Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- John Conway discusses the Cons' project of destroying Canada's social safety net.

- But the good news is that Stephen Harper is running into a few roadblocks along the way. For example, the rule of law - as a Federal Court judge has concluded that the Cons' attempt to impose an arbitrator with connections to both their own party and Air Canada to rule on a collective agreement for Air Canada's workers.

- And Thomas Walkom writes that there are limits to what the Cons can impose on the general public in trying to push the Gateway pipeline:
Harper’s hope was that this combination of toughness, smear and crass ideology — particularly if repeated endlessly in the right-wing media — would convince a big chunk of the broad Canadian middle. The strategy does, after all, work in the U.S.
But it hasn’t here. Public opposition to the scheme is so intense in B.C. that even the avowedly pro-business, governing Liberals have joined in.

Add to this the nightmare of aboriginal politics. First Nations along the pipeline route are threatening to tie up the project for years in court — which they can do.

And the broad public? My guess is that, Joe Oliver notwithstanding, most Canadians don’t regard environmentalist David Suzuki, or even B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark, as dangerous radicals funded by foreign gold.

What they do see is an increasingly shrill federal government whose bully-boy tactics aren’t working.
- Finally, Jordon Cooper comments on the costs of ignoring mental health as a public policy issue:
Across the country we have seen what happens when we underfund mental-health programs. It leads to an increase of people on the streets, it forces police into becoming mental-health workers, and in some situations it leads to deaths. Mental health is a complicated field but until we start to publicly address how we doing, how is it going to get better?

The bar to get help is too high, takes too long, and people end up too close to the edge. We deal a lot with the symptoms in our society - why not tackle the problem directly?

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