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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