Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Pat Atkinson discusses the need to make sure that Saskatchewan's boom-time spending actually sets us up for long-term prosperity, rather than fiscal disaster:
Even though the OECD report, the burgeoning federal government deficit, China's economic slowdown and America's political deadlock all advise us that now is the time for caution, the Wall government is trapped. Its political image is completely dependent upon constant economic growth or the appearance of it.

It is so cemented in its own message of a New Saskatchewan, that any deviation from it is unlikely.
From its first day in office, the Sask. Party oversold its product and cannot now risk voter wrath if the public is suddenly (and unexpectedly) informed of the government's deteriorating fiscal climate.

It is time our government started planning for tougher times, if only for the simple reason to err on the side of caution.

The Wall government and Krawetz seem equipped to ride the wave, but are ill-prepared to manage in challenging times. When the government starts believing its own hype, we're all in trouble.
- Meanwhile, Barbara Yaffe highlights the absurdity of the Harper Cons raiding tens of millions of public dollars for War of 1812 jingoism while cutting desperately-needed public programs.

- Trish Hennessy notes that Tim Hudak's ideological drive to privatize liquor sales in Ontario isn't based on any reason to think the province will do anything but lose out in the process. And of course, the same applies here in Saskatchewan.

- Finally, while Jason Warick's report on the disturbingly cozy relationship between the uranium industry and the community of Pinehouse has received some attention, this looks to me to be the most worrisome aspect of how future interests are being sold out for a modest amount of immediate funding:
Highlights of the draft agreement between Pinehouse, Cameco Corp. and Areva:
Pinehouse agrees to not make any future financial requests or claims against the companies.
Now, normally restrictions on future liability are treated with skepticism by the courts, and I'd hope this particular one would be limited to the types of claims or requests already involved in the agreement. But how short-sighted would an agreement look if it managed to get a mining operation off the hook for a future nuclear disaster?

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