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Illuminated By Street Lamps: Ontario: A leading jurisdiction for intense, coercive neoliberalism

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzzi Global capitalism has liberalized incrementally since the end of the Second World War. As the Keynesian welfare state fell out of favour in the late 1970s amid a stagnating economy and rising government spending, a new business-friendly approach dubbed neoliberalism (literally, “new liberalism”), emerged and ushered in an epoch of devotion to market principles as the solution to what ails Ontario both economically and socially. The implementation of the Canada-US Trade Agreement in 1987[1], North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994[2]and the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995[3] were (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Fair Elections Act could sink Stephen Harper and Conservatives in 2015

by: Obert Madondo | April 12, 2014

This week Canada’s two main opposition parties declared war on the Conservatives’ Orwellian Fair Elections Act. One that could bring down Harper during the 2015 federal election.

While falling short of declaring the Fair Elections Act an election issue for 2015, both the Official Opposition and third-placed Liberals are vowing to stand up for our right to vote.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says the focus of next election will be the ‘Fair Elections Act’. He wants Bill C-23 overhauled.

“We’re going to do everything we can to stop this thing,” Mulcair told delegates in (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Quebec—another majority that isn’t

A lot of euphoria last night from Liberal supporters and those many Canadians (including not a few Quebecers) who don’t want to hear about separation for another generation at least. Not only did the Liberals win, they won big, majority big.

Or at least the majority that counts which, unfortunately, is not a majority of Quebecers. A solid majority (58 per cent) did not vote Liberal.

Illuminated By Street Lamps: The Toronto G20 Summit: A State of Exception

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzziBetween June 26 and 27, 2010, thousands of demonstrators[1] descended on Toronto, Ontario to protest while the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies[2] met behind a protective fence built of steel and secretive legislative authority. When the tear gas cleared and the G20 Summit ended, 1,105 people had been detained. It has been described as “the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history.”[3] Of those arrested, 779 — 80% — were released without any charges (as of June 2012).[4] Following Giorgio Agamben, I contend that the Province of Ontario employed (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: Locating Canada’s State Multiculturalism As A Racist Doctrine

By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzziCanada is a multicultural nation. More than four decades of policy, legislation and celebration have engraved this country’s pluralism into its national character. The ethnic diversity of this country is presented globally as a fundamental strength of the Canadian nation. But massive structural inequalities which have not been erased with state multiculturalism policies remain ─ and have, in some cases, been exacerbated. I contend that nationalism in Canada is highly predicated on race and a structural racism that is intrinsically linked to Canada’s brand of state-sponsored multiculturalism. Following Himani Bannerji, I argue this race-focused nationalism works (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: 2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2 The angst of a progressive.

Over the last week we have seen someone who had tried pull in progressives into a very un-progressive party be raked over the coals. For issues of arrogance and otherwise, Alison Redford has been the target of much acrimony, anger, and angst. This angst has been by both her party and the progressive voter in Alberta. […]

Left Over: Whores, Bores, and Liberal Cores….

Canada’s opposition NDP open to coalition, Liberals less keen Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:49pm EST – Reuters In a a comment re :

Although in principle I agree that whatever progressives elected to Parliament should band together in the sense of controlling the votes, I fail to see why, or how, a coalition of ConLites and the NDP can be a good least as a formal coalition.. There is nothing very progressive about the Liberal agenda, aside from the usual vaporous nothings of Junior Trudeau re decriminalizing pot and some vague stuff that only (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: TRANSCRIPT: Justin Trudeau’s speech to the Liberal biennial convention

by: Obert Madondo

Speech by leader Justin Trudeau to the Liberal Party of Canada’s biennial convention convention, held in Montreal, Quebec, over the weekend:

My friends, my fellow Liberals; what a great Convention!

Thank you for your work. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your passion

I want to paint a picture for you.

There’s a young woman, let’s call her Nathalie. She works hard. Maybe in an office in old Montreal. Maybe at a retail outlet along Sainte-Catherine Street.

She makes 40k a year. It’s about what her spouse makes too.

She sits in traffic a lot. Often (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Canada’s Mythical Middle Class and the Quislings of Parliament Hill

The government likes to say it’s all about the middle class.  So, too, the opposition parties.  On Parliament Hill it seems Canada’s middle class is virtually surrounded by a sea of friends, each clamouring to outdo the other to lend a hand, give a leg up.  With friends like that in high places, those of the middle class can surely look forward to a bright and prosperous future.

Except that it’s a load of crap.

An internal report prepared for the Harper government by Employment and Social Development Canada and pried out of the cold dead Tory hands (Read more…)

LeDaro: General Andrew Leslie’s Moving Expenses

How can someone spend over $70,000 to move just a few minutes away? Did Andrew Leslie use a Lamborghini to tow the moving trailer? In an economy when many are struggling to make ends meet, when young people are struggling to find jobs, this guy can charge over $70,000 for moving expenses? Really?

I think it is important to support our veterans, but this program should have caps on how much can be claimed. Really, for a move of such a short distance, it is hard to imagine how it could cost anywhere near $70,000.

What is especially baffling in (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Overheard in Toronto – On #RobFord’s Critics

On #RobFord’s Critics: “You know why Rob Ford still wins and will keep on winning? All these people in the newspapers, writing blogs and rushing to criticize him are upper-middle […]

Cowichan Conversations: An Open Letter to NDP-MP Murray Rankin

Dorothy Field

Dear Murray,

I watched your speech on the Unfair Elections Act. Well done. Thank you. And I didn’t know about Rose Henry’s court case. She’s really something.

I am going to make another appeal to you. As I see it and I think you see it, Harper is step by step dismantling Canada as a democratic nation. I live in fear and trembling of him getting in again.

As far as I can see, the only possible way to make sure that doesn’t happen is for the NDP and the Liberals to cooperate.

I’ve heard your reasons not (Read more…)

Trashy's World: He wasn’t perfect…

… but no one is. Yet then PM Chrètien led by example back in 1993 when he came to power and significantly cut his Ministers’ budgets. Tired of the ballooning Ministerial budgets under Mulroney, he cut their Chiefs-of-staff and told them to rely more on the advice of public servants. Not a bad move. Would […]

Progressive Proselytizing: A brilliant tactical move: Justin Trudeau kicks out Liberal Senators

Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due: Justin Trudeau just pulled a brilliant tactical move with his unexpected and unceremonious dumping of all former Liberal Senators from the Liberal caucus. As a political analyst, I often am rather unimpressed by the blunders and lack of political acumen from politicians. So setting aside whether this is good or bad thing for the state of Canadian democracy, this post is just about the tactics.

The perennial problem for opposition leaders is that there is little they can actually do. They can huff and puff about what the government’s leaders (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Canada West Foundation…

… endorses Trudeau’s Senate move… <sound of Trashy passing out on the floor> Some “first” here: First time the words “west” “endorses” “Trudeau” have even been seen in the same sentence First time The Canada West Foundation has endorsed anything connected to the Senate – except its abolition Upon seeing this headline, the first time […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau Makes Senate Change in Liberal Party

This is a clear about-face from being willing to welcome Mac Harb back into the Liberal fold. I really wonder which idea is actually Trudeau’s.

Trudeau kicks Liberal senators out of caucus… via @canadadotcom #PN #SenCA #cdnpoli— Christina Spencer (@Spencerpress) January 29, 2014

This explains some things RT @OttawaCitizen How Justin Trudeau and his advisers devised their Senate plan— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) January 30, 2014

True RT @ThomasHall17: @stphnmaher So far it's just separate caucuses for separate houses of Parliament. Lib ldr only sits in MPs' caucus.— (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Perhaps brilliant in the short term…

… but this may bite Justin’s butt after he is elected PM. However, critics can no longer point to a lack of direction or policies… This is a doozy! Good on him, this is the type of leadership many Canadians have been waiting for. (1) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Alberta Diary: Battles in the ’Burbs: Independent St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber eyes formation of party as fund-raising vehicle

Independent MP Brent Rathgeber with machine gun, looking as if he could use some closer supervision, takes aim at the CBC. (Joke.) And, yes, that is Jack Layton with the other one. Below: Teddy Roosevelt. (That’s enough politicians with firearms! – Ed.)

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber – who since decamping from the federal Conservative Parliamentary caucus last June has become the Canadian media’s favourite Independent MP – has floated the idea of setting up his own political party.

When he’s not lecturing Canadians on the need to run the CBC as (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: No Federal Childcare Program: An Exercise In Strengthening Hegemony

            Canada, a nation among the wealthiest in the world, cannot meet its daycare needs. The problem has grown to crisis proportions in the country’s largest cities. In Toronto there are only enough daycare spaces for about one in five of the city’s children.[1] In downtown Vancouver, 2,000 children are on a childcare waiting list.[2] There is no federal universal childcare scheme in Canada. Some provinces and municipalities offer subsidized childcare but these programs are at constant risk of having funding withdrawn. As well, the lack of federal standardization results in wide disparities of (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: A relentless call for donations: The last 65 emails from the Liberals

Starting the day that Justin Trudeau was elected as the leader of the Liberal Party, I have received 65 emails from the LPC’s main bulk email account, most with Trudeau’s name attached. Of that 65, 52 of them have been calls for donations, in under eight months. December has been particularly bad, with more than daily emails coming in on their big end of 2013 donation push.  Precisely how these emails go about asking for donations does indeed change. Sometimes, they provide a bit of political discussion about, say, the Senate Scandal, or Conservative negative attack ads in their (Read more…)

Left Over: The new Canadian Plague: Have We all been Infected?

Sadly, Rob Ford epitomises what Canada has become With his crack smoking and drunken misbehaviour, Toronto’s mayor personifies our crude, swaggering, bungling New Canada Robert Hays in the Guardian Fri Dec 13 2013



Speak for yourself, Hays..truly the East seems to have adopted the crudities of the HarperCons and their (Rob)in of the ‘Hood, but there are many of us, dare I say the majority, who not only do not support the rightwing bias so blatantly obvious in the Feds, but in fact (after rather extensive polling) it has been shown that the country at large is (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Flaherty’s Funny Math with the EI Surplus

The Parliamentary Budget Office has come out with a report, suggesting that the Conservatives will likely balance the budget ahead of schedule. But, and it’s a big but, if there were no EI surplus, there would be no balanced budget in 2016. And the annual surplus in the EI Operating Account is no small potatoes – it’s forecast to be at least $3.5 Billion in 2014. But this forecast is based on an EI coverage rate of 41%, and recently it’s been more like 38%, meaning the 2014 EI surplus will probably end up being over $4 Billion.

(Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Linda McQuaig’s cognitive dissonance on negative campaigning

The recent byelection in Toronto center – won handily by the Liberals’ Chrystia Freeland in a race against the NDP’s Linda McQuaig – ruffled quite a bit of feathers. Justin Trudeau’s victory speech in particular gained a lot of attention, in part because of the controversy it drummed up of quoting Layton’s final letter while accusing the NDP of running a negative campaign.

Linda McQuaig has now issued a post election op-ed, addressing the charge of the alleged NDP negative campaign head on: As the NDP candidate who ran against Freeland, I disagree. My campaign was heavily focused on issues, (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: News roundup: November 30, 2013 Here are a few thoughts about…

News roundup: November 30, 2013

Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).

Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election

Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).

First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)