Sunday, 30 September 2007

Keith Olbermann Special comment - Petraeus and Bush Hypocrisy

Through the Looking Glass with Jim Flaherty

Below is an excerpt from an interview that Murray Dobbin did with Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, it's good for a chuckle:

"Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said repeatedly in recent weeks that the Canadian economy is "the strongest it has been in a generation." His obvious pride in this situation prompted The Tyee to interview the minister to explore the government's policies that led to this development.

Tyee: Mr. Flaherty, you stated recently that the economy is the strongest it has been in a generation. Could you describe for Canadians the set of economic policies that have led to this extraordinary situation?

Flaherty: Certainly, I would be happy to. Our New Government -- that is the New Government of the New Prime Minister, Stephen Harper -- has taken the view that the economy is best directed by the market itself and that government -- new or otherwise -- should just keep its hands off." ..............

You can read the rest of it by clicking here.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

SFL Endorses Re-opening of Prince Albert Pulp Mill

On September 19, 2007 the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) issued this news release endorsing past, ongoing and future discussions, negotiations and agreements aimed at re-opening the Prince Albert Pulp Mill (previously owned by Weyerhaeuser).

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Veil Lifted on Sask. Party Support for Crown Corporations

Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters" blog has just written a comprehensive analysis of the Sask. Party's position and their plans to privatize Saskatchewan's Crown Corporations entitled: "Saskatchewan Party support for The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act misleading; review and legislative changes likely if elected".

The analysis lifts the veil on the Sask. Party's plans and makes a direct connection between the Sask. Party's Official Policy and the hard-right ideology of The Fraser Institute. Remember the Fraser Institute - they think Saskatchewan should eliminate all Crown Corporations, they think Saskatchewan should eliminate workers' constitutional and charter right to democratically form unions, and they think our minimum wage should be reduced - to name just a few things from their "wish list".

Kuchta concludes:

"It appears that the Saskatchewan Party has misled the public on its support of The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act and continues to do so today.....

.....Again, what the Saskatchewan Party is not telling people is that its support of the Crowns begins and ends with the four major ones with the rest apparently being expendable.

A vote for the Saskatchewan Party is a vote for the Saskatchewan Party Policy Book and a process that could begin the review and dispensing of nearly all of the province’s Crown corporations."

Friday, 14 September 2007

The Denial Machine - CBC Fifth Estate

Fascinating show on Global Warming and the "Big Lie" being supported by U.S. President, George W. Bush; Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and the monied interests that control them. (41 minutes long)

See the CBC Fifth Estate website for further information.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Our Grand Ayatollah - by Murray Dobbin

Murray Dobbin has recently written a great article on TheTyee excerpted below:

"Our Grand Ayatollah
Tom d'Aquino rules Canada's fate. What does he want?

Does Canada, like Iran, have its very own Grand Ayatollah? Iran is technically a democracy with regular elections choosing a legislature and president. But it is well known that no major decisions get made without the express approval of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran, after all, is an Islamic republic and the final arbiter of the country's direction is the supreme Islamic ruler -- democracy or no democracy.

And if you examine the roots of the Security and Prosperity Partnership -- the secretive scheme to annex Canada to the U.S. -- you will find a similar pattern in which the really important decisions aren't decided in Parliament but behind closed doors. Those decisions are made not in collaboration with a religious figure but with the keeper of the Holy Grail of free market fundamentalism. That individual is Tom d'Aquino, the president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) formerly known as the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI).

If you think calling Mr. d'Aquino Canada's Ayatollah is mere hyperbole, consider the fact that not a single federal budget since the early 1980s has ever had its i's dotted or t's crossed without being vetted by the representative of the county's 150 most powerful corporate CEOs.........."

The balance of the article is linked here.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Politics and the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

The role of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is to advocate on behalf of working people. As an umbrella organization representing over 93,500 working families from 36 different and autonomous unions comprised of over 700 different locals we have a diversity of opinion within the memberships of those unions and consequently within the SFL.

In the lead-up to the 2003 provincial election the SFL ran a labour issues campaign that focused on issues important to our broad and diverse membership. Political parties who were interested in garnering support from working families responded to our issues with policy statements and election platforms.

You see it's this way - working men and women elect governments. It's not the other way around.

Because union philosophy and principle is rooted in collective action and in ensuring workers have a democratic voice in the workplace - their political orientation can be described as "progressive". Unions defend worker rights, negotiate for a more fair and equitable distribution of wealth, advocate for healthy and safe workplaces, and fight discrimination to name just a few things.

It will come as no surprise then, that politicians and political parties who respond effectively to these matters of social justice will enjoy broad based support from working families, and consequently their unions.

In the near future, you can expect to see the SFL engaging in a membership based campaign to talk about issues important to Saskatchewan families and urging people to support candidates who support them.

If you are a candidate or political party who attacks working women and men, and/or who attacks their democratic organizations - don't expect a warm reception.

Remember, workers elect politicians - it's not the other way around.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Olbermann calls George Bush a Liar, Again - Special Comment - Sept 4th 2007

TILMA: Canada West Foundation hosts luncheon with Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty; event sponsored by participants of North American Forum

Here's an excerpt from a recent posting by Joe Kuchta over at the Owls and Roosters Blog.

"Like Jason Voorhees, the hockey-masked, machete-wielding killer from the Friday the 13th series of slasher films, the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement just won’t die.

On August 30, 2007, the right wing think tank Canada West Foundation hosted an invitation only luncheon with Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at the Hyatt Regency Calgary. A finance department news release the previous day said the minister “will speak about the current state of Canada’s economy, and the need to meet some key challenges to keep it strong.” Preaching to the faithful Flaherty once again shamelessly attempted to drum up support for the reckless and destructive trade deal."

Read the balance of the article by clicking here. It's great.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Americans Pay a Staggering Cost for Corporate Leadership

United for a Fair Economy has just released their "14th Annual Labor Day ‘Executive Excess’ Report". Below is a short excerpt:

"(Washington, D.C.) With leading Presidential candidates turning up the heat on overpaid CEOs, a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy documents for the first time the extreme pay gaps that have opened up not just between U.S. business leaders and American workers, but between U.S. business leaders and leaders elsewhere in American — and European — society."

Continue reading by clicking here:

Monday, 3 September 2007

The Fraser Institute’s Job-Creation Strategy: Cut Wages

Erin Weir, Economist with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has posted an excellent critique of the Fraser Institute's latest study of North American labour markets over on The Progressive Economics Forum blog.

Earlier I posted comments critical of the Fraser Institute and their flawed methodology and distorted logic. Weir's article reinforces those comments.

Check out Erin's article out by clicking here.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

The Great Iraq Swindle

Matt Taibbi wrote a great article for Rolling Stone entitled "The Great Iraq Swindle". You can view a teaser of the article by watching the YouTube video below:

Here's an excerpt from the written article followed by links to the full article on and

"How Bush allowed an army of for-profit contractors to invade the US Treasury.

How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins - he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq."

To view the complete article on - click here.

To view the complete article on Rolling Stone - click here.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Olbermann: The Lone Ranger

Canada Up For Grabs

Below is an excerpt from an article entitled "Canada Up For Grabs" in The Tyee by freelance writer, author and journalist, Murray Dobbin:

"Stephen Harper's behaviour around the NAFTA leaders' Security and Prosperity Partnership summit was politically reckless, and he will pay a price for it. The summit was really about the deep integration of Canada with the United States, a major concern to anyone concerned about Canada's sovereignty, our ability to manage our borders and regulate trade and corporate behaviour.

Harper's dismissal of the demonstrators outside the Montebello summit as "sad" and his condescending rejection of critics from every opposition party leaves the impression that Mr. Harper thinks he is a monarch, not a minority prime minister."
.... click here to read more.