Thursday, December 31, 2009

how does a terrorist get on a plane

I am sure you have all heard of the Christmas bombing by now, but you do you really know how? The terrorist's father in Nigeria told a U.S embassy that he is worried about his son being dangerous, and the father gave them his name his birth date and passport number. Then why did they let this person just go in? The intelligence of the U.S from August - October said extremists in Yemen were talking about operations. Someone known as "the Nigerian" was mentioned, and they had a partial name -- Umar Farouk(which is a part of the terrorist name). I think it was a bit irresponsible of the U.S, because they were pratically given a puzzle with two pieces and still can't put two and two together. I think we should be scanning people's body, because it does work to finding things that could have stooped this attack.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Parliament Closes

Harper has decided to prorogue Parliament. Sounds like 2008? No, this is today. Harper said he will prorogue parliament until March because it's necessary to "recalibrate the government's response to the recession." Isn't this what they're supposed to be working on anyways? Proroguing Parliament is completely to their own benefit. By proroguing Parliament, they effectively shut down any committee looking into the torture of the Afghan detainees. When Parliament resumes in March, Harper can say that the torture issue has passed and that the debate is finished. Obviously, Harper just doesn't want to face the questions about the torture in Afghanistan and he'd rather wait until he gets a majority in the Senate. This will have no benefit to the rest of us.
The House of Commons and the Senate will come back in March, after the Vancouver Olympics, for a Speech from the Throne and a budget. The move will have the effect of stalling all bills currently in Parliament, including crime bills that the government had said were being delayed by the opposition.
A post-Olympic return would also shut down government committees, which would stop MPs from pursuing the Afghan detainee controversy until Parliament returned.
Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale says “if the government attempts this manoeuvre, it's a shocking insult to democracy.”
 NDP House Leader Libby Davies says there's no legitimate reason to prorogue Parliament and to do so would be a “political scam.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fuel efficiency tax

Quebec has decided to put regulations on the fuel efficiencies of vehicles. The rules will apply to models starting in 2010. This is a step forward to save the environment. Many other countries have these kinds of fuel efficiency laws. This will force automobile manufacturers to make their cars more environmentally friendly. If only Harper could take these same steps...
Quebec Environment Minister Line Beauchamp made it official Tuesday that Quebec will be the first Canadian province to bring in strict fuel efficiency standards for cars sold or leased in its territory, following the lead of California and 15 other American states in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vancouver Canada Line Opens

The new rapid train line in Vancouver just opened. I think that it's a great idea to build a new line. Trains are much more comfortable than buses. They attract more people and therefore reduce the number of cars on the road. Next thing we need is high speed rail.
“It's perfect,” Mr. Campbell said when asked about his views of the Line. “If [the Canada Line] wasn't around, I couldn't make it to this place I'm working at so easily.”
Because of stops through Richmond and at such Vancouver-area fixtures as the airport, City Hall, the burgeoning Olympic Village neighbourhood, Yaletown and the downtown SeaBus terminal, the Canada Line has picked up considerable support.
Daily Canada Line ridership has occasionally topped 100,000, which is the break-even threshold for the system covering its operating costs. That level comes about three years ahead of schedule.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obama can't keep his promise

Barack Obama may have his final health care bill pass in the House and the Senate, but, Obama said he would pass it on Christmas eve. The senate voted on the bill again on Christmas eve it pass no shock, but the house did not even pass the health care bill and let alone they did not melt both bills to one, and then pass the final bill to both parts of congress to then be on the President's desk. Obama has already gone to Hawaii for his vacation which means he has no attempt to sign a bill. Now if you're asking when will this pass? Well Congress comes back January 12 and have to start were they left off. Now this probably happened, and I am not being mean about this because this was his promise, but I will say that this is historic and will probably pass.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Harper: torture situation "not in our control"

Harper says that the torture situation in Afghanistan is out of our control. What does he mean, it's our of our control? Our soldiers are in this nation. If Harper has the will, he can stop it. But, he and the Conservatives choose to turn their back on these tortured prisoners in Afghanistan. Most of them are innocent. This situation is not out of our control and it's up to us to stop it.
We are speaking here of a problem among Afghans. It's not a problem between Canadians and Afghans. We're speaking of problems between the government of Afghanistan and the situation in Afghanistan. We are trying to do what's possible to improve that situation, but it's not in our control.”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jean Charest vs Stephen Harper

The Tories have been saying that we should have one voice as a sovereign nation. However, Jean Charest has attacked Stephen Harper more than once on his environment stance. The Conservatives don't even plan to reduce emissions at all and Stephen Harper is saying that the provinces should all shut their mouths on this issue? This is not right. If the government is not willing to solve an issue, than it is up to others to do the work. Besides, Charest wasn't telling lies about the Tories' environmental platform, he was just telling the hard truth. If Stephen Harper is not willing to save our future, then we will.
A war of words has erupted between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the premier of Quebec, with Jean Charest tearing a strip off Ottawa's environmental performance.
In 25 years in politics, Charest says, he's never seen a federal government rely so heavily on the White House before taking a position on an issue, with Ottawa now saying it will model its climate policy on Washington's.
Charest says the Harper government has displayed hostility toward environmentalists.
And if there are any hard feelings after the Copenhagen climate summit, Charest says, it's the federal government's doing.
"They are totally responsible for what happened at Copenhagen," Charest said in an Tuesday interview with TVA, a French-language news network in Quebec.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Historic Health care bill pases the senate

A historic health care bill pass the senate. This is the first out of 3 votes this week. The senate will vote 2 more times and it needs to pass with 60 senators, and after those two the final passage of this bill, this bill will only need 51 which is simple majority of the vote. I think this a historic victory for many Americans. I like this bill because it stops the ''preexisting conditions'' excuse for the insurance company not to give insurance just because you have a preexisting condition like cancer.(which treatments cost a lot). I also like it because it will reduce the deficit by 1.3 trillion over 10 years(these ten years start at 2019-2029 which means it will cost something now, but pay off later). So all Americans will get health care insurance, and if you are poor you get a subsidy to help you pay for it. (note: I think mandatory insurance will increase competition like it did in many other country's who pay less than the U.S) The legislation, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would extend health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans while reducing the federal deficit by $132 billion over the next decade. The deficit would drop by another $1.3 trillion between the years 2019 and 2029, the CBO said.

Harper says "he will not raise taxes"

Harper said December 22 that he will not raise taxes. Well I've got a quote for you "Read my lips: no new taxes." That quote was from Gorge H.W. Bush who in a recession, raised taxes after he said he wouldn't. Now do not get me wrong I do not think Harper would raise taxes, but really in a way he is. The HST (harmonized-sales-tax which combines the GST and PST) does in a way raise taxes. Think of it the tax on some objects on some things only have the PST tax. Now with the HST you will pay double on your tax. So, in a result some company's items that only have one tax will be less applying,so in really you are raising taxes and you are not helping the job market. Now here is the truth, this does increase tax on certain items and does not effect the rest, but the HST is only given in provinces that want it. Thankfully, Quebec not one of does provinces (only in British Colombia and Ontario).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prentice says deal is a "turning point"

Our environment minister Jim Prentice says that this deal in Copenhagen is a turning point in history. This is the truth. It is a turning point, but not for the good. This deal will allow countries to pollute more and more. As demonstrated by the leaked documents, the Tories do not want to keep our miserable targets and want to abandon it completely. This non-binding deal allows countries to have their own targets. This cannot be good for our future. What we need is strong, ambitious reductions in emissions.
Mr. Prentice said the summit achieved a key Canadian goal of including all major emitters in an international agreement. He contrasted that with the predecessor Kyoto Protocol, which required no commitments from developing countries such as China, India and Brazil, and which the United States refused to ratify.
“I think this Copenhagen Accord will turn out to be the turning point in history,” Mr. Prentice said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “For the first time, we have a firm commitment from all the major carbon emitters to put themselves into an international treaty.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health care in the US might get cured

If you have not heard already, something nearly historic might happen in the U.S. Ben Nelson a Democrat from Nebraska has joined the other Democrats in saying he will support the bill, because he says that in the bill taxpayer dollars will not go to funding abortion.With him the Democrats have about 60 votes. That's right they have the 60 needed to pass health care legislation, but do not break out the champagne yet, because there are a couple challenges. First they have 60 in the senate that say they want to vote on this health care bill, but Joe Lieberman said that now he can see himself vote for health care because the public option is off the bill, and because the medicare in the bill is out. So take from that what you will but it looks like he might vote yes. Now another problem for the bill is that it has to pass the house all over again because the house and the senate have different things in the bill. This could be a problem, because the house slightly passed the bill with a public option (the senate has no public option in it). So democrats in the house could not vote on a bill with no public option, but with no chance of a public option passing it seems like they'll cut there losses. The last problem is that Obama wants to pass this bill by Christmas eve, and they'll need to vote in the senate then vote in the house then melt the bills together and vote on it again in the senate and the house. Another problem of passing this by Chrismas eve is that the republicans will use all the power they have to delay the bill. I think that this could happen. It could be very historic but I do agree that if it does not pass, than vote on parts of the healthcare bill that you can.,0,715525.story

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Torture Investigations

Not only are there allegations of torture on Afghan troops, there are also on our troops. Five out of six cases were determined that the allegations were false however the government did not notify us that there were ongoing investigations. Foreign Affairs Minister Mackay knew about this in 2008. He never told Canadians that there were investigations. We have the right to know these kinds of things. The government should be more transparent than it is now.
The government's response to opposition questions about Colvin's testimony was to accuse opponents of smearing the good name of Canadian troops.
"The member is suggesting by implication that the military did something wrong, that somehow they did not do the right thing. That is what is so despicable," MacKay said on Dec. 10.
However, MacKay apparently never told the House there were allegations against Canadian troops, at least one of which is still being investigated.

Stephen Harper doing too little on climate change

At Copenhagen, Harper was facing major criticism about his commitment of a 20% reduction from 2006 levels by 2020. Hilliary Clinton (secretary of state for the U.S) announced that the U.S will help raise 10 billion dollars a year for the next decade to help most vulnerable countries to deal with global warming, but countries must stick to their Copenhagen targets and must have transparency about there cut in CO2. Although the U.S is the 2nd biggest emitter of CO2, it seems to be more willing to admit there CO2 history and sees that they are taking a better stand in the world stage, but I do have to say the U.S have given some initiatives to cutting CO2 but no yet commitment signed on by the U.S . While Stephen Harper said achieving Kyoto would destroy the economy, but he was not elected in 2008 but in 2006 (before recession) he had 6 years to lower CO2, but Stephen Harper does nothing to even try to reach to Kyoto agreement. Instead Harper increases CO2 input by Canada and made us 8th most polluting country in the world (note: we are the 38th most populated country). We pollute more than France which has roughly double are population. The Conservatives counter that achieving Canada's Kyoto commitments now would batter the economy because of years of inaction by their Liberal predecessors. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered to help raise $100 billion a year for the next decade to help the most vulnerable nations cope with a warming planet. But there's a couple of catches: countries must agree to a climate deal in Copenhagen, and all must agree to "transparency" in reporting and verifying cuts to greenhouse gases. Clinton said lack of transparency is a "deal breaker" and insisted: "There shall be a transparency requirement."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fossil of the year video

Video of Canada winning fossil of the year.

Copenhagen: What good did it do?

For two weeks world leaders came all across the earth to Copenhagen to help stop global warming. After 2 weeks of negotiations this is what is happening countries must put up their ''individual targets" which means that countries like Canada can put up any target that does not even help reduce CO2 enough to stop global warming. The agreement also is that the limit in which the planet can warm is 2 degrees (where scientist say any more will dramatically in danger the planet). But this agreement is "non-binding" which means every country has no legal obligation to reduce emission or to do anything. To be fair the agreement also is to have multiple other meeting across the year to create more details on the agreement. I think that Copenhagen could have been so much more by creating another accord that is legally binding that states exactly how much every specific country must drop there emission by a certain amount depending on country. Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, welcomed the climate deal as an "essential beginning," but said it must be transformed into a legally binding treaty next year. Environmental groups denounced the failure of wealthy countries to announce their final 2020 targets for cutting emissions.

OPUS Online

A new feature is coming to us users of the OPUS card. We will now be able to add our cards for automatic passes on the Internet. This is a great feature and I'm glad it's coming to the STM. Instead of having to go to the local metro station every month and waiting in the lines, we can just register our OPUS online. This increases the convenience and benefits of public transport.
Beginning in 2010:
Users will be able to sign up online to have their monthly pass automatically added to OPUS cards. Payment – via credit card or bank account – must be made by the 15th of the previous month.
Students aged 12 to 25 and seniors over 65 will be able to buy a four-month pass for $148, which works out to $37 per month, meaning they will be avoid the fare hike.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The U.S raises limit.

The U.S congress is planning to increase its limit on the debt from 12.1 trillion to a higher amount. Which by the way is already over it. The U.S. is so far in debt that if they had the money in surplus, they could pay every tax payer 111 000 dollars. Now that's a stimulus packages we all would like to have. The number four thing they are spending this money on is the interest on the debt. If you think Obama can lower the debt then you're dreaming. Obama said that his first promise is to cut the deficit in half. This means that Obama intends to make the deficit around 750 billion dollars more than the U.S is spending on anything else including the entire defense budget (which includes the Iraq and Afghanistan war). Even if they stop spending on anything including the interest on the debt it will still take 6 years to pay off the entire debt. So I don't like this and you probably don't like this, but I think if the U.S invests in green jobs, have some reform on healthcare, stop earmarks and create a carbon tax. (note: I do not currently support Obama's health care bill with the public option, or something that triggers a public option)

Colossal Fossil

Canada has been awarded the fossil of the year award. This brings us to ten fossil awards in total this year. It's mostly because Stephen Harper just refuses to take a strong stance on the environment. We, the citizens of Canada shouldn't stand for this inaction anymore. As demonstrated in the leaked files, the Conservatives have no plan on the environment and want to abandon their current target. They even lied to us, saying that our -3% from 1990 levels is "science based." For this, we do deserve this Colossal Fossil.
“Canada’s performance here in Copenhagen builds on two years of delay, obstruction and total inaction. This government thinks there’s a choice between environment and economy, and for them, tar sands beats climate every time. Canada’s emissions are headed nowhere but up. For all this and more, we name Canada the Colossal Fossil.”

Tax Breaks for Tar Sands

Harper said that Cap-and-trade is an efficient way to lower our emissions. However, if this legislation alongside the U.S. is passed, the Conservatives want to exempt the tar sands from the tax as they are a "trade sensitive" industry. Also, CBC obtained some documents from the government. On those documents was written that the oil and gas industry would not have to cut emissions as much as the Harper's plan said it would. Instead, these documents suggested that the Conservatives were going to abandon our already weak target and bring in an even weaker one.
The Conservative government has considered abandoning some of the greenhouse gas reduction goals set out in its 2007 green plan and allowing weaker targets for the oil and gas sector, documents obtained by CBC News suggest.
The proposal raises questions about how the Tories could cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 — a target they insist they can reach — while weakening the targets in the oil and gas sector.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tramway Articles

Tramway Art
Alstom hires designers to make their trams look nice. Apparently, the tram is nicer than buses and encourages people to take it. This lures people away from the polluting car. This is shown in Mulhouse, France as 53% of trips are taken on the tram. Tramways not only enhance a city's attractiveness, they bring tourists and reduce pollution.

« Le tramway est une toile de fond pour la créativité et le design est là pour changer l’image du transport public », explique Xavier Allard. De grands couturiers ont ainsi apporté leur touche, à l’instar de Christian Lacroix.
L’ancien étudiant en histoire de l’art à Montpellier, a été choisi comme « designer » de la troisième ligne de tramway, prévue dans cette ville vers 2012. Au programme : des poissons et des crustacés, du bleu et du vert, un décor de lagon qui plonge le voyageur au cœur du Pacifique.,218/Des-tramways-oeuvres-d-art.html

Helping the fight against global warming

Trams can hold the the passenger equivalent of 10 buses and 50 cars. because of this and since they run on electricity, they hardly pollute at all. Also, Alstom has found a way to make the tram consume less electricity than LED Christmas lights.
Un tramway Citadis ne consomme pas plus dans une ville que les illuminations de Noël, même en LED… L’utilisation des matériaux composites et l’amélioration de l’efficacité des systèmes de traction ont permis de réduire la masse et la consommation d’énergie de 10 %. « Un Citadis, précise Jean-Marc Reynaud, consomme ainsi, en Kwh/passager assis, quatre fois moins qu’un bus et dix fois moins qu’une voiture ».,218/Le-tram-au-service-de-la-lutte-contre-le-rechauffement-climatique.html

Funding to...

Global warming skeptics this time. Apparently, the Conservative government has been funding an asbestos lobby group which also is skeptical on climate change. Their book, titled "Scared to Death – From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares Are Costing Us the Earth," tells it all. They believe that global warming and the dangers of asbestos are scams. Now, why don't they tell that to the victims of asbestos. While the Tories are funding this group, they also cut funding on short notice to pro-environmental groups. It is obvious that this government is trying to advance their secret political agenda in secret.
"The government has cut funding to a lead organization that's been doing very constructive work around addressing climate change," said Kathleen Ruff, a senior adviser with the Rideau Insitute and a vocal opponent of the asbestos industry. "And at the same time it's funding an organization that promotes one of the world's leading climate-change deniers."

"I think the world is becoming more and more aware that Canada is a threat to progress on environmental issues."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fossil Awards

Canada now has nine fossil awards. We are five fossil awards farther than the closest country and it looks like we're going to keep winning. This is an embarrassment. Why can't Stephen Harper just crack down on emitters. Yet he refuses to help save the future.

That's right, nine fossil awards. Obviously, the Tory government is lying to us about the environment. The goals aren't science-based nor are they going to stop global warming. The sooner Stephen Harper stops his evil reign of terror, the better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rising Sea Levels

These are people having to cope with rising sea levels. This means moving from one home to the next multiple times. There is no other reasons for rising sea levels. We must save these people's homes and stop global warming.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Provincial Environment Stance

It's a good thing that the provincial governments of Quebec and Ontario have called for higher reduction targets. These are the two most populous provinces condemning the federal government for not setting higher targets. Notice that Quebec has set a 17% higher reduction target than the Conservative government. Meanwhile, the Tories keep insisting that their 3% reduction from 1990 levels is "science based." Why? Because mathematics is a science and 3% is a number. We got a fossil award for that. Now that Hydro-Quebec is in charge of New Brunswick Power, we can start phasing out the coal-fired plants and phasing in the clean hydro power. Meanwhile, Stephen Harper refuses to do anything for the environment.
Delegations from Ontario and Quebec wasted no time before differentiating their position from the federal government’s after arriving yesterday at the climate change conference in Copenhagen – declaring they weren’t going to carry higher emission reduction burdens for the sake of oilsands expansion in the Western provinces.
“I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out that with the tarsand oils that are being developed in Alberta and Saskatchewan that – of discussions that I’ve seen and been a part of – they want to continue to develop those,” said Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen.
“Obviously, if they are developed there might have to be larger greenhouse gas emissions (reductions) elsewhere in the country in order to meet our overall targets. And we want fairness.”

While Stephen Harper will be trying to ruin a deal, the provincial delegates will be trying to seal one.

High Speed Rail Videos

Highlights of a high speed rail summit in London. When will we embrace high speed trains as the future? It will improve service greatly and lure people away from gas-guzzling cars and polluting aircraft. And it's faster.

Outlining the benefits of high speed rail

Sunday, December 13, 2009

EU fund for Climate Change

Some members of the European Union have decided to contribute a lot of money to help poorer countries with climate change. This is a smart decision. The only way we can compensate going green to the countries in development is by giving them cash. With this, they can pay for environmentally-friendly products and services. The E.U. is also looking for Canada to do a better job in reducing emissions. Instead, we have managed to win four "fossil of the day awards." Canada should pitch in and help save our future.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The World wants to Change Course

We have all seen the news about the global warming rallies. The world is taking action all over. It is time Canada takes action to reduce are emission dramatically. If you think Stephen Harper's goal of reducing emissions by 20% below 2006 levels by 2020 honorable then why is this action to reduce are emission only going to start at 2012.This is the year in which the next election is set to be. This is the year in which Stephen Harper wishes to get his majority. When he gets it, will he still try to reduce emissions? Will his secret agenda be secret anymore? The Kyoto Protocol for Canada is to reduce emissions 20% from 1990 levels by 2008-2012. We are currently up 28% from 1990 levels, and still nowhere near 20% from 2006 level goal.So let's take action and make sure that our leader is held accountable in Copenhagen and in Canada.

Canada's Image in Pieces

George Monbiot on our climate image.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Obama on December the 10th got the noble peace prize. I believe that Obama does not deserve this prize, because not only was the limit to nominate a candidate for this award just 11 days in his presidency but also other people who got this did millions more than Obama. Bill Clinton has his own foundation to help make treatment for HIV more affordable. It would be nice to say he got the noble peace prize, but Obama being just president for 11 days did more than Bill Clinton. Al Gore, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa all diserve this award because of their valid efforts but what could have Barack Obama acheived in 11 days that would be even compared to what these people do. I believe Obama does not deserve this award and it should have been given to someone who has done something.

Reusing Bottles

This is the kind of reusing that livens the atmosphere. The people who thought this up should be commended for their creativity and support of the environment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

World's fastest train unveiled in China

Today, China unveiled the fastest train in the world. Unlike some people think, Eastern Asia is building high speed rail. South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan all have high speed trains. And we don't. If they can do it, so can we. All we need is political will. In the U.S. President Obama has set up a fund for high speed rail. However, Canada won't improve our abysmal Via Rail service. What we need is a rail link to unite the country, just like the Transcontinental Railroad in 1885.

Canadians aren't buying it

According to a new poll the vast majority of Canadians believe that prisoners were handed off to the local authorities by Canadian Forces knowing that they would be tortured. This poll shows that 61% believe this while 39% do not believe that the prisoners were tortured. The province that believes this the most is Quebec (70%) which is no surprise since Quebec never really liked Stephen Harper. The region that denies it the most is the prairies with 51%, so it seems to be there is a political division on this. While of the people that believe that prisoners were tortured 83% think that the Canadian government knew of this, and of no shock Quebec thinks this the most with 87%. I think that prisoners were tortured and I think the government should just come clean and if they still denies they should have no problem with a public inquiry.

Taking Our Part

On December 7, environment minister Jim Prentice said that every country must take its part in reducing emissions. I hope that's what Canada's going to do for we haven't reduced emissions at all. On another note, Henry Aubin wrote an opinion piece in the Gazette today. It shows how Alberta and Stephen Harper are not trying to reduce pollution. Our sacrifices are being washed away by the Alberta tar sands.
It's striking how little hollering there is about Alberta's sanctimonious insistence that it make only minor improvements. Granted, it's not surprising that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in favour, seeing that Alberta is his power base. But you'd expect less acquiescence from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, whose party holds no seats in the province and has little chance of picking up any no matter how much he fawns. As well, the Globe and Mail, which claims to take global warming seriously, editorializes that the oilsands production should be allowed to escalate, albeit more cleanly (as if that could make a big difference).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Climate Change Polls

A new poll in the U.S shows that fewer American believe that globe warming is real. this comes to no surprise after those highly publicized emails saying scientist were ringing the data to support there idea. In June 75% of people say that they believe that global warming is true now only 67% still an overwhelmingly majority believe that global warming is true. The bad part is now that last summer 54% of people think that global warming is man made now only 45%. But the good news is that 58% of people think we should reduce our carbon footprint. I believe that global warming is true and that we should have a carbon tax or at least a cap and trade system. We should reduce are carbon footprint now, or else enjoy snow-free winters, extinction of polar bears, flooded cities, unpredictable weather and hotter summers in our world. (Editor note: I believe that a cap and trade system doesn't work. it would be cheaper to set up a carbon tax.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Refugees Waiting

The number of people on the waiting list for refugee status has tripled since the Tories have come to power. Even though they say that these backlogs create doors for illegal refugees to enter, the Conservatives have done nothing about it. When will Stephen Harper stop this hypocrisy.
The wait times have increased despite the government's criticism that delays open the door for so-called bogus refugees to stay in the country.
When the Conservatives came to power in January 2006, the backlog of people waiting for their claims to be heard by members of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) was slightly less than 20,000. Since then, the number of people on the waiting list has grown to 62,000.

Monday, December 07, 2009

High Speed Rail Video

A nice video showing high speed rail around the world. These very fast trains are the future of transportation.

U.S taking initiative in Afghanistan

With 30,000 extra troops in Afghanistan by the U.S Obama's secretary of state Hilliary Clinton says (in a NATO meeting in Brussels) that the U.S does not plan to cut troops in Afghanistan then run. She also say's that the U.S is looking for long term partnership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I think that the troop plan that the U.S put up is very honorable that they want to put 30,000 troops mostly in southern Afghanistan (where the problem really is) is a step towards stabilizing the country and getting rid of the Taliban. The U.S says that they intend to start cuting troop level in Afganistan by 2011 (same as Canada) but I do think that all of the country's in Afagnistan should have more parterships, and have more influence in the country even after we leave till the country becomes completly stable.

Clinton: We don't intend to cut and run from Afghanistan

"I want to make clear to the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan that we're looking for a long-term partnership," said Clinton,

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Copenhagen: what good will it do?

We all know that soon many countries will go to Copenhagen, but what good will it do? Canada and the U.S will only join at the end of the meeting. If you think any world leader is just going to come and say there going to change their position and go for much lower CO2 goals than you have to much trust in your politician. I would hope that would happen, but the only good this would do is show us what every country has to show about there commitment. There are 6 major polluting areas in the world Canada, the U.S, Europe, Australia, Russia and eastern Asia (China,India and Japan), and most ratified Kyoto (U.S signed then declined), but E.U is the only one close to getting to there goals. All other countries are lagging behind. It's one thing for Canada to show leadership on the environment but it's another thing not to follow the leaders on the environment. If Stephen Harper calls himself a strong leader, than he should first learn how to follow.

Vancouver Trams

Vancouver has rented two trams from Brussels to run in their Olympic Village. These are low-floor Flexity trams from Bombardier. Although the tram has been revived in Europe, North America hasn't really built any new tram lines (with a few exceptions). These tram lines in Vancouver are temporary, however, Bombardier is still trying to get the government to buy into a permanent tramway. This is Canada's chance to be a part of the revival of the tram. Once people see how well it works, they might want to bring it back to their cities. This could be a breakthrough on the tram front, or it could change nothing. Hopefully, this will open people's minds to trams.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pig Oil

As usual, oil companies are trying to weasel out of taxes. Apparently, they have been asking to be exempt from climate change laws for years. They say that there is no way for them to lower emissions while they make billions of dollars and leave nothing but global warming for us. Take action and don't support Stephen Harper who lets them do whatever those big corporations want.
Oil and gas producers comprised the largest industry lobbying group from January through August 2009 with 24 companies and associations represented in Ottawa, according to the registry. These include all the major oil companies.
Ten other major producers of fossil fuels - mining firms and coal companies - have also lobbied on climate change legislation. Combined, all these major producers have employed about 465 lobbyists since 1996 or about one third of the total climate change lobbyists.

The monster trucks used to carry this dirty oil

Friday, December 04, 2009

Environmental Troubles, Again

Canada has once more been criticized on our environmental actions. It would be possible to say that we have been doing nothing against climate change. The tar sands in Alberta rip up the earth and destroy the province. They might make the province rich, but it is the most harmful way to extract oil. Then, we have our Prime Minister. He makes up policies to make it look like he's saving the environment but he's actually destroying it.
Developed countries have promised only half the reductions in greenhouse gases that international scientists say are necessary to prevent climate catastrophe, with Canada bringing up the rear as a global laggard.
In a report released Tuesday, the Washington-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change tallied up commitments that developed countries have announced ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit, which begins next week.
In total, industrialized countries plan to reduce emissions between 13 per cent and 19 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urged emission reductions of between 25 per cent and 40 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, to prevent the most severe disruptions in climate, including floods and droughts.

Africa Paying the Price

The world is oblivious to the fact that Africa is going to pay the price for climate change. It is already as George Monbiot said. Because of a drought, people were forced to loot other villages in order to survive. Now, it's continuing. We must wake up to the reality of climate change and not procrastinate on this subject.
Across Africa, there are growing concerns that the continent is being marginalized in the major debates leading up to the climate-change summit in Copenhagen this month. While the main focus has been on the impact of climate-change mitigation on industrialized countries, the urgent adaptation needs of the world's poorest countries, in the face of possible catastrophe, have largely been ignored, at least in terms of concrete measures.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Torture Files

Finally, the Harper government has released the Afghan torture documents. However, they are heavily censored. Whole pages are blacked out. Why can't the Harper government release the full and uncensored documents? How is torture a security issue? It's more of a human rights issue which must come first. These prisoners could have been tortured and/or killed in jail. Some of them were innocent. Everyone under Canada's rule deserves justice for all.
However, the package confirms the Star's report last Wednesday that the emails dated in spring 2006 were sent to then-foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay's office, and flagged alarm over detainees handling on behalf of the International Red Cross Committee — the world humanitarian organization entrusted by the United Nations to monitor prisoners of war.
MacKay says he wasn't briefed until May 2007 on Colvin's emails, but insists there was no "credible" evidence of a real risk of torture to any detainee handed over by Canadians, though his senior Afghan advisor at the time concedes it was widely known that abuses happened in Afghan prisons.

Are we all Drama Seekers ?

As we all know by now Tiger Woods has crashed his car into a tree. Now if I did this, I'm not sure if I would even make the news. But when Tiger Woods has an accident it he gets day after day of news. When Tiger Woods crashed his car it took us five seconds to say what happened and make allegations of him having an affair him fighting in his life etc...Would you guys pay this much attention to me? Why him? Tiger woods is largely famous and when something like that happens we have to go nuts. How many of you know of Oprah Winfrey leaving her show and how many of you know how many troops Obama increased in Afghanistan? it seems like we love celebrity's and not big important things like the added 30,000 troops in Afghanistan by the U.S.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Munk Debates: update

The results of the Munk Debates are in. Pre-debate poll 61%-pro, 39%-con, post-debate poll 56%-pro, 44%-con. It seems that the climate skeptics have managed to convince 5% more of the audience. However, that is only 1100 people. They do not represent the world or Canada. I note that the online poll got the support of the pro side. Also, if you look at past Munk Debates, you realize that after the debate, the underdog always got more percentage points. Maybe it's just how the human mind works. I would like to thank all the participants in this debate for making it interesting.

Aboriginal VIPs

The 2010 Olympics committee has decided to do something never before in history. It's inviting four First Nation leaders to the Vancouver Olympics. They are to be treated as heads of states. Therefore, they will get the same services and personnel as U.S. President Obama. The First Nations were here before us. We took this land away from them. However, we can't just sell it back. By making their leaders VIPs, we recognize that they are a different people and that they can represent themselves.
For the first time, four aboriginal leaders, including Justin George, chief of the 400-member Tseil-Waututh, will be accorded status equivalent to head of state at an Olympic Games. It may be a first anywhere for indigenous representatives for such a high-profile international event.
"I don't think aboriginal leaders have ever been recognized in this way," said one 2010 protocol official, who asked not to be identified.
The exalted designation granted chiefs of the Four Host First Nations, on whose traditional territory the 2010 Games will take place, includes access to all events, prime seating among other dignitaries, access to the private Olympic lounges, transportation, and their own assistant to ensure that all protocol goes smoothly.
"They will have the same status as other leaders from around the world, and it's about time," Tewanee Joseph, executive director of the Four Host First Nations, said yesterday. "We want to show that our chiefs are head of their own communities, with their own governance structure. It's very important for them to have discussions with other leaders at the same level, rather than just being talked down to."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Munk Debates

The Munk debates on global warming starts in about 10 minutes. I hope that Elizabeth May and Monbiot will win it. Climate Change is real and Harper isn't willing to do anything about it. This is a wake-up call for the whole world! You can watch the debate here.

Obama trying to get his Grip

We all know that Obama approval rating is low, but what effect does this in congress? One year before the 2010 midterm elections with a major high publicized issue like health care forces congressmen and women to think about getting reelected and go with the majority. The U.S. is very divided on this issue so all cards are up. In order for republicans to get the control of the house they need to flip 41 seats now. If an election were held today people still highly believe the democrats will get a 6% lead but in 2008 they won the election by 9%. So why would Obama lose his democratic grip in the house if the Democrats are still ahead? Many experts say that if no health care bill is passed major amount of Americans will change their minds just like they did in 1994(Bill Clinton also presented a health care bill and it did not pass lost control of the house in 1994). My predictions that the Democrats could have a small majority in the house, but in American politics anything can happen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Get the Vaccine

There are still a lot more Quebecers to vaccinate against the Influenza A H1N1. This is not good news. Getting the vaccine not only protects you, it also protects others. By allowing yourself to be inoculated, you're protecting anyone you have an interaction with. This gives the virus nowhere to go. It means that it will just end up dying instead of us being killed. If you don't want to protect yourself, think of all the people you love who you want to be protected. Getting vaccinated is very important for everyone. There are very short lines at these CSSS, so there it's very fast. Personally, the whole process took 30 minutes at Alexis Nihon Plaza.

At vaccination centres in the former Allancroft School in Beaconsfield and Cavendish Mall in Côte St. Luc Saturday there were no long lines or mad rush for the vaccine, or for appointment coupons. People were generally in and out within 45 minutes.
At Allancroft, some people were able to walk in without appointment coupons late Saturday morning and get vaccines without waiting at all.
Bolduc said at his morning news conference that 33 per cent of Quebecers had received the vaccine by Friday night. Restrictions on who can get the vaccine will have been lifted in all regions of Quebec by Monday.
“I had no hesitation about getting the vaccine,” said Radu Vintila of Île Bizard, who visited the Allancroft facility just before noon. “I have a scientific background and I believe in medicine.”
Victoria de Takacsy’s two children had already been vaccinated but they accompanied her to Allancroft for her shot.
“It took no time at all, I had my coupon, it was 30 minutes,” said deTakacsy.

Canadian Election Not Likely

Are you one of the few Canadians that are worried about another election? An election will probably not happened now, or even a while from now. A new poll by Ekos shows that the conservative party are 2% below the last poll which puts them at 35.7%. The Liberals are at 27.1% so the Tory's just lost their 10% lead. If Harper wants a fall of government he will need the other party's to vote no on a bill he presents. If Stephen presents a bill he will need the Liberals the Bloc and the NDP to vote no.The Liberals will pass the bill because there way behind in the polls. The Bloc will pass the bill because they are still stuck down at around 37% (in Quebec), and would probably have the same amount of seats and lose a little in its vote share. The NDP will also allow the bill to pass because they are still down in the polls. Why would Jack Layton call an election if he will not only lose seats but may lose his power in parliament if Stephen Harper gets a majority out of his lose of seats? According to this, all three parties will probably vote to pass the bill, and Stephen needs all three of them to vote no, and the only party that would want an election are the Green party because they are 5.3% higher than they were in 2008.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Humane society investagation continues

Trow was arrested last Thursday on allegations of animal cruelty. Mr trow already denies any wrong doing and has said that he has never been unkind to an animal in his life.Although photos of dozens of animals on the globe and mail beg to differ(I must advise that some of the pictures on the the article that says photos are very disturbing). The OSPCA has also charged multiple other employees for animal abuse. I think that this incidence is completely a loss for all animal lovers in not only Toronto but all over the world, so I say why not have surprise inspections so the animals can be safe.

 “I’ve never been unkind to an animal in my life,” Mr Trow said. That discovery “sent a chill right down my spine,” said Kevin Strooband, an OSPCA officer with 19 years of experience. “This is unbelievable. I’m still reeling ... This is a house of horrors.”

Five Earths Needed

Humans are using the resource equivalent to five earths. We are using our resources at an alarming rate. We must cut down on consumption. The easiest way to do this is by cutting down on our carbon footprint. It's much better to take public transport rather than the car. The future must be saved!
Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report issued Tuesday.
As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs, said the report by Global Footprint Network, an international think tank.
"We are demanding nature's services -- using resources and creating CO2 emissions -- at a rate 44 percent faster than what nature can regenerate and reabsorb," the document said.
"That means it takes the Earth just under 18 months to produce the ecological services humanity needs in one year," it said.
And if humankind continues to use natural resources and produce waste at the current rate, "we will require the resources of two planets to meet our demands by the early 2030s," a gluttonous level of ecological spending that may cause major ecosystem collapse, the report said.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Metro is not Madness

The Montreal Metro is a reliable system. Analyst Richard Anderson compared them to transit systems around the world. Our metro rivaled closely to the modern Asian subways. Our fleet is very old. The newest metro car is almost 30 years old! This good reliability can only be due to the great maintenance crews of the STM. I thank all of them for their excellent work.
"These métros here have a lot of incidents. These métros are not reliable," Anderson said yesterday, nodding to the highest columns on the left-hand side of a bar chart calculating the number of service interruptions of five minutes or more logged by more than two dozen of the world's subway systems.
"These are predominantly European and North American métros.
 "These guys down here," he said, referring to columns on the right so short they barely poked above the chart's baseline, "are predominantly modern and Asian métros."
In comparison with its North American and European peers, the Société de transport de Montréal's service reliability ranked very high, Anderson said.
The STM records about 12 stoppages per every million kilometres travelled annually. Given that the most breakdown-prone métro system recorded 315, it's an achievement worth showing off.étro+reliable+service/2267136/story.html

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Infiltration of Humane Society

Can you believe that a man who is president of the Humane Society in Toronto abused animals? Tim Trow is accused of animal cruelty and if found guilty could get a 2000$ fine and serve 6 month in jail. The Ontario branch of the SPCA has launched an investigation in this and have seen that some of the animals in the cages are in poor condition. I think that the SPCA should carry out random surprise investigations in "Humane Societies." This would keep the presidents alert and make sure that they don't abuse the animals.
Christopher Avery, a Bay Street criminal lawyer representing the OSPCA, said Mr. Trow's own dog, Bandit, attacked a police officer during the arrest on Thursday. It was pepper sprayed.
He also outlined the poor conditions of a number of animals.
"[OSPCA] officer [Kevin] Strooband recalled one animal in particular. He came in and lifted a cat and its skin came off in his hands," Mr. Avery told reporters outside the THS building.

Attending Copenhagen

Now I've learned that not only does Stephen Harper want to kill Copenhagen, he doesn't want to go there.
Harper has said he would make the trek to Copenhagen only if other major leaders also attend and has designated Environment Minister Jim Prentice to lead the Canadian delegation.
"I have always been clear, if there is a meeting of all major leaders involving climate change, I will of course attend," Harper said during question period. "I would just note that President Obama has not confirmed his attendance at the leaders' meeting in Copenhagen. In fact, I have discussed the matter with him directly."

Why would he only go there if "all major leaders involving climate change" are there? We have a responsibility to protect our future. Obviously, Stephen Harper was just making an excuse not to go to Copenhagen. This is not the time to make excuses. We have to be truthful with ourselves. We must act fast on climate change and our government is just barring the way.

Reducing emissions in Quebec

Jean Charest has announced our goal of cutting emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. This is a good move on behalf of the Quebec government. We are the only province which has a good plan for the environment. It's not perfect, but it's better than Alberta. It's also better than Harper's plan. His plan is 20% lower than 2006 emissions by 2020. I hope that we will achieve Quebec's goal. I can't see any way though, of us completing Harper's goal at this rate.
"We believe it is very important for us to lead on this issue because Quebec will live with the consequences of climate change more rapidly and more drastically than other jurisdictions because we are a northern province," Charest said. "Our children and grandchildren expect us to make the right decisions."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Record high GHG

The emission of greenhouse gases in the world has reached a record high. Thanks to the World Meteorological  Organization, accurate records have been kept since 1958. Numbers don't lie. They say that the emissions have kept rising in the 50 years from 1958 to 2008. They also found that the more gases are being released into the atmosphere each and every year. Not only do these gases help global warming, but they also pollute the air we breathe. This translates into respiratory problems or diseases (Influenza A H1N1), smog days and basically, a shorter life. We must stop this horrible pollution.
Levels of greenhouse gases, believed to be responsible for global warming, have been rising every year since detailed records started being kept in 1958, the World Meteorological Organization said.
It follows a trend of rising emissions that began with the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, the agency said.
The report comes as the European Union urged the United States and China on Monday to set targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions at next month's climate conference in Copenhagen. The European Union said delays by those countries were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Delay in notifying Red Cross

Canadian military officials delayed notifying the Red Cross about the transfer of prisoners over to the Afghan police. This is the RED CROSS. Why can't we trust them? The Red Cross helps people and doesn't hurt anyone. If our government can't help others stop torture, then can we trust our government to keep tabs on prisoners?
The documents appear to back up the testimony of Richard Colvin, a former Canadian diplomat in Afghanistan who said he delivered repeated warnings that prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities were being tortured.

Colvin said Canada's detainee system was flawed and the process in which federal government officials notified the International Red Cross of its prisoner transfers took days, weeks and — in some cases — up to two months.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Barack Obama approval

According to a new poll in the u.s barack obama has a 49% approval rating. This might not seem horrible, but this is the first time that barack obama approval rating went lower than 50%. Why? you may ask . The answer is simple. First the unemployment for this month in the U.S. is 10.2%. Second Obama's health care bill which some people think it will pass but the real frustration against Obama is that it is taking to much time to pass this bill, and other issues are not being looked at at all like same-sex mariage and the people who care about this issue are now being ingnored. so simply the reason for this is taht the economy is coming back but the number 10.2% is not so reassuring. Meanwhile, Obama's bill is taking to long to pass while being more than 1000 pages, which makes people think if Obama is similar to other politicians, unlike he portrayed himself in the campaign.

New Author

Hello I am a new author and I would just like to mention what I would be talking about swine flu, Barack Obama , U.S. health care, the environment and other major news that can come along the way.

Closed-door environmental discussions

Jim Prentice, Canada's environment minister has closed the doors on environmental discussions. There is no public input into what appears at his meetings, nor do we know what is going on. I agree with this article by Matt Price on the fact that this is an important time in climate decisions. We need to lower emissions now. And it's a shame that our government isn't doing a good job.
The tragedy here is that this will be perhaps the most significant piece of economic and environmental policy in the history of the country. It will either chart the course for Canada to be a leader in the next industrial revolution as the world economy decarbonizes, or it will fall short and leave Canada in its current last-place position in this regard behind our competitors. All Canadians alive today and their offspring have a massive stake in this initiative, and they are being shut out.

US Healthcare

Public healthcare is non-existent in the US. They have to pay for doctor appointments or get health insurance to pay their fees. We're lucky in Canada to have such a good system. It's far from perfect, but imagine having to pay to stay alive. In Canada, we don't have to pay for this basic necessity. However, in the US many people are skeptical  about President Obama's reform to healthcare. Luckily, his bill has succeeded in going past the hurdle in the Senate.
Democrats united Saturday night to narrowly push historic health-care legislation past a key U.S. Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama.
The 60-39 vote cleared the way for a bruising, full-scale debate beginning after the American Thanksgiving weekend. The legislation, which is designed to extend coverage to roughly 31 million who lack it, would crack down on insurance company practices that deny or dilute benefits and curtail the growth of spending on medical care nationally.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opposition to Torture must be Absolute

The Gazette has had an editorial in which the editor states that Canada's opposition to Torture must be absolute. I agree with this editorial. There have been European countries that are actively monitoring the prisoners in the jails. Even Canadian diplomat, Richard Colvin, was told to stop writing about the situation in Afghanistan. Why can't our government make sure that prisoners aren't being tortured. Then, we wonder why Taliban support is steady and why the residents don't want to cooperate with our troops. We should help the population instead of burdening it.
Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan face not only an intractable Taliban opposition but also a non-combatant population that might want to trust foreign troops, but has its doubts. The last thing Canadians need, then, is for the population to view our troops as callously complicit in the torture of innocent civilians.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tories reject Torture Inquiry

The Conservatives have rejected a call for an inquiry into torture in Afghan prisons. They say that there has been no proof that the detainees were tortured. Of course there is not. It has been stated that the Canadian Forces don't keep tags on their prisoners after they're handed over to the Afghan police. Therefore, it is impossible to know whether they were tortured or not. A full public inquiry would be good for this situation. If we find that that there has been cover-ups, then we oust Stephen Harper. If we find out that there has been torture, then we stop it. It's a win-win case.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said Canada's reputation as a champion of human rights has been hurt by the notion that prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities were tortured and that the government might have tried to cover it up.
"I believe the pressure for a full public inquiry is going to grow.… We have to clear the air here. Get to the bottom of it and find out whether we are dealing with a coverup," he told CBC News.
"We certainly have to take the appropriate actions to deal with Canada's reputation, which right now is taking a tumble."
During his testimony, Colvin said Canada did not monitor detainee conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind "walls of secrecy."


Biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol can cause world hunger. By using food crops, ethanol depletes the world's food production. They are also much less efficient than gasoline. Corn ethanol, solves none of our goals by indirectly raising the prices agricultural products and of meat.

First of all, ethanol is less efficient than gasoline. You get less mileage on it than a regular gas-burning car. It pollutes the environment indirectly. To produce ethanol requires more energy than producing oil. That translates into more emissions.

Most important, is world hunger. Ethanol is produced from food sources such as corn and sugarcane. This leaves less for the world to eat. And less for the farmers to feed to their livestock. That means that food prices would rise and stop us form helping those in need. The only economy would be if we would be able to make fuels from grass or wood chips, which is years away.

Most ethanol supporters say that ethanol can reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Well there has been a study which has discovered that even if we transform ALL of America's corn into ethanol, they would still have to buy from the Middle East.

The planet can produce enough food to feed all of its people a European diet several times over, but the global food crisis persists due in a large part to such misplaced government priorities as the push for biofuels, a Netherlands-based doctor of economics said in Saskatoon Wednesday.

Obviously, ethanol solves none of our problems. It will only show promise once we discover how to transform grass of wood into this fuel. We should not subsidize nor support it.

Copenhagen: Canadians Ashamed

A poll has discovered that roughly 75% of Canadians are ashamed of Canada's status of pact-blockers. Canada has been known since Stephen Harper came to power, as a US style environmental treaty destroyer. This is to be ashamed. While Germany cut down on emissions, Canada passed laws that supposedly cut down on emissions. We don't have any good goals. Our goal is to cut emissions 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. Though, at this rate, it looks like we might not even make that objective. Even in Alberta, 65% of people are ashamed that we aren't showing leadership on this issue.
Even in Alberta, 65 per cent of respondents agreed with a statement that “it's embarrassing that we are not doing more to curb emissions.” Support for the view favouring more action was highest in Quebec, at 86 per cent.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tremblay's gamble with Bergeron

Tremblay has named Bergeron to the city's executive committee. He is responsible for urban planning. This is a great move on Tremblay's behalf. It draws the council together and lets the opposition help in the organisation of the city. In my opinion, this will help make Montreal a better place. Bergeron is a professor in urban planning. He disagrees with Tremblay on many issues such as Ste-Catherine street but he will help balance the committee. He wants less cars and much more green space. Hopefully, Bergeron will get his way most of the time. Tremblay can still vote him down whenever he wants.
That Bergeron has this file does not, of course, mean that his views will always prevail. The other members of the executive committee can vote him down. But it's instructive to look at his past positions on issues that the committee will have to deal with in the months and years ahead.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local TV Matters

Most of you have probably heard about "Local TV Matters." The big cable companies get to carry these local television channels for free. Normally, only a number of people who don't have cable would be able to get these for free. That number includes me. I don't have cable, satellite or any illegal kind of television. Just plain old antenna. Those cable companies are charging you for free channels while they don't even pay a cent to the local broadcasters such as CBC. They're laughing all the way to the boardroom. But you can stop them from ripping you off. Go to, and put your name on the list. Make those cable companies pay. You have a choice: you can control the cable companies, or let the companies control you.
"Since deregulation, consumers have been hit with fee hike after fee hike," said Paul Sparks, CTVglobemedia's executive vice-president of corporate affairs. "It's clear that consumers don't want their bill to increase and we agree."

All Afghan Detainees likely Tortured

Even I thought that the Harper government was going to do better than this. Canada has been known for our zero-tolerance of torture. However, during Harper's reign, torture has increased. Torture is not a joke. It scars those prisoners for the rest of their lives. Physically and mentally. If Stephen Harper wants the population of Afghanistan to cooperate with the Canadian Forces, maybe he should force the Forces to keep an eye on the torture of prisoners. Imagine what would happen to us if Stephen Harper increased the military presence in our cities like he said he wanted to.

Harper said a Conservative government would increase underwater and aerial surveillance and enlarge the navy, army, and air force presence.
This was said in 2005, before the 2006 election. This proves that if he gets a majority, he'll increase the size of the military.

All detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials and many of the prisoners were innocent, says a former senior diplomat with Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
Appearing before a House of Commons committee Wednesday, Richard Colvin blasted the detainees policies of Canada and compared them with the policies of the British and the Netherlands.
The detainees were captured by Canadian soldiers then handed over to the Afghan intelligence service, called the NDS.
Colvin said Canada was taking six times as many detainees as British troops and 20 times as many as the Dutch.
He said unlike the British and Dutch, Canada did not monitor their conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind "walls of secrecy."
"As I learned more about our detainee practices, I came to a conclusion they were contrary to Canada's values, contrary to Canada's interests, contrary to Canada's official policies and also contrary to international law. That is, they were un-Canadian, counterproductive and probably illegal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Metro Cars

The STM has written a contract out to the Bombardier-Alstom consortium for making new metro cars. These are supposed to be in service in 2013. However, the Gazette states that the price and the number of cars bought has augmented.
The original $1.2-billion price tag from consortium Bombardier/Alstom to renew Montreal’s métro-car fleet has soared, perhaps to $2 billion, and the original 342 cars required has at least more than doubled to 765 and perhaps tripled to 1,000.

However, if you do the math, if the number of cars has doubled, so should the price. That means that the 765 cars that the Gazette says is now going to be in the contract, is at a cheaper price. Normally, the 765 cars would be at a price of 2.4 billion. The Gazette says that the price is at 2 million. Let's save the 4 million dollars and take this deal. Our metro would benefit from having more cars. Let's renew our system.étro+fleet+price+soars/2203729/story.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good for Denmark

Copenhagen is almost dead. But it may not be a total waste. However, there is one country willing to stand up for what is right. Denmark's saying that countries must bring pledges to Copenhagen. The Copenhagen treaty shouldn't be a little nothing. It should help us find the way to a treaty made soon. Germany says it will push for more ambitious goals. Germany is an example of an environmentally-friendly nation. It makes about 44% of the world's electricity from wind and use solar power too. They have a good low-emission energy consumption. This is what Canada should be and it can be. Harper just won't do it. Neither will Alberta. We shouldn't procrastinate on this.

The agreement "should be concrete and binding on countries committing to reach targets," he said.

Germany 'will push for more ambitious goals'

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the summit would be high on her new cabinet's agenda.

"We will make it very clear that we will push for more ambitious goals at Copenhagen," said Merkel who will be among more than 40 heads of government attending the final sessions of the Dec. 7-18 conference.

Shock Wave

Three earthquakes hit the B.C. coast this morning. They were a magnitude of 6.6, 3 and 5.7 on the Richter scale. No tsunami has been seen or is expected. Hopefully, we are ready for the big tremor that can come to B.C. at any given moment. Scientists think it can be in a second, a minute or even in ten years. But this one's overdue. I don't know much about preparations in B.C. but I hope those people will survive everything. Click here to read and see a documentary on this mega earthquake.

Stephane Mazzotti of the Geological Survey of Canada called the quake and its aftershocks a major event, but not all that unusual.

"It's not very surprising actually. That particular area of the southern end of the Queen Charlottes is very active when it comes to earthquakes, and it has moderate to large seismic activity on a quite regular basis," said Mazzotti.'

The crack in the ocean floor from Cape Mendocino, California to central Vancouver Island is nearly identical to the subduction zone that ruptured off Sumatra, which led to the tsunami that killed approximately 230,000 people. The Pacific Northwest can expect a nearly identical earthquake. Five major cities (Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Portland and Sacramento) plus hundreds of small towns along a thousand kilometres of coastline will be heavily damaged. The first tsunami waves will hit the beach twenty minutes later.

But Shock Wave is not just another "doomsday flick." It's the story of people on the front lines of science, engineering and emergency planning who, along with thousands of volunteers, are finding ways to help our communities survive the next rupture.

High Speed Rail Canada

High speed rail (HSR) would be good for Canada. We are already lagging behind  many other developed countries which already have HSR. Japan's had their Shinkansen's since the 1960's and France has had the TGV since 1981. If these two nations and a good chunk of Europe already have HSR, why shouldn't Canada. It will help to decrease emissions and decrease travel times. In some countries, the total travel time between the origin and destination has proved to be faster than airplanes.

HSR creates less emissions. Since it is run completely on electricity, it does not consume any fuel. Combine that with Quebec's hydroelectricity and you have a much more environmentally-friendly train. Instead of the old Via Rail diesel train chugging along the tracks, we would have a high speed train which would zoom by.

Polls show that most Canadians would support HSR. They say that they want it because it will reduce carbon emissions, create more jobs and reduce the number of cars on the road. This is exactly what high speed trains do. Right now, driving to Toronto would take only a bit longer than taking the train and buying a ticket costs more than a tank of gas. However, HSR would add the benefit of going 360 km/h, which would make the voyage a whole lot faster. In Spain, there are train lines which are very competitive with airlines.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bloody Oil

I have come across an article which states that the tar sands in Alberta not only destroy the environment, they cause cancer. Meanwhile, the Harper government is only letting the tar sands expand. I'm glad these three women are going to try to partially stop the exploitation of this bloody oil.
"British companies and investors … are driving this project, which is contaminating our land, food, water, air and forests and pushing wildlife out of our traditional territories," Deranger said.

"It is causing rare forms of cancer in our communities, which is why we call it 'bloody oil.' These companies are complicit in the biggest environmental crime on the planet and yet very few people in the U.K. even know that it's happening."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Treaty Delayed

Many world leaders now want the Copenhagen treaty to be delayed until 2010. This is crazy. We need a binding deal so we can all lower our emissions. Instead of procrastinating on making a good deal, we should just get it over with. Climate change is here. Nevertheless, many leaders think that a climate deal can be put off for later. We need to get it done now.

The aim of the summit is to set ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gases, but also to raise funds to help poor countries tackle global warming.

However, negotiations have been bogged down, with developing nations accusing the rich world of failing to set themselves deep enough 2020 goals for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Apple the most profitable cellphone maker

Apple is now officially the most profitable cellphone maker in the world. It has passed Nokia this year. I'm not surprised. Since the release of the iPhone, I knew Apple was going to succeed. It is not on the same level as on the other phones. The iPhone can do so much more than any other phone and has many cool features. The only thing holding it back was the initial package price with Rogers. But now, Bell and Telus are going to put the iPhone into its stores. This will increase the competition to get the consumer. Because of this future ease in prices, the iPhone will continue to grow more and more.