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Is it time to open the skies in Canada and allow U.S carriers?


Air Canada Boeing 747-133 C-FTOC at Zurich Int...

Air Canada Boeing 747-133 C-FTOC at Zurich International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it time to open the skies in Canada and allow U.S carriers?

Despite the issues pilots have with their employer, Air Canada, the issues today are showing the serious flaws in Canada’s transportation system. Air Canada, like the photo, is starting to look old and out-dated. There are alternatives for trips to Montreal, Ottawa and other locations; using Porter or WestJet, however other remote and specific locations are leaving Canadians hanging. People are upset and rightly so. There is a dependency in Canada, on Air Canada. However, there are a not a full list of choices. I am sure Buffalo Niagara is seeing an increase and maybe it’s time to get other carriers in Canada. Our Federal policies prevent an American, or other carrier, from flying within Canada. Air Canada is taking a big hit and Canadians are angry. The Conservatives, now with a majority, may take notice. We have underutilized airports in Hamilton, London and even Oshawa. Is it time to open the skies?What do you say?

GlobalMedic – Rahul Singh has joined Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010


My sincere congratulations goes out to Rahul Singh, who is now one of the most influential people in the world. Truly an Angel walks among us!

Signed: @iammannyj

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Global Medic

Rahul Singh – Global Medic

Indo—Canadian paramedic Rahul Singh has joined US president Barack Obama, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and Apple boss Steve Job in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010.

The Toronto—based paramedic, who founded GlobalMedic in 1998 to help disaster—hit people, has been the face of Canadian relief efforts around the world, including the quake—hit Haiti, in the past 10 years. Calling his on—going relief work in Haiti “a shining example” of “selfless effort”, the magazine said, “Singh and his group of volunteers wasted no time in arriving in Port—au—Prince and setting about providing clean drinking water and medical aid wherever it was needed.

“Over an eight—week period, his team distributed 2.4 million gallons of clean water, while GlobalMedic’s two inflatable field hospitals brought medical assistance to more than 7,000 people. They also trained a local team of Haitians to take over the work, and right now that is just what they are doing.”

Speaking to IANS, Montreal—born Rahul Singh said, “I am excited to get on Time’s list. But this recognition is not about me, it is about our volunteers.”

Singh, whose parents migrated to Canada from Delhi’s Maharani Bagh, said he founded GlobalMedic after seeing the ravage caused by mudslides in Nepal in 1998.

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Local Canadian Terrorist – B.C. pipeline bombings raise fears from public at community meeting


DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — As members of the RCMP’s national terrorism unit continued to gather evidence at the sites of two gas pipeline bombings in northeastern B.C. this weekend, other officers met with about 200 frightened citizens at a public gathering.

“There is an ongoing amount of concern and definitely a certain level of fear that has been expressed from the public,” said Sgt. Tim Shields.

“This event was an opportunity for the RCMP to explain what is going on with the investigation and to provide a forum for the community to ask questions of the police and EnCana.”

The pipeline operator and police officers met with residents in a hall at the tiny nearby community of Tomslake.

Eric Kuenzl of Tomslake, B.C., was at the meeting at the school in the hamlet near the Alberta boundary.

He says people in the area aren’t venturing out unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“People are on edge. They’re scared,” Kuenzl told The Canadian Press. “They want answers. The meeting was designed to give direction. They ironed out a few things . . . as far as flying over with choppers and looking with infra-red to make sure there’s no other bombs.”

“That makes me feel a little safer.”

Kuenzl was critical, however, of officials locking children in the Tomslake school when news of the bombing came out.

He says the community sits in a low-lying area and the heavy gas from the pipeline could have killed youngsters locked in a school.

“They put all the kids inside and then they closed all the ducts and everything. It’s like building a giant coffin,” Kuenzl said.

“Why wouldn’t you just load them up in the bus and get ’em the hell out of here. I think I’d be safer on the roof of my house than I would be inside my house.”

Meanwhile, members of the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit and the RCMP National Post Blast Team continue their work at the blast sites.

“Personnel are continuing to conduct a thorough search of the blast area and the surrounding debris field,” said Shields.

“Essentially, these individuals are combing the area looking for any item that is out of place and could provide a clue to investigators. This can include anything from a footprint to a piece of the explosive that was used.”

It’s not yet clear what motivated two attacks on pipelines near Dawson Creek, the first last weekend and the second Wednesday night.

Police believe they’re linked to a letter sent to local media last week calling oil and gas companies “terrorists” that are “endangering our families.”

People living in and around Dawson Creek are quick to condemn the explosions, but they also say the region’s burgeoning oilpatch has had a sometimes uneasy relationship with its neighbours.

In both cases, the pipelines were owned by EnCana (TSX:ECA). The first pipeline did not rupture but the second explosion caused a small leak, one the company said was quickly contained.

The RCMP explosives unit was also at the site Friday, trying to find out what happened, said Shields.

“They will be in the process of recreating the blast in order to determine what type of material was used, how it was used and to gather evidence,” he said.

Terrorism expert John Thompson said the fact the bombings weren’t preceded by other incidents of protest and vandalism suggests they’re likely the work of one or two people working alone rather than organized environmental groups mounting a broader campaign.

“This also suggests that this is a small, amateurish effort by community activists,” said Thompson, president of the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute.

“It’s either somebody who is particularly torqued off by the oil and gas industry specifically, or someone who is self-actualized as a radical environmentalist with their own strange ideas about how to fight.”

The bombings have brought back memories of Wiebo Ludwig, an Alberta farmer who spent nearly two years in prison on charges related to oilpatch bombing and vandalism in the 1990s.

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The real Joe Six Pack …. or Joe the Plumber?


http://www.molsoncanadian.ca/landing/

http://www.canada.travel/selectCountry.html

Canadian Conservatives vow to implement new copyright law


Canadians who vote to re-elect the Conservative government next week will also be voting for an archly pro-copyright agenda. According to the party’s official platform released yesterday:

A re-elected Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada’s intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use.

We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them. This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods.

The CBC reports that the proposed legislation – which Harper’s party had planned to introduce last year but withdrew under fire – includes serious fines for illegal down-loaders and makes it a crime to circumvent DRM.

“There’s a fine line between protecting creators and a police state,” Liberal industry critic Scott Brison told CBCNews.ca at the time.

Law professor Michael Geist stopped the legislation from moving forward in December with a Facebook protest group that gathered tens of thousands of sign-ups and forced the Conservatives to retreat.

read more | digg story

Canada will be in a recession – The fundementals are not sound?


Posted: October 06, 2008, 8:01 AM by Jonathan Ratner
Market Call

Declining GDP in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2009 will bring the Canadian economy into an official recession, UBS predicted Monday.

“The Canadian economy, which has been only barely above water for nearly a year, does not escape the global undertow…” strategist George Vasic told clients.

He cited weakness in exports and sharp reductions in commodity prices as where the impact is being felt most. While domestic demand has held up, UBS expects weaker confidence will put activity on hold.

Scotia Capital is also forecasting Canadian and U.S. recessions, along with 100 basis point cuts from the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal Reserve “that could come at any time.”

But for the first time in a long time, the underpinnings of the Canadian economy are sound going into the downturn, Mr. Vasic said, highlighting historically average consumer debt service ratios and a balanced budget.

“…it is not always the case that when the U.S. catches a cold, Canada gets pneumonia,” he added, predicting that consumer sentiment should hold up better.

read more | digg story

Free trade Canada – Europe – Secret agreement in the works?


From Thursday’s Globe and Mail

LONDON — Canadian and European officials say they plan to begin negotiating a massive agreement to integrate Canada’s economy with the 27 nations of the European Union, with preliminary talks to be launched at an Oct. 17 summit in Montreal three days after the federal election.

Trade Minister Michael Fortier and his staff have been engaged for the past two months with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and the representatives of European governments in an effort to begin what a senior EU official involved in the talks described in an interview yesterday as “deep economic integration negotiations.”

If successful, Canada would be the first developed nation to have open trade relations with the EU, which has completely open borders between its members but imposes steep trade and investment barriers on outsiders.

The proposed pact would far exceed the scope of older agreements such as NAFTA by encompassing not only unrestricted trade in goods, services and investment and the removal of tariffs, but also the free movement of skilled people and an open market in government services and procurement – which would require that Canadian governments allow European companies to bid as equals on government contracts for both goods and services and end the favouring of local or national providers of public-sector services.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080918.wtrade18/BNStory/International/home

The Segregation of Native People in Canada: Voluntary or Compulsory?


Originally posted by Michèle DuCharme

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper during an official apology

The history of the Indian people for the last century has been the history of the impingement of white civilization upon the Indian: the Indian was virtually powerless to resist the white civilization; the white community of B.C. adopted a policy of apartheid. This, of course, has already been done in eastern Canada and on the Prairies, but the apartheid policy adopted in B.C. was of a particularly cruel and degrading kind. They began by taking the Indians’ land without any surrender and without their consent. Then they herded the Indian people onto Indian reserves. This was nothing more nor less than apartheid, and that is what it still is today(1).

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Update: For those who are interested you can also read an entire series by the Globe and Mail called Canada’s Aparteid.


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Canadian Remembrance Day Video 2007


A Timely Video for Remembrance Day in Canada. Please take some time today to remember those who died for our freedom in Canada.

Fallen Soldiers’ Families to Observe Remembrance Day in Afghanistan
Relatives of fallen soldiers visit Kandahar base
Canadian soldiers approaching Nov. 11 as participants instead of onlookers

Ontario’s dirty little election secret – Canadian citizenship is only based on trust


It may be a surprise to you but in Ontario we do not require voters to prove their Canadian citizenship. Yes, I said it! It is no lie! As clearly stated voters “MUST” be Canadian, whether by birth or by becoming a Canadian citizen. However, what many people do not know is our voters list is based on trust alone. Elections Ontario does not have a process requiring individuals to prove their Canadian citizenship. In essence all a voter needs is ID, with a signature. Now do not tell me this is not true, because as a person who grew up in the Toronto area, I have personal accounts of people who voted, who should not have. What is more of a concern is the flawed voter’s list process. There are instances of people who, while moving or residing in different locations are actually able to voter once, twice and in one case 3 times. What should happen is a requirement for ALL voters to provide photo ID. However, even that type of system would not be perfect. This brings back the debate of a Canadian Photo ID card for all Canadian citizens. However, this is another debate, as I am sure the Libertarians and others who hate government intrusion will indicate that their rights are being violated. So tell me then, what is the fix? Where are the checks and balances?

I actually was at an advanced poll to vote. What was interesting is that I had five different locations I could go to. I do not understand why? I went through an extremely rigorous process to vote though. I gave my driver’s license to the elections officer at the front door. I was “thoroughly” inspected and told to verify my address (thought I was at the airport for a minute or maybe he liked my suit). I was then told to go to the yellow line. A person sitting at the desk beside the yellow tape reviewed my license and then me. Just in case I do not look the same, I guess? Or maybe they had nothing to do. I then went to the front desk and went through the same process again. That good! However, there is a slight problem. Since I had 5 locations to vote at I “assumed” that they would have some fancy computer system that checked to make sure that I did not go to another location. All they had me do was read a statement. Wow, a statement! How many people who read it actually understood it? What are the consequences of voting at another location? Now tell me, if I decided to go to another location, how do they determine which location was the proper vote? How do I invalidate my vote? What if I voted for various parties? Which location is the proper vote or are they all removed? Again, how do they know? How do they do that? The head of Elections Ontario said that the system is based on “trust”. Is that good enough? I was told that at another location, they only needed to see a “bill” with the name and an address on it to vote? Great security! I guess they were too busy to rigorously check out their identity. Is that good enough for you for a fair election in such an advanced country such as Canada? We are a “trust based society” so, no need to lock your doors. Leave your wallets and purses open for everyone to see. No one will do another illegal, trust me! THE VOTING SYSTEM IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!

As a side issue, for years there have been instances of various parties going to various areas to bus in people to vote. I wonder are all of these votes legitimate? We, in Canada, like to go to other countries to help with the democratic process. If we want to hold up ourselves as the best model then we better start to fix our own system. We have AMEX, Visa and MasterCard’s connected to complex computer systems. We have GPS and can track were you are at any given moment. And “If we can get the caramel in a Caramilk bar then I am sure they can figure out a way to perfect the election process”. Don’t tell me the technology does not exist! I am starting to re-think the MMP referendum. I was in support of it, but we need to “fix” the system. I am not sure what the best system is, for the voting process, but the one we have definitely needs a major overhaul. Do you now understand why the U.S is so concerned about our lax security practices, when we hand out cards like they came from Cracker-jack boxes (loved that snack)? But I digress, that is another subject, isn’t it?

The GTA Patriot
Toronto, Ontario