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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Canada’s Economy: Not Exactly Healthy

If you are a worker, you already know that Canada’s economy is a mess.  The only people who don’t seem to know it are at the top.

Press Progress published a very detailed analysis of how messed up our economy is today.  A few of the highlights: First, the good news: Corporate Canada’s profits have hit a 27-year high, according to a new report by CIBC World Markets. Bay Street has never been happier, right? 

Well, there’s just one little catch: new Statistics Canada data shows the Canadian economy shrank in January. All those layoffs and store closures you’ve (Read more…)

Terahertz: Lunney unleashed

Citing media “intolerance and bigotry”, anti-science Canadian MP James Lunney has quit the government caucus to sit as an independent. Among Lunney’s claim to the crown as Canada’s least scientifically literate MP are:

He doesn’t believe in evolution He’s a chiropractor He’s claimed there’s a link between vaccines and autism He doesn’t believe the climate is changing

In his surreal press release (dated March 31, not April 1), he states that he will address his religious beliefs in Parliament at his next opportunity, which sounds like it will be a hoot. Lunney claims that Christians are being persecuted in Canada, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Baird Gold

It's probably nothing: Foreign Minister John Baird lobbied by Barrick Gold Corp.

— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) March 30, 2015

It’s not easy for a long-time politician to leave public life, even if they have a golden parachute.

The Disaffected Lib: That Burnt Smell, That Hissing Sound? That’s the Fuze.

Well, if nothing else, Stephen Harper might just have earned Canada a ringside seat to the outbreak of a Middle East regional war.  The way the International Crisis Group sees it, the Saudi air war on Shiite Yemeni rebels might just be the burning fuze that explodes the Sunni-Shia powder keg.

Obama and the Euros are trying to calm the situation, urging a negotiated peace between Yemen’s Sunni government and the Houthi rebels but, according to the ICG, the mixed up gaggle of players aren’t in the mood for talking.

No major party seems truly to want to halt what (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: “Bill C-51 is reckless and dangerous,” says OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson

Testifying before the House of Commons public safety committee on Monday, OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson said Harper’s anti-terror Bill C-51 is dangerous, reckless and ineffective.

The post “Bill C-51 is reckless and dangerous,” says OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Things Are Good: Alternatives Journal Spells Out Canada’s Map to Sustainability

Canada has a horrible international reputation when it comes to the environment. The federal government even has climate change deniers and actively supports the shameful tar sands. At Alternatives Journal they have worked with some of the smartest people in Canada to show Canadians there’s no reason to continue down the self-destructive path we are on.

Within the issue they look at many aspects of Canadian life from cities to mining.

THIS IS THE most important issue that A\J has ever published. It will land in the hands and mailboxes of more Canadians than any issue in A\J’s 44-year existence. (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: More Spy Stuff

The bottom half of this page is all about CSE.

Canada’s had a recent track record that’s bad. PONY EXPRESS ring a bell? So what is our watchdog really doing? Not much, judging by recent news reports.

If you're in Canada I'll be on @cbcasithappens shortly talking about our story exposing CSEC's secret hacking.

— Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) March 23, 2015

cmkl: Canada’s public sector keeps private sector pain at bay: Michael Babad in the Globe

Okay, that’s my take on his headline. Unlike him, I am morally and contractually bound not to repeat the enemy’s framing. At least in a headline. But apart from that Babad’s commentary in the Globe today is just about right. It’s a critique of a CFIB study complaining about how much harder life is for … Continue reading Canada’s public sector keeps private sector pain at bay: Michael Babad in the Globe →

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…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Criminalizing Protest

Now, legitimate protest is under threat once again. Not just overseas, in some far-off dictatorship with cockroach-infested prisons, but here, where the divide is economic and political and increasingly bitter. It’s environmentalists who are the new fifth columnists, and new mechanisms are being forged to squash them.

That’s from Elizabeth Renzetti’s article yesterday. We’re no longer environmentalists who recognize the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, we’re “anti-petroleum extremists.”

This two-minute video explains the importance of being anti-petroleum (h/t Lorne):

Bill C-51will criminalize “activities that undermine the security…economic or financial stability of Canada.” They’re (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Inequality, global and Canadian


I have two guests to talking about inequality today. First up is Branko Milanovic, who speaks with me about global inequality as well as the rise of a global plutocracy. One of the world’s foremost experts on inequality, Branko is professor at the CUNY Graduate Centre, where he also heads the local affiliate of the Luxembourg Income Study Centre, former chief economist at the World Bank’s research unit and author of the The Haves and the Have-nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. He blogs regularly; it’s always interesting.

I’m also happy (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Don’t Be A Scared Tool

Here’s a song for radicalized Canadians to sing.

I’m white and scared (clap clap) They want my guns (clap clap) And veils are wrong (clap clap) Except on nuns! (clap clap)

“I’m white and scared (clap clap) you know it’s true (clap clap) I’m scared of terror (clap clap) Because I’m a tool (clap clap).”

— Hat tip to Jay Bird

The Disaffected Lib: Filipinos Trash Stephen Harper

I couldn’t have said it better myself.“Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is an embarrassment to the civic-minded and environmentally conscious Canadians.” That’s the assessment of Filipino priest and environmentalist, Father Robert Reyes, speaking on behalf of environmental and public health activists protesting 50-cargo containers full of hazardous waste that have been sitting in Manila for the past 600-days. Philippine customs impounded the containers in June, 2013.  They were designated as plastic waste for recycling but were found to contain, instead, hazardous waste. Canada says it can’t force the exporter to re-export the hazardous materials but the Filipinos (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Case for Pharmacare. It’s Better and It’s a Big Money Saver.

Canada is the only developed country that provides universal health care that doesn’t also have universal pharmacare coverage.

A new report claims that not only can Canada implement such a system, it could save Canadians billions.

In Monday’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers say the extra total cost to government of providing universal pharmacare could range as high as $5.4 billion a year, but would likely be about $1 billion, depending on exactly how much can be saved through bulk purchases of medications and other measures.

At the same time, it would save the private (Read more…)

Left Over: A Secular Choice…..and the Right to Choose

Niqab controversy: Judge struck down ban without referring to charter Zunera Ishaq, a Pakistani woman and devout Muslim, seeks to wear niqab during citizenship oath

By Mark Gollom, CBC News Posted: Mar 16, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015 5:20 AM ET

An intelligent decision by this judge, based not on the erroneous argument of Charter-guaranteed religious freedom (wearing the niqab is not a mandatory law in any form of Islam) but because a citizen’s right to wear whatever they wish is the real point…and all those rightwingers who try and create cultural animosity towards all Muslims are (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Manufactured Terror: Bill C51

Stephen Harper wants you to be afraid. VERY afraid. If you’re frightened, you likely won’t question his and his party’s destruction of the country, the decaying economy, job losses, homelessness, the ignored murder of aboriginal women, the muffled and cowed bureaucracy, hobbling the CBC, undermining Canadian science and scientists, and our waning credibility on the […]

Dead Wild Roses: Too Much Joy Over Alberta’s Bill 10 (GSA’s in Schools) – Missing the Point


Allow me to put on my cynical hat for just a second to analyze the recent legislative flip-flop by the Alberta Government. I’d like to investigate why it is wrong to paint the narrative of this picture as anything other than shameless pandering to the people of Alberta.

We’ll let the Edmonton Journal set the stage:

“EDMONTON – In a stunning about-face, the Progressive Conservative government Tuesday passed a new law making the approval of gay-straight alliances mandatory in Alberta schools, a move celebrated as a leap forward for human rights in the province.”

This is (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Forced Birthers On the University of Alberta Campus

Well it had to happen sooner or later, the viciously anti-woman contingent of local forced birth brigade came to campus with their misleading fetus porn and all the lovely related argument for women to be incubators first and people second.

Thankfully the feminist and queer communities counter demonstrated to help push back some of the nonsense being spread.

Helpful hints for the local forced birth advocates.

Filed under: Canada, Culture, Feminism Tagged: Forced Birth Advocate Fail, Helpful Hints, Pro-Life Bullshit, Universtiy of Alberta

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Forced Birthers On the University of Alberta Campus

Terahertz: E-petitions come to Canada

Congrats to Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart on getting enough support to make his dream of e-peitions in Parliament a reality. After the next election, Canadians will be able to submit petitions online, forcing a response to every petition over 500 signatures.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a small change, but it’s one that makes democracy easier, not harder. In an age of restrictive voting ID laws and robocall fraud, it’s good to see a positive tool for democratic engagement win support.

Currently, petitions in Canada have to be signed on paper and the originals sent to (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How You May Be Able to Be a Better Feminist

I don’t need to add anything here. If you like/hate what you read, click the link and get up to speed on the rest of it!

White feminists: this is a call for you to get your shit together. The point of equality isn’t to claw your way to the top so that you can treat other people just as badly as white dudes have treated you — we need to elevate each other, amplify each other’s voices, and maybe let someone else tell us if we’re allowed to be on their team. Because, as per Flavia Dzodan, if your (Read more…)

Eh Types: Mr. Harper’s Veiled Threats

What do you call a solution without a problem? If you’re Stephen Harper, you call it an election strategy. The Conservative government has been proposing solutions in desperate need of problems. That they do so at all, and the manner in which they do is ironically a big problem. Last week was their announcement that […]

Dead Wild Roses: We Need to Properly Fund the CBC

The CBC does such a remarkable job for a mere pittance per Canadian. We need to up the ante and properly fund the CBC at least to the average amount, $82 dollars. Imagine no commercials on CBC Radio 2 and a sharp curtailing of the ‘adult contemporary’ drivel and a return to the classical haven Radio 2 once was. Oooo…warm and snuggly feelings all over in DWR land.

Time to properly fund the CBC.

Filed under: Canada Tagged: Canada, DWR PSA, Onwards to a new and brighter CBC!, Politics

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: We Need to Properly Fund the CBC

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: “I have looked at the numbers.” – PM about Wallin’s Expenses

Pamela Wallin’s disgrace has been taking place in slow motion, with the latest chapter hitting headlines again.

“In terms of Sen. Wallin, I have looked at the numbers,” Harper told the House of Commons two weeks ago.

“Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling [sic] from that particular area of the country over that period of time.”

Yet the RCMP allege she committed fraud. Similar to the Nigel Wright bribe for Senator Duffy, no charges have been laid despite the RCMP’s findings.

RCMP: "After reviewing hundreds [&] hundreds of e-mail exchanges…" But PMO said they had (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Why Is the West Spoiling for a Fight with Russia?

At a time where the commercial media, or much of it, serves to whip up hysteria over challenges from ISIS, the so called aggressive actions of Putin and other US/Nato driven issues we can be grateful for the internet, bloggers and social media.

Murray Dobbin’s articles would get short shrift today by most media outlets but through ‘the Tyee, we have access to alternate voices that disassemble the unquestioning prattle that fills our tv newscasts.

Here is Murray’s latest.

A conflict over Ukraine would be catastrophic.

By Murray Dobbin,

What are the consequences when elected governments make policy based (Read more…)