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Alberta Politics: Mel Hurtig, a great Canadian – and, full of beans, as we used to say

PHOTOS: Mel Hurtig with his Canadian Encyclopedia, without which, once upon a time, no respectable Canadian home was considered complete. I am grateful to Mr. Hurtig for one thing not mentioned in the short commentary below, and that is my accidental i… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Mel Hurtig, a great Canadian – and, full of beans, as we used to say

Alberta Politics: Does the federal Tory pivot toward Alberta show they’ve given up on power in Ottawa?

PHOTOS: Stephen Harper, the former prime minister, not exactly as he appeared at the Conservative Party’s Calgary Stampede barbecue last night, but close enough. Below: Jason Kenney, Mr. Harper’s former sidekick in Ottawa, whom the former PM endors… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Does the federal Tory pivot toward Alberta show they’ve given up on power in Ottawa?

Alberta Politics: What’s behind ‘Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’ campaigns like its stunt calling for rollbacks in Alberta teachers’ pay?

PHOTOS: A typical Canadian Taxpayers Federation stunt, moved from place to place across Canada with the goal of undermining public services and speeding the race to the bottom. The picture at bottom right shows Alberta Wildrose Opposition Finance Criti… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: What’s behind ‘Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’ campaigns like its stunt calling for rollbacks in Alberta teachers’ pay?

Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

PHOTOS: Cameras try to follow a nearly invisible Rachel Notley through the crowd at an Edmonton hotel on May 5, 2015, moments after she had been declared the winner of the Alberta election. No one could quite believe that the NDP had just won a majorit… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

Alberta Politics: Succession planning: what do we do when the great Canadian newspapers die off?

PHOTOS: Never mind the world. Who will save Canadian democracy now? With apologies to Superman. Below: Joseph Howe in his prime, and with his ottoman; the author, holding forth while explaining something about the Edmonton Journal; Journal columnist Paula Simons. Yesterday’s claim by Frank Magazine that Postmedia Network Canada Ltd. will amalgamate its daily newspapers […]

The post Succession planning: what do we do when the great Canadian newspapers die off? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Armine Yalnizyan highlights how Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal is just one more compelling piece of evidence against trusting the corporate sector to regulate itself: The trend is towards asking industries to monitor themselves (at their own suggestion), which they quite happily will do, and tell you what they think you want to know.

Now there is a role for self-regulation. Most adults practice self-regulation to some degree. But when we pass laws against certain types of behaviour, we don’t think people should police themselves. We hire police to ensure that the laws are (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

PHOTOS: A chaotic scene, not atypical of Alberta labour relations in the Age of Asbell, shot with a phone camera in the offices of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in Edmonton. Below: ALRB Chair Mark Asbell and former CBC reporter John Archer. Sorry about the lousy photos, but, hey, I’m working with what I can […]

The post Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Disaffected Lib: Even Conrad Black Can’t Stomach Bill C-51

He knows a thing or two about law enforcement, the judicial process and essential liberties.  All that has Conrad Black incensed at Bill C-51 which he sees as a threat to the freedom of the Canadian people.  He doesn’t like the place into which he believes Stephen Harper plans to lead the country.

As presented, Bill C-51 makes a Swiss cheese out of due process, and the three national political parties have approached the problem from distinctly different angles. The government have swaddled themselves in Stephen Harper’s default-toga of protecting the public, aspersing civil liberties concerns, and uttering tired pieties (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Postmedia-Quebecor deal: Welcome to newspaper hell, where the lowest common denominator will prevail

An unreconstituted Toronto Sun front page. Newspaper hell? Turns out it’s not quite as bad as we imagined it would be, except for the few unfortunates who still work in what’s left of the industry. Below: Tom Kent, who headed the 1981 Royal Commission on Newspapers, which was ignored when it was written and is still ignored.

If you want proof the Canadian newspaper business is on its last legs, look no further than yesterday’s announcement Postmedia Network Canada Corp. is about to take over Quebecor Media Inc.’s 175 English-language newspapers and a few other assets, including the five (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Andrew Jackson takes a look at some dire predictions about the continued spread of inequality, and notes that we need to act now in order to reverse the trend. And UN Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona discusses how more progressive tax policies – including a focus on maximizing revenue – are needed to support both greater equality and the effective exercise of human rights: States must realize the full potential of tax collection as a tool to generate revenue for the fulfilment of human rights obligations and to redress discrimination and inequality. Human (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59.

As the present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ …

— Bob Dylan (age 73)

If anyone has the right to be bitter about bright young Liberal leaders with good looks, great hair and supposedly thin resumes like those of New Brunswick (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.)

While the Canadian Taxpayers Federation claims to be a “tax watchdog” that opposes waste and advocates transparency in government, evidence suggests its principal purposes are to provide partisan support for the Harper Government, fulfill the corporate agenda and undermine the rights of working people.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Future bleak for Brent Rathgeber’s CBC disclosure bill; perhaps less so for Rex Murphy’s commentaries

Your blogger with CBC commentator Rex Murphy, quite possibly on his way to a speaking engagement with the oil industry. Below: the same blogger with Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, who has a date with history next week; the controversial Press Progress Rex Murphy info-graphic.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

MP Brent Rathgeber’s private member’s bill, the CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act, is scheduled to be back before the denizens of the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

Bill C-461 has no chance of passing in the form the Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament desires for (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!

Sorry Conrad. Try as you might, even you can’t alter reality. Recommend this Post

Northern Reflections: No Tragic Hero

On Friday night, Conrad Black was stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada. Tim Harper writes:

Black is now one of only six Order of Canada recipients stripped of the honour and forced to return the insignia. And what a photo op that would be when he hands it over. He joins a pack of fraudsters, a Métis leader who let loose with a string of anti-Semitic invective, and a one-legged kid who ran across the country, only to be convicted later of fraud, assault and drunk driving.

Black fought to keep the honour, at the same (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Final Humiliation of Conrad Black

I was short, it was brutal, and it was long overdue. Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.Black, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will also be removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. The Governor General’s office said in a release that both decisions were effective immediately.But Conrad Black has finally hit rock bottom. Read more »

LeDaro: Conrad Black lost bragging rights for Order of Canada

Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada.

“On Friday, Governor General David Johnston announced the termination of the former media mogul’s appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada effective immediately.

The motion was recommended by an 11-member Advisory Council following Black’s 2007 convictions in the U.S. for fraud and obstruction of justice.” The Huffington Post.

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even on the media’s Top Ten List from the government’s so-called Sunshine List of 2013 civil service salaries!

Just for the record, Alberta’s top paid civil servant is Janet Davidson, deputy minister of health and an Officer of the Order of Canada, with a spectacular annual (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ted Cruz: For God (& country’s) sake, talk to Conrad Black before you shred your Canadian passport!

Canada or USA? USA or Canada? Texas Senator Ted Cruz, visible between the signs, ponders what he should do. Actual Tea Party favourites may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Cruz waves bye-bye to his fellow Canadians … maybe; Lord Black of Crossharbour.

It’s said here that Calgary native Ted Cruise needs to make an appointment to have a serious chat with Conrad Black before he makes any rash and irrevocable decisions to run his Canadian passport through the shredder.

Mr. Cruz is now the junior Senator from Texas and a favourite of the Tea Party, a group that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bill Tieleman tears into James Moore for his callous disregard for child hunger, while PressProgress reminds us that plenty of the Cons’ policy choices reflect Moore’s complete lack of concern for his neighbours’ children. And Polly Toynbee looks in detail at the UK Cons’ attempts to turn support for needy children into a perceived political weakness rather than a matter of basic empathy and compassion: The dirty war has begun; the early signs are that this will be the most poisonous, socially damaging election campaign for many a long year. Corrosive malice (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Lion In Winter

Like a bloated, aging and wounded lion who realizes his hold over his pride is at an end, Conrad Black is lashing out. Still licking his wounds from lacerations received at the hands of the CBC’s Carol Off, Black used his column in Saturday’s National Post (which as a rule I do not read, but more about that later) both to justify his journalistic ineptitude and to strike back at his growing list of adversaries who include Star editor Michael Cooke, Star columnist Rosie DiManno, The Star itself, and well, just about anyone else who finds fault with him.

(Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Lesson In Humility For The Good Lord?

While I readily admit to not having wasted my time watching Conrad Black’s interview with Toronto’s pretend-mayor, I did take special delight in the dressing-down he received at the hands of As It Happens’ Carol Off, as noted yesterday. One hopes that he learned something about real journalism from the encounter.

Today, two Star letter-writers offer their comments on the actual interview. Short version: they were not impressed. And given the fact that Star reporter Daniel Dale has decided to sue Vision TV, Zoomer Media, and Rob Ford, perhaps Moses Znaimer will have reason to reconsider his decision to employ (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Rob Ford: The Day the Bully Met his Match

Hallelujah !!! We have our David Daniel. Somebody has finally stood up to the ghastly Con Goliath Rob Ford. Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has served Mayor Rob Ford with a libel notice over comments the mayor made during a televised interview earlier this week. Mr. Dale published a statement on the Star’s website Thursday saying he served the notice against both the mayor and Vision TV – which aired the broadcast – as the first step of a defamation lawsuit.He’s asking the mayor to retract the “false insinuation that I am a pedophile,” his statement read.And now the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Good Lord Gets His Comeuppance

Those who, over the years, have grown weary of the pretentious blather of Conrad Black, the lord and baron much put upon by the requirement that he be subject to the same laws that bind mere mortals, may take some delight in the lesson in real journalism given him by As It Happens’ Carol Off.

The former Lord Tubby, much slimmed down following his six-and-a-half years as a guest of the U.S, justice system (prison, I guess, imposes all kinds of disciplines including, one assumes, those of a dietary nature) received his rebukes as Off took him to (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Shed a tear for Rob Ford … or risk making a ‘red meat conservative’ blubber

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone – as long as the person getting stoned is a conservative. Below: a typical strained pea conservative blubbers, although not in this case about the cruel treatment meted out to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford by liberal bullies and the media. Interestingly, this tear was shed back in 2011. Below that: Spiro T. Agnew. Where’s a conservative with a way with words now that we could actually use one?

What’s the No. 1 characteristic of “conservative” Canadian politicians and their supporters at this late date in the eras of Toronto Mayor (Read more…)