I posted this photo to Piper’s Instagram account this morning: I don’t really hate Mondays – that was Piper talking – but it did get me thinking about how confused my work week has become these past few years. I don’t really have a work week. I don’t get up, get in a car, show […]
Today, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) joins counterparts around the world in celebrating International Customs Day. This year’s theme is Co-ordinated Border Management – an inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders. The CBSA supports the World Customs Organization (WCO)’s decision to highlight the importance of partnerships in meeting the trade and border security demands of the 21st century.
During the 2013 BC election, Liberals talked frequently of “Debt-Free B.C.” The party platform included this:
No conscious person will be surprised when I state the performance has fallen short of the promise. It’s a liberal shortage. Consider the actual numbers versus the promise displayed above:
Liberals and their allies from the world of crony-capitalism claim the government party provides superior financial management. That may well be true for those in the business of extracting metals, minerals and fossil fuels, selling electricity to the province at multiples of its market value or running consulting and public relations operations. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Performance short of promise
During the 2013 BC election, Liberals talked frequently of “Debt-Free B.C.” The party platform included this:No conscious person will be surprised when I state the performance has fallen short of the promise. It’s a liberal shortage. Consider the actua…
It would have been better if they won last time, Greece is pretty fully looted now. But Greeks thought they were Europeans, and didn’t realize the contempt that French and Germans had for them, and how willing they were to kill and impoverish large numbers of them. There is a great deal of hand-wringing in […]
Debt is one of those four-letter words that inspires fear in the hearts of anyone who owes money. If you have debt, you know how much that burden can weigh on you. The more debt you have, the more stress you feel as you attempt to get your finances in order. If you owe […]
A pair of Cedar Waxwings could not be more perfectly posed than they are for this photo.
ELAD Canada‘s master-planned Emerald City community is among the largest condominium communities in North York. Across Sheppard Avenue from the busy Fairview Mall, the development now boasts three towers and a dozen townhomes, and is set to continue growing well into the future with the next set of three new towers launching shortly. The first of these to hit the market will be Biyu, a 13-storey WZMH Architects-designed building. New construction doesn’t occur overnight though, so for those looking to move in the short term, units are still available in the recently-opened Emerald City towers.
In the 25-storey Dream Tower, a new incentive package is being offered for the 861 square-foot, two-bedroom ‘Charm’ suite layout. The Charm suites start in price at $411,900, and for a limited time, developer ELAD will cover buyers’ estimated mortgage, property taxes and maintenance fees on the unit for a year, up to a maximum of $31,000.
Potential buyers are given a taste of the ‘Charm’ layout by visiting the the model suite, which was furnished and staged by Joan Stirling of Stirling Home Studio. “We envisioned the buyer of this suite as someone who appreciates modern décor with a touch of traditional,” said Stirling. “Nowadays, that covers the sensibilities of purchasers of all ages. They like classic styling with a twist. We are finding that this model is appealing to sophisticated young couples and empty-nesters who are downsizing in square footage.”
The main living area’s eclectic mix of classic and modern styles is apparent in the accompanying photographs of the model suite. “The white Pasha chairs are a great example,” said Stirling. “Their design is classic, but these are done in polycarbonate. It’s a fun look.” The bright space is set off by contrasting tones and ample natural light, with a muted colour palette that gives the unit a light, airy feeling. “By placing a glass dining table in the living area, we helped to keep the look airy,” said Stirling, “and the chrome in the small living room tables adds sparkle. Using two tables instead of one larger coffee table is popular practice today.”
The suite’s two bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the unit to maximize privacy. Like the main living area, both bedrooms feature ample natural light and a muted colour palette. “Everything we chose for the Charm accentuates the functionality of the layout,” said Stirling. “Buyers appreciate the full-size stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Wood flooring throughout, except for the bedrooms and baths, increases the value in these well-appointed suites.”
Additional information and renderings are available in our dataBase files for Emerald City, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.
Growth in long-term debt at #BCHydro. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/27grtfWv7g— Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) January 22, 2015In addition to growth in long-term debt, #bchydro obliged to pay over $50 billion for private energy. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/s…
We had wanted to travel to a Caribbean all inclusive with the family for awhile now, but one of the biggest things holding us back was our picky, picky eaters. My husband and I had visited resorts before and felt bored with the food after a couple days…
There are now 173,807 solar workers in the US, 80,000 jobs created just since 2010!
At the World Economic Forum, the elite of the global economy arrive in the least sustainable mode of travel – a private jet. Yet a few of them will walk a few kilometers to donate bikes to school kids.
Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $221,960 in funding to the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres in Westmount to finance alternative programs for youth offenders, supporting their reintegration into society and strengthening their ability to …
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that Mohammed Elhajabed of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has pleaded guilty in Halifax Provincial Court to three counts of counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (…
The misuse of Canada’s new copyright notice-and-notice system has attracted considerable media and political attention over the past week. With revelations that some rights holders are requiring Internet providers to send notifications that misstate the law in an effort to extract payments based on unproven infringement allegations, the government has acknowledged that the notices are misleading and promised to contact providers and rights holders to stop the practice.
While the launch of the copyright system has proven to be an embarrassment for Industry Minister James Moore, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that many Canadians are still left wondering whether the law applies to Internet video streaming, which has emerged as the most popular way to access online video.
The post Stream On?: How Canadian Law Views Online Streaming Video appeared first on Michael Geist.
Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced more than $536,000 in funding to Motivaction Jeunesse for the OXYGÈNE project, which promotes social rehabilitation through sport and outdoor activities for youth in conflict with the law in Québec.
In light of the troubles the oil price collapse is causing Canada let us revisit the issue of Dutch Disease and explain how the Canadian economy worked for over a 100 years until Prime Minister Harper’s conservatives, by overly favoring resources and letting the Canadian manufacturing be terribly damaged, effectively ended the Canadian mixed economy. […]
Vaughn Palmer thinks readers should be reminded of past NDP sins so he offers Gordon Campbell’s words from 2001:
“Under the New Democratic Party, BC Hydro has been viewed as little more than a cash cow for the government,” declared Opposition leader and soon-to-be premier Gordon Campbell on the eve of the 2001 election campaign.
“Since the NDP was elected, it has siphoned almost $2.5 billion out of BC Hydro into general revenue. This is $2.5 billion that could have gone to reducing the debt of BC Hydro, into the construction of new generation facilities, or been left in the pockets of customers.”
Shocking, isn’t it. Kudos to Vaughn Palmer for providing key facts.
He gives this additional information:
Turns out Hydro has paid $5.4 billion in dividends to the province since 1992, of which 60 per cent — or $3.2 billion — had to be borrowed.
Presuming Hydro had been able to use that money to offset its own borrowing needs, the Crown corporation’s current debt ($15.4 billion and counting) would be that much smaller and the upward pressure on rates from interest payments would be reduced as well.
However, that turns out to be a rewording of government press notes and it is not entirely accurate. Since 2001, BC Hydro payments to government total almost $10 billion and it does not take a graduate degree in finance to know, had that money not been paid out, the crown corporation’s borrowings would be reduced by the same amount. It is an illogical fiction to pretend that only $3.2 billion had to be borrowed to make payments to government during the past 23 years.
Mind you Palmer could also have reported that when Glen Clark became Premier, BC Hydro’s long-term debt was $7.496 billion and, when he left the office three years later, it was $7.474 billion. When Christy Clark became Premier, the utility’s debt was $11.712 billion. According to the September 2014 financial statements, the debt was $16.588 billion, not the lesser amount from ten months ago noted on the BC Liberal’s press notes.
That’s a 42% increase in long-term debt of BC Hydro, but the amount is chump change compared to borrowings planned in the next few years and the over $50 billion increase in contractual commitments to private power producers, which were non-existent during the days of Glen Clark’s profligacy.
Another illustration of the different approaches to debt and spending during different times follows. It should be noted that quarterly statements of BC Hydro in the current fiscal year show long-term debt rising at a monthly rate of $171.5 million. That is the fastest ever rate of growth in BC Hydro debt.
Liberal policies aim to eliminate elements of a progressive tax system to impose the financial burden of government on lower and middle income citizens. Had BC Hydro been able to use the “dividends” and water rentals extracted from it by government, the utility could have eliminated the tier-1 residential rate for the first 1,350 kWh used over an average two-month billing period. Instead, residents are hit with increases well above the rate of inflation. This is reflected graphically but not show is the 28% rate increase announced in 2014. 9% took effect April 2014, which will cause another upward move when the numbers for fiscal year 2015 are added.
Dropping the irony, I can say this Palmer article leaves me thinking the newspaper’s masthead could accurately describe the Vancouver Sun purpose to be,
Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.
Maybe I’ll suggest it to Vaughn if I see him entertaining Liberals at some corporate speaking engagement or encounter him resting in a quiet pasture.
|H/T Rob S.|
Brr… it’s been an incredibly cold winter and I’m over it already. Thankfully, my family and I are heading south to warmer temperatures, soon. I’m counting down the days—we all are, actually. I need the sun, the warmth, and the sound of the ocean waves waking me up every morning.
Soon, I’ll be testing out their New Year, New You Spa Package: “A special New Year, New you package invites guests to experience a one-hour personal training session to help start their New Year off right, along with a refreshing 80-minute Diplomat Fit Massage and 50-minute Firming Facial. The experience concludes with a shellac manicure and pedicure, leaving guests polished and new.” Um… yes, please. I cannot wait! Read more about the Diplomat Resort and Spa here.
Bal Harbour is my favourite place in Florida and I know this escape will be amazing. After all, it’s down the road from the Bal Harbour Shops and my favorite Italian restaurant—especially for people and celebrity watching—Carpaccio’s! The Ritz-Carlton is a stunning resort for adults and children alike. They even have a Ritz Kids Club, too—the kids learn as they’re kept busy, through four pillars: land, water, environmental responsibility, and culture, and there are other fun and educational activities for the children, too, like a summer reading program, a book and movie library, board games, gaming systems, and more. There is also, of course, plenty to keep adults busy, as well, from lounging around the pool and beach area, to enjoying the fine dining and spa services. The bathrooms at the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour were voted one of South Florida’s sexiest… don’t you agree?
What you can enjoy while you’re at the Hyatt: Enjoy the spacious guestrooms with private balconies, play 18-holes on any of the four championship Jack Nicklaus designed golf couress, play tennis with certified tennis pros, swim in the 800,000 gallon lagoon-style pool, go on a hike or a family bike ride, enjoy the water slides, or go rock climbing. You can also relax in the Marilyn Monroe spa, go paddleboating, and enjoy the many yummy restaurants.
From Miami to Orlando, these resorts have all you need for the perfect family vacation.
I’m be re-capping my vacation and giving full reviews on each resort upon my return. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, welcomed the release today in Moncton, New Brunswick, of the Independent Review of the Moncton Shooting that was requested by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson:
As the misuse of the Canada’s copyright notice-and-notice system continues to attract attention, Industry Canada has taken the first step to try to alleviate public concern. The department has posted an advisory on the notice-and-notice system which seeks to assuage consumer concern, noting that U.S. copyright penalties do not apply in Canada and that the statutory damages cap for non-commercial infringement is C$5000. It also states:
This is important information that provides much needed context for the notices. As I noted last week, some Internet providers are forwarding similar information to their subscribers.
The post Videotron’s Odd Copyright Notices: No User Rights and Inaccurate Privacy Information appeared first on Michael Geist.
Looking for a unique beach escape for the day? Barefoot Beach Preserve Park is located about a 20 minute drive from both Ft.Myers and Naples. You access Barefoot Beach Park by driving though a winding street surrounded by palm trees stretching up to the clouds, and a gorgeous residential area. This is perhaps the most […]
Every winter (and sometimes summer) we travel to south Florida to relax, spend time oceanside, and enjoy the fabulous Diplomat Resort and Spa. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be heading back to our favourite south Florida resort, and I can’t wait to leave winter behind.
Going on vacations with my boys and my family (and taking a break from the harsh, cold weather) is important to me, and every new vacation gives us many new wonderful, lasting memories. This trip to the Diplomat Resort and Spa will be our TENTH, believe it or not. (That should give you some indication about how much of a great time we have at this resort.) The first time I stayed at this resort, I was pregnant with my second baby boy. (He considers that his first vacation!).
I started travelling when I was a baby, and my boys have been travelling since they were infants, too. Because of this, travelling with them has always been pretty easy, no matter how far (Greece) or close (Florida) we go.
Here is some additional information about the Diplomat Resort and Spa, in case you’re looking to plan a trip here soon!
When I mentioned to friends that we were taking our younger son to San Francisco, they all had that same reaction! With deep sighing breathes everyone responded with, “Oh, I LOVE San Francisco!” We’ve visited several times and it must […]
It’s not like capitalists deserve your pity when they accidentally offend people while they try to embrace their communities to build spirit. And profit. It is partly because corporations are pretend human beings, with no emotions, no social conscience [beyond PR gains] and no capacity for human empathy, which is a fundamental part of human … Continue reading Does YOUR Favorite Corporate Exploit Tragedy for Sales? →
Last week I posted on how Rightscorp, a U.S.-based anti-piracy company, was using Canada’s new copyright notice-and-notice system to require Internet providers to send threats and misstatements of Canadian law in an effort to extract payments based on unproven infringement allegations. Many Canadians may be frightened into a settlement payment since they will be unaware that some of the legal information in the notice is inaccurate and that Rightscorp and BMG do not know who they are.
The revelations attracted considerable attention (I covered the issue in my weekly technology law column – Toronto Star version, homepage version), with NDP Industry Critic Peggy Nash calling on the government to close the loophole that permits false threats. Nash noted that “Canadians are receiving notices threatening them with fines thirty times higher than the law allows for allegedly downloading copyrighted material. The Conservatives are letting these companies send false legal information to Canadians in order to scare them into paying settlements for movies or music no one has even proved they’ve actually downloaded.”
With the notices escalating as a political issue, Jake Enright, Industry Minister James Moore’s spokesman, said on Friday the government would take action. Enright said that “these notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians”, adding that government officials would be contacting ISPs and rights holders to stop the practice.
The post Canada’s Copyright Notice Fiasco: Why Industry Minister James Moore Bears Some Responsibility appeared first on Michael Geist.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal today found that the dumping of concrete reinforcing bar, originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey, and the subsidizing of concrete reinforcing bar, originating or exported from the People’s Republic of China, have not caused but are threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry. Anti-dumping and countervailing duties will therefore be collected by the Canada Border Services Agency. The complainants in this case were Alta Steel Ltd. of Edmonton, Alberta, ArcelorMittal LCNA and ArcelorMittal Montreal Inc. of Contrec¿ur, Quebec, and Gerdau Longsteel North America of Whitby, Ontario.
The revelations that Rightscorp has been using the new copyright notice-and-notice system to force Internet providers to forward notifications with false copyright law information and demands for payment sparked considerable concern among many Canadian Internet users. In my post on the issue, I suggested two responses. First, the introduction of government regulations prohibiting the inclusion of settlement demands within the notices and creating penalties for those companies that send notices with false or misleading information. Second, Internet service providers adding their own information to the notices, advising their subscribers on the true state of Canadian law and reassuring them that they have not disclosed their personal information to the notice sender.
While there has been no response from the government, some Canadian ISPs are providing their subscribers with much-needed context. For example, TechAeris has posted the message provided by Shaw Cablesystems, which states:
The post Canadian ISPs Responding to Copyright Notices By Adding Information on Notice System, Privacy Concerns appeared first on Michael Geist.
Canada’s new copyright notice-and-notice system has been in place for less than a week, but rights holders are already exploiting a loophole to send demands for payment citing false legal information. Earlier this week, a Canadian ISP forwarded to me a sample notice it received from Rightscorp on behalf of BMG Rights Management. The notice, which is posted below with identifying information removed, must be forwarded to the subscriber or the ISP faces the possibility of statutory damages of between $5 – 10,000. Rightscorp announced that it was entering the Canadian market last year, so its participation in the notice-and-notice system is not a surprise. What is surprising is that the company has brought its model of issuing demands for payments to Canada by warning of U.S. damage awards and Internet termination in order to stoke fear among Canadians that they could face massive liability if they refuse to pay.
The notice falsely warns that the recipient could be liable for up to $150,000 per infringement when the reality is that Canadian law caps liability for non-commercial infringement at $5,000 for all infringements. The notice also warns that the user’s Internet service could be suspended, yet there is no such provision under Canadian law. Moreover, given the existence of the private copying system (which features levies on blank media such as CDs), personal music downloads may qualify as private copying and therefore be legal in Canada.
In addition to misstating Canadian law, the notice is instructive for what it does not say. While a recipient might fear a lawsuit with huge liability, there is very little likelihood of a lawsuit given that Rightscorp and BMG do not have the personal information of the subscriber. To obtain that information, they would need a court order, which can be a very expensive proposition. Moreover, this is merely an allegation that would need to be proven in court (assuming the rights holder is able to obtain a court order for the subscriber information).
Canipre, a Montreal-based intellectual property enforcement firm, yesterday issued a press release announcing an infringement monitoring program designed to take advantage of the new copyright notice-and-notice system. The release notes that the service detects online infringement and sends notifications alleging infringement to Canadian Internet providers, who must forward the notifications to their subscribers. The company has been involved in the Voltage Pictures – TekSavvy lawsuit and it cites that case as evidence of the effectiveness of its services.
Yet what Canipre does not say is that a blog associated with the company may have been engaged in copyright infringement for many months. The blog – copyrightenforcement.ca – is run by Barry Logan, the company’s Managing Director, Operations (I received an email from Mr. Logan last year that listed the site as his blog address). In addition to posting releases from Canipre and information about the TekSavvy case, the site has posted dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world.
Oh, what a list it would be! Enbridge? Kinder Morgan [the zombie child of Enron]? Imperial Metals [fanciful producers of the Mount Polley Mine disaster]? Other companies that treat workers badly like IKEA or Rocky Mountain Railtours? Capitalism is all about worshiping Frankencorporations that are immortal, legally a human being, limit the liability of owners … Continue reading Which BC Corporations Would YOU Like to Euthanize? →
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal today continued, with amendment, its order made on January 6, 2010, in Expiry Review No. RR-2009-001, continuing, with amendment, its findings made on January 7, 2005, in Inquiry No. NQ-2004-005, concerning the…
A new year is traditionally the time to refresh and renew personal goals. The same is true in the digital policy realm, where despite the conclusion of lawful access, anti-counterfeiting, and anti-spam rules in 2014, many other issues in Canada remain unresolved, unaddressed, or stalled in the middle of development.
With a new year – one that will feature a federal election in which all parties will be asked to articulate their vision of Canada’s digital future – there is a chance to hit the policy reset button on issues that have lagged or veered off course.
There is no shortage of possibilities, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the following four concerns should be top of mind for policy makers and politicians:
The post New Year Offers Chance to Hit Reset Button on Digital Policies appeared first on Michael Geist.
For years we’ve struggled with the idea of travelling over the holiday season. We’ve had great experiences travelling to tropical paradises, ski getaways and everything in between during this time of year. It was always great to escape with the […]
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) today initiated an expiry review of its order made on September 10, 2010, in Expiry Review No. RR-2009-002, to determine if the continued or resumed dumping of certain whole potatoes from the Uni…
This time, our Christmas holidays sees us travel south rather than west. After Christmas, we decided to visit my father-in-law Wendell, his wife Judy and her sons, who were gathering in Washington, DC. We spent two nights in Niagara…