Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Andrew Jackson writes that Canada needs far more investment in infrastructure – rather than the austerity that’s constantly being prescribed by the Cons: The fiscal policy choice we face is often miscast as one between austerity to deal with public debt and short-term Keynesian-style stimulus. But the real choice, Mr. Summers argues, is whether or not to finance public investments that would have positive long-term impacts on both the economy and on public finances.
Take the case for repairing or replacing Canada’s crumbling basic municipal infrastructure, some 30 per cent of which is (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- The Economist discusses research by Miles Corak and others on intergenerational inequality. And interestingly, other studies seem to suggest Corak has actually underestimated the barriers to social mobility: THE “Great Gatsby curve” is the name Alan Krueger, an economic adviser to Barack Obama, gave to the relationship between income inequality and social mobility across the generations. Mr Krueger used the phrase in a 2012 speech to describe the work of Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa, who has shown that more unequal economies tend to have less fluid societies. Mr Corak (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- George Monbiot discusses how another corporate investment agreement – this time one between Europe and the U.S. patterned after CETA – will transfer yet more power from people and their elected governments to corporate elites: The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- David Green asks whether decades of corporate insistence on “flexible” labour markets (i.e. ones which offer no stability for workers) have resulted in the improved wages promised at the outset: Increased wages are how we share the benefits of economic growth among a wide range of people in our society. It’s hard to see the fairness in policies that seek to stamp out wage increases wherever possible.
But this raises the second question – has the policy of increased labour market flexibility worked? Has it delivered a better life for most Canadians?
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Don Braid comments on Alberta’s complete lack of credibility when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. And Andrew Leach nicely sums up the PC/Con position in trying to put a happy face on growing emissions: Suppose you run into an old friend whom you haven’t seen for some time. You notice that he looks a little thicker than you remembered around the waist, but, since you aren’t one of those academics who shuns basic manners, you keep mum.
“How are you doing?” you say, “What’s new? (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Thomas Walkom writes that the Harper Cons’ much-hyped economic record in fact offers ample reason to demand a change in government: The Conservatives insist that the economy is their strong suit. And for a while it was. In 2011, voters bought Harper’s pitch.
But voter patience can last only so long. For too many Canadians, life is not improving. Income gaps are becoming more blatant. Wages are sluggish. Students are taking on massive debts to prepare themselves for jobs that, in the end, fail to materialize.
Those lucky enough to have jobs — (Read more…)
I’ve written before about the Cons’ blatant strategy of saying just enough about regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the oil industry to confuse voters about the issue while blocking the way toward any action. And so the real news in their offer to let the U.S. write the regulations they’ve been promising “next year” for seven years and counting is the prospect that it might actually result in some policy coming into effect.
That is, assuming one thinks the same prime minister who’s gleefully played Lucy-with-the-football with the Canadian public on this exact issue will voluntarily follow through after (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Matthew Yglesias sums up the effects of four decades of U.S. union-busting, and points out how the supposed benefit from pointing a fire hose filled with money in the general direction of the corporate sector hasn’t materialized: If you turn back 30 or 40 years, the policy rationale for crushing labor union influence went something like this: In the short-term crushing private sector labor unions is going to lead to a surge in corporate profits, but profits are the fuel of investment and long-term economic growth. Companies with high profits have the (Read more…)
Ray Grigg, a weekly environmental columnist and author of seven internationally published books on Oriental philosophy, discusses the “tragedy” of Canada’s environmental denial.
The post The tragedy of Canada’s environmental denial appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
President Barack Obama (Photo: Pete Souza)
In his much-anticipated speech on climate change and the environment this week, US President Barack didn’t exactly kill TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline as environmentalists had hoped. He simply stated that Keystone should only be approved if it doesn’t lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Still, Environmental Defence, one of Canada’s leading environmental action organizations, believes Obama showed leadership on climate change. The kind that may actually result in the US rejection of Keystone XL. That’s because pipeline is “a gateway to tar sands expansion and the scientific community agrees (Read more…)
I’ll generally concur with Paul Wells’ take on Barack Obama’s reference to Keystone XL yesterday. But it’s worth taking a slightly closer look at both the broad issue framed by Obama, and the Cons’ narrow means of avoiding it.
The point of greatest significance in Obama’s speech was indeed the mention that as a general rule, any project which exacerbates climate change isn’t in the U.S.’ national interest. But it’s hard to see how that standard could be applied to Keystone XL and not to a wide range of regulatory and trade arrangements – meaning that a single (Read more…)
Here, on how the one point of agreement about the environmental impact of the tar sands is that we still don’t have enough information to so much as evaluate the effects of the industry at the core of the Harper Cons’ economic strategy.
For further reading…- The Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Monitoring Information Portal is here, with the disclaimer mentioned in the column here. – CBC reports on the EPA response (PDF) to the State Department’s current environmental assessment of Keystone XL. – And Joe Oliver is doing what Joe Oliver does by publicly bashing climate science (Read more…)
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: An annual report by International Energy Agency (IEA) says the development of low-carbon energy is progressing too slowly to limit climate change. “The drive to clean up the world’s energy system has stalled,” said aid Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, during the presentation of the report [...]
The post Clean energy progress too slow to limit climate change, says report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Across Canada, provincial and local governments have achieved great things in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the Harper government has grabbed as much undeserved credit for that as possible.
Yet Harper and his slackjawed EnviroShill, Peter Kent, can’t hide the impacts of their bitumen-peddling policies, no matter how much credit they steal from others.
Canada’s annual heat-trapping greenhouse gases continue to level off or decline in most sectors of the economy, outside of Alberta’s oilpatch, says the latest annual inventory report submitted by the Harper government to the United Nations. The government report, prepared by Environment Canada, noted (Read more…) country’s average temperatures were 1.5 degrees C above average in 2011, which makes it more likely to observe impacts such as rising sea levels and increasing extreme weather events that could intensify in the future.
“In some regions, the impacts could be devastating, while other regions could benefit from . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Canada’s Carbon Black Eye – Bitumen Peddling
Did you know our government spend money subsidizing fossil fuel energy to keep prices artificially low? A new International Monetary Fund study uncovers just how much these subsidies are and urge our governments to stop these market distortion practices. I calculate the real price we pay for fossil fuel energy and the results are astonishing.
The release of the study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is widely covered by mainstream media around the world in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and in a particularly good analysis from the Wall Street Journal. But it was (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- John Greenwood and CBC News both report on the offshore tax avoidance being revealed through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. And Susan Lunn observes that Canada’s federal parties are all at least paying lip service to the issue – though of course the Cons’ cuts to tax enforcement speak louder than their spin.
- Meanwhile, Paul McLeod notes that income inequality will also receive at least some much-needed attention in Parliament. And Danyaal Raza’s discussion of the damage done to public health by inequality looks to offer one important point worth
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links
Aaron Wherry nicely points out some of the jaw-dropping contradictions in the Cons’ climate change messaging. But let’s not forget a few more worth adding into the mix.
Having refused to implement any meaningful regulations or carbon pricing at the federal level, the Cons have tried to take credit for provincial attempts to fill the vacuum – even ones they’ve fought against with every fiber of their being. And they’ve not only scrapped the public organization which dared to highlight that difference, but they’ve since gone out of their way to hide its work.
Which is to say that in
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On contradictions
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: A new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Wilderness Committee calls for a radical rethink of British Columbia’s waste management policies. It argues that recycling can’t solve the province’s pollution problems and calls for a postconsumerist model of zero waste. While acknowledging [...]
The post British Columbia study advocates postconsumerist model of zero waste appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
By: Canadian Auto Workers Union | Press Release PORT ELGIN, ON – A CAW owned and operated wind turbine started operating today generating clean wind energy to the electrical grid in Port Elgin, Ontario. “This is an important day as the start-up of this wind turbine marks an environmental milestone for our union [...]
The post CAW Owned and Operated Wind Turbine Begins Operation in Port Elgin, ON appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
By: Pembina Institute | Press Release: OTTAWA — Clare Demerse, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following comments today following the release of the 2013 federal budget: “Jim Flaherty delivered his eighth budget at a time when the federal government’s track record on the environment and climate change is under heightened scrutiny, and [...]
The post Federal Budget 2013 missed opportunity to invest in clean energy, says Pembina Institute appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Either after the upcoming federal election, or the one after, the Green Party of Canada will fade away from existence. Firstly, its fundamental reason for existence has been taken on by other parties. Preston Manning, arch-conservative of the Conservative Party of Canada and head of the Manning Centre for Democracy, has called for a green [...]
By Pembina Institute (Press Release) | Feb. 25, 2013: EDMONTON — As Canada faces increasing scrutiny of its weak climate change policy for oilsands development, a new report illustrates how both Alberta and the federal government can better manage emissions and improve the country’s international reputation. The new Pembina Institute report, Carbon Pricing Approaches in Oil and READ MORE
Leftdog has already weighed in on one key connection to be drawn based on the latest news about the siphoning of money from a supposed attempt to toward insiders with a sole-sourced deal to provide computers at inflated prices. But let’s look at a couple more points arising out of the story. All of this seems to contradict what Donna Harpauer, the government minister responsible, told the NDP Opposition last June.
“The contract cost was within the acceptable range for similar goods and services and the goods and services were necessary,” Harpauer said at the time.
Now, Harpauer says she
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On responsibility
Here, on Brad Wall’s off-key lobbying against action on climate change – and why we should see the bright side of having the Obama administration push us toward more sound environmental policy when far too many Canadian leaders have failed in their responsibilities.
For further reading…- Wall’s simultaneous lobbying for automatic pipeline approval and against any further Canadian action on climate change can be found here (see in particular the video clip to the right) and here.- Jeffrey Simpson and Tzeporah Berman have made similar points about the value of the U.S.’ message linking Canadian
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day
By Dr. David Suzuki | Published by Troy Media on Feb. 13, 2013: When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in 2010, killing 11 people and spewing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, it cost more than $40 billion to mop up the mess. In Canada, an oil company would be liable for only $30 million, READ MORE