Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Sum Of Us deserves plenty of credit for highlighting Enbridge's attempt to delete a thousand square kilometers of treacherous and sensitive islands in order to sugar-coat the dangers of shipping oil out of Kitimat. But it's also worth noting that the issue goes beyond the precise site chosen as the first and cheapest option: as Enbridge itself has claimed in its attempt to assuage people who stand to be affected by the pipeline inland, there's far more risk involved in shipping oil products by tanker than by pipeline wherever they choose to place the port. And that means the greater outrage is the Cons' utter negligence in doing everything they can to encourage tanker traffic.

- Meanwhile, John O'Connor points out the difference between the Cons' refusal to study or regulate  the genuine dangers of reckless oil production and use, and their determination to find fault with cleaner and safer wind power alternatives.

- Erin catches Don Morgan in a whopper of a lie about the state of Saskatchewan manufacturing since his government took power:
Saskatchewan newspapers report:
“Certainly in professional, scientific and technical areas and in the mining and the manufacturing sector (the job numbers) are very strong,” Don Morgan, minister of advanced education and labour relations, told reporters at news conference Friday.
On Friday, Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan manufacturing employment dropped by 900 last month and declined by 600 over the past year. Since Morgan’s Sask. Party government took office, our province has lost 5,100 manufacturing jobs. By what measure is manufacturing employment “very strong”?
It’s easy to understand why Sask. Party politicians would like to claim strong manufacturing employment. They are trying to characterize “Dutch disease” as an eastern Canadian preoccupation. In reality, manufacturing job losses have afflicted all regions of Canada, including Saskatchewan.
- Finally, Bill Curry reports on the radical anti-worker advice that looks to form the basis for the Cons' next budget. But it's worth noting that even the Cons' corporate allies are using inequality language as both a goal and an excuse to attack labour just as brutally as their Republican counterparts:
Labour issues surface in several discussion categories, with the general view that Canadian workers are overpriced. “Need to address wage differentials in labor market among countries; we are losing jobs to other countries,” the memo reads. “Right to Work legislation should be pondered as it creates inequities in productivity; US example was provided.”

In the United States, about two dozen state governments have passed right-to-work legislation, which allows workers to opt out of paying union dues. Critics call the measures a form of union busting.

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