Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Alexander Panetta reports on the G20's agreement on the need to crack down on tax evasion - as well as the steps Canada needs to take to get our own house in order:
The final communique warned of actions against countries that don't agree within a year to adopt bank-reporting standards being promoted by international agencies.
One section of the G20 communique applies to more countries, including Canada. It says countries must do a better job of tracking down the true owners of companies, specifically those who might be hiding behind strawmen.

Dennis Howlett says Canada is currently in non-compliance with that provision. The executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness says oversight is especially weak in some provinces.

"Canada has a lot of work to do to comply with the international standards on transparency of beneficial ownership," he said.
A recent report by the group Transparency International said Canada runs afoul of multiple internationally-agreed standards set by the G20. It says Canadian law doesn't properly define beneficial ownership — the true identity of people drawing profit from a company. It also says authorities aren't required to track their identity, nor can they easily access their identity.
- Steven Chase confirms that the Libs' choice to approve a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia came long after they were aware of increasing human rights abuses. And Susana Mas highlights the Libs' limited and selective disclosure of the facts they're willing to share publicly even now.

- Raul Aldaz reviews Gianluca Passarelli's study of the presidentialization of political parties around the world. And in what looks to offer a prime example, Tim Naumetz points out Justin Trudeau's plan to take any remaining policy-making levers out of the hands of the Libs' membership.

- Duff Conacher suggests that we can look to Quebec for an example in taking big money out of party politics.

- Finally, Trish Kahle discusses the need and opportunity for the labour and environmental movements to develop shared goals, rather than allowing cynical corporate interests to pit them against each other:
Environmental politics must become generalized in the labor movement, and vice versa. The language of climate justice has already begun to infuse a sense of class politics into environmentalism, and green groups’ support for recent labor struggles is a promising step forward. Initiatives like the Labor Network for Sustainability, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, and the BlueGreen Alliance are helping to connect the dots. But environmentalists must go further, acknowledging that there can be no real solution to the energy crisis without the input and leadership of the people who already do the work. Understanding the climate crisis as part of neoliberalism’s larger attack on public welfare and democracy (with the impacts, like all social failings in the United States, experienced more acutely by people of color and particularly by African Americans) can help expand the terrain on which both unions and climate activists struggle.

Ultimately, we live in the world we build. That world is both social and ecological, constantly made and remade through what sociologist Jason Moore has described as “the web of life.” If organized labor—and the climate—are to have a fighting chance, unions must offer real alternatives to the world of “shared sacrifice” and dead zones, of poisoning by austerity, of cheap fuels and cheap lives. What would it take for today’s coal-belt communities, channeling the Miners for Democracy, to fight not against EPA regulations but for jobs restoring lands destroyed by mountaintop removal mining? What would it take for union activists to have a meaningful say at the next international climate talks?

This work is just beginning. But with a shared vision to guide it, labor environmentalism can take us far. Its core demand is simple: to build a world that all of us, not just the rich or white, can actually live in.

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