Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how a misguided war against “red tape” contributed to the deaths of dozens in the Grenfell Tower fire – and how we’re at risk of becoming casualties as well. For further reading…– Details about the UK’s obsession with red tape can be found in archives including the home page and housing and construction ...

Alberta Politics: Explaining Derek Fildebrandt’s ambitions: Jason Kenney vows to stifle ‘bozo eruptions’ in the UCP

PHOTOS: Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney. He vows to find ways to ensure there are no bozo eruptions in the ranks of the United Conservative Party. This will not be easy. Below: Frequent eruptor Derek Fildebrandt, who says he’s considering running for the leadership of the UCP himself; former Alberta deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ...

Alberta Politics: Year after year, about now, Alberta conservatives shoot themselves in the same foot

PHOTOS: Then-Wildrose MLAs Kerry Towle, leader Danielle Smith and Jeff Wilson (in Wildrose T-shirts behind the sign) take part in the August 2014 Calgary Pride parade. Below: Wildrose staffer Cory Johnston, current party leader Brian Jean, former leader Smith (Photo: Dave Cournoyer) and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Bottom: Calgary blogger Susan Wright. Plus ca ...

Mind Bending Politics: Human Rights Appears To Be An Issue In New Ontario Autism Program

  Minister of Children and Youth Services Micheal Coteau has been a champion of human rights especially in the black community and around racism, but when it comes to autistic kids it may be a different story.  Coteau made an announcement yesterday that was very short on detail regarding the roll out of the direct ...

Mind Bending Politics: New Autism Announcement: Self Congratulatory And Very Short on Details

(Micheal Coteau Announces “Milestones” For New Autism Program With No Details and No Questions From Media) Today the Minister of Children and Youth Services Micheal Coteau made an “announcement” on what the new Ontario Autism Program (OAP) will look like.  The announcement was made at one of the regional service providers in Ontario – ErinOak ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how several other provinces are setting new (and necessary standards) for worker protections while Saskatchewan falls further behind. For further reading…– Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review is here (in full), and here (in summary form). CBC reports on Kathleen Wynne’s subsequent minimum wage announcement, while Sheila Block crunches the numbers on how it will ...

Alberta Politics: How but as a leadership campaign brochure are we to interpret Derek Fildebrandt’s paean to ‘Max’ Bernier?

PHOTOS: Derek Fildebrandt, the Alberta Wildrose Party’s finance critic and, possibly, third unofficial candidate to enter the non-race to lead the still-nonexistent United Conservative Party. Below: Maxime Bernier (Photo: CBC), who is apparently Mr. Fildebrandt’s ideological hero, and British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan, who seems very close to grasping the first-ministerial brass ring in ...

Mind Bending Politics: Minister Coteau Finally Sighted By Parents On The Autism File

Micheal Coteau the Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services as been somewhat like a Sasquatch to many in the autism community.  There have been reported sightings, but often those reports come with fuzzy details, and then he seems to vanish into the wilderness of Queen’s Park.  Almost a year has passed since Coteau took ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrosers and Progressive Conservatives act as if fighting the NDP’s workplace fairness law is their hill to die on

PHOTOS: Edmonton labour lawyer Andrew Sims and Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray at yesterday’s technical briefing on the NDP Government’s new labour legislation. (Photo: CBC) Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and Alberta Liberal interim Leader David Swann and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark, both of whom supported introduction of the bill despite opposition on first ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Patrick Butler writes about the increasing number of UK families mired in poverty and insecure housing even with one or more people working. And Ali Monceaux and Daniel Najarian discuss the importance of a fair minimum wage in providing people with a basic standard of living. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Tim Bousquet writes that the push toward “social entrepreneurship” ultimately serves to undermine the importance of the public good: My real worry here is that the phrase “social enterprise” is the softer, feel-good end of the push for increased entrepreneurship, which is always promoted as good thing, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Gillian White highlights Peter Temin’s work on poverty and inequality – including the standard which a person trapped in poverty needs to meet in order to have any meaningful hope of escaping: Temin then divides workers into groups that can trace their family line in the U.S. back ...

The Political Road Map: Ontario Budget: Shallow Election Bid or Deep Election Bid?

A thousand years from now, in present day Ontario, after the fallout from a Trump temper tantrum, future survivors will begin to reclaim the land. Upon doing so, they will more than likely come across a few remnants of modern day Ontario that will survive the ruin and devastation. Among these items will most likely ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Eva Schaherl offers her take on how to fight against climate change: Stop being distracted by the “Sad!” theatre of the Greatest Show on Earth across our southern border. In Canada our leadership debates should be focused on how to save the world’s life-support systems, not imitating the ...

The Political Road Map: A Shivering Premier in a Hot Housing Market

I am watching Premier Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa introduce their Fair Housing Plan and I must say I am both impressed and skeptical. Wynne has mentioned a few times already how she is shivering, while approaching the microphone to answer questions in both English and kindergarten French. Premier Wynne Praying this plan doesn’t further ...

BigCityLib Strikes Back: On Keeping Ms. Wynne As OLP Leader

This is from an email from Ontario Proud, who may be a PCPO front group: And it’s true.  I cannot see a party led by some coup leader doing better than the current leader. As for recent polls, McGuinty was down 15% back in 2011, which is similar to today’s numbers after inflation.  And if ...

Mind Bending Politics: Autism Parents Say They’ve Been Duped In Open Letter To Coteau

(Autism Parents Say MCYS is still cutting therapy from kids 5 and up) In an open letter to the Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services, several parents of autistic kids say they’ve been duped by the province into thinking that funding was restored for intensive therapy for kids over 5. Last year Ontario Premiere ...

Politics and its Discontents: Laughing At Absurdity

I believe that the older we get, the more important it is not only to recognize and acknowledge the tragedies of life, be they social, economic, political or environmental, but also the many absurdities that abound within those realms. Call it dark humour, whistling past the graveyard, or just being politically incorrect, seeing the absurd ...

Politics and its Discontents: Laughing At Absurdity

I believe that the older we get, the more important it is not only to recognize and acknowledge the tragedies of life, be they social, economic, political or environmental, but also the many absurdities that abound within those realms. Call it dark humour, whistling past the graveyard, or just being politically incorrect, seeing the absurd ...

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 ...

Mind Bending Politics: YRDSB Leadership Crisis Builds As True Cost of Trustee By-Election Not Known

YRDSB Chair Loralea Carruthers (right) Still Dealing with Massive Public Confidence Issues This past week there was much indecision at the York Region District School Board [YRDSB] on how to fill former Trustee Nancy Elgie’s seat, punting the ball in an unprecedented move to the people of Georgina.  Trustee Elgie stepped down last month after ...

Alberta Politics: Are non-Albertans who FRWN on progress behind many of the online threats against Premier Rachel Notley?

PHOTOS: Part of the uninspiring, sometimes troubling, field of Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidates. Their names? Frankly, it’s too much work to note them all down (CBC photo). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former prime minister Stephen Harper (CBC). Is a disengaged and demoralized ...

Mind Bending Politics: Serious Questions Remain as York School Board Trustee Steps Down

(York School Board Trustee Nancy Elgie Tenders Her Resignation via Youtube) Yesterday York Region District School Board [YRDSB] Trustee Nancy Elgie told her constituents via a Youtube video that she would be stepping down as a Trustee, months after uttering a racial slur by “mistake”.  In the almost 10 minute heavily edited statement on youtube, ...

Mind Bending Politics: The Circus That Is Our Unaccountable Education System Coming to A School Board Near You

(Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Likely To Read From A Blank Book On School Board Accountability) Over the past few months, the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) in Ontario has been embroiled in controversy surrounding governance, accountability, and racial tensions. The governing Liberal Party of Ontario promised to get to the bottom of these systemic ...

Eh Types: When Leading Means Leaving

Some decisions in politics are easy. It is not hard to oppose Trump and every vile thing he stands for. You can be a decent human being or a Trump supporter, not both. In general though political decisions are not often so clear cut. In 2017 – sooner rather than later – Premier Kathleen Wynne ...