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The Canadian Progressive: Harper Government should consider options for Sea King replacement: Report

By Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Feb. 11, 2013: OTTAWA – A major, deep-reaching report about the maritime helicopter procurement has just been released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “The worst procurement in the history of Canada”: Solving the maritime helicopter crisis (PDF) was written by University of British Columbia political READ MORE

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: The Nobel Peace Prize is slipping into irrelevance

by Brian Lee Crowley | Troy Media | Macdonald Laurier Institute My mother could have told you why giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union would produce such a predictable and deserved outpouring of derision. An aspiring writer, she took a creative writing course. One of the assignments was to describe a single [...]

The Sixth Estate: Somehow the Conference Board is Less Immune to Industry Pressure than the Federal Senate

In recent months the Canadian airline industry has been pushing, hard, for lower costs. Not content with having the Harper regime order its employees to work under threat of legal sanction (so much for small government, eh?), Air Canada apparently wants to have that same government give it a variety of other under-the-table handouts, too. This lobbying has resulted in several reports in recent months, including from the Senate and, this week, from the Conference Board of Canada.

In light of the ongoing Margaret Wente plagiarism scandal, it seems only fair to point out that the Conference Board

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DeSmogBlog: See No Evil, Speak Little Truth, Break Rules, Blame Others

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The "Wegman Report", led by Edward Wegman of George Mason University (GMU) got criticized in 2010's Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized.  Experts called it "obvious" even "shocking" plagiarism.  GMU's incompetent handling, mistreatment of complainants and flawed rulings were mostly documented in March, but recent FOIAs expose more untruths.

Is the harsh title fair?  Read on, then study the 69-page attachment.

GMU Provost Peter Stearns' February letter to GMU faculty made claims of non-plagiarism that contradicted not only experts, but themselves.  The process consumed almost two years to assess

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CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Harper v. Canada: Stephen Harper Addresses Right Wing U.S. Think Tank

Understanding the Canadian prime minister’s war against our democratic institutions, freedoms and legitimate dissent

Editor’s Note: In June 1997, Stephen Harper addressed a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a right-wing U.S. think tank. His speech unequivocally foreshadowed his ongoing war against Canadian democracy. Harper described Canada as “a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term” with “a standard of living substantially lower” than that of the U.S. On our cherished bilingualism he said “the important point is that Canada is not a bilingual country.” The Senate then was a

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DeSmogBlog: How To Divide And Conquer The Free Market Climate Change Denial Movement

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Much has been made lately of the Heartland’s Institute’s implosion over it extreme position on climate change. In February there was the revelation of internal strategy documents that included a plan to promote climate change scepticism in schools. In early May they unveiled a billboard equating those who believe in global warming with the Unabomber.

In the resulting uproar, nearly 50% of the Heartland Institute’s projected corporate donors for 2012 have pulled out. The funding drop has been so dire that at Heartland’s latest climate change sceptics conference in Chicago last month, Heartland president Joe Bast was reduced to

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DeSmogBlog: The Big Waffle? New Report Exposes Corporations That Try to Split the Difference on Global Warming

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We hear a lot about the Koch brothers. And before them, we heard a lot about ExxonMobil.

In other words, we all know the names of the corporations, and the corporate leaders, who have sought to undermine public understanding about global warming—for instance, by supporting think tanks that misrepresent the science and, in some cases, literally launch attacks against top scientists.

But you don’t hear as much about the companies that kinda waffle on the issue. That maybe give a little money to conservative think tanks, but also support lots of environmental groups. That donate to politicians on both

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The Sixth Estate: Institute for Research on Public Policy Compromising Political Neutrality

The Montreal-based think tank Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) has recently been in the news for publishing a study which, in the media’s collective eye, purports to disprove NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s comments about “Dutch disease” — basically, blaming the decline in Canadian manufacturing on the rise of the Albertan tarsands sector because the latter boosts the Canadian dollar. Instead, the IRPP finds that manufacturing is declining because of a rising dollar, but the dollar isn’t rising because of the tarsands.

This conclusion is at odds with a peer-reviewed study about to be published in Resource and Energy

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The Sixth Estate: Meet The New Estimate, Same as the Old One

Former Reform Party MP turned Fraser Institute fellow and Vancouver economist Herb Grubel has taken to the pages of the Globe & Mail to drum up support for a new edition of his Fraser Institute “study” purporting to show that immigrants soak up an average of $6000 extra in government handouts every year.

I didn’t like last year’s report, not least because of its draconian proposal for a privatized Big Brother-style surveillance network that would monitor immigrants’ employment, sick time, etc. I also speculated that the numbers they were using were a little bit flimsy, and a little

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DeSmogBlog: Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax

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Modern anti-science was created by the tobacco industry in the 1950s and then used against climate science, often by the same well-experienced think tanks and individuals.  Tobacco anti-science is strangely entangled with climate anti-science, as the attached report shows in detail involving Fred Singer's SEPP, Joseph Bast's Heartland, and more.

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The Sixth Estate: Ontario-Funded Think Tank Says Ontario Not Getting Enough Transfer Payments

Alternate title: Toronto Star Leaves Key Piece of Information Out of Coverage of Mowat Centre.

The Mowat Centre, it seems, is unhappy about the state of federal-provincial transfers in this country. Ontario and British Columbia are being short-changed to the tune of billions of dollars because it fails to account for the cost of living, says the Mowat Centre. For all I know, they’re probably right, although in my mind no government that is actively considering tax cuts has any right to complain about the fact that they’re not getting enough handouts from Ottawa.

But come to think of

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The Sixth Estate: Who Funds the Montreal Economic Institute

Among all the secretive and secretly funded think tanks in Canadian politics, surely the most preposterous rationalization is provided by the Montreal Economic Institute:

Although the MEI discloses the amount and the breakdown of its funding, its policy is not to list specific donors. Publishing such a list would give organizations similar to the MEI an opportunity to solicit its donors directly, which is not desirable.

Yeah. Exactly what “organizations similar to the MEI” are there, anyways? There are a half-dozen major free-market think tanks in Canada, they get the lion’s share of their funding from the same sources,

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The Sixth Estate: Can You Commission a Study from the Fraser Institute?

Picking up where I left off last week, I want to explore what we know about the “objective” process by which an “independent” think tank like the Fraser Institute goes about choosing a topic to write a research paper about. As economists, they will doubtless nod in approval when I give you the basic maxim of that profession: there is no such thing as a free lunch. And in the research profession, there is no such thing as a free paper. So, every time the Fraser Institute publicizes one of their new studies, the question you should ask yourself is:

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David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: It’s not just unions any more: Time to consider fiscal openness for professional associations, private companies, think tanks, churches

The board of the Fraser Institute meets to discuss their next dubious call for lower taxes on billionaires and the corporations they own. Who finances them, anyway? Secretive organizations may not appear exactly as illustrated.

It’s not just unions any more.

The more I think about this, the more the idea makes sense: the time has come to shine a bright light on the fiscal operations of all organizations to which Canadian citizens must pay dues in order to work, as well as on all those that benefit from taxpayer-paid subsidies, enjoy charitable status or attempt to influence public policy.

. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: It’s not just unions any more: Time to consider fiscal openness for professional associations, private companies, think tanks, churches