Saturday, May 04, 2013

Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Helene Leblanc argues that we should make sure the Internet is treated as a commons accessible to all, rather than a privilege denied to many (particularly in rural areas):
Many Canadians living outside urban centres do not have access to high speed broadband Internet and a significant number connect at speeds of 1.5 megabits per second — only marginally faster than dial-up.

In the year 2000 Estonia declared Internet access a fundamental human right, something essential for life in the 21st century, and launched a program to expand rural access. Finland has declared that by 2015, access to a 100 megabits-per-second connection will be a legal right. The U.S.’s National Broadband Plan has set a similar target of Internet service speed of 100 megabits-per-second in at least 100 million homes by 2020.
It is essential that residents of Canada’s Arctic region have access to reliable, affordable communication networks — not only to protect our nation’s sovereignty and for emergency response, but to benefit from the many opportunities living in the 21st century can afford. Emergency responders also need the means to communicate rapidly in the event of disasters in the Arctic and elsewhere.
As government, it is the Conservatives’ responsibility to do more than repeat mindless rhetoric on the economy; they must take action to promote Canadians’ long-term prosperity. Canada needs to be strategic in securing broadband infrastructure for rural and remote regions. A lack of equitable access to high‐speed broadband will leave businesses in rural and remote regions behind in a global economy.
- Ishmael Daro reports that the Cons are already planning for three more years of publicly-funded economic propaganda, while Mike de Souza confirms that the Cons plan to spend yet more money claiming credit for past programs as a substitute for doing anything about climate change. All of which is to confirm that we should be far more concerned about the hundreds of millions of dollars being burned by Stephen Harper's central command than the comparatively trifling cost of MP communications.

- Angella MacEwen points out why we shouldn't simply assume away the problem of unemployment. And Haroon Siddiqui confirms that the Cons are still pushing to use temporary foreign workers to drive down Canadian wages and opportunities.

- Finally, Adam Radwanski recognizes that the Ontario NDP has been effective enough to force Kathleen Wynne to at least give some substance to her party's rhetoric about a "fair society". But Trish Hennessy and Hugh Mackenzie rightly note that Libs' overarching plan still involves long-term austerity rather than social progress.


  1. Greg,

    Re: Ontario NDP

    Something else is going on in Ontario.

    Andrea Horwath wisely stepped-back & let Jagmeet Singh loose on the auto-insurance issue. Singh succeeded, and this has multiple benefits for the provincial party.

    The Liberals may well refuse to implement the promised reduction in auto-insurance rates (a virtual certainty, given their nature). It matters not, because Jagmeet has OWNED this issue for the Ontario NDP. It now exists as exclusive ammunition - capable of targeting both the Conservatives & Liberals in a future campaign.

    More importantly, Singh's prominence helps the NDP take the "next step". We have established stable & popular leadership - thanks to Andrea Horwath. Now, we must present a capable administrative team. Horwath's continued delegation of responsibilities will serve this purpose.

    Khaleesi is coming...,
    Dan Tan

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