Author Topic: Canadian Politics 2021  (Read 2088 times)

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2021, 02:23:47 AM »
I mentioned that more people died last year in BC of drug overdoses or tainted drugs than COVID-19.  In local politics, we have a situation with camps of homeless people in parks near the city centre, rashes of assault, theft, and arson by against and between them (everything from gasoline thrown on tents to burned buildings), and a municipal government whose plans to set up supportive housing are going more slowly than planned.  Cynics would say that part of the situation is the municipal police looking for a lever to push back against the "defund the police" movement.  One would think that bicycle theft would be down because ferry traffic to Vancouver, where the chopped-up bikes and cars are shipped overseas, is down but there are many people desperate for a fix.

Meanwhile house prices on southern Vancouver Island have been booming  We are finally zoning for more multi-family dwellings on lots and legalizing rented secondary suites but the changes are slow and cautious.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2021, 08:46:47 PM »
Here is an example of student politics in Canada.  All undergraduate students at most Canadian universities belong to a Student Society, which is most often a member of the left-wing advocacy group Canadian Federation of Students.  The society collects fees per member and redistributes some of them to various organizations (as well as usually providing a health and dental plan and gym membership, sometimes subsidized bus tickets, running a student union building with shops, office space, meeting spaces, the radio station, etc).  At the University of Victoria, one of those was the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group, and after an audit a few years ago discovered substantial accounting discrepancies at the VIPRG, they left the UVSS, lost most of their organizers, and refounded themselves under a new name.  The University of Victoria Students Society could not find a new research group to sponsor, so since then the UVSS has been trying to get quorum to pass a referendum to allow them to stop collecting money for VIPIRG and redistribute what they have collected since the VIPIRG left the UVSS.  Getting 15% of students to vote can be hard, especially in a pandemic when they can't put up posters offering "FREE BURGERS AND BEVERAGES" to anyone who attends the meeting, but its what the Societies Act requires.

The local student paper and the UVSS have takes on the story.

I like stories which show ways of being human around the world.  They are factual.  I do not understand how old media and corporate social media became dominated by stories which want you to get angry about a narrative out of American politics.  Grand narratives are always hard and journalists and random people on the Internet do not have the training and detachment to build them scientifically.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 12:51:24 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2021, 04:42:02 PM »
In March, Lt.-Col. Eleanor Taylor, who commanded a rifle company in Kandahar in 2010 and served on the staff of Joint Task Force 2, Canada's most famous special operaions force, resigned her commission

Quote
I am sickened by ongoing investigations of sexual misconduct among our key leaders.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised. I am also certain that the scope of the problem has yet to be exposed. Throughout my career, I have observed insidious and inappropriate use of power for sexual exploitation.

Some senior leaders are unwilling or (perhaps unable) to recognize that their behaviour is harmful both to the victim and to the team.  Some recognize the harm but believe they can keep their behaviour secret. Perhaps worst of all are those in authority, who should know better, but lack the courage and tools to confront the systemic issue.

I have been both a victim of, and participant in, this damaging cycle of silence, and I am proud of neither.

I can't find a link to the full text, just endless articles summarizing it :(  Journalists own themselves so badly by not backing claims with sources as well as an oughties blogger.

The Canadian Forces became the Canadian Armed Forces under Harper.  In 2015 the CF launched Operation Honour, a crackdown on sexual misconduct within the force, under a general who is currently facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2021, 09:40:42 PM »
Naheed Nenshi, the mayor of Calgary (about 1.3 million in the metropolitan area, not sure if its all 'Calgary' or if some of the municipalities are still formally independent) has decided not to run for re-election after 11 years.  After the late Rob Ford he is probably the most famous mayor in Anglo Canada.  He announced it on YouTube !?! and did not say anything about why he made this choice (apparently he said some polite nothings to an interviewer on 6 April).

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2021, 03:34:08 PM »
11 years is a fairly long time in any major executive role in any case, I suppose.
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2021, 06:22:04 AM »
I don't know Alberta city politics, it does not feel like an unusually short or long period but he is not yet 50.

From Wikipedia, it looks like of the last five mayors, four won three or four elections in a row and then stepped down rather than run again.  I wonder what he will do next.

Someone called Trevor Tombe at the University of Calgary believes that the COVID-19 infection rate in Canada will exceed the rate in the United States in mid April 2021.  Some provincial governments have handled things miserably, and Canada does not have as many doses of vaccine per million inhabitants as the UK does.  Also, in some provinces workers are not guaranteed paid sick leave.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 10:07:23 PM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2021, 03:00:55 AM »
The Old Media are beating hard against the federal and most provincial governments for their mishandling of the pandemic. 

The Supreme Court of Canada just ruled that the Sinixit nation still exists on the south side of the Medicine Line, so still has rights north of it.  (There are a fair number of Sinixit on the north side, but not concentrated enough that the government has to admit they are still a nation). The Canadian-US border was literally drawn by picking a point on the Great Lakes and running it west to wherever it hits the Pacific (with a bit of fudging around the Salish Sea) and then each state set out to ethnically cleanse its side of the line.  It was a way to get no more British-US wars after 1815 and especially 1865 when the UK looked at the size of the Union Army and Navy and the cost of defending Canada and sent some telegrams.  So it does not correspond very well with indigenous human geography.

Oh, and the environmentalist press has noticed that the new BC government is projecting that GHG emissions will continue to increase until 2023 (they budget for revenue from the carbon tax, and have committed to carbon tax rates for the next few years, so from revenue you can deduce taxable emissions).  Since they have committed to a 20% cut below 2018 levels by 2025, one of the two targets will have to fail. https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/04/23/Piecemeal-Budget-BC-Headed-Towards-Climate-Failure/
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 07:22:36 PM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2021, 11:50:17 AM »
We've been discussing Carbon Taxes a lot in Lib Dem policy circles recently. I keep having to point out that a key problem with them is that if they work they make less money, which makes them a really bad way to fund regular spending priorities. They'd be a good way of e.g. building sovereign wealth funds, but they're a poor choice to back day to day spending unless you actually don't think they're going to achieve their stated goal of reducing emissions (in which case we need to do it another way).
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dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2021, 08:36:20 PM »
Also, many carbon taxes in Canada are at least partially paid back to low-income taxpayers.  And its easier to create them to get them to cover 90% of emissions at a price high enough that people stop emitting.

I have seen one poll that satisfaction with federal and most provincial governments' handling of the pandemic is falling since winter 2020/2021, but polls in Canada are not very reliable.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2021, 10:23:03 PM »
Committees of doctors are starting to say "maybe we can't eliminate the virus in Canada any more but we should still try to drastically reduce numbers of cases" while others are wondering if immunization can eliminate the virus given that the more infectious variants would require 80-90% of the population to be immune to create herd immunity, while the 13% of the population under the age of 12 cannot presently be vaccinated at all.  So again, the provinces which tried to eliminate the virus had a much more successful strategy than the provinces which tried to manage it.

There is a three-way clash between logging companies  backed by the BC government, the local First Nations, and settler environmentalists about logging an untouched old-growth forest along Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island.  Some people think this is another case of someone pulling off the mask and deciding "get it in the last days that getting is good."

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2021, 04:58:35 PM »
Have I talked about the dismantling of Laurentian University in Northern Ontario by its president at all?

This also shows the history of higher education in eastern Canada, because Laurentian was federated with a group of small sectarian universities with mostly 19th century origins. Federation was a way to evade restrictions on public funds for denomiational institutions, but it let several institutions with less than the usual tens of thousands of students for a Canadian university survive.  The president cut them loose and they will probably close or shrink.  Its not clear that Laurentian has the right to do this but education is a provincial responsibility and the province is run by a Ford.

By the time settlers got out west we were already losing our religion and especially institutions.

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2021, 12:10:11 AM »
The gang wars continue with relatives of victims in Vancouver being murdered in Alberta.  Many of these shootings are in public and broad daylight which is not customary (usually, someone with gang connections turns up dead in a rural area or a back alley).

The Ceeb has a pretty good long form piece on a cryptocurrency business owner who died mysteriously in India on his honeymoon and seemed to have been running a Ponzi scheme on CAD $250m of other people's savings.  They don't emphasize the bit that just before his death he had signed over his property to his wife, they are more interested in "was that really his body?"  https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/bitcoin-gerald-cotten-quadriga-cx-death

I don't really hear about anything that any level of government is doing actively other than releasing press releases.  The federal government wants to launch another round of inquiries into sexual assault and misogyny in the military, and make the people who were abused as far back as the 1990s testify again, rather than implement the remaining recommendations of the past 25 years of inquiries.



While Canada was quicker to open up all jobs in the military to both sexes than many countries (a Captain Nichola Goddard was killed with the Patricias in 2006), I don't know if we have been successful as Colin Powel's US military in making those jobs welcoming to all Canadians regardless of race or sex.  War poet Suzanne Steele did not talk about the kinds of incidents which many women, South Asians, and First Nations in uniform or DND civil service have experienced.


Canadian police forces seem to have trouble prosecuting white collar crime and fraud: here is a different example from
Vancouver Island.  Money laundering through casinos and property used to be a significant part of the BC economy like the marijuana trade.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 06:37:32 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2021, 08:37:08 PM »
Green paper The Tyee has a pretty good piece on the giant log seen trucking down a Vancouver Island road from Fairy Creek: the government's defense was that it was felled in 2020 before a new regulation against cutting "special (especially large) trees" came in to effect, but that regulation only covers trees so giant that they would not fit on a standard 2.6 metre wide logging truck.  This sitka spruce was 2.12 m wide at breast height, and Sitka spruce up to 2.83 m wide can be felled.

A number of BC news organizations have launched legal action against the government and RCMP for declaring a giant exclusion zone which prevents them from reporting on the attempts of the RCMP to clear land defenders out of Fairy Creek and make way for the loggers.  By police figures, more than 100 people have been arrested.

Rolling Stone has a piece from November 2020 on Canadian-American adventurer Jordan Goudreau's failed attempt to kidnap the president of Venuzuela in May 2020 (link)  There are hints that the Venuzuelans may have summarily executed some of the invaders, although Goudreau (who had to stay back in Florida) shrugs "c'est la guerre, our side did it in Iraq."
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 12:11:29 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2021, 11:31:06 PM »
The discovery of one of the many unmarked cemeteries at Caanda's residential schools by ground-penetrating radar is really getting a lot of attention in Old Media and online.  You would have to be deliberately clueless to not know that these existed, but former Minister for Indian Affairs Jean Cretien is that clueless (he recently pronounced that the First Nations need to move off their reserves to cities, but the reason that reserves are remote is that they were placed wherever was not valuable to settlers and First Nations in cities face murder and other forms of discrimination- there is a long tradition of white settler violence against First Nations, Chinese, and Japanese workers and business owners who seemed 'too successful'- HergĂ© knew about moving First Nations at gunpoint if resources were found on their land in the 1930s).  And its better to have people move in the right direction for sentimental reasons (215 unmarked graves in one city is more concrete then tens of thousands all over the country) than in the wrong direction after a careful rational consideration!

The United States has quietly announced that Canada will be one of the countries receiving the first batch of unneeded doses of COVID-19 vaccine.  There is high fiving in various Prime Minister's Offices and premier's offices, but I don't know if Canada will be getting as many as they had hoped for.

Canada recently appologized to the Italians and Italian-Canadians it interned durign WW II.  This is somewhat controversial because whereas Canada interned all Japanese and Japanese-Canadians on the west coast in a straightforward predatory action on behalf of neighbours who wanted their property and jobs, it only interned a few hundred Italians and Italian-Canadians who were believed to have strong individual connections to the Fascist party.

And oh wow: a journalist in Halifax published transcripts of three calls to 9-1-1 during the Portapique massacre.  All three mentioned what seemed to be a police car eight hours before the RCMP claims to have learned that the murderer was driving as his common-law wife came out of hiding; different calls call the shooter "a denturist" and "my neighbour Gabe."  Two of the transcripts end as the person on the line is transferred to the RCMP.  If these transcripts are correct, the RCMP has  been lying about fundamental aspects of the case for fourteen months, and could have prevented some of the later killings (including the killing of RCMP officers!)  Apparently the paper is a shady tabloid but the author is an accomplished journalist.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 03:39:40 AM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Canadian Politics 2021
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2021, 05:30:05 PM »
One of Canada's three Green MPs just crossed the aisle to the Liberals citing "distractions" and a lack of a "supportive and collaborative environment."  There is speculation that arguments about the party's policy towards the government of Israel had something to do that, but that could just be spin- people often engineer blowups in the federal NDP over how much to criticize the government of Israel whenever it seems like it might slip into first or second place.  So both the federal and BC provincial Greens have DRAMA during the pandemic.

The MP's response to the 2021 budget gives a pretty good idea why I am very wary of the federal Liberals.

Oh, and the premier of Alberta is accused of holding indoor social gatherings at a restaraunt and a private home in contradiction to the COVID restrictions.  He says he ate there twice in 2019 and not since, the restaraunt says he was never there.  Alberta and Ontario seem like the provinces whose mishandling of the pandemic might result in a change of government next election.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 06:05:44 PM by dubsartur »