Ottawa – Following confirmation that Statistics Canada intends to compel major financial institutions to provide detailed customer banking information, the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce announced Monday that it will hold at least one hearing to hear views on whether such information should be required by Statistics Canada.
A recent Global News report revealed that Statistics Canada is seeking full details of every banking transaction made by 500,000 Canadians over a designated period, without their consent.
Statistics Canada told Global that responses to its surveys are low; the agency said the data will be used to track household spending and consumer trends, and that the data collected will be made anonymous.
Former Chief Statistician Wayne Smith told media he believes the agency may have overreached.
It stinks, it is the most polluted city on earth, but that is not the most terrible thing about it. You can drive for ten or even twenty kilometers through it, and see only ugliness, fences and broken pavements. But there are many miserable cities on this planet, and I have worked in almost all of them, in 160 countries. So why is ‘Jakarta killing me’?
Why am I overwhelmed by depression whenever I decide to film here, or to write about the state in which its citizens are forced to live? Why, really, do I feel so desperate, so hopeless?
I am tough. I hardly succumb to depression even in such places like the war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, or in the middle of the toughest slums of Africa. So, what is it, really, about Jakarta? Here, I often speak about ‘immorality’, but again, what do I mean by this term? I am not a moralist, far from it. I have no religion, and I very rarely pass ‘moral judgments’, unless something truly outrageous unveils in front of my eyes.
So why, as so many others, do I land in this city in good spirits, and leave one or two weeks sick, broken, literally shitting my pants, full of wrath, despair? Why?
The suspect in today’s mass shooting (well, the biggest one I’ve heard of thus far this morning; the day is young) is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Another mass shooter in Florida last week just happens to have been in the military. The man who killed with a van in Toronto this year had been briefly in the Canadian military and promoted his crime on Facebook beforehand as a military operation. The mass-killing in a Florida High School earlier this year was also promoted by the killer as a military operation, in the sense that he wore his JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) shirt and killed in the same school where the U.S. Army had trained him to shoot and instructed him in war-supporting views of the world and its history.
Obviously having been a member of the U.S. military can’t have any causal connection to mass shootings, and that’s why it makes the most amazing coincidence over and over again that so many individuals who’ve been trained to kill lots of people bizarrely end up killing lots of people.
Looking at a long list of mass shootings in the United States, almost all of the shooters are men, and almost all of them are between ages 18 and 59. Above age 59, the percentage of men in the general U.S. population who are veterans leaps up dramatically.
Plowing a steady course between Washington State and Alaska, the 10,000 ton oil tankers barge through BC's inside passage. It seems nothing can stop their relentless progress, neither First Nation objection, rumoured moratoriums, nor environmental imprecations.
Even when the predicted disasters come so close, like the sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart in 2016, and near grounding of the Jake Shearer off the Goose Islands in Hecate Strait last year, those tugs just keep chugging along, marking time towards the inevitable Exxon Valdez-sized catastrophe to come.
Ingmar Lee is a long-time, BC-based environment defender. From the Nanaimo watershed and first-growth valley bottoms of Vancouver Island, to Cathedral Grove and the threatened Sandhill Crane nesting grounds of British Columbia’s mid-coast, Ingmar has advocated for and stood between an increasingly fragile ecosystem and its government enabled big business despoilers.
He is also the creator of the 10,000 Ton Tanker Public Group that has, through sheer tenacity, towed a reluctant media and the ENGO community into its effort to have the dangerous tanker transits along this ecologically fragile, and navigationally treacherous coast stopped for good. Ingmar will be appearing at 7:30 tonight at the Roxy Theatre on Gabriola Island to talk about the tankers passing the island every two weeks.
Ingmar Lee in the first half.
And; vilify, sanction, invade and repeat; it's the imperial routine that seems never to tire. Time and again we've seen Western governments focus on one country or another, label its leadership "evil doers", the government illegitimate, and put all "options on the table" to achieve said "regime's" necessary changing. All for the welfare of the people there, of course. It's a game that's been played for a long time, 'The Great Game' as the late British Empire knew it; but a century after the end of the Great War that ended Britannia's global rule, has the Game of Empire finally run its course?
Dan Kovalik and correcting the prevailing myths of Western innocence in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Ingmar Lee and shedding light on the shadowy tanker traffic plying BC's coast.
Moscow - The President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on the eve of yesterday’s elections in the US that “there is no need to delude ourselves hoping that they will somehow clarify things [how Russian-US ties will develop]. So far, there is no definite trend towards normalizing relations.”
This morning, Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house, said: “The outcome of the elections is in line with the main forecasts. Naturally, both [parties] will try to present the outcome as their victory. But I’m afraid that the US political system will be among losers, becoming even more misbalanced and unpredictable, up to attempts to launch the impeachment procedure.”
Both officials were speaking mistakenly. The lessons for Russian policy during the two-year campaign just starting for the presidential election of 2020 are clearer than the Kremlin dares to acknowledge because it wishes to avoid a public Russian debate on the choices required.
When Israeli troops stormed the house of Palestinian parliamentarian and lawyer, Khalida Jarrar, on April 2, 2015, she was engrossed in her research. For months, Jarrar had been leading a Palestinian effort to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Her research on that very evening was directly related to the kind of behavior that allows a group of soldiers to handcuff a respected Palestinian intellectual, throwing her in jail with no trial and with no accountability for their action.
Jarrar was released after spending over one year in jail in June 2016, only to be arrested once more, on July 2, 2017. She remains in an Israeli prison.
On October 28 of this year, her ‘administrative detention’ was renewed for the fourth time.
Last week saw yet another far right government ascend the World stage. Whether neo, crypto, or proto fascist, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro represents a further ebbing of Latin America's so-called Pink Tide movement.
It's a trend that's seen political reversals already in Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Honduras, and now threatens the Sandinista and Bolivarian revolutions of Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The bitter fruits of this social change can be seen on the faces of the thousands currently fleeing Central America, desperate to escape the counter-revolution regimes put in place, ironically enough, through the agency of El Norte countries like ours, Canada.
Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, essayist, and author. His articles appear at Dissident Voice, The Palestine Chronicle, Rabble.ca, and Pacific Free Press among other places. The latest of his ten books, 'Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada' is freshly off the presses and questions, Why, despite all evidence to the contrary, Canadians still suffer under the delusion that they and their nation’s government are "a benevolent force in the world"?
Yves will be at UVic tonight at 7pm in the Hickman Building for a presentation on, and book launch of 'Left, Right, Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada'.
Yves Engler in the first half.
And; from GR's wayback files, Michael Parenti from February 2003:
All that’s missing from media reports of the long-rumoured Battle of Civilizations, (coming to a TV screen near you) is Reason. Rarely mentioned, and presumably soon to be forgotten, is any information providing a context for the conflict in the middle east. Amid the rabid rhetoric emanating from the Bush administration and its media organs, you may be forgiven your struggle to make sense of it all. Michael Parenti is one of America’s most astute, and persistent critics of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. ‘Democracy for the Few’, ‘Against Empire’, and ‘History as Mystery’, are just a few of his many books.
Michael Parenti provides a bit of context for the coming storm and to discuss his newest book, ‘The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond’ in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin with some of the good things to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Yves Engler and marching to the Imperial beat.
Oil prices are down a bit, but are still close to multi-year highs. That should leave the shale industry flush with cash. However, a long list of U.S. shale companies are still struggling to turn a profit.
A new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Sightline Institute detail the “alarming volumes of red ink” within the shale industry.
“Even after two and a half years of rising oil prices and growing expectations for improved financial results, a review of 33 publicly traded oil and gas fracking companies shows the companies posting negative free cash flows through June,” the report’s authors write.
The 33 small and medium-sized drillers posted a combined $3.9 billion in negative cash flow in the first half of 2018.
Moscow - By the standards our police, prosecutors, and judges are required to follow, the cases presented so far by the British Government in the Skripal poisoning and the Dutch Government in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 shoot-down fall short by a long way. Worse than unprovable to the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt, they are unpresentable in a court of law.
So long as this is so, the particulars of the offence presented in the media are no more than guesswork with political objectives, local and international.
The recent Dutch Government presentation of evidence of Russian espionage around the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) proves no more than that the Russians were looking for evidence of the weapon in the alleged poisoning. That was evidence which had been officially requested by the Russian Government from the British Government, and been refused.
At the civil court standard of proof on the balance of probabilities, the published British evidence proves there were Russian espionage agents in Skripal’s town on the fateful day.
That doesn’t prove what the agents or Skripal himself did in what may have been –speculation alert! unpresentable in court!– an accident in handling hazardous substances, Skripal’s mishandling; Russian spies monitoring a British spy operation with Skripal on the British side; or a crime against Skripal.
Until Skripal himself is cross-examined in court, or presents himself in front of the press, we aren’t getting closer to knowing which.
In the annals of true crime – that’s to say an indictment which the Director of Public Prosecutions will present with his or her name on it in court — the Skripal case is unique. No corpse or corpus delicti; no weapon; no witness; no culprit; no modus operandi; no chain of custody for the evidence.
For the discussion with Chris Cook, listen to today’s Gorilla Radio broadcast from Victoria, British Columbia, between Minute 00:00 and 27:13.
Gorilla Radio is broadcast every Thursday by Chris Cook on CFUV 101.9 FM from the University of Victoria. The radio station can be heard here. The Gorilla Radio transcripts are also published by the Pacific Free Press and on the blog. For Chris Cook’s broadcast archive, click to open.
Canadians are fortunate to live in a country possessing not only a thoroughly modern health care system, utilizing the best of 21st century technology, but also with legislated universal access to it. But, there's more to good medicine than universality, or the newest next thing, and as my first guest warns: when it comes to the ultimate primary care - how Canadians come into the World - the very progress we herald in Western medicine is making birth in this country less a natural process to be celebrated than "technological experience" to be endured.
Dr. Michael C. Klein's long, illustrious, and varied career in medicine both inside Canada and without includes serving as clinician, administrator, researcher, and educator.
The Professor Emeritus of family practice at the University of British Columbia has practiced too in the United States, and cut his teeth in maternal medicine in exotic locales under surprising circumstances. It would take a book to do the scope of his career justice; so it's fortunate Michael Klein is also an author. His first book, 'Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo' tells his story, and much more besides.
Dr. Michael C. Klein in the first half.
And; last year, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' BC Office reported a subsidiary of Malaysian energy giant Petronas side-stepped the law, constructing at least 16 dams to support its fracking operations without approval of the province's Environmental Assessment Office. Now, that report's author has discovered, rather than suffering fine or censure for its breach of the law, Progress Energy asked for, and has had granted, retroactive exemptions from environmental review for two of the dams the EAO described as "illegal works".
Ben Parfitt and a free pass for Petronas frackers in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, dissident Dr. Michael C. Klein, catching babies and challenging the medical status quo.
In June, the BBC reported that someone operating under the name 'Philip Cross' had been extraordinarily active in editing Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit:
'"Philip Cross" has made hundreds of thousands of edits to Wikipedia pages. But in the process he's angered anti-war activists and critics of British and Western foreign policy, who claim he's been biased against them.'
Political analyst and former UK British ambassador Craig Murray described the scale of Cross's activities:
"Philip Cross" has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. "He" has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That's 1,721 consecutive days of editing. '133,612 edits to Wikipedia have been made in the name of "Philip Cross" over 14 years. That's over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for "Philip Cross's" Wikipedia activity is astonishing if it is one individual.'
So who is Philip Cross? The BBC commented:
'BBC Trending has been able to establish that he lives in England, and that Philip Cross is not the name he normally goes by outside of Wikipedia.'
In recent weeks the White House has embraced the contemporary version of the world’s most murderous regimes. President Trump has embraced the Saudi Arabian “Prince of Death” Mohammad bin Salman who has graduated from chopping hands and heads in public plazas to dismembering bodies in overseas consulates – the case of Jamal Khashoggi. The White House warmly greeted the electoral success of Brazilian Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, ardent champion of torturers, military dictators, death squads and free marketers.
President Trump grovels, grunts and glories before Israel, as his spiritual guide Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates the Sabbath with the weekly murders and maiming of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians, especially youngsters. These are President Trump’s ‘natural allies’. They share his values and interests while each retains their particular method of disposing of the cadavers of adversaries and dissenters.
We will proceed to discuss the larger political-economic context in which the trio of monsters operate. We will analyze the benefits and advantages which lead President Trump to ignore and even praise, actions which violate America’s democratic values and sensibilities. In conclusion, we will examine the consequences and risks which result from Trump’s embrace of the trio.