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Trashy's World: Alberta floods, where’s Steve?

As far as I can tell, the only reaction from Harper concerning the horrible situation in southern Alberta has been this piece on conversations that he had with Premier Redford and Calgary Mayor Nenshi indicating that Feds will help out if needed. But where is he? Shouldn’t he be there filling sandbags or something? Is [...]

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Mark Gongloff reaches the unsurprising conclusion that a tax system warped to favour the interests of the wealthy leads to greater inequality (but not the promised growth): Slashing top tax rates has had none of the positive effects on economic growth that the supply-side economists promised us, the NBER paper points out. Instead, it has just worsened income inequality.

There are other factors driving income disparity, including a rise in investment income (think stock dividends) compared to earned income (think wages). The recently soaring stock market, helped along by the Federal Reserve, is (Read more…) Calgary: A Tale of Two Slates

If you’ve been paying attention to Calgary’s municipal election over the last week you would likely have heard about the Manning Centre, a $1,100,000 donation by the home builders to “in order to bring Preston [Manning] on board,” and the recent comments by Cal Wenzel on buying council members — earning influence for his industry [...]

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Broadbent Institute’s “Union Communities, Healthy Communities” report discusses the significance of the labour movement in achieving positive social outcomes. And Rick Smith concurrently writes that the right’s attacks on unions represent a solution in search of a problem: (W)hen unions are strong, the gains that they make for their members in terms of decent wages and benefits spill over into non-union workplaces. In the face of Canadian conservatives trying to portray unions as some kind of impediment to economic growth and productivity, actually examining this empirical evidence is instructive.

Economists agree (Read more…) the rapidly rising share of all income going to the top 1% in the US and Canada since the early 1980s is explained in significant part by declining unionization. US-style de-unionization would clearly make Canada a much more unequal society than is already the case.

And . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links Alberta In Open Revolt

Allison Redford has a problem. Between mayor Mandel unleashing his fury on her government and the University of Alberta’s rage at the province’s letters of expectation progressives across the province are finally coming to see that Redford is simply not on their side. For the Liberals who saw that supporting the Progressive Conservatives preferable to [...]

Politics, Re-Spun: Free Speech and the Privatization of Public Space

Donald Smith was protesting a sign at Glenmore Landing in Calgary’s southwest Sunday that bans political demonstrations. [CBC]

The privately owned parking lot near the prime minister’s constituency office asserts that protesting is prohibited. On the surface, this looks like the prime minister is impeding the constitutional rights of expression and peaceful assembly.

I’m sure he finds this all quite convenient, but a large hidden issue in this is the privatization of public space.

Can I prohibit protest in a space I own? Possibly.

Can I lament at the amount of space deemed to be public [parking lot, shopping mall] (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Idle No More in Calgary #AblegCares

So, myself, Joey Oberhoffner, Derrick Jacobson (@AlbertaAltruist), Marc Doll (@DollHouseYYC), and Stephen Anderson (@StephenDAnderso) got together to eat tacos. For charity. For every taco eaten we’d get our pledges to donate. Pretty simple. Also, pretty awesome. With an anonymous donor matching up to $5,000, we just had to eat as many tacos we could. And [...] Hey Calgary, you should donate blood.

Pop The Stack: Who ever said Canadian politics was dull?

What an exciting day to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren’t paying attention, that’s who. At least four exciting things happened yesterday. Yes, four.

First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was found in violation of the Conflict of Interest act and will be removed from office. Essentially, he voted on something he really shouldn’t have and clearly took pride in not knowing how the process of government works as a defense. A process which he has been involved in for 15 years. Fascinating.

Second, we find out that Mark Carney, you know, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: By-election Monday; Plan to Fix Democracy

Well, the polls are closed in Victoria, Calgary, and Durham, ON so it’s time for some results. Since the voters of Durham were foolish enough to stick with Oda after her first waves of scandal until she burned out from too much $16 orange juice, they obviously stuck with the party of election fraud, and [...] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: By-election Monday; Plan to Fix Democracy

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #YYCCentre By-election Pie Debate

The latest candidate debate in Calgary Centre riding had a twist, it was also a meat-pie contest. The winning pie, provided by the NDP candidate, was bison-tourtiere. The silliness didn’t stop there though, not when there’s a Sun TV, Wild Rose Party hack running as the pieholder for the Conservative Party. Joan Crockatt avoided many [...] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: #YYCCentre By-election Pie Debate

Trashy's World: Friday miscellany…

… unapologetically-a-fan-of-my-MP edition… I am getting more than a little pissed off about the treatment that my MP, David McGuinty, is getting these days just because he lost his composure for an instant and blurted something that, albe… . . . → Read More: Trashy’s World: Friday miscellany… Justin in Calgary: Harvey Locke and Justin Trudeau

Pop The Stack: Progressive Voters Unite! …Around Someone…

So in case you hadn’t heard there is a by-election coming up on Monday, three in fact, and the polls look interesting. The most exciting is the by-election in Calgary Centre where polls indicate a three way race between the Conservatives, the Liberals and (deep breadth) the Green Party.

Now I’m on the record as being very in favour of strategic voting in elections so I won’t go over all that again. Check out this amazing site run by 1CalgaryCentre which is trying to organize voters to choose a single progressive representative for their riding. If this works it could (Read more…) Bob Rae Questions Infrastructure Funding for Calgary

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CBC Porn? #CBCporn

Sun News has a reputation for not being very accurate, in an attempt to excite their right wing base. They also employ professional liars. One story told by SUN involves CBC broadcasting porn, which isn’t what they do, obviously. This exaggeration was repeated by a CPC candidate in #YYCcentre on Saturday night, and prompted her [...] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: CBC Porn? #CBCporn

Bill Longstaff: A paean to the Elbow River

Last Friday I attended a ceremony that involved giving thanks that fit nicely with the Thanksgiving weekend. It was, in fact, an offering ceremony, conducted by a Blackfoot elder and his assistant.

In 2008, our community association petitioned The City of Calgary to name a picturesque little park in our neighbourhood “Mok’nstsis.” The word is Blackfoot meaning “elbow,” considered appropriate as

Slap Upside The Head: Rob Anders Says Something Stupid (Again)

My former MP, Rob Anders, a fierce opponent of “homosexual sex marriage,” has once again done something incredibly dumb. Rick Mercer explains it nicely.

350 or bust: Fun at Calgary’s Oil and Bank Towers

I am away from my computer for two weeks, as my husband and I explore more of one of our favourite places in Canada, Newfoundland (AKA “The Rock”). While I’m away 350orbust will be featuring guest writers and some of my favourite columns revisited, as well as some random stuff that I think is important [...]

CalgaryLiberal: Calgary turnout for the Liberals in the 2012 provincial election (Map)

Courtesy of Calgary Manifesto

Left Over: It’s 40 below, and I don’t give a ….

Stampede celebrates 100th anniversary

For all those barbaric yahoos who enjoy torturing animals for fun, entertainment, and most of all – can keep your little circus…leave the rest of us out of it.. CBC..perpetuating this anachronism is beyond belief..if you polled, nationally, I think you’d find that most Canadians would not be interested in this sort of Stompede ‘entertainment’. And I am in BC, so enough with the Quebec insults..the “West” doesn’t end in Alberta, but the delight in this sort of ugliness, thankfully, does…. I am seriously considering not reading the online CBC in

. . . → Read More: Left Over: It’s 40 below, and I don’t give a ….

Bill Longstaff: City charters—progress for Calgary and Edmonton?

The municipal level of government is the orphan of our political system. Cities are, under the Constitution, creatures of the provinces. In 1867, making municipalities wards of the provinces may have made sense; most people lived on farms or in small towns serving the farms. Eighty per cent of Canadians were rural. Today, eighty per cent are urban. Canada is part of the greatest human migration

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Mosaic 2012 #WHYQR

I had an excellent evening out in Regina with my wife, family, and friends. I met some Ward 1 residents too along the way, including Joe and his wife. Joe’s writing a book about Regina, and it may be available by the end of this year. He also had very interesting comments about municipal politics here, including an idea (not acted on 30 years ago) to do away with the Ward numbers, and focus on geographical names with more meaning instead. Hillsdale, Douglas Park, and Whitmore Park would have meaning to more local people than “Ward 1″. I would have

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Mosaic 2012 #WHYQR

Bill Longstaff: Calgary’s RiverWalk gains international recognition

Two main ideas contend for how rivers should be treated as they flow through cities. One says they should be left as natural as possible, bordered by grass and trees and unobtrusive pathways. The other says they should be urbanized with paved walks, viewpoints and other urban amenities. Personally, I believe it depends on the area. Throughout most of their length, natural may be preferable, or at