Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Good Solution For Leamington (& Ontario & Canada)

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This article by the folks with The Bullet (Leamington: Ripe for a Cooperative) is exceptional in how it recounts the basic issues associated with damn near everyone involved with the closure of the tomato plant in Leamington.

The Wynne government, constantly working on damage control as opposed to vision, has nothing to offer.

The Cons want to exacerbate the situation and pit every Joe against every Jack, Jane and Jim by proposing ‘Right to Work’ legislation, AKA race to the bottom rules (search ‘Detroit Bankrupt’ for a good example of the outcome of this philosophy).

And the NDP and labour are simply looking for handouts to, ironically, give to their corporate enemies.

The Bullet recommends a totally different option:  a cooperative.  Why we don’t have more cooperatives in this country, I do not understand, but this situation is definitely ripe for creating a shining example of why we should have hundreds of owners of our enterprise instead of one.

Think about the hundreds of times you’ve heard about a ‘one-horse town’ shutting down because a company is fed up with ‘red tape’ (aka environmental or anti-pollution rules) or labour laws (aka paying people decent wages).

And think about the hundreds of times these companies were the first in line collecting corporate welfare from local, provincial and federal governments desperate to create a ‘feel good’ story about the economy.

It’s time we stopped this endless parade of short-sites economic planning and took a turn in a brighter direction.

There are thousands of coops in Canada, but there just aren’t enough.

Also, when a company rides into town promising a life-time of wages and stability in exchange for tax concessions, free land and other benefits, we need to change the rules so that the run in our favour.

When a company like Heinz shuts their doors, the property that they work from should be declared public property in exchange for all of the benefits that they’ve received.  Roads to their operation, water for their processing and electricity to keep everything humming are all examples of public services being delivered at generous rates in exchange for the promise of continued employment.

Once those promises evaporate, so too do the property rights.  They should be handed over to the next option which, based on my argument, would be about 800 potential new owners of the canning facility.

I know … it’s wild and wacky communism, so I’m open to ideas about how to tone it down, but I thoroughly believe that we are at a crossroads in our economic development.  We can either choose to continue to be slaves to an outdated and inefficient model or we can move forward with some ideas about how our economic structures can also be environmental, social, personal and professional without destroying our planet.

 

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Why the CBC Should Leave the Content Game

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And enter the delivery game.

It’s probably the most un-Canadian suggestion anyone could make, but I’m going to make it now:  get rid of the CBC as a content source and focus on the CBC as a delivery source.

Recent news about the CBC basically losing the NHL to Rogers spells instant ruin for the CBC.  Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) is essential to the basic revenue stream of the CBC and now it will be functioning without a heart.

Good luck with that.

Moving forward, it’s the last item on the list when it comes to the Cons doing their best to eliminate the CBC and this is where we all really need to start thinking ahead.

Why don’t we turn the CBC into something more useful, like the Canadian Communications Company (CCC)?

The CCC would focus on delivery of content instead of the creation of content.  That is, the CCC would become Canada’s first fully publicly-owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) and become a viable alternative to the Big 3 private media companies in Canada.

This is important for so many reasons:

  • Canadians want affordable and reliable access.
  • We want investment in world-class digital infrastructure.
  • We don’t want ads.
  • We want any content on demand, with marginal cost.

Let’s start asking questions:

  • Why don’t we have a public utility that delivers quality internet service (and other digital services) to all Canadians?
  • Why don’t we own the infrastructure related to the most important industry of the 21st century?
  • Why is our bandwidth always being choked by private companies, especially when it’s used to access non-cable/satellite services like Netflix?
  • Why is content that we receive limited and protected by the CRTC?
  • What are we doing to support creators of content in Canada besides bloated subsidies to the big media conglomerates in this country?
  • Why are we paying hundreds of dollars per month for antiquated content delivery services?

And there are many more, but we need to start moving ahead with a mind-set that the CBC needs to shift gears so it can be useful to ALL Canadians and not just hockey-jocks.

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The (Frightening) Genius of Ford

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Rob Ford is a genius.

He has lied his way into municipal politics, leveraging his family money instead of collecting funds from donors that he will then be accountable to.  He seems to have broken every law under the sun having the time of his life while at the expense of taxpayers acting as Mayor of Toronto.

And now?  Now he has ZERO responsibility in the run-up to next year’s election.

In less than a year’s time, he’ll be able to blame everything that befalls Toronto – be it now or from the beginning of time – on the power-hungry Nabobs of Toronto City Council and he’ll be able to continue to point his chubby, grubby fingers at the ‘left-winged media’ (which is where exactly?) and blame them for his ill reputation.

Now that Rob Ford is no longer accountable to the office of Mayor, Rob Ford will spend the entire duration of the next year lobbying, swearing, gaining in celebrity and pushing the lie of ending the tyranny at City Hall on top of his ‘gravy train’ message.

Pure f*&(ing genius.

Expect all Cons at all levels to follow this model from this point on.

From now to the end of time, Canada will be run by those who are certifiable and there’s not a damn thing sane Canadians can do about it.

Sigh.

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Assault is a Criminal Offense

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According to the Criminal Code of Canada, assault is a criminal offense.

The Toronto Police have yet to arrest Rob Ford for anything, but he can be removed from office if found guilty of a criminal offense.

And Rob Ford committed assault against Pam McConnell, a City of Toronto Councilor.

See here:

If this doesn’t come to an end for Rob Ford, there will most certainly be issues in Toronto in the days to come.

So … Step One:  Kathleen Wynne must declare that all municipal (and ideally provincial voting) is to be based on Ranked Ballot so that Torontonians get a mayor they deserve.

Step two:  Rob Ford is removed from office pending criminal charges for assault.

Step Three:  Election.

This is not a coup d’etat.  This is incarceration.

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Jim Flaherty’s Magic Money Machine

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I believe a real story has been missed with all of the insanity surrounding Rob Ford in the last week or so:  Jim Flaherty’s Magic Money Machine.

After years of creating the country’s largest deficits in Canadian history (sound fiscal management?  Yeah, right.), Diamond Jimbo has come up with a magic budget surplus.

This reeks of desperation on the part of Conservative neo-con libertarian morons everywhere in this country:  Rob Ford, the Senate scandal and other cracks in the ‘Economic Action Plan’ pavement are threatening to take you all down, so you’re playing the one big trump card you have far too early in the game.

This was supposed to be saved until 2015, but it’s coming out now to protect their image.

Budget management is the one myth that Cons cling to and we’re seeing them try to rise above the mess that they’ve all created for themselves.  Jimbo’s surplus surprise is nothing less than shocking given all of the doom and gloom that we’ve been hearing about as an excuse to attack pensions and civil service jobs everywhere in this country.

Clearly, Jim Flaherty and the Cons are intentionally manipulating the numbers to protect their image as money managers, but creating massive deficits and then deftly generating a surplus all with the same numbers prove that you’re just another massive Con cover-up waiting to be exposed by those who care.

Another find example of how we need to remove these people from power as soon as possible, as they will destroy this country every chance they get.

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