Sandra Finley

Feb 192018

RELATED:   (2011 census)

2013-10   Lockheed Martin Census: StatsCan math is wrong on non-compliance. It’s 11%, not 2%. Under oath at the trial of Audrey Tobias.

GOOD NEWS:    3 months in jail is no longer used to coerce citizens into relinquishing their Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.   (But the threat of prosecution is still alive and well, with no mention of constitutional right to privacy.)

GIVE CREDIT:   the article provides better reporting of the reasons for non-compliance than has typically been the case over the years since 2003 when all this started.

  • privacy of personal information
  • Lockheed Martin Corp



  • StatsCan and the Justice Dept charged Audrey Tobias for non-compliance when she was 89 years old.  She refused to be complicit because of Lockheed Martin’s involvement.  Her trial was in 2013.   Audrey passed away at the end of 2016.   At this moment I don’t have the words to express the pangs in my heart.  You fought the good fight to the end, Audrey!   I think you are still here, even if just to dance in celebration of achievement in the Lockheed Martin – StatsCan data-base-on-Canadians, debacle.



This is the first time I have seen StatsCan quoted in the media to say  Lockheed Martin is no longer involved with the census.  (Thank-you, Audrey!)  The only statement of that was in the transcript of the Audrey Tobias trial which very few people saw.   Ref:  2014-07-17   Transcript, Tobias trial establishes Lockheed Martin is OUT (but not really when you see Lockheed Martin’s role of “steerage”)

(CBC article below (Feb 13/18):  Statistics Canada confirmed to CBC News that Lockheed Martin is no longer involved with the census.  “For the 2016 Census … all systems were developed in-house,” it said in an email.)   

The “why” of my disbelief is spelt out in  

2016-03-18   Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census?

HOWEVER,  with StatsCan having publicly stated that Lockheed Martin is out, whether or nor they actually are, if that is an individual’s reason for non-compliance,  the Crown/StatsCan may have an advantage in Court.  They’ve removed your raison d’etre.   Courts do not want to hear about things like FVEY countries’ collaboration on census data bases and international surveillance.  They want to know:  did you, or did you not  comply?  However, at the last trial we did develop an effective strategy for placing what would otherwise have been blocked, before the judge.

The Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information I will defend to the end.  If it dies, democracy dies.


I am from the school that says it’s better if you don’t lie.  But better to lie outright than try your hand at manipulation through word-smithing.

To claim that non-compliance went from 1.6 million down to a few hundred households from one census to the next (2011 to 2016), is streeeeeetching things a little too far!

StatsCan says below

For the 2016 census, 98.4 per cent of Canadians filled out either the long- or short-form census. Most of the remaining 1.6 per cent couldn’t be tracked down or didn’t provide enough information to be counted properly.

Statistics Canada identified 347 people unwilling to fill out the forms.

“identified” 347 people unwilling to fill out their form does not mean that only 347 people did not comply.   The singular message is   zippity-doo-dah!  EVERYBODY is filling in their StatsCan forms!   There are no problems here!  (Use words that minimize.)

Sorry,  I’d like to, but I can’t bring myself to believe

(NOT)   A record number of Canadians filled out the 2016 census, but there were still a few hundred people who refused.

From the 2013 posting at top,  StatsCan under oath:

14.6 million requests were made . . .

A.   Yes.

Q. . . . for completion of the form?

A.   Yes.

Q.   Okay.

A.   We received a little bit over 13 million completed questionnaires for 98 per cent response rate.

(14.6 million less 13 million) means that 1.6 million forms were not returned.   Which means that StatsCan makes serious errors in basic math.  1.6 million non-compliance out of 14.6 million (the 2011 census) is 11% non-compliance.


In memory of Audrey Tobias,  how about a party in cyberspace?   Who we are will mingle up there in the ether.

When we started, very few people knew who Lockheed Martin was, and what they do in the world.  We helped change that.  Our right to Privacy of Personal Information vis-a-vis the Government,  still stands although on wobbly legs.  That’s a major success.   Bless us all, join in the song and dance!   The worst about the tyrants was not they themselves, but us, all our cowardice and servility  … we are the dragons, had forgotten, and always knew.

2011-01-03 “All our Cowardice and Servility” from the Museum of Non-violent Resistance at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin



On a local news report I heard (I think I have this right) a man named David Stettler from the Vancouver area is in Court for non-compliance with the 2016 Census.  I understood him to object to the collection of the volume of personal information demanded by StatsCan.  Search as I may,  I have been unable to turn up an online news report of ANY of the prosecutions that are underway.  I have the fragment of what I heard this AM.

It was stated that prosecutions are underway, the number was (35?), slightly more than half the number prosecuted after previous censuses.  However, in the past,  as far as I know, ALL the prosecutions roughly started around the same time, near the end of the 2-year Statute of Limitations period, in about April.   The strategy this time around seems to be:   start the prosecutions early.  It might provide incentive to those who are still holding out, to fill in a census form.

I try to contact people who are being prosecuted.  If their reason for non-compliance is about Privacy of Personal Information in a democracy, or related to Lockheed Martin Corp,  I want them to know that a large body of support stands behind them.  I offer whatever help we might be able to provide, such as

2010-12-23 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 8 Privacy – Case Law: The Queen Vs Plant protects a “biographical core of personal information” from the state. Oakes Test to override.

Please use the Comments at the bottom of the posting if you know more re names of people being prosecuted.   I have to “approve” your Comment for it to become visible to the public.  Some Comments remain a private conversation between the Commenter and me.   Thank-you for your assistance.  /Sandra


NOW, to

StatsCan says response rate to 2016 census is highest yet, CBC

Charges are possible for the 347 people who were unwilling to fill out the form

By Blair Sanderson

A record number of Canadians filled out the 2016 census, but there were still a few hundred people who refused.

A record number of Canadians filled out the 2016 census, but there were still a few hundred people who refused. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Statistics Canada says the response rate for the 2016 census was its highest yet, but there will always be Canadians who refuse to participate.

For the 2016 census, 98.4 per cent of Canadians filled out either the long- or short-form census. Most of the remaining 1.6 per cent couldn’t be tracked down or didn’t provide enough information to be counted properly.

Statistics Canada identified 347 people unwilling to fill out the forms.

“At some point over the next couple of months we will decide if any cases will be referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada,” said Statistics Canada spokesman Marc Hamel.

Census requirements became a hot-button issue in 2010 when the Harper government changed the rules for the long-form census, making it voluntary instead of mandatory.

As a result, the response rate for the long-form census dropped to 68 per cent in 2011, down from 93 per cent in 2006. The drop was widely viewed as diminishing the value of the statistical information.

Penalties for not completing census

Shortly after forming government the Liberals reinstated the long-form census as mandatory, meaning those who refuse could be criminally charged with penalties up to $500 in fines or three months in jail.

[INSERT, Sandra:   correction.  the penalties were “up to $500 in fines AND / OR three months in jail.]

The short-form census, which is the one most people get, has always been mandatory and there have always been people who refuse to fill it out.

People’s motivations for not completing the census forms vary.

“They can never make it 100 per cent secure,” said Philip Marsh of McBride, B.C.

Marsh refused to to fill out the short-form census in 2011 and was charged with breaching the Statistics Canada Act. He argued the prosecution was arbitrary and that he shouldn’t be compelled to reveal details about his personal life to the federal government.

“They don’t need to be storing my personal information about what my religion is or who my friends are. They need to know that I’m an upstanding citizen and I pay my taxes,” he said.

Toronto Audrey Tobias court

Activist Audrey Tobias objected to Lockheed Martin’s involvement with processing the census in 2011. She died in December 2016. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)


The judge ruled against Marsh.

Others have refused to fill out the census because Lockheed Martin helped Statistics Canada process the data. They considered themselves to be conscientious objectors to the weapons contractor’s involvement.

But that’s changed.

Court action

Statistics Canada confirmed to CBC News that Lockheed Martin is no longer involved with the census.

“For the 2016 Census … all systems were developed in-house,” it said in an email.

Of the 347 people who have been identified as unwilling to fill out the latest census, Statistics Canada says it’s still deciding who they’ll pursue through the courts.

In 2011, Statistics Canada referred 54 cases to Canada’s Public Prosecution Service.

In 2006, that number was around 60.

Feb 192018

In response to a panel on The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio, Feb 18,

I sent the following to the participants, and to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, with minor edits:


RE:  Juries


Arising from your participation in the Sunday Edition exploration of juries.

Maybe my words can be helpful in some way.


Thank-you for the discussion of jury selection, arising from the all-white jury that acquitted Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder of Colten Bouchie.

My brother-in-law was in the pool for potential jury duty.  He mentioned that the two people adjacent to him going through the process were First Nations.  Both declined to go on the jury.  I think, “Of course”.  But I did not hear the reason I said “of course”,  articulated in your discussion.  Allow me to elaborate.

In the Battleford – Biggar area, there are white people, First Nations and Metis who live “in the country”, away from a town.  If you are White, First Nation OR Metis, faced with the arrival of a car of people who have been drinking, unless you know them, your antennae would go up.

An event similar to Stanley – Bouchie happened in 1999, in Alberta.  A pickup truck of young people (white) drove onto the farm of Wiebo Ludwig, in a manner that caused fear.  Ludwig called 9-1-1.  The situation escalated.  Help didn’t arrive (understandably, the farm is a distance from town).  Someone shot at the truck.  Young Karman Willis was killed by a ricocheting bullet.

And so, it is possible that a First Nations person might have thought that no one, regardless of skin colour, should have intruded on the Stanley farm, especially when they had been drinking.  But of course, when under the influence, people, regardless of skin colour, are more likely to make bad decisions, like going on the farm.

In that context, consider the dilemma of a First Nations person if they agree to go on jury in an adversarial system.  They might not endorse the rules of the game (adversarial).  But more importantly, remembering my own long-ago experience of being attacked by feminists (I was on their side, for heavens’ sake!), when my sin was to voice consideration for an older man who was a member of “the other side”:

If I am a member of a minority group that is fighting for civil rights, AND, in a particular situation I have some empathy for the actions of an individual, a member of the ones-who-dominate, I will be careful with what I say.

The truth is:  we ALL know how that works, we’ve learned it just by living and interacting with others.  It’s why we end up with academics, doctors, lawyers and others who conform.   It’s why whistle-blowers have tended to be marginalized. . . .   Human beings are subject to the pressure of their community, to stay within set boundaries.  If you step outside, on issues important to the community, you can expect to be “not liked”, or ostracized.

I’m not too sure, if I was First Nations, that I would have agreed to go on the jury.  I would have been nervous about the consequences I might face, in my community, after the trial, if it was seen that I had any empathy for Stanley.  In the discussion among jurors, what could I say?  The goal is to arrive at  “Yes”  or “No”.  And little more. White jurors had far less at stake, they are from the dominant group.

Although the use of juries is 800 years old, it is not an obsolete practice.  Part of the answer might be to re-think juries as members of community coming together to hear both sides, with dialogue to find answers.  But that would require us to move away from what might be at root of the problem:  an adversarial system, not designed to find answers in the usual sense of problem solving.

The Stanley-Bouchie case is a tragedy for all of us.  It is so clearly another example:  “the system”, whatever it is,  needs to have, as a goal, the healing of community.  Adversarial systems don’t, and can’t, do that; they tend to exacerbate the wounds.   However, I am encouraged by

The Federal Government announcement, as relayed by the Globe & Mail editorial, Feb 15, 2018:

. . .  The goal would seem to be uncontested self-governance for Indigenous peoples that want it. That notion is reinforced by the fact that Mr. Trudeau’s speech was informed by the 1992 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

The report bluntly stated that, in spite of the Constitution, Ottawa had prevented “aboriginal nations from assuming the broad powers of governance that would permit them to fashion their own institutions and work out their own solutions to social, economic and political problems.”

Traditional First Nations, as I understand, have a different understanding of themselves in community.  Injuries brought by one upon another, are rends in the fabric of the community.   They, seems to me, are more likely to design a Justice system that serves the needs of the community.   I hope their endeavors will be fruitful, and influential.  They might help us revise our idea of “jury” and how it functions.

Thank-you for your endeavors to help effect change, it ain’t easy in a complex world!



Sandra Finley

Feb 172018

Appended,  a URL list of similar reports (suspensions, or threats to suspend), with thanks to Janet M.  The reports are over “IMMUNIZATION RECORDS“.

The term “MANDATORY VACCINATIONS” is uniformly not used in these reports.   (It may be that the wording has been carefully chosen to avoid the controversy.)  We circulated news of the passing of the Ontario legislation, and participated in submissions to the Government regarding mandatory vaccinations and the need for CHOICE.    Which is the subject of  . . .

A father (and mother) in Edmonton were very angry when their son was vaccinated for HPV without parental consent.

(Question:  if you are in a jurisdiction that legislated a mandatory vaccination schedule or the child cannot attend school (California, Ontario),  are parents still required to sign a parental consent form, or does the legislation cut the parent(s) out of the process?  There is no need for parental consent if the vaccination is demanded by the Government?)

I took a quick look at a couple of the news reports.   The Edmonton Journal report, in my mind, amounted to a promotion for Gardasil (the Merck HPV vaccine – – there are others, under different name).

I thought most people know how bad Gardasil is.   If anyone is doubtful,  this is the most comprehensive documentation you’re likely to find.  You don’t have to read it all,  scroll down to the video   Sacrificial virgins which tells a whole lot.

When I look at

  • coverage in Edmonton media over the HPV vaccination, as an example
  • lack of organization in Canada around the HPV vaccination specifically
  • the people who are making money, or taking money

I think, yes, it’s understandable that a poorly-informed citizenry might exist in Canada.   The video shows that women in other countries are not so docile.

The Mercola coverage on the HPV vaccine from 2012, is old but still good, and has only been reinforced by the experience of the intervening years:


Further, Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, recently issued an update on adverse reaction reports relating to Gardasil.

The documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) detail 26 new deaths reported to the government following HPV vaccination between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011. That’s 26 reported deaths of young, previously healthy, girls after Gardasil vaccination in just one year.

Other serious side effects reported during that time frame included:





Speech problems

Short term memory loss

Guillain-Barre syndrome

Ovarian cysts

Between May 2009 and September 2010, 16 deaths after Gardasil vaccination were reported. For that timeframe, there were also 789 reports of “serious” Gardasil adverse reactions, including 213 cases of permanent disability and 25 diagnosed cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome, Judicial Watch reported.

Serious Vaccine Reactions, Deaths, Often Labeled “Coincidence”

While it is not clear exactly what is causing so many adverse reactions, it is known that Gardasil contains genetically engineered virus-like protein particles as well as aluminum, which can affect immune function.

Further,  . . .   (go to the article for more)

OR,  from April 2017:

The angry father whose son was vaccinated for HPV is from Wetaskwin, AB.   The school division doing the vaccinations is St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division #38.  I sent them a letter with some of the above information.   Not only should they not be vaccinating without parental permission,  based on the evidence available,  I would not be administering HPV vaccine to ANY child, male OR female.   Maybe? the school divisions cannot be faulted if no one TELLS them?   That’s you and me!

Moving on :

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Over 5,000 elementary school kids suspended in Toronto for out-of-date immunization records

The numbers have doubled since the previous school year as doctors call for a more streamlined reporting process.

Immunization requirements changed this year for children born in 2010 (currently Grade 2 students), said Dubey, who now require two doses of varicella (for chicken pox) to attend school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.
Immunization requirements changed this year for children born in 2010 (currently Grade 2 students), said Dubey, who now require two doses of varicella (for chicken pox) to attend school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.  (Toby Talbot / Toronto Star)

A total of 5,063 public elementary students were suspended in Toronto this school year after getting caught in what one doctor called, a “1970s-style, cumbersome process” over immunization records.

The number of students suspended amounted to 7 per cent of the 73,262 elementary students in 586 Toronto public elementary schools assessed by Toronto Public Health from July to mid-December 2017. That’s a jump from 5.6 per cent last year.

“All of the students who were suspended either didn’t meet the immunization requirements as they were not up-to-date, their records were not filed on time, or they did not have a valid exemption,” said Dr. Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer at Toronto Public Health.

Share your thoughts

Should parents be responsible for updating their children’s immunization records with the school board?






All the students are back in school and up-to-date on their immunizations, said Dubey.

Immunization requirements changed this year for children born in 2010 (currently Grade 2 students), said Dubey, who now require two doses of varicella vaccine (for chicken pox) to attend school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

It is estimated that the varicella vaccine in children will offer 85 per cent protection after the first dose and 98 per cent after the second dose, said Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson Laura Gallant in an email.

“As a result of this change, the number of Grade 2 students who were outstanding was higher than previous years,” said Dubey.

Last year, 46,726 elementary students were assessed in 584 schools; 2,622 (5.6 per cent) students were suspended.

Upon initial assessment, 25,653 of the assessed students were found to have out of date immunization records, and a first notice was sent to parents. A second notice was sent to 18,622 students three weeks later. A suspension order was then sent to 11,974 students, letting their parents know the date that their child would be suspended if Toronto Public Health did not receive updated information.

“The number of suspensions depends on the number of students who are assessed,” said Dubey, adding that not all students are assessed each year.

“We increase the numbers to match our staff capacity to handle the volume of work generated,” said Dubey.

Dr. Fatima Kamalia, a Thornhill-based pediatrician, has noticed an increase to the number of kids coming in for “emergency vaccination.”

“Those that get the (suspension)…they’re the ones that just missed the (deadline),” said Kamalia. “It’s more negligence on the parent’s part, not a deliberate decision to not vaccinate.”

Kamalia said that part of the problem is that there’s no system for doctors to remind parents about their kid’s immunization, and no system for parents to keep updated about it.

“No one has a record of (vaccination shots) except the hospital,” she said. “There’s no system that allows access of data by hospitals, public health, schools, and physicians.”

In Ontario, all parents and guardians of children attending elementary and secondary school must provide their local public health unit with proof of their child’s immunization against a number of vaccine-preventable diseases or a valid exemption.

Currently, Toronto Public Health is using a system called Panorama to input immunization information provided to them by parents and guardians.

Parents are sent at least two to three letters to inform them about the need to obtain updated immunization information prior to the deadline, and given a couple of weeks to respond to each letter.

If, after this time, students remain not in compliance, they are suspended until proof of vaccination is provided.

“The majority of suspensions last less than 5 days and most are resolved on day 1 to 3 of the suspension period,” said Dubey.

In 2014, the provincial auditor general’s report program found that the current reporting practice with Panorama “continues to result in problems with data accuracy and completeness” because it doesn’t allow for direct input from health care providers.

In December 2015, the province released a long-term vaccination plan called Immunization 2020, and said it would look at ways to streamline the reporting process to possibly allow physicians and parents to input information directly.

“The (Immunization of School Pupils Act) is over 20 years old and parents and guardians are considered the primary reporters of immunization records to public health,” said Dubey.

One of the main challenges continues to be that “no one knows the requirements or has access to (immunization) records,” said Kumanan Wilson, an immunization specialist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Wilson is helping create a national immunization app called CANImmunize, and aiding the Ontario government in developing a web tool called Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) (or Digital Yellow Card) for the public to securely look up their immunization records and report it to the Digital Health Immunization Repository.

“I think the use of the paper record is very problematic,” said Wilson. “The advantage of having it through the app is people will know exactly what the requirements are ahead of schedule.”

Ontario, he said, is one of two provinces that require immunization records for school entry; the other is New Brunswick. “The entire responsibility is on the parent to report,” said Wilson. “That has to change.”

Despite the attempt at modernization, Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro, president of the Pediatrician Alliance Ontario, says the system continues to be “a real mess.”

“We still right now are relying on people having a yellow card that is kept up to date,” he said, adding that only works if the yellow card is never lost and kept on the person at all times. But that’s not always the case.

“It’s so cumbersome,” he said. “It’s laughable in 2018 that we can’t keep track of people’s vaccines. It’s crazy.”

Yamashiro, too, has noticed many parents receiving suspension letters for their kids and finds that it is often the only way they are motivated to update immunization records.

While he sees the government trying to centralize the vaccination system, the responsibility is still on the parents to deal with a system that “is frustrating for everybody.”

“(The system) is pretty complicated,” said Yamashiro. “Parents, without any medical knowledge, have to update (their kids’ records online) based on what’s on their yellow card…people will make mistakes, and Public Health will get mistaken information.”

Yamashiro would instead like to see the government have more conversations with family doctors and pediatricians, who do the vaccinations, and first fix the central database.

“Pediatricians are always ready to meet them if they want to,” he said. “If that central database is poor, it doesn’t solve the basic problem.”

Wilson too notes that even if the Digital Yellow Card becomes fully operational, “(the Ministry of Health) have to develop a system whereby the system can easily flow and move that data” from parent to doctor to public health to school.

At present, Toronto Public Health is assessing the vaccine records for students from 143 public high school students. Suspension for high school students will begin in the spring.

“There’s negligence and a lack of understanding of vaccines,” said Kamalia. “And gaps in the system.”

Yamashiro agrees. ““It’s too bad because it’s the kids and parents that are caught in a 1970s-style cumbersome process.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


From: Janet M
Subject: Schools & suspensions over vaccines…. Whoa!!!!!!!!! Recent articles

Hi all:

Here are 4 recent media items re: kids getting suspended from school.

Links below.

(Oh, & 1 from Alberta about a boy who got the HPV jab, tho’ his parents did not want him to. My take? Only safe thing to do is to keep kids home when the vaccine clinic comes to town………..)


The fact that vaccination is NOT mandatory in Canada

& that families can get exemptions

does not feature largely in these stories.


Sheer bullying & fear-mongering.


I see a lot of Facebook posts & conversation about all this.

(too much, but Hey! Just trying to stay informed.)


If ever there was a time to step forward on this issue, this might be that time!



Schools threaten students with suspensions over outdated immunization records (Global, Jan. 7/18)

2500 local students to get school suspension notices for missing vaccines (Kawartha 411, Jan. 18/18)

Over 5,000 elementary school kids suspended in Toronto for out-of-date immunization records (T. Star, Feb 14/18)
The numbers have doubled since the previous school year as doctors call for a more streamlined reporting process.

778 York Region students suspended for not having up-to-date immunizations (York Feb. 17/18)

HPV Jab that was not wanted…..

Edmonton father says son received HPV vaccine against his consent  (4-minute news clip – Feb. 15/18)


Feb 162018

From: Ricken Patel – Avaaz
Subject: Red alert: Monsanto coming after Avaaz!


Dear Avaazers,

We’ve just been hit with a 168-page court subpoena from Monsanto.

We have only days to respond. But it “commands” us to hand over every email, note, or record of anything any Avaaz staffer has ever done or said regarding Monsanto.

This is big. They’re a $50 billion mega-corporation, infamous for legal strong-arm tactics like this. They have unlimited resources. If they get their hands on all of Avaaz’s private information, there’s no telling what they’ll use it for.

So we’re going to fight this. Because Monsanto may have unlimited resources to intimidate, but Avaaz has unlimited people power, and our members just aren’t afraid.

Our deadline to respond to the subpoena is just days away — donate to help defend our movement, and let’s send Monsanto a message — every time they come at us, they’ll only make us stronger   . . .  (INSERT:  continued after the white space)








We urgently need to hire outstanding lawyers to go up against Monsanto’s best. Just fighting this subpoena will be costly, and it could be just the beginning.

We don’t know Monsanto’s plan, but we know one reason why this is coming — Avaaz has repeatedly beaten Monsanto in huge regulatory battles, including blocking the long-term relicensing of glyphosate, the herbicide that is the cornerstone of their chemical empire. We’re winning. So they’re changing the game.

The subpoena indicates that Monsanto needs all our private information to fight class-action lawsuits against them claiming that their glyphosate caused people’s cancer. If that seems absurd to you, you’re not alone. But they’ve gotten the authority of a US court behind them, and we urgently need the best lawyers behind us. Donate to help defend Avaaz, and let’s send a message of defiance to Monsanto:













There aren’t many corporations in the world that are bigger and badder than Monsanto. The fact that we really can defeat them, shows just how real our movement’s people power has become. If we stick together, with hope and determination, we really CAN change the world!

With hope and determination,

Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

More information:

Glyphosate — Crushed it!! (Avaaz)

Campaign group Avaaz calls on EU to block Bayer’s Monsanto deal (Reuters)

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear (Vanity Fair)

Patients: Roundup gave us cancer as EPA official helped the company (CNN)

Avaaz is a 46-million-person global campaign network
that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Feb 162018

An important update on the Bilcon NAFTA Chapter 11 case arrived, after I started sending the list below, in an email.

I can’t pull back and update what I already sent, alas.    Emailing out a link to a list offers more flexibility!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  makes abundantly clear that Canadian sovereignty is on the line.

Tearing up NAFTA? Please start with Chapter 11   (re Bilcon’s $500 million claim against Canadians)


Michael reinforces, with a specific case, what millions of protesters are saying.   Coincidentally, that is the point of the summary in:

2018-02-13  About Summits. Cost, # Police, # Protesters, # Arrests & WHY?      (G7 Summit, Charlevoix, Quebec, June 8-9, 2018).


2018-02-13  “Seeing Allred”,  a film   (Gloria Allred is an American lawyer, in her seventies, with a long history of fighting for rights.)


2018-02-05 The constitutional complexity of pipelines: It’s as clear as bitumen, Jason MacLean, Globe and Mail   I was curious about the assertions that jurisdiction over the Kindermorgan pipeline resides solely with the Federal Govt; that BC has zero jurisdiction?


2018-02-11 Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition in 2013, CPS emails show   UK prosecutors wouldn’t let Sweden drop the demand for extradition.  (Which explains a lot!   I thought that Sweden was disgracing itself, in its conduct of the Assange case.   There was more than the eye saw!)

2018-02-05 Lauri Love ruling ‘sets precedent’ for trying hacking suspects in UK

A UK ruling blocks extradition of Lauri Love to the US for prosecution.  A UK citizen has to be tried in the UK.

2018-02-06 U.K. arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange upheld, Toronto Star


2018-02-17 Did Big Pharma and WHO corruption trick the world into Tamiflu? Video.

2018-01-20 About flu shots and vaccines. Del Bigtree’s latest “Highwire” episode on YouTube.

2018-02-06 Indian Study Reveals Birth Dose of Hepatitis B Vaccine UnnecessaryImportant information for those fighting for choice in the vaccination schedule.  Well-written article.   Related to . . .

How long does it take for a newborn’s liver to mature?  What are the consequences of a damaged liver?  Why do the Americans administer the Hepatitis B vaccine on day 1 of birth?


2018-02-04 Lou writes: Sri Eawaran’s February 4, copied from my very old “Words To Live By”


2018-01-29 Important development re NAFTA Chapter 11 (ISDS clause), the Bilcon Digby Neck case

2018-01-20 It appears that the NAFTA ISDS clause does not exist. A note to the CBC.

2018-01-22 Help sue for government ethics  (Democracy Watch)


2018-01-18 the international agreement on tax havens with “enough loopholes to drive a fleet of Ferraris through”, Joyce Nelson.

(Joyce´s latest book is Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism. The sequel, Bypassing Dystopia, will be published by Watershed Sentinel Books in March 2018.)





Feb 162018

The article below is about our sovereignty.    There is so much more on the table than money

CLOSELY RELATED:  About Summits. Cost, # Police, # Protesters, # Arrests  &  WHY?


Tearing up NAFTA? Please start with Chapter 11

By Michael Harris.

Canada has been sued 41 times under the investment provisions in NAFTA, more than any partner. While the United States has yet to lose in decided or settled cases, Ottawa’s record is middling — nine wins, eight losses. If the federal government were a hockey team, it wouldn’t make the playoffs.


The brigandage of Bilcon, all of it legal, is upon us.


Commencing on February 19 and running through to February 27, this U.S. Corporation will try to convince a three-person Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that Canada owes it almost half a billion dollars in damages. The same court ruled last year that Canada had in fact “misbehaved” in its treatment of the Delaware company by rejecting its project back in 2008.


In a nutshell, here is what happened. Bilcon wanted to crush basalt from a site in Nova Scotia and then ship it by sea to New Jersey. The 50-year project was rejected by a joint federal/provincial environmental panel in Canada. The U.S. company contends that the panel’s decision created $500-million worth of damages to the American cement company. It is now trying to recover those alleged losses through NAFTA’s chapter 11 process.


Let’s move from nutshell to just plain nuttiness. Under NAFTA’s so-called Investor State Dispute Settlement process, all domestic laws and regulations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must rise to certain levels of what is quaintly called “fairness.”


In plain language, here’s what that means: any of a member country’s laws or regulations can be trumped by foreign corporate interests should a court, where two judges comprise a majority, find in the plaintiff’s favour.


There is no appeal of its decisions, which are 100 per cent driven by a mere trade agreement.


And, oh yes, the court meets behind closed doors.


Green Party leader Elizabeth May used one word to describe that shameful but strategic secrecy: “outrageous.”


How crazy is the Bilcon situation? Depending on what the PCA decides, every Canadian might have to pony up $15 to pay off the U.S. company. And all because a representative panel of duly-elected governments in Canada opted to protect marine life, rather than stand up for New Jersey’s right to Nova Scotia basalt, no matter what the cost to this country’s living species or environment.


Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Joint Review Panel (JRP) generally determined that Bilcon’s project was a danger to the area’s richly diverse marine ecosystem, and several endangered species. The NAFTA tribunal rejected the JRP’s finding, accusing it of improperly assessing the environmental impact of the proposed quarry. That’s odd. The same thing could be said of Bilcon when it was applying for project approval.


Bilcon wanted to build the terminal for its basalt quarry near Digby Neck, facing the Bay of Fundy. That spot was just over the “horizon” from the Critical Habitat Area for the right whales, as Mark Dittrick, put it. Dittrick is the founding chair of the Atlantic Canada chapter of Sierra Club Canada.


The company insisted that environmental concerns were uppermost in the planning for its proposed quarry. If so, it had a strange way of showing it.


Although the company put together an ostensible Right Whale Mitigation Plan, they managed to do so without ever retaining a marine mammal expert. One of the experts that the company did identify as “doing a lot of marine work for us,” Mike Brylinski of Acadia University, is not a marine mammal expert. He’s a limnologist.


A limnologist is an expert in fresh water, especially rivers and lakes. Although Brylinksi did author five studies for the Environmental Impact Study for Bilcon’s quarry, something big was missing. Here is how Mark Dittrick described that shortcoming:


“Brylinksi wrote nothing on right whales or any marine mammals. There were studies on everything from butterflies to Harlequin ducks. None of the 36 Reference Documents in the EIS were about right whales or any species of marine mammals – because Bilcon didn’t have anyone on staff or under contract who could do it.”


When whale expert Paul Brodie wrote that “a high level of caution is necessary in planning any long-term industrial venture within or proximate to [North Atlantic right whale] habitats,” and “that no reasonable assessment panel would approve the project,” Bilcon ignored his advice as “unscientific.”


They also ignored another expert, Chris Taggart of Dalhousie University, who concluded that Bilcon’s proposed shipping route for their 40,000 ton capacity bulk carriers was far from safe for right whales. The company’s ostensible reason was that Taggart’s 23-page submission had not been “peer reviewed.”


The problem with that quibble? None of the 36 studies commissioned by Bilcon to support the project were peer-reviewed either.


The person who wrote Bilcon’s EIS, and whom the Sierra Club chair describes as the company’s “de facto” marine mammal expert, was David Kern. Dittrick describes Kern as a “landscape architect and artisanal beef cattle raiser….”. For the record, Bilcon claimed that Kern was just liaison between whale experts and Bilcon, not a whale expert himself.


So why is this high stakes game of legal poker between Bilcon and the government of Canada so important — besides the fact that the public is putting up Ottawa’s huge pile of chips? Two words really. Democracy and sovereignty. Both are there to be won or lost.


If Bilcon gets some or all of the damages it is asking for, Canada will be seriously diminished. That is what Ottawa has essentially argued in this long, drawn out case. An award to Bilcon would in effect usurp the exclusive right of Canadian courts to determine whether or not the Joint Review Panel departed from Canadian law in the decision it reached on Bilcon’s quarry.


Untangle the fishing line and it comes down to this: If Bilcon wins a big award, a NAFTA tribunal will have successfully told the federal government to go to hell. As experts like University of Ottawa law professor Donald McRae and Scott Sinclair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have pointed out, the villain of this piece is NAFTA’s arbitration panels.


These panels are undergoing mission creep — moving from economic adjudications under NAFTA to replacing domestic court decisions and shoving aside Canadian public policy.


Sadly, Bilcon is not a one-off. Canada has been sued 41 times under the investment provisions in NAFTA, more than any partner. So far that has meant $219 million in payouts, and another $95 million in what Scott Sinclair calls “unrecoverable legal costs.”


While the United States has yet to lose in decided or settled cases, Ottawa’s record is middling — nine wins, eight losses. If the government were a hockey team, it wouldn’t make the playoffs.


It’s time for Canada to dump Chapter 11 as it currently stands in any renegotiated NAFTA deal. There is so much more on the table than money



Feb 132018

The G7 Summit is in Charlevoix, Quebec, June 8-9, 2018.

Canada tops the list with the Toronto G20 Summit, 2010.  Canadians coughed up

  • $1.1 billion dollars to pay for happenings in Toronto and Huntsville, June 25 to 27.
    Canadians are so hospitable.   Do you know how much each one of us contributed?   And we’ve invited them back!
  • 19,000 police were in Toronto   (National Post report)
  • 10,000 protesters
  • 1,000 arrests, the largest mass arrests in Canadian history


Please, if you find any errors in this posting, let me know via the “Comment” space at the bottom.   Thank-you.  /S


WHY the relentless protests?   . . .  I looked for a quote that encapsulates why people were willing to spend time and sometimes money (transportation, accommodations)  to join different protests.  What made them give up a day, or more, to attend an event that would have unknown outcomes?  I started with protests at the Summits.   Then added some other major protests, creating a list.  See Bold text; the voicing of  the disquiet, although the events are different, is similar.   The grievances are largely the same.

Why aren’t they heard and acted upon?  To me they make sense, they are understandable.  Our leaders should want to find effective solutions.:   (The list is not intended to be “scientific”, nor is it representative inasmuch I didn’t look for quotes from the powers-that-be, to explain why they attended a Summit, for example.

  1.  Seattle 1999 WTO   (World Trade Organization)

Conservative estimate:  40,000 protesters in Seattle  (does not include simultaneous protests in New York, Washington, and other centres)

While the media concentrated on Seattle’s riots, the tear gas and the looting, the demands on the streets of Seattle were not for an end to world trade but for a fairer and more democratic system.

. . .   More than 500 people were jailed on Wednesday.  (Seattle).  

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Regarding lawsuits against the City:

“The key point, the lesson learned, is you cannot arrest peaceful protesters here in Seattle or anywhere else in the country,” said Kenneth Hankin, a Boeing worker and lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The trial stemmed from the arrest of Hankin and the other protesters at a downtown park Dec. 1, 1999, where they were sitting and singing patriotic anthems.

More below on The Battle in Seattle.

2.   Montebello 2007  North American Leaders’ Summit  (SPP)

Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians said people shouldn’t be fooled about who really sets the agenda at these summits: the 30 business leaders who sit on the North American Competitiveness Council.

The group comprises leaders from 10 companies in each country and includes corporations like Wal-Mart, General Electric and weapons-maker Lockheed Martin. They advise the three national governments on facilitating trade.

Barlow called for a moratorium on the “profoundly anti-democratic” Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) until the citizens of all three countries are consulted and their elected representatives are given oversight over the business-driven initiative.

Flanked by U.S and Mexican opponents of the scheme and Canadian labour activists, Barlow told a news conference Monday that big business is trying to create a competitive North American trade bloc.

“And for this they need regulatory, resource, labour and environmental convergence to the lowest common standards,” she said, predicting that it will ultimately include a common passport, common currency and free trade in resources, including oil, gas and water.

“This is not about security for people, social security, security for the poor, environmental security or job security. This is about security for the big corporations for North America.”   . . .

A group of powerful business executives has been invited to make a closed-door presentation Tuesday at the summit on changes they believe the continent needs. No such invitation was extended to scientists, environmentalists, or other social activists.

There’s more on Montebello below – – the police who were disguised and deployed for the purpose of turning the protest violent.

3.  London G20 Summit,  April 2009

disquiet over economic policy, anger at the banking system and bankers’ remuneration and bonuses, the continued war on terror and concerns over climate change.

Although the majority of the protests and protesters were peaceful, the threat of violence and criminal damage were used by police as a reason to detain, or “kettle“, protesters as part of Operation Glencoe.

. . .   there were large protests and small ones, different groups, different locations in London.

the peaceful “March for Jobs, Justice and Climate” . . .  organised by Put People First, a civil-society coalition  – –   35,000 marchers

4.  Pittsburgh G20, Apr 2010:

The mood of the action tended to be uncompromisingly critical of the G20, of big corporations, and of capitalism as such. “We’re rallying here just a few miles from where the corporate robber barons have settled down to divide up the planet, that group of bankers, financiers and political leaders who have wreaked havoc upon our world,” proclaimed one of the speakers, urging listeners to “fight for another world, put people before profits.”  The crowd roared with approval, and others spoke in a similar vein, but the assembly was completely free from violence and arrests. 

  5 to 8 thousand protesters                   190 arrests            More below

5.  Toronto G20 Sept 2010:

if G20 governments could spend billions of dollars to rescue banks in trouble, why not find money to help unemployed workers for the environment and for social causes.” . . .  “It wasn’t the workers of the world that caused the financial crisis. We don’t want to see a transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector.”[30]

Cost to Canadian tax-payers, the ones who don’t offshore their money to avoid taxation:

– $1.1 billion dollars to pay for the 3-day event.

– 19,000 police in Toronto  (National Post link below)

– 10,000 protesters

– 1,000 arrests, the largest mass arrests in Canadian history

6.  Occupy Wall Street, New York City, mid-Sept 2011 (the first one)
received global attention and spawned a surge in the movement against economic inequality worldwide.[7]Wikipedia
Caused by: Wealth inequality, political corruption, corporate influence of government, inter alia
“We are the 99%”

7.  March Against Monsanto,  2013 (the first one)

Monsanto is one of a few corporate flash-points;  they embody many of the issues.   MAM was started in 2013 by young mothers who want to be able to feed nutritious, not contaminated with chemicals, food to their families.  Dads want the same, but it was the women who got things rolling.   The poisoning of food and water supplies, corruption of governments (regulatory functions),  corruption of universities, liars – – Monsanto is a well-known member of the corporatocracy.

(Alas! not updated since 2015)  List of March Against Monsanto (MAM), No to GMO, & GE Free Groups, emphasis on Canada

I haven’t listed the other MAMs, except for the upcoming one in May, 2018.

8.  Peoples Climate March, New York Sept 2014  (the first one)

 a massive demonstration that carries on.

There is no Planet B

Great to see ppl take to the streets & combat climate change, protect the next generation & fight for jobs & economic justice.

 . . .  the mood of the marchers was anything but somber. It was a racially diverse crowd with marchers of all ages. There were women with flowers in their hair. A man dressed in Uncle Sam overalls. There were little girls in strawberry sundresses and boys in baseball caps astride their fathers’ shoulders.

There were babies in strollers, like the boy who’d traveled with his family from Nashville and was now rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue carrying a sign that read, “Less pollution, more solutions.” There were elderly folks, too, such as 91-year-old Dorothy Peterson, who had traveled from Pittsburgh. She had a sun hat that resembled the earth and carried a sign in her wheelchair that read, “Mother Earth is older than me. Respect your elders.”

“It’s beautiful,” said Allison Dale, a geologist from Conshohocken, Pa. “It’s so well organized and everyone is really friendly and in a really good mood.”

The protest itself smelled of sweat, sunscreen and the occasional whiff of incense. It sounded like a drum circle — a never-ending drum circle. The cacophony included banjos and boomboxes and at least one kazoo, tambourines and ukuleles and, yes, cowbell. Lots of cowbell. At one point, a full-on brass band — tubas, trombones, trumpets — waltzed by in full swing in front of the White House, while a man on stilts danced amid the musicians.

There were chants, of course:

“Shame, shame, shame!”

“Hey hey, ho ho, Scott Pruitt has got to go!”

“Resistance is here to stay, welcome (Trump) to your 100th day.”

But none more ubiquitous than, “The oceans are rising and so are we!

The climate event differs from last week’s March for Science in its focus and also its participants — only 1 out of 8 contingents of Saturday’s protest featured scientific researchers. . . .

Women’s March Jan 2017   (the first one)

was a worldwide protest on January 21, 2017, to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion,[17] and workers’ rights. Most of the rallies were aimed at Donald Trump, immediately following his inauguration as President of the United States, largely due to statements that he had made and positions that he had taken which were regarded by many as anti-women or otherwise offensive.[11][18] It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.[19]   

The Washington March drew 440,000 to 500,000 people. Between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people participated in the Women’s March in the United States.[23] In total, worldwide participation has been estimated at over five million.[9][10][24]  . . .   including 29 in Canada

[26][27] In Washington D.C. alone, the march was the largest single political demonstration since the anti–Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and 1970s.[28][29] The Women’s March crowds were peaceful, and no arrests were made in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles,[b] New York City, and Seattle, where an estimated combined total of two million people marched.[31]  (Some of the data is from the Washington Post, this-is-what-we-learned-by-counting-the-womens-marches

9.  Climate March April 2017

10.  March Against Monsanto May 2018    Coming.

11.  Charlevoix, PQ G7  Jun 2018        Coming.

Donald Trump will be an attendee.  Mind you, he backed out of a trip to the UK because of warnings about the protests that would ensue.  He has the memory of the June 2017 Women’s March.   The protesters came from everywhere, including Canada.

George W Bush and Dick Cheney no longer come to Canada after protesters mobilized to insist that the Rule of Law applies to everyone.   Protests in Vancouver meant that Cheney was confined to “the club” for 7 hours, unable to leave.   That helped convince him that he shouldn’t come back.

I could list Occupy events, Idle No More rallies, on and on without end – – the root of the disquiet is similar.  The protests at the Summits are part of the same phenomenon, the mobilization of people who understand that we have to bring about change, if our children are to inherit a habitable and empathic world.

We live in interesting times.  Don’t think we don’t have power.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

The above is consequence of the following:

On 2/6/2018, Sandra Finley wrote:

Hi Guy (not his real name),

I undertook to send you info re Harper’s attacks on activists, “environmentalists” and others of their ilk.

I think the following are better than his words.  They are his actions.

. . .

2.       Or, how about this one?   Montebello, the “North American Leaders’ Summit”, connected to the “SPP”, 2007.   They got away with it.   A year-and-a-half of calls for a public inquiry, which should have happened.

I still find it hard to believe that this not only can, but did, happen in Canada.  Harper, his boys, and the Police working together.  I repeat the description many times, trying to drive it into my head:   the Police had to have been trained, they were disguised, and they were deployed as provocateurs, to turn a peaceful protest violent.  Thank goodness for video cameras.    I know Paul Manly who pieced together the video and put it up on the internet.  They don’t come any better than Paul.

2008-11-28  Follow-up on Montebello, Police provoke Violence at SPP protest (2007)  

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sent: February 7, 2018
To: Sandra Finley
Subject: Re: re Harper’s attacks on activists

Was this not preceded by violence in Toronto when protesters violently attacked during a Summit?  This was a police effort to get ahead of the problem but was handled amateurishly if not stupidly.  The tactic is a good one meeting fire with fire.  I like the idea of outlawing face masks.  Facial recognition techniques will help to curb the violence.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

From: Sandra Finley
Sent: February 8, 2018
Subject: RE: re Harper’s attacks on activists Montebello, Toronto

Hi G,

Wrong time line, which is important to correct:  Montebello came first

Montebello 2007

Toronto 2010

A bit of background:  Through the years, the name of the “corporatocracy” has changed.  “SPP” is no longer used, not after it became too well-known to the public.  The corporatocracy used it up to about the time of Montebello, and then dropped it.  (Remove the target.)

Their tactics remain largely unchanged and were partly spelt out (stupidly and brazenly), see   2006-09-13  Maclean’s Magazine interview, President of the Americas for Lockheed Martin Ron Covais, Meet NAFTA 2.0

The protests against the corporatocracy go back beyond Seattle, but use that as a starting point – – 20 years of protests over the transnationals.   Global – – the protests in other countries don’t receive a lot of coverage in Canada, no matter how big they are.

The Seattle protests (simultaneous in Washington, New York, etc.) were in 1999 when “WTO” was the nomenclature.  You may remember them, or not if you were outside North America.  Friends of mine joined the busloads of Canadians who traveled to Seattle to protest the corporatocracy.   The estimated number of protesters was not less than 40,000, in Seattle alone.  There’s a well done, balanced, film I should watch a second time – – “Battle in Seattle”.   A tactic, resisted by Seattle’s mayor, but done anyway:   when the violence started (provocateurs who were paid?),  the police (National Guard)  were placed in a strait-jacket with instructions not to interfere with the trashing of property – for a period of time.  THEN they were called in with tear gas, clubs, rubber bullets.

The  violence became the message.

2016-08-25 Revisiting the lessons of the Battle of Seattle and its aftermath, by Walden Bello.

2008-11-23 Battle in Seattle, the movie. Highly recommended. Resistance WTO, SPP.


So, we have Seattle in 1999.

Montebello was 2007.

There is no doubt that the “provocateurs” who attempted to turn the protest violent were police officers.  The videos, the fast-thinking protesters who yanked down the face masks while others photographed the faces, the ability to name the officers, forced the head of the Quebec police to hold a press conference. It’s all in the video.

Harper, after relentless insistence that a public inquiry was needed, finally agreed.   That was a tactic in itself:  agree to the demand;  wait long enough, people will eventually forget.  The inquiry was never held.

There was no doubt in my mind that the next protests over the “corporatocracy” would be met with, by more sinister tactics;  the power brokers would not be caught out as they were at Montebello.

They never think to do the rational thing:  use your brains, deal with the “why” of the protests.   No, they continue to protect their turf, be damned what’s happening to the planet, using force and violence against the peasants.   They don’t understand that they are going to die, just like everyone else.  What is the point of their behavior?


The 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit.

. . . Friday also saw massive actions involving a broad coalition headed by the pacifist-oriented Thomas Merton Center. As one speaker emphasized at the action’s start, said, “I remind you, this is a peaceful, permitted march. We’re confronting G20 policies, not police.” This “Peoples’ March” (linked in the minds of many with issues raised in the earlier Peoples’ Summit) was punctuated by three rallies). . ., with an estimated 5000 to 8000 participants. The demonstration was quite diverse, including religious and community activists, anarchists, socialists, environmentalists, human rights advocates, opponents of war, trade unionists, veterans, and others. The mood of the action tended to be uncompromisingly critical of the G20, of big corporations, and of capitalism as such. “We’re rallying here just a few miles from where the corporate robber barons have settled down to divide up the planet, that group of bankers, financiers and political leaders who have wreaked havoc upon our world,” proclaimed one of the speakers, urging listeners to “fight for another world, put people before profits.” The crowd roared with approval, and others spoke in a similar vein, but the assembly was completely free from violence and arrests.[49][50][51][52][53][54]

Much of the news media tended to minimize peaceful protests, however, and gave greater attention to arrests. These included controversial police actions of Friday evening, after the G20 Summit and the organized protests had ended. Taking place in Schenley Plaza and at the nearby University of Pittsburgh campus, they involved more sweeping arrests, and more charges of police violence, than had been the case the night before.

According to police accounts, about 4,500 people participated in protests throughout the city, with 190 arrests being made.[55] Approximately $50,000 worth of damage was caused to area businesses, with $15,000 worth being attributed to one individual, David Japenga of California, accused of breaking 20 windows and doors in Oakland on Thursday night.[56]


Toronto 2010,  the G20-G8 Summit.

Ottawa initially allocated $179 million for the G8 and G20 summits — three days of talks that are now expected to set taxpayers back at least $1.1 billion. Most of the money, about $930 million, is for security.

You will recall the $2 million dollar “fake lake”  – a backdrop they could take pictures in front of;  all the money that went into the riding of Tony Clement (Federal MP, President of the Treasury Board), including, for a $100,000 gazebo that was an hour’s drive from the location of the Summit.

From Wikipedia, well foot-noted

. . .   a large group comprising as many as 10,000 people protested downtown during the afternoon of June 26

if G20 governments could spend billions of dollars to rescue banks in trouble, why not find money to help unemployed workers for the environment and for social causes.” Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labour said in a speech, “It wasn’t the workers of the world that caused the financial crisis. We don’t want to see a transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector.”[30]

Number of Police, according to the National Post:  19,000: Estimated number of police officers in Toronto on the weekend  

The largest number of mass arrests in Canadian history.  The Post reports (June 28, 2010)  900: Estimated number of summit-related

arrests.   (After the dust settled, the total number of arrests was set at 1,100.)

The costs of similar Summits held in other cities were a fraction of what it cost Canadian tax-payers.   The number of police employed was similarly outrageous in Canada.  19,000 versus a general number of 5,000 police for summits in other cities.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

2012-06-10 G-20 Summit, Toronto. And kettling, a tactic of police, now counter-used by crowds to “kettle” the police.

Much of “The violence” is deliberate instigation, and not by protesters.  It is done to discredit the protesters.  Media are duped into covering the violence and not the issues under protest.  It is also done, especially the Toronto SCALED UP, to send a message:  stay at home if you don’t want to get hurt.   Friends of mine attended the Toronto Summit.  They are good people who went because they are well-informed and worried:  corporate rule is fascism.  The biggest mass arrests in Canadian history took place, more than a thousand.   Among the arrested were people going about their business – -nothing to do with the protest.   A couple of reporters were arrested.  A friend was arrested;  his whole life has been dedicated to community work.  He would not harm a flea.  We all have the right, even the duty to stand up and speak when the elites, who are only people, do what they are doing today.

The violence will be curbed when Government starts doing what it is supposed to do:   there is only one sector of our society tasked with “guarding the store”.   It is the Government.   It is their job to regulate in the public interest, to protect and serve the public interest.  To see that there is adequate funding for enforcement of regulations that protect The Commons, that upon which we are all dependent for survival.   Governments are not the henchmen for the big corporations.

The situation in Canada deteriorates as the Corporates worm their way into more and more of the governance and public structures.  They are a corrupting force.  It is a recognized problem in many countries.   Citizens around the world are connected and working to remove the usurpers.

A few years ago I attended a small gathering of American activists in Washington because I wanted to see firsthand what the mood and thoughts were of these people.    David Korten is the author of When Corporations Rule the World.  He is just one of the people who were there for the 4 days.   Without exception, I found the presenters to be the genuine article.  Caring, thinking people with life and work experience abroad who understand the role of the American empire in the world.  John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (updated 2014) is further testament.  These people work tirelessly for the public good.  Think of Daniel Ellsberg.  People like him join the protests in front of the White House.  They are the voices of sanity in a crazed society.

As you may have guessed, IMHO the “protesters” are not the problem; They are our hope and our inspiration.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

RELATED:    2010-04-29    Is it armies and war that win civil rights (democracy)?    Soundtrack for a Revolution.    (speaks to one of the biggest myths of our time.)

And, from  The Post-Corporate World, Korten, 1999, P. 27:

When the modern corporation brings together the power of modern technology with the power of massed capital, it also brings together the scientist whose self-perceived moral responsibility is limited to advancing objective instrumental knowledge and the corporate executive whose self-perceived moral responsibility is limited to maximizing corporate profits.  The result is a system in which power and expertise are delinked from moral accountability, instrumental and financial values override life values, and what is expedient and profitable takes precedence over what is nurturing and responsible. 

As Hobbes aptly demonstrated, it all follows logically from the premise that life is accidental and meaningless – a story that denies life meaning, denies life respect, and absolves us of responsibility for the harm our actions may cause.  Yet this is not our natural predisposition, which leads to the stressful and morally disorienting psychological conflict . . .  “

= = = = = =

Now I need some humour!  And beauty.


Feb 132018

With thanks to Janet M,   I watched the movie.

And used it in reply to Mellisa, re “Strategies”,  see below.


. . .  To my shame, I had never heard of this woman.

Who btw, is an old pal, I guess, of Gloria Steinem. Who appears several times in the documentary.

Lawyer. Life-long defender (FIERCE) defender, I might add of women’s rights. People’s rights! People of all stripes.

A lawyer who is not afraid to carry a placard, or organize a sit-in.   Incredible warrior woman!

If you need a shot of inspiration, I suggest you watch it! It’s on Netflix 

(INSERT, Sandra:   It was at the Sundance Film Festival, and is now in some theatres.   On Netflix I found it through the little icon of a magnifying glass (the search button); enter “Allred”).

& it MadeMyWeek!!!! No kidding.

Here is an article about the documentary.


p.s. …  Brenda watched & said (using the Subject line ‘Gloria!’)

Thank you my friend  So glad you brought my attention to this  So inspiring! I never knew her story  I really love the way she diffused the fury of the people who attacked  her  This makes her even stronger  I will go to bed tonight with a smile on my face!  Liz said: Glorious! Truly enjoyed this recommendation of yours, so THANKS! Janet 🙂

I had never heard of her either – maybe because we’re not regular TV watchers??! But will definitely watch again, and share with others!

I really learned from her forbearance – I would have immediately slugged the guy who relentlessly taunted her at the Women’s March in Washington last January.

WOW is right!

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =  = = = = = = = =


In reply to Melissa’s “Comment” on the posting  Zsuzsanna Holland, mercury fillings, lawsuit against Dental Assoc., B.C.

I am thinking: the strategies used in any battle are important to success. So too, are the weapons used.  A lawsuit is just one of the options.

Susan Shackleton (one of the other Commenters) told me of the huge effort in 1998, in Ontario, by Wayne Obie to launch a lawsuit re dental amalgam. 8,000 people were signed up. This posting is about another person’s efforts, Zsuzsanna Holland’s, to obtain justice through the court system. ZsuZsuanna went to the end of the line: the Supreme Court of Canada decision was to not hear her appeal of the Provincial Court’s decision. The same thing happened in the appeal process when I was found guilty over the StatsCan / census / Lockheed Martin / constitutional right to privacy of personal information issue. The Supreme Court elected not to hear the appeal. That’s as far as an individual case can go in the Justice System. But it’s not the end-of-the-line, by any means.

Susan and I did look into the possibility of another lawsuit. A small bit of the correspondence is appended. Today, I think “never mind how much time a class action lawsuit would take to organize, given how long court cases take, I’d be dead before there was any resolution!” The Justice system is not always about justice – – it can be about overcoming decades of conditioning, of propaganda.

The not-so-well-known American rights lawyer, Gloria Allred, with decades of experience, uses alternative strategies to Court, when Court isn’t going to work. A recent movie “Seeing Allred” tells the strategies she has used to great success. I’ll post (the above).  I’m not saying that her strategies should be used; just saying that other strategies besides lawsuits can be used, with good success.

Wayne Obie dedicated himself to the cause of stopping mercury fillings, at great personal cost. I haven’t heard from Zsuzsanna recently; I don’t know how she’s doing.

Their courageous work is carried on by many people and organizations. The weapon used is information. We aren’t all Gloria Allred’s. Or Robert F Kennedy Jr’s (Kennedy’s specialty is the poisoning of water supplies. A no-brainer, mercury going down the drain from dental offices helped motivate him on this specific topic.) You have to be crazy to be knowingly putting mercury into water supplies, let alone directly into humans. Next thing you know, they’ll be changing the Periodic Table to change mercury from the most toxic of the elements to becoming a beneficial one!

So what do we do? these are changing times. The justice system is not the only means to bring an end to the slow poisoning of people by implanting mercury in their mouths, and dumping it in waterways.

When I see a child, I hope they will be spared. That’s a decision by their parents or care-givers. And if the dentists charge a bonus for non-mercury alternatives, then it may be a decision dictated by income.

I can’t shout loud enough, or send enough emails to make a difference. But Canadians are pretty good at talking with each other, and using their ingenuity. I think of the suffragettes – – women who fought for the right to vote. In the UK and in the USA the suffragettes were brutalized by the powers-that-were. They were imprisoned, force-fed when they went on hunger strikes. It was terrible what they went through, but they didn’t stop. They won. Canadian women did street theatre. They mocked the men, they made people laugh at the silliness of the arguments. They fought hard, but with different tools, and won.

Talk, talk, talk. Be alert. Plug into a network that specializes in mercury fillings. The mission is to prevent other people from having to suffer what you did. The opportunities to participate in a way that suits you, will come.

Best wishes,


From: Sandra Finley
Sent: August 22, 2016 9:40 AM
To: Kathryn
Subject: Mercury fillings, Wayne Obie

Hi Kathryn,

Susan Shackleton from Vancouver is interested in the idea of starting a Petition to get the use of mercury fillings stopped. I suspect – – hope – – there will be step-by-step work on that. (I have a few too many pots on the stove to be the initiator.)

Will you let me know if you have any success in finding Wayne Obie?
I sent an email to the lawyer David Himelfarb (employed by Wayne in the 1990’s), this morning. I hope it was okay to tell your connection.  Here’s what I said:

For purpose of collecting signatures for a Petition on mercury fillings,
Do you know if there is any way of finding names of people (8,000) who were associated with the 1998 lawsuit?
I understand there may be privacy considerations and some of the people will now be deceased.
We found Kathryn (surname deleted) who helped with the 1998 suit. She knew Wayne Obie quite well. . . . He might still have info that would be helpful in contacting some of the 1998 people.

There is new research that adds to the already-solid base for stopping the use of mercury fillings.

Thank-you for your consideration.

Thank-you so much for taking my phone call Kathryn, and for discussing what must be a difficult subject for you.

Best wishes,
Sandra Finley

Feb 122018

I have wondered about the assertions (Kinder Morgan pipeline),  the Provincial Government has no jurisdiction.   The Federal Government decides  ?? :



Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Jason MacLean is an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law

Mere moments after the B.C. government announced its intention to develop additional measures to improve its “preparedness, response and recovery” relating to spills of diluted bitumen, including the oil that will flow through Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the constitutional verdict was already in.

“The government of Alberta will not – we cannot – let this unconstitutional attack on jobs and working people stand,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said.

“Look, we’re in a federation,” added Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a subsequent radio interview. “We’re going to get that pipeline built.”

“To the extent that this is meant to imperil Trans Mountain,” said Alan Ross, a regional managing partner with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, whose clients include Kinder Morgan, “there really is a very clear federal jurisdiction with respect to matters such as pipelines or railways that cross provincial borders and are federally regulated.”

The constitutional jurisdiction over pipelines is clear all right. Clear as bitumen.

In a 2016 decision known as Coastal First Nations concerning a similarly controversial project, the Northern Gateway pipeline, the B.C. Supreme Court concluded that while Northern Gateway was interprovincial, it was not national, and it posed risks that would have disproportionately impacted British Columbians. According to the Court, “to disallow any provincial regulation over the project because it engages a federal undertaking would significantly limit the Province’s ability to protect social, cultural and economic interests in its lands and waters.”

“It would also go against,” the Court added, “the current trend in the jurisprudence favouring, where possible, co-operative federalism.”

Those two words – where possible – are crucial.

The real constitutional question here is whether B.C.’s anticipated oil-spill regulations encroach on the core of the federal government’s power to approve interprovincial pipelines such as Trans Mountain.

And the answer to that by-no-means-clear question will ultimately turn on what B.C.s regulations actually say and do.

In the meantime, here’s what we know: B.C.’s anticipated regulations will build on existing pipeline and rail transport measures, which were approved last fall absent any constitutional controversy whatsoever. The new regulations will be designed to ensure immediate and geographically specific responses following an oil spill, whether from a pipeline or from the rail or truck transport of oil; maximize the application of regulations to marine spills so as to complement existing federal measures; restrict the increase of diluted bitumen transportation until the behaviour and effects of spilled bitumen can be better understood and managed; and allow for compensation for the loss of public and cultural use of land, resources and public amenities resulting from bitumen spills.

The development of these regulations is prudent. There is much we do not yet know about how diluted bitumen behaves in different environments and how long spilled oil remains an ecological threat. In order to fill these gaps in our scientific knowledge, B.C. will create an independent scientific advisory panel to inform future spill-response measures. These efforts complement, rather than contravene, the federal government’s commitment to invest in world-leading marine safety, including research on cleaning up oil spills.

As a matter of constitutional law, so long as B.C.’s safety regulations are enacted in a bona-fide manner to protect British Columbia’s environment and economy from bitumen spills, and not as an indirect way of usurping the federal government’s approval of Trans Mountain, the courts should uphold them. So long as B.C.’s safety regulations are conditions of operation that apply to the transport of diluted bitumen across the board and do not amount to a prohibition of a federally approved project, the regulatory powers of the province and the federal government can co-operatively co-exist.

Of course, when it comes to co-operative federalism, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In a recent case involving an open-pit gold and copper mine southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., a federal environmental assessment concluded that the adverse environmental effects of the project could not be justified. The project’s proponent, Taseko Mines, challenged the federal government’s decision on constitutional grounds, arguing that the federal environmental assessment violated the province’s clear jurisdiction over what was an exclusively provincial undertaking.

The Federal Court disagreed, however, concluding that “a project of such magnitude as the one considered in the present case will likely have impacts in areas of both provincial and federal responsibility.”

Environmental assessment in Canada, the Court added, is designed to “promote co-operation and co-ordinated action between federal and provincial governments.”

After all, we’re in a federation.


Feb 122018 


UK prosecutors tried to dissuade Swedish counterparts from dropping the charges, exchange shows

Julian Assange

Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Swedish prosecutors attempted to drop extradition proceedings against Julian Assange as early as 2013, according to a confidential exchange of emails with the Crown Prosecution Service seen by the Guardian.

The sequence of messages also appears to challenge statements by the CPS that the case was not live at the time emails were deleted by prosecutors, according to supporters of the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange was first questioned over allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he denies, in 2010. He travelled to the UK later that year and Swedish authorities began extradition proceedings against him.

He subsequently skipped bail and was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 in order to avoid extradition. It was not until last year that the Stockholm publicly announced they had dropped their European arrest warrant application for him.

Assange still faces arrest for breaching his former bail conditions in the UK if he leaves the embassy in Knightsbridge. He fears there is a secret US indictment against him relating to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of leaked classified US documents.

The newly-released emails show that the Swedish authorities were eager to give up the case four years before they formally abandoned proceedings in 2017 and that the CPS dissuaded them from doing so.

Some of the material has surfaced from an information tribunal challenge brought late last year by the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi.

The CPS lawyer handling the case, who has since retired, commented on an article which suggested that Sweden could drop the case in August 2012. He wrote: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!”.

As the case dragged on, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, wrote to the CPS on 18 October 2013 explaining that she had few options left. “There is a demand in Swedish law for coercive measures to be proportionate,” she informed London.

“The time passing, the costs and how severe the crime is to be taken into account together with the intrusion or detriment to the suspect. Against this background, we have found us to be obliged to lift the detention order … and to withdraw the European arrest warrant. If so this should be done in a couple of weeks. This would affect not only us but you too in a significant way.”

Not all the emails are preserved in the exchange, but three days later Ny emailed the CPS again to say: “I am sorry this came as a [bad] surprise… I hope I didn’t ruin your weekend.”

The CPS lawyer wrote back to Ny in December 2013, insisting: “I do not consider costs are a relevant factor in this matter.” This was at a time when the Metropolitan police had revealed that its security operation to prevent Assange escaping from the embassy had already cost £3.8m. “I do wonder occasionally if the police just make public comments because they think it will somehow progress a case,” he wrote.

“All we can do is wait and see [and perhaps be eternally grateful that neither of us have to share a room in the embassy with him over Christmas!].”

At the beginning of the legal battle over Assange in 2011, the CPS advised Swedish prosecutors not to interview him in Britain, but they eventually did.

The CPS lawyer also told Ny that year: “It is simply amazing how much work this case is generating. It sometimes seems like an industry. Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition.”

Assange’s supporters allege that the CPS has been inconsistent in declaring whether or not the case was live. In dismissing a personal data request by him in April 2013, the CPS wrote that they could not release anything “because of the live matters still pending”.

But when explaining the deletion of emails about the case in 2014, after the CPS official who had been corresponding with Ny retired, it was defended on the grounds that: “The case was, therefore, not live when the email account was deleted.” Little had changed over that period, Assange’s supporters maintain.

A CPS spokesperson said: “As there are legal proceedings still under way it would be inappropriate to comment.”

Westminster magistrates court is due to deliver judgment on Tuesday in response to arguments from Assange’s lawyers that continuing to enforce the arrest warrant is disproportionate after so many years.

The UK supreme court ruled last week in relation to a case about the Chagos Islands that diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks are admissible as evidence in the dispute over creating a marine protection zone in the British territory.