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Political Eh-conomy: Forget global superstar, Vancouver’s housing troubles start at home

Vancouver was the star of a recent New Yorker article that shone a light on the city’s lack of housing affordability and linked this lack to an inflow of foreign buyers. Unfortunately, this link is extremely tenuous, as most of the support is anecdotal or based on very limited data. At the same time, there are good reasons to look for the sources of the lack of affordability much closer to home. Articles like that in the New Yorker allow for far-flung conclusions that end up bolstering a fatalist political narrative about the potential for meaningful change.

First, the data. The New Yorker (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jeremy Warren reports on the origins of the Idle No More movement – recognizing it as an ideal example of how a few people resolving to take action can have a massive impact on public discussions. And Tim Harper notes that Stephen Harper may be forced to revise his 2013 agenda to address the movement’s concerns: It has moved beyond the angry flare sparked by the bill and has grown, fuelled by young aboriginals deftly using social media, to represent the latest iteration of the festering conflict that has marked the Harper government

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Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

With official forums on hold until January but the holiday lull not quite yet here, Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership candidates have been fairly active over the last little while. So let’s take a look at the latest developments.

- The latest fund-raising numbers are available here, and charted by Alice below:

What looks most noteworthy from November is a push by Ryan Meili in both fund-raising and expenditures. While his campaign has trumpeted its continued lead in donations, Meili also outspent his competitors substantially for the latest month, leaving him as the only candidate to end November with less cash

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The Canadian Progressive: Forest Ethics: Canada’s Tar Sands 71% Foreign-owned

by Forest Ethics: An in-depth review of shareholder information from Bloomberg shows that 71 per cent of all tar sands production is owned by non-Canadian shareholders. Supposedly Canadian companies (with Canadian headquarters and accounting practices who trade on our stock exchanges) are largely owned by foreign interests, including Suncor (56.8%), Canadian Oil Sands (56.8%), Nexen READ MORE

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Frances Russell discusses how the Harper Cons have capitalized on the general public’s lack of familiarity with how our parliamentary system is supposed to work – and the conventional checks and balances which have been overridden at every turn by a governing party which isn’t interested in preserving a functional system of accountability: Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of politics at the University of Manitoba, calls the debasement of Canada’s Parliament under the Harper Conservatives “stark.” He cites such recent developments as: the government forcing committees to meet in secret and muzzling opposition

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Accidental Deliberations: On sad traditions

I haven’t commented much on the latest out of the federal Libs’ camp. But I’ll quickly expand on the similarities noted by Paul Wells between Justin Trudeau and some of his predecessors – who did so much to alienate progressive Canadians during their s… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On sad traditions

Accidental Deliberations: On precedence

There’s not much doubt that Canada’s debates over the FNOOC/Nexen takeover bid and FIPPA investor privilege treaty with China have become intertwined. But it’s worth noting that some observers seem to be misreading how the two will relate to each other… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On precedence

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- David Olive comments on the world food crisis, making the point that what we’re lacking is some link between more-than-sufficient productive capacity and the nutritional needs of less wealthy people around the globe: (A) permanently higher price for oil spurred successful innovation to reduce our reliance on petroleum products in realms outside of transportation and energy, along with a determined effort to find new sources of oil in increasingly remote places.

The global food crisis, by contrast, has not made us think differently about how we produce and use the fruit of the

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Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review – March 29, 2012

There’s been much ado about the NDP’s position on trade agreements based on the Cons’ recent publicly-funded cheerleading for free trade at any price. But for anybody looking for the NDP’s actual view on trade, the House of Commons debates from March 29 offer a rather thorough indication.

The Big Issue

That’s thanks to a Parliamentary debate on the Cons’ legislation to implement a free trade agreement with Panama. And the NDP made clear that it’s willing to reasonably review and support trade agreements in general – but that it won’t be bullied into backing deals that give preferential treatment

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