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Canada is wasting billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs

16 January 2017 - 6:12pm

A national pharmacare program would save the health care system billions and improve the health of the one in 10 Canadians who can't afford the medication they are prescribed. A new report commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CNFU) says we need to start planning for a national program now. Linda Silas is president of the CFNU. She speaks with Redeye host James Mainguy.

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The Canadian government should replace NAFTA, or scrap it

16 January 2017 - 1:50pm

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico that went into effect January 1, 1994. It is the largest agreement of its kind in the world and was implemented in the face of considerable opposition in all three countries.

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The Internet's oldest 'sharing economy'

16 January 2017 - 12:45pm

With all the manufacturing, management, academic and professional positions disappearing, the public is impatient for the digital economy to produce some real jobs. Uber and Airbnb are often held up as examples of a new "sharing economy," where individuals can earn money by sharing their homes or cars with strangers. Although sharing is not a typical Western society trait, debt is at high levels these days, and renting out a room or a ride may help make ends meet.   

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In his first press conference, President-Elect Trump faced nothing but dumb questions

16 January 2017 - 6:42am

Scientist Carl Sagan once wrote: "There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question."

Unfortunately, journalists covering Donald Trump's first press conference as president-elect proved Sagan wrong. They asked a ton of dumb questions.

And if the four years of a Trump presidency are going to be any good for democracy, journalists need to stop trying to be sycophants and shouters and start trying to be who they need to be: Watchdogs holding power to account.

They can start by embracing one fact: A dumb question is a question that doesn't get an answer.

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Oilsands phase-out freak-out explained: Conservatives think road back to Ottawa runs through Edmonton

15 January 2017 - 9:16pm


"Funny," Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan observed in a tweet yesterday: "I don't remember Kenney or Jean hyperventilating when their boss agreed to decarbonization by 2100."

McGowan was referring to the nearly complete meltdown on the right in Alberta after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's remark last Friday in Peterborough, Ont., that "we can't shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out."

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The rewards of relinquishing control in urban green spaces

15 January 2017 - 3:09pm
The wild and wayward life of a tiny, disproportionately lively square of parkland in Toronto's west end has a lesson to teach us about the rewards of relinquishing control. Image: flickr/supercab On wildness: Community and control in urban green space

Justin Trudeau promised changes to draconian Bill C-51. We're still waiting

15 January 2017 - 12:32pm

In June 2015, the Conservative government passed the Anti-Terrorism Act, which is also known as Bill C-51. It gave sweeping new powers to Canada’s spy and security agencies. For example, the legislation broadened the definition of "security" in a way which could criminalize peaceful protests. It also permitted agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to disrupt events preemptively rather than being limited to monitoring them.

Other countries, including the U.S., have at least some semblance of oversight on their spy agencies. In Canada MPs and Senators are mostly kept in the dark.  As well, the existing Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) is supposed to provide oversight but it is a tame agency which lacks investigative powers and is under-staffed.

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Supreme Court ruling in Ernst fracking case poses threat to Charter rights

13 January 2017 - 7:15pm

Today the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Alberta landowner Jessica Ernst's legal challenge to sue the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for denying her right to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court said that Ernst should have launched a judicial review of how the AER handled and defended the immunity clauses that shield government bodies from lawsuits. 

In 2007, Ernst launched a multimillion-dollar suit against the regulator, Alberta Environment and Calgary-based energy company Encana for negligence that contaminated her well water. Similar to cases in Josh Fox's documentary Gasland, her well is so contaminated with methane that she can light the water on fire.

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Top 10 ways you helped save the Internet in 2016

13 January 2017 - 1:56pm

Happy 2017, everyone! Here at OpenMedia, our office has that familiar hum again, as our team arrive back from holiday vacations re-energized and up to tackle the challenges of the new year. I know we all really appreciated the chance for some downtime after a hectic December rounded off an especially busy year for us.

Already it's clear that 2017 has lots in store -- on privacy, affordable access, and free expression it's shaping up to be a make or break year for our digital rights. As a community, we'll need to pull out all the stops over the next twelve months to safeguard the free and open Internet we hold dear.

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Google v. Equustek at the Supreme Court of Canada: Dispatch from the hearing

13 January 2017 - 12:46pm

As indescribably nebulous and expansive as the Internet can be, one could compare it to outer space, but never to a vacuum. Almost anything that happens online will eventually find its place in a web of real-world context, whether by reference, implication, cause, or consequence. It is this persistently dual nature of the Internet -- a space clearly its own and separate from the bricks-and-mortar world, yet in every way wrapped up with our everyday, offline lives -- that makes it so difficult for courts and other decision-makers to wrap their minds, and laws, around.

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Black people in Canada will continue to kick ass in 2017

13 January 2017 - 12:30pm
Monday, January 16, 2017 Black Lives Matter TO plans to target illegal carding and Toronto's Special Investigations Unit as it looks ahead to 2017.

As Canada prepares to reflect on 150 years of colonization, imperialism and unfettered resource extraction, rabble journalist Phillip Dwight Morgan is interviewing key grassroots activists across Canada to identify what struggles will shape the politics in this country in 2017. This is the first part of his series.

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Canadian universities shifting to top-down, corporate governance are literally all reading from the same playbook

13 January 2017 - 10:54am

On June 28, 2013, the then-president of Brock University, Jack Lightstone, posted an open letter online and via email to the Brock community titled "The Need for a Program Review."

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Trudeau's new immigration minister must tackle Harper's nasty refugee reforms

13 January 2017 - 9:08am

Karl Nerenberg is your reporter on the Hill. Please consider supporting his work with a monthly donation Support Karl on Patreon today for as little as $1 per month!

Toronto lawyer Ahmed Hussen is Canada's first refugee and immigration minister who was himself a refugee, and those who work with refugees are applauding his appointment.

It provides a huge contrast to the sort of cabinet appointments the president-elect is making south of the border -- mostly aging, paunchy, white billionaires.

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Joseph Boyden controversy sheds light on community and belonging

13 January 2017 - 8:24am
Friday, January 13, 2017

I found Joseph Boyden's interview Wednesday on CBC -- in a word rarely called for -- unctuous. He surfaced three weeks after saying he wouldn't deal with questions about his Indigeneity publicly but only in a "speaking circle." This after filling what he calls "airtime" for 10 years on every form of media.

Now he's back out there on CBC and in the Globe, though solely with "acceptable" interviewers. APTN, which started all this with a cautious, respectful piece by Jorge Barrera on Boyden's claims, called it a "PR push."

What makes you part of a community is those concrete connections, known to you and acknowledged by others. It isn't the stories you hear or tell, pace Boyden.

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Forget Russian hackers, Hydro One has been getting hacked for years

13 January 2017 - 5:24am
Ontario's electricity systems have been hacked away by its own government through increased privatization. Not Rex: Hacking away at Hydro One

The Jason Syndrome: Conservative candidate melts down over Hollywood star in bid to derail NDP strategy that's working

12 January 2017 - 10:46pm

Albert Einstein's purported definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result -- has become a political cliché: Consider Jason Kenney, a man who believes so fervently in a failed strategy for developing Alberta's resources that he bitterly rejects all other approaches as heresy -- especially ones that work!

Kenney is like the guy who says the earth is flat, but always has an instant scientific explanation for why that ship just sailed over the horizon.

This would be amusing were Kenney not the front-running candidate to lead Alberta's conservatives (and therefore, unfortunately, quite possibly the rest of us as well) to market-fundamentalist nirvana. He is, so it matters.

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Epidemic of overdose deaths legacy of 10 years of anti-harm reduction

12 January 2017 - 5:29pm

Jordan Westfall says the hundreds of drug overdose deaths are a legacy of Harper's approach. Westfall is someone who formerly used opioid drugs and wrote his master's thesis on overdose prevention. He is president of the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs. Jordan Westfall spoke with Redeye host Jane Williams about how to prevent more fentanyl-related deaths.

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On wildness: Community and control in urban green space

12 January 2017 - 2:53pm
Friday, January 13, 2017

The city is a structured place. Roads and sidewalks follow mainly straight lines, while houses, apartment buildings, offices and shops march dutifully alongside them, one after the other. Many of us live structured lives within our concrete, highly controlled world, following the schedules, routines, and norms of our workplaces and leisure activities. Urban green space is often no different -- processions of trees stand on manicured turf and garden beds are filled with neat lines of annuals. Community use of park space is defined and limited by a stifling array of municipal policies, bylaws, permits and red tape.

The wild and wayward life of a tiny, disproportionately lively square of parkland in Toronto's west end has a lesson to teach us about the rewards of relinquishing control.

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U.S. Senate should reject Jeff Sessions again, 30 years later

12 January 2017 - 12:57pm
Thursday, January 12, 2017

The arc of U.S. history is on full display as the peaceful transition of power takes place from the administration of President Barack Obama to that of incoming president-elect Donald Trump. The first African-American president is about to hand the reins of power to the very man who led the racist "birther" campaign to delegitimize his presidency. As Trump continues to shock the world with his middle-of-the-night tweets, the flurry of Senate confirmation hearings exposed the hollow rhetoric of Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp." Among the controversial and divisive cabinet nominees is his pick for attorney general: Jeff Sessions, the junior senator from Alabama.

Sen. Sessions has been consistent throughout his career. The Senate Judiciary Committee should be equally consistent and reject Sessions as attorney general.

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CJFE publishes new resource to help you secure your digital life

12 January 2017 - 9:44am

Digital technologies have become extremely important to journalism work, but this also means there is a growing number of tools and platforms that can be used against journalists as means of surveillance, identification and harassment by states and non-state actors alike.

Protecting yourself no longer means just securing your physical safety; it must also include securing your digital safety. Any breaches to your online life put your physical life at risk.

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