Wednesday Night #2099

Written by  //  June 8, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Désirée McGraw has been chosen to replace Kathleen Weil as the Quebec Liberal Party candidate in NDG!
Quebec Liberals announce new candidate for NDG as Kathleen Weil steps down
Désirée McGraw sera candidate libérale pour 2022
Fortement impliquée dans sa communauté, entrepreneure sociale et maman, elle agit depuis longtemps pour la protection de l’environnement, l’éducation et l’engagement des jeunes générations à la vie publique.

Un prix prestigieux pour la journaliste Dominique Beauchamp (John Evdokias’ better half)
L’Association des gestionnaires de portefeuille du Canada (AGPC) a annoncé les résultats des Prix 2022 d’Excellence en journalisme économique et financier ce mardi et la journaliste Dominique Beauchamp s’est méritée une «mention honorable» dans la catégorie articles longs pour son texte «Un an après avoir voulu acheter Carrefour, Couche-Tard intrigue plus que jamais», paru dans l’édition du 10 novembre 2021.
De même, Dominique est un symbole d’excellence dans la vulgarisation de l’information économique et financière

Chris Neal, incoming president of the Montreal branch of Canadian Council International,, whose appointment will be formally confirmed next week. He replaces Andrew Caddell, who remains a member of the board, but is concentrating on his activities as President of The Task Force on Linguistic Policy
Andrew’s Hill Times column this week, Religion was both a blessing and a curse in Quebec
“Many Quebec political analysts have suggested the church has been replaced by government in pressing nationalist policies like the Charter of the French Language and its recent update, Bill 96. Or by supporting the “secularism” law, Bill 21, which defines the State as secular, but discriminates against people of Muslim and other faiths. There is some truth to that, but the current Coalition Avenir Québec government of François Legault lacks a clear moral code to accompany its policies. It is so taken with its nationalist ideology, it does not consider the human consequences of its policies. While some Catholic priests are identified with abuse, we should remember many others devoted their lives to educating and assisting others.”

So, we have survived the 4-day extravaganza of the Platinum Jubilee and whatever our feelings about the monarchy, share an abiding admiration and respect for the honoree. While there are many memorable images, none will outshine the Queen and Paddington Bear.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson survived the no-confidence vote, despite more than 40% of his MPs voting against him on Monday. Can he cling on to power? He certainly intends to … Boris Johnson says ‘nothing and no one’ will stop him continuing as PM

Putin’s War is now linked to the ever-increasing concern for global food security.
The next front in the Ukraine war — Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports
It is very likely that if the blockade is to be broken short of capitulating to Russian terms, there will have to be NATO naval units involved. Canada is a NATO power with a Navy and the federal government needs to reckon accordingly.
The best line in the article is “Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Bob Rae — who is playing a fine hand of guerrilla diplomacy by saying everything the federal government itself doesn’t want to —”

The World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council Meets on 7 June, followed by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (12 – 15 June). Although Ambassador Gloria Abraham Peralta (Costa Rica),has urged WTO members to intensify their engagement (MC12 outcome must help end hunger, improve food security) so progress can be made towards identifying landing zones for possible outcomes on agriculture, the challenges of developing and implementing radical shifts in approaches to agriculture and policies to support them (see Long-standing systems for sustainable farming could feed people and the planet — if industry is willing to step back) seem insurmountable.

Gloomy news for the global economy as the OECD adds its voice to those of other multilateral organizations and forecasts inflation at nearly 9% for the OECD’s 38 member countries, nearly double the previous estimate.

Even without our current overriding focus on Putin’s War and global food shortages, or our usual preoccupations with China, our neighbour to the South, Canadian and Quebec politics, we rarely pay much attention to trends and events in Latin America. However, as President Biden hosts the Summit of the Americas this week, the PM, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly are in attendance and some observers suggest that the Summit offers Canada a chance to boost its global influence. Others, however, point out that “The problem is the Trudeau government is not interested in the region and is not willing to commit the time and the energy and the political will. And therefore we’re sort of on the sidelines where we’re missing in action.”

Quebec politics
Opinion: Anglo protest parties are not the way forward in Quebec
Lawrence S. Bergman and Clifford Lincoln
Those of us who were involved in politics in the late 1980s and 1990s have seen this before. There are lessons to learn from this period.
As with many other protest movements, the Equality Party’s political success was brief. Five years after the election of four of its candidates, only one of their MNAs would run for the party in the 1994 election. Two, including the founder of the party, would run as independents and, most surprisingly, one joined the Parti Québécois! [As so many of us remember. RIP Richard Holden]

For Cryptocurrency fans and detractors
A very long report from Reuters
How crypto giant Binance became a hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers
With around 120 million users worldwide, Binance processes crypto trades worth hundreds of billions of dollars a month. … The flow of illicit crypto through Binance, identified by Reuters, represents a small portion of the exchange’s overall trading volumes. Yet as policymakers and regulators…voice concern over the illegal use of cryptocurrencies, the trade demonstrates how criminals have turned to the technology to launder dirty money.
Chris Goodfellow posted a long think piece on Facebook. This excerpt is worth pondering.
“Because there is no longer any anchor or control mechanism on the creation of money as it relates to actual value added we have moved into true black tulip territory. Crypto is a perfect example of this delusion where the value of a bitcoin moves not on a rational basis of output of product but on emotion or subjective belief. Moreover as is becoming increasingly common, there is great danger in using something like crypto as a collateral asset for further borrowing and leverage in what is now an obvious bubble. The problem is there is no backstop to crypto. It has no Sovereign power of enforced value. Indeed it can go to zero as some unfortunate neophytes have found out with some so-called stable coins. Whatever we choose as money in any society must have an ultimate backstop. Gold provided this in the postwar period of Bretton Woods 1 until Nixon’s foible. It served as a brake on politicians who tend to want to distort things for their own ends. It provided a stable base for interest rates. Few remember today that up until when Reagan deregulated banking essentially destroying the Savings and Loan industry, the Fed mandated that all savings were paid a 6% interest rate. The S&L industry managed the entire residential mortgage business in the postwar period providing a stable and predictable interest rate and this kept a cap on house price inflation as well. We no longer have interest rate stability – a necessity for long term investment especially in real estate. Cheap money at a rate below the inflation rate has fed this huge rise in home prices. The old rule of 72 and a long term savings rate return of 6% was based on sound economic principles. There is nothing sound about the mortgage business today. It is what Morita predicted a total bubble economy in all major urban areas across the world. Because we have created so much inflated paper money, it is natural for all speculation to end up pushing these prices into the stratosphere.”

Have you herd? The sheep are back to shear Montreal’s city grass
If you’ve never wanted to cuddle a lawn mower before, you might after a visit to a handful of Montreal parks this summer.
Flocks of sheep have returned for another season of landscaping duties in the Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie boroughs, where they’ll be chomping on grass, weeds and invasive plants.

Long reads
What If Ukraine Wins?
Victory in the War Would Not End the Conflict With Russia
Woodward and Bernstein thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump.
The above article appears as a new foreword to the 50th anniversary edition of “All the President’s Men.”
Long-standing systems for sustainable farming could feed people and the planet — if industry is willing to step back

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