A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of the man, I think he’s arrogant, short sighted, and nothing close to a “man of the people” that he pretends to be. When was the last time you were invited to Bilderberg as he is?

For a decade we’ve endured his constant fiscal mismanagement of our province, giving us deficit budget after deficit budget, and what do we have to show for it? Our boom/bust economy is still so fragile, that Wall admits a $10/tonne #carbontax might cripple it, even though that’s the equivalent to a 2.4 cent/L gasoline price increase by reasonable calculations.

People who live in Regina may remember the last mayor refusing to raise property taxes. Not so hard when property values were stagnant, but then 2006/7 came around, and prices doubled or tripled here. Without the benefit of incremental changes, many were caught with their pants down.

Now the same has happened with the Liberals back in Ottawa, and with 10 years of Conservative stagnation on incremental environmental pollution controls, we’re going to experience a little sticker shock when we have to buy the next generation of technology to get by in the changing world.

There will be a lot of fear and ignorance on display, but what else could we expect after the Conservatives paid (using our tax money) to deliver black and white propaganda to our mailboxes, proclaiming that a “tax on everything” was coming with Dion and Goodale.

Trudeau To Rush A Billion Dollars to Wall and Notley

The government is in talks to quickly allocate $1 billion for infrastructure projects in the two provinces — money earmarked by the previous government’s infrastructure fund but not yet delivered, two of the officials said.

I sincerely hope that this money goes into supporting the growing renewable energy industry, and not into propping up the fossil fuel industry instead.

2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

#IdleNoMore: Regina Round Dance on Albert St. Bridge

Another exciting day of protest in Regina, and across the country, as Canadians rise up against the Harper regime and their undemocratic ominbus bills. This was at least the second march down Regina’s main street, Albert St. in the past weeks, and the second appearance of a crowd of hundreds in front of the Legislature too.

#IdleNoMore Regina

#IdleNoMore Regina

I estimated more than 300 people were packed onto one lane of Albert St. for the entire Green Mile (and then some). A few minutes were taken on the Albert St. Bridge (longest bridge over shortest span of water, in the world) to do a round dance.

Last night, Saskatoon’s downtown mall saw thousands of people show up in protest of the Harper ominbus bill C-45, and the removal of fresh and navigable waters protection (among other abuses).

Today, Warren McCall reminded people that it’s not just First Nations this undemocratic bill harms. Chief Spence in Ottawa, starving for justice, is leading the way. Harper has time for Bieber, but not for Chief Spence or other Chiefs?

#IdleNoMore Regina

#IdleNoMore Regina

-Goodale makes an announcement that draws a roar from the crowd.

ADDED – CTV’s report.

Last Updated Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 7:45PM CST

In First Nations culture, a round dance is common – it symbolizes peace and friendship. But Friday afternoon what wasn’t common was where an Idle No More round dance was held .

Hundreds of supporters stopped traffic on Regina’s busy Albert Street bridge. The rally was peaceful. It coincided with dozens of other such events across the nation. First nations elder Mike Pinay told CTV News “ we have to sit down and work together and save this land, this country and these waters”.

Idle No More supporters oppose federal bill c-45 which impacts many aspects of Canadian life – from the treaties of First Nations people to protection of lakes and rivers.

Regina Liberal MP Ralph Goodale argues the bill was “not advanced in a way that was proper and consistent with the democratic process of Canada.”

Organizers vow Friday’s event will not be the last.

Mosaic 2012 #WHYQR

I had an excellent evening out in Regina with my wife, family, and friends. I met some Ward 1 residents too along the way, including Joe and his wife. Joe’s writing a book about Regina, and it may be available by the end of this year. He also had very interesting comments about municipal politics here, including an idea (not acted on 30 years ago) to do away with the Ward numbers, and focus on geographical names with more meaning instead. Hillsdale, Douglas Park, and Whitmore Park would have meaning to more local people than “Ward 1”. I would have talked longer, but had other pavilions to get to, and the six year old we were babysitting didn’t want to wait to see more. I just realized, looking at Joe’s business card, that I saw his car on the way into the Irish pavilion, because I noticed the Rider plate with his name and mistakenly thought it was a phonetic attempt to match a radio station name.

At the Greek pavilion I also got to talk with education-Tweeter-extraordinaire Alec, who may be pitching an idea I gave him, on the radio next week.

So far I’ve been to Hellenic (Greece), Kyiv (Ukraine; try the borscht), Irish, Scottish, Korean (lit my mouth on fire with some kim-chi), Philippines, and Hungary. I’d like to catch them all, but won’t have time, so the short list for Saturday is Chile, Caribbean, Francophone, and First Nations. Hopefully I squeak in a few more than that.

I heard that people were evacuated from the German Club around 9:30pm due to some electrical problem that was soon resolved. The party ended up in the street, and in the tent instead.

At Hungary, I got to talk with Ralph Goodale a little bit as crowd control kicked in to hold up the line we were waiting in. He congratulated me on entering municipal politics, and gave me some pointers. Which reminds me, Joe spoke highly of Mayor Nenshi’s social media campaign, and recommended I follow it. I explained that as a blogger, I have years of “dirt” people can readily dig up and take out of context, at the push of a button, so not all of Nenshi’s methods of message control are open to me. Although, he’s certainly a legend in municipal politics and social media circles. I sure hope I have a shred of his social-savvy.

Who Won in Wascana? The “Losers”

The non-voting bloc won. Or might I say, they almost certainly didn’t get what they wanted, or didn’t try for what they wanted.

The federal riding of Wascana is the only Liberal seat in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, and will probably remain that way for the next 5 years. The results of it are interesting, as are many of Canada’s 308 elections, because the non-voting adults could have singularly elected a different candidate without changing other voters’ votes.

Voter turnout: 38,777 of 57,034 registered electors (68.0%) = 18,257 non-voters
Liberal Ralph Goodale 15,842 40.9%
Conservative Ian Shields 14,292 36.9%
NDP Marc Spooner 7,689 19.8%
Green Party Bill Clary 954 2.5%

My critics may say, “Yeah, but Goodale [or insert your “winning” MP in place of his name] got the single most votes of those who ran.” My critics would technically be correct, but it’s also technically correct to say that he got the most votes of the available candidates, who all failed to suitably impress at least half of the electorate enough to mark an X beside his name.

As Stephen Harper said before the election campaign, “Losers don’t get to form coalitions“.

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Debate Protest

Democracy is hard work, but who says it can’t be fun? I was tossing around the idea of picketing a Consortium station, to protest the exclusion of the Greens (and other registered parties) from televised leaders debates. I’ve talked myself into it, so there will be at the least me outside CBC Regina sometime in the coming week, protesting their anti-democratic televised debate format. There are protests across Canada listed on the Green Party website. I hope to get my protest listed there soon.

Harper and Ignatieff refuse to debate Elizabeth May

If you’re not near a TV station to come out for an hour with a sign, and display your displeasure with the media being hijacked to protect the established political parties, then write a letter to the editor of your local paper. This excellent letter was published in Saskatoon.

I asked Ralph Goodale on Tuesday to tell Ignatieff that he should challenge Elizabeth May to a debate too, since Harper is too chicken to debate him. He said he’d ask. I also said that Ignatieff’s token support for saying that he wants May in the debate is meaningless without real action against the Consortium by threatening to boycott it until fairness is restored and May is given a seat again like the Greens were in 2008.

Some reasons I feel it’s important to protest the debate scandal that popped up again like it did last campaign:

@JohnCollison: Broadcasting Cartel protects Incumbent Parties from competition who in turn protect broadcasters from competition

And there are some blinkered progressive Twitterers that are so desperate for any advantage by leaving promotion of the Green platform out of national TV coverage, that they are trying to justify the Consortium’s ridiculous excuse that a judge swallowed today: May should have sued the Broadcast Consortium before the campaign, after being included in the 2008 election for inclusion in all future debates. Somehow these people have time machines and knew that the Consortium would go back on past-practice and move the goal posts when it again looked like May and the Greens were going to score a winning kick.

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