COP21, climate inaction and corporate power

This week marks the beginning of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the latest episode in a UN framework that has been trying, and failing, to reduce global carbon emission for over two decades now. For my first interview, I caught up with Oscar Reyes, Barcelona-based climate policy researcher, to get an overview of what to expect from the talks. Oscar works with the Institute for Policy Studies and has also been affiliated with the Transnational Institute; he has a long history of excellent critical writing and activism on climate issues.

In the second part of the episode, I speak with Shannon Daub, Communications Director for the CCPA British Columbia office. Shannon discusses the CCPA’s important new project that will trace the fossil fuel industry’s networks of money and influence across Canada, particularly the Western provinces. Climate inaction and corporate power: a key duo to examine on the eve of another summit that looks to tinker at the edges of a very dangerous status quo.

profit drown

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Forum on Piketty’s book in Vancouver

On June 25th, a standing-room only crowd of 150 people attended a public forum and discussion titled “Pikettymania, Inequality and You” on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Today, I’m happy to post in full the four talks that made up the first half of the event (the second half was all discussion). The total is about an hour in length with each speaker taking 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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BC’s resource economy: is it sustainable?

Today’s focus is on British Columbia’s resource economy. Although I’ll be talking about British Columbia in particular, the same issues come up in various guises across North America wherever the large-scale extraction of natural resources is economically important.

My two guests are Marc Lee, Senior Economist with the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Karen Cooling, long-time labour and environmental activist retired from Unifor. My first conversation with Marc focuses on the current state of BC’s extraction economy, looking in particular at LNG development. In the second part, I speak to Karen about the relationship between unions and the environmental movement in BC, partly from a personal perspective.

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Questioning the legacies of Flaherty and the PQ

This week’s podcast takes on government economic policy.

First, Armine Yalnizyan looks back at the tenure of Jim Flaherty as federal Finance Minister; the interview is based on an article she recently published in the Globe and Mail. Armine is a senoir economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is also a founding member of the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab feature and the Progressive Economics Forum. You can find her on Twitter @ArmineYalnizyan.

I then talk to Eve-Lyne Couturier about the legacy of the last PQ government in Quebec and the economic debates going into the upcoming provincial election. Eve-Lyne is a researcher at the Institute de recherche et d’informations socio-economiques (IRIS). IRIS produces consistently excellent economic analysis (not only on Quebec) and is far too little known in the rest of Canada.

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Why we need postal banking

Introducing the Political Eh-conomy Radio podcast, a new podcast on economic issues in Canada and beyond. The inaugural episode tackles postal banking: why cut valuable services and jobs at Canada Post when it is instead possible to create financial services run by the post office, at the same ensuring the Post’s future sustainability? Canada Post put it best in its secret report: postal banking is a “win-win” – unless of course your aim is to dismantle public services and set the stage for privatization.

Interviews include John Anderson, author of the CCPA report, Why Canada Needs Postal Banking, George Floresco, Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and David Bush, who is among those spearheading community organizing to stop the cuts at Canada Post. (more…)

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