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In-Sights: "A strong message…"

Canadian bank fined $1.1M for failing to report suspicious dealings, CTV News, April 5, 2016
The federal anti-money laundering agency has levied a $1.1-million penalty against an unnamed Canadian bank for failing to report a suspicious transaction and various money transfers.

It is the first time the Ottawa-based Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, has penalized a bank. The centre identifies cash linked to terrorism, money laundering and other crimes…

Fintrac spokesman Darren Gibb says he cannot legally discuss details of the bank’s infraction, and the agency is exercising its discretion to withhold the financial institution’s identity.

But Fintrac wants to send a strong message that it will take whatever measures are needed to encourage compliance with the law…

A strong message, really? Instead, Fintrac’s action demonstrates that oligarchs and influential institutions are not subject to laws that apply to others. I see a parallel to management of the Panama Papers that writer Craig Murray describes.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1 Percent From Panama Leak, Truthdig, April 4, 2016

The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires—the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”

…Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

While the $1.1 million penalty assessed a Canadian organization may seem substantial, we should evaluate its severity by considering ability to pay. Canada’s two largest banks are Royal Bank and TD Bank. The first has assets of $1.20 trillion and the other has $1.17 trillion. For either, a $1.1 million penalty is equivalent to 9¢ for an individual with $100,000 in assets. For CIBC, the smallest of Canada’s big-five banks, the equivalency is 23¢.

Keeping the wrongdoer’s name secret is another benefit for plutocrats. Bank executives may want to avoid dealing with shame at the country club but there is a widely accepted tenet of justice that calls for punishment to be in public view for deterrence and denunciation. However, in Canada, under Harper Conservatives and now the Trudeau Liberals, favoured groups are exempted from meaningful punishment.

Perhaps because controlling shareholder Murray Edwards arranged millions for BC Liberals, Imperial Mines was not charged for the catastrophic failure of the tailings dam at its Mount Polley gold and copper mine. Several communities experienced a state of emergency and drinking water bans. Meanwhile, this year in North Vancouver provincial court, homeowners were fined $100,000 when their landscaping project led to a sediment dump into a small creek that affected the water supplies of no communities.

Landslide on ground they made unstable put homeowners in court. They didn’t donate millions to #BCLiberals. #bcpoli https://t.co/fvPooA0Lbk

— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) April 3, 2016

The National Observer is publishing Secrets of Government, a series of special reports describing what happens in the back rooms of power. We’ve seen secret no-penalty, no-prosecution deals CRA gave high-net-worth Canadians, continuation of huge subsidies to fossil fuel industries, regulators co-operating with businesses they allegedly regulate, political appointees waiving fines assessed by inspectors against pipeline operators and countless other examples. However, if an ordinary citizen seeks accommodations from government, the likelihood of receiving it is remote. One CRA program was supposed to ensure fair treatment but it has been so understaffed that the initial response to an individual’s application could take more than a year. Because stalled fairness applications weren’t fair, CRA made a change:

The Taxpayer Relief service standard is being deleted due to an inability to report reliable results.

Returning to the subject of Fintrac’s “strong” message, I wonder if the bankers’ reaction to the agency’s warning was something like Churchill’s in the 1941 Canadian Parliament when he offered this famed riposte to French Generals:

. . . → Read More: In-Sights: "A strong message…"

In-Sights: "A strong message…"

Canadian bank fined $1.1M for failing to report suspicious dealings, CTV News, April 5, 2016The federal anti-money laundering agency has levied a $1.1-million penalty against an unnamed Canadian bank for failing to report a suspicious transaction and v… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: "A strong message…"

Politics, Re-Spun: Ghomeshi and Canada’s New Criminal Code

Clearly, we need an overhaul of Canada’s criminal code, with a feminist lens. Men sure get off easy, right Mr. Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby, rape culture should be helping guide us to what kind of criminal code can produce justice. 2016 and no statistic in the world will convince our justice system that the priority … Continue reading Ghomeshi and Canada’s New Criminal Code

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Ghomeshi and Canada’s New Criminal Code

Politics, Re-Spun: No, BC Actually Mentored Saskatchewan’s Poor-Bashing

Despite being Metro News, Emily Jackson’s great piece yesterday [below] about how brutally cruel the Saskatchewan government is should make us mindful of a number of issues. Not the least of which is that the neoliberal Saskatchewan Party has been photocopying many of the worst of BC’s regressive and anti-social policies. That makes the BC … Continue reading No, BC Actually Mentored Saskatchewan’s Poor-Bashing

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: No, BC Actually Mentored Saskatchewan’s Poor-Bashing

Politics, Re-Spun: Seven Tips for Feminist Men

I know already. You’re a feminist. And a man. But I’m not going to pat you on the back for that because we need to do better. We may think we’ve already earned all the male-feminist scout badges. We may subscribe to the male-feminist version of the doctors’ maxim ‘first, do no harm.’ But that’s … Continue reading Seven Tips for Feminist Men

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In-Sights: Double standard? Of course!

Mount Polley………no fines,no charges…….its who you know #christyclark #bcpoli https://t.co/y3IclftEqe— Danny Boy (@digitaldannyboy) February 20, 2016Couple fined $100K for causing 2013 landslide into #WestVan creek https://t.co/0w3PplkeOA… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: Double standard? Of course!

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality Source: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American   I don’t normally post anything on my blog other than my own original articles and essays… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Prospects for America: Sanders vs Civil War

(And that is not a threat, of course, but a prediction) An analysis of the present state of future prospects of the nation ~ An open letter in response to Daily Kos, and to anyone concerned with either justice, or peace The article I recently wrote and… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Prospects for America: Sanders vs Civil War

Politics, Re-Spun: Shaming Chauvinists 101

Hey, Canada. Don’t you just hate it when other countries make us look so 20th century? In the UK, they’re going to publicly shame employers who maintain gender wage disparities. Sure, it’s not legislated pay equity, but it’s a start. And they’re ahead of us. Seriously, how hard is this? Come on, read on. I … Continue reading Shaming Chauvinists 101

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Shaming Chauvinists 101

Politics, Re-Spun: Shaming Chauvinists 101

Hey, Canada. Don’t you just hate it when other countries make us look so 20th century? In the UK, they’re going to publicly shame employers who maintain gender wage disparities. Sure, it’s not legislated pay equity, but it’s a start. And they’re ahead of us. Seriously, how hard is this? Come on, read on. I … Continue reading Shaming Chauvinists 101

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Shaming Chauvinists 101

Politics, Re-Spun: If Beyonce…

Beyonce's dancers paid tribute to #MarioWoods, black man killed by San Francisco police. #SB50 #BlackLives pic.twitter.com/m2Pl9i5qKL — Jamilah King (@jamilahking) February 8, 2016 If Beyoncé could do THAT at the Superbowl, what could happen at the oh, so white Oscars? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX … Continue reading If Beyonce…

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: If Beyonce…

Dead Wild Roses: The Toxic Geopolitics of the Middle East – Richard Falk

Taken from his essay on Counterpunch called Slouching Toward Global Disaster. “Toxic Geopolitics It is impossible to understand and explain such a disastrous failure of military interventionism without considering the effects of two toxic ‘special relationships’ formed by the United States, with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The basic feature of such special relationships is an […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Toxic Geopolitics of the Middle East – Richard Falk

A Puff of Absurdity: On Justice and Hatred

I had an online discussion at Dawg’s Blawg about the primary theme of Tarantino’s newest film, The Hateful Eight, and it got a bit too provocative to manage a sincere response in the window of a comment, so I brought it here. Unfortunately I can’… . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Justice and Hatred

Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Obama spoke the other day about climate change: “we’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change; we’re the last generation that can do something about it.”

Stephen Harper denies the science.

It’s about that simple.

#HeaveSteve

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) August 3, 2015 11 Weeks of Daily Harper . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Politics, Re-Spun: 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

Politics, Re-Spun: Is Greece the Front Line in the War Against Neoliberalism?

The EU is a powerful vehicle for neoliberalism. When democracy in Greece pushes back, we see the length the EU will go to punish and control Greece.

Neoliberalism is inherently anti-democratic. Greece deserves our support. And we need to continue to oppose neoliberalism and the soft fascism in Canada [like C-51] that the Conservative and . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Is Greece the Front Line in the War Against Neoliberalism?

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

In-Sights: Enablers of misconduct, "if it is done here"

The current FIFA scandal illustrates a human behaviour that allows criminal behaviour to succeed. By nature, people tend to ignore the misconduct of others if preventing or revealing it extracts a higher price than ignoring it. Undoubtedly, insiders and observers were aware of high-level corruption at the international football organization. However, most FIFA Congress members . . . → Read More: In-Sights: Enablers of misconduct, "if it is done here"

Northern Insights: The outrageous special deal for Basi and Virk – REPLAY

First published January 7, 2011:

A reader pointed us to a recent BBC News report about a British politician convicted of financial fraud. Please compare this legal action to outrageous conduct witnessed in the Basi Virk trial related to BC Rail et al. Ex-Labour MP David Chaytor was jailed for 18 months for fraudulently claiming more . . . → Read More: Northern Insights: The outrageous special deal for Basi and Virk – REPLAY

Politics, Re-Spun: Sadistic Police and Their Entitlements

If you wonder why police are losing respect as a credible element in a peaceful, democratic, civilized society, watch this video [the slightly longer version is here].

Not only does a white shirt pepper spray an unarmed man at almost point blank range, watch what else happens.

The white shirt steps back a few . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Sadistic Police and Their Entitlements

Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

Larry Hubich's Blog: Connie – Anti-Terror Legislation – 22 Minutes

Larry Hubich's Blog: Connie – Anti-Terror Legislation – 22 Minutes

Larry Hubich's Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

“Saskatchewan’s Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president, Larry Hubich, as the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) sided with working families on January 30, 2015.
The SCC ruled, in no uncertain terms, that the SFL was right – the Saskatchewan Party government’s Public Services Essential Services Act (Bill 5) was heavy-handed, unworkable, and violated a Charter-protected right to strike.
“The decision by the Supreme Court to grant every worker in Canada a constitutional right to strike is a profound victory for our movement,” said Hubich, “the Court also delivered a strong message to conservative governments everywhere: your rigid ideology does not trump workers’ rights,” he added.
The Public Services Essential Services Act (Bill 5) was introduced by the newly-elected Saskatchewan Party government in 2007. As soon as it was introduced, workers, their unions, lawyers, and academics all said the Bill was overreaching, unnecessary, and probably illegal. The Saskatchewan Party, though, continued to only listen to their corporate friends instead of Saskatchewan families. As a result, a long Charter Challenge was launched by the SFL and its affiliates against Bill 5 to protect working families.
Despite the long and expensive court process, workers and their unions were gracious in their victory – extending an invitation to the Saskatchewan Party government to work together.
“We know that a work stoppage is always the last resort, and unions always prefer a negotiated agreement that is good for both sides,” said Hubich, “our victory does not change any of that, and we want to work with the provincial government to develop labour laws that are fair, balanced, and respect the rights of workers,” he added.
However, just a few days after the SCC ruling, Brad Wall floated the option of using the notwithstanding clause so that he and his government could continue violating Charter rights.
“This is a time for reconciliation and leadership, not a time for the premier to stomp his feet and threaten to deny Saskatchewan families their Charter rights,” said Hubich, “workers and their unions continue to offer our cooperation to create good public policy, and we hope the premier will come to the table in good faith,” he added.

. . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice