Category Archives: Politics

Mulcair: C-51

This is an interesting article linking the NDP’s fate to their stance on C-51.  While undoubtedly this is one of the worst pieces of legislation that has been proposed since I have been a qualified elector, I’m a bit surprised that Mulcair appears to be benefiting from taking a strong position here.

I’m going to keep my eyes on it, depending on where things go this could become a single issue election for me.

Postal Service

As I mentioned, I went on a recent camera gear bender and bought a couple of lenses which I’ve had my eye on for a long time.  One of them, a fast telephoto lens, I decided to buy used on eBay from Japan.  It was a stressful decision since I was worried about all kinds of things (am I going to get ripped off, will it be damaged, etc.) but one thing not to worry about is shipping.  The seller shipped it using Japan Post’s Express Mail Service and between them and Canada Post it’s been nothing short of amazing.

The package was dropped off on the 13th at 20:13 local in Tokyo and I came home tonight to a Canada Post slip on my door saying they tried to deliver but needed a signature.  It landed at Pearson this morning at 08:46.

Considering this cost less than $20 shipping that’s pretty much as good as it gets.  Anybody who tells you that we don’t get a great service from Canada Post doesn’t really know what they’re talking about.  In fact over the past few years, something I’ve noticed consistently is that the national postal services in the countries I’ve shipped to and from (Germany, UK, Sweden, US, Canada, and Japan) are near the top every time and their ability to ship between services and across borders is every bit as good as any commercial parcel service.

Dying with Dignity and Judicial Freedom (or Activism)

So Canada will soon have a legal framework for euthanasia despite the fact that Harper fought it tooth and nail.

I’m not 100% certain how I feel about this, but I think that’s normal.  Like many issues relating to life and death it’s complicated so this is a pretty normal feeling I suppose.  In fact, I tend to distrust people who don’t have any ambiguous thought at all when it comes to political-medical issues.

In either case, it’s good to know that even under one of the most right wing governments Canada has had in the past half century, the framework of the Constitution is standing up for fundamental freedoms in a way that evolves with the times.  This has had me thinking a lot about the long term effect of having a modern legal framework which is based on 20th century norms of justice and human rights.  As controversial as some elements are, we have a lot to be thankful here and we should be happy that the court under McLachlin has managed to remain largely free of interference from both Chrétien and Harper.

I know that some on the right have portrayed this as judicial activism (and not in a positive way) but I’m very happy that our legal system at the judicial level at least, still seems to be largely aloof of the government.  I really can’t imagine that the country would be a better place if it weren’t.

Vox: Canada legalizes physician-assisted suicide

Margot Wallström is Heroic for Speaking the Truth

I came across this article tonight on Reddit.  It’s worth a read, I was unaware of the story.

The Spectator: Sweden’s feminist foreign minister has dared to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia. What happens now concerns us all

It’s a long headline but it certainly doesn’t bury the lede.  I only wish that Canada’s Foreign Minister was of Margot Wallström’s calibre.

CRTC Matching Line Speed Ruling

I came across this article on Slashdot this morning, apparently the CRTC has ruled that ISPs such as Bell must provide the same network service to resellers as they currently do to their own customers.  This means that ISPs such as Teksavvy that currently provide service over Bell’s DSL infrastructure and copper should soon be able to provide much higher capacity uplinks via Bell’s newly deployed fibre network.

I haven’t had a chance to read the actual ruling yet but from what I gather the only small print is that the big ISPs will be allowed to charge a 10% markup.  If you’re interested Teksavvy has posted this press release (PDF).

G20 Summit Plans

You are probably aware that the G20 Summit is on its way to Toronto in the not-too-distant future. From what I’m hearing it sounds like the Toronto Police, OPP, RCMP, CSIS and their friends are going to be out in full effect for the duration to enforce a DMZ they’re putting around the Convention Centre and Intercontinental Hotel. It’s a bit of a double bummer because my office is inside one of the planned security cordons and it sounding like I have to get added to a list and get ID’d in order to go to work during the duration. I was thinking about taking the week off and going on vacation but it doesn’t sound like that’s an option as by coincidence I’ll be the only one in town who does my job during that week.

I don’t understand why the Powers That Be decide to hold a meeting in the middle of Canada’s largest city when they want to make sure that nobody can get close enough to interfere with their plans, but I digress…

All this nonsense has got me thinking about what I’m going to do that week when I’m not in the office. Frankly I think most of the G8/G20 protesting is somewhat pointless and more akin to pissing into the wind than to meaningful political statement, however I’m not that impressed by the heavy handed tactics that the police have tended to use at the behest of their masters. So I’ve started thinking I might make a somewhat concerted effort to go out and attempt a photographic “study” of the whole thing.

I’ve been getting more serious about photography lately (just bought a new lens for my D80, but more about that in a future post) and it might be an interesting exercise, not to mention my definite feeling is that documenting things is probably the best way to avoid problems.  I’m just not sure how keen I am on getting even indirectly involved.  I need to think it over a bit more before I make up my mind…

US Piracy List, A Canadian Reponse

There’s a good summary over on Ars Technica of some of the problems involved with the continued American insistence of categorizing Canada as a country that doesn’t enforce intellectual properly law. I’m personally content with the middle ground that we seem to be standing here.  Although ideally I’d prefer to see a more open regime here, the reality is that so long as we live next to the United States we’re not very likely to have completely reasonable laws.  Anyway, the article I linked is pretty brief and has some interesting facts regarding piracy and IP violations in Canada.