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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Assault On Organized Labour In Canada

In Alberta, the Redford Government just passed one of the most offensive and blatant attacks on labour that we have ever seen.  It is uniquely focused on the civil service unions in the province, but that does little to ameliorate the degree of wrong that Bills 45 and 46 represent to Alberta’s workers.

In Saskatchewan, the government recently passed another batch of legislation which very directly attacks organized labour.

Then, in Ottawa, the Harper Government is set to pass its own legislation designed to undermine Canada’s unions. 

All of these laws ultimately are aimed at dismantling the ability of (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Could be right. Could be wrong. #nlpoli

If you accept the provincial government’s version of things, spending a half a billion dollars more than you are collecting is a responsible decision.

That’s the headline the government’s communications people put on the news release covering the release of the fall budget update.

And if you look at either the Telegram or the CBC version of the story,  the biggest thing to notice is that the provincial government deficit is $100 million less than originally forecast.

Let’s take a deeper look and see what is there.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Keystone Kops Ride Again #nlpoli

We already knew that the provincial cabinet had abandoned their budget before the document had been debated in the House.  That happened last week when the Premier ordered the justice minister and the attorney general to abandon the cabinet-approved cuts in the justice department.

Less than 12 hours after meeting with the same officials justice minister Darin King consulted before cabinet approved the cuts, King and attorney general Tom Marshall (right, not exactly as illustrated) told reporters that whatever those officials had said would now be the policy.

The change of policy is breathtaking enough.  Not only will some of the laid-off court security officers be rehired, but cabinet has also lifted the hiring freeze to allow the High Sheriff to immediately hire more staff.  Someone will also be appointed to conduct operational reviews of the three departments – High Sheriff,  legal aid and Crown prosecution service – involved in . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Keystone Kops Ride Again #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Lady is for Turning #nlpoli

Only a few days ago, natural resources minister Tom Marshall was telling us that the Premier was an Iron Lady.  A compassionate one, mind you, but an Iron Lady, nonetheless.

Firm in her decisions.

Unyielding under pressure.

Tom was telling us that Kathy Dunderdale and Margaret Thatcher were made of the same stuff.

What?

No. 

Tom was not drunk.

No.  He was not stoned, either.

And it was not April Fool’s.

Knock it off and keep reading.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Lady is for Turning #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Damn the finances! Full spend ahead! #nlpoli

We don’t know precisely what economist Wade “the Can-Opener”  Locke is doing to earn his loonie from the Newfoundland and Labrador taxpayers.

Finance minister Jerome Kennedy hired him this year to give advice on how to manage the province’s financial mess.  According to the Telegram his contract caps of his pay at $75,000 for a couple of months work.  Locke says regardless he’ll only bill a dollar.  That’s decent of him given that the university is giving him 80% of so of his usual paycheque now that he is on paid research leave from his usual job.

Now Locke has given the provincial government advice before on everything from Equalization to the annual budget to Muskrat Falls.  We don’t know what, if anything, he got paid for those other stints, but that’s really neither here nor there.  The thing is that Locke is closely tied to the current administration and . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Damn the finances! Full spend ahead! #nlpoli

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio March 28: Federal Budget 2013, urbanization in Kenya and the tar sands “staples” trap

Download: earthgauge-podcast-march28-2013.mp3

We love covering local stories on Earthgauge and this week, we get just about as local as we can, focusing on some compelling environmental research taking place at Carleton University in Ottawa. We also take a look at the environmental provisions of last week’s federal Budget 2013. We have 3 interviews on today’s show:

Glennys Egan on the environmental and human impacts of urbanization in Kenya Brendan Haley on the tar sands “staples trap” Andrew Van Iterson on the environmental measures in Budget 2013

We also have our usual update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budget downs and ups #nlpoli

Earlier this year, our government projected a deficit for 2013-14 of $1.6 billion.

We are now forecasting that the deficit has been significantly reduced to $563.8 million – a billion-dollar improvement to our bottom line.

That’s the way finance minister Jerome Kennedy started the 2013 budget speech in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.  He said the dramatic change to two factors:  more money coming in and “deliberate actions” by government to “rein in spending.”

One Telegram story on the 2013 budget ran with the idea of extra cash:  “Unexpected oil revenues help with deficit”.  Eight million extra barrels of oil production will bring in $265.5 million in new cash.

A CBC online story said the billion dollars came from two places:

Just over $301 million of the billion-dollar boost over recent projections is attributed to government cuts. Another $696 million came from improved expected revenues for the . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budget downs and ups #nlpoli

Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on EG Radio: Budget 2013, urbanization in Kenya and the tar sands “staples trap”

We love covering local stories on Earthgauge and this week, we’re getting just about as local as we possibly can, focusing on some compelling environmental research taking place at Carleton University in Ottawa. Earthgauge contributor Juanita Bawagan will be speaking with Glennys Egan who is a Masters student whose research is based on issues of urbanization in Kenya. She has spent a significant amount of time living and working in that country and she’ll join Juanita to talk about her work there with Street Kids International and the environmental and human impacts of urbanization.

In our second half hour, I’ll

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on EG Radio: Budget 2013, urbanization in Kenya and the tar sands “staples trap”

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Debt is Passed: Budget 2013 #nlpoli

The throne speech promised that the same Conservative financial management that produced the current financial mess would continue and they delivered in Tuesday’s budget.

The strategic problem remains unchanged

The Conservatives will continue to spend billions in one-time cash from oil and minerals.  That’s the structural deficit people have been talking about and the Conservatives have done nothing to change that.

Tuesday’s budget gave us the year-end cash figures for 2012 and the forecast for 2013.  Here’s the chart from Monday’s post on deficits and surpluses that shows spending and the non-oil revenue.  We’ve updated it to include the cash figures for 2012 (actual) and 2013 forecast from the 2013 Estimates.  Remember that the Estimates are presented on a cash basis.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Debt is Passed: Budget 2013 #nlpoli

Montreal Simon: The Harper Cons and the Great Job Scam

Gawd. I should have remembered I'm living in Harperland, not Wonderland.I should have realized why that damm cat was laughing at me eh?I should have known you can't trust those two old Con artists, Steve and Jimbo, no matter what they say.I should have known it was all a scam.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Jimbo Flaherty’s Incredible Shrinking Budget

Well, let's start with the good news eh? Jimbo Flaherty got a fabulous new hat to go with his new shoes when he presented his latest budget today.Or as the Cons call it, his Porky Action Plan 2013.And the bad news?The hat was bigger than the budget. Read more »

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: No adult supervision #nlpoli

Not even 24 hours after the Premier insisted that the daily layoffs would continue until finance minister Jerome Kennedy delivered his budget speech,  Jerome issued a news release  – at 1:30 PM – announcing that they would be holding off on further layoff announcements until he delivered the budget speech.

As it turned out, NTV’s Mike Connors had tweeted around noon that the “Premier says government has decided to stop the trickle of layoffs until budget day.”  CBC’s David Cochrane tweeted the same thing.

Cochrane and Connors also noted that, as Cochrane put it, “Premier says more than 500 jobs will be cut in budget. Not all layoffs. There is retirement incentive. No more cuts until budget.”

Meanwhile, 17 employees in a raft of departments got word today that they were headed for the door.  Apparently, those are the last ones until the budget speech.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: No adult supervision #nlpoli

Alberta Diary: Alberta budget primer: when they say ‘tough decisions,’ they really mean … ‘decisions that will be tough on you’

Typical Albertans await tomorrow’s budget aboard the Good Ship Richest Place on Earth. Alberta may not actually be as damp as illustrated. Below: Premier Alison Redford. Why is this woman smirking?

Oh, we’ll squeeze you till the pips squeak, Premier Alison Redford seemed to be promising Albertans yesterday, as we nervously awaited the provincial budget that is to be brought down, possibly in flames, this afternoon.

Well, we’re all really looking forward to that out here in the pothole-riddled Richest Place on Earth, I can assure you!

This is different, of course, from the promises Ms. Redford was promising back

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta budget primer: when they say ‘tough decisions,’ they really mean … ‘decisions that will be tough on you’

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budgeting Control and Resources #nlpoli

Shortly after the 2003 general election, the newly elected Conservative politicians accepted a proposal to cut down the number of health boards and education boards across the province.

Save money, they said.

Save money, the politicians repeated.

And so it happened.

As it turned out, the consolidation didn’t save any money.  It certainly didn’t reduce the public service payroll, a goal the Conservatives set out in their election platform.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budgeting Control and Resources #nlpoli

The Canadian Progressive: Budget 2013: NDP Urges Harper To Change Course, Put Canadians First

Budget is an opportunity to start building a fairer, greener, more prosperous Canada By New Democrats (Press Release) |Feb. 21, 2013: OTTAWA – With our economy continuing to underperform and structural imbalances worsening, NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale – High Park) is calling on the Conservative government to change course and take action to better READ MORE

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: “Doom and gloom” #nlpoli

Seems that finance minister Jerome Kennedy isn’t the only fellow out there conducting the annual budget “consultation” farce this year.

According to the Southern Gazette, justice minister Darin King “acknowledged, as part of a small cabinet committee appointed by Premier Kathy Dunderdale to bring budget recommendations back to government, he was asked to split the pre-budget consultations with Mr. Kennedy.”

Apparently, the idea is to have a bunch of ministers fan out across the province so they can come back with ideas on how to get through a “couple of years” when oil production will be down and

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: “Doom and gloom” #nlpoli

cartoon life: The #ldnont 2013 budget: Gang of Eight

First: The images were treated in Popsicolor and brought into ProCreate for layering and painting. Two wonderful apps. Second: The images have a Creative Commons 3.0 Copyright. Third: It is surprising how partisan they have become with the addition of the red paint spots.

They said they could get four straight years of 0% tax increase without service cuts. Ain’t gonna happen.

Filed under: art Tagged: budget 2013, city, councillors, current events, Gang of Eight, illustration, ldnont, politics

. . . → Read More: cartoon life: The #ldnont 2013 budget: Gang of Eight