Monday, April 30, 2018

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Kady O'Malley writes that after years of delays on their promise to reassess Bill C-51, civil rights are just one more area where the Libs' proclamations about "open government" have given way to a closed-door process where only their plans are being given any meaningful consideration.

- Meagan Day makes the case for clinical pharmaceutical trials to be publicly funded (and their full results disclosed). But Jordan Press reports that rather than ensuring that matters of public interest are under public control, the Libs are bargaing ahead with to turn social services into opportunities for corporate profit extraction.

- David Climenhaga highlights the underreporting of workplace injuries in Alberta - and the importance of correcting that problem in order to ensure that safety rules can be effective:
Alberta government statistics for 2016 show that more than 45,500 workers suffered disabling injuries on the job. But because of underreporting, the researchers concluded, the real number was closer to 170,000, and that more than 400,000 experienced one workplace injury in 2016.

"The data suggest a breakdown in the internal responsibility system that is at the heart of the workplace health and safety system in the province," said Matsunaga-Turnbull, executive director of the Alberta Workers Health Centre.

Barnetson, an Athabasca University labour studies professor, acknowledged that Alberta's NDP Government legislated real improvements in worker health and safety when Labour Minister Christina Gray last year brought in the first major changes in occupation health and safety legislation in Alberta in more than 40 years.

However, Barnetson and Matsunaga-Turnbull suggested, the improvements legislated by the NDP won’t mean much without meaningful enforcement.

Accordingly, they called for more, and more vigorous, workplace inspections -- which, of course, would require the hiring of more inspectors. Other recommendations included publication of workplace safety orders, mandatory penalties that escalate for repeat offenders, public shaming of violators, prosecution of employers who retaliate against workers, and an end to the Tory blame-the-worker tactic of ticketing employees.
- Carl Meyer reports on the announcement of federal regulations addressing methane emissions - albeit only on the oil industry's preferred timetable. And Kate Lyons looks at some geoengineering possibilities to counter the effects of climate change.

- Finally, Tom Parkin writes that the Trans Mountain expansion may soon be going the same way as the Northern Gateway - and for the same reasons as the Trudeau Libs' neglect of Indigenous rights has become clear. 

[Edit: added link.]

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