The Broadbent Blog

THE HUB FOR CANADA’S LEADING PROGRESSIVE VOICES.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institute.

Why Crowley has it wrong on cars, freedom, and public transit

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In Wednesday's Globe and Mail, Brian Lee Crowley of the MacDonald Laurier Institute produced what he called a “homage to the (undeservedly) hated car”. In it, he reproduced a number of standard shibboleths against what he sees as “the paternalistic philosophy of centralized urban planning that has infected city halls in virtually every major city in the country” determined to get people out of their cars.

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Farewell to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

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The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) closed shop at the end of March.

This move, announced in the 2012 Budget, was not unexpected, but was unfortunate and unwarranted. Now more than ever we need to take a careful look at the linkages between our environment and our economy, and this was precisely the role and mandate of NRTEE which drew upon the best available professional expertise.

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"Tax Freedom Day": freedom from what, exactly?

8201935758_fb991e5d32_b.jpgConcrete is poured into the foundation of the Trois-Rivieres Regional Hospital.

 The Fraser Institute has declared yesterday “Tax Freedom Day”: the day, they claim, that Canadians stop earning wages that go towards income taxes and begin making money that they can spend at their discretion. Fraser's goal is to paint a picture of Canada as an overtaxed country suffering under the weight of big government.

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Statement on the first reading of Bill C-525

This summer, the Conservative government unleashed the latest wave in their ongoing attack on Canada’s democratic institutions. Bill C-525, like Bill C-377, is further evidence of a Conservative government bent on undermining Canada’s unions. We view this bill as part of a broader assault on our democracy that includes shutting down debates in Parliament to ram through legislation, muzzling government scientists, and intimidating civil society groups.

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Why it’s worth paying for public transit

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Ontario politics in the coming months are set to revolve around a debate on whether taxes should be raised to pay for a massive expansion of public transit and transportation infrastructure in the highly urbanized and acutely congested Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), home to about half of the province’s population.

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Statement on the launch of Unifor

On behalf of the Broadbent Institute, I’d like to congratulate the Canadian Auto Workers and the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers’ Union on today’s launch of their new union, Unifor.

A strong and effective labour movement is critical for the prosperity of all Canadians. This bold move today is important not just for Unifor’s 300,000 members, but for the future of Canada itself.

The Broadbent Institute looks forward to working with Unifor over the years ahead for good jobs, a renewed democracy, and a sustainable and prosperous Canada.

Keystone XL and Canada’s Resource Trap

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Harper has just made a trip down the US, after the Canadian government has launched a “please buy our oil” publicity campaign promoting the Keystone XL pipeline on the American airwaves. The federal Conservatives have been tirelessly lobbying American officials. Thus far, this campaign has been quite bizarre, resulting in the Natural Resources Minister hurling threats at governments and insults at climate scientists.  

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Canada needs to consider a fiscal Plan B

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Canada’s Economic Action Plan is being widely advertised this National Hockey League playoff season, but it is hardly working as advertised. It needs to be rethought in light of new thinking about the costs of austerity.

While the feel-good ads would have us think that the famous “Plan” is generating growth and jobs, last week’s Labour Force Survey showed that we have lost almost 100,000 paid jobs in the private sector since December.

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Pipeline dreams turn to ashes for Big Oil

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Two years ago, shortly after the last federal election when I still worked for a national environmental organization, I had a private meeting with one of the more senior lobbyists for the Canadian oil industry. Over a lengthy coffee I suggested that the recent election of his friends in the Conservative party for a comfortable majority mandate presented him with two possible courses of action:

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The Downtoning of America

6259632310_e719457f38_b.jpgBy Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers.

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

President Obama went to Austin, Texas, last week in pursuit of an industrial and employment revival. He wants to launch manufacturing institutes to foster American innovation and job creation.

Republicans responded by ridiculing the president, in the same arrogant way that the blooded aristocrats on the British television series Downton Abbey scorned a chauffeur who sought to marry into the patrician Crawley family. "No opportunity for the downtrodden!" the GOP and wealthy vow.

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