Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Barbara Yaffe discusses Thomas Mulcair's strong start in winning over B.C. voters. And Martin Regg Cohn notes that Stephen Harper is starting to face some real (and needed) pressure from Darrell Dexter and other premiers to start actually talking to the provinces, rather than retreating from shared responsibilities.

- Sure, we should pay attention when public resources are used to make sales pitches for corporate interests. But what's most noteworthy about Jason Fekete's report on the Cons' CETA PR push is the point they didn't even both to answer:
Parliamentarians have been warned by some groups that signing the free-trade agreement could cost the country's health system an extra $2.8 billion annually in pharmaceutical bills and delay access to cheaper generic drugs, due to CETA provisions on intellectual property.

The talking points provided to MPs didn't refute arguments that drug costs would rise, but the politicians were encouraged to say the government "has always sought to strike a balance between promoting innovation and job creation and ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to the affordable drugs they need."
So alongside the "economy or environment" dichotomy the Cons have worked to build, they're also of the view that "economy or health care" is also an either-or choice. And they're entirely happy to throw health care under the bus as their idea of balance.

- Meanwhile, the private prison industry looks more and more to be another destination of handouts from the Cons to the corporate sector.

- Finally, Bob Weber reports that environmentalists and landowners are having to take up the cause of monitoring oil spills for lack of any constructive or honest involvement by any level of government.

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