Mind Bending Politics: Austerity Looms As Parties Refuse To Come Clean on Autism Services in Ontario

(Current Platforms in Ontario’s 2018 Election Puts Province At Risk of a Credit Downgrade) Late Tuesday afternoon Moody’s downgraded the economic outlook for Ontario from stable to negative. In its press release Moody’s cited the recently tabled Liberal budget, and growing spending pressure from all parties that need to be addressed as the economy is ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Has anybody seen Jagmeet?

This is becoming ridiculous. The New Democratic Party of Canada has to have some leadership. Without leadership, it is going to become the forgotten party and the efforts of many fine people over the last 80 years will be wasted. The party can hardly continue as present with no leadership, no direction and no clear ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wait until they are ‘At Post.’

Ontario is in the midst of a ‘phony war.’ People are getting excited about public opinion polls that are meaningless. Babel-on-the-Bay is more than a month away from offering its Morning Line on the coming provincial election. At least wait until then to place your bets on the outcome. You have to remember that not ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lee Drutman points out that Donald Trump’s presidency represents an entirely foreseeable result of a two-party, first-past-the-post electoral system: (C)ontrary to claims that American political parties have to appeal broadly to win, they only need to win a quarter of the voting-age population to gain unified control of ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can you put it on a hat?

We used to use bumper stickers but cars do not have bumpers any more. Now we are running campaigns that you can put on a hat. We are producing hats that say “Ontario drives with Ford” or “Win with Wynne” or “Horwath or horror.” That is the general view of political campaigns these days. Just ...

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, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The conflicts of Jagmeet Singh.

New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh has a problem. He appears to want to be a separatist in India but a nationalist in Canada. Perhaps it is his devout Sikhism and his seeming lack of understanding of what ties Canada together. It is hardly an enviable position for a national party leader. It seems to me ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Government Finances and Debt

In Alberta Views this month, we have a debate column pair about government debt written by economist Trevor Tombe, and former PC finance minister Ted Morton. There are a number of respects in which I find Morton's arguments are profoundly flawed, and I would like to take some time to address them in more depth ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. -Tom Parkin laments the timidity of the Libs’ budget, while recognizing the opportunities it creates for the NDP: Over $7 billion in infrastructure investment, the cornerstone of the Liberals 2015 election appeal, was cut and pushed past the next election — despite the sorry state of our social housing, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – J.W. Mason reviews Yanis Varoufakis’ Adults in the Room with a focus on how damaging austerity was forced on Greece by other governments. And Jan Rovny comments on the need for Europe’s left-wing parties to adapt to the precarious economy and evolving social structures. – Laurie Monsebraaten reports ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did the Lion roar or snore?

Since the name ‘Singh’ for Sikhs means ‘lion,’ it makes you wonder about New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh. Is he just a cowardly lion, looking for a political Wizard of Oz to give him the courage to address the real needs of his party? He certainly failed to deal with any of the real ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in BC

In anticipation of tomorrow’s provincial budget in British Columbia (BC), I’ve written a blog post about the state of homelessness in that province. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Public operating spending by BC’s provincial government has decreased over the past 20 years. -Even after controlling for inflation, average rent levels across ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Panel discussion at federal NDP policy convention

Yesterday I spoke on a panel discussion on economic inequality, along with Andrew Jackson and Armine Yalnizyan. We were guests at the federal NDP’s policy convention in Ottawa. The panel was moderated by Guy Caron. Topics covered included the minimum wage, basic income, affordable housing, the future of jobs, gender budgeting, poverty among seniors, Canadian ...

Montreal Simon: The Horrifying Con Valentine on Parliament Hill

Well as we all know, yesterday was Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love.Even in that most unromantic of places, Parliament Hill.But funnily enough the way the political parties marked the day, told us a lot about who they are.Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Anna Coote discusses some of the potential problems with a universal basic income on its own – particularly to the extent it takes momentum away from the prospect of universal basic services. – Scott Sinclair examines how little has changed – and how many substantial dangers haven’t – ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Jagmeet’s first challenge.

The new leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has been busier than you think. Taking his party’s leadership was Jagmeet Singh’s easiest task. His journeys around Canada since then have been to convince the party members that an observant Sikh does not have two heads and can also be an effective politician. Now he ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Jago comments on an all-white jury’s acquittal of Gerald Stanley for the shooting death of Colten Boushie. Shree Paradkar notes that the issue of non-representative juries is far from a new one. Scott Gilmore recognizes that Boushie’s death and its aftermath are just one more story ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The NDP and the LEAP liability.

This is unbelievable. The New Democratic Party is having a convention in mid February and we hear the LEAP Manifesto seems to be the selected song book. Not only is the document two years older but it was out of date when introduced in Edmonton to the consternation of the Alberta NDP. It was not ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SK NDP Chasing Fossils

This was sent to me, and the person asked it be published anonymously: Tonight while scrolling though Facebook I noticed a statement from you about the pipeline in BC. I am actually very disappointed to see you support it. We don’t need any more pipelines in this country, we need to invest in solar and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David McGrane writes about Jack Layton’s five great fights – and how they continue to provide an essential framework for social democrats. – Rupert Neate reports on London’s “ghost towers”, which include tens of thousands of high-end homes sitting empty in a city facing a severe housing crisis. ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario votes in June.

While political pundits have obviously thought long and hard on Ontario Premier Wynne’s possible political problems this spring, I doubt her main concern is misogyny. Nobody is mad at her for being a woman and not many voters give a darn about her being in a lesbian relationship. That is not what the provincial vote ...

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 ...