Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thomas Walkom makes the point that the hysterical response from Brad Wall and others can't mask the fact that Thomas Mulcair is right in his analysis of the effect of a high, resource-driven dollar:
Mulcair’s solution is hardly radical. He argues that the petroleum industry currently does not have to cover the full environmental cost of extracting heavy oil. If it were forced to cover these costs, he says, oilsands development would slow and the dollar would come down.
An expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada came to much the same conclusion in December, 2010. It pooh-poohed those who describe the tar sands in apocalyptic terms. But it did find that the environmental costs of oilsands development were not being taken into account.
Incidentally, this is much the same critique that former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed made when he urged oilsands developers to move more slowly.
The western premiers may attack Mulcair. But they know he’s right.
- Meanwhile, Eric Beauchesne rightly notes that for all the economic bluster from the Cons and their corporate allies, the Harper government is doing far more damage to Canada's economy through gratuitous austerity than it can possibly claim to avoid through its attacks on labour.

- Jason proposes one way to make the social determinants of health: by creating a ministry responsible for them so as to avoid claims that it isn't anybody's job to consider them. But I'd think rather than a separate ministry, the better path might be to filter all policy choices (regardless of the department responsible) through an analysis of their effect on the social determinants of health.

- Finally, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter's discussion of head vs. heart in politics (and associated conclusion that we need a "slow politics" to counteract the right-wing instant attack machine) is well worth a read.

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