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Politics, Re-Spun: We Must Completely Obliterate the BC Liberal Party

The provincial government has told the Vancouver School Board it will not fund any more seismic upgrades unless it agrees to close schools. Source: Some parents fuming over BC Ministry of Education decision – NEWS 1130 What kind of premier threatens to withhold seismic upgrading funds until the school board closes schools? What kind of … Continue reading We Must Completely Obliterate the BC Liberal Party

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Accidental Deliberations: On priorities

I’ve written before about the Saskatchewan Party’s assumption that actually meeting the basic needs of inmates wasn’t a core function of the provincial correctional system.Well, the choice to turn food service into a corporate profit centre has produce… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On priorities

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Duncan Cameron offers his take on the Paris climate change conference. Martin Lukacs notes that while the agreement reached there may not accomplish anywhere near what we need, the building climate movement sho… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Matthew Yglesias rightly points out the absurdity of monetary policy designed to rein in at-target inflation at the expense of desperately-needed employment. And Joseph Stiglitz reminds us that we can instead … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne discusses Jordan Brennan’s research showing that corporate tax cuts have done nothing to help economic growth (but all too much to exacerbate inequality). And Andrew Jackson sets out the main fisca… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Larry Hubich's Blog: For Profit Health Care and queue jumping for the wealthy

In 2009, Brad Wall said he would never allow someone “to use a bulging wallet to jump the queue.” Now his government is doing exactly that. – CUPE Health Care Council – Saskatchewan . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: For Profit Health Care and queue jumping for the wealthy

Accidental Deliberations: On incomplete care

Shorter Dustin Duncan:I’m pretty sure a health care system can’t do more than two things at a time. And for the ministry I’m overseeing, surgery is no longer one of them. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On incomplete care

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the decision-based evidence-making behind the Sask Party’s selloff of Crown land and planned gutting of publicly-operated liquor stores.For further reading…- The Sask Party’s announcement of a program to sell off farm land (and ratchet up le… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Alberta Politics: You’re in for it now, Canada! Wildrose has a plan to make you love pipelines … or else!

PHOTOS: Some of the 2,000 or so Albertans who turned up in defence of their pensions in minus-30 weather on March 2, 2014. Turns out a lot of them voted, too. Below: Pipelines! Love ’em or lose your allowance! Have you got that, Canada? Get ready, Canada! If there’s ever a Wildrose Government in Alberta, […]

The post You’re in for it now, Canada! Wildrose has a plan to make you love pipelines … or else! appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Are the Wildrosers eyeing public service pensions? It’s worth keeping an eye on what they get up to in Cowtown

ILLUSTRATIONS: Can the Wildrose Party control its Tea Party fringe? We’ll get a sense tomorrow and Saturday when the party considers its members’ policy proposals. Below: Party Leader Brian Jean, at right, in Terminator mode; with Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt in a stunt with big signs inspired by Mr. Fildebrandt’s former employer, the Canadian […]

The post Are the Wildrosers eyeing public service pensions? It’s worth keeping an eye on what they get up to in Cowtown appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On dramatic conclusions

Presenting a one-act play starring Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, along with one of her party’s most troublesome adversaries.

Reality: How can you possibly justify spending more public money on highways to get less done?

Nancy Heppner: There’s a perfectly good explanation for that. It’s because we’re spending on the…(flips pages in the Compendium of Random Transportation-Related Terms)…culverts and bridges!!!

Reality: That’s demonstrably false. So again, how can you justify spending more money on highways to get less done?

Nancy Heppner: There’s a perfectly good explanation for that. It’s because we’re spending on the…(again flips pages (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Branko Milanovic writes about the connection between concentration of wealth and income inequality, making the argument that broader ownership of capital itself may make for an important means of levelling the economic playing field.

- But of course, the current trend is in just the opposite direction, as Tom Parkin writes about the public losses that result when governments insist on privatizing our collective assets.

- Paul Krugman examines the continuing effects of needless austerity in the U.S. And Lindsey Cook writes that even Republican presidential candidates are seeing a need to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thom Hartmann highlights how trickle-down economics have swamped the U.S.’ middle class: Creating a middle class is always a choice, and by embracing Reaganomics and cutting taxes on the rich, we decided back in 1980 not to have a middle class within a generation or two. George H.W. Bush saw this, and correctly called it “Voodoo Economics.” And we’re still in the era of Reaganomics – as President Obama recently pointed out, Reagan was a successful revolutionary.

This, of course, is exactly what conservatives always push for. When wealth (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Emily Dugan writes about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s finding that young UK adults are facing the worst economic prospects of the last several generations. And Betty Ann Adam reports on Charles Plante’s work on the value of a living wage, both for employers and society at large.

- Sutton Eaves wonders why climate change wasn’t a defining issue in Canada’s federal election. And Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis highlight the urgent need for an activist push for progress now.

- Lindsay Hines and Cindy Karnett report on the B.C. Libs’ (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Amy Goodman interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the corporate abuses the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow to take priority over the public interest. And Stuart Trew and Scott Sinclair offer some suggestions to at least ensure that Canadians have an opportunity for meaningful review and discussion before being stuck with the TPP.

- Robert Benzie reports on a financial accountability officer’s review finding that like so many other privatization schemes, the Ontario Libs’ Hydro One selloff will only end up costing the public money.

- Jeff Sallot wonders whether the Trudeau Libs have the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Steven Klees notes that there’s no reason at all to think that corporatist policies labeled as “pro-growth” will do anything to help the poor – and indeed ample reason for doubt they actually encourage growth anywhere other than for the already-wealthy. And the Economist finds that GDP growth in Africa has been almost entirely top-heavy, leaving many of the world’s poorest people behind.

- Ehab Lotayek makes the case for a proportional electoral system where voters’ actual preferences lead to representation, rather than one designed to spit out artificial majorities.

- Carol Goar (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: NDP brings to an end Alberta PCs’ bizarre experiment with one-person heath-care rule

PHOTOS: Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman announces the restoration of normal board governance to Alberta Health Services at the provincial Legislature yesterday. Below: Newly appointed AHS Board members Linda Hughes, Glenda Yeates and Brenda Hemmelgarn. Below them: Premier Rachel Notley on the big screen at AUPE’s convention, as union President Guy Smith looks on, also […]

The post NDP brings to an end Alberta PCs’ bizarre experiment with one-person heath-care rule appeared first on Alberta Politics.

staffroom confidential: Victoria School Board debates Outdoor Kindergarten Program of Choice

I was pleased this week to see some healthy debate at the Victoria School Board meeting about the continuation of the Outdoor Kindergarten Program of Choice. While I strongly support outdoor time and learning, I have said publicly before that I believe this should be provided for all children, not a select few. My commentary appeared when the program was first introduced as an Op-Ed piece in the Times Colonist. Here is Trustee Diane McNally’s report from her blog about the debate on renewing the program. While the Board did agree to one more year, the discussion is clearly beginning (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Scott Santens writes about one possible endpoint of the current trend toward precarious employment, being the implementation of a basic income to make sure a job isn’t necessary to enable people to do meaningful work. And Common Dreams reports that a strong majority of lower-wage workers support both unions, and political parties and candidates who will allow them to function.

- Harvey Cashore and David Seglins follow up on the multiple connections between the Cons, the Canada Revenue Agency and KPMG even as the latter was under investigation for facilitating offshore tax (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Alex Himelfarb highlights the vicious circle the Harper Cons have created and driven when it comes to public services: Today’s austerity is not a response to fiscal crisis. The 2012 budget demonstrated that it’s about redefining the purpose of government, about dismantling, brick by brick, the progressive state built by governments of quite different stripes in the decades following the Second World War. Implied is a very different notion of our shared citizenship, of what binds us together across language, region and community. The message was clear: government will ask less of Canadians (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Vanity Production?

Yesterday morning, I read a piece by Martin Regg Cohn on the impending sale of Ontario’s Hydro One. When it is completed, 60% of our publically-owned asset will have been sold off. During a brief walk in the afternoon, I decided to write a letter to my local MPP with a copy to Premier Kathleen Wynne to protest the sale. While it may be of some interest to people residing in Ontario, my letter may be regarded by those residing elsewhere as a vanity production, perhaps, given the ultimate futility of speaking or writing to our representatives in our currently (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kevin Carmichael compares the federal parties’ promises to help parents and concludes the NDP’s child care plan to hold far more social and economic benefit, while Natascia Lypny likewise finds that parents are more interested in actual affordable child-care spaces than tax baubles. CTV reports on the NDP’s promise to extend parental leave under EI as an added help to new parents. And David MacDonald offers five reasons why we need to ensure better opportunities for indigenous families and children.

- Nathan Liewicki reports on the Council of Canadians’ town hall on protecting (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Weinberg discusses the need to focus on inequality in Canada’s federal election, while Scott Deveau and Jeremy Van Loon take note of the fact that increased tax revenue is on the table. The Star’s editorial board weighs in on the NDP’s sound and progressive fiscal plan. And Matthew Yglesias includes the rise of the NDP as part of the growth of a new, international progressive movement.

- Rank and File interviews Michael Butler about the privatization of health care in Saskatchewan, as well as the role of the federal government in (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair in Contempt of Greenpeace, Maude Barlow and Canines

On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly.  Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent to Mr. Jacques Saint-Laurent,Chairman of the Commission d’accès à l’information, asking him to investigate the conduct of Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, the-environment and Parks, during Routine Proceedings, at the sitting of 22 March 2005.(Sessional Paper No. 1702-20050324) 

Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, addressed to Mr. André Dicaire, Secretary General of the Government, by Mrs. Line-Sylvie Perron, Executive Assistant to the Leader of the Official Opposition, concerning the observance (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On balanced options

Dave McGrane offers a historical perspective on how deficits for their own sake shouldn’t be seen as an element of left-wing or progressive policy, while Excited Delerium takes a look at the policies on offer in Canada’s federal election to see how it’s possible to pursue substantive progressive change within a balanced budget. But let’s examine more closely why it’s wrong to draw any equivalence between the Trudeau Libs’ platform, deficits and progressive policies (despite their frantic efforts to pretend there’s no difference between the three).

Taking the Libs at their word, their current plan is to engage in deficit (Read more…)