Alberta Politics: Something for the NDP to think about: How about bringing Alberta’s labour laws into the 20th Century? (Never mind the 21st)

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, Athabasca University Labour Studies Professor Bob Barnetson and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The CBC says the province’s businesses are “spooked.” The Chamber of Commerce is deeply worried by the prospect of “sweeping reforms.” Naturally, the Chamber also says they’re ...

Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through a window Tuesday in Brigadoon, Alberta, so it should be good as is for another 10 years. Oh, wait, I made it out of town this afternoon … it must’ve been ...

Alberta Politics: Explaining how the right wing echo chamber operates … operates … operates … The Strange Case of the Canada Pension Plan

PHOTOS: “Alright, everyone, here’s what we’re gonna say: ‘Expanding the CPP is a solution in search of a problem.’ Everybody got that? Fraser? Check! APEC? Check! CFIB? Check! Taxpayers? Check! … ” Actual right-wing echo chamber conference calls may not unfold exactly as described. Below: What you actually see behind the curtain. With Canada’s premiers ...

Alberta Politics: If you were secretly relieved by yesterday’s NDP Alberta budget, you weren’t alone …

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci addresses the media during a lockup early yesterday afternoon in Edmonton before reading the 2016 Budget Speech to the Legislature. Below: CFIB Alberta spokesperson Richard Truscott, Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd and author and environmentalist Naomi Klein. Admit it, Alberta, after yesterday afternoon’s Budget Speech was read by Finance Minister ...

Alberta Politics: Progress Alberta, new progressive advocacy group, will make waves … not just with opponents but maybe on own side too

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature, suitably decorated for the province’s progressive and proudly diverse population. Below: Progress Alberta Executive Director Duncan Kinney. Progress Alberta, a new group that describes itself as “a multi-issue, independent, non-profit advocacy organization,” kicked off its mission yesterday by announcing that a new poll it had commissioned “shows that Alberta is more ...

Alberta Politics: $15 is too low, and three years is too long to wait, for a higher Alberta minimum wage

PHOTOS: Greetings from Halifax, where a minimum wage almost as low as Alberta’s isn’t half of what a two-earner family needs to live a decent life. Can it be much different in Calgary or Edmonton? Below: Enthusiastic Tweeter Dan Kelly’s Twitter thumbnail; Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci. HALIFAX, N.S. The biggest problem with the Alberta ...

Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s Fearless Tax Warrior

That intrepid capeless crusader for core Conservative concepts, Finance Minister ‘Uncle’ Joe Oliver, has found yet another weapon in his utility pouch to save us from the implacable clutches of taxation. Rather than rely on a bureaucracy that may be rife with ‘fifth columnists, Oliver has decided to outsource fiscal analysis to those most acquainted ...

Alberta Diary: Said to be sought as candidate by Wildrose Party, ‘tax watchdog’ spokesperson’s intentions are for the moment unclear

CTF Alberta spokesperson Derek Fildebrandt last summer at the Legislature in Edmonton. Below: Premier Jim Prentice and political blogger Dave Cournoyer. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith is “working hard” to recruit Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta spokesperson Derek Fildebrandt as a candidate for the next provincial general election in the Calgary-Bow riding, Daveberta.ca blog author Dave Cournoyer ...

Alberta Diary: Canada’s anti-union lobby is at the heart of the deceptive campaign for more Temporary Foreign Workers – why’s that, d’ya think?

Canadians need not apply? Actual Canadian store displays may not appear exactly as illustrated. But the intent of the AstroTurf TFW lobby is to bust unions and weaken the bargaining power of Canadian workers. Below: Employment Minister and former Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Jason Kenney; former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president and current “Working ...

Alberta Diary: ‘Targeted exemptions’ for TFWs – Tory fund-raising tool, a backyard maquiladora in every neighbourhood, or both?

Typical Canadian fast-food help, as seen by Canadian fast-food employers, sort of. Below: Employment Minister Jason Kenney in Stampede-Week-appropriate garb and the CFIB’s Richard Truscott. ST. ALBERT, Alberta Unemployment has climbed to 7.1 per cent in Canada and yet a key segment of the Harper Government’s donor base is screeching for more Temporary Foreign Workers. ...

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.) ...

Alberta Diary: Three reasons why Ottawa’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program ‘reforms’ likely mean little

There’s always been a worldwide pool of skilled and unskilled employees like these fellows for jobs in North America – immigration. Below: Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. Canadians are within their rights to be highly skeptical of the long list of changes to the Harper Government’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program announced ...

Politics and its Discontents: Everyone’s A Politician

At least that might seem to be a reasonable inference to draw given people’s increasing capacity not to answer questions that make them uncomfortable or expose a weakness in their position. I have listened to Dan Kelly, President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, twice recently. Like a politician, he keeps ‘on-message’ with something ...

Alberta Diary: CFIB members please post: ‘Money from public sector wages & pensions NOT wanted here!’

CFIB AstroTurf technicians roll out part of their campaign against improved pensions for Canadians, a plan certain to harm the group’s naïve supporters. Below: A suggested sign for the windows of CFIB-member businesses. Whew! That was a close one! We almost improved the Canada Pension Plan! So says the so-called Canadian Federation of Independent Business. ...

OPSEU Diablogue: Is CFIB willing to shoulder health costs resulting from prescription for more inequality?

At a time when the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is advocating an end to “defined benefit” (DB) pensions, the latest retirement index suggests that the alternate “defined contribution” (DC) pensions are struggling and will not produce the kind … Continue reading →

Alberta Diary: Advice for those awaiting ‘the Big One’ from the CFIB later today… have grain of salt at hand

A Canadian Federation of Independent Business technician puts the finishing touches on today’s “report” on retirement savings. (Photo grabbed from AstroTurf.com) Actual CFIB operatives may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: One of them, Dan Kelly. There really is a pension crisis in Canada, but it’s not the one the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, ...