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Sudbury Steve May: UFCW’s Anti-Democratic Position on Sudbury Store Hours Referendum Outcome Reflects Poorly on Labour Movement

So, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is claiming victory in the recent referendum on store hours in the City of Greater Sudbury. 3 questions were asked of voters with regards to changing the by-laws which currently prohibit stores from setting their own hours, and opening on the August Civic Holiday and Boxing Day. By pretty healthy majorities (between 60% and 75%), voters in Greater Sudbury said “Yes” to the proposed changes. However, the Ontario Municipal Act requires 50% of eligible voters to vote on each question or else the referendum results are non-binding. While voter turn out (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Minimum Wages and Employment Outcomes

Last week my Unifor colleague Jordan Brennan and I published a study through the CCPA Ontario office examining the historical empirical evidence regarding the link between changes in minimum wages and employment outcomes. We find there is no robust evidence in Canadian historical data that increases in real minimum wages cause either lower employment or higher unemployment, even when we focus on key segments of the labour market that are most reliant on low-wage labour (including youth and the retail and hospitality sectors).

The full study, titled Dispelling Minimum Wage Mythology: The Minimum Wage and the Impact on Jobs in (Read more…)

The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: Oct. 30: October thirty, part two….

Nothing changes. The TandT is still running “news stories” (ads) about the wine expo on page 1. Page A2 still has ads for itself disguised as news stories. A6 has a story  ”Refinery benefits of Energy East project questioned”. It’s about a report from the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace which says the oil industry is lying about the benefits that Canadians will get from the pipeline. It looked promising.

Then I noticed that the greater part of the article was about the oil industry responses. Well, I guarantee that the Council of Canadian and Greenpeace are already on our (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: The Verge: Check out "Off the Grid"

This video game uses intuitive learning to teach players about how online information really functions on the Internet – from enhancing our understanding to undermining our privacy.

Article by Andrew Webster for the Verge

In 2011, Rich Metson was a metal worker who was just starting to dabble in the world of coding and open source software. This newfound interest led him to a conference put on by the Internet Society, and in between dry discussions of internet protocols and domain names, he stumbled on a talk by Columbia University professor Eben Moglen. That moment was the first time Metson (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Jian Ghomeshi: One woman, actor Lucy DeCoutere, alleges she was slapped and choked without her consent.

Richard Hughes-POLITICAL BLOGGER

Like so many Canadians I jumped on the bandwagon in defence of Jian Ghomeshi. It was a knee jerk reaction and my earlier comments mocking the CBC management were out of line. I apologize.

‘Q’ was one of Canadian Radio’s best and I mourn its’ passing but it is over and so is Jian.

His carefully structured Facebook disclosure was a signal that crisis management was in play. His attempts at marginalizing the women speaking out to reporters underlined a powerful, wealthy male power play, but it was too slick.

Now my concern has shifted to the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair–Shell Game: Public being fooled by great BC LNG illusion

By Rafe Mair

We are allowing ourselves to be mesmerized over Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

Perhaps we’re doing this to ourselves but the sad fact is that the government’s total ineptitude is not the only story. Not that that isn’t a big story. In fact, it was magnified last week when the Liberals set their tax regime for LNG companies.

It was not 7% or anything near it. It was not even 3.5% as reported – at least in the short term. In fact, for years it will be just 1.5% and assessed, to use the vernacular, on the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC LNG takes another hit as UK gas giant BG Group gets cold feet

An open house for BG Group’s proposed Prince Rupert LNG project (princerupertgas.com)

Read this Oct. 29 Globe and Mail story on BG Group’s decision to reconsider its investment in BC’s LNG industry – the latest in a series of companies to get cold feet, including Encana, EOG, and Apache Corp.

BG Group PLC is delaying its Prince Rupert LNG project, a decision that highlights the hurdles yet to be cleared by proponents of B.C. liquefied natural gas exports.

Britain-based BG Group originally aimed to make a final investment decision on Prince Rupert LNG in 2016, but the earliest time (Read more…)

The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: Oct. 30: You made me what I am today—

—I hope you’re satisfied.You dragged and dragged me down untilThe soul within me died.You shattered every hope and dream.You fooled me from the start.And though you’re not throughMay God bless you.That’s the curse of an aching heart.

That’s an old, old song from the days music halls and melodrama. (I was planning on singing it for the opening concert at the new events centre, the one we’re building on polluted land.) It’s a lovely melody; and it came to mind as I was preparing for this blog, partly because I like to (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: National Post: New security powers warrant greater oversight says privacy commissioner

Canada’s privacy commissioner has urged the Conservative government to beef up oversight and review of security agencies – like CSIS and CSEC – if new powers are given to police.

Article by Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Conservative government must strengthen review and oversight of security agencies if it plans to beef up spying and police powers, say the federal privacy and information czars.

read more

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Focus on China

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141102-china.mp3

 

The focus of today’s podcast is China: its development over the past several years, the situation of workers and unions as well as future directions. To get some perspective second largest economy in the world and one still expanding at breakneck, albeit slower, pace, I spoke with two guests: Minqi Li and Cathy Walker.

My first guest is Minqi Li. Minqi is professor of economics at the University of Utah and specializes in China’s economy and offers. He previously taught at York University in Toronto and received his PhD from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

My (Read more…)

Left Over: November Is the Cruelest month…

Unable to find affordable housing, 82-year-old living in Victoria shelter

SARAH PETRESCU / TIMES COLONIST OCTOBER 29, 2014 09:58 PM

All I want is a room somewhere

Far away from the cold night air

With one enormous chair…..

Ah, wouldn’t that be loverly?

I have been indulging myself in creepy fantasies of just this sort of thing happening to me, and others like me..

I am lucky to have a partial pension from work, but it doesn’t do very far, and it just covers my rent (but not utilities…)

I realize that, compared to this woman, I am doing okay, (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: Disasters Linked to Climate Change Could Cost Insurance Companies Billions

By Kieran Cooke, From the Climate News Network.

Insurance is all about assessing risk, so you might expect companies in the sector to be intimately involved with one of the most potent risks facing the world – the possibility of catastrophic climate change.

Yet a survey by Ceres, a US not-for-profit group that lobbies for more environmental awareness in the business sector, has found a startling lack of action by most insurers on the issue.

In total, more than 300 insurers, a large proportion of them based in the US, were canvassed and then given various ratings associated with (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Words, Your Brain and Sex

One of the reasons I’m a dedicated librocubularist* can be found in a story on IFL Science that is headlined, “Learning New Words Activates The Same Brain Regions As Sex And Drugs.” It opens: While it doesn’t get much better than sex and drugs for many out there, new research has found that simply learning […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: On The Passing Of Jonathon Kay: An Appreciation In Verse

Remember Jonathon Kay?Whose writing sucked back in the day.  He has moved, foolishly, to mags literary.Will his writing improve there?  No way.

OpenMedia.ca: Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, October 30, 2014

Your news links for today:

Mulcair says Ottawa shooter a criminal, not a terrorist – Globe and Mail Peter MacKay suggests anti-terror laws don’t need overhaul – CBC News Canada Is About to Authorize Its Own Global Spying Operations – VICE Motherboard If you step up police powers to fight terrorism, make watchdogs more powerful, privacy czar tells Tories – National Post Document shows that British spies can access NSA data without a warrant, contrary to government claims – The Week Potato-chip surveillance: once you start, you just can’t stop – Boing Boing FBI demands new powers to hack into (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Critical Thought: Net Neutrality will save the Internet

Big Telecom wants to build an Internet slow lane to squeeze more money out of Internet users. That’s bad enough. But there’s a much more troubling consequence of restricting Internet traffic, and it threatens to undermine the free flow of knowledge and information that makes the Internet great.

Article by Bob Castleman for Critical Thought

Net Neutrality is often argued in terms of tiered services, equal access, bandwidth throttling, innovation by start ups and other issues related to the mechanics and economics of the Internet. But beneath this raucous fray lies a more dangerous and less talked about issue – (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Ontario Doug Ford’s next campaign?

Former Toronto mayoralty candidate Doug Ford says he might want to go on to fame as leader of the Ontario Conservatives. This is serious folks. Doug Ford is the guy who said that what the Ontario Conservatives really need is an enema. We would all have a good laugh and go home if it were not for the fact he might be serious about his next challenge.

And the reason many Conservatives are cottoning to the idea is the showing the older Ford brother made in the recent Toronto election. Sure, Ford Nation as it is called really belongs to (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: Jaime

I don’t know what is going on – Twitter is never a good place to look for context or truth – but I’ll say this: Jaime Watt is one of the best at what he does. If you ever got in trouble, you’d be grateful to have him in your corner.

DeSmogBlog: Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort Threatens Grizzlies in Southern B.C., Into U.S.: Scientists

Grizzly bears in the Central Purcell Mountains are more vulnerable than shown in 15-year-old research being used by proponents of Jumbo Glacier Resort and, if the resort is built, it could threaten grizzly populations through southern B.C and into the U.S, says one of Canada’s leading grizzly bear experts.

Michael Proctor, who has studied grizzly bears in the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges in southeastern B.C. for almost 20 years and whose work is regularly published in scientific journals, recently completed two ecological analyses of the Purcell grizzly population and found, based on data-driven population surveys, that bear (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort Threatens Grizzlies in Southern B.C., Into U.S.: Scientists

Grizzly bears in the Central Purcell Mountains are more vulnerable than shown in 15-year-old research being used by proponents of Jumbo Glacier Resort and, if the resort is built, it could threaten grizzly populations through southern B.C and into the U.S, says one of Canada’s leading grizzly bear experts.

Michael Proctor, who has studied grizzly bears in the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges in southeastern B.C. for almost 20 years and whose work is regularly published in scientific journals, recently completed two ecological analyses of the Purcell grizzly population and found, based on data-driven population surveys, that bear (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, asking what we can do to make sure that individuals who seek help for their mental health and addictions issues through the criminal justice system find more support than Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did – both for their own well-being, and for the safety of the Canadian public.

For further reading…- CBC reported on Zehaf-Bibeau’s interaction with the criminal justice system. And again, Ian Mulgrew also weighed in on the failure to offer any help to somebody who was crying out for it. – Karl Nerenberg writes that the Cons’ expected response to last week’s shootings – consisting of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Oxfam studies the spread of extreme inequality around the globe, as well as the policies needed to combat it: Oxfam’s decades of experience in the world’s poorest communities have taught us that poverty and inequality are not inevitable or accidental, but the result of deliberate policy choices. Inequality can be reversed. The world needs concerted action to build a fairer economic and political system that values everyone. The rules and systems that have led to today’s inequality explosion must change. Urgent action is needed to level the playing field by implementing policies (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Climate Change Fatigue or Eco-Depression?

I got an e-mail recently from a woman who said she was weaning herself off from environmental activism.  She was burned out.  The fight had just taken too heavy a toll on her so she was hanging up her spurs.

It made me revisit a couple of conversations I’ve had with climate scientists. When, as strangers, you first meet they’re lively and full of encouraging remarks about how “we can still win this.”  Eventually, when you get to the point of small talk over a couple of beers the tune suddenly changes to “we’re so screwed.”

(Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Dystopian Present And Future

Those of us who consider ourselves progressive bloggers are well-aware of the dystopian nature of the world we live in. It is a world where black is often white, white is black, and deceit abounds. The perpetrators of environmental degradation and climate change offer us commercials showing pristine landscapes to ponder; the moneyed elite tell us that their success is our future success, and those who wage war tell us of their commitment to peace.

Sadly, Canada is not exempt from this madness. Now that the Harper regime has seized the narrative following the attacks in Quebec and Ottawa, almost (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Desperate governments the best customers of multi-national corporations – conference

Canada has the dubious distinction of being a global leader when it comes to outsourcing and privatization of public services and infrastructure. The rush to outsource comes with very little debate in our legislatures and rarely rises above the noise … Continue reading →