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20 Feb
0

How your backbenchers spent their summer vacation

The House of Commons is “on a break” for the summer, as they say, and Members of Parliament will be “back to work” in the fall.

While it’s true that the political news is a trifle thin these days (shirtless photos of the prime minister notwithstanding), we probably should dispense with the idea that MPs have stopped working.

In fact, they may be doing more work away from Parliament than they do while the Commons is sitting — more work that they consider valuable, at least.

All through the summer checking in on  MPs, first elected last year after that extra-long, August-to-October campaign. I gave the project so we could get to know some of the nearly 200 newcomers to this Commons, and remind myself of how political life is viewed through the eyes of people still new to it.

One thread runs through all of the conversations we’ve had to date: These new MPs get far more out of their jobs the closer they are to their home ridings. While they’re awed, even humbled, by the majestic surroundings of their workplace on Parliament Hill, their main job satisfaction comes from day-to-day contact with the people in their ridings.

“It is absolutely where I find I make the biggest difference,” said the new MP from the Windsor-area riding of Essex.

The lawyer who pulled off two surprise upsets last year — taking the Liberal nomination away from Conservative defector former Minister and then defeating former finance minister.

But it’s the work he’s been doing back in his constituency office, that makes him feel most useful — helping people navigate immigration applications, or deal with tax or benefit claims.

New Conservative MP was showing me around his riding office and seemed most proud of one small room, filled with a growing pile of backpacks. In a few weeks, those backpacks will be loaded with school supplies and distributed to disadvantaged students in his community.

He grew up in subsidized housing, relying a lot on charity. He spoke from some experience about the difference made in real people’s lives when MPs turn their attention to such projects.

Every time one of these MPs talks to us about the rewards of constituency work, We reminded of a lunch I had years ago , not long after he was first elected as MP. We asked him: What was life like as an MP, compared to the political world he’d witnessed growing up at 24 Sussex?

He said the biggest surprise — a pleasant one — came from his duties at the constituency office. He hadn’t seen his father doing that part of the MP’s job; as prime minister, He had to delegate most of the riding work to staff. But who (unlike his father) got his start in politics as a backbencher in opposition, said that riding work is where many everyday political problems get solved.

What’s interesting about this aspect of an MP’s job — and the rewards MPs get out of it — is the fact that constituency work really isn’t all that partisan. Sure, some government MPs will try to boast that they’re getting more help for their ridings because they represent the party in power, but frankly, those immigration claims and tax-benefit issues are going to get attention no matter where the MP sits in the Commons. Very few MPs (unless they’re in politics for the short term) are going to tell a citizen that their office is open only to supporters of their party.

Judging from the conversations we have had this summer and before, the partisan stuff is what appeals to backbench MPs the least. Question period, apparently, seems just as much of a circus to those down on the floor as it does to those in the gallery.

In the meantime, it hasn’t been hard to find Members of Parliament willing to sit down and chat over the summer. The only problem  had has been with slotting interviews into their packed schedules, between back-to-back meetings or sessions of door-knocking in the ridings. In a very real sense, this summer hasn’t been any less busy for them than last August, when they were auditioning for the jobs they now hold.

A month or so from now, when Parliament is getting set to restart for the fall, the headlines will be filled with that “back to work” phrase — as though political life as we know it simply ceased when the Commons went dark after Canada Day. But for most MPs, the real work — at least the work they like the best — never stopped.

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image-3
20 Jan
0

Political Financing

The current Elections Act was amended considerably in the wake of the sponsorship scandal, which tarnished the governing Liberals in the mid-2000s.

Today, the financing of political parties comes from two sources: individual contributions and public funding.

Two series of amendments have tightened rules for private funding. The first, which stemmed from Bill C-24, came into force in 2004 under Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government. Other provisions were adopted by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government and came into effect in 2007 and 2008.

Under these laws, Canada prohibits contributions from corporations, unions and other associations, unlike most provinces and territories in Canada. Individual contributions are also subject to a limit, which is regularly adjusted for inflation.

Although funding from corporations and unions was stopped, direct public funding of political parties was increased.

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS:

In 2012, individuals could donate within these limits:

  • Up to $1,200 in total a year to a particular registered party
  • Up to $1,200 in total a year to the registered associations, nomination contestants   and candidates of a particular registered party
  • Up to $1,200 in total to each independent candidate in an election
  • Up to $1,200 in total to the contestants in a particular leadership contest
    Foreign donations are prohibited, but anonymous donations are permitted provided they are $20 or under.

PUBLIC FUNDING:

Political parties receive an annual allowance. It is based on the number of votes obtained in the previous election and is spread over four quarters. The allowance is regularly adjusted for inflation. In 2011, the indexed allowance amounted to $2 per vote obtained. To be eligible, a party must have obtained at least 2% of valid votes cast nationally, or at least 5% of valid votes cast in the ridings where it ran a candidate.

Candidates and political parties also have part of their election expenses reimbursed provided they obtained a certain percentage of votes. The percentages set for the parties are the same as those for allowances.

OTHER PROVISIONS:

Election expenses of candidates and parties are subject to separate limits based on the number of electors registered.

Any donation of $200 or more must be divulged.

Finally, candidates, riding associations and political parties must all file financial reports.

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images-1
20 Jan
0

Majority or Minority Government of canada

Tradition dictates that the party winning the most seats forms the government. If a party ends up with more than half the seats in the House of Commons, a majority government forms and has control over the House.

But if the party winning the most seats still has fewer than half the total seats, it is likely to form a minority government. This status means that the opposition parties, with their greater number of seats, can block bills from passing. The Opposition can also bring down the government on major matters like the budget.

To govern, the party in power must have the support of the House. When there is a minority government, the Opposition can try to topple it by tabling a non-confidence motion. If the motion wins the majority of votes from members, the government then falls.

When the government is brought down, the House of Commons is dissolved and an election called.
A minority party can unite with another party in the House of Commons to obtain an absolute majority. In such cases, the alliance may be temporary like the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party in 2005. It may also be a formal alliance whereby the party that agrees to unite obtains positions within the government.

If a party comes to power without winning seats in every province, tradition allows the prime minister to appoint ministers from among senators who are from provinces without a seat.
Senators who are ministers aren’t permitted to sit in the House of Commons, but may sit in the Cabinet and on the Priorities Committee.

The prime minister may also appoint an unelected person as a minister. This new minister, however, must be elected as soon as possible in a by-election. If he loses the election, he must resign as minister.

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international-flags
19 Dec
0

Emerging Economies that are Shaping the 21st Century

Most economists agree the 21st century economy will not belong to the West. As both Europe and North America struggle with low growth, a refugee crisis, the of populist politics, and higher unemployment rates, the stage is set for the “rest” to make an economic breakthrough on the global stage. In this article, we will take a look at a few of the most significant economies to watch in the 21st century.

 

China

The rapid rise of China from an underdeveloped nation into a global superpower is simply astonishing. While there are many economists now putting down the strength China as it slowly moves into a consumer-based economy, the importance of the Chinese market can no longer be disputed. For example, wellness products manufacturer Melaleuca.com did a record $1.35 billion in sales last year, mainly due to its growth in the Chinese market. The stock market fall in August of 2015, which was triggered by the fall in the Shanghai Composite Index, is just one example of how the center of gravity in the global market is slowly shifting away from London and New York to Shanghai and Beijing. Economists who believe China is about to enter a long low growth period, just like Japan did in the 1990s, are getting their facts mixed up. China’s GDP per capita is only 25 percent of what Japan’s was in the 1990s, which means the Chinese economy still has a lot of room left to grow. A better comparison to China’s position in the world today is more like the Japanese economy in the 1950s. It will take a long time before China reaches a GDP comparable to the Western world, and this “latecomer” status is a good thing for the Middle Kingdom. While it may take time, China is still poised to overtake the U.S. economy as the global superpower as the 21st century wanes on.

 

United Arab Emirates

One of the hottest places to be in the Middle East today is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The economic growth in this region was made possible thanks to the discovery of oil, the industriousness of the local Arab population, as well as great policies from governmental officials. Just one example of the great policies put into place in the UAE is the success of the Emirate Ras Al Khaimah. Most economists believe this Emirate is the most favorable for international business. Under the progressive leadership of Shaikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah has made itself into a wonderful area to live, work, and do business in. With its modern highways, powerful shipping ports, international airports, and relatively low cost of living, this Emirate has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. The government here has kept the GDP stable, maintained a well-understood and respected legal framework, and supported the development of industries like steel and glass production, travel and leisure, and pharmaceuticals. Although all of the UAE is set to explode upwards in the 21st century, keep your eye on this Emirate. It might not get as much headline attention as the flashy Emirate of Dubai, but Ras Al Khaimah is drawing in major dollars from powerful international investors.

 

The Rise of Africa

Many investors are curious if the 21st century could see the rise of Africa as the “new China.” There are certainly plenty of raw materials manufacturers could extract from this region, and multinational corporations are just itching to dip into Africa’s growing consumer base. There is actually a great growth in the economic performance of sub-Saharan countries in recent years. HIS Global Insight believes that sub-Saharan African nations’ economies are set to perform better than all other economic blocs, excepting China, in real GDP growth in the upcoming years. Many global economists believe sub-Saharan Africa’s real GDP could grow by as much as six percent each year from now till 2022. Also, Africa has a growing population, whereas many countries in the developed world have shrinking or negative birth rates. While this data looks promising, just keep in mind that many African nations need to work on creating political stability, reducing poverty, and building up infrastructure. Although some of these problems have gone down a bit in recent times, we will just have to wait and see if Africa can emerge as a global power in the years to come.

 

Nobody can predict the future, but current trends indicate these three regions of the world could experience tremendous growth in the 21st century. There are many “ifs” for the future prospects of developing nations, but all of them have a great chance to unseat the West as the center of global business in coming years. Be sure to keep your eyes on these areas of the world for potentially lucrative investment opportunities in the economy of tomorrow.

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waving-canadian-flag-on-canada-day-graphic
14 Nov
0

Where’s the Best Place Online for Business Reviews?

Before you partner up with any business, whether as a new employee, customer, client, investor, or other type of shareholder, it’s important that you do your due diligence. You need to know what type of organization you’re getting involved with.

Is the company you are interested in growing? What is its mission? What are its values? What does it stand for? How does it treat its employees?

That last question may be one of the best when it comes to reviewing a company online. After all, its the employees who make or break a company, and if they are happy at work, chances are the business is healthy and prospering.

GlassDoor.com is an online review site made up of millions of employee reviews. Employees (both current and past) post anonymous reviews of their companies that include pros, cons, advice for management, and other ranking factors. They key is that employees post anonymously. This empowers them to actually speak their minds and say what they truly feel. When it comes to sites like these, anonymity and honesty are pretty much synonymous.

Pretty much any major company you can think of has a profile on Glass Door. Employees have been submitting reviews to the site since 2008. The larger the company, the more reviews you can expect to find. Most of the companies on Glass Door are based in the U.S. Let’s examine three different organizations.

1. Sears reviews
Sears earns an overall rating of 2.6 stars, which is average. However, only 32% of employee reviews would recommend Sears to a friend, and a dismal 19% approve of CEO Edward Lampert. Of the 8,074 total reviews, here are some samplings:
Pros – “Flexible schedule, good management sales training and support. Open to listen, flexible with scheduling changes. The colleagues in the office are friendly and supportive, too.”
Cons – “Too many metrics that you are graded on. You get pulled in many different direction, due to the fact of downsizing dept. managers. You are responsible more multiple depts. while overseeing the entire store performance. They make it so complicated just to sell stuff!!!”
Advice for Management – “Promote the right people and adjust to the times.” “Corporate is clueless. A trained monkey could do your job better than you!”

2. Bob Evans Reviews
Bob Evans does a little better, with a 3.0-star rating, 47% employee recommend rate, and 55% score for CEO Saed Mohseni. Here’s what a fe employees have to say about working at the restaurant chain:
Pros – “It is a great place to work for , the employees are very hands on with the customers and have a great relationship with their co workers.”
Cons – “Was expected to do more than what my position specified. Managers were lazy, and avoided angry guest. Kitchen staff was unsanitary and overly aggressive. Servers were lazy and didn’t do their job in a timely manner. Unsatisfactory working environment.”
Advice for Management – “Take part in the day to day instead of hiding in the office all the time.” “Good luck. Everyone is out for themselves and likes to put blame. It’s no longer a family environment company. Hope the new CEO is different.”

3. Melaleuca Reviews
Melaleuca, a consumer goods manufacturer, scores quite well on Glass Door. It enjoys a 4.0-star rating, 81% of employees would recommend it to a friend, and the CEO, Frank VanderSloot, has an 83% approval score. Employees said this about working at Melaleuca:
Pros – “The family values supported by the company are one of the main benefits. The Executive Leadership has been consistent in make good judgments.” “Good benefits if you’re in it for the long run.”
Cons – “Headquarters is in a small town. They have high expectations of employees, but that I think is what makes them successful.”
Advice for Management – “Keep up the great work. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone in the hall even if you don’t know who they are.”

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gun_laws
19 Apr
0

Providing gun laws for the United States

If you were given the responsibility of providing gun laws for the United States, or entire world, what would you choose? Many individuals desire to acquit the market and production of certain types of hand guns or rifles. Other extremist believe guns should be outlawed all together. However, 2016 is bringing a much more realistic and genuine ideal to the books. Leaders, mostly in Britain, have continued to push for some more specific laws related upon ones background, their stability, and there availability to possess guns. Although it can be quite difficult to determine the mental stability of a human being, it is more difficult to experience the outcome of giving mentally ill individuals weapons. It is important for our leaders to take action when it comes to the regulation of guns and the people who use them. Or, it may not be only the people who use them but more importantly the minds that use them. If an individual has had a history of Schizophrenia or anger management issues, it would be an intelligent decision to keep guns out of their hands. It is proved that mentally ill people act quite differently when they possess weapons, versus mentally stable people who utilize them. Many of these unstable people also not only use the weapons to harm others, but also themselves. Guns have been increasingly more involved with suicides than ever before. Since most suicides can be linked with emotionally distraught individuals, it would make even more sense to keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. This way not only would the homicide rate decrease, but the suicide rate would decrease as well. Developing gun control laws may seem almost impossible to perfect. However, what people and individuals of authority need to realize once again is that it is acceptable if the law is not exactly perfect as long as it saves many more lives than prior. No existing law is perfect in its form but most do their job of keeping humanity out of chaos and on a steady path. The recently enacted laws that restrict the possession of guns amongst the mentally stable have been said to have caused more deaths compared to lives kept safe. Taking guns or defense weapons away from people who are capable of handling them leads to vulnerability in cases where an individual and surrounding others may need to defend themselves. Guns need to now be kept in the hands of the mentally stable and kept away from individuals who are unfortunately unable to understand or utilize them safely and correctly

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canada_clean_tech
27 Mar
0

Canada is planning to invest in clean technologies

Canada is planning to invest in clean technologies, requite tax breaks or benefits for the wealthier class, promote tax breaks for the middle class, and establish a sufficient amount more of child benefits. Regarding the investment with clean technologies, CCEMC and SDTC establishments are offering a special joint funding proposition for Canadian clean technology innovators and entrepreneurs. There is up to $40 million in funding availability, with a limit of $10 million to individual GHG reducing technologies that are deployable in Alberta. The invitation is for Canadian Minute and Medium Sized Establishments with less than 500 employees, and less than $50 million in annual gross income, that are developing Energy Efficiency and Conservation, New and Better Uses of Carbon Dioxide, Methane Reduction, or Purer Energy Production and Usage Strategies. Eligible strategies involve advancing pre-commercial technology for GHG reduction with a present Technology accessibility Level from 4-7, and comprises prototype development, field pilots, and commercial demonstration strategy. Projects may occur anywhere in Canada, but applicants have to show how the proposed strategy will conclude in GHG reductions, commercialization, enterprise growth, and economic gain in Alberta and Canada.

When it comes to requiting tax breaks for Canada’s wealthy, Justin Trudeau has revealed the Liberal alternative to the Harper government’s economic plan which would be to raise taxes for the wealthiest one per cent to provide for more giving child benefits and an across-the-board income tax cut for the middle class. Under the Liberal bid declared Monday that the 22-per-cent tax rate for anyone with a taxable annual income between $44,701 and $89,401 would be cut to 20.5 per cent. A new tax bracket of 33 per cent would be appointed on those with taxable annual incomes over $200,000. The present top bracket of 29 per cent would continue to administer to those earning between $138,586 and $200,000. Trudeau’s definition of middle class is sometimes stated broad. Under his plan, anyone whose earnings fall roughly between $50,000 and $200,000 can expect an income tax cut of $670.The Liberals say the $3 billion cost of this would be made up for by raising taxes on Canadians who make more than $200,000. But since the rich are usually adept at avoiding taxes, that countervailing $3 billion may not entirely materialize. There are many companies in Canada that focus on producing green products. Melaleuca.com has invested a lot of time in building a greeen business there.

With the Canada Child Benefit, most Canadian families will get more than under Stephen Harper’s complicated collection of child benefit programs. For the typical family of four, that means an additional $2,500 in help, tax-free, every year. Bookmark this page.

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baby_placment_utah
26 Jan
0

Heart to Heart does not sell, trade, or transfer to external parties

Heart to Heart Adoptions baby placement center, located in Utah, will accumulate knowledge from an individual when they fill out a form regarding their baby placement plans. When ordering or registering on the site, one may be inquired to enter a name, e-mail address, or phone number. One can also visit the site unidentified. The agency will utilize a person’s information for customizing an experience and acknowledging more adequately to certain baby placement needs. They will also use it to advance their website as well as better customer service. And, they will use information to embalm activities and distribute occasional emails. Any kind of Information provided to Heart to Heart Adoptions will never be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other association for any reason without approval from the provider. This is other than for the express purpose of giving the purchased merchandise or business requested. The email address one would provide for order converting would only be serviced to forward a person information and updates pertaining to the order. Heart to Heart Agency would further assure one’s information by carrying out an array of security measures to preserve the security of personal information when one places an order, submits, or access personal information. They also disburse the use of a secure server. And, all supplied sensitive/credit information via secure socket layer technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be available by those accredited with proper access rights to such systems, and are necessary to keep the information confidential. Heart to Heart also uses cookies which are miniature files that a site or its service provider transports to computers hard drives through ones Web browser. These condition the sites or service providers systems to identify a browser and confiscate and remember certain information. Cookies also benefit the agency to remember and process the items in ones shopping cart, apprehend and save preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements, and assemble combined data about site movement and communication so that they can apply exceptional site experiences and tools in the future.

Heart to Heart does not sell, trade, or transfer to external parties ones intimate identifiable information. This, however, does not include credible third parties who assist in running there website, conducting the business, or servicing a customer, so long as those parties concur to keep the information private. They may also release an individuals information when they believe release is suitable to comply with the law, enforce there site policies, or protect others or there rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses. Occasionally, at there caution, Heart to Heart may add or offer third party products or services on there website. These third party sites have isolated and independent privacy policies. They therefor have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, they investigate to cushion the integrity of their site and welcome any responses about the sites.

Due to the agency valuing an individuals privacy, they have taken the fundamental precautions to be in conformity with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. They therefor will not administer ones personal information to outside parties without consent. They are in compliance with the requirements of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act as well, and they do not compile any information from anyone under the age of thirteen years old. There website, products, and services are all aimed to people over the age of thirteen. The online privacy policy applies only to information through there website and not to information collected offline.

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beretta_px4_storm
22 Jan
0

Firearms make up 114 million handguns, 86 million shotguns and 110 million rifles.

In America there are approximately 310 million firearms possessed by civilians. These firearms make up 114 million handguns, 86 million shotguns and 110 million rifles. Interestingly, 20% of gun owners own slightly more than 65% of the guns in the US. Gun laws regarding ownership vary per state, and the three states with the most acquired federal background checks for gun ownership are Kentucky, California, and Texas respectively. Interestingly, Kentucky has a population of around 4.4 million people and the FBI performed slightly under three million background checks for potential gun owners. This gave Kentucky the title of most guns per capita- almost one gun per three citizens. On a nationwide scale, the FBI conducted 19.8 million background investigations in 2015 alone. 47.4% of gun applications are denied by the FBI due to felony conviction or indictment. The United States is the first ranked country of guns per capita worldwide according to a Switzerland based small arms survey. This survey found that in the U.S. there are 112.6 firearms per 100 civilians. The second country is Serbia where they hold a shockingly low in comparison 69.7 firearms per 100 civilians.

In terms of illegal handgun ownership in the United States, 86% of minors in juvenile correction facilities have illicitly obtained a gun. They have owned approximately three or more handguns and illegally modified shotguns prior to arriving at the correction facility as well. Any gun, handgun or otherwise, possessed by a minor regardless of how it was obtained is categorized as an illegal firearm due to the minimum age requirement being eighteen years old. According to a study conducted in 2007, only 15% of handguns possessed by federal inmates over the age of eighteen were purchased through a retail store. Handguns are the most commonly obtained illegal firearm due to their ability to be easily concealed. This study continues to state that the majority of these handguns are given to the inmates by close friends and family members. A common way for gun owners to illegally acquire a firearm is referred to as a straw purchase. This occurs when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person to complete the necessary paperwork at an authorized firearm retail store. If one is caught undergoing a straw purchase in terms of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle, extreme consequences will be issued. These punishments include a felony, ten years in prison, and a hefty fine of around $250,000.

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baby placement
06 Jan
0

Why would one put a child up for adoption?

Why would one put a child up for adoption rather than have an abortion? There are many reasons for this. Baby placement is a crucial concept for the human race. Although many people complain the world is becoming over populated, the idea of harming a human being before or after the birthing process is almost always shunned and seen as very unacceptable. Nobody can defend the continuation of the human race like the human race itself. It is an underlying instinct all people are born with, unless they are psychologically deranged.

First off, it acquires less money to give a child up for adoption rather than have an abortion. When a birth mother gives her child up for adoption not only is there no fee, but the adoptive parents actually end up paying for all the medical, housing, and utility expenses. If a woman wanted to get an abortion, it would cost anywhere between $500-$2500. There would be additional charges as well, including ultrasounds and prescription medications.
Another reason is the religious and political pressures. The majority of religions are against abortion and about 60% of Americans are against the idea as well. When a woman gets an abortion, she faces people who were once close to her treating her like she is a criminal.  It is difficult for a woman to lose a child, and even more difficult to lose friends and family members because of it. Many woman can’t afford to lose their families or the faith they have with their god, so they end up choosing adoption. Adoption is looked at as the more acceptable choice because most religions favor one putting someone else before there self.
Many woman also think that getting an abortion is better in there favor because it can be confidential, and therefor nobody would have to find out if they were ever pregnant. Although this seems like a better decision regarding a woman’s privacy, it is not correct. Most adoption centers offer confidentiality as well, especially if you request it. If a woman were to decide to get an abortion based on the comfort of confidentiality, she would also have to face many successive years of mental instability. Abortions have been known to cause illnesses such as post abortion stress syndrome or postpartum depression. These conditions have further lead to more illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

 

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