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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- John Quiggin examines – and refutes – a few key complaints about fairer taxes on the wealthy. But Kathryn May reports that the Cons are eager to use public resources to investigate and punish public servants … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Edward Keenan writes that a lack of affordable child care is the crucial financial pressure facing families across the income spectrum. And Michael Wolfson discusses the dangers of talking about taxes in a vacuum without recognizing what we lose by failing to make sure everybody pays a fair share.

- Sam Thielman notes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s crackdown on intellectual property may seriously threaten our freedom of expression, while Michael Geist highlights the potential for content-blocking and the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out how the TPP transfers massive amounts of power to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Day Well-Spent

There is something both restorative and energizing about spending time among people who are politically engaged, and that is probably the best way to describe those in attendance at both the Toronto Star Tent and the Amazon.ca Bestsellers Stage yesterday at Toronto’s Word On The Street. As much as I have a strong aversion to Toronto’s congestion, it has an energy that so many other cities lack.

It was, weather-wise, a perfect day to go down to Harbourfront Centre, the new home of the annual celebration of the written word. And for the first time, I got there early (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Word On The Street

I’m heading to Toronto this morning for Word On The Street, the annual celebration of the written word that is always a worthwhile experience.

At noon, I am hoping to get a seat in the Toronto Star Tent, where Tim Harper, Thomas Walkom and Bruce Campion-Smith will be discussing the upcoming federal election.

At 2:00 p.m., Kevin Page will be discussing his new book, What Happened to Politics? at the Amazon.ca Bestsellers Stage. Unfortunately, he will be sharing the stage with Bob Rae.

If you live near Toronto, perhaps I’ll see you there. I’ll be wearing a black JazzFM91 cap. Recommend this Post

Montreal Simon: Kevin Page and the Many Victims of the Con Regime

For five long years Kevin Page was the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and in many ways the conscience of the Con regime.They hated the way the way he stood up for the truth, they hounded him, they made his life miserable.And two years ago they finally forced him out.But now Page is back with a new book, that tells the story of those nightmare years.Read more »

CuriosityCat: Tom Mulcair explains how the NDP Swiss Cheese Plan came about

Dramatic disclosures on the campaign trail today!  A respected numbers man has called the campaign plan prepared by Tom Mulcair for the NDP, a “Swiss cheese plan.”  He likes it, but thinks it’s a bit skimpy: Even though Canada’s former budget watchdog called the NDP’s fiscal plan “Swiss cheese,” leader Thomas Mulcair insists Kevin Page has very nice things to say about his party’s document. Page, who served as parliamentary budget officer from 2008-2013, has been advising Mulcair and the NDP, as well as other parties. He told The Huffington Post Canada Thursday that he was (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Tom Mulcair explains how the NDP Swiss Cheese Plan came about

The Disaffected Lib: Is It Time to Skewer Harper With the F-35 Fiasco?

Probably the question should be whether Mulcair or Trudeau have the political acumen to bloody Stephen Harper over his blunders and deceit in Canada’s F-35 saga.

We know now that Harper’s obsessive drive for a single source procurement on a “buy before you fly basis” was insanely reckless.  Harper owes a profound debt of gratitude to the parliamentary budget officer and the auditor general for stopping him cold in his tracks before he could ink a deal for 65 of these hyper-costly and deeply flawed airplanes.

Harper, with his early insistence that no competitive fly off was necessary, came awfully (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: "Dirty Secrets From The Man Who Worked For Harper"

This needs to be watched by all Canadians concerned about our country’s future. Please circulate widely:

H/t Operation Maple Recommend this Post

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Kevin Page points out a few of the issues which should be on the table when Canada’s finance ministers meet next week: Our finance ministers are smart. They know that faster growth is going to require higher investment rates and sustainable public finances. But the reality is that Canada is falling down on capital investments in both the private and public sectors. Business capital investment has grown a weak 2 per cent over the past two years. That is not boosting the investment rate. Meanwhile, government capital investment has declined 2 per (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Questioning The Orthodoxy

                                                   http://canadabubble.com/

Joe Oliver is meeting with his provincial counterparts today. Kevin Page writes that, given Canada’s and the world’s economic outlook, it’s a time to ask some tough questions:

Some of these issues cannot be ignored any longer. For instance, will any provincial or territorial finance minister confront Joe Oliver, their federal counterpart, about income stagnation? Data on Human Resources and Social Development Canada’s site shows that median after-tax incomes for all families (or real GDP per capita) has been virtually flat since 2007. Debt feels very heavy when incomes are stagnating. Or what about income inequality? The (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Kevin Page On Canada’s ‘Grotesquely Wrong Elites’

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, about whom I have written many times on this blog, is without question one of Canada’s true heroes. The reason? He insisted upon doing his job with the kind of thoroughness and integrity that exemplify the highest ideals of public service. Like Munir Sheikh, who resigned his position as head of Statistics Canada rather than allow the Harper government to use him to legitimize its abandonment of the mandatory long-form census, Page deserves our respect for fearlessness in exposing the lie that is our current regime.

Presumably, once his term ended last year, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mitchell Anderson compares the results of corporate-friendly Thatcherism to the alternative of public resource ownership and development in the interest of citizens – and finds far better results arising from the latter: Thirty-five years after she swept to power as British prime minister, it is ironic that socialist Norway now has $830 billion in the bank and enjoys fully funded social programs that most of us can only dream of. Meanwhile the U.K. is enduring another round of wrenching austerity and owes over £1.3 trillion — about US$2.2 trillion. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Leo Panitch reminds us that the term “reform” was once understood to represent efforts to bolster the public interest against unbridled market forces – and suggests it’s well past time to take the word back from the business interests who have turned it into just the opposite. 

- Paul Krugman comments on the twin myths of the undeserving poor and the deserving rich. And Sam Polk writes from experience about the mindset that drives money addicts to demand that others’ basic needs give way to their desire to accumulate: I’d always (Read more…)

Alex's Blog: Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

“(In)visible Dialogue”. Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons.

(This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.)

We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble in particular about taxes. But somehow “tax” has gone from irritant to four-letter word, not to be uttered in public and certainly not to be discussed favourably in politics. It seems the Canadian political consensus is that you’d have to be nuts to talk (Read more…)

Alex's Blog: Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

“(In)visible Dialogue”. Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons.

(This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.)

We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble in particular about taxes. But somehow “tax” has gone from irritant to four-letter word, not to be uttered in public and certainly not to be discussed favourably in politics. It seems the Canadian political consensus is that you’d have to be nuts to talk (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: “My office will start to unravel” – former federal budget watchdog Kevin Page

Federal Conservatives sure liked to talk about accountability while in opposition. In power? Not so much. Kevin Page, Canada’s first parliamentary budget officer, said no governments want more accountability. It’s not even a partisan issue. That puts a budget watchdog … Continue reading →

The Canadian Progressive: Federal Court dismisses former PBO Kevin Page’s application

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a request by former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, to clarify the office’s mandate. In his application, Page had also sought ”judgment affirming he has the jurisdiction to seek the information” relating to the $5.2 billion in fiscal savings outlined in [...]

The post Federal Court dismisses former PBO Kevin Page’s application appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: More Praise for Kevin Page

Readers of this blog will know that I have a deep and abiding respect for people of real integrity, those capable of moving beyond narrow self-interest to embrace ethics and principles in the conduct of their lives. Kevin Page, of whom I have written several times, is one such individual who has set a sterling example for all of us.

Today’s Star has several letters of praise for the former Parliamentary Budget Officer, several of which I am reproducing below. Please be sure to check out the full array of them on the Star website. The respect accorded him in

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More Praise for Kevin Page

Cowichan Conversations: Senior Civil Servant Risks Career – Goes Public!

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

Kevin Page took on the challenge of setting up and overseeing the first Parliamentary Budget Office.

He managed and maintained this enormous undertaking and he did it while mourning the death of his 20 year old son.

In the linked post below Canada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer, tells us of a Harper Government that has hidden the truth about serious and significant fiscal matters that must be disclosed to parliamentarians if parliament is to function with accountability and transparency.

It seems that major decisions are taken with far reaching impacts by the MP’s when essentially they are being blindfolded by an

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Senior Civil Servant Risks Career – Goes Public!

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Con Pit Bulls

When you stare at the public face of Stephen Harper's sinister Con regime, what you see is horrifying enough.A tired, morally corrupt regime, that is willing to lie, muzzle people, or do anything to cling to power.But what most Canadians don't see, what is hidden from their view, is even more frightening.Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From Kevin Page

There is an excellent piece in this morning’s Star by outgoing Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. In it, he talks about how his son’s death was the catalyst for his abandoning a natural desire for job security and his subsequent pursuit of the job which has incurred so much Harper wrath while at the same time endearing him to millions of Canadians. Unfortunately, the piece seems to be only in the print edition, but should it become available online, I will provide a link.

At the end of his article, Page urges all of us to write to our M.

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From Kevin Page

Politics and its Discontents: The Face of Integrity

With a transcript of the extended interview.

H/t Alex Himelfarb Recommend this Post

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Bea Vongdouangchanh reports on Kevin Page’s concerns that the Cons are set to effectively destroy the PBO. And the Star’s editorial board slams Stephen Harper’s war against transparency and accountability in general: Stonewalling, foot-dragging and contempt for Parliament pay. At least that’s what the federal government appears to have concluded in the wake of the 2011 election. Toppled two years ago after being found in contempt of Parliament for failing to disclose fiscal information, the Conservatives were nonetheless rewarded in the polls with a majority government — a victory that has served as . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Star’s editorial board highlights why our elected representatives should be countering the effect of precarious employment (rather than exacerbating them as the Cons have done): Simply put, programs like Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan were created back in the days when employees received wrist watches for 40 years of service. Unemployment was considered a temporary misfortune, and big companies were expected to provide adequate pensions to be topped up by government cheques. Those programs have not adapted to the new, more “precarious” world.

For example, EI benefits have been pared

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Politics and its Discontents: They Still Walk Among Us

I have always felt a deep, abiding respect and affection for people of integrity. During my career as an English teacher, I took special delight in teaching plays like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Robert Bolt’s Man For All Seasons, which told sories of real-life people who made the ultimate sacrifice to stay true to themselves and their beliefs.

Happily, those with integrity are not confined to either the history or literary pages. They still walk among us. People like Munir Sheikh, the former head of Statistics Canada who resigned his post rather than have his name, reputation

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: They Still Walk Among Us