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Showing posts from February 7, 2014

Vancouver's Olympic Games overstated legacy and ignored true costs

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See the original story here.

[At a time when the Liberals have announced the once in a generation financial opportunity of LNG, it's worth reminding ourselves of what happened to the last Liberal financial opportunity of a lifetime. *RON*]
BY MARVIN SHAFFER, FEBRUARY 7, 2014


British Columbians no doubt feel thankful that the costs, security and other challenges facing the Sochi Winter Olympic Games far surpass what B.C. and Canada faced with the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Games. But the 2010 Games were not without controversy and still raise the question of whether it was all worthwhile. Unfortunately, at least from a public policy perspective, that fundamental question was never properly addressed.

Growing pains

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See the original article here.
[A good article on some of the general ins and outs of using the GDP as a measure or progress. *RON*]
Measure a country purely in terms of its GDP and you neglect the wellbeing of its people. Yet can that be measured?

by Diane Coyle 2,800 words


Diane Coyle is a freelance economist and former advisor to the UK Treasury. She runs the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. Her book, GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, is published this month.

Have we reached the end of progress? Today, this lodestar of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution is shining less brightly than at any time in the past 200 years. And our principal measure of progress – gross domestic product (GDP) – seems particularly tarnished. Growing numbers of people are asking whether economic growth, measured by whether GDP is going up, should be the main priority of governments. Aren't the environmental costs of growth too high? Is higher GDP worthwhile if it all goes to the rich? …

BC LNG: All pain no gain as Liberals fail to deliver on tax regime…again

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See the original article here (plus a video of Coleman I couldn't get to load here).
[Endless jobs? 100 billion dollar prosperity fund? Free beer tomorrow? *RON*]

The Clark Govt has once again delayed the announcing its LNG royalty regime (Tina Lovgreen / BCIT)

British Columbians have been patiently waiting since before the Liberals were re-elected for an explanation of the financial terms that will deliver the much-vaunted 100 Billion-dollar LNG “Prosperity Fund” that will allegedly eliminate the provincial debt, lower taxes and underwrite the services we have come to rely on.

BC’s Minister for Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman has repeatedly committed to divulging the terms and conditions he intends to legislate into perpetuity since being re-elected based on these promises. We’ve been told that by slashing royalties and taxes, BC will win the global competition for attracting foreign investment in LNG pipelines and terminals.

The Premier herself has consistently stated that thes…

Canadian Oilsands Staff Fired, Reportedly Replaced With Foreign Workers

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See the original article here.

[Job creation - oil company style and Harper style. *RON*]

CP | By The Canadian PressPosted: 02/06/2014 6:27 pm EST | Updated: 02/06/2014 11:59 pm EST


FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - The federal government is investigating an allegation that several dozen Canadians working in Alberta's oilpatch were laid off this week and replaced with foreign workers.

A spokeswoman with Employment Minister Jason Kenney's office said Thursday that he has asked for an urgent review.

The Alberta Federation of Labour said that 65 of its ironworkers were laid off on Tuesday. The workers' paystubs say they were being paid by a company called Pacer Promec Joint Venture.

Federation president Gil McGowan said the employees were immediately dismissed from their jobs at Imperial Oil's (TSX:IMO) Kearl oilsands mine.

"They called the guys into an office, told them that they were gone, and they literally walked past the replacements on the way out," McGowan said.

Alternative to "do-nothing" Federal Budget would alleviate poverty and add jobs

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Read original article here.

[What a progressive Canada could look like, with the budget balanced in one year or less. *RON*]
BY DAVID MACDONALD, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


The following remarks are excerpted from the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget press conference, featuring Armine Yalnizyan, David Macdonald and Bruce Campbell (February 5th, Parliament Hill).

This year is our 19th Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).

From the beginning, we've developed a rigorous economic and fiscal framework for our Budget; and we have acquired an enviable reputation for more accurately forecasting fiscal balances than the Department of Finance. Organizers of a recent international conference in Berlin recently called our alternative budget the leading example of its kind in the world. Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has praised it, as have many academic economists.

Budgets are about choices -- choices that reflect the values and priorities of the governments that produce them. Our AFB reflect…

Five things you need to know about the Fair Elections Act

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See the original article here.

[Big Brother at work. See also Fair Elections Act Worries Elections Canada chief Marc Mayrand. *RON*]
BY SARAH SCHMIDTTREVOR HACHÉ, FEBRUARY 6, 2014



The Conservative government on Tuesday tabled their so-called Fair Elections Act in the House of Commons -- 70 weeks late.

Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform, claimed the changes will "increase democracy." Twenty-four hours later, Poilievre moved on Wednesday to cut off the democratic debate about the bill in the House of Commons.

That's not the government's only instance of doublespeak on this file.

Given the Conservatives' track record of ignoring or circumventing Canada's electoral law, it's worth fact-checking the spin, so here are five things you need to know about the legislation.