NDP MPs Blast Liberals For Breaking Promise With Proposed Charity Tax Law

OTTAWA — The Liberals suggested Monday they will strip the charitable status of a group advocating the elimination of poverty, just as the NDP accused the Grits of trying to silence the voices of civil society.

Quebec NDP MP Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet demanded to know, in the House of Commons, why the Liberals are continuing the “political harassment” of Canadian charities that the Conservatives had begun.

Over the weekend, HuffPost Canada broke the news that the Liberals are proposing legislation that contravenes an Ontario court’s ruling this summer that gave charities the right to engage in non-partisan political activism without any limitation.

“The Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t plan to respect the court’s decision,” Boutin-Sweet said. “With these new rules, the agency will continue to monitor all organizations.”

B.C. NDP MP Nathan Cullen said Canadians remember the “dark days” of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government and his use of the Canada Revenue Agency to attack anti-poverty groups, environmental groups, and women’s groups.

“The Liberals promised [Canadians] that the attacks would stop, but like with so many other Liberal promises, they broke their word,” he told MPs. “These groups counted Liberals as maybe friends, but with friends like these, those groups do not need any enemies.”

National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier responded that the Liberals respect charities, which is why it stopped the Tories’ politically motivated audits.

“The draft legislation is designed to allow charitable groups to continue their objectives by engaging in non-partisan political activities and to engage in public policy,” she said.

The Liberals promised [Canadians] that the attacks would stop, but like with so many other Liberal promises, they broke their word.Nathan Cullen, NDP MP

In July, Ontario Justice Ed Morgan found that the Canada Revenue Agency’s rule prohibiting charities from spending more than 10 per cent of their resources on non-political activities was an infringement on …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

‘Silver Economy’ offers business opportunities, SFU aging expert says

Scientists using digital games to help seniors stay socially connected were happy to see immediate results when they organized a Wii bowling tournament at 14 senior centres across Canada.

Not only were the participants connecting with each other for the weekly virtual games broadcast but “massive numbers of people would come out every week to cheer them on,” said SFU gerontology Prof. David Kaufman.

“It helps bring people together,” he said.

Using technology to help improve the lives of Canada’s aging population is the theme of the AGE-WELL2018 conference in Vancouver on Tuesday through Thursday.

AGE-WELL is a national network of centres of excellence researching how technology can increase the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of seniors.

“There are two priorities: Great science and real-world impact,” said SFU gerontology Prof. Andrew Sixsmith, scientific director of AGE-WELL. “We want to create things that will have social benefits.”

Some of the products and services being showcased at the three-day conference include self-driving wheelchairs and a Geek Squad-style IT network to help seniors develop computer skills so they can access services and information online.

Canada’s aging baby boomers are generally more tech-savvy and have more money than their parents did, which is setting the stage for business opportunities in the “silver economy,” said Sixsmith.

“There are lots of opportunities for Canadian businesses to tap into that market,” especially in the areas of health and wellness and financial management and services.

But he said there is a “digital divide” among seniors between those with online accessibility and those without, especially those in rural areas or with low incomes.

“The federal government should be doing more to ensure equal access,” he said.

Kaufman’s research around digital games for seniors shows that compared to the individualistic shooting games popular with younger people, seniors prefer slow-paced action based on board games they are familiar with that is also …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Giant Vancouver poster collection goes to Simon Fraser archives

Perry Giguere put up posters in Vancouver for four decades. And he tried to keep at least one copy of every poster he ever put up.

But he often had duplicates, and collected more posters from events he didn’t do. Which is why at one point he had about 250,000 posters in the basement of his house in Mt. Pleasant.

When he had to move the collection, it took six weeks to sort it out. But there was a last-minute hitch.

“The (moving) guy filled out the truck about two-thirds full and said, ‘The tires are going to explode, I can’t put any more posters in the truck,’ ” Giguere recalled in 2016.

Giguere decided he needed to find a new home for the collection, but it took awhile to find one. Finally, last week 30,000-40,000 of his posters were carted off to Simon Fraser University’s archives.

SFU archivist Melanie Hardbattle said it’s a one-of-a-kind collection.

“It basically spans all the events that were going on in Vancouver over the past 40 years, from very grassroots events and protests to very high-end cultural events,” said Hardbattle. “It’s got DIY (do it yourself) posters for punk shows or activist shows, anarchist meetups, and then it’s got really slick graphic designer posters.”

VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 15, 2016, – A Joe Average “Art For Life” poster from 1997 is among the 150,000 posters in Perry Giguere’s collection. (Arlen Redekop / PNG photo) (story by John Mackie) [PNG Merlin Archive]

” data-medium-file=”https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=271″ data-large-file=”https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=640&h=708″ src=”https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=640&h=708″ alt=”” width=”640″ height=”708″ srcset=”https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=640&h=708 640w, https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=136&h=150 136w, https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg?w=271&h=300 271w, https://postmediavancouversun2.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/posters1.jpg 700w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px”>

A Joe Average “Art for Life” poster from 1997.

Sadly, Giguere was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in March, and died June 17. He was 67 years old.

Like many cultural fixtures in Vancouver, he grew up somewhere else. Giguere was …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

‘Dysfunctional’ North Vancouver school board started in 2014: internal emails

Hundreds of pages of internal emails between North Vancouver School District staff and trustees reveal some of the reasons why an external consultant concluded earlier this year that there were “dysfunctional interpersonal trustee relations” on the board.

Many names and specific allegations are omitted from the heavily edited emails, released over the last three days in response to a Freedom of Information request, but they give a sense that the seven-member board has struggled from nearly the first day it was formed, after the November 2014 election.

“All in all, it’s been a rough start,” veteran trustee Franci Stratton wrote in early February 2015 to a team-building consultant who had been brought in the help the board less than a month into its four-year term.

The emails include allegations of at least two code of ethics violations, a lack of trust for senior staff, “aggressive and disrespectful” behaviour, a divided board with tense meetings, ongoing tensions between two trustees that culminated with screaming in a bar, breaches of confidentiality, concerns about absenteeism, and allegations of bullying and sexual harassment made by four-term incumbent Susan Skinner.

Skinner has not yet filed a formal complaint, and none of the allegations has been proven.

“I have Trustees who have not been showing up for various reasons… I have had five trustees contact me to say that they do not feel safe when certain people are at meetings,” chair Christie Sacré wrote in November 2017 to a consultant that helps organizations manage change. “There are violations to our code of Ethics/Conduct left, right and centre… And we cannot waste anymore staff time with governing ourselves. It is crazy.”

Four of the seven trustees — Sacré, Megan Higgins, Cyndi Gerlach and Skinner — hope to be re-elected as North Vancouver trustees on Saturday, when the next municipal election will be held. …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun