Washington subdued as damage assessment begins

Late Wednesday, politicians ended a weeks-long standoff over the budget, passing legislation that re-instated the federal government’s spending authority and avoided a catastrophic debt default. . . . China, the US’s biggest creditor and main competitor for international economic supremacy, is talking loudly about the need to “de-Americanize” the global economy. “The Chinese are looking past this resolution,” said York University political science Professor Gregory Chin, a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing, in The Globe and Mail Oct. 17. “The question for them is whether the US is ready to deal with fundamental issues such as the deficit and tax reform. Fixing those issues requires a political consensus that might not exist.” Read full story.

Is Harper selling out Canada?
“Is Canada’s constitution and solvency less important than Europe’s? I’m asking that question because the pending Canada-Europe trade deal (or CETA) is leading to little-known discussions in Europe – but not in Canada – about the deal’s constitutional and fiscal implications,” wrote Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Gus Van Harten in Sylvan Lake News Oct. 17. Read full story.

Our governments neglect health inequalities that cause Ontarians’ suffering and misery
“I attended last month’s annual conference of Health Promotion Ontario in Toronto,” wrote York University health policy and management Professor Dennis Raphael in the Hamilton Spectator Oct. 18. “Particularly interesting about the conference were the topics spoken to by presenters. A family doctor spoke about putting health inequalities on the public policy agenda. Two journalists spoke about the importance and extent of health inequalities in Canada. No Ontario government representatives attended this conference as either presenters or participants. Health inequalities are differences in health outcomes that are unnecessary, avoidable and preventable. They are therefore unjust and immoral.” Read full story.

Front row centre: ‘…and Stockings for the Ladies’ a rich theatrical production
It seems unfair to call Attila Clemann’s play …and Stockings for the Ladies a one-man show, because in just under two hours, performer Brendan McMurtry-Howlett introduces us to nearly two dozen characters, fleshing out the story of air force leader Ted Alpin and his single-minded determination to help Jewish refugees in post-war Germany. . . . The play attracted acclaim after it premiered at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival in 2007, and this led to subsequent productions in Toronto and New York. For this production by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company and RustWerk ReFinery Productions, new material has been added drawn from Alpin’s letters, which are kept in the archives at York University, reported the North York Mirror Oct. 17. Read full story.

Supreme Court will hear federation’s appeal against Sask. labour law
A legal action that could reshape Canadian government and organized labour for decades is heading from Saskatchewan to the Supreme Court of Canada, reported the Leader-Post Oct. 17. The court said Thursday that it will hear the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s appeal of a court decision upholding the Saskatchewan Party government’s Public Service Essential Services Act. “Thus, the stage is now set for a major showdown at the Supreme Court of Canada,” York University Professor Paul Doorey wrote on his labour law blog. He noted several other cases pending in Canadian courts raise a constitutional right to strike, including a dispute involving back-to-work legislation at Air Canada, one affecting teachers in Ontario, plus one seeking to define the right of RCMP members to bargain collectively. Read full story.