Politics and its Discontents: The Neoliberal Creep – Part 2

While Part 1 dealt with the neoliberal agenda influencing Bill Morneau’s retraction of his pharmacare promise, today’s post deals with that same influence, this time on Canada’s ‘evolving’ position on foreign aid. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she wants to use the new $2 billion in extra aid dollars in the new budget to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Infrastructure Crisis

While I think it is widely known here that Canada has a massive infrastructure deficit to the tune of $123 billion, people are perhaps less aware of the dire situation in the United States, where over 54,000 bridges are literally crumbling. Why is this newsworthy? Well, in addition to the very real daily risk of ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP needs to react more quickly, plus throw the Tories under the bus where they belong

PHOTOS: Carbon capture: The oil company executive in the bow tie places the carbon in a bottle, which is then stored underground by his corporation for billions of dollars. Or something like that. If the bottle breaks, of course, we’re screwed! Actual carbon capture schemes may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The Redford legacy haunts Prentice Tories

TweetMost people rely on TripAdvisor or call a travel agent to book hotels for overseas trips, but it is alleged by intrepid CBC investigative journalists that former Premier Alison Redford dispatched a staffer to visit hotels and restaurants in advance of her trips to India, China, Switzerland, Washington, and Toronto for a cost of nearly $330,000. It is not ...

Alberta Diary: The only hope for Alberta’s Tories now may be a call to Ghostbusters, or an exorcist!

The Ric McIver campaign balloon makes its way through downtown Calgary. Who ya gonna call? Kathleen Wynne? Some of the cast of the Gong Show, Alberta Edition, below: Former infrastructure minister McIver, Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale, and actual acting infrastructure minister Dave Hancock. Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party is looking for a new leader, but what ...

OPSEU Diablogue: Election 2014: Shocked… shocked to find there’s been privatization going on here

There is a scene in the movie Casablanca where café owner Rick is surprised to see his friend Captain Renault has sent the police to close down his backroom casino. “I’m shocked… shocked to find that gambling is going on in there,” … Continue reading →

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Ontario Budget Debate Ignores Taxes and Billions Transferred to For-Profit Corporations

Ontario’s budget debate may be high profile, but it misses two essential points. With the NDP signaling NO TAX INCREASES (on the middle class) a serious discussion about taxes, particularly the need to increase corporate and wealth taxes, will not take place. It is hard to have any serious budget discussion without considering the income ...

OPSEU Diablogue: Jim – it’s you who loves P3s, not us

The Honourable Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance House of Commons Centre Block Building – Room 435-S Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 Dear Jim  – We get it. You love public-private partnerships, or as most like to call ‘em, P3s. The sound of … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Short Takes: Hillier’s remarkable labour conversion, the battle of the inequality authors and more

It is somewhat astonishing to see PC Randy Hillier vote against a Tory private member’s bill that would free construction giant EllisDon from a 55-year-old obligation to hire only unionized labour. This is the same Randy Hillier who, as the … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Privately-developed London mental health hospitals justified by massive “risk” calculations

Evaluating value-for-money on a privatized public infrastructure project has always been a bit of a mugs game. A value-for-money (VFM) assessment is produced every time the province engages the private sector in the building of public infrastructure such as hospitals, court houses, … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Kingston votes 96 per cent against hospital privatization

It had all the trappings of an election. There were lawn signs, TV commercials, and door-to-door campaigners. The local media solicited the views of both politicians and citizens as everyone scrambled to become informed before the vote. Saturday Kingston residents … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: P3s for Dummies: Part III — Fool us once, twice, fool us some more

Ontario has been leading the country in pursuing private deals to finance, develop and maintain public infrastructure projects, including a significant number of major hospital redevelopments. Last week we looked at how public-private partnerships turn projects away from the public … Continue reading →

Politics, Re-Spun: Privatization Via Blackmail

If you want to see why there isn’t much of a real left wing in the USA, this graph of those seeking the White House in 2008 pretty much covers it. 2008 US presidential candidates show little actual left wing juice. If you want proof of how the neoliberal US Democratic Party is like the ...

OPSEU Diablogue: Report identifies cost of Ontario P3s: 16 per cent more

Ontario has moved much faster than other provinces in establishing private contracts to design, build, finance, maintain and sometimes operate public infrastructure projects. Despite many warnings, the province appears to have dismissed evidence that shows these kinds of arrangements can … Continue reading →