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Showing posts from July 21, 2015

CBC should disclose employees’ salaries and find new ways to pay for productions: Senate report

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[A part of the ongoing attack on public discourse, aimed at making no voice available for Canadians to hear that isn't a recitation of a Harper talking-point. Predictably, Conservative Senator Don Plett wants Harper-appointed board of directors to have more powers over the CBC. Also see Senator Art Eggleton's counter-response in, CBC urged to find new funding models. *RON*]

Canadian Press / Ottawa Citizen, 19 July 2015
A Senate committee is calling on Canada’s public broadcaster to publicly disclose how much employees make and ensure non-executives aren’t getting paid more than their peers in private broadcasting.

The Senate’s communications committee is also calling on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to find new ways to fund its operations to limit the amount of funding it receives from the federal government.

The recommendations stem from what was a politically-charged study of the CBC, where senators pressed the broadcaster for sal…

Canada's PM blocking climate reform, says Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne

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[Leader of country’s biggest province condemns Stephen Harper ahead of elections: "There isn’t a collaborative process around any of this. It is very confrontational. We are taking action in spite of [the federal government], quite frankly,” Wynne said. “The federal government at this point is just not helpful." *RON*]

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 21 July 2015
The leader of Canada’s biggest province has escalated her feud with the country’s prime minister, accusing Stephen Harper of obstructing efforts to fight climate change and calling on Canadians to make global warming a decisive issue in the coming elections.

In an interview with the Guardian, Kathleen Wynne, the Liberal premier of Ontario, brought long-simmering tensions with Harper over energy and economic policy to a rollicking boil, repeatedly calling out the Conservative prime minister for blocking efforts to cut carbon pollution.

When it came to fighting climate change, …

Does Democracy Constrain Rulers or Pacify Dissidents?

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[The results of these studies show, among other things, that we must not be complaisant about the multiple 'small' erosions of democratic structures and processes that Harper routinely engages in, because "democracy does tame state coercive behavior, but only at a relatively high threshold." That is, we need a lot of robust democracy, not just a little lip service to democratic structures and processes to control governments' tendency to be repressive. *RON* ]

By Cullen Hendrix for Denver Dialogues / Political Violence @ a Glance, 21 July 2015
After two decades of slow but consistent progress toward more democratic governance, Africa is in the midst of an authoritarian retrenchment, with democratic backsliding in some of its most stable democracies (South Africa) and more repressive regimes (Eritrea, the Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo). President Obama’s planned visit to Ethiopia—home to one of the region’s most re…

The Conservatives Have Steered Canada Into a Preventable Recession

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["Harper, Oliver, and other Conservative ministers are now trying to capitalize politically on a recession which they themselves did so much to foster. Instead of accepting responsibility for the mess, and pledging to do better, they lash out at critics, threatening disaster if we change course. For years Conservatives have touted their reputation as good economic managers to pave their way to power. This reputation is now in tatters, and rightly so. They have squandered so much opportunity, and steered Canada into a preventable, self-inflicted recession. This country needs a dramatic change of direction." *RON*]

Jerry Dias, President Unifor, Huffington Post, 21 July 2015


Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz didn't actually use the "R" word: recession. But his monetary policy report last Wednesday said it all the same, using numbers instead of words. By projecting that Canada's economy shrank 0.5 per cent in the second…

Study finds climate change is increasing length of wildfire seasons across globe

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[Hey Christy! "There's no reason to expect that (fire seasons won't keep getting longer) without some sort of climate shift." Meanwhile, see also how: Coal Baron Matt Ridley is Top Source in Peabody Climate Report to the White House, and Pope Francis convenes world's mayors to discuss global warming. *RON*]
David Erickson, Helena Independent Records, 19 July 2015

Related Links: Climate Induced Variations in Global Wildfire Danger from 1979-2013, USDA-Forest Service, South Dakota State University, the Desert Research Institute and the University of Tasmania, Australia.

MISSOULA -- The length of wildfire seasons across the globe and the burnable areas of Earth’s surface have drastically increased in the past three decades due to climate change, according to a groundbreaking new study supported by years of research from the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory.

In a paper published Tuesday in the internatio…

We Shouldn't Be Celebrating The B.C. Liberal Government's $1.7-Billion Surplus

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[Austerity is also a kleptocracy: robbing you and I to give the farm away to gas billionaires in Asia. "In the Lower Mainland, there was a huge push for an increase to transit tax, because without increasing the tax we couldn't afford the improvements needed. Now all of a sudden they have $1.7 billion dollars just laying around? How can we offer any praise to this government for a surplus?" *RON*]
Sarah Miller, Huffington Post, 18 July 2015


While the B.C. Liberal party prepares to break out their punch bowl and party hats, I think it's important for everyone to realize what we, the taxpayers, sacrificed to obtain this $1.7 billion surplus. Although Premier Christy Clark would love for you to think that it was her hard work and amazing number-crunching skills, the reality is this surplus comes at our expense, not hers.

We have experienced drastic cuts to public education, health care, senior care, legal aid, social services, mental…

B.C.'s To Pass 25-Year LNG Law, But Industry Says There's 'More To Do'

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[BC Liquid Natural Gas, having gnawed off BC's leg, says "an arm would be tasty, too!" *RON*]
By Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 19 July 2015


VICTORIA - A liquefied natural gas industry: the British Columbia government fought an election on it, launched an extraordinary summer legislative session and made financial concessions, but it still isn't enough for the companies that want even lower taxes and have expressed concerns over the availability of workers.

The Liberal government's LNG dream is expected to move towards reality this week when a bill is adopted for a 25-year agreement on what could be B.C.'s first LNG plant.

B.C.'s politicians were recalled this month to debate and pass a single piece of legislation that aims to provide certainty to LNG investors and revenues to the province.

"I think there's more work to do in terms of making sure we are in fact globally competitive," said …

There's an epic amount of office space available in the epicenter of Canada's oil bust

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[In fact it's nearly as bad in Vancouver, with vacancy rates well over 10%. Here, this is also partly due to oil and gas, but more so it's gold mining company headquarters that have caused our downswing. *RON*]

Wolf Richter, Wolf Street / Business Insider, 20 July 2015

The office vacancy rate in downtown Calgary, the epicenter of the Canadian oil bust, could hit the vertigo-inducing level of 17.5% by the end of 2018, a new report by commercial real-estate firm Colliers International warned. It added ominously: “Given the current global macro environment, this may even be an optimistic forecast.”

While real estate is supposedly local, it’s not. It has been, like so many things, globalized. Colliers:
The geopolitical turmoil in China, Greece, and Iran must be taken into consideration, as the global instability is already affecting local top-level decisions and investor sentiment. The biggest problems are cropping up in the sublease sector, a…