Showing posts from March 4, 2017

Today's Trumpery


What's Happening in Brazil? Exactly What the Coup Leaders Said Would Happen

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[The Brazilian coup that ousted social-democratic, left-wing President Dilma Rousseff was a brazen ploy to implement a right-wing economic plan based on austerity, privatization and deregulation. The events unfolding in Brazil today are consistent with the stated intentions of the coup leaders -- tacitly approved by the US. See also: Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? *RON*]
Ted Snider, Truthout, 4 March 2017

The social democratic, left-wing government of Brazil was removed in a coup.

Though that striking statement could be ripped from the headlines of newspapers today, it also describes the headlines of half a century ago, in April of 1964.

How BC politicized electricity rates

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[BC ELECTION 2017!! The BC government has found a way to manipulate accounting rules to hide the true cost of electricity from the public. *RON*]
Richard McCandless, Policy Options, 3 March 2017

The Liberal government in Ontario is facing a major political crisis due to consumer opposition to the rapid increase in electricity prices, which have jumped by about 70 percent for peak consumption in the last five years. The rising price of electricity in Ontario has been attributed to growth in fixed costs, longer-term lucrative contracts for private power suppliers, the cost of major capital expenditures, the move to green power generation and falling demand for electricity. Public concern about growing electricity rates forced the government to announce this week it would cut bills by an average of 17%, saddling taxpayers with $1.4 billion in interest payments annually.

In British Columbia, BC Hydro is facing similar pressures on its costs and relati…

Canada Must Defend Paris Accord Against Uncertainty Of Trump: EU

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[Now that Trump has brought in a climate change denier to head the EPA, the EU looks to Canada to support the Paris Accord. Will Trudeau have the courage to step up and defend it? *RON*]
Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 3 March 2017
OTTAWA — The European Union's environment commissioner wants to join forces with Canada to "defend" the Paris climate change accord in the face of an uncertain political landscape in the U.S. under Donald Trump.

"Canada and the European Union are committed to implement Paris, defend Paris," EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said Thursday night on a visit to Ottawa.

"Now we have a common task — we have to implement the rule book of Paris."

Official petition demanding Trudeau honour electoral reform promise gets record number of signatures

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["People are angry. They were told these Liberals were going to be different, that they would restore faith in our politics and our democracy ... The Liberals have chosen cynicism over doing what is right, and they’ll have to answer to voters." *RON*]
Press Progress, 3 March 2017

That's funny – didn't Justin Trudeau say no one wants electoral reform now that he's prime minister?

An official House of Commons e-petition demanding Justin Trudeau honour his campaign promise on electoral reform has closed and the results are in: the e-petition has received more signatures than any the House of Commons has ever received since the House of Commons first introduced online petitions.

Federal Budgetary Comparisons: Canada and the United States

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[Affordability (spending to GDP) is better in Canada and, in recent years, so is debt interest as a share of spending. The US, of course, pays more on defense. The deficit to GDP ratios are appallingly low in both countries. *RON*]
Livio Di Matteo, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, 3 March 2017

It is federal government budget season in both Canada and the United States and I thought it might be useful to provide a few visual comparisons on federal government finance for the two countries. While the expenditure responsibilities and composition of the two federal governments as well as the relationships and responsibilities with lower tier governments differ – in particular, the US federal government spends a larger direct share of its spending on health via Medicare and Medicaid and of course more on defense - the longer-term trends over time are illuminating.
The data for Canada used here is from the Federal Fiscal Reference Tables, Statistics Canad…