Monthly Archives: June 2014

CBC: Death by 1,500 Cuts

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The news about the harsh cuts of up to 1,500 jobs with the CBC doesn’t really come as a shock to me.  The Conservatives and those who hate any sense of equality or opportunity have hated this public institution and have never really made much of a secret of this.

That said, Canadians have a choice to make:  we can accept the slow and deliberate destruction of Canada’s public broadcaster; we can run Hubert Lacroix out of town; or … we can try to organize something a little more effective than just rebroadcasting sports and narrating PR stories from Canadian Press.

I choose the latter.

Let’s face it:  the CBC has always been OK for many, but never great for all.  I can’t stand two-thirds of their radio shows, I’ve never been much of a fan of their TV programming and I really only tune in to the radio to hear what’s up in the world of PR and mass-media manipulation from the PMO.

The cuts are much bigger than any of us seem willing to admit.  However, we must finally experience the inevitable elimination of something that was never really set up properly in the first place.

We need to collectively begin to understand that our future as a nation relies on having an effective tool for sharing our thoughts and ideas.

See, when it comes to public broadcasting and media, there are four options:

  1. Do nothing – be brainwashed by private media and see what happens to the future of humanity
  2. Create content – the failed model of the ‘old’ CBC
  3. Enable content – possibly the intended model of the ‘new’ CBC
  4. Distribute content – shift its mandate so that it helps all Canadians access and distribute content

I believe that the CBC’s future should be as a distributor of content.

I’d like you to join along in this new chorus.  Canadians should demand a platform of internet services that would rival the monopolies in this country.

We need to finally understand that a government-run business should NOT be in the content creation business.

Instead, the CBC needs to act as a public utility delivering internet services that would acknowledge digital access as a right and not a yoke.

The time has come.

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CASL A Kick in the Junk to Canadian Small Businesses and All Canadians

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The CASL – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – is the new ultimate four-letter word for all small businesses and operators that stay in touch with clients and friends via newsletters.

Introduced by the Conservatives, this legislation shows a complete and absolute lack of understanding how things work in the digital universe.

Businesses – especially small businesses run by one or a few people – are being forced to get their clients and subscribers to ‘re-subscribe’, an obtuse and idiotic process that is flooding the in-box of every single Canadian over the last few weeks and in the few days to come before the ‘deadline’ of July 1.

These same businesses have worked extremely hard to build up a list of subscribers that they can be in contact with independent of other media companies or social networks.  This is a level of control with small businesses that the Conservatives, Facebook and big business find unacceptable.

Happy Frickin Canada Day, Canada.  You’ve been spammed by thousands of companies that work extremely hard to avoid spamming you.

This pile of insult is another fine example of how the Conservatives know nothing of the digital environment.

When any organization collects email addresses, they almost always include options to ‘unsubscribe’.

Unsubscribe guys.  That’s all it takes.  You don’t need unwieldy legislation and you don’t need to force every organization in Canada or outside that wants to talk to Canadians via email to send more spam.

‘Unsubscribe’.

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A Clean Federal NDP Campaign …

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… Could Break the Cons and Dirty Oil.

Harper just said F-U to just about everyone in BC who cares about the environment so that he can continue to pad his accounts with cash from Enbridge.

Good.  That means the 2015 election is already over because 42 seats in BC are now up for grabs.

And that means that in about a year and change we’ll have an opportunity to take Canada back from Dirty Oil (aka Stephen Harper and the Conservatives).

So far, the NDP are the only party qualified to do this, given Justin Trudeau’s recent statements that he would allow certain pipelines (if they were done right).

If Canadians want Canada back, the NDP is going to have to outshine the other two mainstream parties and I have a few suggestions:

  • For Ontario:  promise to end the fiscal imbalance; bring in new safety standards and regulations for the ‘explosive’ growth in rail traffic related to Dirty Oil.  Focus on energy prices and funding programs and promise to end any/all subsidies to the Dirty Oil business.  Put an end to Fossil Fuel subsidies and divert funds saved to public transit and more efficient commuting in Ontario.  New projects would get 50% federal funding, with 30% from provinces and 20% from municipalities (which, incidentally could deliver more seats if you promise a better funding formula like 2-cents of HST to municipalities for public transit projects).
  • For BC:  appeal to those opposed to the pipelines and BC being the oil version of a ‘drug mule’ for Alberta’s booming crack-cocaine business.
  • Quebec:  same as Ontario, but focus on the safety of small towns without specifically referring to Lac Megantic (otherwise, accusations of opportunism will fly from all directions).  Do everything you can to maintain your existing base in Quebec.
  • Saskatchewan / Manitoba:  the ‘wildcards’, discussed below.

The three big provinces (Ontario, Quebec and BC) represent 72% of all available seats.  In the last election, the Harper Conservatives won a majority by cracking the Liberal base in the suburbs surrounding Toronto and other urban areas.

What do Voters in Saskatchewan and Manitoba Want?

… and what could the NDP offer them?

As an amateur political pundit, I find it nearly impossible to make recommendations concerning the folks in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but the NDP have to ‘crack this nut’, so to speak.

The prairie provinces represent 28 seats.  They rely on resources, but most importantly, oil is becoming a booming business for them as well, so pushing away from Big Oil will also push these voters away.

The NDP would be wise to invest in market research that identifies ‘points of pain’ for these people.  Surely there’s something that the NDP could offer that the other parties don’t (or won’t)?

Alberta?

What can I say?  If you run for Canada, you’re apparently against Alberta.  It seems to have come down to that.

While it’s possible that the NDP might gain in urban ridings, it’s unlikely that the Conservatives will lose any of the 34 seats that are up for grabs in Oil Country.

Results?

Political predictions are a tonne of fun, especially at this stage in the game because they’re a lot like predicting the weather a year from now.  It might be hot.  It might be cold.

Anyways, here is my prediction if the NDP is able to get its act in gear NOW:

  • Current composition (based on 308 seats):
    • Conservatives:  151 seats
    • NDP:  99
    • Liberals:  36
    • Bloc:  4
    • Green:  2
    • Indie:  2
  • Prediction (based on 338 seats):
    • NDP:  157 +/- 15 seats, pushing them very close to a majority
    • Conservatives:  117 seats,
    • Liberals:  58 seats
    • Bloc:  4
    • Green:  1
    • Indie:  0

Yup.  I’m a gambling man and I’m recommending that Mulcair et al become gamblers as well, rolling the dice in a few months based entirely on the Conservative approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline.  They need to build a plan that reminds ALL Canadians that our future does not have to be tainted by Dirty Oil.

At a minimum, we can all see that it’s vital that they find some way to work with the Liberals to ensure that they are in power long enough to create a substantially more democratic Parliament than what Stephen Harper is leaving us with.

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Why Mainstream Media Is Failing Canadians

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Post Media is apparently republishing advertorial as editorial.

The recent allegations by DeSmogBlog concerning Post Media expose a much more important truth:  media in Canada is at a crossroads and is poised to fail.

Canadians need to take this example and understand that they cannot trust mainstream media.  It is routinely packed with content that’s poured in from corporate sources. Whether it’s car industry recalls being pushed to back pages, oil industry advertorials, vaccinations that are good for us, GMOs that we should be shoveling down our throats, political spin fine-tuned to make us hate someone somewhere else (or even in our own backyards), or a thousand other messages that we’re supposed to believe, they CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

The greatest and most talented with this rouse is the one you’d least suspect:  the CBC.

For years, the CBC has been paying for private news from organizations like the Canadian Press, a privately held mouthpiece of some of Canada’s largest media conglomerates.

The repeat the stories verbatim and as fact, when what the stories really consist of is spin, un-truths and propaganda.

The way to control the world is through the voice of media. The Communists taught us this, the Fascists honed it, and today’s Corporatists have perfected it.

The more important question: what are we going to do about it?

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I Voted

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You Should Too.

Conservatives rely on apathy.  Their forces are motivated.  Their opposition should be too.

After this election, we on the progressive end of things need to mobilize our minds, spirits and energy to systematically take back our future, regardless of who the winner is.

I say this because I am disgusted with all parties and options.

I cannot stand these ‘nail-biters’.

A majority of us do not want the right-wing, Tea Party madness, but here we are.

Liberals:  just too many issues have come up under their watch.  I don’t know if it’s bad luck, bad timing or corruption, but I can’t vote for them.

Conservatives:  sorry to paint you all with the same brush, but you’re all liars and cheats.  If you stand for the nonsense that Tim Hudak spews, you have no respect from me.

NDP:  I’ve tried to work with you and support you, but the union mentality cannot be broken and I cannot support you as a result.

Greens:  I LOVE that you were the only party that put the most important issue – public school funding – on the table, but you’ll never win an election.  The libertarian sub-voice also scares the bejesus out of me.

Perhaps we register a party called ‘no one’ or ‘Canadian Citizens’ on both the provincial and federal level.  And maybe we figure out a different way to fund political parties.

I don’t know, but I know this:  we can do better than we are.

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