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The World Health Organization had a plan for the coronavirus but much of the world ignored it.

It is increasingly obvious that if there was a set of globally enforceable rules regarding public health practices that all nations had to implement at the first signs of a possible pandemic, we would not be facing the catastrophic health and economic crisis we are facing today with the coronavirus. What most people don't know is that in 2005, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) put in place a set of practices to prevent a coronavirus...

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European leaders react with outrage and stock markets plunge after Trump travel ban

US President Donald Trump announced Wednesday evening that he would ban foreign travelers from Europe for the next 30 days amid the growing coronavirus outbreak. The restrictions apply only to foreign nationals, and not U.S. citizens, green card holders or the families of U.S. citizens. The White House further specified that the ban applied to foreign nationals who have visited 26 countries in Europe. Ireland and the U.K. are exempt, although it is not clear why...

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Anti-science governments helped spread the coronavirus

Politicians heading all governments - from the most authoritarian to the most democratic - like to paint a rosy picture of life under their governance. Whether the rosy picture is true or not, in their eyes, pretending all is good is how they stay in power. What the public often forgets, however, is that very few people who draw a government pay check are politicians. The vast majority of public sector workers are non-partisan, career...

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Privacy watchdogs take on Clearview facial recognition

Four of Canada’s privacy commissioners have launched a joint investigation into whether a U.S. company’s facial recognition technology, which scrapes facial images from the internet, violates privacy laws in Canada. The federal privacy commissioner and commissioners in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec said Friday they are investigating Clearview AI about whether the company is collecting and using personal information without consent. “Media reports have stated that Clearview AI is using its technology to collect images...

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Broadcasting report calls for CRTC to expand mandate to include regulation of internet based content.

The Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its much anticipated report last week. The report's recommendations call for substantially expanding the notion of what is considered broadcasting in Canada and consequently calls for a broader mandate for a renamed Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The expanded mandate of the renamed CRTC would include regulatory authority over internet based services such as Netflix, Facebook and YouTube - regulatory authority it does not presently have. The...

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Canada continues to be an international laggard in the fight against money laundering

In September, 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conducted an evaluation of the Canadian anti-money laundering regime and, while noting a number of minor shortcomings and some strengths, found two important features lacking. The first was a lack of transparency in who owns, controls and benefits from Canadian corporations and trusts. The second was that lawyers are exempted from Canada's anti-money laundering regime and do not have to report suspicious transactions. The FATF report...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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McKinsey & Company consulting firm draws heat for work done on Trump Administration border policy and authoritarian governments

On December 5, the lead editorial in the New York Times criticized potential Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg for his silence on the three years he spent as a consultant with the giant consulting firm McKinsey & Company. According to the Times editorial: "The Times reported this week that the consulting firm has advised the Trump administration on the logistics of its cruel crackdown on immigration. McKinsey also has offered its services as a consultant...

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Will NDP-Liberal co-operation produce a real pharmacare program for Canadians?

A consensus is developing that the new Liberal minority government needs to put the implementation of a national pharmacare program at the top of its to-do list. “We need to stop studying this issue,” says Carleton University political economist Marc-Andre Gagnon. “This issue has been studied way more than it should have been. And it is very clear in terms of which model is the most efficient and this is universal pharmacare. The NDP and...

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The dangers of an Andrew Scheer Conservative federal government

The central argument of this post is this: the Conservative Party of Canada and (to varying degrees) conservative provincial parties, are not like the Liberals, NDP or Greens. The Conservative Party is different not because it is more market oriented or because it supports the traditional conservative, small government, low tax policy agenda. Whether one agrees with them or not, such policies constitute an entirely legitimate program for a right-of-centre party. Rather, what separates the...

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