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Peace, order and good government, eh?: Reflections On Canada Day: The Impact Of Canadian History

I’m writing this on the morning of Canada Day 2014, thinking about all the fascinating things I’ve read about and seen, and all the people I’ve met. One thing I’ve come across is all the different parts of Canadian history I’ve studied, and how they’ve tied into many of the recent issues we’ve faced in Canada.

Take, for instance, the recent Quebec election and the idea of separatism popping up yet again; Aboriginal people disputing developments in places like northern B.C. and Caledonia; Alberta’s development of its energy resources and the disputes it’s had with other parties over the (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Wikipedia’s Entry On Momentum

Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don’t cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.

Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.

Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Final Tar Sands Healing Walk Under Way In Fort McMurray, Alberta

Hundreds of people from all over Turtle Island are currently participating in this weekend’s fifth and “final” tar sands Healing Walk, taking place in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The post Final Tar Sands Healing Walk Under Way In Fort McMurray, Alberta appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Stephen Harper’s National Energy Program May Do More Damage Than OPEC

” I witnessed first-hand the movement of an economy from historic boom to deep recession in a matter of months. A radical, interventionist blueprint of economic nationalism, the NEP caused the oil industry to flee, businesses to close and the real estate market to crash. The lives of honest, hard-working Albertans were upended and I came to know many of those who lost their jobs and homes.” (Looking Back at Trudeau, Stephen Harper, National Post, October 5, 2000)

By 2000, Harper had left the Reform Party, and was running the National Citizens Coalition, a right-wing, anti-liberal non-profit; created initially (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Edmonton Has a Massive Waste to Biofuel Facility

The province of Alberta is usually only mentioned on this site when people are campaigning against the tar sands and the destruction of the environment. Today though, the capital of Alberta, Edmonton, has done something rather great. Edmonton is home to a large industrial-scale waste processing plant that converts what would normally go into a landfill into useful energy.

Thanks to its extensive composting and recycling facilities, the city of Edmonton, Canada is already diverting approximately 60 percent of its municipal waste from the landfill. That figure is expected to rise to 90 percent, however, once the city’s new Waste-to-Biofuels (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Telus Launch Green Rooftop with Community Garden

Office building green roofs tend to be a ‘spectator sport’: look but don’t touch. Telus, one of the Big-Three telecom in Canada, launch their participatory rooftop garden in their downtown Toronto building where staff are encouraged to seed, water, weed, and harvest the vegetables. I talk to Sameer Panjwani, National Chair of Telus Green Team, to see how this environmental employee engagement initiative came to harvest.

Located in Toronto’s financial district, the thirty-floor office building is surrounded by Union Station, Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square, and the under-construction new RBC headquarters. On the fifth floor of this LEED Gold (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Alberta P3 News #skpoli

Here’s some news hot out of Alberta. Only one of them is satirical.

The other satirical bit is that Saskatchewan’s Sask Party recently announced they’d be saving taxpayers millions of dollars by starting a P3 Bike Share like Stettler had. No wait, they said they were going to build P3 schools, after the Alberta model, to build schools faster.

Bill Longstaff: Alberta politicos hedge on flood mitigation

After the great flood in Calgary last year, municipal and provincial governments agreed something had to be done to prevent another such catastrophe. There were, however, no shortage of sceptics. There would be bold promises initially, they said, but the commitments would wane with time, people would start to forget, and much less would be done than promised. The sceptics, it seems, may be

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Republic of CanAlberta

It's one of the oldest and best known pictures of Stephen Harper. The Toronto nerd dressed up as an Alberta cowboy.The one who fell in so much love with that province, he tried to put a firewall around it.But it turns out that picture couldn't be more prophetic.Because when it comes to the economy, as far as his foul Con regime is concerned.There's Alberta, and then there's everybody else. Read more »

Bill Longstaff: Could Alberta go green?

With 50 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than Ontario, Alberta is Canada’s pollution province. And that makes us think of the tar sands. But it’s more than bitumen. Alberta’s electrical power generation, heavily dependent on coal, produces almost as much greenhouse gas as the tar sands. The province gets 63 per cent of its electrical power from coal, burning more than the rest of the

Bill Longstaff: Calgary, I’m forced to admit, is a world class city

I have always been inclined to ignore talk about making my city—Calgary—world class. It sounds rather desperate, a sad sort of social-climbing by civic boosters. But now it appears that Calgary really is a world class city. How can it not be when two of the world’s top newspapers declare it to be so.

The New York Times, no less, has ranked our prairie metropolis as one of the globe’s top travel

The Canadian Progressive: Poll: Albertans clearly support stronger rules for industrial greenhouse gas emissions

by: Pembina Institute | Press Release | May 23, 2014

EDMONTON — New poll results show that 76 per cent of Albertans support the Government of Alberta requiring stronger greenhouse gas performance regulations for industrial facilities.

Federal and provincial greenhouse gas regulations for the oil and gas sector have long been in the works, and Alberta’s existing emissions rules, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), are set to expire on September 1, 2014.

However, recent media reports suggest the Alberta government intends to put off announcing any changes to its existing industrial emissions regulations until the fall, attributing the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig writes that while the Cons don’t want to bother listening to the public about much of anything, they’ll always make time for a disgraced former advisor lobbying on behalf of oil barons: In…new RCMP allegations,… [Bruce] Carson was working for the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC), described in the media as a “non-profit group formed by business organizations in the energy sector.”

This rather benign description fails to convey what EPIC really is: a lobbying vehicle for dozens of extremely wealthy, powerful fossil fuel companies, including Enbridge, Imperial (Read more…)

Peace, order and good government, eh?: The Wildrose Alliance: An Example Of Alberta Centrism

In 2012, it seemed as though Alberta’s long-running Progressive Conservative dynasty was finished. The Wildrose Alliance party, led by Danielle Smith, was set to form government.

Hence it was all the more shocking that the Wildrose lost the election.

In the aftermath of the election, Danielle Smith said that her party needed to do some “soul-searching” in regards to policies that were rejected by Albertans. Over the next two years, the Wildrose would begin moderating its political positions. It came out in support of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and denouncing intolerance against gays, even as it dumped other ideas such (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Globe and Mail joins the chorus calling for Canada to welcome more citizens, rather than exploiting cheap and disposable workers. But Bill Curry reports on yet another corporate lobby group demanding that the Cons actually expand the flow of temporary labour to secure profits at the expense of workers.

- Andy Radia discusses the laughable attempt of the Cons to rebrand themselves as anything other then enemies of the environment after eight years of constant attacks on regulations and advocates alike. And Daniel James Wright points out that the organization chosen (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: What Is This? The 1950s???

I have no idea who the parties are behind Airdrie’s Footprints For Learning Academy, but someone needs to give them a shake and educate them about a few things regarding gender and sexuality.

Their dress code is something out of the 1950s, with rigid gender roles assumed, and strict rules about who can wear what: 7.  Only one set of conservative earrings (pierced or otherwise) may be worn (by girls only) with one earring for each ear lobe.  They must be subtle and non-distracting.  No other visible piercings are allowed.  All other earrings are to be left out (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Shocking Dr. Levin

The long, twisty and sordid legal saga of Aubrey Levin has finally come to an end. Originally found guilty on three counts of sexual assault in January 2013, Levin’s five year prison sentence was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal, Wednesday.

The case has garnered international attention, due to the Calgary psychiatrist’s past as a military psychiatrist in apartheid-era South Africa. It is often alleged that during this time, he was affiliated with or led a project aimed at “curing” soldiers of being gay, by subjecting them to electroshock therapy or worse — allegations he continues to deny.

(Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Shocking Dr. Levin

The long, twisty and sordid legal saga of Aubrey Levin has finally come to an end. Originally found guilty on three counts of sexual assault in January 2013, Levin’s five year prison sentence was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal, Wednesday.

The case has garnered international attention, due to the Calgary psychiatrist’s past as a military psychiatrist in apartheid-era South Africa. It is often alleged that during this time, he was affiliated with or led a project aimed at “curing” soldiers of being gay, by subjecting them to electroshock therapy or worse — allegations he continues to deny.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Play Cowboys and Indians

Why not?

It seems to be working in Washington, DC.

And you know what? They’ve got our backs.

When ranchers are farmers and tribal communities realize that the tarsands and their toxic pipelines threaten us all, it’s pretty easy to figure out how working together gets things done.

They’re even occupying the Mall in DC. With teepees. See? Look:

#Sacred Indigenous Activists return to the #RejectAndProtect encampment on #NationalMall @WaveOfAction #WaveofAction pic.twitter.com/FISKVCQjNG

— NYCCamp (@NYCCamp) April 24, 2014

You can watch a simple summary of the Reject and Protect campaign to encourage the White House to stop delaying (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: The Temporary Foreign Workers Program and labour market discipline

While it is a truism that migrant labour built Canada, this same migrant labour has long been used to discipline domestic workers. Both facts are imprinted into the history of Canada. Today is no different and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is at the centre of debates about migrant labour. Often missing from the debate are the deep links between labour policy, (im)migration policy and the ways these interact to undermine the power and solidarity of workers.

The TFWP has become a lightning rod of criticism as details emerge of the private sector hiring temporary foreign workers (TFWs) for (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Ducks: A Story About the Tar Sands

Kate Beaton of Hark a Vagrant fame once worked in the Alberta tar sands. She recently made a short comic about her time working there (which she did to pay off student debt) and it provides a wonderful human side to the tar sands narrative.

Read the comic here.

Dead Wild Roses: Hey Alberta, Look What Norway Did. WTF?

It sucks when your government is an entity so devoid of anything resembling a spine. The Alberta government is so deeply in bed with big oil its shite and piss are black. So, rather than looking at an example of how to fuck your citizens over, take a look at a country that got it, and continues to get it right; Norway. It makes me spitting mad that we couldn’t even get a fractional raise in revenue for the people of Alberta (The Royalty Review), all the while Norway has 165,000 thousand dollars socked away (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Meet two ambassadors from Canada’s indigenous tar sands resistance

by Kristin Moe | First published by YES! Magazine on March 5, 2014

In 1885, a revolutionary leader wrote, “My people will sleep for one hundred years” and then wake up. In the “genocidal” wilderness of Canada’s tar sands, that renaissance has begun.

The debate over the tar sands has heated up once again in the United States, with nearly 400 students arrested in a protest at the White House last weekend. The arrestees were demanding that the Keystone XL pipeline be stopped.

But First Nations groups in the heart of Alberta, the Canadian province where the tar sands are (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig responds to the CCCE’s tax spin by pointing out what’s likely motivating the false attempt to be seen to contribute to society at large: Seemingly out of the blue this week, the head honchos of Canada’s biggest companies, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, put out a media release insisting that their taxes are not too low.

This defensive posture — who mentioned murder? — reveals they fear others may be slowly catching on to the massive transfer of wealth to the richest Canadians that’s been going on for the past (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Success Defeated Alison Redford

Alison Redford was defeated because her party is too successful. And there’s proof.

In politics there wouldn’t be many opportunities to test such a theory; to really know if it was the success of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives that caused Redford to resign. Luckily for this experiment there just happens to be a control group next door, it even comes with its own Alison Redford.

BC’s Christy Clark has a lot in common with Redford. Both were seen as outsiders. Both ran for leadership with little caucus support, each having only one other MLA supporting them. Both became leader of a (Read more…)