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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on Donna Harpauer and the Saskatchewan Party are dismissing their own advisory group’s recommendation to work to cut Saskatchewan poverty in half by the end of the decade.

For further reading…- The StarPhoenix echoes Donna Harpauer’s defeatism.- Danielle Martin and Ryan Meili make the case for a basic income, which appears as one of the advisory group’s recommendations.  – And for a review of the multiplier effects of different fiscal choices, see Mark Zandi’s analysis here (PDF) – showing infrastructure spending and income supports accomplishing far more than tax cuts or corporate giveaways.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley should avoid getting dragged into oilsands election trap

When Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper claimed on the campaign trail last week that Alberta’s new government was “a disaster,” Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci calmly and cautiously responded. But when Mr. Harper again criticized Alberta’s new… Continue Reading →

Montreal Simon: Simon’s Summer and the Great Con War on the Senate

Well I have to admit that I too am now deep into the Canadian summer, and don't feel like writing about politics, or doing anything too strenuous. I just want to have fun with my buddy Sébastien.As humble as that might be. Yikes. How low have I fallen?But I just HAD to share this great joke with you.It seems that Stephen Harper and his fellow oil pimp Brad Wall are about to declare war on the Con Senate !!! Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Brendan O’Neill writes that the UK Cons are following in Stephen Harper’s footsteps by pushing the concept of thought policing. And George Monbiot rightly criticizes the gross inflation of supposed terror threats and simultaneous neglect of far more serious risks: A global survey published last week by the Pew Research Centre found that while the people of North America, Britain, Australia, Japan, France and Germany see Isis as the greatest threat they face, most of the countries surveyed in poorer parts of the world – Africa, Latin America and Asia – place (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jerry Dias discusses how the Cons have pushed Canada into an avoidable recession by slashing useful funding in order to send out pre-election baubles: How far has Canada’s economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada’s economy was “the envy of the entire world.” That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous.

The Bank of Canada cut interest rates for the second time this year, but few expect this to pull us out of the tailspin. After all, Canadians are already tapped out: household debt now (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: While Brad Wall is “Showboating” Rachel Notley Moves On

“Premier Wall says that if standing up for your industry and your province is showboating, take me to the bridge.”—Brad Wall’s response to Rachel Notley’s comment that Wall was “showboating” on the eve of the premiers’ meeting.

Brad Wall is the second provincial premier (Jim Prentice was the first) who tried to take a bite out of Rachel Notley and ended up crumpled on the floor.

The brouhaha started when Mr Wall said Ms Notley had given Quebec a de facto veto of future pipelines when she said Quebec would support such pipelines if Alberta demonstrates it’s taking (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On governing alternatives

As David Climenhaga points out, Brad Wall has positioned himself as the heir to Stephen Harper’s throne as the voice of the anti-democratic corporate elite. But let’s note that Wall and his mindset aren’t without some jarring approval within the media.

For example, I’ve already highlighted John Ibbitson’s argument that the federal NDP should be concealing the fact that it’s talking to people who can help with preparations in the event that voters choose to elect it. (As an aside, that theory is as politically inexplicable for a party focused on being “ready” for government as it is offensive (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley strikes a collaborative tone in Canada’s pipeline debate

This week’s Council of the Federation meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland marked Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s first appearance on the national stage since the NDP won a stunning victory in the May 5, 2015 provincial election. The new premier used the meeting to strike a more… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Can the Great Wall of Saskatchewan resist Rachel Notley’s wish to put democracy back into energy politics?

PHOTOS: Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers in Newfoundland, with St. John’s Harbor visible in the background (CBC Photo). One hopes they didn’t have to walk up that hill! Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (CP Photo). The acerbic public disagreement between Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at […]

The post Can the Great Wall of Saskatchewan resist Rachel Notley’s wish to put democracy back into energy politics? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Montreal Simon: Brad Wall and the Attack of the Oil Pimps

As I told you yesterday, those of us who live in Central Canada are under attack by the wild eyed oil pimp Brad Wall.Who says if we don't accept his West-East pipeline, he'll cut off our equalization payments and leave us freezing in the dark.And although it's going to feel like forty degrees tomorrow we are worried.Because it seems that nothing will stop him !!! Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Before the fall

Shorter Brad Wall: The whole concept of “From many peoples, strength” doesn’t do much for me. But “From many dinosaur remains, climate devastation”, now that gets me – and any right-thinking Westerner – all tingly with pride.

Montreal Simon: The Con Oil Pimp Brad Wall Declares War on Central Canada

Oh great. Just what this broken bleeding country needs. Another Con oil pimp like Brad Wall, the Premier of Saskatchewan.Sweeping out of the West to declare war on Central Canada. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On half measures

Having written this column a couple of weeks back on electoral financing in Saskatchewan, I’ll take a moment to address this letter to the editor in response from R. Curtis Mullen.

It’s indeed true that Saskatchewan has spending limits which apply during an election campaign. But the Canada Elections Act does in fact regulate both donations and campaign spending, leaving little room for anybody to argue that it’s an “either”/or situation.

More importantly, though, campaign spending limits fall short of addressing the principled basis for donation restrictions on two fronts.

First, they do nothing about the problem of concentrated donations.

(Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley NDP waste no time implementing popular progressive agenda in former conservative heartland

Banning corporate and union donations: Check. Restoring funding to health, education and human services: Check. Increasing corporate taxes: Check. Introducing a new climate change strategy: Coming soon. Phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage: Coming soon. Reviewing Alberta’s natural resource… Continue Reading →

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Senate’s failure to provide any second thought on C-51 may serve as the ultimate signal that it has nothing useful to offer Canadians.

For further reading…- PressProgress’ look at the Senate’s sad history is well worth a read. The CBC reports on the Auditor General’s findings about the widespread abuse of public money. And Ian Austen offers a U.S. perspective on what comes next for the Senate.- Meanwhile, Karl Nerenberg explains why abolition is well within reach if anybody is willing to take a leadership role in pursuing it without reopening other (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party is trumpeting the “success” of a hiring freeze in which the entire government saved $8 million in a quarter – or roughly $32 million per year – by not hiring staff.

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party has increased the cost of consultants in the Ministry of Highways alone by roughly $50 million per year by using more expensive outside contractors rather than hiring staff.

Anybody else think the Saskatchewan Party might be freezing the wrong kind of spending?

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s devaluation of the music teacher (among other cultural and community-building parts of our schools).

For further reading…- CBC reported on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s decision to eliminate school bands here, and Janet French did likewise here.- The Star-Phoenix’ editorial board weighed in here. And now, even the Saskatchewan Party is pretending to oppose what its policy choices have wrought.- And for those looking to support the students trying to save their band program, Shawna Langer’s petition is here.

Accidental Deliberations: The mystery advantage

Shorter Brad Wall:

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall looks to face plenty of new political challenges now that he can’t rely on an Alberta PC dynasty to do much of his dirty work for him.

For further reading…- I briefly addressed the same issue with a particular focus on privatized MRIs in this post. – Wall’s history of relying on Alberta donors (with PC help) is discussed here, here and here among other places. – Finally, Dave Cournoyer wonders what will become of the Alberta PCs’ remaining patronage appointments. And David Climenhaga discusses the limited future of the PCAA – (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh highlights how Ontario employers are exploiting temporary workers rather than making any effort to offer jobs which can support a life: Under Ontario’s antiquated Employment Standards Act, which is currently under review, there is no limit on how long a company can employ a worker as temporary before giving him or her a permanent job.

There is nothing to stop employers from paying temp workers less than their permanent counterparts, nothing to prevent them from hiring their entire workforce on a “temporary” basis if they so choose.

“If the employer knows (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On private choices

Among the other noteworthy impacts of Rachel Notley’s resounding election victory, right-wing governments elsewhere can no longer point to Alberta as the worst offender when it comes to breaking down universal public health care.

And it may not be surprising that Brad Wall is offering to play that role instead, with two-tier access to MRIs representing just the latest attack. But Wall may learn the hard way that if Alberta can topple a political dynasty over its corporatist preferences, Saskatchewan voters are even less inclined to serve as the thin edge of the wedge in destroying one of our province’s (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On personal protections

Where Brad Wall will admit just one “lapse in judgment” in his office’s deliberate release of Peter Bowden’s personal information for political purposes, I can count several – with a staffer’s working for Wall in the first place, following his instructions, and expecting not to be thrown under the bus for Wall’s decision looming high on the list.

Fortunately for Wall’s staffers, they’re apparently being granted far more privacy protection than the whistleblowers they’re being paid to attack.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the treatment of Peter Bowden’s concerns about patient care demonstrate that the Saskatchewan Party can’t tell the difference between partisan and public interests.

For further reading…- The background to the story, including Bowden’s comment on understaffing at his Oliver Lodge workplace, was reported on by Clare Clancy here. CBC highlighted the apparent retaliation against Bowden here. And Mike McKinnon reported on the privacy breach involved in the release of details of Bowden’s suspension here.- And Murray Mandryk has already weighed in on the privacy concerns here and here. (Though I’ll note that the Saskatchewan (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On radioactive proposals

Never mind Brad Wall’s hand-picked group of nuclear industry shills using public money to further their own profits found that nuclear power is not price-competitive even among an artificially limited set of options absent a substantial carbon price – and that Wall himself refuses to set one.

And never mind that a subsequent public consultation found that “the overwhelming response…was that nuclear power generation should not be a choice for Saskatchewan”.

When it comes to locking in a high-cost, high-risk nuclear plant just as renewables are emerging as a viable large-scale alternative, Wall won’t take “no” for an answer. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on Brad Wall’s appalling admission that the Saskatchewan Party’s plan for a low-carbon economy is to move into Ontario’s basement rather than pursuing sustainable development in Saskatchewan.

For further reading…- Wall’s comments and other provincial positions in the lead up to this week’s premiers’ meeting can be found here. – Geoffrey Vendeville reported on the earlier cap-and-trade agreement between Ontario and Quebec. And Yasmine Hassan discussed the massive Quebec climate change rally.- The Saskatchewan greenhouse gas bill which has been passed but never proclaimed in force can be found here (PDF).- Joe Romm reports on (Read more…)