Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Parliament Hill Security Moves Include Guns, Checkpoints

OTTAWA - Security is being tightened on Parliament Hill through additional screening, the arming of guards and the elimination of public tours during caucus meetings.

And House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer says more changes may be in the works as a result of an ongoing, comprehensive review of Hill security.

PM-appointed gov't employee remained on payroll despite links to illegal fundraising

A former SNC-Lavalin executive who was appointed to Montreal’s port authority was allowed to remain on the public payroll for months, despite known links to an illegal fundraising scheme, CTV News has learned.

Former SNC-Lavalin vice-president Normand Morin was named by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the port authority in 2006. The post paid about $25,000 a year.

SaskTel Managers' Kids Assembled Set-Top Boxes For $200 An Hour, Court Hears

The children of three SaskTel managers were paid $200 an hour to help prepare set-top boxes for shipping to consumers, a court in Regina heard Wednesday.

Three former managers at the telecom — Dan Crites, Barry Richardson and Joan Yasinowski — are standing trial in the Regina Court of Queen’s Bench on charges of fraud and theft over $5,000.

Judge orders Ezra Levant to pay Saskatchewan lawyer $80,000 in defamation suit

TORONTO - An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant ruled Thursday that the controversial media personality libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts the judge said were "motivated by malice."

Justice Wendy Matheson ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove "defamatory words" about the man from his website within 15 days.

"I find that the defendant's dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth," Matheson wrote in her decision.

We landed on a comet, so why can't we stop climate change?

OK, so we've figured out how to propel a small device through space at 60,000 kilometres an hour for 10 years, and thenland it on a comet 6 billion kilometers away.
But using a solar-powered car to drive, say, the 60 kilometres between Toronto and Whitby? No way. Get real.
For that matter, humans first operated a solar-powered car on the moon almost 40 years ago. But the trip to Whitby still seems too challenging.

Oilsands tailings ponds emit pollutants into the air, study confirms

EDMONTON – New government research is confirming that the oilsands tailings ponds are releasing toxic chemicals into the air.

In addition, the amount of the contaminants from the ponds could be almost five times as high as previous estimates for entire oilsands operations.

The paper estimates that more than a tonne of cancer-causing chemicals called PAHs are released into the region’s air every year from the ponds.

Author Elisabeth Galarneau says it’s not clear where those toxins go once in the air, so she can’t say what the environmental impact might be. Previous research used mathematical modelling to conclude the vast ponds were releasing chemicals, but Galarneau’s work involved actual measurements in the field.

READ MORE: Alberta researcher offers unique perspective on tailings ponds 

The research, to be published next month in a scientific journal, was conducted by Environment Canada under the federal and provincial government’s joint oilsands monitoring program.

Original Article
Author: By Staff  The Canadian Press

Kinder Morgan loses bid to extend injunction

An application by Kinder Morgan to extend an injunction keeping protesters away from two drilling sites on Burnaby Mountain was rejected by the B.C. Supreme Court Thursday, meaning the site must be cleared of excavation work by Dec. 1.

In denying the company's request to extend the injunction to Dec. 12, the judge also ruled that all civil contempt charges against those arrested so far should be thrown out because of GPS errors in the injunction specifying the exact location of the no-go zone.

Anti-terror bill C‑44: Pushing the limits of Canadian rights

On October 29, 2014 the government introduced Bill C‑44, an Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other (related) Acts, cited in short form as the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney statedthat the amendments put forward under Bill C‑44 are required to keep Canadians safe from terrorism and to protect and uphold the privacy of confidential informants. However, in achieving the government's stated goals, Bill C‑44 deliberately pushes the limits of Canadians' right to privacy, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to life, liberty and security of the person.  

Government stops thousands of refugees far from Canada's borders -- Harvard study

The Canadian government is so anxious to keep refugees away from this country that it has instituted a rigorous system to prevent would-be refugees from ever getting here in the first place.

The rules of the Convention on Refugees, of which Canada was a charter signatory more than six decades ago, state clearly that once people arrive at your doorstep claiming refugee status you cannot merely send them away without a fair and comprehensive hearing.

Ex-spy’s allegations of CSIS law-breaking need investigation, say opposition MPs

A former intelligence officer’s allegations that Canada’s spy agency routinely ignores law-breaking by its operatives needs to be investigated, say opposition MPs.
NDP MP Randall Garrison, the party’s public safety critic, said the RCMP is in the best position to investigate the allegations made by former spy Danny Palmer, a 12-year veteran of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Government wants integrity probe quashed

OTTAWA - The Conservative government is trying to quash a finding of the federal integrity commissioner concerning alleged wrongdoing within the RCMP.

The government is asking the Federal Court to set aside an Oct. 31 decision of the public sector integrity commissioner's office.

A notice of application says the commissioner's office began investigating in November 2013 following a disclosure from a whistleblower.

Joe Oliver: We're Prepared For Low Oil Prices; No New Moves On Housing

TORONTO - Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the federal government has already considered the dramatic slide in oil prices in its fiscal forecasts.

"When we took into account the oil price decline which had already occurred, we made the assumption that the prices would stay at the low level for the entire period," Oliver told a media conference on Thursday.

Meet the Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty

Last fall when I visited Canada, I met a Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch who has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. The tool assesses what patients might need other than prescriptions for the newest drugs. Bloch's idea was to zoom in on the social determinants of health -- food, housing, transportation -- all poverty markers linked to bad health and poor health outcomes.

The tool, a four-page brochure, notes that poverty accounts for 24 per cent of a person's years of life lost in Canada and offers three steps for doctors to address poverty. The first step is to screen every patient by asking them, "Do you ever have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?" The next two steps urge clinicians to factor poverty into clinical decisions like other risk factors and to ask questions about income support by age/family status, such as whether seniors have applied for supplemental income benefits they may be entitled to.

Canada Pardons Backlog Denies Social Reintegration To Thousands

OTTAWA - Almost 7,000 outstanding pardon applications are in limbo as the Parole Board of Canada struggles to clear a backlog created when the Conservative government changed the rules in 2010.

The parole board has announced it is not currently processing old pardon applications for more serious, indictable offences, but rather is focusing its efforts on lesser, summary convictions.


Doug Ford has never been one to play by the rules, and on Thursday the outgoing city councillor defied political convention one more time by calling a press conference to announce that he won't be running for leader of the Ontario PC party.

When Mayor Rob Ford's older brother invited the press to the North Etobicoke headquarters of his family label business, many assumed it would be to kick off his leadership bid, reasoning that it wouldn't make sense to hold a press conference for a non-announcement.


On December 1, Mayor-elect John Tory will become head of a council whose 45 members include just six people of colour; they will be overseeing a city in which "visible minorities" very nearly represent the majority.

Asked following the recent Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony how future councils could better reflect the diversity of Toronto, Tory surmised that "the only way we're going to resolve that is to keep working at encouraging people to run for public office, remove some of the fears that exist with people… and encourage them at the fact that you can get elected, youcan stand for office, that a campaign is not an experience to be feared but rather to be taken on as a challenge."

As Kinder Morgan Inc. takes full control of Trans Mountain pipeline, big questions go unanswered

In the second largest energy transaction in U.S. history, Texas-based energy giant Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) just closed its acquisition of outstanding equity securities of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (EPB).

With this enormous $76 billion transaction, the Trans Mountain pipeline -- stretching from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby -- is now 100 per cent under KMI's control.  Kinder Morgan Canada was part of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

Compact fluorescent bulb recycling won't be mandatory, Ottawa says

The federal government has quietly backed away from a plan for mandatory recycling of compact fluorescent light bulbs, which contain the toxic element mercury, CBC News has learned.​

Instead, the Harper government posted regulations earlier this month that will create a voluntary code of practice for companies that sell the bulbs.

The federal government announced in 2007 it would ban incandescent light bulbs in favour of the compact fluorescent ones because they use less energy.

Harper reaches into Quebec bar for top jurist

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has bypassed Quebec's judicial ranks and appointed high-profile commercial trial lawyer Suzanne Cote to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Cote, 56, is the first woman ever appointed directly to the country's top court from the bar, but follows in the footsteps of a number of distinguished former jurists, including John Sopinka and Ian Binnie.

Her appointment will bring the complement of women on the top court to four of nine justices. It also ends more than a year of unprecedented, roiling controversy over the Supreme Court's composition, which began when Harper's proposed choice of Justice Marc Nadon for a vacant Quebec seat was challenged and ultimately rejected on constitutional grounds by the Supreme Court itself last March.

Why Military Action Won't Eliminate Terrorism

Whenever I turn on the news these days someone is shouting at me. Not me, in particular, but people like me. People who dare to wonder aloud whether a renewed military offensive led by a "coalition of the willing" (and the luke-warm) in Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS is going to work. And by "work," I mean do what is intended, which is to degrade, possibly destroy -- in President Obama's words -- a movement of genocidal militants.

At least most of us can agree on this point: ISIS is not fighting for religious freedom, women's equality and open societies. But spend any amount of time listening to pundits squawk at one another from their questionable perch, and you will be forced into a polarizing narrative. It goes like this: ISIS is a global menace, threatening all and sundry with their ideological spew and subterranean network of explosive vest-wearers. The only way to deal with this problem is to crush it at its source: In Iraq's scarred mountains and wadi towns stretching across the northwest part of the country into Turkey and Syria. Not coincidentally, ISIS territory currently includes a reasonable portion of Iraq's energy pipelines and oil production -- the smuggling of which is thought to be bringing in about $2 million a day.

Stephen Harper Was Briefed On Budget Cuts And Their Impact On Public Service

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper was briefed earlier this year on how across-the-board budget cuts hurt public service morale, productivity and citizen satisfaction.

The memorandum — headlined "Death by a Thousand Cuts: How governments undermine their own productivity" — laid out arguments from an Australian, union-funded study that suggests poorly executed austerity undermines trust and confidence in public institutions.

The Conservative government is on track for a budgetary surplus in 2015 after years of belt-tightening.

Experts Weigh Officer’s Decisions Leading to Fatal Shooting of Michael Brown

In his first public interview this week, Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., was asked whether he could have done anything differently that would have prevented the killing.

His answer, broadcast on Wednesday, to the question from George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, was unequivocal: “No.”

Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?

The killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was no anomaly: As we reported yesterday, Brown is one of at least four unarmed black men who died at the hands of police in the last month alone. There are many more cases from years past. As Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Missouri chapter put it in a statement of condolence to Brown's family, "Unarmed African-American men are shot and killed by police at an alarming rate. This pattern must stop."

Alberta Tories swing right, paradoxically because of the implosion of their right-wing brethren

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark were onto something yesterday when they all observed that the government of Premier Jim Prentice is now quickly swinging to the right.
There’s an element of truth to the suggestion Prentice and his Progressive Conservative caucus are doing it to chase the votes of the province's loony right, especially its loony social conservative right, which for the past few years has found a not-entirely happy home in the Wildrose Party under the leadership of the socially more flexible Danielle Smith.

Stephen Harper and the myth of the crooked Indian

Can you think of any Prime Minister, President or World Leader that would withhold food, water, or health care as a bullying tactic to force its citizens into compliance with a new government law, policy or scheme? Can you ever imagine this happening in Canada? I don't think most of us could.

Yet, this is exactly what is happening with Harper's implementation of the illegal C-27. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt has threatened to cut off funds for food, water and health care if First Nations do not get in line and abide by this new legislation -- despite the fact that it was imposed without legal consultation and is now being legally challenged. How many First Nations children will have to die for Harper to sit down and work this out with First Nations?

5 Key Inconsistencies in What Happened During the Michael Brown Shooting

Since the St. Louis County prosecutor's office released a trove of documents and evidence reviewed by the grand jury that decided to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, there have been numerous reports pointing out the discrepancies between Wilson's and various witness accounts of what happened on the day that Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. While the grand jury has put an end to the state's case against Wilson, questions about witness accounts could still sway the outcome of the Justice Department's ongoing investigation.

IMF: Uninsured Mortgages Booming In Canada, Pose Risk To Economy

There are signs of overvaluation in Canada’s housing market, and the government may need to tighten rules on uninsured mortgages to keep things from getting out of hand, the International Monetary Fund says.

IMF researcher Hamid Faruqee said house prices in Canada are 5 to 20 per cent higher than economic fundamentals indicate they should be, Reuters reported.

In its latest report on Canada, the IMF still expects a "soft landing" for the housing market but worries about the boom in uninsured mortgages, which it says are growing at a rate of 10 per cent per year and account for the “bulk” of new mortgages in the country.

Canada Post To Turn Profit In 2014

Despite more people still choosing email over snail mail, the Canada Post Group of Companies says it's on track to earn a profit this year despite an earlier forecast for a multimillion-dollar loss.

The Crown corporation said it earned $84 million before tax for the first three quarters of the year, driven by its parcels business and higher stamp prices, along with lower employee benefit expenses.

Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin Is New Speaker Of The Senate, Appointed By Prime Minister Stephen Harper

OTTAWA - Quebec Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin has been named the new Speaker of the Senate.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement in a statement acknowledging the contributions of Nolin's predecessor, Noel Kinsella, whose last day as Speaker was Wednesday.

Harper congratulated Kinsella for presiding over the upper chamber with "aplomb and dignity," and for setting a tone that brought out the best in his fellow senators.

Tamir Rice Video Shows Cop Opening Fire On 12-Year-Old

CLEVELAND (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to 2 seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to put up his hands, they said.

The city released a surveillance video that shows the shooting of Tamir Rice, who was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.

Is Walmart the World's Worst Corporation?

That was the question posed last week by Public Eye, a counter-event to the World Economic Forum, as it sought a worthy winner for its "lifetime achievement award." For sure, Walmart - which has already won a Public Eye award in 2005 for labor rights violations in its global supply chain - faces stiff competition in the online poll. Among the other outstanding nominees for the world's worst corporation are Goldman Sachs, Chevron, Dow Chemical and Union Carbide.

Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury

On Monday, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. But that decision was the result of a process that turned the purpose of a grand jury on its head.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.

Who’s Ready for Hillary?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy casts a bright light on every fissure within the modern Democratic Party. From domestic policy during the first Clinton presidency to foreign policy under Obama, from the Senate to the West Wing, Clinton has been involved with the most fraught political issues of the last two decades. Her team never ceases to remind the public of her experience, and trumpet the “inevitability” of her presidency. So why can’t we make up our minds about her? Here, seven Nation contributors give it their best shot.

Will Obama Pull the Plug on Wind Energy?

Yesterday President Obama threatened to veto a $440 billion package of tax breaks negotiated by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The bill, a White House spokesperson said, disproportionately benefits businesses over families. The bill excludes a child tax credit for the working poor that had been a top goal for Obama, but makes permanent a group of tax incentives for big businesses that had been provisional.

Anonymous Release New Video Warning Ferguson Police And KKK: ‘We Are The Law Now'

A video surfaced Thursday reportedly released by the hacker group Anonymous warning Ferguson, Missouri police officers and the Ku Klux Klan to remain peaceful and refrain from using violence against local protesters.

Anonymous, an unidentified group of online activists against racism and violence, published the video after they launched denial of service attacks to take down a site associated with the KKK and seized two Twitter accounts earlier this week. The actions were in response to deadly threats the white supremacist group made to demonstrators in Ferguson.

'They're Murdering Our Kids And Getting Away With It'

Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri came as no shock to the hundreds of Americans of color who have lost loved ones in officer-involved shootings. Below, some of these people discuss their experiences and share their thoughts on the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Brown this summer.

Conditions in First Nations, Metis and Inuit Communities are Canada's National Shame

Canada is among the world's wealthiest nations, but our wealth is not equitably distributed. Many communities, particularly northern and Aboriginal, suffer from poor access to healthy and affordable food, clean water, proper housing and other necessary infrastructure. An ironic example of this disparity is at Shoal Lake, about two hours east of Winnipeg. There, two First Nations, Shoal Lake 39 and 40, are next to the City of Winnipeg's main drinking-water supply, but Shoal Lake 40 has been on a boil-water advisory for decades.

Darren Wilson And George Zimmerman Described Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin The Same Way

Following the explosive announcement of the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, documents released to the public reveal for the first time a first-hand account of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Wilson, who shot the unarmed Brown a total of 12 times, told a grand jury that the high schooler immediately provoked a violent confrontation.

Rob Nicholson Says Cost Of Iraq Mission To Be Revealed Later

It's too soon to put numbers to the cost of Canada's mission ‎against ISIS in Iraq, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson told MPs on the Commons defence committee today.

"[The costs] will be reported, you know, in the normal way. Usually within 90 days of the completion of the mission the costs are tabled," Nicholson said.

Nicholson also suggested it would be months before the costs are released to the public. "This is a six-month mission, and when the costs are known, we will table them in the usual way."

Alberta Budget 2014: Falling Oil Prices Take Bite From Surplus

EDMONTON - Alberta is slashing its oil forecasts for this budget year as the world price remains mired in a trough around $75 a barrel, Finance Minister Robin Campbell announced Wednesday.

Campbell said while the operating budget for the current fiscal year remains in the black, he and Premier Jim Prentice are promising "tough decisions" so that Alberta is no longer captive to the whims of the international marketplace.

"We have to get to a position where we're not listening to OPEC to decide on how many schools we're going to build," Campbell told reporters as he delivered the second-quarter budget update.

Militarism degrades, disrupts and destroys democracy

As the Canadian government plays at fighting wars in Iraq/Syria and in eastern Europe, we see daily examples of how militarism ultimately degrades, disrupts and destroys democracy. Indeed, we are subjected to a gravitational pull of obedience to martial values that blinds us to a series of uncomfortable realities that are visible in plain sight but unmentionable in mainstream discourse. While a slavish media hangs on every General's word, Ottawa refuses to release the costs of its overseas adventures. Politicians who voted against the Middle East mission now say we must rally around the troops.

Soldiers with PTSD might not get full pension, advocates warn

The mental-health struggles of Canadian soldiers have caught a lot of political attention of late, but veterans advocates remain concerned that PTSD could jeopardize a soldier's pension.

A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member has to serve 10 years before being eligible for a full pension.

But by coming forward with physical or psychological injuries — such as post-traumatic stress disorder — in their first decade of service, many soldiers are at risk of being medically released and losing out on a full pension, says Michael Blais, president and founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

Income Splitting – Just Another Neo-Con Romp For The Rich To Skin the Poor

This month, the same month the Conservative government unveiled income splitting, its signature gift to the core of its base – wealthy, single-income 1950s era ”Father Knows Best” families – Food Bank Canada reported that more than 840,000 Canadians are forced to resort to food banks to feed their families.

Five years after the economy’s downturn, 170,000 more people were using food banks than before the recession. “Alarming” was the term Food Bank Canada used to describe the situation.

It investigated the ‘’’why’’’ of food banks. The picture isn’t pretty.

Memo to PM questions across-board budget cuts

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper was briefed earlier this year on how across-the-board budget cuts hurt public service morale, productivity and citizen satisfaction.

The memorandum — headlined "Death by a Thousand Cuts: How governments undermine their own productivity" — laid out arguments from an Australian, union-funded study that suggests poorly executed austerity undermines trust and confidence in public institutions.

Canadian veterans deserve better

OTTAWA — The Conservative party has made patriotism and support for the military central to its brand. That makes its ramshackle, shoddy and unacceptable treatment of Canadian veterans, revealed in auditor general Michael Ferguson’s fall report, all the more egregious. It is simply not good enough. And the customary official excuses and genuflections and blathering, in ample evidence Tuesday, only add insult to injury.

It is not good enough to declare, as Defence Minister Rob Nicholson did while fending of questions that should rightly have been fielded by Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, that Ferguson found slivers of good amid the bad. To hear the minister tell it, both in an early afternoon news conference and in Question Period, veterans are getting most of the help they need, though improvements are of course always welcome. That’s not true. Ferguson’s report says so.

Families facing eviction from New Era estate outraged at landlord’s mansion

The Mayfair investor overseeing plans that could lead to the eviction of dozens of low-income families on an east London estate has bought a £3.9m country mansion, prompting anger among residents facing homelessness.

Mark Donnor, 41, the managing principal of the London office of Westbrook partners, the $11bn (£7bn) US investment firm behind the buy-out of the New Era estate in Hoxton, last year bought the 12-bedroom mansion in the Home Counties, Land Registry documents reveal. The grade II-listed mansion has a lawn tennis court, swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium and butler’s quarters.

Eckerd College President: You Can Stop Rape By Not Drinking Or Having Casual Sex

On Sunday, Eckerd College President Donald Eastman sent an "open letter" to all students and faculty urging students to cut back on alcohol and casual sex in order to prevent sexual assault. He says that by doing so, students will address the "nexus of problems" surrounding sexual assault.

"You know that these incidents are almost always preceded by consumption, often heavy consumption, of alcohol, often by everyone involved in them," the Florida college president wrote. The full letter was published by the Current, Eckerd's student paper.

Is This the Best Use of Our Police Resources?

Crime. That's what most police officers sign up to fight, and why most Canadians are grateful to have such brave professionals carry out their difficult, dangerous and important duties on behalf of us all. Yet a recent head count on Burnaby Mountain indicates that approximately 65 RCMP officers have been assigned to prevent peaceful protesters from entering Kinder Morgan's injunction zone.

Given recent massive cuts to the RCMP budget by the B.C. government, and anxiety over crime in various Lower Mainland municipalities, is this really the best use of scarce police resources?

Kinder Morgan's $136 million pipeline 'war chest' to be paid by Canadians

In what an economist calls an "unfair" decision, the National Energy Board has allowed Kinder Morgan to build a $136 million 'war chest' to fund its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion application through shipping surcharges. The charge, called a "firm service fee",  allows Texas-based pipeline company Kinder Morgan to offload the cost of the pipeline application to Canadian shippers.

"The decision to enable this unfair advantage is unprecedented. The approach has been rejected out of hand by US regulators," said Robyn Allan, an independent economist and former CEO of ICBC, who outlined the finding in her report.

Hong Kong Student Leaders Arrested As Police Move On Protest Site

HONG KONG, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, two of the student leaders at the heart of pro-democracy protests that have shaken the Asian financial hub since August, and began swiftly clearing a major demonstration site.

Riot police scuffled with protesters trying to resist attempts to force them off the streets of the gritty Mong Kok district following clashes overnight, Reuters witnesses said.

Obama Threatens To Veto Corporate Tax Cut Deal For Locking Out Middle Class

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Tuesday threatened to veto a bipartisan tax deal that would reportedly create permanent tax perks for corporations without advancing key tax breaks for middle- and low-income families.

"The President would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said in a statement provided to HuffPost.

Congressional negotiators from both parties and both chambers have been working since the midterm elections to strike a deal extending a host of business tax preferences that, according to a report in PoliticoPro, would cost upwards of $400 billion over the next 10 years.

Afghan artist denied entry for violence against women symposium

A prominent Afghan artist celebrated in several countries for her dramatic photos illustrating the silencing of women is being denied the opportunity to speak in Ottawa by the Canadian government.

Hanifa Alizada, a photo-artist and art teacher at Kabul University, has been refused a visa to enter Canada to deliver a speech about life for Afghan women and to exhibit her work at a symposium Jan. 22-25 called The Shrinking World of Photography.

The symposium is being organized by the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO), in partnership with the Nobel Women’s Initiative and MATCH International Women’s Fund, and is designed to explore the way photographers from around the world handle such issues as violence against women.

Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg

The landlocked European duchy has been called a “magical fairyland” for brand-name corporations seeking to drastically reduce tax bills.

Pepsi, IKEA, FedEx and 340 other international companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg, allowing many of them to slash their global tax bills while maintaining little presence in the tiny European duchy, leaked documents show.