This and that for your Thursday reading. – Christo Aivalis discusses the future of organized labour and the need for workplace democracy in an eraContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Patrick Butler writes about the increasing number of UK families mired in poverty and insecure housing evenContinue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Sean McElwee offers his take on the crucial failings which have led the U.S. Democrats to their currentContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Joachim Hubmer, Per Krusell and Anthony A. Smith, Jr. study the causes of wealth inequality in theContinue reading
We know that as climate change steadily closes in around us, our resilience as communities, societies even as a civilization will be tested. Droughts, floods,Continue reading
Assorted content to start your week. – Bruce Johnstone notes that rather than further attacking public services which have already been under siege throughout hisContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Thomas Walkom discusses Mel Hurtig’s philosophy of economic nationalism, while noting that Canada stands out as an exception in lacking a strong movement toward greater internal planning and economic control. …Continue reading
PHOTOS: Mel Hurtig with his Canadian Encyclopedia, without which, once upon a time, no respectable Canadian home was considered complete. I am grateful to Mr. Hurtig for one thing not mentioned in the short commentary below, and that is my accidental i…Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Abi Wilkinson argues that we can’t expect to take anger and other emotions out of political conversations when government choices have created nothing but avoidable stress for so many:Actions can certainly be…Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week.- Trevor Hancock writes that if we’re going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health offic…Continue reading
A new video from the Council of Canadians seeks to start an enlightened public conversation on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA.
The post New Council of Canadians video seeks to spark public debate on CETA […
Assorted content to end your week.- Ben Oquist laments the fact that trickle-down economics and destructive austerity remain the norm in Australia no matter how thoroughly they’re proven to fail. Alvin Powell discusses the burgeoning inequality of oppo…Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Andrew Jackson offers his prescription for Canada’s economy in the face of plunging oil prices and a sinking dollar. And Murray Dobbin argues that the Libs’ handling of trade agreements reflects a fundamental…Continue reading
Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and mayors from other prominent Quebec municipalities have come out against TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline. Energy East’s potential risks, which include catastrophic oil spills, far outweigh the pipeline’s pos…Continue reading
Maude Barlow urges urgent action against the imminent global water crisis, which will hit the poor in developing country mega cities the hardest. According to the world’s leading water campaigner: “Dramatic action is needed to deal with the twin ecolo…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Luke Savage warns that the Libs’ election win may ring hollow for Canadian progressives: Throughout its democratic history,Continue reading
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On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly. Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent toContinue reading
On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly.
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent to Mr. Jacques Saint-Laurent,Chairman of the Commission d’accès à l’information, asking him to investigate the conduct of Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, the-environment and Parks, during Routine Proceedings, at the sitting of 22 March 2005.(Sessional Paper No. 1702-20050324)
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, addressed to Mr. André Dicaire, Secretary General of the Government, by Mrs. Line-Sylvie Perron, Executive Assistant to the Leader of the Official Opposition, concerning the observance of sections 30 and 33 of the the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.(Sessional Paper No. 1703-20050324)
On March 22, 2005; Thomas Mulcair, then Minister of Environment, failed yet again to present the necessary documents, requested by the opposition, to explain his actions in several matters. This put him in contempt, and the matter would eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. (1)
It might have been simpler just to buy a big black magic marker, like the one that Harper used when he was found in contempt, and produced heavily redacted documents. But Mulcair dug in his heels, citing cabinet confidentiality. His reputation for obstinance was well known.
Michel David in Le Devoir spoke of that reputation when in opposition, stating that “he literally horrified his opponents” with his “brutality or vulgarity”, earning him the moniker, “pit bull”. (2) David had hoped that Mulcair would be a “green pit bull” fighting for the environment, but it was not to be. Instead Mulcair fought for the economic interests of the multinationals.
In fact, one of the debates held on the day in question, centred around the appointment of William J. Cosgrove, to chair the public hearings on the environment. In that position, Cosgrove could select his own people to conduct the assessments, a red flag given who Cosgrove was.
He was President of The World Water Council, a group calling for the privatization of water services worldwide, and promoters of public-private partnerships, to control not only the environmental concerns, but the selling of water in bulk, to multinational corporations.
Maude Barlow, a foremost authority on the issue of water, has attended protests against the World Water Forums , held every three years, run by the WWC. In 2009, she was interviewed by Democracy Now during the event held in Instanbul.
They [the WWC] basically say that they are the collection of people around the world who care about water, and they come together every three years to have this great big summit. And every single year, the police presence gets more and more like the World Trade Organization, every single year, from the very beginning, when there was none, to this. But basically, the World Water Council, which puts this on, is really the big water corporations and the World Bank and some UN agencies and some northern development agencies, some academics, the odd small NGO — small as in, you know, NGOs, but really, it is the corporations, and it’s a big trade show. That’s what this is about. They’ll put on sessions on gender and water, but they don’t mean any of it. This is really about one development model for water, and that’s the privatization model. And that’s what they’re promoting, and that’s what their consensus is, and they refuse to include the notion of the right to water and, of course, the public trust into their documents.
Mulcair not only said that “he does not share the fears of people like Maude Barlow”, but that he found no problem with using PPPs to monitor water safety. Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace told Le Devoir:
“one wonders what ideological alignment the new president of the BAPE gives commissions of inquiry when they have to decide on the adequacy of public facilities where PPPs are concerned, works that touch water in one way or another or, for example, on projects small private stations. Ultimately, one wonders if it is not a government strategy to reduce the moral authority of the BAPE, which annoys many developers.
Despite being called a conflict of interest, since Cosgrove worked for corporations trying to privatize the world’s water supply, he was allowed to stay in that position until 2007, and Mulcair would continue to allow PPPs to flourish, even in the building of a highway.
I am a huge fan of Maude Barlow. A respected voice on progressive issues and supporter of the NDP, when they were too. But did she ever think, during her many protests of the WWC, that it’s president was once lauded as hero (March 22, 2005) by the current leader of the NDP? It defies logic.
She has spent decades fighting for something, not realizing that she was held in such low esteem by Thomas Mulcair, who got his talking points from a man inside the walls, protected by soldiers, that kept her on the other side of them. I wonder how many times her name was brought up?
“Minister Mulcair, concludes Jacques Boivin [vice president of the of the Quebec Association for a World Water Contract] has just shown his true colors …it will not be economic development that respects ecosystems but ecosystems that must comply with the requirements of economic development.
So he is different from Stephen Harper, how?
1. CANADA, PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, DISTRICT MONTREAL, Citizens Committee of the peninsula-Lanaudière c. Quebec (Attorney General), 2006 QCCS 4861, SUPERIOR COURT; No: 500-17-023251-047, August 24, 2006
2. Green Pitbull, by Michael David, Le Devoir, December 7, 2004