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THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WHAT BREXIT MEANS TO UK CAREGIVERS AND WHY POLICY MATTERS EVERYWHERE

News feeds are awash in stories of the BREXIT referendum debacle in the UK.  Weak and deceitful campaigns on both sides of the argument about whether to leave the European Union or not resulted in a surprise victory by the ‘Leavers’, prompting the… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WHAT BREXIT MEANS TO UK CAREGIVERS AND WHY POLICY MATTERS EVERYWHERE

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WHAT BREXIT MEANS TO UK CAREGIVERS AND WHY POLICY MATTERS EVERYWHERE

News feeds are awash in stories of the BREXIT referendum debacle in the UK.  Weak and deceitful campaigns on both sides of the argument about whether to leave the European Union or not resulted in a surprise victory by the ‘Leavers’, prompting the… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WHAT BREXIT MEANS TO UK CAREGIVERS AND WHY POLICY MATTERS EVERYWHERE

In-Sights: "A strong message…"

Canadian bank fined $1.1M for failing to report suspicious dealings, CTV News, April 5, 2016The federal anti-money laundering agency has levied a $1.1-million penalty against an unnamed Canadian bank for failing to report a suspicious transaction and v… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: "A strong message…"

In-Sights: "A strong message…"

Canadian bank fined $1.1M for failing to report suspicious dealings, CTV News, April 5, 2016
The federal anti-money laundering agency has levied a $1.1-million penalty against an unnamed Canadian bank for failing to report a suspicious transaction and various money transfers.

It is the first time the Ottawa-based Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, has penalized a bank. The centre identifies cash linked to terrorism, money laundering and other crimes…

Fintrac spokesman Darren Gibb says he cannot legally discuss details of the bank’s infraction, and the agency is exercising its discretion to withhold the financial institution’s identity.

But Fintrac wants to send a strong message that it will take whatever measures are needed to encourage compliance with the law…

A strong message, really? Instead, Fintrac’s action demonstrates that oligarchs and influential institutions are not subject to laws that apply to others. I see a parallel to management of the Panama Papers that writer Craig Murray describes.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1 Percent From Panama Leak, Truthdig, April 4, 2016

The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires—the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”

…Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

While the $1.1 million penalty assessed a Canadian organization may seem substantial, we should evaluate its severity by considering ability to pay. Canada’s two largest banks are Royal Bank and TD Bank. The first has assets of $1.20 trillion and the other has $1.17 trillion. For either, a $1.1 million penalty is equivalent to 9¢ for an individual with $100,000 in assets. For CIBC, the smallest of Canada’s big-five banks, the equivalency is 23¢.

Keeping the wrongdoer’s name secret is another benefit for plutocrats. Bank executives may want to avoid dealing with shame at the country club but there is a widely accepted tenet of justice that calls for punishment to be in public view for deterrence and denunciation. However, in Canada, under Harper Conservatives and now the Trudeau Liberals, favoured groups are exempted from meaningful punishment.

Perhaps because controlling shareholder Murray Edwards arranged millions for BC Liberals, Imperial Mines was not charged for the catastrophic failure of the tailings dam at its Mount Polley gold and copper mine. Several communities experienced a state of emergency and drinking water bans. Meanwhile, this year in North Vancouver provincial court, homeowners were fined $100,000 when their landscaping project led to a sediment dump into a small creek that affected the water supplies of no communities.

Landslide on ground they made unstable put homeowners in court. They didn’t donate millions to #BCLiberals. #bcpoli https://t.co/fvPooA0Lbk

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) April 3, 2016

The National Observer is publishing Secrets of Government, a series of special reports describing what happens in the back rooms of power. We’ve seen secret no-penalty, no-prosecution deals CRA gave high-net-worth Canadians, continuation of huge subsidies to fossil fuel industries, regulators co-operating with businesses they allegedly regulate, political appointees waiving fines assessed by inspectors against pipeline operators and countless other examples. However, if an ordinary citizen seeks accommodations from government, the likelihood of receiving it is remote. One CRA program was supposed to ensure fair treatment but it has been so understaffed that the initial response to an individual’s application could take more than a year. Because stalled fairness applications weren’t fair, CRA made a change:

The Taxpayer Relief service standard is being deleted due to an inability to report reliable results.

Returning to the subject of Fintrac’s “strong” message, I wonder if the bankers’ reaction to the agency’s warning was something like Churchill’s in the 1941 Canadian Parliament when he offered this famed riposte to French Generals:

. . . → Read More: In-Sights: "A strong message…"

The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2016: Alternative plan proposes lifting 1.1 million Canadians out of poverty, fighting climate change

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Alternative Federal Budget would lift 1.1 million Canadians out of poverty and empower Canada to fight climate change. The post Federal Budget 2016: Alternative plan proposes lifting 1.1 million Canadians o… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2016: Alternative plan proposes lifting 1.1 million Canadians out of poverty, fighting climate change

In-Sights: The inequality puzzle

Excerpts from an article by Dambisa Moyo at Project Syndicate. An economist and author who sits on the board of directors of global corporations, she was named by TIME Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” NEW YORK – … . . . → Read More: In-Sights: The inequality puzzle

Northern Reflections: Inequality and Women’s Health

                                                http://www.mirror.co.uk/A number of studies have documented how income inequality is… . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: Inequality and Women’s Health

The Canadian Progressive: Think tank unveils election platform to end income inequality in Canada

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives wants voters to cast a vote to end income inequality in Canada when they head to the polls on October 19.

The post Think tank unveils election platform to end income inequality in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insights: Gordon Campbell making history

First published in December, 2009 History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.– Edward Gibbon, English historian of Rome (1737 – 1794)

Doug McArthur at SFU’s Public Policy School cast his eye on one of British Columbia’s crime scenes: I have suggested that since this whole system . . . → Read More: Northern Insights: Gordon Campbell making history

Politics and its Discontents: It Grows Slowly, This Revenue Loss

…but it grows unavoidably and becomes very large over time.

So says the author of a study on the effects of TFSAs (tax-free savings accounts), Rhys Kessselman, a School of Public Policy professor at Simon Fraser University. As the money accruing in those accounts grows, the revenues losses to both federal and provincial coffers grow . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: It Grows Slowly, This Revenue Loss

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Inequality, global and Canadian

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/podcast150320-inequality.mp3

 

I have two guests to talking about inequality today. First up is Branko Milanovic, who speaks with me about global inequality as well as the rise of a global plutocracy. One of the world’s foremost experts on inequality, Branko is professor at the CUNY Graduate Centre, where he also heads the local . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Inequality, global and Canadian

The Canadian Progressive: Free trade to blame for growing income inequality in Canada

A study recently released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the modern free trade era has exacerbated income inequality in Canada.

The post Free trade to blame for growing income inequality in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: What’s this "fat" and "gravy" they speak of anyway?

Are schools and hospitals fat? Are veterans’ pensions gravy?

So what have we cut already? 32% of Veterans Affairs staff supporting disability, death and financial benefits for veterans. One-fifth of Canadian food inspector positions. One-third of Statistics Canada’s data analysts. One-quarter of positions in the department that handles EI claims. And in other news, . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: What’s this "fat" and "gravy" they speak of anyway?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Child poverty a problem worth eliminating in wealthy Alberta

Tweet November 24, 2014 marked 25 years since members of the Canadian Parliament voted unanimously to end child poverty in our country. The motion introduced by then-NDP leader Ed Broadbent supported of abolishing child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Twenty-five years later, we are far away from reaching this goal. Although Alberta has . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Child poverty a problem worth eliminating in wealthy Alberta

Northern Reflections: On the QT

                                              https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Canadians like to think that income inequality is an American problem. But, Linda McQuaig writes, on that meme, Canada is a close second behind the United States:

It’s true that the U.S. has the most extreme inequality, but a recent OECD report noted that Canada has the second-largest share of income . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: On the QT

Northern Reflections: What To Do With The Surplus?

                                             https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

There’s going to be one. And, if the Harper government gets its way, it will go to tax cuts. That happened under the Liberals, too. Linda McQuaig writes:

The trick is . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: What To Do With The Surplus?

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Managers justify generous treatment of managers

In 2013, the consulting firm Ernst & Young was hired to review trends in compensation across the BC Public Sector. It is now available through the Legislature’s public documents.

Reports of this kind are almost worthless documents of political propaganda. The only important question asked of the executives who commissioned it was the one aimed . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Managers justify generous treatment of managers

Politics and its Discontents: They’re Buzzards, But You’re Their Carrion.

We all know that average Americans have been reeling financially since the Great Recession. We know that the post-recession recovery has gone mainly to the richest of the rich and, this time, it’s pretty clear there’s been no ‘trickle down’ to the plebes.

A new study by the Russell Sage Foundation in conjunction . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: They’re Buzzards, But You’re Their Carrion.

Politics, Re-Spun: Class Warfare CAUSED Income Inequality, Not the Opposite

Horatio Alger mythology is designed to make us leave the 1% alone and shut the fuck up.

If you haven’t yet seen John Oliver’s amazing rant about the perils of inequality and how the rich shame us out of talking about it by suggesting we’re trying to invoke class warfare, you can see . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Class Warfare CAUSED Income Inequality, Not the Opposite

Politics and its Discontents: Message From Orwell: "I Warned You" – A Mound Of Sound Guest Post

You don’t have to dig very deep to get a pretty clear picture of the decline of today’s global civilization. The good times are gone, over, finished. We’re out of stuff, plain and simple. The game today is for one select group of people to employ its considerable advantages to mine the remaining wealth . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Message From Orwell: "I Warned You" – A Mound Of Sound Guest Post

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: I’m so Damn Sick of Junk Politics and Hopefully Trudeau is Too

There is a good book by Benjamin DeMott Junk Politics: Trashing of the American Mind

DeMott laments the loss of intelligent debate in the political arena, being replaced, in part, with “touchy, feely personal testimonials” and “feel your pain” forced empathy.

In the current Ontario election campaign we’ve heard party leaders tell us that . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: I’m so Damn Sick of Junk Politics and Hopefully Trudeau is Too

Politics, Re-Spun: What Would Jesus Occupy?

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Would Jesus Occupy?

Northern Reflections: Not Seeing The Other Half

For some time now, Robert Reich writes, the United States has been devolving into a We and Them Society — as in, Why should we pay for them? He sites several examples:

The middle-class and wealthy citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, for example, are trying to secede from the school district they . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: Not Seeing The Other Half

Politics and its Discontents: Inequality For All

I am a big fan of the documentary. Unlike the products of years gone by, today’s films are engaging and provocative, frequently providing us with a window to a world we may previously have had only a passing acquaintance with. Whether political, social, or environmental in nature, documentaries are truly useful tools for educating us . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Inequality For All

Politics and its Discontents: A Faint Ray Of Hope?

Those of us who write blogs on a regular basis, I suspect, have a high tolerance for the uglier aspects of humanity that we regularly confront in our exploration of the political arena. Greed, deception, avarice and rampant egoism seem pervasive, concern for the collective good little more than a platitude. Yet we continue . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Faint Ray Of Hope?