Flush with Spin: Wastewater versus Sewage

Perhaps some of you have noticed a rather curious change in the nomenclature advanced by the City of Regina and adopted by both the Leader-Post and Star-Phoenix in the days immediately after city council approved the referendum for the wastewater treatment plant. You see, it’s no longer a wastewater treatment plant,…
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The financial portion of our economy

A very interesting text by Christian Cauvin, published in a special issue of Alternatives économiques, contains a particularly revealing graph. It addresses the growing weight of the financial economy: Graph 1: Dividends and operating surpluses in France, indexed to 100 = 1993 level    

The absurdity and injustice of now

I’m back from a short sabbatical, grateful for some time outside of my daily work and home life, feeling all big picture. But as I settle back into work, I feel like I’m seated in a Theatre of the Absurd play. My news feeds are pulling up astonishing things. Exhibit one:…
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PotashCorp Reports Inadequate Royalties

PotashCorp reported today that it paid $81 million of “provincial mining and other taxes” on $975 million of potash sales in the second quarter of 2013. In other words, Saskatchewan’s potash production tax and resource surcharge amounted to 8% of potash sales. Adding the basic Crown royalty of just over…
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Consider this an Outcry about Special Needs Income Assistance in Nova Scotia

The government’s response to our recent report on special needs income assistance allowances requires a response on two counts in particular. First, the Minister of Community Services says: “the report stating these changes have hurt people is totally erroneous.  That’s totally wrong.” That claim is unfounded. Our analysis was based…
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NHL Free Agency: Market dysfunction

Free agency opened on July 5 in the National Hockey League (NHL) and a myriad of contracts were signed. Between July 2 and 16, which includes the few days before the free agency officially began, free agents (or players on the verge of becoming free agents) were offered a total…
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The City of Regina’s Terrible Example

At 1pm today, Regina city clerk Joni Swidnicki announced that the Regina Water Watch petition to force a referendum on the City’s plan to finance, build and operate a new wastewater treatment plant under a P3 model had been deemed invalid due to insufficient “valid” signatures. According to Swidnicki’s report,…
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Inflation Eats Up More Than Half of Wage Gains

Today, Statistics Canada reported an inflation rate of 1.2% for June, validating the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. The rationale to raise interest rates would be to curb inflation, which is already under control and well below the central bank’s 2%…
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EI Benefits Falling Faster Than Unemployment

Statistics Canada reported today that 12,290 fewer Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in May compared to April. EI benefits are shrinking far faster than unemployment. In percentage terms, the number of EI recipients declined as much in just the last month as unemployment declined over the past year. Between…
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