Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did Le Pen expect rose petals?

What did Marine Le Pen president of France’s Front National Party expect? Canadians are hardly about to strew rose petals in her path when she decides to come here and tell us what we are doing wrong. We are open-minded people but we are not particularly interested in people who spread bigotry and fear. Who […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Did Le Pen expect rose petals? Cultural and religious issues dominate as election day nears

Thank God for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I say that not because trade is an inherently Jewish issue, nor because I know for certain the recently negotiated deal will be good for Canada, especially since its details have yet to be released. Irrespective of its long-term effects, the TPP might be our only hope to […]

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and his New Separatist Friends

Yesterday I wondered whether Stephen Harper was helping to bring the Bloc Quebecois back from the land of the dead.By fanning the flames of xenophobia and bigotry, and replacing the Great War on Terrorism with the Great War on the Niqab.Which if you read the hideous comments in the newspapers, is what it has become. And today when I saw a new Bloc attack ad I got my answer:Yes, yes, he has.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes quits Alberta cabinet – presumably to run for PC leadership

Half-confirmed Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ken Hughes, on the night in 2011 Alison Redford won the party’s leadership. Well, that was then and this is now, as the appalled looking unidentified passerby sensed to have sensed. Below: Doug Horner. Anyone else?

Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister quit his cabinet post yesterday, by the sound of it because he intends to run for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.

If that’s the reason for Ken Hughes unexpectedly showing up in one of the back rows of the Legislature’s latest seating chart – he didn’t give a lot of notice that (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: Mapping out past Quebec election results – vote splits and vote efficiency make the different in Quebec provincial elections

In preparation for the Quebec provincial election on Monday, I mapped out some past Quebec election results, comparing the vote and seat share received by each party. Click the graph to embiggen, the vote share is on the left, seat share on the right.

In Quebec elections, the Parti Quebecois is often said to have a built in advantage, in that they have a more “efficient” vote. The Liberals win super-majorities in Montreal, while the PQ is able to squeak out more victories by a smaller margin in the regions by winning francophone voters, meaning that in theory, the PLQ (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: The Quebec election is being fought over the wrong issues

Quebec has numerous very legitimate issues in governance and economics that can, and should, be addressed in an election. In many ways, the Quebec model provides for Canada an example of a significantly more interventionist, egalitarian government – something I might advocate for on this blog – but poor management and misguided priorities have led to large challenges in the model, not the least of which is the highest debt per person of a province in Canada. Getting a mandate for a path forward is an important step.

However, the Quebec election will largely be fought, and won, over two (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Questioning legacies: Flaherty and the PQ

This week’s podcast takes on government economic policy.

First, Armine Yalnizyan looks back at the tenure of Jim Flaherty as federal Finance Minister; the interview is based on an article she recently published in the Globe and Mail. Armine is a senoir economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is also a founding member of the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab feature and the Progressive Economics Forum. You can find her on Twitter @ArmineYalnizyan.

I then talk to Eve-Lyne Couturier about the legacy of the last PQ government in Quebec and the economic debates going into the upcoming provincial election. Eve-Lyne is a (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Quebec’s Highly Questionable Voting Eligibility Rules

Students who come to Quebec to study at universities like McGill – as my brother has done – are in a rather uncomfortable position when it comes to voting in the upcoming provincial election. Whether they will be able to vote at all is not easily determined. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest there is active disenfranchisement. And they are certainly the subject of blatant demagoguery from the PQ that strongly touches on the identity issues present in past Quebec elections.  The issue stems from the the question of what level of evidence is needed to demonstrate that one (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Politics Of Othering

I don’t like Pauline Marois.  I never have.  Frankly, she reminds me of a teacher I had in grade 6 who ruled the classroom through fear and intimidation … and she keeps on using political tactics that reek of the same stupidity. Today’s entry into the race for the bottom that is the Quebec Election comes from Marois in the form of “voter fraud” claims. The PQ called a news conference Sunday morning to express concern about media reports of English-speakers and other non-francophones from outside the province trying to vote in the April 7 election. 

PQ candidate Bertrand St-Arnaud (Read more…)

Anti-Racist Canada: The ARC Collective: Member of Ragnarok Skinheads Has Died

It’s been a few years since we last looked at the Quebec-based Ragnarok Skinheads, but it would appear they have lost a member.

Joel Gauthier apparently passed away during the evening of March 15. Thus far no details about the circumstances behind his death though it was described by a friend raising money for Gauthier’s family as both unexpected and a tragedy while at the same time noting that he didn’t want to provide too many details concerning the death as, “some of it [the details] is quite sensitive.”

The information we get out of Quebec, while improved, still (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

Impressionable English Canadian youngsters tune in to SNN for sinister ideological conditioning by RWN (right-wing nuts) on the staff of the PMO-favoured network. Below: PKP and his now-ex wife (NXW), grabbed from the Internet; SNN broadcaster Ezra Levant.

Oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks, PKP wants another D-I-V-O-R-C-E!

This time, having just given his common-law wife of a decade the old heave-ho, it’s from us!

And I don’t know about you, but this smells a bit like C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y.

Let me explain…

PKP for those of you who live in the ROC and are therefore wondering WTF is Pierre Karl Péladeau, who until recently (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: What happened to Tom "Captain Canada" Mulcair now that the writ has dropped in Quebec?

Looks like Captain Canada is staying “neutral” in the face of a PQ government which would almost certainly call a referendum and which of course, will be running on the regressive so-called “Charter of Values” that would ban observant Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians from being a part of the civil service.

If Mulcair is “neutral” against this, what will he take a stand for?

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: Barreau du Quebec Oppose measures in Bill 60

A report by Barreau du Quebec on Bill 60 has been leaked to the media, opposing the measures proposed by the Parti Québécois.

See Slaw for details.


Barreau Du Quebec Report on Bill 60 The PQ is embarrassing itself

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push(['_trackEvent','SocialSharing','Facebook - like button',unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, " "))]); }); Share this: It’s been an inauspicious month for Premier Pauline Marois’ minority government. First it tabled its so-called charter of Quebec values. Bill 60 – whose full, Orwellian name is the “Charter affirming the values of state secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests” – […]

Those Emergency Blues: “We Don’t Care What’s On Your Head. We Care What’s In It.”

So there’s this thing in Quebec which I’m sure my Canadian readers have heard of and maybe also a few of my American readers, which involves the Quebec government devising some legislation called the Charter of Quebec Values. I have to say “charters” and “values” are nice happy positive words, and Quebec is filled with deliciously cheesy poutine, hockey, maple syrup, and those devilishly sexy Québécois men, so what’s there not to like (except for les Habs, boo, hiss!)?

The thing is, this Charter of Quebec Values wants to ban wearing obvious religious symbols for all public employees, including (Read more…)

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Bottom Line on the Parti Québécois Proposed Values Charter

I was going to write a long blog post on this but since so much has been written about it I think this captures the spirit and intent of the proposal succinctly.

The bottom line on Quebec’s proposed values charter is that you can visit a hospital named after a saint with a crucifix in the lobby and be guaranteed not to be treated by a Muslim doctor in a hijab because they want to remove

Bill Longstaff: Quebec Charter of Values not all bad

Every cloud has a silver lining, according to John Milton. That may be a bit too optimistic for most of us but it is, believe it or not, true of the Quebec Charter of Values proposed by the governing Parti Québécois. Most of the proposed charter is offensive or just plain silly and will probably be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But there is some silver lining in the

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The PQ’s "Charter of Quebec Values"

Lately, there has been much of an uproar made over the PQ’s “Charter of Quebec Values” in the news.

Frankly, the entire thing strikes me as a ridiculous bit of pot-stirring on the part of the Marois-led PQ government.  The proposed Charter imposes a set of arbitrary limitations on religious expression that make no sense in the bigger picture.

Restricting religious symbols has been tested repeatedly under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Quebec’s so-called Charter is guaranteed to fly in the face of the Charter, and Marois is no doubt planning to invoke the “Not withstanding” clause that has (Read more…)

From Orangutan: Mainstream headlines demonize Quebec student protesters (again!)

(video - 5 mars 2013, Montréal. Ostie d’grosse manif de soir contre la hausse éternelle from Mario Jean on Vimeo.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013, marked the rebirth of Montreal nocturnal protests against the commodification of university education. Below are a few of the sensationalist headlines (linked) that appeared in some of the city’s mainstream news outlets the next day. These headlines demonize the protesters as violent criminals and sadly continue a shabby tradition of “news” coverage from last year’s Maple Spring.

English-language MediaFree tuition protest ends with smashed windows, arrests (CTV Montreal)62 detained as protests resume (The

. . . → Read More: From Orangutan: Mainstream headlines demonize Quebec student protesters (again!)

The Canadian Progressive: Spence hunger strike: FN Chiefs contemplate Canada-wide “economic disruptions”

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | January 01, 2013 “Economic impacts are imminent if there is no response.” APTN National News is reporting that First Nations leaders are contemplating Canada-wide “economic disruptions by the middle of January if Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t agree to hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s demand for a treaty meeting”. READ MORE

Walking Turcot Yards: The Strange Case of an Environmentalist Environment Minister

It’s been interesting to see the media making so much of Daniel Breton’s long and illustrious “criminal” life. You would swear being poor automatically made you a breaker of rules, a natural born cheat who only knows deception and wild behavior. Anyone who has ever attended a public consultation with the BAPE (Bureau d’audiences publique sur l’environment) knows what a useless puppet like organization it has been in it’s hopelessly inadequate and anal retentive recommendations. The BAPE has a noticeable pattern of making a few lightweight “green” recommendations on a project before basically giving way to whatever the developers had

. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: The Strange Case of an Environmentalist Environment Minister

Illuminated By Street Lamps: POSITION ANALYSIS: A Scathing Indictment of Neoliberalism And The Privatized Delivery of Social Services in Canada

The increasingly privatized delivery of social services under neoliberal governments is arguably doing real damage to the Canadian welfare state.

Discussions about neoliberalism, which as the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics points out emphasize deregulation and a diminished role for the state[1], are often closely linked with the rise of lean and mean government policies in the 1980s. 

The ideology is also frequently connected to Thatcherism, named after United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which emphasized privatization and authoritarian social policy.[2]  In a scathing indictment of neoliberal ideology, research released in 2006 by Karen Bridget (Read more…)

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Justin Trudeau Announces Liberal Party Leadership Bid

After months of speculation, it’s official! Justin Trudeau is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. And he’s already dreaming big: he wants to replace Stephen Harper as Canada’s next prime minister. Announcing his leadership bid in Montreal Tuesday, the Papineau MP delivered a speech unequivocally pointing in that direction. The speech opened with the famous [...] Liberal Leadership ’13: We Don’t Really Know What’s Going to Happen

If anyone thinks they know what’s going to be the end result in the Liberal leadership contest (which just had its new rules announced) they’re dead wrong. Nobody knows what is going to happen. The National Post is dead wrong when they write that there is a predestined winner of this race. Why? The Liberals [...]

Illuminated By Street Lamps: ‘Winners’ And Losers In Quebec Asbestos Mess

Photo: Vsmith/Wikipedia

Support for Canadian chrysotile asbestos is dead. First point, this: Canada should have gotten out of the asbestos game a long time ago.All asbestos causes cancer.  We won’t use it. And, we’ve been out of step with our European friends.But now, the inconvenient rub.With apparently no clear plan about how to diversify the economy in Quebec’s asbestos country and keep people employed, simply guillotining the industry feels like political opportunism at its worst.The miners need to work. They might prefer to work somewhere other than an asbestos mine but that’s where they (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Illuminated By Street Lamps: ‘Winners’ And Losers In Quebec Asbestos Mess