I start this week with the most shockingly ludicrous thing I have encountered in an incredibly long time. How this is not bigger news puzzles me. Apparently the last Asbestos mine in Quebec (you know, the one that the Conservatives are selling out the rest of Canada for?) might be RUNNING OUT OF ASBESTOS. Yes sir. Apparently good leadership involves making your country a laughingstock over a mine that will probably have to close in a short period of time.
Youth advocates are worried that the "tough on crime" bill is going to have a negative impact on susceptible youth. Isn't it awesome that we have a government that completely dismisses the opinion of Criminologists? Why would the people that study this stuff for a living know what they're talking about. They must have a hidden agenda.
Adding to that, we have new statistics out showing that the crime rate is the lowest it has been since 1973. The Conservative response? "Unlike the Opposition, we do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals." Wow. This is like a Trifecta of Conservative response awesomeness. Make the question asker feel stupid. Throw in a jab at the Opposition. Ignore and diminish all that silly sciency type stuff.
In this week's 2nd installment of Strange Stephen Harper Obsessions, we once again have the Arctic. Nothing new here, just more talk about Mr. Harper's blustering and an observation that what it lacks in substance is made up for in politicking.
It's funny that there is still a discussion about whether or not additional immigration will cause a drain in society. Most of the immigrants that I work with scare me, not because I fear I might have to pay for their health care. They work so damn hard and I fear that it makes me and my entitled ways look bad. So, ya, I don't think an extra 30,000 immigrants a year is going to ruin Canada.
This boingboing post explains precisely why we should not pursue a US style copyright system. Shortened version - Man creates song, posts it to the Internet. Major label likes song, wants Eminem to license it and use it as his own. Major label submits DMCA takedown notice to Youtube claiming it owns the rights to the song and that the youtube video is committing copyright infringement. Label initiates negotiations with the artist to take ownership of the song. Criminal. This is why music companies should not be allowed to arbitrarily decide what is and what isn't allowed on the Internet. This is what they are pushing for in Canada.And to follow up on that, apparently there was a report commissioned to follow up on the purchasing habits of users of a raided and shut down file sharing site. The findings? Well, the average "internet pirate" on the site actually spent far more on legitimate entertainment expenses (movie theaters, media, etc.) than the average person. Which kind of reinforces the argument that piracy can help sell copyrighted items...but the company that commissioned the report didn't like the outcome so it was never released.
Lastly, apparently files are not always handed over from one MP to another in the event of a Parliamentary defeat. This does not seem like the best way for a government to transition, does it?