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OpenMedia.ca: Toronto Star: RCMP tracked Toronto activists with fake Facebook profile

Would liking a page or an article about blacklivesmatter on your social profile get you tracked by the RCMP, looking for other “subversive” materials? Does sharing content about social equality make you an activist? Subversive? A target of the RCMP?

And what’s next, under C-51… ?

Article by Laurent Bastien Corbeil for the Toronto Star

Has a waddle of penguins ever “liked” your Facebook page? If so, your account may have been monitored by the RCMP.

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Things Are Good: Another Way to Deal with Butts

Cigarette butts are usually aren’t disposed of properly (why do smokers think it’s OK to litter?) and this is a problem for many cities. Earlier this year we looked at the Pick Up Your Butts campaign and now a new strategy of dealing with butts has taken hold.

A restaurant in Toronto has put up special bins in their neighbourhood to collect cigarette butts. This waste will then be converted into something useful: pallets.

Café staff will be in charge of emptying the boxes and shipping the butts to a TerraCycle plant in north Toronto, where they’ll be shredded (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Living Architecture Tour of Toronto

If you’re in Toronto or visiting you can now go on a special tour of the city that will reveal all the cool living architecture! It’s a free tour that you can download and go on anytime you’d like.

Toronto abounds with green roofs and walls, but most people aren’t aware since living infrastructure is often hidden atop buildings or behind closed doors. This tour reveals our city’s vegetative roofs and walls.

Living architecture offers a cornucopia of benefits, which you can experience by looking, smelling, touching and listening. #LivingArchTOur helps Torontonians and visitors to our wonderful city experience these (Read more…)

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Three for the road

Cootie Catcher, written and performed by Lucas Brooks, focuses on Brooks’ close encounters of the transmissible kind. Using a cootie catcher, better known to some as a fortune teller, Brooks regales the audience with tales of all the times he thought he had been exposed to one STD or another, while simultaneously exploring his sexual history.

The cootie catcher gimmick is cute, and means that the show is obviously different with each performance. Normally this would be impressive, but given that the stories in question are well-edited anecdotes from Brooks’ personal past, the effect is somewhat diminished.

So, too, (Read more…)

The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: June 20: How to recognize propaganda in the news.

It’s on B7 of the Moncton Times and Transcript. It’s a big story. “Crisis-hit Europeans say Greece must knuckle  down with austerity like they did”. For a start, the crisis-hit Europeans he refers to are a children’s TV programmer, a salesman, a used-car salesman,  a retired school-teacher. and a middle-aged office worker standing in a line somewhere. That’s five people.

The editor who wrote that headline might want to check google – ‘Europe population’ – it says there are more than five Europeans.

In fairness, the article does offer one person who disagrees with that analysis. He says that austerity (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: The Globe and Mail: Wind Mobile brings cell service to Toronto subways

Great news for subway commuters users in Toronto, and yet another reason to escape the high prices and rampant abuse of the Big Three as new options become viable for CanadiansWe hope that other providers will follow Wind’s lead, and that the CRTC and Industry Canada will take bold steps to improve mobile choice and affordability in Canada.

Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail

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Joe Fantauzzi: Ontario’s Common Sense Revolution at 20: A Look Back

Today marks 20 years since the Progressive Conservative Party foisted its so-called “Common Sense Revolution” on Ontario. Former PC Ontario leader Tim Hudak took to Twitter this morning to extol the virtues of this full-throated neoliberal experiment, declaring it “the most effective, courageous gov[ernment]” in his lifetime. Some remember those days differently. Here are a few […]

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Leaving Unit 503 upright

I am surrounded by boxes, both packed and empty. This week I am changing units within my housing co-op, moving house for the first time since 1992. When I re-located to this building 23 years ago I thought, with good reason, that my death was imminent; that I would be here a short time before […]

Joe Fantauzzi: Reflections on McChesney: Problematics of Media Self-Regulation

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. News media goes where many cannot or will not. It infiltrates the halls of power, the courtrooms, protest sites, war zones and scenes of tragedy. It is, unquestionably, the source of much of the information used to inform and shape society. Its […]

Politics, Re-Spun: How Do YOU Fight for Workplace Justice?

How do YOU define determination?

One of them gave birth the day before the vote. As soon as her baby was nursing properly and her bloodwork came back okay, she made the trip to the hotel to vote.

via Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel | Toronto Star.

February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) March 14, 2014 Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage (0) October 27, 2014 The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow (0) December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (2)

Art Threat: Hot Docs 22: CanCon and BrandCon

North America’s largest and most sweeping doc-deluge, the Canadian International Hot Docs Festival, is once again in full swing, and the moment wouldn’t be complete, for me at least, without some form of commentary that assesses this institutional giant as it marks another year. In that spirit and as with past “taking stock” previews of Hot Docs, I humbly present my take on this year’s fest, divided into three sections: what’s promising, what’s looking like a fixer-upper, and what’s circumspect. So that I’m not removed from the premises by ending on a negative note, I’m also adding a fourth bonus (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Goodbye Bill Blair: You failed us.

Toronto has not lost a police chief. It has gained freedom. It has left an era of bad policing behind. It has new opportunities for better policing. It has new opportunities for discouraging crime, fewer gangs, fewer guns, easing of trouble spots and better relations between the police and the people they serve and protect.

Bill Blair has left police headquarters. He no longer held sway with the police services board. His services were no longer needed. He remained unindicted for the fiasco of the G-8. He remained intransigent on carding. That fancy uniform is committed to the closet of (Read more…)

Things Are Good: PULP: Using Old Materials for New Movements

Art is fun and it can be even more fun when it contributes to changing the world. PULP is an organization that welcomes people (beginners to pros) who are into art and want to make art that uses pre-used materials. This year they’re throwing a party!

PULP: paper art party 2015 is an interactive art and design exhibit integrated with a live music show. The party brings together artists of all fields, musicians, activity groups, and hundreds of guests. We will be raising funds and using our collective design expertise to help a charity in Toronto. Past events have supported (Read more…)

ezra winton: Still Talking about Challenge for Change

Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle was a program launched by the National Film Board of Canada in the late sixties that facilitated the production of around 200 social documentaries known for their inclusion of subjects in the production process and their uncompromising critiques of government programs. In 2010 I co-edited a book on CFC/SN with Tom Waugh and Michael Brendan Baker (check out more on this great collection here) and it seems those three years of hard work producing that door-stopper are still turning up new offers to talk about the program.

The newest talk will take place on Saturday, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

Aaron Manton: On Last Night’s News: My thoughts on the TTC fare increase

I appeared on Global News Toronto last night on behalf of TTC Riders to offer a few comments on the TTC fare increase coming into effect this weekend. Even though they spelled my name wrong, I was happy to have some good quotes make it into the online and broadcast versions of the story: “I […]

Eh Types: Ford Fin

Rob Ford is no longer the Mayor of Toronto. Not in name, not in law, not in anything but perhaps the delusional recesses of his brother’s mind. A quiet ending is not one many city observers would have predicted as little as six months ago. Many likely saw Ford leaving his office in defeat, if […]

Things Are Good: Rob Ford No Longer Mayor of Toronto

Rob Ford has been the worst mayor of Toronto and as of today he’s officially no longer mayor. I say officially because he was stripped of his real power over a year ago. Why is this good news though?

Ford divided the city in a way no other politician was able (or willing) to do; he pitted the people who care about the city against people who only care about lower taxes. In Toronto this basically meant the “old” city of Toronto and the “new” inner suburbs of the city. Divisive politics is not a good thing and already the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Growing the Green Roof Industry in North America

Green roofs are great! They help alleviate a lot of issues that arise in urban living while making cities more beautiful. There is growing interest in making sure that urban green roofs take off and it looks like it is working.

While other countries like Germany have been using green roofs since the 1980’s, North America has been playing catch up. Toronto, however, is a city enamoured with renewable energy and sustainability. Ryerson’s engineering building on Church St., the new Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex and Toronto City Hall are all notable examples of green roof early adopters.

A (Read more…)

Eh Types: Warm to An Idea

I’m going to tell you about something I did yesterday that gave me an idea. It’s a simple one, nothing to change the world, but because it’s simple I hope it’s one you’ll consider. Yesterday I found a pair of gloves in a coat I haven’t worn since last winter. Like I suspect most men, […]

Alberta Diary: Business arising from the minutes: Unionized St. Albert workers sign deal; CTF Alberta director suddenly departs

Toronto’s once notorious Rochedale College, now a perfectly respectable apartment building. Below: Outgoing Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Derek Fildebrandt and the King’s Noodle Restaurant (grabbed from TripAdvisor).

TORONTO

It was my intention, since I am away from Alberta on business, not to file an Alberta Diary post this evening. Truth be told, Friday night and Saturday are the week’s worst times for readership anyway, as those readers with a life tend to be off living it.

Still, my iPhone gonged portentously when I exited my Air Canada flight from Edmonton here in the Ford Bothers’ hometown tonight with two (Read more…)

Aaron Manton: My #TOpoli Influence

I found my modest dot on this data visualization of 2014 #TOpoli tweeters by Vox Pop Labs. It’s just about exactly where/how big you’d expect it to be: Pretty neat! You can see the whole graphic, as well as a list of the 101 most influential tweeters, here.Filed under: Toronto Politics Tagged: Toronto, Toronto Media, […]

Eh Types: You Get What You Need

Between changing more diapers and falling deeper in love than I’d have thought possible, I’ve struggled to put in to words my thoughts on Toronto’s election since the ballots were counted. Sleep deprivation is likely an accomplice to my inability to write an adequate epilogue but hardly the ringleader. More likely the feeling of having […]

Politics, Re-Spun: The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack.

But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the day before the Ontario municipal election.

Read what Olivia Chow thinks of it below:

Chow told CP24 she thinks the cartoon is “disgusting.”

“Because I am Chinese-Canadian, I must be a communist and have slanted eyes and glasses … and since I am a (Read more…)

Eh Types: When Being Right Feels Wrong

In March of this year I had a job interview with a well known political consulting group. I must say despite not being hired I immensely enjoyed the interview. One of the questions I was asked, other than my response to a zombie apocalypse, was what I thought the main issue facing Toronto in the […]