Canada: economic star (without vision or responsibility)

Everybody in Alberni-Qualicum got a lame-ass flyer from our MP, Dr. James Lunney, last week. It contains all of about 40 words (Dr. Lunney doesn’t like to tax his constituents with nuance) and is headlined Canada: an economic star (quoting The Economist magazine).

The above is my response on the clip-and-mail return coupon provided, urging the good doctor and his party toward some progressive — or at the very least, non-obstructionist — action on the most pressing problem of the world’s many pressing problems. Continue reading “Canada: economic star (without vision or responsibility)”

Oh, well that’s okay then

bangheadRecently received from the federal Liberal party (, in response to my email berating the party for not supporting the NDP’s bill C-311.

Dear Greg:

I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent e-mail regarding Bill C-311, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change.

As this is a Private Member’s Bill it was a free vote for all members of the Liberal Caucus.  Those Liberals who voted for the motion did not vote against Bill C-311, but rather voted for a 30 day extension of hearings at the Environment Committee.  We continue to support Bill C-311 in principle but wish to examine it further in Committee to ensure that Canada actually achieves greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.  Currently, Bill C-311 only focuses on emissions targets but has no mechanisms to achieve them.

The Liberal Party remains focused on actual ways to reduce GHGs.  That is why we have committed to the largest investment in clean energy Canada has ever seen.  We are also working with ENGO’s, to implement a strong cap-and-trade system with hard caps, with no loopholes, that will actually achieve real reductions.

The Liberal Party is committed to an ambitious result from Copenhagen, unlike the Reform-Conservatives whose sole objective is to sabotage international progress in the fight against climate change.  However, it is clear that no progress will ever be achieved so long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Sarah Cloutier-Powell

Correspondence Officer/Agent de correspondance
Liberal Party of Canada/Parti libéral du Canada
Telephone/Téléphone: (613) 237-0740
Fax/Télécopieur: (613) 235-7208

Why economists fail (per the Druids)

Worth a read, though i never thought i’d be following an “archdruid” with some avidity. And not just any archdruid: John Michael Greer is the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA).

Shows how desperate i have become, here in a once-proud country now ruled by an economist.

…[T]here’s a case to be made for discussing economics from a standpoint distinct from that of today’s economists – in fact, from nearly any imaginable standpoint other than that of today’s economists. That case could draw its initial arguments from many points, but the most obvious one just now has to be the near-total failure of contemporary economic thought to provide meaningful guidance to the macroeconomic challenges of our time.

Full post is here at The Archdruid Report. It’s getting so dang hard these days to tell straight from satire. Case in point, from later on in the archdruid’s post:

[It was announced] a few days back that the world derivative market has now reached a total paper value in excess of one quadrillion dollars….  (If you have the sort of fashionable lifestyle that costs you $2000 a day, for example, and you started spending it when multicellular life first evolved on Earth, you wouldn’t yet have spent one quadrillion dollars.) Still, it’s important to grapple with such figures if only to grasp the fantastic absurdities that have created them.

In thinking about this particular version of the unthinkable, two things should be obvious. The first is that there isn’t a quadrillion dollars worth of nonfinancial goods and services anywhere on our planet….

And the economists are the wizards in charge of this fantasy-land!

My letter to Steve


I caught this CBC story this morning, which begins with the lead:

The Conservatives are poised to eliminate the public subsidies that Canada’s five major political parties receive, a move that would save $30 million a year but could cripple the opposition.

The story, posted last night at 11 p.m., has already garnered some 850 comments, mostly from outraged members of the 66% “minority” who didn’t vote Conservative in the last election (which cost $300 million, in case you’re counting pennies).

Here’s the letter i just dashed off to my esteemed MP James Lunney ( and cc’d to my doubly esteemed Prime Minister, Stephen Harper (

Dear Mr. Lunney,
Your party’s imminent move to cut taxpayer subsidies to political parties is a deeply cynical political move and a blow against democracy in Canada. The $30 million saved will not make a difference in a recession measured in ten and hundreds of billions, but it will have a strong negative effect on the opposition parties that represented, what, 66% of the country’s voters in the last election. An election that was called somewhat frivolously, I might add, at a cost of $300 million.

Your party’s role as government of the day is to lead, not to use every method at its disposal to cripple the opposition.

Please rethink this sad political ploy and get busy with meaningful work.


Greg Blanchette
Tofino, B.C.