Saturday, April 16, 2022

Saskatchewan NDP Leadership 2022 Reference Page

A one-stop source for general information about the 2022 Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign.

General Information
Saskatchewan NDP Constitution 


Candidate Information
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Carla BeckCarlaForLeader.ca@CarlaBeckSKCarla Beck
Kaitlyn HarveyChangeStartsHere.ca@KaitlynHarveySKKaitlyn Harvey

Upcoming Dates
May 6: Candidate Entry Deadline
May 13: Membership Deadline
June 26: Leadership Convention

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Twitter: #skndpldr

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- William Haseltine writes about the long-lasting and severe cognitive effects of long COVID, while Danny Altmann discusses the urgency of developing effective treatment given the reality that vaccines do little to prevent it. Katherine Wu warns that the U.S. is rapidly losing any window to set up a relatively safe summer, while Yasmine Ghania reports on the prospect that Saskatchewan could be in for months of high transmission to come. And Phil Tank rightly criticizes Scott Moe's choice to deprive people of any current information about the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan even as he claims he wants them to manage their own risks. 

- Brigitte Pellerin points out the Libs' failure to live up to their promise of a disability benefit for Canadians even as provincial governments eliminate any pandemic supports or protections. 

- Naveena Sadisavam writes about the IPCC's conclusion that it's not too late to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius if countries live up to their climate commitments immediately. And Mia Rabson discusses the problem with a climate change policy which is designed to allow the largest emitters to pay the least for their carbon pollution. 

- Qi Yang, Mohsen Mosleh, Tauhid Zaman and David Rand study the familiar gripe that Twitter content management is biased against conservatives, and finds instead that content moderation is consistently based on the level of misinformation being shared by users of any political leaning.  

- Meanwhile, Stephen Magusiak discusses how Jason Kenney is trying to import Republican culture wars - including an attack on any recognition of historical or systemic discrimination - into Alberta's curriculum and education system. 

- Finally, David Dayen writes about the risks of making global trade dependent on China's monopoly in shipping container manufacturing. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Musical interlude

Fink - Looking Too Closely


On negative reinforcement

While there have been some aspects of the Saskatchewan NDP's post-election review (PDF) which involved conflicting currents within the party, one of the few possibilities which seems to have been generally embraced is the development of a 24/7/365 campaign to counter the constant barrage of Saskatchewan Party spin.

That's well and good as a means of supporting messages worth sending. But if recent events make anything clear, it's that having a communications apparatus doesn't help much if you're not willing to use it to call out the government.

The last few weeks have seen a barrage of jaw-dropping positions and announcements from the Moe government - and far too much willingness from the official opposition to elect not to challenge them.

When the Saskatchewan Party announced that all kinds of regulatory enforcement were being assembled into a single police force (with obvious potential for abuse), the NDP's response was to raise no objection other than to complain that Legislative security shouldn't be included. (Presumably this would be the Murray Mandryk appeasement measure, under the false assumption that anything the NDP does will ever cause the province's corporate media pundit class to do anything other than attack it at every opportunity.) And this after the previous police force was the subject of a massive scandal involving the purchase of inappropriate and unnecessary firearms.

When the federal government made the already-sufficient decision that carbon capture and storage would receive gobs of public money as long as the captured emissions weren't used to produce more oil, the public response was to echo the fossil fuel industry's demand that it be subsidized to promote carbon pollution.

And most recently, the reaction to Scott Moe's repetition of blatantly false conservative talking points about a nonexistent truck tax has been...to take it at face value and offer meek agreement.

Each of those cases offered a prime opportunity to lay the groundwork for the next election campaign - establishing points of distinction from, and criticism of, a government which is both destructive and untrustworthy. But in each case, the current choice was instead to use whatever opportunity the NDP has to project its voice publicly to reinforce Saskatchewan Party frameworks and talking points.

Even applying the best possible excuse about trying not to prefer one set of voices within the party over another during a leadership campaign, that represents a failure both to hold an incompetent government to account, and to prime the public for any message that change is necessary. And the last thing an outgunned party can afford to do is spend its limited resources shooting itself in the foot.

[Edit: fixed typo.]

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Gavin Yamey et al. observe that a push for vaccine equity - and the retention of public health measures until it can be achieved - are musts to avoid foreseeable sickness and death from COVID-19. And Gregg Gonsalves calls out the recklessness and hubris of the officials who are insulated from the worst effects of the pandemic - and thus causing it to spread further while laughing at their own irresponsibility. 

- Zak Vescera reports that COVID-19 has put even more strain on a Saskatchewan health care system which was already breaking under the weight of Saskatchewan Party neglect. Bashir Jalloh contrasts Scott Moe's eagerness to throw money at empty buildings and beds along with management fads against his refusal to pay the workers needed to keep our health system functional. And Steven Lewis warns that the province's care workers are burned out and demoralized by the constant failures of Moe's government - and will keep going elsewhere if we don't make Saskatchewan a place worth staying. 

- Helena Horton reports on research showing that right-wing populist parties serve as an obstacle to effective climate policy. And that reality may help to explain Canada's place as a rogue super-emitter on the world stage. 

- Jacqueline Best discusses the numerous flaws with shouting "stop printing money!" as a response to inflation - though it's worth noting that Pierre Poilievre has moved on to a "stop stopping printing money!" complaint anyway. And Dan Darrah is the latest to highlight how Poilievre's answer to the lack of affordable housing is similarly off base. 

- Meanwhile, the Canadian Press notes that most Canadians don't buy the elite-driven push for massive defence spending - particularly at a time when help for people is being slashed in the name of post-pandemic austerity. 

- Finally, Richard Feinberg writes about the need to challenge the real concentration of money and power which has left far too many people on the precipice of disaster in order to funnel profits into the hands of the greediest few. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Zak Vescera exposes how the Saskatchewan Health Authority warned Scott Moe's government that it was extending a COVID wave, endangering lives and exceeding the capacity of the health care system by eliminating public health protections, only to have Moe barge ahead with his plans for mass spread. Linda McQuaig discusses how Doug Ford has chosen to let the denialist convoy dictate his province's COVID-19 policy at the cost of Ontario's health, while Becky Robertson reports on the locations bringing in their own mandatory masking policies to try to make up for the government's neglect. And Nora Loreto highlights the data deficit which has been an issue throughout the pandemic - even as it's been made worse recently due to the deliberate choice to deprive people of the information needed to assess their own risk. 

- Elizabeth Payne reports on a new study confirming that children are in fact substantial sources of spread within households. And Ashley Okwuosa reports on research showing how migrant agricultural workers were - and remain - particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 in Ontario. 

- Dru Oja Jay interviews Mostafa Heneway about his experience working at Amazon and the first successful certification vote at its Staten Island warehouse. 

- Jordan Press reports on the Libs' choice to exclude labour from any consultation on an announced skills training program. Clem Nocos examines the federal budget's funding for climate initiatives, while pointing out the folly of making a fossil fuel subsidy its largest payout. Barbara Shecter reports on the modest increases in taxes on the financial sector. But Darren Shore points out how those along with other announcements fall short of both the Libs' promises, and what's needed to ensure that the wealthiest pay their fair share.

- Finally, Mitchell Thompson discusses how what's presented for public consumption as small-government budgeting in fact reflects untrammeled racism. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Helen Collis reports that European governments are only now starting to acknowledge the large number of people - particularly of prime working age - faced with severely reduced functions due to long COVID. And Matt Elliott discusses how a push toward improved ventilation is needed to reduce the damage from this pandemic and the next. 

- Meanwhile, Kendall Latimer reports on the glaring lack of mental health treatment in Saskatchewan due to a desperate lack of care providers. 

- ProPublica offers a detailed look at the people with the highest incomes in the U.S. - along with the pitiful amounts of tax many pay in comparison to their distortionary fortunes. Philippe Heim and Bertrand Badre recognize that systemic inequality is ultimately a threat even to the banks and financial-sector actors who are making massive profits exploiting it. And David Macdonald highlights how Canadian workers have been seeing their incomes erode compared to inflation - even as the door is being slammed shut in response to demands to at least keep up with the added profits banked over the past two years. 

- Molly Taft examines the role of carbon removal in the effort to avert climate breakdown, along with the risk that it will be used by denialists and fossil fuel interests to delay any transition to a sustainable society. Amy Westervelt reports on corporate polluters' interference in any attempt to pursue global climate action. Cloe Logan calls out the inexcusable choice of federal regulators to ignore the carbon emissions caused by the products of oil and gas projects in order to approve them. And Lucie Edwardson reports on the overbuilding of Alberta's electrical grid which has resulted in consumers paying more to put assets in the hands of private utilities. 

- Finally, John Michael McGrath discusses the need for progressive parties to develop responses to Pierre Poilievre's attempt to turn a complaint about "gatekeepers" generally into an excuse to turn over housing policy entirely to private developers. [Update: And John Lorinc rightly calls out the flaws in Poilievre's rhetoric - though it's worth noting that the answer can't merely be to go far out of people's way to implausibly assert that government is helpless, particularly when Lorinc himself recognizes available policy choices to actually improve the availability of housing.]

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Regal cats.






Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Shiven Taneja writes about the glaring need to keep masking to avoid the spread of COVID-19 even if governments have abandoned their role in ensuring that happens. Andrew Nikiforuk discusses how public health strategies built around herd immunity through natural infection were abject failures from the beginning, while Devi Sridhard notes that they're particularly worthless now that reinfection is known to be a regular occurrence. And Miriam Stoppard, Imogen McGuckin and Josh Luckhurst examine some of the new research showing the harm even a supposedly mild case of COVID can do to major organs.

- Meanwhile, the Guardian offers an insider's look at how the UK's ambulance service is collapsing due to a Con government desperate to avoid acknowledging there's still a pandemic in progress. 

- Randy Robinson writes that any response to temporary inflation needs to be targeted toward the people who have the least ability to protect themselves against its effects. And Kim Samuel and Maria Rio make the case for a living wage. 

- Joseph Tunney reports on the Lib government's choice to develop a budget which strongly favours men over women. Ted Raymond reports on its concurrent failure to help people with disabilities who were promised far better. And John Paul Tasker examines the multiple campaign promises (which would have been fully supported by the NDP) which didn't make the cut in the Libs' priorities. 

- Peter Ewart, Alex Hemingway and Dawn Hemingway discuss the need for improved public intercity transit in British Columbia. 

- Finally, Marin Cogan talks to Jessie Singer about the reality that we need to stop treating injuries and damage as "accidents" when they're readily traceable to systemic causes and choices. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jeff Zuk writes that there are plenty of reasons why COVID-19 case loads still matter - making it a sign of gross negligence that so many governments have decided to stop counting and/or reporting them. Bryann Aguilar discusses the obvious links between Ontario's building sixth COVID wave and the lifting of basic public health protections, while CBC News reports on alarming jumps in wastewater viral loads. Amanda Sealy highlights the importance of ventilation as a means of reducing community transmission (while also carrying other health benefits). And Ryan Masters, Laudan Aron and Steven Woolf examine how COVID has affected life expectancy - with the U.S. ranking as an outlier in seeing a continued decline in 2021 while most peer countries saw a partial rebound from 2020. 

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Rachel Mendleson and Andrew Bailey expose how the Ford PCs directed much of Ontario's supply of publicly-funded rapid antigen tests to big businesses and private schools. And Sonia Sodha rightly notes that while there are benefits to remote and flexible work, those are largely concentrated among a relatively privileged group of employees.  

- John Bistline, InĂªs Azevedo, Chris Bataille and Steven Davis write that there's no excuse for delaying climate action debating over theoretical future possibilities when renewable options are ready to be fully deployed. 

- Randy Robinson points out how Ontario's collapsing public services are the product of a failure to secure public revenue - though it's well worth noting that Alberta and Saskatchewan are going just as far out of their way to avoid collecting tax income. 

- Finally, Christina Clark-Kazak makes the case to lower Canada's voting age in order to allow young people to have a say in the decisions that will affect them more than anybody. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Peter Kalmus discusses how climate scientists are increasingly turning to civil disobedience to try to alert people to the need for immediate action. Adam Radwanski discusses how the Libs' budget falls far short of the needed focus and ambition, while James Wilt notes the stark contrast between penny-pinching on crucial environmental priorities and the readily availability of tens of billions of dollars for war and weapons. 

- Meanwhile, Paul Dechene offers the most positive review he possibly can of the City of Regina's much-delayed sustainability framework.

- Elias Visontay reports on the abandonment of a plan to ban dark roofs as showing how even the most frivolous whims of capital are being given precedence over averting climate breakdown. And Rina Torchinsky reports that one of the most tedious criticisms of solar energy has been overcome by scientific progress, as Stanford engineers have developed panels capable of continuing to provide power at night through thermoelectric generation.

- Finally, Alanna Smith exposes the UCP's sudden and arbitrary cancellation of an overdose prevention pilot project. Lisa Schick reports on the Saskatchewan Party's equally thoughtless decision to eliminate access to mental health medication for children in care. And Linda McQuaig discusses how Doug Ford has given the #FluTruxKlan everything it could possibly have asked for, while endangering many Ontarians in the process of abandoning and forbidding even the most basic public health measures.