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Thread: NDP Priorities

  1. #1
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    Default NDP Priorities

    NDP Priorities
    By: Brian Mason, Alberta NDP Leader

    The NDP believe Alberta is being governed by politicians in the pocket of big oil and other large corporations. Both the Liberals and Conservatives accept huge political donations from corporate interests, and represent those interests in the Legislature. Alberta’s NDP is the only party sticking up for the rest of us.
    We have outlined four priorities that address the needs of regular Alberta families.

    1) Making Life More Affordable

    Life in Alberta is becoming more and more expensive: out of control housing prices and rents, auto insurance, health care premiums, providing affordable child care, reasonable tuition for students, and proper care for our seniors.

    Alberta’s NDP has been fighting to stop skyrocketing rents by calling for rent guidelines and a limit on condominium conversions, which reduce options for renters. And we were calling for these measures long before the Liberals released their weak kneed plan as an election promise to earn votes.

    We also believe that this Tory government was in error when it made seniors pay the education portion of property taxes, and we would re-institute this tax-cut for seniors, as well as considering a cut to the municipal portion of property taxes as well.

    2) A Better Deal on Royalties

    The second is the area of oil and gas royalties. For years Albertans have been getting shortchanged on our resource wealth. We have maintained rates lower than almost every jurisdiction in the world, including areas where the costs of extraction are greater and those where security and political stability are nowhere near the high levels enjoyed here.

    Recently I travelled to Alaska to meet with that state’s governor, my goal being to study their progressive royalty system, which is a success I believe Alberta could learn greatly from. In Alaska, the costs of extraction are similarly high, and yet the royalty take is over 60% that of Alberta’s. The NDP would work to end the era of bargain basement royalty rates. We would also end the export of bitumen from our province to be upgraded elsewhere, which takes with it thousands of jobs.

    3) The NDP Green Energy Plan

    Alberta’s NDP believe that securing a bright future involves pursuing greener, 21st century energy options. The NDP would utilize increased revenue from royalties to develop its Green Energy Plan, which would pursue renewable energy projects. These would include solar, wind, geothermal, and other initiatives. We would also give Albertans the choice to support green energy through net-metering and interest-free home retrofit loans.

    4) Getting Big Money Out of Politics

    The Liberals and Conservatives have little time to consider what happens when our province’s finite resources are spent. They have offered up changes to the royalty system which still keep Alberta near the bottom of the pack in comparison to the rest of the world. And they have proven themselves to be uninterested in making life affordable for ordinary Albertans. One reason may be at the root for all three of these lapses: The influence of big business over the Liberal and Conservative parties. Both the Liberals and Tories are dependant upon huge political donations from big oil companies and other large corporations

    It’s time for Alberta to follow the lead of the federal government and Manitoba and ban all political donations from corporations and unions. Big donations corrupt the political process. It is near impossible for a Liberal or Conservative politician to enact higher royalty rates when they accept huge donations from big oil. Liberals and Conservatives both accept hefty donations from insurance companies and large landowners, so when push comes to shove, the interests of regular families get shoved aside for this interests of large political donors.

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    Thank you for writing in Brian!

    I would like to ask a couple of questions.

    1. You mention that getting "Big Money" out of politics is a major platform, but does nto the NDP benefit from these donations, especially from the Unions?

    2. Not to be Edmonton focused (but this is an Edmonton forum), I would like to see/hear some official policy on regional governance in this province given the 60+ year feud that has gone on in the Edmonton area.

    3. Edmonton's airport issue. For years the PC government has played with this issue. What is the stance of the NDP on Edmonton's ability to work on this issue for Edmonton?
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    I also have a few questions for Mr. Mason:

    1) with the NDP spending so much time advocating for higher royalties and speaking on behalf of the less fortunate of the entire province, what are your Edmonton candidates proposing for your Edmonton constituents? Why should we continue to elect four or more ND MLAs from Edmonton who then spend more time worrying about the rest of the province than advocating for the ridings they represent? That is four or more MLAs that cannot be part of either the government or the official opposition. What is electing ND MLAs in Edmonton buying us?

    2) with Big Oil, the 'National Citizens Coalition', much of the media and the WRA all repeating the mantra that the changes to the Royalty Program were TOO HARSH (and obviously much of Calgary and other Albertans agreeing), how do you propose introducing even higher royalties?

    I voted ND last time and will no longer waste my vote. I want a new government and the ND party will never form one. Splitting anti-Conservative votes between two or more parties just perpetuates the one-party state. I am also tired of Mr. Mason spending more time slagging the Liberals than speaking out for our city.

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    Hi Brian,

    Just a quick comment...

    I won't specifically speak to the details of each of the priorities mentioned, however as a voter that is very interested in where this province is headed, I couldn't help but notice that your priorities #2, 3 and 4 can appear to be virtually impossible to achieve.

    What I mean is this:
    4) Getting Big Money Out of Politics - I know what you mean here, but I'd be remiss if I didn't state the obvious... There IS big money in politics and it isn't going away.

    2) A Better Deal on Royalties - This somewhat confirms what I'm getting at above...

    3) The NDP Green Energy Plan - So the NDP wants big money out of politics, yet they desire a better deal on royalties (more money), yet wish to move away from the type of energy that the bulk of that revenue is derived from.

    OK, I understand where you're coming from on this, but from a marketing perspective, maybe a re-tooling of the actual message may be in order. Maybe I'm the only one here who picked up on this, but never mind me... I'm a fairly non-linear thinker, but I do vote. I'm sure there are similar voters out there.

  5. #5

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    Hello C2E'ers. Yes, it's me once again...

    As you can imagine, Brian is incredibly busy these last few days of the campaign and unfortunately will not have time to directly answer all of your (excellent) questions. I myself am also very busy trying to gain a few more votes in Meadowlark, however whenever I have a minute I will try my best to fill in for Brian on this forum.

    So here goes my best attempt in answering your above questions:

    1. You mention that getting "Big Money" out of politics is a major platform, but does nto the NDP benefit from these donations, especially from the Unions?


    We do currently benefit from some union donations, however as I mentioned over in another thread, not nearly as much as the Liberals and PCs do from corporate donations. To make politics fair for all parties (also some of the smaller ones), we are proposing to eliminate both union and corporate donations. The NDP takes in more money from 'grassroots' sources (ie. individuals) than any other party in Alberta. We get 90% of our income this way, so union donations are a relatively small part of our revenue.

    2. Not to be Edmonton focused (but this is an Edmonton forum), I would like to see/hear some official policy on regional governance in this province given the 60+ year feud that has gone on in the Edmonton area.

    3. Edmonton's airport issue. For years the PC government has played with this issue. What is the stance of the NDP on Edmonton's ability to work on this issue for Edmonton?

    I will have to get back to you on these two issues. Apologies.

    1) with the NDP spending so much time advocating for higher royalties and speaking on behalf of the less fortunate of the entire province, what are your Edmonton candidates proposing for your Edmonton constituents? Why should we continue to elect four or more ND MLAs from Edmonton who then spend more time worrying about the rest of the province than advocating for the ridings they represent? That is four or more MLAs that cannot be part of either the government or the official opposition. What is electing ND MLAs in Edmonton buying us?


    Firstly, I would like to say that I strongly believe NDP MLAs are by far some of the most effective advocates for their constituents, despite the fact we are not currently in official opposition or government. Our MLAs and their constituency offices have done fantastic work helping out families with the rental crises for example. I'm sure if you ask any one living in a riding with an NDP MLA who has talked to the constituency office or the MLA, they will tell you the same thing.
    Secondly, the NDP was the official opposition not too long ago and may well be again in the future. No party has a monopoly on power or official opposition status, and we will work as hard as possible to gain seats and eventually achieve what many now see as impossible.

    2) with Big Oil, the 'National Citizens Coalition', much of the media and the WRA all repeating the mantra that the changes to the Royalty Program were TOO HARSH (and obviously much of Calgary and other Albertans agreeing), how do you propose introducing even higher royalties?

    I know there has been a lot of mantra out there about the royalty increase being too high already, however all we need to do is look where that mantra is coming from. Most average Alberta citizens know getting our fair share from our own oil is the right thing to do; as Brian Mason said today, "Albertans wouldn't sell their house for 60% less than it's value," so why should we give away our oil that way?
    It is to be expected that oil companies will do what they can to stop such royalty increases (it would seem strange if they didn't), however we all know any threats of packing up and leaving are empty. No where else in the world could these companies get access to oil in such a stable and profitable manner.

    I voted ND last time and will no longer waste my vote. I want a new government and the ND party will never form one. Splitting anti-Conservative votes between two or more parties just perpetuates the one-party state. I am also tired of Mr. Mason spending more time slagging the Liberals than speaking out for our city.


    If you take a close look at the Liberal platform you will see that it is very close, on most fronts, to the Conservative platform. You obviously are free to do with your vote what you wish, however if you want a truly progressive voice at the table you will have to continue voting NDP.

    4) Getting Big Money Out of Politics - I know what you mean here, but I'd be remiss if I didn't state the obvious... There IS big money in politics and it isn't going away.

    2) A Better Deal on Royalties - This somewhat confirms what I'm getting at above...

    3) The NDP Green Energy Plan - So the NDP wants big money out of politics, yet they desire a better deal on royalties (more money), yet wish to move away from the type of energy that the bulk of that revenue is derived from.


    What we mean by getting big money out of politics has nothing to do with royalties. I know where you are coming from, but let me clarify.

    By 'big money out of politics' we are referring to the way political parties are funded, not government itself. We are proposing legislation which would create a political financing law much like we have it on the federal level already. On the federal level (and in Manitoba, provincially), both unions and corporations are already banned from donating money to political parties. Individuals are also limited from giving more than $1,000 per year. We believe this levels the playing field and does not give an unfair advantage to people with more money.

    I hope this has answered some of your questions (Richard, I will look into those other two for you). No matter how you are planning to vote on March 3rd, the most important thing is that you vote. Democracy starts and ends with the average citizen, and we collectively need to realize the power we have when we choose to exercise it.

    Pascal Ryffel
    NDP Candidate Edmonton Meadowlark
    ND Candidate Edmonton-Meadowlark

  6. #6

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    woohoo! a living wage on 36 hours a week ok i am changing my vote NDP. Don't know about you guys but im working 60+ hours a week and i am tired and they still want to cut my wage

    NDP NDP NDP Go Mason!

  7. #7
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    Exclamation Ndp

    My friend Tooker was a councillor in Edmonton. I am a former resident.
    Tooker committed suicide in 2004, jumping from a Halifax bridge.
    I had not spoken to him in years - when I tried to find him, he had passed away.
    Tooker was a childhood friend. I had worked with him on his company 'Vielles Nouvelles'
    which was one of the first newspaper recycling companies in Montreal.
    With Bob Silverman, Tooker and I began the cycling movement in this country.
    Tooker tried federal politics in the 90s campaigning for the NDP in Outremont.
    He lost.
    In Calgary he uncovered an action by Ralph Kline which caused the shredding up of important Kyoto related documents. Tooker found a way into Kline's vault and began broadcasting in an act of defiance.
    Tooker had charisma and was a clown. He thought this jest would be recieved in an enlightened way and his martyrdom vindicated by a change in policy.
    It wasn't.
    Ralph Kline took the invasion of his property seriously and set up a trial date. On the very morning of the trial Tooker left a note that he had no chutzpah to go on. His bicycle and helmet were found on the bridge. Some believe his suicidal actions may have been heightened by the anti-depressant medications he was taking.
    I am one of the pioneering environmentalists in this country. I never liked the liberals much because of their dishonest attitude towards environment, but I disliked the war policy of the conservatives even more and campaigned for John Turner in the election in which Brian Mulroney came to power.
    As an artist I did a mural for Tooker's truck and prepared a bicycle cartoon strip for him with a character called Milton.
    Knowing of Tookers involvement in the NDP I now offer my support to Jack Layton and helped in the election in Outremont won by Thomas Mulcair.
    I liked many of Mr. Harpers attitudes and his 'great eight generational'
    G8 respect for Canada. My family has a similiar history but my personal geneology only goes back four generations. However because of various attitudes to the environment, the understanding of global warming, and the rejection of important actions by the established Canadian parties I promote the NDP party in Edmonton.
    Tooker could have made a great environment minister. Too bad his life was not recognized by the majority of Canadians.
    HE WAS WELL RESPECTED IN THE CYCLING COMMUNITY.
    THERE IS A CAMPAIGN ON TO CREATE A TOOKER CYCLE PATH IN TORONTO.
    In 1969 I first proposed cycling paths to the Montreal Urban community. This was followed in subsequent years by the Tour de L'isle and Cross Canada trail.
    I believe the Tooker clock is running down and TAKE THE TOOKER will be known as a
    '''round the world cycle path''' in the TOOKER,
    the environmentalist's 22nd century!
    As we carry the Olympic torch round the world let us remember
    Tookers rejection of Canadian and Albertan
    'tyrants and totalitarianism'.
    Suitable monuments should be erected along ''the Tooker'' in his memory.
    An NDP TOOKER SHRINE should be erected to the memory of environmentalists and their battle in Halifax.
    Last edited by curfue; 24-03-2008 at 07:15 PM. Reason: some errors in punctuation and spelling

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    The NDP can promise anything, because they'll never have to follow through, because they'll never be elected.

    I was sad to hear of Tooker's passing, but I wasn't a big fan of his. He had a complete lack of respect for those who held different views, and a lack of respect for their perspectives. When he "borrowed" the handicapped woman's wheelchair for a photo op, over her objections, it was the last straw. He tried to do the same thing with me when I was busking - wanting to get a picture taken "sitting in" on harmonica with me while I played, never considering that I was, at that moment, trying to earn a living, and he was costing me money. And the tearing down other's campaign signs thing ... and the refusal to dress even remotely respectfully when at a dinner with a foreign dignitary (thereby putting Edmonton in a bad light), etc...

    It can be very hard to go from a position of power and influence, to being, at best, a sideshow. I know. The man needed help, and I wish he'd gotten it.

  9. #9
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    Smile Response To Jimbo

    Jimbo one thing you have wrong is that Tooker did realize he was having difficulties and he did seek medical attention. He was diagnosed with a condition and had been treated for months at the time of his eventual suicide. I am sorry he acted so inconsiderately but he was having psychological problems after he went around the world with his bike. Alot of this was caused by false accusations by newspaper reporters, and pepper spray and water cannons being fired at him by the Canadian government when as a businessman and politician he thought he had a right to be invited to environmental meetings.
    Interesting how after Tooker's death Stephan Dion led a team that included Al Gore and even Bill Clinton with open participation at the Palais du Congress and Place Guy Favreau in Montreal for the United Nations, a full year and half later!
    I guess that shredding documents conspiracy must have gotten to the established leading party thou the opposition under Stephen Harper still never seems to take any of these issues seriously.
    A bit of heckling is always common when straight ....... politicians perform their righteous civic duties in a deploreable manner. Tooker unfortunately took his protest to the extreme.

    Bruce Walker of STOP, another friend of mine, who won an anti-pollution award in New York City
    and started the anti-public smoking campaign in the early 70s, had always warned activists to avoid situations that are too outlandish. He attended my Environmental Symposium at Vanier College CEGEP in 1973. It is interesting you note Tooker's obsession with photos
    and his disrespect. Had someone commented on that sooner perhaps his girlfriend and FRIENDS could have helped him.
    Tooker was a small guy with alot of charisma. These photo op things have gone to the heads of many, especially where political campaigning is concerned.
    Tooker used to have a wheelchair in his house on Van Horne and it was probably a spurious thought of the moment and inconsiderate to have tried to get a photo on that poor woman's property.
    Does show his problem. I have a wheelchair in my room but for different reasons. I had a stroke and it is easier to shift my weight because of partial paralysis.

    Sorry you don't like the guy:
    I had the opportunity to meet him when he was a kid and at various points in his later life.
    He used to live in a split level near where we went to school. He had hamsters.
    Later on I knew him as a hard working 'garbage man' essentially, perhaps the reason for his choice of more informal attire.
    Than he participated in the cycling tours and activities of Bob Silverman's Monde a Bicyclette.
    BOB WOULD HOLD DISPLAYS OF PHOTOS IN STORE WINDOWS ON ST.CATHERINE. THIS IS PROBABLY WHY HE BECAME OBSESSED WITH SHOTS OF HIMSELF.
    The idea for public displays of photographs was good thou and there have been many giant photo presentations along Montreal streets.
    Some people don't believe in this kind of stuff - think it belongs in a museum.
    Our own Mayor Jean Drapeau had trouble with an exhibit during the 76 Olympics
    and had it torn down. It was called corrid'art and it preceeded the local grafitti and tagging movements.
    Hope this helps. I do believe we need a place for people to recall the efforts of
    members of the activist and anti-pollution movements.

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    Stay on topic folks. If you want to remember Tooker, start a new thread.
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    Angry

    Excuse me for your hostile attitude towards me but the thread is titled NDP priorities. Tooker was a candidate for the NDP party in Outremont riding in Montreal and was defeated by Martin Couchon. THERE WERE MANY ISSUES THAT STILL REMAIN IMPORTANT: ENVIRONMENT, AND CULTURE FOR EXAMPLE.
    Tooker grew up in the English community in Montreal yet he still managed to earn a living. His father was a doctor but he had ambitions in the area of environmental housekeeping, energy efficiency, recreational, and cultural growth. Many Montrealers were not allowed to work in French companies in the 70s because they were English. At the 1976 Olympics I was refused work not because I wasn't bilingual but because I was English! I had already been given a working permit by the Olympic installations board. We won a class action suit against Berkley incorporated but Price Waterhouse consumed all our winnings in continued litigation!
    Elsewhere I was a little more lucky. I was chosen because of my drafting skills in landscape architecture class to do work for the horse jumps at the 1976 Olympic games.
    Tooker managed his business but he was too righteous just to remain a Waste Recycler. He tried to use his talents for social change aiding Bob Silverman's 'Monde a Bicyclette' and others. One time he got me out of jail when I was in a protest over Urea Formaldehyde's used in buildings. I also was complaining about certain aspects of Concordia's promotion of non-professional engineers on its campus.
    The Concordia problems have mostly gone away now - new Engineering Faculties were devoloped as a result in the middle and late seventies.
    My complaints about an American installing materials in our country without permit proved well founded - the companies later complained he was not following guidelines for installations leading to sagging and cracking.
    The greatest triumph - the new Hearst tower in New York City by Norman Foster promotes itself as being eco friendly, green and completely urea formaldehyde free in its construction and operating furnishings.
    A draw back. My complaint that students in a 'Bridge Destruction Contest' should really be studying how to make bridges stand up - went unheard! We have seen the deploreable situation in North American bridges from the standpoint of construction and maintenance.

    Another issue for the NDP is that leading parties have often monopolized jobs for their member interests - witness the Liberal sponsorship programs.
    You people living on the West Coast have not had to live under these abusive situations because the leaders were formerly from our region but you certainly informed me about the economic problems:
    At a job in the Alberta's Transport Department in 1978 I was told how people in the east were 'rich' and how they had offended 'poor' westerners in the 'GREAT' depression - I was lucky as an 'easterner' to have a job at all.
    In Ontario I was told at Nelvana animation that I was from 'Quebec', so I wasn't allowed to work. Than Nelvana came and purchased Montreal Cinar Productions, now called Cookie Jar.
    Incidently I was ushered out of Cinar offices by employees who didn't like my friendly attitude.
    I have a club called THE MONTREAL CARTOON CLUB and was there to learn more about their business and looking for a job.
    When I went looking for work at HAROLD GREENBERG'S BELLVUE PATHE STUDIOS he had no animation job, but he was rich - had made a fortune doing photo printing at Expo 67. He later created the entire Teletoon Network.
    Tooker was Jewish but that does not mean he might not one day have risen to power in an NDP goverrnment as a cabinet minister or even Prime Minister. Sparky Milner, a relative in Edmonton I believe had a prominent position in a sector related to handicapped persons. Thou Tooker was short he had a nice charisma which is something all politicians could use more of.
    I am starting to appreciate the tougher, more bullish attitude of Jack Layton.
    Unlike a DON CHERRY, Mr. Mulcair, A POSSIBLE SIDE-KICK IN THE PARTY, presents a strong disposition but is less direct, and comfortable with a good campaign and support staff!

    Mr. Martin Couchon won the election against TOOKER. He was a very considerate man, took me into his office, told me how his Uncle was an artist, and directed me to various business education programs. I am creative, appreciated his advice, and involved myself with a woman partner who had graduated from a business program with the government.

    I come from a business family. My father, uncle, best friend, cousins, brother, and brother of my girlfriend are all accountants. I have the motivation to be the creative and intellectual side of a
    working relationship.

    BACK TO NDP POLICY

    With the given political situation NDPers, and I supported them in the last bielection, are not
    on any defensive, nor should they be, and are moving into 'offensive', not 'activist' roles.
    Offense and opposition are becoming synonymous and mainstream. People want to know what the problems will be before they initiate major activities, not afterwards. Defensive goal tenders should not get into fist fights these days. It may land them in prisons!

    I AM NEW TO THESE THREADS. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BEGIN ANOTHER AND I AM QUITE BUSY. IF SOMEONE COULD 'PLEASE' HELP ME I WILL TRY TO DIRECT THIS INTEREST ELSEWHERE.
    HOWEVER AS CONCERNS BUSKERS ATTITUDES TO POLITICAL ACTIVITY. HERE IS A MESSAGE.

    IN MONTREAL, A MUCH LARGER CITY, OUR MAYOR WANTED TO CREATE A SPECIAL SQUARE FOR
    PROFESSIONALS RATHER THAN THE SIMPLE BUSKERS WHICH HE WOULD HAVE MOVED OUT OF
    PLACE JACQUES CARTIER!
    THERE WAS ALSO A DESIRE TO MOVE THE NELSON COLUMN, SYMBOL OF VICTORY OVER NAPOLEAN, OUT OF THE PLACE BY FORMER MAYOR BOURQUE.
    NEITHER OF THESE TWO ATTITUDES WAS ACCEPTABLE TO COUNCIL OR COMMUNITY!

    IT DOES MAKE US QUESTION THE NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL ACTIVISM. TOOKER'S LONG STANDING
    INVOLVEMENT IN POLITICAL ACTIONS LED HIM TO PARTICIPATE IN MANY ACTIVITIES WITH CYCLING FRIENDS, STREET BUSKERS, EVERYDAY CITIZENS. HIS RESORTING TO ATTENTION ON MAJOR ISSUES AND FEELING THAT IF HE CALLED ATTENTION TO THESE HE WOULD BE CELEBRATED LIKE THE BLACK WOMAN WHO PROTESTED BEING SENT TO THE BACK OF A BUS FAILED, MAY HAVE EVEN BACK-FIRED.

    IT HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT THERE ARE ISSUES OF HIERARCHY AND RESPONSIBILITY, UNSENSITIVITY TO SITUATION AND EVEN MEDICAL CONDITIONS OF STRESS LEADING TO BREAKDOWNS OR DEPRESSION.

    TOOKER, A FORMER NDP CANDIDATE, IS THEREFORE A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR DISCUSSION OF PRIORITIES. THE CONFLICT BETWEEN SMALL TOWN POLITICS, FARMERS AFFAIRS, AND LARGE URBAN CENTRES IS IMPORTANT. IT IS IN FACT OUT OF SUCH A BURROUGH IN LONDON ENGLAND
    NAMED EDMONTON THAT YOUR CITY GETS ITS NAME. PROBLEMS BETWEEN POOR VENDORS AND RICH PATRONS WHO ATTENDED CLUBS MOVING TO THE LARGER CITY FOR THEIR WINING AND DINING AWAY FROM THE CHURCH GROUNDS WHERE BUSINESS COULD NO LONGER BE CARRIED OUT OCCURRED BETWEEN 1810 AND 1840. IN 1850 ENGLAND CREATED THE FIRST GREAT EXPOSITION WITH INNOVATIVE MACHINES AND A DISPLAY OF GREAT PIECES OF ART! THIS BEGAN THE SEPERATION OF GLOBALISTS OR AS THEY WERE CALLED THAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND UNIVERSALISTS FROM THE COMMON CHURCHES AND STREET PEOPLES. INTERESTINGLY WHEN ROBERT MOSES COULD NOT GET OFFICIAL SANCTION FOR HIS NEW YORK FAIR LEAVING OUT THE BIG NATIONS, SMALLER COUNTRIES AND 15 RELIGIOUS GROUPS CHOSE TO SPONSOR PAVILIONS!

    TOOKER WAS A TRUE GLOBILIST. HE GOT DOWN TO EARTH - RECYCLING NEWSPAPERS, IN MONTREAL'S FIRST RECYCLING PROGRAM, AND HE CYCLED ROUND THE WORLD BRINGING US BACK MUCH INFORMATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. HE BEGAN THE SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT WHEN HE SAW HOW PIG MANURE WAS BEING COMFORTABLY USED TO HEAT HOMES IN CHINA. THE NEED FOR WESTERN FASHION AND ECCENTRICITIES WAS DESTABILIZING COMMUNITIES THERE. FORMERLY SUFFICIENT PEOPLE'S COULD NO LONGER TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. WE ASK WHETHER THIS MESSY '3 GORGES ELECTRIC DAM' PROJECT' IS AN IMPROVEMENT. SEVENTY FIVE FOOT HIGH WALLS OF WATER BREAKING THROUGH WEAK LANDSCAPE HILLS LIKE A TSUNAMI AND EXPENSIVE REPAIR JOBS. WAS THIS THE WAY TO GO?
    THESE ISSUES SUSTAINABILITY VERSUES CREATIVE CHOICES AND THEIR POSSIBLE SYNERGY THROUGH A THIRD PARTY, SUCH AS THE NDP OR GREEN BECAME MAJOR PARTY ISSUES!
    Last edited by curfue; 26-03-2008 at 08:23 AM. Reason: mistaken name, spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by curfue View Post
    Excuse me for your hostile attitude towards me but the thread is titled NDP priorities.
    Unfortunately, the bulk of your posts have been aimed at discussing someone who's not even here anymore. Like you say, the thread is about NDP priorities and NOT about critiquing one particular individual who at one time was affiliated with the party.

    i.e. Focus on the NDP and not Tooker.

    I think Richard is absolutely correct. Stay on topic or start a new thread. That's it. Not sure where you received any 'hostility' in Richard's reply.

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    You're right - stay on topic. I do appreciate some of the NDP's purported interests, but I don't believe they represent my interests, because I'm straight, white, single, have a job, healthy, and relatively normal. One of my primary concerns is the (high) amount of taxes I'm forced to pay. I'd like to see the NDP, which claims to (somehow) represent the interests of "the People", pay more attention to what would benefit everyone, as opposed to what would benefit a few special interests at everyone's expense.

    Otherwise they should consider removing "Democratic" from their name, and replace it with "Special Interest".

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    Quote Originally Posted by curfue View Post
    Excuse me for your hostile attitude towards me but the thread is titled NDP priorities.

    I do not see how asking people to stay on topic with Mr Mason's column is an attack on anyone. Tooker is someone that should be discussed in another thread. Brian took the time to write this for C2E, and we should discuss BRIAN MASON'S writing here.

    Asking you to create another thread to memorialize Tooker Gomberg is not in the least hostile, just good topic managment.
    President and CEO - Airshow.

  15. #15
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    Wow. In an effort to keep things on track:

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mason
    Alberta’s NDP has been fighting to stop skyrocketing rents by calling for rent guidelines and a limit on condominium conversions
    I have huge problems with this line of thinking. Who is the government to tell property owners what they may charge to rent their apartments, or whether or not they can convert them to condos and "cash out" of their investment? And how do such controls encourage the development of more apartments. If anything it produces the exact opposite: why would anyone with money to invest put it into an apartment development, when they know the government will artificially control what they can make off their investment? I know I sure wouldn't.

    Instead the government should focus on encouraging more affordable housing/apartments through incentives and subsidies. In addition, programs to encourage people to become home owners would also be helpful, especially now that interest rates are falling.

    Limits on rent increases are only a temporary, stop gap solution that in the end exacerbates the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mason
    We would also end the export of bitumen from our province to be upgraded elsewhere, which takes with it thousands of jobs.
    How do you do this without being in violation of NAFTA? I agree with the sentiment, but my understanding is that we cannot limit the export of bitumen for upgrading any more than we can limit the export of wheat for making bread.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    1. You mention that getting "Big Money" out of politics is a major platform, but does nto the NDP benefit from these donations, especially from the Unions?
    He doesn't have the vitriol for the union donations, obviously, but at least they're willing to limit those as well.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by raz0469 View Post
    How do you do this without being in violation of NAFTA? I agree with the sentiment, but my understanding is that we cannot limit the export of bitumen for upgrading any more than we can limit the export of wheat for making bread.
    The key is to take that sentiment--which every red-blooded Canadian has (which the odd exception of perhaps an oil executive), and whip it into sufficient fervour as to build the political will necessary to build upgraders and refineries on this side of the border. That done, we simply find a way to be more competitive than our american counterparts. Newer plants, better trained employees, better technology. We certainly have the capability--it just takes political will, and investment.

    Of course the NDP typically favour the environment as also being a top priority. This might clash with the notion of building refineries all over the place (though we do need to keep in mind the Americans are just pumping the bad air over the border themselves anyway).

  17. #17

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    in violation of NAFTA? That's too funny...

    so we have the Keystone and Clipper pipelines moving forward - with the U.S. aggressively moving to build upgraders to the south... to the point where there will be no incentive for the oil companies to build them here. What for, they'll already exist to the south with pipeline capacity up the ying-yang to ship the raw bitumen.

    Thought this was a priority for the "fossil fool" during the election... guess Premier Ed/Cons have lost interest now that they won another election.

  18. #18
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    Why is it funny? The whole idea behind NAFTA is that we can't slap tariffs or bans on imports/exports of most goods. And like it or not, bitumen is a good that oil companies are entitled to purchase and ship elsewhere for upgrading. How do you propose we limit or reduce the amount of bitumen being shipped elsewhere for upgrading without massively subsidizing the construction of numerous upgraders and refineries or slapping a ban or tariff on the export of bitumen?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz0469 View Post
    Why is it funny? The whole idea behind NAFTA is that we can't slap tariffs or bans on imports/exports of most goods. And like it or not, bitumen is a good that oil companies are entitled to purchase and ship elsewhere for upgrading. How do you propose we limit or reduce the amount of bitumen being shipped elsewhere for upgrading without massively subsidizing the construction of numerous upgraders and refineries or slapping a ban or tariff on the export of bitumen?
    To my understanding, the province has jurisdiction over its resources so I would suggest disincentives for exporting raw bitumen via a royalty regime - oh I forgot, I think we just went over that excercise - which I though Eddy touted going into the election. Strange... haven't heard anything except perhaps this article explaining how the oil industries may actually need help - I mean c'mon oil is over $100 a barrel and Nat Gas has nicely risen to $10 per GJ; times are tough for them.

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...da7b11&k=78771

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