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Neoliberal rampage in Canada 3

epaulo13
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epaulo13
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130 people at the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to be laid off

The Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) strongly condemns the layoff of more than 130 people at the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, including the elimination of 54.6 full-time equivlent positions. Union representatives learned during a meeting last night the full extent of the school board’s cost-slashing measures.

Elementary school libraries? Gone. Resources for students with behavioural or development issues? Reduced. Good, productive jobs in Central Nova Scotia? Slashed.

“This is going to be devastating. Taking libraries out of schools is like taking food out of the cafeteria,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome. “There is simply no question these cuts will have a terrible impact on the education received by thousands of Nova Scotia children.”

School board staff are beginning to meet today with employees who will be laid off. Some will be out of work by the end of June 2012. The job cuts are targeted at a variety of different board employees, including 54.6 NSGEU/NUPGE positions, 20.5 Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) positions, 51.8 Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) positions, and 4 non-union positions....

http://www.nupge.ca/content/4903/130-people-chignecto-central-regional-s...


Fidel
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I think the subject title will prove to be misleading by post no. 100, because in all likelihood this thread will be narrowly focused on bashing a handful few NDP provinces while diverting readers attention away from the indicated topic of discussion, which we are led to believe is the unwritten policy for the new liberal capitalism orchestrated by Ottawa since approximately 1975. 

Why not move this to an appropriate forum, like Atlantic Provinces? Laughing


epaulo13
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fidel

..my posts for the most part are guided by the reporting that is done. the fed scene pre the budget there was a lot of media activity but since has dropped off to really low levels. the focus has shifted to the provinces where the austerity is being implemented. the reaction from labour at this level is immediate thus a lot more media material is available. a lot of what i have been posting lately is coming from unions because my interest is mostly focused on resistance.

..i resent your accusations that i am engaging in some personal attack on the ndp. i make my positions clear only you don't respond to them yet you have arrived at a point where you are trying to what? sabotage my posts when they contain reports on what is going on with an ndp government? you need to back off my friend.


Slumberjack
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We should be freed up to reference all the neo-liberal never never lands across the country.  I don't even think it's curious anymore the fact that we'd be hearing high dungeon being raised by the NSNDP itself if they were in opposition, and it was a conservative or liberal government on the rampage with misguided austerity measures.  But maybe the NS Politics thread is lacking the services of a full time apologist, and so instead of moving such material there perhaps Fidel might take up residence.


Fidel
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Neoliberal weather forecast for Canada is calling for drought of federal transfers and further downloading, offloading, slashing and general all around market ideology foisted on provinces and territoires. Same old same old. But we shouldn't be surprised - it's been happening for decades.

So, why doesn't the NSNDP simply raise corporate taxes and export jobs to larger provincial economies where taxes are limbo-low as a result? 

Or alternatively they could simply spend themselves into a bottomless debt hole in subsidizing "green energy' power generation and distribution projects for rich friends of the party shooting fish in a barrel on electricity rates, like they've done here in Ontario.

And it boggles my mind why Dexter doesn't simply start printing Nova Scotia dollars to fund socialism in one province. 

It's both frustrating and disappointing. 

 


epaulo13
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..see what i mean fidel? you just keep moving forward like i don't exist. it's the bad old feds you declare. this was pointed out to you in rampage 2 yet you are not willing to respond to it.

Alternative Budget Moves Nova Scotia Forward, Not Back

HALIFAX – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia released its 2012 alternative provincial budget today. In contrast to the Nova Scotia government’s 'back-to-balance' plan of across-the-board cuts, the Nova Scotia Alternative Budget 2012: Forward to Fairness makes strategic investments; and finds creative ways to save money and increase revenue.

“Our alternative budget puts the people of Nova Scotia at the centre,” says Christine Saulnier, CCPA-NS Director. “Budgets, like all public policies, are about choices, and we’ve chosen a path towards a more fair and equitable province where people have better access to education, jobs, and are able to share the province's collective resources.” A minimum “tax cut” to a few individuals does not have the same “bang for the buck” as the provision of public services to all of the residents of Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Alternative Budget’s plan to move Nova Scotia “Forward to Fairness” include:

  • Strengthening primary healthcare by investing in ten 10 community health centres, 10 new nurse practitioners, and 12 more midwives;
  • Investing $45 million to begin to phase-in an Early Learning and Child Care System that is affordable and accessible;
  • Investing $14.5 million in special needs education and $6 million for African Nova Scotian and Aboriginal students;
  • Increasing the personal allowance for income assistance, creating new affordable housing stock, and supporting additional housing supports;
  • Reducing tuition fees for the Nova Scotia Community College by 50 percent;
  • Investing $30 million in water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure access to clean drinking water;
  • $20 million in start up funds to create a provincial transit system for rural Nova Scotia.

The provincial NDP government has taken an austerity approach to balance the budget in 2013-14 by cutting $772 million in public spending (over four years). Government spending impacts GDP growth and employment. The estimated impact of the government’s $772 million in cuts is the loss of well over 10,000 jobs. These job cuts will be compounded by federal public service cuts, estimated to result in 5,400 jobs cut in Atlantic Canada.

The alternative budget suggests the elimination of the annual deficit in 2015-2016, instead of 2013-14. It does not try to balance the budget to fit the timing of the electoral cycle. According to NSAB contributor and Economist, James Sawler, "This budget reflects the actual fiscal situation in Nova Scotia. Over the past 10 years, the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio and debt charges as a percentage of total government expenditures have decreased substantially."

“Austerity does not come for free,” continued Saulnier. “The alternative budget’s approach of investing in the people of our province is a balanced approach suited for long-term forward progress, instead of a short-sighted obsession with balancing the budget.”

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/alternative-budg...


Slumberjack
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And hey...Fidel Castro called Pierre Elliot Trudeau "a brilliant and courageous politician." How do you like them apples?


Fidel
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As I said before in the the rampage 2 thread, good post, epaulo.

And thank goodness for PET. He was only on-side with the neolib program after about 1982 or whatever. Good for him for holding out so long. In the meantime we were sunk by the BoC operating at "arm's length" from the feds if you can believe. I tend to remain on the other side of the fence because believing requires a leap of faith. I remember being a youth and tearing ligaments in my left ankle after leaping the rubicon, or I think it was someone's bicycle laid on its side. Anyway, it was a painful experience.


epaulo13
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..i believe it is important to understand where the pain is coming from. the issue of the ndp is small in comparison to the struggle we face and what is needed to beat back this rampage. whether the ndp can be "better" than the cons or not becomes irrelevent if capital remains firmly in charge of the agenda. if indeed it continues to exist. the struggle in the form of the occupy movcement globally, of the que students and the grassroots organizing against the pipeline is where the battle is most fierce. it's what will determin what value people place on the ndp. i'll tell you militarily they are in deep shit. this does not bode well for a change of direction. what do you think of my position fidel?


epaulo13
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The Electro-Motive Lockout and Non-Occupation: What did we lose? What can we learn?

Along with everything else, the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath created new openings and potentials for working people in the struggle against neoliberalism. A number of struggles initially opened up, including factory occupations, efforts to defend pensions and the rights of younger workers. There were important political struggles, as well, as in Wisconsin, along with newer projects to link labour and communities, in the Occupy movement.

But this has to be placed in the context of the dramatic and ongoing pressure of restructuring, concessions bargaining and slack job markets in the private sector. While this has been an ongoing characteristic of the neoliberal period, the state-guided restructuring in auto, steel and other sectors have deepened a process which is still working itself through. Austerity budgets at all levels of government and political attacks have targeted public sector works, as well. The current moment is a rather bleak one for unionized workers in Canada.

This is the political setting that has driven a number of recent conflicts in Canada, most notably the Caterpillar (CAT) owned Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) lockout and closure. This experience is particular to the changes in the larger transportation sector in North America. But it is also characteristic of the pressures facing the manufacturing industries, and therefore its unions and workers....

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/615.php#continue

 


Fidel
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epaulo13 wrote:
whether the ndp can be "better" than the cons or not becomes irrelevent if capital remains firmly in charge of the agenda.

We can liken Canada to a pedestrian run over by a car about 30 years ago, and they still lie there in the road bleeding and run over by passing cars, year after year.

First we have to get to the scene of the accident in Ottawa and stop the bleeding. Then we can begin to plot-out recovery and convalesence.

They want Jesus but are going to have to settle for the NDP. It's tough all over.


epaulo13
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..your to shifty for me fidel. i recommend #10 it's not bad. just finishing it up.


Fidel
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I commented on EMD-Caterpillar in those threads. The two old line parties together have allowed three times as much foreign ownership and control of Canada's manufacturing sector as any other rich country has dared to.

And that part of the neolib ideology has clearly not worked well for Canadians. Not at all.

We need a foreign investment review agency. That former watchdog agency was fought-for by the NDP and scrapped during the Mulroney era. 


Doug
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Capital has less leverage on government when it's not borrowing money from them. 


Fidel
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Come to think of it only Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and eight more rich OECD nations collect more tax revenues as percentages of their GDP's than Ottawa does. 

Our corrupt stooges in Ottawa would rather borrow money from and pay tens of billions of dollars in debt service charges to their filthy rich friends in Canada and abroad. 

If they were CEO's of corporations, they'd have been fired for racking-up so much debt while corporate raiders siphon-off the energy and raw materials.


skip2
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Doug wrote:

Capital has less leverage on government when it's not borrowing money from them. 

and government would have less need (excuse?) to mire itself in private capital if it simply lent money to itself...

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND04Dj06.html

"... a publicly owned bank returns the interest to the government and the community, while a privately owned bank siphons the interest into its capital account, to be re-invested at further interest, progressively drawing money out of the productive economy. "

which makes the Libyan uprising all the more interesting:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD14Ak02.html


Fidel
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The feds could have another $35 billion a year if they taxed at just the OECD average rate. Not the top rate just the average. Billions more if they were to tax overall like at the average of EU-15's. And we can only dream of what Canada would look like if the feds raised overall tax revs to Nordic country levels. We could think of Canada as a real country at that point.


skip2
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my shaky knowledge on the subject notwithstanding, but aren't those "Nordic country levels" based, primarily, on their unhesitating development of (and rich revenue gathering from) Crude Oil Extraction?

Maybe that's exactly what the Con 'dream of what Canada would look like" is!


Fidel
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That's Norway. But their's is a net creditor nation whereas Canada is in the hole to the tune of $581 billion thanks to a relentless parade of corrupt stoogeaucracies at the helm in Ottawa since Mulroney.

And Norway's Petroleum Fund is worth $570 billion, which is more than three times the combined value of CPP "investment" fund and Alberta's pathetic Heritage Fund.

Socialist Norway also has: well-funded socialized medicine, a national daycare program, and free university tuition for all Norwegians.

Other than those minor differences, both Canada and Norway are countries situated in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's said that we compare fairly well in that regard. 

 


skip2
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haha - that much I knew.... whoa! CPP + AHF = a paltry $166B total!? to be split 35 million ways?  phhht! 'pathetic' is right! but, surely, there's hope, given the rise of "laissez-faire" Mulcair, right? okay, so socialism may not happen overnight, but given enough time (and tarsand...)?


Fidel
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Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink


skip2
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Fidel wrote:

Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink

hmmmm... good point

but is that 'impotence' being feigned? or 'omnipotence'? hard to determine, in an ultra-nuanced, Machiavellian neo-liberal rampage...Undecided


epaulo13
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Food-safety workers among hardest-hit by Harper budget cuts

Veterinarians and other inspectors responsible for food recalls and ensuring the safety of Canadian meat are among the hundreds of federal public servants who will be told this week their jobs are at risk.

The Globe and Mail has learned that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture Canada will be among the hardest-hit departments as Ottawa rolls out where it will cut 19,200 jobs across the country.

Union leaders say the sheer volume of affected staff working in food safety directly contradicts the Conservative government’s claims that budget cuts will largely be limited to “back office” efficiencies.

According to the CFIA’s own website, its team of veterinarians form “the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases among animals, and between animals and humans.” The agency says its work includes inspecting and certifying animals and meat products for domestic and international markets, as well as food recalls and emergency response....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/food-safety-workers-among-h...


epaulo13
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Health Canada to cut 840 jobs, DND to cut 1,119 jobs, as public servants brace for more cuts

Uncertainty was rife in the federal public service last week, as thousands of workers were told they might lose their jobs in the coming months and tens of thousands more awaited news of their fate in two more rounds of announcements expected in April.

Last week, employees at Health Canada were told that the organization would be cutting 840 jobs. Those losses don’t include contract workers, term employees or positions that are already vacant and will be eliminated, according to a source within the department.

Health Canada’s DM Glenda Yeates held a department-wide videoconference on April 4 to discuss the coming cuts. Following that call, meetings will be held this week with branch management teams in Health Canada and letters will be sent out on April 11 notifying  “impacted” employees. Health Canada will cut $309.9-million by 2014-215 from departmental spending.....

http://www.hilltimes.com/civil-circles/2012/04/09/health-canada-to-cut-8...


epaulo13
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Student, faculty unions worry about future of Nova Scotia fine arts university

HALIFAX - A report recommending fewer professors and higher tuition fees at Nova Scotia's fine arts university is generating a backlash from the school's student and faculty unions who say such measures would harm the classroom.

Alvin Comiter, president of the faculty union for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, said the board of governors report would be a setback for the cash-strapped school if the provincial government were to accept it.

"I think people are going to be very angry when they read it and they're going to feel betrayed," Comiter said in an interview Monday.

"We were told over and over and over again in public meetings and in private conversations with representatives from the board that there would be ... no layoffs of employees."

The report, released last Thursday, recommends reducing the school's workforce by 26 employees in this fiscal year through early retirement incentives and severance packages. It says of those 26 positions, the majority should not be replaced, and those that are should be paid at a lower rate....


Global Regina | Student, faculty unions worry about future of Nova Scotia fine arts university

Fidel
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skip2 wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Well it's either Mulcair or the corrupt stooge feigning impotence in the PMO ever since seizing 121% of power with 24% of eligible voter support.

Choose wisely. Wink

hmmmm... good point

but is that 'impotence' being feigned? or 'omnipotence'? hard to determine, in an ultra-nuanced, Machiavellian neo-liberal rampage...Undecided

 

I'm afraid that the "new" liberal capitalism is just a re-hash of that which failed in North America by 1929 after a 30 year run in the sun. 

Laissez-faire failed in the very next world experiment there in Chile after just 16 years by 1985. 

And the new liberal capitalism is proving to fail yet again here in North America after another 30-year trial, from 1980-2008.

Polanyi said that laissez-faire was planned whereas planning was not. And I agree. All economies are centrally planned to varying degrees.

When the Harpers and their predecessors say that the markets should be allowed to operate unfettered by government intervention, it is a lie. Our corrupt stooges intervene on behalf of capital and big business constantly. Harper's perceived political impotence to properly fund social programs or fix the whopping infrastructure deficit is a lie. The cult of powerlessness in Ottawa is a deliberate policy that is centrally planned and carried out on behalf of their wealthy friends and privateers in Canada and around the world. Alas, Harper's political impotence and reluctance to intervene on behalf of millions of ordinary Canadians is not a real medical condition - it's a condition that exists between his ears and nowhere else.


epaulo13
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Agriculture cuts hit Saskatchewan

Union representatives say a number of agriculture programs, including some associated with the federal Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, will be ending due to budget cuts.

The PFRA, which was created as a response to drought on the Prairies in the 1930s, provides a number of supports to farming.

A shelter-belt tree nursery, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, has also been a part of the department.

According to PSAC, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a total of 385 workers for the federal agriculture department were impacted by cuts affecting the prairie region and the production of shelter-belt trees in Indian Head will be ended.

The union said PFRA pastures were being closed as part of the cuts.

Exact numbers of job losses were not immediately available for Saskatchewan, but union leaders estimated that it could range from 225 to 270, with Regina-based workers bearing the brunt of the cuts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/04/11/sk-federal-a...


epaulo13
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CUPE, poverty activists take aim at Ontario budget

"Cutting services doesn't help anyone. Working people, poor people all access services under our budget," said CUPE member and health-care worker Patti Jo Encinas. "We're suggesting that freezing the rates, poor people will become sicker."

The government wants to freeze social assistance and delay planned increases in child benefits. The decisions are expected to save the province $90 million.

The maximum someone on social assistance can earn in Ontario is $599.

John Clarke, of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, said the $599 per month hasn't changed much since 1995. If it had been adjusted for inflation people would could receive a max of $938 each month, he said.

"A freeze has a terrible impact on people's health, people's ability to feed themselves and to stay housed," Clarke said.

The government had intended to increase the child benefits by $200 a month. Instead, it will phase in that raise at $100 each month in each of the next two years....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/04/11/wdr-cupe-poverty-...


NDPP
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Harper Throws National Council of Welfare on the Scrap Heap - by Carol Goar

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1160732--harper-...

"...Deeply buried in an attachment to the 2012 budget was a one sentence announcement that the National Council of Welfare had been axed. For a few days anti-poverty activists thought low-income Canadians had been spared. By the time they discovered the truth, all they could do was mourn the demise of another once-proud social agency..."


epaulo13
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Buyer to union: Take deal or leave it

PORT HAWKESBURY — In a marathon meeting Thursday night, hundreds of unionized workers of the idled NewPage pulp and paper plant pored over a contract ultimatum from potential buyer Pacific West Commercial Corp.

During breaks from the meeting at the Port Hawkesbury firehall, workers stepped outside to turn their backs to a cold April wind and discuss what they’d heard about the offer that would slash more than half the workforce.

"It’s like they’ve got a gun to our head and it’s just a matter of them choosing what kind of ammunition they want to put in it," one longtime mill employee said.

"By the looks of things, it’s a shotgun."

The final offer comes after more than two weeks of negotiations, with the help of a provincial conciliator.

Pacific West, of Vancouver, wants a 10-year deal under which it would rehire 229 of the 550 laid-off workers and operate just the supercalendered paper machine and not the newsprint one.

Archie MacLachlan, vice-president of Local 972 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, said the employees would be divided into six groups, from clerical to operations to maintenance workers.

MacLachlan said 80 per cent of the hiring in each group would be based on seniority and the remaining 20 per cent would be at the owner’s discretion.

The company’s pension plan would be discontinued and replaced with a new defined-contribution plan, with matching contributions of five per cent.

The offer says the company would set aside $12 million over 10 years for severance payments and retiree and long-term disability benefits for former employees.

But outside the meeting, some workers were worried that Pacific West isn’t willing to take over responsibility for the existing pension liability, estimated to be over $100 million.

"You work for 30 years with the pension hung in front of you like a carrot, and then when you get there, it’s half-eaten," one man said.

"The premier has said our pension liability isn’t the province’s responsibility, but when he bailed out the (public service) pension plan, he did it with our tax dollars."...

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/83957-buyer-to-union-take-deal-or-...


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