Truth be told, I have lived in Quebec for the last twenty years. Last week, not much of a surprise, a poll revealed that about 50% of the anglophone and allophone respondents were thinking about moving out of Quebec. Too bad I wasn’t contacted. I would have loved to explain why. So here goes.
For me, unlike many anglophones living in the Montreal region of Quebec, language is not the problem. I live in Gatineau. I am fluently bilingual, as is my wife, as are my kids. Communicating in French is something I do every day (Read more…)
It’s a trifecta of moral corruption!
Rex Murphy shills for Big Oil and Gas. Postmedia consigns its editorial control to the Oil and Gas Lobby[TM]. Postmedia, naturally, fires one of the best energy/environment reporters in the nation.
Film at 11.
Ok, it’s 11. Let’s drill down.
Journalists should declare when they receive money to speak at events. Sooooo many of them don’t. They think it’s OK because, shut up. But it’s a compromise to their credibility and can fuel speculation about conflicts of interest and bias. Many journalists pretend they’re objective. It’s humanly impossible to be objective. We all have (Read more…)
While I’m also sad that the Kamloops Daily News is closing, I think Warren Kinsella is over-simplifying a few things [see below] with respect to how the media climate will be affected by the closing of this for-profit business, earning shareholder value by producing mass media content, while sometimes allowing its corporate revenue-generating employees to produce some adequate-to-good journalism.
Let’s explore all this:
“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them.” [read the rest of his (Read more…)
Apparently, Preston Manning must have received new orders from the PMO. In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, we found Mr. Manning opining on the supposed issue of ethics in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
The upshot of Manning’s arguments is that the whole Duffy affair wouldn’t have happened if the Parliamentary Press Gallery had a rule in place that prohibited members from taking a government appointment for five years after they leave the Press Gallery.
In short, “Hey look! The problem is over there!”.
No Mr. Manning, your transparent and ridiculous attempt to direct attention away from the centre of the (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Hassan Arif theorizes that a failure to identify and address growing inequality may have played a significant role in the rise of Rob Ford’s destructive anti-socialism: The Toronto of towering new condos, of downtown coffee shops and trendy restaurants and stores, is far removed from the Toronto of these low-income, suburban, and largely visible minority residents. A “plain-talking” politician who rails against downtown elites, against “slick talking lawyers”, “consultants”, and recipients of “research grants” appeals to those who feel left behind.…These concerns, about suburban alienation, about inequality, are concerns that need to (Read more…)
Miscellanous material for your Sunday reading.
- Sean McElwee highlights the fact that inequality is an avoidable result caused by policies oriented toward rewarding greed: The problem, then, is not machines, which are doing a great deal to boost productivity; the problem is that the benefits from increased productivity no longer accrue to workers. In a provocative paper earlier this year, Josh Bivens and Mishel argued that the gains for the richest 1 percent were due to “rent-seeking” behavior by CEOs and financial professions, not competitive markets. As John Kenneth Galbraith said, “The sense of responsibility in the financial (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Richard Seymour comments on more and more draconian anti-protest laws which are being applied to attack public activism: To understand why this is happening, it is necessary to grasp the relationship between neoliberal austerity and popular democracy.
In a previous era, when neoliberal austerity was first being prepared in tandem with a racist, authoritarian crackdown, Greek political sociologist Nicos Poulantzas spoke of the “redeployment of legal-police networks” as a constitutive element in a new “authoritarian statism”. In this regime, formal parliamentary apparatuses would be retained even while substantive democracy was eroded. Stuart (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Ellen Roseman writes about the need to recognize the value of public services – and to ensure that they’re properly funded: Canadians value their high-quality public services, such as education and health care. Many understand that public services democratize consumption and help tame the market forces leading to income inequality.
Yet they still fall prey to the false promises of politicians who say tax cuts won’t change anything and may even improve their lives. In the book, economist Hugh Mackenzie urges readers to think their way through the day, making a note (Read more…)
According to the Canadian Press, “The prime minister’s chief of staff went to Stephen Harper for approval of a secret plan that would have seen the Conservative party repay Mike Duffy’s contested expenses and whitewash a Senate report, new RCMP documents suggest.”
According to the article by Jennifer Ditchburn and Steve Rennie, published today:
When the party balked at the ultimate total of Duffy’s $90,000 bill, however, Nigel Wright paid the bill himself — apparently without Harper’s knowledge. Harper has called that a “deception.”
But emails included in Wednesday’s new RCMP court filings quote Wright as getting (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Toby Sanger highlights how the Cons (following in the footsteps of the Libs before them) have already slashed federal government revenues and expenses to levels not seen since the first half of the 20th century – even as they continue to call for more blood: Total federal government spending as a share of the economy is projected to drop to a 14% share of the economy by 2018/19. This would be the lowest since at least 1948. Because the government has tied the federal public service up in knots, actual spending will (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Tim Harper discusses Stephen Harper’s current list of distractions – with Rob Ford and his Senate appointees naturally topping the list. But sadly, while John Ivison may be right in noting that actual citizens are having trouble getting the Cons to bother administering federal programs, the combination of scandal and dishonesty doesn’t seem to be slowing down their anti-worker omnibus legislation in the slightest.
- On the Senate front, Scott Stelmaschuk compares the Duffy payoff and cover-up to the long-forgotten Chuck Cadman scandal – with the key differences in exposing the story being (Read more…)
So, the mysterious video that Rob Ford claimed “didn’t exist” has resurfaced.
Frankly, the fact that Rob Ford appears to have smoked some crack, and by his own admission a considerable amount of pot, really doesn’t bother me. At least not the deeds themselves.
Quite frankly, the whole idea of a “war on drugs” that makes criminals out of everybody who touches a chemical for the purpose of “getting high” really doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve certainly argued that there is no good reason for pot to be illegal, and frankly I don’t know that making other narcotics (Read more…)
Here, on the combination of institutional and personal flaws that’s combined to create the Stephen Harper Senate scandal.
For further reading…- CBC reproduces the documents tabled by Mike Duffy in the Senate here. – The Senate debates featuring the defences of Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau can be found here. – PressProgress reminds us what the Cons said about the residency of Duffy and Wallin just a few months ago, while Jordan Press and Kirsten Smith offer a partial timeline (if one which ignores the fact that the controversy dated back to 2008). And it was Press (Read more…)
Read it. It’s a bombshell that very clearly ties Harper into this whole scheme. It doesn’t make any of the parties involved look good – in fact in many respects it makes Duffy look pretty low too – which is part of the reason I suspect that he is being basically truthful in this speech.
Like you, I took a solemn oath to put the interests of Canadians ahead of all else. However, the sad truth is, I allowed myself to be intimidated into doing what I knew in my heart was wrong out of a fear of (Read more…)
I must admit that while I really don’t much like Mike Duffy and the seemingly endless stream of evidence of corruption with him at the root of it is fatiguing to read about all the time, it is still an important issue. I am not going to argue about Senate Reform in this post – I remain unconvinced that the Duffy/Wallin/etc expenses scandal really points to an urgent need to overhaul the Senate – in fact, I am much more of the opinion that framing the expenses scandal in those terms is a red herring intended to distract the public (Read more…)
Last evening I watched a program on CBC on Sochi Olympics 2014. The corruption in Russia is incredible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Jean-Claude Killy, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014, during a February summit. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti/Associated Press )
Russian officials and businessmen have stolen billions of dollars during the years of preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, a prominent Russian opposition figure claimed Thursday.
Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister-turned-Kremlin critic, and an associate said in a report released Thursday that up to $30 billion US was stolen in the (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Jordon Cooper writes about the need to understand poverty in order to discuss and address it as a matter of public policy.
- John Greenwood reports on Cameco’s tax evasion which is being rightly challenged by the CRA – though it’s worth emphasizing that the corporate income tax at stake would figure to include hundreds of millions of dollars at the provincial level. And CBC does an undercover investigation of the types of tax evasion schemes available for a price.
- Speaking of shady practices, a witness before the Charbonneau commission has (Read more…)
Bill Curry reports that many Canadian municipalities are wondering why Rob Ford has access to funding streams not available to anybody else: Ottawa’s $660-million gift to Toronto for a subway extension will come from a program that does not yet exist, leaving Canada’s other cities confused as to how they can get in on the action.
Mayors and municipal officials scrambled this week to understand the broader implications of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s surprise announcement on Monday that Ottawa would help finance a subway extension in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.
Now, the broader implications seem to me to be (Read more…)
All over the news yesterday was headlines about Dean Del Mastro being charged by Elections Canada for misdeeds in the 2008 election.
You’d think I’d be cheering. I’m not.
Yes, I’m glad that Del Mastro will, at last, have to answer for questionable campaign practices in the 2008 election.
But, it was the fraudulent practices of the Conservatives during the 2006 and 2008 elections that led to the much more widespread fraud that they carried out in the 2011 election – and that election is the one where the greatest damage has been done to Canada.
The fact that it (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Tim Harper writes that Stephen Harper’s “lone gunman” argument – already implausible in light of the number of Senators and staffers required to cover up the Clusterduff – is falling apart at the seams. But Gloria Galloway notes that the Senators can bail out with their pensions as long as they resign before being being convicted – meaning that Mike Duffy may not be the only one who comes to see his self-interest conflicting with the Cons’ attempt to throw all available non-Harper bodies under the bus. And Pat Atkinson offers some lessons (Read more…)