Happy Holidays

I thought we’d holiday up the page a bit for the.. uh.. holidays!

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year to all of our affiliates and readers!


PS – No voting is enabled with this theme.. but I’m sure you’ll not mind it missing for a few days.

Canadian Dimension: Here We Come A-Picketing! Christmas Carols, Class Conflict, and the Eaton’s Strike, 1984-85

Scanned from personal collection of Skeezix1000

By mid-December, the holiday shopping season is usually in full swing for Canadian retailers. Thirty years ago, however, several Eaton’s department stores in southern Ontario were experiencing a different type of holiday hustle and bustle: Eaton’s workers were on strike.

Hoping that unionization would improve their wages and working conditions, many of the department stores’ mostly female workers had joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU); but management’s refusal to negotiate left them with few options but to withdraw their labour power. On 30 November 1984 RWDSU members at six Eaton’s locations (Read more…)

wmtc: u.s. war resister corey glass speaks out from europe

Corey Glass, war resister from Canada by way of Indiana, speaks out from his travels in Europe in the current issue of NOW.

I’m not going to bother to tell you that the Iraq War was wrong or quote the UN handbook on refugees, Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg principles or trials.

Nor am I going to try to convince anyone that soldiers should have the right to say no, that prosecution for a belief is persecution, or that recruiters lie. There’s no reason to talk about that, or about how Canada didn’t take part in the Iraq War. Or why Canadian (Read more…)

Buckdog: New York Times Editorial Board Calls For Prosecution Of Bush, Cheney And Torturers !

“Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.

Mr. Obama has (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Trudeau — Mythic Hero?


Michael den Tandt writes that the political narrative in Canada over the next year will be all about what Justin Trudeau does. That’s because — for better of for worse — Trudeau has assumed the mantle of the mythic hero:

Trudeau’s popularity could be linked to the very fabric of how human beings perceive political narrative. His brand has been crafted, deliberately it seems to me, to tap into very old archetypes (Read more…)

Wise Law Blog: 140 Law – Legal Headlines for Monday, December 22, 2014

Politics and its Discontents: Real Journalism: Holding Harper To Account

Unlike the kind of faux journalism that the CBC’s most reverent chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, has perfected, real journalism requires critical thinking and hard-hitting questions. In that, The Toronto Star holds to consistently high standards.

To appreciate this fact, consider first the following exchange during the year-end interview the Prime Minister granted his media acolyte:

Mansbridge: So why don’t we propose something then?

Harper: We have proposed something.

What have we proposed?

Well the Province of Alberta, excuse me, the Province of Alberta itself already has a, it’s one of the few GHD regulatory environments in the country. It (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ryan Meili examines why Craig Alexander of the TD Bank is calling for a move toward greater income equality in Canada:

The OECD reports that income inequality is at the highest level in 30 years, and that economic growth has been slowed by as much as 10 per cent in some countries as a result. A 2014 IMF study showed that redistributive policies through tax and transfers not only do no harm to the economy, but can improve performance in the long-term. In fact, it appears that public investments in child care and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lead from your strength, Justin.

Please Justin, just shut up and listen. The other day, you told Campion-Smith of the Toronto Star’s Ottawa Bureau that the economy will decide the next election. You had better hope not. You have absolutely no credibility in that subject and the majority of the voters could care less. Stephen Harper even studied economics and look at the trouble it has got him into.

Your strength buddy is empathy. You obviously care. Stick to what you are good at.

You need to take a page from Jean Chrétien’s approach to the job of Prime Minister. In ten years as Prime (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Before we follow the LNG path

The Liberal Premier of New Brunswick announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and he offered advice that Christy Clark should note,
“We’re not interested in putting all of our eggs in a single basket.”

Premier Gallant says the moratorium won’t be lifted until these conditions are met:

  • A social license in place;
  • Clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on our health, environment and water, allowing us to develop country-leading regulatory regime with sufficient enforcement capabilities;
  • A plan that mitigates the impacts on our public infrastructure and that addresses issues such as waste water disposal;
  • A (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The 12 Ehs of Christmas – CBC Music

I’m not really sure what CBC music was going for here (I suspect Christmas “cheer” was involved), but it does reek of Canadiana.  Slightly painful, but given all the holiday music that we are subjected to, this isn’t all that bad.

Filed under: Music Tagged: 12 Ehs of Christmas, Canadian Content, CBC Music, Cringe Worthy in a good way.

350 or bust: President Obama: Keystone XL must pass climate & jobs test

In his final press conference of 2014, President Obama spoke frankly about the so-called “benefits” to Americans of the Keystone XL pipeline. He points out it’s Canadian oil being transported over the United States to be sold on the global markets, with very little benefit to U.S. consumers. It’s good for the Canadian oil industry […]

Montreal Simon: The Year Ahead and the Coalition Dream

It's a little too soon to take out my crystal ball and predict what's going to happen next year, like so many in the MSM are already doing.

Even though the big hollow ball in my neighbourhood seemed to think it knows, as I passed it on my way home last night.

But then homeless men like to smoke crack inside it, so it might have been them, and its predictions are probably as reliable as all those others.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if we do end up with a Liberal coalition government. Especially since even after all that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Imagine, Re-Imagine the Strawberries

imagineNYCi’m imagining it again tonight

the mosaic tiles
in strawberry fields
in my ether
in the intersection
of idealist moonbeams
and #BlackLivesMatter marchers
swirling under the Manhatten hum [or is it a pulse?]
feeling the tranquility of the mosaic
despite being just steps from the Dakota.

i didn’t know then
but they wrote strawberry fields
in the weeks leading up to my birth.

even though it isn’t all about Me
it’s about relationships
in orphanages in England
among people around the Imagine
among the million marchers for…
what they imagine they want in our world.

i couldn’t see strawberry (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: All they need for Christmas is new talking points #nlpoli

Keith Hutchings – the provincial cabinet minister leading talks with the federal government on European trade  – issued a statement on December 9, 2014.that began with a simple statement.

“In June, 2013,” Hutchings began,

“our governments agreed that, in exchange for the [provincial government] agreeing to lift minimum processing requirements (MPRs) for the European Union (EU), the Federal Government and the provinc[ial government] would establish a fund that would provide for total expenditure of $400 million based on a 70/30 federal/provincial cost share.”

The money was for “industry development and renewal [in the fishing industry] as well as worker displacement”  according to Hutchings.

But when Hutchings spoke with the Telegram’s James McLeod six months later, things weren’t quite so cut and dried.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Never mind the Mudville Nine: Nothing has changed, nothing ever will, that is all!

“Your health. Our promise.” It’s March 1, 2013, and then-premier Alison Redford announces plans to build a new cancer treatment facility in Calgary to replace the grubby and overcrowded Tom Baker Cancer Centre. (Photo grabbed from Metro Newspapers.) But that was then. This is now. Below: Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel; the Tom Baker facility in northwest Calgary. 

As Danielle Smith might have said, were she still the leader of the Opposition, “nothing has changed!”

On Friday, mass media were uncritically reporting the “reasons” the new cancer hospital promised to Calgary on which construction was supposed (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Plummeting oil prices, petrol-state club. rapidly declining Canadian dollar, house sales could decline,

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Well here we are just a few days from Christmas and as you may have noticed my time for writing has been curtailed.

While this is good news on several fronts the events that affect us have not slowed as is demonstrated by this excellent Andrew Nikiforuk interview with international oil expert Terry Lynn Karl.

We are on a ride to nowhere with few options as our governments continue pursuing greed and riches with a gold rush mentality.

They, and as a result we, are missing the boat by concentrating on a volatile commodity that lacks the (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: The Newsroom: On Journalism, the Environment, and Sexism

I just finished watching the final season of The Newsroom as it appears catching up on shows is becoming a personal tradition on the first day of any holiday.  It was a cringe-worthy six hours with a few redeeming story-lines.  Here be ton o’ SPOILERS including the fact that it ends with a wedding, a funeral, and a baby – the holy trinity of lazy plot lines.


The themes of the show were timely in that we’re discussing media integrity in my class.  But we watched Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land instead.  The Newsroom is a fantasy (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations

In speech, Cuban President Raul Castro thanks Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue which resulted in the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, maintains that Cuba will not not renounce socialism.

The post Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Susan on the Soapbox: Danielle Smith Betrayed the Wildrose; Jim Prentice Betrayed the Rest of Us

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” —Abraham Lincoln

Premier Prentice gave every member of his caucus a copy of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals. No doubt to help them “decide” whether to let Danielle Smith, the leader of the Opposition, and eight members of her Wildrose caucus join the Progressive Conservative government.

The absurdity of the situation escaped his dimwitted caucus.

Mr Lincoln

The book describes Abraham Lincoln’s relationship the three men in his own party who challenged Lincoln for the Republican presidential nomination.  After Mr Lincoln (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada

Mulcair: The man who would bring democracy to Canada

Thomas Mulcair, that very capable MP who is leader of the NDP, has publicly committed himself to remedy our democratic deficit, as this post indicates.

Mulcair is to be commended for two things.
First, for signing the Fair Vote Canada declaration (click herefor the full text).
Second, for strongly coming out in favour of a modified proportional representation system of electing our federal MPs.
The Fair Vote Canada declaration has this very important commitment:

What is important about the Fair Vote Canada declaration is that it is the modern equivalent (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: As New York Bans Fracking, Calls for Moratorium in Pennsylvania Grow Stronger

This week, New York Governor Cuomo announced that his state would ban fracking, due in large part to concerns about impacts on public health. But right across the border in Pennsylvania, one of the fastest-moving shale booms in the country still proceeds at breakneck speed.

While Governor-elect Tom Wolf campaigned on promises to tax shale gas extraction, evidence continued to grow that Pennsylvania has struggled to police the drilling industry or even keep tabs on its activities. A scathing report issued in July by State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale found that record-keeping was “egregiously poor,” and environmental regulators do “not (Read more…)