Showing posts from May 17, 2014

The odds you’ll join the ranks of the long-term unemployed

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[On how people lose their careers simply through the bad timing of macroeconomics. One more reason why the failure to provide more stimulus is a crime against the citizenry. *RON*]

By Matt O'Brien, Washington Post, May 16, 2014

Long-term unemployment is a terrifying trap that, even in the best of times, is difficult to escape. And it's a trap that you can get stuck in for no reason other than bad luck.

Today, there are still almost 3.5 million people who have been out of work for six months or longer and are looking for work. There isn't a more urgent crisis, and there are three things you should keep in mind about it.

1. As former CEA Chair Alan Krueger found, the long-term unemployed aren't much different from the short-term unemployed. They're a little older and more of them are African-Americans, but they're just about as educated and work in the same industries as everyone else who's trying to find a job.

2. The …

An alphabet for a "schools to jobs" generation

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Excerpted from Jim Brown, The 180, CBC, May 8, 2014

Click here to listen
The Province of B.C. has a new "Skills for Jobs" blueprint. The plan aims to make sure that B.C. students are trained to fill the tens of thousands of jobs that projections say will open up in the province's Liquefied Natural Gas sector by 2022.
"Our goal, ultimately, is to give every student ... a better, early head start on their future education," said B.C. education minister Peter Fassbender. "We want students to find their fit earlier. That's why we're re-engineering our education system from Kindergarten right through to post-secondary."
That had the CBC's Stephen Quinn trying to imagine what the early years of the new "schools to jobs" focus would look like. We present to you, his "ABC's"

Kinder Morgan's historic oil spills are double the Kalamazoo disaster: NDP MP

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[Kinder Morgan VP calls Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart’s oil spill analysis of its Trans Mountain pipeline “stupid”, “ludicrous” and “astounding.” Obviously he has touched a nerve. All he does is state the facts - Kinder Morgan has spilled twice as much oil from its existing Trans Mountain pipeline as was spilled at Kalamazoo. Pathetically, the KM VP does not consider oil spilled on their property to be "in the environment." *RON*]
Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, May 16th, 2014
Ducks dying, a Kalamazoo River blackened with oil, and haz-mat workers vacuuming sticky sediments in the worst land pipeline spill in U.S. history -- not the visuals Kinder Morgan wants to be associated with, especially when it had nothing to do with the disaster.
"It's a stupid comparison," bristled Kinder Morgan vice president Hugh Harden from Calgary on Wednesday.

The oil executive in charge of Trans Mountain pipeline's operations was reacti…

The Reason Canada's Federal Debt Reached $671 Billion

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[Canada already has a low ratio of public debt to GDP by international standards. This Fraser Institute author mashes together two entirely different issues - you can oppose the Canadian government's high (and hidden) levels of corporate welfare without falling for the ruse that Canada has a high level of government debt. The debt myth is used as an excuse for implementing austerity programs - thus freeing up more taxpayer dollars to give away to corporations - thus preparing our politicians for a soft landing when they retire. *RON*]

Mark Milke, Senior Fellow, The Fraser Institute, Huffington Post, 05/16/2014

Ever wonder how Canada's net federal debt reached $671 billion by 2013? Or how net provincial debt among the provinces ended up at $509 billion that same year? Wonder no more. It's partially due to massive subsidies to corporations, government businesses and even consumers that over three decades amounted to $684 billion.


Alberta Health issues warning after mercury found in eggs from lakes near oilsands

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[You'll notice that the Alberta government doesn't even deign to respond. *RON*]

By Bob Weber, CP / Huffington Post, 05/16/2014

EDMONTON - Alberta Health has issued a health warning about eggs from two northern lakes downstream from the oilsands after they were found to contain dangerous levels of mercury.

James Talbot, chief medical health officer, has advised people to restrict consumption of gull and tern eggs from Lake Athabasca and Mamawi Lake in the Peace-Athabasca delta. Children and pregnant women are at higher risk from mercury, a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in the body as more contaminated food is consumed.

"The developing brain is the one that's most at risk from mercury," Talbot said.

He added that the Nunee Health Authority in Fort Chipewyan has been informed of the advisory. A previous mercury advisory which been issued for fish in the area remains in place.

Concerns about mercury in the environment downstrea…

There's still time to stop the Unfair Elections Act

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[As the article title says, there is a link at the bottom that allows you to send an email letter to the Senate, asking for their support in killing this bill. *RON*]
By Dylan Penner, May 16, 2014

First, the good news: organizing works.

While the Unfair Elections Act passed third reading in the House of Commons this week, it could have been much worse. The campaign to stop the bill has already made a difference and we're not done yet.

The government was intent on passing a truly horrible piece of legislation. But because of public pressure, the government has backed down on some of the worst elements of the bill.

Since February, the Council of Canadians has been campaigning to stop the Unfair Elections Act. We built a common front to stop the bill, in partnership with a broad range of allies, including the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), Leadnow, human rights and civil liberties groups, peace and environmental organizations, trade unions, …

Harper's assimilation agenda just collided with First Nations resistance -- and lost

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[Harper has adopted the common Republican Party/Orwellian practice of naming and describing his bills with labels that are the direct opposite of their intent. the First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act is an excellent case in point. *RON*]
By Pamela Palmater,, May 16, 2014

This has been a difficult month for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in terms of Crown-First Nations relations. Harper seemed too busy picking fights with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin and defending another "dodgy" Senate appointment, to notice that Canada's already brittle relationship with First Nations was crumbling.

In the last few weeks, Harper refused to conduct an inquiry into murdered and missing women or allow the RCMP to release its own investigation until "reviewed" by Canada. The auditor general's recent report criticizes Canada for lack of transparency and adequate funding in First Nat…