Wednesday, November 30, 2005
As manufacturing declines in North America its impact on the industrial working class in Southern Ontario is devistating. Not only on those currently being laid off but those who have retired and rely on their pensions and long term benefits for their daily bread. The impact on the local economy is is increased personal and business bankruptcies.
Canadian job cuts highlight decline of North American manufacturing "The real story is what doesn't happen in the headlines; it's the five or 10 jobs that are lost each week or each month and eventually they really tend to add up."
In the last two weeks we have had announcements of the pending layoffs of 6717 people. Literally a small town wiped off the face of the map.
Tax Cuts have not paid for the technology upgrades to make these companies competitive. They have been invested in the market in order to make quick profits off high interest rates, meanwhile Canadian workers lose their jobs. As do workers in all the advanced industrialized countries, capitalism functions the same world wide. This election the issue for workers has to be jobs and pension security.
While jobs are booming in the West and in the North in resource extraction whether Tar Sands in Alberta or Diamond mines in the NWT, these construction jobs are temporary and the actual plant workforce is small and will not be working for a number of years yet.
As the Liberals and Conservatives promise more tax cuts for corporations and Income Trusts, ask them how these are going to guarntee jobs for Canadians.
Cause they don't right now.
Last updated Nov 29 2005 11:22 AM EST
Canada's three main political parties each enjoy about the same amount of support in Ontario now as they did coming out of the last federal election, a CBC poll has found. The Environics poll found the Liberals have the support of 44 per cent of Ontario voters. The Conservatives have the support of 32 per cent, while 22 per cent say they support the New Democrats. Coming just as the current campaign begins, the poll results can't be considered an accurate prediction of how the 2006 election will end, said Environics vice-president Donna Dasko. However, Dasko said, "it certainly looks like a deja vu right now." Environics interviewed 626 Ontario residents between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25. The results are considered accurate within four percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
But what will they call themselves? Alberta Social Credit Alliance? Social Alberta Credit Alliance? Credit Alberta Social Alliance? That should take them at least a year to figure out. No threat here, except in the rural south of the province, where the left hasn't a snowballs chance anyways. But a right-wing alternative to the Tories would be welcome to help split the vote.
Liberal "Star" Candidate Supports War on Iraq
Ignatieff says he's on the "far right" of Canadian opinion
Faster than you can say take that, the Liberals hit back with their factcheck
Now what's interesting about this is that they did not mention Ignatieff once. Nope nary a peep. All they did was challenge an old throw away quote from Paul Martin claiming the NDP took it 'out of context'. Ignatieff, the War in Iraq, not a word....can you smell the disaster thats about to hit in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Too bad the NDP can't take advantage of it sincethey don't have a candidate there yet.
And it has been in disrepute for over a decade, despite union reps sitting on it, since the Klein government putsch that ousted LRB Chairman Robert Blair for being pro union, and replaced him with an Employer Rep Lawyer connected to the anti-union Merit Construction companies.
A set of emails between the LRB and the Government have been leaked to the Press and the Alberta Federation of Labour that shows collusion between the LRB and the Klein Government in passing Bill 27 which outlawed strikes in the Health Care sector and forced elections for union representation on hospital workers forcing them to choose between AUPE, CUPE, and HSAA.
Bill 27 caused an internecine battle between AUPE and CUPE over who would represent hospital workers in Alberta, a battle that proved divisive for the last four years, divisive enough to halt a unified fight back campaign that should have occured. A fight back against the ruling that made all health sector workers essential workers and removed their right to strike.
Now the chickens have come home to roost, and the whole nasty little affair of the governments attempt to castrate the labour movement in Alberta with Bill 27 has come to light. This is yet another scandal to add to a long list of scandals in Alberta. This is what happens when you have a real One Party Dictatorship.
The Edmonton Journal reported on it today.Labour board provided draft of regulations
Collaborated on Bill 27 to detriment of organized labour, says AFL head
Internal Alberta Labour Relations Board e-mails obtained by The Journal suggest the board collaborated with Ralph Klein's government and health-care employers to produce a bill that many in the labour movement consider the strongest anti-union legislation in the province's history.
NDP calls for labour board resignations
The NDP is calling for the resignation of the labour relations board, after news that the vice-chairman had input into controversial legislation that rewrote the labour code, allowing the restructuring of the health-care system. "And if they don't resign, they should be fired for compromising the labour relation's board independence and impartiality," NDP labour critic Ray Martin said. Martin and the United Nurses of Alberta joined the Alberta Federation of Labour in calling for a public inquiry into the board's role in the legislation.
Dan MacLennan, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the largest union in the province, says a public inquiry should have a broader scope, looking at labour relations and labour law in Alberta in general. "I've never viewed them as totally impartial," he said of the board. "They're an extended arm of the government and this is further proof of that. "I don't think we've ever gone there in terms of job action or legislation viewing it as a fair process. Publication of e-mails requires prompt, honest answers about conduct of Labour Relations Board, AUPE president says
The AFL has issued the following press release, claiming the Government is attempting to censor them and demanding the emails back. Even though it was the Privacy Commissioner who released them!
The Edmonton Journal is offering an elect/shun blog....by Jason Markusoff....he asks you to email him your blog comments on the election take him up on it. He starts off well, better than the Tory and Liberal blogs.....
If you’re visiting this web page, it means the reams of newsprint in the Edmonton Journal and elsewhere aren’t enough for you, and you crave even more musings about the federal election.
You sick and twisted people. My brethren.
I’m a fellow political junkie, curious as heck as to what will emerge from this latest electoral cauldron. Polls be damned, I will not predict an outcome at this point. But it’s probably a safe bet that we’re in for eight (!!!!!!) unfortunately ugly, muddy weeks ahead.
Hmm, Mr. Colbert convieniantly forgets it was the Mulroney Conservatives that brought us the FTA and NAFTA which is directly responsible for these job losses. Tory Revisionist history strikes again. Oh right this Conservative party ain't the party of Mulroney, he just shows up at all their parties and conventions.
Ok blame the Liberals too cause they didn't abrogate NAFTA...another blown promise..... and now they are cheerleaders for Free Trade equating it with Fair Trade....huh?
Say here's a good message for the NDP........ Abrogate NAFTA save Canadian Jobs. Didn't they have that message once upon a time, hmm when a certain John Turner was fighting the battle of his life?
Angus Reid Poll Nov. 30
And it looks good for gains for the NDP in B.C., Saskatchewan and the Maritimes.
New Democratic Party
Neck and neck with the Liberals in the Prairies, since it includes Alberta the Conservative majority is an anomaly, and neck and neck with the Conservatives in the Maritimes. The messaging that real change means voting NDP looks like it is hitting home even this early. And in B.C. that means coming up the middle between the Conservatives and Liberals.
So if we have another minority parliment that will be the time to push for real change; reform the electoral system to Proportional Representation.
Ex-leadership candidate alleges party being vindictive
"What gets me is, we have a new party talking about ethics, talking about honesty. Well they've grabbed $72,000 made in good faith." The Tories are as ethically challenged as the Liberals, as Orchard points out and as I documented here with their little webscandal in Alberta.
The Slogan for the Conservative campaign is Stand Up!
Well it appears they are standing up for homophobia. Yep Stand Up! for Intolerance and Bigotry. That's the same old story same old Tory,Harper the opportunist.
The Conservatives have a third party campaign against gay marriage underway, despite the fact that this issue is over. Done. Fini. Fait Accompli. And thats how Canadians see it too. Just not the rightwingnut lobby that continue to dominate the Conservative party rank and file. Pollster Allan Gregg of The Strategic Counsel thinks Conservative Leader Stephen Harper should do the following on same-sex marriage: Don't go there. Too Late.
The Tory Blog is booooring reads like a bloody press release. And no place to comment, which is the fun and purpose of blogging....giving your opinion and getting flack for it.
The Liberal Blog is juvenile. Written by Globe and Mail Reporter Steve Feschuk who is now PM's speech writer, he drivels on like those personal blogs out there that tell you how their day is going, the fungal growth under their toenails, and why they hate the colour pink. To comment you email Feschuk. Which folks have already and let him know his page sucks. But it appears he is unrepentant.
The NDP . Don't have a blog !!!! Can you say DUMB.
Must be relying on the BloggingDippers to do the job for them. Get with the program folks get a blog going. Hey here's an idea get Big Daddy Ed (Broadbent) to do it.....since he is a rap star in his own right.....
The BQ have a blog on their youth page. Unlike the other parties their blog has been up and running before the election.Its in French of course. Parlez vous Quebecois? anyone.
The Green Party has a blog, and like the Jenue BQ its been up since before the election its party Leader Jim Harris (who?) personal Blog...and gosh its a real blog. Score 1 for the Green Party.
As Don Newman pointed out on CBC 's Politics, that was the same kind of question that killed Teddy Kennedy's drive for President of the USA. Why do you want to be President and he couldn't answer.
And not one to leave an opportunity to hit the Harper where it hurts, Martin did just that. "This morning, I'm told that Stephen Harper had a little difficulty saying this, so let me say it: I love Canada!" he said.
To which Jason Kenney, NOT the Harper,issued a press release saying that the Liberals are smearing the Harper as unpatriotic....Well can the Harper say the three little words or not? And Jason may have a hard time saying them too since he is a neo-con trained by the Reganite Republican right down south. Maybe they could hum a few bars of Go Bless America which is the same tune as God Save the Queen, but it ain't no Maple Leaf Forever.
The blogosphere has been full of it today, and this will continue. It was an extrodinary gaffe.
Blogger From A Different Viewpoint asks the important question:
I'd like to know why if Stephen Harper can say "God Bless Canada" pretty much at all rallies that were televised in the last election (i can't remember if he did it in all his official speeches or not) why can't he say "I love Canada".
A Little Bit Left says:
The false notion that Harper doesn’t love Canada will follow him for the campaign. It’s all about avoiding these little glitches and it seems that Harper has more trouble doing that than any other leader at this time.
His full quote to the original question is here, where I left the following comment;
As I said on my blog ; He can't say it, he Loves America more, it's his ultimate Republican Role model.
Come on Harper its three easy words, I Love Canada, and he chokes.
His afternoon rebutal about the Liberals loving Canada but loving power more...he still FAILED to say he Loved Canada.
Hey he's the leader of the CONSERVATIVE Party those three little word should leap off his tongue...but I guess the Liberals love Canada more...which is why Harper is going to lose....
To which I can only add he should fire his Media Director.
Click on this to reveal their REAL agenda
Yes you are free to use this. Heh heh. In fact thats why I made it. I would hope we could get lots of the Progressive, Liberal and Dipper bloggers adding this to their pages.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
While the Liberals talk about defending Canadian soveriegnty they did nothing to stop the sell off one of Canada's major Oil Field supply companies, Precision Drilling. Which in Alberta should have been as big a scandal as the Terasen sell off in B.C. which the NDP slammed the Feds for. But the silence has been deafing. When Alberta is dominated by Conservatives what did you expect. Whats good for America is good for Alberta......
When Precision Drilling converted to a trust, it spelled the demise of a great Canadian world player
Here's what Weatherford boss Bernard Duroc-Danner said about Precision when he bought it: "Frankly, we could not duplicate what they did, and we need it."
At that point, Goodale and his senior policy wonks cringed, though they made their concerns known only privately at the time. Here was one of Canada's few global champions, led by one of the industry's most respected entrepreneurs, shredding its growth playbook and unloading many in the team of senior executives who had helped build the company—for no other reason than to avoid paying tax. That much was known. Shortly after the Weatherford sale, Swartout said he had no choice but to convert "because the multiple of the trust is so overwhelming," even though he admitted the trust proliferation "is not the best thing for Canada."
The truth is that Canada's most successful companies, and the ones that attract the best and the brightest professionals—Manulife, Bombardier, Scotiabank, Magna and Alcan, among them—have one thing in common: They're players on the international stage. Canada needs more of them. When ambitious companies like Precision suddenly call it quits to exploit a tax loophole, you know you've got a problem.
Labour-sponsored love lost
With tax breaks disappearing, the cliff is fast approaching for labour-sponsored investment funds
And another victim of the Income Trust Tax Break that Goodale has introduced is the union based Labour Funds. Bad enough McGuinty in Ontario was reducing the tax credits avaiable for these funds, now with the tax credit from Goodale for corporate investment and no tax on the Income Trusts, that is the final nail in the coffin of these funds. While they gained little in investment dividends for their investors who are all average working stiffs they gave the average person a very real annual tax break with higher tax credits than a regular RRSP investment.
And they were as easy to buy as an RRSP for the average person, with a 25-50% tax break. And now they too will go the way of the dodo while the rich get tax breaks on thier high end RRSP investments and their coupon clipping corporate investments.
New Jazz income fund to add planes, routes
The prospectus said Jazz has a pay scale in place that's competitive with U.S. regional carriers, noting that new Jazz employees "hired after May, 2004, excluding pilots, are being hired on this lower scale."
In the case of Jazz pilots, they have agreed to "significant productivity gains," including a system where there is "one pay scale based on seniority and status, regardless of the type of aircraft flown," the document added.
Jazz's work force on Oct. 31 was 3,732 employees, down from 4,086 in April, 2003, when Air Canada sought court protection from creditors. Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection in September, 2004.
This is going to be a Hel of an election campaign ....Hel is the Goddess of the frozen wasteland of the dead in Norse mythology. Icy poll called as Libs licked
- 35 per cent would support Paul Martin's Liberals (no change)
- 29 per cent would vote for Stephen Harper's Conservatives (-1)
- 17 per cent would vote for the NDP (-1)
- 14 per cent would vote for the Bloc Quebecois (+1)
- 5 per cent would vote for the Green Party (-3)
- 38.7 Liberals
- 29.4 Conservatives
- 16.9 NDP
- 10.6 Bloc Quebecois
- 3.9 Green
- 33 Liberals
- 26 Conservatives
- 22 NDP
- 13 BQ
Somina is doing the election webpages for Federal Conservative Candidates Mike Lake, for Rahim Jaffer, and for McBeaths Edmonton Team.
Somina was begun three years ago as a project by three business students at the U of A. As an IT company with Tory connections they apparently have benefited from the machinations and political intriques, that have gone on in the Conservative nominations for local Edmonton candidates organized by Edmonton area Tory organizer; Bill McBeath.and PC National Council member Vitor Marciano.
The Blog; What Have I Gotten Myself Into says that a deal was made with Ryan Hastman of Somina over who would provide the web page for Edmononton Beaumont Candidate Mike Lake's web page;
The present webmaster was fired by the board and has now been told to take down the entire present site as we speak. .and who replaced him … guess who? …our old friend Ryan Hastman! Watch for it kiddies … it will be days if not hours from going out of existence. See if I’m not correct.
However seems also that Hastman cut a deal with McBeath and company to take over the EDA site through Mike Lake and his control of the EDA board. The deal includes Hastman will get “future consideration” for creating web sites for other Conservative EDAs, all at “top dollar”.
The cost to Edmonton Mill Woods Beaumont is apparently a “cut rate” over what he usually charges with the understanding and promise that he will go to full price when Mike gets to be MP and there is much more money in the EDA purse.
The “cut rate” cost is incidentally far over the price they have been paying up to now.
The cozy relationship these guys have with the Provincial Conservatives and their Feral err Federal counterparts is an example of another adscam in the making.
Its business as usual for political parties to give contracts to their pals, Mulroney did it, so did the Liberals. The difference was that the Liberals under Chretien created a slush fund for Quebec communications companies and got kickbacks to the Quebec Liberal organization.
Now Somina's cozy Tory relationship may appear to some as a tempest in a teapot however it still smacks of being ethically challenged. But hey n Alberta thats just business as usual.
And as I reported here yesterday their national webpage is soooooo far behind that they claim only to have 12 candidates in Alberta. Today the have updated it for the twenty candidates they do have nominated.
Yep Alberta is NOT IMPORTANT TO THE LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES.... Its in the bag..... Big mistake......there are four ridings that could be contenders;
Landslide Anne's Edmonton Centre, where Laurie Hawn PC has run before and kicked off the attack ads on the radio on the weekend, his focus Crime and Punishment, he is punishing Anne for having been justice minister, being soft on crime and the Gun Registry....might work in Calgary but we're more urban than gunslinger here......
Edmonton- Beaumont where Kilgour stepped down and the PC's nominated a white guy to replace him in this huge East Indian community (ohhh thats smart...must have figured since Kilgour did it any white guy can.....Kilgour had a base in the community......opps this could be a strategic blunder......) Must figure since he works for the Oilers that will help.....The NDP have nominated a White Guy to run here too, though his campaign manager is Anand Sharma of the NDYA, problem is that this guy has no profile.......the Liberals have still to nominate anyone here..... rumour has it And speaking of Dan Maclennan, the popular Union leader of AUPE,( a guy that even the right wing Sun media loves) may be the Liberal candidate here after losing the nomination in Edmonton East.......and if Dan does run this could be one to watch.......
Nomination meetings are set for Dec. 3 and Dec. 5 for Edmonton-Strathcona and Millwoods-Beaumont.
MID-WINTER BLAHS If there's an election, the only interesting local ridings will be Edmonton-Beaumont, with David Kilgour retiring and non-ethnic Mike Lake winning the Conservative nomination. In Edmonton East, it's another odd situation for the Liberals, with this Nicole Martel campaigning as if she's the Liberal nominee, while the PM invites Alberta Union of Provincial Employees president Dan MacLennan to run in the riding. In Strathcona, the Liberals will sic Andy Hladyshevsky on incumbent Tory Rahim Jaffer.
Edmonton East only had their Liberal candidate nominated Sunday night and despite some failed arm twisting it ain't Dan its unknown Nicole Martel ......She is running against NDP candidate Arlene Chapman who has a good profile in the community,and unlike the Liberals who can't count on their Provincial party to help out, can count on her NDP MLA to help out. So I predict its a two way race between the NDP and PC's.
Edmonton Strathcona is one to watch as well. Vote splitting has allowed Rahim Jaffer to come up the middle and get elected in this left wing riding where the MLA is popular former NDP Leader Raj Pannu. The NDP gained an enormous amount of votes last election, putting them neck and neck with the Liberals.
This time around their candidate Linda Duncan ,an experienced parlimentary lobbyist for the Environmental movement may be able to win votes away from the Liberals, with Laytons send more NDPs to Ottawa campaign. Will that be enough to defeat Jaffer? Place your wagers.
With the Liberals nominating for Edmonton Strathcon newcomer Hladyshevsky, an Executive member of the right wing Nationalist Ukrainian Canadian Congress and partner with the Liberal dominated law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain, they are hoping his connection to the University and its Ukrainian Ctudies department will help out. Nicole Martel is also Ukrainian and Edmonton East has a large Ukrainian community, though it is mostly old timers.
The Liberals may be trying to make up for the Ignatieff factor in Toronto with Ukes from Edmonton, see we're inclusive....I wonder what Hladyshevsky has to say about Ignatieff since the UCC has denounced him.....
Local candidates gear up for looming election
by KAREN KARBASHEWSKI
On your mark.
The race is on as federal political parties gear up for an expected election in early 2006, and have most of their candidates in place, ready to trudge through sleet and snow to spread the message.
“All of our campaign teams have been ready to go since May,” says Tony Clark, federal NDP organizer.
One familiar name on the NDP ballot is Donna Martyn. She ran in Edmonton-Riverview in the 2004 provincial election under the New Democrat banner, attempting to take down incumbent MLA and Liberal leader Kevin Taft. Though unsuccessful, she remains undaunted and has thrown her hat and passion into the federal camp.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” she says, adding she’s been out meeting constituents since the spring.
Martyn is running in Edmonton Centre, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan’s riding. Edmonton Centre will be the focal point for political watchers this election as McLellan, Alberta’s lone Liberal member of parliament, fights for her seat for the fifth time.
It was a nail-biter in Edmonton Centre in the 2004 election as McLellan beat conservative candidate Laurie Hawn by 721 votes. Some pundits questioned if voters were confused about the Conservative party’s name. The Reform party and the Progressive Conservatives had merged under the name Conservative Party of Canada or CPC. But a candidate also ran under the banner of the PC party, or the Progressive Canadian party.
Conservative Laurie Hawn is gearing up for another duel in Edmonton Centre and says there’s no doubt people who voted for the PC party candidate in 2004 thought they were voting for the Conservative party.
“They used the old (Progressive Conservative) fonts and colours, they were on the ballot as PC. We had observed on that to Elections Canada and they said there wasn’t any confusion, but of course, there was. It was annoying and it was deceitful ... We’ll deal with it if it comes up again,” says Hawn.
He says the loss motivated the ‘heck’ out of him and he’s ready to take a leave from his position as the manager of Union Securities Limited to hit the campaign trail when the need comes.
He’s already secured office space in a former bank building at the north end of Westmount Mall and has built on his volunteer base from the last election.
Anne McLellan’s camp is also ready to go at a moment’s notice, says team member Ray McKall.
“We will be prepared. It appears now to be coming sooner, not later, even though that’s not the prime minister ‘s schedule. If it is forced early, we will be ready to go early,” he says.
Volunteers have been securing new office space for the expected campaign as McLellan’s campaign headquarters for the last two elections is now home to a gardening business.
McLellan’s team will also have help from Dan MacLennan, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), who was rumoured to be running for the Liberals.
“It was something I was looking at seriously. I’d had lots of meetings (about it) but I just go re-elected three weeks ago to this job. I met with my new six-person executive and not one of them has more than a year’s experience. What I’m going to be doing instead, is taking some holidays and helping Anne McLellan,” he says.
“I think she’s going to have the toughest fight ever, so I think that’s where my energy is going to be spent,” he added.
Edmonton-area Liberals have some candidates in place and continue to hold nomination meetings to determine who will run in some ridings. Calls to the party’s election readiness co-chair went unreturned.
Mark MacGillivray, Alberta coordinator for the Green Party of Canada, says the party will be running a full slate of candidates in the area and has people in place for all but two Edmonton-area ridings.
Edmontonian Harold Knippschild doesn’t think a January 2006 election is a great idea as it will force candidates to campaign over Christmas.
“I’d rather them come after the holidays because it’s so hectic. I think we have to do something about this government. I just hope this time something is done. It seems everybody complains about the Liberals, but when it comes right down to it, they get back into power,” he says.
Kitt Sampley says she’s all for an election and now is as good a time as ever.
“I’d love to get the Liberals out of there. Soon is good, but sooner is better,” she says.
Sampley’s sister Chris Caddey says an early year election means candidates will have to campaign during Christmas and be away from their families.
“They never come to my house,” counters Sampley. “I’ve lived in Mill Woods for 10 years and never had one there.”
Both women say sleet nor slow would stop them from heading to the polls to cast their ballots. When that will be is still up in the air, but a motion of non-confidence is expected to be entered into the House of Commons on Thursday, with the vote expected on Nov. 28 or Nov. 29. If his minority government is defeated, which is widely expected, Prime Minister Paul Martin would then be forced to call an election which is expected to be Jan. 9 or Jan. 16.
Anne McLellan - LIB
Laurie Hawn - CPC
Donna Martyn - NDP
David Parker - GREEN
Peter Goldring - CPC
Arlene Chapman - NDP
Unknown - GREEN
James Rajotte - CPC
Marty Rybiak - NDP
Ben Pete - GREEN
EDMONTON MILLWOODS BEAUMONT
Mike Lake - CPC
Neal Gray - NDP
EDMONTON SHERWOOD PARK
Ken Epp - CPC
Unknown - NDP
Lynn Lau - GREEN
EDMONTON SPRUCE GROVE
Rona Ambrose - CPC
Jason Rockwell - NDP
John Lackey - GREEN
EDMONTON ST. ALBERT
John Williams - CPC
Mike Melymick - NDP
Peter Johnston - GREEN
Rahim Jaffer - CPC
Linda Duncan - NDP
Cameron Wakefield - GREEN
To rule in Canada is to be connected to the Desmarais Power Corporation of Quebec. Whether through the back rooms, friendship, old party ties or by family.
And it isn't called the Power Corp for nothing, it is the largest private capital fianancial corporation in Canada. And Desmarais sits with the Bush cabal on the Carlyle Group.
Paul Desmarais is not only one of Canada's richest men he is a maker of Prime Ministers. He made his employee Paul Martin what he is today. His son Andre is married to Chretiens daughter; France.
Unfortunatley for Peter those political ties are once again the the Liberal party. Whats with this boy? It gives new meaning to being a 'social' liberal and fiscal conservative. Thats two for one on his dating card.
No wonder the Harper doesn't trust him...his taste in women is for Liberals who Dominate....hmmm......
A tip o the blog to Grandinite for this...I orginally saw it on the gossip page at Bourque; "Nice", she wonders, "imagine Christmas around the giant Desmarais Christmas tree, all decorated with trinkets from Tiffany's, and all those packages under it from Holt's, Harry Winston, Hermes, Chanel, and Harrod's. Peter and Andre and Paul and Sophie and ...""And Jean Chretien's daughter France", he adds.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Governments' inability to successfully harness the hundreds of billions of dollars that pensions control is hurting the country's productivity, Mr. Dodge is expected to argue. He is speaking at a conference on public-private partnerships (P3) in Toronto Monday. That's because infrastructure needs — demand to build roads, schools, hospitals — are enormous and growing. Toronto-Dominion Bank figures the gap between what is needed to maintain or replace existing capital, and the amount actually spent, ranges from $50-billion to $125-billion for Canada. Pension plans, on the other hand, are actively shopping for long-term, stable investments, and infrastructure is a good fit for them, Mr. Dodge will say. Pension plans control $800-billion in assets, and are constantly on the lookout for projects that have a lifespan of 25 or 30 years that can give them a steady and decent rate of return. A man with a plan
I blogged here on this just the other day, and I hate to tell you I told you so but, well ..ok I told you so. The neo-con state in Canada, has failed to sell us on their P3 notions. And private capitalism is not up to the challenge just look at the failure of the privatized highway deal in Ontario. So where can capitalism find some capital just sitting around doing nothing.....well in OUR pension plans. Whether those are public sector plans or the CPP.
While private sector pension plans face deficits public plans are flush with capital and capitalism hates capitals that just sits around being unproductive, that is not inversted and earning interest.
What Dodge does NOT want, nor does existing capital markets is the direct control of public pension funds by the workers who fund it. Currently these funds are managed by private managers whose litany of investments are driven by the sole ethic of the market; profit.
Unions whose members fund these pension plans must demand more control over the investment policy and management of these plans. Otherwise the managers and the State will use them to fund P3's which are NOT in the workers interests.
The time for direct democratic control and transparency of public and private pension funds by the workers who fund them is now. The battle lines are being drawn by the corporations, the banks and Mr. Dodge. It is time for labour to fightback by demanding workers control of our pension funds public or private.
But the biggest roadblocks to P3s and attracting pension money to public infrastructure are probably public opinion and outright hostility from organized labour.
“[P3s] are part of a broader neo-conservative agenda that argues that all that is public should be privatized,” Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), said in a statement on its website.
P3s cost the public more than straight government funding, they are not accountable to the public, and they lead to higher user fees and laid-off workers, CUPE argues.
Mr. Dodge's speech Monday will be the second time in a month that he has clashed with organized labour.
Earlier in November, Mr. Dodge said that employers should have more of a say in what happens to the surpluses in defined-benefit pension plans.
“I say to David Dodge, keep your hands off our pension plans, because workers are in no mood ... for any more scams,” said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario.
It is also on going in the pages of the Globe and Mail in the comments attached to this article.
It also occured this afternoon on CTV's Mike Duffy Live when longtime political affairs reporter Craig Oliver sneeringly refered to quotes from Ignatieff denying he was Canadian, saying he was a proud American. That American foriegn policy was 'our' foriegn policy.
Craig Oliver, sneered. The rancour on his face was visible and his disdain for Ignatieffs hypocrisy was literally seething. Craig Oliver never sneers. Things do not look good for Ignatieff.
Opps the Harper is implying that they got down and dirty to defeat the government like playing tricks with tapes like Gerwal did, or calling the Liberals 'mafia' err 'organized crime'. I think he meant to say its a hard and thankless job. Ah well the truth is out, the mudslinging and playing dirty was their strategy all along. Ooo like we didn't know that.
He frowned and looked waaaay to serious as he approached the podium, and when he wasn't forcing his cold fish smile he was looking away distracted. Never have I seen a politician frown while he smiles. How does he do that?
The Conservative messaging Vote Us to Build a Better Future and a Better Canada.
Martin on the other hand was bouyant and ready for the pugilistic battle coming on. The Liberals message is Keep the Good Times Rolling.
Both spoke from their caucus rooms. The difference was the Conservatives showed the diversity of their party with younger members, ethnic diversity and women. The old white guys that dominate the party were in the back of the room.
And as I said here before Laytons message was Canada can do better with more New Democrats.
Ok folks we are off and racing, place your wagers now.
Countdown to confidence vote The no-confidence motion that will likely topple Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority Liberal is only minutes away. The early evening no-confidence vote, set for 6:45 p.m. EST, is likely to trigger the fall of the government after only 17 months in power.
CBC and CTV are covering it live quick go to the TV.
While watching the Party Communications directors on the extended broadcast Don Newmans Politics show we were given the messaging for this election. The Liberals will say; "We kept our promises", The Conservatives will say "Its about ethics" and the NDP will say "More NDPers make a difference."
Ready Set Go.
Now if the NDP want to really stick it to the Liberals they would steal their message The Liberals Made Promises, the NDP kept them.
Where Liberal Candidate and apologist for Empire Ignatieff says; "My difficulty in taking Ukraine seriously goes deeper than just my cosmopolitan suspicion of nationalists everywhere. Somewhere inside I'm also what Ukrainians would call a great Russian and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these little Russians."
As someone of Ukrainian Canadian origin I, like the Ukrainian Canadians in his riding (one he has been parachuted into) consider such a comment a form of bigoted racism thinly disguised as national differences.
And as I come from the anarchist tradition of Makhno, Kroptokin and Bakunin, the former Ukrainian the later Russians, I have no cant with nationalism. But I do recognize the Ukraine as a country, and more importantly a peasant culture seperate from the old world Great Powers of Poland and Russia.
Ignatieff has made his role as a public intellectual to be a defender of liberal capitalist democracy ala Fukuyama, which in reality is the defence of American Imperialism and the hegemony of Empire.
The comparison of Ignatieff with PET is apt, for Trudeau had the same self hate and disdain for his country; Quebec, while wanting to be seen as the Great Canadian.
So I left this comment on Simons blog;
Leaving aside the fact the Kiev the capital of the Ukraine is older than Moscow or St. Petersburg and as a city the original city state was known as the RUS from which the so called Russians took their. The very acceptance proudly, not sheepishly, not apologetically (though with the tone of apology), by Ignatieff shows his Imperial attitude, an acceptance of the world as it is, one dominated by Empires. In his case like many anti-Bolshevik opportunists who ran to New York to declare themselves Dukes, Dutchesses and Counts to impress the New Empire with their titles from the Old, so goes Ignatieff. In his case it is to defend and take advantage of his new master. Interestingly Prince Kropotkin, a real prince and a classic Anarchist never glorified his Russian origins when defending Ukrianians or the Dukhbours. The existance of the Ukraine, known as the Borderland, was historically disputed between Moscow and Poland, as these two clashed over the region as part of their Imperial domains. The term little Russians is as much a class and racist remark as it is one of Imperial disdain. For the Ukriane was the sole area peasant serfs from both Empires could escape to and be free. Ignatieff regrets this freedom, while defending the freedom of Empire.
"Not much attention was paid on Saturday to the election of Cardston MLA Paul Hinman to lead the Alberta Alliance Party."
And why should we? This is another sorry reincarnation of the Old Socred Party, no not the original party the recent revisionist party under the leadership of Randy Thorsteinson which failed to mobilize any wins in several recent elections.
Thorsteinson was deposed as Leader of the Socreds for his Mormon ties, and went on the create the AA.
The AA got its first seat when the PC MLA for Norwood declared himself an independent after his party eliminated his riding before the last election He joined the AA and became their first member. Paul Hinman won a seat in the last election in Mormon dominated Cardston home of the old Western Canada Concept and the Western Seperatist notion. This southern bible belt community identifies its politics as Republican, not Canadian so Hinmans win is a no brainer. It was a rural right wing reation to the the big city politics of the Party of Calgary and their culture of urban entitlement under King Ralph.
Will they be a threat, will they go anywhere, will they become as whiny Byfield hopes the new party on the right. Well history says no, they are a flash in the pan. Just like the WCC was.
Hinman though could use Byfield to help with his sound bites. He got quoted the other day about Klein's prediction that the Liberals would win a minority government by saying Klein should shut up come home and take a vacation.
Excuse me???!! The Legislature is currently sitting so King Ralphs place is in the house. However considering the last sitting thats exactly what Klein did in the final days.
A Tip o the Blog to AlbertaAvenue for this story. He rightly points out the Liberals and NDP gained seats in the last election and gained in popular support farmore than the AA despite Byfields statements to the contrary in his column.
Byfield's wishful thinking may be some sort of hallucininatory revelation from hanging out with his right wing friends for too long, listening to his father (no not Jehovah but Ted) or perhaps something he smoked. In any case his prognosis is of a ground swell of political popularity for the AA is a shining example of the thinking of the lunatic right.
It was Christmas Eve 1914 and the soldiers in the trenches, Brits, Canadians, Germans and French, muddy, covered in blood and guts, coughing up bloodied mucus of poison gas, called a truce in the War. A truce that remains a mutiny on the books of the ruling clases and their military to this day.
A new film has been made of this famous mutiny for and it will be shown to British Troops in Iraq.
Now if they sneak in the Americans to watch this that just might be the inspiration for the American all volunteer working class army to down arms and end this war.
So subersive is the legend of the Christmas Truce of 1914 that the French still refuse to allow their soldiers to see this film and refused to be part of the production effort.
Brit troops to see 1914 Xmas 'anti-war' film
During the ceasefire, German, British and French troops stopped shooting, got out of their trenches and shared cocoa and cigarettes. They sang hymns together and returned to fighting a few days later.The French army refused to participate in the making of the film, saying soldiers who participated in the Christmas truce were disobeying orders. German troops have already taken in the movie, but it will not be presented to French soldiers. The ceasefire was seen as treason by superiors on both sides.
It was of course this famous truce that gave rise to the 1960's comic Christmas song Snoopy's Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen Listen to it here.
And it was the inspiration for Dalton Trumbos classic Anti-War novel, Johnny Got His Gun.
During the summer of 1914 in a crucial battle in Mons Belgium British troops claimed to have seen St. George and a group of Longbowmen in the skies, which they claimed to have turned the battle in their favour.
This is known as the Legend of Mons, and occult horror author Arthur Machen claimed at the time that it was based on his short story called the Bowman which had been published in the popular press of the day. However historian A.J.P Taylor believed the story and recorded it in his history of WWI.
The fact that the tale and trench rumours of Angels of Mons appeared the summer before may have had a subconcious effect on the soldiers in the trenches facing the first industrialized war of mass murder.
Such was the horror of WWI and the introduction of mechanized death, mass slaughter by machine gun, huge mortars and giant Big Bertha guns that deafened you, poison gas, tanks, trench warfare, etc. the veritable impass of the No Mans Land lead to the need for a moment of humanity, human contact that became the Christmas Truce.
Shell shocked, cold, wet, facing certain death, suffering what was called Battle Fatigue, the first time it was ever recorded in war and we know now as Post Traumatic Syndrome, soldiers fled the field not in cowardice but in terror. And the officers on both sides of the trenches shot them mercilessly.
The Officer Corps of all the Armies of WWI were the last vestiges of the Aristocracy while the soldiers in the trenches were the original grunts, and like modern industrial capitalism which the war so effectively modeled itself after, they were expendable cogs in the machine.
Canadians know this well for even our officers like their men were expendable, as colonial troops, in both WWI and WWII. In the case of the later the battle of Dieppe saw the ruthless sacrifice of Canadians on the whim of Lord Mountbatten for his personal ego trip in securing a position of command.
23 Canadians were executed for desertion or cowardice in WWI. 2 were executed for murder (murder in war you ask well...) one after he suffered a head injury went nuts, the other was a case of shooting a superior officer, a Sgt. Major, the guys who were particularly brutal to their men. We would call it fragging today.Thousands more died in the trenches, including almost all the 1st Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
All those boys from the prairies, the cities, from the farms and the factories, from Saskatchewan, Iowa, Sheffield, Paris and Berlin died for the glory of Imperialism and Capitalism. When they came home there were no jobs, a depression, and no Veterans benefits. It was not such a Great War.
Happy Christmas (The War is Over)
There's nothing noble about dying. Not even if you die for honor. Not even if you die the greatest hero the world ever saw. Not even if you're so great your name will never be forgotten and who's that great? The most important thing is your life little guys. You're worth nothing dead except for speeches. Don't let them kid you any more. Pay no attention when they tap you on the shoulder and say come along we've got to fight for liberty or whatever their word is there's always a word.
Just say mister I'm sorry I got no time to die I'm too busy and then turn and run like hell. If they say coward why don't pay any attention because it's your job to live not to die. If they talk about dying for principles that are bigger than life you say mister you're a liar Nothing is bigger than life There's nothing noble in death. What s noble about lying in the ground and rotting. What's noble about never seeing the sunshine again? What's noble about having your legs and arms blown off? What's noble about being an idiot? What's noble about being blind and deaf and dumb? What's noble about being dead. Because when you're dead mister it's all over. It's the end. You're less than a dog less than a rat less than a bee or an ant less than a white maggot crawling around on a dungheap. You're dead mister and you died for nothing.
Wait for it folks here it comes.......Monte Solberg and the Conservatives will demand.....yep another Tax Cut for the Corporations to keep up with the tax dodging Income Trusts. Forget the tiff over the organized crime comments here is a far more serious crime, insider information released by Goodale prior to his announcement, which allowed the banks and others to profit. NDP finance critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis issued a statement demanding that the RCMP look into the affair.And not to be outdone on the eve of the election the Tories have chimed in with a 'Me Too' response.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
In that clever Orwellian speak that the right wing uses, they claim that evolution is a 'religious' theory and should not get government funding. Thats because they claim secular science, pluralist society, and humanism itself is a 'religion'.
The plaintiffs are not proponents of "intelligent design" - a theory that living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher intelligence - but they object to the teaching of evolution as scientific fact, Jeanne Caldwell said.
Yep evolution is just another 'belief' option. Seems they have believe scientists have 'faith' in evolution like they have 'faith' in the existance of God.
Actually these folks are dyed in the wool creationists, believers that God created the world 4,400 years ago, in a blink of a cosmic eye. The reason we have fossils according to creationists is that every animal and plant, bacteria, amobia, etc. were all created at once and some just happened to get caught in the magma of creation as it cooled between Monday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday remain in dispute due to being the Sabbath.
So if creation began instantly in a blink of the big fellows eye 4,400 years ago explain this;Scientists think they have deduced the moon's birthday from rock and soil samples -- and it's older than they thought. The researchers examined tungsten isotopes in the rocks and concluded that the collision occurred about 30 million to 50 million years after the formation of the solar system. That's just a blip compared with the 4.5 billion years that the Earth and solar system have existed.
Creationism originated with the belief that the world was flat. However contrary to popular belief this minority view was not held by everyone living in the Rennisance world or prior to Columbus's voyage to North and Central America. Only a small sect of christians believed this nonsense. Colombus himself availed himself of ancient Phonecian and Peloponnesian maps for his voyage as did other of his sailing contemporaries. And these maps did not show the world was flat, well ok the maps were, they showed the world as known at that time and what wasn't was called the unknown.
the claims of creation science do not refer to natural causes and cannot be subject to meaningful tests, so they do not qualify as scientific hypotheses.
So there, science is NOT a religion. It is as Bakunin attests, the study of natures laws. And that contradicts faith for nature according to creationists is the mere beast of God.
Science maybe called an outgrowth of philosophy, and that is where the Orwellian Right sneakily equates philosophy with religion. They have an agenda to evangelize the world, to counter what they see as the humanist attempt to free humanity from God and faith by immanitizing the eschaton, a term right wing philospher Eric Voegelin coined in his book The New Science of Politics.
If science is the child of reason, the Rennisance and the revolutionary ideals of the Enlightenment as Voegelin and his pals like Von Mises and William Buckley claim then it is too modern for them. And for creationists and the neo-con religious right.They want to force us backwards into their glorious age of medivalist theocracy and that theocracy was Catholic, while the modern evangelicals are protestants. But I will leave that contradiction for another day.
Link Wray the Father of Rockabilly with his 'power chord' guitar has passed on. Perhaps in passing he will be remembered as the legend he really was. His music never changed, despite the visimitudes of the the rock world. You can hear an interview with Link here. And check out his classic album Rumble
Links style would influence the Ventures and later 60's guitar instrumental bands. By the end of the Punk era former Clash members formed the Stray Cats and preformed a faster heavier Rockabilly but it was still all Link Wray.
In the world of popular culture his lasting contribution will be the Batman Theme, the one that would be used in the Sixties TV series. And for a great Punk music blog with a tribute to Link go here.
And if you like this style of rock then I highly reccomend CJSR's Flying Saucer Rock and Roll on Monday nights between 10-11 pm Mountain Time. And you can listen to it online.
Like the numerous mining accidents that have occured over the past two years, these are all a result of the toxic capitalism that China is now embracing in its rush to create a Fordist industrial state.
Chinese decry toxic coverup
As of Sunday the benzene, released into the Songhua Nov. 13 by an explosion at a chemical factory owned by a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, had largely floated past Harbin on its way toward the Russian border. Five days after shutting down the Harbin water system, local authorities declared the "water had reached a standard level" and turned taps back on late Sunday. But in Russia, authorities are busy helping towns downstream of the spill prepare for when it reaches the country in the coming days. The incident forced Beijing to issue its "profound apologies" to Russia for the expected environmental damage.
And ya gotta love this headline........run boss run....but you can't hide....
China, struggling to clean up the world's most dangerous mining industries, has conducted a series of safety crackdowns and has shut nearly 2,000 mines since August.
The government has demanded that local officials sever any financial links to mines and has even called for managers to head down the shaft with each shift of workers.
But booming demand and high coal prices mean some owners ignore regulations, push production beyond safe limits or even illegally continue mining pits that have been formally closed.
Since under state capitalism the local officials are the bosses or in the bosses pocket this is another reason the workers need autonomous unions. A good news feeder on Mining and its impact on communities and workers around the world is;
Mines and Communities: Empowering mining-affected peoples
Canada.Com which has completely revamped its clumsy ugly pages to look and work better.
But the real change for the better is at Progressive Bloggers A very nice look, very usable, includes polls, slick and cost a lot less than whatever Canada Com. paid. Nice go guys. Now if I use your diary tool what happens, does it appear on in your blogs or what?
But the writing is on the wall, Jason Maas will be going to Hamilton after todays game. Why do I predict this?
Well Danny Maciocia is so enamoured and fiscally indebted to Ricky Ray, regardless of his lousy season and he needs the cash to pay for his football diva.
And that will come with the trade of Maas to Hamilton, which originated earlier this year when Edmonton took two players from Hamilton for future considerations. Sigh, so regardless win or lose we will be left with a prima donna overpaid underachiver for QB, and a starry eyed wet behind the ears coach.
Win or lose Maas is gone and we are stuck with Ricky 'no touchdowns' Ray.
I think maybe the trade should have been these two and the Esks keep Maas, who at least has been a team player unlike Ray.
Well we could ask the same question about Smokers. Who silently allow themselves to be victimized, bullied, and socially ostracized by the majority, it is probably cause they think its good for them, or when facing overwhelming legislative power simply shrug and say 'so it goes'. Very Canadian.
It's official I just heard it on Joe FM here in Edmonton. An attack radio ad by Laurie Hawn the Edmonton Centre Conservative candidate against the Minister of Security and only Liberal MP in Alberta, Anne Mclellan.
Anne's seat is the one to watch By Paul Stanway
The ad has a couple talking about how the Liberals are soft on crime....thats their messaging for the begining of the election oy, shmucks....and the tag line....its time for a change....obviously listening to the polls.....So there it is folks, not bothering to wait till the shoe drops in the house tommorow the Conservatives are off and running......
the big prize for the Conservatives would be Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan's seat in Edmonton Centre.William McBeath, Conservative organizer in northern Alberta, believes high-profile candidates such as Rona Ambrose will help Laurie Hawn in his second attempt to unseat McLellan. Hawn has been campaigning for a rematch ever since losing to McLellan by just 93 votes the last time.
McBeath is a neophyte organizer and BloggingTory; Noise from the Right "In 2004 I graduated from the University of Alberta School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing. I work as a political organizer for conservative organizations in the Edmonton and Northern Alberta region."
It is obvious that Alberta is not a serious campaign site for the Conservatives, as they focus their efforts in Ontario. Leaving the campaign to defeat Anne Mclellan to a recent graduate from the U of A, shows either chutzpah or severe underestimation of Landslide Anne's political machine.
Kilgours seat is the other Liberal seat up, but as Kilgour was a Conservative turned Liberal turned Independent, his seat is far more likely to go Tory than Liberal, unless the Liberals really put $$$ and workers into the campaign. Again the Tories must think they have this one in the bag to leave it to the 'kid'.
However there are still two races that could change the dynamic in Alberta, especially if the Tories and Liberal fail to put the effort in here. And from their web page the Liberals are the only party that still has to nominate candidates in Alberta!
Peter Goldring's seat in Edmonton East is being contested by NDP candidate Arlene Chapman who has credentials and public profile. Along with support from the provincial NDP machine to work for her, this is a race to watch. This seat was the only one ever won by the NDP federally. And it has been held by the NDP provincially. Since it includes the provincial riding of Calder, which went NDP provincially, the base is there to unseat Goldring.
The other race is Edmonton Strathcona, where the NDP doubled their vote last election and matched the Liberals but were unable to unseat Rahim Jaffer. This time their candidate is Linda Duncan an environmental lawyer.
The Liberals recycled a former MLA last time, and rumour has it will be their candidate again. This was a neck and neck race between the Liberals and NDP, which polled more votes total than Jaffer, but by splitting the vote, he won.
The question in Redmonton is can the NDP use the voter apathy of the Conservatives and effectively counter the Liberal use of 'fear factor' of the Harper to gain votes from the Liberals to win these seats. Or will these seats go Tory because of strategic voting for the Liberals.
Well that's what makes elections exciting, even in good old predictable Alberta.