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Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Does a Politician Define Contempt?

If you’ve ever wondered how a really really bad provincial MLA explains how to define contempt for the population, you must watch this.

At least twice!

February 2, 2015 The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped! (0) February 18, 2011 Endorsing Alnoor Gova for the Burnaby-Douglas Federal NDP (3) November 29, 2014 International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders (0) March 18, 2013 #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway (17)

Political Eh-conomy: Minimum wage workers not the only ones getting screwed

I have a populist piece in The Tyee this morning on how last week’s paltry $0.20 minimum wage increase in British Columbia actually reflects stagnant wages across the economy and why the Fight for 15 is everyone’s fight. Here it is in full.

Last week, the B.C. government reacted to the increasing push for a higher minimum wage… by giving minimum wage workers a 20 cent raise. Even Business in Vancouver magazine quoted UBC labour economist David Green calling the new higher wage “laughably low.” What perhaps hasn’t received enough attention is that the two-dime bump in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!

Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!

And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Pink Washing: Does This Pink Shirt Really Say Enough?

By Emily Griffiths

Pink Shirt Day is almost upon us. The annual campaign to raise money and “awareness” on the issue of “bullying” takes place on February 25. As this date approaches, I’m sure you’ve noticed an inundation of bright pink. Even at this very moment, I am sipping my tea from a Blenz paper cup, wrapped in a festive Pink Shirt Day cardboard sleeve. Blenz is one of “a bunch of great businesses [that] are holding fundraisers during the month of February with proceeds going to Pink Shirt Day.” Blenz doesn’t actually give money; they just provide us (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?

Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Excuse Your Child from the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)

Well, it’s that time again: Foundation Skills Assessment in BC.

There are so many things wrong with the FSA tests. I won’t go into them here, but you can read about many of them in these places:

Foundation Skills Assessment: Another Dirty Trick The BCTF on the FSAs.

And so you know, the BC Ministry of Education has an information FAQ for parents and a brochure. Neither tells parents that/how they can exempt their students from this silly test. No surprise. While the government “says” it doesn’t support the use of test results for school ranking, the BC (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Cares About Fixing Poverty in BC?

Well, it’s the Poverty Reduction Coalition!

One of their many activities is to send recommendations to the government when the government deigns to ask people for their ideas. The Finance Committee is an all-party committee of the legislature, so the government usually ignores their recommendations.

As citizens, we need to make the government respond to our demands, particularly when legislative committees provide pretty good recommendations!

Here’s what’s going on this year, from the Poverty Reduction Coalition.

Read it, below Then email, phone [250.387.1715], tweet or Facebook the premier and tell her to listen to the Finance Committee (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Shhh, The Bold Revolution Has Started

We live in tumultuous times:

Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper’s racist editorial cartoons, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Pipelines, fracking, dirty energy, tankers The destructive Site-C dam (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion

Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Political Eh-conomy: No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Peace River Valley

No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Here’s a piece I wrote for Ricochet after getting riled up by *some* of the arguments against Site C. The full piece is here.

To shift off fossil fuels we’ll need more large scale, public energy infrastructure

As the movement against pipelines rapidly grows, more and more often you can hear the question, “We know what you’re against. What are you for?” The debate over the future of power generation in British Columbia offers some lessons for how to answer this question and not fall victim to a privatized (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: No thanks Uber, I’m not signing your petition

So the ride-sharing app Uber is urging Vancouverites to sign a petition on its site to put pressure on the City to allow Uber to operate. An ad for the petition invaded my Twitter feed and I decided to take a closer look. Here’s the petition with my commentary. Spoiler: no, I’m not signing.

Uber begins by laying out “the situation”:

British Columbia and Vancouver are home to the quintessential winter playground, shining examples of liveable cities, and a launching pad for countless innovators and trailblazers across many industries.

That’s why so many residents are disappointed by Vancouver’s limited transportation (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Kind of Politicians Ignore THEIR OWN SCIENTISTS?

In BC and Canada, politicians actively ignore the people and their own scientists. Why?

OK, you tell me.

What do you call politicians who ignore their own scientists?

It’s not a trick question.

What if scientists tell their political bosses about the climate impacts of ramping up a mythical $1 trillion LNG industry, then the politicians ignore the warnings so they can go frack ahead anyway?

Ignorant? Stupid? Corrupt? Bought-off by industry? Science-deniers?

I don’t really know. It’s just so irrational.

But are they fit to lead? No.

If it’s all about the mythical job-creation capacity, green jobs create more (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

This is an international day of action, so check the event page to see what’s up in your town, for TOMORROW!

And if there’s nothing at your home, be the change!

Let’s consolidate our recent victories and continue moving public opinion to transitioning to the post-carbon energy infrastructure: wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, rail, transit, energy retrofits, solar roadways, ET3 hyperloop system.

via International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders.

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) July (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

Politics, Re-Spun: Entitlements? What About Understanding UNentitlements?

Punishing irony.

OK, I’m fine admitting it. I focus on entitlements a lot. I’m often trying to encourage people to examine our unexamined entitlements: race, age, economic class, gender, sexuality, etc.

But one way to understand entitlements is to understand how unentitlements work.

I’m guilty of overlooking this. Until today.

Read this, below, then read the rest of it. See if you don’t weep.

And ask yourself if BC Liberal MLAs can read this and understand what they don’t know about unentitlements.

This same boy, earlier in the year when the weather was just getting cold, was wearing flip flops (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Climate deals and pipeline steals

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/podcast-141128-oil-and-climate.mp3

Today’s episode is focused on the economics and politics of climate change, both more globally and locally.

To get a global perspective on the state of climate negotiations and the recent US-China climate deal, I speak with Leigh Phillips, a science writer and journalist who has written for Nature, the EU Observer and many other publications. His article on the China-US climate deal is here and he also has a book coming out early in 2015 so be on the lookout for that.

My second guest is economist and former head of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Tens of Billions Wasted

How much will we keep spending to develop more fossil fuels when we know we have to stop to avert climate breakdown?

$88b/year?

More?

How about zero. It’s time to redirect that money to wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro so we can stop exacerbating our climate crisis.

Redirect NOW!

Let us end this silent accord to let the carbon energy interests destroy us.

And let’s leave coal and nuclear behind too.

Deal? Good.

Now go let our corrupt politicians know we won’t stand for this nonsense anymore.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Will British Columbia be the Last Pacific Jurisdiction to Legalize Pot?

Washington took recreational marijuana off the state criminal books two years ago.  Last night voters in Alaska and Oregon followed suit.  California is expected to do the same in 2016.

Imagine.  British Columbia, the province once known for “B.C. Bud”, could be the last jurisdiction on the Pacific Coast to have a criminal prohibition against marijuana growing, possession and/or sale.  And that, like so many other things that grate on British Columbians, is because the power to change is held by Ottawa – and held over our heads, as usual.

Ottawa has final say, sort of.  Law enforcement agencies (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Work, Dignity and Living Wages?

A strong union. Corporations that understand the social contract. Corporations that know a tad smaller profit here contributes to more dignity throughout society. Corporations that recognize the value of unions. The living wage in Vancouver this year is $20.10, almost double the minimum wage. The “precariat” are precarious proletariats. We have too many of them; but fewer in Denmark! Let’s follow their lead!

What Danish fast food workers have that their American counterparts do not is a powerful union, and fast food franchise owners who are willing to make a little less of a profit, though they still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome, Dropping Oil Prices!

So, expensive oil made the tarsands and LNG more financially attractive if not climate-destroying.

We know this because…science! Unless you are a science-denier.

But even with and prices AND demand dropping, we are seeing the makings of a real flattening of long-term stability in demand that can fundamentally undermine the BC Liberal Party’s ignorance-embracing lust for LNG, fracking, oil, gas and coal.

If you want to see what resilience looks like, and how the global carbon energy market is going to poke holes in the BC Liberal Party’s science-rejecting, short-sighted energy policy, read this piece below, and sign up for (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Big LNG Tax Regime Vomit Bucket

Cue sweet new day[tm] political campaign music, invoking images of a unicorn flying over our quaint village, then Robert Redford in voiceover:

“LNG will be a $ trillion sector, reaping billions in revenue for the province [due to some kind of gruelling tax regime] so we can become debt-free, and pay for the best public services in the solar system, and bring trade junkets to the Golden Temple of Amritsar thrice yearly!”

Cue Law and Order “Bum Bum” loop:

After months of delays, release the actual tax rates. [Place face in palm, in advance.]

It will never be (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok.

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

July 6, 2010 More Bad News for Dreams of Solid Journalism (1) November 15, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)