Tag Archives: privatization

MayDay 2011: Would Harper Use Canadian Funds to Privatize Prisons?

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We all agree that Stephen Harper and the Conservaclones are just copies of the more staunch and obvious Republicans in the United States, so this story should be considered fair warning for Canadians that are concerned about prison plans in this country.

First, we still don’t know what they will cost.

Second, we don’t know why they’re needed since crime is going down.

Finally, the prospect of using taxpayer funds to eventually privatize prisons is simply a disgusting waste of money.

We all know that this might happen, however.  The Ontario Conservatives used public funds to build a toll-road across the GTA and eventually sold it for a song to a private consortium, effectively relinquishing taxation powers to a private group.

This is a classic case of how conservatives (the CPC in Canada or Republicans in the US) create government waste and deficit and ultimately cry poor based on unreasonable expectations set by corporate-controlled organizations like the IMF and World Bank.  They then liquidate public assets at fire-sale prices in order to ‘balance the books’, literally giving these assets away to private companies.

Don’t let it happen in Canada.  Vote on May 2, 2011.

Michael Moore: The Rich Are Staging A Coup Right Now

Full story here .

Michael Moore has pretty much nailed the reasons why we have to stop spending taxpayer money on financial bailouts:

Falling for whom? NOTHING in this "bailout" package will lower the price of the gas you have to put in your car to get to work. NOTHING in this bill will protect you from losing your home. NOTHING in this bill will give you health insurance.

In fact, he points out that most of the core issue of mortgage defaults is related to people who can’t pay their medical bills.

Aaaah!!  It all makes so much more sense now.  No wonder we haven’t experienced this problem yet in Canada.  We don’t have outrageous medical bills in Canada because we have a public health care system.  We aren’t getting fleeced by privately-run institutions that won’t accept us if we don’t have a credit card.

Thank you Michael.  Things make a little more sense now.  Really.

As you can see, this spells out why the components of the financial crisis pose a critical election issue for Canadians (or at least they should be) for the following reasons:

  1. Our public-run health care system is keeping our economy stable.  Privatizing it (like the Cons would do if they got a majority, based on Tony "Dr. Death" Clement’s experience at the provincial level).
  2. Canadian banks don’t have to worry about toxic debt waste on their books because Canadians aren’t being forced to default on their loans.
  3. Canadian taxpayers should NOT be funding any bailouts from federal bank reserves because it’s not our problem.  Paying MBAs on Wall Street to wreak havoc on the largest economy in the world is not my idea of sound monetary policy.
  4. If you’re going to spend OUR money, spend it on national day care and peace-keeping missions.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

ABC.

Canadian Election: A Glimpse into Harper’s Future For Food in Canada

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The Food Industry in the US is a disaster and it’s already come our way under Harper’s watch.  Over the last two, the Harper Republicans Conservatives have handcuffed Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors in the interest of letting companies run their own show.

This has proven to be a deadly experiment.

However, it’s common-place in the US, where death from from e-coli and other diseases has become routine.

Here’s an interesting investigation into the food industry in the US and what it might mean to Canadians if we elect another Harper government:

From the first reports of a salmonella outbreak this spring, it took a full 89 days before jalapeño and serrano peppers correctly came under suspicion as the culprit. During that period, as more than 1,440 victims trickled in to hospitals, federal officials struggled to trace the source of the outbreak, erroneously singling out tomatoes for weeks before homing in on peppers. No sooner had that outbreak tapered off than the high-end Whole Foods Market was forced to launch a massive recall of E. coli-infested ground beef.

But the new model (of privatized inspections) has also created some alarming potential gaps. For one thing, there’s no certification system for these third-party inspectors. Critics worry that retailers hire these companies not only to ensure food quality but also as a defense mechanism to help protect their public image in case something goes wrong. "These audits are like icing on the cake of litigation," says Bill Marler, the attorney who represented more than 100 victims in the 1993 E. coli outbreak case linked to the Jack in the Box fast-food chain. "Every major manufacturer does them, and every manufacturer pays no attention to them."

The price tag is important. With new technology, companies can do all sorts of wild—if at times unsettling—things to keep food free of bacteria. For one thing, they can zap it with radiation. The government approved irradiated meat in 1997, and regulators last month gave the nod to leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. But irradiation is still controversial. Advocacy groups say it ruins taste and destroys nutrients, and consumer fears about irradiation have limited its adoption. More broadly, companies with effective new products—be they oxidizing sprays, viral cocktails, or microbe detectors—often struggle to find buyers, because of either costs or public concerns.

Brrr.  In the upcoming Canadian Election, people who think this OK can go ahead and vote Conservative.  Folks that actually like food should think twice, though.  A Harper majority will spell massive privatization of not just the food industry, but all other industries.

Secret Plans to Sell Canada Post?

In this report, the journalist is suggesting that there are secret plans to sell of Canada Post.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first of many things to go, based on the viewpoints of the bully that we have in charge now.

I have a suggestion: instead of selling it, add it to the mix of the revised communications mandate for all Canadians. Through Canada Post, you would be able to create your own secure and private email address that does not rely on an outside commercial service.

It’s mail for the 80s! Add to that the ability to buy your own domain and host it through Canada Post, much like you would get a mailing address when you buy a house or rent an apartment.

What are your thoughts, Canada?