Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada

Author: Meenal Shrivastava,Lorna Stefanick

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

ISBN: 1771990295

Category: Social Science

Page: 436

View: 7410

In Democracy in Alberta: The Theory and Practice of a Quasi-Party System, published in 1953, C. B. Macpherson explored the nature of democracy in a province that was dominated by a single class of producers. At the time, Macpherson was talking about Alberta farmers, but today the province can still be seen as a one-industry economy—the 1947 discovery of oil in Leduc having inaugurated a new era. For all practical purposes, the oil-rich jurisdiction of Alberta also remains a one-party state. Not only has there been little opposition to a government that has been in power for over forty years, but Alberta ranks behind other provinces in terms of voter turnout, while also boasting some of the lowest scores on a variety of social welfare indicators. The contributors to Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy critically assess the political peculiarities of Alberta and the impact of the government’s relationship to the oil industry on the lives of the province’s most vulnerable citizens. They also examine the public policy environment and the entrenchment of neoliberal political ideology in the province. In probing the relationship between oil dependency and democracy in the context of an industrialized nation, Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy offers a crucial test of the “oil inhibits democracy” thesis that has hitherto been advanced in relation to oil-producing countries in the Global South. If reliance on oil production appears to undermine democratic participation and governance in Alberta, then what does the Alberta case suggest for the future of democracy in industrialized nations such as the United States and Australia, which are now in the process of exploiting their own substantial shale oil reserves? The environmental consequences of oil production have, for example, been the subject of much attention. Little is likely to change, however, if citizens of oil-rich countries cannot effectively intervene to influence government policy.
Release

Tar Sands

Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, Revised and Updated Edition

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books Ltd

ISBN: 155365627X

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 4954

Tar Sands critically examines the frenzied development in the Canadian tar sands and the far-reaching implications for all of North America. Bitumen, the sticky stuff that ancients used to glue the Tower of Babel together, is the world’s most expensive hydrocarbon. This difficult-to-find resource has made Canada the number-one supplier of oil to the United States, and every major oil company now owns a lease in the Alberta tar sands. The region has become a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, Muslim extremists, and a huge population of homeless individuals. In this award-winning book, a Canadian bestseller, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands, arguing forcefully for change. This updated edition includes new chapters on the most energy-inefficient tar sands projects (the steam plants), as well as new material on the controversial carbon cemeteries and nuclear proposals to accelerate bitumen production.
Release

Oil's Deep State

How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa

Author: Kevin Taft

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

ISBN: 145940999X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 2526

Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming? Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa. Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court casein Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda. He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest. Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem — the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.
Release

Escape from the Staple Trap

Canadian Political Economy after Left Nationalism

Author: Paul Kellogg

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442617063

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 8601

From fur and fish to oil and minerals, Canadian development has often been understood through its relationship to export staples. This understanding, argues Paul Kellogg, has led many political economists to assume that Canadian economic development has followed a path similar to those of staple-exporting economies in the Global South, ignoring a more fundamental fact: as an advanced capitalist economy, Canada sits in the core of the world system, not on the periphery or semi-periphery. In Escape from the Staple Trap, Kellogg challenges statistical and historical analyses that present Canada as weak and disempowered, lacking sovereignty and economic independence. A powerful critique of the dominant trend in Canadian political economy since the 1970s, Escape from the Staple Trap offers an important new framework for understanding the distinctive features of Canadian political economy.
Release

Amma’s Daughters

A Memoir

Author: Meenal Shrivastava

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

ISBN: 177199195X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 326

View: 3761

As a precocious young girl, Surekha knew very little about the details of her mother Amma’s unusual past and that of Babu, her mysterious and sometimes absent father. The tense, uncertain family life created by her parents’ distant and fractious marriage and their separate ambitions informs her every action and emotion. Then one evening, in a moment of uncharacteristic transparency and vulnerability, Amma tells Surekha and her older sister Didi of the family tragedy that changed the course of her life. Finally, the daughters begin to understand the source of their mother’s deep commitment to the Indian nationalist movement and her seemingly unending willingness to sacrifice in the name of that pursuit. In this re-memory based on the published and unpublished work of Amma and Surekha, Meenal Shrivastava, Surekha’s daughter, uncovers the history of the female foot soldiers of Gandhi’s national movement in the early twentieth century. As Meenal weaves these written accounts together with archival research and family history, she gives voice and honour to the hundreds of thousands of largely forgotten or unacknowledged women who, threatened with imprisonment for treason and sedition, relentlessly and selflessly gave toward the revolution.
Release

Oil's Deep State

How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa

Author: Kevin Taft

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

ISBN: 145940999X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 7663

Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming? Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa. Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court casein Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda. He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest. Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem — the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.
Release

Scripting the Environment

Oil, Democracy and the Sands of Time and Space

Author: Geo Takach

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319404334

Category: Social Science

Page: 238

View: 2504

This volume explores how to engage audiences both beyond and within the academy more deeply in environmental research through arts-based forms. It builds on a multi-pronged case study of scripts for documentary film, audio-visual and stage formats, focusing on how the identity of a place is constructed and contested in the face of environmental concerns around fossil-fuel extraction in a globalized, visual society--and specifically on the rising, international public-relations war over Alberta’s stewardship of the tar sands. Each script is followed by discussion of the author’s choices of initiating idea, research sources, format, voices, world of the story, structure and visual style, and other notes on the convergence of synthesis, analysis and (re)presentation in the script. Included are lively analysis and commentary on screenwriting and playwriting theory, the creation and dissemination of the scripts, and reflections to ground a proposed framework for writing eco-themed scripts for screen, audio-visual and stage formats.
Release

A Canada Strong and Free

Author: Mike Harris,Preston Manning,Fraser Institute (Vancouver, B.C.),Institut économique de Montréal

Publisher: The Fraser Institute

ISBN: 0889752141

Category: History

Page: 69

View: 2767

In A Canada Strong and Free, Mike Harris and Preston Manning present a vision to make our country the best democratic federation in the world, offering its citizens the highest quality of life and economic performance, and setting a new standard of international citizenship and leadership. This vision expands freedom of choice and acceptance of personal responsibility in every area of national life and calls for a "rebalancing" of national priorities.
Release

The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 8004

By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
Release

Shakedown

How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights

Author: Ezra Levant

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

ISBN: 9781551993409

Category: Political Science

Page: 232

View: 2955

Winner of the Writer's Trust of Canada / Samara's - Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years Part memoir, part investigative journalism, this is a shocking and controversial look at the corruption of Canada’s human rights commissions. “On January 11, 2008, I was summoned to a 90-minute government interrogation. My crime? As the publisher of Western Standard magazine, I had reprinted the Danish cartoons of Mohammed to illustrate a news story. I was charged with the offence of “discrimination,” and made to appear before Alberta’s “human rights commission” for questioning. As crazy as it sounds, I became the only person in the world to face legal sanction for printing those cartoons.” As a result of this highly publicized event, Ezra Levant began investigating other instances in which innocent people have had their freedoms compromised by bureaucrats presuming to protect Canadians’ human rights. He discovered some disturbing and even bizarre cases, such as the tribunal ruling that an employee at a McDonald’ s restaurant in Vancouver did not have to wash her hands at work. And the human rights complaint filed by a Calgary hair stylist against the women at a salon school who called him a “loser.” In another case that seemed stranger than fiction, an emotionally unstable transvestite fought for — and won — the right to counsel female rape victims, despite the anguished pleas of those same traumatized victims. Human rights commissions now monitor political opinions, fine people for expressing politically incorrect viewpoints, censor websites, and even ban people, permanently, from saying certain things. The book is a result of Levant’s ordeal and the research it inspired. It shows how our concept of human rights has morphed into something dangerous and drastically different from its original meaning. Shakedown is a convincing plea to Canadians to reclaim their basic liberties. From the Hardcover edition.
Release

The End of Oil

On the Edge of a Perilous New World

Author: Paul Roberts

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780547525112

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 4361

You live in this world. You use oil. You must read this book. The situation is alarming and irrefutable: within thirty years, even by conservative estimates, we will have burned our way through most of the oil that is readily available to us. Already, the costly side effects of dependence on fossil fuel are taking their toll. Even as oil-related conflict threatens entire nations, individual consumers are suffering from higher prices at the gas pump, rising health problems, and the grim prospect of long-term environmental damage. In this frank and balanced investigation, Paul Roberts offers a timely wake-up call. He talks to both oil optimists and oil pessimists, delves deep into the economics and politics of oil, and considers the promises and pitfalls of alternatives such as wind power, hybrid cars, and hydrogen. A new afterword brings the book up to the minute. Brisk, immediate, and accessible, this is essential reading for anyone who uses oil, which is to say every one of us.
Release

A Polity on the Edge

Canada and the Politics of Fragmentation

Author: Harold D. Clarke,Allan Kornberg,Peter Wearing

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 335

View: 3539

"Powerful! Using national surveys as well as surveys of the Quebec electorate, A Polity on the Edge is a brilliant assessment of Canada's viability as a nation." - Richard Price, University of Windsor
Release

Protest and Politics

The Promise of Social Movement Societies

Author: Howard Ramos,Kathleen Rodgers

Publisher: UBC Press

ISBN: 0774829184

Category: Political Science

Page: 376

View: 568

The Tea Party. The Occupy Movement. Idle No More. Around the world, popular social movements are challenging the status quo. Yet most democracies are seeing a decline in voter turnout. Protest and Politics examines this shift in political participation, as well as the blurring of social movements and mainstream politics, through the lens of the social movement society thesis. Analyzing historical and contemporary social movements in Canada in comparison to those in the US and in the transnational sphere, the authors argue that our understanding of the boundaries between politics and protest needs to evolve.
Release

Letters from the Lost

A Memoir of Discovery

Author: Helen Waldstein Wilkes

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

ISBN: 1897425538

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 6914

On March 15, 1939, as Hitler's army rolled into Prague, Helen Waldstein's father snatched the last exit visa from a distracted clerk and fled with wife and child. Only letters from the rest of their family could follow as the Nazis closed in. Through the war years, letters kept coming to the southern Ontario farm where Helen's small family learned to speak English, to be Canadian farmers, and to forget they were Jewish. Helen did not notice when the letters stopped coming, but they surfaced intermittently until she couldn't ignore them anymore. Reading the letters changed everything. As her past refused to keep silent, Helen followed the trail of letters back to Europe to find living witnesses of what the letters related. She has here interwoven their stories and her own in an engrossing narrative of suffering and rescue, survivor guilt and overcoming obstacles to intergenerational dialogue about a traumatic past.
Release

Deputy Ministers in Canada

Comparative and Jurisdictional Perspectives

Author: Jacques Bourgault,Christopher Dunn

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442665181

Category: Political Science

Page: 480

View: 2451

Collectively, provincial deputy ministers command the largest assembly of government budgets, employees, and influence in Canada, but despite their importance, they have not been the subject of systematic study until now. This unique volume, which deals with a uniquely significant topic, reviews the role of deputy ministers within government, providing a major new understanding of their responsibilities and interactions at both the federal and provincial levels. It also contributes important comparative analysis not previously available. Featuring contributions by many of Canada’s most prominent scholars of public administration, Deputy Ministers in Canada examines a number of factors in the evolution of deputies’ roles. Taking into account social, political, and administrative history, the essays probe topics such as the socio-economic characteristics of administrative elites, the politicization of recruitment processes, the impact of New Public Management, and varieties of ministerial-bureaucratic relations. Together, the essays in Deputy Ministers in Canada make an important contribution to the political science and public administration literature.
Release

First World Petro-Politics

The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta

Author: Laurie Adkin

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442699426

Category: Nature

Page: 696

View: 7885

First World Petro-Politics examines the vital yet understudied case of a first world petro-state facing related social, ecological, and economic crises in the context of recent critical work on fossil capitalism. A wide-ranging and richly documented study of Alberta’s political ecology – the relationship between the province’s political and economic institutions and its natural environment – the volume tackles questions about the nature of the political regime, how it has governed, and where its primary fractures have emerged. Its authors examine Alberta’s neo-liberal environmental regulation, institutional adaptation to petro-state imperatives, social movement organizing, Indigenous responses to extractive development, media framing of issues, and corporate strategies to secure social license to operate. Importantly, they also discuss policy alternatives for political democratization and for a transition to a low-carbon economy. The volume’s conclusions offer a critical examination of petro-state theory, arguing for a comparative and contextual approach to understanding the relationships between dependence on carbon extraction and the nature of political regimes.
Release

Seeking Convergence in Policy and Practice

Author: Marita Moll,Leslie Regan Shade,Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Publisher: Canadian Centre Policy Alternatives

ISBN: 0886273862

Category: Autoroutes électroniques - Aspect social - Canada

Page: 412

View: 1784

Release

The Great Crash 1929

Author: John Kenneth Galbraith

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547575777

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 224

View: 3903

Of Galbraith's classic examination of the 1929 financial collapse, the Atlantic Monthly said:"Economic writings are seldom notable for their entertainment value, but this book is. Galbraith's prose has grace and wit, and he distills a good deal of sardonic fun from the whopping errors of the nation's oracles and the wondrous antics of the financial community." Now, with the stock market riding historic highs, the celebrated economist returns with new insights on the legacy of our past and the consequences of blind optimism and power plays within the financial community.
Release

The Quest

Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

Author: Daniel Yergin

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101563702

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 832

View: 3350

This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. The Quest tells the inside stories, tackles the tough questions, and reveals surprising insights about coal, electricity, and natural gas. He explains how climate change became a great issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never more timely, The Quest vividly reveals the decisions, technologies, and individuals that are shaping our future.
Release

Policy Analysis in Canada

Author: Laurent Dobuzinskis,Michael Howlett,David Laycock

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442690771

Category: Political Science

Page: 592

View: 8005

The growth of what some academics refer to as 'the policy analysis movement' represents an effort to reform certain aspects of government behaviour. The policy analysis movement is the result of efforts made by actors inside and outside formal political decision-making processes to improve policy outcomes by applying systematic evaluative rationality to the development and implementation of policy options. This volume offers a comprehensive overview of the many ways in which the policy analysis movement has been conducted, and to what effect, in Canadian governments and, for the first time, in business associations, labour unions, universities, and other non-governmental organizations. Editors Laurent Dobuzinskis, Michael Howlett, and David Laycock have brought together a wide range of contributors to address questions such as: What do policy analysts do? What techniques and approaches do they use? What is their influence on policy-making in Canada? Is there a policy analysis deficit? What norms and values guide the work done by policy analysts working in different institutional settings? Contributors focus on the sociology of policy analysis, demonstrating how analysts working in different organizations tend to have different interests and to utilize different techniques. They compare and analyze the significance of these different styles and approaches, and speculate about their impact on the policy process.
Release