Tag: government

Mike Duffy. Image: Ayelie
News Politics

Canadian Senators Being Investigated

The Canadian Senate is an important part of the Government of Canada, but now some senators are being investigated to find out if they took money they weren’t entitled to.

A senator’s job is to give the final approval to a bill before it becomes law.

Some Senate members have been accused of taking money for things that are not covered by their Senate budget.

The expenses of senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Mac Harb, and Patrick Brazeau are being looked at.

Mike Duffy used to be a journalist before he was appointed to the Senate. In the Senate, he represents Prince Edward Island.

He was accused, along with the other senators, of taking money for things that he had no right to.

Image: Chris Krug
News Politics

Surprising Win For Liberals In BC Election

The Liberals unexpectedly won the provincial election in British Columbia on Tuesday surprising many people, who thought the New Democratic Party (NDP) would win.

The Liberals and the NDP are two of Canada’s biggest political parties.

The Liberals were already in power in B.C.; after this election, they will stay in power.

Being “in power” in this case means they are responsible for making many of the important decisions involving laws and money in the province. It also means that their leader is the Premier of the province.

Many people—including political experts—thought the New Democratic Party would win the election. Not only did the Liberals win, but they won a “majority government.” That means they have more seats in the legislature than all of the other parties combined.

Although bitcoins are virtual (not tangible), the photo shows a type of bitcoin "wallet" that holds bitcoins using a computer password. That way, they can be traded even without a computer transaction.
News

“Bitcoin” Is A New Type Of Money

Bitcoin sounds like what it is–a type of money.

But it’s a special kind of money that could not exist without the Internet. It is digital and virtual; people can’t carry it around in their pockets or keep it in a bank.

Despite these differences from traditional money, there are places around the world that are starting to accept bitcoins to pay for things.

Some restaurants and shops in New York and San Francisco accept bitcoins, and so does WordPress, a blogging website.

A man in Alberta is offering to sell his house for bitcoins instead of Canadian dollars.

Bitcoins have been around for a few years but are becoming more popular.

Change Comes 55 Years After the Cuban Revolution
News Politics

Change Comes 55 Years After the Cuban Revolution

Sirens. Security alarms. Sales pitches: “Taxi? Good restaurant! Best music CD? My art studio?”

These are the new sounds of Havana, Cuba.

This is my sixth time in Cuba–I am here on vacation; this year, I hear and see change.

It is almost 55 years since Cuba became a socialist country. In Cuba, socialism means that each Cuban has the same rights, the same salary and the same education as everyone else in the country.

Fidel Castro, former President of Cuba, brought socialism to the country in 1959 when he and his rebel forces took over the government. Now Cubans receive free education, free health care and most jobs have been protected by the government.

But the Cuban government is running out of money to pay for everything.

Things have to change.

École Sunny Brae is a school with French immersion in Moncton, New Brunswick. Image: J. J. F. Nau.
Kids News

More Canadian Kids Taking French Immersion

More Canadian students are signing up for French immersion, according to a report by Statistics Canada.

Even though the number of students in Canada is going down, the number of students taking French immersion has gone up by 12 per cent in the last five years. That information is based on the 2011 census.

The trend is particularly strong out west. Over the past 12 years, the number of students in British Columbia and Alberta taking French immersion has risen steadily. The number in Saskatchewan and Ontario are also climbing.

French immersion is when a student whose first language is not French, studies in French.

Turkey Map. Image: Captainblood
News Politics

PEN Gives Support To Jailed Writers In Turkey

In some countries, people aren’t allowed to say anything bad about their government. They don’t have “freedom of expression.”

Some writers who have spoken out against their governments have been put in jail by those governments.

Fortunately, there is a group called PEN International, which defends freedom of expression. PEN International fights for the rights of writers around the world.

Last week, PEN International went to Turkey. The group was led by Canadian author John Ralson Saul, the president of PEN International.

They met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül to show their concern for writers and journalists in Turkish prisons.

PEN asked the Turkish government to consider shortening jail time for prisoners before their trials. This period can often last for years.

Another problem is that prisoners aren’t able to see their lawyers quickly. According to one report in The Toronto Star, one man has been kept from talking to his lawyer for over a year.

Dalton McGuinty in Toronto, 2007. Image: Sherurcij
News Politics

Dalton McGuinty’s Sudden And Shocking Retirement As Ontario’s Premier

On Monday night, the Premier of Ontario did something surprising. He quit his job.

It was shocking, because most people didn’t see it coming.

Dalton McGuinty has been the Premier for nine years.

He is also the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, a position he has held for 16 years.

At the same time as he resigned, he also “prorogued” the legislature. That means he stopped all business taking place in the Ontario House of Commons.

Most of the work MPPs were working on has been cancelled until a new session is called.

No one knows exactly why McGuinty quit, and so suddenly.

Some people say he intends to run for leader of the federal Liberal party—in other words, take over the national Liberals so he can run for Prime Minister in the future.

Other people say he quit because his provincial government is in the middle of many difficulties including contract negotiations with some unions.

Amélie Binette
News Politics

PQ Forms New Government In Quebec

There has been a significant change in government in the province of Quebec.

On Sept. 4, the PQ party won the provincial election.

They will take over from the Liberals, who have been in power there for nine years.

The PQ leader is Pauline Marois. She will become Quebec’s first female premier.

The PQ or Parti Quebecois advocates “sovereignty” for Quebec. That means they believe Quebec should be a separate country from the rest of Canada because it is unique in terms of culture and language. Most people in Quebec speak French.

A F-35 Fighter Jet. Image: Bill Thorton
News Politics Technology

How Much Did Fighter Jets Really Cost?

In 2010, new F-35 Fighter Jets were ordered by Canada’s Defence Department (the department that oversees the country’s military).The new jets were supposed to cost around $15-billion.

Now, however, the Auditor General of Canada has said that the 65 planes will actually cost $25-billion, $10-billion more than expected. The Auditor General’s office watches over Government spending.

NDP and Liberal MPs (Members of Parliament) have accused the Defence Department (part of the Conservative government in power) of “hiding” the extra $10-billion in their financial reports when the 2011 election was coming up. Some are saying that the Conservatives wanted to keep it secret so people wouldn’t see the real costs and not vote for them.

Now that it is in the open, some MPs have demanded that Canada’s Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, step down from his job.

The Defence Department has explained their position saying that their original estimate did not include many costs such as operations (day-to-day expenses), people to run the project, or a “contingency fund” (in this case, this refers to money set aside for unknown problems in the project). Some of that money was already recorded in other budgets.

Six people live in this shed in Attawapiskat.
Breaking News News

Attawapiskat: Canada’s “Fourth-World” Community

Nearly a month ago, the northern Canadian First Nations community Attawapiskat declared itself to be in a “state of emergency.”

This week, as winter sets in and snow is on the ground in the remote community, they are finally getting some attention–and some help.

In Canada, a state of emergency is normally declared when something terrible happens to a place, such as an earthquake, flood or large fire.

It’s a signal to the country’s government that “we need help, immediately.”

In this case, the state of emergency is that the people of Attawapiskat, in northern Ontario are living in conditions that are worse than those in many third-world countries.

One reporter described going to Attawapiskat as, “like stepping into the fourth world.”