In The News This Week – April 17, 2016

This week’s top stories in Canadian politics:

1.Saudi Arms Deal: This week Canadians found out that Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion had quietly approved a deal to export $15 billion worth of arms and light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Canadians are concerned about how supplying arms might contribute to human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, as warned in a recent ‘Human Rights Report’ by the Department of Global Affairs. The arms deal was originally struck under the Harper government – Globe and MailCBC

2. Doctor-Assisted Dying Bill: This past Wednesday the Liberals released their ‘Doctor-assisted dying’ bill. The bill proposes to cover Doctor-assisted dying for those over 18 with a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition and for whom “natural death has become reasonably foreseeable.” The Liberals have until June 6th to pass the bill. – Globe and Mail

  • FYEI (For Your Extra Information): The Supreme Court struck down the federal law prohibiting Doctor-assisted dying in the case of Carter v. Canada on February 6th, 2015. The Court ruled that the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and provided the government one year to craft new regulations to cover Doctor-assisted dying. When the Liberals came to power in October, they applied for an extension to the one year and were granted an extra 4 months until June 6th to craft regulations. Carter v. Canada, Dying with DignityCBC

3. State of Emergency Declared in Attawapiskat: All eyes have been on the Northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat after 11 people tried to commit suicide in one day. The attempted suicides highlight a mental health crisis across many Aboriginal communities, made worse by their remoteness, poor living conditions and history with residential schools. The Liberal government will try to improve conditions through the $4.22 billion allocated in their budget. As well, the Ontario government has pledged $2 million to fund 24 hour mental health support staff. – Huffington PostGlobe and Mail

4. Supreme Court grants rights to Metis and non-status Indians: A new ruling on Thursday clarifies that Metis and non-status Indians do meet the definition of ‘Indian’ under the Constitution. As a result, Metis and non-status Indians now fall under Federal jurisdiction, as explained in Chelsea Vowel’s piece published on CBC.

5. The Alberta Provincial Budget was released this week, forecasting a deficit of nearly $60 billion by 2019. The economy has been suffering since 2014 as low oil prices continue to hurt the province’s main industry. – Globe and Mail

6. The Bank of Canada announced that they would maintain the overnight lending rate at 0.5%. As a result, Canadian’s should see no impact to interest rates. – CBC

In case you missed it… also check out our posts this week on (1)the Leap Manifesto in ‘NDP: A party in crisis?‘, and (2)a review of the Liberal budget in ‘PBO Criticisms of #Budget2016


Supreme Court of Canada, Source: Flickr

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