A coalition of 200 organization and 500 individuals has released a report suggesting the Harper government of crushing Canadian democracy.
The report, titled “Dismantling Democracy: Stifling Debate and Dissent in Canada”, has documented grievances of civil society groups that point to a disturbing trend.
The coalition calls itself Voices-Voix, and has been signed by the heads of Amnesty International Canada and Greenpeace Canada, as well as the former head of Oxfam Canada, the findings are based on more than 110 case studies prepared over the last several years.
Robert Fox is the head of the Voices-Voix steering committee, and former head of Oxfam Canada. In an interview with Jon McComb, he expalined the findings.
“(The report) looks sector by sector at the systematic approach by which this government either silences critics, or de-funds them, intimidates them, in some cases even criminalizes them. And it looks at what the government has done in Parliament with respect to pushing Omnibus bills, and changing the ways the Parliamentary committees are working, and either firing or sidelining watchdogs and Ombudspersons who are there specifically to look after the interests of the most vulnerable groups in Canada.”
According to Fox, those groups include veterans, poor people, people with special needs.
Fox says the report also looks at how the government has dismantled parts of the civil service that provide advice, and that better inform public policy, “whether it’s the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Oceans & Fisheries, de-funding libraries and research.”
Listen to the full interview with former head of Oxfam, Robert Fox, beginning at 0:58
You can read the full report here: