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Canadian Dimension: Far-left policies haven’t been proposed by any party, contrary to Prentice’s claims

Jim Prentice • Photo by Manning Centre

Jim Prentice probably took some political science courses during his university studies, but it would appear he needs a refresher. In particular, it seems, he needs a reminder about the nature of the left-right political spectrum and exactly what the extremes of that spectrum look like.

On day one of the current Alberta election, on two separate occasions, Prentice characterized his main political opponents as extreme parties on the left and right, and their policy positions as “extreme ideas and ideologies.”

Generally, in discussions of politics and public policy, when someone refers (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Woodfibre LNG: Shady PR, lobby violations, fraudulent, eco-criminal owner…Is this the kind of business BC wants to welcome?

Rafe Mair has been gearing up for this most important LNG fight over locating an LNG facility in Woodfibre. Truth is folks the LNG game brings us nothing but heartburn.

Here is Rafe:

The war

Read more…

Scott's DiaTribes: Guest Blog by Leanne Bourassa: 1st Year Reflections as Liberal Party Membership Secretary

(I had the pleasure of getting to meet and know Leanne at the Feb 2014 Liberal Convention in Montreal. We had been vaguely aware of each other before through blog interactions, so we weren’t total strangers, but it was a treat to meet her in person, and after getting to know her, I was pleased she was elected to National Membership Secretary. I thank Leanna for contributing this guest-blogpost to assess her first year on the “job”!. As usual, all guestblog posts/opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of me or this site. – Scott.)


Well, as the (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Inconvenient comments from Conservatives on Budgets

Inconvenient comment #1:














Inconvenient Comment #2:

Former Conservative Finance Minister – the late Jim Flaherty – ruled out dipping into contingency fund last year to balance the books:

Flaherty told CBC News it would be “imprudent” to do so as the fund has frequently proven necessary. “If you do the arithmetic, we could have had a budget balanced by $100,000,” Flaherty said at the time. “I prefer to have a nice clean surplus.”

Inconvenient Comment #3:

Again from Jim Flaherty: this time rejecting dipping into the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: We Are Being Occupied by Steve Harper–Canada’s Worst Prime Minister Ever!

Scott's DiaTribes: A reprieve from Nanos for the Nervous Nellies on Liberal fortunes

There’s been more then a couple newspaper op-eds in the Star and Globe of late worrying about the Liberals and Justin Trudeau losing their mojo and declaring they need to do something to turn around sagging poll fortunes. They seem to have been basing that on their perception of one particular pollster – Ekos – who has been the only pollster really who has been doing a weekly look at Party and Party Leader numbers. (I’ll also note they seem to conveniently put that meme away when Ekos shows a Liberal turnaround – that pollster has had the CPC and (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana.

“Unfortunately, Christians in this country find themselves under attack. This is a violation, and we are calling on the Canadian government to stop this type of violation across this country…” — Charles McVety

Because almost to the day that the collection of Canadian religious leaders held a (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Our Wood–Our Oil — The Case For Public Democratic Ownership

Cowichan Conversations: Premier Christy Clark’s miserable record is finally catching up with her. It is Fire Sale time in BC!

Richard Hughes–Cowichan Conversations

I have always been amazed as to how the BC Liberals along with their far right conservative friends in Ottawa manage to snow the citizen taxpayers with the fabrication that they are wise and capable handlers of our economy.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Premier Christy Clark-selling off our assets to cover hers.

We have been scammed and conned into very difficult financial circumstances fuelled by the illusion that fracking our way into the future will mean jobs, and a great wealth of profits needed to fund our social services, highways and other infrastructure demands.

(Read more…)

centerandleft: Alberta and Polls: Never Again

The Calgary Flames are preparing to host their first playoff game since 2009 in a matter of days. While the Flames are working hard to even up their series, the politicians are working the doors. The province of Alberta may be preparing to elect a new party to power for the first time since 1971.

Does this sound familiar? Just three years ago I was responsible for the following assumption:

Danielle Smith is likely to be the next premier of Alberta

It doesn’t sound like a terrible statement, but this type of statement reveals a foolish reliance on poor (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Progressives want to win the next election. George Lakoff tells us how.

Photo by Kris Krüg

Why are conservatives so successful in communicating their messages? What do progressives need to do to communicate their values to large populations? and our partners Canadian Dimension will be hosting renowned cognitive linguist and author of the groundbreaking Don’t Think of an Elephant, George Lakoff in Toronto this Saturday April 18 for an inspiring all-day symposium. For tickets to this exclusive event, please register here. For a taste of Lakoff, if you are in Toronto consider coming to his evening lecture on Elections, Activism and Beyond.

Globally, we are witnessing a time dominated by (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Nanos Latest Polling Shows Race Tightening Up

Cowichan Conversations: 2015 federal election debate could see Elizabeth May take on Stephen Harper

Richard Hughes–Cowichan Conversations

Really, who did not see this coming. issue here is that we want to see and hear all the leaders debate.

How many times have we been through this now?

What is revealing that is none of the top three Harper, Mulcair or Trudeau had the wit, grace or acumen to demand that all leaders participate.

First past the post has to go! Bring on structural reform. Canada matters!

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is set to be included in the 2015 federal leaders’ election debates. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)


Green Party leader was cut out of 2011 (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Adbusters Launches the Meme War on National TV


Cowichan Conversations: Harper, BC Tory MPs have oil on their hands from English Bay spill

Richard Hughes-Cowichan Conversations

It is when events like the recent bunker oil spill in English Bay take place that the value of independent writers, thinkers, and bloggers like Rafe Mair display their real value.

Here is Rafe’s take on this mess in English Bay that has spread around the harbour.

It is a disgusting, but only a drop in the bucket to what lies ahead if we do not put a halt to the insane notion of shipping oil, refined or compressed from Tar sands products, through our coast and harbour.

Whether it be by water or rail the certain accidents will (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Petition to Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair

Photo by Matt Jiggins


We call on Tom Mulcair to advance, as a priority, the following policies, which we call the 4 P’s, as part of the current NDP election platform.

We, the undersigned, applaud Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair for advocating a national childcare plan, a $15/hour minimum wage, and for opposing repressive Bill C-51 and the extension of the bombing of Iraq, and into Syria.

At the same time we call on Tom Mulcair to advance, as a priority, the following policies, which we call the 4 P’s, as part of the current NDP (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: John McCallum visits Brantford-Brant to talk immigration/cultural issues

This past Thursday evening, John McCallum, Liberal MP from Markham-Unionville and the LPC’s critic for Immigration/Multiculturalism/ Seniors visited Brantford-Brant to meet with Liberal candidate Danielle Takacs and leaders of Brantford-Brant’s various cultural communities. Mr. McCallum is the 4th Liberal MP to visit Brantford-Brant in the span of less than 3 months (the others being Carolyn Bennett, Scott Simms and Adam Vaughan) which shows that Liberals at the national level believe Brantford-Brant is a priority riding and can be returned to the Liberal fold in the upcoming election


Danielle and her team organized a round-table to answer questions anyone at (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Cold Camembert, Collingwood Style

Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth made comments last week about how awful it is to eat normal airplane food as an excuse why she billed more sumptuous meals to her taxpayer-funded expense account. Her arrogance only made Canadians agonize more over how we should abolish or reform the patronage cesspit of our appointed Senate. Her words also sparked a wave of […]

Scott's DiaTribes: Alberta politics suddenly got unpredictably whacky

So Jim Prentice was a virtual lock to win this election a couple of months ago… at least in the eyes of the pundits, particularly after Danielle Smith and half of her Wild Rose Party defected.

Suddenly, after a very unpopular budget.. things look extremely unpredictable:

An Alberta election that once looked like a Tory cakewalk is instead developing into a close three-way race — at least in the early going of the campaign, according to two new polls. A survey conducted by Mainstreet Technologies shows the Wildrose in the lead with 31 per cent support among decided voters, followed (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Seniors are not a good reason for doubling TFSA limit

After years of being promised whenever the federal books got balanced, it looks like the next Harper budget is indeed going to double the contribution for Tax Free Savings Accounts. This policy has long been criticized – including by me – for being a policy that disproportionately provides advantages for the rich. Indeed, the number of people capable of putting aside over $10k in savings per year while working are fairly limited. Today in parliament, Finance Minister Joe Oliver has hit back against these criticisms, effectively pointing out that there is another big group of people who are already (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Chris Hedges Calls Steve Harper A Pawn Or Puppet Of Corporations

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Vancouver Observer has been a most welcome edition to the media mix in the Vancouver market and beyond.

They prove, dig and unapologetically provide us with hard hitting journalism with the integrity and purpose.

‘PM Stephen Harper has turned Canada into an advanced surveillance and security state’-Chris Hedges

Now that Harper has rammed Bill C 51-the supposed anti terror bill, report like Jenny Uechi and the Vancouver Observer are of increased value.

Jenny Uechi is Managing Director of Observer Media Group, and Managing Editor of The Vancouver Observer.


Chris Hedges photo by Jenny Uechi


Jenny (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Chris Hedges Calls Steve Harper A Pawn Or Puppet Of Corporations

Progressive Proselytizing: Ontario’s brave new cap and trade program

The Globe and Mail just broke the story on what will likely be the defining component of Kathleen Wynne’s legacy: The Ontario Liberals are introducing a big cap and trade plan. Details are sparse as yet, but it looks like they will be joining the Quebec/California regime. This is huge news, especially given Ontario’s relative prominence in Canada’s economy.

While BC (under the Liberals as well, incidentally) were moving forward with their carbon tax, Ontario Liberals had made big moves on the green energy file. With cap and trade, they are now tackling the greenhouse gas production side of the (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Another Reason to Resist C-51

Photo from Public Domain

A recent run-of-the-mill telemarketing call from one of Canada’s largest credit companies took on a threatening tone. Who knew that owning a credit card whose purchases produced redeemable points for free groceries also entailed an insidious tradeoff that invaded our privacy and left a chilling aftertaste?

Informed that failure to answer certain questions would result in forfeiture of the card, I resigned myself to ten minutes of wasted time and, following the usual gobbledygook about disclosure, was asked if anyone in my immediate and extended family had ever “held one of the following offices or positions (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Hey Steve! Check the Math! Canada Post Is Essential!

Robert Chisholm

In December 2013, to the shock and surprise of most Canadians, Canada Post announced an end of home delivery, a huge price increase, and the loss of up to 8000 good jobs.

We were told this is necessary, otherwise Canada Post will lose $1 billion per year by 2020. This claim was repeated over and over without question, but it should be questioned.

2014 was the first year of their projections and they say they expected to lose $256 million that year. How did they do? They posted a profit of almost $200 million.

In fact, Canada (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Oh! Oh! Canada