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Dead Wild Roses: Mechanical Bike Doping – We Compete, We Cheat.

The competitive cycling world is being shaken as riders during competitions have be discovered using mechanical assists to help them perform better. From the AP: “Caught using a hidden motor at a world championship race, cyclo-cross rider Femke Van Den Driessche of Belgium has been banned from cycling for six years.The sanction imposed Tuesday […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Mechanical Bike Doping – We Compete, We Cheat.

Left Over: Three Card Monte in LaLaLand

Corus Entertainment is buying Shaw Media in $2.65B deal Acquisition ‘redefines Corus and Canada’s media landscape,’ president/CEO says The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 13, 2016 7:20 AM ET   Same circus, same clowns…Canada is once again allowing big business to … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Three Card Monte in LaLaLand

Things Are Good: A Competition and Journal Looking Into Philosophy and Games

Games are a very popular cultural medium with a reputation for not being very “deep”. Game Praxis is a new project I’ve co-founded to encourage game makers and players to ask big questions through gameplay. It’s a game competition and a journal focused on philosophy and games.

The goal is simple: generate more interesting . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: A Competition and Journal Looking Into Philosophy and Games

The Progressive Economics Forum: Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape

As Target Canada tumbled into bankruptcy, Loblaw announced that its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled. What can be learned from this tale of two retailers?

The main reason for Loblaw’s surge was its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart last March, which turned it into Canada’s largest grocer and pharmacy chain. Shoppers contributed $3 billion to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site. Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance). . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Bill Longstaff: More to Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations than meets the neoliberal eye

When we think of Adam Smith, the great Scottish philosopher and economist, and his seminal book The Wealth of Nations, we are inclined to think of free markets, individual self-interest, and the invisible hand. However, reading another good book recently, How Markets Fail by John Cassidy, I was reminded there was a lot more to . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: More to Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations than meets the neoliberal eye

The Progressive Economics Forum: The NSA Scandal is all about Economics

Back in 1998, I wrote a lengthy investigative feature for The Financial Post about Canada’s signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), and its post-Cold War role. You can read it here:

http://circ.jmellon.com/docs/pdf/trolling_for_secrets_economic_espionage.pdf

The CSE and its sister signals intelligence agency in the US, the National Security Agency (NSA), engage in espionage using solely . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The NSA Scandal is all about Economics

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Blackberry mess and what Canada needs

Another year, another dead Canadian tech giant. Blackberry was sold yesterday for scrap to the Toronto private equity firm Fairfax. The purchase price of $4.7 billion is essentially valued at its cash of $2.6 billion and the value of its patents. Blackberry’s active businesses are being valued at essentially nothing. If Fairfax can stop the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Blackberry mess and what Canada needs

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Private Hospitals in Specialty Clinic Clothing

The provincial government’s mid-summer announcement that regulations under the Independent Health Facilities (IHF) Act will be drafted to permit “specialty clinics” raises some serious concerns. Changes in the LHINS enabling legislation will also be required. While the details are sparse the government’s stated goal is to permit the LHINs, Ontario’s regional health authorities, and Cancer . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Private Hospitals in Specialty Clinic Clothing

The Progressive Economics Forum: Glass-House Mortgages

A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates. The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Glass-house mortgages

Twice in recent weeks, the Minister . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Glass-House Mortgages

The Scott Ross: A Conservative Canada Is An Uncompetitive One

It’s odd that Conservatives advocate competition in the economy when under this Conservative government our economy has only become less competitive.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently lowered Canada’s ranking in global economic competitiveness from 12th last year to 14th place in 2012. This has been part of a steady decline since 2009 . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: A Conservative Canada Is An Uncompetitive One

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Health Facility License Auction Health Cost Driver

It seems so obvious in hindsight: if you want to know what is going on in business-side of community medicine look where doctors look – the classified section of The Medical Post.

After reading all of the articles, during a slow day at work, a big flashy classified ad for MCI: the Doctors Office caught . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Health Facility License Auction Health Cost Driver

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages

Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation.

Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link.

Points I raised in the address include the following:

-Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

The Scott Ross: Conservatives Lied About F-35 Contract

Peter MacKay lied.

In 2010 Defense Minister Peter MacKay said many times that the F-35 was selected in an open, competitive, and transparent process, this is contradicted be the Auditor General Michael Ferguson who has said there was no competition, that the costly $25 billion, and growing, contract was indeed sole-sourced.

May 27 2010 . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Lied About F-35 Contract

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Rise of the Casino Economy

I was on a road trip recently, driving through the American south, and ended up coming face to face with the economics of gambling. The friend I was travelling with is a professional poker player, making his living at casinos all across the US. He used to work as an IT consultant in Toronto, helping . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Rise of the Casino Economy

The Progressive Economics Forum: New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

<em>This guest blog was written by Mike Marin and Anouk Dey. It originally appeared in the Toronto Star on February 24. The authors are part of a team that produced the report Prospering Together (in English http://bit.ly/z4GQx5 and in French http://bit.ly/yabiK2) </em>

<em></em>What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: The Silo Strategy – Part Two

On January 31, in “The Silo Strategy: Part One,” I wrote about the exclusion of the for-profit laboratories from Ontario’s regional health authorities, the LHINs, and the negative effects of this exclusion on recent attempts in Wallaceburg, Thessalon and on St. Joseph Island to control laboratory costs and maintain local access.

The silo strategy, securing . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: The Silo Strategy – Part Two