Posts from our progressive community

The Burning Planet and the Nasty Surprise

Montreal Simon - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 05:19

It's going to be a really hot weekend in the place where I live, so I'm hoping to spend as much time as possible at the beach.

But I wonder how much longer I'll be able to do that, as the world just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
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Until It Has Had Its Say

Northern Reflections - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 04:57

Chantal Hebert writes this morning that the battle over Bill C-14 signals a new source of opposition for any Canadian government -- the Senate:

The legislative discussion over bill C-14 is over but the debate over the role of a more independent Senate in the larger parliamentary scheme of things has only just begun. It is already eliciting some diametrically opposed views as to the way forward.
There are two clearly different views about how the Senate should function:

At one extreme, there are those who would invest a more independent upper house with the mission of perfecting the work of their elected colleagues. In their book, a decrease in partisan attachment increases the moral authority of the senate, to the point that it should use the powers vested in it by the Constitution to the fullest — even when it means going against the will of the House of Commons.
But power is intoxicating. Its fumes are addictive. Almost every governing party eventually succumbs to the delusion of believing itself infallible and invincible. The cure usually involves a voter-imposed spell in opposition rehab.
And there's the rub. The Senate is unelected. Recognizing that fact, a majority of senators sent the bill back to the House, with its most controversial clause, "reasonably foreseeable," in tact.
The second theory of how the Senate should operate is also intriguing:
At the other extreme, there are those who feel that a still unelected but more independent Senate is ultimately even less accountable than its previous partisan version. No particular party is responsible for its actions. They argue such a Senate should be content to play the role of if not silent at least always compliant partner to the elected majority in the Commons.
Except that under the current electoral system, a majority government does not de facto speak for a majority of voters, it just speaks for more of them than any other of its opposition rivals.
I suspect this version of how the Senate works will go the way of the Dodo -- thanks to the Mike Duffy trial. The days are gone when the PMO can call the tune and have senators do its bidding.
In fact, the Senate will no longer do any government's bidding -- until it has had its say. 

Donald Trump and the American Horror Story

Montreal Simon - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 03:18

In one of last posts I told you how shocked most LGBT Americans were to hear themselves described as Donald Trump's newest supporters.

With that ghastly bigot now claiming that after the Orlando massacre, gay people hate Muslims as much as he does.

Even though that's nonsense.

So I'm glad to see that Hillary Clinton is trying to correct the record.
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My Tribute To Those Who Fly At Night To Save Lives

Montreal Simon - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:29

These ORNGE air ambulances are a familiar sight in my neighbourhood, taking off or coming into land at the Toronto Island Airport.

And I like having them around, because my heroes are those who risk their lives to try to save the lives of others.

But three years ago one of them crashed in northern Ontario.

And it couldn't be a more tragic or more Canadian story.
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A Last Stand for Lelu

Creekside - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 21:05

The B.C. provincial government is trying to green light the construction of a massive LNG terminal on Lelu Island in the Skeena Estuary – Pacific Northwest LNG, backed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas  –  without the consent of the people who rejected a $1.15 billion dollar deal from Petronas to gain that consent.

The undersigned First Nation leaders and citizens of the Nine Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams hereby declare that Lelu Island, and Flora and Agnew Banks are hereby protected for all time, as a refuge for wild salmon and marine resources, and are to be held in trust for all future generations.Our ancestral knowledge, supported by modern science, confirms this area is critical to the future abundance of the wild salmon our communities rely on. It is our right and our responsibility as First Nations to protect and defend this place. It is our right to use this area without interference to harvest salmon and marine resources for our sustenance, and commercially in support of our livelihoods.We hereby extend an invitation to all First Nations, the governments of Canada and British Columbia, and all communities that depend on the health of Lelu Island, Flora and Agnew Banks and the Skeena River estuary, to join us in defending this unique and precious place, and to protect it for all time.Signed, on this day January 23, 2016, in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.

Friday Evening Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 19:21
Assorted content to end your week.

- Ed Finn reminds us that "free trade" agreements have always served to increase the wealth and power of those who already have the most at the expense of social interests. And Scott Sinclair and Angella MacEwen each offer their take on Parliament's hearings into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

- Meanwhile, Zach Dubinsky reports on another set of unfair deals which have allowed corporations to send profits offshore to avoid paying taxes with (primarily the Cons') government approval.

- But in case anybody expected the Libs to live up to any different set of principles, Mia Rabson points out Robert-Falcon Ouellette's craven politicking around a basic income - consisting of seeking media attention for his support for at least studying the concept before going along with a party-line vote against it. (And it's particularly striking that even the Con members of the finance committee were willing to support the motion - leaving the Libs alone to shoot it down.)

- Frances Baum, David Sanders, Matt Fisher, Julia Anaf, Nicholas Freudenberg, Sharon Friel, Ronald Labonté, Leslie London, Carlos Monteiro, Alex Scott-Samuel and Amit Sen examine the influence of multinational corporations on the health of individuals, while pointing out the desperate lack of any meaningful assessment on an organizational basis. 

- Finally, Teuila Fuatai discusses how Canada's employment insurance system is set up to disadvantage mothers in lower-earning families.

Musical interlude

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 16:25
Lumineers - Stubborn Love


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