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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brought to you by Bollywood?

In reviewing the three leaders of the major political parties in Canada, we came up with what we consider the key question for Jagmeet Singh: Why? What is the new leader of the New Democratic Party out to prove? Was his taking the leadership of the National NDP just a Bollywood production? First of all, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Andrea Horwath.

Not many of us in Ontario feel we know Andrea Horwath. After 12 years in the Ontario Legislature, eight-years as leader of the Ontario New Democrats and through two general elections since becoming leader, you would expect to know her better. It is a sign of the ennui of the NDP that she has not ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones discusses how an ideology of individualism has undermined both freedom and security for most of the UK’s citizens: There are several reasons why rampant individualism sits at the core of the Tory project. Individualism promotes the idea that our successes in life are purely down ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: This Lone Ranger wears a skirt.

You have to admit the lady has guts. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has the nerve and verve that denies her gender. She is tough and even when she is wrong she is unwavering. She does Alberta proud but rides the range alone. The daughter of a former New Democratic Party leader, Ms. Notley defies the ...

Politics and its Discontents: It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

Should he find the federal leadership of the NDP not to his taste, I suspect that Jagmeet Singh has more than one career option to fall back on. He could, of course, return to his law practice, or he could embark upon an entirely new path and become a New Age life coach. He’d be ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Rachel wants you on her side.

Do you feel threatened by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley? It seems the lady can scare anyone who gets in her way. Right now, she is in a rage against people who think pipelines for bitumen are bad for the environment. You either ride the bitumen bus with Rachel or she might throw you under it. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Longingly looking for liberalism.

A correspondent from British Columbia recently asked “What is a Liberal party bereft of liberalism?” He was, of course, describing the situation today where the Conservative parties are moving farther and farther to the harshest right, Liberals are the new Conservative-Light and the New Democrats are lost in a confused and undetermined world of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Surrender of Socialism.

For what began as a socialist dream on the Prairies during the Great Depression, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and its successor New Democratic Party (NDP) have seen little success on the federal sphere in Canada. The party might now be moving into its twilight. Unlike the pattern of the Conservative and Liberal parties, the ...

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario NDP Digs Huge Hole With Millennial Vote Over College Strike

(Andrea Horwath Looks Tone Deaf on Biggest Voting Demographic) The decision by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to order striking college workers back to work was a decision that was based purely on politics geared towards getting the millennial vote ahead of provincial election.  Wynne has seemingly backed the Ontario NDP into a corner on their ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The despotism of First-Past-the-Post?

One of our favourite political bloggers wrote a desperate ‘cri de Coeur’ the other day against what he perceives as the despotism of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. He lives on Canada’s Left Coast and writes under the pseudonym ‘The Mound of Sound.’ Rather than simply refuting his assertions, I think it is important to find the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Thomas Frank asks how we’ve allowed billionaires to escape any responsibility for the maintenance of civilization by moving their wealth offshore: I know that what the billionaires and the celebrities have done is legal. They merely took advantage of the system. It’s the system itself, and the way ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Chuckles’ chooses chaos.

Have you ever wondered at how Member’s of Parliament can keep on speaking while being constantly heckled? It seems it is all part of the theatre that parliament provides and is a big part of the daily question period. There will always be exceptions but the chaos heckling creates can be easily quieted if just ...