The Trade Justice Network, of which the Council of Canadians is a member, has launched a simple petition with a simple message for Prime Minister Harper about the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. It says:
The undersigned organizations and individuals ask that your government immediately make public the complete text of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and that the people and their elected representatives be given an opportunity to review, revise or ultimately reject CETA, prior to it being signed, if the agreement is not found to be in the public interest.
Please sign and share the petition by clicking here.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme, took to his blog to decry American gun culture. Simon saw the Newtown tragedy as a result of a hostile society that festishizes the 2nd Amendment.
In the post, he highlighted The Walking Dead, an enormously popular television show on AMC about the zombie apocalypse set in the American south:
Bitcoin is going nowhere. I promise you that it won’t and I’m positive that I won’t be eating my words at a later date.
I’m going to tell you why: 1) Drugs and 2) Coffee:….
OTTAWA – Thieves made off with hundreds of military weapons and accessories as well as dozens of federally issued BlackBerrys, laptops, iPads and USB keys during the last fiscal year. These revelations and others, including unauthorized use of government-issued credit cards […]
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Thomas Walkom writes that the Harper Cons’ much-hyped economic record in fact offers ample reason to demand a change in government: The Conservatives insist that the economy is their strong suit. And for a while it was. In 2011, voters bought Harper’s pitch.
But voter patience can last only so long. For too many Canadians, life is not improving. Income gaps are becoming more blatant. Wages are sluggish. Students are taking on massive debts to prepare themselves for jobs that, in the end, fail to materialize.
Those lucky enough to have jobs — (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Thomas Walkom writes that the Harper Cons’ much-hyped economic record in fact offers ample reason to demand a change in government:
The Conservatives insist that the economy is their strong suit. And for a while it was. In 2011, voters bought Harper’s pitch.
But voter patience can last only so long. For too many Canadians, life is not improving. Income gaps are becoming more blatant. Wages are sluggish. Students are taking on massive debts to prepare themselves for jobs that, in the end, fail to materialize.
Those lucky enough to have jobs — even good jobs — too often find their work being sent offshore to low-wage countries.
Other Canadians find themselves in competition with the tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers let in by Ottawa.
Latest immigration department figures show that, to date, more temporary foreign workers entered the country in 2013 than during the same period of 2012 — itself a record year for importing cheap labour.
These are the things that should worry Harper.
- But then, Michael Harris discusses how ethics issues – led by the combination of bribery and cover-ups in the Senate – will likely prove the undoing of Stephen Harper and his government. John Ivison recognizes that the Cons are flailing for a political lifeline as Thomas Mulcair gets the better of Harper in the House of Commons on a daily basis – though I’m at a loss as to how a Senate referendum would help their cause when it’s the NDP that’s decried patronage and corruption under Lib and Con governments alike. And Jeffrey Simpson points out that nothing in the Cons’ latest string of scandals and missteps is anything new.
- And lest anybody think the elected Cons are any more ethical than the unelected versions, pogge highlights the latest revelations about Dean Del Mastro’s attempt to cover up illegal election expenses.
- Stephen Leahy is rightly outraged that the Cons are trying to claim a complete failure to meet Canada’s Copenhagen greenhouse gas emission targets as progress. And Stuart Trew criticizes the continued lack of transparency on CETA – as the Cons try to claim victory without allowing Canadians to see what’s actually happened on the field.
- Finally, Don Lenihan sees more open government as the needed solution to citizen disengagement.
WASHINGTON – A private survey shows U.S. businesses added just 130,000 jobs in October, as the 16-day government shutdown slowed an already-weak job market. Payroll processor ADP also says companies created just 145,000 jobs in September, many fewer than the … Continue Reading
WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices increased only slightly in September as higher energy costs were offset by flat food prices. The figures are the latest evidence that slow economic growth is keeping inflation tame. The Labor Department says the consumer … Continue Reading
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Q. What skills are required in order to be employed and receive relatively high wages in the 21st century?&nb…
Yesterday in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Harper tabled a technical summary of the political deal Canada reached with the European Union on Friday, October 18. He invited a dozen or more CEOs to witness the spectacle from the bleachers, …
From government scientists to First Nations citizens and environmentalists, pretty much everyone working to protect the air, water, land and diversity of plants and animals that keep us alive and healthy has felt the sting of attacks from sources in government, media and beyond. Much of the media spin is particularly absurd, relying on ad hominem attacks (focusing on perceived character flaws to deflect attention from or invalidate arguments) that paint people who care about the world as greedy conspirators bent on personal enrichment or even world domination! It would be laughable if so many people didn’t take it seriously.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale has announced $400 million in fishery investments as the province moves to relax minimum processing requirements. Dunderdale says the federal government will fund $280 million of the total fund for … Continue Reading
TORONTO – Sears Canada is selling the leases on five of its department stores, including its flagship location in Toronto’s Eaton Centre. The $400 million transaction is the largest sale of leases since the retailer began shedding assets and cutting … Continue Reading
“I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”
In an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman, comedian Russell Brand lays into a discussion about political apathy, democratic inequality and capitalist institutions, bringing a mainstream light to the messages of marginalized people.
Is this show currently playing?
October 28, 2013
Youth unemployment in Ontario has hit staggering …
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Ontario’s first Royal Commission on workers’ compensation, conducted by Chief Justice Sir William Meredith from 1910 to 1913. To celebrate this centennial and bring awareness to the ongoing struggle of injured workers, a “People’s Commission“ has been appointed by injured workers and activists to explore the state of the worker’s compensation system in Ontario.
Playing the part of the present-day Meredith is Dr. Robert Storey, Director of Labour Studies at McMaster University and author of the forthcoming People’s Commission Report on Workers Compensation.
As part of our continuing special series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mel Watkins’ classic article, “A Staple Theory of Economic Development,” we present here an innovative and provocative commentary by Brendan Haley, P…
There are a lot of connections between the Harper government’s trade and energy agendas. From dropping barriers to foreign investment in natural resources, to signing investment treaties that (intentionally) make regulating energy and mining pro…
It’s very important to Canada’s economy that we send a resource (we can’t use without killing the planet) to Communist China so their economy can continue to pollute at record pace as they ship unneeded goods to the United States and Canada so we can bury them in our landfills when we aren’t burning them […]
As part of our special series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mel Watkins’ classic article, “A Staple Theory of Economic Development,” we present the following commentary by Dan Ciuriak. Dan was the co-author of a pro…
From December 3 to 6, the somewhat neglected but still unfortunately effective World Trade Organization meets for a ninth ministerial conference, this time in Bali, Indonesia. Its effectiveness is unfortunate because, as this global sign-on stat…
I noticed maybe a month ago that this Brand guy had a brain, and it’s a good one. Paxman: “You’re not going to solve world problems by facetiousness.” Brand: “We’re not going to solve them with the current system! At least facetiousness is funny.” – To detract from Brand’s point, there is still value in […]
You can lay a safe bet that the corruptness in the government of the USA is akin to the kind found in Canada too … however, you gotta admit that here it would be on a much lower scale. If you want to understand how politicians down south go into politics with just $$$$$$ in their bank balance and within the span of a few year that grows to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, listen to the vids below where the author of the book that Palin has reviewed talks about how they do it and who are the big takers of modern day acceptable and “legal” bribes and how they take advantage of IPOs and insider trading and NEVER go to jail.
Sarah Palin at her Facebook page:
Look, I’ll keep this brief because I want to spend quality time getting kids to bed tonight. Doubt I’ll get much sleep though because the recent proof of government corruption makes me nauseated. If it doesn’t you, and you can blindly ignore the status quo embraced by our politicians and low information voters, then I unapologetically call out your disloyalty to the ethical foundation of the greatest nation on earth……..
….Here’s the deal: all politics is local. And personal. Let me personalize this. It is UNBELIEVABLE that the press would investigate every nook and cranny of my life; send gullible reporters to my little town to kick over every rock any family remember ever tread underfoot; scour every email I’ve written; research every Palin campaign disclosure like junkyard dogs; sic 12 AP reporters to fact check my book; breathlessly report about my wardrobe and an old used tanning bed I bought to get some sun during Alaskan winters as if these were vital national news stories; hound friends, personal doctors, strangers, and just downright strange people, etc., etc., etc., to know everything we do (and they still get the story wrong!). They blew and still blow all those resources “investigating” the irrelevant hockey
mom from Wasilla. Meanwhile our government goes to hell in a hand basket right before the “elite media’s” closed eyes, and it took my friend Peter Schweizer to slap you upside the head to see any of this corruption? Good God. Be ashamed, media, be very ashamed……..
Sarah Palin at Breibart:
EXCLUSIVE–PALIN: CONGRESS HAS AMERICA CAUGHT UP IN ‘ENDLESS EXTORTION SCHEME’ America is suffering from an epic case of Armageddon fatigue.
Budget showdown, government shutdown, debt ceiling debacle—the stakes are real but the establishment seems to feed off the chaos they create as a means to foment fear and outrage and translate it into campaign donations for themselves.
Look closely and you’ll see that something seismic is going on under the surface of the manufactured chaos in D.C.
Washington has morphed into an extortion racket, a place where members of the permanent political class threaten to inflict legislative and regulatory pain to extract campaign donations that they can then siphon into the pockets of themselves and their family members.
In a new book featured this Sunday on 60 Minutes titled Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, Peter Schweizer explains how Washington politicians use a set of mafia-style legislative tactics to extort people and industries into donating to them out of fear of political and legal reprisals.
Schweizer interviewed former Chairman of Apache Corporation Ray Plank. Plank said campaign cash and lobbying contracts now function as “protection money” to keep lawmakers and regulators from going after you…….
After weeks of rumours, it’s now official: the CETA talks have produced an “agreement-in-principle.” This proposed treaty is about far more than simply trade. It is a constitutional-style document that affects patent protection for drugs, f…
How smart does Stephen Harper look at a Brussels press conference to announce a trade deal with Europe, when the prime minister called José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, Juan Manuel Barroso?
It was last week, just as parliamentarians were summoned to hear the Governor General recapitulate the Harper government’s agenda on crime, military spending, commercialization of science, etc. (plus a new list of consumer-friendly items lifted from the NDP) that the prime minister tweeted the long-awaited EU deal was imminent, and then left for Brussels the next day.
Can these guys both be right?
In his piece on Monday for The Globe and Mail Jeffrey Simpson writes the following about the Official Opposition’s position on the free trade deal with Europe:
“This Canada-EU agreement. . . was a litmus test for whether the NDP had really searched within itself and emerged with a more global vision for the Canadian economy. The NDP flunked the test.”
Prime Minister Harper’s announcement on Friday that he’d concluded a new corporate rights pact with the European Union was greeted by instantaneous support from media pundits, editorial boards and business lobby groups. Only part of that reactio…
Activists and protests shook up the usually staid proceedings of the National Energy Board in Montreal and Toronto this month when the regulatory body and the battery of oil industry lawyers that follow it met to deal with Enbridge’s proposal…
I blame the government for anything and everything that is a mess with Native Indians, their protests, their lifestyle, education, standard of living,etc.etc. just like I blame the government for anything and everything that is a mess because of shariah-desiring Muslim immigrants. Why? I’ll tell you why … at least in the case of Indians. The other problem is an ongoing, never-ending subject of almost all my posts at this blog.
If the Canadian government, both provincial and federal, had not let the Ontario Indians rampage for months on end in Calendonia without lifting a finger to either arrest the hooligans or draw up a law to prevent them from harassing citizens of Caledonia, the Indians would be wary of trying similar tricks that we see today in New Brunwick.
If the Canadian government had stopped giving free money to the Indians and instead made them work for their money and invested our taxpayers’ money in more programs to get them to educate themselves, got social workers visiting their reservations every single day to check on their young people to prevent the rampant incest and human trafficking going unabated in those communities ….. instead of sending taxpayers’ money overseas to other countries …. perhaps a bigger percentage of the Indian community would have bettered themselves.
We have a government in place to protect the laws of the country which laws were put in place for the sole purpose of protecting the citizens and the citizens’ property from just such troublemakers. So, why didn’t the cursed Dalton McGuinty, the ex-premier of Ontario do his duty? Liberals can never answer difficult questions and Conservatives have never learnt how to keep repeating the questions until they are answered truthfully. The losers in these situations are always the ordinary people like us.
When a gardener is blind to small unwelcome shoots showing up where they shouldn’t and neglects to uproot and destroy the potentially thorny poisonous growths, then the gardener deserves to have his prized orchids infested with a bacteria that can spread to the rest of the garden. Such willfully blind gardeners, in a world not gone blind on the whole, would be fired or thrown in prison and the keys dropped in the deepest end of the ocean. Sadly for all us commonsense citizens, our world has gone crazy and our crazy gardeners in the halls of power are in charge of our crazy world.
In my opinion, the biggest mistake made with regard to the Indian issue was the fiasco in Ontario. That and that alone has lead to what’s happening now in New Brunswick and spreading to other places.
From CanadianPress via YahooNews:
Tensions at a shale gas protest in Rexton, N.B., remained high on Saturday as a small group of protesters seized vehicles and equipment from two news agencies while others blocked a highway.
Jim Haskins, news director for Global News in New Brunswick, said journalist Laura Brown was at the site of an ongoing shale gas protest around noon when about five protesters confronted another media outlet and seized a vehicle on Route 134.
Haskins said Brown got into her vehicle and locked the door, but was threatened by the protesters.
“They knocked on the window and demanded that she get out of the vehicle and leave it,” said Haskins. “At first she refused, but the situation she felt was unsafe and unstable so reluctantly she locked the vehicle, left and started walking away.
RCMP Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said police had taken statements from the media and was investigating.
Haskins, who is based in Halifax, said Brown was able to retrieve her vehicle and equipment just after 4 p.m. with the help of some First Nations people. He said no equipment was damaged.
CTV News reported that one of its news crews was also told by the protesters to leave behind their satellite truck and equipment while filming in a warehouse parking lot. Wendy Freeman, the president of CTV News, said in the email the network had no other immediate comment………
Ezra Levant writing at his blog:
….Foreign money is radicalizing Canadian Indians. Thursday’s riot in Rexton, N.B., was an act of eco-terrorism.
Terrorism is defined as the use of violence, or the threat of violence, to achieve political objectives.
Anti-oil and gas extremists have not been able to stop perfectly legal, perfectly safe seismic trucks from exploring for natural gas in New Brunswick. So if they can’t convince their fellow Canadians with arguments and facts, perhaps they’ll terrorize them into submission.
Or maybe even kill them.
And these brave “warriors” brought women and children with them. Why? As cannon fodder? As human shields?
Let us take a moment to praise the RCMP, who took out this large terrorist encampment and made 40 arrests without the loss of life. …….
….Hundreds of people have gathered for a meeting in New Brunswick to talk about an ongoing protest over shale gas exploration.
One speaker at the community hall in Elsipogtog First Nation has apologized to media who had their vehicles and equipment seized by some protesters Saturday.
The apology sparked a standing ovation from the crowd of 300 community members and protesters.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is in Rexton to show his support for the protest and arrived at the meeting with Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock.
The protesters want SWN Resources to stop seismic testing and leave the province……….
…A Sun News Network reporter and four other journalists were swarmed by Native protesters Saturday near a shale gas exploration site in New Brunswick.
Sun News reporter Kris Sims said about eight people threatened her, a Global News journalist, a CTV reporter and two other crew members while they were filming six burned cop cars that were set ablaze by protesters during violent anti-fracking protests Thursday near Rexton.
Sims said a man dressed in camoflouge shouted, “Get the f— out of here or I’ll break your f—ing cameras! All you tell are lies!”
The same protester then threatened to destroy their cars, vans and video equipment.
“Get your vans out of here before I seize it. Get it out of here right now before I seize it and that’s going where the f—ing other cars were going,” he said while gesturing to the razed RCMP cars.
As the journalists grabbed their cameras and tried to leave, the group surrounded them and demanded that they exit their cars, Sims said.
One woman blocked Sims’ car and threatened to drag her out, she said.
When she was asked who she worked for, Sims said she identified herself as a reporter…..
….A Global New Brunswick reporter and other journalists had their vehicles and camera equipment seized while covering the ongoing shale gas protests in Rexton, N.B.
Hours after a threatening confrontation at the site of an ongoing anti-shale gas protest in northeastern New Brunswick, a Global News reporter was able to safely retrieve her vehicle and camera equipment.
Members of a local Mi’kmaq First Nation community who were at the site of the Rexton, N.B. demonstration were able to escort Global‘s Laura Brown to her vehicle late Saturday afternoon….
Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- Martin Regg Cohn discusses EllisDon’s ability to dictate political choices by the Ontario Libs and PCs as a prime example of corporate manipulation of the political system: What Wynne didn’t say was that EllisDon, its subsidiaries and executives, have been shockingly generous donors to her party: more than $125,000 to the Liberals in 2012 and more than $40,000 so far in 2013, thanks to Ontario’s scandalously weak campaign financing laws (corporate contributions are banned at the federal level).
And what the Tories didn’t say publicly was that EllisDon had given them a still-generous (Read more…)
Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- Martin Regg Cohn discusses EllisDon’s ability to dictate political choices by the Ontario Libs and PCs as a prime example of corporate manipulation of the political system:
What Wynne didn’t say was that EllisDon, its subsidiaries and executives, have been shockingly generous donors to her party: more than $125,000 to the Liberals in 2012 and more than $40,000 so far in 2013, thanks to Ontario’s scandalously weak campaign financing laws (corporate contributions are banned at the federal level).
And what the Tories didn’t say publicly was that EllisDon had given them a still-generous $32,000 last year and some $14,000 so far in 2013. Now, they were hoping for even bigger contributions if they went to bat for the company.
That quiet calculation became a public embarrassment when the Toronto Star published a leaked email from Tory labour critic Randy Hillier. The maverick MPP admonished his fellow Tories against what struck him as a crass political calculation — counting on a windfall from an EllisDon fundraiser for Tory Leader Tim Hudak after helpfully advancing the legislation.
The party was “walking on thin ice,” Hillier cautioned in the email. “In caucus, it was stated quite explicitly that following a successful EllisDon fundraiser for Tim, our party would continue to benefit financially with the advancement of this legislation.”
A skeptical Hillier noted that EllisDon had given the Liberals more than $250,000 from 2004-2011, compared to $60,000 for the Tories. In any case, he warned MPPs, they might be violating rules against buying votes. EllisDon denied there was any such arrangement, as did Hudak, who later stripped Hillier of his labour responsibilities.
But the damage was done. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had a field day lumping the labour-friendly Liberals with the union-busting Tories, both of them getting big money from EllisDon. The optics were awful.
The question is why the company didn’t stick to the law courts in arguing its case, rather than trying to influence lawmakers in the legislature with its special pleading, well-heeled lobbyists and well-financed campaign donations.
The bigger question: How much longer will Ontario allow corporations (and unions) to make such outsized contributions that pervert the political process and/or distort our perception of it? Anyone who made or accepted such enormous contributions in Ottawa would be breaking federal law. Why must Ontario remain a free-for-all open to the highest bidder?
- Meanwhile, Daniel Tencer highlights the amount of public money going to SNC-Lavalin despite its status at the top of global corruption lists. Peter Raaymakers rightly questions the use of RCMP resources to prevent Mikmaq First Nations from having any say in fracking on their traditonal land. And Max Paris reports that three years after a massive oil spill, Enbridge is just now (and only due to the insistence of the EPA) getting around to cleaning up some of the 684,000 litres of bitumen spilled at the bottom of the Kalamazoo River.
- The Broadbent Institute offers a reminder as to what the Cons really think of Canadian consumers. And Geoff Dembicki interviews a conflict-resolution specialist who see the Cons’ consistent obstruction against global progress on climate change as more intractable than the forces behind some wars.
- Finally, Andrew Rawnsley writes about the dangers of allowing any social ladders (and other connectors) to disintegrate:
We already knew that social mobility was freezing up. And nearly everyone agreed that this is a bad thing. Bad for those trapped by the circumstances of their birth because it denies them the opportunity to flourish and fulfil their potential. Bad for society because disadvantage is perpetuated from parent to child, deepening inequality that, in a negative feedback loop, then makes it even harder for people to better themselves. As the report puts it: “Disadvantage and advantage cascade down the generations.” Bad for the economy because untapped talent is left to waste. It is not only unjust. It is stupid.
The Milburn commission tells us that things are even more dismal than we thought. Social mobility is not just frozen, it is going into reverse. For the first time in a century, the squeeze on incomes means that the children of some of the middle class are threatened with a worse standard of living when they grow up than their parents.
(T)hose who have attained a privileged position will do all they can to preserve their gains for their children. There is some obvious truth in this. A rich parent can buy an expensive house in the catchment area of a successful school. A poor parent can’t. A rich parent has access to social and cultural networks that are closed to a poor parent. A rich parent will know someone who knows someone who can help their child into the internship that will launch them into a well-remunerated career. A poor parent can’t do that for their children. My family’s progress, an example of lively social mobility in the 20th century, can be advanced as an explanation for why it has died in the 21st. I may be a well-meaning, liberal-minded, caring, meritocratic sort of person. But when it comes to the crunch, my first priority will be maximising the life chances of my daughters. It is contended that those families who have climbed up the ladder will stamp on the fingers of anyone trying to rise after them. In this dark view, everyone says they believe in equality of opportunity, but no one in a position of any privilege actually wants to see it practised.
Phil Collins, a former adviser to Mr Milburn, has argued that this is why politicians are never really serious when they claim to want to see more social mobility. If they were, they would have to be brave enough to admit: “In the competition for the best jobs, my children’s victory means the defeat of yours.” This is the “snakes and ladders” or “zero-sum” take on social mobility. I like Mr Collins but I don’t like his grim, self-fulfilling prophecy. Tell the prosperous that social mobility is their enemy and they are going to be all the more determined to entrench the advantages of their children. Tell them that social immobility threatens their own affluence in the long term and they may come to a different conclusion.
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t fall behind at school. They start behind. If birth is too often destiny, the best place to start tackling inequalities is the very earliest years of children’s lives. It is no guarantee of closing the gap, but it can narrow it. There’s an innovative American programme called Learning Dreams. Its insight is that the most effective way to encourage children to thrive in schools is to focus first on the parents. When parents are motivated to love learning as the route to attaining life goals, they are much more likely to pass that on to their children and inspire them to engage with education.
Behind it all is a giant question about the economy. We’ve seen a dramatic polarisation between highly rewarding work for those with the right skills and connections and badly paid work and little chance of social advancement for those without. Whether we can re-energise social mobility depends hugely on how Britain is going to earn its living in the future and what sort of jobs we are going to create. Living standards are not just about the size of energy bills. That is a trivial, passing spat between politicians compared with the question that really matters. Britain and the United States come bottom of the league table for social fluidity among developed nations. They are also the countries with the starkest inequalities. The best engine of social mobility is a high-value economy that creates many quality jobs across diverse sectors, spreading prosperity and opportunity more evenly. The alternative is the nightmarish future projected by the Milburn report, one in which even in economic recovery only the top slice of society prospers, the middle and bottom stagnate or fall even more behind and the rungs of the social ladder grow even further apart.
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Thomas Walkom notes that the CETA isn’t particularly about trade, but instead serves to enshrine yet again the principle that investors come before citizens.
- Lana Payne highlights the contradiction between the promise that giveaways to the corporate sector will lead to good jobs, and the reality that employers are looking more and more toward exploitative structures such as unpaid internships and temporary foreign workers.
- Meanwhile, Konrad Yakabuski sees the Cons’ set of minor consumer baubles as a poor substitute for economic development which would actually help working Canadians.
- Finally, Cameron Dearlove writes about the impact of income and social supports on overall well-being:
The study of the social determinants of health provides us with the best opportunity for reining in long-term health costs. The social determinants are the economic and social conditions that determine the health of individuals and communities. Research has shown that economic and social conditions are more important factors in determining health than individual and family behaviour.Put simply, your income has a greater impact on your health than lifestyle choices. One oft-cited study revealed an astonishing 21-year life expectancy gap between two Hamilton neighbourhoods — one affluent, one with entrenched poverty. That poorer neighbourhood’s life expectancy of 65.5 years isn’t close to Canada’s average. If it were a country, it would rank 165th in the world.We find equally striking numbers when looking beyond communities to the health costs of individuals experiencing poverty. A study in Vancouver determined that the costs to the health system of one homeless individual accessing emergency services can reach $55,000 a year, a figure well beyond what it would have cost to house this person.…What about the social determinants of childhood development and education? Poverty can actually leave a mark on a child’s brain development. A Berkeley study identified differences in prefrontal cortex development based on a child’s socioeconomic background, a part of the brain responsible for problem solving and creativity.Studies across age groups show that the stressful reality of poverty takes up so much mental energy that it can negatively impact an individual’s pursuit of education.…People like to believe that our individual efforts and decisions determine our fates, but the social determinants expose the naiveté of this view. Pulling oneself up from one’s bootstraps isn’t impossible. But systemically, the dice are loaded.It’s time we put to rest the assumption that cuts to social and health spending save money. Let’s judge spending decisions instead on the social determinants of everything.
Brussels, Belgium and Ottawa, Canada – On both sides of the Atlantic, civil society groups as well as Members of the European Parliament (MEP) from the European United Left/ Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group are calling for the immediate release of the text of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso officially announced the conclusion of the agreement.
“If this deal is so important, shouldn’t Canadians have the chance to accept or reject it?” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The people of Canada and Europe, not multinational corporations, should be the ones calling the shots.”
Harper signed the Canada-EU ‘free trade’ agreement in Brussels this morning (at 7:30 am ET).
I would look for a money trail to catch the core culprits behind the violence at the supposedly “peaceful protest” yesterday. Money changed hands, that’s for sure … and once you find those hands or a whiff of the dirt on them, you will h…
Prime Minister Harper has just signed the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and Canadians who care about our freshwater heritage should be deeply concerned for three reasons.
The next installment in our special series of commentaries celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mel Watkins’ classic article on staple theory, focuses our attention on the latest staple boom to remake Canada’s economy: the bitumen sands of northe…
Assorted content to end your week.
- Pat Atkinson writes that governments at all levels should be setting up realistic fiscal plans to deal with a large group of retiring boomers – not artificially slashing revenues and increasing costs. And Rick Smith laments the fact that the Harper Cons are squandering an opportunity to address Canada’s existing problems due to their insistence on creating new ones: “Seizing” the moment would mean tackling the challenges that today’s Canada faces: stagnant or falling wages for middle- and lower-income Canadians; crises in Aboriginal education, food, housing, and missing and murdered women; high youth (Read more…)