Finance minister Tom Marshall will present his mid-year financial update on Monday. It is supposed to be a way of bringing everyone up to date on how the annual budget is going. It’s an accountability thing.
Since the government’s fiscal year starts in April, the middle of the year was September. So December is well past the mid-year. As we all know, December is the last month of the calendar year so this mid-year report is a bit late there, too. The only calendar that puts December in the middle of some year or other seems to be the provincial Conservative one.
The whole idea of a mid-year financial up-date winds up being a bit of a farce, then. It’s much like having a consultation about what to put in the budget after the cabinet has already decided on the budget in secret beforehand.
Farce is not a word . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Mummers’ Parade on Monday #nlpoli
Who would’ve thought we’d find a suitable reference to Riders Nation and Ethical Cannabis in one photograph? But courtesy the Calgary Sun, there it is! Note the hat, bottom right. Just saying. Below: Some guy standing in front of Rob Ford’s office.
Those of us who don’t regularly wear melons on our heads or particularly care about Canadian football are waiting impatiently for the results of today’s federal byelections so that we can spin them in ways that reinforce our personal political preferences.
For example, if you’re a conservative of any stripe, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s (Read more…)
Small green teams tasked with transforming large corporations, governments, cities, and neighborhoods face some tough challenges. TD Bank’s three-person green team employed a range of strategies to inject sustainability thinking into 27,000 employees dispersed in 1,300 locations. I find four of their tactics very smart and can be readily adapted by green teams everywhere.
Green teams are often small. The three-person team at TD Bank, the second largest bank in Canada and sixth largest in North America, is not atypical. With limited resources, the team started an environmental employee engagement program in their U.S. operations just over a (Read more…)
Mounties closing in
Amazing how some politicians fail to understand one simple fact of a modern democracy such as Canada: The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. Our justice institutions are highly developed, well staffed, with advanced methods that are applied to serious cases. Our court system is fed by the police (who initiate the inquiries), the prosecutors (who decide whether to lay charges) and the courts (who hear the matters). Part of our protection of our democracy are the laws that attempt to prevent any tampering with our institutions such as the Senate. Now the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Duffy Saga: The Mounties Close In
Uh oh. Call out the Fire Brigade or the Big Lie Brigade. There's more smoke pouring out of the PMO. Remember when Mike Duffy accused the Harper gang of cooking up what he called a "monstrous fraud?" Duffy also alleged that the prime minister’s office gave him a script to lie about where the money came from, claiming that he had taken out a loan. “The PMO told me to say my wife and I took out a loan at the Royal Bank,” Duffy said. “That line was written by the PMO to deceive Canadians as to the real (Read more…)
A video was released today of Rob Ford in a living room, ranting about someone he wanted to kill in a boxing ring. Almost immediately, Ford went on camera and said he was very inebriated in the video; his mother went on TV and said Ford doesn’t do drugs but he does drink to excess. This inebriation story seems to have bamboozled the press; in every online article about it, the Globe uses the word “inebriation”.
But Rob Ford’s not drunk in that video. He’s high on crack. Crack makes people hyperactive. It makes their heart race. It causes a (Read more…)
While Rob Ford insists that he has no reason to resign, and the prime minister’s story changes everyday, Andrew Coyne writes that the concept of responsibility has become a quaint notion — a relic of the past:
There was a time when public office holders were expected to take responsibility for these things, as a matter of personal honour if nothing else. But conventions last only as long as they are observed. Today, the prime minister clings to his position — I was the victim of a conspiracy involving everyone around me — as tightly as Senator Duffy clings to (Read more…)
A few weeks ago, I wrote this:
“There is no way on God’s green earth — none — the RCMP, and/or the Canadian law enforcement/intelligence community, would have let Harper get that close to Ford if the latter was facing an imminent criminal charge, or proof of involvement in a serious crime.
The RCMP’s Protective Policing Service is sworn to protect the prime minister in every way.
…So why would the Mounties allow Stephen Harper anywhere near Rob Ford?
Because they have formed the opinion that, lawsuits or not, the infamous crack video is — as its owner later told (Read more…)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets a tour of new BWW designs at a recent auto show
BERLIN – Germany blocked the introduction of tougher European Union emissions rules for cars shortly after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party received a large donation from three major BMW shareholders, according to newly released parliamentary records.
Opposition parties on Tuesday cited the donation as evidence of an uncomfortably close relationship between Merkel and German automakers.
Following weeks of German lobbying, the environment ministers of the EU’s 28 nations agreed Monday to seek further tweaks to the proposed emissions rules that come into force in 2020.
Just (Read more…)
There are a couple of old bromides that circle around the investment community. One is ‘even a broken watch is right twice a day‘, the other is ‘even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut‘. The meaning is obvious, keep saying the same thing, over and over and over….and eventually you’ll be right, you’ll stumble on that acorn. Garth Turner, who has been predicting the imminent demise of Canadian real estate for over 5 years now, has finally admitted he got it wrong. I WAS WRONG After years of saying things like, this will end (Read more…)
If we continue our rapacious consumption of fossil fuels, tomorrow’s “cold” will resemble today’s “hot.”
Researchers at the University of Hawaii conclude that, from roughly 2047 onwards, the coldest years in any given place will be hotter than the hottest year recorded between 1860 and 2005.
“The coldest year in the future will be warmer than the hottest year in the past,” said Camilo Mora, the lead scientist on a paper published in the journal Nature. Unprecedented climates will arrive even sooner in the tropics, Dr. Mora’s group predicts, putting increasing stress on human societies there, on (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Look At It This Way, Tomorrow’s Cold Will Be Today’s Hot
Here are your daily news links:
I’ll be doing a long-planned “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit today at 1 pm ET (@ggreenwald) Income levels and the high price of telecom (Peter Nowak) Trans Pacific Partnership: Internet Censorship Plan Reportedly Under Discussion (The Inquisitr) CRTC’s annual report is here: the good, the bad, the weird (1) (Life on the Broadband Internet) Kiwi celebs call for release of the TPPA text (It’s Our Future) NSA stores metadata of millions of web users for up to a year, secret files show (The Guardian) Ex-Microsoft privacy adviser: I don’t trust company after NSA revelations (Read more…)
Authors often complain that reviewers critique them, and not their books.
It’s often true, too. I’ve written seven door stoppers. Whenever I break the solemn promise I earlier made to myself not to read any reviews — good or bad — I inevitably find myself asking no one in particular: “Did (insert reviewer’s name here) actually read the goddamn thing?”
So let’s cut to the chase.
I wasn’t sent a copy of Michael Ignatieff’s new book, Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics, and nor do I plan to buy it. I didn’t read it. I’m not interested (Read more…)
The bizarre practice of over-sexualizing prepubescent girls on stages in front of people has now been banned in France. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind these pageants and it’s nice to see that other people see the problematic behaviour behind them. Hopefully other countries will follow France’s example.
The Senate agreed to adopy tough sanctions to anyone flouting the law.
Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000).
“Let’s not let (Read more…)
Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Political Blogger
Our friends over at the Common Sense Canadian, Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis are putting out some of the best journalism available in Canada today.
Running independent blogs helps keep the MSM and our politicians at all levels on their toes. It is important to all of us.
Rafe, Damien and a talented pool of contributors shine a light where there is often only darkness.
They provide the public with valuable information through posts, videos and interviews that are simply not otherwise available.
I support the Common Sense Canadian and I urge you to kick it what you (Read more…)
It’s called a “dead cat bounce”. It’s based on the premise that even a dead cat bounces when it slips off a 12th floor balcony and lands on the sidewalk (contrary to popular belief most sky-diving cats aren’t lucky enough to land in a rose bush).
Skydiving cat (really)
This distressing analogy is used in business when share prices, commodity prices, or any measure of corporate performance, blips up and the reason for that blip is unsustainable—a hurricane that temporarily disables petrochemical manufacturing plants in the US Gulf Coast will cause an uptick in commodity prices because supply (Read more…)
Star readers offer their insights on the Quebec Purity Charter. Both sides are ably represented:
An outrageous plan, Editorial Sept. 11
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and her crowd are playing on the fear of difference. Also, there is an appealing assumption that the more homogeneous society is the more harmonious society is. “If only we all could be the same,” as the thinking go, “we all would be better off.” That is, of course, pure bunk. A quick scan of the world reveals that many countries that score high on the homogeneous scale are riven by political turmoil.
Unless (Read more…)
Stephen Harper confirmed yesterday that he intends to run for re-election in 2015. Michael Harris at ipolitics gives ten reasons why Harper should retire. Consider three of Harris’ reasons:
First, Harper is tempermentaly unsuited for the job. He is a politician who doesn’t like people:
And as strange as this may seem, he doesn’t much like politics either. At least not the part most of us would associate with the world’s second oldest profession — meeting people, experiencing the world, trying to make things better for the people whose affairs you temporarily hold in trust. As Preston Manning told me, (Read more…)
Animal cruelty sadly still exists and we can all make a difference in the suffering of domesticated animals by changing our shopping habits. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched an education campaign to get people aware of the dangers of factory-farming hens while celebrating the benefits of letting the animals roam free.
Cage-free is healthier for the chickens:
There is overwhelming scientific evidence to demonstrate that caged hens have a greater chance of being infected by Salmonella; which is among the most common causes of food-related hospitalization and deaths in the US and Canada. (Read more…)
Obesity is a growing problem in North America and it looks like this health issue will continue to grow. There are many contributing factors to what’s referred to as an obesity epidemic, and some designers think that we can curb at least one contributing factor: poor urban planning. Not coincidentally, places with a higher proportion of obesity have low density planning.
What if we changed the low density planning to something more walkable and liveable?
Walking and biking, on the other hand, not only make us fit, but they also both improve mental health. Oxytocin—the same chemical released during (Read more…)
To the surprise of everyone in the Ottawa bubble, Her Majesty’s Minister of State for Democratic Reform, Pierre Poilievre, held a press availability Wednesday not to slam the Liberals for some alleged sins, but to actually speak to an issue of policy substance: the government’s Supreme Court reference on Senate reform. The minister discussed the factum the government has presented to the court outlining its position, marking the first time the words “Pierre Poilievre” and “factum” have appeared in the same sentence. The government has put several questions to the court, essentially seeking clarity around what reforms Parliament can (Read more…)
Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, “Little” (popularly known as the “Little Fugue”), is a piece of organ music written by Johann Sebastian Bach during his years at Arnstadt (1703–1707). It is one of Bach’s best known fugues and has been arranged for other voices, including in an orchestral version made by Leopold Stokowski.
Early editors of Bach’s work attached this title to distinguish it from the later Great Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542, which is longer in duration.
Many thanks to Stephen Malinowski for performing and translating the work into the (Read more…)
Running a green event at work is a great way to engage employees on sustainability, which in turn can bring great bottom line rewards. LoyaltyOne, for example, dramatically reduced their staff turnover rate through employee engagement initiatives (see this post for more details). Whether you are planning for staff environmental fairs, contests with a green focus, or environmental film screenings [‘Chasing Ice’ is a great award winning film I’ve shown at private events to wonderful results.—Derek], keep the following list of Do’s and Don’ts in mind and you should be on your way to engaging (Read more…)