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Updated: 2 days 9 hours ago

VMedia vs. Bell Media: What will it take to change the channel on Internet law and policy?

21 October 2016 - 11:21am

There is no rest for the wicked -- and there is even less rest for the allegedly wicked who find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit from the largest telecommunications company in Canada.

Throw in the Internet, a fading broadcasting model, two federal statutes, and a counter lawsuit, and watch the midnight oil market boom -- all thanks to a small start-up Internet and cable provider, VMedia, in its current battle against TV behemoth Bell Media Inc.

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If Canada really wants Truth and Reconciliation it should start in Muskrat Falls

21 October 2016 - 9:34am

Any hopes that the governing federal and provincial Liberals might have had that the Muskrat Falls struggle would remain a remote and isolated matter of regional politics are rapidly evaporating. While the premier hides in his office, Muskrat Falls has escalated into a national struggle.

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The Syrian refugee crisis is a historic challenge. Canada needs to meet it with a historic response.

21 October 2016 - 8:54am

My organization has joined in the sponsorship of nine different Syrian refugee families. Some of the files were submitted as early as 2015; all have been approved; yet not a single refugee has arrived. There are thousands of sponsoring groups in Canada in a position identical to ours. 

In case the Trudeau government didn't notice, the Syrian civil war is far from over; ditto for the Syrian refugee crisis. Many of these sponsored families struggle in hardship and uncertainty -- some still in refugee camps -- as they await word on their resettlement. Canadians are justified in asking: What is Canada's long-term plan for Syrian refugees?

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What are Canadian values anyway?

21 October 2016 - 6:06am
Friday, October 21, 2016

I've decided I'm basically anti-values. There's nowhere else to go. At first I thought I was just against the kind of race-based, Trump-echoing version of "Canadian values" that Kellie Leitch is building her run for the Conservative leadership on, and which she advocated while backing the "barbaric cultural practices tip line" last election. Our variation on right-wing U.S. "values voters."

Values are slight and transient. You can't really pursue them. They're more like happiness or love: they tend to be by-products or end results of other experiences.

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Democracy Now reporter arrested after covering the Dakota Access Pipeline

21 October 2016 - 5:14am
Attempts to criminalize nonviolent land and water defenders, humiliate them and arrest journalists should not pave the way for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Amy Goodman's arrest puts fierce spotlight on standoff at Standing Rock

Schiaparelli lander missing; ground control still in contact with Postmedia; prognosis grim for both

20 October 2016 - 11:38pm

About 178 million kilometres from us yesterday, give or take, Europe's Schiaparelli spacecraft went missing and is presumed to have come to a bad end somewhere on the Martian surface.

The lander's parachute failed to properly deploy, as the military-scientific-industrial complex loves to say; its retro-rockets turned themselves off too soon. The probability is said to be a small new crater on the Red Planet.

"The European Space Agency has not yet conceded that the lander crashed but the mood is not positive," the BBC reported with delightful understatement.

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Canada's torture consumers and the faux national security consultation

20 October 2016 - 6:36pm
Friday, October 21, 2016

Anyone following discussions on the ultimate disposition of the Harper regime's C-51 "anti-terror" legislation -- which received crucial Liberal support during a 2015 Parliamentary vote -- will soon be hearing a lot about "SIRC." The acronym will be bandied about as various professors, lawyers and terrorism industry "experts" bloviate on what they think will "improve" a law that is so fundamentally flawed and dangerous that taking anything short of an abolitionist position is to be complicit in the human rights abuses C-51 authorizes.

Anyone following discussions on the ultimate disposition of the Harper regime's C-51 "anti-terror" legislation will soon be hearing a lot about "SIRC" -- the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

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'Storming the Digital Divide' illustrates how PovNet made the Internet accessible

20 October 2016 - 5:16pm

PovNet was born out of a meeting of anti-poverty activists in 1997 who wanted to make the Internet accessible to all. A new comic book tells the story of this unique online resource. Penny Goldsmith is author of Storming the Digital Divide with illustrations by Kara Sievewright and with additional art by Nicole Marie Burton. Penny Goldsmith speaks with Redeye host Jane Williams.

Check out our website for more information about Redeye.

Find us on Facebook and like our page for regular updates. 

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What's the most Liberal thing Justin Trudeau's government has done so far?

20 October 2016 - 3:53pm

So Canada, are your faces red yet?

It looks like Justin Trudeau is walking back what Karl Nerenberg calls his "clear and very personal ownership" of the Liberal pledge to ensure 2015 was the last election to be decided under First-Past-the-Post. For many voters and advocacy groups last October, that was the one campaign promise that made a Liberal government palatable -- and now it may not happen.

Choices Solemnly promising to reform Canada's broken electoral system once and for all...and then nah. Announcing "Canada is Back" with brave new climate targets...and then approving LNG plants, pushing for pipelines and going canoeing. Pledging a "renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous people"...and then approving the Site C dam on Lelu Island, breaking education promises and doing nothing in Muskrat Falls. Decrying the political cynicism bred of a dysfunctional parliament under Harperism...and then helping Conservatives coin the phrase "limousine Liberals" while inviting mining magnates to $1.5K fundraisers. Giving breathless interviews, doing one-handed push-ups and going shirtless instead of, you know, fixing the country you were hired to fix. I <3 Justin! You pinkos are a bunch of whinging creeps. There aren't enough words nor animated gifs available for me to adequately answer this question.

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Our last chance to knock down the TPP is here, let's seize it!

20 October 2016 - 1:46pm

It's been over six months since the TPP was signed by its 12 participant nations back in February and it’s been a heated battle since. We've seen public consultations, protests, political debates and even Jumbotruck stunts, all of which have shaped the conversation on whether this deal is actually to the benefit of signatory countries and their people.

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Can Trudeau get away with killing electoral reform?

20 October 2016 - 1:40pm

When a major party candidate for the U.S. presidency says he will not necessarily respect the result of the election there is a great hue and cry throughout the land, and quite legitimately so.

And what happens when a Canadian Prime Minister strongly hints he might walk away from one his most emphatic and unequivocal election promises?

Well, there has been some clicking of tongues, and a few expressions of somewhat-more-than-mild disappointment.

But should there not be a greater degree of concern, if not something approaching outrage?

For Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the promise that the 2015 election would be the last one conducted under the current first-past-the-post system was not merely one among many casually offered campaign pledges.

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Amy Goodman's arrest puts fierce spotlight on standoff at Standing Rock

20 October 2016 - 12:26pm
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday was a cold, windy, autumnal day in North Dakota. We arrived outside the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan to produce a live broadcast of the Democracy Now! news hour. Originally, the location was dictated by the schedule imposed upon us by the local authorities; one of us (Amy) had been charged with criminal trespass for Democracy Now!'s reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline company's violent attack on Native Americans who were attempting to block the destruction of sacred sites, including ancestral burial grounds, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Attempts to criminalize nonviolent land and water defenders, humiliate them and arrest journalists should not pave the way for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Conservative leadership slate pretty uninspiring -- but at least there's no Donald Trump

20 October 2016 - 12:09pm

The Conservative Party of Canada has not yet figured out why it lost the election last year. To hear Conservatives talk, you sometimes wonder if they know they lost at all. It seems that many of them believe their 99 seats counts as a "moral victory." The NDP should sue for breach of copyright.

Then there's the widespread view among people within the party that the problem was their "tone." It's not at all clear what they think they mean by this, but it seems to have little to do with a series of mean and bigoted policies that failed to appeal to any but the Conservative base.

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Boosting minimum wages, boosting the economy from the bottom up

20 October 2016 - 11:18am

Across the nation, talk of minimum wages and their impact is always the stuff of vigorous debate. This month it was the focus of an episode of CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup with new host Duncan McCue from 4-6 p.m. EST. I was asked to kick off the discussion, which was both rich with experience and nuanced with different perspective. It's available here, in case you missed it.

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Laura Tribe testifying at C-51 public hearings in Vancouver

20 October 2016 - 9:56am

Crucial parliamentary consultations on Bill C-51 kicked off on Monday in Vancouver and your OpenMedia team prepared and attended to testify on behalf of our community and thousands of Canadians who have voiced their strong opposition to this bill. Check out this video to see our Executive Director Laura Tribe giving testimony, explaining exactly why Bill C-51 is reckless, dangerous and ineffective -- and why all Canadians deserve strong privacy rules to keep us safe. 

We alslive-tweeteded throughout the session, so in case you missed it, here are some of the highlights of the hearing:

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'Indigenous London' re-imagines colonial telling of London's past

20 October 2016 - 6:28am
Thursday, October 20, 2016 University of British Columbia professor Coll Thrush's work reveals Indigenous history at the centre of an empire.

When thinking of places to research North American Indigenous history, London, England may not immediately spring to mind.

But that's exactly what Coll Thrush, a University of British Columbia professor, examines in his latest book, Indigenous London.

The Crown's fraught relationship with Indigenous peoples from Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia has left its marks on the British capital. The book, to be released later this month, re-frames London's history through an Indigenous lens. It's punctuated with walking tours of the city and Thrush's own poetry.

"Even if the city has forgotten its imperial past, Indigenous people haven't," Thrush told rabble.ca

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Bill to promote gender equity fails, Canadian women could wait until 2075 for equality in parliament

20 October 2016 - 5:50am
Bill C-237 would offer financial incentives to ensure gender parity during elections. Unfortunately, it will be voted down by the Liberal government. Death of gender parity bill means Canadian women could wait until 2075 for equality in parliament

A look at the Trudeau Liberals a year after the election

20 October 2016 - 5:39am

One year ago on Wednesday, the Trudeau Liberals were swept to power when they won 184 seats in the House of Commons with the promise of "real change."

On this first anniversary, it’s important to look at how are they doing on the critical files of trade, climate, water and health care.


During the election, the Liberals promised "a full and open public debate in parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted" on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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Alberta right now: The state of the province, its parties and its oil after one year without Stephen Harper

19 October 2016 - 10:21pm

It was so busy in political Alberta yesterday, those folks who were inclined to do so barely had time to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of the Harper government by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals in the 2015 federal election!

NDP Premier Rachel Notley gave her "state of the province” speech to a friendly, invited crowd in the lobby of the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, where she told Albertans that notwithstanding hard times, her government isn't about to cut health care or education funding. But spending in other areas, it was pretty clear, will be constrained -- just how constrained remains to be seen.

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Yukon political debates and other vicious sports

19 October 2016 - 9:46pm

The Yukon 2016 territorial election is well underway. The list of candidates has been finalized. Three parties -- the governing Yukon Party, the opposition Yukon New Democrats and the third party Yukon Liberals -- are running full slates of nineteen candidates, the Yukon Greens have put forward five candidates, and there is one independent. Voting day is on Nov. 7. 

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