The two great French cities of the world, well, Montreal used to be worthy, are having some development conundrums. Paris has decided to add a dozen highrise buildings but away from the city centre – the Eiffel Tower must always be the dominant structure there. So Paris does have limits, like Montreal, on how high buildings can go,whether they are downtown or not and this is a pretty good thing. But the world’s most popular, most desired, city to visit seems to be feeling it needs to keep pace with London which has added some interesting if not (Read more…)
Some of country’s biggest ever rallies sweep major cities. Bus fare hike is the last straw as high costs and poor services spiral
Read the full report from the Guardian here.
“He was known as the “shadow MP” of the federal Mont-Royal riding, hovering and thinking about making another run at the job after losing in 2011….Saulie Zajdel’s stunning arrest Monday on five charges including breach of trust, corruption and fraud sent a shock wave through the ranks of the Conservative Party from the top down…Zajdel, who bagged a controversial adviser’s job in the office of Heritage Minister James Moore after his defeat in Mont-Royal…was hired by Moore, a close associate, to work as a “liaison” between the government and Montreal’s cultural communities from (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Doreen Massey observes that our political vocabulary has largely been hijacked by corporatist language: At a recent art exhibition I engaged in an interesting conversation with one of the young people employed by the gallery. As she turned to walk off I saw she had on the back of her T-shirt “customer liaison”. I felt flat. Our whole conversation seemed somehow reduced, my experience of it belittled into one of commercial transaction. My relation to the gallery and to this engaging person had become one of instrumental market exchange.
The message underlying this (Read more…)
This and that to end your weekend.
- Dave Coles introduces readers to the Cons’ latest attack on labour – with a backbencher’s private member’s bill again serving as an excuse to introduce unprecedent restrictions on union organization.
- Michael Harris suspects that the Cons’ attempt to delay any public review of their burgeoning Senate slush fund scandal by a referral to the Auditor General is doomed to fail. And Karl Nerenberg discusses exactly what the slush fund means – including the holes it highlights in Canada’s party financing system.
- Martin Regg Cohn rightly calls out Jim Flaherty for (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- David Miller makes the case to take aim at inequality in Canada: With globalization being the holy grail of efficiency, it became a race to the bottom as international capital sought the lowest cost and the lowest wages. The result in Canada and many other countries was the closing of industries, the gutting of union organizing through new laws that attack unions and limit their ability to operate, and the gradual rise in income inequality since 1990. Canada now ranks 12th out of 17 first-world economies for income inequality, and were given a (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Thomas McDonagh discusses how the combination of concentrated corporate wealth and ill-advised trade agreements has allowed business interests to override the will of even strong citizens’ movements: In 2009, when the government of El Salvador refused to issue an environmental permit to a Canadian mining corporation, community activists in Las Cabañas rejoiced. For years they had been fighting a pitched battle against the efforts of the company, Pacific Rim, to mine for gold in their region – plans that included the dumping of toxic arsenic in their rivers. It was not a (Read more…)
The Conservatives are losing their favourite, time-tested tactic to reset public opinion: just say the word “sponsorship.”
For seven long years, anytime they could be criticised for ethical lapses, for cronyism and corruption, for pork and for secrecy (in a word, umm, always), they could simply refer back to “sponsorship” and be assured that the public would growl at horrific memories of Liberal sleaze, and we’d remind outselves how grateful we should be that things are, at the very least, not that bad.
Except that they are. And you know that they are when a Prime Minister not only (Read more…)
Let’s once again take a slightly closer look at what’s been reported about the Cons’ senate scandal – as yesterday’s revelations about the involvement of Stephen Harper’s special counsel and legal adviser Benjamin Perrin may offer a few more indications as to who was actually pulling the strings.
To start with, here’s CTV’s reporting on the drafting of the agreement between Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright: Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former special counsel and legal adviser worked on the legal deal between Nigel Wright and Sen. Mike Duffy’s lawyer that called for Wright to help Duffy pay off $90,000 in (Read more…)
Plenty of others have had loads to say about the scandal surrounding Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, Mike Duffy and the Senate generally – with Wright’s resignation today serving as just the latest chapter of a story with plenty left to be told. But I’ll add a couple of notes to the mix.
First, I’m not sure some commentators (especially those thinking that “the cheque” is the real story) have noticed the significance of this juxtaposition of events: A senior government official told Postmedia News on Thursday that Wright wrote a cheque to Duffy’s lawyer “in trust.” The official, who (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Paul Krugman draws a much-needed connection between austerity politics and Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine: What Smith didn’t note, somewhat surprisingly, is that his argument is very close to Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, with its argument that elites systematically exploit disasters to push through neoliberal policies even if these policies are essentially irrelevant to the sources of disaster. I have to admit that I was predisposed to dislike Klein’s book when it came out, probably out of professional turf-defending and whatever — but her thesis really helps explain a lot about what’s going (Read more…)
It was built below specs and has been poorly maintained. Saving on maintenance costs in the first 3 decades created full time maintenance contracts that has cost, and will cost taxpayer’s, over 100′s of million of dollars to maintain a structure that is scheduled to be torn down. Somebody has done alright with that. But not you and me.
By Billy Shields Global News
MONTREAL – Transport Quebec announced a series of closures this weekend as it ramps up badly needed work on the Turcot Interchange.
Starting at 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, the (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Thomas Walkom offers an insider’s look at outsourcing: Arlene says any outsourcing scheme begins with the institution’s senior management. Usually, she says, the aim is to transfer about 60 per cent of the affected jobs — often in back-shop areas like information technology — to India where wages are a fraction of those paid in Canada.
The remaining 40 per cent, which generally require more local support, are outsourced to third-party firms in Canada. They in turn, subcontract the jobs to individual Canadians. The aim here, Arlene says, is to not only to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links
My article in the Globe and Mail: My one conversation with Margaret Thatcher about the Liberal Party of Canada began with a chill in the air, and ended with our host mopping his brow. We were all polite, but there were daggers behind the smiles and venom coiled around the courtesy…The news of her death, coming days before the party chooses its new leader, brought her verdict back to me.
To say I am behind the times on Turcot would be an understatement. Seems I have drifted into focusing a lot of my online attention into relaying the ongoing tragedy that is our federal government under Stephen Harper via Facebook and occasionally Twitter in recent years. Of course it is all interconnected when you follow the dots.
A non corrupt Turcot? It sure is an interesting concept, pretty much a fantasy actually. But all of us in Quebec owe the Charbonneau Commission a big tip ‘o the hat for showing us how corrupt the City of Montreal has been.
. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Goverment Talking Corruption Free Turcot
I am enormously grateful to the Board of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption for their confidence in naming me their Executive Director, and I will work tirelessly to justify their faith. I feel deeply privileged to have a chance to work with GOPAC’s global alliance of democratically elected parliamentarians to fight political corruption and advance the rule of law around the world.
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Alan Feuer writes about New York City’s brilliant use of “big data” to connect the dots in making public policy. And the examples look like a rather compelling reason why we should be looking to expand public-sector data collection and analysis as part of any remotely viable regulatory structure – rather than following the right-wing model of reducing the public sector to checking whether private-sector actors have filed paperwork claiming to have complied with the law.
- Chantal Hebert theorizes that the Harper Cons may be facing their seven-year itch. Alison’s updated
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Jason Fekete reports on the growing recognition that tax evasion and avoidance are serious global problems – and the Cons’ attempt to be seen nodding at the issues. Needless to say, that posturing would be far more plausible if the same Cons weren’t simultaneously announcing their intention to slash the Canada Revenue Agency’s enforcement capability even further (in keeping with their past moves to attack the CRA).
- Meanwhile, the fallout from Peter Penashue’s acceptance of illegal corporate campaign donations continues. And it’s well worth highlighting the fact that the financial agent
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links
* One of the few-and-far-between perks of being a climate blogger is that occasionally I get access to books and movies before the general public does. This past weekend I got to watch “Greedy Lying Bastards” before it hit movie screens across the U.S. on Monday. Sunday night I, along with some fellow Citizens Climate [...]
You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows – Bob Dylan
C’mon, tell us how you voted for Tremblay again and again and how much you thought he was a good mayor – Neath Turcot
Union Montréal manager was on engineering firm’s payroll CBC News Posted: Mar 12, 2013 2:52 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 12, 2013 3:11 PM ET
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Christian Ouellet told the Charbonneau commission that his role with a engineering firm that he maintained while he worked for Union Montréal was minimal. (Charbonneau commission ) Full coverage of the Quebec . . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Corruption Probe Just Keeps Scoring
I haven’t watched the thursday political panel on The National for a while but I caught it yesterday and was somewhat surprised by what I heard. The conversation was further evidence that the political mood is changing. Chantal Hébert said that it seems clear now that even Harper and Flaherty can no longer believe that their government is in anyway transparent, and that they must surely understand that their cabal is considerably more opaque that any previous government. Andrew Coyne took up the conversation from there and suggested essentially that Harper is gradually becoming something of a liability to the
. . . → Read More: kirbycairo: Harper and His Cabal, When Men get Desperate. . .
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | Feb. 27, 2013: Has Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally awakened to the reality that Canada’s appointed Senate is indeed a scandal-ridden ”useless, expensive, undemocratic appendage of government”? That a majority of democracy-loving Canadians don’t really find the unfolding Senatorial soap opera engulfing mostly his appointees that funny? Is he finally admitting the truth: he’s the world’s worst talent scout? Earlier this months READ MORE
Quand la nouvelle est tombée l’été dernier que la Banque du Canada avait effectué un nettoyage ethnique dans les images imprimées sur la monnaie canadienne, le faux-pas a fait le tour du monde. Dans un focus group, certains intervenants xénophobes se sont insurgés contre l’image d’une femme aux traits asiatiques sur (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: The Adventures of Diva Rachel: La Banque du Canada dit non au reflet de la diversité sur les dollars -OU – La xénophobie structurelle à la Banque du Canada: le jupon qui dépasse
The news of the ethnic cleansing of Canadian c-notes by the Bank of Canada hit like a bombshell last summer. It was revealed that an Asian-looking female figure was gentrified by the federal institution to appease Canadians who expressed xenophobic views in a focus group. The news went viral around the world, with Canada’s reputation as a magnificent multicultural mosaic coming into question.The Bank of Canada’s official explanation, that ethnically neutral images were the rule, did little to pacify Canadians of both neutral ethnicity and visible minorities. Neither did the weak, vague apology issued by Bank of Canada governor
. . . → Read More: The Adventures of Diva Rachel: No Asians + No Blacks + no gays + no turbans + no aboriginals = No Canada -OR- BankOfCanada’s state sponsored xenophobia
Looks like Christmas came early : the news leaked that the much-criticized F-35 military jet purchase, first estimated at $16Billion or $25Billion or $30B or $40B, has been cancelled.
Did Harper finally come to his senses about a jet which was rumoured not to function in nordic climates, have radar issues, and ever-growing costs.
I’d love for Canada to use the money to buy back its once-pristine international reputation, but even $40B won’t suffice.
Let us contemplate how Canada could spend the cash! Bring Nordiques back to Québec City! Bribe a corrupt Canadian mayor to change their (Read more…)