Canadians have much to ponder before casting their ballots in October. Opinion polls tell us that the economy, healthcare and job creation are uppermost in their minds, all worthy topics to be sure. However, only 15% list Bill C-51, Harper’s anti-terrorism legislation, as one of their top-five issues. More Canadians should be very, very concerned about it, given the disturbing international trends that are emerging as governments crack down on groups they feel threatened by.
Readers will recall that in addition to Bill C-51′s troubling lack of oversight, there is a provision that could allow for mass arrests for protesters: (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Althia Raj, Karl Nerenberg, Tim Harper, Jennifer Ditchburn and Kristy Kirkup, Lee Berthiaume and Jason Fekete, PressProgress and CTV News all point out some of the more noteworthy aspects of Nigel Wright’s testimony in Mike Duffy’s trial (along with the large amount of material brought to light as a result). Frank Koller observes that we should be insulted by Wright’s belief that full cover-ups can be bought, while Sandy Garossino highlights how quickly Wright’s talking points fell apart once they were subject to meaningful scrutiny. The Star, (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Joseph Stiglitz discusses how Greece has been turned into a sacrificial lamb at the altar of austerian economics: Austerity is largely to blame for Greece’s current depression — a decline of gross domestic product of 25 percent since 2008, an unemployment rate of 25 percent and a youth unemployment rate twice that. But this new program ratchets the pressure up still further: a target of 3.5 percent primary budget surplus by 2018 (up from around 1 percent this year). Now, if the targets are not met, as they almost surely won’t (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Barry Eidlin argues that Canada’s comparatively stronger trade unions have led to a far more equal distribution of income than exists in the U.S., and discusses what we need to do to reinforce that tendency: In a recent article and forthcoming book, I put forth a new theory: Canadian unions remained stronger because they were better able to retain a legitimate social and political role as defenders of working class interests. By contrast, U.S. unions got painted as a narrow “special interest.”
These different roles for labour weren’t just (Read more…)
This morning, the UN Human Rights Committee said Bill C-51 could run afoul of the international covenant on civil and political rights. This reckless legislation lacks legitimacy and we need to get it repealed! Speak out at KillC51.ca
Article by the Canadian Press published at the Globe and Mail
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- tcnorris highlights how the Cons’ gratuitous cuts are undermining their hopes of staying in power. And Eric Pineault discusses the costs of austerity for Quebec in particular and Canada as a whole: (C)utting into spending slows down growth and keeps the economy in a stagnation trap. The resulting underemployment equilibrium puts a lot pressure on household revenues just as those same households are getting into debt. We are thus faced with a second paradox: in a stagnating economy, trying to use austerity to reduce public debt also translates into an increased burden of (Read more…)
As the fireworks burst over my neighbourhood last night, and I watched the Cirque du Soleil's amazing performance at the opening ceremony of the Pan Am games, I was reminded of the country we could be.A still young country that could dazzle the world in a peaceful beautiful way. A decent country, like the one we once were, full of hope and promise.Not the country we have become after so many years of being degraded in every possible way by Stephen Harper and his filthy Con regime.A rogue nation which is getting ready to be spanked by the (Read more…)
The timing couldn't have been better, coming as it did two days before the 46th anniversary of the so-called Stonewall Riots in New York City…
The revolt that is principally credited as the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. And is celebrated every year with pride marches all over the world.But millions and millions of LGBT Americans still had to struggle for almost half a century against the most insane and brutish bigotry, to be granted this measure of human equality. Read more »
PHOTOS: Poultry farmers not exactly like these, and dairy farmers as seen below, are facing sneaky attacks by the Harper Government. And speaking of the chickens coming home to roost, below them is a screen shot of former Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro. VICTORIA, B.C. Same sex marriage advocates and poultry and dairy farmers might […]
The post Government by sneak: the preferred Harper Conservative response to thorny issues and hard-fought elections appeared first on Alberta Politics.
Photo by Rachel Unkovic
A report issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this week provided a jarring statistical glimpse at the unprecedented crisis facing 59.5 million people who are currently displaced. With ongoing wars and sectarian conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and Somalia, and record numbers moving in search of economic betterment, an additional 8.1 million people were uprooted in 2014. If all of the world’s refugees were to form one independent country, it would be the 24th largest, just behind Italy and ahead of South Africa. This country would contain .8% (Read more…)
Cootie Catcher, written and performed by Lucas Brooks, focuses on Brooks’ close encounters of the transmissible kind. Using a cootie catcher, better known to some as a fortune teller, Brooks regales the audience with tales of all the times he thought he had been exposed to one STD or another, while simultaneously exploring his sexual history.
The cootie catcher gimmick is cute, and means that the show is obviously different with each performance. Normally this would be impressive, but given that the stories in question are well-edited anecdotes from Brooks’ personal past, the effect is somewhat diminished.
So, too, (Read more…)
As an American expat unfamiliar with the pop-cultural aspect of Canadian politics, a lot of the jokes in Laureen: Queen of the Tundra went over my head. However, it is to the performers’ credit that this did not distract from their commentary about the fluidity of gender and culture, against the rigidity of modern politics.
This show had a great sense of pacing punctuated by confessional monologues in between political skits, shedding some light onto the person behind the persona. By raising questions about identity, whether Canadian, queer, or both, the show is inherently political and subversive, while also heartfelt (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Daria Ukhova summarizes the OECD’s findings on the links between inequality, poverty and the economy: Inequality, economic growth, and poverty. In the new report, the OECD has tried to establish the links between these three phenomena, which so far have been mostly explored in pairs, as the relationship between inequality and growth and the relationship between inequality and poverty. While confirming previous arguments about the negative impact of inequality on growth and on poverty, the OECD has gone a step further, arguing that the mechanism through which inequality actually undermines growth is (Read more…)
I don't expect much, or anything really, from the barbaric kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The home of the beheaders, and the nexus of terrorism.But even by its brutish standards this is outrageous. Read more »
Winnipeg, June, 5, 2015: At the Manitoba Legislative Building, Maeengan Linklater answers journalists’ questions about his proposed Manitoba Indian Residential Schools Genocide and Reconciliation Memorial Day Act. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has completed its work, and the major federal political parties have have adopted predictable positions, what can ordinary folk do to make sure Justice Sinclair’s message isn’t lost between now and the election this fall?
I’m rather taken with a draft Act that was made public yesterday on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature that would set aside one day a (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma
Photo by Kim Hansen
More than 800 migrants died on April 19 this year when their overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. The tragedy sent soaring this year’s Mediterranean death toll which was by then around 1,500 – 10 times the deaths during the same period last year.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), between 23,000 and 24,000 migrants had tried to cross over to Italy since the beginning of the year, while just under 21,000 migrants made the same journey between January and April 2014. While the number of migrants rose to (Read more…)
Graphic created by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D’Andrade.
A totalitarian state is only as strong as its informants. And the United States has a lot of them. They read our emails. They listen to, download and store our phone calls. They photograph us on street corners, on subway platforms, in stores, on highways and in public and private buildings. They track us through our electronic devices. They infiltrate our organizations. They entice and facilitate “acts of terrorism” by Muslims, radical environmentalists, activists and Black Bloc anarchists, framing these hapless dissidents and sending them off to prison for years. They have (Read more…)
Image from Public Domain
As Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points out to Chris Hedges in this interview for The Real News Network about Scheer’s new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy, the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.
What’s more, corporations are able to find out more about citizens from an array of legal methods of data collection—from voluntarily relinquished to disturbingly covert—than the most notorious totalitarian regimes of (Read more…)
Political corruption kills more people than war and famine combined. I addressed the United Nations on how the international community can and must act to bring kleptocrats to justice.
A wonderful thing may be about to happen in Ireland in just a few days.Millions of people are preparing to take on the power of the Catholic Church, and some of the nastiest bigots you can imagine.And make that country the first in the world to vote to approve same-sex marriage. Read more »
Photo by Khadr family
When torture survivor Omar Khadr was granted bail last week, the Harper government actually did something logical: it argued in an emergency hearing that releasing someone who, since the age of 15, has never known life outside of the world’s worst detention facilities, would cause irreparable harm.
Indeed, it already has, but not in the way the government had argued. For Canada’s state security agencies and public safety ministers, the days of easy, unanswered attacks on Khadr’s reputation, along with accusations of the alleged threat he poses to Canadians, are over. Why? Because, for the very (Read more…)