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Alberta Politics: RCMP explanation of why Nigel Wright was never charged doesn’t quite pass sniff test

PHOTOS: Sen. Mike Duffy arrives at the courthouse for the final day of his trial in April 2016 in this screenshot. A couple of hours later he would look considerably happier. Below: Nigel Wright, Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff at the time of the events for which Sen. Duffy was criminally charged; . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: RCMP explanation of why Nigel Wright was never charged doesn’t quite pass sniff test

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Small town politics in the big city newspapers #nlpoli

The federal Liberals created a new process to pick judges for federal court appointments.  The process – as the Globe pointed out on Thursday – was to ensure they could ensure future appointments would be more reflective of the diversity of the country.

On Saturday,  the Globe editorial praiased the recent announcement of a white, . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Small town politics in the big city newspapers #nlpoli

Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through a window Tuesday in Brigadoon, Alberta, so it should be good as is for another 10 years. Oh, wait, I made it out of town this afternoon … it must’ve been . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the […]

The post China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later appeared first on Alberta Politics.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: For Wildrose, “Mr. Wynne” Facebook comment was last straw for Derek Fildebrandt

A statement released late on Friday night announced that Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean had suspended Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt from the Official Opposition Caucus. As AlbertaPolitics.ca author David Climenhaga wrote on Friday night: . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: For Wildrose, “Mr. Wynne” Facebook comment was last straw for Derek Fildebrandt

Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, bio… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

Alberta Politics: Notley Government navigates a profound crisis with grace and empathy, as even some conservatives begin to recognize

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who has risen to the challenge of a difficult moment in Alberta’s history. Below: Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee and a scene from the Fort McMurray fire catastrophe, which continues to burn. The lat… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Notley Government navigates a profound crisis with grace and empathy, as even some conservatives begin to recognize

In-Sights: Careless or captured? (A 2009 repeat)

When you read or listen to resource industry advocates, especially ones masquerading as objective political pundits, compare their concerns in 2009 about burning natural gas to generate peak-demand electricity to their current attitudes toward burning natural gas to liquefy natural gas. The following was first published at Northern Insight on August 4, 2009.

Despite deep cynicism about those backing Gordon Campbell’s Liberals, I’ve long held respect for the writing of Vaughn Palmer. My reservoir of appreciation seems now to have run dry. He has been bright, skilled and articulate, usually worth reading throughout 35 years with the Vancouver Sun.

Now, I don’t know. Is he distracted, overburdened, grown careless or captured by his subjects? What can explain Palmer’s early reporting about the British Columbia Utilities Commission decision on BC Hydro’s 2008 Long Term Acquisition Plan.

July 31, on his regular Vancouver radio outing, he led with this:

“I think it means the BC Utilities Commission is out of touch. You know, they said, “We’re not persuaded we need all this new green power because you’ve got the Burrard Thermal Plant sitting out there in Port Moody and it could run full time and take care of your power needs for many years.” Which, is completely out of touch. … the Utility Commission’s belief that the Burrard Thermal is the answer to any of the province’s power needs for the future just ignores its impact on air quality among other things.”

That is not merely weak reporting of the Commission’s determination. It is a reprehensible misstatement that totally fails to reflect the actual decision. I can think of only two possibilities. One is that Palmer had not read the report but relied on someone’s corrupt précis. The other is that he intentionally misled the audience for some purpose.

Sidekick Keith Baldrey, also of Canwest Global, contributed:

“And, that’s why I don’t understand why a number of environmental groups who are applauding this decision have remained silent on the fact that Burrard Thermal is to be relied on at an increasing rate because it produces dirty energy. That’s a contradictory and hypocritical position and a number of people haven’t really squared themselves with that.”

No Keith, the BC Utilities Commission simply didn’t say that.

Palmer subsequently shifted his attack, all but accusing the BCUC of joining forces with uninformed racists:

“You know, that bit about the First Nations – I mean think about this for a minute – if we go out and get public opinion on First Nations, one of the first things you hear from people is, “You know, they always want a handout from the government, they’re always taking government money.” You know, here you got a bunch of First Nations in British Columbia – some of the best led native bands in the province – gone out and they’ve found private partners to develop their own resources on their own traditional territory and the big provincial government regulator has slammed the door on their face. I mean, it’s no wonder that they’re feeling frustrated.”

Baldrey added:

“. . . these independent power projects have as economic partners First Nations groups. These are a huge economic development tool for impoverished First Nations and Vaughn and I were reading this morning, from the Sechelt Indian Band, a letter they’ve written the BC Utilities Commission accusing them of essentially, and I quote, “This appears to us to be nothing less than regulated racism.” So you’ve got First Nations now very much up in arms. With the stroke of a pen, the Utilities Commission has kiboshed what they saw as the number one tool to lift a lot of their people out of fairly extensive poverty and I don’t know if the Utilities Commission thought this through properly.”

I was interested to note that at 9am July 31, Baldrey and Palmer knew the contents of the Sechelt Band’s letter and were even armed with the pointed quote claiming “regulated racism.” Yet that letter was still warm from printing, being dated only one day before, July 30. I wonder how it came to be reviewed so promptly and publicly by the Victoria based journalists.

Was the Public Affairs Bureau (PAB) or the Independent Power Producers Association of BC (IPPBC) helping Chief Garry Feschuk and the shishalh First Nation circulate the letter? Were the flacks also providing pre-digested interpretations of the BCUC decision to certain journalists?

Palmer went on to provide a bit of accurate detail, saying the BCUC decision did not reject green power, private power or run of the river facilities and that, primarily, BC Hydro had to rework the scheduling of projects. Mind you, he ignored the BCUC determination that BC Hydro had been either inaccurate or dishonest in its power needs forecasting. That should have been news. At best, Palmer had part of the story correct but his headline material was worse than sloppy.

We cannot though accuse all professional journalists of faulty or inadequate reporting. Mark Hume at the Globe and Mail had no difficulty understanding the entire BCUC decision and writing conclusions based on the Commission’s actual findings. He said:

“The commission’s ruling made it clear, however, that there is no energy crisis – and that when there are energy shortfalls, such as during droughts or the period of peak demand in December, BC Hydro has a solid backup system in the Burrard Generating Station, an old, mostly idle plant fueled by natural gas.

“The commission is not saying we should run the Burrard plant, or that Burrard is a better source of energy than clean resources,” said economist Marvin Shaffer. What the commission determined is that Burrard is valuable as a backup facility, and that in that role it has the capacity of at least 5,000 gigawatt hours, not the 3,000 GWh estimated by BC Hydro.

“By refusing to accept the lower capacity, the commission called into question the need for BC Hydro to purchase backup power from IPPs.

“Had the British Columbia Utilities Commission not intervened, B.C. would have been damming its wild and scenic rivers, not in a noble fight against global warming, but in order to run air conditioners in California.”

Contrast that analysis to the one by Keith Baldrey:

“Yes, they (BCUC) just said go and use Burrard Thermal.”

One does not need to be a sophisticated media analyst to conclude that Canwest Global’s Palmer and Baldrey reported on the BCUC in a manner that is entirely below the standard set by Mark Hume. The Globe and Mail faces the same financial challenges as every newspaper publisher but in the western bureau, they employ and deploy high quality staff, particularly in comparison to the competition.

. . . → Read More: In-Sights: Careless or captured? (A 2009 repeat)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Angella MacEwen discusses how most of what’s sold as “free trade” serves mostly to hand power to the corporate sector at the expense of the public. Ashley Csanady and Monika Warzecha point out that the same is true f… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Jim Stanford offers a warning to Australia about Canada’s history of gratuitous corporate tax giveaways:(S)uccessive cuts reduced combined Canadian corporate taxes (including provincial rates, which also fell … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Alberta Politics: Fallout from the ‘Rebel Media’ brouhaha: maybe it’s time to abolish Alberta’s anachronistic Press Gallery

PHOTOS: A screenshot of some of the partisan materials sold on Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media website. Below: Another image of a sale item from The Rebel, in this case a T-shirt with the website’s logo on the back and a slogan supporting the Conservativ… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Fallout from the ‘Rebel Media’ brouhaha: maybe it’s time to abolish Alberta’s anachronistic Press Gallery

Alberta Politics: Alberta Budget 2015: You’d almost think Rachel Notley’s NDP has concluded its job is to govern this province!

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci answers reporters’ questions after delivering the NDP’s first Budget Speech in the Alberta Legislature yesterday. (CBC Photo) Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean and Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt also answer questions – but only from reporters who aren’t on the Wildrose Party’s Enemies List. Below that: One of Mr. . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Alberta Budget 2015: You’d almost think Rachel Notley’s NDP has concluded its job is to govern this province!

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Canada’s biggest newspaper chain sold its soul to oil and gas

Yes Rafe, I agree wholeheartedly. One step forward , another back. We heaved Steve, elected Justin Trudeau and stopped the bleeding on a number of fronts. However our MSM media has never been as poor,

Read more…

Alberta Politics: You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata?

PHOTO: Your blogger, at right, wearing the brand new string tie he just bought in Santa Fe, takes a whack at Derek Fildebrandt, the Wildrose Opposition’s finance critic. Actual Alberta politicians and political commentators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Derek Fildebrandt; Globe and Mail reporter Carrie Tait; the famous Globe headline . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata?

Susan on the Soapbox: The Globe and Mail Jumps the Shark

We’ve reached that point in the election cycle where the mainstream media peppers us with political endorsements telling us who, in their learned opinion, we should vote for on Oct 19.

Once again the mainstream media does not disappoint.

The Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald threw their weight behind . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: The Globe and Mail Jumps the Shark

In-Sights: Dear Globe and Mail

disposito, Prof. Holger Syme, October 16, 2015 You have the best arts coverage of all our Canadian newspapers. You have some excellent reporters. During this election campaign, you published a number of serious, well-considered, forcefully argued editorials. I don’t know why you feel the need to give Margaret Wente a platform, but I can overlook . . . → Read More: In-Sights: Dear Globe and Mail

Montreal Simon: The Globe and Mail’s Pathetic Endorsement of the Harper Cons

Well it's not exactly a surprise. The Globe and Mail's editorial board has endorsed Stephen Harper's Cons in the last three elections.No matter what their reporters and columnists have had to say about him for the last four years.But this couldn't be more absurd.Read more »

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Globe and Mail’s Pathetic Endorsement of the Harper Cons

Politics and its Discontents: Home Of The Whopper

Given that the unofficial organ of the Conservative Party, The Globe and Mail, has endorsed Stephen Harper in the last three elections, I don’t think it is much of a stretch to suggest they will make it four in a row, either later today online or in tomorrow’s print edition. Today, I hope readers . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Home Of The Whopper

Alberta Politics: Welcome to the Orwellian world of Wildrose, where keeping your promises makes you a liar

PHOTOS: Possibly the Globe and Mail’s best headline of the decade. Below: NDP Premier Rachel Notley, Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, the sailboat known as French Kiss, shown just to prove I didn’t make that part up, the full Globe headline, shown for the same reason. Is Alberta ready for democracy? Notwithstanding the unexpected election . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Welcome to the Orwellian world of Wildrose, where keeping your promises makes you a liar

Politics and its Discontents: In Which The Globe And Mail Continues To Service Its Ideological Master

Were it possible for a corporate entity to be appointed to the Senate, I am sure that The Globe and Mail would now be making its presence felt in the Red Chamber. Ever-constant friend to Stephen Harper, the paper with its cadre of ideological sycophants, John Ibbitson consistently leading that particular pack, has proven . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: In Which The Globe And Mail Continues To Service Its Ideological Master

Cowichan Conversations: Margaret Atwood column pulled, re-posted on National Post website

One of the advantages of the second longest campaign in Canadian history is that there is more time for voters and pundits to observe and comment on the various leaders, parties and issues. What Harper

Read more…

Alberta Politics: Upstairs Downstairs at the Edmonton Journal as Sun staff gets ready to move in

PHOTOS: The Edmonton Journal Building at 101st Street and MacDonald Drive in downtown Edmonton. It remains to be seen who will be Upstairs, and who will be Downstairs, when the staff of the Sun joins the staff of the Journal at the same address in the fall. Below: Journal Editor-in-Chief Margo Goodhand, Postmedia President and . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Upstairs Downstairs at the Edmonton Journal as Sun staff gets ready to move in

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Clearest Alternative, Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

The G&M must be loathe to report stories like this. But the NDP are so much in the lead and seen as the party of clear change, that they have no choice. But, that doesn’t stop them from trying to tilt the story in the Conservatives favour. Let’s take a look at where the G&M has problems writing a news story:

Canadians will be asked to choose between political stability and renewal – G&M states here that we currently have political stability. Funny, since when do these mean political stability?:
– subverting democracy (Bill C-51, Bill C-377, Bill C-23 among many others, cheating in elections)
– racking up the most debt of a Canadian government ever,
– running a deficit for most of their time
– balancing a budget only by looting from the EI fund
– ignoring the urgent issue of Climate Change
– focusing our economy on the oil extraction industry to the great detriment to the manufacturing industry.
–  corruption and cronyism
– warmongering instead of peacekeeping
– and the list goes on.
A more accurate line would be:
Canadians will be asked to choose between gross fiscal mismanagement & the brink of fascism, and stability & democracy.

Pollster Nik Nanos said the NDP has staked out the clearest policy positions in opposition to the Conservative Party, while the Liberals have a more nuanced approach.
– Okay, these were probably Nik Nanos’ words but using “nuanced” here is a nice way of saying that the Liberal policy positions are mainly just like the Conservatives, except for when they try to copy some of the NDP policies to try to steal their support. History shows that time and again, the Liberals, whose policies mirror (especially more recently) those of the Conservatives, always campaign on the left only to toss these left leaning policies to the wind if they win the election.

The NDP has been working hard to reassure Canadians its economic policies would be largely in line with those of the current government. The biggest change proposed by the NDP is to increase corporate taxes, although party officials said the planned rate, to be revealed in coming months, would be “reasonable.”
–  Actually, the NDP has been working hard to show Canadians that its economic policies would NOT be in line with those of the current government. The NDP plans to NOT waste money on more and bigger prisons (not needed as the crime rate has been steadily dropping), unnecessary/problematic/costly jets, corporate welfare, unaccountable missing $3.1 billion, and many other porky Conservative pies. NDP governments, on average, have a much better fiscal record than Conservatives.

Party officials said the NDP is looking for candidates with an economic background who could serve as ministers of finance or industry. The recent upswing in the polls could make that easier.
– It may well be that the NDP is looking for more candidates with economic backgrounds, but they already have a number of MPs with economic backgrounds. And unmentioned here is Erin Weir, who has been suggested as a potential Finance Minister.

While both parties want to replace the Conservatives, their partisans have been at one another’s throats. Last week, the Liberals suggested Mr. Mulcair’s flirtation with the Conservatives in 2007 undermined the NDP’s promises to clean up the environment.
– The G&M fails to mention that this has been debunked a number of times, including recently by some high-up Conservatives.
– And “undermined the NDP’s promises to clean up the environment”? The facts on this story actually result in boosting the NDP’s seriousness about cleaning up the environment. 

I’ll leave you with a few choice comments made after the G&M news item (these are all in the top ten most liked comments, and from the G&M readers no less!):

Mr Leblanc’s first paragraph is flawed, or the poll was flawed. The choice is not between “change” and “stability.” It is between “change” and “no change.” I certainly would neither call what our economy had gone through in the last year as anything approaching stability, nor would I call the government actions in domestic and foreign policy as stabilizing.



My wife and I are in the over 65 age group and for the first time ever will be voting NDP as we have seen never ending corruption with the Libs and Cons for way too many years. Many of our friends have also decided to vote NDP as it is clearly time to send a big message to all elected officials, the voters are fed up and will not take it anymore and you will be forced to understand this come the election.



choose between political stability and renewal,……….
Nope……It’s choosing between getting a country back to sanity…or carrying on with the most corrupt, crooked, manipulative crew of PROVEN liars and cheats This country has ever been controlled by …..A government rife with contempt, disrespect…..There have never been so many from a political party involved in fraud, lies, election irregularities…legal proceedings, and criminal investigations…ever…..
Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, Porter, Grestein, Stewart/Olsen, Wright, LeBreton, PMO staff
A LONG list of crooks……
It’s about voting OUT crooks and taking the nation back from the brink of fascism!!


the first sentence claims there is a choice between change and political stability. Huh? If the government loses an election in Canada, that does not mean there is less stability.
By the Globe’s definition of that term..I guess North Korea has the most political stability of all. . . . → Read More: Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Clearest Alternative, Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Clearest Alternative Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

The G&M must be loathe to report stories like this. But the NDP are so much in the lead and seen as the party of clear change, that they have no choice. But, that doesn’t stop them from trying to tilt the story in the Conservatives favour. Let’s take a look at where the . . . → Read More: Driving The Porcelain Bus: NDP Clearest Alternative Globe & Mail Is Loathe To Admit

Alberta Politics: There’s no way the Broadbent Institute should have hired a high-profile strikebreaker to moderate a panel on Alberta’s election

PHOTOS: A striker, at right, confronts a security guard during one of the dark days of the 1999-2000 labour dispute at the Calgary Herald. Below: Calgary Herald political columnist Don Braid and Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith. I was genuinely shocked when I learned a few days ago that the Broadbent Institute is about . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: There’s no way the Broadbent Institute should have hired a high-profile strikebreaker to moderate a panel on Alberta’s election