Canada's showcase home pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics is a fine example of German engineering. The Canada Pavilion tent was not made in Canada, but rather manufactured in Germany by the Losberger Group and hastily assembled for the Games. NDP MP Libby Davies said it is disappointing that "something as symbolic" as the country's Olympic pavilion couldn't be Canadianmade. "What strikes me is people everywhere are so proud wearing Canadian jackets. It feels embarrassing that the Canadian government couldn't take the time to buy Canadian," said the Vancouver East MP.
On a day dedicated to love, they remembered loved ones lost: The murdered and the missing. Yet theirs is not a mourning felt just once a year. It's chronic, continual and, for most, without any relief, whether or not the fate of their sisters and daughters, mothers and friends has been determined. The 19th annual Women's Memorial March had nothing to do with the Olympics; it is only coincidence that the annual Valentine's Day observance fell during the Winter Games here, drawing international media attention and a larger crowd than normal, hundreds falling into step behind the families following a noon remembrance service inside the Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside.
Hundreds of homeless and poverty protesters -- using the Olympic spotlight to their advantage -- flooded into a vacant lot in the 100-block of West Hastings Street on Monday and erected a tent city. Libby Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver East, said she supported the tent city as a way to raise awareness for greater government support, especially by a federal government in need of a national housing strategy to help the poor and homeless.... "This is a prime site for social housing," she said. "I'm so happy so many people are here today to draw attention to this issue. It's a vacant lot and it's very visible, a symbol of what's going on in this neighbourhood."
When you look beyond the paternalism, cynicism, genuine concern -- whatever motives drive the Harper government's punitive approach to crime -- only one question matters. Is it effective? Will closing Vancouver's safe injection site, Insite, reduce drug addiction and related crime? Will imposing six-month minimum jail sentences on anyone caught with as few as five marijuana plants inhibit pot-smoking among teenagers? Will expanding prisons reduce violence in our streets? Most legal experts, criminologists, addiction researchers and street-level health workers, along with many police chiefs and past reports from Parliamentary committees, say "no" -- as does the experience of other "tough-on-crime" jurisdictions. ...As New Democrat Libby Davies noted: "What they are doing is not based on evidence, whatsoever. It's a political stance."
OTTAWA — Opposition parties say Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office has gone too far with hyper-partisan attacks, and it’s time to apologize and play fair. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff demanded Thursday that Harper say sorry for a Conservative party email circulated by the Prime Minister’s Office that depicted one of the country’s top bankers as a shill for the Liberal party. And the NDP called on Harper to rein in his main spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, whom it accused of making “reckless and conspiratorial partisan smears.” The NDP complaint came on the heels of Soudas accusing New Democrat MP Libby Davies of encouraging a Vancouver protest Wednesday which he said endangered the lives of children, war vets and other Chinese Canadians who were awaiting a visit from the prime minister.... Soudas fired off emails to all reporters in the national press gallery accusing Davies, who had tweeted about the “impressive“ turnout,“ of encouraging protesters to block the exits... “It’s turned into a day of almost terror for local seniors, children, veterans,” he wrote....Davies participated in the protest but said she didn’t organize it and had no knowledge that exits had been blocked. Vancouver police said they removed the chains and tape, made no arrests and allowed the protest to continue without further incident.
OTTAWA — Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, one of Canada's most vocal champions of fixed minimum prison sentences, once opposed the idea of removing discretion for judges to sentence as they see fit. As a Tory backbencher in 1988, Nicholson was vice-chairman of a parliamentary committee that rejected the expansion of automatic incarceration, asserting that it doesn't work, overcrowds jails and takes too hefty of a social and financial toll.
The Liberals and the NDP are working together to change the rules on Parliamentary prorogation, but Minister of State for Democratic Reform Steven Fletcher says prorogation "enhances" the ability of the government to do its job, and most Canadians don't care about this "inside baseball" controversy. Last week the Liberal and NDP House leaders and democratic reform critics met in Grit House Leader Ralph Goodale's (Wascana, Sask.) office to discuss plans to either table legislation, or change the Standing Orders in the House of Commons to limit the Prime Minister's ability to prorogue Parliament. Also in attendance were Liberal democratic reform critic Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Lachine, Que.), her NDP counterpart David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, Ont.), and NDP House Leader Libby Davies (Vancouver East, B.C.).
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, who is pushing the government's tough on crime agenda and plans to revive the bill on mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes in the next Parliamentary session, did not support the proposed law when he was a Mulroney backbencher. In 1988, Mr. Nicholson vice-chaired a Parliamentary committee that released a report recommending mandatory minimum sentences not be used, except in the case of repeat violent sexual offenders. The committee found, based on testimony and the U.S. experience, that the law didn't work and increases prison populations....NDP MP Libby Davies (Vancouver East, B.C.), whose party voted against Bill C-15, said Mr. Nicholson's zest for introducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes is purely political.