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Featured/Q&A

“If 50 per cent of the candidates were women:” talking with Elizabeth May

There are stories women tell themselves about running for politics, the stories women hear from other people, and the stories the media tell: all these play a part in whether or not a woman decides to run for political office. The leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, talked about all these kinds of stories when we sat down in the hour before she was scheduled to speak at a recent Equal Voice event in St. John’s. We talked about running for political office as a woman in Canada in the 21st century. “We won’t get the kind of government we deserve until we get more women elected,” she said to a full room in City Hall after our conversation. The fourth woman to lead a federal party in Canada, May talked about what holds women back, what it takes to win, and how to help a woman imagine that… Keep Reading

Featured/Opinion

The rural used to be radical. What happened?

Rural space is work space, not a leisure space. The city should be a space for working people, not a playground for the rich. Urban workers and rural workers have this in common: consumer capitalism has endangered their ability to live and play in the same place where they earn a living. While both sets of workers are under threat, the rural worker has been rendered invisible by stereotypes, assumptions, and ignorance. Keep Reading

Do governments neglect social spending for corporate subsidies?

Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The rich need no protection. — Wendell Phillips. When it comes to listing countries on the basis of the social services they provide to their citizens compared to the subsidies they heap on their corporations, Canada doesn’t fare well. A recent study from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy reports that our federal government and the four largest provinces spend $29 billion a year subsidizing business firms. The study’s author, John Lester, says that half of these huge subsidies fail to improve economic performance and therefore constitute a colossal waste of government revenue. “And because nearly one-third of all such subsidies just go generally to support specific industries or regions rather than to enhance economic development,” he added, “the proportion of questionable spending rises to 60% of the total.” Of the $29 billion in government handouts that corporations receive annually,… Keep Reading

Editorial/Featured

From the Editor: The lights are back on

  “I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”-Tom Stoppard “Journalism without a moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It’s absolutely unavoidable. A journalist is someone who looks at the world and the way it works, someone who takes a close look at things every day and reports what she sees, someone who represents the world, the event, for others. She cannot do her work without judging what she sees.” –Marguerite Duras Just two days before I officially stepped into my role as lead editor of The Independent, the lights went out on our website. Some server somewhere in the United States crashed and they said all we could do was wait. Except, as the wait grew longer and we were no closer to getting back online, I decided to use this as an opportunity to… Keep Reading

Featured/Journalism/Q&A

“Budget decisions can lead us to a more hopeful future:” David Thompson

Like the rest of us, you’ve been hearing about the economic troubles here in Newfoundland and Labrador. The story goes that we have no choice but to cut budgets and jobs and increase fees. But economist David Thompson says we can tell a different kind of story about the economy here in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, he believes that if we told different stories about our economy, we would be able to find different solutions than the ones that are commonly offered up. He said that “doom and gloom” stories prevent us from seeing the real, viable solutions in front of us. We don’t have to run ourselves off a “fiscal cliff.”: we can turn ourselves around at any point. Thompson is an economist and a founder of PolicyLink Research Consulting, a B.C. organization providing advice to governments, labour organizations, and the private sector on economic and resource management issues. Thompson came… Keep Reading

Letters

A minimum wage worker speaks out

As a minimum wage worker, who like most of those I know working minimum wage jobs (both here in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country), works part time to full time to support myself and those I care about, I know the value of every paycheque I get. I know the value of making even a few cents extra on minimum wage, and the potential benefit to myself and others that a true living wage could one day provide. When the news featured Tim Hortons franchises cutting benefits in Ontario to make a statement against having to give workers a fair wage I saw people who would sacrifice someone else’s long term future for their own short term gain. I saw people crying foul from their winter homes in Florida because they no longer get to profit off of a broken system. Evidently so does Tim Hortons’ parent company,… Keep Reading

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