New Democrats gave the Federal government to withdraw the pension bill, but Liberals denied the unanimous consent necessary to shelve the legislation.
Finance minister Morneau introduced Bill C-27 a year ago, while he still held about $21 million worth of shares in his family’s pension administration and human resources firm, Morneau Shepell. The bill, which has languished on the order paper since it was introduced, would allow pension administrators to convert direct benefit pension plans to targeted benefit plans — a change for which Morneau Shepell had lobbied.NDP pension critic Scott Duvall moved to have the bill withdrawn but failed to get unanimous consent in the Commons. Earlier, NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen called Duvall’s motion “an olive branch” that would get rid of a bad bill and allow Morneau to extricate himself from the worst ethical tangle resulting from his failure to divest his Morneau Shepell shares or place them in a blind trust when he was appointed to cabinet two years ago.
Calls for creation of national police task force picks up momentum
The federal government needs to set up a national police task force to investigate missing and murdered Indigenous women, commissioners heading a much-maligned inquiry into the crisis urged as they blamed procedural red tape for a false start that delayed proceedings by eight months.
The commission — savaged in recent months by families and survivors disappointed in what they see as a lack of concrete action — released a 111-page report detailing its progress to date, while also calling for some sort of investigative body to re-open existing cold cases.
The inquiry is somewhat hamstrung by its own terms of reference, which allow it to refer cases to police only when new information is uncovered, chief commissioner Marion Buller told a news conference.
Sexual harassment suit against former premier David Peterson dismissed
A sexual harassment lawsuit against former Ontario premier David Peterson has been dismissed, the lawyer for former premier informed media noting that the woman who launched the legal action had apologized for doing so.
The lawsuit was brought in 2015 by a former Toronto Pan Am Games manager, Ximena Morris, and initially sought $10 million in damages, and was later amended to $3 million in damages. It alleged a history of flirtatious remarks from Peterson — who was chair of the board for the Games — that escalated into unwanted hugs, sexually tinged remarks and public humiliation.Peterson had denied the allegations, calling them “wild and untrue.”
In a statement issued his lawyers said the lawsuit had been dismissed by Ontario Superior Court and Morris had apologized to Peterson and his wife. The court order does not award costs to either party. “David Peterson is a public figure who has contributed enormously to the service of the people of Ontario, both as premier and through continued volunteering activities, including chairing the Pan Am games,” Peterson’s lawyer Lisa Talbot said in the statement”.
Colleges, union back at table
As the Ontario college teachers’ strike enters its third week, talks are resuming between Ontario colleges and the union representing 12,000 striking faculty, after both sides faced increased pressure from students. The strike by full-time faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges started Oct. 16. A provincially appointed mediator asked the parties to return to the bargaining table. The strike, now in its third week, has affected more than 300,000 students across the province “This is good news,” Deb Matthews, minister of advanced education and skills development, said at the legislature. “This is an important step forward. But I’m going to continue to urge both parties to actually negotiate an agreement. Students should be back in the classroom. They should be back in the classroom as quickly as possible.”