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Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me!

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Deep Deep Racism, Shhhh!

Shhh, this is uncomfortable. It might make you ashamed.

Hopefully it will anger you to action?

First Nations burial grounds in BC have less protection than settler cemeteries.

Along with desecration at a Musqueam burial site, someone is building their home on top of another burial ground on Grace Islet off Saltspring Island. On stilts [see the horrible details below]. And the person building this home was once fined $150,000 for putting fake safety labels on retail products. Sigh. Morality much? Ever?

The minister responsible said in the legislature that Grace Islet’s “owner” “and the archaeology branch had (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Translink Impedes Transit Use

Translink is “being evasive on exactly how much money is being spent on this.”

via Compass Card program delayed again by TransLink – British Columbia – CBC News.

How’s that for not surprising.

Translink is notorious for its taxation without representation: taking municipalities’ money without providing democratic representation to municipalities. This was a gift from the provincial government years ago to keep local communities from directing their transportation infrastructure.

And now, Translink continues to be evasive about how much money they’re spending on the Compass card system and turnstiles, in place ostensibly to stop fare evasion. They’ve always been (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Temporary agency workers struggling with low pay and economic insecurity: CCPA report

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives examined the rise of temporary agency work in British Columbia, proposes reforms to better protect workers.

The post Temporary agency workers struggling with low pay and economic insecurity: CCPA report appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Opponents Vow To Stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline

First Nations groups say that the pipeline would disrupt their traditional seafood harvest and endanger their culture.

The post Opponents Vow To Stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.

With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.

In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Historic Supreme Court Ruling Grants Land Title To Tsilhqot’in First Nation

In a historic ruling written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted land title to British Columbia’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation.

The post Historic Supreme Court Ruling Grants Land Title To Tsilhqot’in First Nation appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Federal NDP Plans to Alienate Eco-Voters

Mulcair wants to out-Liberal the Liberals led by the charismatic son of a charismatic Liberal prime minister.

He will fail:

“I think what Canadians want are people who are realists, who understand for example the importance of our extractive industries and the creation of jobs but they also want to have a government that’s actually going to enforce rules of sustainable development like polluter pay. We can do both.”

via NDP signals move to mushy middle | Globalnews.ca.

They should do neither!

This is stunning for Mulcair to trot out.

Not only is he ignoring that green energy (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: On talking about priorities: Oil spills and teachers strikes

On the same day one week ago, teachers in British Columbia began a full strike and the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline was approved by the Canadian government. With such telling coincidences, it is hard not to juxtapose the two broad social conflicts in which BC has become a flashpoint: that over the quality of public education and that over the expansion of fossil fuel development.

This juxtaposition is made across the board. Writing in support of additional education spending financed by higher taxes, SFU economist Krishna Pendakur closes with this point:

B.C. must be one of very few places (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice

Earlier today, citizens reacting to Stephen Harper’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline put B.C. Conservative MPs on notice.

The post Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

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…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Harper Will Regret Approving the Enbridge Pipeline: Forest Ethics

Vancouver-based environmental group Forest Ethics says Harper’s approval of the politically toxic Northern Gateway pipeline may cost him the 2015 election.

The post Harper Will Regret Approving the Enbridge Pipeline: Forest Ethics appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO]

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Enbridge’s vice president lies about winning over local First Nations [VIDEO] First Nations vow to fight Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project Elizabeth May Questions Harper on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline [VIDEO] Enbridge Inc Rebuked: “This is not an Enbridge animation” (VIDEO) Five strategies to stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline

The post Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO] appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

. . . → Read More: THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline: First Nations “Disgusted” With Harper’s Approval [VIDEO]

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: First Nations vow to fight Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project

“We are prepared to go to unprecedented lengths to conserve and protect our territories and waters from heavy oil” – First Nations Leadership Council

by: First Nations Leadership Council | Press Release | June 17, 2014

Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – On December 19, 2013 the Joint Review Process released its report on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project which included 209 recommended requirements for approval of the project. Today, the federal cabinet announced that it would approve the project. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), which is composed of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Five strategies to stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline

by: Brent Patterson | First published by The Council of Canadians on June 16, 2014

A map of Enbridge’s proposed $6.5 billion Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. Map from Mining.com

The Harper government must announce its decision on the 525,000 barrels per day Northern Gateway tar sands export pipeline by midnight tomorrow.

On CTV’s Question Period yesterday, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, said, “We fully expected the Harper government to make every effort to ram this project through. But…there’s enormous solidarity here in British Columbia between First Nations people, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines!

Well, I found yet another [like this] study showing how many MORE jobs we’d get by moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure and dumping LNG, tarsands, pipelines and all the other Mordor Industrial Complex BC and Alberta are embracing.

Not only is dumping the carbon energy infrastructure essential to do what we can to minimize the effects of climate change/breakdown, it’s also good for the economy, good for jobs, and in particular, good for highly trained union workers.

So unions should be lining up to skip the short-sighted, short-term gains of a few thousand carbon energy jobs in (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Updates: Ricochet, Piketty Forum and more coming soon

I’m in the midst of a spell of travel and other work that’s been keeping me away from posting new content here. Another week or two and I should be able to return to much more regular updates of this blog. For the time being I wanted to mention two things that might be of interest to readers here:

Ricochet

I’m happy to be joining Ricochet as a contributing editor. Ricochet is a new entry into the media landscape in Canada: crowd-funded and independent, bilingual and pan-Canadian. The aim is to focus on traditional investigative journalism and hard-hitting analysis. I’m proud to be (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Soft Fascism Look Like These Days?

We don’t see brown shirts and jackboots, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing the de-democratization of our society.

In Vancouver this month, armed police with guns drawn, raided a house because they suspected people inside not of being terrorists, but of spray painting “No Pipelines” all over the place.

Read Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti | Warrior Publications.

But in Harper’s Canada, opposing pipelines is deemed by the climate change deniers as an act of economic terrorism, which we will likely see in a far more pronounced fashion if in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The BC Government Doesn’t Know Who Graduates With What. What?

I know. It’s true.

The BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education has no data on who has graduated with what from BC universities in the last 40 years.

I know, hey.

You’d think it would be interesting to them, even because maybe some of them were curious.

Maybe some of them would want to do some kind of planning, about what kind of society we want to have, what kind of jobs people are in as the world evolves. And suchlike.

I got this crazy notion of asking because of this tweet:

For college majors, we’ve basically swapped education for (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Forget global superstar, Vancouver’s housing troubles start at home

Vancouver was the star of a recent New Yorker article that shone a light on the city’s lack of housing affordability and linked this lack to an inflow of foreign buyers. Unfortunately, this link is extremely tenuous, as most of the support is anecdotal or based on very limited data. At the same time, there are good reasons to look for the sources of the lack of affordability much closer to home. Articles like that in the New Yorker allow for far-flung conclusions that end up bolstering a fatalist political narrative about the potential for meaningful change.

First, the data. The New Yorker (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Denmark and Germany Show Us How Easy It Is

Seeking some climate justice and labour justice?

You’ve come to the right place. Here’s how Denmark and Germany are showing us that it isn’t brain surgery. Why re-invent the wheel; just steal ideas from people who already get it. Simple!

Denmark

Someone once told me that Starbucks stores in Safeway grocery stores need to hire staff based on the unionized rates in the Safeway. The prices are the same and Starbucks isn’t going bankrupt.

It turns out that in Denmark, strong unionization has led to $21/hour wages at…wait for it…McDonald’s. That’s higher than Vancouver’s new 2014 living wage of $20. (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The All-Calgarian PC Party leadership race

TweetAnother Calgarian has entered what has been, at least so far, an all-Calgarian Progressive Conservative leadership race. Announcing his candidacy in the contest to become the next PC Party leader and premier, former Infrastructure minister Ric McIver declared he would bring a “common-sense new approach to replace insider, establishment thinking, with new common-sense thinking.” The first-term MLA and former three-term […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy, For Democracy

Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin

When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”

It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.

It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Does BC’s Neglect of Poverty Constitute a Eugenics Plan?

There has been a great deal of talk in recent decades about the cycle of poverty, how it’s a vicious circle that children have difficulty getting out of.

Human chromosomes with telomeres stained fluorescent red. Copyright Nakamura et al.

It makes sense. If parents are short on economic resources, have to work multiple jobs, have little free time to nurture their children, it can impede children’s growth.

What if poverty actually harmed children physiologically, not just impeding socio-economic opportunities? Wouldn’t that then constitute a plan to ensure the poor really, really, really stay poor?

An underclass?

It wouldn’t be a (Read more…)