This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Paul Krugman highlights
the policy areas where we need to look to the public sector for leadership - including those such as health care and income security where we all have a strong interest in making sure that nobody's left behind. And Andre Picard reminds us
of one of the major gaps in Canada's health care system, as expensive prescription drugs can make for a devastating barrier to needed care.
- Meanwhile, Paul Buchheit duly criticizes
the combination of increasing wealth for the lucky few in the U.S., and increasing poverty at the bottom of the income scale.
- Warren Bell looks back
at the years of deliberate attacks on environmental protection that led to the English Bay oil spill crisis, while Tim Harper argues
that Canada's federal government would be a great place to start cleaning up the mess. Kai Nagata notes
that public outcry over exactly the types of issues raised by English Bay may have succeeded in stopping the Northern Gateway pipeline. And Andrew Leach rightly makes the point
that Stephen Harper bears personal responsibility for Canada's pattern of delay and denial on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector:
Over the course of the prime minister’s time in office, oil prices have gone from the $50s to the $140s, down to the $30s, back above $100, back to the $40s and sit around $50 today. We’ve had proposals for regulations, cap-and-trade, and regulations again, but it seems that no policy which would restrict GHG emissions from the oil sands can get to the finish line. Why? It’s not prices, and it’s not the oil and gas lobby. It’s one thing – a prime minister who, to use MacDougall’s words
, hasn’t seen fit to instruct, “the entire team (to put) its shoulder to the wheel until victory is achieved,” and a policy is imposed.
Stephen Harper is happy to see these difficult policy choices pushed to a later date and, in so doing, will have us make exactly the mistakes he said we wouldn’t make again – promising aggressive action and not delivering it. When the world meets in Paris in late 2015, Canada will still likely not have policies imposed on its oil sands sector and, despite the oil price crash, will still expect emissions to increase far beyond our Copenhagen commitment. Will the world, again, be willing to take the word of a prime minister, whoever it may be, who says we won’t make the same mistake three times?- Scott Clark and Peter DeVries see
the Cons' false balanced budget legislation as being absolutely hilarious in light of their track record of fiscal mismanagement. But Rick Smith notes
that the Cons' anti-labour zealotry is rather less amusing - particularly as C-377 gets pushed through the legislative process yet again (minus the amendments which would have made it at least somewhat less toxic).
- Finally, Brent Patterson offers
yet another example of how trade agreements can severely limit democratic decision-making, as Argentina stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars for prioritizing usable water above a profiteer's revenue stream.