Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.
- David Atkins emphasizes the need for progressive parties and activists to discuss big ideas rather than settling for the path of least short-term resistance: Both the poor and the middle class feel threatened and increasingly pessimistic. Opinions of elite institutions across the board are at an all time low. Whether on the right or left, few believe anymore that anyone in government, business, or politics is actually looking out for their interests. In a world like this, the move to ensure that every single individual in society has an equal, infinitesimal chance to (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo
A new study by Environment Canada confirms what First Nations and environmentalists have been telling us all along: the Alberta tar sands are increasingly becoming a threat to our water sources.
The Toronto Star reports: “New federal research has confirmed that water from vast oilsands tailings ponds is leaching into groundwater and seeping into the Athabasca River. Previous studies using models have estimated the leakage at 6.5 million litres a day from a single pond.
“But the Environment Canada study used new technology to actually fingerprint the mix of groundwater chemicals in the area. It (Read more…)
As scientists have demonstrated in the past, the strip mining and tailing ponds employed on a Mordorific scale in northern Alberta are polluting ground and river waters.
Sorry #tarsand shills, but turns out you’ve been lying all along when you’ve said that areas surrounding the tarsands are not being polluted. You may have to be honest with yourselves before you can be honest with others. If you can’t be honest with yourselves, it’s time to stop lying to others and bow out of the conversation.
@andrew_leach @codyincalgary Norway allows 30mg/L oil in water discharged to the sea. 9500 (Read more…)
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Michael McBane highlights one of the less-discussed changes in the Cons’ 2014 budget – as it officially eliminates the federal distribution of health care funding based on provincial need in favour of handing extra money to Alberta: The Harper government is eliminating the equalization portion of the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and replacing it with an equal per capita transfer. This means that less populous provinces with relatively larger and more isolated populations will have more and more difficulty delivering more expensive universal health services.
Likewise, provinces with relatively larger proportion of (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Rick Smith hopes that the Cons’ backtracking on income splitting means that they won’t go quite as far out of their way to exacerbate income inequality in the future: (T)he unfortunate reality is that we are still becoming ever more unequal, a trend due in large measure to political choices. Many countries have found ways to mitigate the growth of income inequality, while in Canada the policy response has tended to reinforce rather than offset the trend.
We know that since the mid-1990s, the social role of government has been dramatically cut back (Read more…)
Alberta’s Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith has offered what on the surface sounds like a good idea. Her party is proposing the province transfer 10 per cent of all its taxes—personal and corporate income taxes, education tax, tobacco tax and fuel tax—and 10 per cent of any budget surplus, to municipalities to spend as they see fit. In the 2015-16 budget year, Smith says, municipalities
Inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/george-canyon-alberta-country-singer-seeks-conservative-nod-1.2509176
The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry, the Conservative Party and the right-wing media has gone all-out in its attacks on Neil Young for his stance against their destructive policies and actions. One thing that these corporate wolves and subservient sheep overlook is that, of course, Neil Young is right.
The main arguments by the Conservative tarsands mob are that:
1) Young hasn’t lived in Canada for a long time, so he has no right to talk about anything that happens in Canada.
2) He’s a rich rock star, so he has no right to talk (Read more…)
While Neil Young very publicly feuds with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and its ally the Canadian government, tar sands production continues to systematically advance Alberta’s position as the country’s pollution province. Already producing more greenhouse gasses than Ontario, despite having less than 30 per cent of its population, tar sands expansion will have it producing
I’m starting a short series of 3 blog posts today deliberately with the top climate change story in Canada. There are huge stories also in the RoboCon election fraud scandal, and the PMO-Senate scandals, but it’s climate change that will have the longest lasting impact in Canada and the world.
Canadians have been fortunate for a long time, in that few of us consider the possibility of living through a war on our own soil. Most Canadians are people, however. All people on Earth are at risk of experiencing war, and Canada is even involved in one today, but not (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- John Cassidy makes the case to call the U.S.’ war on poverty a success – pointing out that there has been a meaningful reduction in poverty over the past 50 years connected almost entirely to government programs. But lest that be taken as an indication that there’s no need to do more, Jared Bernstein points out that if economic growth had been distributed as it was in the postwar boom, poverty would have been eradicated by the mid-1980s – rather than persisting among tens of millions of Americans today as inequality (Read more…)
Canadian rock legend Neil Young has blasted the Harper government for “trading integrity” in its single-minded appetite for Alberta tar sands dollars.
The post Canadian Rocker Neil Young Blasts Stephen Harper, Alberta Tar Sands appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Seeing that yellowish burning orb in the sky would be a nice change of pace right about now.
Lovely UofA Campus, featuring the roof of SUB and the Education Building in the distance.
Filed under: Canada Tagged: Alberta, Gloom, UofA, Weather
There is a belief commonly held that the private sector will always be “more efficient” than the public sector. Outside of the United States, nowhere is that more prevalent than in Alberta.
Alberta has moved regulatory oversight of the Oil Industry to an “arms-length” regulator … which is funded by the very industry it is overseeing.
More than 75 environment officers who watched over oil industry activities left the provincial environment department this fall, to take higher paying jobs with the new industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that having an industry-funded (Read more…)
Just a few days ago, I wrote about how we are experiencing an emerging police state. Today, we find Edmonton’s Chief of Police demanding additional powers to seize vehicles that are being “driven excessively fast”.
The police chief in Alberta’s capital is renewing a push for the provincial government to give officers the legal power to seize the vehicles of motorists caught driving at dangerously excessive speeds.
Rod Knecht says police in Edmonton are routinely catching people driving more than 50 km/h over the posted limit. There have been 879 such cases in the last two years, he (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Bill Moyers offers up a superb summary and reading list on inequality: Inequality in America: How bad is it? In 2011, Mother Jones published a series of charts capturing the depth of inequality in the US, which remains one of the best big-picture looks at the problem out there. We have greater inequality of accumulated wealth than income, and University of California sociologist William Domhoff’s “Who Rules America” provided the details. In The Atlantic, Max Fisher offered a map of global inequality that named the US among the most (Read more…)
Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- Joseph Stiglitz discusses the link between perpetually-increasing inequality and the loss of social trust: Unfortunately, however, trust is becoming yet another casualty of our country’s staggering inequality: As the gap between Americans widens, the bonds that hold society together weaken. So, too, as more and more people lose faith in a system that seems inexorably stacked against them, and the 1 percent ascend to ever more distant heights, this vital element of our institutions and our way of life is eroding.
The undervaluing of trust has its roots in our most popular economic traditions. (Read more…)
The Joint Review Panel has ruled on the viability of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and the result is as expected. The panel, established by the National Energy Board and the federal environment minister, has determined that the pipeline, which would carry bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands to the B.C. coast for tanker export, would be in Canada’s best interests and has recommended it
Our lying Prime Minister felt betrayed and angry, and … deceived?
The scheme only became public after a CTV news report on the evening of May 14.
The next morning, said Harper, he met with Wright, the successful Toronto financier he had brought to Ottawa in 2010 to be his right-hand man.
“He told me what he had done,” said Harper.
“I think, to be frank, my first series of reactions were probably in the realm of more stunned and disbelief.
“I, for the life of me, still can’t figure out – I don’t think anybody can figure out – (Read more…)
Occasionally a spark of hope interrupts the dreary flow of environmental news. Such a spark occurred in Alberta last week with the announcement by Premier Redford that Donna Kennedy-Glans would be the new Associate Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy. The ministry will be the first of its kind in Canada.
Considering that Alberta’s heavy reliance on coal results in it being responsible
Neil Young’s 4-city Canadian concert tour to raise money to support the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s legal defense against tar sands developments.
The post Neil Young’s 4-city concerts to benefit First Nation’s tar sands fight appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Assorted content to end your week.
- Stuart Trew fleshes out the Cons’ new(-ly explicit) Corporate Cronies Action Plan – and it goes even further in entrenching corporate control over policy than one might have expected at first glance: – The makeup of the advisory panel that consulted with Trade Minister Fast skews the new Action Plan in favour energy- and water-intensive agricultural export sectors, multinational business represented by the CCCE, and the energy sector. There was no worker representation on the advisory committee. And the involvement of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is arguably more of a (Read more…)
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…)