I was too young in 1991 to put the news I was hearing into context. My family had worked for months on my Dad’s campaign for the Sask Liberals in Moose Jaw, and he’d come away in second place. Roy Romanow was the new Premier of Saskatchewan, and Grant Devine would soon fade into political obscurity as some of his cabinet and other MLAs would go to jail, and in the sad case of Jack Wolfe an early grave. Future Lieutenant Governor Linda Haverstock was the only Sask Liberal MLA in the Saskatchewan Legislature.
Soon, the new hospital in Lafleche (Read more…)
Those readers who follow my law blog will already be familiar with this week’s news about the Saskatchewan Party government’s attack on overtime pay for retail workers. But I’ll take some time to assemble the full story here.
Historically, a “day” for the purpose of calculating overtime for Saskatchewan workers has been defined as any consecutive period of 24 hours. All Saskatchewan workers have been entitled to overtime if they are required to work more than 8 hours in any such period.
As part of its response to the Saskatchewan Party’s employment law review process, the Retail Council of Canada (Read more…)
Here, on how we’ll soon be seeing both federal and provincial governments alike try to block out their real history with glossy ad campaigns – and why we shouldn’t let them get away with the plan.
For further reading…- Torstar reported here on the Cons’ use of public money to generate fake news and how it fits in to the broader federal advertising machine. And Gregory Thomas discussed their shift toward using public money for communications rather than programs here. – Mike De Souza wrote about the CRA’s newly-ordered destruction of employees’ text records here. And Paul McLeod (Read more…)
Here, on the need to turn the holiday spirit of charity into lasting improvements in the lives of the people who need help the most.
For further reading…- Joe Gunn and Iglika Ivanova also discuss the limitations of charity compared to structural change. – Jordon Cooper discusses Saskatchewan’s bad habit of accepting food banks as a substitute for food and income security. And again, there’s reason for doubt (PDF, see Harpauer’s dissembling about child poverty rates at p. 6085) that the current government plans to take poverty seriously.- Finally, the provincial government’s announcement of the Advisory Group (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Mariana Mazzucato comments on the role of the innovative state – and the unfortunate reality that we currently lack anything of the sort due to corporatist thinking: (T)hanks in part to the conventional wisdom about its dynamism and the state’s sluggishness, the private sector has been able to successfully lobby governments to weaken regulations and cut capital gains taxes. From 1976 to 1981 alone, after heavy lobbying from the National Venture Capital Association, the capital gains tax rate in the United States fell from 40 percent to 20 percent. And in the name (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- George Monbiot opines that curbing corporate power is the most fundamental political issue we need to address in order to make progress possible on any other front: Does this sometimes feel like a country under enemy occupation? Do you wonder why the demands of so much of the electorate seldom translate into policy? Why parties of the left seem incapable of offering effective opposition to market fundamentalism, let alone proposing coherent alternatives? Do you wonder why those who want a kind and decent and just world, in which both human beings and other (Read more…)
How did Postmedia manage to let this Hanley column sneak into its pages? Mandryk got his shots in at Cenovus and Wall already too. SaskWind has provided a breath of fresh air to Saskatchewan political analysis also.
I expect Canadians would want to know whether their tax dollars are being used to subsidize the oil industry.
But as SaskPower says, beyond the question of costs, CCS technology provides a major benefit: It allows us to continue to use cheap and plentiful fossil fuels to provide base load power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Actually, that’s debatable [link added]. (Read more…)
Here, on how the City of Regina has learned a painful lesson about the Saskatchewan Party’s habit of accepting credit but not responsibility on P3 projects.
For further reading…- Emma Graney reports on how the province forced the City to foot the bill for immediate site development costs here.- For background on how decisions about education have been taken out of the hands of elected school boards, Joseph Garcea and Dustin Monroe examine the history of education funding in Saskatchewan (and other provinces) here (PDF).- And finally, I’ll point back to my earlier columns as to (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Rob Nixon’s review of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything nicely sums up why the book – and the fundamental clash it documents between corporate profit-seeking and the health of people and our planet – should be at the centre of our political conversation: (N)eoliberalism — promotes a high-consumption, carbon-hungry system. Neoliberalism has encouraged mega-mergers, trade agreements hostile to environmental and labor regulations, and global hypermobility, enabling a corporation like Exxon to make, as McKibben has noted, “more money last year than any company in the history of money.” Their outsize power (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Jessica McCormick and Jerry Dias respond to Stephen Poloz’ view that young workers should be happy to work for free, and note that he of all people shouldn’t be pointing the finger at individuals to address problems with systemic unemployment: The most infuriating aspect of Poloz’s statement is that he himself could do more than virtually any other Canadian to help put young people into real, paying jobs. Monetary policy is one of the most potent tools to stimulate spending power and job-creation. The Bank of Canada could do much more to create (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Michael Rozworski observes that the NDP’s $15 per day national child care plan has irritated all the right people – while still leaving ample room for improvement in the long run once the first pieces are in place. And PressProgress notes that the Cons’ opposition to the plan is based squarely on their view that women fail to raise their own children if they have either careers or care support.
- Meanwhile, Simon Enoch, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and the Saskatchewan NDP caucus are all rightly critical of Brad Wall’s attempt to (Read more…)
TransCanada wants to use an old pipe that was designed for another product, and send tarsand bitumen through it, under Regina and many communities.
What municipalities are crazy enough to allow this?
TransCanada is a bit like someone offering to host a hot tub party while they know they have explosive diarrhea.
I must print a “correction” to my piece in April when I reported that the SaskPower CCS plant was on time and online. The plant went online late last month, two seasons after it was scheduled, to deal with an apparently surprise asbestos attack.
While the final costs are still being calculated, Mr. Watson acknowledged the project is over budget. Last fall, that overage was pegged at $115-million, or 9 per cent.
“The project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually, which amounts to about 90 per cent of the emissions from the plant.” (Read more…)
On Sunday I attended a climate rally in Regina with what looked to be well over a hundred other people.
It’s too bad more of the 33,400 Rider fans in attendance didn’t make the People’s Climate March a priority for their pre-game activity. Listening to the crowd at the Legislature though, it’s apparent there are plenty of people in oil country who are afraid to speak out against the industries ruining their water tables and flooding their towns with oil money. Who would they speak to anyway? Some local papers won’t publish stories of oil spills a journalist told me (Read more…)
The headline of this Global story is wrong. “Sask. Party MLA Tim McMillan leaving politics to lead petroleum group“
CAPP is not outside of politics; they are a branch of the federal Conservative Party, and exist solely to lobby governments to favour petroleum over other energy sources.
It’s farcical to assume he won’t use his ties to the Sask Party to influence energy policy in Saskatchewan over the coming year. What’s he supposed to do for his first year of employment if not attempt to convince the Saskatchewan government he works for another week, to ignore renewable energy in (Read more…)
How is this even possible? How could a Minister of the province of Saskatchewan not realize there are homeless people, and others struggling to pay rent right here in Regina?
#yqr #skpoli housing cbc.ca/1.2760211 "You’re assuming that there’s these desperate homeless people”-Harpauer. Oh. My. God. #skpoli— Tammy Robert (@tammyrobert) September 09, 2014
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Ethan Corey and Jessica Corbett offer five lessons for progressives from Naomi Klein’s forthcoming This Changes Everything.
- Following up on this post, Andrew Jackson fact-checks the Fraser Institute on its hostility toward the CPP. And the Winnipeg Free Press goes further in challenging the motives behind the “study”: Since the authors started out believing that the Canada Pension Plan and its investment arm are a “self-serving bureaucracy,” it was predictable that they would find something objectionable about CPP administration. The surprise in the study is that the authors produced no (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Rick Perlstein observes that Ronald Reagan’s most lasting contribution to American politics may be his admonition not to recognize flaws or past sins which might require serious responses – and that democratic discourse in the U.S. and elsewhere has yet to recover: (T)he baseline is this moment in 1973 when the Vietnam War ends, and that spring, Watergate breaks wide open, after basically disappearing from the political scene for a while. You have this remarkable thing, where Sam Ervin puts these hearings on television. And day after day the public hears White (Read more…)
Here’s some news hot out of Alberta. Only one of them is satirical.
The other satirical bit is that Saskatchewan’s Sask Party recently announced they’d be saving taxpayers millions of dollars by starting a P3 Bike Share like Stettler had. No wait, they said they were going to build P3 schools, after the Alberta model, to build schools faster.
“While it’s not immediately clear what impact the Obama (climate change) plan will have on the province, the government of Saskatchewan has taken measures to address the greenhouse gas issue through the development of programs and policies that will reduce our CO2 emissions,’ Wall said. “We have our (GHG) emissions reduction targets and continue to work toward them.”
Wall’s government’s plan is to reduce emissions to 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. Any climatologist could tell you this is totally insufficient to arrest climate change. The Kyoto protocol to reduce GHG to below 1990 levels, is arguably insufficient also, (Read more…)
Brothers restaurant owner in #Weyburn says he can't comment on TFW controversy due to employee privacy. #yqr #sask http://t.co/l6GwqSj5G5— Kim Smith (@KimSmithGlobal) April 22, 2014
#Weyburn restaurant releases statement: 'entirely their choice to reject our offer of employment…' #sask #yqr #TFWP http://t.co/Ioh4c0C5u9— Kim Smith (@KimSmithGlobal) April 23, 2014
The so called Temporary Foreign Workers program is little better than indentured servitude. That’s a form of slavery, where the employer holds an unreasonable level of power over their workers, so the workers will not stand up for their human rights.
Ask yourself it’s a coincidence (Read more…)
I’m not sure whether last week’s column played a role, but there have been an awful lot of attacks on Saskatchewan’s Crowns since then at a time when the parties don’t seem to be highlighting the issue. So let’s sum up the arguments being made to undermine the public enterprises that are serving Saskatchewan so well.
Shorter Will Chabun: Sure, actual people may be better off because of Crown competition in the wireless sector. But won’t somebody think of the rent-seekers?
And shorter Star-Phoenix editorial board: The Wall Saskatchewan Party has no coherent or sensible policy when it (Read more…)
@tingeyd -Construction of the @SaskPowerCCS facility is complete. Currently commissioning and preparing for commercial operation Spring 2014— (@SaskPowerCCS) January 27, 2014
“The government boasted at last week’s Boundary Dam symposium that the project will be up and running this fall and completed by next April, on time and on budget.”
Hey, today’s April Fool’s Day. Of course it’s not going online today, as planned last May September by politicians managing SaskPower.
.@saskpowerccs capture unit ready to go online this summer – essential technology for the future #ppet @ACforesight http://t.co/1b1rEk4yqK— Mihaela Carstei (@MCarstei) (Read more…)