Showing posts from September 30, 2014

Spy watchdog owns TransCanada shares while investigating complaints of CSIS spying on activists

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[Security Intelligence Review Committee member Yves Fortier said in addition to being a former TransCanada board member, he also -- to his knowledge -- still has shares in the company. Fortier is one of three SIRC members assigned to review the federal government's alleged monitoring of anti-pipeline critics. See also: Yves Fortier's oil patch ties prompt civil liberties complaint*RON*]

Matthew Millar, Vancouver Observer, 29 September 2014

Documents reveal that Security Intelligence Review Committee member Yves Fortier is a shareholder in TransCanada Corporation – the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline.

Click here to view the document showing that Yves Fortier owns shares in TransCanada
Fortier is one of three review committee members recently appointed to lead the investigation regarding the Canadian Security Intelligence Service gathering information on climate activists opposed to Canada's energy policies.

A May 1998 corpora…

Will the B.C. government stand up to Dr. Day and protect health care for everyone?

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[Brian Day openly breaks the law on an ongoing basis, commoditizing our health and lives, and makes a fortune doing it, yet it happens to be a law that neoliberal corporatists don't like much to begin with. *RON*]
By Michael Butler,, 29 September 2014

Today, health coalitions from across Canada are holding press conferences and a day of action (see here, here, here, here and here) to highlight the substantial implications and the threat to universal public health care that the current court case regarding the for-profit Cambie Surgical Centre, and its co-owner Dr. Brian Day, has for all of us.

I was on hand at Vancouver’s Cambie Surgery Centre (along with allies who are intervening in the case) demanding that the B.C. government hold this and other private clinics accountable for breaking the law. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of our public health care and a system that values all patients equally is at stake. This case…

CSIS Responds To Complaint Over Alleged Spying Of Enviro Groups: Language 'Overly Broad'

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[Realizing that Canadians might actually find something out about them, CSIS tells their boss that the terms of their investigation into them is unacceptable. *RON*]
By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 29 September 2014

OTTAWA - Canadian spies are trying to narrow the scope of an inquiry into whether they overstepped the law while eyeing environmental activists.

A lawyer for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the terms spelled out in a civil liberties group's complaint are "overly broad" and must be "better defined."

At issue is how far the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watchdog over CSIS, can delve into the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association's complaint about alleged spying on groups concerned about Canadian energy policy.

CSIS is trying to hide the reasons it monitored environmental groups, said Paul Champ, lawyer for the civil liberties association.

"We need t…

Income Inequality 2014: Ahead Of Midterm Elections, Harvard Study Says Americans Grossly Underestimate Inequality

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[The title says it all; inequality isn't a bigger political issue because Americans grossly underestimate the size of the gap between the rich and the poor. *RON*]
By David Sirota, International Business Times, 29 September 2014

If critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn’t been a more potent political issue in the upcoming U.S. elections, a study offers some answers: It may be because many Americans grossly underestimate just how unequal the country is. That's one of the key findings of a survey showing the actual gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times higher than the typical American perceives.

The study by Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers compiled survey data from 40 countries about perceptions of pay gaps between rich and poor. In every country, respondents underestimated the size of the gap between CEO and average worker pay.…

More than 100,000 protesters expected to flood the streets of Hong Kong as holiday begins

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[As China attempts to back-peddle on its promise for free and open democratic elections in Hong Kong, a piece on the pro-democracy demonstrations begun there by students; the largest since the 1960s. *RON*]
Bloomberg News in the National Post, 30 September 2014
Pro-democracy protests swelled in Hong Kong on the eve of a two-day holiday that may bring record numbers to rallies spreading throughout the city as organizers pressed demands for free elections.

With the workday ended and temperatures dropping, thousands of people were returning to the three main demonstration points, blocking some of the city’s roadways. Hong Kong marks China’s National Day tomorrow, the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and Chung Yeung Festival on Thursday, when Hong Kong people honour their ancestors.

“It’s quite possible that at least more than 100,000, if not up to 300,000, 400,000 people, will join in the protest in a show of people’s…