Thursday, July 26, 2012 

Nuclear regulator loses radioactive Cesium-137 after training exercise for summer students ...


Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission launches probe to determine how ‘high-risk radioactive nuclear substance’ was left in Slater Street meeting room for three weeks

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 

How Brad Wall And The Sask Party Gov't Recruited And Later Stiffed Irish Workers

It's pretty well known in progressive circles, that the Sask Party administration of Premier Brad Wall is by and large influenced and controlled by the privatized potash industry. 

Case in point. In March, Premier Wall and a large ministerial entourage traveled to Ireland to help 'recruit' unemployed Irish skilled workers to come and work for Saskatchewan's Potash industry. Wall got lots of good press from our MSM. 

Well, to make a long story short, a number of Irish tradespersons accepted Premier Wall's offers and assurances and made the way with their families to the prairies of Saskatchewan. But after just mere weeks, the potash employers laid the Irish workers off!  

A huge inside scramble has been made to find them other work ... mostly to save Premier Wall's caboose from huge embarrassment. However, the Irish workers are not so agreeable to take work that is far removed from the work they were recruited and enticed to move to Canada for. 

You see, Saskatchewan Party ideology holds that a working person is a cog - exploitable and expendable. Keep their wages as low as possible. Give them lots of 'rah rah' and ensure that the well being of the corporate sector is maintained over the interests of the people at all costs. 

Free enterprise ... it's not all that free.

Historical:
Brad Wall has made 'Irish Errors' in the past ....  

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UPDATE 
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The general sentiment on a local Regina Right wing call in show towards the plight of these Irish workers is this .... they should receive NO sympathy. They should take whatever work they are directed to take and move wherever the company wants them to. 

This sentiment basically describes Brad Wall's "Saskatchewan Advantage" ... if you own a company in this province, you will ALWAYS be given the advantage! Working people are merely widgets.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 

NOT ONE CORPORATE DOLLAR To Go To Brad Wall's New Football Stadium - Funding Totally By Tax Dollars From City And Provincial Tax Payers


Brad Wall wants a new football stadium in Saskatchewan. Fair ball. I see no real problem with that .... I go to Roughrider games myself. 

HOWEVER .. I thought that Saskatchewan was this new Mecca of corporate expansion and prosperity! If you listen to Premier Wall, the corporate sector are the saviours of the province and we should scrape and bow and kiss their feet.

Yet in his huge plan to build a new football stadium .. how much corporate money (from the Oil industry and the Potash industry) is being contributed towards construction ...... ???? Nothing! ..... NOT ONE RED CENT!

See ...  'Free Enterprise' is not free.  The citizens who pay the taxes ALWAYS carry the burden with these damned Conservative schemes - whether through corporate tax cuts, money for banks or minuscule royalty regimes.



-Taxpayers Deserve Credit - Regina Leader-Post

 

Corporate Profits By Saskatchewan's Potash Industry Argue For Higher Royalties


The citizens of Saskatchewan own the Potash reserve that sits below the surface of the province. We own it. However, we allow private companies to mine the potash. In return, the owners of the resource (the people) are receiving approximately 10 cents for every dollar of potash that the companies dig up and sell. They get about 90 cents to the dollar - the citizens get about 10 cents from a combination of royalties and taxes. 

Many of us in Saskatchewan feel that we are being burned by Brad Wall's corporate world view. In Wall's world 'we all benefit when corporations make billions from our natural resources ....' or some such nonsense. 

Economist Erin Weir has some thoughts on the massive give away that occurs daily in Saskatchewan:

Mosaic Profit Argues for Higher Royalties 

 by Erin Weir - July 17th, 2012

Today’s Mosaic quarterly report provides further evidence that the Government of Saskatchewan should improve its royalty and tax structure to collect a better return on the province’s non-renewable resources like potash.
Quarterly Comparison
Despite higher potash prices, Mosaic paid lower royalties and resource taxes to Saskatchewan last quarter than in the same quarter of last year. In the three months ended May 31, 2012, Mosaic paid $100 million in provincial resource charges from over a billion dollars ($1,037 million) of potash sales.
By comparison, in the three months ended May 31, 2011, the company paid $108 million from only $982 million of potash sales. In other words, Mosaic’s royalty and resource tax payments to Saskatchewan declined even as the value of potash sales increased.
Reductions in provincial royalties and taxes were supposed to provide incentives for increased production. However, Mosaic actually mined less potash last quarter than a year ago (1.9 million vs. 2.2 million tonnes). The increase in sales values simply reflected higher prices ($455 vs. $404 per tonne).
Annual Comparison
The annual figures confirm that provincial royalties and resource taxes amount to only one-tenth the value of potash sold. In the year ended May 31, 2012, Mosaic paid $328 million to Saskatchewan from $3.3 billion of potash sales. In the year ended May 31, 2011, it paid $294 million from $3.1 billion of potash sales.
The amount of potash mined changed little from one year to the next (7.4 million vs. 7.3 million tonnes). The higher sales value instead reflected stronger potash prices ($448 vs. $359 per tonne). Windfall gains from higher commodity prices should accrue to the people who own the resource rather than to the companies that extract it.
Explanatory Note
Mosaic reports “Canadian royalties” and “Canadian resource taxes.” Since its Canadian potash mines are in Saskatchewan, these amounts represent the provincial Crown royalty and Saskatchewan’s resource surcharge plus potash production tax. There is an interesting breakdown on the second-last slide of Mosaic’s PowerPoint presentation.

 Progressive Economics Forum

Monday, July 16, 2012 

Bravo, Mr. Kinsella ... Bravo!

"It is also possible that Kenney truly believes in what he is doing. But if a single mother or child dies as a consequence of the legislation, Kenney’s political career will be at an end. He will be forever remembered as the pro-lifer who wasn’t. Jason Kenney, in sum, is a thug." 
Warren Kinsella
Toronto.sun.com 

 

Even Conservatives Wonder If 'Bully Boy' Tactics Are Working For Them Any More ...

"Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, who is under investigation by Elections Canada over allegations of a donation reimbursement scheme in his 2008 campaign expenses and who agreed on July 6 to meet with Elections Canada later this month, should put down his boxing gloves and assume a more lawyerly approach to the allegations against him, says a high-profile Conservative pundit."

"Mr. Del Mastro, Parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.), is under investigation by Elections Canada for allegedly breaching the Elections Act for exceeding his 2008 election spending limit when he wrote Holinshed Research Group a personal cheque for $21,000 for voter-identification calls, and is alleged to have tried to cover up the misspending by reimbursing donors through his cousin David Del Mastro’s electrical contracting company, Deltro. Mr. Del Mastro’s campaign return originally only showed $1,575 paid to Holinshed, but was later updated to include a $10,000 expense for Holinshed. [...]  

“He may want to take a polished sort of lawyerly approach to all this.” 
Tim Powers
Vice-president Summa Strategies
Hill Times

Friday, July 13, 2012 

Have a great summer weekend ....

 






It's the lazy, hazy days of summer .. too hot to blog ... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 

Harper Conservatives Spent $56,000 Tax Dollars For 'Last Penny' Photo Op ...


Stephen Harper's Conservatives spent $56,000 to get a photo op of the last penny being struck at the Royal Canadian Mint .... Bev Oda could have ordered 3500 glasses of $16 orange juice with that amount of tax money!!


OTTAWA — A penny for your thoughts on the penny? More like 5.6 million of them. 

The federal government and Royal Canadian Mint spent about $56,000 to have Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stamp the final Canadian penny produced for circulation during a news conference in May at the Mint in Winnipeg, new documents and data show. 

The Conservative government announced in the March federal budget it was ending production of the penny because it actually cost 1.6 cents to mint each of the one-cent coins, due to rising metal, labour and other manufacturing costs. Information obtained by Postmedia News, including documents issued under access to information, shows stamping the final penny at a news conference ultimately cost around 5.6 million times the coin's monetary value.
Vancouver Sun

We can't afford Stephen Harper's Conservatives!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 

What's Stephen Harper's Solution To The Reccession?

Monday, July 09, 2012 

Jason Kenney launches petition on his own website to thank himself ...

(Click on image to enlarge ....)

Jason Kenney launches petition on his own website to thank himself  


H/T to 'Not Steve Harper' ‏@pmoharper

Saturday, July 07, 2012 

Instant Karma For Tea Party Tax Cutting In Colorado Springs City

The majority of city councilors in Colorado Springs adhere to Tea Party tax cutting ideology. As a result, dozens of police officers and firefighters have had their jobs terminated to save a few bucks of city taxes. Oops! The recent wildfires around the city have resulted in hundreds of destroyed  and burglarized homes due to lack of adequate police and fire protection. 

As Colorado Springs battles a rash of burglaries after a wildfire that still licks at its boundaries, it does so with fewer police and firefighters. 

The city where the Waldo Canyon fire destroyed 346 homes and forced more than 34,000 residents to evacuate turned off one-third of its streetlights two years ago, halted park maintenance and cut services to close a $28 million budget gap after sales-tax revenue plummeted and voters rejected a property-tax increase. 

The municipality, at 416,000 the state’s second-largest, auctioned both its police helicopters and shrank public-safety ranks through attrition by about 8 percent; it has 50 fewer police and 39 fewer firefighters than five years ago. More than 180 National Guard troops have been mobilized to secure the city after the state’s most destructive fire. At least 32 evacuated homes were burglarized and dozens of evacuees’ cars were broken into, said Police Chief Pete Carey. [...] People are going to be looking at the aftermath of this disaster to see what is possible,” said Josh Dunn, an associate professor of political science at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. “How far can you go in cutting the size of city government?” 

The city, home of the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, is known for being conservative and libertarian. It “was the Tea Party before the Tea Party was cool,” Dunn said.


Bloomberg.news

Friday, July 06, 2012 

InterBank Rate rigging probe escalates in UK and Germany


(Reuters) - A global investigation into manipulation of interbank lending rates widened on Friday with Britain's fraud squad taking up the case and sources telling Reuters that Germany's markets regulator had launched a probe into Deutsche Bank.

Authorities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada are examining more than a dozen big banks over suspected rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). Britain's Barclays has so far been the only bank to admit wrongdoing, agreeing last week to pay a fine of more than $450 million. 

 The rate-fixing scandal has exploded into the front ranks of politics, especially in Britain, where politicians say the bankers responsible should end up in jail. [...] In Britain, the lack of criminal prosecutions of the rate fixing has been one of the issues infuriating politicians, after e-mails were published showing bankers boasting of fiddling figures and congratulating each other with offers of champagne.
Reuters

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 

Here's How Gas Companies Rip Us Off In Saskatchewan ...

Yet ... a 40 minute drive to the west, you find gas prices in Regina - a gasoline refining location.

And finally, here's Victoria BC which is NOT an oil producing location ...

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 

Just A Reminder ... When Capitalism FAILs .. It REALLY Fails!!

 

Potash Corp - Agrium - Mosaic - Potash Companies In US Courts For Price Fixing

In Brad Wall's Saskatchewan, Potash corporations hold a special, (some would say), untouchable status. Major potash players in Saskatchewan are in American courts facing allegations of international price fixing. This should be big 'news' in this potash producing province ... but it isn't.

"For decades, people have accused the potash industry of operating like a cartel to keep prices artificially high. They are now closer to having their day in court. Last week, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago sent shockwaves through the fertilizer industry by ruling that an antitrust suit against potash producers should go ahead. That reversed a prior court decision to dismiss it, and set the stage for a legal battle that could run for years. The class action suit alleges that seven Canadian, Russian and Belarusian companies have colluded to keep U.S. prices elevated, effectively acting as a “global cartel”. The defendants, including Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc., dominate world supply." Financial Post

Monday, July 02, 2012 

"Medicare is part of us" - Roy Romanow


Health care is fundamentally intertwined with Canada's values and future 

By Roy Romanow
Globe and Mail
July 2, 2012
July 1, the birthdate of our great nation, is also the birthdate of Canada's emblematic health-care system. And this weekend we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the introduction of medicare in Saskatchewan. Now often referred to as unsustainable, this milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the hard fought accomplishments of the past, to re-evaluate today's system and to consider the growing debate about its future.

Until 50 years ago, Canada's health-care system was based on the private, for-profit model. Patients individually paid for the services of medical professionals and hospitals. Often, those who could not afford health care did not receive it, and even some who could did so by deferring treatment, hoping to save their family budget. Since then we have built a national system, lauded around the world, that allows us all access to high-quality care.

The achievement of universal health care took a long, acrimonious and protracted road. It is no surprise to me that Saskatchewan was at the forefront of this journey. The province's citizens learned many hard lessons during the desperation of the Great Depression and the sacrifices of the Second World War. They learned about generosity, about hardship and fairness, about boom and bust. They learned about the imperative for co-operative action. They came to understand that the notion of shared destiny was key to our existence.


And so it is with other regions in Canada, where geography and demographics may vary, where many waves of immigration began with an initial sense of isolation, but where we all learned to see survival and progress as a test of our ongoing ability to come together and to remain united around shared values.

Canada's history offers a strong and rich legacy of success that has forged our country. It is this legacy of a shared destiny that is key to understanding our young but dynamic history. Today, as we find ourselves living in complicated times, I believe it is this same legacy that remains the road map to our future, at home and abroad.

Before we give in to despair around the present-day mantra that our system is unsustainable, there are a few things we must consider. First, a universal, single-payer, public insurance model is both less costly and produces better population health outcomes than multipayer systems like the one that exists in the United States. This has been proven time and time again by study after study. Questions of sustainability can never be successfully addressed by moving incrementally backward to a private, for-profit model, at least not the sustainability of a system that remains accessible to all of us.

Second, if our political leaders are genuine in their desire to rein in health costs while maintaining a system for all of us, our task is clear, if not without difficulties. We must lay the groundwork for including catastrophic drug costs and bringing aspects of home care, long-term care and access to advanced diagnostic services into our not-for-profit system. Otherwise, costs will continue to escalate – without restraint and with relentless abandonment of those in need.

Third, we must also recognize that the well-being of our citizenry goes beyond health care; it is dependent on preventing illness and tackling the more fundamental barriers to good health, including social, economic and environmental factors. How we treat the environment has a direct impact on our health and the longevity of a sustainable economy. The growing gap between the rich and poor directly affects our health and the fiscal demands on our health-care system.

Every day, Canada faces new challenges that prompt key questions about what kind of people we are and what kind of future we wish to shape.

As we celebrate the birth of our nation and of medicare, we must ask ourselves: What kind of Canada do we want? Because, as I see it, the choice Canadians make about health care is fundamentally intertwined with our values and future.


Roy J. Romanow is co-chair of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing advisory board and a former commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada.


H/T to Medicare's 50th Anniversary

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Did You Know? 
The leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA is inability to pay for medical and hospital bills!

Sunday, July 01, 2012 

CANADA DAY - Let's Celebrate That Canadians Are DONE With Harper!


Conservatives Slide Behind NDP In Popular Support!



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