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pay-featby David McLaren

A little while ago, two right-wing think-tanks, the Fraser Institute (FI) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), took shots at public sector wages and benefits.
The CFIB's report said that full time jobs averaged about $60,000 in the public sector and roughly $55,000 in private firms. A couple of days later, the FI claimed public worker compensation had risen 47% in less than a decade.
Clearly, public sector unions are out of control, right?
Conveniently, both reports came out just days before Ontario's annual Sunshine List which is the Who's Who of public servants earning over $100,000. Ontario Power Generation's CEO made over $1.5 million last year. His CFO made $1.2 million. Many more—over 111,000 more (medical officers of health, school board officials, police chiefs and firemen)—made somewhere around the average: $127,000.

clouds-regby Dave Beverly-Foster

We in Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound aren't part of the 10% of people who live in low-lying coastal zones, or in one of the 2/3 of major global cities that will experience flooding from sea level rise. But we do know the hardships of drought and other erratic weather when it comes to farming. We know that we must do what we can to slow, mitigate, or reverse climate change. And to do this we must limit our greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change is a big scary thing that can be hard to even think about, let alone act on. But this week, we made progress. The Ontario Liberals have announced a carbon trading system known as cap-and-trade. This system puts a hard limit on the amount of greenhouse gasses that Ontario industry can release into the atmosphere, giving us a tool with which to control our climate change impact.
This tool is basically the creation of a new market. Each business will be given a quota of greenhouse gas emissions they can spew into the atmosphere. Once allocated, businesses have control over these quotas. If they find ways to live within their carbon means, they can trade these quotas on a carbon market, effectively incentivizing lower carbon emissions. In this way the whole Ontario economy lives within our atmospheric limits but businesses can still find ways to grow.

VE Day featThis year, instead of celebrating the start of a war, let us celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe, and the beginning of peace. WWII was a horrifying and devastating war which took the lives of millions and millions of people, both military and civilians. A war which left thousands upon thousands more permanently damaged, whether physically or mentally. A war which changed the lives of millions. And a war which changed many countries, perhaps even the world.
On May 7, 1945, the papers were signed and the great news went out across the airwaves. Not yet in my teens, I remember the day well – a warm, sunny day in the small town of Uxbridge. A few friends and I ran spontaneously to the town Fire Hall which housed the large fire alarm bell, grabbed the rope hanging within reach, and joyously pulled the rope to ring the bell again and again and again. Although not touched personally by the tragedies of the war, I had lived half my life knowing and learning about it and being part of many experiences connected with the war. Helping ring the bell was an expression of the happiness I felt that it was now over.

Lester B-feat

By Kimberley Love

There's an old joke that goes "even paranoids have enemies". It's a good time in Canada to keep that joke in mind. Prime MinisterHarper has pushed forward Bill C-51 using scary language – "a great evil descending on our world" – to amplify the so-called terrorist threat to Canada. And he's used that emotionally charged language as cover for legislation that intrudes on the rights of individual Canadian citizens.

So let's ask the real question. Which is the greater danger to Canada: terrorism, or the fallout from anti-terror legislation that sacrifices our rights?

People concerned about the over-reach of government into the rights of individual Canadian citizens - rights to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and due legal process have been asking this question. This backlash produced cosmetic changes to C-51 announced Friday. But you would have to be naive to imagine that such a question was relevant to the considerations that brought C-51 forward in the first place. Bill C-51 is one of a series of distractions, aimed at diverting theattention of the electorate from the real issues facing Canada in the upcoming federal election.

 

news C51 feat

-by David McLaren

The terrorists will have won if we voluntarily surrender the very rights and freedoms Mr Harper says they hate us for.

For that is what Bill C-51 is, a surrender.

I have read the Bill, and I've read the terrorist provisions now in the Criminal Code, and the new Canadian Security Intelligence Act that passed into law even as Parliament began debate on new police powers for the Canadian Security Intelligent Service under C-51.

In the Criminal Code there are already a dozen definitions of terrorism. In section 83.01, a terrorist activity must “serve a political, religious or ideological purpose … and with the intention of intimidating the public … or compelLINg a person, a government … to do or refrain from doing any act … and that intentionally causes death” or harm, including harm to an essential service. (s.83.01(1)b)

That this works is proven by the various hair-brained and hair-raising schemes police and CSIS have already uncovered and put before the courts.

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