Duncan Cameron

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Born in Victoria B.C. in 1944, Duncan now lives in Vancouver. Following graduation from the University of Alberta he joined the Department of Finance (Ottawa) in 1966 and was financial advisor to the Canadian Delegation at the United Nations General Assembly in 1967. After working at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), he went on to complete a doctorate from the University of Paris I (Paris-Sorbonne) in 1976. Duncan is an adjunct professor of political science at Simon Fraser University, a director of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia University in Montreal, and a research fellow of the Centre for Global Political Economy at SFU. He was a member of the political science department at the University of Ottawa from 1975 until 2004.He is the author, co-author, editor or coeditor of 11 books including Ethics and Economics (with Gregory Baum), The Other Macdonald Report (with Daniel Drache), The Free Trade Papers, The Free Trade Deal, Canada Under Free Trade (with Mel Watkins) and Constitutional Politics (with Miriam Smith).
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The Liberals have lost their way

Photo: Adam Scotti/Justin Trudeau/flickr

In deciding not to oppose the adoption of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorist Act 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada has committed a serious error of judgment.

The Harper Conservatives have laid before the House of Commons legislation that would authorize the detention of Canadian citizens without evidence of committing a crime, but simply because they were thought possible of committing terrorist acts.

Bill C-51 empowers the government to transform CSIS -- an intelligence-gathering agency -- into a quasi secret police with the power to lock up citizens suspected to have shown support for a cause deemed terrorist by the government.

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Greek debt negotiations: A Eurozone tragedy -- or will sense prevail?

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How Stephen Harper holds his own

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By now Stephen Harper should be down to the low teens in popularity, in territory last occupied when Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was at 11 per cent, just before he decided to leave politics in 1993.

Yes, 60 per cent of Canadians disapprove of Harper as a leader say EKOS Politics. But an astonishing 50 per cent think the Harper government has the country going in the right direction.

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U.S. blunders, prepares military escalation in Ukraine

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On February 9, following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Obama announced he is considering shipping arms to Ukraine. Merkel is on a world diplomatic mission explaining that the Russian role in promoting civil war in Ukraine cannot be ended by military means.

A joint press conference revealed that the U.S. still thought it could increase the pressure on Russia by supplying arms to Ukraine, while Merkel wants more efforts to be made to engage diplomatically with Russia.

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The deficit the Harper government refuses to recognize

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Premiers gathered in Ottawa last week to talk about pressing needs for Canadian infrastructure investment. As the Council of the Federation meeting, chaired by PEI Premier Robert Ghiz, began to address the infrastructure deficit, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver emailed a media statement: ".. some premiers appear oblivious to the consequences of the current global instability and the dramatic decline in the price of oil."

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Greece says to Europe: Drop austerity

Photo: Asteris Masouras/flickr

The victory in the Greek elections Sunday of the anti-capitalist Syriza (coalition of the radical left) led by Alexis Tsipras is being celebrated by Europeans rejecting policies that have produced over 11 per cent unemployment across the Eurozone.

The new direction for economic policy that Syriza is calling for will be opposed by the powers-that-be that imposed austerity across Europe: the so-called Troika: the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt; the European Commission in Brussels; and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.  

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The bear squeezes back: Ruble rises against dollar

Image: Christopher Haughery/flickr

The latest of a series of official Canadian verbal darts aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin was published December 15 on BuzzFeed.

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Harper is election ready. Are his opponents?

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With 10 months to go before the expected October 19, 2015 election, the Harper Conservatives are running full out for re-election. Their strategy is simple. First, satisfy the party base, the some 25 per cent of eligible voters who will turn up on election day and vote Conservative. Second, suppress the Liberal vote.

The current incentive for Conservatives to vote Conservative is the so-called "Family Tax Cut." The Conservative tax relief policy will be compared to the "NDP-Liberal coalition" which wants "to increase taxes and wreck business."

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What happens when oil prices go down instead of up

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Luck plays a part in any political career. Napoleon famously asked of a general recommended to him for his military prowess: "so he is good -- but is he lucky?"

A barrel of oil that was selling in the US$110 range last summer, now sells for less than US$70. That was not the future Stephen Harper and his ruling Conservatives expected when the party leader touted Canada as an energy superpower, based on massive petroleum reserves -- the world's third largest after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela -- locked away in the bitumen sands of Alberta.

But there is good news for the Conservatives in the bad news.

Lower gasoline and heating oil prices will put money into the pockets of strapped Canadian workers, helping to drive up consumption and employment.

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Recognizing Mike McBane: Reflections on social justice

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On November 27 the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives gave its first Social Justice Award to Michael McBane, who has just stepped down as National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition. What follows is a condensed version of my remarks in honour of his receiving the award.

It is good to find Michael among friends, companions, comrades.

That's where the word social comes from -- Socius -- Latin for allies, companions, people we know, those we live with, and who matter to us.

To honour Mike, I want to reflect on social justice, not limit my remarks to how much he is appreciated. 

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