Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sun TV Anchors TVA Earnings--As In Holding Them Down

"The Television sector's financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011 were again affected by the operating losses of the three specialty channels launched in 2011: TVA Sports, SUN News and, to a lesser extent, Mlle," commented Pierre Dion, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation.

Still no official news re Ezra Levant's "Freedom Weekend", other than it sounds as though it never did sell out.  I am also hearing rumours that Ezra was going from table to table and asking people "Are you going to finish that?"  Gathering what free calories he could, in other words.

Make It FOUR

Smithers has now voted to officially oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, becoming the fourth local government in the northwest to take that position. 


Councillor Phil Brienesse, whose motion last month to oppose the project was defeated, re-introduced it last night, noting two other communities and a regional district had taken a stand -- and it was time Smithers did too. And this time, Smithers did.

"I hope this really brings our community together and in particular what it does, is it brings the north together so now we have Smithers, Terrace, Prince Rupert, and the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District all opposing Enbridge, in their own unique ways that makes sense to their community," said Brienesse, adding "we have a united North, so I am very positive about this."

If you are wondering why these four towns, the map below gives you the Northern Gateway pipeline route.
Skeena is that bit offshore South of Prince Rupert.

Velshi Out At Toronto Atmospheric Fund

He flew briefly with the Angels,  decided that evil paid better.

Some background here on Velshi's brief stint at TAF.

Denialists In The Canadian Classroom

In the last couple of weeks, stories in the American media have appeared  outlining how the Heartland Institute has been plotting to sneak climate change denialism onto the U.S. K12 curriculum.  Unfortunately, we in Canada are way ahead of them. As I have noted previously, Tom Harris (once of the discredited Friends of Science,  later with the discredited Natural Resources Stewardship Project, now with a discredited international group whose name I forget) has been allowed to teach a 2nd year course on Climate Science to non-science majors at Carleton University.  Naturally, Canadian journos are too science-ignorant to have made a fuss, but the UK Guardian arrives this morning with a story on the topic:

An associate of the Heartland Institute, the thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change, taught a course at a top Canadian university that contained more than 140 false, biased and misleading claims about climate science, an expert audit has found.

The course at Ottawa's Carleton University, which is being accused of bias, was taught for four terms from 2009-2011 by Tom Harris, a featured expert at the Heartland Institute.

Others can go into the details of the Audit, which can be found here (direct link here).  In any case, I've written plenty on Tom Harris.  But to understand quickly why his course is crap, here's a sample of the student feedback to it:

Great prof, awesome course with alternative views on global warming. I managed an A+ and I am doing an arts degree, not science. I find it hard to believe any science students had a hard time with it.
Yeah, kid, if you're doing arts and had no trouble with a science course, you've been pandered too AND been conned out of a portion of your tuition fees.  And I know whereof I speak; I attended (If you can hold a fork, you can go to) York U, which is barely a half step up from (If you can walk and talk, you can go to) Brock.  In other words I know all about academic mediocrity.  This is mediocre stuff even by Carleton's standards.

In any case, Tom Harris and Carleton can blather on about academic freedom all they want (I hear Tom is due on Sun TV in the near future), but if you want to know what the guy is really on about, here's a quote of his from Free Dominion:

 I completely agree with fourhorses that the ultimate aim is to create a situation where the CPC can say assertively, "The science no longer supports the assumptions of the Kyoto Accord."

However, politically this cannot be done overnight without the Conservatives taking what they consider to be an unacceptable hit (do people think they would really lose votes with this statement (from Canadians who would otherwise vote for them, that is?).

So, the solution put on this site a little while ago by Tina is one I would support as well - namely, they don't take sides at all and admit they don't know and so are holding unbiased, public hearings in which scientists from both sides are invited to testify. The resulting chaos, with claims all over the map, will do enough to thoroughly confuse everyone (which is appropriate, actually, since the science is so immature and, frankly, confusing) and take the wind out of the sails of the "we are causing a climate disaster and must stop it" camp entirely, and the CPC can quietly turn to important issues without really having had to say much at all.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Listen To The Guelph RoboCall

...through here.  A female voice, reading a script in both English and French. Sure a rogue staffer (male) could have written and produced these calls by himself.  Sure.

Another Big NO!

The Prince Rupert City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to formally oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, making it the third northern BC local government to do so over the past few weeks.

Gee whiz, more people come out against the national interest.  We're almost up to 50 per cent of the population!

A Robocon Tidbit

However, a source has told CTV that Sona is being "thrown under the bus" as he is not "tech savvy" and "couldn't have done the robocalls on his own."

I am assuming that we all know who Mike Sona is by now.

Jesse Kline: Dalton McGuinty Should Let Alberta Steal Ontario Jobs

 In a more efficient economy, people would be moving westward to fill jobs. But Mr. McGuinty’s solution has always been to subsidize dying industries, a process which necessitates taking capital away from more productive uses. Perhaps that lesson was taught in Economics 102 — a course the Ontario Liberals would surely fail.

What we have here is politicians looking out for their own interests, instead of thinking about what is best for the country as a whole. It would be better for Ontario, in the longer run, if weak manufacturers were allowed to go out of business and the economy could shift those resources to more productive uses. But Mr. McGuinty is thinking about his own electoral success: The Liberals derive a huge amount of support from the manufacturing industry and its unions. Of course, these types of things are to be expected when we put important decisions in the hands of the economically-illiterate political class.

This argument is deranged.  The Premier of Ontario is not elected to send jobs West to Fort Mac so as to fulfill the tenants of some Econ 101 textbook.   That, surely, is the job of the Alberta Premier, a position Dalton McGuinty was not running for last time I looked.  And it is surely ironic to see yet another paean to unrestrained Capitalism being preached from the pages of a newspaper that has not turned one red cent of profit in its 15 years of existence.

Furthermore, the last time anyone played this "national interest" tune in Canada was during the creation of a little scheme known as the "National Energy Program".  I don't recall the folks in Alberta bowing before the "common good" back then; The West shouldn't expect anybody from Ontario to do it now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Compare And Contrast

The LPoC owns up; the CPoC stonewalls

Worst part is Kinsella was right and we'll never hear the end of it.

Alberta's Interest Is Not Ontario's Interest Or The National Interest

Testify Brother Dalton:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has rebuffed Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s plea to publicly defend the oil sands, saying the high “petro” Canadian dollar has “knocked the wind” out of exporters in his province.


“...if I had my preferences as to whether we had a rapidly growing oil and gas sector in the West or a lower dollar, I’ll tell you where I stand: with the lower dollar.”

Compare that with  "...the B.C. coastline belongs to Alberta" rhetoric emanating from British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.

Robocon Strategy Emerges

 The Conservative party does not need to investigate the issue of "robocalls" any further, according to Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

He also refers to the "one individual involved", who is no longer with the party.  Didn't see that one coming.


OTTAWA—Callers on behalf of the federal Conservative Party were instructed in the days before last year’s election to read scripts telling voters that Elections Canada had changed their voting locations, say telephone operators who worked for a Thunder Bay-based call centre.

These calls were made by The Responsive Marketing Group.  From their website:

The Responsive Marketing Group Inc. (RMG) is Canada's largest direct-contact firm working in the political sector. RMG works exclusively with right-of-centre campaigns to design and execute integrated programs that use direct mail, the telephone and online tools to build relationships that deliver results for our clients.

And their management profiles are seeable here.  Their CEO, Michael Davis, has deep connections to Harper and the CPoC, and is no stranger to controversy:

Davis formerly worked with fundraising consultant Craig Copland, the founder or co-founder of at least six Canadian charities that routinely spend 70 percent or more of contributions on telemarketers and other expenses, according to a recent Toronto Star investigation. These charities "exaggerate their good deeds, or outright refuse to say what they do with your money." Copland works closely with the telemarketing corporation Xentel DM. "Copland finds Xentel new charity clients. Xentel pays him royalties for charities sent its way. He also served on Xentel's board of directors until the Star started asking questions," the paper reported. Davis' RMG works in similar fashion.

"With RMG and Xentel, they'll guarantee money, but in effect you turn over your charitable tax number to them," says the consultant. "They can hide it in various ways." He says says, "Davis is smart. Three years ago he severed his connection with Copland," who is now drawing public heat.

Question period today should be fun.

A few comments from an upset Conservative.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

He's Making A List...

The dude/dudette from Sixth Estate has the best riding by riding deets on the Robocon scandal here.  Who reported it, who won the riding and by how many votes.  And someone in the comments notes this incident from 2008, which suggests that the CPoC has been pulling this stuff for awhile.  They can't blame Mike Sona for that one.  He wouldn't even have been of legal drinking age at the time.

Meet Matt Meier (Of RackNine)

Matt thinks the NDP has defamed him, and has fired off some legal paper-work.  Given Matt's links to the Harper Gov., it isn't surprising that these documents have wound up in the hands of Stephen Taylor.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Michael Coren, The Jews, And Hollywood

I didn't see it, because its on Sun TV and, lets face it, NOBODY was watching.  But U.S author Shmuley Boteach (his real name) claims Michael Coren told him that the Jews control Hollywood and essentially use it as a base from which to undermine Christianity.  Amazing, if true, how specimens of the modern Right can be so pro-Israel on the one hand and traffic in all the old stereotypes on the other.

Rural Ontario Feels Entitled To Its Entitlements

Decides its different when the job losses strike close to home.

Meanwhile, jobs at the horserace track are the only ones Joe Warmington has ever wanted to save.  When Rob Ford moved to cut T.O. cops, he was not half so aggrieved.

My own opinion?  Horsemeat is awesome!  That's what you get when you get steak in France, where I first had it.  Its like beefsteak but without an ounce of fat on it.  And the French serve it so rare that if you aren't hungry you can sill pretty much race 'em.

Meanwhile, Hudak was going to take a position on the issue, but in the end he just waffled.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Diane Finley On OAS Changes: Kids, You're Fucked

Your Grandma and Grampa get to dodder about forever in their gold-plated, diamond encrusted walkers.  You get to work until you drop and we sell you off as Soylent Green.

Remember, children--which I know is hard when you're running around with green hair and rings through your nose, fornicating--we are ALL approaching retirement age.  At the same speed too.  With every year, we ALL get a year closer.

Heartland Documents Proven Authentic the man who obtained them:

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact, however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget.

An explanation which explains nicely the differing meta-data in the strategy memo versus budget and other docs.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Heartland Institute Starts Threatening Bloggers (Including Canadians)

The Heartland Institute has began sending out what kind of look like legal threats to bloggers who have published/ written about their leaked documents, including Canada's own DeSmogBlog.  I haven't received one yet, but you can see a copy here.  Now, the funny thing about this letter, and one of the reasons people aren't treating it too seriously, is that, while it is signed by Maureen Martin,  The Heartland Institute's senior fellow for legal affairs, the email headers show that it was actually sent by HI PR Guy Mike Lakely.

In addition to threatening bloggers, the HI has also issued a slightly different warning to Gary Wamsley, a retired veteran and editor at the Berthoud Recorder (of Berthoud Colorado), in response to an email Mr. Wamsley sent to HI CEO Joe Bast.  Here is an excerpt from Mr. Bast's reply to that email:

Now that you know the truth, I ask that you apologize for your intemperate and very offensive letter. Since your letter is threatening, I’ve forwarded it to our legal counsel, forensics team, and the FBI. It is important that you not delete the email from your sent file, or any other emails you may have exchanged with other people while preparing it, since this could be evidence in criminal and civil cases.

Please write back to let me know if you will comply with my requests.

You can read Mr. Wamsley's emails to HI through the link, but believe me, Joe Bast sounds deranged

As for the allegedly "faked" strategy memo: not to go into it too deeply (you can find the case for a fake here and here), the argument relies on the fact that 1) the document is a scan rather than (as is the case with the other accompanying material) in .pdf form and 2) that the creation date for the memo is different than that of the other accompanying material).  However, 2) falters because HI's original explanation, that the docs were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member to “re-send” board materials to a new email address appears to be incomplete.  At least, this piece by HI Senior Fellow Ross Kaminsky states that

Earlier this month, on more than one occasion, someone pretending to be a member of the Heartland Institute’s Board of Directors deceived a Heartland staff member into sending him documents related to Heartland’s upcoming Board of Directors meeting.

But if the HI Insider, as the leaker has been dubbed, was in contact with HI staff on more than one occasion, then the fact that the documents have several creation dates becomes easier to explain (esp. if we assume that the strategy memo began life as a paper document that was later scanned to give an electronic version).

Most importantly, while the HI insists that laws were broken in obtaining the leaked material, they do not appear to have taken their case to the police.  At least, a Bishop Hill reader has contacted the Chicago FBI re the matter and received the following response:

Mr. ------ - as of Friday afternoon, nothing had been reported to our office by anyone associated with the Heartland Institute.

Additionally, based on the news accounts of the incident that I have seen, it would appear that the documents in question were given to third parties directly by Heartland employees. There was no computer intrusion which would be a violation of federal law under our jurisdiction.

Finally, it is our practice not to conduct our investigations in our [sic] through the media.


SA Ross Rice
Chicago FBI

So there you have it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Section 13 2nd Reading Vote

Went along party lines but for Lib Scott Sims breaking ranks, the prick.

Skeena Queen Charlotte Says NO To Northern Gateway

They don't want no dirty oil from Alta. befouling their waters.  Meanwhile, Enbridge considers a route change.  But, as the article suggests, it probably won't help much.  Just a different group of people laying down in front of the tractors.

If this thing gets approved, incidentally, I'm may fly out West and chain myself to something.  Anyone willing to put me up for a few weeks?  I'm very quiet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Return Of The Psychic Hairdresser

Reading this, you have to figure that Michelle Muntean is still on the payroll:

Actually, any fool should have seen this one coming, given the response to SOPAVic Toews is one of those rare fools who did not.

Heartlandgate: Update

Finally, the story of The Heartland Institute's attempt to infiltrate the American school system and teach kids to deny science has reached Canadian news outlets

Meanwhile, two days into scandal, CEO Joe Bast and the other players at HI have had time to write any number  of blog posts, and a fund-raising letter but still...STILL!...haven't had time to go through the documents and determine, as per their repeated claims, that they have been altered or are otherwise inauthentic.

Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that they are in fact the real deal.  For instance this bit from the Heartland budget docs:

Ben Boychuck, managing editor of School Reform News, resigned mid-year and was replaced by Joy Pullmann. Ben, who lives and works in California, was recruited by the Manhattan Institute to become their California editor.

...has been confirmed on Slashdot:

Regarding authenticity, I can confirm the information relating to Ben Boychuk in the budget document. He did indeed leave Heartland for Manhattan Institute. I had dinner with the guy once, but he de-friended me on FB because I kept challenging the crazy links he would post.

In addition, there has been an effort launched to contact the companies on Heartland's donor list and ask them politely why they would wish to fund such a group.  Remember: consumer boycotts can work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Canucks On Heartland Institute Payroll

DeSmog Blog has dropped the bomb: leaked documents from the Heartland Institute outlining their campaign against the science of AGW.  Goals include hiring a fellow named David Wojick to write up a K9 curriculum contra the evidence for AGW
Update: It should be noted that the Heartland Institute disputes the authenticity of the "strategic document" from which the quotes I used above have been taken. While the general content of the document--Wojick's writing up a set of course modules and etc.--has been confirmed, some of the more inflammatory wordings ("dissuading teachers" etc.) may be in question.  I have pulled the quotes until such time as their authenticity has been established.
Now, the heavy lifting has all been done by others in this case, but I thought I'd provide a little CanCon by noting that two of the "scientists" on the Heartland Institute payroll and Canadians Madhav Khandekar and Mitch Taylor:

Khandekar used to advise the Alberta-based Friends of ScienceTaylor has been telling everyone that Canada's polar bear population is doing fine under AGW
On another note, Anthony Watts of WUWT fame has basically admitted to recieving over $80,000.

Nothing has been picked up so far by our lethargic Canadian media, but quite a few stories in the UK and U.S. press.

Rob Ford Loses On Bag Tax

 Something that hasn't yet been reported much upon: Rob Ford's executive council, his hand picked crüe, has voted 10-3 against killing Toronto's plastic bag tax, with only Rob Ford, Doug Holyday and Paul Ainslie voting in favour.  Another defeat for the mayor on a signature issue.  Another win for Toronto and the local environment.

Incidentally, some people have suggested that replacing plastic bags with those recycled bags you buy from Walmart gives you a net increase in carbon emissions.  Well the primary goal of the T.O. plastic bag ban was not to cut carbon emissions; it was to cut the number of plastic bags laying around the streets and parks of our fair city, a goal it has met admirably.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Terrace Says NO

 After years of sitting on the fence, the City of Terrace finally has an official answer to Northern Gateway...

Meanwhile, the pipe-line project is being credited with bringing First Nations and non-native communities together:

Jen Rice, who sits on the Prince Rupert City Council, stated, “Individuals, commercial and sports fishers and First Nations along the northwest corridor are usually at odds over allocation of fish. But now everyone has checked their baggage at the door. Everyone risks losing wild salmon if the pipeline gets built.”

Wanna See How Vic Toews "Oppose Our Lawful Access Bill And You Support Child Porn" Pitch Is Playing Among The Base?

 Check out this thread at FreeD.

Mind you, their  reaction might be unrepresentative.    I would hope that a law which demands that your IP provider build infrastructure meant to spy on you on behalf of the cops, with the result being that you pay higher fees to your IP so they  can do this spying, might unite Left and Right in opposition.

I fear that the people it really unites are us Netheads, us on-line activists, whatever our political persuasion.  And meanwhile there is a huge body of Canadians who still don't really get or care about this on-line shit and are willing to swallow any old humbug in the name of  "Law & Order" or "The Children"

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Star In Peru...

 Dennis Gruending has the back-story on some of those migrant workers killed in that horrific accident outside of Hampstead, Ontario last week, the most significant bit being (for me at least):

Another of the men who died was Enrique Arturo Arenaza Leon, a former soccer star with the Alliance Lima [Peru] soccer club.

Try and think of any North American sports league where, if you had a half decent career, you would have to go pick crops in some foreign country in your retirement.  

OK, maybe the CFL.

Anyway, we here in Canada are privileged almost beyond our ability to imagine.

PS. I have friends who own a farm outside of Paris, Ontario, and when you drive past the general stores around town at night you see a line-up of migrant workers (I think in this case from Mexico) at the public phone-booths calling home to their families.

The "New" Tim Hudak's First Policy Announcement?

 Nope.  In the end he waffled, much like the old Tim Hudak.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rob Ford Forces Start Polling On Metro Transit.

They've hired Forum research to do some push polling for them.

How does Rob Ford Match up against Stintz in a mayoral race; how about Rob Ford vs. Stintz and Adam Vaughan (which, when you think about it, doesn't make much sense as a question).

I say its push-polling because when they ask which subway plan you prefer they are being deliberately confusing about the LRT/Subway distinction: do you prefer above ground LRTs versus Subways, the question they ask, is misleading.  The distinction between the two options, as made clear in the Metrolinx glossary, has nothing to do with above/below ground, but how many people the cars can deliver to an area on a per hour basis.  Subway according the Metrolinx is heavy rail which can carry up to 40,000 bodies (like TTC Yonge Line); LRT, no matter whether delivered above of below ground, gets you 10,000 max.

Also polling by age, income, and gender.  And: do you want a plebiscite on the issue?

I got the call about 10 minutes ago.

How An Environmentalist Might Support Northern Gateway

True but NIMBYISM can be justified in some cases. A spill could do enormous damage to the West coast fishing and tourism industries. A wind farm, on the other hand, makes a "whooshing" noise that some find annoying.

Dwarf Tossing: The Social Conservative Perspective

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ezra's Freedom Weekend Still Not Sold Out

Harper Defunds Mennonite Church Group

 Dennis Gruending predicted it in his last outing:

CIDA will soon abandon a number of its long-standing development partners among Canadian NGOs, including a number of church-based organizations. Reliable sources say that a number of those groups will see their funding ended or curtailed this year.

And indeed the axe has begun to fall:

The Conservative government’s shoe is dropping on some long established foreign aid groups while it privileges others. Mennonite Central Committee Canada reports on its website that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has turned down MCC’s proposal of $2.9 million for each of the next three years to provide food, water and income generation assistance for people in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Haiti, Bolivia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

In this case, too, the MCC is left wondering what its crime might have been.  Alleged anti-semitism? Criticizing the tar sands?  No.  In this case it looks the the MCC referred to Canadian mining companies as a "mixed blessing".  And boom!  they're outta here!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bill C-304 Up Next Week

That's the one that repeals Section 13, the hate-speech provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act.  A vote will be held next day.

And still sign of the Tory's plan to beef up the criminal code's hate speech provisions to replace S.13.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

That Ain't No Mammoth

'Don't believe the UK Sun.  It's a bear with a fish in its mouth, filmed from a distance.  And, actually, it seems to be a bear filmed from a distance and etc. with the original footage tricked up for hoaxing purposes.

On Living With The Consequences Of Your Decisions

Today's CP story about pro-lifer Trifon Haitas's bid to represent the LPoC in Toronto-Danforth is particularly interesting for the connection it draws between Haitas and the Campaign Life Coalition, who have in fact endorsed him for the position.

WK thinks this means the Libs new "supporter" category is a bad idea.  In that light, CLC head Jim Hughes' recent remarks seem particularly note-worthy:

The centerpiece of these efforts was an opening of the party to permit a new classification of “supporter” which would allow Canadians to vote in riding nominations and leadership races but which would stop short of the privileges of membership including going to conventions as delegates or voting for riding and national executives.

Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, told The Interim that the creation of supporter-status might provide an opportunity for pro-lifers within the party. Noting that in the 1990s, Liberal leader Jean Chretien over-rode riding nomination elections and parachuted candidates to prevent individuals supported by Liberals for Life from standing as the candidate of record for the Liberals, he said the new rules might encourage grassroots democracy within the party and permit “genuine nomination fights where pro-lifers have a real chance.”

Pretty clearly the CLC has been poking around the LPoC lately, looking for a means of gaining entry.  Whether or not the Party wants that, and there is an argument to be made that it should, the decision must be made with eyes wide open.  And the question here is not so much Mr. Haitas and the situation in Toronto Danforth where the Libs have a fairly healthy presence, its in those "moribund" ridings where determined single-issue activists (like the folks at CLC) might be able to make inroads because there are so few Liberal bodies on the ground to stop them.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mrs. Ford Should Go Sleep With Relatives Tonight

Rob's  coming home angry. 

First vote tally showed Denzil Minnan-Wong joining the Stintz side, which if true would be interesting as hell (he being a Ford Loyalist).  They've had several recounts since, however,  and though the "yes" still side won, I'm not sure if he's still on it.

Today's Census Numbers Are ALL From The Short Form

...which is still mandatory, meaning that Lorne Gunter's column about the voluntary long form is entirely irrelevant, and you don't need to read it.

Every Man Woman And Child In B.C. Will Receive A Gold Plated Cowboy Hat

At a January meeting with her Alta. counterparts,  B.C. Premier Christy Clark said what's obvious:

 ...[she] bluntly told Ms. Redford that public opinion is against the [Northern Gateway] pipeline in British Columbia – Alberta gets the benefits while B.C. carries the risks of environmental disaster, according to senior officials in B.C.

...and now Alberta pols are scrambling to see how much is in the kitty to pay-off residents of the beautiful Left Coast.  Straight out bribes are not on the table, yet, but the Redford government is apparently considering such options as discount bus tickets to beautiful Lethbridge, and free pelts from the wolves poisoned to save caribou herds threatened by tar-sands developments.  Offering a night out with Ezra for one lucky B.Cer was briefly considered, and First Nations types are still in line for a weekend with the entertaining Tom "just take their fucking land" Flanagan.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bell O' Doom Tolls Louder For Cdn Print Media

As Mark Bourrie notes on his Facebook site, if you scroll down to the bottom of this piece you notice: (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Frank McGurty).

Which is to say that Reuters has outsourced some of their reporting.  One of Mark's friends makes an interesting comment:

Some California papers have been outsourcing reporting for about a decade now - since broadband - having Indian reporters cover things like city council meetings via webcams.

On a related note, a number of years back there was an attempt made by several large U.S. law firms to offshore their grunt work.  A lawyer friend has told me that this has not generally become a trend, however, because crafting legal documents in English requires a precision of language not usually possessed by natives of India or wherever the job was typically farmed out to.

They're Doing It Again...

 After their successful Quebec trip, which resulted in minor league shock jock and Que. mayor Stéphane Gendron offering a grovelling apology and promising to be more circumspect in future, JDL-Canada has gone back to dancing with wingnuts.  This time they're  holding a rally for UK "New Freedom Party" Leader Paul Weston.  Here's Paul rationalising the actions of mass murderer Anders Behring Brievik ; here's Paul arguing that The Left is using undereducated immigrants in its war against white Britain.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Paul has won the endorsement of EDL leader Stephen Yaxley Lennon,  who has apparently gotten out of the joint.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Did The Citizenship and Immigration Department Violate PIPEDA (Federal Privacy Laws) In Arranging Sun TV's Fake Oath Ceremony?

I am inclined to think (and I actually have some practical knowledge of the subject) that they did.  Or at least I am not convinced by this argument that they didn't:

"My status as a new Canadian is not a private one. ... It's definitely a secondary purpose, they've repurposed the information from providing client services to me to doing their own self promotion," said Steeves, of the department of criminology.

"I might not be too happy if they called and I'd have the right to say no, but it seems to me that my status of citizen is still a matter of publicity."

Unless there exists a list of recent immigrants that I don't know about that's available to the public, in the same way the white pages are available to the public ("is publicly available and is specified by the regulations"), then it doesn't seem that this use of the personal information meets the criteria given in section 7 for using such information without consent.  If  Citizenship and Immigration Canada doesn't have a note on their forms saying that they may recruit you for cheapass PR stunts based on what you put on said forms, then they may have gone beyond what they are allowed to do with information they collected from the new Canadians they called trying to arrange their faux citizenship ceremony for Sun TV. 

Mind you, as the gal from the Privacy Commission indicates:

Anne-Marie Hayden, a spokeswoman for Stoddart, said the office couldn't speculate on whether there had been a violation of the Act without conducting a detailed examination.

"If, however, an individual who was contacted has concerns that this may have been a privacy violation, they could file a complaint with our office and we would investigate," Hayden said.

... its a complaints driven process, and if the people actually contacted by Kenney's office don't bitch, nothing is likely to happen.

The Abortion Debate

 This Interim piece proceeds upon the wrong assumption.  Progressives want to have a "respectful" debate with the government side on Abortion.  We do!  So please keep those petitions and private Members bills coming.  And, Prime Minister Harper, I beseech you, let your back-benchers speak!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Tim's Comes Out obvious attempt to woo The Starbuck's crowd.  Because they are just as gay out in the burbs.

Your Daily Nazi: Hey! Guess Who's In That Nazi-Leak Database?

It's Mark Fournier from FreeD, swapping pleasantries with Bill Noble of the Aryan Guard!  Presumably the disagreement of which the two men speak is over that whole extermination of non-whites issue.  But, hey, that's just a small thing between two freedom fighters.

PS.  Image looks better when you click on it.