November 2014

Creating social assets in Vancouver: Lessons for Ottawa

A comprehensive social housing analysis of two major cities

By Dennis Carr
True North Perspective

Dennis Carr, founder of DCarr Community Solutions has recently returned to Ottawa from Vancouver where he spent five years as the City’s Assistant Director of Social Infrastructure. Before that he spent 19 years as the Development and Construction Manager for Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, one of Canada’s largest non-profit housing corporations.

Image: Photo-montage of Vancouver and Ottawa, via Wikipedia.27 October 2014 OTTAWA — Over the last several years, the City of Vancouver has created thousands of affordable housing units, hundreds of daycare spaces and has many more community amenities in the development pipeline. How does Vancouver, a city with a population 25% smaller than Ottawa, achieve this? In part, it is by leveraging these assets through the property development process. Behind it all however is a solid political commitment at the municipal level to create and act upon policies that enable a livable, sustainable city.  What can the City of Ottawa learn from Vancouver’s policies and practices? (More)


In Memorium

Corporal Nathan Frank Cirillo, 24, of Hamilton Ontario, shot dead at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa Wednesday morning 22 October 2014. He and Corporal Brandon Stevenson, who was unhurt, were the honourguard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, both members of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, a reserve infantry regiment based in Hamilton, Ontario. The shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was brought down in a hail of bullets (one report said about 70) in the parliament's centre block. Three days before, on Monday 20 October 2014, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, died after being hit by a car in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The driver, Martin 'Ahmad' Rouleau, was shot dead by police when he was getting out of his overturned car after a four kilometre chase. Rouleau was apparently armed with a knife. Four more victims, (two of them mentally disturbed), of Prime  Minister Harper's determination to turn Canada away from our prestigious role of peacemaker to warmaker.  Please see below and Editor's Notes.


While terrorist hogwash by Prime Minister Harper

flooded Canada, it didn't take at Ottawa's Celtic Pub

It was Wednesday evening 22 October at Ottawa's Celtic Cross Pub And Eatery. As usual, The Irish Country Kitchen, was in full swing. Suddenly a man burst in from the bar and the television sets. He held up his hands and said in a loud voice, "Quiet! The Prime Minister is speaking. Quiet!"

"Why?" said several, as the puzzled players paused. "Why should we be quiet because the Prime Minister is speaking on television."

Another said, noting that the time was about 8 p.m., where was he at noon? Hiding in the Diefenbunker?

Actually, as we learned later, unknown to even his caucus, Harper was hiding in a closet-sized room complete with floor-cleaning clutter.

All of this happened in about three seconds, when the authoritative voice of Danny Byre, owner of the Celtic Cross Pub and Eatery, called out, "Carry on!" and the briefly paused country kitchen came back to life.

At the end of the piece, in honour of military dead, Kevin Dooley led the way forward with the below song that moved some even to tears. — Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher.


Green Fields of France

Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19,
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
Or Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?
Did they Beat the drum slowly, did they play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind,
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?
Did they Beat the drum slowly, did they play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.
Did they Beat the drum slowly, did they play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "The Cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
Did they Beat the drum slowly, did they play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
— By Eric Bogle —
True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please read
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
True North Perspective
Vol. 9, No. 9 (351)
November 1 2014

Editor's Notes

Hail Heil Chancellor Herr Harper: shades of Adolph Hitler

A couple of wingnuts commit murder: Harper cries 'terrorist attack'

and gullible millions tremble with patriotic outrage against the 'enemy'

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.

Image: Small version of photo-illustration by Geoffrey Dow.The tragic murder of two military men October 20 and October 22 and the hue and cry of 'terrorism' orchestrated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his servile media are two tragedies in one. The first because two basically decent men died, the second because too many Canadians allowed themselves to be bamboozled by the lie that these random acts amounted to a 'terrorist' attack on our home and native land. So beware and tremble Canadians, and support Harper's deliberate attempt to transform Canada into an active arm of the U.S. war machine.

Another result is Harper's farcical, but dangerous, push to throw more power and money to the RCMP and the CSIS. The facts are that both these inept outfits had a fix on the nutbars and let them slip through their fingers. The RCMP and the CSIS are short on brains, not money and personnel. The CSIS performs like 12-year-old delinquents as they, for example, joyfully study and practice systematic psychological torture on innocent Canadians of all ages. I know how to prove it and will, should any reputable investigative entity come forward.

Meanwhile, there is a growing number of unanswered questions such as the photograph-supported report that RCMP cars flooded parliament hill about 15 minutes before the attack that ended with the death of Michael Zehaf-Bilbeau in a hail of bullets. Their sudden and heavy presence strongly suggests they knew something was going to happen. Why didn't they stop it?

Here we turn to former MI5 agent Annie Machon, commenting on the Ottawa shootings. (More)


Globe and Mail profile on the man Harper called 'terrorist'

In Vancouver he used a stick to rob a store saying he wanted to go to jail to get clean

24 October 2014 Every day, more details emerge on the tattered adult life of Mr. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Ottawa shooter who slid into criminality and homelessness. He had cut most ties with his divorced parents: his mother, Susan Bibeau, who had risen to the top ranks of the civil service, and his father, who had multiple business interests and shuttled between Montreal and North Africa. (More)


Letters to the Editor

Thank you for publishing brilliant writer Geneviève Hone

We have always so enjoyed the deep and thoughtful articles of your brilliant writer Geneviève Hone. Thank you so much for publishing this clever column. Granny Witch has given so many much pleasure over the years. Geneviève Hone is such a treasure, we have read her books and enjoyed her thoughts for a long time.
We thought her last one, October, was very moving, and as usual, hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, we seem to be unable to easily access the comments. We put in our name, our email, are asked for our web page, then it vanishes. This is not the first time this has happened. Could you please comment, in our name, how moving her column about writing a letter of condolence was? It brought tears, and reflections on how we all need to really hear with out hearts!
Thank you again to your wonderful staff! Geneviève Hone is a real winner!
- Diane Pitfield and Peter McAvoy
Dear Diane Pitfield and Peter McAvoy,
Thank you both for your kind words and persistence in communicating with us. We'll deal with the problem as soon as possible. Please understand that True North Perspective is grossly underfunded and understaffed. We have three peforming the full-time tasks of 12 and none of the three can afford to work on TNP full time. We have no corporate sponsors. All donations, even if only to the amount for a cup of coffee, gratefully received.


Op Ed

Harper's foreign policy confirms Orwell's insights

To sell a pointless war, foster 'protective stupidity' among citizens

By Murray Dobbin,

Image: Detail of cartoon by Greg Parry, via TheTyee.ca20 October 2014 — It's getting difficult to remember a time when the Canadian Parliament actually tried to make principled decisions regarding foreign policy and our place in the community of nations. But we should try. Perhaps a first step in returning to such a time was the decision of the NDP and Liberal Party to oppose Stephen Harper's most recent ill-considered and cynical march to war with his decision to join the bombing of Iraq.

Harper's amoral political calculations about who and when to bomb people has little to do with any genuine consideration of the geopolitical situation or what role Canada might usefully play -- or even in what Canada's "interests" are. (More)


Canada’s place in the ever-shifting war on terror: Walkom

As the Ottawa shootings show, terrorism is a political construct. It has little to do with terror

By Thomas Walkom
The Toronto Star
Image: AP photo of ISIL fighters marching.2 November 2014 The war on terror continues unabated.
When one enemy falls off the radar, we replace it with another.
In the early days of this never-ending war, the enemy was the Taliban. They were the terrorists we had to defeat in Afghanistan to prevent attacks here.
Nobody talks much about the Taliban any more. Britain quietly pulled its last troops out of Afghanistan this month. Canada left earlier this year. The Americans are due to extricate their forces by the end of 2016.
The civil war in Afghanistan continues and the Taliban remain undefeated.
For a long time, Al Qaeda was another key enemy. Its leader, Osama Bin Laden, was deemed the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Nobody talks much about Al Qaeda any more.
Bin Laden is dead — killed by the Americans. Every now and again, there are reports that another top al Qaeda leader has been assassinated by U.S. drones.
But Al Qaeda itself is passé. It may have franchises in places like Yemen or North Africa.
By and large though, its militants are yesterday’s terrorists. They are old news.
Today, the Islamic State — sometimes known as ISIL — is hot.
It’s not exactly clear why ISIL is singled out as particularly terrorist. In the main, it is a standard, if brutal, army taking part in Syria’s civil war. It fights in the open. It captures towns and cities. It has a de facto capital and imperial ambitions. (More)


Image: Canada Post community mailboxes surronded by snowbank.16 October 2014 OTTAWARepresentatives from seniors’ groups and organizations for people with disabilities joined the Canadian Union of Postal Workers today to launch a major legal challenge to the attempt to end home mail delivery.

“In Canada, people should count, not just the bottom line,” said Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The union announced today that a challenge will be filed in the Federal Court of Canada under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, asking the court to put a stop to Canada Post’s termination of home mail delivery. The challenge will also argue that this decision is beyond Canada Post's authority and should be made by the Parliament of Canada which created Canada Post and defined its mandate. (More)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
by Carl Dow
'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Image: Link to BumblePuppy Press Amazon store

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

Rape myths emerge in wake of Jian Ghomeshi story

The story of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi digs up five potent myths about rape that run deep in our culture


EU seeks talks with Israel over ‘red lines’ in West Bank


Understanding Harper's Evangelical Mission

Signs mount that Canada's government is beholden to a religious agenda averse to science and rational debate


UN rogue member Washington fails to block election

of Venezuela to seat on the UN Security Council


Google Is Not What It Seems

When Juilian Assange met Google chairman Eric Schmidt he thought he was talking with an engineer, not a representative of Washington's foreign policy


The terrible truth about Bill Cosby
He asked us to invest in the lie of his own life, and the lie of "respectability." We can't laugh with him anymore


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. In this issue of ...

The Binkley Report

Today’s ships deserve more attention in the Arctic

'Canadian Coast Guard cannot provide assurance to mariners that aids to navigation meet their needs for safe and efficient navigation in the higher-risk areas of the Arctic'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

If the Harper government had shown as much enthusiasm for making modern navigation in the Arctic safe as it did in finding two long lost ships from the Franklin expedition, it could have avoided a stinging rebuke from its own Environmental Commissioner.

Prime Minister Harper invested a lot of government resources into the search for HMS Erebus and HMS Terror that sank in 1845 and personally announced the discovery of the first one.

He said nothing when the Commissioner reported in October that ship traffic will likely double in the Canadian Arctic during the next six years and the federal government can’t ensure the vessels will be able to safely navigate largely unchartered waters or be rescued if they run into trouble. (More)


From the Desk of Alex Binkley

Canada needs to lift visa requirement for Mexicans

From the Globe and Mail

By Colin Robertson

A former diplomat and member of the NAFTA negotiating team, Colin Robertson is vice-president of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and a senior adviser to McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.caWhen it comes to statecraft, there is no better place to show the flag than the deck of a warship. This past week, HMCS Athabaskan moored at the Mexican port of Veracruz to help celebrate 70 years of Canada-Mexico diplomatic relations and 20 years of economic integration through NAFTA.

Canadians love Mexico – close to two million of us will visit this year making it our most popular foreign destination after the United States.

We do not reciprocate the Mexican welcome mat.

A visa requirement – imposed pre-emptively in the summer of 2009 after a surge in Mexican refugee claimants – remains in place. The Mexicans have since cracked down on the nefarious operators at their end, while the Harper government reformed our once-lax refugee system. (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Elk Valley watershed

Why has this unfolding disaster been ignored?

Image: Detail of photo of mining vehicle shown at Elk Creek mine. Via Globe and Mail.19 October 2014 VANCOUVER BC — Few people know more about selenium poisoning than Dennis Lemly and that’s why Environment Canada turned to him to assess federal research in British Columbia’s Elk Valley watershed.

The research associate professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina has written an expert report that reviews the data being collected by the federal government in an investigation into pollution from coal mines.

His report, sent by Environment Canada recently to Teck Coal Ltd. and the provincial government, warns bluntly that selenium pollution has reached levels that threaten a total population collapse of westslope cutthroat trout. Those fish are high up the aquatic food chain, so if they are on the edge, other aquatic life are too. (More)


By Geneviève Hone

Where There Is A Family

There's always advice from Granny Witch

November 2014

  The Second Judgement Counts

When a 13-year-old girl/woman behaves like a two-year-old

Hone, small image.

Dear Granny Witch

Image: Detail of drawing by Jilien MercureA couple of years ago, a friend invited me to a lecture you gave in our small town on Family Day. You talked about your work with families that you still enjoy after more than 50 years. You see your role as helping families develop creative solutions to “puzzles” they encounter in their life together. You gave an example of a family that year after year, in spite of all the best intentions, managed to start a huge argument on Christmas day that lasted for days. Yes, on Christmas day, right in the middle of “Peace on Earth” season! You approached this problem as if it were an interesting puzzle rather than a pathological situation.

So, Granny Witch, would you like to try your hand at solving the puzzle that is Maria (not her real name)? Maria is our 13 year old daughter. She is basically a good girl, but she has two very bad habits that disturb me greatly. She is touchy to the point that she’ll turn her back on anyone who criticizes her even in the mildest way and she is very obstinate. Things must be done her way and the rest of the world has to agree. She never left the “terrible twos” development stage, she just changed numbers so to speak. She is now in her “terrible thirteens stage”, though I would never dare say that to her face, of course. Maria and I argue often, far too often, over the stupidest things. (More)


Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Add a little inspiration to your Christmas shopping cart

“Books are the quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.” (Charles W. Eliot)

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-Sinclair

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte's fan Marie-Eve. Provided by the author.1 November 2014 — Halloween is over and people are now thinking about their Christmas shopping. Indeed, stores have already started displaying Christmas decorations and toys are featured everywhere. This year, don’t forget to include books on your shopping list!

As an author, I truly enjoyed my three days at the “Salon du livre de l’Est ontarien” which was held in Rockland this year. Prior to the event, I gave three workshops at Sainte-Trinité School. The theme was bullying. Using the book “Le génie de Jessie/A Genie for Jessie” as an introduction, we discussed various types of bullying, its repercussions and what to do about it. The children loved the story and prepared posters and drawings that I could showcase at the Salon. Over 2000 students visited on the first day of the Salon. My young friends were anxious to buy a copy of the book and have it signed. (More)


Spirit Quest

On the InGlory of War

The Guns of August can be heard once again

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

The War that Ended Peace is the intriguing title of a book by Margaret MacMillan in which she explores the reasons for the Great War, 1914 - 1918. It had been preceded by a century of relative peace since the end of the Napoleonic wars, relative inasmuch as there had been minor confrontations but nothing to match the conflagration that would consume all of Europe and a good deal more. It would entail a massive loss of life on both sides especially on the front between Germany and France.  It ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918  and be followed by a conference at Versailles that dismembered the Austria Hungary empire, establishing new boundaries and creating new states such as Czechoslovakia, the land of my birth. Loss of territory such as the Rhineland and large amounts of compensation were demanded much of which Germany, although the loser, ignored. 

The Guns of August, the title of Barbara Tuchman’s book, are also audible in our time especially in the Middle East in a very lopsided struggle between Israel and Palestine in Gaza which (at time of writing) is being pounded to smithereens, but also in northern Africa and Asia. Many of the wars today are not nation against nation but internal such as in Syria. Russia and its former vassal state are at each others throats with much of the world particularly the United States, Europe and Canada siding with the Ukraine. These have the potential of escalating into wider international conflicts. (More)


Frances who has long campaigned for homes for the homeless
here yields her column to Stephanie Levitz of Canadian Press
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

ParkTales Image, small

 Extra $46 per Canadian could

drastically curb homelessness

By Stephanie Levitz
The Canadian Press

29 OCTOBER 2014 OTTAWA —Spending an extra $46 per Canadian a year on affordable housing could dramatically reduce homelessness, a new research report concludes.

Existing intervention programs can only go so far if those who find a way off the streets or out of shelters can’t afford their own place to live, say researchers from York University and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Their annual State of Homelessness in Canada study was published today. (More)


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From the Desk of Darren Jerome

A continuing update on the war against WikiLeaks transparency

Please be advised that the below is not just the same old thing. By clicking on it you'll find the petition in support of Julian Assange and discover fascinating on-going reports and videos related to one of the most important events in modern history, and the desperate attempts to put a lid on information that everyone should know. Don't miss this special opportunity to stay informed.

There can be no life without laughter

Last clothed selfie ‘taken in 2009′, historians discover

 With hundreds of thousands of naked images being hacked and leaked via forums on ‘4chan’, law enforcement agencies have concluded that 99% of all photos are now of the naked variety. In fact most mobile users now find it more convenient to sign off text messages with a ‘dick pic’ or ‘nip shot’ than take the trouble to leave a few kisses, smiley icon or their contact details at the House of


Police pleasantly surprised to learn man they shot was armed — The


2-year-old never thought he would live to see Giants win World Series The



By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is:

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


1. What’s the main food in a polar bear’s diet?

a) seals   b) walruses  c)  salmon   d) lichen
2. True or false. Canadian Steve Christie holds the Super Bowl record for the longest fumble return?
3. What is Stephen Harper’s middle name?
a)    Scott   b) Joseph   c) Walter   d) he doesn’t have a middle name

Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick

(This poem and preface is from the book: The Poetry of the Canadian People 1720-1920 Two hundred years of hard work edited by N. Brian Davis NC Press Limited, Toronto, 1976).
"In 1881, in Toronto, children made up 11% of the work force. They were particularly numerous in the clothing industry, in shoe factories, and in declining industries like tobacco and straw. The Factory Act of 1886 forced some employers to turn to women as an alternate source of cheap, easily-exploited labour, but, despite the law, in 1891 children still made up 5% of the work force. Children, often as young as 9 or 10 could be found working a 12 hour day for as little as 20c a day. It was despicable, criminal, the way employers used these children (often maiming them physically and mentally) to amass huge profits, though invariably such men were looked upon as 'pillars of society' by those around them.

Ten Little Children
By Daniel Kissam Young
The Industrial Banner, May 1905
Ten little children working in a mine;
One was blown up in the air, then there nine.
Nine little children through the factory gate:
One was caught in the machine, then there eight.
Eight little children in the sweatshop heaven;
One of them pined away, then there seven.
Seven little children, orphans in a fix;
One of them starved to death, then there were six.
Six little children in the glass works strive;

After the explosion, there were only five.
Five little children in department store;
One got consumption, then there were four.
Four little children go to work in glee;
Trolley killed one of them, then there were three.
Three little children in the mill did stew;
One caught pneumonia, then there were two.
Two little children all the spindles run;
One inhaled cotton dust, then there was one.
One little child forelorn skipped a day for fun;
But he was soon put in jail, then there were none.
"Suffer little children to come unto me,"
For they pay a bigger profit than the men, you see.
  Image: Cover of The Poetry of the Canadian People 1720-1920. Click image to buy at
"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
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 The Book Case

Raising The Workers' Flag shines a brilliant light

on an exciting, little-known war in Canadian history

'As Raising the Workers’ Flag reveals, these tough, brilliant, outraged young men and women were nobody’s stooges. They transformed apathy and cruelty into one of the most interesting and successful events in Canadian history.'

Raising The Workers’ Flag is a thoroughly researched academic work that reads with the pace of an exciting novel. An excellent Christmas present.

It was tough so it didn’t come easy

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective
True North Humanist Perspective
Image: Cover of Raising the Workers' Flag, by Stephen L. Endicott  
Sept. 7 2012
University of Toronto Press
ISBN-10: 1442612266
ISBN-13: 978-1442612266

Nicole peu Profond, (not her real name) looked out the window of her federal government office and saw the picket line. She said to her supervisor, ‘I’ll be damned if I’ll go out there with those idiots.’

Her supervisor, who was packing her purse and taking her coat, said quietly, ‘Do you like your work?’       

‘Why … yes,’ Nicole said, startled and suddenly uneasy.

‘Do like your pay?’


‘Do you like your benefits — sick days off, hours of the week, five day weeks, holidays?’

‘Yes. Of course.’

‘Do you think the government gave them to us because of our pretty faces? We have all of these and more because we fought very hard for them.’

Space does not permit reporting her whole talk as brief as it was, but by the time she was through, Nicole walked out with her to the picket line.

That was 1991. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) held the largest national strike by a single union in Canada, gaining major improvements in job security while the union’s case before the Supreme Court confirmed the right of PSAC members to engage in political activity.

Too many of us today have no sense of the courage and sacrifice made by those who came before to create the positive working conditions we have today. It’s certainly not taught in schools, nor is much said about it in our history books through to university.

Men and women were murdered in cold blood and beaten to hospitalization by private company agents, by government police, and by the military simply because they wanted a 12-hour day and .10 cents per hour. (More)


Bruno Manser Fund / Bergli Books

New book claims to expose Ottawa connections

to Borneo 'kleptocrat’s' secret Canadian businesses

Image: Cover of Mogging Loggin by Lukas StraumannAn explosive new book to be released in Canada in November claims to expose a Malaysian despot’s million-dollar-businesses in Canada, including his investments in the Nation’s Capital.

The money trail leads from the rainforests of Borneo to real estate developments in Ottawa, to the Ontario government and to the FBI.

Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia is to be published by Bergli Books. It will be launched in Canada at public events in November in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.

Money Logging explains how The Taib family of Malaysia is behind multi-million dollar investments in Ottawa, including a major office complex on Preston Street. The buildings were built by the family’s daughter who married into a well-known family of Ottawa architects with close ties to the federal and provincial political establishments.

Currently, eleven Ontario government ministries are renting office space from the Taibs. (More)


The Crimson Dream

(a vampire escape)

A new novel

By Patricia K. McCarthy

Also known as Ottawa Fang Queen

Crimson vampires wreak havoc in the City of Ottawa

Where and how did Ottawa Police go wrong?

Image: Cover of The Crimson Dream (a vampire escape), by Patricia K. McCarthyThe serene cityscape of Ottawa has become a macabre setting for prison breaks and vampire bloodshed. Hold on tight to your morals (and your knickers) – these erotic savages will hypnotize you!

The Crimson Dream (a vampire escape) is the sixth novel from author Patricia K McCarthy who weaves the final silk-strands of the previous five Crimson installments into a tapestry of twists and turns. Who’d have thought that Ottawa could be so cool and complex?


Image: Photo of author Patricia K. McCarthy

Drugged, confined and half-starved, Samuel Crimson languishes in the old Ottawa jail, kept apart from the woman he loves. Magdalene and baby Finn are hiding out with Auntie and her many mugs of dark rum. When time takes a reverse turn, back to the days of Ottawa’s past in the 1900s, Sir William seduces the upper class ladies with the aplomb of a gentleman. He unleashes his vampire lust and then orchestrates a life-altering night for his prized hybrid son. And in returning to present-day Ottawa, an ingenious escape is somehow carried out by David Three Rats and the Coffey boys – if only they can remain focused they’ll do anything for their dearest friend. In the end the real truth will be learned – who lives and who dies, who dreams and who hides. (More)

Media Watch 

What's worse than junior neocon?

How media fell in and out of love

with the Sikorski ‘revelations’

By Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He wrote for Irish Independent and Daily Mail. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.

Image: Photo of Radoslaw Sikorski. (Reuters / Slawomir Kaminski)22 October 2014 — What’s worse than a junior neocon? A junior neocon trying to make a name for himself. Ben Judah’s meteoric rise, aided by his staunch anti-Russian credentials in a climate of fear, has imploded as quickly as it began.

As I learnt the hard way, when you are a young man in a hurry it’s easy to trip up. The first few times you’ll, probably, be forgiven but once it becomes a trend, even the most ardent supporters will abandon you. The fewer redeeming features you possess, the faster it’ll happen. When it has the potential to create an international diplomatic crisis, I can only assume it’s fatal to that once promising career.

On Sunday, the niche US journal Politico published a piece which, briefly, rocked the Russia-related media world. In a rambling, rabble-rousing diatribe by Ben Judah came a, seemingly amazing, scoop - Vladimir Putin had allegedly proposed, in a 2008 Moscow meeting, that Russia and Poland divide Ukraine between them. The source for this, supposed, latter-day Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was given as ex-Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Carl Bildt was also included – but the less said about him the better – in a veritable neocon tea party. After reading about the ostensible carve-up, I was wondering what century I was in. (More)


Journalists should be given public interest defence in law

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says journalists should not fear being prosecuted under computer misuse, data protection and bribery laws

By Rowena Mason
The Gaurdian UK
Image: Detail of photo of Nick Clegg, by Danny Lawson/PA, via The Guardian.20 October 2014 — Journalists should be able to rely on a public interest defence if they break some laws relating to computer misuse, data protection and bribery, Nick Clegg has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader said he believed journalists should be able to go after information in the public interest without fear of being prosecuted.

He spoke out at his monthly press conference before a debate in the House of Lords on Monday night, where a Lib Dem peer will table amendments proposing public interest defences to the crime and criminal justice bill. (More)


Beancounter tax dodgers give us the false impression that

newspapers are on death's door: they're richer than you think

By Marc Edge
Marc Edge is an occasional contributor to The Tyee. Edge is the author of Pacific Press: The Unauthorized Story of Vancouver's Newspaper Monopoly and Asper Nation: Canada's Most Dangerous Media Company. His forthcoming book Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers will be published by Vancouver's New Star Books next month.

Image: Chart of newspaper company earnings, 2010 - 2013, via October 2014 — "Media myths increasingly surround us in today's ever more mediated world, few of which have proved more persistent than the well-worn canard about newspapers dying."

That's the way I start the concluding chapter of my forthcoming book Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers, which is planned for publication next month by Vancouver's New Star Books. The book is based on financial research I did for an article in the upcoming issue of the Newspaper Research Journal. It shows that none of the 11 publicly-traded newspaper companies in the U.S. or the five in Canada has shown an annual loss on an operating basis going back to 2006.

In fact, most are making double-digit profit margins, or more than twice the historical average of 4.7 per cent for a Fortune 500 company. That's a far cry from the 20-30 per cent profit margins newspapers they routinely made before the double whammy of the Great Recession and the Internet reduced their revenues by more than half in the U.S. The decline in revenues in Canada, where the recession was not felt as badly due to more sensible banking regulations, has been about a quarter.

Just as we entered production last week, a deal went down between Postmedia Network and Quebecor Inc., two of Canada's biggest media companies. It would give Postmedia the Sun Media chain of mostly tabloids, and with it newspaper monopolies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa, as well two dailies in the ultra-competitive Toronto market.* I am still crunching the numbers on what this would mean for daily newspaper ownership concentration, but it would have to put Postmedia above 30 per cent. Canada has had about the highest level of media ownership concentration in the free world, and this tightens it even further. (More)


Putin loyalists poised to grab newspaper as foreign owners ousted

By Howard Amos

Image: Photo by Maxim Stulov, via The Moscow Times.16 October 2014 MOSCOW — Influential business newspaper Vedomosti, one of the last Russian media outfits not yet under the sway of the Kremlin, is facing escalating political pressure amid a new media law that targets its foreign owners and the imminent sale of a major shareholder's stake.

One of the few outlets as yet untouched by the state's expanding presence in the media industry, Vedomosti is jointly owned by the Financial Times Group, Dow Jones and Finland-based Sanoma.

With Sanoma currently negotiating to sell its Russian assets, attention is focused on how the Financial Times Group and Dow Jones will react to a new law signed by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that compels foreign owners of Russian media holdings to reduce their stakes to 20 percent before the end of 2016. (More)


German journalist says CIA bribes press to write fake stories

says Germany has been a U.S. colony since Second World War

Image: Screenshot of Udo Ulfkotte, via RT Video.18 October 2014 ( — German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.

“I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” Ulfkotte told Russia Insider. He made similar comments to RT in an exclusive interview at the beginning of October.

“One day the BND (German foreign intelligence agency) came to my office at the Frankfurter Allgemeine in Frankfurt. They wanted me to write an article about Libya and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi...They gave me all this secret information and they just wanted me to sign the article with my name,” Ulfkotte told RT.

“That article was how Gaddafi tried to secretly build a poison gas factory. It was a story that was printed worldwide two days later.”

Ulfkotte reveals all this and more in his book 'Bought Journalists,' where he mentions that he feels ashamed for what he has done in the past.

“It is not right what I have done in the past. To manipulate people, to make propaganda. And it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray people not only in Germany, but all over Europe,” he told RT. “I was a journalist for 25 years and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.” (More)


US blames news reports for air strike failures

F-15E Strike Eagle. (AFP Photo / Russ Scalf)13 October 2014 — American intelligence officials are trying to blame news reports for failed military attacks against shadowy jihadist groups, arguing that the articles alerted a new terror group to impending air strikes.

Last month, the United States fired 46 cruise missiles at eight locations in northern Syria to target the Khorasan group’s training camps, a munitions center and other sites. However, the attacks only killed one or two key militants, US officials told the Associated Press.

The strikes near a compound in Aleppo didn’t cripple the group because members were able to scatter – something they blamed on news reports highlighting US missile plans. This led to the escape of a French-born jihadi with military skills that officials say they were interested in targeting. (More)

FBI whistleblower says U.S. created and financed ISIS

to revive terror scare to win support for war industry

A bizarre proposition from a reliable source

By Sophie Shevardnadze
Image: Screenshot of Sophie Shevardnadze, via RT.comOctober 12, 2014 09:30President Obama admits the rise of Islamic State was never properly addressed by the U.S. intelligence. Vice-President of the States puts all the blame on America’s allies, saying it were they who funded jihadists.
Terrorists threaten direct attacks on American soil. Is the U.S. ready to respond with more than just airstrikes? Was it really unaware of the growing threat? And were that the allies that gave a helping hand to the radicalism in Iraq and Syria? To find answers to these questions, we speak to FBI whistleblower; Sibel Edmonds is on Sophie&Co today. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Beware of Harper using nuclear bombs against

our democracy because of a couple of mosquito bites

We can't let the October attacks turn Canada into a garrison state

By Crawford Kilian
Image: Detail of drawing by Greg Perry, via October 2014 — The October 22 attack on the Cenotaph and Parliament was as personal as a punch in the nose, and a direct attack on Canadian democracy. The challenge now is not to let Canadian democracy cooperate in its own demise.

On September 11, 2001, a handful of fanatics paralyzed the greatest country in history. We have been living with the consequences ever since: the advanced nations have turned themselves into surveillance states, and innocent people have been handed over to torture (in the case of Maher Arar, outsourced to Syria, where our current troubles originate). Our old-fashioned anti-Semitism has transitioned into an equally shameful hatred of Muslims.

One journalist tweeted that this was our "loss of innocence," as if the FLQ, Air India 182, and many other incidents didn't count. We've dealt with terror, state-inspired or otherwise, since the War of 1812. (More)


From the Desk of Peter Larson

Israeli democrat shares his concerns about how things will end

Veteran journalist says 'I see the first signs of fascism' in Israel

Image: Photo of Gideon Levy via BBC Television.18 October 2014 He's worried. The son of two Holocaust survivors, Gideon Levy is one of Israel's most distinguished journalists. He was born in Israel and has lived all his life there. For the last 30 years he has been a writer for Haaretz, one of Israel’s most distinguished newspapers. A frequently outspoken and articulate critic of Israeli governments, he is often cited as the living proof of Israeli democracy.  But today he is worried about where Israel is going.

For at least the last 20 years, Levy has been the living “proof” of Israeli democracy. The evidence that Israel permits opposition, and allows freedom of the press.

But today, Levy is worried about Israel and where it is going. He sees Israel slipping further and further to the right - and nobody seems able or willing to stop it. (More)

Science — From the Desk of Bob Kay, Contributing Editor

‘Left-brained’ people really might be less creative

Enhanced ‘evaluation’ activity in certain areas of brain may suppress generation of ideas, Israeli study shows

BY Andrew Tobin

Image: Visualization of left and right brain hemispheres, via Shutterstock.29 October 2014  — A new Israeli study finds that activity in the brain’s left hemisphere may stifle creativity, suggesting there really is something to the idea of being “left-brained.

The popular notion that some people’s brains are dominated by a particular hemisphere — with intuitive people being “right-brained” and logical people being left-brained — is not supported by science. But individual functions can be associated more with one side of the brain or the other.

The two-part Israeli study suggests that the left brain may be central to evaluating creative ideas. The first part of the study reviews the case of an accountant who temporarily became a prolific painter after a stroke damaged areas on the left side of his brain. The second part of the study shows that those same areas are less active in more creative people during the evaluation of creative ideas. (More)


Due to sanctions, U.S.-Russia ties soon lost in space

Russian space head says U.S could use a trampoline

Victoria Zavyalova 
Russia Beyond The Headlines

Image: Photo of Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts on International Space Station. NASA.15 October 2014 MOSCOW — Despite tensions between the U.S. and Russia, cooperation on projects in space will by necessity have to continue, at least for the near future.

On April 2, as a result of tensions over Ukraine, the U.S. government announced that it was suspending all joint rocket and space programs with Russia — with the exception of the use of the International Space Station.

“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation,” officials said in a statement. “NASA and [Russian Space Agency] Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station.”

In response, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is responsible for space and the defense industry, tweeted that the U.S. could “take advantage of the trampoline” to send astronauts to the I.S.S., alluding to the fact that the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only way to get equipment and personnel to and from the station. (More)


Scientists: North can become South in less than 100 years

Image: Schematic illustration of the invisible magnetic field lines of Earth (Image from October 2014 — A recent discovery has shown that the Earth’s magnetic reversal could happen much quicker than had been expected. US scientists say the North and South poles can swap their positions in less than a century, which would carry some danger for humans.

The Earth’s magnetic field maintains the same intensity for up to a million years, but it occasionally weakens and reverses direction – a process that scientists previously thought took thousands of years.

But now researchers at the University of California Berkeley have discovered that the last magnetic reversal to date actually occurred very quickly – roughly over a human’s lifespan. (More.)



Buffett's $55 billion gamble is a bet on

U.S. collapse, warns CIA economist

By Money Morning Staff Reports

27 October 2014

Did Warren Buffett just make a $55 billion bet on an imminent market crash?

A single financial document has emerged that may hold the answer.

According to a new SEC filing, Buffett is sitting on $55 billion in cash through his company Berkshire Hathaway. This is highly unusual behavior from a man often called "the world's greatest investor."

It's the biggest cash hoard the company has ever amassed, in the 40 years he's been in charge.

At a cost of $29 million every single day he keeps his money out of the markets, from all outward appearances, this is a risky and costly gamble. Unless Buffett is sure a Wall Street crash is at our doorstep.

Shocking: See the chart that may have caused Buffett to bet on a U.S. collapse.
But he's not the only famous investor who fears a dangerous correction is coming.

Jim Rogers recently admitted to Yahoo! that he is staying far away from U.S. stocks.

New filings also revealed billionaire George Soros' massive short position on the S&P 500.


‘Saudi policy of downplaying oil prices to backfire’

Saudi Arabia is playing global bully on oil but it's punching far over its weight

By Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

Image: Photo of worker wearing face-mask.20 October 2014 — Saudi Arabia wants to use lower oil prices to pressure Russia to change its stance on Syria, to antagonize Iran, and to force US shale gas out of the market, roving correspondent for the Asia Times Pepe Escobar told RT.

RT: Russia's economy is surely being hit by the falling oil prices. But what about other oil producers like the OPEC states?

Pepe Escobar: A lot of people are being hurt. There are more or less 20 nations that need oil at least for 50 percent of their budgets. Among these nations we’ll find especially a mix of African countries and Persian Gulf countries, that includes Saudi Arabia and Iraq as well, Venezuela and Ecuador. So it’s very complicated, it’s not only to hurt Russia...

RT: Saudi Arabia is one of the OPEC members and it is supposed to collaborate its oil price policy with other members. Why it is acting like this?

PE: OPEC is not a moralistic organization. There has been a lot of speculation about what Saudi Arabia has been doing. In fact, their strategy is still faulty – they want lower oil prices to pressure Russia vis-à-vis Syria, change their stance vis-à-vis Damascus and they want to more or less price shale gas from the US out of the market, and also pressure Iran vis-à-vis what’s going on in the Middle East, the famous Saudi-Iranian antagonism. This is not going to work in the long run because even Saudi Arabia will be in trouble if we have a barrel of oil like it was projected for the first quarter of 2015 between $70 and $80, now it’s a round $86-87. So they will be in trouble as well, their strategy in the long run is going to backfire. (More)




Image: Phofo of Tony Blair with George W. Bush. (AFP Photo / Jim Watson) 23 November 2014 — Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.  

“War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,” the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read. (More)