Friday, September 28, 2012 

If I were a Liberal ... I would say ....

Ouch !!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 

Once In Awhile We Play A Little Jazz Around Here ...

"Streets Ahead" by Chris Botti ... #jazz


Environics: National Voter Intention - New Democrats Lead

A slip in the polls by the Conservatives has left the New Democrats in the lead nationally.


is CBC pulling our leg?

I think CBC is having a bit of fun with this story .... I can't imagine it being true.

However, a few years ago, Brad Wall ran into trouble with a misspelling of the word 'Saskatchewan' in one of his political TV ads (see above).

Just Wow ...   except it's a joke!

(Click to enlarge ...)

On Twitter #renameSASK

... yup! Nice try! ;)


Rona Ambrose .. Minster Responsible For The Repression Of Women.... SHAME!

"The Conservative Status of Women Minister who voted in favour of Wednesday night’s failed motion to study the legal rights of the fetus was hit with a torrent of criticism overnight from pro-choice Canadians. 

 MPs voted overwhelmingly against the motion, but 10 Conservative ministers – representing more than a quarter of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet – supported it. Dozens more backbench Conservative MPs and four Liberals also voted in its favour."
Globe & Mail

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 


Many Liberals believe in what can only be described as 'political alchemy'. They adhere religiously to the belief that if they can simply find the 'right' leader, they will in short order be returned to the halls of power - the political equivalent of turning base metal into gold.

But Justin Trudeau, himself. verified this alchemical belief in 2011 when he said:

"There has been an expectation that if we just pick the right person at the top, everything is going to be fixed. Because of the history packaged into my name, a lot of people are turning to me in a way that actually, to be blunt, concerns me."
Justin Trudeau
Liberal Member of Parliament

The Star

Trudeau is setting himself and Liberal stalwarts up for a huge disappointment. Justin Trudeau will never be the Prime Minister of Canada. Not gonna happen. The exchange of leadership from father to son has not worked out very well for any nation that has tried it ...... just sayin'


Tuesday, September 25, 2012 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty BEGS Corporate Sector To Create Some Jobs With The BILLIONS In Tax Cuts They Have Received

Is Finance Minister Jim Flaherty about to discover one of the most fatal flaws in Conservative Party ideology?

Those not afflicted with rabid conservatism know that the flaw is giving billions in no strings attached corporate tax cuts AND ASSUMING that these will equate into the creation of new jobs for Canada's economy. 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty sounds like he is flogging a dead horse and is leaving job creation up to his corporate brethren: 

“Our country’s long-term prosperity is linked to reaching beyond our borders for economic opportunities that serve to grow Canada’s trade and investment.[...] Our government cannot do this alone. Private-sector business investment must also help lay the foundation for a sustained, long-run expansion of Canada’s economy and job growth. 

The government has lowered corporate and personal income taxes, encouraged purchases of new technologies and equipment with capital cost write-offs and sliced bureaucratic red tape for businesses. But ultimately, it is up to you in the private sector to take advantage of all of these strengths and to invest, to create jobs and to grow our economy,” 
Hon. Jim Flaherty
Minister of Finance 

One year ago economist Erin Weir cautioned Mr. Flaherty on the flaws in this approach  ... but did Mr. Flaherty listen??  
-Erin Weir: Rationalizing Corporate Canada’s Cash Stash

Monday, September 24, 2012 

Why Economist Erin Weir Plays A Critical Role In The Sask NDP Leadership Race

Cruising, as I do, through my favorite Canadian political blogs, I came across the following comment on a post at 'Accidental Deliberations'. The post concerned the campaign to select the next leader of the Saskatchewan wing of the New Democratic Party. If you have any interest in the race, it's mandatory reading:

At this point, Trent Wotherspoon is clearly the virtue of merely *looking* like a leader. In Toronto, we are unbelievably honest about these things. Mayor David Miller successfully stormed into office using campaign posters which shamelessly declared he: "looks like a mayor".

But wait for the debates.
The overall tone and outcome of this race will actually be determined by Erin Weir.  I say this as a matter of fact, not as a matter of partisan support for Weir's candidacy.

Were he running in Ontario or British Columbia, Weir would rightly be dismissed as some lamb out to the slaughter. His CV would generate only mild interest & scattered applause.

But Weir is running in Saskatchewan, a province whose popular & political culture is informed by a resource boom. In this context, his CV gifts him the know-how to manipulate the provincial conversation.

If Erin Weir is not serious about winning, he will allow his opponents to remain in their comfort zones running as salesmen of emotional & visceral appeal. IMO, the outcome of such a race is predictable.

If Erin Weir is serious about winning, he will force everyone out of their comfort zones to confront the tiger that is the resource boom & its self-declared circus-master: Brad Wall. IMO, the outcome of such an effort is a bit more unpredictable.  

We will only be able to make proper calculations once Erin Weir has decided which game he wants to play. Again, this is a statement of fact...not an endorsement. Weir should be viewed as an unique combustible element whose potency is the product of a specific location & contemporary context.

Dan Tan.

Accidental Deliberations

Friday, September 21, 2012 


A rough guide to the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce
By Aaron Wherry
"In December 2009, the Harper government claimed to be “working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to develop a cap and trade system that will ultimately be aligned with the emerging cap and trade program in the United States.”

During the 2011 election, the Conservatives decided they opposed cap-and-trade. But what’s more, the Conservatives decided that cap-and-trade and a carbon tax were the same thing. And they have maintained this stance in attacking the NDP. Any attempt to establish a price on carbon, Conservative MP John Williamson informed the House of Commons on Monday, is a tax on carbon. Here then is part two of the farce. Because while the Conservatives were proposing cap-and-trade in 2008, they were loudly opposing Stephane Dion’s proposal for a carbon tax. If cap-and-trade is the same thing as a carbon tax, then the Conservatives were both proposing and opposing a carbon tax in 2008."

The parrot is not just resting 
by Dan Gardner
"Stephen Harper must be a colossal Monty Python fan because his government spent the past week re-enacting this skit, with NDP leader Tom Mulcair playing the part of the hapless customer and the prime minister and his caucus taking turns as the shifty-eyed clerk. Over and over the Conservatives thunderously insisted that the nation would suffer economic devastation if the NDP were to enact its “job-killing carbon tax.” Which was odd. Because, as you may recall, the NDP did not win the 2011 election. The Conservatives did. And after a year-and-a-half of Conservative rule, the government’s agenda is looking sparse. 

One would think that following the long summer break the resumption of Parliament this week would be a good time for the government to discuss its plans for the future. But, no. Instead, the Conservatives launched a full-scale public relations blitz against an old NDP proposal, as if the NDP were the government and only the plucky Conservative Opposition could stop it from destroying life as we know it. Like I said, odd. But that’s the least of the weirdness. The NDP does not support a carbon tax. It never has. In fact, in the 2008 campaign, when the Liberals under Stéphane Dion really did propose a carbon tax, the NDP under Jack Layton explicitly opposed the idea.

Case of the Conservatives’ carbon amnesia
by Jeffrey Simpson
"The Conservative Party’s attack machine, with its television ads, canned speeches and pre-written scripts, has always been constructed on exaggeration tinged with mendacity. To this, since Parliament resumed, can now be added flagrant hypocrisy, since the machine and its mouthpieces, Conservative MPs, are attacking with customary vehemence the very policy on which they once campaigned.
In 2008, the Conservative platform promised to “develop and implement a North American-wide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases and air pollution, with implementation to occur between 2012 and 2015.” Now, however, the Conservative attack machine denounces a cap-and-trade system, as conceptually proposed by the NDP, as a “carbon tax,” a job killer “that will increase the price on everything.”

Conservative Party deliberately repeatedly attempted to mislead the people of Canada 
THUNDER BAY – Leaders Ledger – This week Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada deliberately repeatedly attempted to mislead the people of Canada about the policies of Tom Mulcair and the New Democratic Party of Canada. Specifically, the Conservatives repeatedly made the claim that Canada’s New Democrats support a carbon-tax and would implement one if we were elected to govern. This is categorically false and they know it. New Democrats support a carbon-tax no more than the Conservatives and we can prove it. 
Here are just some examples of what New Democrats have actually said about the prospect of implementing a federal carbon-tax or a cap-and-trade system.

 -Conservatives Love To Lie About Carbon Taxes - New Democrats


Sask NDP Leadership Candidate Erin Weir Guest Speaker At Conference With Finance Minister Jim Flaherty And Bank Of Canada's Mark Carney

Followers of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leadership race will note that candidate, Erin Weir will be sharing the podium with Canada's Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada President Mark Carney at the “Canada in the Pacific Century” conference hosted by Canadian Council of Chief Executies - September 24th - 25th in Ottawa.

Erin Weir is an economist and is taking a short time away from the leadership race to guest speak at the conference, His successful campaign launch to lead Saskatchewan's New Democrats has been followed closely by political watchers and pundits alike over the last week.

"Erin Weir  was the next contestant to launch his campaign. And while some might point to the consistent flurry of activity surrounding Weir's every media appearance as the most prominent feature of his campaign so far, the more important contribution looks to be found in his focus on policy. 

Most obviously, a proposal to ban corporate and union donations to Saskatchewan political parties earned immediate approval, not only from all of his leadership competitors, but also beyond party lines. The latter point might be crucial for Weir; while most of his proposals figure to be relatively uncontroversial within the NDP, his ability to shape Saskatchewan's broader political scene - both by proposing ideas that earn broad support, and challenging Brad Wall to act on them - might go a long way toward convincing NDP members that Weir can lead the party and the province."
Regina Leader-Post

Link to 'Canada In The Pacific' Conference  

-- Erin Weir FB Page --

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 

This Pic Of Prince William Is In Many Ways MORE Disturbing Than Pics Of Prince Harry's Bare Arse

Prince William ... future King of England ... visiting former colonial minions in Africa. Abolish the Monarchy! Abolish privilege!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 

Stats Canada Job Numbers Disprove Premier Brad Wall's Assertion That There Is A Labour Shortage In The Province

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall consistently refers to a 'labour shortage' in the province. He makes this statement to try and hit home a message that everything is booming here. 

Wall recently traveled to Ireland with a delegation of business executives and MSM reporters to try and encourage unemployed Irish workers to move to Saskatchewan. 

That little adventure has not worked out very well for those Irish who pulled up stakes and came to Canada..

Today, Erin Weir, economist and candidate for leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democrats, issued a news release that shed light on Premier Wall's  assertions of a labour shortage:


Twice as Many Unemployed Workers as Job Vacancies in SK

Today’s Statistics Canada report on job vacancies indicates that Saskatchewan has twice as many unemployed workers as job vacancies (27,000 versus 14,500).

Far from a labour shortage, Saskatchewan has a shortage of available jobs. Over the past year, Saskatchewan’s ratio of unemployment-to-vacancies declined from three-to-one to two-to-one. However, we still have a worse ratio than Alberta.

Also, the apparent improvement in Saskatchewan’s ratio reflected an increase in job vacancies (to 14,500 from 9,300) rather than a decrease in the number of unemployed workers, which barely changed over the past year (27,000 versus 27,500).

 The provincial government should invest in training and apprenticeship to help unemployed workers move into available jobs. However, the underlying problem is that there are only half as many available jobs as unemployed workers.

The Saskatchewan government should focus on job creation rather than austerity.

Stats Canada

                                                                   - 30 -


Harper's Historic Comments Show That His Ideology Is The SAME As Mitt Romney's

Just for the record ... Stephen Harper has a history of saying negative things about working Canadians .. the ones who don't belong to Country Clubs or have offshore bank accounts. Anyone who was shocked by Mitt Romney's comments on '47%' of Americans should take a closer look at what our own Conservative Party Leader has said on the record ....

"In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance."
-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."
- Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Your country [the USA], and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."
-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status, led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task."
- Stephen Harper in his article "It is time to seek a new relationship with Canada," December 12th, 2000.

Harper described Canada's Maritime provinces as : "A culture of defeat..."
- Stephen Harper, describing the Atlantic provinces, May 2001.

Ultimately, Mr. Harper has achieved the reins of power ... and busily doles out Billions of tax dollars to free loading, corporate welfare bums!

Monday, September 17, 2012 

Mitt Romney Caught On Hidden Video Camera Writing Off 47% Of American Population!

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax."
Mitt Romney
Republican Candidate For President


“It's shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people  view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives.  It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
Jim Messina
Obama Campaign Manager


It's too bad that Republicans have decided to completely ignore the concept of basic human rights.  The USA is a signatory to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: 
"(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."


-Bloomberg: Romney Doesn’t Disavow Video Remark on American ‘Victims’


Sask Premier Brad Wall Has No Choice But To End Corporate / Union Political Donations

One of the most interesting things to come from the current Saskatchewan New Democratic Leadership race has been the call for an end to donations from corporate and union entities. 

This will be a hard pill for Premier Wall to swallow. His 'Saskatchewan Party' receives over $3,000,000 annually in donations from the provinces oil, potash and other business corporations. 

The Saskatoon Star Phoenix Editorial Board agrees with the call:

"It's time for Saskatchewan to change the rules governing donations to political parties by labour unions and the corporate sector, and bring them in line with Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, where an outright ban on the practice hasn't proven detrimental to the governing process.

Even at the federal level, where corporate and union donations have been banned since 2003, both the Conservatives and New Democrats have managed to succeed despite the rules, while the Liberals are striving to overcome the impact on their finances of the reform enacted by former prime minister Jean Chretien.

Provincial NDP leadership contender Erin Weir wasn't treading new ground last week when he proposed that Saskatchewan move to abolish both corporate and union donations.

"I believe that corporate donations likely affect government policy-making and certainly raise questions of whether politicians are responding to citizens or their corporate funders," said Mr. Weir. Of course, his argument applies just as well to union donations made over the decades to former NDP governments.

That's a rationale that Premier Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government has used in its current consideration of labour legislation reforms, with attention focused specifically on whether workers should be able to opt out of paying membership dues to labour organizations that donate some of the money to political parties.

While it's certainly the case that the provincial NDP in 2011 collected $326,000 from unions, it's also the case that Premier Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party received $3.1 million last year from corporate donations.

For a government that cites concerns about the undue influence unions have wielded over the decades on Saskatchewan labour legislation and has expressed annoyance with union paid ads that criticize its policies, it's a cynical stance to respond to Mr. Weir's proposal by saying, "We have no plans to change the current policy, which has been in place for many years under both NDP and Sask. Party governments."

Mr. Wall could well end up regretting poking a stick into this hornet's nest. Not only will it bring into sharper focus the policy choices being made by a governing party that's backed heavily by the corporate sector, but it also raises questions about the role of third-party advertising during writ periods. After all, if unions shouldn't be spending their members' money on political ads, what about corporations spending money from shareholders - among them mutual funds investing union members' pension money, for instance - for the same purpose?"

Saskatoon Star Phoenix Editorial
The ball is in Brad Wall's court ..... it is NOT going to go away!

Saturday, September 15, 2012 

Republican Rick Santorum says that “smart people” would never side with conservatives

While speaking Saturday at the Values Voters Summit, Rick Santorum said that “smart people” would never side with conservatives.

Santorum also claimed “the media” and “colleges and universities” would not be “on our side” because “they want to tell you what to do.” Rather, according to Santorum, the conservative movement will be supported by “the church and the family.”
Think Progress

Friday, September 14, 2012 

Candidate For Sask NDP Leadership Calls For End To Corporate And Union Contributions In The Province

 "I believe that corporate donations likely affect government policy-making and certainly raise the question of whether politicians are responding to citizens or their corporate funders."
Erin Weir, Economist
Candidate for Leadership - Saskatchewan New Democrats

NDP leadership candidate Erin Weir is calling for a ban on corporate and union financial contributions to Saskatchewan political parties.  “We need to free Saskatchewan politics from big money and the influence that goes with it,” said Weir. “Our democracy should represent citizens rather than corporate interests.”

Last year, corporations gave the Sask. Party more than $3 million, a majority of the governing party’s funding. Corporations and unions together gave almost $1 million to the provincial NDP. (Source: Elections Saskatchewan)

Weir has long advocated getting big money out of politics. Saskatchewan newspapers quoted him speaking for a resolution at the 1998 provincial NDP convention to prohibit donations from big business. (Source: StarPhoenix, Nov. 16, 1998, page A5) “Since then, New Democrat governments in Manitoba and Nova Scotia have banned corporate and union donations,” noted Weir. “The federal and Quebec governments have also rightly done so.”

Taking Big Money Out of Politics - Weir Campaign


Erin Weir, a candidate for the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP, is calling for a ban on political donations by corporations and unions.

According to Weir, his party received nearly $1 million, in 2011, from organized labour while the Saskatchewan Party collected around $3 million in donations from the business sector.

Weir said he believes it is inappropriate for corporations to provide financial support to politicians who oversee the industry.

"Oil and potash companies ... profit from exploiting resources ... that belong to the people of the province and [are] managed by the provincial government," Weir said. "So, I do see some conflict of interest in those donations."

Weir added that he felt it would be better for the democratic process.
CBC Saskatchewan 

-Regina Leader-Post has more .....

Thursday, September 13, 2012 

Lougheed Struggled To Improve Resource Royalty Share For Albertans ... Saskatchewan Needs Its Premier Wall To Do The Same

There will be numerous tributes to former Alberta Premier Lougheed on his passing. He loved Alberta. No one can doubt that. His mark in Alberta history is well noted and deserved.

His greatest accomplishment will be debated to some degree, but there is no doubt that his creation of the Alberta Heritage Fund AND a restructuring of the resource royalty structure to benefit all Albertans is beyond argument.

Saskatchewan's Premier Wall would be well served to remember Lougheed's accomplishments for the People of Alberta. Unfortunately, Saskatchewan's ruling party seems to think that merely having spin off jobs from resource development with minimal royalty earnings is good enough. Lougheed's actions as Premier of Alberta leave Brad Wall's approach severely wanting.

H/T to Peter Lougheed.


Brad Wall Reneges On Election Promise To Keep Tuition Costs Low - "Implement A Tuition Freeze" - Erin Weir

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall needs to be held accountable for the promises he made to win last year's provincial election. Case in point:

"Supporting Saskatchewan Students
Over the past four years, the Saskatchewan Party government has provided post-secondary institutions with over $66 million dollars to keep tuition rates reasonable.I n addition, this year:
-Funding for students totals $125 million, including $24.6million to limit tuition increases to an average of about three per cent at Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions."

Saskatchewan Party Election Platform - 2011

Statistics Canada reported today that Saskatchewan has the country’s second-highest university tuition fees in 2012-13. Saskatchewan and Ontario are the only two provinces in which the average full-time undergraduate student pays more than $6,000 of tuition fees.

Less than a year ago, the Sask. Party’s election platform touted funding “to limit tuition increases to an average of about three per cent at Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions.” Today’s Statistics Canada figures reveal that Saskatchewan’s tuition fees actually rose by five per cent over the past year, the third-largest increase among provinces. For international students, Saskatchewan tuition fees jumped by 11 per cent, the largest increase of any province.

Statistics Canada also reports, “Saskatchewan posted the highest increase in additional compulsory fees for undergraduate students” (a whopping 17 per cent in one year).

Rising tuition and other fees threaten to make our public universities less accessible to Saskatchewan students. The Sask. Party’s policy has been to allow students to take on ever more debt rather than to control costs.

Post-secondary education is hugely beneficial for individual students and for the wider provincial economy. As a first step toward ensuring that all academically qualified Saskatchewan students have the option of university study, the provincial government should implement a tuition freeze.

Statistics Canada release:

Undergraduate Tuition Fees:

Sask. Party Platform (see page 21; 22 of 49 in the PDF): 

Erin Weir
Candidate For Leader
Saskatchewan New Democrats

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 

Dear Toronto Civic Voters - Re: Mayor Rob Ford

People! Really?!


Monday, September 10, 2012 

Economist And Progressive Blogger - Erin Weir - Seeking Leadership Of Saskatchewan New Democrats

"I have to admit that I became an economist because I didn't have enough charisma to cut it as an accountant." 
Erin Weir 
Candidate For Leader 
Saskatchewan New Democrats

Readers of Progressive Bloggers will be proud to note that one of our members and bloggers is now in the race to lead the Saskatchewan NDP.

I like Erin Weir. I like what he talks about in terms of policy and vision. He is going to bring a high level of informed debate and discussion to the campaign. 

Weir seeking leadership of Sask. NDP  
 by  Pamela Cowan - Regina Leader-Post

"Erin Weir isn't entering a popularity contest with Brad Wall, but he plans to challenge the premier on policy issues. 

At a Friday morning news conference to announce his intention to seek the leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, Weir admitted he doesn't have the charisma to take on the most popular premier in Canada.

"I have to admit that I became an economist because I didn't have enough charisma to cut it as an accountant," quipped the former NDP youth president and candidate for Wascana in the 2004 federal election.

At Tommy Douglas House in Regina, the 30-year-old said one of the worst mistakes that former NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter made in the last provincial election campaign was his personal attacks on Wall. "It did not work and it's unlikely to work in the future," Weir said.

He believes the NDP should challenge the Saskatchewan Party's agenda and propose policy alternatives. Weir said the top issue facing Saskatchewan is better management of the province's non-renewable resources.

"For a decade, I have consistently argued for collecting a better return on the depletion of those resources," he said. Collecting more royalty revenue is complex and should be explained and developed over years rather than raised as an issue in pre-election campaigning, Weir said.

"Additional resource revenue would allow the provincial government to both invest in needed public services today and also set aside a savings fund for future generations," he said.

He favours using revenue from non-renewable resources to develop solar, wind and geothermal power.
Weir noted that recent NDP governments did little to combat climate change and consequently some members migrated to the Green Party. He reiterated his stance that the province increase the current hourly minimum wage from $9.50 to $11.

Since Lingenfelter resigned when he lost his seat on election night last November, veteran MLA John Nilson has been acting as interim leader.

Cam Broten, MLA for Saskatoon Massey Place, announced his leadership intentions Wednesday. Other contenders expected to enter the leadership race are Saskatoon doctor Ryan Meili and MLA Trent Wotherspoon.

Party members will elect a new leader on March 9, 2013. The vote will be a preferential system.
Regina Leader-Post

Saturday, September 08, 2012 

Former Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley Endorses Erin Weir For Leader Of The Saskatchewan New Democrats

The race to elect a new leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party is officially underway.

First to toss his hat into the ring was Saskatoon NDP MLA Cam Broten. Broten is the Member of the Legislature for Saskatoon Massey Place Constituency and is critic for Health, Seniors, Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration with the NDP Caucus.

Next into the race is Erin Weir, economist and president of the Progressive Economics Forum. Weir served as economist for the United Steelworkers and is well known for his appearances on the Lang & O'Leary show on CBC as well as the many  op-eds that he has penned for a variety of media outlets.

Boosting the Weir campaign is an endorsement from former Manitoba NDP Premier, Howard Pawley, which appeared in the 'Letter to the Editor' section of today's Regina Leader-Post.

"I respectfully disagree with my fellow political scientists who suggest that one must sit in the legislature to lead New Democrats (NDP MLAs have head start - Sept. 1 Leader-Post). Three of the last six Saskatchewan CCF-NDP leaders, including Tommy Douglas, were not MLAs when elected leader.

Jack Layton had no seat when he won the leadership of a battered federal NDP in need of renewal, much like the Saskatchewan NDP today. A leader from outside caucus can focus on rebuilding the party, work that must be done outside the legislature.

In addition to this advantage, economist Erin Weir has been an active New Democrat for much longer than the other three prospective candidates named in the article. He represented the party in government caucus meetings (1998-2000), served as president of the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats (20002001) and ran in Wascana in 2004.

Ironically, the comment about MLA's having "higher recognition" was printed on a day when Weir was also quoted in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and another Leader-Post column. I got to know him through his frequent and articulate appearances in newspapers and on national TV.

My team won in Manitoba by developing a thoughtful and focused challenge to the Conservatives on economic issues. Weir has begun doing so in Saskatchewan through extensive media commentary on resource royalties, Dutch disease, the Nexen takeover, unemployment, and the minimum wage.

His commitment to progressive values, knowledge of public policy, and communication skills make him the best choice to lead Saskatchewan's NDP ."
Howard Pawley
(Pawley is a political science professor at the University of Windsor and was NDP premier of Manitoba 1981-1988).

Also expected to seek the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP is Regina Rosemont MLA, Trent Wotherspoon and Saskatoon Physician, Dr. Ryan Meili.

You can follow more on the Sask NDP Leadership Race HERE.

Friday, September 07, 2012 

Desperate Ontario Liberals Deploy Justin Trudeau To Deliver National Unity-Themed Anti-NDP Pitch In Kitchener-Waterloo By-Election

(Click on above image to enlarge ... )  

I thought that Justin Trudeau had more class than to be used by Ontario Libs to fib to the voters of Kitchener-Waterloo yesterday ... 

"With MPs set to return to the Commons in two weeks, it looks like the Liberal Party has begun beta testing what is expected to be the main line of attack against their opposition rival New Democrats this fall.

Just hours before the polls were set to close in Kitchener-Waterloo, embattled provincial Liberals launched a last-ditch effort to turn an Ontario by-election into, of all things, a referendum on the federal NDP's position on Quebec succession -- with more than a little help from Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, who took time away from his busy schedule of playing coy on future leadership ambitions to hit the telephonic hustings, robocall-style:"

Kady O'Malley 

You start to realize that some Libs are beginning to sound like Serbian Nationalists when they let it be known that they will not respect democracy. There is NO referendum scheduled in Quebec .. with a minority administration it is highly unlikely that there will be a referendum in Quebec. Bloody Liberals!! :(


Five More Unelected Conservatives Appointed To Canada's Undemocratic Senate

OTTAWA - "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed five new senators, bolstering his majority in the upper chamber. [...] The appointments give Harper's Tories 62 of the Senate's 105 seats. The Liberals hold 40 seats, there is one Progressive Conservative senator and two independents. 

(Now ... here's the comical part of the story ...)  
The prime minister says the new senators are pledged to support his government's efforts to reform the Senate, including term limits."
Winnipeg Free Press

.... and just for the record:

 "We don't think as a party that patronage has any place in the Parliament of Canada."
Stephen Harper
Calgary Herald - March 22, 1995

"We don't support any Senate appointments."
Stephen Harper
Winnipeg Free Press - January 29, 1996

Thursday, September 06, 2012 

Harper Breaks Increased Education Funding Promise To First Nations - Brad Wall Does Nothing ...

 A $275 million broken promise by the federal government has been written off as “a bit of a concern” by Premier Brad Wall – a weak response from the Sask. Party, which has failed to address the unacceptable underfunding of First Nations education.

Trent Wotherspoon, NDP education critic, called on the Sask. Party to replace their  weak dismissal with real action.

“Fair funding for First Nations education is critical to equality and today’s funding will be critical for tomorrow’s economy,” said Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party has failed to stand up for Saskatchewan’s First Nations children, despite the booming aboriginal population and the important opportunity for First Nations people to become fully engaged in our workforce – it is about ensuring a bright future.”

Saskatchewan schools receive more than $10,000 per student in funding, but reserve schools get only $6,400 per student. The federal government committed $275 million to begin to close that gap, but Saskatchewan’s schools have received none of that.

The NDP has called on the Sask. Party to make this unacceptable underfunding a priority, and will continue to until it is addressed.  In March, the Sask. Party refused to debate equal education funding in the Legislature when the NDP called for both parties to pass the Shannen’s Dream motion. Shannen’s Dream recognizes the need for education funding and educational outcomes for First Nations students to be equal to non-aboriginal students. The House of Commons passed the motion unanimously, but the Sask. Party refused to even allow the debate in Saskatchewan.

“First Nations students are going to school under leaky roofs and being shortchanged on programs and opportunities,” said Wotherspoon. “Saskatchewan deserves better.”

Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

( Photo courtesy Tourism Saskatchewan/Kevin Hogarth... )


Lots Of Hype In Brad Wall's So Called 'Booming' Economy

No one argues that Potash companies are not BOOMING in Saskatchewan.  However, they are essentially being given the province's potash reserves  ...  flipping a mere 4 or 5 pennies on the dollar to the rightful owners! 

No one argues that a number of businesses are not BOOMING in Saskatchewan. However, the fact that they are subsidized by the LOWEST minimum wage in the nation certainly helps! 

Brad Wall's administration is highly skilled at the art of communication. However, the fact that the province's four daily newspapers are all controlled by a single owner who is deep in Wall's political corner certainly helps! 

But,if you cut through all the slogans and phony 'free market' business bravado, many of us still wonder exactly 'what' Boom it is that Brad Wall and his MSM pals keep referring to? 

Here's an example:  
Early in Mr. Wall's first term, there was a huge amount of chest thumping and back slapping about economic activity in the province. One of the best examples trotted out was the announcement of a huge development in downtown Regina. Capital Pointe was touted as a centre-piece of Wall's 'New Saskatchewan'. 

Reality is a cruel master. Reality leaves many of us wondering exactly what Boom it is that Mr. Wall keeps referring to?  

"A high-profile condo and hotel development in downtown Regina — one that's been through a series of starts and stops — appears to be on the backburner once again. The Capital Pointe Development located at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street was supposed to be a $70-million, 26-storey skyscraper — the tallest building in Regina. In addition to condos and retail space, the original project also called for a nine-storey Hilton hotel, with a 2013 opening planned. 

However, the lot where the old Plains Hotel used to be currently sits empty, with weeds surrounding a picture of what the new building is supposed to look like. An administration report going to Regina city councillors today says although council previously approved the project, the company's development permit has expired. That means the firm will have to go back to both the planning commission and city council to have the project "re-approved."

(Photos courtesy and CJME ....)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 

Professional Partisan Liberal Party Spin FAILS Yet Again

(Click on image above to enlarge ....)

It's comical when Libs or Cons try to attach horns and pointed tails to members of the New Democratic Party of Canada. One particular Liberal pundit tried his best to blame the NDP for everything that is wrong for the Liberals (hence for 'national unity') in Quebec.  His thoughts on the role of New Democrats (as 'agents of separation') on the eve of the Quebec Election were totally out to lunch ....

"As of Tuesday night, Canadian politics is going to change for the worse — for Conservatives, for Liberals, for independents. But the New Democratic Party won’t give a damn.

As of Tuesday night — and if successive polls are correct - the Parti Quebecois will win power in Quebec. And, as of Tuesday night, separatism (or the threat of it) will once again start to dominate our national agenda and paralyze our politics. The NDP, however, don’t care about that. Because, among other things, the New Democrats have quietly transformed themselves into the successor to the Bloc Quebecois in the House of Commons. 

The NDP are the separatists’ Trojan Horse in Ottawa. And that is a development that should concern everyone who cares about Canada. 

It’s been a long time in the making. In last year’s federal election, scores of Bloquistes transformed themselves into New Democrats." 

Warren Kinsella



Tuesday, September 04, 2012 

50 Economists Want Erin Weir To Seek Leadership Of The Saskatchewan NDP‏

Saskatchewan New Democrats are preparing to launch a leadership campaign that will see a new leader elected in March 2013. Selection will be done with a 'One member/one vote' format. 

A number of Canadian economists have signed a letter actively encouraging Erin Weir to throw his hat into the leadership ring. Erin Weir is a Saskatchewan native who has served as economist for the United Steelworkers. He is now with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Weir is also President of the Progressive Economics Forum. 

Weir is well known in Saskatchewan for speaking out against the governing Saskatchewan Party's position on natural resource management and royalty structures. Essentially, Weir is challenging the massive 'give away' of the province's resource wealth. A portion of the letter states:  

"Dear Saskatchewan New Democrats, We, the undersigned economists, write to encourage you to nominate Erin Weir for your provincial leadership. He is a committed social democrat with an extensive record of articulating public policies to ensure that all Saskatchewan people benefit from economic development. 

Having a prominent economist as leader would strengthen the NDP’s credibility on fiscal and economic issues. We also note that Premier Brad Wall has emerged as a vocal critic of national social programs and of the federal NDP. The province and the country would be well served by a Saskatchewan NDP leader able to engage Wall and advance a progressive western perspective on national economic issues.

Erin was born in Saskatoon, grew up in Regina and has been an active New Democrat since 1997. As an elected member of the Saskatchewan NDP Legislative Advisory Committee, he represented the party in government Caucus meetings during Roy Romanow's premiership. Erin also served as president of the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats and as the federal NDP candidate against Fnance minister Ralph Goodale in 2004.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Great Distinction) from the University of Regina, which awarded him the JackBoan Medal for the highest graduating average in economics and the 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Erin completed a Master of Arts at the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration at Queen's University, where he won the Donald Gow Founder's Medal for the highest academic standing in that program.

He was a Saskatchewan nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship. After university, Erin gained practical experience in government by working in the federal Treasury Board Secretariat, Department of Finance and Privy Council Office through the Accelerated Economist Training Program.

He went on to work at the Canadian Labour Congress national office, the International Trade Union Confederation world headquarters in Brussels, and the United Steelworkers Canadian office. He is also a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. As president of the 200-member Progressive Economics Forum, he works with an elected executive to coordinate this organization's activities across Canada.

Erin is an effective communicator in the national media. Since 2007, his commentary on employment, the costof living, government budgets, interest rates and other economic issues has been quoted more than 600 times inthe print editions of Canadian newspapers. He frequently and ably represents the left in televised panel debates,including with Kevin O'Leary on CBC's Lang & O'Leary Exchange, Ian Lee on CBC's Power & Politics, DonDrummond on the Business News Network, Andrew Coyne on TV Ontario, Danielle Smith on The Michael Coren Show, and Brian Lee Crowley on CTV's National Affairs."

A partial list of signers include:  
(Former Presidents of the Canadian Economics Association) 
-Robin Boadway, Economics Professor, Queen’s University, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Saskatchewan Rhodes Scholar 
-Pierre Fortin, Economics Professor Emeritus, Université du Québec à Montréal and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 
-Lars Osberg, Economics Department Head, Dalhousie University  

(Former Federal NDP Candidates) 
-Mel Watkins, Economics Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
-James Laxer, Political Economist, York University and Former Research Director, Federal NDP 
-Rob Moir, Head of Social Sciences and Economics Professor, University of New Brunswick
-Pierre Laliberté, Economist, Formerly with the Canadian Labour Congress and United Steelworkers 

(Academic and Professional Economists) 
-Allen Backman, Political Economist and Assistant Director, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan 
-Jack Boan, Economics Professor Emeritus, University of Regina
-Robyn Allan, Former President, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and Former Economist, Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan 
-Maximilian Schmeiser, Economist, U.S. Federal Reserve, Saskatchewan Expatriate and Jack Boan Medalist 
-Jim Stanford, Canadian Auto Workers’ Economist and Globe & Mail Columnist 
-Gary Tompkins, Economics Professor, University of Regina 
-John Evans, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD

-Here is the full list of Economists who have signed the letter ...  

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