Monday, June 27, 2011

Tim Harper: NDP stood up to bulldozer without getting crushed -

They have left no doubt — they will use legislative muscle to blunt the inalienable right of workers to withdraw services as their last bargaining tool, even going as far as to demand that workers accept less than their employer had offered.

The federal New Democrats stood with workers in this country and they did so knowing full well that — according to one public sounding last week — seven of 10 Canadians backed Harper and just wanted their mail.


But this marathon showed something else over the weekend.

An NDP caucus that we in the media have often derided as a collection of kids and accidental MPs grew up real fast.

Exhibit A: Charmaine Borg, the NDP MP for Terrebonne-Blainville and all of 20 years old, who spoke for future generations as a member of that generation.

“We must oppose (back-to-work legislation) for the workers of yesterday who fought for collective negotiation rights, for today’s workers who want to maintain their rights and for the future workers who want to exercise those rights,” she said.


The bulldozer was always going to win but that doesn’t mean you just wave it through.

If it looks like Layton and his gang jumped out of the way, it’s because sometimes, it’s just smart to make a point, then get out of the way before you are crushed.

Thank you Jack and the NDP MPs - you made me proud!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Abolish the House of Pork

LinkJack is right on ~

NDP leader Jack Layton said Tuesday that the proposed reforms just reinforce his party’s view that the Senate should be abolished. Just before the last election, the NDP introduced a bill to hold a nationwide referendum on scrapping the Senate.

“They are going to create a monster here, because you will have at the end of the day … an elected body that may or may not be elected, that the Prime Minister may or may not accept the recommendations that come out of an election,” Layton said. “It’s going to be one ugly scene and throughout that generation, we will spend $100 million a year feeding this beast which will by and large stand in the way of democracy in this country … It’s a disaster for Canadian democracy, all wrapped up in the guise of Senate reform.”

Stick a fork in it! From what I've seen within comments of online newspapers, commenters the majority of Canadians appear to agree with dumping the House of Pork.

Not sure ~ call a referendum & test the "will" of the electorate! That's democracy baby!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back-to-work legislation imposes lower wages than Canada Post’s last offer -

Back-to-work legislation imposes lower wages than Canada Post’s last offer -

“Imposing wage increases that are lower than Canada Post’s last offer punishes postal workers for a disruption that was caused by the corporation’s national lockout,” said national president Denis Lemelin.

Union Busting plain and simple - call now for General Strike!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toronto residents prepare to set sail for Gaza -

Toronto residents prepare to set sail for Gaza -

Tahrir, the Canadian boat and the supplies it will carry, will cost about $350,000. The money has been raised in a simple grassroots-level campaign, said organizers. Besides 32 Canadian activists, there will be 10 other delegates from Denmark, Belgium and Australia and at least a half-dozen journalists on board.
god speed!

GuelphMercury - Are the Conservatives ‘gerrymandering’ donor dollars...

GuelphMercury - Are the Conservatives ‘gerrymandering’ donor dollars...

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the impending change is the transfer of funding influence from active voters, regardless of income, to a miniscule minority of wealthy Canadians. The per-vote funding subsidy allowed the 60 per cent of Canadians who voted to make a straightforward contribution to their party of choice. Less than one per cent of Canadians make direct federal political donations. The power of these donations is grossly distorted as they can trigger up to 700 per cent in matching public funds through a multiplier effect. It works like this: I make a donation of $100. At tax time the amount I owe is reduced by $75, which really comes out of the public purse. During an election year, with my $100 in hand, the party can spend $200, knowing they will get an electoral expense reimbursement of $100. At the end of the day, my net donation of $25 has now triggered $175 of public funding.

To make matters worse, the ability to fund political parties does not meet the test for all Canadians to able to participate equally. The federal political donation tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit. It reduces the amount of tax owing. If I am a senior on old-age security, a student, or a stay-at-home-parent with no taxable income, I receive no benefit whatsoever. A $100 donation costs me the full $100, while a wealthier Canadian will only be out of pocket $25. This means that it costs low-income Canadians up to four times as much to support their party of choice. Canadians with zero personal tax owing represent one-third of tax filers. This means that as many as eight million Canadians are unfairly handicapped when it comes to private donations.


A court challenge may be Canadians’ only option to confront this financial gerrymandering.

How to be ‘Un-Canadian’ | StandingStill

How to be ‘Un-Canadian’ | StandingStill

Thank you to Cinova for speaking "truth to the dominate narrative" when the visuals show "sense of entitlement"!~

There is scant mention of the sense of entitlement on display from these adult men, the majority of whom would be aged between 17-30. Let’s be honest in our depictions of who did what. These predominantly white adult men kicked, jumped on, overturned, and set fire to police cars and then proceeded to leap over the flames, proudly filming their antics, to later post on youtube. They smashed windows and grabbed their booty of expensive merchandise from Canadian department stores like The Bay. Analogies have been drawn to the civil unrest and chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina, and the G20 summit protests in Toronto last year. This is another grave mis-representation. The behaviour of these men does not constitute a ‘protest’, because they have absolutely nothing to protest about. Furthermore, they were not looting because they were in desperate need of food or other provisions, or because their home or livelihood had been lost. They were vandalising and looting simply because they could and willfully chose to, with wanton disregard for their fellow citizens, community and authorities. And therein lies the entitlement. Martin Luther King famously said that “riots are the voices of the unheard“. Perhaps the assault on Vancouver should be considered an ‘anti-riot’ in that it brought attention to voices that speak too loudly and are too often heard in privileged societies.
Even more bizarre (and of some concern) are the accusations now being directed at “anarchists” and “left-wing extremists”, claims that the rioters were the very same individuals and groups that “wreaked havoc” at the Olympics and G20 protests. And this scapegoating is coming from the Vancouver chief of police. It seems that no respectable Canadian wants to claim these ‘thugs’ as ‘your average Joe’, Canadian men who attend their universities, work on their oil fields and farms, play in their sporting teams, drink kegs of Molson beer at their bars and live in their nice, respectable neighbourhoods. That would be admitting the unthinkable. That would entail a close consideration of the question: what does our society produce and re-produce?

The sad, painful truth about the Vancouver rioters’ true identities - The Globe and Mail

Many years ago, a study by criminologist Alan Listiak into poor fan behaviour during Grey Cup week suggested that the truly oppressed are often the least likely to exhibit the kind of actions witnessed in Vancouver this week. Rather, time and again in North America, violent behaviour at festivals and sporting events tended to be more accurately identified as “middle class blowouts” than rational political protests.

The sad, painful truth about the Vancouver rioters’ true identities - The Globe and Mail

Cherry needs to apologize the pinkos!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Layton at convention: NDP is set to form next government -

Going from Protest to POwer

There is only one Alternative govt in waiting ~
"I know that we're not going to let them down because, step by step, working together, we can and we will build the Canada of our dreams," Layton told some 1,500 deliriously jubilant New Democrats.

"And we don't dream little dreams here at the NDP. We dream big dreams."

Dreaming ~

“We should never, never be afraid or ashamed about dreams. The dreams won’t all come true; we won’t always make it; but where there is no vision a people perish. Where people have no dreams and no hopes and aspirations, life becomes dull and a meaningless wilderness.”
from Johnson, A. W. Dream No Little Dreams: A Biography of the Douglas Government of Saskatchewan, 1944-1961. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.

Welcome to the Party ~
Why did the Canada Goose cross Vancouver's Georgia St.? To get to the NDP convention of course

Joining 1,500 deliriously jubilant New Dems @ the party's50th anniversary!

Dream No Little Dreams ~ Orange Crush in 2015

Friday, June 17, 2011

TheStar Feds reject nearly half of G20 compensation claims

TheStar Feds reject nearly half of G20 compensation claims

Harper Cons don't give a rat's ass about Toronto business owners - isn't that the Cat's meow!

Critics argue that many businesses were unfairly disqualified as a result, and the compensation process itself has been criticized as costly and cumbersome, leaving many small businesses to abandon their applications entirely because they couldn’t afford the accounting.
The government budgeted $10 million to help Toronto businesses recover losses from the summit weekend but has so far awarded less than one-fifth that amount.

The claims totalled more than $11 million, but less than $2 million has been handed out. Another 161 claims were wholly rejected; 37 more are still awaiting decision.


Meanwhile Tony Clement takes $50 million of taxpayers' money and spreads it around his riding for nice toilets - no paper work necessary!


They were just doing the "CON JOB" on you business! STOP HARPER!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Tyee – Why Striking Postal Workers Deserve Support

The Tyee – Why Striking Postal Workers Deserve Support

Swift, of course, is supposed to represent the interests of small and medium businesses. I wonder who she thinks spends money at her members' establishments: people on welfare or earning minimum wage or those with decent wages and salaries -- like those in unionized jobs. Even the IMF has been warning countries lately that if they want to have sustained, stable economic growth they had better pay attention to inequality. According to a recent IMF study: "...attention to inequality can bring significant longer-run benefits for growth. Over longer horizons, reduced inequality and sustained growth may thus be two sides of the same coin."

It is very unions matter - and why getting out and supporting the postal workers is paramount to us all!

Must be the best article in "why unions matter" to each and everyone of us - hug a postie & walk a mile on their beat! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In the EU, banks’ armoured cars drive over the taxpayers - The Globe and Mail

In the EU, banks’ armoured cars drive over the taxpayers - The Globe and Mail

Finally a Main Stream Voice of Reason ~

Unless a compromise is found in the next few weeks, Greek taxpayers will suffer the equivalent of medieval torture to keep the European banks intact. Ditto Ireland and Portugal. Impoverishing countries to protect bondholders is not just immoral, it is economically counterproductive. The deepening recession – and social unrest – in Greece tells you that.
And I am wondering with each time Banks, investors, bondholders, and hedgers sink our global economy that just maybe they are not the smart but just plain greedy - either regulate them or nationalize them instead of rewarding total incompetence!

This has been a long time coming for me but I want the Bank of Canada back again!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Auditor general questions G8 funding defence - Politics - CBC News

Auditor general questions G8 funding defence - Politics - CBC News

Acting auditor general John Wiersema is questioning the government's assertion that a border congestion fund is often used for projects that are not in border communities.

Wiersema expressed his concern Friday, a day after he tabled former auditor general Sheila Fraser's final report on G8 and G20 spending that put Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government on the defensive.


His office's report showed that Parliament was never told $50 million for a G8 legacy infrastructure fund was part of a submission to approve $83 million for the Border Infrastructure Fund.

Harper responded that the Border Infrastructure Fund is "frequently" used for projects that are not in border communities.

"If monies earmarked for border infrastructure are being used for other purposes in addition to the G8 legacy fund I would have the same concern that I had with respect to using that fund for the G8 as well. If that's happening, I don't think it should be," he told CBC News.

"The ends don't always justify the means, especially in the public sector when we're dealing with taxpayers' money. There are important rules that need to be respected and the government has shown that it can respect them," he said.


Scarborough NDP MPP Michael Prue conducts an animated auction to drum up funding for the NDP during the Scarborough Centre and Scarborough Southwest NDP provincial nomination meeting, June 11, 2011.

Transformational Change ~ riding the Orange Wave


Ryan Palmquist, a 23-year-old fundraiser with the NDP's provincial office, said it's an exciting time to be a New Democrat and that the generation has turned.

“I noticed that older people were always complaining about the government of Bob Rae. I say, ‘Who's that?' I mean, gimme a break. I was barely born then. It's good times. It's exciting, actually. It feels good to be involved in something that matters.”

Oh, what a feeling...

“All those people voted for us. They didn't go away. There's a feeling there.”

MPP Michael Prue told the meeting: “When change comes, it comes very quickly. And in this election in Ontario, we have the same kind of dynamic we had federally.

“We have a leader who is disliked. His initials are Dalton McGuinty. And we have a leader who is mistrusted. And his initials are Tim Hudak. And then we have the NDP. And I tell you, people are out there looking for alternatives . . . The time is right for New Democrats.”


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: David Tkachuk Has No Moral Authority to Criticize Brigette DePape

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: David Tkachuk Has No Moral Authority to Criticize Brigette DePape

absolutely the best blog post I read today - Tkachuk has absolutely no credibility what-so-ever! The Senate needs to check the security of the appointed Senators before being concerned about peaceful protesting Pages - this guy's background read likes a rap sheet!

for background read -

Senate reviews security checks after page protest

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Mallick: Rebel page is the real thing -

Mallick: Rebel page is the real thing -


Shorter ~ I have never heard the Harper-managed Canadian slide into backwater status put more eloquently. Well played, Brigette. She’s bright, she’s brave, she made her stand. If that makes her elitist — Harper’s favourite pejorative — so be it.

And the Empire has no clothes!

DON'T SHUT-UP BUT STANDUP ~ but oh my god

“A courageous and peaceful example of protest,” one emailer wrote. “I’m surprised she wasn’t Tasered.”
Franks: Page’s protest sets poor precedent

Counter punch
Brigette DePape’s breaking of the rules governing the behaviour of the staff of Parliament was not civil disobedience. She was not protesting a specific law or policy. She was simply objecting to the results of a democratic nationwide election in which she, along with every other citizen 18 years or older, was entitled to vote. Her act was amusing, and held a sort of childish charm. But it offended her professional responsibilities.

Oh please, Brigette was protesting our sham of a FPTP system of elections in which the few get to govern the many! And Brigette used her position in an elite space to speak truth to power for all the world to see - good for her!

Geist: EU/big pharma deal would raise health care costs -

Geist: EU/big pharma deal would raise health care costs -

International EU Trade Deal ~ good for corporations & bad for Canadians

Take big pharma
International Trade, may not be household name, yet the B.C. Minister is set to play a key role in one of Canada’s top domestic priorities — health care costs. The link between international trade and health care is not immediately obvious, but a proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union could have big implications for the costs of pharmaceutical drugs, on which Canadians spend $22 billion annually.

The E.U. is home to many of the world’s big brand-name pharmaceutical companies, and one of their chief goals is to extend Canada’s intellectual property rules to delay the availability of lower-cost generic alternatives.

Chamber of Commerce creates BOGUS RESEARCH
Earlier this year, the Canadian Intellectual Property Council, an advocacy group within the Chamber of Commerce, released a report claiming that Canada lags behind other countries and encouraging the Canadian government to follow the European example by extending the term of pharmaceutical patents and “data exclusivity.” The intellectual property council (which counts several brand name pharmaceutical companies as members) claims the reforms would lead to increased pharmaceutical research and development in Canada.

But last week University of Toronto law professor Edward Iacobucci released a study that thoroughly debunks the CIPC claims, predicting increased consumer costs and noting that there is little evidence the changes would increase employment or research spending.

The Iacobucci study, "INNOVATION FOR A BETTER TOMORROW: A CRITIQUE" reveals that

When generics enter, public and private plans obtain competitive drug benefit prices for reimbursement of a particular drug; competition brings pricing benefits that monopoly does not. This is especially the case after recent provincial reform of generic pricing, causing generic prices around the country to fall from 50-75 percent of the brand price to 25-45 percent of the brand price, depending on provincial market characteristics and trade restrictions (see table below). Lower, competitive prices for drugs tend to reduce the cost of private insurance plans, and bring potential social benefits by allowing public plans to reallocate resources to other aspects of the provincial health care systems, including other pharmaceutical products which are not currently reimbursed by provincial or private health care plans.

So Fast, trade negotiators and policy makers better read this document and act on Canadians behalf and not big Pharma!

Iacobucci points out that competition from generic pharmaceuticals can have an enormous impact on consumer costs. For example, when generic alternatives to the cholesterol medication Lipitor appeared on the market in 2010, annual revenues for the drug dropped by $350 million. Given the billions spent on pharmaceuticals each year, rules that delay generic competitors can lead to huge additional costs.

acobucci also questions the premise that increased intellectual property protection for pharmaceuticals will invariably lead to job growth and increased research and development spending. On the employment front, he notes that the brand name and generic pharmaceutical companies are both big employers in Canada — 15,000 employees for brand name and 10,000 for generics — and policy changes might not yield any net new jobs.

Iacobucci challenges the notion that because intellectual protection is good, more protection must be better. The report notes that this is particularly true in the Canadian context, which is a small player in the global pharmaceutical market. Canada represents only 2.5 percent of the world market, meaning that Canadian laws have little impact on international incentives to innovate.

PAST CANADIAN GOVT SCREWED CANADIANS ~ REMEMBER THIS ~ NO? (hint ~ Mulroney Conservatives screwed us too!)

In fact, Iacobucci reveals that previous Canadian attempts to use policy levers to generate increased pharmaceutical research have largely failed. In 1987, Canada began enacting a series of reforms with the promise from brand name pharmaceutical companies that their research and development budgets would equal at least ten per cent of domestic sales. The government kept its end of the bargain with changes that delayed the entry of generic drugs by up to two years and granting eight years of data exclusivity. Yet despite the reforms, Canadian research and development spending has regularly failed to meet the ten per cent target.

Moreover, while the percentage of research and development spending may not have increased, Canada’s pharmaceutical trade deficit certainly has. In 2000, the Canadian pharmaceutical trade deficit — the amount that imports exceeded exports — stood at $3.7 billion. By 2009, the trade deficit had grown to a record $6.4 billion.

Those numbers help explain why Canada will face great pressure to favour brand name, predominantly foreign-based pharmaceutical companies. As Fast tallies the costs and benefits of further pharmaceutical reforms, the Iacobucci study confirms that there is little in it for Canada.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Taking the ‘N’ out of the NDP not crucial | Comment | London Free Press

Taking the ‘N’ out of the NDP not crucial | Comment | London Free Press


Regarding Warren Kinsella's column NDP not very new or democratic (May 31): Wow. I hope Kinsella feels better, having got that off his chest. Keeping such anger inside cannot be good for a Liberal, or anyone else with mountains of work to do. The substance of his rant is less impressive. I looked for the meat to back up the juicy headline and found he really didn't have much to say.


It's a measure of the party's grassroots energy that NDP members across the country had contributed, as always, so many resolutions for debate. Unfortunately, given the limited time available at a three-day convention, issues even more important than the "N" one failed to make it to the convention floor.


All resolutions we approve will be vetted by delegate committees; some will win a spot on the convention agenda. The convention process, including the election of party officers - Kinsella mentioned current president Anne McGrath - is entirely democratic.


Kinsella's other complaint about the NDP - that the party is dishonest about Quebec - echoes Michael Ignatieff's false accusation during the recent federal campaign that Jack Layton was saying different things in French and in English. CBC reporter Rosemary Barton, who was following the Layton campaign that week, put that one to rest. She pointed out that the NDP leader's speeches on Quebec were exactly the same in both official languages.


As for Layton's support of both the Clarity Act (which affirms a federal role in drawing up a straightforward referendum question) and the NDP's Sherbrooke Declaration (a riff on co-operative federalism that somewhat obviously defines a majority as 50% plus one vote), the inconsistency Kinsella sees is more apparent than real.

Layton can only be accused of respecting the asymmetric nature of Canadian federalism, of committing to act in good faith and of relying upon the outcome of negotiation among all the parties to mould a constitutional agreement - a slow and very Canadian process. As the Sherbrooke Declaration states, although the NDP opposed the reference to the Supreme Court in 1998 of questions around Quebec's right to secede from Confederation, it agreed with the court's judgment that "the future of Quebec within Canada is ultimately a political question and not a legal one." So, Mr. Kinsella, was that all you had to say?

Bring it on, and let's get down to the real issues of the day - abolishing the Senate, anyone?

Ho-hum throne speech missed a chance at history | Canada | News | Ottawa Sun

Ho-hum throne speech missed a chance at history | Canada | News | Ottawa Sun

Bits & Bites

It could have been so much more. For example, for years now in speeches at events around the world and the country, Harper has referred to Canada as a clean energy superpower. Why not use this speech to expand on that metaphor, to sketch out the broad strokes of a continental North American energy plan in front of the world's ambassadors who were sitting in the Senate gallery?

In 2 words ~ Tar Sands! The world knows that Canada IS NOT A CLEAN ENERGY SUPERPOWER & repeating that bull often won't change that goo into clean!

The speech from the throne was the perfect place to invite the nation to review, for example, Canada's foreign policy, to decide how and where we ought to respond to the Arab Spring, to a melting Arctic and to our American neighbours.

Harper would much rather keep his behind the scenes movements hidden from view and beneath the radar of Canadians who will be revolting against, for instance, the North American Paremeter agreement that is being done in secret and sells out Canadian sovernity.

The speech from the throne might even have noted the history already made by this Parliament - the youngest speaker in Commonwealth history, the country's youngest MP, the historic change in the official Opposition and elimination of the separatist Bloc Quebecois from Parliament. No one wanted a speech of partisan triumphalism but surely we could have expected some statesman-like nation-building and leadership.

Aren't you asking too much of a leader who in his past wanted to build a fire-wall around his beloved Alberta!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Salutin: The strange, and very political, death of hope -

Salutin: The strange, and very political, death of hope -

Take the economy. Everyone knows that the disaster of 2008, which has clearly not gone away, had nothing to do with excess government spending. It had/has to do with other things: loss of good jobs; wage stagnation; jumps in consumer debt to cover the losses; “financialization”; fraud; greed; lack of oversight — blah blah blah. Any rise in deficits came mainly from bailouts to banks, or needless warmaking. The point is: The catastrophe had/has no connection to government social or economic spending. Yet the only solutions proposed everywhere are public spending cuts.

And yeah it was like the 90s all over again - remember the lying Liberals with their campaign of Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Glad they are gone because their bogus progressive meme was all lies to support corporate welfare and the moneyed!

Let me note a special Canadian role in this hopicide. I’m thinking of Paul Martin, finance minister in the Liberal Chr├ętien government of the 1990s. The Liberals rose to power promising to reconsider free trade, end the GST and give the country universal child care. They did none. Instead they focused obsessively on ending the deficit by slashing public programs. Martin went from year to year and program to program like one of the manic unsubs on Criminal Minds. At the end there was no hope left for government activity. When he finally became prime minister and tried to compensate with a bit of child care, it was hopelessly late. The voters turned him out.

Recently the Mercatus Center in the U.S. hailed Martin a hero and urged their own leaders to emulate him. In case you aren’t familiar with Mercatus, it’s a right wing think-tank funded by the far-right Koch brothers and dedicated to ending government activity wherever possible, including limits on truckers’ hours and on arsenic in drinking water. This will be Martin’s legacy: verbal monuments erected with right-wing U.S. money to the death of public hope.

Martin Legacy - now that is so fitting!

Go NDP and never turn into Liberal lite!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Walkom: Unionizing the Wild West of bike couriers -

Walkom: Unionizing the Wild West of bike couriers -

Unions — particularly public-sector unions like CUPW — may be out of favour with the glitterati. But Barnhorst thinks they’re crucial.

“We can be fired on a whim,” he explains. “We’re at the whim of our dispatchers … Some of us are paid less than the minimum wage.”

Besides, there is a much more intangible reason, one that has to do with power and respect.

“The union,” Barnhorst says, “will let us talk to the company — in a way that they’ll listen to us.”

This is the new way of union organizing as large shop floors give way to mini floors, so to speak -

And there is a long way to go. The union figures there are 156 same-day delivery companies operating in Toronto. In total, they employ roughly 150 bike couriers, 150 walkers and 2,500 who deliver by car.

They are not self-employed because they have no control over their work or jobs!

Even more important, the Canada Industrial Labour Relations Board, which oversees workers under federal jurisdiction, doesn’t fall easily for the old wheeze — too often accepted by provincial regulators — that couriers are self-employed business people.

It treats them instead as dependent contractors — workers who, even though they are paid by commission, have virtually no control over their jobs.

Together they are stronger and become empowered to ensure better pay, working conditions, and protected against exploitation!

Law society accepts former escort as lawyer -

Law society accepts former escort as lawyer -
“We look at the totality of the individual and not just certain aspects of their lives.”

Smithen will be called to the bar on June 17.

Her friends and family will be there cheering for her.

But she knows no one will cheer more loudly than her daughter.

“She's so proud of me now,” says Smithen.

“She's my number one supporter.”

And at the end of the day that is all that matters!

Congratulations Kathryn Smithen ~ a super accomplishment ~ all your life experiences & understanding of how real life works will help you be a wonderful family lawyer!