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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Alana Westwood: Stephen Harper’s blatant hypocrisy on science (in The Toronto Star)

"In a CBC interview, Stephen Harper chided Canadians for not listening to scientific evidence, but he has been doing that for years."

Stephen Harper’s blatant hypocrisy on science | Toronto Star

Alana Westwood is a PhD Candidate at Dalhousie University and a volunteer coordinator at Evidence for Democracy.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chantal Hébert: Stephen Harper presiding over Tories’ self-destructive madness (in The Toronto Star)

"When historians look back on Stephen Harper’s (first?) decade in power, what will they make of the trail of institutional wreckage that his government is leaving in its wake?

"Will they conclude that a mastermind determined to change the course of the ship of state at all costs was in charge, or just a bunch of drunken sailors?

"The Conservatives came to power in 2006 as institutional reformers. But three mandates later, one would look in vain for a method to the self-destructive madness that they are presiding over. ...

"A Forum Research survey revealed this week that the PMO has become one of Canada’s least trusted political institutions, almost on par with the maligned Senate.

"It may not yet have dawned on its occupants that what Canadians think of the PMO is usually not divorced from their opinion of the leader who runs it."

Stephen Harper presiding over Tories’ self-destructive madness: Hébert | Toronto Star

Friday, May 30, 2014

Jerry Dias: Anyone but Tim Hudak for Ontario premier (in The Toronto Star)

"[Ontario PC Leader Tim] Hudak said in February that he would not pursue right to work legislation if he becomes premier. But now his claims for a million jobs rely in part on right to work laws coming to Ontario. That means either Hudak is still committed to the idea or the analysis is even more deeply flawed. Either way, we can’t trust the numbers.

"The Conservatives’ own analysis claims that Hudak’s regulatory changes would mean a one-time boost of 10,600 jobs. But once the Conservative campaign team got its hands on the research, the claim was inflated to 84,800 jobs, or 10,600 in each of the next eight years.

"That’s a far cry from the one-time boost their analysis predicted.

"So this is what we end up with: job creation numbers based on suspect assumptions, stemming from a policy that Hudak claims he will not pursue, and then multiplied by eight by the Conservative campaign team."

Anyone but Tim Hudak for Ontario premier | Toronto Star

Jerry Dias is National President of Unifor, Canada’s largest union in the private sector. To see Unifor’s research into Tim Hudak’s job plan, go to:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rick Salutin: Tim Hudak's fear-based economic policy (in The Toronto Star)

"I used to think balanced budget panic was a pretext whipped up by right wing ideologues who hate big government or equality but I now think it’s more truly felt. Debt was a basis of growth for 5,000 years — as anthropologist and activist David Graeber has written — but only recently became a source of mass fear and shame. ...

"The economics professoriat has a lot to answer for here. They provided the murky rationales for the discontinuous two-step that Tim Hudak has happily uncloaked for all to see. Why economists receive such cred is another question. They alone get to torture whole countries like Greece, solely on the base of their dubious models. Would you let a historian tell you what alliances to make or give him the keys to the foreign policy car?"

Tim Hudak's fear-based economic policy: Salutin | Toronto Star

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carol Goar: Natural catastrophes mount while Harper shrugs (in The Toronto Star)

"As scientists produce ever more evidence that climate change is disrupting the atmosphere, causing more floods, droughts, storm surges, wildfires, landslides, extreme cold snaps and deadly heat waves, Canada’s financiers are beginning to sound the alarm. ...

"What [the Toronto Dominion Bank's report entitled Natural Catastrophes: A Canadian Perspective] aims to do is persuade policy-makers, business leaders and individuals in Canada to mitigate the impact of the climate upheavals that are already happening or foreseeable.

"Most of the provinces are already taking steps to limit the damage. Oil companies, automakers and homebuilders, likewise, are making adjustments. Only the federal government refuses to deviate from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s full-steam-ahead approach to energy development.

Natural catastrophes mount while Harper shrugs: Goar | Toronto Star

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rick Salutin: The end of Mad Men and the era of ads (in The Toronto Star)

"What ever made anyone think news and ads could easily mix? It wasn’t always so. If you look at early newspapers, like William Lyon Mackenzie’s Colonial Advocate (Toronto in the 1830s), it’s a solid wall of news and opinion. The only ads are classified, from readers to readers, like the Internet. Ads came to dominate all other forms of income but it was an uncomfortable marriage; and it’s crazy to think the divorce won’t ultimately be a Good Thing, even if the stresses are agonizing now, especially for people working in journalism.

"Or TV. Who could imagine TV without ads, it was always ads. But the best TV ever, like Mad Men, was done for cable, with its alternate revenue stream, coming straight from viewers."

The end of Mad Men and the era of ads: Salutin | Toronto Star

Interesting article on the future of ads.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tony Burman: Climate change — time to wake up, smell the CO2 (in The Toronto Star)

"If hell on Earth doesn’t actually exist, the essential message from this week’s dramatic United Nations climate change report is that it one day might.

"And if that does happen, can I be the first to propose that its hottest corner be reserved for the political and media ideologues and “deniers” — including here in Canada — who act as if this fragile, overwhelmed planet is their own personal piggy bank from which to loot? ...

"The world’s nations are beginning to work toward a new international climate change protocol that would replace Kyoto. The crucial meeting will be in Paris at the end of 2015. Governments will gather there claiming some sort of mandate from their voters to determine the road ahead.

"Canada is scheduled to go the polls next year, shortly before this meeting is held.

"Isn’t this a great opportunity for Canadians as a people to reclaim our commitment to an environmental policy that truly serves our future generations?"

Climate change — time to wake up, smell the CO2: Burman | Toronto Star

Tony Burman, former head of Al-Jazeera English and CBC News, teaches journalism at Ryerson University. ( )