Showing posts from September 17, 2014

Canada surpasses Brazil as global leader in deforestation

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[Speaks for itself. *RON*]

by Common Sense Canadian, 16 September 2014

Read this Sept. 3 story from the Washington Post on a new report suggesting wild fires and industrial activity are giving Canada the dubious distinction of being the new global leader on deforestation.
WASHINGTON – The world’s virgin forests are being lost at an increasing rate and the largest portion of the degradation is in Canada, according to a new report. No longer is Brazil the main villain in the struggle to stop forest destruction.
“Canada is the number one in the world for the total area of the loss of intact forest landscapes since 2000,” Peter Lee, of Forest Watch Canada, said in an interview. He said the main drivers are fires, logging and energy and industrial development.
“There is no political will at federal or provincial levels for conserving primary forests,” he said. “Most logging done in Canada is still to this day done in virgin forests.” Using satellite tec…

Answering a written question from an MP cost the government $117,188

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["The government spends millions of dollars hiring communications people to keep information from us … So we’re obliged to use the tools that we have available to ask the questions that Canadians want answered." See also PM Stephen Harper and the Truth. *RON*]
Bill Curry, The Globe and Mail, 17 September 2014

Answering a single written question from a Liberal MP cost the federal government $117,188 in staff time, according to information tabled this week in the House of Commons.

The right to ask departments for written answers is a key tool for MPs – primarily on the opposition benches – to dig up information that can later be used against their political rivals.

The answers can lead to news stories on the details of government expenses, revealing everything from how often cabinet ministers use government jets to how much the RCMP spends destroying marijuana crops.

The process – officially known in Parliament-speak as answers to questions o…

How To Keep Big Money Out Of B.C. Municipal Elections

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[This is the full-meal deal of where you would want to be with municipal (as well as provincial and federal!) election funding. Somehow we never get much past talking about these things. Could it be because the cats are in charge of the canary house? *RON*]

By Alex Sangha, Huffington Post, 16 September 2014

Local elections for mayor and council are around the corner in British Columbia. The more I learn and read about elections and government, the more I feel the political process needs to radically change.

The political system at every level is held hostage by big money, partisan politics, and special interest groups such as by developers, corporate lobbyists, as well as labour.

There needs to be a direct connection from the citizens to the elected official without all these special interests trying to skew the outcome of the election or trying to influence the voting intentions and platforms of the candidates. The end result would be elected offic…

Canada more at risk from environmentalists than religiously inspired terrorists: RCMP

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[This concerns a 2011 RCMP report, only being released now. This matches the timing of Vic Toews' and Joe Oliver's flood of early 2012 comments about domestic environmental terrorists, the development of their new anti-terrorism strategy, and their earlier attempts at legislation designed to spy on Canadians through their telecommunication devices. *RON*]
Carlos Tello, Vancouver Observer, 16 September 2014
Canada’s energy sector is more at risk from domestic environmental extremists than from religiously inspired terrorist organizations like Al Qaida, warns an RCMP report recently obtained via an Access of Information request.

“The Canadian law enforcement and security intelligence community have noted a growing radicalized faction of environmentalists who advocate the use of criminal activity to promote the protection of the natural environment,” alerts the document written by the RCMP’s infrastructure intelligence team. The 22-page repor…

12 Things Harper Doesn't Want You To Know

17 September 2014

[A round-up, in case you haven't been keep up with the development of the surveillance state. Based on materials published by the Huffington Post. *RON*]

1. Feds Make Warrantless Requests For Data 1.2 Million Times A Year
According to documents given to Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier, the federal government asks telecom for data on subscribers 1.2 million times a year. That’s one request for every 30 Canadians, every year. Most of those requests don’t involve a warrant, and in 2011 telecoms complied with at least 784,000 of those requests.

2. The Feds Buy Their Phones From The NSA
The federal government spent more than $50 million buying high-security communications technology from the U.S. National Security Agency, according to data unearthed by Vice magazine.
There have been at least 73 contracts for telecommunications equipment procured through the NSA over the past decade.

3. Some Of Canada’s Telecoms Have Built Databases Specifically For Police