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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

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…)

Bill Longstaff: Producing the wrong oil?

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

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: PMO: Anger Betrayal Deception; Oil

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…)

Bill Longstaff: Alberta creates a Minister of Renewable Energy

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

The Canadian Progressive: Neil Young’s 4-city concerts to benefit First Nation’s tar sands fight

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.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Alberta Bills 45 and 46

Others have spoke very eloquently about the problems with Bills 45 and 46.

What I want to bring to readers’ attention is how the Redford Government is abusing not just legislative procedure, but democracy itself.

It is not unusual for this government to limit debate on bills.  What is unusual is to introduce a motion limiting debate prior to tabling the bill itself.  No MLA should ever have voted in favour of limiting debate on a bill without first having had the chance to vet it.  Yet, that is precisely what has happened here.  In the Hansard from Tuesday, November (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

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…)

Alberta Diary: ‘Ethical Cannabis’: Is it time to make … ‘The Case for B.C. Bud’?

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on what Saskatchewan can learn from some significant developments in privacy law in Manitoba and Alberta.

For further reading…- Paul Broad and Daniel Michaluk introduce Manitoba’s new private-sector legislation.- Alberta’s similar legislation is here, while the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision striking it down is here. In particular, see paragraphs 37-38: PIPA imposes restrictions on a union’s ability to communicate and persuade the public of its cause, impairing its ability to use one of its most effective bargaining strategies in the course of a lawful strike.  In our view, this infringement of the right (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta Tar Sands Boom Poses Economic Risks to Canada: Report

A new report by the Pembina Institute and Équiterre warns that the rapid pace of Alberta tar sands development poses economic risks to Canada, other provinces.

The post Alberta Tar Sands Boom Poses Economic Risks to Canada: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Neo-militarism shows up on Alberta license plates

The neo-militarism seeping out of Ottawa seems to be infecting Alberta. The province has announced it is unveiling a new license plate which will bear the “Support our Troops” slogan along with the symbolic yellow ribbon. The plates will complement the current veterans’ plates which bear a red poppy.

Offering two plates honouring soldiers is doubly excessive. There is, after all, no plate to

Left Over: BC is Sold Out Again: Christy & Allison

Northern Gateway Pipeline Pricetag: Enbridge CEO Lauds Alberta-B.C. Deal, Updating Price

CP | By Lauren Krugel, The Canadian PressPosted: 11/06/2013 11:20 am EST | Updated: 11/06/2013 4:02 pm EST

I applaud the NDP for standing against the encroachment and destruction of a pipeline, and the only reason Crusty got elected is that she made noises about being against it…not the other way around…who writes these articles analysing the election as lost because the NDP didn’t support the pipeline..hogwash~! Now that she’s shown her true colours by sucking up to Redford and Alberta, those who voted for her (or didn’t vote because they (Read more…)

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Edmonton’s Medical Laboratory Proposal: A Private Insanity

I wrote the following post as an op-ed in the Edmonton Journal, October30, 2013. I hope it plays a part in halting the privatization of Edmonton’s medical laboratories.

The Alberta government is proposing to give the private sector a 15-year contract to run medical laboratory services in Edmonton. This policy meets the popular definition of insanity: a condition where you do the same thing again expecting a different result. The government proposal has been tried many times before, twice in Alberta, and it has not worked.

In 1996, premier Ralph Klein sought a private-sector provider to deliver all laboratory services (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Progressive Alberta

Seemingly in defiance of Alberta’s reputation as a very conservative province, voters in Calgary and Edmonton both elected young, progressive mayors yesterday.

Calgary elected the 41-year old Naheed Nenshi for a second term and Edmonton chose the 34-year old former city councillor Don Iveson. Nenshi supports a more compact city with increased density in the inner city and levies on suburban

Terahertz: Albertans choose progressive mayors

After a surprise victory in the 2010 purple wave, Naheed Nenshi became one of Canada’s most popular mayors during his handling of severe floods in Calgary earlier this year.

Few predicted any chance of him losing his position in yesterday’s election and perhaps the only shock was the size of his victory, with 74% of the city voting for him.

Meanwhile, Edmonton saw a heated race as popular incumbent Steve Mandel opted to retire on a high note (rather than be unseated like most of his predecessors). Three councillors stepped forward to challenge for the seat, with Don Iveson’s ‘policy (Read more…)

Terahertz: Sex Workers to MLA: Buy local

Some stories you can’t make up.

Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Alberta MLA Mike Allen was charged in the summer with prostitution while on a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota. He left the governing Progressive Conservative caucus and currently sits as an independent.

He has been consulting with his constituents on whether to resign his seat and has attracted the support of an unlikely source:

…sex workers in Mr. Allen’s riding of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo want him to continue as their MLA.

The press release also states “that his activities in Minnesota would be lawful, private and welcome in Alberta, where (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that to end your weekend.

- Daniel Goleman writes about the role of wealth in undermining empathy: (I)n general, we focus the most on those we value most. While the wealthy can hire help, those with few material assets are more likely to value their social assets: like the neighbor who will keep an eye on your child from the time she gets home from school until the time you get home from work. The financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations — with those of the same strata, (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Judge likens Alberta government to Duplessis regime

The tar sands gang does more than muzzle scientists. It also muzzles environmentalists. This came out loud and clear in a recent case before Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

Last year, the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition (OSEC), a group consisting of the Pembina Institute, the Alberta Wilderness Association and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association, filed a Statement of Concern with

The Disaffected Lib: "Unequivocal"

Leaving no doubt; clear; unambiguous.   The latest IPCC report concludes that mankind’s influence in driving climate change is beyond doubt, clear and unambiguous.   Anthropogenic global warming is here, it’s here to stay and, unless we want a better future enough to change our ways, it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse in our grandkids’ future, our kids’ future and even in our own.

For, you see, it’s already having major impacts.   Those floods in Calgary, the floods in Toronto, the floods in Colorado, the floods in Europe and across Asia?   Welcome to the (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Alberta’s Sales Tax Phobia

Ever since I was a child growing up, Alberta has made a big deal about how we don’t have a sales tax.  Back in the day, when resource revenues were perhaps more predictable because the markets didn’t move as fast as they do now, perhaps that was a good thing.

I had started to advocate that we should consider a sales tax in Alberta back in the early 1990s when we were climbing out of the second brutal recession in a decade.  Even then, it was apparent that the government’s revenues were far too unstable.

So, when Jack Mintz proposed (Read more…)

Left Over: The Emperor Prorogues, Then comes to BC with his Rogues….

Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push B.C. First Nations leaders to meet with key federal officials Sept. 23 in Vancouver By Chris Hall, national affairs editor, CBC News Posted: Sep 12, 2013 6:03 PM PT Last Updated: Sep 13, 2013 7:21 AM PT


We are ready for whatever BS ol’ Emperor Steve and the Klown Circus is ready to throw at us..what an ego! He prorogues for the nth time and then expects to sail into BC and ‘charm’ us into acceptance? That is a pathetic joke, and he will NOT succeed..we are prepared (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Memo to Obama: Canada’s carbon problem IS the tar sands

Canada’s Harper-ment is getting increasingly desperate. The quest to double production out of the Alberta tar sands needs new pipelines (or rail). In recent months, we have seen new proposals for pipelines to the west and to the east, amid further delays of the KeystoneXL pipeline to the south. The success of US activists (environmentalists, but also first nations, farmers and ranchers) in delaying a decision on KeystoneXL is significant: this project was viewed as a slam dunk a few years ago; now there is a very good likelihood of it being denied. To sway the decision, the PM has (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Energy policy think tank sues Alberta over right to speak at tar sands hearings

The Pembina Institute is suing the Government of Alberta over its decision to bar the energy policy think tank from participating in the regulatory review of a proposed in situ oilsands project.

The post Energy policy think tank sues Alberta over right to speak at tar sands hearings appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mariana Mazzucato points out that important inventions tend to come from public financing aimed at the greater good – while noting that we should also look to ensure greater public returns on our collective investments: Images of tech entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are continually thrown at us by politicians, economists, and the media. The message is that innovation is best left in the hands of these individuals and the wider private sector, and that the state—bureaucratic and sluggish—should keep out. A telling 2012 article in the Economist claimed (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Alberta and the Climate Change Deniers

Well now we know what climate change could do to Alberta. At a minimum, temperatures in Alberta are expected to increase by 2 C over the next hundred years; all available global climate models predict this outcome. In response, Alberta's ecosystems are projected to shift northward: for example, the parkland landscape around Edmonton will come to resemble the grassland landscape around Calgary. At the upper end, under a high global greenhouse gas emissions scenario, the climate models predict drier conditions and temperature increases of up to 6.5 C, which could result in the near-complete loss of the boreal forest from (Read more…)