Alberta Politics: Alberta is not Texas North, Canada is not Kazakhstan, and Kinder Morgan’s big brains in Houston must’ve known it

There are a few Albertans who happily imagine this place is Texas North. Alas for those who do, and notwithstanding the media stereotypists who encourage this nonsense, we are as Canadian around here as folks in any other Western province. Maybe more so, since so many people from other parts of Canada keep moving here. ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Tying A Few Things Together

I have written a few posts recently which criticize quite strongly the recent spate of conservative “we must cut everything” hysteria over Alberta’s budget: On Alberta’s Budget 2018 On Government Finances and Debt About Hospitals and Ian Brodie All of these posts revolve around the basic theme of how ridiculous a narrow focus on money ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Standing with BC’s John Horgan.

It is a memory from many years ago that sticks with you. It is this time of year. After being awakened by the sweeps rowers training on the harbour, you walk to downtown Vancouver from the Bayshore Inn, along streets lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom. You drink in the wonderful freshness of the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Newly-signed FPT housing framework agreement

I’ve just written a blog post about the newly-signed federal-provincial-territorial housing framework agreement. This agreement builds on (and helps move forward) Canada’s National Housing Strategy, which was released last fall. One of the points made in the blog post is that the federal government’s stated objective of removing approximately half-a-million households from core housing need ...

In-Sights: Norway’s national wealth fund

Norway sets aside proceeds from oil and gas production and now has an investment fund worth 8,140 billion NOK, which is about $1.3 trillion Canadian. Given the present population, that’s more than $250,000 for every man, woman and child.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Five things to know about the 2018 Alberta budget

On March 22, the NDP government of Rachel Notley tabled the 2018 Alberta budget. I’ve written a blog post discussing some of the major ‘take aways’ from the standpoint of Calgary’s homeless-serving sector (where I work). Points made in the blog post include the following:  this was very much a status quo budget; Alberta remains ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten proposals from the 2018 Alberta Alternative Budget

The 2018 Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) was released yesterday—it can be downloaded here. An opinion piece I wrote about the AAB appeared yesterday in both the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal. Inspired by the Alternative Federal Budget exercise, this year’s AAB was drafted by a working group consisting of individuals from the non-profit sector, ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness and employment: The case of Calgary

I’ve just written a blog post about homelessness and employment, with a focus on Calgary (where I live and work). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Persons experiencing homelessness usually have poor health outcomes, making it especially challenging to find and sustain employment. -There are several non-profits in Calgary that assist persons ...

The Disaffected Lib: And the Arsehole of the Day Award Goes to – Deron Bilous

He’s Rachel Notley’s minister of economic development and trade, “Bilious Daren” Bilous. Minister Bilous wins the Arsehole of the Day Award for referring to his fellow NDP legislators in British Columbia as “a bunch of shitheads” during a meeting with municipal politicians in Edmonton. Bilous says he ought to have used “more diplomatic” language. Actually, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Rick Smith writes about the Filthy Five loopholes taking the most money out of Canada’s public coffers for the least benefit to anybody but the wealthy. And Ed Finn reminds us to follow the money in figuring out who stands to gain from unconscionable policy choices. – Douglas ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Layin’ Pipe

Wanda's having relationship troubles…because she's just not that into #pipelines:https://t.co/V8ppUMFnTd RT if you can identify with Wanda. #StopKM #NotPipelines#cdnpoli #bcpoli #WaterIsLife #NoMeansNo pic.twitter.com/1zCvBAA1Sf — Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) February 15, 2018 From reality:Are you sure this wasn't speaking to the #WaterProtectors, and a CC to your email?A pipeline is expedient, and not correct if we hope ...

Warren Kinsella: #MeToo: Kristin’s story

[Ed. note:  just over two weeks ago, a brave young woman named Kristin told her #MeToo story.  It was national news, and culminated in the resignation of a federal cabinet minister.  But Kristin’s story doesn’t end there.  Today, we are offering her this space for to tell her story, in her words.  Please read it. ...

Ken Chapman: What Do We Do Now?

The Political Paradox that is Alberta The political paradox for Alberta is that, while we have had majority governments since 1971 we have had unstable governance since about 2004.  In that election year Ralph Klein kept a majority government but was loosing popular support.  He gave up 12 seats that election, mostly in the Edmonton ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Alberta commits to pollute.

It is hard to think of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as an oil baron but she must be at least an honorary member of the Petroleum Club. Her government has committed to shipping 50,000 barrels a day of what must be diluted bitumen through TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline over the next 20 years. Bitumen, the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Elizabeth Kolbert comments on the psychology of inequality, and particularly how the current trend in which a disproportionate share of gains goes to a small number of wealthy individuals produces no ultimate winners:  As the relative-income model predicted, those who’d learned that they were earning less than their ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Lion proposes to his Princess.

We read that it was the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, who determined that Sikh men could identify as Singh (lion) and Sikh women as Kaur (princess). This happened more than 300 years ago and was all in aid of getting rid of the caste system for Sikhs and asserting the equality of women. It ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the positive natural effects of minimum wage increases – and why we shouldn’t lose them to the threat of artificial problems being created by employers looking for excuses to exploit their workers. For further reading…– The Bank of Canada’s staff analytical note on the effect of planned minimum wage increases is here (PDF). ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Matt Bruenig writes about the U.S.’ alarming growth in student debt – which combined with diminished career prospects is leading to dim future outlooks for far too many young workers. And Eric Grenier’s look at the latest release of data from Canada’s 2016 census shows a stark ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

On November 17, the working group of the Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) sponsored a one-day workshop at the University of Alberta. The event’s main purpose was to discuss recent developments in Alberta public policy, as well as expectations for the upcoming Alberta budget. Twenty speakers presented in total. In light of what was discussed at ...

The Disaffected Lib: Is Tesla a Death Sentence for Conventional Power Utilities?

Elon Musk wagered he could build s 129 megawatt battery in Queensland within 100 days or it was free. Tesla built and installed the battery with plenty of time to spare and, with it, just might have served a death warrant on fossil energy electricity. Alternative clean energy, solar and wind, is already cheaper than ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Excessives beat Progressives in Alberta.

Friends in Alberta have been asking why this commentary had nothing to say about the race to run that province’s United Conservative Party? It was not because we did not have an opinion. It was sleazy, it was corrupt, it was predictable and we wanted no part of it. I never thought in this lifetime ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: New book on Indigenous homelessness

I’ve recently reviewed a new book on homelessness among Indigenous peoples. The book, published by the University of Manitoba Press, was edited by Evelyn Peters and Julia Christensen. My review can be accessed at this link.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Book review: Social policy in Canada (second edition)

Oxford University Press has recently released the second edition of Social Policy in Canada, co-authored by the father-daughter duo of Ernie Lightman and Naomi Lightman. I recommend this book as an excellent resource for students of social policy. It will be useful for classroom instruction, while also being a handy reference for researchers, persons who ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Naomi Klein examines how climate change has contributed to a summer of extreme weather disasters, while David Suzuki highlights how we can work with nature to respond to increased flooding. And Emily Atkin discusses the outsized damage 90 corporate behemoths have done to our climate. – Meanwhile, Abacus ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Crawford Kilian writes that Donald Trump’s presidency is merely a symptom of the wider disease of undue deference to wealth. And Matt Karp comments on the need for progressives to identify the problem rather than soft-peddling class divisions: What distinguished the Bernie Sanders campaign more than any other ...