Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tom Parkin writes about the growing opposition to a Lib infrastructure bank designed to turn public needs into private profits at our expense:
Paying higher fares, fees and tolls because of a political decision to use more expensive private capital would be a “massive transfer of wealth to the wealthy,” says [Guy] Caron.

Now the chorus of think-tanks voicing concern includes the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Broadbent Institute, C.D. Howe Institute and the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, which is headed by former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page.

The idea for the Bank followed a curious path. The Liberal-appointed advisory council which recommended a private Infrastructure Bank included executives whose investment funds stand to profit from it. That process is now subject of a conflict of interest complaint by Democracy Watch.

As more Canadians see the Infrastructure Bank as an inside job to drain their wallets and enrich the rich, the sharpness of opposition attacks continues to grow.

Perhaps Trudeau thought an Infrastructure Bank would hitch his star to powerful people. Maybe he’s anchored himself to a sinking sack of cement.
- And Randall Bartlett asks why Trudeau is so eager to privatize profits while forcing the public to bear the risks and costs of projects. 

- Meanwhile, Don Braid examines how Rachel Notley's NDP is establishing desperately-needed consumer protections in areas ranging from payday lending to homebuilding - and being challenged every step of the way by businesses who had grown accustomed to being able to exploit the public. And Rachel Reeves argues that now is the time for the financial transactions tax on offer from the UK's Labour Party.

- Claire Cain Miller discusses how motherhood contributes to the persistent pay gap between women and men. And Jordan Press reports on the wealth-based gap in access to child care outside Quebec, while Andrea Gordon points out how Ontario students (particularly in rural areas) are losing access to music programs due to austerity budgeting.

- Finally, Ian Bremner warns against treating the defeat of a couple of far-right leaders as an indication that we can afford to accept business as usual.

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