Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #165 on: 2013-10-12 17:19:55 »
British Bobbies throwing their weight around from across the pond. If the business world took the money squandered on lawyers, the tax payers contribution be squandered on law enforcement and made a product consumers could get behind we would all be a lot further ahead. I would caution that consumers need to be cuffed about the ears for supporting cheap non functional crap.
There are weekly reports refuting the losses Music, TV and Movies companies are attributing to 'Piracy'.
Possibly if everything wasn't was made abroad and companies showed some loyalty to their staff folks might also endorse their products .....
Canadian operator EasyDNS stands firm against London cops
What's a UK crime unit doing messing around with DNS? Read on...
This is the page to which PIPCU wanted the operator to redirect TorrentPond's IP address.
Comment EasyDNS was the just the first of a number of global DNS operators who will be invited by a London IP crime unit to make one of their customer's domains, er, disappear. But the Canadian operator is standing firm.
The City Police's new Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is issuing takedown requests, not orders. It can ask - but not "tell" or "order" - DNS operators to "disappear" errant customers, leaving the operators three choices: ignore, fold or fight.
EasyDNS appearS to have chosen the latter, saying:
1) We haven't taken down the domain.
2) We told them to get a court order.
The crime unit's request to EasyDNS, a domain name resolution service based in Toronto, Canada, asked the firm to turn its attention to its customer TorrentPond – a Singapore-based torrent search engine.
PIPCU invited EasyDNS to review its T&Cs to see if "material breaches" had occurred.
Headed by economic crime veteran Detective Superintendent Robert Wishart, PIPCU was set up this summer with £2.5m funding for two years. It deals with both digital and physical economic crime: its first operation bagged a load of pirated DVDs.
If the domain service does not comply, the PIPCU letter explains, it will forward the service to ICANN, which can remove its accreditation as a domain registrar - although only in exceptional circumstances.
A PIPCU statement to the press explained:
City of London Police has begun an initiative to target websites that attract visitors by providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content for criminal gain. These websites are able to operate and profit from advertising or other income on their sites without having licenses or paying the creators and owners of the films, TV programmes, music and publications. The initiative also seeks to protect consumers from malware and other harmful programs that may be downloaded unwittingly from sites that provide illegally offered content.
Intellectual property crime is a serious offence that is costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Working with the UK advertising industry, City of London Police and rights holder groups FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and The PA are committed to tackling this problem.
An angry EasyDNS representative went public with the letter, in a statement that made heavy use of the formatting bar:
"In other words, they are ordering us to take down competing websites, with no legal basis, hijacking the traffic, and redirecting it to competing commercial services, all of which are based out of (guess where?) London, UK," wrote EasyDNS's Mark Jeftovic in a blog post.
Enforcement sources dispute this. Correctly, as it turns out, for nothing compels a Canadian domain registrar to take any notice of a letter from the UK police.
EasyDNS also attempted to portray the takedown notice as an attempt by the police to "intervene" on behalf of a commercial operator against a non-commercial operator. But TorrentPond is every bit as "commercial" as HMV, and certainly pockets advertising revenue. The site showed a Bet365 advertisement when your correspondent visited it yesterday.
The Register points out that it has not been proven that TorrentPond contains links to infringing material – which is likely why PIPCU urged EasyDNS to ensure no "material breaches" of its T&Cs had occurred.
Web-blocking – how it's done in the UK
The Federation Against Copyright Theft, the movie industry enforcement group which investigates and takes private actions against anyone making pirated copyrighted content available on the web, told us sites which receive thousands of repeat takedown requests, but then ignore them, are in its sights.
A FACT spokesman told us that torrent sites hosting infringing content could easily go legit and pay creators: "Operators of these sites make a conscious decision about the law."
Measures detailing how to implement statutory web-blocking, which provides legal protections for intermediary services like ISPs, were passed in Section 17 and 18 of the 2010 Digital Economy Act, but were dropped – partly because the industry's private prosecutions had lowered the bar for removing a site via the courts.
Rights-holders can now use Section 97 of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act to speedily add a website to an ISP's block list. This was recently used to seek a High Court injunction blocking Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy in the UK. The block isn't total (ruling here), but covers ISPs which cover almost 93 per cent of the UK market: BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk Group and Virgin Media.
Copyright trade groups will have achieved a remarkable victory over one corner of the ad-supported pirate economy if they can make infringing torrent sites disappear cheaply. But that requires services to bottle them. Kim Dotcom has fought the legality of the measures taken against his Mega empire. But not everyone, it seems, wants to be Kim Dotcom.
The first bitcoin ATM is set to go live at a downtown coffee house in Vancouver, Tuesday. The machines - developed by Nevada-based Robcoin - will trade bitcoins for cash.
Users register on the machine via a palm scan and can load up to C$3000 in cash in exchange for bitcoin. The ATMs are linked to Candian Bitcoin exchange VirtEx, which performs the trade and loads the cash into the user's bitcoin wallet.
The palm scan is used to prevent people from conducting more than C$3000 per day in transactions so as not to fall foul of money laundering rules.
Robocoin is supplying five machines to Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs, a start-up that aims to develop a chain of bitcoin exchange shops across the country.
The company has initially ordered five Robocoin ATMs for $90,000.
With spot uranium oxide prices in the third quarter averaging US$35.95 per lb. — down from US$66.50 per lb. before the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011 — it is no surprise that uranium producers in Russia and Kazakhstan have recently called off plans to expand uranium output.
In mid-November, Atomredmetzoloto, the mining arm of Russia's state-owned reactor builder and supplier Rosatom, which took over Canadian miner Uranium One earlier this year, confirmed that low uranium prices were forcing it to suspend expansion projects around the world, including at its Honeymoon mine in southern Australia.
That announcement came about a week after Kazakhstan's state-owned uranium producer Kazatomprom — the world's largest uranium miner — said it would not increase uranium output.
The negative sentiment is shared in North America, where on Nov. 14, Energy Fuels (TSX: EFR; NYSE: UUUU), the only conventional uranium producer in the United States, said it plans to discontinue current U308 production at its White Mesa mill from August 2014 until the latter half of 2015.
The moves are seen by mining analyst David Sadowski of Raymond James in Vancouver as something of a watershed moment in the industry — unlike the roughly 80 million lb. of uranium oxide sitting in the development pipeline that have been shelved since mid-2011 such as Areva's Trekkopje project in Namibia and its Imouraren project in Niger, and BHP Billiton's (NYSE: BHP) US$30-billion Olympic Dam expansion project.
"This is the first time that meaningful cuts to growth at existing operations have been announced and that's a fundamental change in the response of current producers," Sadowski explains in an interview.
At the same time, he adds, there is some "incrementally positive" news trickling out on the demand side, ranging from the United Kingdom pushing forward "its wave of new builds," to the five reactors under construction in the U.S., the fact that China is ramping foreign reactor vending, and that India "appears more willing to bend on its liability law (main hurdle for its large new build plans)."
In addition, he says, Russia is confirming its growth in nuclear reactor building through 2030, and news out of South Korea and France is "providing additional comfort that their heavy reliance on nuclear power will continue into the future."
With the slowdown in production combined with a slight improvement in demand, Sadowski forecasts that a uranium supply shortfall should start to emerge in 2017. "The market is currently oversupplied certainly, but we see that changing in the next couple of years and that should also apply upward pressure on the price."
The supply shortfall could be brought forward to as early as 2015, he adds, if there are further closures next year at major mines such as Paladin Energy's (TSX: PDN; ASX: PDN) Kayelekera mine in Malawi and Rio Tinto's (NYSE: RTP; LSE: RIO) Rossing mine in Namibia, as a result of market conditions and low uranium prices.
"We now forecast the global uranium surplus extending only through 2016 versus 2019 in our previous model, followed by two years of tight supply-demand, before large supply deficits begin to emerge by 2019, quickly growing to crisis levels in the new decade."
A combination of those events should help lift uranium oxide above its current spot price of US$36 per lb. — which is just US$2 per lb. above the eight-year low of US$34 per lb. that it was trading at in mid-September 2013 — and closer to the US$70 per lb. that Sadowski believes is the minimum price necessary to incentivize companies to kick off new uranium projects. Typically, he says, it takes between three and five years to build and commission a conventional uranium mine and between two and three years for the same at an in-situ leach operation.
"If you're a potential developer and you need to know whether or not to develop your asset and deploy capital to build your project you're going to want to have comfort that the price is going to maintain its strength, that it gets to US$70 per lb. and stays there," Sadowski adds. "I think it could happen towards the end of 2015, which we think is going to be a big year of price run-up."
Rob Chang, an analyst covering uranium at Cantor Fitzgerald in Toronto, argues that "demand is not as fragile as some people worry about," and forecasts that it will far outstrip supply, especially with reduced expansion plans in Kazakhstan and Russia, the world's no. 1 and 3 uranium producers.
"Based on our numbers, there's an unavoidable deficit in 2019," he says, arguing that it takes seven to ten years for a uranium project to go from a greenfield discovery to a producing mine.
Both analysts agree that one of the key catalysts for uranium prices to move higher is the re-start of Japan's nuclear reactors, which is likely to begin in 2014.
About a dozen reactors have had applications submitted to undergo pre- re-start inspections and a handful of them are going through them now, Sadowski points out. He expects the first re-starts will take place in mid-2014 with several more in the second half of 2014 for a total of between six and eight reactors back on line before the end of next year.
"There's no guaranteed certainty [that the re-starts will happen next year] but there are some factors that make it pretty sure in our minds," Chang says. "First, the current government in power is the same one responsible for the build-out of Japan's nuclear program, and second, you have a country struggling economically. It is expected that in the fiscal year ending in March 2014, Japan has had to spend about US$75 billion to import power to generate electricity, which is about twice what it was three years ago."
Sadowski notes that before the Fukushima disaster, nuclear energy provided Japan with about 30% of its electricity needs and since then the country has had to rely on the import of costly fossil fuels. In November Japan abandoned its greenhouse gas reduction targets, largely due to a reduced amount of electricity generation coming from nuclear, and with the Japanese yen continuing to depreciate against the U.S. dollar, its fuel import costs are soaring. "Japan has had several trade deficits since Fukushima and a large reason for that are its large imports of fossil fuels," he says.
Patricia Mohr, Scotiabank's vice-president of economics and a commodity market specialist, points out the higher energy costs have led to the loss of some manufacturing capability in Japan with manufacturers migrating their manufacturing plants to lower-cost countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand.
She notes that about 10-15 million lb. annualized of U308 under contract with Japanese utilities are being deferred, with some effectively resold.
"The real issue in the uranium market these days is the fact that Japan has 50 nuclear reactors that continue to be shut down, so any real kind of meaningful increase in price really awaits the re-start," she says. "Japanese utilities have applied to Japan's new Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart 14 reactors. While local public concern is the main obstacle, about ten could possibly be restarted by the end of 2014-triggering a price recovery."
While she concedes that any re-start is "not for sure," and there are still "quite big risks in the uranium industry for investors," she says she hopes that the spot price of US$34 per lb. last seen in mid-September will turn out to be the bottom of the market.
Mohr forecasts spot uranium will average US$38 per lb. in 2013 and probably stay at about that level until the fourth quarter of 2014 when it will be closer to US$45 per lb. In 2015 she expects a price improvement to over US$50 per lb. "I think that the next eighteen months are still going to be fairly lacklustre," she says. "I don't think we're going to find a lot of final investment decisions for new mine development until it does get up over US$50 per lb."
Chang of Cantor Fitzgerald forecasts average uranium prices will hit US$49.50 per lb. in 2014 and then make a big jump to US$66.25 in 2015 and to US$70 per lb. in 2016.
When The Economist declared ten years ago that Canada was “cool”, with its mix of social liberalism and fiscal rectitude, it was a startling idea. A country whose constitution soberly calls for “peace, order and good government” was portrayed as a moose wearing sunglasses. Then came the fiscal crisis and there were the Canadians again, with a rock-star central banker strutting the world stage because Canada’s banks stood firm while those elsewhere tumbled down.
Sadly, in 2014 Canada will revert to type, and not just because Mark Carney has left to head the Bank of England. The United States and others are emerging from the financial crisis and will outpace Canada economically. And the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will focus on entrenching (before the 2015 general election) policies that are decidedly uncool, such as promoting exports from Alberta’s tar sands while doing the minimum on climate change, and backtracking on the social liberalism that The Economist found so refreshing a decade ago.
If Canada is exciting at all in 2014 it will be for the wrong reasons. With household debt and house prices at record levels and mortgage rates creeping up, a housing crash is the biggest domestic risk facing the economy.
Among the policies deemed praiseworthy in 2003 was a bill to decriminalise cannabis (which was never passed). It was a radical idea at the time, but since then two American states have gone much further, legalising the production, sale and recreational use of the drug. Uruguay is poised to do the same. Mr Harper’s reaction to a call by Justin Trudeau to legalise it—he accused the Liberal leader of “promoting marijuana use for our children”—made it clear that Canada would not be loosening the rules soon. His government has introduced mandatory, six-month jail sentences for possession of as few as six pot plants and in April will make growing medical marijuana at home illegal.
Canada’s approach to indigenous peoples, granting them home rule and control over mineral rights, also won praise ten years ago for boldness in social matters. The relationship between the government and aboriginal Canadians (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) has soured since, with many disputes about resource development on traditional aboriginal lands and a growing anger over deplorable living conditions on some reserves. Most take place before the courts, but the mounting pressure could easily find a more violent outlet in the coming year. If Canada is exciting at all in 2014 it will be for the wrong reasons
Canada’s reputation for welcoming immigrants and celebrating cultural diversity, another part of the cool factor, got a knock in 2013 when the separatist government of Quebec, the second-most-populous province, proposed banning public workers from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols such as headscarves, turbans or large crucifixes (small ones are fine). At the national level, long-overdue reforms to the immigration system got rid of some kinks. But there were casualties. Parents and grandparents wanting to join their relatives in Canada were told in late 2011 they could not apply for visas because of a backlog. Applications reopen on January 2nd 2014, but it will cost sponsoring families more than before and they will be on the hook for longer. In a bid to save C$100m ($97m) over five years, the government drastically cut refugees’ health-care entitlements in 2012. If protesting doctors are right, this is a short-sighted move that will give Canada a reputation for picking on the most vulnerable. 2014 IN BRIEF: Canada marks the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way for the founding of the country
Federal-budget deficits and a separatist Parti Québécois government in Quebec have reappeared since 2003. And the claim made then of better environmental protection than in the United States is now debatable. To protect the oil industry the government has dragged its feet on reducing carbon emissions. That has made it harder to win American approval of the Keystone XL pipeline planned to carry tar-sands bitumen across the border.
Some of the problems noted in 2003 have been tackled. The federal corporate-tax rate has plummeted to 15% from 22.1% in 2007; business investment has increased; and defence spending soared for a while. Canada also has a cool new trade deal with the European Union. It is still a peaceful, multicultural place—even in Quebec—and its economy is solid if not spectacular. Mr Carney had a lot of nice things to say in his last speech as governor of the Bank of Canada, entitled “Canada Works”. But now he intends to apply for British citizenship.
Frontenac Gazette It's almost time - the Ontario General Election is one week away and while the candidates are busy getting their messages out there, Ontarians should be thinking about actually making their way to the polls and exercising their right to vote. Sadly, voter turnout in Ontario has reached an all-time low. According to Elections Ontario, with a population of over 13 million, roughly 4.1 million - or 49.2 per cent of eligible voters - filled out ballots during the 2011 Provincial election. This number is unacceptable and rather embarrassing, especially when voting is so easy in our province. With advanced polls running for more than a week prior to the election, mail in ballots and an entire day to vote in your riding, there really is no excuse. So what's the problem? Maybe you were out of town, maybe you weren't feeling so great, maybe you had to work later and were too tired to stop on your way home or maybe you just didn't like the candidates, whatever the excuse, voting is clearly not a priority for many of us and that needs to change. In case you need a refresher, here is what you need to know about voting: Who? If you are 18 years of age or older, are a Canadian citizen, live in an Ontario electoral district and if you haven't already voted, you are eligible to vote. Where? If your name is on the Voters' List, you'll be sent a Notice of Registration Card via mail. The Card will list your election day voting location. The card will also have the dates, times and places of advance voting locations. If you aren't on the Voters' List you can easily get yourself added, even in person on Election Day at your polling location if necessary. When? General Elections will be held Thursday, June 12, 2014. Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. How? In person on Thursday June 12 or in person at an advance poll between Saturday, May 31 and Friday, June 6, or by mail through special ballot. What? Bring a piece of ID that shows your name, address and signature together or two pieces of ID, one of which shows your name and signature and one of which shows your name and address. Why? You may think that your vote doesn't matter, but for people that are fighting for the right to vote in other countries, your ability to drive, walk or bike to a polling station and mark that X beside your candidate of choice is what they dream of, so take advantage of it. You still have a week left, so research the candidates and find the one that is the best fit for you. Our paper has profiled each candidate over the last four weeks, so reading these profiles is a great place to start. In case you missed them in the papers, you can find them at our website, www.kingstonregion.com. Whatever method you choose, for goodness' sake take 10 minutes out of your day to vote on June 12. Show that we, as Ontarians, still care about democracy.
The Content Industry Connect conference, which was held in Toronto yesterday, featured a panel of leading television executives from Bell, the CBC, Corus, Rogers, and Shaw Media. Several people were live-tweeting the event when a comment from Rogers Senior Vice President David Purdy caught my eye. According to Kelly Lynne Ashton, a media policy expert, Purdy called on the Canadian government to shut down the use of virtual private networks:
A similar tweet was posted by Marcia Douglas, a Bell Fund program manager:
Conference organizers posted yet another tweet, this one involving Purdy lamenting the inability to block over-the-top video services:
The frustration over the popularity of Netflix (including Canadians accessing U.S. Netflix) is unsurprising. If Rogers is upset over VPN use to access U.S. Netflix, it should take it up with Netflix. Instead, focusing on consumer VPN use by suggesting that the solution lies in blocking legal technologies in order to stop consumer access is a dangerous one. Countries like China have tried to regulate VPNs, while Iran and Oman have tried to ban them. A Canadian attempt to do so would be subject to an immediate legal challenge, particularly since virtual private networks are widely used within the business community and play a crucial role for consumers in preserving user privacy, enabling access to information, and facilitating free speech. There is no indication that the Canadian government has any interest in targeting VPNs, but it comes as a shock to hear a Rogers executive calling for them to be shut down
Raiding the Icebox; Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada, by Peter Carlson (30 December 2005),
focuses on a detailed US Plan to Invade Canada entitled “Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — Red,” It was formulated in the late 1920s, approved by the US War Department in 1930, updated in 1934 and 1935, withdrawn in 1939 and declassified in 1974. (See complete WP article below)
Following the publication of the WP article, which was casually presented as political humor, Canadian network TV and print media were quick to dismiss the matter outright.
It was in a bygone era. It no longer applies: the US administration would never dream of actually invading Canada.
Yet upon more careful examination, an ongoing plan to annex Canada to the US, is still (unofficially of course) on the books. The underlying procedure, however, is not straightforward as in the case of an outright military invasion (e.g. under the 1930 “Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — Red”). Today, it involves what the media refer to as “Deep Integration”, which constitutes a more polite term for “Annexation”.
“The Icebox” in the WP article refers euphemistically to a country we call Canada, a vast territory of strategic significance for the US, with tremendous resources extending from Coast to Coast; South from the St Lawrence Valley to the North West territories and the US Alaska border.
US Northern Command
The “invasion” of Canada is in many regards a fait accompli, a done deal. In 2002, when US Northern Command (NorthCom) was launched, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated unilaterally that the US Military could cross the border and deploy troops anywhere in Canada, in our provinces, as well station American warships in Canadian territorial waters.
More specifically, the redesign of Canada’s defense system has been discussed behind closed doors at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, at the headquarters of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM). US Northern Command’s jurisdiction as outlined by the US DoD includes, in addition to the continental US, all of Canada, Mexico, as well as portions of the Caribbean, contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans up to 500 miles off the Mexican, US and Canadian coastlines as well as the Canadian Arctic.
Rumsfeld is said to have boasted that “the NORTHCOM – with all of North America as its geographic command – ‘is part of the greatest transformation of the Unified Command Plan [UCP] since its inception in 1947.
This “bi-national integration” of Canada has, since 2002, been the object of continuous negotiations between Washington and Ottawa. Upon the completion of these negotiations, Canada is slated to become member of NorthCom in 2006.
A year ago, in November 2004, I addressed these issues in a detailed article entitled:
Is the Annexation of Canada Part of the Bush Administration’s Military Agenda
While the article was widely circulated and debated on the internet, it was never cited or quoted by Canada’s mainstream media.
A shortened version of the article was submitted for publication as an Oped piece to a major Toronto daily paper, which initially expressed interest in publishing it.
Following several email exchanges, the shortened article was accepted for publication on three separate occasions. But it never appeared in print. A few months ago, the article, received a 2006 Project Censored Award by the University of California, Sonoma, School of Journalism.
With a view to promoting debate as well as media awareness prior to the January 2006 federal elections, we reproduce the following documents:
1. The article in the Washington Post entitled: Raiding the Icebox; Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada, by Peter Carlson, 30 December 2005.
2. Is the Annexation of Canada Part of the Bush Administration’s Military Agenda, by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, November 2004
3. US, Canada and Mexico rollout border plans, by Shaun Waterman, UPI, July 2005
4. “Securing the North American Security Perimeter” Dismantling the US Border, Bringing Canada and Mexico into Fortress America, June 10, 2005 CNN
5. Mexico and U.S. put “Security Perimeter” on fast-track, Mexidata, by José Carreño, May 20, 2005.
6. The Bill to Annex Canada into the US (1866). [Text of Bill approved by the US Congress in 1866. The latter preceded the 1867 Alaska Purchase from Russia and the subsequent establishment of the Canadian Confederation under The British North America Act of 1867. Read the text of this Bill carefully. It is still relevant. Incidentally the term "Icebox" was first used in relation to the Alaska Purchase.]
Raiding the Icebox; Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada
by Peter Carlson, Washington Post, 30 December 2005
Invading Canada won’t be like invading Iraq: When we invade Canada, nobody will be able to grumble that we didn’t have a plan.
The United States government does have a plan to invade Canada. It’s a 94-page document called “Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — Red,” with the word SECRET stamped on the cover. It’s a bold plan, a bodacious plan, a step-by-step plan to invade, seize and annex our neighbor to the north. It goes like this:
First, we send a joint Army-Navy overseas force to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting the Canadians off from their British allies.
Then we seize Canadian power plants near Niagara Falls, so they freeze in the dark.
Then the U.S. Army invades on three fronts — marching from Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, charging out of North Dakota to grab the railroad center at Winnipeg, and storming out of the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy seizes the Great Lakes and blockades Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific ports.
At that point, it’s only a matter of time before we bring these Molson-swigging, maple-mongering Zamboni drivers to their knees! Or, as the official planners wrote, stating their objective in bold capital letters: “ULTIMATELY TO GAIN COMPLETE CONTROL.”
It sounds like a joke but it’s not. War Plan Red is real. It was drawn up and approved by the War Department in 1930, then updated in 1934 and 1935. It was declassified in 1974 and the word “SECRET” crossed out with a heavy pencil. Now it sits in a little gray box in the National Archives in College Park, available to anybody, even Canadian spies. They can photocopy it for 15 cents a page.
War Plan Red was actually designed for a war with England. In the late 1920s, American military strategists developed plans for a war with Japan (code name Orange), Germany (Black), Mexico (Green) and England (Red). The Americans imagined a conflict between the United States (Blue) and England over international trade: “The war aim of RED in a war with BLUE is conceived to be the definite elimination of BLUE as an important economic and commercial rival.”
In the event of war, the American planners figured that England would use Canada (Crimson) — then a quasi-pseudo-semi-independent British dominion — as a launching pad for “a direct invasion of BLUE territory.” That invasion might come overland, with British and Canadian troops attacking Buffalo, Detroit and Albany. Or it might come by sea, with amphibious landings on various American beaches — including Rehoboth and Ocean City, both of which were identified by the planners as “excellent” sites for a Brit beachhead.
The planners anticipated a war “of long duration” because “the RED race” is “more or less phlegmatic” but “noted for its ability to fight to a finish.” Also, the Brits could be reinforced by “colored” troops from their colonies: “Some of the colored races however come of good fighting stock, and, under white leadership, can be made into very efficient troops.”
The stakes were high: If the British and Canadians won the war, the planners predicted, “CRIMSON will demand that Alaska be awarded to her.”
Imagine that! Canada demanding a huge chunk of U.S. territory! Them’s fightin’ words! And so the American strategists planned to fight England by seizing Canada. (Also Jamaica, Barbados and Bermuda.) And they didn’t plan to give them back.
“Blue intentions are to hold in perpetuity all CRIMSON and RED territory gained,” Army planners wrote in an appendix to the war plan. “The policy will be to prepare the provinces and territories of CRIMSON and RED to become states and territories of the BLUE union upon the declaration of peace.”
None of this information is new. After the plan was declassified in 1974, several historians and journalists wrote about War Plan Red. But still it remains virtually unknown on both sides of the world’s largest undefended border.
“I’ve never heard of it,” said David Biette, director of the Canada Institute in Washington, which thinks about Canada.
“I remember sort of hearing about this,” said Bernard Etzinger, spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said David Courtemanche, mayor of Sudbury, Ontario, whose nickel mines were targeted in the war plan.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he’d never heard of the plan. He also said he wouldn’t admit to knowing about such a plan if he did.
“We don’t talk about any of our contingency plans,” he said.
Has the Pentagon updated War Plan Red since the ’30s?
“The Defense Department never talks about its contingency plans for any countries,” Whitman said. “We don’t acknowledge which countries we have contingency plans for.”
Out in Winnipeg — the Manitoba capital, whose rail yards were slated to be seized in the plan — Brad Salyn, the city’s director of communications, said he didn’t think Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz knew anything about War Plan Red: “You know he would have no clue about what you’re talking about, eh?”
“I’m sure Winnipeggers will stand up tall in defense of our country,” Mayor Katz said later. “We have many, many weapons.”
What kind of weapons?
“We have peashooters, slingshots and snowballs,” he said, laughing.
But the Canadians’ best weapon, Katz added, is their weather. “It gets to about minus-50 Celsius with a wind chill,” he said. “It will be like Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. I’m quite convinced that you’ll meet your Waterloo on the banks of the Assiniboine River.”
As it turns out, Katz isn’t the first Canadian to speculate on how to fight the U.S.A. In fact, Canadian military strategists developed a plan to invade the United States in 1921 — nine years before their American counterparts created War Plan Red.
The Canadian plan was developed by the country’s director of military operations and intelligence, a World War I hero named James Sutherland “Buster” Brown. Apparently Buster believed that the best defense was a good offense: His “Defence Scheme No. 1″ called for Canadian soldiers to invade the United States, charging toward Albany, Minneapolis, Seattle and Great Falls, Mont., at the first signs of a possible U.S. invasion.
“His plan was to start sending people south quickly because surprise would be more important than preparation,” said Floyd Rudmin, a Canadian psychology professor and author of “Bordering on Aggression: Evidence of U.S. Military Preparations Against Canada,” a 1993 book about both nations’ war plans. “At a certain point, he figured they’d be stopped and then retreat, blowing up bridges and tearing up railroad tracks to slow the Americans down.”
Brown’s idea was to buy time for the British to come to Canada’s rescue. Buster even entered the United States in civilian clothing to do some reconnaissance.
“He had a total annual budget of $1,200,” said Rudmin, “so he himself would drive to the areas where they were going to invade and take pictures and pick up free maps at gas stations.”
Rudmin got interested in these war plans in the 1980s when he was living in Kingston, Ontario, just across the St. Lawrence River from Fort Drum, the huge Army base in Upstate New York. Why would the Americans put an Army base in such a wretched, frigid wilderness? he wondered. Could it be there to . . . fight Canada?
He did some digging. He found “War Plan Red” and “Defence Scheme No. 1.” At the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., he found a 1935 update of War Plan Red, which specified which roads to use in the invasion (“The best practicable route to Vancouver is via Route 99″).
Rudmin also learned about an American plan from 1935 to build three military airfields near the Canadian border and disguise them as civilian airports. The secret scheme was revealed after the testimony of two generals in a closed-door session of the House Military Affairs Committee was published by mistake. When the Canadian government protested the plan, President Franklin Roosevelt reassured it that he wasn’t contemplating war. The whole brouhaha made the front page of the New York Times on May 1, 1935.
That summer, however, the Army held what were the biggest war games in American history on the site of what is now Fort Drum, Rudmin said.
Is he worried that the Yanks will invade his country from Fort Drum?
“Not now,” he said. “Now the U.S. is kind of busy in Iraq. But I wouldn’t put it past them.”
He’s not paranoid, he hastened to add, and he doesn’t think the States will simply invade Canada the way Hitler invaded Russia.
But if some kind of crisis — perhaps something involving the perennially grumpy French Canadians — destabilized Canada, then . . . well, Fort Drum is just across the river.
“We most certainly are not preparing to invade Canada,” said Ben Abel, the official spokesman for Fort Drum.
The fort, he added, is home to the legendary 10th Mountain Division, which is training for its third deployment in Afghanistan. There are also 1,200 Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
“I find it very hard to believe that we’d be planning to invade Canada,” Abel said. “We have a lot of Canadian soldiers training here. I bumped into a Canadian officer in the bathroom the other day.”
Invading Canada is an old American tradition. Invading Canada successfully is not.
During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold — then in his pre-traitor days — led an invasion of Canada from Maine. It failed.
During the War of 1812, American troops invaded Canada several times. They were driven back.
In 1839, Americans from Maine confronted Canadians in a border dispute known as the Aroostook War.
“There were never any shots fired,” said Etzinger, the Canadian Embassy spokesman, “but I think an American cow was injured — and a Canadian pig.”
In 1866, about 800 Irish Americans in the Fenian Brotherhood decided to strike a blow for Irish independence by invading Canada. They crossed the Niagara River into Ontario, where they defeated a Canadian militia. But when British troops approached, the Fenians fled back to the United States, where many were arrested.
After that, Americans stopped invading Canada and took up other hobbies, such as invading Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, Grenada and, of course, Iraq.
But the dream of invading Canada lives on in the American psyche, occasionally manifesting itself in bizarre ways. Movies, for instance.
In the 1995 movie “Canadian Bacon,” the U.S. president, played by Alan Alda, decides to jump-start the economy by picking a fight with Canada. His battle cry: “Surrender pronto or we’ll level Toronto.”
In the 1999 movie “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut,” Americans, angered that their kids have been corrupted by a pair of foulmouthed, flatulent Canadian comedians, go to war. Canada responds by sending its air force to bomb the Hollywood home of the Baldwin brothers — a far more popular defensive strategy than anything Buster Brown devised. Moviegoers left theaters humming the film’s theme:
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
With all their hockey hullabaloo
And that bitch Anne Murray too!
Blame Canada! Shame on Canada!
But it’s not just movies. The urge to invade Canada comes in myriad forms.
In 2002, the conservative magazine National Review published an essay called “Bomb Canada: The Case for War.” The author, Jonah Goldberg, suggested that the United States “launch a quick raid into Canada” and blow something up — “perhaps an empty hockey stadium.” That would cause Canada to stop wasting its money on universal health insurance and instead fund a military worthy of the name, so that “Canada’s neurotic anti-Americanism would be transformed into manly resolve.”
And let’s not forget the Web site InvadeCanada.US, which lists many compelling reasons for doing do: “let’s make Alaska actually connected to the U.S. again!” and “they’re just a little too proud” and “the surrender will come quickly, they’re French after all.”
The site also sells T-shirts, buttons, teddy bears and thong underwear, all of them decorated with the classic picture of Uncle Sam atop the slogan “I WANT YOU to Invade Canada.”
What’s going on here? Why do Americans love to joke about invading Canada?
Because Americans see Canadians as goody-goodies, said Biette, the Canada Institute director. Canadians didn’t rebel against the British, remaining loyal colonial subjects. They didn’t have a Wild West, settling their land without the kind of theatrical gunfights that make for good movies. And they like to hector us about our misbehavior.
“We’re ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ and they’re ‘peace, order and good government,’ ” Biette said. “So if you’re a wild American, you look at them and say, ‘They’re just a bunch of Boy Scouts.’ “
Canadians are well aware of our invasion talk. Not surprisingly, they take it a bit more seriously than we do.
When “The West Wing” had a subplot last winter about a U.S.-Canada border incident, Canadian newspapers took note.
When Jon Stewart joked about invading Canada on “The Daily Show” last March, Canadian newspapers covered the story.
When the Toronto Star interviewed comedian Jimmy Kimmel last year, the reporter asked him: “Is it only a matter of time before America invades Canada?”
“I’m not sure,” Kimmel replied.
In 2003, the Canadian army set up an Internet chat room where soldiers and civilians could discuss defense issues. “One of the hottest topics on the site discusses whether the U.S. will invade Canada to seize its natural resources,” the Ottawa Citizen reported. “If the attack did come, Canada could rely on a scorched-earth policy similar to what Russia did when invaded by Nazi Germany, one participant recommends. ‘With such emmense [sic] land, and with our cold climates, we may be able to hold them off, even though we have the much weaker military,’ the individual concludes.”
Etzinger, the Canadian Embassy spokesman, isn’t worried about an American invasion because Canada has a secret weapon — actually thousands of secret weapons.
“We’ve got thousands of Canadians in the U.S. right now, in place secretly,” he said. “They could be on your street. We’ve sent people like Celine Dion and Mike Myers to secretly infiltrate American society.”
Pretty funny, Mr. Etzinger. But the strategists who wrote War Plan Red were prepared for that problem. They noted that “it would be necessary to deal internally” with the “large number” of Brits and Canadians living in the United States — and also with “a small number of professional pacifists and communists.”
The planners did not specify exactly what would be done with those undesirables. But it would be kinda fun to see Celine Dion and Mike Myers wearing orange jumpsuits down in Guantanamo.
Copyright, Washington Post 2005
Is the Annexation of Canada part of Bush’s Military Agenda?
By Michel Chossudovsky
June 20, 2005 Global Research, originally published in November 2004 – 2004-11-23
SUMMARY [For the complete article published by Global Research click here ]
Territorial control over Canada is part of Washington’s geopolitical and military agenda as formulated in April 2002 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “Binational integration” of military command structures is also contemplated alongside a major revamping in the areas of immigration, law enforcement and intelligence.
At this critical juncture in our history and in anticipation of the visit of George W. Bush to Canada on November 30th, an understanding of these issues is central to the articulation of a coherent anti-war and civil rights movement.
For nearly two years now, Ottawa has been quietly negotiating a far-reaching military cooperation agreement, which allows the US Military to cross the border and deploy troops anywhere in Canada, in our provinces, as well station American warships in Canadian territorial waters. This redesign of Canada’s defense system is being discussed behind closed doors, not in Canada, but at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, at the headquarters of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
The creation of NORTHCOM announced in April 2002, constitutes a blatant violation of both Canadian and Mexican territorial sovereignty. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced unilaterally that US Northern Command would have jurisdiction over the entire North American region. Canada and Mexico were presented with a fait accompli. US Northern Command’s jurisdiction as outlined by the US DoD includes, in addition to the continental US, all of Canada, Mexico, as well as portions of the Caribbean, contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans up to 500 miles off the Mexican, US and Canadian coastlines as well as the Canadian Arctic.
NorthCom’s stated mandate is to “provide a necessary focus for [continental] aerospace, land and sea defenses, and critical support for [the] nation’s civil authorities in times of national need.”
Rumsfeld is said to have boasted that “the NORTHCOM – with all of North America as its geographic command – ‘is part of the greatest transformation of the Unified Command Plan [UCP] since its inception in 1947.’” (Ibid)
Following Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s refusal to join NORTHCOM, a high-level so-called “consultative” Binational Planning Group (BPG), operating out of the Peterson Air Force base, was set up in late 2002, with a mandate to “prepare contingency plans to respond to [land and sea] threats and attacks, and other major emergencies in Canada or the United States”.
The BPG’s mandate goes far beyond the jurisdiction of a consultative military body making “recommendations” to government. In practice, it is neither accountable to the US Congress nor to the Canadian House of Commons.
The BPG has a staff of fifty US and Canadian “military planners”, who have been working diligently for the last two years in laying the groundwork for the integration of Canada-US military command structures. The BPG works in close coordination with the Canada-U.S. Military Cooperation Committee at the Pentagon, a so-called ” panel responsible for detailed joint military planning”.
Broadly speaking, its activities consist of two main building blocks: the Combined Defense Plan (CDP) and The Civil Assistance Plan (CAP).
The Militarisation of Civilian Institutions
As part of its Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the BPG is involved in supporting the ongoing militarisation of civilian law enforcement and judicial functions in both the US and Canada. The BPG has established “military contingency plans” which would be activated “on both sides of the Canada-US border” in the case of a terror attack or “threat”. Under the BPG’s Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), these so-called “threat scenarios” would involve:
“coordinated response to national requests for military assistance [from civil authorities] in the event of a threat, attack, or civil emergency in the US or Canada.”
In December 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks, the Canadian government reached an agreement with the Head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, entitled the “Canada-US Smart Border Declaration.” Shrouded in secrecy, this agreement essentially hands over to the Homeland Security Department, confidential information on Canadian citizens and residents. It also provides US authorities with access to the tax records of Canadians.
What these developments suggest is that the process of “binational integration” is not only occurring in the military command structures but also in the areas of immigration, police and intelligence. The question is what will be left over within Canada’s jurisdiction as a sovereign nation, once this ongoing process of binational integration, including the sharing and/or merger of data banks, is completed?
Canada and NORTHCOM
Canada is slated to become a member of NORTHCOM at the end of the BPG’s two years mandate.
No doubt, the issue will be presented in Parliament as being “in the national interest”. It “will create jobs for Canadians” and “will make Canada more secure”.
Meanwhile, the important debate on Canada’s participation in the US Ballistic Missile Shield, when viewed out of the broader context, may serve to divert public attention away from the more fundamental issue of North American military integration which implies Canada’s acceptance not only of the Ballistic Missile Shield, but of the entire US war agenda, including significant hikes in defense spending which will be allocated to a North American defense program controlled by the Pentagon.
And ultimately what is at stake is that beneath the rhetoric, Canada will cease to function as a Nation:
Its borders will be controlled by US officials and confidential information on Canadians will be shared with Homeland Security. US troops and Special Forces will be able to enter Canada as a result of a binational arrangement. Canadian citizens can be arrested by US officials, acting on behalf of their Canadian counterparts and vice versa. But there is something perhaps even more fundamental in defining and understanding where Canada and Canadians stand as a Nation.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. It has formulated the contours of an imperial project of World domination. Canada is contiguous to “the center of the empire”. Territorial control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military agenda.
The Liberals as well as the opposition Conservative party have embraced the US war agenda.
By endorsing a Canada-US “integration” in the spheres of defense, homeland security, police and intelligence, Canada not only becomes a full fledged member of George W. Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing”, it will directly participate, through integrated military command structures, in the US war agenda in Central Asia and the Middle East, including the massacre of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the torture of POWs, the establishment of concentration camps, etc.
Under an integrated North American Command, a North American national security doctrine would be formulated. Canada would be obliged to embrace Washington’s pre-emptive military doctrine, including the use of nuclear warheads as a means of self defense, which was ratified by the US Senate in December 2003. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The US Nuclear Option and the “War on Terrorism” http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405A.html May 2004)
Moreover, binational integration in the areas of Homeland security, immigration, policing of the US-Canada border, not to mention the anti-terrorist legislation, would imply pari passu acceptance of the US sponsored police State, its racist policies, its “ethnic profiling” directed against Muslims, the arbitrary arrest of anti-war activists.
For text of complete Article by Michel Chossudovsky click here
US, Canada and Mexico rollout border plans
by Shaun Waterman, UPI, June 28, 2005
WASHINGTON — The United States and its North American neighbors say they will set up a trusted traveler scheme for the whole continent by 2008, and will this year develop a plan to respond together to major terror attacks and other incidents.
Trusted traveler programs enable people who provide biometric personal data — like fingerprints or iris scans — pay a fee and submit to background checks to use special travel lanes at border crossings.
The idea is to speed processing for those travelers not thought security risks, and whose identity can be verified biometrically.
A Department of Homeland Security statement Monday said that air and sea ports would also be included.
The program, first unveiled last week at a House panel by homeland security official Elaine Dezenski, would incorporate both NEXUS and SENTRI — the two trusted traveler programs currently run at the U.S. border.
DHS spokesman Russ Knocke told United Press International that details of the scheme — including whether it would employ biometrics — have yet to be finalized, but added that biometrics was “the direction everything’s moving in, identity-wise.”
Answering reporters’ questions about the scheme in Ottawa Monday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said “the way forward ultimately, not just with respect to North America, but with respect to the world, is biometrics.”
The program is part of a hugely ambitious initiative launched by President Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 23 this year, following their summit at the president’s Crawford, Texas ranch.
Ultimately, the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America, as it is called, aims to standardize border admissions procedures — watchlist checks, visa processing and document standards — to the point where “all travelers arriving in North America will experience a comparable level of screening,” according to a homeland security fact sheet.
The program was announced Monday following a meeting in Ottawa, Canada, between Chertoff and his opposite numbers — Mexican Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Anne McLellan.
The three were joined by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Canadian Minister of Industry David Emerson and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Fernando Canales.
The meeting, the first in a series of planned follow-ons to the March summit, also agreed that the three nations would work towards “compatible biometric border and immigration systems,” announced the elimination of a series of regulatory barriers and other impediments to cross-border commerce, and committed to a comprehensive plan for responding together to major terror attacks and other incidents.
Within 12 months, the fact sheet says, the three nations will have established “protocols for incident management that impact border operations (and for) maritime incidents, cross-border public health emergencies and cross-border law enforcement response.”
Co-operation on incident response will also include “interoperable communications systems” and joint preparedness exercises, including one ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The United States and Mexico also agreed to form joint intelligence-sharing task forces along their border “to target criminal gang and trafficking organizations.”
The three countries also committed to work towards “compatible criteria for the posting of lookouts of suspected terrorists and criminals” and “real time information sharing on high risk individuals and cargos.”
This last element of the plans may prove controversial in Canada, where public opinion seems concerned that a closer security relationship with the United States might jeopardize Canada’s traditionally welcoming attitude toward asylum seekers or require an unnerving degree of information sharing.
The case of Maher Arar has dramatized Canadian concerns about counter-terror cooperation. Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was shipped to Syria — where he was tortured — by U.S. authorities after Canadian intelligence identified him to them as a suspected associate of a suspected terrorist.
“The real time sharing of information with U.S. security agencies about a foreigner visiting Vancouver with no intention of entering the United States seems certain to cause a stir,” opined the Toronto Globe and Mail earlier this year, adding that just such transparency would be necessary to the most ambitious visions of a common U.S.-Canadian security frontier.
In Mexico, attention is fixed on different questions about the partnership — which Mexican officials refer to as the Security, Prosperity and Quality of Life Partnership.
“Why has the initiative not included funding provisions for reducing the economic gap between Mexico and the United States and Canada?” asked a Mexican reporter of Chertoff and Gutierrez.
Copyright UPI, 2005
“Securing the North American Security Perimeter” Dismantling the US Border, Bringing Canada and Mexico into Fortress America
CNN, June 10, 2005
DOBBS: Border security is arguably the critical issue in this country’s fight against radical Islamist terrorism. But our borders remain porous. So porous that three million illegal aliens entered this country last year, nearly all of them from Mexico.
Now, incredibly, a panel sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations wants the United States to focus not on the defense of our own borders, but rather create what effectively would be a common border that includes Mexico and Canada.
Christine Romans has the report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RELATED: Internationalizing US Roads
Task force urges creation of ‘Fortress America’
New PNAC/neocon front group pushing tri-national ID on 9/11 corpse
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, testimony calling for Americans to start thinking like citizens of North America and treat the U.S., Mexico and Canada like one big country.
ROBERT PASTOR, IND. TASK FORCE ON NORTH AMERICA: The best way to secure the United States today is not at our two borders with Mexico and Canada, but at the borders of North America as a whole.
ROMANS: That’s the view in a report called “Building a North American Community.” It envisions a common border around the U.S., Mexico and Canada in just five years, a border pass for residents of the three countries, and a freer flow of goods and people.
Task force member Robert Pastor.
PASTOR: What we hope to accomplish by 2010 is a common external tariff which will mean that goods can move easily across the border. We want a common security perimeter around all of North America, so as to ease the travel of people within North America.
ROMANS: Buried in 49 pages of recommendations from the task force, the brief mention, “We must maintain respect for each other’s sovereignty.” But security experts say folding Mexico and Canada into the U.S. is a grave breach of that sovereignty.
FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: That’s what would happen if anybody serious were to embrace this strategy for homogenizing the United States and its sovereignty with the very different systems existing today in Canada and Mexico. RESOURCES: AZTLAN – the plan for ‘reconquista’.
ROMANS: Especially considering Mexico’s problems with drug trafficking, human smuggling and poverty. Critics say the country is just too far behind the U.S. and Canada to be included in a so-called common community. But the task force wants military and law enforcement cooperation between all three countries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indeed, an exchange of personnel that bring Canadians and Mexicans into the Department of Homeland Security.
ROMANS: And it wants temporary migrant worker programs expanded with full mobility of labor between the three countries in the next five years.
ROMANS: The idea here is to make North America more like the European Union. Yet, just this week, voters in two major countries in the European Union voted against upgrading — updating the European constitution. So clearly, this is not the best week to be trying to sell that idea.
DOBBS: Americans must think that our political and academic elites have gone utterly mad at a time when three-and-a-half years, approaching four years after September 11, we still don’t have border security. And this group of elites is talking about not defending our borders, finally, but rather creating new ones. It’s astonishing.
ROMANS: The theory here is that we are stronger together, three countries in one, rather than alone.
DOBBS: Well, it’s a — it’s a mind-boggling concept. Christine Romans, thank you, as always.
There is no greater example than our next story as to why the United States must maintain its border security with Mexico, and importantly, secure that border absolutely. The police chief of the violent Mexican border town, Nuevo Laredo, was today executed. It was his first day on the job.
Alejandro Dominguez, seen here at his swearing-in ceremony, was ambushed by a number of gunmen several hours just after that ceremony as he left his office. The assassins fired more than three dozen rounds that struck Dominguez.
He was the only person who volunteered to become Nuevo Laredo’s police chief. The position has been vacant for weeks after the previous chief of police resigned. The town is at the center of what is a violent war between Mexican drug lords. The State Department has issued two travel warnings for Americans about that area just this year. And amazingly, the Mexican government calls those State Department warnings unnecessary.
Still ahead, the military recruiting crisis is escalating. New questions tonight about the viability of the all-volunteer military. General David Grange is our guest.
And “Living Dangerously,” our special report. Rising population growth in the West, dangerous water shortages, the worst drought arguably ever. We’ll have that report for you next.
RECOGNIZING the contributions of the OAS and other regional and sub-regional mechanisms to the promotion and consolidation of democracy in the Americas;…
Copyright CNN 2005
Mexico and U.S. put “Security Perimeter” on fast-track
by José Carreño, Mexidata, May 20, 2005
Washington, D.C.- Task force groups from the U.S. and Mexico are working together, on a fast-track basis, on in-depth reforms to national security relations between the two countries.
The delegations are working on the creation of a “North American Security Perimeter,” that among other factors includes the identification of targets vulnerable to terrorism along the common border.
Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, said that the negotiations are going well, with an initial session for proposals scheduled for June.
The border area security plan is being discussed at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Mexican National Security and Investigation/Research Center (Cisen) levels.
National security officials and analysts noted that authorities in both countries have suggested the possibility of terrorist attacks on tourist destinations frequented by U.S. citizens
Copyright Mexidata 2005
The Bill to Annex Canada into the US (1866)
A Bill for the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia. (Annexation Bill)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and directed, whenever notice shall be deposited in the Department of State that the governments of Great Britain and the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver’s Island have accepted the proposition hereinafter made by the United States, to publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America. SEC. 2 And be it further enacted, That the following articles are hereby proposed, and from the date of the proclamation of the President of the United States shall take effect, as irrevocable conditions of the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the future States of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, to wit:
All public lands not sold or granted; canals, public harbors, light-houses, and piers; river and lake improvements; railway stocks, mortgages, and other debts due by railway companies to the provinces; custom-houses and post offices, shall vest in the United States; but all other public works and property shall belong to the State governments respectively, hereby constituted, together with all sums due from purchasers or lessees of lands, mines, or minerals at the time of the union.
In consideration of the public lands, works, and property vested as aforesaid in the United States, the United States will assume and discharge the funded debt and contingent liabilities of the late provinces, at rates of interest not exceeding five per centum, to the amount of eighty-five million seven hundred thousand dollars, apportioned as follows: To Canada West, thirty-six million five hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, twenty-nine million dollars; to Nova Scotia, eight million dollars; to New Brunswick, seven million dollars; to Newfoundland, three million two hundred thousand dollars; and to Prince Edward Island, two million dollars; and in further consideration of the transfer by said provinces to the United States of the power to levy import and export duties, the United States will make an annual grant of one million six hundred and forty-six thousand dollars in aid of local expenditures, to be apportioned as follows: To Canada West, seven hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, five hundred and fifty thousand dollars; to Nova Scotia, one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars; to New Brunswick, one hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars; to Newfoundland, sixty-five thousand dollars; to Prince Edward Island, forty thousand dollars.
For all purposes of State organization and representation in the Congress of the United States, Newfoundland shall be part of Canada East, and Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia, except that each shall always be a separate representative district, and entitled to elect at least one member of the House of Representatives, and except, also, that the municipal authorities of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island shall receive the indemnities agreed to be paid by the United States in Article II.
Territorial divisions are established as follows: (1) New Brunswick, with its present limits; (2) Nova Scotia, with the addition of Prince Edward Island; (3) Canada East, with the addition of Newfoundland and all territory east of longitude eighty degrees and south of Hudson’s strait; (4) Canada West, with the addition of territory south of Hudson’s bay and between longitude eighty degrees longitude ninety degrees; (5) Selkirk Territory, bounded east by longitude ninety degrees, south by the late boundary of the United States, west by longitude one hundred and five degrees, and north by the Arctic circle; (6) Saskatchewan Territory, bounded east by longitude one hundred and five degrees, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, west by the Rocky mountains, and north by latitude seventy degrees; (7) Columbia Territory, including Vancouver’s Island, and Queen Charlotte’s island, and bounded east and north by the Rocky mountains, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, and west by the Pacific ocean and Russian America. But Congress reserves the right of changing the limits and subdividing the areas of the western territories at discretion.
Until the next decennial revision, representation in the House of Representatives shall be as follows: Canada West, twelve members; Canada East, including Newfoundland, eleven members; New Brunswick, two members; Nova Scotia, including Prince Edward Island, four members.
The Congress of the United States shall enact, in favor of the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, all the provisions of the act organizing the Territory of Montana, so far as they can be made applicable.
The United States, by the construction of new canals, or the enlargement of existing canals, and by the improvement of shoals, will so aid the navigation of the Saint Lawrence river and the great lakes that vessels of fifteen hundred tons burden shall pass from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Lakes Superior and Michigan: Provided, That the expenditure under this article shall not exceed fifty millions of dollars.
The United States will appropriate and pay to “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” the sum of two millions of dollars upon the construction of a continuous line of railroad from Bangor, in Maine, to Saint John’s, in New Brunswick: Provided, That said “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” shall release the government of the United States from all claims held by it as assignee of the States of Maine and Massachusetts.
To aid the construction of a railway from Truro, in Nova Scotia, to Riviere du Loup, in Canada East, and a railway from the city of Ottawa, by way of Sault Ste. Marie, Bayfield, and Superior, in Wisconsin, Pembina, and Fort Garry, on the Red River of the North, and the valley of the North Saskatchewan river to some point on the Pacific ocean north of latitude forty-nine degrees, the United States will grant lands along the lines of said roads to the amount of twenty sections, or twelve thousand eight hundred acres, per mile, to be selected and sold in the manner prescribed in the act to aid the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad, approved July two, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and acts amendatory thereof; and in addition to said grants of lands, the United States will further guarantee dividends of five per centum upon the stock of the company or companies which may be authorized by Congress to undertake the construction of said railways: Provided, That such guarantee of stock shall not exceed the sum of thirty thousand dollars per mile, and Congress shall regulate the securities for advances on account thereof.
The public lands in the late provinces, as far as practicable, shall be surveyed according to the rectangular system of the General Land office of the United States; and in the Territories west of longitude ninety degrees, or the western boundary of Canada West, sections sixteen and thirty-six shall be granted for the encouragement of schools, and after the organization of the Territories into States, five per centum of the net proceeds of sales of public lands shall be paid into their treasuries as a fund for the improvement of roads and rivers.
The United States will pay ten millions of dollars to the Hudson Bay Company in full discharge of all claims to territory or jurisdiction in North America, whether founded on the charter of the company or any treaty, law, or usage.
It shall be devolved upon the legislatures of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada East, and Canada West, to conform the tenure of office and the local institutions of said States to the Constitution and laws of the United States, subject to revision by Congress.
SEC 3. And be it further enacted, That if Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of those provinces, shall decline union with the United States, and the remaining provinces, with the consent of Great Britain, shall accept the proposition of the United States, the foregoing stipulations in favor of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of them, will be omitted; but in all other respects the United States will give full effect to the plan of union. If Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall decline the proposition, but Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver island shall, with the consent of Great Britain, accept the same, the construction of a railway from Truro to Riviere du Loup, with all stipulations relating to the maritime provinces, will form no part of the proposed plan of union, but the same will be consummated in all other respects. If Canada shall decline the proposition, then the stipulations in regard to the Saint Lawrence canals and a railway from Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, with the Canadian clause of debt and revenue indemnity, will be relinquished. If the plan of union shall only be accepted in regard to the northwestern territory and the Pacific provinces, the United States will aid the construction, on the terms named, of a railway from the western extremity of Lake Superior, in the State of Minnesota, by way of Pembina, Fort Garry, and the valley of the Saskatchewan, to the Pacific coast, north of latitude forty-nine degrees, besides securing all the rights and privileges of an American territory to the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia.
Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #172 on: 2015-05-02 16:44:34 »
I have been seeing this Meme more and more as the establishment is polarizing their requirements with the folks that are really struggling to get by in the country. The self serving left wing lobby is doing the same it seems to me and are part of the rhetoric Meme. This is so clearly a matter of civil rights and governance the Senate was designed to balance, when the ruling government goes to far; so far zip.
In my opinion, Bill C-51 is not a response to terror. This bill is "fear itself." Across Canada on March 14, Canadians will come out to show courage and strength and protest Bill C-51.
Growing up, I used to fall asleep to the sound of my mom and her church friends singing around the piano at the end of their Bible study meetings. One of the songs I remember most clearly coming from down the hall as I dozed off is Be Not Afraid. It is a soothing and beautiful song. Dozens of times throughout the Bible, we are encouraged, if not commanded, to be courageous.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. It’s hard not to with all the terror and fear that our government and media is so fixated upon as this election year unfolds. The Conservative Party is even putting out images of masked men with quotes about bombing West Edmonton Mall. Edmontonians, including one conservative MLA, and one Conservative Member of Parliament, have been troubled by this hyperbolic sensationalism. They say they feel that it crosses a line.
Like many others in Canada, I'm troubled about another line the Conservative Party of Canada has helped us all cross, the threshold of 350 parts per million of carbon emissions in our planet's atmosphere.
Growing up I used to enjoy wandering in the hills of West Kelowna behind my elementary school. I loved the smell of the pine needles, sap, wild flowers and tall grasses, the breeze swaying and bristling the trunks and branches above me.
Now, when I go home to visit I’m greeted by dead forest as the mountain pine beetle marches north with every warming year.
This is a terror that is tangible.
The terror of seeing the beautiful world I grew up in descending into ruin and a government that appears to be doing everything it can to ignore and deny this, if not accelerate it, as it dismisses environmental concern. Even seeks to criminalize it.
We are not the political fringe. We are a large group that spans party lines and our concerns are backed not only by scientific inquiry, but by the legitimacy of the experiences and local knowledge of those whose lives and lands are threatened by increased fracking, pipelines and coal trains —ostensibly the "critical infrastructure" that exists for "economic stability" and the "national interest" as laid out in Bill C-51.
As someone who cares about the environment I’ve had a range of fears for years now, and they seem to grow with every year the Harper government is in power.
Further to the pine beetle destroying our Canadian forests, I've been concerned with mega droughts in the United States at a time when our province is giving our water away to multinational corporations, and Ottawa removing protection of it altogether.
I fear what rising inequality and stagnant wages are doing to Canadian society. I fear government inaction on important issues affecting Canadians, like 2,000 missing and murdered Canadian aboriginal women, while it holds secret meetings with multinational oil and gas companies.
My latest fear is that the RCMP is labeling my friends, professional colleagues and I as radicals and a growing security threat to Canada because of our concerns over the impacts of resource extraction and distribution in our communities, and on Canadian water, soil and air.
I’m concerned for my First Nations friends in particular, who seem particularly at risk of being targeted for defending their ancestral lands against forms of industrial development that threaten their livelihoods.
Bill C-51 and the recently leaked RCMP documents show this country's government to be taking us in a deeply concerning direction, not dissimilar to that of Peru with its "license to kill environmental protestors" law. The RCMP recently called us a radical "anti-petroleum movement," but I don’t see it that way. We're much more than that.
We are a clean air and drinkable water movement.
We are a clean technology and sustainable business movement.
We are an honour-the-treaties and respect-our-communities movement.
We are a pro-democracy movement.
We are concerned Canadians. Very concerned. And we deserve better than to be spied on, threatened and marginalized by our own government.
There is much to be concerned about, including religious extremism of varying types, but right now it seems nobody is trying to make Canadians afraid more than the Harper government itself, in order to sell this bill as the solution, and itself as the government who will protect us from the monsters lurking in the shadows.
But it will not protect us from climate change, or poisoned water, or species extinction.
To hold on to power, it would trample the very constitution it is beholden to abide by in defense of our free society, while ignoring and dismissing these and many other social and environmental challenges entirely.
What we are seeing unfolding before us is an attempt to leverage fear in the Canadian populace in order to pass legislation that legal scholars from the across the country have raised grave concerns about. Others have opined that this is setting the tone for this coming election, a campaign that plays off of fear and anxiety. With such irresponsible legislation the Harper government is putting party above nation and politics above the public.
“We have nothing to fear but fear its self," Franklin D Roosevelt once famously said. His words ring true any day, but more so today, as opportunistic politicians sew the seeds of paranoia and fear in the mind of the Canadian public.
Bill C-51 is not a response to terror. This bill is "fear itself" and in my opinion demonstrates how the Harper Government underestimates both the Canadian public's courage and our intelligence.
More than this, the bill is an assault on Canadians, our rights, our privacy and our values, and Parliament should kill it.
Join your fellow Vancouverites March 14th at the Vancouver Art Gallery and others protesting Bill C-51 Canada wide. Stand up with the growing coalition of non-partisan Canadians to say no to Harper's fear mongering.
Toronto2015.org lawyers appear confused by this internet thingy
Updated The organisers of the Pan American Games in Toronto, which start this week, require that people seek formal permission to link to its website at toronto2015.org.
Links to this Site are not permitted except with the written consent of TO2015™. If you wish to link to the Site, you must submit a written request to TO2015™ to do so. Requests for written consent can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. TO2015™ reserves the right to withhold its consent to link, such right to be exercised in its sole and unfettered discretion.
Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the $2bn sports event – effectively a mini-Olympics – also appears to have trademarked the term "TO2015." Which makes about as much sense.
Incredibly, this is not a misreading of the terms, and it doesn't appear to have been a mistake either. Instead, it's about the increasingly insane approach that intellectual property lawyers are taking to sponsors – and non-sponsors – of sporting events.
Alongside such gems as forcing people to put tape over their own computers if a computer company is a sponsor, and stopping people for drinking anything that isn't a sponsor drink (if there is a drinks sponsor), now it seems the Pan Am Games lawyers have decided they need to prevent the internet from entering the hallowed sponsor world.
Strictly speaking, anyone who links to the website or even anyone who uses the games' own hashtag of #TO2015 is violating its terms, and could be sued. Although not a court in the land would actually enforce it.
It's also worth pointing out that the website has yet to add a robots.txt file or other technical method to stop search engines from indexing and linking to the site, so they are effectively forcing Google et al to unwittingly and automatically break its own rules.
Just to be on the safe side however, we wrote to the organisers asking for their permission to link to them for this article. We politely emailed:
Dear Pan Am Games lawyers,
Welcome to the internet.
We would like to seek permission to link to your website for a story we are writing about how ludicrous it is that you are requesting people to ask permission to link to your site.
It is only fair that we warn you the article is likely to be critical of yourselves and contain a good degree of mockery.
We should also note that we will link to your site regardless of your response. But all the same, it's nice to have permission.
And before you ask: there's no need to ask us for permission to link to the story when it's up. It happens all the time.
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: email@example.com. Technical details of permanent failure…
Let's hope the organisers are better at running games than they are servers. ® Updated to add at 1935 UTC, 1235 PDT on Sunday, July 12
The toronto2015.org masterminds have pulled a U-turn: they have updated the website's terms and conditions following the publication of our story on Saturday to excise the demand for written permission to link to the site. This is a screenshot of the original text...
...and this is the new text:
The use of or embedding of content from this Site is not permitted except with the written consent of TO2015™. Requests for written consent can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. TO2015™ reserves the right to withhold such consent, such right to be exercised in its sole and unfettered discretion.
Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #174 on: 2015-07-18 23:44:59 »
Seems the Liberals are continuing the tradition started with the Harris Conservative of selling of all the revenue generating parts of the Ontario government for a short term fix, because they have bungled the debt crisis and continued to allow politicians to rake in the the dollars, for what. Yet another way of hiding the truth of what really happened to the Natural Gas Power Station buy out ?
As new share holders bleed Hydro One for profits, it will amount to holding Ontario's citizens hostage and sucking the money out of their pockets to pay for electricity. Close to a billion dollars from Hydro One in revenue, each year, will now be funneled to the banksters and investors; for what. Will these potential investors choose safety at our power plants or profit; could we have the same disaster as Japan because of greed and short sighted government ?
Ontario Liberals pull veil of secrecy over Hydro One sell-off
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has pulled an iron curtain over Hydro One, ensuring one of the largest privatizations in the province’s history will unfold in secret.
The Liberals’ omnibus budget bill passed a final vote in the legislature Wednesday. The legislation, which will allow the government to start selling off the Crown corporation on the stock market later this year, contains a raft of clauses that remove public oversight of the company.
The bill strips the provincial auditor-general, financial accountability officer, ombudsman and several other independent watchdogs of their right to investigate Hydro One and resolve customer complaints. It also bars freedom-of-information requests and shields Hydro One employees’ salaries from the Sunshine List of provincial workers earning more than $100,000.
These provisions all take effect as soon as the bill is signed into law – even though none of the shares may be sold for months and the government could remain the company’s majority shareholder for years as it slowly sells down its stock.
Ms. Wynne is selling 60 per cent of Hydro One in a bid to raise $4-billion to put toward building new transit lines; another $5-billion from the sale will go to pay down debt.
The Liberals argue that private investors will pay more for Hydro One’s stock if the company is not subject to independent oversight. Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said last week that allowing public accountability officers to scrutinize Hydro One “would not be friendly to the securities sector.”
Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk doesn’t buy that argument
“If Hydro One is supposed to operate very openly and transparently – it’s going to be publicly traded – I don’t see how another layer of oversight negatively impacts its operation or impacts share value,” she said in an interview Tuesday. “I would think shareholders would get more comfort with an additional layer of oversight.”
With passage of the bill, Ms. Lysyk will be allowed to examine how Hydro One’s privatization affects the government’s public accounts – effectively, how much money comes into government coffers from the sale – but will be barred from looking at anything larger.
“We won’t be able to assess whether there is value for money from that sale,” she said.
Ms. Lysyk and seven other independent watchdogs took the unprecedented step last month of jointly writing Ms. Wynne asking to keep their oversight of Hydro One.
“The sale will be done in complete secrecy.… We will never know if we received a fair value, a true value for Hydro One or if the people of Ontario were short-changed,” Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said. “What are they trying to hide?”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath vowed that, even after the legislation is passed, the Liberals will have a fight on their hands. The NDP has organized town-hall meetings, protests and a petition to whip up opposition to the sale. She said she hoped the pressure would be enough for the government to change its mind before it floats the initial public offering later this year.
Opinion polls suggest a majority of voters are against privatizing the electricity system, meaning the Liberals could be in for a bumpy ride as they press forward.
But Mr. Chiarelli dismissed such concerns this week. He compared the Hydro One sale to the Liberals’ introduction of the harmonized sales tax in 2010: The tax was unpopular at the time, but the government was re-elected anyway.
“There was an issue called HST, which was considered a horrendous initiative. The media was on it, I had to answer questions for it, et cetera,” he said. “There are very, very significant issues that you deal with in government that are the right thing to do moving forward. Or, at least, they are one of the right things that might be available moving forward.”
Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #175 on: 2015-12-03 18:28:11 »
As Lucifer points out that democracy might not be the best solution; we have this indictment that seems to support that thesis. This little missive is just the tip of the iceberg to a long history of epic fails we are paying for in our electrical bills in Ontario.
Ontario’s Liberals have completely broken the electricity system
In politics, as we wrote Wednesday, people get upset about the little things. Remember Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice? In the context of a 12-figure federal budget, or ministerial trips justifiably running into the tens of thousands of dollars, some overpriced OJ hardly mattered. And yet it galled. Small misdeeds are relatable. A big, complicated and massively costly government screw-up, in contrast, sometimes leaves people cold.
Let’s see if this warms you up. On Wednesday, Ontario’s Auditor-General announced that, between 2006 and 2014, thanks to incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the province’s Liberal government, Ontarians overpaid for electricity to the tune of $37-billion. And over the next 18 years, consumers will be overpaying to the tune of another $133-billion.
Let’s try to put those numbers in context. Electricity overpriced by $170-billion is equivalent to $12,326 in excess costs for every man, woman and child in Ontario. Over 27 years, that averages out to $457 per person, per year. According to Statistics Canada, the average Ontario household has 2.6 people, so for the typical family, we’re talking about a power utility bill roughly $1,188 higher than it should be – every year.
The inflated costs cover both consumers and business, so some of that shows up not on the consumer’s bill, but on the tab of the province’s businesses, which then pass those costs on to customers.
Why is Ontario’s electricity so costly? Because the Ontario government has for the past decade been running the province’s power sector with something approaching the skill of Soviet commissars. It has politicized decision-making, taking it out of the hands of independent experts. It deliberately broke the system, creating huge new costs without benefits. And it doesn’t seem to know how to fix it, or want to.
For example, the auditor finds that the province is paying twice as much for wind power as American utilities, three and a half times as much for solar power and, in the most exceptional incident of economic illogic, has a biomass plant in Thunder Bay producing electricity at 25 times the average price in the rest of the province.
No, this isn’t a $16 glass of orange juice. It’s you and your family buying 85 of those $16 orange juices, this year and next year and every year after, forever. Enjoy. You’re paying for it.
Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #176 on: 2015-12-03 18:45:59 »
cough .... yet another huge government fail at our expense; this time the 'sancta sanctorum' of why we like our Canadian Political system Health Care. A big cheer to Elizabeth Church for pursuing this important issue with well writing articles.
A damning report on the province’s troubled system
Ontario’s Health Minister is promising a new model for home care that directs more money to front-line services after the release of another damning report on the province’s troubled system.
The latest findings are in the annual report of Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk, and describe a system in which the care available varies depending on where a person lives and the time of year, performance targets are often missed and not enough is done to ensure agencies contracted to deliver care are doing their jobs.
The new report is the second instalment of an 18-month investigation into the workings of the home-care system. In a report issued in September, the Auditor-General advised the province to take a “hard look” at the way home care is delivered after finding that as little as 61 cents of every dollar spent goes to face-to-face client services. The earlier report also found gaps in the levels of care offered across the province.
A report to the government from a blue-ribbon panel in the spring called on the province to make home-care services easier to navigate and more accountable. An investigation by The Globe and Mail also found a system plagued by uneven access to care, byzantine processes and a troubling lack of transparency for patients and family caregivers.
The province is expected to release a policy paper as early as this month that will propose scrapping the existing system that delivers care through 14 agencies called Community Care Access Centres, and giving more authority to the province’s local health networks.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins said on Wednesday that the discussion paper will address many of the issues raised in this audit and other reports, including the structure of the system and inconsistency in care.
“What I am aiming to do is find the best of what works and bring it together in perhaps a new model and direct more scarce dollars to front-line services,” he said.
Ontario has moved more aggressively than other provinces to transfer an increasing amount of care out of expensive hospitals and long-term care and into the home, but the system for delivering that care has been a lightning rod for criticism for several years.
The latest report by the Auditor-General takes an in-depth look at three of the province’s 14 access centres – the Central CCAC based in north Toronto, the North East CCAC based in Sudbury and the Champlain CCAC based in Ottawa.
It found inconsistencies in services, in policies on issues such as wait times and standards of care. For example, people assessed with similar needs would receive five hours of weekly personal support to help with activities such as bathing in one region, eight hours in another and 10 in the third. Eligible clients who applied in July would get support at that time, but would be put on a waiting list if they applied in September, when the agencies, which cannot run deficits, were trying to balance their books by year end.
Such delays or lack of personal support for some clients “could aggravate their health condition and cause them to suffer unnecessarily,” the report says.
“The basic issues that we started with are still there,” Ms. Lysyk said at a news conference to discuss the report.
Most home care in Ontario is delivered under contract by non-profit agencies and for-profit companies, but the audit found CCACs do not consistently visit these providers to ensure they are complying with contract terms or deal with under-performance in a consistent way.
The Auditor-General’s annual report also looked at the performance of the province’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks – the agencies expected to gain new powers under forthcoming provincial reforms.
In the eight years since the LHINs were created, the audit found the province has failed to define their role clearly or establish measures to judge their performance.
“This makes it difficult to determine whether they are delivering value for money,” Ms. Lysyk concluded.
Conservative health critic Jeff Yurek questioned why the province is taking so long to make reforms, and said he will look for targets and goals when the Liberals unveil their plan.
“How can you fix a system when you don’t know what you are looking for at the end of the day,” he said.
Re:Canada Shoots itself in the Head : A Nation Going Down in Flames
« Reply #177 on: 2018-03-28 22:56:30 »
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east -central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for nearly 40 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area.
And a Province with no political candidates a reasonably human being would willing want to vote for this coming June 8th 2018 election.
So with this incredulity, little turds of note to me, will be deposited in this appropriately named thread in an effort to underscore my despair.
When you are seen to run a financially undisciplined nanny state, a pre-election spending spree is a bad idea
Source: Macleans Author: Jen Gerson Date: March 27, 2018
As a rule, voters love to be bribed with their own money. However, I am cautiously pessimistic that this maxim is not going to work for the Ontario Liberals.
The election is only three months away and Premier Kathleen Wynne—deeply unpopular and behind in the polls—is handing out multi-billion dollar spending promises like a charity Santa gleefully tossing free toys to kids on Christmas Eve.
A $2.1 billion investment over four years in mental health. Free prescription drugs for seniors over the age of 65—nevermind that seniors are now the wealthiest demographic in the country, and this proposal would replace the means-tested Ontario Drug Benefit program. A $2.2 billion program to expand free childcare for kids older than 2-and-half until they reach Junior Kindergarten.
Oh, and there’s more to come.
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The budget has yet to drop, but the Liberals’ pre-election throne speech included promises to reduce hospital wait times, boost dental coverage, to expand access to home care, increase post-secondary grants. You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets an electric car!
At the risk of offering a radically non-contrarian opinion, this feels both desperate and too obvious.
As someone who has advocated for a national childcare program as a necessary precondition to give women equal access to the workplace, an explanatory caveat is required here; any such program should be reasonable, transparent and fully costed—ideally by redirecting inefficient childcare benefits, or by raising taxes.
No free childcare advocate is suggesting that such a program be implemented as part of a broader plan to bribe the Ontario electorate into re-electing Kathleen Wynne. Certainly, no one should expect such a program to be announced before the province has a credible plan to deal with deficits, $312 billion in debt and annual debt servicing costs of $12.3 billion.
READ MORE: Is Doug Ford’s victory a ‘lifeline to Wynne’s Liberals’?
Ontario already has one of the largest debts of any sub-national entity in the world. Its top line items are: health care, education, social services and debt interest.
There is a time and a place for debt; but the time right before interest rates are about to rise and another recession seems statistically probable is not it.
“Our debt-to-GDP remains stable, and it is below 40 per cent,” Wynne said to reporters on Monday, ahead of a Wednesday budget largely expected to run another hefty deficit. “Those are the metrics that we are focused on.”
This statement is untrue and the ratio is meaningless to average folk. The debt-to-GDP ratio has steadily increased under Liberal rule.
The figure that should matter is how much money is going to service that debt—money that could otherwise go to the fancy social spending the Liberals love to promise.
It seems that the Liberals would do well to present themselves as responsible fiscal stewards committed to budgetary reform. Perhaps a credible plan to reduce cost-of-living by easing tax burdens. An audit of government spending. A sane path to escaping what looks perilously close to a debt spiral.
Clearly, the Liberal government is trying to out-flank the NDP to its left. But in doing so, it’s leaving itself open to charges on its most vulnerable front. Wynne’s attempts to massively increase the social welfare state just weeks ahead of an election is exactly the wrong approach for a party fighting the perception that it is irresponsible, corrupt and profligate. Every multi-billion dollar handout that hits the front page only compounds this problem.
Add to this, the Ontario government once again appears to be on the outs with its own auditor general. Last week, Bonnie Lysyk gave a report to a Queen’s Park committee suggesting the Liberals were using dodgy accounting practices to obfuscate the fiscal realities of its Fair Hydro Plan during an audit of its Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
She also said the IESO and its external accounting firm, KPMG, provided “non-truths” to obfuscate accounting glitches.
Nevermind, everyone was getting cars.
It’s difficult to fault the spending priorities of the Wynne Liberals, per se. If Ontario were in the black and its people didn’t feel so excessively pinched by the tax man, supports for things like mental health and childcare would be fine. These are the sorts of things on which right-thinking and benign Liberal governments are apt to spend cash.
But when the general consensus is that your government is a financially undisciplined wannabe nanny state that probably can’t be trusted to direct any of these funds effectively anyway, spending promises will only breed resentment. Who wants a government that takes dollars and gives back dimes?
The last government that went on such an obvious pre-election spending binge was Stephen Harper during the closing days of the 2015 election campaign. He sprinkled infrastructure fund promises around the country ahead of the vote. Look how well that worked for him.
If the only thing the Wynne government can come up with to encourage people to vote for her is to throw more money around, this isn’t going to end well.
Annie Kidder, director of People for Education, released a report Tuesday that suggests arts education is being squeezed out, inequitably funded and delivered by underqualified teachers in schools across Ontario. (Vince Talotta / Toronto Star file photo)
Some ‘barely have storage space,’ let alone enough free space to teach the arts, according to a new People for Education report.
Arts education is being squeezed out, inequitably funded and delivered by underqualified teachers in schools across Ontario, according to a new report released Tuesday.
Schools in Brantford’s Catholic board “barely have storage space, let alone additional space for any learning outside the normal classroom environment,” one principal reported, when asked about their arts offerings for the report.
“Our teaching staff allotment doesn’t afford us the opportunity to have specialist teachers,” added a principal in the Lambton Kent District School Board in southwestern Ontario.
And in the province’s largest French-language board, one principal reported that their arts space would soon be “lost,” converted to a daycare.
Read more: Fundraising widens gap between have and have-not students, report finds
Toronto schools raise less money than rest of region
As fundraising gap grows, Toronto’s wealthy schools leaving poor schools behind
It’s a system where schools’ arts budgets can range from a luxurious $100,000 per year to a meagre $500 — with those budgets often determined by parents’ ability to fundraise — according to the 2018 arts education report from People for Education.
The report crunches numbers to paint a picture of inequity in public education, particularly taking opportunity away from students at smaller rural schools, schools with higher levels of poverty and schools with lower levels of parental education.
“We were really struck by principals talking about difficulties having a big enough budget for musical instruments, relying on parents for fundraising, concerned about teachers not having enough specialized training to be able to deliver really good strong arts programs,” said Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education.
“But I think that the overall concern of principals and of ours is the inequity that’s kind of built in, because schools are relying on fundraising for their arts budgets.”
The Star has previously reported on the fundraising gap between schools in the province, with some bolstering their budgets with up to $150,000 in “extras” every year. Until recently, there was no provincial funding dedicated to the arts, the new report notes.
“School boards can determine how much funding they allocate to schools for the arts, and beyond that schools can fundraise for things like arts excursions, visiting artists or musical instruments,” the report says.
Instruments can sit stagnant and broken in some schools, until the end of the year when budgetary bottom lines are determined, one principal from Dufferin Peel’s Catholic board reported. Even then, the principal said those instruments might not be fixed — there may not be any money for it.
In elementary schools, the report found that only 4 per cent of schools that responded have an annual arts budget of more than $5,000; 27 per cent have a budget of less than $500 for arts per year.
In secondary schools, 20 per cent fall in the higher end of funds with more than $10,000 per year. Only 3 per cent are still below $500 in arts funding per year.
The impact of arts education on students has been under the lens in the United States recently, through the exploration of the theatre and public speaking experience gleaned in school by teen survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas — many of whom have since taken on the role of public voices in the U.S. gun control debate.
Kidder said the discussion of those teens’ arts education is relevant “in a number of ways” to People for Education’s newest report.
“I think what it points to is that, through arts education, all students can learn, yes, how to be articulate and communicate, but also to persist and be resilient,” she said, also listing collaboration, social-emotional skills and empathy as by-products of arts education.
“Through learning music or drama or dance or fine arts, you learn to practise. You learn to persist when things don’t work out, and to go back in again.”
“No matter what you do as an adult — in your job, in your life, as a citizen — these are foundational skills.”
Arts budgets appear to be connected with the availability of arts program space in elementary schools, the report notes. Teaching and learning in the arts requires a great deal of space, for instruments, supplies, movement or otherwise.
Principals who participated in the People for Education report “frequently cited” a lack of specialized space as a barrier to providing arts education. The issue was particularly severe for schools at ministry-defined capacity for students, Kidder said.
“Does your school look empty if you’re keeping classrooms open for arts space?” she asked.
This year’s data showed elementary schools in urban areas as being three times more likely to have a budget over $5,000. Rural schools, they wrote, are also less likely to have specialized arts teachers and arts learning spaces. One principal from Keewatin-Patricia District School Board noted that recruiting qualified teachers to come to their smaller communities was a challenge.
“We did feel that despite the widely recognized importance of arts education, that there is not necessarily equitable access to arts programs and resources, and arts enrichment,” Kidder said. “And we’re really worried about that.”