Category Archives: politics

2014 Toronto Ward 22 Trustees

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I didn’t know much of anything about the trustees up for election on Monday. Then I ran into two great sites.

Every Candidate             Position Primer

Using these sites, I build up a quick list of info for the candidates of ward 22. I hope it’s useful for people.


Name Twitter Facebook Phone email (+misc)
Robin Wright @wright4trustee wright4trustee 416-799-0660
Glenn Kitchen @elect_glenn JerryChadwickforTrustee 647-268-1074
Joseph Khargie @JosephKhargie JosephKhargie 647-338-5484
Jerry Chadwick @jerryward22 JerryChadwickforTrustee 416-453-4003
web site
Robert Marshall @RMarshallRyerso 416-399-8780
web site   youtube

Bell Canada wants to impose universal 60 GB bandwidth caps

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I got notified about this by Tek Savvy today, so I entered the following on their comment page.

File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 - Bell Canada - TN 7181

Bell's attempts to limit the availability of inexpensive high-bandwidth service would have a grave consequence: Canadian users would lose affordable internet services such as high-quality video downloads available from online producers like Apple and -- downloading just ten 430 MB episodes would consume over 7% of the proposed 60 GB monthly cap.

This kind of tariff would kill modern services such as HD movie rentals on iTunes, turning Canada into an internet backwater.

Canadians have been able to boast about our high-tech infrastructure to the world. This one action would topple Canada from the top to the bottom of the internet world.

Reid Ellis, Toronto ON

If you’d like to make your comments/concerns known about what Bell is
attempting to do, go to
CRTC web page
set up for it.
Just select the word “Tariff” from the drop down list, and add the following in Subject Line: “File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181” – make your thoughts known!

The deadline for comments is tonight at midnight, so hurry!

Fighting a Canadian anti-freedom law, and boilerplate

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On BoingBoing
there is an article about how Canada ia starting work on an anti-DRM law, and how you should send email to several government offices to help stop it.
One link they give is to
a web form on
that comes pre-populated with long, somewhat vitriolic boilerplate:

Subject: I Support Balanced Copyright Reform

I am a constituent who cares about Canada’s cultural policy, and I am writing in regard to legislative proposals for “copyright reform.” During the last Parliament, Bill C-60 provided some very sensible approaches to this complicated topic, but it also left room for improvement. As you consider the issue of copyright reform, I hope that you will work to ensure that any new legislation is not a regression from the sensible policies set out in Bill C-60.

In particular, I do not believe that “digital rights management” (DRM) technologies should stop the public from making lawful uses of their legitimately acquired media. Publishers using DRM push aside the delicate balance between copyright and the rights of the public – a balance set according to an assessment of the public interest by legislators – and replace it with one-sided rules that reflect publishers’ private interests. Even artists disagree with publishers’ anti-consumer use of DRM, as evidenced by the recently formed Canadian Music Creators Coalition. Therefore, as in Bill C-60, new copyright reform legislation should not make it illegal to circumvent DRM for lawful purposes.

I am also concerned that the use of DRM can threaten computer security and consumer privacy, as in the recent Sony-BMG “Rootkit” fiasco. When content companies routinely use technological measures to control how people enjoy entertainment in the privacy of their own homes, I think we need protection *from* DRM more than we need protection *for* it.

These concerns are shared by a substantial and growing number of informed Canadian citizens. I hope that you will take them into account when considering any changes to Canadian copyright law. Thanks very much for your time.

I spent a little time going through it and boiled the boilerplate down to this:

Subject: Copyright “Reform”

You may be getting a lot of “boiler-plate” email from the web site, but what it all boils down to is this:

I’m writing about upcoming legislation for “copyright reform.”

I don’t think “digital rights management” (DRM) technologies should stop lawful uses of legitimately acquired media. New copyright reform legislation should not make it illegal to circumvent DRM for lawful purposes.

I think a lot of Canadian citizens feel the same way.

Thanks for listening.

I really hate getting boilerplate.

webcast showing how Free Software ≠ Open Source

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I followed
the link to a webcast
at the end of
this blog post
by someone from Ubuntu.
It showed a meeting at the U.N. where representatives from various (mostly African?) countries met with software representatives to discuss “Alternative Technologies for Development: A Look at Free Open Source Software“.
It is a very good place to listen to Richard Stallman explain the difference between “Free Software” and “Open Source”, as well as talking about a number of other topics.

The whole thing is (a) Real Player, and (b) very long (2 hours?).

Our Geek Candidate in Scarborough-Guildwood

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Rogers has a
page from which you can see videos of all the candidates of your (or any other) riding.

Our family originally ran across this on Rogers On Demand’s free stuff list.
There was one candidate that surprised me.
Andrew Thomas
His name is
Andrew Thomas
and he is basically a “Geek Party” candidate.

No, he doesn’t actually have any party affiliation (he’s just an independant),
but his main campaign website is a Wiki.
Yes, you do in fact have to click on “Cancel” a couple of times to get to see his actual page.

So far I agree with his views.
It’s unfortunate that his on-screen personality was a bit weak.
I did appreciate the fact that he was one of only two candidates that were not obviously reading from paper or cue cards
(and I suspect the other one, incumbent McKay, may have been using a teleprompter).
So either he memorized his speech, or he was just being direct.
I think it’s the latter.

Hollywood’s MP

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hollywood's MP

Sam Bulte, Hollywood’s MP

The story of “Hollywood’s MP” is showing enormous staying power at BoingBoing:
(hover over link for headline).

But now we have
video from an all-candidates meeting
in Toronto’s Parkdale/High Park riding, in which she is heard to say:

“I will not allow Michael Geist and his pro-user zealots, and Electronic Frontier Foundation members to intimidate me into silencing my voice.”

Of course another word for “user” is “voter”.
And I don’t know about you, but I hold
the EFF
in high regard.

online rights canada

The EFF and
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
have gotten together to launch
Online Rights Canada,
which describes itself thusly:

Online Rights Canada (ORC) is a grassroots organization that promotes the public’s interest in technology and information policy. We believe that Canadians should have a voice in copyright law, access to information, freedom from censorship, and other issues that we face in the digital world.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Online Rights Canada