Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eugene Lang discusses the importance of fiscal choice in the lead up to the 2015 federal election. And Don Cayo reminds us that the Cons' determination to hand free money to the wealthy - most recently through income-splitting and increased TFSA limits - means that everybody else has to pay more for a lesser level of public service.

- Jordan Press reports on the latest conclusions from Canada's Environment Commissioner, who finds the Harper Cons predictably doing nothing whatsoever to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. And Karl Nerenberg looks at the Environment Commissioner's findings in more detail:
Commenting on the fact that the government's sector-by-sector regulatory approach will not achieve the greenhouse gas emission reductions it promised at Copenhagen in 2009 (which were weaker than Kyoto), Gelfand looked straight at the cameras and said:

"When you make a commitment you need to keep it. It is very difficult for Canada to expect other countries to meet their commitments when Canada can't meet its own."

The new Environment Commissioner added that the Conservatives' sector-by-sector regulatory approach is not working, especially since regulations for the oil and gas sector, promised in 2006, are still not forthcoming.

She did reveal, interestingly, that the Harper government has had draft oil and gas regulations sitting on a shelf for about a year; but that it has only consulted very narrowly and privately on those -- and only with one province.

When asked if that province was Alberta, Gelfand pointedly did not say no.

The new Commissioner was withering in her critique of that closed-door approach to policy-making. She said that in dealing with a matter as grave as climate change the government must be open and transparent with the public and with Parliament, and must consult widely.
- Meanwhile, Lauren Krugel highlights the findings of Alberta's Auditor General to the effect that the province is similarly failing to even monitor the environmental effects of tar sands development.

- Jason Demers studies Saskatchewan's desperately overcrowded jails. And the Star-Phoenix makes the case for a stronger focus on rehabilitation, rather than simply warehousing prisoners.

- Finally, Paul Adams criticizes the Cons' insistence on forcing Canada into the latest Iraq war without a plan. And Tim Harper writes that the Harper sales pitch for war was based purely on patriotism and fear rather than any reasonable analysis of options.

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