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June 18th, 2012:

George Orwell’s 1984…

… was supposed to be a warning about police states.

Not an instruction manual on how to set one up!

The Canadian Border Services Agency told The Ottawa Citizen that unidentified sites at airports and borders are already equipped with audio-video monitoring to boost security. The audio technology, though installed, is not recording just yet.

“It will become functional at a later date,” a CBSA spokesman said.

When it does, the technology “will record conversations,” a CBSA said in a statement to The Ottawa Citizen.

Man… this is scary. Exactly how far is too far?

Why stop at airports? Why not malls? Buses? Coffee shops?

 

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So THIS is what is happening to our pennies…

Mr. Flaherty is investing in “art”!

Gotta love The Walrus!

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Separate schools: the subject that won’t go away…

… damn right it won’t!

There was a good piece on Saturday by Kate Heartfield (one of the better writers at the Shitizen) about the inefficiencies of the publicly-funded separate School Board in Ontario and how its existence discriminates against a huge sector of the provincial population

It is especially valuable to see this issue presented in this way as the author does not solely concentrate on the cost issue. I personally do believe that there would be some cost savings resulting from the merger of the two systems, but we cannot know the extent of these without a thorough, empirical and unbiased examination.

And really, this is all that I and other education system reform advocates are asking for at the moment. Why not have a third party – a KPMG, for example – look at and report on exactly what cost savings would be realised? If a study shows that savings would be minimal, then advocates of one school system for Ontario could put the efficiency argument aside.

But, for me this is only partially a cost issue. The school system as is discriminates against people who do not identify with a specific religion. Public funding of a Catholic school system does effectively discriminate against all those who would like the same for their religion.

John Tory was right to recognize this during the 2007 election campaign. He just went in entirely the wrong direction with his solution to fund ALL religion-based schools.

It is also discriminatory and unfair to force citizens to pay taxes in support of religion based school systems when they are not part of that religion or simply don’t believe in funding religion based schools.

This is a long road and the system won’t change overnight. Only the Green Party of Ontario supports reform while the other three major parties are too afraid of voter backlash to utter a peep about this important issue.

Stay tuned!

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Hmmm…

Update on this.

Del Mastro may have to go in front of the House Ethics Committee (of which he is, (LOL) a member)!

Hey – why not email these folks to urge them on to ensure that this happens!

stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca
dean.delmastro@parl.gc.ca
thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca
Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca
bob.rae@parl.gc.ca

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

… if I wanted to skirt election campaign funding rules, this would be an effective way to go about it.

Illegal, but effective.

Numerous sections of the Elections Act forbid donors from exceeding the individual limit on donations by concealing their donations and forbid others from helping to conceal the real source of a donation.

In a statutory declaration produced at the request of the Citizen and Postmedia, the former employee said David Del Mastro approached the then-employee and said he wanted him to make a large monetary donation to his cousin’s campaign.

The former employee signed the declaration before an Ontario Commissioner of Oaths.

The former employee was asked to make a donation of $1,000 of personal funds and was assured the company would provide reimbursement for the same amount with a “$50 bonus,” the declaration says. The donors could also claim the donation as a deduction on their tax returns.

Employees were also asked to enlist friends or family to make similar donations, the former employee said.

There is no evidence that Dean Del Mastro had knowledge of any alleged scheme to hide the source of donations to his campaign.

That last point is important if true… a bit tough to swallow, but all hell will break loose if the Deanster is found to have had any knowledge of this!

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