Doug Ford is shoveling public money out the window

Image result for doug ford white cowboy hat calgaryJust like some class D cowboy movie western (where the corrupt mayor  walks up to the bar underneath the whorehouse and orders a free round for his base — (in Doug’s case his knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing-climate risks-denying  Neanderthals — Doug holds his first summer scrum  IN CALGARY.

Now you see it; now you don’t!

It’s quite extraordinary how quickly Doug Ford is shoveling public funds out the window at Queen’s Park.

His very first order of business was to cancel Ontario’s successful cap and trade program. That one act alone, results in the $3 billion loss to Ontario taxpayers —money previuusly used to offset personal taxes or reduce carbon emissions.

But that was just the start.

In a stroke of the pen,  he retrocatively cancelled the White Pines Wind Project. Although Ford trumpeted that Ontario was “open for business”, that apparently did not include international investments in clean renewable energy. All in all, cancellation of White Pines will leave taxpayers on the hook for litigation requesting $100 million  compensation from the Greman proponent, WPD.

Actually, that amount is probably a lowball . The detailed, onerous provisions of removal and restoration of the White Pines Project could see the demand for compensation from WPD, the proponent, escalate dramatically.

Then, of course, there is Ford’s interference in the Beer Store franchise.  The cost?  Who knows? A letter from Molsoms and Labatts lawyers noted, “The Bill will destroy …benefits, legislate 7,000 Ontario-based The Beer Store employees out of work and cause billions of dollars in damages … and result in higher costs and prices for consumers.” Yikes!

We shouldn’t forget the squandering of tax dollars in Ford’s fight against the Federal carbon tax. Doug isn’t deterred by repeated court decisions. He’ll take it to the Supreme Court, fighting all the time for ‘the little guy’ by gosh. “Every tool in the toolbox.”

Let’s save time and bundle all the litigation that will inevitably result from his government’s cancellation of 227 clean energy projects. (Ford doesn’t buy all that climate change stuff.)

How big is this bundle?

Who knows? But when that bill arrives we can be absolutely certain that one of two things will happen: either taxes will rise to pay for Doug’s folly or services that support our way of life will be cut.

Image result for ford gas pump stickersHis government’s shameless self-promotion using taxpayets’ dollars goes will beyond  compulsory gas pump stickers. Ford’s ham-fisted attempt to muzzle the media by producing Ontario News Now, is funded through  PC Caucus Services, which is a separate, taxpayer-funded arm of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. Bottom line: despite the magic, that’s still your money, folks!

But Doug, always working for the little guy, is making his government actions immune from civil suits by retrocative legislation (apparently a Dougie favourite).

“What it means is that the people who exercise power over you can exercise that power negligently and cause you damage and no one will have to pay.” — Toronto human rights and refugee lawyer, Kevin Wiener

Apparently Dougie hasn’t heard of Charter Rights. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it will challenge the legislation and remind him.

So after a year, Ford meets reality

Image result for doug ford buck a beer
Ex high school dropout offers buck a beer.

In spite of offering incentives such as exclusive promotions and advertising advantages (your money again), Ford’s Big Idea  proved unsustainable. City News reports, “Between the buck-a-beer plan, legislation to legalize tailgate parties, and the declaration to scrap the Beer Store agreement — seemingly without regard to cost — has led to a “beer obsessed” label,” and at 29% his approval rating. Among the lowest of Canadian premiers. Hmm…

And that, my friends, is probably good news.

 

 

A Green New Deal for Food and Farming

Agroecology field farming

To address climate change, we’ve got to end chemical-intensive agriculture. Why?

Because globally, today’s food and agriculture systems are responsible for more climate-change contributing emissions than the world’s cars, trucks, planes, and trains combined. At the same time, we’re confronted with evidence that climate change is unravelling the systems of the natural world that have evolved over millennia to create a habitable planet.

The Green New Deal, a non-binding resolution that calls for a shift in energy production and public resources to carbon-neutralize the U.S. by 2030, highlights “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector.” This is a good idea.

Agriculture & the Climate Crisis

Here at PAN, we support a just transition to food and agriculture systems that put power back in the hands of the farmers, workers, and communities growing food—and the Green New Deal is one way to help us accomplish this.

Much of agriculture’s contribution to climate change is from chemical intensive farming’s reliance on fossil fuel-based inputs. Deforestation and conversion of grassland to commodity crop production reduces acres of diverse, carbon-sequestering ecosystems globally, and reliance on petrochemical inputs for monocrop production is on the rise. This includes synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides derived from petroleum-based hydrocarbons.  MORE