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The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Runaway Simushir may be safe now; BC’s coast is anything but

The Simushir under tow from US tugboat Barbara Foss (via Maritime Forces Pacific Facebook)

The incapacitation of a Russian cargo vessel off Haida Gwaii caused great panic amongst all of us who watched the events unfold over the past weekend. The seas were very heavy – not an unusual state of affairs for that part of the world at this and other times of the year.

For very good reason, the Haida Nation was extremely worried and upset about the developments. It looked up for a while is if they might have to deal with this themselves and, course, although they (Read more…) The Star: The government scrambled to come up with answers about its online spying activities

Shocking: the government knew that innocent Canadians were being spied on in massive numbers, but didn’t bother to find out the scope of these privacy invasions until the media started making a fuss. Think that’s not good enough? Good. So do we. Now speak out at

Article by Alex Boutiller for the Star

The federal government has known since 2010 about the massive scope of warrantless disclosures of Canadians’ personal data, but searched for the details only after news stories broke this year, internal documents show.

read more

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Monstrous Ebola Scandal

A few days ago I pointed out that Stephen Harper was trying to fan the flames of an Ebola panic.Even though his response to the epidemic has been lethally inadequate. And far from making us safer he has been decimating the ranks of those who would protect us from dangerous diseases.But this is simply obscene. Read more »

Warren Kinsella: In Tuesday’s Sun: bookish

Politicians write books for different reasons.

They write them to show that they are men and women of substance. They write them to demonstrate that they are brimming with ideas and character.

They write them because they want to go above the heads of the news media. They write them because they have experienced some trials and tribulations, and they want to put the best possible spin on them. They write books to be taken seriously.

Justin Trudeau’s book – whose title is ‘Common Ground’ – has likely been written for all of those reasons. Trudeau wants it known that (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Selling wild fish down the river: Canada’s new aquaculture regulations put wild fish at risk

Monday, October 20, 2014

This past August, the Canadian government quietly proposed new Aquaculture Activities Regulations regulations that would drastically reduce federal oversight of the dumping of aquatic drugs, pesticides and waste into wild fish habitat by fish farms. We submitted our concerns with these regulations to the federal govnerment, calling on it to strenghten, not weaken, its regulation of activities that threaten wild fish. We also set up a letter-writing tool to help you tell the government you demand strong laws for fish.

This past August, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) quietly unveiled new regulations that would drastically reduce federal (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Amy Matamba Is Running For A Position On the Cowichan School District Board

DeSmogBlog: Natural Gas as ‘Bridge Fuel’ Is Excellent Political Solution But Fails As Climate Solution

“We cannot solely rely on abundant gas to solve the climate change problem. The climate change problem requires a climate change solution. Abundant gas could be great for any number of things, but it is not going to solve the climate change problem.”

This statement was made by Haewon McJeon, the lead author on a new study published last week by Nature magazine, which concluded that cheap abundant natural gas will actually delay any efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

This isn’t the first study to reach this conclusion. In the 2013 study “Climate Consequences of Natural Gas as a (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Tech on the Side: Apple numbers: languishing iPad sales a function of the phone subsidy model

The ability to make phone calls on a modern smartphone is now just one app among many. For most people it isn’t even close to the most used app with Facebook, YouTube, messaging, games, and the like dominating usage. And it is also an app with many competitors like Skype and Google Hangouts and other VOIP phone services that will likely continue to grow in the future (imagine a future where mobile graphs are facebook account or email account centric, not phone number centric).

With the increase in phone size led by Samsung and picked up by Apple with the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Another Reminder Of The Regime Under Which We Chafe

I hope none of us forgets this, just one small part of the Harper programme to promote ignorance, stifle informed discussion, and ravage the environment. Recommend this Post Fight against Online Spying Bill C-13 will continue, as government prepares to ram unpopular legislation through House of Commons today


Controversial bill is opposed by huge majority of Canadians, with even the government’s own supporters opposing it by over 2.5:1

October 20, 2014 – The government looks set to pass its unpopular online spying legislation, Bill C-13, through the House of Commons later today. The House is due to vote on the controversial legislation sometime after 6.30pm ET.

The vote comes after the government recently used a time allocation motion to cut short debate and prevent MPs from fully discussing the implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark R. v. Spencer ruling that renders C-13’s controversial warrantless (Read more…) Ottawa Citizen: Glenn Greenwald Speaks

If you’re in the Ottawa area on October 25, don’t miss Glenn Greenwald speaks. Tickets are still available here. If you can’t make it, or want a sneak preview of the question-and-answer session Glenn will be hosting, check this article out. Don’t forget, you can submit a question for Glenn here.

Article by Ian MacLeod for the Ottawa Citizen

Journalist Glenn Greenwald is in Ottawa next week to reflect on his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Snowden leaks.

read more

Dented Blue Mercedes: Our destinies are bound together (even if our needs are diverse and sometimes at odds)

Monica Roberts at TransGriot is exploring the future of the trans* movement:

“One of the things I was pondering recently was triggered by me seeing a pic of a five year old trans girl. I began to ponder what her Trans World that we 2K10’s activists are fighting tooth and nail to shape, would be like 10 to 20 years from now…”

Blogger apparently won’t accept a comment this long, so I’ll post my thoughts here instead:

Any time we try to wax prescient about a social issue and its future, we have to be careful not to (Read more…)

Blunt Objects Blog: Ukraine Election

After some consideration, I’ve decided to lead with the numbers, and explain them in the second half of the post.

185 Poroshenko Bloc Pro-President Pro-Administration35 Radical Populist Pro-Europe30 Opposition Bloc Anti-Europe Pro-Russian25 Batkivshchyna Liberal Tymoshenko25 Popular Front Liberal Non-Tymoshenko20 Civil Position Conservative Moderate15 Strong Ukraine Conservative Pro-Russian15 Svoboda Nationalists Far Right15 Communist Communist Pro-Russian15 Samopomich Conservative Christian40 Independent Various Various

185 Pro-Govt 120 Pro-Europe 60 Pro-Russia 15 Nationalist 40 Independent

225 Poroshenko Bloc Pro-President Pro-Administration50 Radical Populist Pro-Europe40 Opposition Bloc Anti-Europe Pro-Russian35 Batkivshchyna Liberal Tymoshenko35 Popular (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Blunt Objects Blog: Ukraine Election

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Collingwood in the Top Ten

There’s a story in today’s Financial Post that is headlined, “Collingwood’s debut in top 10 on ranking of business friendly cities is no accident.” No accident at all, as anyone on council, in staff or who follows local politics knows. We’ve worked hard to get to this. We deserve it. We told you during the […]

DeSmogBlog: Avalanche Risk At Proposed Jumbo Ski Resort Site Raises Red Flags for Famed Mountaineer Pat Morrow

When Pat Morrow looks around at the mountains, towering on either side of the Jumbo Valley, his concern is palpable.

Avalanche paths are clearly visible, both beside Jumbo Creek Road and on slopes surrounding the meadows and valley where Glacier Resorts Ltd. wants to build a 6,000-bed all-season ski resort.

“Looking down the valley, we are seeing how vulnerable it is to massive avalanche damage. There are three or four fresh ones. The avalanche paths are just slowly eating their way across the slope as the years go along,” Morrow said.

Few people who are familiar with Morrow’s accomplishments are going to (Read more…)

Morton's Musings: Three amigos

Morton's Musings: Private prosecution maybe stayed without review save for proved abuse of process

R. v. Olumide, 2014 ONCA 712:

[2]          Section 579 of the Criminal Code gives the Attorney General the authority to direct a stay of proceedings at any time.  The discretion to do so is reviewable only in the event of abuse of process.  There is a presumption of prosecutorial good faith: see Krieger v. Law Society (Alberta) 2002 SCC 65 and R. v. Nixon 2011 SCC 34.  The appellant has the onus of proving an abuse of process in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  

[3]          Mr. Olumide alleged that the Attorney General is in an inherent (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Start Thinking About the Next Society. This One Has About Had It.

I’m with Chris Hedges.  We are sorely in need of revolutionary change.  It’s come to the point where we have to kick over the traces if we’re to have any hope of reclaiming democracy and salvaging a liveable world for our grandchildren.

For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the report last week that we have lost half the planet’s wild life over the last 40-years.  Such an unbelievably brief interval to have caused such devastation.

I predicted at the time that the report would be forgotten, consigned down the memory hole, within a week and that (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Enjoy the Autumn. Winter is Shaping Up to be a B

Climate change can be cool.  It can also be damned cold, icy and frigid.  You know, you easterners, the Polar Vortex you endured last year.

Well, guess what?  You’re getting another one this year.  Or, as my old great aunt used to say, “shit, oh dear.”

No, seriously, you’re in for another Polar Vortex winter.

AccuWeather reports:  Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January and February. The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Harper’s Experiment to Wrap Canadians in "Protective Stupidity" Mission Accomplished?

The Tyee’s Murray Dobbins laments the success Stephen Harper has had, with the powerful support of a shamelessly collaborative media, at manipulating the Canadian public.

Harper’s amoral political calculations about who and when to bomb people has little to do with any genuine consideration of the geopolitical situation or what role Canada might usefully play — or even in what Canada’s “interests” are. So long as he is prime minister it will be the same: every calculation will be made with the single-minded goal of staying in power long enough to dismantle the post-war activist state. The nurturing of his (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Buoyant Action Assembly renews plan to tackle privatization

They had to dodge a marathon to get there, but it was worth it. Participants at this weekend’s Ontario Health Coalition Action Assembly were in a buoyant mood despite the many challenges facing the health system. Rather than finding defeat, … Continue reading →

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Scottish Fish Invented Sex

I'm not sure I can bear hearing that the Scottish invented both #curling AND #sex. #Scotland

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) October 20, 2014

Microbrachius dicki was the fish that realized it could use sex to reproduce. Feeling unsatisfied, fish eventually returned to spawning instead.

MT @CBCQuirks "Sex first emerged 'in ancient Scottish lake' (insert joke here) " – Microbrachius dicki. Insert Dicki joke is what he did.

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) October 20, 2014

Paul S. Graham: Why I’m voting for Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Winnipeg, Oct. 16, 2014: Robert-Falcon Ouellette speaks with students following a forum on youth issues at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Photo: Paul S. Graham

This Wednesday, I’m voting for Robert-Falcon Ouellette. I believe he offers the best combination of progressive ideas and personal characteristics of all the candidates. Having voted in every Winnipeg civic, provincial and federal election since the 1970s I’ll go even further – Robert is the most promising candidate for mayor (or any other office) we have seen in a generation.

Robert proposes sensible ideas for fixing Winnipeg’s infrastructure and knows how we’ll pay for them. His (Read more…) CBC: Virtually everyone other than Peter MacKay wants less online spying

When groups as diverse as the Council of Canadians and the National Firearms Association are both opposed to your online spying Bill, you’ve got a real problem. Lucky for this government, it’s an easy problem to fix: split Bill C-13 up and have a real debate over online spying. So why won’t this government listen?

Article by Evan Dyer for the CBC

Justice Minister Peter MacKay probably expected to take some shots from the opposition over Bill C-13, colloquially known as the cyberbullying bill.

read more

The Common Sense Canadian: Bank of England’s Mark Carney: Most fossil fuel reserves shouldn’t be burned

Mark Carney in Davos, Switzerland, 2010 (Photo: Wikipedia)

Read this Oct. 13 story in The Guardian about Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s decision to join a growing list of global economic leaders suggesting that the world needs to transition away from fossil fuels in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The governor of the Bank of England has reiterated his warning that fossil fuel companies cannot burn all of their reserves if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change, and called for investors to consider the long-term impacts of their decisions.

According to reports, Carney (Read more…)