Posts from our progressive community

Can we move beyond our culture of violence??

kirbycairo - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:58
One only need reject a few of the prevailing beliefs of one’s society to be almost entirely alienated from vast majority of people. In Canada all you really have to do is dislike Hockey and you suddenly find yourself marginalized. But all marginalization should be not be regretted, because sometimes holding unpopular beliefs is the beginning of chance. Some marginalized beliefs can keep you outside the mainstream while giving you counter-culture credibility. The abolitionist movement in England was such a case. Over a period of one hundred years the abolitionists went from being marginalized to being a credible, and much admired, political force. However, certain core beliefs of a society are so widely accepted without question that to bring them into doubt not only sets you against the vast majority but also can make you appear downright unhinged by most people. If, for example, you were an Aztec and you suggested that the sun was not a god, your fellow citizens would simply think you were crazy.
According to the well-known German philosopher Jürgen Habermas this notion of unquestionable beliefs is what sets modern society apart from so-called more traditional ones. Habermas in his ground-breaking work The Theory of Communicative Action, claims that what sets “modern” societies apart is that its citizens can voice competing moral and normative claims and that those people can, if called upon, discursively redeem these claims. In simpler terms, this simply means that, according to Habermas, we can disagree about social and moral issues and we can discuss them and potentially defend them through some form of ‘rational’ discourse. When I read Habermas’ work in the early 1990s I was fairly dubious about this claim. The more I thought about it the more it seemed to me that, just like older societies, our own “modern” society contained certain beliefs that are simply not up for discussion. If, for example, you claim in our society that competition is a bad thing, ninety-five percent of people will simply think are crazy or stupid.
There are other, deeply held, beliefs that our society overwhelmingly accepts without question. Patriotism is one such belief. Try questioning the notion of patriotism in mixed company and watch the reaction. People will either have a strong (even violent) reaction, or they will just seem utterly confused and treat you as some kind of weird hippy or naive, mental incompetent. I know this because I have experienced such reaction to many of my beliefs all my life. And no belief has elicited a stronger reaction than my rejection of the military.
From the time I was a young kid, I was deeply disturbed and confused by society’s unquestioning and unconditional support for the military. (And I grew up in Vietnam-Era US, where there was much more doubt about the military than there is today.) My argument was, and continues to be, simple. The military is an institution whose sacred operational mechanism is blind obedience among its members to kill anyone that the state tells them to. Of course, as I became older I realized that like with so many things, the majority of people believe that their own nation’s military is somehow different from all the others in the world and throughout history, and that their military would only do good things. But regardless of what I believe is willful naivety on the part of most people, I think the issue is still very simple, and history demonstrates it remarkably well. Standing armies unquestionably obey any orders that they are given and killing is their stock and trade. Let me dispense, from the beginning with the obvious objections that will come, probably vociferously, to many people’s minds. Of course, killing isn’t the only thing that soldiers do. Professional Hockey players don’t only play hockey – their job involves lots of activities – but hockey is their institutional imperative. Putting aside whether this or that war is ‘necessary’ or morally justified, many good things might happen in the midst of an armed conflict. The real question here is the notion of what they used to call a ‘standing army,’ a fixed institution that relies on a set hierarchy and blind obedience within the ranks and, ultimately, to the state.
Part of my objection to the military grew gradually out of my experience with people’s reaction to armed conflict. Though practically everyone I met claimed that they thought war “is bad,” the claim more often than not seemed entirely hollow. The longer I live, the more I think that the slogans “war is bad” or “war is a necessary evil” are ideas that people feel the need to say but seldom actually believe. In fact, as Bertram Russell came to believe through his pacifist activism, I think many people are secretly thrilled by the idea of war. If they weren’t, I don’t think war movies and violent action films would be so overwhelmingly popular. The idea of military conflict makes people feel powerful and in many cases I would even contend that it gives many people (particularly many men) a psychosexual thrill. I have come to believe that this thrill has become central to our social and political systems. People continually pay lip-service to ‘peace’ and to anti-bullying campaigns, politicians tell us that violence is terrible and even cowardly, but bullying and violence are integral to their very operation.

The violence and machismo that is at the heart of our military, and people’s admiration of the military and unwillingness to question it, is part of a web of violence that permeates our society. There has been a great deal of talk recently about our ‘rape culture.’ But we will never eliminate our culture of rape while bullying and violence still permeate every part of our society. Albert Einstein said that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And he is right. To achieve peace, equality, and a life without violence means fundamentally changing the way we think about our most sacred institutions like the military, sports, education, and our political culture. It cannot happen overnight. We are all, to a great degree, products of our environment and we carry all sorts of difficult baggage into daily life. But until we are willing to at least question notions like “necessary war,” or cut-throat elections, or our hero-worshipping, our obsession with appearances, etc., then real social change will continue to be well beyond our reach.

Their Real Enemy

Northern Reflections - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 07:48



From the very beginning, Stephen Harper has claimed that he stands for and with the troops. But, Michael Harris writes, the men and women who have actually been in battle have declared war on the Harperites:

In fact, the veterans are here not to praise Caesar but to bury him. That’s why veterans Ron Clarke and Mike Blais have launched an Anybody But Conservative campaign to rally opposition against the government in time for the election.

Those who have been watching the veterans’s file closely on Harper’s watch — rather than listening to the Top Gun drivel being dished out by the PM — know that a national disgrace has been unfolding in Canada. While the Harper government has been a great little military monument-builder ($50 million added to that budget), it has abandoned the flesh-and-blood veterans who came back from war needing help.

The budget tells the story:

Since 2011, the Harper government has cut $226 million from Veterans Affairs administrative funding — a 30 per cent chop. That’s why one of Harper’s strongest supporting groups — veterans — has turned against him. Or rather, Harper abandoned them first.
And statistics tell the sad tale of what has happened to vets under Harper's watch:

Take the issue of suicide. The Canadian Forces have a suicide rate that is twice as high as the rate in the British Armed Forces, which are three times larger. What ever happened to the idea of hiring an adequate number of mental health workers to deal with the victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the handmaiden of suicide in many cases? When Peter MacKay was minister of Defence, he promised to hire extra medical personnel to deal with this dire legacy of Afghanistan. I guess he couldn’t figure out how to turn it into a photo-op.
Worst of all, Harper appointed Julian Fantino to the veterans portfolio:

The Harper government saved $3.8 million by closing those nine VA centres. It proceeded to add $4.5 million to Fantino’s ad budget to assure the viewers of Hockey Night in Harperland that the government was doing a great job with vets.
Canada's veterans figured out long ago that the man who likes to walk around in a flight jacket talks out of both sides of his mouth. They are rising in a growing chorus to tell it straight. They know their real enemy.


Friday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 06:35
Assorted content to end your week.

- Jonas Fossli Gherso discusses the unfortunate (and unnecessary) acceptance of burgeoning inequality even by the people who suffer most from its presence. And Ryan Meili interviews Gabor Mate about the ill health effects of an economic system designed to keep people under stress:
(T)he very nature of the system in which people live their lives is a significant source of illness. Now there are obvious factors like environmental pollution, toxins, and then of course there are the social determinants of health that you write about in A Healthy Society: the impact of poverty, the impact of inequality, the impact of history and continued racism. There’s an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix today about sentencing practices in the courts of Saskatchewan. People who are identified as Aboriginal are likely to get double the sentences of people who are not identified as Aboriginal. That’s going to have a health impact.

But I’m going to go beyond even that and say that even the people who are not on the wrong end of economic inequality or systemic racism are still made ill just by how we live our lives. The stress that we live under, the competition, the aggressiveness, the uncertainty, the loss of control that we experience in our lives. The gender inequalities, these are not just social phenomena, they have an actual impact on community health. The isolation people are experiencing. - Meanwhile, Charles Smith points out how young workers are losing out as a result of policy choices designed to maximize employer leverage at their expense:
Canadian young people are among the most educated in the world. According to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2014 Canada had the highest percentage of university or college trained population in the world. Recognizing that, Statistics Canada reported in 2010 that most OECD countries were more successful than Canada in employing individuals with university or college education.

In other words, the problem with finding full and meaningful employment is not necessarily a problem with individual young people, but a broader problem of government and private sector employers.
...
Outside the classroom, students are demanding social change, pushing our organizations in new and exciting directions, challenging traditional pedagogy, and creating a new generation of community and ecological awareness.

At the University of Saskatchewan, young women are challenging traditional forms of power by creating new organizations and demanding justice in public and private life. Indigenous students are reclaiming space and demanding greater access to opportunities long denied to them.

All of this suggests that today's students are multi-talented, skilled and ready to lead. It is time that government and private employers recognized this by promoting an industrial policy designed to create meaningful full employment.- Alan Kors reports on Stephen Lewis' advice in advocating for child care as a public good, not a benefit limited to those who immediately find spaces. And Jeffrey Simpson highlights how much work there is to be done in fixing a tax system built around the Cons' trinkets and baubles.

- Finally, Michael Den Tandt recognizes that the Cons' interest in Canadian troops goes no further than using them in photo ops. And Michael Harris notes that a direct clash between the Cons and the veterans they've left behind may make for an important piece of Canada's next election campaign.

Philosophical Differences versus False Allegations: Defunded Fake Clinic Responds

Dammit Janet - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 05:48
Yesterday (November 13/14), Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre announced the rescinding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) of the second instalment (amount unknown) of a $83,800 grant.

Here it is.
Due to a fundamental philosophical difference the OTF has decided to rescind the grant.  This means we received funding for one year’s operation but will not receive further funding for the second year. 

. . .

One particular blog has been making false allegations regarding our Centre and is taking credit for the rescinding of the OTF grant.  This same group has been making allegations against other Pregnancy Centre’s [sic] in Canada.Hilarious, yes?

They claim to have "fundamental philosophical difference" with the once and future (?) major granting organization, but throw "false allegations" at a wee (unnamed) blogger.

The CPC in question seems to have set a stalking horse on us in the person of commenter and self-proclaimed videographer Nathan Colquhoun who takes issue with my post about inappropriate medical equipment at the Lambton outfit here and here.

He claims to have no dog in this fight but his profile shows him to be some kinda xian pastor.

Okey-dokey then.

Are they laying the groundwork to sue us?

In its blogpost the Lambton Liars refer to a paper supposedly refuting Joyce Arthur's damning report "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC".

When a couple of those fake BC clinics tried to sue Joyce for defamation over her report, it did not end well for them.

Lambton CPC's argument, of course, should be with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, not moi.

But, hey, this is totally typical behaviour for bullying liars. Take on the small fry while kissing the big kahuna's ass.

What I find mysterious -- and OTF must find relaxing, at least for the moment -- is the total disinterest by mainstream media over what seems to me (ahem) to be a fairly Big Story.

Major Grant Foundation (All But) Admits Error in Funding Prolife Liars!

OK, that's probably not the headline they'd go with -- but that's the story.

Stay tuned. . .

Joe Oliver and the Incredible Shrinking Surplus

Montreal Simon - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 03:56


It was hard to imagine a scarier sight, than old Joe Oliver delivering his fiscal update to an audience of Bay Street business types the other day.

And announcing that Canadians should support the Cons, because he's blown the surplus trying to buy votes.

So they can't trust the opposition to run or ruin the economy!!!
Read more »

Stephen Harper's Great Failed War on Marijuana

Montreal Simon - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 02:21


As you know, Stephen Harper has made The Great War on Marijuana one of his main  weapons in the Great War on Justin Trudeau.

So he could accuse him of being a dangerous junkie who would make the drug more accessible to kids...



But when that attack ad didn't work, he decided to use our tax dollars to produce an anti-marijuana ad.

And get the country's doctors to endorse it...



But the doctors refused to play his game. 

Because they they could see right through it, like so many other Canadians.
Read more »

Beware! Just Say No!

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 17:58



This latest anti-drug propaganda public service ad from the Harper regime is not being well received. Here is a sampling of the critical reaction culled from You Tube:
- "As a Canadian taxpayer, I'm highly offended that my money contributed to this mass disinformation, which amounts to nothing more than scare tactics. It's time for the government
to drop the political motives that are clearly behind these types of messages about drugs, and instead embrace an opinion that is based on public health."

-"What a weak argument - '300 - 400% stronger than it was 30 years ago'. Now you only have to smoke a half joint, instead of 3 joints like you did 30 years ago! Weak! I want my tax
money back!"
-"Listening to this commercial can seem harmless, but it can cause serious damage to a teen’s developing brain."

-"I used to think marijuana was bad, till I saw this commercial. Now I've concluded adults are liars."

-"I don't smoke cannabis, but it's disgraceful knowing my tax money is being wasted on propaganda. How about some sources?"

-"Is this the same advertisement that the College of Physicians refused to support?"

-"Not a fan of pot, but this ad is just stupid," concluded a user going by the handle Antphetamines.I don't know about you, but I still prefer the original scare story:


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International Energy Agency Warns World Poised for Hefty Increase in Fossil Fuel Consumption for Next 25-Years

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:05
The International Energy Agency has released its latest World Energy Outlook and it paints a pretty grim picture of our future.

The agency sees global energy demand growing by 37 percent and carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increasing by one-fifth between now and 2040 mostly because of crude oil and coal burning in Asian countries and Africa.That increase in CO2 emissions will make it extraordinarily difficult to avoid the dangerous consequences from global warming outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest assessment, the IEA warns.Here’s why: Capping a global average temperature increase at 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-industrial times — the internationally agreed-upon point beyond which the effects of climate change have been deemed to become dangerous — requires capping total future global CO2 emissions at 1,000 gigatonnes beginning this year. That’s called the carbon budget, and it’s likely to be used up by 2040, the IEA said.The IEA says the world’s fossil fuel consumption in the coming decades is leading to an average global warming of 3.6°C, or 6.5°F, making catastrophic sea level rise, polar ice cap loss, water shortages and other severe effects nearly inevitable.Unless it cuts back its use of fossil fuels right away, China is on track to become the world’s largest oil-consuming nation by the early 2030s, at the same time as U.S. oil consumption is likely to fall. China is also likely to consume half the world’s coal by the middle of the next decade as global coal demand grows 15 percent between today and 2040.This is the future as Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper see it.  Unless China and the US make serious efforts to slash emissions very soon, and ride roughshod over countries like Canada and Australia to compel them to follow suit, everything else is merely good intentions and we know what paves the road to hell.

The IEA outlook is similar to the OPEC forecast released last week.

Hassan Diab--last stop on the railroad

Dawg's Blawg - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:03
Apparently caving in to the current anti-terrorist panic, the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear the appeal of fellow-citizen Hassan Diab against his extradition to France for alleged involvement in the rue Copernic bombing of a synagogue in... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Sh_t Pravda Says

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:03
Ah, Pravda, the legendary propaganda agency of the Soviet Union, is back at it, merrily thrashing about in its favourite Cold War wading pool.

Articles such as, "Russia takes complete advantage of castrated Armed Forces of the West," or, "Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO," or, "Modern Day America, One Step Away from the Third Reich," strike a very bellicose chord.



While some passages in the articles are laughable, the question arises whether the Russian public is being tuned up for a resumption of a full-blown Cold War.  The West is being presented as an out-of-control, potentially existential threat to Russia and her people and we seem unable to stop feeding their paranoia.  




Anyone Up For A Citizen's Arrest?

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 10:56


That is the question Toronto lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo essentially asks, given the egregious contempt for law that the Harper government in general, and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in particular, is showing regarding refugee health care:
Our government has clearly refused to comply with an order in a case in which the court found that the government’s denial of health benefits to refugees was a violation of our Charter of Rights (Ottawa’s Treatment Of Refugees Is Shocking – Nov. 7).

This defiance is in the face of the court refusing the government’s request to stay the order. Moreover, the government has publicly stated that it is obeying the court order, in spite of the clear facts to the contrary.

In my practice of law, I’ve represented trade union leaders who have gone to jail as a result of defying court orders. Perhaps it’s time for a citizen’s arrest of Immigration Minister Chris Alexander or indeed the PM, who likely authorized this defiance.

It’s time this government learned that the rule of law means the law applies equally to all. It is not enough to wax eloquently on Remembrance Day that we should honour our fallen soldiers who fought valiantly and died to protect the rule of law. We truly honour them by complying with the rule of law and not defying it!

Contempt of a court order is an insult to their memory.Recommend this Post

Dear Tony, You Can Kiss Our...

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:53

A group of Australians gathered on Bondi Beach to bury their heads in the sand in protest of their prime minister's fossil fuel fetish.

More than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Australia’s Bondi Beach on Thursday, mocking the government’s reluctance to put climate change on the agenda of a G20 summit this weekend.
Prime minister Tony Abbott’s perceived failure to address climate change is all the more galling in the wake of an agreement between the United States and China on Wednesday to limit their carbon emissions, they said.

“Obama’s on board, Xi Jinping’s on board, everyone’s on board except one man,” activist Pat Norman, 28, bellowed into a megaphone on the Sydney beach.

“Tony Abbott!” the protesters shouted back (presumably before they stuck their heads in the sand).

The Big Easy - Easy On Rapists

The Disaffected Lib - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:43


There's always been a seedy undercurrent to New Orleans - everything from street hustlers to corrupt politicians.  It's part of the flavour of the place.

Now it turns out the Big Easy has been going easy on rapists thanks to a municipal detective squad that couldn't care less.

... a city inspector general’s report claims five detectives failed to do substantial investigation of more than 1,000 cases of sex crimes and child abuse — with one detective being cited for stating a belief that simple rape should not be considered a crime.

The US Justice Department previously investigated the scandal-plagued police force and in 2012 the city agreed to a host of changes in its policies. Among the federal probe’s major findings were that the police force was rife with corruption and had numerous instances of excessive use of deadly force, discrimination and problems with its sex crimes unit. A federal monitor is overseeing compliance.

The latest city report charged that a detective handling child abuse failed to investigate a case involving a three-year-old brought to an emergency room due to an alleged sexual assault, closing the case without any charges even though the child had a sexually transmitted disease. The same detective closed the book with minimal or no investigation, and again with no charges, on two cases involving children brought to the emergency room with fractured skulls, the report said.

Another detective, this one assigned to handle sex crimes, allegedly told several people that simple rape should not be considered a crime, the report charged. Simple rape happens when a person has sex with someone without their consent.


Conservatives making stuff up

Dawg's Blawg - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 07:52
A recent spew of bigotry by Ezra Levant—for which he has now issued yet another empty apology (around @14:00), and substantially modified his “Canada Love It Or Leave” T-shirt hawking—reminds us that Conservatives habitually create ideological narratives that do not... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

The Pushback Against Dictatorship Continues

Northern Reflections - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 07:11


Michael Harris' book Party of One details how Stephen Harper has corrupted Canadian democracy. Now you can add John Ralston Saul to Harper's enemies list. Saul's latest book, The Comeback, focuses on the harm Harper has done to Canada's First Nations and the environment. Saul is particularly critical of the prime minister's use of omnibus bills. Lawrence Martin writes:

Saul devotes a chapter of his book to detailing how so-called ‘budget’ bills have been used by the Harper government as camouflage for making controversial changes to law — for example, downgrading environmental protections and changing unemployment insurance eligibility — with very little debate.

The Conservatives have defended the bills by saying that other governments have used them as well. This, says Saul, “is an intentional misrepresentation, which is to say, it is a lie.”
 Other governments passed omnibus bills:

Past governments have built packages of laws, Saul acknowledges, but he argues they tended to be linked by a single theme, were smaller than the Harper government’s omnibus bills and were subjected to more debate. The Harper bills are designed, he says, to short-circuit public debate: “The democratic function is eliminated as a reality. What remains is pro-forma voting.”

In twelve months, says Saul, “Parliament was bullied into radically altering 133 largely unrelated laws through two acts.” 
The pushback against dictatorship is now out in the open. Only time will tell if Canadians are paying attention.

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 06:55
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Krugman discusses the U.S.' multi-decade pattern of income stagnation. David MacDonald and Kayle Hatt study the price we've paid to suit the Cons' political purposes, while Kristin Rushowy reports on two new calls for a genuine child care system. And Andrew Jackson notes that the Cons' only real end goal has been to hand free money to people who don't need it:
The government forecasts a deficit of $2.9 billion in this fiscal year, (2014-15.) Yet there would almost have been a surplus this year if the government had not decided to introduce family income splitting for the current tax year of 2014, at a cost of $2.4 billion in the fiscal year 2014-15 in terms of reduced revenues.
...
The big winners are high income, single earner families where the higher earner has an income of at least $75,000 per year. They will receive tax refund cheques of $2,000 on the eve of the 2015 election.

In the context of rapidly rising income and wealth inequality, it is outrageous that the Conservative government’s priority is to introduce a tax measure that will actually worsen inequality and do nothing to lower child poverty or to fund a badly needed child care program.- Meanwhile, Toby Sanger highlights how austerity has undermined Canada's economy over the past few years by replacing efficient public investment with useless tax baubles:


- Which isn't to say that we're lacking for areas where public money can still be put to better use, as Don Pittis writes about the billions being funneled by governments into making climate change worse.

- Alison observes that while deep integration with the U.S. has taken multiple forms, neither its goals nor its proponents have changed one bit over the past decade.

- Finally, both Frances Russell and Lawrence Martin partially explain the Cons' destructive policies by looking at Stephen Harper's insularity and refusal to allow either any real outside input into his plans, or any debate over his unilateral decisions.

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 06:39
Here, on how user reviews and the wisdom of crowds don't do us much good if businesses are able to silence anything that raises concerns about them.

For further reading...
- Laura K makes a similar point here.
- CBC reports on libel chill here, including a discussion of the Ottawa property manager which managed to intimidate a tenant into pulling an unfavourable review.
- Again, Mike De Souza discusses Exxon Mobil's attempts to silence his reporting on ALEC here. Jenny Uechl and Warren Bell expose Canada's links to the Western Energy Alliance - including its dirty war against the public - here.
- And finally, CBC reports on Kinder Morgan's attempt to silence protestors and the #kmface movement which responded, while Lauren Krugel notes that there's ample reason to doubt Kinder Morgan's own spin.

What Will Be The New Excuses For Inaction?

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 06:38

H/t The Globe and Mail

Now that the United States and China have signed a deal to drastically reduce their carbon emissions, one can only imagine that the Harper propaganda machine is now in overdrive, probably squirming under the unwanted attention this deal will direct at the regime.

As noted by The Pembina Institute yesterday,
“Canada has long justified its own failures to limit the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by pointing to the inaction of heavy emitters like the U.S. and China, but that excuse does not stand up to scrutiny.

“With this announcement, China is showing real leadership on climate change. Given the energy demands of China’s growing population and economy, identifying a target year for its emissions to peak, along with a plan to invest heavily in clean energy generation, is a significant and ambitious step.
The Harper spin machine has some formidable facts it will have to twist and pervert if it is to continue facilitating climate change. Here are some of those facts as provided by the Institute:
- Canada is among the top emitters, per capita, in the industrialized world
- Canada and the U.S. have both committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
- The U.S. is likely to meet its 2020 climate target, while Canada is expected to miss its emissions target by 20% (122 megatonnes of CO2e).
Canada’s oil and gas sector regulations are now eight years overdue. In the meantime, emissions from the oilsands are set to rise from 34 megatonnes to 101 megatonnes between
2005 and 2020.
- Canada has regulated emissions related to 10% of the energy in its electricity system, whereas the U.S. has targeted all electricity emissions.
- Canada’s coal regulations are mitigating 0.4% of our emissions by 2020. The U.S. clean power plan would mitigate 4.9-6.6% of U.S. emissions.Perhaps the first salvo has already been fired, with the Conservatives employing a technique they have honed over the years - baldfaced lies and non-sequiturs. Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Harper, said
"Canada has taken decisive action to reduce emissions, while our economy has grown and over 1.2 million net new jobs have been created since the global downturn" Perhaps the regime will take a page out of the U.S. Republican playbook, which was quick and predictable in its denunciation of Obama's deal:
"I was particularly distressed by the deal ... which, as I read the agreement, requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emission regulations are creating havoc in my state and other states around the country," said U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.Or maybe, as illustrated in yesterday's post on Fox News' reaction to the deal, it will simply indulge in bafflegag or attempt to change the conversation. Already, as reported in The Globe,
Mr. Harper and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice insist Canada cannot impose costly emission regulations on the oil sands unless the United States adopts GHG rules for its oil sector.If none of these strategies work, I suppose Harper could just continue doing what he has done best for so long: bury his head in the Alberta tarsands.

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