Showing posts from November 17, 2014

Only Tory politicians and TV stars are allowed to play military dressup in Canada

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[Pierre Elliot Trudeau was the last Prime Minister to have served in the Canadian Armed Forces, despite the camera-hogging antics of poseur chicken-hawks like Stephen Harper, who went to court to avoid his financial obligations to armed forces members. *RON*]
By David J. Climenhaga,, 17 November 2014

Didn't the unfortunate Franck Gervais understand you have to be an elected Conservative politician or a TV star before you're allowed to dress up in a uniform and pretend to be a soldier?

I speak, of course, of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino and right-wing hockey commentator Don Cherry, all of whom are known to dress in military drag and prance around as if their power and status derived from something other than the inattention of voters and television viewers. There are many others, I have no doubt.

We'll get back to those worthies in a moment.

Gervais, of course, is the sad specimen…

Joe Oliver's $800-Per-Table Fiscal Update Raises NDP Ire

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[Contempt of parliament indeed! Democracy, 1% style. A key report on the economic state of the nation is being peddled to Bay Street by the PM, outside of parliament, to the highest bidder, while blocking MLAs from doing their due diligence. Let them read about it in The Globe & Mail! *RON*]
By Kady O'Malley, CBC News / Huffington Post, 17 November 2014

Finance Minister Joe Oliver's decision to deliver his fall economic update in front of a $800-per-table Canadian Club crowd has raised the ire of the opposition New Democrats, who say the move could constitute contempt of Parliament.

"As legislators, MPs must have access to this information to be able to do their job," Cullen told the House of Commons Monday. "We must be able to analyze the state of the finances of this country."

By sharing the details of those finances at a private lunch, Cullen said, the minister not only "impeded our access" to the inf…

NHL teams losing talent because of high taxes, study says

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[Those poor multi-millionaires! I can see them now, driving away in their Jaguars, like a sort of preppy Grapes of Wrath! Note that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (joined by the Americans for Tax Reform - say! I thought only environmentalist were funded by foreign nationals?) is not especially bothered by counter-factual cases: "...the tax advantage doesn’t seem to have been particularly helpful for Calgary and Edmonton, while Montreal seems to be surviving nicely." *RON*]

CBC News, 17 November 2014
The varying tax rates of different states and provinces hosting NHL teams can have an effect on attracting players, according to a new study that found Montreal and Calgary at opposite ends of the spectrum with the highest and lowest rates.

The joint study by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Americans for Tax Reform found that of the 30-team roster, 2013-14 players for the Montreal Canadiens paid the highest tax rate of around 54 per …

How Will Falling Oil Prices Affect Alberta?

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[This is the first piece I think I've seen on this subject in the Canadian mainstream press. You've got to love it that the economist they interviewed basically says "On the bright side this should really help us put the jack-boots to labour!" :-) *RON*]
By Michelle Butterfield, Huffington Post, 17 November 2014

A slump in Alberta's crude oil prices means the province's economy is slowing down, and many want to know what the future holds.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial, told Bloomberg News that in 2015 Alberta will see the slowest economic growth it's faced in five years, and that the province's economy is forecast to grow about half a percentage point less than in 2014.

Alberta's economy will expand by 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent in 2015. For the past four years, Alberta has seen an average annual growth of 4.6 per cent.

Hirsch, however, says while lower oil prices will have an impact, there's

Harper Government Wants Better Use Of Secret Intelligence In Court

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[In other words, Harper now recommends the inclusion of secret evidence in public trials - welcome to Kafka-land of the North! Jailed by the KGB - err, I mean CSIS... The man is a absolute danger to democracy and must be put out of office. *RON*]
By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 17 November 2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government is looking for ways to better use secret intelligence in court proceedings as a means of countering homegrown terrorism, says a senior federal official.

The goal is to introduce intelligence in criminal trials while protecting the sensitivity of the information, John Davies, a director general with Public Safety Canada, told a Senate committee Monday.

The government is also studying improved information sharing among agencies and whether the threshold for detaining a terror suspect is too high, Davies said. Options are being developed for cabinet consideration.

"There's a lot of things in dis…

Jumbo: The Only B.C. Municipality That Won’t Vote This Saturday

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[I thought this was a joke until I read it. A perfect example of the corporatocracy. This should absolutely be illegal. *RON*]

By Gerry Taft, mayor of Invermere, DeSmog Blog, 13 November 2014

When most of us think of a small town, we think of friendly neighbours and quiet streets — the type of place where you know almost everyone. I’m privileged to be elected as mayor of Invermere, B.C., which is pretty close to being a perfect small town.

However, about 55 kilometres from Invermere, down rough old logging and mining roads, lies another kind of “small town.”

The “small town” of Jumbo, also known as the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality, is not home to friendly neighbours or quiet streets. In fact, it is completely empty — a wilderness with no residents and no buildings.

On Nov. 15th, when every other town in B.C. will vote for new municipal leaders, there will be no voting in Jumbo.

How did it come to this?

Glacier Resorts Ltd. has wanted to …