Here is a veritable buffet of posts which I've made to my Facebook account in the last few days. All have links to external sources. I'm reposting here for those of you who aren't yet my friends on Facebook! *hint hint*
No Plans to Address the Budget Deficit
A good article from MacLeans magazine which exposes the fact that neither the Liberals or Conservatives have any idea how they're going to get our $56 Billion deficit under control. At least no plan that they care to discuss with the public. Sure, there's a lot they could do -- spending cuts, raising taxes -- but neither Party is going to come clean on what their "sound financial plan" actually details before an election is called. MacLeans refers to this as a political "strategy", presumably one parties engage in to fool voters and avoid meaningful discourse. Well, guess what? Taking an axe to a $56 Billion deficit is something which Canadians need to be engaged about. Our input is necessary, before an election. If the Liberals and Conservatives want to pull the wool over our eyes and shut down any discussion, they'd best think again. What about those fighter jets? Massive new jails? Rolling back corporate tax cuts? Implementing a price on carbon? In the Liberal/Conservative world, it's just best not to talk about that sort of thing.
Front Yard Gardens - Things You Didn't Think of When You Planted Those Pumpkins
I initially thought that this might be an interesting story about a City persecuting its residents who have the audacity to grow produce in their front yards rather than their backyards (and certainly the story is spun that way). But really, the "Letter" from the City here references only growing a food garden in the municipal right-of-way, which is technically public property. I suspect that Toronto's Transportation Department would rather see grass growing in the right-of-way because it's better for sight-lines than tomato plants. Still perhaps worth a read, if for no other reason than to witness one-sided spin in action. The moral of the story, though: keep your gardens out of the right-of-way!
Liberals Like Scabs
The Liberals vote to kill federal legislation which would prohibit the use of replacement workers used during a strike. Now, as this legislation was proposed at the federal level of government, the reality is it would have only impacted strikes involving federal government unions, so it's application would have been extremely limited. That's not the point, however. What this vote by the Liberal Party is telling Canadians is that Liberals, like Conservatives, will continue to put the interests of big business over that of individuals. In the Capital vs. Labour situation, Libs and Cons consistently come down on the side of monied capital. Thanks to Jack Layton and the NDP for pointing out yesterday's vote. And if anyone is curious about where the Green Party stands on this issue, The Green Party of Canada has also consistently supported anti-scab legislation at the federal level. Green MP's would work with the NDP to make anti-scab legislation a reality.
Sudbury Cyclists Union Municipal Candidates Survey
Here's some great coverage of the Sudbury Cyclists Union's first-ever municipal candidates survey! Kudos to Dan and Marisa and everyone else who was involved in putting this survey together. For the first time ever in Greater Sudbury, municipal candidates responded to a survey which dealt specifically with the needs of the cycling community! Check out the coverage, and then check out the survey!
Jeff MacIntyre for Ward 12 Councilor
Here's my great, green friend, Jeff MacIntyre, in action on the opening night for his municipal campaign office. Jeff, who is running for Councilor for Ward 12 (which encompasses the northern downtown, the Flour Mill and a good chunk of New Sudbury west of Barrydowne), is talking about building a better, smarter community. He's got his priorities straight, that's for sure.
Richard Pacquette for Ward 4 Councilor
Richard Paquette wants to be Councilor for Ward 4. With the election only a few days away, he sets his sights on criticizing traffic calming measures here in Ward 1. Good for Paquette! Clearly, he is going to stand up for what he believes in throughout the City, and not just focus on ward issues and politics.
And he'...s absolutely right about using cycling infrastructre to calm traffic. That's two points for Richard!
Preston Manning Calls Out Lousy Political Debates
I've long believed that our politicians and our media have been doing us all a disservice by dumbing down public discussion and debate about so many of the issues which are important to Canadians. Looks like I'm not alone, as former Leader of the Reform Party Preston Manning writes about this in today's Globe & Mail. ... Manning offers some great insight into how our public discourse has devolved into name calling. I particularly enjoyed that Manning tackles the question, "So what can we do about this?" and offers some very concrete answers. One of those answers: since extremism sells newspapers and generates ad revenues for radio and TV, ignore the soundbites from debates proffered by the mainstream media as "newsworthy" and instead go directly yourself to source materials for real answers. Way to go, Mr. Manning!
George Monbiot Looks At Who Gets the Short End of the Austerity Stick in the U.K.
George Monbiot looks at austerity measures introduced in Britain from the point of view of what programs and agencies weren't cut by Britain's Conservative/Liberal government. Guess what? Programs and agencies to finance big environmental polluters and line the pockets of corporations and their cheque-writers won out.... Will Canada follow suit under a future Liberal or Conservative government? With a $56 billion defecit to address, I'd certainly bet on it. Monbiot refers to this approach as "Disaster Capitalism", which is using a disaster (in this case, economic) as cover for ideologically-driven "reforms" to reshape the economy for business interests.
Alberta vs. Norway: OECD Critical of Alberta Spending Oil Bounty
Alberta fritters away its future, and plans to invest in wildly expensive carbon capture and storage technology, which might not even work.
The B.C. NDP - Say One Thing, Do the Exact Opposite
An interesting blogpost from Chrystal Ocean, left coast commentator, regarding the B.C. NDP's recent problems with saying one thing but meaning something completely different. Carole James needs to figure out a way to shape up, or she'll be shipped out.