I've been visiting a neighbour this summer: Robert Manuge, a name at the centre of a defining epoch in Nova Scotian economic history. At 89 and ailing, he's anxious to make a point about economic development then and now. Manuge was general manager of Industrial Estates Ltd., the economic development agency set up by premier Robert Stanfield in 1957. He invited me to his home at rural Lake Annis, Yarmouth County, to sift through a dozen thick scrapbooks assembled by IEL staff at the time.
The Harper government portrays itself as standing up for Canada, but it is preparing a major sell-off of Canadian interests that will compromise our cultural sovereignty, national identity and national security.
In last week's federal budget, the Harper government signalled its intent to throw open the doors of foreign ownership in three strategic, previously protected, sectors: telecommunications, satellites and uranium.
The issue here isn't foreign investment, which is allowed. At issue is a move to allow giant multinational conglomerates to come in and take over Canadian companies in these key sectors.
Michael Ignatieff did a well publicized tour of Canadian Universities in January. Judging from the list of 40 speakers he invited to address the upcoming Liberal thinkers conference March 26 to 28 in Montreal, he was not impressed: only one student is invited to speak (water activist Ryan Hreljac), and no younger faculty.
The Liberals went for business leaders: 11 CEOs will own the podium (sorry). In 2010, knowledge seemly increases with salary, and brains are best found in the biggest executive suite. Aside from Ryan Hreljac, education is represented by three University and College presidents, two business school heavies, two political scientists, a health scientist and an economist.
One of the champions of Canada's right-wing corporate elite is finally calling it quits.
Gwyn Morgan, 66, is stepping down in May as Board Chairman of SNC-Lavalin, the troubled, giant engineering and construction firm trying to survive a series of scandals, a lack of public confidence, and fluctuating share values.
Morgan, one of the country's most prolific advocates of extreme neoliberalsm, has been in the hot seat during the greatest series of scandals ever at a Canadian company.