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H/T to Project-Pipeline.org
H/T to Project-Pipeline.org
"may create an economically and politically marginalized population whose government is unwilling or incapable of responding to their needs. This may undermine the legitimacy of democracy for those who are marginalized..."The article said research indicated a declining proportion of Latin Americans preferred democracy to any other form of government. In emerging economic powerhouse Brazil, citizens of the world's fifth most populated country showed only 41% preference for democracy. This compared to 74% in Venezuela, a nation that offends the world's financial elites and refuses to follow dictates of the IMF. Congressman Andrés Eloy Méndez said last year,
"Venezuela doesn’t owe a single Bolívar to the IMF or the World Bank… because we said goodbye to a type of debt that went along with lack of investment in society and in human beings."Two years before the noted survey of support for democracy, Brazil had taken a $30 billion bailout from the IMF, one that injured disadvantaged Brazilians because it demanded cuts to social programs. Interestingly, the IMF funding was a little more than the debt owed to American banks such as Citigroup and J.P. Morgan.
"There is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.
"Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key.
"Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.
"Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business."
"Toronto’s crack-smoking Mayor Rob Ford is the most famous Canadian in the world. The Charlie Sheen of politics opens his mouth simply to change feet.
"...But if Americans think Ford is an anomaly, they’re giving Canada way too much credit. In truth, the country is awash in scandal.
"Most unnerving is Quebec, Canada’s Tammany Hall... 'Acts of collusion and corruption exist everywhere in Quebec — in every region...'
"There are 20 more ongoing investigations outside the construction industry...
"In the province next door, the Ontario Provincial Police anti-rackets squad recently scoured the premier’s office. Its probe concerns the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of two gas plants in 2011 on the eve of an election at a cost to taxpayers of $1 billion.
"In London, Ontario, another mayor has refused to quit despite the fact that he has been charged with fraud and faces a trial soon on allegations that he used taxpayer money to help pay for his son’s wedding reception...
"A more king-sized violation in Quebec involves public official Arthur Porter and two executives of SNC-Lavalin, who were arrested this year for fraud involving the $2.3 billion contract to build the McGill University Health Center.
"Porter, who is now in Panama fighting extradition, was also charged with conspiracy and money laundering.
"Another eyebrow raiser was the fact that Porter had been appointed in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to be chair of the oversight committee of the country’s CIA...
"The [Senate] is a throwback from Britain’s House of Lords and an undemocratic patronage dump for friends, partisans and bagmen.
"...This week, Senate shenanigans reached into the prime minister’s office after police accused one of the senators, and the prime minister’s former chief of staff, of bribery, fraud and breach of trust...
"With such serious charges floating around, it’s hard to get exorcised about Rob Ford...
"So, the next time your Canadian cousins get smug about their superior culture, kindness and hockey, remind them that politicians behaving badly isn’t unique to the US...
"Canada gets just as dirty — so stay tuned and hold into your tuques."
"This project will provide good gobs for skilled tradespeople in British Columbia...Notice the fine detail? Under BC Liberals, crossings of lakes or rivers are different than crossings of salt water where the preferred tradespeople to be employed are in Germany and user fares shall be paid.
"Inland ferries are used on routes where lake or river crossings are a less-costly alternative to building roads or bridges..."
"The B.C. government is disbanding its controversial Pacific Carbon Trust..."Yeah, they should have paid attention to us, the humble nincompoops blogging in underwear, or to the Auditor General, members of the Official Opposition or others who knew this was another poorly conceived and incompetently managed boondoggle.
"It's not clear how big of a problem money laundering is in BC casinos but the government admits it's not uncommon for people to walk into casinos with suitcases filled with tens of thousands of dollars in small bills."You can bet that Global News, CBC News or their corporate media colleagues are not about to do any detailed investigation to find the extent of the problem. However, they will dutifully trumpet memos and reports issued from Victoria.
"The casinos of today are bringing in significantly more revenue than in the past so as a result that now makes them a target for money launderers where they would not have been previously."That is a foolish statement because any person with an ear to the ground knows that money laundering has long been a prevalent activity at casinos. It didn't suddenly begin in the last few years. Besides, gambling revenues are down all over. Recession weary Las Vegas is now the foreclosure capital of the USA and Atlantic City gaming revenue has declined on the monthly year-over-year basis for 35 straight months. BC has not been immune and, according to Sun writer Pete McMartin,
"B.C. Lottery Corporation has paid out more than $400 million in gambling revenues to B.C. casino operators so that they can recoup their capital costs.Perhaps Scott and his colleagues in Victoria had not been much concerned about money laundering because the BCLC had looked carefully at itself in 2010 and determined,
"BCLC, in terms of policies and procedures, has a robust anti-money laundering regime in place. Further, it was determined that GPEB has the required level of anti-money laundering expertise and is capable of discharging its responsibility to provide oversight as it relates to anti-money laundering and associated criminal activities at gaming facilities."Katie Derosa at the Times Colonist wrote this,
"Currently, customers are given a cheque for their winnings and cash for the remaining amount of their original buy-in. Casinos will now encourage people to take a cheque that states the amount is for the original buy-in, which creates a paper trail for auditors and prevents people from claiming funds to be gaming wins.There you have it fellow citizens. We will fight money laundering by encouraging, but not compelling, crooks to accept a cheque from casinos when they are laundering proceeds of drug crime.
"However, Scott admitted there is nothing to compel gamblers to accept a cheque or use electronic transfer.
"NDP gaming critic Shane Simpson said the review had failed to recommend limits on how much cash a person can take into a casino. For example, a gambler can still take in $400,000 in $20 bills and cash it in for chips, a practice which sounded the alarm for Mounties and sparked the review."
"I used to believe if we got 55 or 60 per cent [support] … we'd be off to the races," said Alex Pourbaix, president of Energy and Oil Pipelines for TransCanada.While looking at the TransCanada annual reports, I noted that in the last fiscal year, the company's net income was down 14%. In the world of major corporations, it's heads the CEO wins and tails the shareholders lose. Accordingly, despite declining profitability in 2012, the remuneration of TransCanada's CEO Russell Girling increased $145,000 a month, a 25% rise.
"And what I've found is that a very small minority of very vocal opponents, in any given community, can go a long way to harming your project."
Pourbaix made the comments in a speech to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council Outlook 2014 conference in Saint John on Thursday.
TransCanada will soon be seeking regulatory approval on its pipeline proposal, which would send send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada...
"What she did, however, is send a strong message that a sellout may well be just around the next bend — before or after other hurdles are cleared."