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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…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Simushir and BC’s Energy Future

[I was finishing my presentation to the BC government Finance Committee for their 2015 budget the other day. Now Simushir has begun to threaten ecological disaster. That puts a new context in here as I submit my ideas today. I'm very concerned about the next few hours, weeks and decades.]

BC Must Take the Lead in Building the Post-Carbon Energy Infrastructure

On this final day of the 2015 budget submission, the Simushir is adrift off Haida Gwaii and may create Canada’s first massive oil ecological disaster. This should frame our discussion about energy, climate change and the environment, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: People Want BC Corporations to Pay More Tax

…or do they?

Every year the BC government consults with citizens on what should go into their budget.

Last year over 25% of the online survey respondents said new revenue should come from increased corporate taxes, triple the rate of people who thought personal income taxes should go up.

But there are problems with that; see below:

Programs and services are largely funded by tax revenues, and government works to balance where the money comes from. How would you generate one new dollar of tax revenue from among the sources below?

- from Report on the 2014 Budget Consultations

Problems:

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Clean Energy is Actually the $Trillion Sector, Not LNG

According to Analytica Advisors, the global demand for clean energy technology was estimated at $1.1 trillion in 2012 and projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2022. It also estimates that the cleantech industry in Canada grew nine per cent in 2012. In the same period, the mining, oil and gas sectors grew by only 0.3 per cent.

In B.C., Globe Advisors found the cleantech industry was responsible for 123,000 jobs and $15 billion in GDP in 2012. In Vancouver, green jobs increased by almost 20 per cent between 2010 and 2013, with (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Most know that coal contributes to climate change and coal dust is an environmental problem.

But old men skew far higher in supporting a coal terminal anyway.

Are old men just stupid, or are economic benefits just more important to them?

via Your Insights on Coal Exports in Metro Vancouver | Insights West.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) May 20, 2014 Denmark and Germany Show Us How Easy It Is (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Political Eh-conomy: On the hunt for good jobs

There’s lots of talk about “good jobs” these days. At the same time, the expectations for what makes work not only “good” but even a “job” keep falling. It’s hard to fight for better (and less) work in light of decades of defeat for workers as an organized force, years of lingering post-crisis fallout and constant reminders that neighbours, robots, migrants…everyone is coming for whatever job you may have left (I have an article about this last bit in the upcoming issue of Briarpatch).

In a world of part-timers, permatemps, temporary migrants, contractors, sub-contractors, Uber “partners”, Taskrabbits (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Actually making the carbon tax revenue neutral could fund a fair education settlement

As the teachers’ strike continues, the BC Liberals have turned to an old stand-by: fear-mongering that they will have to raise taxes if they are to fund a settlement that includes key demands like class size and composition limits. Ignore the fact that the government has shown itself consistently unwilling to even consider any such settlement; ignore also that there is nothing inherently evil about taxes. Even taking the government seriously here, there’s one source of education funding that the BC Liberals aren’t talking about, the carbon tax.

While debate rages about whether BC’s carbon tax is regressive or progressive (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: BC teachers and First Nations on the frontlines

My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/podcast-140905-bc-frontlines1.mp3

My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Politics Catch Up: Pipelines, Planes, Cities and Rob Anders

TweetSpending a few days in another province can sometimes give you a different perspective on important national issues. Spending the last week in British Columbia served as a good reminder to this political watcher about how emotional the debate around pipelines and the Oilsands are in Alberta’s neighbouring province. While I am sure opinion is divided in B.C., I lost […]

Politics, Re-Spun: When Shaming Survivors is Not Enough: Police-State Motives Behind Sexual Assault Transit Ads

Photo credit Instagram: @the_noush. Permission to use granted.

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit Police got burned in the media recently, when rad feminist transit riders called them out publicly for their summer-line of sexual assault ads. These ads use language that shames the survivors of sexual assault, stating, “the real shame of sexual assault is that it goes unreported.” It turns out that the transit police were the ones doing something that “doesn’t feel right” and making riders “uncomfortable.”

The whole thing was a PR blunder for the transit cops, who realized it right away and are now (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Mount Polley: Questioning business as usual

There are many frames that can be used to try to understand the disaster that unravelled last week at the Mount Polley mine in central British Columbia when a dam holding in a tailings pond burst and spilled millions of litres of toxic sludge into creeks and lakes. My aim here is to make such an attempt using the metaphor of embedded, concentric circles that draw on broader and broader contexts of the spill.

At the centre is the mine. The very first reports and company statements claimed that the dam holding the tailings pond at Mount Polley mine was functioning correctly (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

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…)