Democracy Watch has won for you more than 200 democracy, bank accountability and corporate responsibility changes to federal, provincial, territorial and municipal laws across Canada (See details below).
Between now and 2026 is the biggest window of opportunity in decades to win more key democracy, bank accountability and corporate responsibility changes across Canada. Please click here now to support the campaigns winning these key changes.
When Democracy Watch started up in fall 1993, all of the following undemocratic, unethical and secretive political and big business activities were legal across Canada (with just a few exceptions):
- Unlimited donations to political parties and politicians from businesses, unions, other wealthy private interests and wealthy individuals (except in Quebec)
- Secret donations to riding associations
- Unlimited spending during elections by businesses, unions and other wealthy private interests and wealthy individuals (except in Quebec)
- Secret lobbying
- Unethical decision-making by politicians and government officials
- Unethical lobbying
- False claims in government budgets and spending announcements
- Politicians having secret trust funds
- The PM and Premiers calling unfair snap elections
- Politicians leaving their position and becoming lobbyists right away
- Big businesses making decisions and doing things only to boost their profits
- Banks gouging and putting unlimited holds on cheques, and refusing to open accounts for people with low incomes
- Banks dodging billions in taxes every year
- Ethics laws or codes for politicians and government officials didn’t even exist in most parts of Canada (except in SK and for federal Cabinet ministers, but both were full of loopholes)
- Government officials enforced their own ethics standards (usually letting each other off for clear violations)
- Politicians enforced their own ethics rules
- Federal politicians enforced many of the rules for Canada’s Big Banks and insurance companies that gave big donations to the politicians and their parties
- Whistleblowers were not protected from retaliation when they reported wrongdoing
- Banks faced a max. $500,000 penalty for violating consumer protection laws
After all these campaigns Democracy Watch has led, almost always by organizing and coordinating a national coalition of citizen groups to push all together for key changes, and filing strategic lawsuits
And after an average of 700 media appearances every year (click here to see details)
Many undemocratic, unethical and secretive political and big business activities are now illegal:
- Donations by businesses, unions and other wealthy interests are banned almost everywhere in Canada (except in Saskatchewan (SK), Newfoundland (NF) and the Yukon (YK))
- Donations by individuals to political parties and politicians are limited to $100 annually (in Quebec) or $1,000 up to a few thousand dollars annually (everywhere else, except again in SK, NF and YK)
- Donations to riding associations are required to be disclosed publicly at least every year
- Spending is limited during elections by businesses, unions and other wealthy private interests and wealthy individuals (except again in SK, NF and YK)
- Truth-in-budgeting watchdogs have been established at the federal level and in Ontario
- Politicians secret trust funds have been banned
- Ethics laws or codes have been enacted for politicians and government officials across Canada (although they have loopholes in them)
- Most lobbying is required to be disclosed publicly across Canada
- Ethics rules for lobbyists exist at the federal level, and in Ontario and B.C.
- Federal politicians who leave their positions are banned for 5 years from most lobbying
- Election dates are fixed somewhat at the federal level and in every province and territory
- Big businesses are now allowed to, and in some ways required to, make decisions and do things to protect the interests of all stakeholders
- Bank cheque holds are limited and they are required to open accounts for people with low incomes
- Banks are required to issue an annual Public Accountability Statement that discloses changes to their services across Canada
- Banks are now paying an excess profits tax and some of their tax-dodging loopholes are being closed
- Ethics watchdogs have been established to enforce politicians’ ethics rules across Canada
- Lobbying watchdogs have been established to enforce lobbying transparency rules across Canada
- The fines for illegal lobbying at the federal level have been doubled
- Bank gouging is now monitored by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
- Banks face a max. $50 million penalty for violating consumer protection laws
- Whistleblowers are protected in some ways when they report government and big business wrongdoing at the federal level, and in Ontario and Alberta
To see details about all these changes, click here.
But we need your support now to win even more changes to protect you and your family and the environment and your community from abuses and gouging.
No matter what issue or problem concerns you about governments or big businesses, these changes will help stop their abuses of power that harm you, your family, the environment and your community.
How will these changes help? The changes we are going to win will require politicians and big business executives to be more honest, ethical, open and waste-preventing, and make them more accountable to you and all voters, which help stop their abuses of power.
Federal politicians, and politicians in Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and other provinces, will be reviewing their 7 key democracy laws, and key big bank, insurance and big business accountability laws, over the next couple of years. We need your support now to build 8 national coalitions, and to win 6 key lawsuits, all aimed at winning key changes:
- to stop the influence of big money interests completely (including foreign-funded groups)
- to stop all secret, unethical lobbying (including by foreign-backed lobby groups)
- to stop all excessive government secrecy
- to ban all secret investments by politicians and government officials in businesses they regulate
- to stop all unethical decisions by politicians, their staff, and government officials
- to stop all false claims that mislead voters
- to stop all unfair snap elections
- to stop all gouging by Canada’s big banks, insurance companies, TV, cell phone and Internet companies and other big business abuses of power
- to protect all whistleblowers who report wrongdoing
- to stop politicians choosing their own watchdogs (who often return the favour by acting like lapdogs)
- to ensure strong, independent, effective and quick enforcement of all rules
- and to ensure high penalties for all violations.
Please click here now and become 1 of the 1,000 Canadians giving $5-10 a month to make winning these changes possible
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