Tag Archives: Government

Using RFID tags in Drivers Licenses to track your movements unencrypted


“The introduction of enhanced driver’s licenses, which appears to be a central focus of Bill 85, will lay the groundwork for a new and more extensive identity regime, the effects of which are not fully known,”

So what are they not telling Ontario citizens? PIPEDA and your privacy will not matter if Bill 85 is passed, in its current form. In the long-term, it will be easier to be monitored by the Government, Businesses and other organizations.

RFID tags

RFID tags

So what is Bill 85? Yes, you are probably unaware that the Ontario government is quickly pushing through legislation on behalf of the U.S government (okay, that’s a stretch, but it has already pass 2nd reading). No, this is NOT a joke. But, you can ignore the picture; I just wanted to make a point. There has been little fan-fare or information to the public, however soon ALL drivers licenses will have a new RFID tag embedded within your card (not your hand, yet…). This means personal information about who you are will allow border agents to “quickly get you into the U.S”. However what you do not know is that these RFID tags will be UNENCRYPTED. Still lost? Let me put it to you this way.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.

Being that it is UNENCRYPTED “ANYONE” will be able to get information about you without you actually knowing by getting readily available scanners and devices to read RFID tags. The dangerous part of this legislation is that YOUR PRIVACY IS GOING TO BE VIOLATED by Dalton McGuintry and the Ontario Government. This has gotten little to no media press and has already passed second reading. Of course you could use tin foil or a shield to prevent people from scanning the card without you knowing, but the main issue is the UNENCRYPTED portion of this legislation. We can argue whether or not “Big Brother” should be able to monitor you, but UNENCRYPTED. In effect, there is NO OPT OUT part to this legislation. You must get the tag inserted into your Drivers license, if this bill passes. Might as well force us to get it inserted into our bodies? Sounds familiar? This is a win-fall for criminals and identity theft, however do you want everyone to be able to track your movements. Please contact your MPP and get this legislation stopped in its current form. It is TOO open ended and changes MUST be made.

By Andy MJ a.k.a The G.T.A Patriot

—– more information below —–

We need to draw attention on the development of ‘enhanced’ driver’s licences (EDLs) by many provinces in advance of new US border crossing requirements coming into effect June 1, 2009. Ontario in particular is proceeding with its EDL via Bill 85 – Photo Card Act, 2008, now before the legislature.

The high-tech system Ontario and other provinces are planning could result in a “privacy nightmare.” He adds that the new cards “are a waste of money and establish a de facto national ID card in Canada,” which tramples on citizens’ civil liberties. In June, The Ontario government introduced the Photo Card Act.

http://www.idforum.ischool.utoronto.ca/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID

http://www.todaystrucking.com/news.cfm?intDocID=20562

The deadly asbestos trade


Asbestos is a mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word asbestos (῾ἀσβεστος) is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. The Greeks termed asbestos the miracle mineral because of its soft and pliant properties, as well as its ability to withstand heat.

Asbestos is known to have toxicity. The inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, many uses of asbestos have been banned in many countries.

—–

Canada’s deadly trade in asbestos

by Mark Bourrie

Canada is starting work this summer on a billion dollar project to renovate its parliamentary buildings and cleanse them of asbestos, which has been found to cause cancer.

The project will take six years to complete but, in the meantime, Canadian government agents are still pushing exports of the fibre. Canada even has gone so far as to argue a challenge at the World Trade Organization that a proposed French ban on asbestos imports would be an illegal trade practice.

Despite recent warnings that asbestos was the cause of 500,000 cancer victims in western Europe alone, Canadian asbestos producers continue to promote and sell their fibre worldwide – especially to developing nations.

Asbestos is used as a binder in cement, as insulation, and in anti-fire walls. It is also a potent carcinogen with a long, well-documented legacy of death.

The danger comes when small asbestos fibres are released and inhaled by labourers. The fibres cause cancerous growths in the lungs, lung lining and abdomen but can take 20 years or more to manifest.

In 1997, Canada exported 430,000 tonnes of asbestos – more than 96% of production – most of it to the developing world. Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of asbestos after Russia.

Union activists, who have visited India and other developing countries say, however, that the public relations efforts of the government and the asbestos industry are simply window-dressing to hide the fact that most people who work with the natural mineral fibre risk cancer.

Critics of Canada’s asbestos exports say the country is exporting death to protect the profits of a handful of companies and the jobs of 1,600 miners.

“What’s the difference between land mines and asbestos?” asks Dr. Barry Castleman, author of a respected book on the danger of asbestos. “A key difference, of course, is that Canada doesn’t export land mines.”

At the heart of the issue is Canada’s own precarious political situation. All of the asbestos mines in Canada are in Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province with a separatist government.

Federal and provincial politicians are pushing asbestos exports to prove that they are successful at developing overseas markets, and are protective of Quebec workers. Critics of asbestos exports say the industry would probably be allowed to die if it was centred in any other part of the country.

“Personally, I believe this is all about Quebec politics,” says Canadian Auto Workers Health and Safety director Cathy Walker. “The Canadian and Quebec governments are competing with one another to show just how prepared they all are to protect Quebec jobs.”

The real costs will be borne by the developing world, she says.

Walker just returned from India, where she saw unprotected workers slashing open bags of asbestos fibres. In places where the asbestos was being mixed into cement, clouds of the carcinogenic fibres swirled around workers.

In Britain, the Cancer Research Campaign said in January that its study into the European asbestos-linked cancer epidemic should sound alarm bells everywhere, “particularly in the developing world where uncontrolled asbestos is still very common,” said CRC director Gordon McVie.

Seven of Canada’s top 10 markets are Third World countries. Still, the Canadian government, the asbestos industry and lobby groups are trying to put a good face on the asbestos industry.

Recently, diplomats stationed here were flown to asbestos- producing regions on an all-expense-paid first-class junket.

Read more

Why a Canada-EU deal matters


European Union and a Canadian Free Trade Agreement

European Union and a Canadian Free Trade Agreement

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail

Canada has long had an interest in enhancing its economic links with an increasingly affluent and united Europe, partly to provide greater diversity in its trade and partly for the broader geopolitical reason of becoming more active in the Atlantic community. During the past 50 years, Canada has sought those enhanced economic links through liberalized trade and investment, mainly in the multilateral General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. In light of technological change, however, Canada decided that, with the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement of 1988, it would also seek viable bilateral and regional deals while supporting the creation of the new World Trade Organization to succeed the GATT.

More recently still, the Doha round of trade talks has been suspended indefinitely after seven years of desultory debate. In light of the unfortunate fact that the multilateral route currently shows little promise, Canada has embarked on something of the same policy as the United States, the European Union and a host of other countries, developed and developing alike, in seeking “WTO-plus” bilateral agreements that can be seen as building blocks on the way to renewed multilateralism. Accordingly, having first joined the United States and Mexico in the North American free-trade agreement, Canada has more recently concluded bilateral deals with several Latin American countries and demonstrated the practicality of a transatlantic accord by agreements with Norway and Switzerland (in the context of the European free-trade area).

But a free-trade or other trade-enhancing agreement with the EU, now the world’s largest market, remains the major goal. In addition to being Canada’s second-largest trading partner, the EU is also Canada’s second most important source and destination for foreign investment. Yet Canada is one of only eight WTO members without preferential access to the European market (which Mexico, among others, enjoys). With the reduction or removal of remaining barriers to trade and/or investment, bilateral exchanges will grow substantially.

Read more

New Voter Identification rules at the Polls


When you vote, you MUST prove your identity and address. You have three options:

Option 1

Provide one original piece of identification issued by a government or government agency containing your photo, name and address.

Examples

  • Driver’s Licence
  • Health Card
    • This applies only to Ontario
    • Note: Not all electors in Ontario will have cards with photo, name and address
  • Provincial/Territorial Identification Card (non-drivers) for the provinces/territories of
    • Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Nova Scotia
    • New Brunswick
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • Northwest Territories

Note: The above pieces of identification are examples only.

Top of page

Option 2

Provide two original pieces of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Both pieces must contain your name, and one must also contain your address. Here is the list:

Identity Cards

  • Health Card
  • Social Insurance Number Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Passport
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Citizenship Card
  • Credit/Debit Card with elector name
  • Canadian Forces Identity Card
  • Veterans Affairs Canada Health Card
  • Employee Card issued by employer
  • Old Age Security Identification Card
  • Public Transportation Card
  • Student ID Card
  • Library Card
  • Liquor Identification Card
  • Canadian Blood Services/Héma-Québec Card
  • Hospital Card
  • Fishing Licence
  • Wildlife Identification Card
  • Hunting Licence
  • Firearm Acquisition Card/Firearm Possession Card
  • Outdoors Card and Licences
  • Provincial/Territorial Identification Card
  • Local Community Service Centre Card (CLSC)

Original documents (containing name and address)

  • Credit Card Statement
  • Bank Statement
  • Utility Bill (residential telephone, cable TV, public utilities commission, hydro, gas or water)
  • Attestation of Residence issued by the responsible authority of an Indian band or reserve
  • Local Property Tax Assessment
  • School, College or University Report Card or Transcript
  • Residential Lease, Residential Mortgage Statement or Agreement
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit Statement
  • Income Tax Assessment Notice
  • Insurance Policy
  • Government Cheque or Government Cheque Stub with elector name
  • Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid (T4E)
  • Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions/Quebec Pension Plan Statement of Participation
  • Statement of Old Age Security (T4A) or Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits (T4AP)
  • Statement of Benefits from provincial workplace safety or insurance board
  • Statement of Direct Deposit for provincial works or provincial disability support program
  • Vehicle Ownership
  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Attestation of Residence issued by the responsible authorities (shelters, soup kitchens, student/senior residences, long-term care facilities)
  • Letter from public curator

Note: A document bearing an address may be used as proof of the elector’s address if this address was written by the issuer of the document and is the same as or consistent with the address on the list of electors. No document other than those included on this list may be accepted to establish the name and address of an elector.

Top of page

Option 3

You can be vouched for by an elector whose name appears on the list of electors in the same polling division and who has an acceptable piece or pieces of identification. Both will be required to make a sworn statement. An elector cannot vouch for more than one person, and the person who has been vouched for cannot vouch for another elector.

http://www.elections.ca/content.asp?section=ele&dir=40ge&document=index&lang=e&textonly=false

British Nationalize the Banks


The UK government has announced details of a rescue package for the banking system worth up to £50bn ($88bn).

It will initially make the extra capital available to eight of the UK’s largest banks and building societies in return for preference shares in them.

It is “designed to put the British banking system on a sounder footing”, said Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

But the FTSE 100 in London fell 4%. HBOS shares rose 52% but Barclays fell 8% and Standard Chartered dropped 13%.

Read more

How the Washington Mutual Takeover Will Affect Consumers


The government seized banking giant Washington Mutual last night and then sold some pieces of it to JPMorgan Chase for approximately $1.9 billion.

The failure of the Seattle-based bank Washington Mutual undermined confidence in a fresh clutch of US household names today, as investors digested the implications of the biggest collapse of a high-street bank on record.

Washington Mutual, which was bought by JP Morgan after being seized by the US authorities late yesterday, had a stockpile of controversial “option ARM” mortgages which allow borrowers multiple options in setting the level of their own repayments.

These flexible loans, which were popular at the height of the housing boom, have proven to be huge liabilities for banks, and other firms known to hold them saw their stock prices plummet today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/sep/26/banking.creditcrunch1

read more | digg story

Harper Tory campaign takes new hit. Candidates who are off the message and out of order. How many more are like this in his party?


In the latest embarrassment for the Conservative campaign, a candidate who blogged after the July beheading on a Winnipeg-bound bus that Canadians should be allowed to carry concealed handguns for protection has resigned from the Toronto Centre race.

Musings on women, gays, native protesters and hate-speech laws.

(1) Law-abiding men and women should be allowed to carry concealed handguns, saying: “If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.”

(2) The end of human rights commissions and hate-speech laws.

(3) His political views were not entirely in keeping with the Conservative party

This is why Harper needs to change the focus to himself. He needs to find a better “pool” of conservative candidates.

read more | digg story

Everything is proceeding as the Liberals has foreseen


 

Everything is proceeding as Dalton McGuinty had foreseen”. John Tory was supposed to lead Ontario‘s Progressive Conservatives to certain victory over the “supposed” dark side; however he led them instead to a resounding defeat. Emperor Dalton McGuinty became the province’s first Liberal leader in 70 years to claim a second straight majority government. Albeit, one has to wonder; did John Tory simply not stand a chance against the political dark elements of deception, manipulation and down right Liberal political experience and know how? The Liberal engine is experienced; they knew what the electorate was prepared to talk about and what they did not want to hear. Elections are not for issues because in reality we only like comfort and ease. We like to know that everything is alright and under control. Only an all encompassing “Provincial Empire” can achieve this stability in Ontario and we gladly allowed it. Progressive Conservatives, and others, in Ontario thought that John Tory would have brought ‘A New Hope’ to the “integral deficit” that now exists among politicians; however the imperial forces of the Liberals got their way.

As such, the seasoned Liberals (lets give our due to the Liberals – they know how to run a campaign, like it or not) knew what to do and perhaps, over-confident conservatives thought that they had the upper hand. But with a strong economy and positive outlook, I assure you, the Liberals were quite safe. It did not take much to “scare” Ontarians into voting for the status quo. Now, on radio and media outlets, they are talking about the “real” issues, that were never brought up during the election. Unfortunately, John Tory and the PC party left Ontarians defenseless to it and our journey to the “Liberal Side” was completed! “The Progressive Conservatives and their feeble skills was just no match for the power of the Liberal side of the force! Ontarians allowed our Emperor Dalton to use their own aggressive and hostile feelings to focus on the faith-based school issue; essentially allowing fear and trepidation flow freely. Dalton and the Liberals felt that fear and knew how to use it. You would think that Ontarians would have not allowed one issue to dominate the election, but it did. Our radio and media outlets participated in the mix that focused us all on that one issue. Now that fear, along with hate, has made ‘Emperor McGuinty’ more powerful then we could ever imagine; fulfilling the destiny of a second term.

So now, Ontarians, we selected another path. One that we think is certain, stable and safer, but is it? Dalton led a smart and clean campaign; showing himself on television, always telling Ontarians what he would do. He always said “we can do better” and “there is more work to be done”. Your compassion for him led you to vote overwhelmingly for the Liberals. And those of you who hated the faith-based school funding issue, allowed yourselves to be used by simply not showing up to vote. This will be our undoing and in the end we will pay the price (that’s called taxes, if you haven’t gotten it already…) for our lack of vision!

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot
Toronto, Ontario

NEWS FLASH: The Imperial House of Commons will no longer be of any concern to Ontarians. We have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved elections permanently. No point anyway since only half of Ontarians bother to get out of there house and vote anyway. The last remnants of the “OldRepublic” of Ontario have been swept away. The regional Mayors, (David Miller and others) now have direct control over their territories, using the template of the “City of Toronto Act”. Fear will keep the locals in line. Hasn’t it always?


The Ontario Imperial  House of Commons

P.S. OKAY! I’m having little political fun with my love for Star Wars!

Merging the TTC and GO under GTTA control?


The Toronto Star, CityTV (Breakfast Television) and other media outlets are reporting that the TTC maybe “high-jacked” by the Liberal Government of Ontario, which may have been secretly planned all along. Rumors are flying high that the TTC may be taken over by the Government of Ontario and merged with GO Transit, under the umbrella of the GTTA (Greater Toronto Transit Authority). Many have believed that this would eventually happen, since the TTC has become so large and important to the welfare of the GTA that it may have become just too large for the City of Toronto to handle. Of course speculation is that this may have been their plans all along. Many have wondered, for a while now, why the province was so adamant on expanding the TTC into Vaughan, and beyond, when it seem illogical for Toronto to care on managing transit into the other regions of Toronto. Greg Sorbara, one of the proponents of the plan, tied up funds to ensurCity Halle that the expansion into Vaughan took place. If this is the case it may have simply been the master plan of the province. Now the Liberal Government has a majority and there would be no stopping them from doing this. Of course this is only rumored, however one has to wonder if this was not the plan, than why bother with the GTTA? The Metropass has passed the mythical bar of $100, now costing $109 dollars. With the TTC complaining about funding, almost every year, the province may simply believe that the TTC is just too much for the City of Toronto to handle, removing control of the Toronto symbol from David Millers hands.

Ironically, moving the control of the TTC to the province would allow Toronto to better balance their books, now that council passed the new taxes. In some ways it would seem that the province may have been waiting for the results. Or it maybe a simple choice of choosing what they feel is best. We know that the Liberal government, although they promised, has not uploaded services that were downloaded during the Mike Harris years. What would happen if the province simply decides to take control of the TTC, covering all costs and leave everything else as is? Would, removing the TTC from Toronto’s books balance the budget? It definitely would help, however how would service be affected? Would the province run the service as is, or run it like GO Transit? Would they merge services with GO Transit? Would they start Zone fares? Would you be able to jump on the “GO” and then to the TTC seamlessly? There are hosts of unanswered questions. Or, is it time for the TTC to simply grow up?

TTC StreetcarThe TTC is a Toronto icon, from the storied streetcars of yesteryear to the way the subways were originally created along Yonge Street. I will not go into a rant about the TTC not being able to innovate and change the way they do business. The TTC, unlike other transit systems across North America, receives little Federal funding for operating costs. However, at least the Federal government did kick in the needed funding for the extension of the subway to Vaughan (ill-conceived, but done nonetheless). If this really does happen then some of the moves the government made, along with their promises for Move2020, would make sense. What we should debate is whether this is a good idea or a bad one? I am not sure if this is a good or bad idea, but do not be too quick to jump on the bandwagon? Does the province understand the needs of Malvern, King Street West, Don Mills, North Etobicoke or the Beaches? What about those routes that do not make a lot of money? Will they be continued or operate like other jurisdictions? Do they think streetcars or buses are more important? Do they care to support the “Transit City” initiative or Subway expansion? What does this mean for the YRT and VIVA? How about Mississauga Transit? These are all unanswered questions, which Torontonians, and GTA residents, should think about and want answers to. What maybe good for Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga and others, may not be good for Toronto, and so visa versa. The debate on merging the TTC with GO, and surrounding systems, has been going on for years, with pros and cons on both sides. This was not on the table during the last provincial election; however loosing the TTC may be the evolution of progress or the greatest public transit “coup” ever conceived by the Province of Ontario.

Read more news from the Toronto Star Article, below.
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/269896


Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”

Toronto, Ontario

The 50% factor – Only half of Ontario’s voters bothered to even vote!


The Green Party seemed to bleed votes from the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives tonight, not the Liberals. Provincial and Federal parties across the county will take note. Voters seem to be hearing the “green mantra”. However, unfortunately this did not translate into any seats. The Green Party actually took 8-9% of the vote in Ontario. In many ridings they placed 3rd and in one 2nd. The Liberals ended up with a majority; however they only had 42-43% (this may change +/-) provincial support, with the Conservatives taking 31-32% (this may change +/-). In many ridings the count was extremely close. Albeit this was a big win for the Liberals. MMP lost, in a disaster! There was just not enough information, which begs to question the wisdom of the proposal in the first place. Or was it a plan to say that “we tried”? It seems to have been sabotaged or on death row from the onset. Just too complicated for a quick decision. Now, if only 50% of Ontario voters decided to kill MMP, than what does this say? Our current system we have works well for a 2 party system, such as the United States, but with multiple parties our system still needs to somehow improve. But I guess since the other 1/2 of the province did not show up then it means they don’t give a damn about it either, or anything else! However, the biggest story tomorrow, which I hope the media will resound tomorrow, is only approximately 50% of the province, or electorate, actually bothered to come out and vote tonight. 50%, that’s all! The other 50% decided to stay home and play with their XBOX 360, new iPod or attempt to figure out why they could not get their latest sitcom on TV. This is a sad day for democracy and even the need for an electorate. What half of the province said today is “I do not care, so do not bother me”. With the defeat of MMP, this can only get worse. How can a government have a mandate with only 50% of the vote? It boggles the mind, but I guess WWI and WWII, and what people fought for long ago is no longer on the minds of individuals in this province. We are truly now a society that only cares about the “me” factor. Although the Liberals have a larger majority, they will have to think long and hard. The voter turn out is going to get worse because somehow we are not engaging the electorate. Every party will need to take a hard look in the mirror. Now that MMP is dead, what will happen in 4 years? Based on the results tonight I believe that the Liberals will govern as they always have to ensure that the win next time round. The assumption is now that since no one cares any government can go ahead and do as they wish. But is that a democracy? Or is our democracy the fact that people can choose not to vote? Maybe people just do not think there vote matters anymore or they just don’t care?

The GTA Patriot
Toronto, Ontario