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The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension

Liberal leader open to supporting Stephen Harper’s imminent extension of Canada’s combat mission against Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq.

The post Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics

More than 100 academics sign letter telling Canadian MPs that Harper’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51, would allow CSIS to violate Canadians’ privacy rights.

The post Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Parsing Bill C-51— the academics’ letter

The first criticism of Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act 2015, is the fact it is entirely unnecessary. Our criminal law is already capable of dealing with terrorist activities. More to the point, terrorism poses no significant threat to Canadians and therefore no further infringements on Canadians’ civil liberties are warranted.

The facts are clear. In 2014 two Canadians were killed in

Paul S. Graham: Stop Bill C-51 #StopHarper

Introduced into Parliament on Jan. 30, 2015, Bill C-51 is an omnibus bill that will undermine constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of Canadians in the guise of combating terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombastic, saber-rattling YouTube video, published 2 days before the bill was tabled, set the tone. Essentially, Canada is under attack and the government will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians.

Critics of C-51 argue that it will criminalize speech, make it easier to arrest people who police think might commit an offence, share citizen’s private information between government departments without oversight, and allow the Canadian (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On proper fixes

Since this headline seems to be getting far more attention than the actual accompanying interview (if mostly from people with a strong vested interest in distorting the NDP’s position), let’s take a moment to discuss what we’d expect a responsible party to do upon taking power – and what we can tell from a party’s actions while in opposition.

The NDP has rightly taken the position that C-51 deserves to be defeated. And it’s thus making a strong push to challenge the bill both in premise and in its details – in stark contrast to the Libs, who have pledged (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Al Engler argues that it’s long past time to start raising taxes on the wealthy to make sure that Canada can fund the level of social development we deserve.

- Kevin Drum writes that we shouldn’t be satisfied with a temporary dip in inequality caused by the 2008 recession when longer-term trends suggest matters will get worse. And Lynn Parramore interviews Lance Taylor about the demand-side implications of exacerbated inequality: LP: Thomas Piketty’s work on inequality has generated enormous interest.  How does your analysis of how the rich grow richer differ from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Danyaal Raza highlights how Canadians can treat an election year as an opportunity to discuss the a focus on social health with candidates and peers alike: Health providers are increasingly recognizing that while a robust health care system is an important part of promoting Canadians’ health, so is the availability of affordable housing, decent work, and a tightly knit social safety net. Upstream-focused clinical interventions, like the income security program available where I practice, are increasingly meeting that need – but no such program works in a vacuum.…Thinking differently requires speaking differently. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Burning question

C-51, the Cons’ terror bill, allows CSIS to covertly intrude on personal freedoms in two obvious ways.

First, it enables CSIS effectively unfettered authority – without a warrant – to engage in any action which is not contrary to the Charter or other Canadian law, and which does not: (a) cause, intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual; (b) wilfully attempt in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice; or (c) violate the sexual integrity of an individual. 

Second, it enables CSIS – with a warrant – to violate (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On motivating factors

Andrew Coyne offers what’s probably the most reasonable argument to treat the negligible threat of terrorism differently from the other risks we so readily accept (and indeed which are regularly exacerbated by deregulation).

But Coyne’s argument falls well short of justifying the response actually on offer from the Cons – and indeed looks questionable on its own merits. (M)otive comes up at many points in the criminal law – if the motive is self-defence, for example. And motive, in the case of terrorism, is inseparable from the act. The terrorist does not seek only to kill for killing’s sake, or (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: “Violent extremist Jewish organization” wants Harper to win 2015 federal election

The Canadian chapter of the Jewish Defence League is set to open a Montreal office dedicated to delivering the 2015 federal election to Stephen Harper.

The post “Violent extremist Jewish organization” wants Harper to win 2015 federal election appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Cons’ attempt to spin an election narrative out of a fictional bogeyman rather than protecting or helping Canadians.

For further reading…- The National Academy of Sciences offers a comparison of death rates from multiple causes in Canada and elsewhere, while Statistics Canada has more detailed data. And it’s also worth a reminder as to the large number of deaths caused by inequality.- In contrast to the real risks we face and accept every day, even the Cons’ attempt to fabricate a paper trail around terrorism resorts to labeling arrests as failures or dangers (rather (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jeffrey Sparshott discusses new research into how automation stands to displace workers and exacerbate inequality, while a House of Lords committee finds that 35% of the current jobs in the UK could fall prey to exactly that process. And Szu Ping Chan reports on Andy Haldane’s warning that a vicious cycle could prove disastrous for everybody: Mr Haldane warned that robots could soon replace workers en-masse.

“Intelligent robots could substitute for lower-skilled tasks. If the capacity of the machine brain approached, or surpassed, the human brain, higher-skilled jobs could also be at (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ralph Nader: What’s Happening to Canada? Open letter to Stephen Harper

Ralph Nader tells Stephen Harper, “You talk like George W. Bush,” warns that the Conservatives’ anti-terror Bill C-51 would harm Canadian democracy.

The post Ralph Nader: What’s Happening to Canada? Open letter to Stephen Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tessa Jowell writes that we need to treat inequality as a disease which can be cured through effective public policy, but the Star points out that the Cons have instead gone out of their way to make it worse. Fair Vote Canada interviews J. Peter Venton about the toxic effect of inequality on our political system. And Sean McElwee notes that in the U.S. at least, the right has managed to turn the middle and working classes against exactly the type of redistribution which best serves their interests.

- Yanis Varoufakis (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Mariana Mazzucato argues that we need to change our conversation and our policy choices on public investment in Canada’s economy: As in many other countries, the conversation about government and public investment in Canada has for decades distorted and underplayed the role of the state as a crucial agent in shaping and creating markets.

In a country where inequality has grown as the progressive state has been dismantled, I learned that corporate tax rates have been reduced, and generous tax credits given out to promote R&D, all while Canadian corporations hoard (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On unclear motivations

Shorter Peter MacKay: We should tremble in our boots at the possibility that the people plotting a mass shooting in Halifax might have been susceptible to motivation by religious fervour. But if they’d instead carried out their actual plan, we should be willing to write off the resulting deaths as the price of free access to guns.

Update: Anna Mehler Paperny has more.

Politics and its Discontents: Friend Or Foe?

You decide.

A message from Anonymous to ISIS:

We will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you…From now on, no safe place for you online…You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure…We own the internet…We are Anonymous; we are Legion; we do not forgive, we do not forget, Expect us.

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The Disaffected Lib: The 28-Pages that Could Condemn the House of Saud and Liberate the West.

The Gulf princes and sheikhs, especially the House of Saud, have been very successful in ducking scrutiny over their role in launching, funding and covering for every Sunni terrorist group from al Qaeda to ISIS to whatever bunch is now being organized to carry on their Islamic civil war pitting Sunni versus Shiite.

It’s long been believed that 28-pages of the 9/11 Commission report were redacted by the White House because they finger the Saudi royals.  Pressure is now building for their release.

If those pages ever see the light of day, much of the credit will have to go (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: On Profound Timidity

H/t The Toronto Star

Yesterday’s post dealt with the profound reluctance of Messieurs Trudeau and Mulcair to oppose Harper’s latest incursion into our civil rights, Bill C-51, lest they be accused of being ‘soft on terrorism’ (“Oh, the horror!”). Better, in their minds, to betray the interests of Canadians than to be stuck with that taint, I guess.

Today’s Star reports Justin Trudeau speaking with some enthusiasm about the bill, again carping around the edges about the need for more parliamentary oversight:

This bill can be improved but on the whole it does include measures that will help keep (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Joe Gunn reminds us that ignoring the issue of poverty won’t make it go away. And Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on a national campaign demanding a plan to deal with poverty at the federal level.

- Roderick Benns discusses the prospect of a guaranteed annual income with Wayne Simpson. And Whitney Mallett is the latest to look in depth at how the successful Mincome basic income plan might spread much further: Critics of basic income guarantees have insisted that giving the poor money would disincentivize them to work, and point to studies that show ​a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- 24 Hours offers a debate as to whether or not we should pursue a basic income – though it’s striking that the “con” case is based almost entirely on a message that a secure income for everybody can’t be achieved, rather than any argument that it shouldn’t.

- Gabriel Bristow writes about the next battle against austerity, this time arising out of general strikes in Belgium. And Tara Ehrcke muses about what a Canadian equivalent to Syriza could pursue by way of people-friendly policies, while Trish Hennessy looks at the middle-class economics which (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Timely Warning From Edward Snowden

But will anyone listen?

Edward Snowden, the man wanted for leaking U.S. security documents in 2013 says Canadians should be “extraordinarily cautious” in reference to an anti-terror bill proposed by the Harper government. Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald spoke to a group of Toronto students Monday evening.

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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Elizabeth Stoker Bruening discusses the effect of poverty at the family level, particularly when coupled with policies designed to force workers to chase jobs far away from home and family: If you want to see the right-wing denuded of its usual bluster about family values and welfare, visit this Economist post, published in response to Nick Kristof’s remembrance of a friend who fell on hard times and passed away. The piece argues that the problem isn’t a paucity of empathy for poor people who rely on welfare, but perhaps an excess (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian Anti-Terror Bill C-51 Troubles Privacy Czar

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada warns that Bill C-51, Harper’s proposed new anti-terrorism legislation, would further erode Canadians’ privacy rights.

The post Harper’s Orwellian Anti-Terror Bill C-51 Troubles Privacy Czar appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.