Outstanding podcast on the Canadian government's plan drop $600m on a bailout for the national press

The latest installment of the Canadaland media criticism podcast (MP3) (previously) features an outstanding and nuanced discussion between host Jesse Brown and NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen (previously), regarding the Trudeau government's plan to hand Canada's press a $600 million bailout, with large tranches of that money to be funneled to billionaire media barons who ran their businesses into the ground by loading them up with predatory debt while mass-firing their newsrooms and paying themselves millions in bonuses -- Brown and Rosen don't just discuss the merits and demerits of this proposal, but get into a fascinating debate/discussion about what a better version of this would look like. Read the rest

"Complete Idiot" resigns from Toronto Police Service

Hey, remember those cops who ate a cannabis-infused chocolate bar that was supposed have been taken as evidence during a raid? Do you recall that they snarfed down their stolen snack while on duty and then proceeded to trip balls? Maybe the fact that they freaked out and called for police assistance--the sort of thing that the police normally do when they're in a life threatening situation--might ring a bell? OK, how about this: when their fellow officers responded, one slipped on the ice and was pretty badly injured as he tried to get to his distressed comrades. No? This link will jog your memory. Good to go? OK, buckle in: there's an update on their story.

This past November, Constable Vittorio Dominelli pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct justice and wants everyone to know that he's very, very sorry.

From The CBC:

Justice Mary Misener says Dominelli is a "complete idiot" for tampering with evidence.

Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter, who read out an agreed statement of facts in court, says Dominelli took three hazelnut chocolate bars infused with cannabis oil from the raid.

Perlmutter says Dominelli and another officer later ate one chocolate bar and became intoxicated in about 20 minutes, and eventually radioed for help.

Const. Jamie Young and Dominelli allegedly assisted in the execution of a search warrant at Community Cannabis Clinic, a marijuana dispensary in the city's west end, in the early evening of Jan. 27.

As a result of their poor judgement and inopportune snacking, Dominelli and Young both wound up facing multiple misconduct charges under the Police Services Act. Read the rest

Hate crime numbers reach an all-time high in Canada

It's becoming more difficult by the day to recognize the nations we live in as the same ones we grew up in. Men and women, terrified of their lot in life becoming smaller than it is, fueled by the hateful rhetoric of opportunistic shit-heel politicians, look to minorities and the less fortunate to blame for problems that we as a society have all had a hand in. Skapegoating and the hate that comes with it has reemerged with a startling momentum. Even nations once known for their tolerance have proven susceptible to it its vile, slobbering charms.

From The CBC:

The number of police-reported hate crimes reached an all-time high in 2017, largely driven by incidents targeting Muslim, Jewish and black people, according to Statistics Canada data released Thursday.

The federal agency said hate crimes have been steadily climbing since 2014, but shot up by some 47 per cent 2017, the last year for which data was collected. In total, Canadian police forces reported 2,073 hate crimes – the most since 2009, when data became available.

The largest number of hate crimes on record, since Canadians started to keep records of it. Graffiti on the walls of places of worship. Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia haunting our children's schools and out places of business. People are dying for fear of the other.

The CBC is quick to point out that such crimes "...account for 0.1 per cent of the more than 1.9 million non-traffic crimes reported by Canadian police services in 2017." They want you to know that Statistics Canada thinks that the increase in hate crimes might be because more people are reporting them. Read the rest

Toronto 2033: science fiction writers imagine the city of the future

Toronto 2033 is a shared-world science fiction anthology edited by the incomparable and multi-talented Jim Munroe (previously), where authors like Zainab Amadahy, Madeline Ashby, Al Donato, Kristyn Dunnion, Elyse Friedman, Paul Hong, Elan Mastai, Mari Ramsawakh, Karl Schroeder and Peter Watts were challenged to imagine a future for the city. Read the rest

Canadian Intelligence warns against buying tech from state-owned companies

According to documents obtained by the Canadian Press, the Canadian government has been warning against investing in technology served up by state-owned companies as it's highly likely that the hardware could be used as a conduit for corporate espionage.

From The Globe & Mail:

The RCMP organized two workshops last March — one in Calgary, the other in Toronto — to raise awareness about threats to critical systems, including espionage and foreign interference, cyberattacks, terrorism and sabotage, newly disclosed documents show.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service materials prepared for the workshops advise that “non-likeminded countries,” state-owned enterprises and affiliated companies are engaged in a global pursuit of technology and know-how driven by economic and military ambitions.

The papers surrounding the RCMP and CSIS' warnings were heavily redacted: there's no mention of any specific countries that want to take a peek at what Canuck corporations have to offer. However, we've still got a good idea about some of what they were talking about. According to The Canadian Press, the document had a chunk of text in it pulled from a US government report that China and other competing countries have been swiping "hundreds of billions of dollars" worth of intellectual property every year. Additionally, back in 2016, CSIS warned Canadians that maybe allowing Huawei Technologies to have any part in the building of Canada's 5G telecommunications network might be a really bad idea. According to a number of intelligence sources, Huawei's ties to the Chinese government run deep.

It's fun to be reminded that billion dollar concerns like tech and oil companies have just as much to worry about with phishing, sloppy security practices and other digital hazards as everyone else. Read the rest

Cops catch Canadian clairvoyant and charge her for creeping on clients

Our current news cycle pushes out stories, scandals and tales of catastrophe faster than shit through a goose. There's no keeping on top of it all anymore. With this being the case, it's little wonder that we managed to miss the fact that a Canadian woman was charged with what amounts to witchcraft this past October.

From Vice:

This weekend police in Milton, a small town in Ontario, arrested 32-year-old Dorie Stevenson who was running a psychic business out of her basement. She was charged with extortion, fraud over $5,000 [$3,813 USD], and witchcraft/fortune telling. If you’re thinking, whoa, Canada has witchcraft laws? Well, the answer would be yes, but they’re probably not exactly what you think.

It's covered under section 365 in the Criminal Code under the title “pretending to practice witchcraft.” It focuses on anyone who “fraudulently” gets paid to tell fortunes, “pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration,” or using their “skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science” to find where lost things are.

Stevenson was picked up by Halton Regional Police after it was discovered that she was running a business, selling psychic insights to folks out of her basement. That's fine: there's plenty of folks in Canada doing much the same. What the cops took exception with, after a months-long investigation, was the fact that Stevenson was preying on her customers while they were in a vulnerable state. According to the police, Stevenson was routinely telling her customers that she could foresee terrible things happening to them if they didn't bring her cash, jewelry and other expensive bobbles that would help her to divert their encroaching disaster. Read the rest

Meet John Horgan and the BC NDP - North America’s most progressive government

If you live outside province you likely haven’t heard much about our new government, but here in British Columbia changes are happening fast, and you should know about them. Read the rest

CBC's longstanding tech columnist condemns the broadcaster's cozy relationship with Facebook

Jesse Hirsh the CBC Toronto's longstanding and deservedly respected tech columnist, a fixture for many words, interpreting the tech news of the day for the public broadcaster's nonexpert audience, explaining how tech's turns and twists are relevant to their lives. Read the rest

Freedom of Information Access ninjas force Gavin McInnis out of the Proud Boys

After Property of the People (previously) used clever Freedom of Information Act requests to learn that the FBI classed the Proud Boys as 'an Extremist Group with Ties to White Nationalism', the organization's founder, Gavin McInnis (the Canadian who co-founded Vice Magazine) resigned from the organization he founded. Read the rest

Maybe using butane to extract weed oil isn't the best idea

No one's ever satisfied with what they have. If you're given a piece of cake, chances are, you'd be happy with another helping. You've got a job, but you'd like a better one. You can enjoy the view from the valley, but the scenery would be better at the top of the mountain.

Canada has legal cannabis. Now the cops are worried about Canadians making their own hash oil using dangerous methods.

From the Kelowna Daily Courier:

Alberta law enforcement officials say they are worried that the legalization of marijuana could lead to potentially explosive consequences for users taking a do-it-yourself approach to making cannabis derivatives at home.

Just over a month ago, Canadians were given the right to purchase dried and fresh cannabis and unconcentrated forms of cannabis oil.

It is likely to be another year before concentrates will be legalized.

"What's going to happen — and this is just my prediction — is that people are going to do a butane hash extraction at home and they're going to blow themselves up," said Sgt. Guy Pilon, clandestine lab co-ordinator with the Edmonton Police Service.

"We've had a number of those in the recent past. People blow themselves up trying to make this weed oil."

According to Sgt. Pilon, in the days before dope was legalized in Canada, the Edmonton Police Service dealt with only a handful of homemade lab setups designed to extract oil hash oil, using butane. The oil extracted is wicked potent. Unfortunately, using butane to extract it is wicked dangerous: a single spark with butane in the air will ensure you have a bad day. Read the rest

Mark Zuckerberg to the governments of Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland and Argentina: "Go fuck yourselves"

Mark Zuckerberg has told the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Ireland that he is "not available" for a planned hearing on political disinformation and Facebook. Read the rest

Police: kids are being preyed upon by sextortionists while playing Fortnite

In what feels like the one billionth installment of We Can't Have Nice Things, some pervy asshole's been creeping on Fortnite-playing minors. Over the past few weeks, according to police from the Quebec, Canada area, a number of parents have stepped forward to complain that their kids were asked, in-game and via Instagram, to fire over nude photos of themselves. The payoff: ways and means of advancing their in-game prowess. Once the prick had their hands on the pics, the kid that sent them would be threatened: send more or the ones that the pederast already had would be plastered all over the internet.

From The CBC:

Four cases have been reported in the past few weeks, according to police.

In three of those cases, minors were threatened, and in one, the victim sent personal photos to the cyber-predator.

Sgt. Jean-Luc Tremblay with the Richelieu Saint-Laurent police said the predator, or predators, tried to infiltrate groups of friends by offering them a chance to advance their game in exchange for providing revealing photos.

Police are working with school boards in the area to disseminate information about the sextortion.

Being a kid is already difficult enough without having to endure this kind of horse shit. Parents need to be on their guard and kids need to be educated in how to avoid these greasy shits online. It's a mantra that too many people have had to type too many times.

Hopefully, those responsible will have left enough digital breadcrumbs to be tracked down and dealt with--quickly. Read the rest

My Life on the Road: Headed for Texas, crazy cold in Claresholm

With my wife's gig in north central Alberta spinning down for another year and the cold charging hard at us like a bull moose in rut, it's once again time for us to head south. This year, thanks to the two weeks it took me to replace a lost passport, we started off later than we would have liked.

***

We left Calgary late in the day. No matter how much lead up we have, there always seems to be a few last things to do. Saying goodbye. Picking up snacks for the road. Double checking our rig's engine, air bags, air brakes, tires and all else. Even after receiving my passport last Friday, we waited until today--Wednesday. The weather was too coarse to risk in the rig.

We aimed at Lethbridge as a first night target. Not far, but out of Calgary and within reach of the border early tomorrow morning. As the dusk settled in, we noted that our headlights were not up to the task of leading us. The bulbs would need to be replaced. But not tonight. We made for Claresholm: a highway pass-through town on the road south. By the time we pulled off for the evening, it had already hit -10. We lurked through town, the size of a semi truck with our Jeep in tow, searching for a dark corner of asphalt to call ours for the night. On with the generator. On with the furnace to warm our dog and our bones. Read the rest

Shopify no-platforms Nazis (but not Breitbart)

Canadian turnkey e-commerce giant Shopify has kicked its farthest-right customers off the service, banning made-in-Canada racists like the Proud Boys, but not wink-nudging white supremacists like Breitbart. Read the rest

90% of Canadians want to kill future Saudi arms deals

Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- a man who is willing to say the most progressive, laudable things imaginable, provided he doesn't have to do anything -- has steadfastly refused to cancel Canada's planned $15 billion sale of antipersonnel weapons to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, despite the incipient genocide in Yemen and the Kingdom's practice of dismembering critical journalists. Read the rest

Greyhound abandons 400 remote communities in Canada

Greyhound announced that it was pulling its buses out of western Canada earlier this year. For anyone that owns a car? No big deal. For those living in remote western communities without access to a vehicle of their own or other means of transportation to shuttle them to more populous locales, it's a disaster. On October 31st, decades of being able to rely on a Greyhound ride to take an inexpensive trip into the city to access government services, make a visit to the hospital or see far-flung friends or family will come to an end.

From the CBC:

When Lillian Sylvestre heard Greyhound Canada was ending its western bus service, she made arrangements to visit her children in Red Deer on the route she's taken for the last four decades.

Sylvestre lives in Sprague, Man., minutes from the Minnesota and Ontario borders. It lost its bus service to Winnipeg several years ago.

"It was sad when all the small communities lost the bus route," she said. "It is very hard because I used to hop on the bus in Sprague ten o'clock in the morning, go do my business — doctor, whatever in the city here, six o'clock — eight o'clock I'm home. Now I can't do that. I got to rely on my kids, in-laws, friends."

The closure will effect almost all routes west of Sudbury, Ontario. As part of Greyhound's spinning down their western services, 415 people will lose their jobs. In total, 400 communities will lose access to Greyhound's services. Read the rest

China Telecom has been using poisoned internet routes to suck up massive amounts of US and Canadian internet traffic

In a new paper published in the journal Military Cyber Affairs researchers from the US Naval War College and Tel Aviv University document the use of BGP spoofing by China Telecom to redirect massive swathes of internet traffic through the company's routers as part of state military and commercial espionage efforts. Read the rest

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