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Lament For a Nation, part 2: The loss of Canadian companies

I noticed this posting over at Relentlessly Progressive Economics this morning and am reposting the link for all to read – particularly my blog friend Antonio at Fuddle Duddle, who can’t understand all the fuss being made over the loss of Canadian ownership of companies to multinational corporations – Alcan being the latest example. Well, this article shows there is good reason for there to be a fuss.

David Olive’s article in the Star is another list of good reasons that people should be concerned, and he has an answer to those who argue this is just a natural thing in our capitalist and global market society:

These apologists for unrestrained capitalism argue that government has no role to play in keeping our few remaining industrial champions in Canadian hands. They have an answer to the obvious question of: “How exactly is Canada well served by having no significant multinational firms it can call its own?” Their answer is that the unguided forces of nature – in this case, soaring commodity prices that make our resource firms takeover targets, and the surfeit of cheap money that has financed a boom in monster acquisitions worldwide – possess far more wisdom about industrial policy than any government, or, for that matter, public opinion. Tell that to the U.S. Congress, which has blocked several attempted foreign takeovers of American firms in recent years.. Alone among major industrial powers, Canada is letting its industrial sovereignty slip away…Not being the master of one’s fate doesn’t sit well with everyone. As long as the dynamic aspects of business occur elsewhere, our best and brightest will follow that star. For lack of will to more forcefully direct our own economic future, we’re practically begging for a brain drain.

Harper’s motto: Making money is more important then saving the environment.

You can see Harper’s modus operandi on the environment with this trip to Latin America. Look where he intends to pay a visit to while down there:

The most controversial stop on the trip could come Wednesday in Santiago, Chile. There, Harper will visit the offices of Barrick Gold, whose proposed Pascua Lama gold and silver mine in the Andes on the Chile-Argentine border has become a rallying point for critics of multinational mining operations. Reports that the company’s explorations have eroded the size of three glaciers by more than half have some Chilean lawmakers calling for a halt to planned operations and a probe into the environmental effects of […]

The Cons. install a suggestions box, but for Cons. staffers only.

You know you’re desperate for ideas when….

The Prime Minister’s Office is asking Conservative political workers on Parliament Hill to help draw up a long-term blueprint that could form the basis of new priorities for cabinet ministers and a possible fall Throne Speech…The memo was sent Wednesday by the policy and research division of the Prime Minister’s Office.

..but not so desperate that you’ll take ideas from your paid political staffers, but not the professionals in the civil service:

[…]

Prog Bloggers love MMP in Ontario, but more then us are needed to change the system.

We have a poll up at Progressive Bloggers asking Ontario bloggers and/or readers whether they are voting for the proposed MMP electoral reform that is taking place in Ontario at the same time as the election. If we based the referendum solely on them, we’d have MMP in Ontario by a wide margin – current poll results show (once you take out those people not in Ontario) close to 75% of Ontario bloggers/readers of blogs intend to vote yes to the proposal.

That’s all well and good, but they aren’t the only ones voting on this. I would encourage those bloggers (if they havent already) to join the Facegroup Cause: […]

The result of not imposing dogma on research

This is a very important discovery:

A landmark discovery by researchers at Hamilton’s McMaster University could radically alter the way scientists attempt to use embryonic stem cells to grow replacement tissues and treat cancer. The researchers found that human embryonic stem cells – “the great grandmothers” of all the other cells in our bodies – build themselves a nurturing cocoon that feeds them and directs their ability to turn into other types of tissues. By manipulating the products of this tiny, cellular placenta, it may be possible for scientists to prompt the stem cells to grow into desired tissues and organs, or to switch off tumour growth

By the way, this was helped funded by the federal Canadian Institutes of Health Research. If this had been in the USA, this likely would not have been funded by the federal government there, because of George Bush’s stubbornly vetoing any federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. Ironically, by claiming to be saving life by not allowing research, he and his pro-life movement are inhibiting research that will save lives.

Fortunately, we haven’t progressed to that point up here yet, and we can see from the above story that the benefits of doing so are becoming more clear.

Will Harper be consistent on human rights lecturing?

That’s a question, not a criticism – yet. He is about to visit 2 countries that have rather struggled with human rights recently; those being Haiti and Columbia.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, human rights and labour groups released an open letter to Harper asking him to raise a number of humanitarian issues when he meets with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Haitian President Rene Preval.

Amnesty International made a point of bringing up China and Russia, two countries that Harper went out of his way to mention his disapproval of their human rights records when he visited their leaders, and they said they were hopeful Harper would bring […]

My ISP now does know I exist

Just an update. Apparently my ISP changed email servers yesterday for the dial-up users email, and since my account hadn’t been used in over a month (and theres a good reason for that when I use DSL and only use the dialup account when the DSL server is down) it hadn’t gotten transferred over.

So.. I’ve rectified that and my normal email is working again.

(IF you hadn’t guessed, I’m away from home  and checking it and doing blogging via dialup -bleah -  I’ll be back on my normal DSL around the 23rd)

I’m still here – really

Just a little personal note to all who’ve been trying to get a hold of me today and have had their emails bounce back to them declaring I’m an “unknown user”. No, it isnt my anti-spam program being over-cautious; apparently without any reason or warning given, my user account has been wiped from my ISP’s system – according to them, I no longer exist.

Needless to say, I’m rather ticked about it. I only found out this evening after business hours had closed what had happened, so I’ll be giving customer service a little call tomorrow to find out what exactly has happened.

In the (hopefully short) interim, you can […]

The best before date on this branding label has long expired.

Steve is exasperated at the continued insistence of the Conservatives to calling themselves “Canada’s New Government”, but I’m just amused. I mean, its only been 18 months since they won the election; they’re probably doing this to ensure all those people who have been in comas the past 19 months who come out of them will be aware there’s a “new” government in town. That’s very courteous and egalitarian of them if you ask me.

Even though they’re starting to get openly mocked over it, Harper’s communications team apparently must feel this is a winning brand name for them among the voters. Then again, this is also the bunch […]

Your dinosaur of the day

Ezra Levant made this statement today to earn him that honour, as well as continuing to show that of the Sun Media Chain, the Calgary Sun has the wackiest of the op-ed wingnuts writing for it.

I predict Ezra will go on tomorrow to proudly tell everyone he’s a member of the Flat-Earth Society, as well as disbelieving Galileo’s theory that the Earth actually rotates around the Sun.

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