Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Canadian Dimension: Why isn’t Harper’s record on democracy an election issue?

Photo by Josh Jensen

“The Council of Canadians,” so reads their website, “stands up for democracy as a fundamental pillar of our society.”

It’s a curious statement. You have to wonder why the sentiment needs stating at all; surely it expresses a self-evident truth? Yet the very fact that it’s there means the Council believes democracy is being threatened and that Canadians don’t actually agree on how fundamental it is.

Maybe Canadians should be debating the meaning and value of democracy. We’re taught that Canada has always been one, yet women couldn’t vote until 1918. Status Indians didn’t get (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Sunday Scrum

Harper’s moratorium on Senate appointments (the program’s start). The likelihood of a federal deficit (10 minute mark). The increased universal child-care benefit (13 minute mark). A possible NDP-Liberal coalition (15 minute mark). Maclean’s Magazine’s Martin Patriquin and The Chronicle Herald’s Dan Leger discuss these issues on yesterday’s Sunday Scrum. You can access each topic at the respective time marks indicated above in parentheses.

Recommend this Post

Song of the Watermelon: Toronto Star Letter

Greetings loyal blog readers! I am happy to report that today’s Toronto Star contains a letter of mine (the first of the two on this page) about the Ontario Court of Appeal decision on expat voting rights. Rather than address this issue directly, I briefly examine the related matter of extending the franchise to non-citizens who live in Canada. Enjoy!

Filed under: Canadian Politics, Democracy, Letters to the Editor Tagged: citizenship, expats, Toronto Star

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Toronto Star Letter

Alberta Politics: Alberta shows why there will be no NDP-Liberal entente, Nathan Cullen’s mistimed musing notwithstanding

PHOTOS: Loose-lipped New Democrat Nathan Cullen – whatever was he thinking? Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, former Alberta Liberal leader Raj Sherman, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP strategist Ian Capstick. Whatever Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen was thinking when he flapped his lips to the delight of the conservative mainstream media about how […]

The post Alberta shows why there will be no NDP-Liberal entente, Nathan Cullen’s mistimed musing notwithstanding appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Council Are Facing the Homeless Issue With Class And Commitment.

Canada has turned its back on the poor, homeless and those facing mental health issues for decades now and the impact is being faced more and more by our cities.

PM Harper has abandoned the

Read more…

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 28: Your bribe is in the mail; Republicans are Trumped

So, have you received your bribe yet? Stephen Harper’s utterly shameless federal Conservatives are in the process of giving away $3 billion in tax dollars to “hard working Canadian families” (is there any other kind of Canadian family?) in the form of monthly cheques for families with kids. The benefit cheques are larger than usual due to changes the Conservatives introduced last fall – $160 a month for children under 6, up from $100, and a new payment of $60 a month for seven- to 17-year-olds, regardless of family income. The cheques, going to roughly 3.8 million families, (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Two polls, widely different results, and Postmedia only reports one – what gives?

PHOTOS: “It is indeed Christmas in July for Conservatives!” Maybe it’s July, but is this guy really Santa Claus? Below: Pollsters Quito Maggi and Lorne Bozinoff. A Forum Research Inc. interactive voice response poll conducted on Tuesday of this week indicates 34 per cent of decided voters plan to vote NDP, 29 per cent to […]

The post Two polls, widely different results, and Postmedia only reports one – what gives? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Canadian Dimension: Resist the silent war on Canadian medicare

When universal health care was adopted in 1966 with the passage of the Medical Care Act, it signified a profound moment in Canadian political history. Rarely before had an alliance of ideologically opposed figures – the socialist Tommy Douglas, Progressive Conservative John Diefenbaker and Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson – delivered legislation that would enshrine in collective consciousness the universal values of health and dignity; touchstones that still define this country and its society today.

Indeed, medicare is a fundamental pillar of Canadian identity. It projects our national values onto the world stage, delivers positive outcomes to patients and supports (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Stephen Lewis-“Somewhere in my soul I cherish the possibility of a return to a vibrant democracy…”

Cowichan Conversations: RAFE: Blatant Media Bias -Vancouver Province Partners With Woodfibre LNG

Rafe Mair

As you know, the Vancouver Province is an official partner of Resort Works, who are essentially the public relations arm of Woodfibre LNG.

That means, of course, that the Vancouver Sun and

Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Will future of food be an election plank?

This piece comes from the Edmonton Journal and applies to all of Western Canada, very much including our Cowichan Valley. We can look back and see significant increases in our food production and array of

Read more…

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 27: ‘Ice’ to see you; El Chapo el escapos; oil spill oops.

The big non-news in Edmonton this week was the announcement that the area surrounding the new arena, previously known by the rather prosaic ‘arena district’, has been renamed Ice District. (Apparently, it is just ‘Ice District’, not ‘The Ice District’, according to the pretentious PR hacks behind this rebranding.) The Ice District (sorry) name was dreamed up by none other than Daryl Katz, the Oilers owner and arena co-owner. The grand plans for (cough, cough) Ice District include high rises with 1,000 units, 1.3 million sq. ft. of office space, a luxury hotel, restaurants, theatres, etc. Katz and (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Can the Great Wall of Saskatchewan resist Rachel Notley’s wish to put democracy back into energy politics?

PHOTOS: Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers in Newfoundland, with St. John’s Harbor visible in the background (CBC Photo). One hopes they didn’t have to walk up that hill! Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (CP Photo). The acerbic public disagreement between Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at […]

The post Can the Great Wall of Saskatchewan resist Rachel Notley’s wish to put democracy back into energy politics? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Who ends up allied with whom in a ‘Pizza Parliament’? It may not be as simple as you think

ILLUSTRATIONS: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, left, and Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, get together in a liaison dangereuse … actual Canadian politicians may not behave exactly as predicted, or expected. Below: The real Mr. Harper, NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, the real Mr. Trudeau and notorious Republican political consultant Karl Rove. Today’s […]

The post Who ends up allied with whom in a ‘Pizza Parliament’? It may not be as simple as you think appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: Tommy Douglas–Let Me Remind You What Fascism Is

Alberta Politics: MP Wai Young’s lines were flubbed, but nevertheless they sound like a cynical Harper Government talking point

PHOTOS: The Cone of Silence – it just doesn’t work for anyone any more. Below: Conservative MP Wai Young, Conservative PM Stephen Harper and Jesus, whose position on Canadian politics is unknown. It seems likely Vancouver South MP Wai Young fumbled a cynical Harper Government talking point when she claimed last month that Air India […]

The post MP Wai Young’s lines were flubbed, but nevertheless they sound like a cynical Harper Government talking point appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Liberal dissenter says Conservative Senators ignored advice from police in report on preventing terrorism

PHOTO: Alberta Senator Grant Mitchell with the Senate Chamber in the background (from his website). Conservative Senators on the Upper Chamber’s Standing Committee on National Security and Defence were not interested in the strongest recommendation by police and security experts who testified before the panel, its Liberal Deputy Chair told AlbertaPolitics.ca yesterday. “We heard over […]

The post Liberal dissenter says Conservative Senators ignored advice from police in report on preventing terrorism appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain?

PHOTOS: Conservative members of the Senate of Canada answer questions about their “interim report” on countering terrorist threats to Canada. Actual Conservative Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated – but close enough, unfortunately. Below: Liberal senator Grant Mitchell of Alberta, who dissented from the report; former British MP George Galloway, banned from Canada after […]

The post Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Why stop with just one religion? Shouldn’t Ottawa certify clerics for all religions, plus martial arts instructors?

PHOTOS: The Senate of Canada, also known as “the Red Chamber,” possibly for its adoption of tactics for dealing with religion reminiscent of two large communist countries. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew P.W. Bennett, Canada’s first “Ambassador for Religious Freedom” and a cantor at the St. John the Baptist […]

The post Why stop with just one religion? Shouldn’t Ottawa certify clerics for all religions, plus martial arts instructors? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: The Case For Letting Canada’s Forest Fires Burn

Let It Burn

Here is a compelling story featured from Desmog that is a reality hit that might be hard to swallow. It runs counter to our instincts it may well be the

Read more…

Alberta Politics: Will Canadian troops in Ukraine have to train radical Islamist volunteers said to be tied to ISIS?

PHOTOS: Defence Minister Jason Kenney explains who Canadian troops will train in Ukraine last fall. Below: Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ukraine in 2010. Photos are from the CBC and the Prime Minister’s Office’s Flickr account. It’s been evident for several months now Ukraine has a problem with neo-Nazis, in particular battalions of “volunteers” who […]

The post Will Canadian troops in Ukraine have to train radical Islamist volunteers said to be tied to ISIS? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Canadian Dimension: ‘Heightened scrutiny’ of Mulcair should include foreign policy

Photo by Matt Jiggins

This just in: Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson’s crystal ball reveals that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s front-running status in opinion polls means he will attract more media “scrutiny” as the election approaches.

I gather that’s what passes for a eureka moment inside the Globe’s largely moribund Ottawa bureau these days. My goodness.

Recently, Ibbitson rehashed the magnified “scrutiny” trope, which really is pundit code for: Once me and my neocon pals in the establishment press get through with exposing the “real” Mulcair, his political fortunes will fade and the Orange Wave will inevitably recede…as waves (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster

PHOTOS: Leaders of the Greek military government of 1967 to 1974. Is something similar waiting in the wings if the eurozone leadership’s effort to terrorize the Greeks into voting Yes to never-ending austerity fails today? Below: Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and Nobel-Prize-winning American economist Paul Krugman. Recent Western […]

The post The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Independence Day: an excellent moment to remember Stephen Harper is no ‘Tory’

PHOTOS: Today is Independence Day in the United States, and also in Texas, where this photo was snapped. Below: Stephen Harper, not a Tory, unlike John A. Macdonald, below him, who was. Below both of them, a Hessian soldier gets ready to load up and shoot at an American insurgent. Only the Hessians’ pants were […]

The post Independence Day: an excellent moment to remember Stephen Harper is no ‘Tory’ appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: Heave Steve Cowichan Style

The Council of Canadians (Cowichan) determined to see a return to our Canada sans Steve Harper gathered in 34 degree heat to send a clear message. Heave Steve!

The reception and honking from passers-by

Read more…