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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ed Broadbent comments on Parliament’s review of inequality in Canada: In a more encouraging vein, the majority report cautiously endorses some positive proposals. Given stated support from both of the opposition parties, these could, and should, move to the top of the government agenda as we approach the 2014 federal Budget and the 2015 federal election.

The Broadbent Institute and other witnesses highlighted the need to increase the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) which supplements the incomes of working poor families, thus raising earned income from low wage jobs and helping offset (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Climate Change: The Comedy Show?

Well I didn't think anyone would be able to turn the tragedy of climate change into a comedy show. At least not since the hapless Con stooge Peter Kent returned from the Durban conference to announce that Kyoto was dead. And that was a GOOD thing.But apparently somebody has tried. And it's getting good reviews. Read more »

Canadian Political Viewpoints: All Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing…

Many people were waiting for the on the horizon cabinet shuffle in Ottawa that finally took place today. Pundits saw it as an opportunity for a scandal plagued government to turn the page and change the channel by getting Canadians to talk about something other than Duffy-Wright. And while people have focused on it for today, as we are here, the seemingly safe measures taken by this shuffle will do little in getting anyone to move ahead permanently.  For a shuffle that was being seen as a fresh start, it was ultimately quite a major disappointment. In the most (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Martin Lukacs offers up the definitive response to the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy: The deeper evidence about this event won’t be found in the train’s black box, or by questioning the one engineer who left the train before it loosened and careened unmanned into the heart of this tiny town. For that you’ll have to look at how Lac-Mégantic was hit by a perfect storm of greed, deregulation and an extreme energy rush driving companies to ever greater gambles with the environment and human life.

It’s little wonder, then, that today’s oil and rail (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: The End Of Kent?

Peter Kent signaled this week that he expects to be demoted or dismissed by Stephen Harper. Rick Smith, the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute, suggests that Kent’s tenure as Minister of the Environment can’t come to an end soon enough:

Since the advent of Canada’s first federal Environment Minister in 1971, there have been many bumps-on-a-log, do-nothings, and disappointments. Many governments of the past have ignored the nation’s environmental protection needs, resulting in years of stalled progress. But only Mr. Kent has stepped up to the plate, Orwell-style, to re-make the Ministry of the Environment into a green (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Environment Minister Peter Kent embraces his imminent demotion from Conservative cabinet

by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:

Environment Minister Peter Kent. (Photo: Environment Canada)

It’s a preemptive strike of sorts.

Environment Minister Peter Kent knows he’ll be a backbencher after PM Stephen Harper’s much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle. That much the Conservative MP for Thornhill, Ontario, confirmed in a message published on Facebook on Friday.

“If, in the fullness of time and the eventual shuffle, I do find myself a backbench Parliamentarian, I will enthusiastically embrace what will be, for me, exciting new challenges,” Kent wrote.

Kent, a former broadcaster, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008. He’s the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Environment Minister Peter Kent embraces his imminent demotion from Conservative cabinet

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- David Miller makes the case to take aim at inequality in Canada: With globalization being the holy grail of efficiency, it became a race to the bottom as international capital sought the lowest cost and the lowest wages. The result in Canada and many other countries was the closing of industries, the gutting of union organizing through new laws that attack unions and limit their ability to operate, and the gradual rise in income inequality since 1990. Canada now ranks 12th out of 17 first-world economies for income inequality, and were given a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

From Warren Bell’s devastating comparison between the Peter Kent of yesteryear and the embarrassment he’s become, here’s Canada’s environment minister on why we shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about the environment effects of the tar sands: “One of the opposition parties has taken the treacherous course of leaving the domestic debate and heading abroad to attack a legitimate Canadian resource which is being responsibly developed and regulated,” Kent told reporters.

So what is Kent doing to any system of responsible regulation which might once have existed? Let’s ask James Munson: The federal government is quietly removing in situ (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Yes, there’s plenty more on the Cons’ Senate scandal, with Tim Harper headlining the latest discussion: Mike Duffy is radioactive.

The one-time Conservative cheerleader is now the poster boy for the filth which envelops the party brand.

The man holed up on Friendly Lane in Cavendish, P.E.I., has brought down one of the most powerful men in Canada, shaken the Stephen Harper government to its core and blown a hole in the confidence the increasingly skeptical Conservative base has in the party.…Wright says he acted on his own, but (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Crap That Comes Out of Peter Kent’s Mouth

Harper EnviroShill, Peter Kent, is one of the sleaziest actors in Ottawa.  

His latest pitch – we have to get out from under the U.S. dilbit discount – i.e. get those pipelines up and running from the B.C. coast – so that the Athabasca oil barons will be able to invest in technology to curtail pollution.

“The ability of the oil and gas sector to absorb tough government controls on their greenhouse gas emissions depends on Canada getting a better price for its oil, Environment Minister Peter Kent says.”

That’s pretty thin code (Read more…)

350 or bust: Not The Old Canada: A New Tourist Souvenir Reflects Nation’s New Reality

Here’s Dan Murphy ‘s suggestion for a new “tar-sational” souvenir for tourists visiting our beautiful , along with Big Oil corporate donation opportunities:

The Canadian Progressive: Canada Doublespeak Watch: Kent, environmentalists & “money laundering”

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | Mar 7, 2013: The Harper Government is increasingly using doublespeak to stifle the democratic conversation on the issues of our time, including: the Alberta tar sands. It’s quite possible that this government has studied Joseph Goebbels. First, let’s take a look at the one where Stephen Harper’s environment Minister, Peter Kent, bizarrely accused environmental groups of “money laundering”. Minister Kent made the READ MORE

BigCityLib Strikes Back: You Don’t Get Credit For Choices Forced Upon You

And therefore Peter Kent gets no credit for announcing, for about the third time now, that Canada will follow U.S. emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles made in this country.  Because Canada’s demand for such vehicles is too small that makers of them could not survive if shut out of U.S. market. This is not about matching or outdoing the Obama administration’s efforts.  Its about reacting, in as minimalist a fashion as possible, to actions your lobbyists were unable to stave off.    PS.  Pollution Probe likes the gov’s approach!  That’s one of Lawrence Solomon’s old “thinktank” type

Leftist Jab: Absurd Talking Point of 2012: Carbon Tax!

Climate change requires a steadfast and responsible approach from all nations to respond to increased carbon emissions.

Or you could douche it up.

That’s the Conservative strategy. Demonizing the “carbon tax” and calling “cap and trade” the equivalent to a “carbon tax” is neither responsible nor helpful.

Neither is an Environment Minister suggesting that environmental groups are laundering

Alberta Diary: Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien gets up close and personal with a protester. Below: NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Tory chuck-a-bub Peter Van Loan, Liberal Fuddle-Duddler Pierre Trudeau, New Democrat Nathan Cullen, known for his gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Maybe I’ve just spent too much time hanging around the dojo, but I don’t think most Canadians would have been particularly troubled if Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair had planted a well-placed social democratic boot on Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan’s ample behind yesterday afternoon.

Alert readers will by now be aware that Mr. Van Loan waddled

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson

Northern Reflections: The Price Of Power

The prime directive of any good journalist should be the people’s right to know. But consider the saga of Peter Kent. Lawrence Martin writes that Kent, a member of The Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame, has been in the forefront of those who make sure Canadian scientists don’t talk to journalists:

The latest example of such muzzling concerns David Tarasick a researcher in Kent’s ministry who is the co-author of a study on the ozone whole over the Arctic. Tarasick had offered to discuss his findings with the press:

It’s the type of story that Kent once pursued avidly for

. . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: The Price Of Power

350 or bust: COP18: Canada’s Climate Fail Or Climate Legacy?

    DirtyOilSands.org, tells us that for the first time since taking the position of Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent has agreed to meet with climate organizers. “Over the past year, Kent has met with the oil lobbyist 48 times, and so this may be our one shot to even things out. But we can’t [...]

drive-by planet: Greenhouse gases up 20% since 2000: climate change likely ‘more severe than models predict’

A report by the UN Environment Programme warns that world governments are doing too little to meet the stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 C. In failing to meet their commitments governments are increasing the likelihood of catastrophic glob… . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Greenhouse gases up 20% since 2000: climate change likely ‘more severe than models predict’

drive-by planet: Peter Kent: climate change ‘a real and present danger’

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Peter Kent: climate change ‘a real and present danger’

Autonomy For All: Is Peter Kent Trying to Move Harper on Climate Change?

This starts with a tangent:  I’ve been trying to understand why the World Bank’s climate report is big news.  It’s just a rehash of long available science.  The World Bank is not my idea of some kind of recalcitrant climate denial shop, but obviously they have some reason to be concerned since the prospect of a global economic dark age is probably not part of their neoliberal dream.  Near as I can figure, the report is “news” because it might indicate the global elite are starting to take Climate Change seriously.  Up until now, I could

. . . → Read More: Autonomy For All: Is Peter Kent Trying to Move Harper on Climate Change?

The Disaffected Lib: Will Anybody Demand Peter Kent’s Resignation?

Would someone who didn’t have prior knowledge of this please demand Peter Kent’s resignation?   This, of course, is the deliberate dumping last July of 200,000 pounds of iron sulphide into the waters off the Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii.

The Old Massett Village band, scrambling for cover, says the Harper department of fisheries and oceans and the Harper environment ministry knew of it and did nothing to stop it.  The MP for the Charlottes, NDP Nathan Cullen admits he knew all about it and likewise did nothing to stop it.

Given the NDP are caught up in

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Will Anybody Demand Peter Kent’s Resignation?

The Disaffected Lib: The Rats Scurry for Cover

Russ George must be wondering where everybody went?   The rogue geoengineer behind the dumping of 100-tonnes of iron sulphate off the Charlottes in July suddenly doesn’t have all the friends he had just a few months back.

Harper EnviroShill Peter Kent says he only learned about it just this week.   Oh my goodness, gosh, how could this have happened right under Pete’s nose?

Kent, responding to questions in Parliament, said spreading iron on the ocean appears to be illegal.

“Environment Canada was not asked to approve this apparent violation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,” Kent

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Rats Scurry for Cover

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Another "If Only We Had Known" Moment From The Harper Tories

OTTAWA — The Conservative government scrambled Friday to distance itself from an early 20th Century public health pioneer it had honoured just a day earlier at a plaque-unveiling ceremony in Ottawa. Joy Smith, the Manitoba Tory MP who unveiled the plaque at Tunney’s Pasture on behalf of Environment Minister Peter Kent, called on the government not to install it after a Citizen story outlined Dr. Helen MacMurchy’s leading role as an advocate for eugenics, a type of scientific racism that flourished between 1865 and 1945. And Rob Taylor, Kent’s communications director, said the plaque unveiling “would never have gone forward” . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Another "If Only We Had Known" Moment From The Harper Tories

Accidental Deliberations: Peter Kent’s Doomed Lemonade Stand

Aaron Wherry generously debunks Peter Kent’s latest farcical spin only within the climate change debate, rather than fitting it into a general governance framework. But while I’ll stick with my previous take on what the Cons really hope to accomplish in spinning about climate change, it’s worth noting just what Kent would be saying if taken at face value: Kent acknowledges that the government’s system of imposing regulations on polluting sectors of the economy comes with costs too, Kent says none of the money will be collected by the government.

“We have absolutely no revenue generation by our regulation

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Peter Kent’s Doomed Lemonade Stand

Impolitical: Putting the Progressive back in the Conservatives?

It’s September, the big back to school month, and Parliament resumes sitting this coming week. Interesting then to note some moves being made by the Harper government, perhaps designed to put a new coat of paint on their tired, right wing shtick. Noted in the past day or so…

“Canada gives up defending asbestos.” Citing the election of the PQ and their anti-asbestos policies – shared by most Canadians – the Harper government has slunk away from their continued support of the industry. An excuse presented itself and our federal government, integrity driven as always, has finally backed

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Putting the Progressive back in the Conservatives?