This collection of news links makes no pretention to being comprehensive or to being objective.

It reflects my interests and values... period.

I will point out however, that these links are from what I like to think of as viable news sources, not from special interest, agenda-based publictions. Most come from the Globe and Mail and the CBC. Mainstream media, you might say

Money motivates in smoking cessation battle

One part of a solution - would work great along with further restrictions on location.

Trucking industry green-driven

Interesting - but I wonder if they'll discuss - real solutions like better rail service and having the trucking industry pay the real cost of the damage they do to the environment and the roads. What they wany is subsidies to go greener - not the answer.

Tesla in autopilot mode crashes into California police vehicle

Some think that machines don't make mistakes.....but it's a given that they don't CARE if the make mistakes.

Phoenix problems evident, but not brought forward due to work culture, auditor general says
Michael Ferguson released 7 reports today on payroll debacle and other government failures

"Work Culture" is another way of looking at or explaining what appears to be stupid bureaucratic decisions.

The public funding of Catholic schools in Ontario is unstable and unprincipled
We shouldn't have to fund two separate English school systems. But the barrier to change is political

This is a good example of why governments are often ineffective.

Scientists make few gains on federal environment bill

Canada can kick carbon addiction
By: Peter Denton

A genuine and immediate need': Hot spring weather leaves Siloam Mission in need of bottled water

City's largest homeless shelter calling for donations of bottled water
A genuine and immediate need': Hot spring weather leaves Siloam Mission in need of bottled water


Lake fun suffers from invasion of green slime
Cottagers worry algae blooms may eliminate swimming at Beaconia Beach

Here is the problem...there is no real need for the study outlined here - all regions need standards. What is happening is, as usual, lack of political will to actually fix things.

WF is creating a network of "citizen scientists" who are working to find out where phosphorus levels are highest in the Lake Winnipeg watershed and where the most action needs to be taken, Kanu said.

"They are taking data and pinpointing where the main sources of phosphorus are coming from, because Lake Winnipeg is massive — and if we can find phosphorus hot spots, that’s a way to direct our resources and our energy to these areas," Kanu said.

"It really is a needle-in-the-haystack problem, where the lake is massive and its watershed is 40 times larger, so we need to know where the phosphorus is coming from. So, instead of just sprinkling money across the lake, let’s be strategic and targeted."

Vancouver to be first major Canadian city to ban plastic straws

also includes a ban on the distribution of polystyrene foam cups and containers, as well as restrictions on disposable cups and plastic shopping bags. According to the policy passed unanimously at city council on Wednesday, the city aims to completely eliminate the disposal of solid waste by 2040.

By 2040. Wow - what's the hurry?

Andrew Cohen asks what Stephen Harper achieved beyond trade agreements and tax-free savings that endures. Well, he reduced the GST by two percentage points, saving me hundreds of dollars per year. He introduced pension-splitting for seniors, saving me thousands of dollars per year. My tax-free savings account is now generating income of over $2,000 per year. He did all this while bringing us through a severe recession, and leaving Justin Trudeau a balanced budget. I wish we had him back in Ottawa.

T.S. Ramsay, Guelph, Ont.

Interesting letter - a clear look self-interest vs community or national interest as a reason for decision making.

A word to the wise: Why wisdom might be ripe for rediscovery
Wisdom might be fading from civic culture, but it is coming into its own in medicine, psychology, neuroscience and other realms of science. In the past few years, wisdom has been put under the research microscope and found to be a distinct, measurable and precious human quality, one that is vitally important and for which there are no substitutes

10 kinds of packaging that are a pain in the blue box
Breaking down why they're a challenge for recycling systems and some possible solutions

No mention of the simple solution. Don't make ...don't buy. Recycling is the cause - not the solution. The companies making this garbade just love re-cycling - keeps the product moving and absolves them of reponsability.

Amber Alert for missing boy sparks complaints over new mobile emergency system
CRTC ordered wireless providers to implement system to distribute warnings of imminent threats

Information overload = information if=gnored

No room at the Inn: Small B.C. lodge claims Expedia listed 'rooms unavailable' for 2 years
Travel booking giant blames 'glitch' for directing potential guests of Moon Water Lodge to dead-end site

Many people seem to think that these sites are there to help - but of course they are not. And the ever-changimg deals available are akin to the loss leader sort of specials offered by Grocery Stores and WlaMarts - the purpose is to confuse.

WHO calls for all countries to rid food of trans fats
'Trans fats are a harmful compound that can be removed easily without major cost'

Three Percenters are Canada's 'most dangerous' extremist group, say some experts
Far-right group says it welcomes everyone, but some who've studied it say it's an anti-Muslim militia

FP Editorial
Time to rethink our recycling

Perfect example of the resistance to solving a problem. After 30 years of failure do they really think voluntary efforts with solve the problem?
Or do they just not care about solving the problem?

Can Canada reinvent the plastic economy?

We can - but will we?

The death of the small car? Automakers pivot toward trucks and SUVs
Trucks, vans and SUVs now outselling smaller vehicles by 2-to-1 margin in Canada

One of many signs that people just don't care about the environment. 30 years of effors to "educate" while  failing to "act" have been a total failure.

Canada's government is clearly uninterested in finding innovative solutions to gun violence
Law enforcement is just one aspect of tackling the harm caused by guns

Pay-as-you-throw fees and 4 more ways to reduce waste
'It shouldn't be free to pollute': Charge for packaging, study suggests

Wow - finally another studey to tell us what we've known for decades. Mainstream media catching up with what was common knowledge 20 years agp for anyone who cared.
But - read the comments and we see that a lot of people just don't care about the environment.

Widow appeals to Ottawa for mandatory truck driver training
​Humboldt Broncos crash and her own husband’s death prompt Pattie Fari-Babij to organize victims’ families

Overdue. Misses the real issue why so many trucks on the road?

Gun group clashing with Ottawa over effort to eliminate lead from ammunition
Studies link lead contamination in environment to discarded bullets, sinkers, jigs

One has only to read the comments after the article to understand the levels of stupitity and selfishness here. If we don't stop this gun culture foolishness soon we'll end up being America Lite.

Car owners had a sweet ride, but electric cars will end that

"How did gasoline-fuelled cars become so popular? The United States has about 263 million registered passenger vehicles. The strength and flexibility of the internal combustion engine explains only part of the story. Gas guzzlers took over because neither the cars nor the fuel were hit with taxes that reflected the full cost of building and maintaining a vast road and highway network, and dealing with the damage to health and the environment from tailpipe emissions. In essence, drivers were—and still are—getting a free ride."

For more than a century, governments heavily subsidized the auto industry and car owners by paying for roads and highways. That era of benign socialism for drivers is over. Electric vehicles are coming, but their owners may find that running them is no bargain. The era of the gasoline car is far from over.

The article stops short of mentioning how the whole race to hang on to the continued favouring of individual cars vs public transit is misguided.

Prescription to slow worsening myopia in Canadian kids? Head outdoors

Nearly 30% of children 11 to 13 are nearsighted, study finds
Reduce screen time.
Spend more time outdoors.

To the oil workers of Alberta: We care about you
It is no coincidence that the same people who advocate for environmental action also advocate for social justice;

Can a regular running routine replace antidepressants?

Why products marked 'recyclable' sometimes aren't

Confusion abounds over symbols, marketing rules and variations from city to city

CBC is doing a series about re-cycling problems - without even a hint of the real problem - that the emphasis on re-cycling is a strategy by the very companies producing the both waste and products that are unnecessary. Take the "Re-Cycle Everywhere program in Manitoba - funded by the drink companies. They love recycliung - it convinces people to keep buying their junk.

Why it’s time to consider a personal data ‘driver’s licence’

First mention I've seen of a "public" alternative to having social media companies store (and use) our data.

Young woman sentenced to 4 years for 2013 crash that killed friend

For all I know this might be a fair sentence, but it caused me to wonder about the real purpose and natyre of justice. What is the difference between a reckless drunk driver in a fatal accident and one who isn't in a fatal accident?  Luck might be the difference. We get excited about punishing people when death is involved, but go much easier on people who are lucky enough to get away without causing death. The person who causes death, especially of a friend or family member is already being punished - the one who avoids that gets off easy.

It is the reckless driving that is the crime.

Nearly a third of Canadians don't believe humans, industry cause climate change: poll
Without B.C.’s carbon tax, emissions would be five to 15 per cent higher than they are right now'

I just read "Don't Even Think About it by George Marshall - an explanation.

When banks cash your same cheque twice, you may be on the hook to pay

Old banking ways are 'colliding with our smartphones' as popularity of banking apps increases

With new technology we always need to ask "Do we need this or is spmebody just selling us something?"

The new rules for the internet - and why you shouldn’t delete Facebook

Canada in tough position if Trump administration lessens vehicle mileage standards

Another article that totally misses the obvious solution - let car makers make what they want - just discourage the use of monster SUV's and Trucks. That is what a proper and comprehensive Carbon Tax would do.

Alberta firearm enthusiasts say Canada has 'too much gun control,' decry proposed legislation

This is an example of thier reasoning...

"When events do occur that draw the public's attention they tend to be sensationalized, and tend to seem more personal than they actually are."

Yeah, nothing less pesonal than the violent death of a few dozen kids. Thanks CBC for giving these nuts a platform.

Can trade agreements be fattening? The hidden calorie cost of free trade

'Pressure-cooker' NAFTA re-negotiations could see Canada give up public health protections in favour of trade

Systemic racism? Oh, there’s plenty to see here
 Elizabeth Renzetti

Canadian municipalities struggling to find place for recyclables after China restricts foreign waste
Cities that have found new markets are keeping mum about where they are for fear of being outbid

Letter to Editor

Justin Trudeau’s infelicitous apology for events in 1864 is an embarrassment to Canadians. Canada wasn’t a country then; British Columbia was a British colony and didn’t even join Confederation till 1871. The Prime Minister’s Pollyannaish attempt at political correctness is wholly overshadowed by historical incorrectness.

Paul Pepperall, Penetanguishene, Ont.

This is aninteresting example. What is the motivation here? He uses facts that are techically correct (but irrelevant) to argue against and action.  Does he want to divorce ourselves (as the white conquering people -  a mantle we still wear) from blame on the basis of a technicality.

Sometimes people who's opinions are insupportable, deep down inside, suspect they are wrong, and resort to such details to avoid facing the fact.

Here's another example from the same page...

Re Elizabeth May Arrested At Trans Mountain Protest (March 24): It would be appropriate for Elizabeth May to pay back whatever it cost to arrest her. She is an MP, with a duty to uphold and abide by our laws. She chose to breach a valid order of the B.C Supreme Court. Taxpayers should not be burdened with the costs incurred because of her showcasing to the media. Others who breached the order should likewise pay all costs. Our police have more important things to do.

Charles Marshall, Vancouver

Roundabout way of arguing for the pipeline.

Canada, provinces lack clear plan to adapt to climate change, auditors say

Report says Canada's climate goals lack clarity and consistency, with emissions targets unlikely to be met

China has banned 24 kinds of waste from abroad in effort to tackle growing environmental disaster.
China is no longer world's dumping ground, but cleaning up its own backyard is proving to be a challenge

Your lifestyle is making blue box recycling unsustainable

Recycling has been counterproductive from the start - simply encourages the excessive packaging and consumption. It is widely promoted because it diverts us from real action.

Human activity pushing Earth towards 'sixth mass species extinction,' report warns

Ontario companies worried about upcoming changes requiring equal pay for part-time employees

Another headline that comes at us from the business point of view...

"6.6% (and don't forget to tip): Diners, parents hit by rising prices as minimum wage hikes passed on"

 The Globe has reminded us, twice at least, that the recent minimun wage hikes are costing restaurant patrons a bit more.

Buried in each story is the acknowledment that the wage hikes could be a good thing, but the headlines focus on the downside, and some of the statements are amusing...

"Higher minimum wages are a good thing, and some businesses were expected to simply swallow the added costs."

Really? Who was it that expected businesses to swallow the costs? Not me.

Both articles miss the point. It is both OK and unsurprising that costs are passed on. In a way, that is the point of raising the wage. 

I am happy to pay a bit more,  if it means the person providing that service can be properly compensated for their work.

"Alas, the last two readings on inflation suggest that restaurants and certain other services are passing on those costs. To us."

March 24

Two articles raise concerns about the new religion - AI and automation in general - both raise valid concerns, but both miss the real question. That question is WHY? 

The answer is always the same. Someone is selling us something. It looks cool. We buy it without fully examining the consequences. We love shiny new stuff.  About a hundred years ago, industrialized countries, especially Canada and the United States, went full steam ahead (get it?) into the automobile age. We opted for what seemed to be a pre-ordained, modern trend - away from public transportation and towards the freedom of the car.

It wasn't that the car was a bad thing. Most citizens didn't see that it would lead to the end of rail (and eventually bus) transportation. And they had no way of knowing that the decision would play such a big role in the virtual destruction of our planet.

My point is that it seemed a natural choice. But it wasn't. We were sold something. Car manufacturers, and oil companies spent millions convincing us and our govenments to heavily subsidize and favour the auto revolution.

And we should always ask WHY. Why are we investing heavily in self driving cars when better public transportation and properly designed commnities are the answer to commuting and gridlock? Why are so interested in killing jobs. What is wrong with having humans in the workplace? 

And the related question is cost. Nothing is free. Facbook proudly proclaims "It is free and always will be. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all paying dearly. I wonder what it would cost to provide a simliar service - but without the annoying ads and data mining?

Just a thought - but it seems to me that one diffference between a human and a machine - is that machines don't care when they make a mistake. And they don't have mouths to feed at home.

Canada’s risky bet on AI

Are Uber and other gig-economy businesses driving down the wages of Canadian workers? At heart, that’s a question about AI.

Why I will never ride in a robo-taxi

Self-driving cars are complex – so complex, in fact, that in order to work, they require hundreds of millions of lines of perfectly polished software code.

Newfoundland cod stocks suffer serious and surprising decline

“I have to blame it on the incredible pressure that has been leveraged by industry groups,” said Kris Vascotto, executive director of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council, an industry association that represents year-round groundfish harvesters in Atlantic Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to exonerate Tsilhqot'in chiefs hanged in 1864

he B.C. exoneration came after a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled the Tsilhqot'in peoples had aboriginal title to a large swath of their traditional territory — over 1,700 square kilometres — not just old village sites as the provincial and federal governments had argued.

Globe editorial: Canada’s gun advocates should stop playing the victim

"The notion that the nation’s target shooters and hunters are so hard done by that they need a special representative in Ottawa is truly astonishing."

We’re so addicted to plastic that we drink it every day

U.S. seeks to limit food label warnings under NAFTA negotiations

Why the Right Wing Is So Interested in Narrowing Down Education into 'Skills'

Florida Shooting Survivor Suggests Calling AR-15 Rifles 'Marco Rubios'
They're both "so easy to buy," she said.

Mass homicides are contagious and the malady is fuelled by the media

How does Canada’s health spending hold up to international scrutiny?

Canada’s inefficient labour market needs an urgent fix

I have forgotten how to read

Look both ways
For pedestrians to be safe, we can't assume that streets are inherently for cars

Prescription opioids no better than over-the-counter drugs for chronic pain, study shows

Hampstead wants to ban smoking in public, even on streets and sidewalks

Four sheriffs’ deputies hid during Florida school shooting

Australian payroll fiasco foreshadowed Phoenix's failed launch in Canada

Canada shouldn’t be smug when it comes to guns

Globe editorial: To save lives in Toronto, slow down the vehicles

Australia pays fast-food workers $20 an hour and the sky hasn’t fallen

I Was a Marine. I Don’t Want a Gun in My Classroom.

Newsfile 2018


Ontario consumers appear to be paying the price for the increase in the minimum wage.

"Indeed, Ontario restaurant prices jumped 1.9 per cent in the month (nsa), by far the most in Canada, and an entirely predictable response," he added, noting the numbers were not seasonally adjusted.

Isn't that a pretty low price to pay for a little more fairness in the woprkplace?

What really happens to old clothes dropped in those in-store recycling bins

Loblaw, George Weston Ltd. Say Grocers Fixed Bread Prices For 10 Years



Look both ways
For pedestrians to be safe, we can't assume that streets are inherently for cars

Health & Safety

'Somebody died because of that': Canada's mentally ill allowed to own, buy guns

Removing warning labels from Yukon liquor is shameful

Research published earlier this year in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse found that provincial liquor boards put far more effort (and money) into marketing than they do into health messaging.


Social Policy

Canada must rethink health spending strategy

Social networks are creating a global crisis of democracy

It’s time to put ‘public’ back into government services

Culture & Heritage


Minimum wage hikes could cost Canada's economy 60,000 jobs this year
8% of Canadian workers make minimum wage, and even those making slightly more likely to see higher wages

The headlines often feature the job loss angle - while the article is often balanced??