Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On Balance - Growth vs Cuts

This marks the first in a new feature for The Incendiary Collective, where we will very intentionally (and for a change) give equal time to the Conservative POV, posting "the other side" of the issue in tandem with our usual editorial sniping. We do this not because we believe in balance and objectivity here at The Incendiary Collective (although, largely speaking, we do), but because we are confident that the Conservative positions on most issues will become even more inexplicable when expressed in their own words.

******************* columnist Toby Sanger says that not only will the anticipated slashes in federal spending be painful for those Canadians least able to cope with them, but will also be damaging for the economy.

The Harper government's June Budget is almost entirely a reprinted version of the budget they tabled two-and-a-half months ago in March. Outside of $2.2 billion for Quebec's sales tax harmonization and the elimination of federal support for political parties, there's nothing new in the budget -- and that's the problem.

While the budget includes a few positive measures, many of which were proposed by the NDP -- such as increases to GIS payments for seniors, reintroducing incentives for energy retrofits -- they are overshadowed by what's bad and what's not there.

Most troubling are the $5 billion in cuts to public services for Canadians that will pay for their over $6 billion in corporate tax cuts with much of the benefits going to highly profitable banks, finance and oil companies. When public investments provide six times as much economic boost and jobs as corporate tax cuts, this type of trade off will endanger an already faltering economy and do nothing for the many millions of Canadians out of work or struggling with their household finances.

To read more of this content at, click here.

As expected, the opposite position is occupied by the ruling Conservatives, foremost among them Finance Minister Flaherty...who says cuts are "no big deal".

"Finding $4 billion to cut from the federal government's $80 billion in program expenses is no big deal, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Tuesday.

Speaking on CBC News Network the morning after unveiling his latest budget in the House of Commons, Flaherty denied the cuts were anything like the ones he took part in while a minister in the Ontario government of Mike Harris, which touched off outrage across the province."

To read more of this content at CBC News, click here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Tale of Dark Lord Stephen Harper and his Tar Sands Kingdom

In what is the perfect illustration of post-millenial politics, combining hacktivism with social media, Black Flood and the Yes Men coordinated a beautiful awareness campaign-slash-prank that paints Stephen Harper as the tyrannical Middle Earth evil spirit Sauron, and his cursed black land of Mordor the Alberta Tar Sands.

I wonder if that makes Jack Layton Frodo Baggins?

Top photo: The Peace Tower in Stephen Harper's Ottawa. Bottom photo: The Dark Tower in Sauron's Mordor.



Excerpt from

Travellers at Terminal 3 in the Toronto airport were astounded Tuesday morning to see Gandalf the Grey and several hobbits march their handcuffed prisoner Stephen Harper, dressed as the evil lord Sauron, into a Syncrude Ltd. recruiting meeting. They demanded that Synacrude take him back to Mordor aka the Alberta tar sands, "the hell on earth that he created."

The performance was the culmination of a series of media reports that director Peter Jackson is shooting scenes from "The Hobbit" film in the tar sands. In a press release issued today, a troupe of Toronto activists calling themselves Black Flood, working alongside the infamous pranksters of The Yes Lab, confirmed their role in the events for "the purpose of stirring up some hot and bubbly controversy on the Alberta tar sands."

It all started on Saturday when Stop Mordor appeared on Facebook demanding that the Alberta government stop the plans to use the Alberta tar sands as Mordor in the new Hobbit film. At the same time there were some tweets claiming sightings of Elijah Wood, reprising his role as Frodo Baggins, in Fort McMurray.
Using their extensive networks, the group starting pushing the news through social media. Naomi Klein, posted the first tweet

"Apex of disaster capitalism: Hobbit being filmed in Alberta, with tar sands as Mordor. G8 way to save $ on sets." Naomi's tweet was followed in minutes by famed environmental activist Bill McKibben: "Hobbits in hot tar? It sure looks like mordor. Say it ain't so." Twitter was abuzz.

Curators, scientists lose jobs in public service cuts

There's word of job cuts in the public service, just days before the Conservative government delivers its budget outlining its plan to get rid of the federal deficit.

Five curators at the National Gallery of Canada were told Wednesday that their jobs will be eliminated as part of an effort to cut costs.

Officials say it's the largest single cut of curators at the gallery in four decades. Last March, 27 other positions were eliminated through attrition.

At Environment Canada, about 50 short-term employees, including scientists and scientific support staff, will lose their jobs by the end of the month. The job cuts there don't affect any permanent employees.

To read more of this content at CTV News, click here.