Robin Sears: Why does Andrea Horwath enrage some New Democrats so?

Robin Sears, described as “s an NDP party strategist for 20 years,” managed to get a good commentary onto the pages of the Toronto Star.  I found a couple of things interesting in Why does Andrea Horwath enrage some New Democrats so?

Ontario elites have long misread their citizens’ anger. It elected Bob Rae, Mike Harris and Rob Ford. The ineptitude of Howard Hampton, Ernie Eves and Tim Hudak gave McGuinty a pass for years. Now Hudak has learned the importance of authenticity and sounds more like a leader. Andrea Horwath is offering a powerful — yes, populist — vision tempered by reality and not fiscal fantasy.
Meanwhile, Ontario has recaptured the most shameful crown it has ever worn — we are the most dependent sub-national government in the world — on the cruel demands of global bond traders. We will soon pay them more of every tax dollar than any state or province on earth!
The last time we so completely sold our future to bond-holders it gave birth to the angriest right-wing government Ontario has ever seen. Voters are angry again. They have not yet decided whom to punish. One thing seems clear. It is not likely to be the leader whom their hated elites so enthusiastically bash.

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Federal Court rules on validity of Darlington Environmental Assessment – sort of

The Federal Court has released the full ruling on the validity of the environmental assessment that had provided preliminary approval for a new build of nuclear units neighbouring the existing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Darlington generating station.

The issue was in court due to Greenpeace Canada, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Northwatch and Canadian Environmental Law Association – all professional anti-nuclear veterans.  The comrades had celebrated the ruling in a May 15th news release:

“The Federal Court has thrown out the approvals for building new reactors at Darlington.”

Well, not really.

From the ruling:

[394] My specific findings of inadequacies and unreasonableness in the EA Report do not vitiate the whole Report, although it seems to me that some reconsideration and corrective action is required that will allow the Cabinet and s. 37 decision-makers to assess, or re-assess, the whole Project and make their decision accordingly. I have attempted to craft a remedy that will allow this to happen without discarding what appears to me to be the highly competent work accomplished by the Panel.Read More »

Aldyen Donnelly: The indispensable report

This old post by Aldyen Donnelly informs on the foolishness of regressive energy taxation… a lesson ignored in Ontario.

regressive
From the cited post by Aldyen Donnelly, the “Energy Consumption Taxes” line should be a textbook example of regressive taxation

Two articles from 2011 were referenced by Edward Keenan on Twitter (to which I responded), one directly, by Stephen Gordon (McGill), and the second is an earlier article by Mike Moffat (Western), which I presume is The ’99 per cent’ don’t really want to fix inequality.

Nowhere are “energy consumption taxes” shown to be progressive, by any coherent usage of the term.  That doesn’t, in itself, make the taxes a bad idea, but Aldyen Donnelly has a strong argument that data does shows taxing this necessity to be a counter-productive action.

Energy Probe

(May 18, 2011) I attach a copy of one of a series of Xcel workbooks that, since 1999, the UK Treasury publishes as part of a set of “Pre-Budget” documents.  It shows the estimated impact of all government taxes and transfers/benefits (cash and in-kind) on working families, by income decile.  The Treasury also publishes a similar analysis for retired and not working families, and a workbook that combines all families.

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Ex-Liberal finance minister warned his party that deep spending cuts are needed to balance Ontario budget

“Ontario is faced with a staggering debt” Dwight Duncan recently said.
Yesterday PC leader Tim Hudak caused a campaign stir in claiming he’d get 100,000 people off the public payroll. Simple math: 100,000 at $100,000/yr = $10 billion, which is less than the year’s deficit.
If people aren’t cut, what would be cut?
Transit?

National Post | News

ANALYSIS

The week before Charles Sousa tabled the Ontario budget that failed to pass, triggering a provincial election, the man who preceded him as Ontario Finance Minister came to Queen’s Park with a warning.

“Ontario is faced with a staggering debt,” Dwight Duncan said, and he called for public services to be contracted out. Government, he said, would have to “fundamentally re-evaluate its role.”

It didn’t escape notice that his warning was akin to a Kardashian tut-tutting someone about overexposure: Ontario’s debt rose from $154-billion to $281-billion during Mr. Duncan’s own time as Finance Minister. But he had warned about debt issues, he said, before he left office.

That much is true. Seemingly emboldened by the fact that it wasn’t his problem to solve anymore, Mr. Duncan went on an anti-debt crusade in his last months at the legislature. Given the province’s debt levels, he said in January, 2013, low…

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