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Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Why Judges should be judged too

 

Reading this piece that Rafe Mair posted to the Commonsense Canadian serves as a reminder of his value, his insights and his intestinal fortitude. Rafe writes what needs to be written, and we

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Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through a window Tuesday in Brigadoon, Alberta, so it should be good as is for another 10 years. Oh, wait, I made it out of town this afternoon … it must’ve been . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

Cowichan Conversations: Chief Electoral Officer Recommends changes contained in MacGregor Bill-279

Chief Electoral Office, Marc Mayrand

Chief Electoral Officer Recommends changes contained in MacGregor Bill to limit election length Alistair MacGregor, Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, introduced Bill C-279 earlier this year to ensure that

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Alberta Politics: It can’t help the oil-well drillers’ campaign that ‘Bernard the Roughneck’ appeared in 2014 theatrical production

PHOTOS: Neal Hancock, nowadays better known as Bernard the Roughneck, with his co-star in a 2014 theatrical production in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The play was about a boot-maker who had his foot amputated. Below: Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs (from her Facebook account), Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors President Mark Scholz (from the CAODC’s website), […]

The post It can’t help the oil-well drillers’ campaign that ‘Bernard the Roughneck’ appeared in 2014 theatrical production appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 38: Bulletin – Liberals like to $pend money

The Trudeau government, less than a year old, has certainly adopted well to governing. Like most governments, the Trudeau Liberals have found that there is a surprising amount of money just lying around, so they might as well use it. For example, it was revealed this week that one of Trudeau’s inner circle, Gerald Butts, […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 38: Bulletin – Liberals like to $pend money

Alberta Politics: Bernard the Roughneck in his own words: Neal Bernard Hancock responds to his critics

PHOTOS: “Bernard the Roughneck,” Neal Bernard Hancock, addresses the media in Ottawa in this screenshot of the CBC’s tape of his interview. Below: Mr. Hancock at the same event with Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, David Lefebvre, director of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association (which the CAODC describes […]

The post Bernard the Roughneck in his own words: Neal Bernard Hancock responds to his critics appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley does remarkably well in face of unrelenting campaign of vilification … Sun newspapers? Not so much …

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Below: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, the Mr. Congeniality of Confederation if you believe his press clippings; Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. Notwithstanding a flagging economy and an unprecedented campaign of continual vilification by mass media, Astro-Turf agitators, corporate-bankrolled think tanks, right-wing academics and a nearly hysterical online conservative rage machine, Alberta […]

The post Rachel Notley does remarkably well in face of unrelenting campaign of vilification … Sun newspapers? Not so much … appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Cowichan Conversations: How To Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Cannot Change

Like many of you, I have watched Gasland, Gasland II and the Sky Is Pink. Josh Fox has been a trailblazer digging in and challenging the oil and gas trade. He has set the bar. Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: How To Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Cannot Change

Cowichan Conversations: The NDP and Green Parties Struggle With Their Conservative and Progressive Factions

It seems that both NDP and the Greens are struggling with who they are, and what they think.

The NDP’s move to the ‘Mushy Middle’ must have former BC NDP leadership candidate, Steve Orcherton, MLA

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Alberta Politics: Media scolding about ‘political correctness’ is baloney; hats off to MRU student who spoke out against Trump cap

PHOTOS: “Make America Hate Again.” (Jake May, MLive.com) Below: U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Canadian politicians Kellie Leitch and Jason Kenney. They’re not the only ones, unfortunately. Can anyone in Alberta’s mainstream media seriously claim to have been surprised by the vile stream of threats, abuse and harassment unleashed on a Mount Royal University […]

The post Media scolding about ‘political correctness’ is baloney; hats off to MRU student who spoke out against Trump cap appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Dead Wild Roses: Canadain History – Canada’s Sponsorship Scandal

  Listening the radio, I heard this interview and appreciated the revisiting of colourful part of Canadian political history.  Thankfully the Current on CBC radio one now fully transcribes their episodes, so I can share the highlights of the interview here. “AMT: Remind us, what did the Liberal sponsorship scandal involve? DANIEL LEBLANC: Well, it […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Canadain History – Canada’s Sponsorship Scandal

Alberta Politics: Guest Post: Is the Wildrose Party seriously suggesting Alberta permit private blood brokers?

PHOTOS: Mr. Justice Horace Krever, who led the Canadian Royal Commission into Canada’s tainted blood scandal. Below: Guest poster Trevor Zimmerman (Ray Domeij photo), Wildrose Health Critic Drew Barnes, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, and Kat Lanteigne, co-founder of BloodWatch.org. Guest post by Trevor Zimmerman Last spring, Wildrose Health Critic Drew Barnes stood up in […]

The post Guest Post: Is the Wildrose Party seriously suggesting Alberta permit private blood brokers? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Canadian Dimension: Can the NDP be relevant?

Photo by Tomkinsr

A little over a year ago NDP elites thought they were heading for a their first ever stint as the federal government under leadership of a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister from Quebec, Thomas Mulcair. The party had surprisingly broken into the big time in the 2011 federal election, taking Quebec by storm and moving into the Official Opposition for the first time in Canadian history. Now, with a Quebec leader who could hardly be accused of being a radical, the party was everything the national media had said it should be: cautious, pragmatic, and eminently reasonable, particularly on the economy. Throughout the 2015 campaign Mulcair sent all the right signals to Bay Street about balanced budgets and restrained spending. How could they lose?

Easily, it would appear. Instead of the NDP it was a broadly upbeat but specifically vague Liberal party under Justin Trudeau that won office in 2015. What went wrong? Well, it was never really clear that the NDP were really that competitive to start with. It was only with the shocking victory of the NDP in Alberta in the spring of 2015 that the national party moved past the Liberals in the polls – they had been trailing them for years, ever since Trudeau became leader. Indeed, the Alberta NDP boost for the federal party quickly stalled once the federal campaign got started. And why was the federal party brain trust so convinced that a bland, centrist campaign would work federally when it had recently failed so spectacularly provincially in Nova Scotia, Ontario, BC and Saskatchewan? Given the torpid state of the Canadian economy and the growing absence of good jobs for young and old workers alike, why would a social democratic party back away from playing its strongest card, namely, that the economy just wasn’t working for most people?

It’s enough to make reasonably progressive people tear their hair out. We have terrible economic and social circumstances and a party that can’t seem speak to them in a clear and compelling way. This is not because the people who run the NDP are stupid or indifferent or venal. Instead, NDP campaigns look the way they do because are making decisions based on metrics about who is likely to turn out to vote, not solving the bigger problems. Put bluntly, poor and working people are harder to mobilize than the various strata of the middle class so all parties tend to go after the low hanging fruit. But without the electoral participation of the poor and working class, it is impossible for social democratic parties to champion policies that might make their lives better once in office.

There has got to be a way out of this seeming catch-22. There have been some encouraging campaigns in some unlikely places recently that the NDP could draw some lessons from. Bernie Saunders’ surprisingly competitive bid for the US Democratic party’s presidential nomination shows how creative fundraising and local organizing built around clear messages about inequality can resonate with a very broad public. Jeremy Corbyn’s principled and detailed plans for rebuilding union strength and defending the rights of working people more generally in the UK has inspired tens of thousands to join the Labour party, first to elect him leader and then again to defend his leadership against a Blairite revolt. We have seen some of this emerge within the NDP with the campaign to adopt the LEAP manifesto but it has largely failed to connect with the country’s marginalized electorate in all its diversity.

Despite the return of the Liberals as the federal government, everything is not as it was before. The Canadian party system remains highly unstable. The federal Liberals won a majority government on just 39% of the vote, the same as the Conservatives before them, suggesting both parties are weak and vulnerable. An NDP that could speak clearly about inequality and the capitalism that produces it could find itself suddenly relevant, particularly if they take seriously the need to actually mobilize the poor and working people into electoral participation. After all, it was something the party used to excel at.

. . . → Read More: Canadian Dimension: Can the NDP be relevant?

Alberta Politics: Where exactly is the ‘compromise’ Jason Kenney thinks the NDP should make on sexual minority rights?

PHOTOS: Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney back in the day … welcoming refugees? Well, not if they wanted health care. Unintended ironic juxtaposition, I suppose. (Photo from abbotsfordtoday.blogspot.ca.) Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen; New Testament Baptist Church, just west of Edmonton. Where exactly is this “sensible Alberta compromise” Jason Kenney advises the province’s […]

The post Where exactly is the ‘compromise’ Jason Kenney thinks the NDP should make on sexual minority rights? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Cowichan Conversations: PM Trudeau-Spills happen.They always do. Even the best technology isn’t up to the job.

Dear Mr. Trudeau, I attended the Kinder Morgan open house in Victoria recently, well I tried to. The attendance was so great that as many of us as fit into the room were left Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: PM Trudeau-Spills happen.They always do. Even the best technology isn’t up to the job.

Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the […]

The post China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney quits his job on federal electoral reform committee – so why are we paying him, again?

PHOTOS: Ride, Jason, Ride! Moving day in Ottawa. Jason Kenney’s arrangements to pack up his office and return to Alberta may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Kenney in Calgary; commentator Corey Hogan on TV. Softly, softly, Jason Kenney has quit his job on the Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, presumably to give […]

The post Jason Kenney quits his job on federal electoral reform committee – so why are we paying him, again? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Alberta Politics: Rain’s forecast, but today promises to be a sunny Labour Day celebration just the same

PHOTOS: A Canadian Labour Day parade, well back in the day. Below: A poster for today’s Labour Day barbecue and picnic in Edmonton, J.S. Woodsworth, first leader of the CCF, and a philatelic tribute to labour. “What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all.” – J.S. Woodsworth, first leader of the CCF Oh, today […]

The post Rain’s forecast, but today promises to be a sunny Labour Day celebration just the same appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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Cowichan Conversations: The NDP and the Green Party seem to be reading off the same song sheet

The NDP delegates supported the ‘Leap Manifesto’ at their convention but rejected Tom Mulcair as the leader. He left the stage went behind the curtain and then shortly re-emerged with the news that he Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The NDP and the Green Party seem to be reading off the same song sheet

Scott's DiaTribes: After almost a year in power, approval rates for governing Liberals increasing

When you’re a blogger that happens to support the governing party and you approve of most of what they’re doing, it’s sometimes hard to blog about anything . However, this new poll and survey by Abacus is worth pointing out merely for… . . . → Read More: Scott’s DiaTribes: After almost a year in power, approval rates for governing Liberals increasing

Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader’s public spat with the mayor of Montreal may not help, but it’s likely to continue

PHOTOS: Wildrose Opposition leader Brian Jean has been giving Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre the sink-eye again lately. Below: Mr. Coderre, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Don’t expect Alberta Opposition Leader Brian Jean’s pub… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader’s public spat with the mayor of Montreal may not help, but it’s likely to continue

Canadian Dimension: How Not To Fund Infrastructure

Photo by Open Grid Scheduler Recycling is supposed to be a good thing, so when the federal Liberals quietly announced that “asset recycling” would be part of their strategy for meeting their much-ballyhooed … . . . → Read More: Canadian Dimension: How Not To Fund Infrastructure

Cowichan Conversations: Couple married for 65 years kept apart by care home wait list

Vancouver Sun’s Glenda Lumyes’ heart-wrenching story is not isolated, but neither is it being addressed. Our governments, federal and provincial do not give a tinker’s damn about many important people issues that have been cut Read mo… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Couple married for 65 years kept apart by care home wait list

Cowichan Conversations: Fish Farms Out! First Nations Move To Take Back Control

Richard Hughes Following decades of protest against virus ridden corporate fish farms being ignored by our federal and provincial, court decisions are fueling bold new efforts to drive the fish farms out of native Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Fish Farms Out! First Nations Move To Take Back Control

Cowichan Conversations: Bricking It For Canada

Bricking it for Canada — http://brickingitforcanada.com/ . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Bricking It For Canada