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Showing posts from April 29, 2014

Firms won't say how often feds given customer info without warrant: commissioner

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[Canadian law allows for warrantless disclosure of private information on Canadian citizens yet no law requires that we be given access to information about any of this. *RON*]

CP / Huffington Post, 04/29/2014

OTTAWA - Canada's privacy commissioner says telecom companies are refusing to tell her office how many times they have handed over personal customer information to the federal government without a warrant.

Chantal Bernier, the interim privacy commissioner, says her office has repeatedly asked telecom companies to disclose statistics and the scope of warrantless disclosure of data, to no avail.

"I'm not disputing that there are times when there is no time to get a warrant — life is in danger," Bernier said Tuesday.

"What we would like is for those warrantless disclosures to simply be represented in statistics so that Canadians have an idea of the scope of the phenomenon."

But she says the companies have only provided h…

LittleSis is a free database of who-knows-who at the heights of business and government.

Click here to visit the actual website.
[I just thought this resource was very cool. I ran across it in a DeSmogBlog story called Wealthy Corporate CEOs Behind Fake Anti-Fracking Ads. "Little Sis" is meant to be the opposite of Big Brother. This is a grassroots watchdog network connecting the dots between the world's most powerful people and organizations -- "An involuntary facebook of the 1%". This is a great example of the things that can be done in the US where so much more public data collection is mandated than in Canada. *RON*]
A unique resource for investigating cronyism, conflicts of interest, and systemic corruption.

An involuntary facebook of the 1%
We bring transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions. We help answer questions such as:
Who do the wealthiest Americans donate their money to?Where did White House officials work before …

The Depressing Truth About The US Jobs Recovery

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[The recession destroyed good, solid middle class jobs and the 'recovery' has replaced (only a portion of) them with a smaller number of crummy McJobs. *RON*]
Mamta Badkar, Business Insider, April 28, 2014


The U.S. economy has come a long way from the recession. The unemployment rate is now at 6.7%, compared with a peak of 10% in late 2009.
Of course many have pointed out that this ignores that the unemployment rate fell in part because many people left the labor force. But there is another disappointing trend about the job recovery the U.S. has seen.

Most of the job losses during the labor market downturn from January 2008 to February 2010, came from high and mid-wage industries.

The latest report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), via George Magnus, shows that in the recovery, from February 2010 to 2014, most of the job growth has come from lower-wage industries.

There are 1.85 million more jobs in lower-wage industries no…

Jason Kenney On Defensive After Foreign Workers Controversy

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[There has been an unusually high rate of floundering about by Harper & Co. lately! *RON*]

By Lee-Anne Goodman, CP / Huffington Post, 04/28/2014

OTTAWA - In the midst of a fresh eruption of abuse allegations surrounding the government's troubled temporary foreign worker program, Jason Kenney's reputation as a capable task-master taking a beating.

The employment minister was on the defensive Monday in the House of Commons, but he's also under attack from business groups, labour unions and — perhaps most troubling for Kenney with a federal election looming — everyday Canadians who believe the Conservatives have made it easier for foreigners to swipe their jobs.

"The minister has been responsible for the temporary foreign worker program for the past six years," NDP leader Tom Mulcair said during question period.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has publicly maligned companies who import workers with "the intention of never ha…

Ottawa keeps ‘public report’ on fighter jets under wraps

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[In other words, "We want to make our decision about buying these jets before we let the public know anything that might be pertinent to a public debate on the subject." *RON*]

by Daniel LeBlanc and Steven Chase, Globe and Mail, Apr. 28 2014

Ottawa is refusing to release what it calls a “public report” on the strengths and weaknesses of the four fighter jets in line to replace Canada’s fleet of CF-18s, stating it wants to make its own decision before disclosing the information.

While the document was recently completed, and it is specifically intended for public consumption, the government plans to keep it secret until the cabinet has made its choice on the acquisition of new fighter jets. Without the document, it will be harder for the public and interested parties to hold an informed debate on the choices that are currently facing the government.

Stephen Harper Says Maternal And Child Health A Priority For Canada

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[Just don't ask Mr. Harper about reproductive health - which is crucial to child and maternal health - and which he has steadfastly refused to include in this policy purely on ideological grounds. "This is obviously something we care passionately about because it is the right thing to do," which is, equally obviously, why Aboriginal maternal and child health are in the abysmal state he has left them in. *RON*]
By Diana Mehta, CP / Huffington Post, 04/28/2014

TORONTO - An upcoming Toronto conference on child and maternal health in developing countries, that will bring together international leaders, experts and philanthropists, will help keep the world focused on a "great cause," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.

"Canada has and can make a difference," Harper said at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, where he discussed details of the three-day international summit slated for May 28-30.

"We don't w…