Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Canada's Freedom of Information Process is Abysmal

Not good enough
Who sends checks by mail or requests government information by mail?  In the digital age, we ought to be able to access all government documents from a database by using a password, perhaps linked to our voter number.
Under the Access to Information Act, any resident of Canada can request government-controlled information, such as a bureaucrat’s expense claims or a minister’s briefing notes, for an initial $5 fee. The application is subject to a range of exemptions.

Only about 16 per cent of the 35,000 requests filed last year resulted in the full disclosure of information, compared with 40 per cent a decade ago.

And delays in the release of records continue to grow, with just 56 per cent of requests completed in the legislated 30-day period last year, compared with almost 70 per cent at the start of the decade.
Why the delay, the cost, the very poor response to requests?  Transparency?  Accountability?  Sloppy.

I bet it's easier to have the RCMP scan our twitter and Facebook accounts than get a simple answer from FOI.  Above graph shows a graph of how Canada stacks up globally.

The Harper Conservatives first came to power in 2006 on an explicit promise to reform the Access to Information Act dramatically but have largely failed to deliver after five years in power.

Parliament did broaden the number of federal institutions covered by the Act, but growing delays and excessive censorship have plagued the system, prompting repeated public scoldings from the last three information commissioners.

At least three government departments are currently under investigation for alleged political interference in the release of documents, which has led to the resignation of a ministerial aid.

MP Paul Szabo announce planned to introduce a private member’s bill to guarantee a public right to information in our Canadian Constitution.  Maybe again in 2014.

Principle 10 of the Declaration of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development presented at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, was endorsed by Canada. It reads: “At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes.”
Source: By Stanley Tromp, Freedom of Information caucus coordinator of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), and author of Fallen Behind: Canada’s Access to Information Act in the World Context (2008). http://www3.telus.net/index100/foi

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jenkins Report Fails Conservative R&D Strategies

Incremental progress.  But we can do much, much more.

This year, Ottawa and the provinces spent $4.7-billion to more than 20,000 Canadian companies under one of the richest R&D tax expenditures in the world.

But a third or more of that cash is being wasted and paid to consultants as a result of unclear rules on what’s legitimate R&D and limited government auditing resources, according to dozens of interviews with consultants, claimants and government officials.
 That's why Harper is getting support from industry that is inflating the prices of work or expenditures.
The program is prone to abuse because the risk of getting caught is low. Tax authorities routinely accept a significant percentage of refund claims with little or no vetting in what one CRA source called the R&D industry’s “dirty secret.”

 Does the Tony Clement spending come to mind?  Puts the Liberal Adscam embarrassment into perspective.
For example, we will continue to make the key investments in science and technology necessary to sustain a modern competitive economy.  But we believe that Canada’s less than optimal results for those investments is a significant problem for our country. Harper in Davros
In line with feedback from stakeholders, we are recommending that the SR&ED program should be simplified. Specifically, for SMEs, the base for the tax credit should be labour-related costs, and the tax credit rate should be adjusted upward. The current base, which is wider than that used by many other countries, includes non-labour costs, such as materials and capital equipment, the calculation of which can be highly complex. This complexity results in excessive compliance costs for claimants and dissipates a portion of the program’s benefit in fees for third-party consultants hired to prepare claims.  Source: Jenkins Report
Put simply, the government strategy is that tax credits to corporations should result in job creation or investment into research and development.  Looks like it doesn't.  It's wasted instead on machinery and capital equipment.  I wonder if Caterpillar will take the machinery away with it when it goes south?  How much machinery is being put into the pipelines?  

Harper blames red tape for eating up the costs and showing less benefit for the free money incentive to industry.  In fact, it is the lack of front loading of clearly written documentation and planning.  His government is incompetent.  R & D should be results oriented, observable, quantifiable.  We have professionals that write proposals, yet Harper wants to keep secrets in house.  Well, the tar sands mess just shows how well that works out. 

Tories Tamper with Elections Donations in Alberta

Incremental damage
Andrew Frank, is not the only whistle blower to suffer the Tory chill by losing his job.  Chief electoral officer Lorne Gibson has filed a complaint for Alberta's former chief electoral officer,

who was canned by the government of Premier Ed Stelmach in 2009 for the shambolic way the 2008 Alberta general election was run. Someone's head had to roll and, as the man in charge of the election process, it was Gibson that got the chop.

the problems with the election were mostly the fault of Alberta's deeply flawed elections law and the people in the Conservative cabinet who actually had the power to run things.
You don't believe "deeply flawed"? Only in Alberta -- among Canadian jurisdictions, anyway -- were electoral officers appointed by a partisan agent of the governing party.
 The Wildrose has said the donations are symptomatic of a diseased political system that comes from the Conservatives being in power for 40 consecutive years. The party also said municipal leaders feel the heat to donate or be punished through funding cuts or other measures. 
Because the election was called so quickly, apparently there was not enough time to get voters' lists in order and people were either left off the lists (about 250,000 in Alberta) or had to suffer long waiting times.  I certainly did on the advanced voting poll.  I never had any problem with my name being on the list, but rather we were for some reason corralled like cattle and made to wait while the slowest people on the planet and completely inefficient pencil pushers tried to cope with make a check mark.  It was a disgrace and the local MP was appalled by what he saw.

But back to the donations.  Obviously, there was more money thrown around for Conservatives to spend on their own campaign.  Holding up the shambles mess for criticism is worthy at this time - to incrementally damage the Conservative self promotion machine and show it up for what it is- pushy, self serving, spiteful towards those who would speak the truth.  

Non Reporting of Aboriginals Water Treatment Plant Needs

It is no longer possible to ignore the rights of Canada's aboriginals, now that they are crucial to much needed land access.  Long ghetoized and ignored in poverty and government neglect, their story of inequality has become a cause célèbre in the environmental issues of Canadian water rights.

“The report released today is shocking in that it reveals the quality of drinking water in First Nation communities is even worse than anticipated,” said the National Chief.  “More than half the water systems our people are using are risky systems.  While First Nations have been calling attention to this matter for years, today’s report should spark swift and urgent action to ensure the health and safety of our people.  Other Canadians would not tolerate this situation in their communities and we must not tolerate it in First Nation communities.” Assembly of First Nations 
Results for Alberta from Statistics Canada 

Contamination of Aboriginal Water is a Human Rights issue.  They own the land.  They must have water rights and water treatment plants that ensure healthy living on that land.  To neglect this fact is a sure method to extinguish the number of peoples who can live on reserves.  The government has for years walked away from water treatment projects by saying that there are no roads to access in order to build the plants.  Whereas there are no such excuses for not continuing to drill and push huge hulking machinery into the remotest regions of the Yukon in pursuit of minerals.

As anti fracking communities are gaining traction in the US with help of the EPA, shouldn't it now be time for investment into the north with Environment Canada water standards, water treatment, clean water standards and followup with action? And shouldn't environmental lawyers be lining up in droves to support Aboriginal water claims pro bono to fight for Aboriginal ownership of water on their land? 

Read Turtle Island News for the latest points of view from communities opposing such inaction and for true reporting from an Aboriginal perspective.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Media Sources Not to Trust

Don't expect Wall Street Journal to write honestly about climate change.  It's a business magazine and its readers are looking for profits, not prophecies, well, maybe!  From Peter Gleick of Forbes.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has long been understood to be not only antagonistic to the facts of climate science, but hostile. But in a remarkable example of their unabashed bias, on Friday they published an opinion piece that not only repeats many of the flawed and misleading arguments about climate science, but purports to be of special significance because it was signed by 16 “scientists.”
For example, their op-ed has fundamental errors about recent actual temperatures, they use false/strawman arguments that climate scientists are saying climate change “will destroy civilization,” they launch ad hominem attack on particular climate scientists using out-of-context quotes, and so on.  

For the penultimate authority for science journalism:
 The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. 
Science magazine – perhaps the nation’s most important journal on scientific issues – published the letter from the NAS members after the Journal turned it down. 
Science specific research, use Scirius or Google Scholar.

Overhauling Canada's Regulatory Framework Details Lacking

As usual there's the cart before the horse, some half cocked put it out there then we'll get to it ham fisted approach to legislation.  Everything needs to be speeded up to get that economy on track, expedited, action verbed out there.  Just get it in the headlines and let the reporters talk it up with the usual patter, some flag around the Harpo or Joe Oily looking like he's about to collapse from the burden of responsibility on his shoulders, or Peter Kent falling down sagging from his copious notes.

For workers on the front line, here's where all this profitability margins got you.  Deaths and negligence.  Safety personnel at risk in the North.

Inadequate Search and Rescue in the North.
“It’s inexcusable for our country to rely upon search and rescue [resources] located on the shores of Lake Ontario . . . when there’s so much more happening [elsewhere].” NunatsiaqOnline (subscribe and support)  

Arctic Rescuer Dies Waiting Five Hours in Sea in Canada
According to a preliminary report released by the Canadian Forces Wednesday, Gilbert and two other technicians parachuted 600 metres into waves which were three metres high with winds blowing at 50 km/h.
Dust Levels High At Burns' Lake Warnings Dismissed

The WorkSafe BC inspection report shows an officer collected 10 dust samples from the mill on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 and submitted them for lab tests.
The results released Dec. 28 found dust levels in the basement cleanup area were more than twice the acceptable level for an eight-hour exposure.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | Dust levels high weeks before explosion at B.C. mill: WorkSafe BC 

Since we now know that our local papers are Harper puppets, collect a wiki of your own independent newspapers and journalists that can write true real people points of view.  Submit the names of the reporters to writer's organizations who offer awards of merit for real news reporting and sanctions against  shills like Ibitson, et al.  (more to be added)

MP's Pensions an Outrage

Time for pension reform for MP's.  This is now a hot point that needs to be addressed in times of austerity.  If not, then the point is clear.  All optics for the power elite.  Make sure the underclass know they are an underclass by being callous and supercilious when dealing with issues of equality.  Make no bones about who dictates, and who serves, about who is deserving of wealth and who is not.

The Publicly Funded MP Pension Plan
Rick Mercer describes Parliamentary Secretary, Pierre Poilievre, as someone who has never worked at anything, but is an expert on everything. First elected in his mid-twenties, 31 year-old, Poilievre, has ALREADY qualified for HIS share of the extravagantly outrageous, MP pension plan. Poilievre can start cashing HIS pension cheques at age 55. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation tells us that taxpayers kick in $23.30 for every dollar put in by their MP. CTF says that MP pensions, guaranteed by law, grow 10.4% a year - all courtesy of taxpayers, who, each year, put more money into their MP's pension account - $248,000 - than the MP's base salary of $157,000. MP's themselves, contribute a minimal $10,990 a year. In the face of THIS, Harper, not only plans to stuff another 18 bodies into Parliament, but, he also has the gall to set about attacking the very people supporting such *generosity*? For Harper voters everywhere, just how is THIS sort *accountability* working for you, again?

Kicking the Retirement for Pensions Plan Can Around

Harper's going to have to face the opposition critics as Parliament resumes today for his disclosed pension cuts and OAS changes.  Here are some of the critics already.

Let me see if I understand this...
Harper will be able to retire at the age of 52 making well over two hundred grand a year that working people will pay for. An MP only has to work for six years before collecting a full pension in which working people pay $23 for every dollar the MP contributes. They will be expected to continue to pay for the pensions of elderly people brought here by their children who have never paid one thin dime into the system. However, those very same working people are going to be expected to work two years longer in order to be able to collect the small poverty level pensions they've worked all of their lives for. Sorry Harper. Not a chance!!!  Toronto Star
Harper and Flaherty love to brag...
...about the stability of Canada's Banking System claiming Canada's Banks didn't recieve bailout money. They conveniently forget that the Chartered Banks recieved $150 Billion Dollars thru the backdoor in years 08/09 by CMHC purchasing Mortgages from them. CMHC's mandate is to insure mortgages with low downpayment from default with a pool of premiums collected from mortgagees. It's mandate was not to actually provide mortgages. This makes the Canadian Government (taxpayer) after the American shakeout the largest holder of subprime mortgages in the world. This slight of hand actually eclipses Paul Martins' theft of $60 Billion in Employment Insurance premiums by taking the premiums illegally into general revenues to balance the budget. It's all smoke and mirrors in fat city! 

Possibly a start at balancing the books....
...of Canada's Old Age Security Plan would be to make immigrants who arrive as seniors and have never worked in Canada ineligible for OAS. As it stands now anyone living in Canada for 10 years receives the benefit. Immigrant seniors come to Canada as part of the family unification class of immigrants, live here for ten years often with substantial seasonal vacations to the homeland then at 10 years receive OAS often then moving permanently back to the homeland. Remember the 50,000 "Canadian's" who sought government/taxpayer assistance in leaving Lebanon when war broke out, only to return as soon as the hostilities subsided? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

How the Canadian Government Plans Its Tar Sands Action

Could have been a same sex too!  This is Toronto after all.
See the full redacted scribd version.  Hope it doesn't get redacted too.  Seems that the government has been removing documents from the archives.

The Real Davos Story 2012

Harper went to Davos prepared with the big reveal, the Transformative  Strategy for Canada and by extension to the world economic leaders.  As he held Mark Carney in captive thrall running through his talking points and polishing his delivery,
The veteran founder and Chairman of the Davos World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, declares that "Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us."
 Reporter:  Terry Milewski, CBC.ca

Harper's plan for Capitalism is that it should grow and find markets everywhere unfettered by government intervention.  Hence, less taxes for corporations.  His message was the debt.
"It threatens the strong, sustainable balanced growth that G20 countries have made their priority and risks bringing the world to another recession."
 "We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009," he goes on. "A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility."
Harper didn't mention his failed policies such as putting too much money into one region for oil development and encouragement of investment which impacted the rest of Canada because of a petro dollar or "Dutch disease" result.  Investors felt free to take the money grants and then leave without penalty.  

Even though Canada shares NAFTA policies with the U.S., Obama has moved towards protectionism, and buy American policies in order to insulate workers from job losses.  The U.S. presses charges against "dumping" of solar panels by Chinese.

Even though the world is in chaos from corruption in banking, excessive movement of money away from stakeholders and into the hands of shareholders where it is parked out of country or used in a virtual way as commodity flips and trades make money and inflate goods beyond real value. 

Free trade and free markets won't cut it anymore.
That's obvious in Canada.  Yet, Canadian goods are struggling to compete against the influx of Target, Wallmart, Ipods instead of Blackberries.  
"seriously address the social impact of globalization," he says. "Growing inequities within and between countries and rising unemployment are no longer sustainable ... We must rethink our traditional notions of economic growth and global competitiveness, not only by focusing on growth rates and market penetration, but also, equally — if not more importantly — by assessing the quality of economic growth."
"How sustainable is it and at what cost to the environment? How are the gains distributed? What has become of the family and community fabric, as well as of our culture and heritage? The time has come to embrace a much more holistic, inclusive and qualitative approach to economic development."
"The success of any national and business model for competitiveness in the future will be less based on capital and much more based on talent. I define this transition as moving from capitalism to 'talentism'."
Some tweets via hashtags.org  search term Davros

"Growth was achieved at the cost of greater inequity, higher unemployment, weak
democracy,loss of identity, & overconsumption" #Davros #WEF

Important to read re-read & absorb - World Bank Beyond Economic Growth
ISBN 0-8213-4853-1 (+ pdf) CH 1 "What Is Development?" #Davros #WEF

Invest for the long term future, Stop short selling the World. #Davros #wef Take options for decency and reasonableness.

Humanity has for many years known the correct action to support and maintain health world economics but Fail as are too greedy #Davros #WEF

Look here for my shared Tweet Grid on topics on the blog

Harper's Davos Talking Points

Canada is recovering well from the global recession.

change how Canadians finance their retirement.
overhaul the immigration system. (Canadians want job security.  Well we won't let you indulge in the old notion of "jobs for life" - unless, of course, you run a company, are in finance or work for the Harpercons.)
make oil and gas exports to Asia a “national priority”(not climate change, clean water, Aboriginal birthright)
aggressively pursue free trade in India and Europe. (our corporate boots have already signed the contracts and you'll hear about it soon enough.  Only when we find a safe place to hide when Harper reveals it center stage at a WTO or banker's forum in China).
“Western nations, in particular, face a choice of whether to create the conditions for growth and prosperity, or to risk long-term economic decline. In every decision, or failure to decide, we are choosing our future right now,” Mr. Harper said. (plagiarized from words of climate scientist Bill McKibben)
He did not spell out whether seniors will have to wait longer to receive the benefit or whether clawbacks would be increased for higher income earners. (bad news is incremental).
(or like the EI - we might just find that there are fewer staff to disburse cheques at Christmas time)
(there are more people employed looking for cheaters of EI than there are in the EI office of disbursements)

“a threat to the social programs and services that Canadians cherish.” Preserving those social programs will likely mean cuts elsewhere.  (Old people are a burden and a threat to his new vision of Canada.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slanted Media Coverage of the Keystone XL

Balance in reporting by major US outlets
The Canadian media is certainly slanted towards the pro tar sands angle.  Just today, an article quoted three MP's and Harper and not one Aboriginal voice or environmental position.  It's almost as if silence has descended on this issue.

Media continued to frame the story as a jobs issue, as a cudgel by which to punish Obama's reluctance to move forward with a nasty Republican power struggle, and as an ethical oil alternative.

Breakdown by medium and message bias
Television often played down environmental risks.  That's a surprise, given that the Concordia disaster played constantly as front page news.  Normally, disasters make good press.  I guess not oil spills.  Protesters were often seen being dragged away, or were called "actors".

Headlines are extremely important in digital culture as this determines whether we pay attention or not.  A continuation of positive headlines made the story seem to be always a "no brainer". 

Of those quoted by the major newspapers, 45% were in favor of the pipeline and 31% were opposed. The New York Times was the most balanced, quoting 35% in favor and 27% opposed. The Wall Street Journal was the least balanced, with 52% in favor and 21% opposed.
I'm sure if you used an aggregator to determine sentiment, one would find that the same lack of balance would be found in social networking sites like Twitter, Blogs and rss feeds.  So we do have the same perceptions repeated in the minds of the readers and media consumers.  Don't forget too that there is a huge media machine pushing the tar sands in the social media.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NCC is a SuperPAC

Negative ads by National Citizen's Coalition and a US SuperPAC are drawing comparisons triggered by an article in The Globe and Mail. We all know how much Harper has abused the control of free speech from environmentalists, scientists, reporters and questioners in the HOC.   Here is a very cogent argument put forward by Diane Marie in response to the article which states that third party ads must be considered free speech, else we have none.  

diane marie

12:01 PM on January 25, 2012

First of all, there are laws pertaining to election advertising at the federal level, and other laws (or maybe none) at the provincial and municipal level. Being that I don't live in Ontario, I really don't care about relevant Ontario provincial laws. I do know that here in Alberta, the Conservatives were incensed when unions took to the airwaves during the last provincial election. Fair is not fair, apparently.

There is a difference when groups such as the NCC engage in public advocacy and when they act as a Super-PAC. The NCC ads were not about public policy, they were personal attacks. Groups such as NCC are limited as to how much they can spend to intrude into an election. In parallel with the Conservatives, they've decided that we must have a perpetual campaign, so they're doing some of the Conservatives' dirty work for them.

Americans are inundated with "free speech" such that no one really knows who's behind the billions being spent to sway their opinion, and their politicians are so busy trying to stay in the money game that they don't have the time or the inclination to actually govern, a process that involves consensus-building and cooperation.

Until the Reformers arrived in town, we've enjoyed a comparatively sane amount of "free speech", but now the election-spending limits are irrelevant when the dropping of the writ is a mere formality. We're in perpetual campaign mode now and I heartily object to it for the simple reason that the aim of the "free speech" crowd is not to inform voters but to overwhelm them with paid opinion .
 A negative ad attacking Bob Rae appeared on Youtube when Canada is not in election time.  It's time to curb what are clearly unfair attack ads that unnecessarily interrupt the process of good government.  Don't we have enough partisanship and ill will already?  Ought we not to concentrate on real co-operation?  Looks like this government is offering up a toxic environment amidst the secrecy, dirty tricks, labeling with stereotypes, bad mouthing in the press that are hallmarks of bully tactics. 

Keeping Up To Date With Oil Sands Daily

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Harper Threatens Forest Ethics, Employee Fired

"PMO branded environmental group an ‘enemy’ of Canada, affidavit says."  I'd call it a threat from head office which ends up losing the whistle blower's job. 

Here's the government's statement to reporters. 

“The government of Canada has used the language of anti-terrorism, language that is violent and above the law, to describe legitimate critics of unsustainable resource development,” he said in an affidavit released to reporters Tuesday.

Andrew Frank, a 30-year-old instructor in the environmental protection program at Vancouver’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University, also claims the Prime Minister’s Office wanted McMillan to revoke funding to the organization.

When Frank made the threat public, he was fired by Forest Ethics.

Full letter is on scribd here.  What will happen now is frightening to think.  Especially if people walk away from the obvious crossed line. 

Anatomy of an Oil Spill

The Oil Industry works just like the aftermath of Katrina.  Once the land has been spoiled after a spill, the only gains will be to industry.

Northern Canada and the treaty lands of the Indigenous Peoples are replete with gold, minerals, copper and are being eyed by industry to encroach upon the territories.  So far, the native peoples have stood strong against pollution to their lands.  But slowly, as with the Athabasca tar sands, the rivers are becoming worse.  Eventually, no one will want to live there, just as in New Orleans.  This video shows the slow creep of oil in the Gulf.

Is this what you want for Lake Louise?  The MacKenzie river? 

Alberta Isn't Getting the Profits of the Oil Either

Read the book by  Kevin Taft Follow the Money  for a complete analysis of how our resources, our crown land, is being appropriated for foreign profits.  Each Albertan owns 5Million in oil wealth, yet they must put up with potholes on the roads, long waiting times in emergency, teachers losing jobs.  It's the old capitalist shell game, enabled by bad political deals intent on keeping Canadians suppressed and impoverished while closed doors meetings decide how to further enslave us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Federalism, Harper Style, Deadbeat Dad

The Agenda, with Steve Pakin, always seems to be hitting hot points in the Canadian political scene as they happen.  I don't know how Pakin manages to reserve his judgement so impartially.  Thank goodness he's no Ezra Levant!  Here's a very even handed debate on the dumping of the shortage of money for health care upon the provinces.  It was a dirty Harper trick, that the media framed as balsy.  Oh, puhleeeeze!  As a result, I will have to be paying for orthoscopic surgery, my doctor will be working for less, people will die in remote areas because of lack of air ambulances.  But we'll be distracted daily by some rubbish about how much weight Rob Ford lost!  Harper took the puck home and the rest of the street has to play with horse turds.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harper Hates to Back Canadian Workers Fighting for Fairness

Caterpillar, an American company that was lured to London, Ontario with 5 million in incentive dollars has locked out Canadian workers on New Years Day 2012.

Harper refuses to get his hands dirty in this case, even though he was happy to get the press credit and photo op when the company arrived on the scene.

How unlike the very swift defense of the Keystone Pipeline, the many trips as ambassador to big oil and the monied interests that hold much more allure to an ego driven leader.  Harper will avoid a bad press opportunity at all costs.

Bob Rae, is doing a great job at protecting the backs of Canadian workers.

This story needs much more coverage from the point of view of how Canadian jobs are at risk, unionized or not with the tory policies of foreign investments capitalizing on our weak willed and unethical government.

“So far this year we have two private sector employers (one in Quebec and one in Ontario) who have opted to lock out their employees, yet your government has been silent on these disputes.”
Aluminum giant Rio Tinto Alcan locked out 800 workers at its smelter in Alma, Que., this week after contract talks collapsed. (Globe and Mail)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Outsourcing Ad Jobs To Avoid Responsible Accountability

Here are my notes for followup and research.  Soon to come are who to contact with a complaint.


10:27 PM on January 19, 2012
What a laugh.

With this type of Harper Government logic, we can see how they will shrink the size of Canada's Federal Government. Get rid of everything except the Ministry of Finance and the PMO. Take all the revenue and give it to for profit companies to run our country.

There, reduced government to almost nothing.

Have these clowns ever looked into the business of advertisement? Do they truly think that it is an industry that doesn't charge huge sums of money or thrive on hidden perks? Do they honestly believe that it is an industry that promotes honest and reliable content?

Nick the Centrist

10:45 PM on January 19, 2012
If the EAP program has concluded, why are we still seeing ads on TV and in print?

If Murcdoch can go down, so can Harper.


8:26 PM on January 19, 2012
Or as Doug Ford so eloquently put it...

"Gravy train! Gravy train!"

No doubt Paul Rhodes will be high on the list as recipient of taxpayers largesse


9:05 PM on January 19, 2012
If the Harper Government is going to start hiring their Marketing as outsource, at least fire all the communications people (Torie Animators) who you hired into the Civil Service over the last 5 years.


9:39 PM on January 19, 2012
Government ads and websites feature heavy splashes of blue – the colour of the Conservative Party – and press releases promote the accomplishments of the “Harper government.” At times, these changes have riled the bureaucracy.

That's the job of the civil servants. They are paid by the people of Canada, through the House of Commons, and not by the Executive Council.

When the executive Council steps outside their authorities they are to inform and caution and to be available to inform the House of Commons.

No PR firm dependent on their employment to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet has no such restraints and would see the House of Commons no different than someone to be convinced by spin.

We have seen how Harper "informs" the public now, imagine what he could do if he could lock the Professional Civil Service out of policy formation.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

CIDA Used for Whitewashing Mining Interests in Foreign Aid


WUSC-Rio Tinto Alcan project
Total budget: $928,000 over 3 years
CIDA: $500,000
WUSC/Rio Tinto Alcan: $428,000
Rio Tinto net profit in 2010: $726,000,000

Plan Canada-IAMGOLD project
Total budget: $7.6 million over 5.5 years
CIDA: $5.7 million
Plan Canada: $0.9 million
IAMGOLD: $1 million
IAMGOLD gross profit in 2010: $597,000,000

World Vision-Barrick Gold project
Total budget: $1 million over 3.5 years
CIDA: $500,000
World Vision/Barrick Gold: $500,000
Barrick Gold net profit in 2010: $3,279,000,000
Source: Canadian International Development Agency, Sedar.com

 selective aid sent to developing countries which has been shown to serve two purposes.  Both to greenwash, that is to give environmental rehabilitation projects and to give cash greenbacks which serve Canadian mining companies highly invested in those countries.
Canadian International Development Agency has less money to spread around now that we are in recessionary times.  Nevertheless, we cannot abdicate our humanitarian aid.  To this end, the Conservative government has pledged "more transparency, timeliness and predictability" in the expenditures.
 University of Ottawa professor and CIDA critic Stephen Brown terms a blatant effort to "whitewash the negative effects of their resource extraction."
Oda announced four CIDA projects - totalling $26.7 million - in September that will "help developing countries in Africa and South America manage their natural resources to ensure they are the source of long-term sustainable benefits to their people."
Perhaps. But these projects also help highly profitable Canadian mining companies. CIDA will provide money to help Canadian companies Rio Tinto Alcan, Barrick Gold and Iamgold create corporate social responsibility projects with aid agencies near mining projects.

More criticism of a similar nature is found here:
“CIDA has always worked government-to-government,” said Coumans. “Now what CIDA is doing is channeling Canadian taxpayer money directly to the mine site and basically paying for (CSR) corporate social responsibility projects, and that is very bizarre.”
“The Canadian government is using aid to support the expansion of Canadian mining...[and] to determine development paths inside countries according to the logic of mining companies,” Yao Graham of Third World Network Africa, a research and advocacy organization based in Ghana, told The Dominion. Graham has seen many communities in Africa ravaged by the exploitative labour practices and lax environmental practices that often accompany mining megaprojects.
Companies Involved:

Plan Canada Plan Canada will receive $5.7 million from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to fund activities relating to IAMGOLD’s mining activities in 13 communities in Burkina Faso. 
 Other extracting operations.   The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability documented how government initiatives in Colombia and Tanzania have translated into weaker environmental and social safeguards, reduced royalties for the host countries and new tax holidays.

Last May, IAMGOLD had to close down operations at its Essakane mine in Burkina Faso due to labour unrest.  See here:  Pambazuka News -Pan African Voices for Freedom and Justice
The projects include one run by Plan Canada in partnership with Iamgold to provide training in Burkina Faso and another by the World University Service of Canada to provide training in Ghana, in partnership with Rio Tinto Alcan.

CIDA has set aside nearly half a million dollars for a third project - in which World Vision Canada will work with Barrick Gold in Peru to "increase the income and standard of living of 1,000 families affected by mining operations." Barrick Gold says it also contributed $500,000 to the project.

Brown calls it "scandalous" that some of the most profitable companies in Canada are, in effect, supported by foreign aid dollars to set up programs that compensate for the negative effects of mining.

In a time of shrinking foreign aid dollars, taxpayers should not be on the hook for corporate social responsibility projects. The programs might be welcome and worthwhile, but they should be paid for by the companies that are reaping the profits and getting much of the credit. CIDA's involvement in the partnerships potentially tars all Canadians, by default, for any bad corporate behaviour, or environmental damage, that results from those mining operations.
  Last year the Canadian mining sector led a successful lobby effort to defeat Bill C-300, the Bill that would have seen the introduction of minor controls on the unregulated overseas activities of Canada’s mining industry.
See how Mining Weekly manages to astroturf the bill.
"Canada's competitors would have used the passage of Bill C-300 as a tool to undermine the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the highly competitive global extraction industry. Frivolous or vexatious claims (like dangerous working conditions, pollution, unethical practices) would have been filed against Canadian firms by competitive interests at no cost or risk to themselves (except that the countries are poor and jobs are scarce and therefore necessary to feed their families), tying up important projects and putting well paying local jobs (that's why they are having strikes) and community development projects (paid for and subsidized by Canadian tax payers under CIDA)in developing countries at risk."

GM Agri-Business and Food Safety

Monsanto GM Foods are bad for the earth and humans
Monsanto threatens the food security of developed and developing countries and doesn't play fair with its incursions into the marketplace.

GM foods are marketed as the means to productivity in low yielding regions and as a solution to global food shortages due to higher yielding capacities.

Factor in the fact that farmers become dependent on purchasing new seeds each year, are hugely invested in fertilizers and pesticides to control the growth and that monoculture dominates the landscape instead of using natural farming practices - the result is costly and burdensome instead of productive.

This economic model profits only agribusiness and uses none of the age old techniques of scale, natural regeneration, leaving the land fallow for a season, using cattle as a fertilizer source, aiding small scale farmers to subsist on the land.

A favorite winter excursion used to be to pick up a huge sack of potatoes from a Hillsburgh farmer, just north of highway 7 in Halton Hills.  They were white potatoes that made fine greasy potato pancakes or latkes.  Filling and flavorful for the cold winter days.

Check your local supermarket when buying potatoes and notice the origin and kinds.  So much is from the States, especially in the low end stores like Food Basics.  Support your local farmers.

Join a petition on Care2Action or visit this community blog.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Liberals and Green Energy Initiative

Wind Farms are the norm in all of Europe.  Why not here?
Dalton McGuinty ran on a platform of renewable energy, among many other initiatives.  But it cost him a majority by some very strident opposition towards the end of his campaign.  I'm looking again at the issue, because of all the options to power we might have in our neighborhoods, fracking, gas power plants, oil pipelines, I for one, am back the clean and renewables.  So let's have a second look at the issue.  Just today, there is a challenge to Wind Concerns Ontario for improper spending on negative attack ads that impacted negatively on the McGuinty campaign.

Green Energy Act Introduction Testimonials - February 2009
Read what's being said about the tabling of the Green Energy Act by the Government of Ontario.
Hermann Scheer
Hermann Scheer
"The Green Energy Act proposed by the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance will put Ontario in a leadership position on par with Germany. The proposed tariff system will no doubt result in 25,000 MW of renewable energy installed in Ontario by 2025. Ontario, indeed Canada as a whole, has huge potential for renewables and conservation, equal to or better than Germany's; all you need is a Green Energy Act like we have in Germany to make Ontario the leading jurisdiction in North America."

A prominent anti-wind-power group is under fire amid accusations it broke election financing by running a negative advertising campaign against Liberal candidates last fall.
Toronto resident Jude MacDonald and her lawyer Clayton Ruby have made a formal complaint to Elections Ontario, the non-partisan agency that runs and polices provincial elections.
They say Wind Concerns Ontario failed to comply with the Election Finance Act by allegedly spending over the $500 threshold on political advertising during the provincial campaign without registering as a third party.
Why would people oppose wind power?  Well, there was an outcry over the amount of money paid to have a Samsung contract.

Conservatives Are Climate Deniers

There's nothing conservative in the Harper (Greek) government.  Ok, may conservation of power for themselves.  Wasting resources on photo ops, that sort of thing.

Here's a thoroughly researched article on Climate Change from the Guardian.  Read it thoroughly to be informed and ready to inoculate yourself against propaganda that global warming and our destruction of the environment is attributable to anything other than fools like the above.  For update Twitter info, see @RTCCnewswire

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Statscan is Out of Date and Why I Can't Find Energy or Environment

Here's what the Statscan website looked like using the Wayback Machine, an internet screen capture tool.
Just a screencapture
 If I wanted to get the latest indicators of water usage, environmental CO2 levels or to compare from year to year the variations in our country's usage of resources, I'd look to the tables as above and they'd be updated regularly.  The Wayback machine shows how often they were accessed and when. 

useful graph last dated 2006.

I'd really like to see how much the dark green section has changed by 2012.  Or, maybe even have a special graph just for the province of Alberta, showing a similar breakdown of tar sands and forested area.
water yields.  Quickly dropping.

Nothing here about tar sands.  Looks to me as though only people who use appliances or drive cars are driving the emissions up.  There are not other graphs to show CO2 per energy sector.  Don't you think there should be?  Write Peter Kent immediately and ask him where these graphs are.

Whitewashing from Conference Board of Canada

The only way to get unfiltered information on how Canada is doing economically and environmentally is to go directly to primary sources like the Conference Board of Canada.  The documents are free but you'll have to fill out a form with minimal private information necessary.  At any rate, I was looking to get the facts about which sectors were profitable, what were the job losses in regions and what our environmental situation was like based upon CO2  emissions and water consumption.

Is Canada making progress in its environmental performance? Canada’s environmental performance has improved in some areas and deteriorated in others. Some progress has been achieved in the areas of air quality, natural resources management, and energy efficiency. But Canada must do more to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), to use its freshwater resources more wisely, and to reduce waste—all in an economically feasible way.

Total annual GHG emissions in Canada rose 24 per cent between 1990 and 2008. Although total annual GHG emissions have stabilized in the last few years, emissions continue to rise in some key sectors, including road transportation, mining, and oil and gas extraction.

Notice how the tar sands aren't even mentioned.

Water consumption is also a key environmental issue. Sustainable water management helps maintain adequate water supplies for people and ecosystems. Canada’s water use per capita is over eight times higher than that of Denmark, the top performer for this indicator. Why?
Two major reasons for Canada’s excessive use of water are inadequate water conservation practices and prices that are too low to encourage efficiency.
 A good portion of water is used by agriculture, and fortunately for Denmark, their land formation and water resources are quite advantageous.  So, Ontario produces 40% of our food and we need to reserve as much arable land and clean water close to urban areas.  All the more reason not to add to water misuse by granting permits for mining where watersheds are quite immense.  The MacKenzie River, The Athabasca River both will be soon compromised by the massive bitumen push to the west and the Arctic.

No mention is made of the realities in Canada.  Soft peddling again.  Looking for examples to Sweden and Denmark, blaming our recycling on the home front, our cheap water and plenty of it being the excuse not to take the water crime seriously.

How much free water is used by the tar sands industry?  If you know, please comment below as I can't seem to find that report.

Fact:  The increase in income inequality has been more rapid in Canada than in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.  For more see here.  Even Mexico and Japan are amongst the countries in which income inequality is growing less.  These statistics are evident but what we make of them is open for discussion.  Some may argue that immigration is costing people the opportunity to find jobs when they have to compete against an even more educated and fully skills ready influx of workers that can locate to Alberta's tar sands or B.C.'s shipbuilding.  I wonder how it feels to be robbed of a living and put on the welfare.  Sure the skills initiative is out there as a plan.  From the reality, why is the government outsourcing jobs instead of training Canadians here?  This is from the Irish Independent:

Canada is seeking tens of thousands of Irish worker to fill a wide range of jobs, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland announced last week.
The country is seeking to fill a labor shortage caused by a strong economy, massive infrastructure projects and booming fisheries, mining, oil and natural gas industries.
"I'm hearing numbers like between 30,000 and 40,000 in construction alone," Ambassador Loyola Hearn told the Irish Independent.

I know personally of an Irish couple who were here temporarily but due to a post error had to leave and re-apply.  They may never get back in.  They were well settled, both working, their paperwork got lost in the Alberta Immigration office and no one was going to help them out. The only option would be to pay 18K to some third party immigration specialist (aka robber).  Welcome to the world of sloppy.  Flows from the top.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Environment Canada Doesn't Report on Environment Since 2007

Harper body language when abroad
I've been looking for up to date statistics from Statistics Canada and can't get anything recent.  Here's why Canada Cuts Environment Spending

spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships
slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment.
crippled is Canada's internationally renowned ozone monitoring network, which was instrumental in the discovery of the first-ever ozone hole over Canada last spring.

Canada was the pioneer in ozone monitoring, developing the first accurate ozone measuring tool that led to the discovery that the world's ozone layer was dangerously thinning in the 1970s, which in turn led to the successful Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
Canada has about one-third of the ozone monitoring stations in the Arctic region. It also hosts the world archive of ozone data, which is heavily relied on by scientists around the world.
"There's only one guy running the entire archive, and he's received a lay-off notice letter," Duck told IPS.
 Environment Canada, charged with protecting the environment, conservation and providing weather and meteorological information.

A similar gutting of science and research is underway at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the department responsible for protecting and managing Canada's ocean and inland waterways including the Great Lakes.
In addition, the main source of public funding for environmental science for Canadian universities has run out of money, and is expected to close early next year. Not surprisingly, scientists are leaving Canada in droves.
Government scientists are under a "gag order" to not to speak to media under any circumstances without permission from Prime Minister Harper's office. 
Non-government scientists working at universities declined to be interviewed, fearing loss of funding or other forms of reprisal."There will be fallout for anyone talking to you," Duck told IPS. "My prospects for doing any work for Environment Canada are now zero."
Canadian civil society organisations know all about the Harper government's reprisals. Many that once received funding but questioned government policy have lost their funding.
For 34 years, the non-partisan Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) successfully walked the line between the needs of government and the needs of its more than 650 civil society members. But on Oct. 13, after waiting more than six months for its expected 536,000 dollars in annual funding, the group was informed by letter it would not be coming. Ever.
The network had been Canada's best two-way communication channel between the public and the federal government on all matters environmental. Now the government says this can be done more cost- effectively online.
Just six days after the pressing need to save 536,000 dollars, the Harper government awarded contracts totaling 32 billion dollars to build ships for the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard. It has also committed to spending another 29 billion dollars for 65 fighter jets.
"Among the first acts of the Harper government was to cut our funding to zero," said Hannah McKinnon of the Climate Action Network Canada (CAN Canada), an environmental NGO that used to get some government funding prior to the 2006 election.
CAN Canada has obtained some funding from its more than 80 member civil society organisations. It acts as the coordinator on climate issues, and once worked with government to improve programmes and policies for the benefit of all Canadians. Now has become the de facto watchdog on government promises and actions to tackle climate change.

"If there is a need to reduce the federal budget deficit, why is Canada continuing to give the oil and gas industry 1.4 billion dollars (1.3 billion U.S.) in subsidies every year?" she asked.
Harper promised to end these government subsidies in 2009. The International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and many others have called for an end to such subsidies to the world's most profitable industry.
"Canada can't afford to pay scientists but we can line the pockets of big oil? That is totally backwards," McKinnon said.
Blogs are being blocked in Canada
 It's getting tougher to get real news on the environment from the internet because of censorship like the above.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lorne Gunter Cheers on Israeli Terrorism

Lorne Gunter

Lorne Gunter
PC supports hits of Iranian scientist civilians
I cannot remember in my lifetime reading about the cheering of killing in a national newspaper.  But here we have it in the National Post, a reporter speaking of such a thing.  Condoning it.  Praising it for being masterfully executed.  This is the new militaristic Canada which scares the hell out of me.

Thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions has to be the Western world's No. 1 security priority. And since a direct military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities has been all but ruled out for now, Israel and other western nations are left with targeted killings, sabotage and computer hacking to disrupt progress as much as possible.
The Roshan hit was masterful. During rush hour in Tehran on Wednesday, two men on a motorcycle drove up next to Dr. Roshan's car and attached a magnetic bomb. Then they detonated the explosive without killing anyone other than Dr. Roshan and his bodyguard/driver.

Imagine the intelligence and planning needed to pull off such an operation - the months of covert surveillance inside Iran to identify Dr. Roshan and learn his habits; the need for safe houses, explosives and electronics, and communications, all without being discovered by Iranian officials.

And, of course, this was not the Israelis' (or whomever's) only ongoing operation in Iran. In November, an "accidental" explosion at a military base outside Tehran killed the general who headed up the Revolutionary Guard's nuclear missile program. Last summer, perhaps the most sophisticated software virus ever infected the computers that run the centrifuges that refine Iran's uranium, causing them to spin wildly out of control. And in the past 18 months, remote-controlled bombs have killed at least two other senior Iranian nuclear physicists.

If these operations were the Israelis' doing, Israel would be perfectly justified in each case. (Gunter)
I agree with one of the posters on the comment forum who says that Gunter's piece is an abuse of the media as a platform for hate speech.

Comments from Concerned Canadians are here

Friday, January 13, 2012

CBC Provides Excellent Programming According to Reader's Comments

Canadians are definitely not cooling towards the CBC if one reads the comments on the NCC site.  Andrew Coyne's article in Maclean's shows he hasn't read the research well enough to make his points valid, has left out evidence.  Here goes the deconstruction of lousy reportage.

The argument that the CBC is not performing its mandate:

And they’re right in their more general proposition: that it is long past time for fundamental reform of the corporation’s mandate and structure. Put simply, the case for a publicly funded television network has collapsed. It has done so under the weight of three inescapable realities.
 The first is the CBC’s own woeful performance, at least when it comes to English TV.
M Reid says:
Very wrong-headed petition
first- the undisputed fact is that the CBC is one of the lowest costing public broadcasters in the world… about 34$ per person..only New Zealand and the US-PBS recieves less public money.
staff at the CBC are not paid exhorbitant salaires..and there are fewer and fewer full time “permanent” staff.
the CBC provides Canadian content, Canadian stories. which would not be the case in a privatized situation which is already inundated with crappy US shows, even on the Canadian “private” networks.
the CBC provides plenty of work to outside contractors..set design, actors, writers etc etc etc etc etc. thus the money is well spread out within Cdn society.
Sorry, I dont like govt waste and heavy taxes any more than anyone else, but the CBC is my taxmoney very well spent…and no I dont work at the CBC..but I do love the intelligent thought provoking and informative radio and many of their TV shows.
submitted on October 6th, 2011 at 7:05 pm
The corporation has always been unable to decide whether its mandate was to be an elite/niche broadcaster serving audiences the private networks would not, or whether it was to be a mass-audience, nation-uniting broadcaster. Trying to do both, it has succeeded in neither: its programming is not, on the whole, particularly good or particularly popular.
  • George Tonight, Doc Zone, The Nature of Things, Republic of Doyle, Dragon's Den,  Rick Mercer Report, The Fifth Estate,  Arctic Air, The National, Homicide File, with the faces of a cross section of Canadian peoples of all ages.  Q reviewed the actor from Arctic Air.  Well spoken and sincere, he has turned to television to encourage native peoples to see themselves as heroic.  Those images are not going to be there from Hollywood, are they?

Bev Christensen says:
Don’t you dare! If there is one thing that unites this country it is the fact that you can listen to CBC from coast to coast. I have lived in northern parts of this country where the only reliable news source was CBC. Commercial stations cannot - or is it will not - ever be able to provide coast to coast coverage - we would be deluged with eastern news and the west would disappear from the air waves.
submitted on October 6th, 2011 at 1:52 pm
The second is that the conditions that once justified public funding are no longer present. In television’s technological infancy, the combination of “spectrum scarcity” (only three or four channels) and the total reliance, given the impossibility of charging viewers directly, on advertising as a source of revenue, made for monotonous viewing: lots and lots of the same types of shows, all aimed at the broadest possible audience. Advertisers had no interest in how much people wanted to watch a given show, only that they were watching it. The case for public broadcasting, then, was not so much to supplant the market as to recreate it: to mimic the diversity of choices on offer in most normal markets.
But there are hundreds of channels now, and viewers can pay directly, not only for each channel, but each show. There is no longer any appreciable divide in the range and quality of offerings on public and private television: the real divide now is between subscription channels, like HBO, and the “free” advertising-financed models. And yet this world, too, is fast becoming obsolete.

martin eastman says:
CBC radio in our area gives us more news and better news and different points of view than other local radio stations. I have talked to CBC radio to put on some paid advertising and have been told they do not take paid advertising. If CBC radio is reigned in will the other sources of information give unbiased news and reports - I think not! All sources of news and information comes from right wing sources and only give one point of view and that is of the rich and powerful corporations as does your group. There is no other source of infor other than “thetyee.ca or the common sense Canadian. I feel my tax dollars are well spent on the CBC and we get good value for tax payer dollars.
submitted on October 3rd, 2011 at 9:57 pm
This is the third point: network television, of any kind, is doomed. Recent years have already witnessed a sharp decline in the amount of time spent watching television, while the dwindling television audience is further fragmented between more and more networks.

Fast-forward five years from now, and it’s quite clear that television will no longer be delivered in the form of separate channels, each streaming a series of programs one after the other. Turn on your TV, rather, and you’ll see a screen full of icons representing the shows you subscribe to: the iTunes model. Indeed, that’s how many people watch TV now.

Put it all together, and there is simply no case for continuing to aim hundreds of millions of dollars every year at a single point on the dial. It’s not good for taxpayers. It’s not good for viewers. And it’s not good for the CBC itself, and the people who work there. The best television, as on HBO, emerges from a partnership between creative producers and a passionate, demanding, discerning audience.
Put the CBC on pay, then, and watch it soar. It could still be a public broadcaster, and some of its services could still be subsidized. But the main English network would be a subscription channel, rather like the CBC News Network, or perhaps a constellation of them, each charging a separate fee.

So Coyne wants UBB- user based billing.  We can listen to podcasts free.  

Longer term, as I say, the whole network model will have to be rethought. Even if public funding were still considered necessary, the better model may well be Telefilm: i.e., just fund programs, wherever they appear, rather than the network and all its expensive infrastructure.
Fox News is supported by interests groups.  Bloomberg gives away free content, so does the Economist.  Premium content, one pays for.  That's what's coming for the Globe and Mail and most newspapers.  But without knowing who your readers are and what they're thinking, from a broad spectrum of the populace, the articles will lack life.

Perhaps the present controversy will clinch the case. So long as the CBC is dependent on the public purse, it will always be vulnerable to political pressure and the vagaries of budget cuts. Freed from that dependence, it would be free to chart its own course, accountable neither to advertisers nor to backbenchers, but to those best and wisest of judges, its viewers.
Allan MacDonald says:
I will NOT be signing this petition. While I consider myself a fiscal conservative (how else would I have ever received an e-mail from the NCC?), I also believe there is a need for public radio, not just in Canada, but in every country. I agree that if you tracked all news and programming on the CBC, or any public broadcaster, that it would lean towards the left. However, that doesn’t mean it is all left wing, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t have an opportunity to get on there to voice our opinions, unless you are saying we fiscal conservatives are oppressed by CBC mucky mucks? I rarely, if ever, hear of this.
So while I believe in smaller government and encourage private business, I also see a problem with 100% private broadcasting. I understand that this petition is an “opt-out”, and not a demand to obolish the CBC, but in Canada we cannot support a model like NPR in the United States because NPR relies on donations and fundraising, and we simply don’t have the critical mass to support a model like that. I would be in favor of changing some CBC arrangements to allow for greater revenue generation (ie: more advertising, etc.).
submitted on October 6th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

In closing, the CBC gives people good jobs.  Coyne would have journalists become bloggers, lost in the sea of non supported facts.  Oooops!  Maybe Coyne should not be a blogger.  I don't see from this half baked piece that he merits the spot on Macleans.