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Canadian Business

  • ‘The Poland of Northeast Asia’: Mongolia’s Lithium Frontier

    The popular argument that lithium is necessary to transition vehicles away from fossil fuels usually doesn’t go deeper to critique the influence of Canadian and US companies on economic priorities and policies in those countries with substantial lithium deposits. For at least two decades, mineral prospecting in Mongolia has gone hand-in-hand with neoliberal policy intervention, and the looming lithium boom signals that this will only intensify.

  • SNC-Lavalin: How Canada tilts the law toward protecting capitalists

    The outcome for SNC-Lavalin signified that everything was back to normal. After a few hiccups, the system had delivered. Corporate wealth was safer than ever from those who did not understand that, to make the world richer, it is always necessary for those who own the means of production to engage in some shady, often anti-social, even criminal behaviour.

  • Canada’s Auto Workers: GM Closure and the Struggle for “Green Energy”

    The rationale that the wartime emergency made government ownership acceptable could be resurrected today. The possibility of producing electric utility vehicles at a nationalized GM Canada plant would open up truly exciting possibilities if we can get beyond our knee-jerk rejection of government entering the marketplace.

  • The Koch Brothers and the Tar-Sands

    Canada is attacking itself on all levels without knowing it. China has imprisoned two Canadian citizens and blocked long-standing major agriculture imports to our increasing public humiliation. The US, the actual cause of the problem, has done nothing to resolve it, and all the while, a deeper self-destruction of Canada unfolds to serve US Big-Oil demands. The usual leaders of Canada’s branch-plant culture in politics, media news and ‘expert’ commentary just continue their barking.

  • Canada’s corrupt foreign policy practices come home to roost on Parliament Hill

    Justin Trudeau’s government is engulfed in a major political scandal that lays bare the role of corporate power in Ottawa. But SNC Lavalin’s important role in Canadian foreign policy has largely been ignored in discussion of the controversy. The PMO has been accused of interfering in the federal court case against the giant Canadian engineering and construction firm for bribing officials in Libya. Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould claims she was repeatedly pressured to defer prosecution of the company and instead negotiate a fine.

  • Trudeau and SNC-Lavalin: Of Hosts and Parasites

    We are told, again and again, that we are fortunate to live in a capitalist nation that is subject to the Rule of Law. We are free to elect governments whose members may be expected to abide by many of their promises to us and to share our commitment to our foundational institutions. It seems as if Trudeau and his government are falling short

  • Corporate Canada Behind Slow Motion Coup Attempt in Venezuela

    Critics of the Liberal government’s push for regime change in Venezuela generally focus on their deference to Washington. But, Ottawa’s hostility to Caracas is also motivated by important segments of corporate Canada. In a bid for a greater share of oil revenue, Venezuela forced private oil companies to become minority partners with the state oil company in 2007. This prompted Calgary-based PetroCanada to sell its portion of an oil project and for Canadian officials to privately complain about feeling “burned” by the Venezuelan government.

  • Putting Public Ownership Back on the Table

    If we are to build a just society, we require a just economy. And while that must include better social programs financed through redistributive taxation, the democratic socialist project is not encompassed by social programs alone; it must concern itself with the democratization of the economy. And while this shouldn’t be done solely through state ownership—worker, community, and consumer cooperatives all being viable mechanisms here—public control will nonetheless be a central plank.

  • Bill C-27 pension reform: an unprecedented attack on all

    On October 19, 2016, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled Bill C-27, taking aim at the Pensions Benefits Standards Act governing pension plans in workplaces under federal jurisdiction: crown corporations, air and rail transportation, telecommunications and banks. The proposed new legislation allows employers under federal jurisdiction to convert defined-benefit pension plans to target-benefit plans, which essentially means dumping safe pension plans for risky ones.

  • Canada’s Five Giant Banks Ought to Be Nationalized, Not Bailed Out

    Canada’s banking system is on the edge of a crisis, once again, with a collective debt of $1.8 trillion — and the public will be on the hook for most of it, sooner than most think. Last week, the Bank for International Settlements said Canada, Hong Kong and China’s banking systems are the world’s most at-risk of a severe crisis. BIS joins the IMF, Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings in warning record-high consumer debt could tank Canada’s “five giants,” in the case of a downturn.

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