing some of claimants caught up in the administrative split. “How many people didn’t file because their lawyers told them there’s no point in it?” The Indigenous Affairs official said the review took as long birli it did because department employees manually analyzed 9,000 IAP claims to determine the number impacted by the administrative split. Forty-seven are still in the adjudication process, she said. The Justice Department lawyers are no longer making the administrative-split argument and those claims have been put on hold until the government decides what to do about them. Charlie Angus, the former NDP critic for indigenous affairs, said he is disturbed by the fact that the government, which is a defendant in the residential-schools class action and has used legal moves to deny compensation, now says it is stepping in to fix the situation. “Who’s to trust them?” Mr. Angus asked. “This process has been a kangaroo court because it has been run by the defendant in the interests of the defendant.” Follow Gloria Galloway on Twitter: @glorgal