Democracy Watch’s mandate, 20 Steps towards a Modern, Working Democracy proposes changes that all governments in Canada should enact (according to their respective powers) to ensure that Canadian citizens have a greater and more meaningful role in government and corporate decision-making in Canada. These changes include empowering Canadians as voters, citizens, taxpayers, consumers of information and services, and as shareholders of private and public wealth.
Started 4 petitions
Ban Unsafe Boeing 737 Max plane in Canada
In two crashes of the 737 Max in 2018 and 2019, 346 people lost their lives due to Boeing’s fraud, including 18 Canadians. Independent experts say that the Boeing 737 Max airplane is still unsafe to fly, in part because of its well-known fundamentally flawed design, and in part because of ongoing serious flaws in its flight control system that cannot control the plane in various situations due to its fundamentally flawed design. According to experts, the system will still send incorrect messages to the pilots concerning corrective actions to take in those situations. You can see statements by these experts in the following media articles: Click here to see CBC article quoting Canadian expert Gilles Primeau from Dec. 17, 2020. Click here to see Globe and Mail opinion piece by expert Brian A. Barsky from Jan. 21, 2021. Click here to see BBC.com article quoting former Boeing manager Ed Pierson from Jan. 25, 2021. Click here to see Radio-Canada piece, quoting Gilles Primeau and other experts from Feb. 3, 2021 (in French). As well, click here to see a Seattle Times article from March 7, 2021 about the concerns of Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) senior safety engineer Joe Jacobsen, who is accusing the FAA of negligence in approving the 737 Max to fly in the first place, and not requiring enough changes after the first crash. Based on his 36-year career as an aeronautics engineer, he has concluded that the FAA has still not required enough changes to the 737 Max, and that the plane is still unsafe. In addition, a U.S. Senate Committee found that Boeing representatives violated rules by coaching test pilots during the testing of what Boeing claims is the 737 Max’s repaired flight control system. Click here to see an article about the Committee’s report. Boeing has also admitted it committed fraud in the initial approval process for the 737 Max. (click here to see an article about Boeing's confession), and it continues to hide information about the plane, and it refused to testify at hearings held by the House of Commons Transport Committee. Given Boeing’s past fraud, deception and secrecy that killed hundreds of people, and coaching of test pilots and ongoing secrecy concerning the plane, Boeing’s claims should not be believed now concerning the safety of the 737 Max. Before the 737 Max kills anyone else, the 737 Max must be banned from flying in Canada. As well, a public inquiry is needed to investigate all the federal government’s decisions concerning the 737 Max. A public inquiry is needed given Boeing’s past fraud, deception and ongoing secrecy, and given that serious, unanswered questions remain concerning why the Canadian government approved the 737 Max to fly in Canada in the first place, and did not ground the plane quickly after the first crash in October 2018 or after the second crash in March 2019. Because of a loophole in Canada’s lobbying law, Boeing’s lobbying concerning the approval of the 737 Max to fly in Canada has been kept secret – click here to see details about this secrecy. The public has the right to know all the details about how the government’s decisions were made! Finally, airline passengers need to be empowered to have a say in policy-making concerning airlines and all aviation issues in Canada. A great way to do this is to establish an Airline Passengers Organization (APO) using an innovative method that has worked in the U.S. The federal government must establish the APO as an independent organization, and require airlines to distribute an invitation to join the APO to passengers when they board a plane, and in any emails to passengers. Click here to see how an APO would help passengers. Please sign and Share this petition to: #AxeTheMax to call for a public inquiry into why the 737 Max was approved in the first place, not grounded after the first crash, and re-certified to fly in Canada in December, and to require airlines to distribute a notice that invites passengers to join an independent Airline Passengers Organization (APO).
Make Canada's Big Banks help during coronavirus crisis, and after
While millions of Canadians and hundreds of thousands of small businesses are suffering from the coronavirus crisis, Canada’s Big 6 Banks gouged out record profits of more than $46 billion in 2019! That works out to more than $22 million in profit every hour banks are open – 3% higher than in 2018, and more than double their profits in 2010! This is the 10th year in a row the Big Banks’ profits have gone up – has your pay or profit increased every year for the past 10 years? The heads of the Big 6 Banks were also paid a total of $75 million in 2019 ($12.5 million each on average). Canada’s Big Banks make among the highest profits of any banks in the world because the federal government has protected them from competition and bailed them out and given them many favours over the past 50 years. The Big Banks reaped these record profits every year for the past 10 years in part by: firing thousands of people; cutting services, and; hiking fees and credit card interest rates to gouge you even more than they were already (even though interest rates have dropped to record low levels). The federal government has failed in the past 30 years to stop the Big Banks from gouging their customers and treating them unfairly. Now, with the coronavirus crisis hurting millions of Canadians, and even though the Big Banks can afford it, the federal government still hasn’t made the Big Banks give everyone a break by cutting their gouging interest rates and fees, and cutting loan payments completely if needed. The federal government also continues to refuse to make the Big Banks pay their fair share of taxes to help pay the costs of the crisis. Canada's Big Banks paid a tax rate of only 16% over the past 6 years -- lower than banks in other G7 countries. The Big Banks also exploit tax loopholes more than all other Canadian big businesses. The Big Banks must be required: To cut all their interest rates and fees in half now, and to cut loan payments entirely for anyone who needs it for the next few months, without requiring payment or extra interest later; To disclose the profit level of every part of their business (credit cards, mortgages, lines of credit, each other type of loan, bank machines, and investment and insurance divisions) after fully independent audits; To keep all their interest rates and fees at a level that gives them no more than a reasonable profit (for example, many U.S. states limit credit card interest rates); To disclose how many people and small businesses apply and are approved or rejected for loan cuts, low-interest credit cards, other loans, by type of borrower, and require corrective actions if a bank discriminates against any type of borrower (as the U.S. has done for 30 years); To re-open basic banking branches in neighbourhoods (where they closed them in the 1990s) to help get rid of predatory pay-day loan companies (and low-cost banking at Canada Post outlets should also be allowed); To support the creation of an independent, consumer-run financial consumer watchdog group (as MPs and senators recommended in 1998) so consumers have a place to call for help if they are gouged or treated unfairly, and to get fully independent, expert advice; To pay their fair share of taxes now, and in the future, by closing all the loopholes they exploit (as England and Australia have), and; To cut the pay of their CEO and other top executives to no more than 40 times their lowest paid employee. Enforcement measures and penalties also need to be strengthened to ensure the banks don’t ever gouge, rip-off or treat their customers unfairly, and pay high penalties if they do. Enforcement is much stronger in England, and in the U.S. Please Sign and Share this petition now calling for these key changes to make Canada’s Big Banks give everyone a break on interest rates and fees, pay their fair share in taxes, and treat everyone fairly, now and after the coronavirus crisis is over. See more details at: http://betterbanks.ca
Stop Unfair Law Enforcement
As several recent scandals have revealed, Canada’s law enforcement system continues to be under threat from interference by politicians, and police and other law enforcement agencies and tribunals are often not held accountable for bad decisions and wrongdoing. Did you know that the Prime Minister and provincial premiers have the power to appoint key people in the law enforcement system (judges, chief prosecutors, police chiefs, and the heads of big business watchdog agencies) without any meaningful restrictions? The PM and Premiers even get to choose the people who enforce the laws that require themselves, and their Cabinet ministers, to be honest, ethical, open and waste-preventing! And they often choose lapdogs who let them off the hook again and again. The scandals include: Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford tried to appoint his friend as provincial police commissioner; Trudeau PMO officials pressured the Attorney General to stop the prosecution of big business SNC-Lavalin for bribery; The RCMP failing to stop criminal gangs from China and other countries using Canadian casinos, banks, houses and condos to launder their dirty money, and; The RCMP and other police forces continuing to get away with discriminating against minorities and indigenous peoples, and harassment of women and minority police officers. Please sign this petition calling for key changes to make police and all law enforcement agencies, including agencies, boards and commissioners that watch over politicians, governments and big businesses: much more independent from politicians by ensuring politicians can't appoint their friends or supporters as lapdogs who refuse to enforce the law; much more accountable for wrongdoing by requiring higher ethical standards and greater transparency by all law enforcement agencies, and ensuring there are fully independent, fully empowered citizen watchdogs to hold them accountable for wrongdoing; much more accountable for bad decisions by ensuring anyone can file a court case challenging an unfair law enforcement agency decision that violates fundamental rights or ignores facts or the law; and calling for key changes to ensure full, strong protection for people who blow the whistle on wrongdoing by law enforcement agencies. We need your help to keep this campaign going until together we win these key changes to ensure law enforcement agencies across Canada enforce laws fairly and effectively, including holding politicians and big businesses accountable whenever they break the law. Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in supporting this petition to stop unfair law enforcement. For more details see: Bank regulator's report on aggressive sales tactics weakened after government — and banks — reviewed drafts (CBC, April 10, 2019) Ontario Integrity Commissioner’s ruling on Ford government’s appointment of his friend as the new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner is negligently bad (March 22, 2019) Democracy Watch calls on Ethics Commissioner to expand investigation into everyone named by the former Attorney General who tried to influence her decision about the SNC-Lavalin prosecution (March 5, 2019) Sen. Larry Campbell refuses to answer questions about board role for B.C. casino company (Global News.ca, September 18, 2018) DWatch calls on Senate Ethics Officer to rule Senator Campbell’s corporate board position and investments violate ethics code (September 27, 2018) Little to no proof police carding has effect on crime or arrests: Ontario report (CBC, December 31, 2018) RCMP, government target of missing and murdered Indigenous women class-action lawsuit (Saskatoon Star Phoenix, July 5, 2018) Minister under fire over handling of RCMP harassment amid $1.1B lawsuit (CBC, June 26, 2018)
Stop Invasions of Our Privacy
Whether you want to give it to them or not, police and spy agencies, Facebook and other companies, political parties and foreigners who want to disrupt Canadian elections – they all can get your private, personal information! The federal government isn’t doing enough to restrict the powers of spy agencies and police to spy on you through Bill C-59. The rules, enforcement and penalties are too weak to ensure Facebook and other companies don’t collect and sell your private information. And politicians have failed to require their political parties to follow the rules in privacy laws (including in Bill C-76 which was just proposed). Key changes are needed to ensure spy agencies, police, businesses and political parties can’t get your private info unless you want them to have it, and to ensure they always follow all privacy protection rules. Please sign and share this petition calling for the following 5 key changes to protect your private, personal information (See details in the petition letter): Require government, political parties and businesses to protect your privacy, and especially to protect the privacy of children; Prohibit law enforcement agencies from invading your privacy, especially by using mass surveillance technology; Require disclosure of violations of your privacy, and allow you to easily stop any sharing of your personal information that you may have approved; Require a fully independent process for appointing the federal Privacy Commissioner and the Intelligence Commissioner, to ensure they don't protect the government or any political party or law enforcement agency, and; Require the Privacy Commissioner and Intelligence Commissioner to enforce the law strictly and strongly by doing audits, reporting publicly on all complaints and situations they investigate, and penalizing all violations. Please join in calling on all federal politicians to make key changes to stop invasions of your privacy! To see details about the problems with invasions of your privacy in Canada, check out: Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s ‘extraordinarily permissive’ new spying laws (GlobalNews.ca, February, 6, 2018) Over 600,000 Canadians’ Facebook data shared with Cambridge Analytica in data leak (GlobalNews.ca, April 4, 2018) Canadian regulators asked to get tough on data privacy amid Facebook controversy (BNN, April 14, 2018) Privacy watchdog wants rules for how political parties use Canadians’ personal data (Toronto Star, April 17, 2018) Rogers e-mail service terms allow access to users’ contacts, raising privacy concerns (Globe and Mail, April 20, 2018)