Canada in brief: Feb. 15, 2012

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Lawful access legislation still in the works

The Conservative government is in the process of trying to push through the “Lawful access legislation.” The government has been working on this since 2009, and if the bill becomes law it will give the federal government the jurisdiction to access Canadians’ online usage data including: names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Presently this information is only available once a warrant has been issued by the court system. The law would impose monitoring software upon Internet service providers, adding additional burden to the smaller competitors that may not have the financial means to make the change. The financial burden would be covered in part by the taxpayers.

This increased attempt to censor and control the Internet has been an issue internationally as well, with the Chinese and American government making headlines in similar regards recently.

F-35 fighter jets still going to be purchased

While countries across the globe, including Norway, Australia, Britain, Turkey and the United States have reduced or tentatively postponed their decision on f-35 fighter jet purchases, the Canadian purchase plan appears to remain intact.
The American government has decided to cut some purchases next year to save some money, and is proposing to postpone the over 170 f-35 purchases until after 2017.

Due to this reality, there are concerns of production slowdowns, and the price may end up totaling far more than the $75 million per plane that the Conservative government originally projected.
As the issue becomes more heated, there have been proposals to purchase planes cheaper than the f-35s to bridge the gap, once the current CF-18s go out of commission.

NDP polls suggest Mulcair ahead in leadership race

More than 25 per cent of New Democrats have chosen Thomas Mulcair as the person they would like to see leading the NDP.

The poll, released by Paul Dewar’s camp, showed Dewar as the second-place candidate.

The poll results were weighted to reflect the over 50,000 NDP members that exist across the country. Brian Topp’s camp criticized the results of the poll, suggesting that he is very much a viable candidate in the race, in light of Dewar’s poll suggesting Topp was in fifth place.

NDP leaders dealt with concerns this past Sunday on the issue of their party’s decreasing popularity in the province of Quebec.

It does appear, that the NDP still does rank first among the federal parties.
–Compiled by Ravi Balakrishnan

Request for marijuana legalization

Four former BC attorney generals are joining a coalition of health and justice experts calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant have all signed a letter to BC Premier Christy Clark and BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix, asking the politicians to endorse legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana.
The former attorneys general suggested that the move would help reduce gang violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade, raise tax revenues and ease the burden on the province’s court system.
–Compiled by Amanda Steiner


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