This week on Open Sources Guelph, more bad news. The rich are getting richer by not playing by the rules and we once again have the papers to prove it. The government is attacking walkers because a few of them are looking at their phones rather than the sidewalk, which isn’t great, but hardly where the problem lies. But at the end of the day, what does any of this matter, because it turns out more of us are being killed by pollution than pestilence, famine, and all the other horsemen combined. But a very progressive positive rookie has just been elected in Montreal, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
This Thursday, November 9, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Paradise Pity. Following up on last year’s Panama Papers is the shocking sequel, the Paradise Papers, and this one hits much closer to home as several former prime ministers, plus the Liberal Party’s chief fundraiser, have been implicated. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists got access to 13.4 million documents, or 1.4 terabytes of stolen data from two offshore firms, that implicate companies like Facebook, Apple, and McDonalds, as well as individuals like U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Queen Elizabeth II, in complex tax evasion schemes in offshore accounts. It’s not illegal, of course, but might we finally address the core problems of growing income inequality this time?
2) Plante Sale. In a surprise upset, rookie city councillor Valerie Plante defeated the experienced political insider Denis Coderre in the Montreal Municipal Election this past Sunday. Plante, now the first female mayor in the history of Montreal, will have in front of her the task of delivering on her populist/progressive agenda including a new subway line, new bike paths, and a promise to get Montreal moving again. It’s ambitious to say the least, but in reality, how much can Plante do? Her victory was not just an overthrow of Coderre, but of a number of experienced political insiders on council, so the question now becomes: can aspirational politics become politics as usual?
3) Pay of the Dead. Etobicoke MPP Yvan Baker’s got a bone to pick: all those distracted walkers that are making navigation on Ontario streets impossible. Forget the fact that the vast, vast, vast majority of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the road that are the fault of drivers, and forget the week of hell on the 400 series of highways this last week that had absolutely nothing to do with walkers, Baker, with his private members bill, thinks that all we need to do is rein in the real problem: which is pedestrians looking at their phones. Give them a ticket too, and that will teach them a lesson! Is this even enforceable? And speaking of enforceable, how’s it going reining all those distracted drivers, not to mention the aggressive drivers that are really making life more difficult on the road?
4) The Big Sick. The good news is that Nicaragua and Syria have both signed on the the Paris Climate Agreement, but the bad news is that America remains willfully ignorant and now stands alone as the only country on the planet not part of the international effort to reverse the effects of climate change. That’s doubly a shame when you look at a new article in the Lancet journal of medicine, which says that the effects of environmental pollution is killing more people annually than war, smoking, hunger, natural disasters, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. That’s huge. More than huge! And on top of that, there’s the base economics that this bad health is costing $4.6 trillion in annual losses, or about 6.2 per cent of the global economy. Is the crass economics enough to create action, or is this more evidence that’s going to be ignored by climate deniers?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.