Margaret Thatcher’s death sparked widespread debate about her legacy. Partisan supporters credit Thatcher with everything from “saving Britain”, British P.M. Cameron’s phrase, to ending the Cold War to overturning the welfare state. These grandiose claims, perhaps made when grieving and celebration get confused, require some comment. Thatcher’s politics were part of a major shift towards corporate globalization, which affects us all to this day, including in Saskatchewan. What were the outcomes for social harmony and ecological sustainability?
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Sometimes people talk about the 2011 spring flood as if it were just part of an ongoing “natural” cycle. Some who have been around for past floods compare 2011 to the severe floods of 1974 or even 1955. As a teenager in 1955 I well remember canoes going down the streets near the overflowing Wascana Creek.
We’ll need a vibrant democracy not shirking from the challenges of sustainability to make a necessary transition. How are we doing in Saskatchewan? And will the new NDP leadership enhance our quest to become a sustainable society?
Prime Minister Harper’s view that Alberta’s tarsands will be the economic motor for the Canadian Energy Superpower is starting to unravel. Alberta faces a $6 billion revenue shortfall and will face a $4 billion deficit. Last year it predicted “only” an $800 million deficit. Premier Redford can’t displace responsibility on to a shortage of pipelines, for Alberta’s budgetary calculations can’t be based upon hypothetical scenarios. Nor can Saskatchewan’s, which projected a $95 million surplus, which has dropped to $9 million.