Showing posts from September 23, 2014

Government Accountability Office Report of Oil-By-Rail Safety Fails to Address Most Important Safety Issue

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[And yet Harper claims that he's being tough on the railways and that everything is safe and taken care of. *RON*]
 Justin Mikula, DeSmog Blog, 23 September 2014

This week’s release of the government report titled Department of Transportation Is Taking Actions To Address Rail Safety, But Additional Actions Are Needed To Address Pipeline Safety — a year long review of the risks associated with the large increases in transporting domestically produced oil and gas in the United States — identifies several well known risks with moving oil by rail but concludes that the new proposed regulations address these issues.

As previously reported on DeSmogBlog, the new proposed rules actually do little to improve safety and also phase in any changes over many years meaning that the oil trains running right now are not meaningfully safer than the five that have crashed and exploded since July 2013. And won’t be for years to come.

The report has received a sc…

The Conservative war on refugees continues

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[Real Canajuns(TM) don't like poor brown people. *RON*]
By Kark Nerenberg,, 23 September 2014

The Conservatives are it again -- using a low-profile private member's bill to get some nasty stuff through Parliament.

In this case, the Harper government is after people who come to Canada as refugees.

As it stands now, all people who arrive in Canada claiming refugee status under international law -- that is, based on a legitimate fear of persecution or harm in their home countries -- are entitled to provincial welfare from the moment they arrive in Canada.

Conservative MP Corneliu Chisu has moved a private member's bill, C-585, that would change that.

It would deny welfare to the majority of refugee claimants, who are often desperate people who fled for their lives bringing virtually nothing with them.

Under Chisu's Bill only those whose claims have been accepted by the Refugee Protection Division and those deemed to be victims …

Right-wing think-tanks escape Harper government scrutiny. Why?

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[A transparent vendetta against any group that dares to offer an opinion different from his own. "Hitler came to power on January 30 1933 and almost immediately set out plans that would give the Nazis total power over all newspapers." *RON*]
By Stephen Kimber,, 23 September 2014

"The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax has not responded to questions."

That nugget was nested in the last line, last paragraph of aGlobe and Mail story last week about the Harper government's efforts to "intimidate, muzzle and silence its critics."

Ottawa is spending $13.4 million so its tax auditors can descend, locust-like, on charitable groups not in lockstep with Harper's worldview, searching for real or imagined evidence they're devoting more than 10 per cent of their resources to political advocacy.

The story itself was about an open letter more than 400 academics signed, protesting an audit of the Can…

Anti-Union Bill C-377 Gets Harper OK For Speedy Senate Passage

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[Such a brave leader. Harper takes his most controversial bills, the ones most likely to attract widespread public ire and to be struck down by the Supreme Court, and gives them to others to submit as private member bills. In this case, even his own MLAs and Senate appointees can see that this bill stinks to high heaven. *RON*]
CP | By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 22 September 2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government has thrown its support behind a bid to whisk a controversial anti-union bill through the Senate.

Kevin Sorenson, minister of state for finance, said Monday the government supports the intent of Bill C-377, a private member's bill initiated by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert which would force unions to publicly disclose details of their spending.

Sorenson called it "a reasonable bill to increase union transparency" and backed a move by Conservative senators to cut short debate on the bill, which has been widel…

Colin Carrie Says Tory Government Is 'A World Leader' On Climate Change

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[Pure Orwellian double-speak from the Ministry of Truth. *RON*]
By Michael Bolen, The Huffington Post Canada, 22 September 2014

The parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment raised eyebrows Monday when he twice argued that Canada's Conservative government is "a world leader in addressing climate change."

Colin Carrie made the statements during question period and was quickly ridiculed in the House of Commons and online.

Carrie was grilled by both both NDP and Liberal MPs Monday on his the government's climate change policies and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decisionnot to attend the United Nations climate summit on Tuesday, despite being in New York to deliver a major speech to the General Assembly. U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron will both speak at the summit, which Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq is scheduled to attend.

Throughout the questioning, Carrie read ta…

Their Brand Is Crisis: For Austerity Hawks, Good News Must Still Be Bad News

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[They actually teach you this in business school. When you want to change an organization you are taught to ask yourself, "What is your burning platform?" I.e., what are you going to tell people is so desperately wrong that they have no choice but to change. *RON*]

by Reed Richardson, The Nation, 22 September 2014

There’s a key scene early on in Rachel Boynton’s fantastic documentary about the 2002 Bolivian presidential election that sets up the movie’s premise (and title). In it, Tad Devine, a smooth-talking advertising guru with the Democratic political consulting firm Greenberg Carville Shrum, lays out the overarching theme his group has developed for “Goni,” the wealthy, globalization-loving mining magnate who has hired them to save his struggling campaign. In the face of the country’s ongoing economic upheaval, Devine urges Goni to embrace the uncertainty and use it as a weapon against his rivals. (Go to 10:30 mark.)

“I think the mos…

Age is Canada's new income divide, study warns

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[There were never enough post-Boomers to buy up the assets of the retiring Baby Boomers. The sensible strategy - too late now, I should think - would have been to invest heavily in the developing world, which has the right demographic mix to buy up our assets, but not enough money to do so. *RON*]
Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press, CTV News, 23 September 2014

OTTAWA -- Age, not gender, is increasingly at the heart of income inequality in Canada, says a new study that warns economic growth and social stability will be at risk if companies don't start paying better wages.

The Conference Board of Canada findings suggest younger workers in Canada are making less money relative to their elders regardless of whether they're male or female, individuals or couples, and both before and after tax.

The average disposable income of Canadians between the ages of 50 and 54 is now 64 per cent higher than that of 25- to 29-year-olds, the report found. T…