Showing posts from July 9, 2016

Q&A: Dr. Harry Swain, former Site C panel chair becomes outspoken opponent

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[An excellent, sane and balance article. I picked it up via Elizabeth May's twitter feed. *RON*]

Zoë Ducklow, Alaska Highway News, 8 July 2016

Dr. Harry Swain knows more than most about the Site C dam.

With a PhD in economic geography and 22 years of federal civil service under his belt, Swain spent two years as chair of the federal-provincial joint review panel tasked with evaluating the environmental, economic, and First Nations impacts of the largest public works project in B.C.’s history.

Part of the job included reading through upwards of 24,000 pages of submissions from BC Hydro and other interveners.

But two years after the panel concluded and issued its report and recommendations to government, Swain has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the $8.8-billion dam.

“I've gotten an education on these issues at great public expense,” Swain said in a recent interview. “So I figure that the people that paid for it should get what they…

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives senior economist shows how to eliminate medical services premiums

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[I sent this to Premier Clark's email address. Of course I'm sure that, by now, she has some sort of "If Sender=Peters" rule on her email server! :-) *RON*]

by Charlie Smith, Georgiea Straight, 6 July 2016
Everyone knows that medical services premiums are a regressive tax.

That's because for the most part, they aren't apportioned in relation to income, unless you qualify for premium assistance. (To find out if you do, go here.)

At the same time, these fees have become a cash cow for the B.C. government. More than $2.5 billion is forecast to be generated in this fiscal year.

This morning, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives offered two options for dumping MSP premiums in Canada's westernmost province.

CCPA senior economist and public interest researcher Iglika Ivanova notes early in her essay that this is B.C.'s "most regressive tax".

MORGAN STANLEY: There’s a 40% chance of a global recession in the next year

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[I think the UK and a number of other nations will experience at least technical recessions as a result of Brexit. I think a global recession is dubious, but things are so closely intertwined nowadays that it's (40%?) possible. Of course, I thought Brexit would never happen! Let's wait and see! *RON*]

Chloe Pfeiffer, Business Insider, 6 July 2016

There's a 40% chance of a global recession in the next year, according to Morgan Stanley.

The US investment bank raised its estimate on the probability from 30%, because of Brexit and the political and economic instability of its aftermath.

The leadership situation in the UK has been "increasingly fluid," Morgan Stanley noted. In Europe, protest parties are gaining popularity. And no one is sure how or when the actual Brexit is going to take place.

The UK, Europe, and the rest of the world have been caught up in this uncertainty.

Austerity, not immigration, to blame for inequality underlying Brexit vote, argues Oxford professor

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["The latest annual British Social Attitudes Survey found that years of austerity and the end of a 'golden age' of upward social mobility seen in later 20th century Britain may have been a major factor in the vote to Brexit... 'Almost all other European countries tax more effectively, spend more on health, and do not tolerate our degree of economic inequality.'" The comments to the original article run the gamut that you'd expect. *RON*]

Alexandra Sims, The Independent, 6 July 2016

Austerity, rather than immigration, is the key factor that underlying Britain’s decision to leave the EU, a professor at the University of Oxford has argued.

Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at the University, claims the fundamental reason for worsening health and declining living standards in the UK is the growing economic inequality and public spending cuts that have accompanied austerity, arguing immigration has been used as scapegoa…

Clinton v FBI: Where their private email testimonies diverge

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[Both of the Clintons have the idea that playing the gray areas for all they're worth and barely skirting what is legal means they are "innocent." *RON*]

Reuters, ABC News Australia, 5 July 2016

FBI director James Comey has undercut some of the main arguments Hillary Clinton has made in defence of her use of an unauthorised private email system while she was US secretary of state.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating Mrs Clinton's email system after government watchdogs found that some of her messages contained classified government secrets last year.

Mr Comey is recommending that Mrs Clinton not face criminal charges.

But in an unusual step, he used a news conference to give a public rebuttal of the defences offered by Mrs Clinton over the last year.

Here are seven times that the FBI contradicts Mrs Clinton:

Provinces negotiating final details of free-trade deal

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[Generally I think freer inter-Provincial trade is a good idea. It will be interesting to see what short- and long-term effects this has, if any, on the have versus have-not Province listing. It will also be interesting to see the "what's out" list. *RON*]

Jane Taber, Globe & Mail, 7 July 2016
Ontario Economic Minister Brad Duguid says he and his provincial and territorial counterparts will present recommendations to the premiers for an internal free-trade deal that is more ambitious and much broader in scope than “this country has ever embraced.”
The recommendations are part of a deal, two years in the making, that will replace the 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade, which contains protectionist barriers, inhibiting competition.

“Canada and all of our respective jurisdictions within Canada are fighting for a piece of the global economy in the most fiercely competitive global economy we’ve ever experienced,” Mr. Duguid said. …