Thursday, October 28, 2010 

Brad Wall Playing Political Games With Potash Motion

Progressive Bloggers

Saskatchewan's Legislative Assembly is reviewing a motion that urges the Harper government to block BHP's bid to take over the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Introduced by the governing Saskatchewan Party, the Legislative Motion asks for all Members to stand united in their message to the Federal government.

However, when Opposition Leader Dwain Lingenfelter offered to travel to Ottawa with Wall, in order to jointly bring the Legislative Motion to the Feds and to demonstrate a unified Saskatchewan stance on the issue, his offer was rejected.

On one hand, Brad Wall wants to say that Saskatchewan speaks with a unified voice on the Potash controversy. However, the Premier's intense political paranoia and insecurity has reared its ugly head.

Wall's Motion fails the 'smell' test.


10:18 AM - NOTE: To CBC Saskatchewan and Regina Leader-Post - Saskatoon Star Phoenix .. because none of you are carrying any news items on the Potash Motion being dealt with in the Legislature today, I am forced to use the only news item available on the issue ... Winnipeg Free Press

Later that same day ..
-CBC Saskatchewan ...
-Regina Leader-Post

... more potash ...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 

Debunking Right Wing LIES Concerning The Sustainability Of Public Health Care

Progressive Bloggers

In recent days, former Conservative Prime Minster, Brian Mulroney and sitting Liberal Member of Parliament, Keith Martin have both been spreading lies concerning Canada's public health care system.

Frances Russell debunks these lies and myths in a 'bang on' commentary in today's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press:

"There's a central fallacy in the privatize medicare crusade. "Unsustainable" public health spending will magically become sustainable simply by shifting costs from the taxpayer to the patient and from the wealthy to the sick.

"Bluntly, this is a lie," says Canada's pre-eminent health economist, Dr. Robert Evans.

Canada can afford medicare, Evans told a June 17 House of Commons MP breakfast briefing and press conference sponsored by the Canadian Health Coalition. What it can't afford is the $300-plus billion in tax cuts handed out by Ottawa and the provinces since 1997, coupled with the double-digit rise in private health costs not covered by medicare and the inappropriate use of expensive and often unnecessary services.

Evans went on to debunk what he calls the four "myths" fuelling the campaign to destroy medicare. Driven largely by the insurance industry, it hasn't stopped since Saskatchewan founded medicare in 1962. It took on dramatic new life recently thanks to three developments. A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warns Canada faces "unsustainable" health costs and says "revenues could be raised and excess demand curbed, by implementing... co-payments and deductibles." Disgraced former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier is fronting a national campaign to terminate all national social programs, including medicare, and transfer the federal tax points to the provinces. And former Reform-turned-Liberal MP Keith Martin is calling medicare "obsolete" and a "shibboleth" and proposing it be "modernized," allowing patients "to pay for care if they wish in entirely separate facilities funded solely by the private sector."

All three initiatives are buttressed by a sympathetic federal government and a weak official opposition, according to Mike McBain, head of the Canadian Health Coalition.

"The OECD always clears its reports with the government of the country first," continues McBane. "No one can believe Bernier is doing this on his own without the prime minister's blessing. We're talking about the end of our national health system and allowing the provinces to do what they want. (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper is looking the other way and (Liberal Leader Michael) Ignatieff is weak."

And this despite the fact Canadians consistently rank health care their top priority and a CHC-commissioned Nanos Research poll found only eight per cent of Canadians want to switch to private health insurance.

The 92 per cent of Canadians who know they're better off financially with medicare can take solace in Evans' evisceration of the privatizers' "myths:"

Myth One: Canada's aging population will make health care unaffordable. Private health-care services, not an aging population, are driving health-care spending, says Evans. "The key cost-drivers in health-care services are the private, for-profit parts -- pharmaceuticals, dental, diagnostic tests and other non-insured services. Population aging increases health-care costs at only 0.8 per cent annually."

Myth Two: Health-care costs are eating up all the provincial budgets and crowding out other services. Medicare spending takes up about the same share of provincial revenues as it did 20 years ago, says Evans. "However, between 1997 and 2004, cuts in personal and corporate taxes removed about $170.8 billion from government revenues." An additional $35 billion annually has been lost to tax cuts every year since. "As a result, other non-health-care programs were cut, making it appear that the share of the budget for health care was increasing."

Myth Three: Public health-care spending is skyrocketing out of control. Not only is Canada's public health-care spending not skyrocketing, it is stable and below the OECD average, says Evans. It's spending on private care that is driving cost increases. Between 1975 and 2009, medicare spending -- on doctors and hospitals -- has remained steady at between four and five per cent of Canada's GDP. When private spending on services not covered by medicare is included, the cost escalation shoots up to 12 per cent per year. "Clearly a public, single-payer system is the way to control costs," Evans says.

Myth Four: Privatization of health services will control health costs. "Privatization is a way to avoid cost containment and provides greater income opportunities for providers of care and private insurers outside public control," says Evans.

Last week, former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney called for a "serious, adult discussion" on medicare and said "some form of user fees and greater scope for competition within the system will be necessary." Counters Evans: "It's long past time for an 'adult conversation' about the winners and losers from eroding or dismantling public health care in Canada."


Frances Russell is a Winnipeg author and political commentator

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010 

Damn Liberal Member Of Parliament Who SHOULD Be A Bloody Conservative!

Progressive Bloggers

"Liberal MP writes user-pay prescription for health care:
(Dr) Keith Martin, a B.C. veteran of 17 years in the Commons, warns the existing system is “busting at the seams” and needs private-sector help. “We don’t need more studies we need action,” he said in an interview Monday. “We need the courage for politicians at all levels to start talking about the facts and to bury the ideology.”

The Globe & Mail

Shut the F@#K up Martin ... you're in conflict of interest and your idiotic crap should get you kicked out of the Liberal Party!! Ass!

Friday, October 22, 2010 

Sask Premier Brad Wall Wanted Upfront $1.5 BILLION 'Baksheesh' Payment From BHP For His Support Of BHP Potash Takeover Bid

Progressive Bloggers

"TORONTO (miningweekly.com) - A former senior advisor to Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Tom Flanagan, said on Friday that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's opposition to BHP Billiton's $39-billion bid for Potash Corp was "naked self interest in the most narrowest sense", and that Harper would likely approve the deal. [...] Flanagan went on to criticise the upfront levy of up to $1,5-billion that Wall wanted BHP Billiton to pay for potential future revenue losses.

"That strikes me as something that would happen in the third world," he decried. "I can't remember anything like that. This sends such a terrible message."
The Financial Times earlier said the levy sounded like "baksheesh" - or bribe - for regulatory approval. Also coming under fire from Flanagan was Wall's desire for the potash sales and marketing cartel, Canpotex, to continue.

Mining Weekly


"... there was still something a little gaudy about Wall wrapping himself in the Saskatchewan and Canadian flags just days after demonstrating a willingness to shake down BHP Billiton for a billion dollars upfront in exchange for the province's blessing for the takeover bid.

Really, if one was truly worried about a company taking over Saskatchewan's precious strategic resource, does a billion dollars upfront fix any problem beyond paying for a new football stadium?

And if BHP Billiton is willing to restructure its operation to the tune of a $3-billion benefit to the Saskatchewan government (albeit, down the road in deferred taxes) shouldn't the premier at least still be listening?

And how is squeezing a company for a billion dollars in cash consistent with an entrepreneurial, free-market Saskatchewan Party leader who in his 2004 "Promise of Saskatchewan" economic development paper railed about the "hammer of government" and the need to stop "the temptation, the tradition and the immediate political gratification of public sector intervention and politically motivated public investment"?

Can anyone imagine the outrage we'd be hearing if it were an NDP premier telling us that there's just no way we can trust a giant multi-national to keep its promises -- even if it gives that promise in writing?"

Regina Leader Post

 

Saskatchewan Potash Issue Has Many Pitfalls For Brad Wall

Saskatchewan's Premier Brad Wall is sounding a lot like the 'socialists' that he accuses the New Democratic Party of being. Over the years, Wall has never tired of accusing the Left of interference in the 'Free Market' and has done everything he can to curtail organized labour. Speech after speech in the provincial legislature has seen him venomously attack anyone who attempts to 'fetter' the ability of free enterprise to gouge every last penny of profit from consumers.

However, when it comes to the Potash industry in Saskatchewan, Premier Wall has now decided to define himslf as 'Comrade Wall' and has thrown all of his 'unfettered free market' rhetoric out the window. Why? I'll tell you why .. his political ass is on the line as this province watches the possibility of Billions of dollars of tax and royalty money escaping from the treasury.

The potential loss of these Billions of dollars to the treasury can be connected directly to the privatization of the potash industry that Wall applauded and participated in during the Grant Devine era.

The chickens have come home to roost. Wall's Right wing ideology has failed him and is about to fail the people of Saskatchewan. Wall knows it. Portraying himself as 'Comrade Wall' the great fetterer of free enterprise is a desperate strategy to keep the wrath of the public from his front door.

In the meanwhile, those on the Right who normally would support Mr. Wall are now wondering why
he is betraying the gospel of 'Free Enterprise'!

-Globe & Mail

Progressive Bloggers

Monday, October 18, 2010 

Does The Ottawa Sun Actually Pay Monte Solberg To Blow Smoke Up Our Butts??

After blaming the Leader of the Liberal Party for Canada's loss of a United Nations Security Council seat and then accusing the rest of the world of being 'unprincipled', the Tories are still spinning and spinning insane rationales for their lackluster performance.

"It was only natural that Portugal would win."
Monte Solberg
Ottawa Sun

Sunday, October 17, 2010 

The Daring Rescue Of Bob Rae .........

Friday, October 15, 2010 

How To Snuff Out Dissent In Canada - One Voice At At Time

Whatever happened to Canada? 'Freedom of speech' now only applies to Canada's many Right wing lunatics. Voices from anywhere else on the political spectrum are being silenced ... one voice at a time.

"Speaking to the media does not threaten public safety. These bail conditions are only aimed at silencing speech."
The Star

Thursday, October 14, 2010 

"It's Stephen Harper's policies that lost it for us " - Calgary Herald


Progressive Bloggers

"Those who were attempting to assess Canada's chances on Tuesday might have been able to see the handwriting on the wall on the day Prime Minister Harper finally addressed the United Nations General Assembly to promote Canada's candidacy: Despite jam-packed audiences during addresses by many other leaders, Harper spoke to a near-empty audience. That lack of interest in what Harper had to say was an ominous sign of where he stood in the eyes of other nations."
-Calgary Herald

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 

Brad Wall Ignores The Interests Of The People Of Saskatchewan At His Political Peril!

The People of Saskatchewan once owned the Potash Corporation of Sask.(PCS) before the Grant Devine Conservatives gave it away to the private sector to satisfy their flawed ideological beliefs. As a result, the Saskatchewan treasury is out billions and billions of dollars that should have been used for health care, highways, education, etc.

Now that the PCS is the target of global corporate multi-nationalism, it is time for the interests of Saskatchewan's people to be brought into the debate.

Lingenfelter Expands NDP Plan for Potash in USW Speech

NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter attended a town hall meeting hosted by the United Steel Workers (USW) in Saskatoon Tuesday evening to highlight and expand the NDP’s Plan for Potash while criticizing the lack of strong, decisive leadership shown by the Wall government on the issue. With the possibility of a takeover of PotashCorp by Australian-based BHP Billiton, Lingenfelter said the people of Saskatchewan have an historic opportunity to set the terms of how their potash resource is mined, processed, and sold.

“It has now been two months since the Australian mining giant, BHP Billiton, launched a hostile takeover bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan,” Lingenfelter told the crowd gathered at TCU Place. “In the face of these unprecedented economic events, what have we seen from the Wall government? Contradictory positions from day to day; no clear plan; not even a process to collect the views of the owners of this strategic global resource – the people of Saskatchewan.”

Lingenfelter added that the only action taken by the Wall government since the BHP bid was announced two months ago was a taxpayer-commissioned report which identified $2 billion in losses to the provincial treasury should the bid receive federal approval while recommending the government of Saskatchewan do nothing to influence the decision or protect Saskatchewan’s interests.

“While the Wall government has been content to provide absolutely no leadership or new ideas given the historic circumstance in which we now find ourselves, the NDP has publicly launched its Plan for Potash which lays out, in no uncertain terms, demands and conditions to be placed on any foreign corporation ultimately given the right to mine, process, and sell the potash resource belonging to the people of Saskatchewan.”

Having already called for an enhanced Head Office presence in Saskatchewan, Lingenfelter expanded the NDP’s Plan for Potash, laying out additional terms and conditions that the Wall government must negotiate with foreign corporations vying for the right to mine our potash:

• That the people of Saskatchewan be given a Golden Share in the corporation. A Golden Share gives the holder ‘veto power’ over all other shareholders, with respect to specific corporate decisions. In the case of the Saskatchewan Golden Share, it should be used to require:

o That all corporate operations will be registered under Canadian law, so that all profits are subject to Canadian taxes and all operations are subject to Canadian laws and regulations

o That the corporation’s Head Office, all of its senior executives and all of its senior marketing staff be permanently based in the Province of Saskatchewan, and that

o The corporation will continue to market its potash through Canpotex

• That the people of Saskatchewan own shares in the corporation, whether Preferred or Common Shares, that will see the people of this province participate in the corporation’s future profitability.

• In addition to participating shares, the Board of Directors of the corporation should include two representatives appointed by Saskatchewan

• The corporation will sign an agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan to adjust its potash royalties, such that the people of Saskatchewan will be made whole for any loss in royalties due to the construction of new or expanded mines or due to corporate tax write-offs from acquisition debt

• The corporation will sign an agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan to set immediate and long-term targets for the growth of Saskatchewan potash employment and Saskatchewan potash production

• The corporation will sign an agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan to commit to world class standards with respect to environmental stewardship, community corporate contributions, workplace safety, and increased involvement for Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal workforce and communities

• Finally, the corporation will agree to the creation of a Potash Review Commission, comprised of independent officers, who will determine whether the Corporation is living up to its commitments to the people of the Province, and who will have the power to enforce severe financial penalties if it is not

Lingenfelter said the NDP would bring its ideas to the Legislative Assembly in the upcoming session and will call on the Wall government to live up to its responsibilities to protect the interests of Saskatchewan people.

“Time is running short, but it hasn’t yet run out. If the people of Saskatchewan bring pressure on the Wall government, it will have no choice but to stand up and represent our best interests in these crucial coming days,” Lingenfelter said.

New Democratic Caucus

Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 

Canada Drops Bid For Security Council Seat After Coming In 3rd Place After Second Ballot

After an embarrassing vote count decline on the Second Ballot, Canadians officials withdrew from the race
CTV News

HARPER CUTS AND RUNS!
Globe & Mail

"Canada has dropped its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council after coming behind Portugal in second ballot voting Tuesday in New York."
CBC

 

Saskatchewan's First Nations To Sue Over Potash Riches

"A battle is brewing between the Saskatchewan government and First Nations over the province's potash riches.

The province's Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd says the government's position is clear -- it is happy to work with First Nations, but potash and other natural resources are under the exclusive control of the provincial government.

A group of First Nations preparing to launch legal action on the matter says the issue is not so black and white. Led by former Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations chief Perry Bellegarde, they say First Nations never surrendered any resources below the "depth of a plow" in the treaties.

With the province's potash industry under the microscope due to an attempted $38.6-billion US takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. by BHP Billiton, a growing number of experts agree it's time for the government to start negotiating a resource revenue-sharing deal with First Nations."


Regina Leader-Post

... editorial cartoon by Brian Gable courtesy Globe & Mail ...

Monday, October 11, 2010 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Even though in 2010 I have experienced a detached retina of my left eye requiring four surgeries, I feel that as a Canadian, I have a lot to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, October 07, 2010 

Conservative - Liberal Coalition Continues On ......

Liberals Join With Conservatives To Continue Derailing Democracy In Canada ...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 

Jason Kenney Comments On Conservative-Liberal Coalition Government



American War Resisters Will Be Extradited Because Liberal MP's Don't Care

Progressive Bloggers

 

Constructing Nuclear Reactor In Saskatchewan Could Triple Consumers' Power Bills But Sask Party Gov't Still Wants To Go For It!

There are a lot of politics attached to the Uranium industry in Saskatchewan. While both the New Democrats and the Saskatchewan Party have pro and anti nukes in their ranks, Brad Wall's government would love to build nuclear reactors in Saskatchewan for purely ideological reasons. Study after study over the years has demonstrated that for a province of only 1 Million people, nuclear generated power is simply not viable economically.

However that doesn't seem to sway some in Brad Wall's Cabinet, most notably, Energy Minister Bill Boyd. Mr. Boyd was a former leader of the provincial Conservative Party before joining the Saskatchewan Party and is a rabid pro-nuke.

This past July, yet another 'nuclear study' was completed:
"Constructing a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan could triple consumers' power bills and would not decrease greenhouse-gas emissions, said a report released Tuesday.

"It is an expensive option for Saskatchewan to pursue. It's not cost-effective," said Heath Packman, a former Saskatchewan government official and author of In the Red: The Green Behind Nuclear Power.

The report, commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), states nuclear power would have the highest capital costs of any energy form for Saskatchewan. It also says Saskatchewan's export market for surplus power "has been greatly exaggerated," as this power would be forced to compete with more cost-effective hydroelectric power from Manitoba, B.C., Washington and Oregon."
Regina Leader-Post

You would have thought that the matter would be settled for awhile, but Minister Boyd just can't help himself and .... well ... here we go again!
"If the 500 delegates at the Uranium 2010 conference in Saskatoon this week find it strange Saskatchewan -- the world's second-largest producer of uranium -- doesn't generate its own nuclear power, Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd wouldn't be surprised.

"I think they do. Absolutely I think they believe it is odd," Boyd said after a presentation Monday at the international conference.

But he doesn't expect Saskatchewan's energy generation to remain nuclear-free forever.

While a large nuclear reactor or two for the province remains out of the question for the time being, the minister repeated the Saskatchewan Party's belief that nuclear remains an option -- especially burgeoning small-reactor technology.

"If there are export opportunities or emerging demand for electricity in the future, then we'll have to re-evaluate that, or perhaps look at small nuclear technology that can bring nuclear technology on in small increments," he said.

In 2009, the government-established Uranium Development Partnership (UDP) recommended against moving forward with a large-scale reactor development, saying the economics and demand base for nuclear energy aren't yet at a level required for such a large-scale project.

Boyd remains optimistic Saskatchewan will one day use uranium mined from the Athabasca Basin to fuel a reactor of its own.

"I'm pro-nuclear make no bones about it."

Regina Leader-Post


Mr. Boyd is 'pro-nuclear' ... too bad that he isn't a bit more 'pro-the consumers of Saskatchewan'.

Monday, October 04, 2010 

Brad Wall's 'Unfettered Free Market' Nonsense Could Cost Saskatchewan Billions - Says Conference Board Of Canada

When Brad Wall worked for the Grant Devine Conservative government, he joined the ranks of those who advocated for and applauded the sale of the province's potash crown corporation. But now as Potash Corp is about to be taken over by BHP, the province stands to lose billions of dollars.

Right wing Premier Brad Wall will now kick and scream at the prospect of Saskatchewan losing control of the potash industry and the money that goes with it. Yet it is his failed free-market ideology that has placed the province in this bad position. But don't hold your breath waiting for Mr. Wall to temper his hard Right wing beliefs and admit that the privatization of the potash corporation was a bad move.

Wall will continue to give lip service to the ideology of 'unfettered free-markets' while he demands that his Federal Conservative brethern 'fetter' BHP's takeover of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

The people of Saskatchewan have already lost billions due to the Devine/Wall privatization policies .. they are about to lose billions more if you believe the Conference Board of Canada.


CTV News

Friday, October 01, 2010 

Scratch a Right Winger .....

.... and you know what you'll find! ......

 

Roughriders Played First Game 100 Years Ago Today - October 1, 1910


Progressive Bloggers

The Regina Rugby Club (which later changed its name to the Regina Roughriders, and subsequently to the Saskatchewan Roughriders) played it's first game on October 1st, 1910, against Moose Jaw. For this first game the Regina Rugby Club fielded Duncalfe, full back; Miller, Galvin, and Scott, halves; Ferguson, quarter-back; Frost, Handbrige and Urquhart, scrimmage; Merrick, Sheriff, Hamilton, Page, Porter, Mills, wings. The team colors were gold and purple. The final score was:
-Regina 6, Moose Jaw 16

 

American War Resisters Will Be Extradited From Canada Because Liberal Members Of Parliament Don't Care !

Alison at Creekside tells it like it is with regard to those Liberal Members of Parliament who now bear responsibility for the extradition of American war resisters who sought refuge in Canada!

Once again, the Conservative / Liberal Coalition takes Canada further to the Right! Thanks Liberals!


AWOL Libs defeat war resisters bill
"For want of just eight more votes, Bill C-440 - the war resisters bill to give protection to US Iraq war deserters - went down to defeat on Wednesday 136 to 143. The following eighteen Libs expedited that defeat by going awol on the vote :
Michael Ignatieff, Jean-Claude D'Amours, Ruby Dhalla, Kirsty Duncan, Marc Garneau, Albina Guarnieri, Dominic LeBlanc, Keith Martin, John McCallum, Brian Murphy, Anthony Rota, Judy Sgro, Michelle Simson, Frank Valeriote, Joe Volpe, Bryon Wilfert, and Lise Zarac,
with Lib Alan Tonks voting with the Cons against it.

Special mention goes out to Lib Frank Valeriote who was there at 6:25pm for the Criminal Acts Records vote five minutes before the vote on the war resisters bill, and who was on his feet again at 6:42 making a speech in favour of "revitalizing parliamentary proceedings through reforming question period" five minutes after it. Yet somehow Frank went awol in the middle here for conscientious objectors who don't want to fight the US war on terra.

Good job, Frank. You really want to "revitalize parliamentary proceedings"? Try showing the fuck up for what were once called liberal values. It was a Liberal bill.

Also present on Wednesday for the Criminal Acts vote but MIA five minutes later for the war resisters bill were Libs Kirsty Duncan, Brian Murphy, Judy Sgro, Joe Volpe, and Lise Zarac.

L-Girl at We Move to Canada has worked fiercely on behalf of US war resisters. She cites a letter written on Sept. 19 from a former head of the Immigration and Refugee Board to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In it Peter Shormer criticizes the following July 22 CIC directive concerning war resisters who claim refugee status in Canada :

"Military deserters from other countries have sought refugee protection in Canada. Desertion from the Canadian military is a serious criminal offence.
Therefore these deserters may also be serious criminals and therefore inadmissible to Canada."

What utterly bizarre logic. As per Shormer's letter to Kenney, the CIC directive goes on to specifically target US war resisters for exclusion from Canada by meddling in what should be independent case reviews by the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Luckily for Kenney and the Cons and the US war on terra, this time the Leader of the Opposition and 17 more Liberals had their back."


Progressive Bloggers

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
HEY IGGY!
Canadians won't vote for you because they ALREADY HAVE a Right Wing, reactionary Prime Minister!


Sad to think that there once were Liberal leaders who understood what is important in Canada:
"It has too often been too easy for rulers and governments to incite man to war."
Lester B. Pearson



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