Supreme Court of Canada rules that carbon pricing is poggers

You probably saw the news last week around the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision ruling on the constitutionality of the carbon tax. The Supreme Court said that the federal government has the jurisdiction to put in the carbon tax as a matter of “national concern” under the peace, order and good government (POGG) clause in the constitution. 

Premier Kenney pitched a snit and predictably railed against the decision. But he can cite the minority opinions and the decisions of lower courts all he wants. It doesn’t change the fact that he lost and lost big. He actually told reporters that he did not have a fallback plan and that he was hoping to win in court

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POD: The other multi-billion dollar Alberta government oil scandal: Crude-by-rail

Independent consultant and crude-by-rail expert Samir Kayande joins us to talk about the $2.3 billion dollars (and counting) the government of Alberta has lost on crude-by-rail. Is there a rail yard somewhere with thousands of empty rail cars? Quite possibly, the government has told us nearly nothing about this debacle. When they have told us anything about it, they've lied. We dig into this huge scandal. 

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Shandro gets one right; CPS continues to get them wrong

Breathing a sigh of relief after a Hinshaw/Shandro COVID press conference is a novel experience for most of us, but it was a relief indeed to hear yesterday that Alberta will not be barreling ahead into ‘Phase 3’ of its reopening plan. It’s easy to think that, with the end of the pandemic in sight, the spread of the virus must be easing up, but nothing could be further from the truth; not only were normal cases allowed to grow out of control over the winter, but the new, more-contagious variants like B117 have arrived and are growing exponentially here.

The news that reopening has been paused is going to rile some folks up in Alberta’s unruly anti-mask/anti-vax crowd, and they’ve hardly been well-behaved to date.

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POD: Leg day for lefties

How do we build working class power? How do we make the rich and powerful afraid of us instead of the other way around? We talk with Q. Anthony (formerly known as Andray Domise) a contributing editor with Maclean's and Brandon Love, co-secretary of the Toronto Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World to talk about this important question. 

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Desperate for positive job numbers, Kenney has started just making them up

It’s been a rough week for employment in Alberta, though that’s not what you’ll hear from the Premier. Cenovus is laying off over 1000 workers this week in the wake of its acquisition of Husky Energy. Production at Cenovus is going up, way up—but these days they don’t need as many people to do it. Great news for shareholders, not so great news for families in and around Calgary.

Similar story over at Shaw, which is shuttering its head office in Calgary after being bought out by Rogers. All the tax breaks the UCP could come up with couldn’t keep them here. Rogers is promising to increase, not reduce, the size of its workforce, but then they’re saying that our cell phone bills aren’t going to go up either. I’ll leave it to you whether you’re as skeptical there as I am. Premier Kenney isn’t; incredibly, he’s saying that two of Canada’s only four big telecom companies merging into some Akira-style blob is going to help diversify the economy. (If you’re keenly interested in the subject of Canada’s telecom cartels, I recommend this recent episode of the Alberta Advantage podcast.)

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Looting the dregs: SanLing Energy’s suspension is a sign of oilpatch rot

On March 5 the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended the operations of SanLing Energy, a small Chinese-owned oil and gas company.  Five years of regulator incompetence (or malfeasance) saw bankers and oil and gas executives get rich while the citizens of Alberta were left holding the bag, as the unpaid environmental debts of an unprofitable, dying industry piled up. 

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‘A kick in the ass.’ Evidence of managers getting preferential vaccine access over frontline workers piles up

Health workers in the Calgary area who were eligible for “lottery doses” of leftover COVID-19 vaccines had those privileges revoked by Alberta Health Services (AHS)—while managers were still eligible for the leftover vaccines.

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POD: Public interest law, the limits of the courts and why we need to stop skipping leg day

Human rights lawyer Avnish Nanda and labour lawyer Adam Cembrowski join us to talk about Avnish's notable public interest law cases, winning and losing in and out of court with the Alberta government as well as a wide ranging conversation on the limits of the legal system when it comes to building power for social movements and the working class. 

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Lawyer for Lethbridge police doesn’t believe cops who spied on Shannon Phillips can be fired

Police in our society are given extraordinary powers by the state. They are able to use violence with near impunity, they have the implicit trust of our justice system, and they have access to huge databases of information on us—information that a regular person would never have access to for obvious reasons. 

That’s why the revelations in this CBC story about the unauthorized and illegal surveillance by the Lethbridge Police on MLA Shannon Phillips are so disturbing. When police start spying on, surveilling and harassing politicians and their supporters, that is an abuse of power that we simply can not let stand as a society.  

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POD: Breezy for Mayor

Edmonton Public school board trustee Bridget Stirling and Speaking Municipally co-host Troy Pavlek join us to talk about the city council and school board elections in Edmonton coming later this year. With massive turnover coming to both institutions what are the races to keep an eye on and what kind of campaigns are we likely to see? And yes, two-thirds of the panel is on team Breezy Brian Gregg for mayor. 

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