Remember when the Trudeau government purchased that leaky 66-year-old Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder Morgan? Turns out that Trans Mountain is locking in some extraordinary costs to the public at the same time that it’s providing a massive discount to major oilsands producers. Economist Robyn Allan joins Team Advantage to explain how bad of a deal the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion really is.
Check out Robyn’s work at robynallan.com, her novel “When They Came For The Beach” at novel.robynallan.com, and follow her on Twitter @robynallan.
Twenty years ago, workers at the Calgary Herald went on what would become an eight-month strike, citing editorial overreach, a torqued political slant, and unfair treatment in the newsroom. Herald striker Terry Inigo-Jones joins Team Advantage to discuss his experience taking on the Herald and its then-owner, Conrad Black. This story has it all, folks— Canadian media concentration, scabs who you’ll now recognize as right-wing hacks, a literal press baron, police intimidation and brutality, private security goons, and much much more.
Jason Kenney’s ultra-secretive War Room, officially known as the Canadian Energy Centre, is tasked with taking on critics of Alberta’s energy industry in real time. With a budget of $30 million in public funds and no transparency, we can only assume that they spent all of their money on their first video ad, which they have now pulled from their YouTube channel.
Join Team Advantage as they respond in real time to this first attempt at energy-industry propaganda, paid for with public funds.
The video, now listed as private, used to be available here:
As of this episode’s release, no videos are listed on the CEC’s YouTube channel:
Andray Domise recently wrote an opinion piece for Maclean’s: “The left must stand against capitalism. Now.” Andray joins Team Advantage to discuss his argument. Why must “progressives” or left-leaning folks necessarily oppose capitalism? How is capitalism’s profit motive related to a range of social, economic and ecological problems our society faces? Why is it important to read classic texts from authors like Marx and Engels?
Read Andray’s piece here:
Read Andray’s work here:
Follow Andray on twitter @andraydomise.
Alberta’s post-secondary campuses recently adopted the Chicago Principles —a specific kind of commitment to free speech— as per the orders of Kenney’s UCP government. Roberta Lexier from Mount Royal University joins Team Advantage to dig into the matter. What is this sudden concern with free speech about? Don’t conservatives already run most of Alberta’s campuses? Are content warnings really that big of a deal?
Alberta’s UCP government recently announced a plan to reduce surgical wait times: farming out 80,000 surgeries to private, for-profit providers. Ricardo Acuna, Executive Director of the Parkland Institute, joins Team Advantage to discuss the legacy of private for-profit health service delivery in Alberta. Has it ever worked? Does it produce any beneficial results? What does it do to our public health care system?
Read Ricardo’s Parkland Institute blog post.
Follow Ricardo at @RicAcuna, and follow the Parkland Institute’s work at parklandinstitute.ca and @ParklandInst.
Jason Kenney’s UCP government recently wrested control of about $78.5 billion in pension assets from working Albertans, and is musing aloud about using it to prop up Alberta oil and gas companies. What’s behind this outrageous pension grab? What is AIMCo going to do with this cash? How did we get into a situation where people’s deferred wages (pensions) create these vast pools of capital that can be used against workers?
[Tyler mentions that the CPP is fully funded, it is currently funded on a “steady-state” basis (pay-as-you-go with a reserve fund). The CPP enhancement which raises the replacement rate from 25% to 33.33% (phased in by 2025) will be fully funded.]
It’s been a week, hasn’t it? Team Advantage gets together to discuss a week of rapid-fire bad news. What is one to do when all the “checks and balances” our political system is supposed to have seem to get stripped away? Might there be some sort of power that could be organized to intervene? Listen in wonder as Team Advantage explains the difference between a legal strike position (which is very difficult to attain) and an illegal strike (including wildcat and sympathy strikes, which tend be highly effective, but are obviously illegal so you should never do them).
In late August 2019 at the Calgary Petroleum Club, representatives from Birchcliff Energy and Tourmaline Oil presented a remarkable piece of petro-propaganda to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It was instantly retweeted by Jason Kenney, stating “Enough is enough. No more apologies. We are proud of Alberta and Canada’s oil and gas.” Join Team Advantage as we watch and analyze this crypto-fascist piece of media!
The ad in question is produced by Canadians for Canada’s Future, and is located here:
For more about this industry front group, check out their website:
Jason Kenney’s new budget is making Albertans everywhere pay more so that large, profitable corporations can get billions of dollars in tax cuts. Team Advantage assembles to survey the damage. What’s with the attacks on organized labour? What’s the point of austerity, if it’s proven not to create jobs or growth?