Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Linda McQuaig discusses Stephen Harper’s class war: Canadians don’t like Harper’s anti-worker agenda — when they notice it. That’s why there’s been such a public outcry since the temporary foreign worker program was exposed as a mechanism by which the Harper government has flooded the country with hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign workers, thereby suppressing Canadian wages in the interests of helping corporations.
Apart from this clumsy fiasco, the Harperites have been adroit at keeping their anti-worker bias under the radar. Instead, they’ve directed their attacks against unions, portraying them as undemocratic (Read more…)
One item in the Ontario budget that was released this week that deserves some attention is this indication that Ontario is going to proactively step up on gender diversity in corporate Canada. In a series of measures on securities regulation, there was this statement: The government strongly supports broader gender diversity on the boards and in senior management of major businesses, not-for-profit firms and other large organizations. In conjunction with others, including the OSC, the government will consider the best way for firms to disclose their approaches to gender diversity, with a view to increasing the participation of women on (Read more…)
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Helene Leblanc argues that we should make sure the Internet is treated as a commons accessible to all, rather than a privilege denied to many (particularly in rural areas): Many Canadians living outside urban centres do not have access to high speed broadband Internet and a significant number connect at speeds of 1.5 megabits per second — only marginally faster than dial-up.
In the year 2000 Estonia declared Internet access a fundamental human right, something essential for life in the 21st century, and launched a program to expand rural access. Finland (Read more…)
To make a minority government work, the party in power needs the support of enough members of parliament to pass confidence-vote legislation like the budget. This can be done on an issue by issue basis, or, by coming to an on-going agreement with one or more opposition parties to form a coalition government. Currently, in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative party under Tim Hudak has been chomping at the bit for an election. They have been uncooperative for some time, looking to gain power for themselves instead of looking to get things done for the people of Ontario. So, the governing (Read more…) Liberals, now under Kathleen Wynne, have been appearing to be willing to work with the NDP to pass legislation. With this in mind, Andrea Horwath’s NDP have asked for some things to be added/changed in the upcoming Ontario Budget. Here is what the NDP demands include: Close . . . → Read More: Driving The Porcelain Bus: Ontario Liberals On The Verge of Forcing An Election
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Paul Adams rightly points out that there’s no inherent value in centrism merely for the sake of centrism – especially when the spectrum of choices is itself shaped by decades of distorted assumptions: (T)he reality of modern politics is that the muddled middle is no answer at all to the issues facing us. On economic and social policy, what divides Canadians is their attitude towards three decades of market-liberating policies that have weakened our middle class, increased inequality, corroded social programs, undermined the ability of working people to negotiate a living wage, and (Read more…) us all more vulnerable and insecure.
There is certainly a discussion to be had about how quickly and by what means these policies should be moderated, revised or reversed — and issues of priority, pace and technique may divide the Liberals and the NDP.
But first, both parties . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links
Dan Arnold (Calgary Grit) says the most important thing about the Ontario Premier`s number (36% approval) is:
3. A lot of Ontarians still haven’t made up their minds about Kathleen Wynne.
But I think the real story is its noticeably better than the previous Ontario Premier’s number (32%). And since the budget will almost certainly pass, our gal`s got clear sailing until 2014.
And, incidentally, here’s a picture with both Dan and me in it (as well as Deb Coyne, Omar, Kyle, Scott Tribe, Jennifer Smith, and Bryan Crockett ). Dan likes to stand in the middle of these pics because he’s . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: The New Angus Reid Premier Numbers
Alison Redford’s approval ratings have fallen to “Stelmachian” levels
Angus Reid has released their quarterly Premier approval ratings. As per usual, Brad Wall is more popular than God, and everyone else is a little more human:
Wall (SK): 64% approve, 28% disapprove Alward (NB): 41% approve, 50% disapprove Selinger (MB): 38% approve, 49% disapprove Wynne (ON): 36% approve, 37% disapprove Marois (QC): 33% approve, 62% disapprove Dexter (NS): 30% approve, 62% disapprove Redford (AB): 29% approve, 66% disapprove Clark (BC): 25% approve, 67% disapprove Dunderdale (NL): 25% approve, 73% disapprove
While Wall’s number sticks out, there are a few
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Provincial Unrest
Lisa Thompson, Tory MPP for Huron-Bruce, introduced the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. Its a private member’s bill, but everything Thompson has said about it, for example her comments here, suggest that it is now the PCPO’s de facto position on the matter. From the assembly records:
The short title of this bill is the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, and that’s exactly what this bill will do. This bill states that wind turbines will only be placed in willing host communities and municipalities will be given a full veto. Wind power must be
. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Hudak Tories In Wind Waffle
Memo: To the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier, Province of Ontario From: Your new pals at OPSEU Diablogue Dear Premier Wynne – Imagine our surprise when we discovered in today’s newspaper that the public sector unions are in fact running government. We have to give thanks … Continue reading →
….but Tim Hudak seems like an angry guy these days. The modus operandi of the Ontario PC leader seems to be to “attack” everyone and everything these days as a way to try to get himself elected – an angrier version of ex-Premier Mike Harris, if you will.
Polls seem to indicate (though I’d like to see more then one pollster saying this) that Ontario voters so far like Premier Wynne’s style, and are willing to give her a chance – not angry Tim, though. He wants to go now!
There is only so much of a base for
Full disclosure. It’s A Forum Research poll. That said, I can’t but like the underlying message:
…the Liberals would again win 53 seats in the 107-member house with the Tories taking 36, down from 37 in the most recent election and the NDP with 18, up from 17 in that vote.
One odd (to me) result: …the New Democrats have tapped into one possible election-winning issue: reducing auto insurance premiums by 15 per cent.Last Friday, Forum polled 1,033 people and found 58 per cent supported Horwath’s plan to trigger a vote if Wynne does not move to
. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kathleen Wynne’s Done Good
There’s been so much bullshit and insanity in the Canadian political scene lately, it’s hard to keep on top of it all. Here are just a few recent examples:
fraud and theft being officially endorsed in the Canadian senate prime minister Stephen Harper and his stooges lying through their teeth every day in parliament Service Canada treating all Employment Insurance claimants as criminals who are guilty until proven innocent Tom Flanagan — University of Calgary brainwasher, Globe and Mail columnist, CBC pundit, Conservative Party of Canada/Alberta Wildrose Party strategist, and friend/mentor of Stephen Harper, Ezra Levant and Danielle Smith — . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: There’s been so much bullshit and insanity in the Canadian…
Curated By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | Feb. 27, 2013: Stephen Harper – world’s worst talent scout Sooner or later, the country is going to realize that there is something terribly wrong with Stephen Harper’s judgment. And sooner or later, the Conservative party is going to realize one-man bands are great until the tuba player runs out of breath. READ MORE
Yesterday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa started his first round of pre-Budget consultations in Mississauga, listening to the concerns of everyday Ontario families as he works to prepare a budget focused on creating jobs, lowering youth unemployment, and fostering growth and opportunity as the way forward.
“My hope is that the members of the Opposition have heard how closely I’ve listened to their concerns and the concerns of people around the province,” Wynne told reporters.Sousa, meanwhile, said he will get in touch with Opposition parties as he prepares the budget.“Premier Wynne wants to work with members of the Opposition
. . . → Read More: The Liberal Scarf: Hudak wants a $300 million election, vows to vote against a budget that hasn’t been written yet
I readily admit that I find it difficult, if not impossible, to fathom the extreme right-wing mind. To me, it is a mind mired in a world of fantasy, willful ignorance, and intractable denial. Magical thinking seems to be a substitute for cogitation. Name-calling in lieu of discussion. Denunciation instead of deliberation. And I would be quite content to leave such minds alone, content as they are in delusions of grandeur and superiority, except for the fact that they bother and disrupt the business of the adults in society.
The above, I’m afraid, is an all too apt description of
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Fathoming The Reactionary Mind
Briefly – Wynne and the Liberals sounded conciliatory, the NDP said it would support the Throne Spech and subsequent budget, provided the Liberals give them some goodies, and Tim Hudak and the Conservatives instantly marginalized themselves by already declaring they’re voting against anything the Liberals may bring forward, without any hint of trying to work at getting some compromises for their policy positions (did I mention I think Hudak’s proposal on student loans is a stupid one? No votes for him from students/parents on that policy, I don’t think).
As for Wynne and the Liberals, they would do well to
Kathleen Wynne’s first Throne Speech as The Premier is starting in just a few minutes! Watch at the link and see Premier Wynne’s Way Forward for a better Ontario!
Wind turbines for the willing could be part of Ontario’s new premier’s approach to green energy.
Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters Thursday her government would not step back from green energy. But she said the voices of towns and residents must be heard as new projects go forward.“I have made a commitment that, as we go forward, the procurement processes need to take municipal and community input into greater account,” she said.
Don’t quite know what “community input” amounts to. You can never appease NIMBYs. But good to hear nonetheless.
While there was much talk in the House of Commons yesterday about how to prevent a ‘zombie apocalypse,’ in Canada, Bob Hepburn has his own solution on how to deal with the scourge of the undead: hold a referendum on abolishing the Senate.
Noting that it costs well over $100 million a year to operate the Senate, including the $132,000 annual salary for the 105 senators, their staffs and expenses and the fact that senators need to show up for work barely 70 days a year, Hepburn suggests that Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne include a sentence in her throne
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Scourge of the Undead
As Kathleen Wynne is sworn in as Ontario’s first female Premier and generally awesome individual:
Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath miscalculated and inexplicably missed a big moment:
Busy day in #tbay – roundtable on home care, meeting with Grand Chief Beardy, Mayor & speaking with local media.
— Andrea Horwath (@andreahorwath) February 11, 2013
In any event, great day and much support all around for Wynne as evidenced by the reception in the legislature.
Optimism is in the air today.
Excited to see the new cabinet sworn in today. In particular, I’m very happy to see Charles Sousa and Yasir Naqvi as Finance and Labour Minister respectively. I started this blog in 2007 in large part to help support the local campaigns in Mississauga South and Ottawa Centre, so seeing them both in cabinet is fantastic.
Here is the new cabinet of Ontario:
Kathleen Wynne-Premier of Ontario, Minister of AgricultureDeb Matthews-Deputy Premier of Ontario, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Jim Bradley-Minister of the Environment
John Gerretsen-Attorney General of Ontario Michael Gravelle-Minister of Northern Development and Mines
. . . → Read More: The Liberal Scarf: Your new Ontario cabinet, and some facts and firsts
Kathleen Wynne’s new Ontario cabinet is being announced today, and my local MP, Liz Sandals, has apparently been tapped to become the new education minister. But that’s not the observation that leapt out at me from today’s Toronto Star article about the cabinet shuffle. Authors Robert Benzie and Rob Ferguson note that former Education Minister Laurel Broten has been “demoted” to Intergovernmental Affairs, calling it a “a ministry so junior McGuinty ran it himself for years.”
[ETA: Interesting to note that the updated version of the article calls Intergovernmental Affairs: “barely a stand-alone department because the premier
. . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Define "junior", oh great Toronto Star!
“I want to put something on the table: Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You’ve heard that question. You’ve all heard that question but let’s say what that actually means: Can a gay woman win? That’s what it means. So, not surprisingly, I have an answer to that question. When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and the people of Thorncliffe Park weren’t ready to elect a gay woman. Well, apparently they were.
You know, there was a time, not that long ago when most of us in this leadership race
. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: Kathleen Wynne’s Speech & Some Thoughts on the 2013 OLP Leadership Convention
Dr. Jack Kitts, CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, says he plans to transfer about 5,000 endoscopies to community hospitals and clinics as part of an overall plan to find $31 million in savings towards balancing the hospital’s budget. Kitts announced … Continue reading →
I have a confession to make: I am a lifelong Beach Boys’ fan. Their harmonies and their idyllic representation of the West Coast lifestyle captivated me as a youth, and still have a hold on me today. One of their signature songs, and certainly one of my favorites, is Wouldn’t It Be Nice. Composed by Brian Wilson, it tells the story of a hoped-for future in which young love works out, and they live ‘happily ever after.’ As such, of course, it bears little relation to reality.
And yet, even so many years later, I cling to the hope
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Wouldn’t It Be Nice?