Canada's telcoms regulator declares internet an "essential service"

After decades of allowing anti-competitive mergers in the TV, radio, phone and internet sectors, Canada's telcoms regulator, the CRTC, has taken an important step to address the underperformance of Canada's monopolistic, bumbling phone companies and cable operators, declaring internet access to be an "essential service" and thus something that operators must offer in all territories in which they operate. Read the rest

Conservative Alberta politician changes sides over Trumpism, gets gendered death threats and slurs from the Tory base

Sandra Jansen was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, but now she sits with the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who took the provincial government is a surprise upset that was driven by a mix of a split in the right (the Conservatives are mired in infighting with the ultra-right Wild Rose Party) and the decline of the oil industry. Read the rest

Canadian tech firms will have their pick of overseas talent thanks to Trump's anti-immigrant policies

The massive talent shortage in tech has all kinds of weird effects: the inability to outbid tech giants means that badly secured hospitals get devoured by ransomware; it means that companies that value diversity get to outmaneuver much better-resourced competitors; it means that companies that pledge to be ethical can edge out their competition (and that unethical conduct can have real costs); and it means that companies get so desperate that they form industry-wide criminal conspiracies to try to short circuit the seller's market for tech skills. Read the rest

A Canadian newspaper compiles a comprehensive list of Trump's election-season lies

Daniel Dale is the Washington Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star; for the duration of the campaign, he's been compiling daily lists of Trump's lies: now, with the election days away, the Star has put these together in one gigantic list, with citations refuting each of Trump's whoppers. Read the rest

Police in Quebec are spying on journalists and Snowden calls that "a threat to democracy"

Last week, Patrick Lagacé -- a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse -- revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories in La Presse about police corruption (confusingly, Lagacé wasn't involved in these stories). Read the rest

Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections." Read the rest

Space botanists are beneficiaries of Canada's legal weed boom

It's hard to fund space exploration research -- the commercial applications are speculative and far-off -- but there's never been a better time to study super-efficient, closed-loop botany of the sort that will someday accompany human interplanetary missions, thanks to the need to develop better grow-ops for the burgeoning legal weed market in Canada. Read the rest

Unnamed Canadian telco sabotages' library's low-income internet service

Toronto's public libraries have followed New York and Chicago's lead in offering wifi hotspot lending to low-income families, allowing them to "check out the internet" and take it home with them. Read the rest

Mounties used Stingrays to secretly surveil millions of Canadians for years

Motherboard used public records requests to extract 3,000+ pages of court docs from a massive 2010 RCMP mafia/drug bust in Montreal, codenamed "Project Clemenza," which revealed the full extent of the Mounties' secret use of Stingrays -- AKA "IMSI Catchers," the fake cellular towers that let cops covertly track whole populations by tricking their phones into revealing information about them. Read the rest

Canada Post drops legal claim over crowdsourced postal code database

Canada Post claimed a "crown copyright" over the postal codes assigned to Canadian homes, meaning that Canadian organisations and businesses could only use this vital information if they paid -- that is, they'd have to pay to access something their taxes already paid for, and the richer you were, the more access you could afford. Read the rest

Canadian government thinktank warns that renewables will gut market for Canada's dirty oil

For a decade, Canada's previous petro-tory government prosecuted scientists who publicly reported their results without first passing them through the party's commissars, almost as though reality had a well-known left-wing bias and couldn't be trusted. Read the rest

We Stand on Guard: in 100 years, America seizes Canada for its water

Brian K Vaughan's varied career in comics has had numerous and diverse hits like Saga, the epically weird and sexy space-opera; Y: The Last Man, an end-of-the-world story; now, with We Stand on Guard, Vaughan dramatically ups his body count in a tale of an American resource war that's a lot closer to home than the invasion of Iraq.

Petition to reassign head of Canada Post to deliver letters at $500k/year

Derryl Murphy writes, "Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra (I know) a new contract a month before the election when he still had time on his contract, and Chopra's working hard to pillage the postal system in Canada. So I did this up for a little fun, but the word needs to get out there." Read the rest

On the death of Rob Ford

My condolences to his family, who deserved a better person in their lives. Read the rest

First-ever Tor node in a Canadian library

Library workers at Western University's Graduate Resource Centre in London, Ontario, had a workshop from Alison Macrina, the library organiser whose Library Freedom Project won a battle with the US DHS over a library in New Hampshire that was offering a Tor exit node as part of a global network that delivers privacy, censorship resistance, and anonymity to all comers. Read the rest

Guy who was hounded from work by homophobic "Valentine" gets a love-note from Justin Trudeau

Last month, an anonymous work-colleague at Alberta's Party City sent's Degas Sikorski a homophobic "Valentine" that he posted last week. Read the rest

50 reasons the TPP is terrible beyond belief

Michael Geist sez, "For the past two and a half months, I have been writing a daily series on the trouble with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 50 part series wrapped up today with the case against ratifying the TPP. While the focus is on Canadian issues, the series hits on problems that all 12 countries face: unbalanced intellectual property rules, privacy risks, dangers to the Internet and technology, cultural and health regulation, and investor-state settlement rules that could cost countries billions of dollars." Read the rest

More posts