Sandra Finley

Mar 042021
 

Jack’s request for advice is appended.

Reply From: Sandra Finley
Sent: March 4, 2021
Subject: re Labor Force Survey  and  upcoming Census

Hi Jack,

When StatsCan reels in a live fish, they don’t like to let it go.   Unfortunately.

They don’t appear to evaluate the effectiveness of what they’re doing, or the quality of the information they receive.   Many people treat it as a joke;  if they participate, they supply silly answers.

What can I advise?   

               IN SHORT:

You can do what you like about the Labor Force Survey, continue with it, or stop with it.  They will tell you the same thing they tell others.

Fill it out, OR ELSE !! .”.    . . .  read on.

 

  1. I will send you TOO much information.  Just stop reading when you have what you need.  (I don’t know   enough about you to judge how much will be helpful).
  1. Evaluate – –  know what your situation is:

The 2021 Census of Population is TWO months away.  It’s a big undertaking for StatsCan, done every 5 years.

You might be a fish they’ve reeled in for the LFS,  but you are a very tiny fish, not worth eating.

There are a lot of Canadians who stand in defence of our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, and others who are very determined that StatsCan should not be collaborating with Lockheed Martin Corporation (American Surveillance, war crimes, and big-time corruption).

StatsCan faces large, and increasing resistance.   You tell me:  where are StatsCan resources going to go?    (they won’t be after very tiny fish, ESPECIALLY with the Census only two months away.)

  1. StatsCan relies on Propaganda and lies to make you think “everyone is happily participating”.   An example from the Census,  but it applies to Surveys, (building detailed files on citizens) too.

From StatsCan, the head Census guy at the time, Yves Beland, at the trial of Audrey Tobias (89 years old when StatsCan and the Federal Justice Dept brought charges against her – – she objected to the involvement of Lockheed Martin):

under oath.  From the Trial transcript:

14.6 million requests were made . . .

Yes.

. . . for completion of the form?

Yes.

Okay.

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

DO THE MATH:

(14.6 million households 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.

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

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. 

They “identified” 347 people unwilling to fill out their form does not mean that only 347 people did not comply.

The message they spin is   zippity-doo-dah!  EVERYBODY is filling in their StatsCan forms!   There are no problems here!  (The communications strategy is to Use words that minimize the problem – – 11% non-compliance and rising) 

As reported:

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

Call it for what it is, and after consistent experience:  nothing but Spin Doctors, “Communications Consultants”.  They lie.  Compulsively and without a twinge of conscience, even under oath in a Court of Law.  The preceding is but one example.

  1. Then they use Threats to make you do what they want.

I just did a quick look.

From: Sandra Finley [mailto:xcorp@shaw.ca]
Sent: March 4, 2021 2:57 PM
To: ‘jlogicbud@yahoo.com’ <jlogicbud@yahoo.com>
Subject: re Labor Force Survey

 

Hi Jack,

 

Sorry for delay in responding to your question of Feb 21.   I will post it, and my reply.  Will send you the link later.

 

When StatsCan reels in a live fish, they don’t like to let it go.   Unfortunately.

 

They don’t appear to evaluate the effectiveness of what they’re doing, or the quality of the information they receive.   Many people treat it as a joke;  if they participate, they supply silly answers.

 

What can I advise?  

 

               IN SHORT:

You can do what you like about the Labor Force Survey, continue with it, or stop with it.  They will tell you the same thing they tell others.

Fill it out, OR ELSE !! .”.    . . .  read on.

 

 

  1. I will send you TOO much information.  Just stop reading when you have what you need.  (I don’t know   enough about you to judge how much will be helpful).

 

  1. Evaluate – –  know what your situation is:

 

The 2021 Census of Population is TWO months away.  It’s a big undertaking for StatsCan, done every 5 years.

 

You might be a fish they’ve reeled in for the LFS,  but you are a very tiny fish, not worth eating.

 

There are a lot of Canadians who stand in defence of our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, and others who are very determined that StatsCan should not be collaborating with Lockheed Martin Corporation (American Surveillance, war crimes, and big-time corruption).

 

StatsCan faces large, and increasing resistance.   You tell me:  where are StatsCan resources going to go?    (they won’t be after very tiny fish, ESPECIALLY with the Census only two months away.)

 

  1. StatsCan relies on Propaganda and lies to make you think “everyone is happily participating”.   An example from the Census,  but it applies to Surveys, (building detailed files on citizens) too.

 

From StatsCan, the head Census guy at the time, Yves Beland, at the trial of Audrey Tobias (89 years old when StatsCan and the Federal Justice Dept brought charges against her – – she objected to the involvement of Lockheed Martin):

under oath.  From the Trial transcript:

14.6 million requests were made . . .

  1. Yes.
  2. . . . for completion of the form?
  3. Yes.
  4. Okay.
  5. We received a little bit over 13 million completed questionnaires for 98 per cent response rate.

 

I did the math:

(14.6 million households 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.

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

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. 

 

They “identified” 347 people unwilling to fill out their form does not mean that only 347 people did not comply.

 

The message they spin is   zippity-doo-dah!  EVERYBODY is filling in their StatsCan forms!   There are no problems here!  (The communications strategy is to Use words that minimize the problem – – 11% non-compliance and rising)

 

As reported:

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

 

Call it for what it is, and after consistent experience:  nothing but Spin Doctors, “Communications Consultants”.  They lie.  Compulsively and without a twinge of conscience, even under oath in a Court of Law.  The preceding is but one example.

 

  1. Then they use Threats to make you do what they want.

I just did a quick look.

https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/road2021-chemin2021/index-eng.cfm

There’s a Census “short form” and “long form” this year, as usual.   I have not yet read the questions on the long form.  But it’s safe to say that if you get that form,  they will pressure you to provide personal information, under threat of prosecution if you don’t, and regardless of the Charter Right, or Lockheed Martin, or Surveillance.

But you don’t need to worry.  The ODDS of being prosecuted are infinitely small.  Think about it:  maybe 60 prosecutions in Canada out of 1.6 million people.  Much less than 1 percent – – point zero, zero, zero, zero . . .  0.00004%

  1. Further:  I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted over the LFS.

 

(You might be interested in this, even though it’s about the Census:

2016-04-03 (A primer on the Census) Response to Interview of Chief Statistician, Wayne Smith. CBC 

 

I wish you well, Jack.

/Sandra

APPENDED,  JACK’S REQUEST

I’m not sure if the forum is still active since the last post was awhile ago; but, if anyone is still active I’d appreciate some advice. I too was contacted for the Labour Force Survey.   After many phone calls and out of sheer pressure I started doing these surveys online. Well it’s been 5 monthly surveys in and frankly, I’m getting tired of it and I need some advice on the best way to end this.

Thank You

Feb 142021
 

Derek writes:

This really bothers me….I see it as a slithery ploy by Trudeau and Freeland to finally allow bulk sale of fresh water to the States under some mumble mouthed phrase that will be interpreted by “an independent Tribunal of corporate CEOs”.

If you have any way of supporting Sandra Finley please do.  (simply by drawing the Canada Water Agency into your conversations.)

I suspect that by using the route of “consultations” and establishing an Agency, this subject will never have a chance of debate in Parliament and nobody will ever be held accountable.

Derek

 

From: Sandra Finley
Sent: January 24, 2021 3:52 PM
Subject: Proposed creation Canada Water Agency. Invite from Federal Govt. Jan 27 & 28

Please Scroll down to the  

PROPOSED CANADA WATER AGENCY  INVITE,

from the Federal Govt.

 

Beyond which is, for some who may be interested, musings on:

QUESTION:  Can Water issues be used to help understand the difference between terms like Revolution, Coup, Insurrection, Insurgents, Counter-Insurgency, Terrorist?

 

4 points from me, upfront:

 

  1. HEALTH and WATER QUALITY are inextricably connected.

 

True PREVENTION of disease is the goal.  Early identification is not the same as prevention.  Prevention comes with REMOVAL OF CAUSE.

 

The strong Laws & Regs to keep poisonous pollutants out of Canadian water supplies are a thing of the past;  over time they have been gutted.  To serve economic interests.

 

  1. Establish informed expectations about any proposed Canada Water Agency.

 

  • Typically, the economic interests in water, trump the need to protect it, at our peril.
  • Typically, “agencies” of Government in Canada are a way to loosen democratic oversight and control.  There is far less transparency and accountability.
  • Typically,  “agencies” are run by un-elected officials who have a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or equivalent.  They have been TRAINED & CREDENTIALED, in a specious mindset.

 

  1. The Federal Govt has well-resourced and funded programmes to expand the export of water from Canada.  Water export is seen as a tool of economic development.  Lots of money to be made.  Even if export-for-profit and government revenue were desirable,  water export creates VERY FEW jobs.  It moves water out of “the commons” into the private sector.  Quislings sell out the public interest.

 

  1. Just before Christmas, the CME Group, the New York-based market operator that takes its name from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, began trading water futures. For the first time, Wall Street traders are now able to take a stake in the future value of water, the way they have with other agricultural and mineral commodities. So far, the water contracts being bought and sold are limited to five water districts in drought-prone California, representing a tiny fraction of the water actually used in the state. But the idea of water as something to be bought and sold by Wall Street speculators does not necessarily sit well with those who study the economics of this resource in Canada. “I find it quite disturbing,” said Jim Warren, Regina-based scholar and author of Defying Palliser: Stories of Resilience from the Driest Region of the Canadian Prairies. “I mean it’s upsetting, especially since, you know, the world will be watching and others will be thinking it’s the way to go.” Read more analysis of water trading:  http://newsletters.cbc.ca/c/1F7Ks4WF0FDfJgom1noffLIuG

 

/Sandra

 

FORWARD:   PROPOSED CANADA WATER AGENCY 

 

. . . the upcoming National Freshwater Policy Forum, online Jan. 27 and 28, is really important – initiated by the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECC).

 

The two-day national event is valuable – scroll down and click open the “Placespeak” link to see the Agenda – to learn what is being recognized as current and potential threats, plus discovering various contacts for your own upcoming correspondence (on top of the general email contact).

 

After attending this National forum, you will have more insight to advocate to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRCan) why it is important for MNRCan to be fully inclusive of the other federal departments such as MECC, because the environmental and human health issues are so deeply interconnected.

 

Also important to note is that in February, the above-mentioned National forum is being followed up by a series of Regional Freshwater Forums where, once again, it is yet another excellent opportunity to spell out concerns where you regionally live.

 

Blessings,

 

———- Forwarded message ———

From: Grands Lacs / Great Lakes (EC)
Date: Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 5:43 PM
Subject: Registration now open for the National Freshwater Policy Forum! / L’inscription au Forum national sur la politique de l’eau douce est maintenant ouverte!

(Le français suit)

Register today for the Canada Water Agency
National Freshwater Policy Forum!

Registration for the National Freshwater Policy Forum is now open! The two-day virtual event will take place January 27-28, 2021, from approximately 11 a.m. ET (12:00 p.m. AT/ 12:30 p.m. NT/ 10:00 a.m. CT/ 9:00 a.m. MT/ 8:00 a.m. PT) to 4:10 p.m. ET.

The National Freshwater Policy Forum will involve discussion of key freshwater issues and opportunities identified in the Discussion Paper “Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency.” It will also provide an opportunity to hear from leading experts, practitioners and knowledge holders involved in managing and protecting freshwater on what they see as the greatest opportunities to improve freshwater management through the creation of a Canada Water Agency.

Panel discussion topics will include: Freshwater prediction to inform climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction; Indigenous peoples and freshwater management; Agriculture and fresh water; Economic sectors and fresh water; Freshwater science and data; Transboundary freshwater management; Freshwater technology, innovation, and infrastructure; and, Engaging Canadians in managing and protecting fresh water.

Register here to reserve your spot for the National Freshwater Policy Forum. Full event details, including a draft agenda for the Forum, are available on our Canada Water Agency consultation site: www.placespeak.com/CanadaWaterAgency.  

Stay tuned! Registration will soon be available for the Regional Freshwater Forums, planned for February 2021. Visit the Events section of our PlaceSpeak consultation site to save the event date for your region.

For any questions, you can contact us at ec.water-eau.ec@canada.ca.

We welcome you to share this email with your networks.         

Stay Informed!

We appreciate and value your interest in Environment and Climate Change Canada’s efforts to protect the Great Lakes. If you wish to update any of your contact information, or to be added or removed from this distribution list, please send an email to ec.grandslacs-greatlakes.ec@canada.ca with your name, the name of your organization, and your email address. As always, your details will be treated as privileged information and will only be used to distribute our Great Lakes information to you. This distribution list is never shared outside of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Inscrivez-vous dès aujourd’hui au Forum national sur la politique de l’eau douce de l’Agence canadienne de l’eau!

L’inscription au Forum national sur la politique de l’eau douce est maintenant ouverte! L’événement virtuel de deux jours aura lieu du 27 au 28 janvier 2021, d’environ 11 h HNE (12 h HNA / 12 h 30 HNT / 10 h HNC/ 9 h HNM/ 8 h HNP) à 16 h 15 HNE.

Le Forum national sur la politique de l’eau douce portera sur les enjeux et les possibilités clés en matière d’eau douce cernés dans le document de travail « Vers la création d’une Agence canadienne de l’eau ». Il donnera également l’occasion d’entendre des experts, des praticiens et des détenteurs de connaissances de premier plan qui participent à la gestion et à la protection de l’eau douce sur ce qu’ils considèrent comme les meilleures possibilités d’améliorer la gestion de l’eau douce grâce à la création de l’Agence canadienne de l’eau.

Les débats d’experts porteront notamment sur les prévisions sur l’eau douce en vue d’orienter les mesures d’adaptation aux changements climatiques et d’atténuation des risques de catastrophes; les peuples autochtones et la gestion de l’eau douce; l’agriculture et l’eau douce; les secteurs économiques et l’eau douce; la science et les données sur l’eau douce; la gestion des eaux douces transfrontalières; la technologie, l’innovation et les infrastructures relatives à l’eau douce; et la mobilisation des Canadiens à la gestion et à la protection de l’eau douce.

Inscrivez-vous ici pour réserver votre place au Forum national sur la politique de l’eau douce. Tous les détails de l’événement, y compris un ébauche de l’ordre du jour du jour du Forum, sont disponibles sur notre site de consultation de l’Agence canadienne de l’eau : www.placespeak.com/AgenceCanadienneEau.

 Restez à l’affût! L’inscription sera bientôt disponible pour les Forums régionaux sur l’eau douce, prévus pour février 2021. Visitez la section Événements de notre site de consultation PlaceSpeak pour prendre en note la date de l’événement pour votre région.

Pour toute question, vous pouvez communiquer avec nous à ec.water-eau.ec@canada.ca.  Nous vous invitons à partager ce courriel avec vos réseaux.     

 Tenez-vous au courant!

Nous apprécions et estimons votre intérêt pour les efforts d’Environnement et Changement climatique Canada visant à protéger les Grands Lacs. Si vous souhaitez mettre à jour certaines de vos coordonnées ou que nous vous ajoutions ou retirions de cette liste de distribution, veuillez envoyer un courriel à ec.grandslacs-greatlakes.ec@canada.ca avec votre nom, le nom de votre organisme et votre adresse électronique. Comme toujours, vos détails seront traités de façon confidentielle et ne seront utilisés que pour vous diffuser des renseignements sur les Grands Lacs. Cette liste de distribution n’est jamais transmise à l’extérieur d’Environnement et Changement climatique Canada.

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

QUESTION:  Can Water issues be used to help understand the difference between terms like Revolution, Coup, Insurrection, Insurgents, Counter-Insurgency, Terrorist?

 

Networks involving thousands of citizens across Canada have worked for decades to restore protection for Water.   The  4 points up top speak to obstacles to our success.

 

When decades of needed & legitimate citizen effort

run parallel to

steadily worsening systemic problems,

the land has been sown and steadily fertilized for Revolution by citizens.  (Protection of Water is far from the only issue.)

 

We conclude that the Government has abdicated its assigned role  to protect that upon which we all, humans and other life forms, are dependent for health and ultimately for survival.

 

The Government has also abdicated its assigned role of guarding our ideal of “peace, order, and good governance” in Canada.  Or so it seems to me, because

 

eventually comes realization, in spite of the rhetoric, that the money is flowing one-way (the income gap);  the water is not being protected.  We talk and we get restless (common sense tells you that).  We Protest, we Occupy and we Idle No More.  For how long?

 

When/if citizen action looks like it might result in actual protection of Water (e.g. stop the export-for-profit),  there is push-back from corporate and government players, those who want the money.  They fight to maintain the power and control they have over Water, whether to sell it, pollute it as a cost-saving measure, or exploit it in other ways.

 

Democratic government is replaced by corporate or fascist government.

 

Steadily worsening systemic problems, corporatist values

Lead to

Mobilization of citizens, non-violent resistance.

Outcomes?

The Montebello experience

2012-05-19 TO: MP Blake Richards re his private member’s bill to make it a crime to wear a mask at protests. Remember Montebello, it was the police who wore the masks.

 

The G-20 experience in Toronto and so on.

 

The CORRUPTION has to be addressed head-on.  Without success on that front,  the situation can only continue to deteriorate.    I recommend to you the information in:   2020-09-23 Part of conversation re Nuclear Issue & the Throne Speech (Small Modular Reactions – SMR’s)

     (http:/sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25259)

 

Please do whatever turns your crank:  forward the information, sign up to the Government’s invitation, speak up,  use whatever opportunities present themselves.  The protection of water from poisons and pollutants, from private/corporate takeover, from quislings, from “for-profit” exploitation, from ignorance, is essential.

 

QUESTION:  Can Water issues be used to help understand the difference between terms like Revolution, Coup, Insurrection, Insurgents, Counter-Insurgency, Terrorist?

 

these are political terms, they are not legal or technical terms, they are used and abused in the media and used interchangeably.

 

It’s difficult to precisely define the words because of the variety of scenarios.

That does not prevent some observations, musings:

 

  • “Revolution”  is not always the overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. BUT!  properly used, it is that.

 

  • In some situations the term used revolves around whether Corporate America, equally Corporate Canada, has financial or strategic investments in the country, and whether those interests are threatened.

 

  • A pejorative is required to describe the party that is the threat.  The Government and media need us to know who are the “Bad Guys”.  We are the “Good Guys”.

 

  • Do I agree that a word for what happened in Washington was “insurrection”?  Yes.  Was it Revolution in the Arab Spring? Yes.  But there is confusion over which words to use, and inconsistent use of words.

 

  • Terms perceived to be more pejorative are for the “Bad Guys”, even if they’re doing the same thing as the “Good Guys”.

 

More:  2016-07-08   Democracy overtaken by Corporatocracy = coup d’état. Citizens fight to regain democracy = Revolution (insurgency) . Corporatocracy fights to hold on = counter insurgency.    (http://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=16943)

 

Cheers!

/Sandra

 

 

Feb 112021
 

The Unlikeliest Pandemic Success Story

How did a tiny, poor nation manage to suffer only one death from the coronavirus?

Story by Madeline Drexler

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2021/02/coronavirus-pandemic-bhutan/617976/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=atlantic-daily-newsletter&utm_content=20210210&silverid-ref=MzQzOTU3ODQ3MzAyS0

 

On january 7, a 34-year-old man who had been admitted to a hospital in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, with preexisting liver and kidney problems died of COVID-19. His was the country’s first death from the coronavirus. Not the first death that day, that week, or that month: the very first coronavirus death since the pandemic began.

How is this possible? Since the novel coronavirus was first identified more than a year ago, health systems in rich and poor countries have approached collapse, economies worldwide have been devastated, millions of lives have been lost. How has Bhutan—a tiny, poor nation best known for its guiding policy of Gross National Happiness, which balances economic development with environmental conservation and cultural values—managed such a feat? And what can we in the United States, which has so tragically mismanaged the crisis, learn from its success?

In fact, what can the U.S. and other wealthy countries learn from the array of resource-starved counterparts that have better weathered the coronavirus pandemic, even if those nations haven’t achieved Bhutan’s impressive statistics? Countries such as Vietnam, which has so far logged only 35 deaths, Rwanda, with 226, Senegal, with 700, and plenty of others have negotiated the crisis far more smoothly than have Europe and North America.

These nations offer plenty of lessons, from the importance of attentive leadership, the need to ensure that people have enough provisions and financial means to follow public-health guidance, and the shared understanding that individuals and communities must sacrifice to protect the well-being of all: elements that have been sorely lacking in the U.S.

America has “the world’s best medical-rescue system—we have unbelievable ICUs,” Asaf Bitton, executive director of Ariadne Labs, a Boston-based center for health-systems innovation, told me. But, he said, we have neglected a public-health focus on prevention, which socially cohesive low- and middle-income countries have no choice but to adopt, because a runaway epidemic would quickly overwhelm them.

“People say the COVID disaster in America has been about a denial of science. But what we couldn’t agree on is the social compact we would need to make painful choices together in unity, for the collective good,” Bitton added. “I don’t know whether, right now in the U.S., we can have easy or effective conversations about a common good. But we need to start.”

Over the course of three reporting trips to Bhutan since 2012, a word I heard innumerable times was resilience. It alluded to the fact that Bhutan has never been colonized, and to its people’s ability to bear hardships and make sacrifices. Resilience, I came to learn, is core to the national identity.

That mattered when the coronavirus began spreading early last year. At the time, Bhutan looked like a ripe target. It had only 337 physicians for a population of around 760,000—less than half the World Health Organization’s recommended ratio of doctors to people—and only one of these physicians had advanced training in critical care. It had barely 3,000 health workers, and one PCR machine to test viral samples. It was on the United Nations’ list of least developed countries, with a per capita GDP of $3,412. And while its northern frontier with China had been closed for decades, it shared a porous 435-mile border with India, which now has the world’s second-highest number of recorded cases and fourth-highest number of reported deaths.

Yet from the first note of alarm, Bhutan moved swiftly and astutely, its actions firmly rooted in the latest science.

On December 31, 2019, China first reported to the WHO a pneumonia outbreak of unknown cause. By January 11, Bhutan had started drafting its National Preparedness and Response Plan, and on January 15, it began screening for symptoms of respiratory ailments and was using infrared fever scanning at its international airport and other points of entry.

 

Around midnight on March 6, Bhutan confirmed its first case of COVID-19: a 76-year-old American tourist. Six hours and 18 minutes later, some 300 possible contacts, and contacts of contacts, had been traced and quarantined. “It must have been a record,” Minister of Health Dechen Wangmo—a plain-spoken Yale-educated epidemiologist—told the national newspaper Kuensel, with evident pride. Airlifted to the U.S., the patient was expected to die, but survived. According to an account in The Washington Post, his doctors in Maryland told him, “Whatever they tried in Bhutan probably saved your life.”

In March, the Bhutanese government also started issuing clear, concise daily updates and sharing helpline numbers. It barred tourists, closed schools and public institutions, shut gyms and movie theaters, began flexible working hours, and relentlessly called for face masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. On March 11, the WHO tardily deemed COVID-19 a pandemic. Five days later, Bhutan instituted mandatory quarantine for all Bhutanese with possible exposure to the virus—including the thousands of expatriates who boarded chartered planes back to their homeland—and underwrote every aspect, such as free accommodation and meals in tourist-level hotels. It isolated all positive cases, even those who were asymptomatic, in medical facilities, so early symptoms could be treated immediately, and provided psychological counseling for those in quarantine and isolation.

Bhutan then went further. At the end of March, health officials extended the mandatory quarantine from 14 to 21 days—a full week longer than what the WHO was (and still is) recommending. The rationale: A 14-day quarantine leaves about an 11 percent chance that, after being released, a person could still be incubating the infection and eventually become contagious. Bhutan’s extensive testing regimen for people in quarantine, Wangmo added at a press conference, was “a gold standard.”

 

While President Donald Trump was railing against coronavirus surveillance, Bhutan launched a huge testing and tracing program, and created a contact-tracing app. Last fall, the health ministry rolled out a prevention initiative called “Our Gyenkhu”—“Our Responsibility”—featuring influencers such as actors, visual artists, bloggers, and sports personalities. When, in August, a 27-year-old woman became the first Bhutanese in the country to test positive for COVID-19 outside of quarantine, a three-week national lockdown followed, with the government ramping up testing and tracing even more, and delivering food, medicine, and other essentials to every household in the land. In December, when a flu clinic in Thimphu turned up the first case of community transmission since the summer, the nation again entered strict lockdown—and again, a full-throttle campaign prevailed against the virus, which has been all but snuffed out for the time being.

In tandem with this rigorous public-health response came swells of civic compassion from every level of society. In April, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck launched a relief fund that has so far handed out $19 million in financial assistance to more than 34,000 Bhutanese whose livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic, a program extended until at least the end of March. The government created a country-wide registry for vulnerable citizens, and has sent care packages containing hand sanitizer, vitamins, and other items to more than 51,000 Bhutanese over the age of 60. The Queen Mother gave a frank address to the nation, calling on the authorities to ensure services for sexual and reproductive health, maternal, newborn, and child health care, and services for gender-based violence, which she deemed “essential.” Thousands of people signed up to leave their homes and families for extended periods of time to join the national corps of orange-uniformed volunteers known as DeSuung. Bhutan’s monastic community—highly influential in a Buddhist and still largely traditional culture—not only pointedly reinforced public-health messaging but also prayed daily for the well-being of all people during the crisis, not just the Bhutanese.

Government officials modeled the same altruism. During the country’s summer lockdown, Wangmo, the health minister, slept in ministry facilities for weeks, away from her young son. Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, a highly respected physician who continued to perform surgeries on Saturdays during most of the crisis, slept every night during the lockdown on a window seat in his office—a photo in the newspaper The Bhutanese showed his makeshift bed’s rumpled blankets and an ironing board standing nearby. Members of Parliament gave up a month’s salary for the response effort; hoteliers offered their properties as free quarantine facilities; farmers donated crops. When lights in the Ministry of Health’s offices burned all night, locals brought hot milk tea and homemade ema datshi—scorching chilies and cheese, the national dish.

“I have complained about ‘small-society syndrome’ and how suffocating it can get. But I believe it is this very closeness that has kept us together,” Namgay Zam, a prominent journalist in Bhutan, told me. “I don’t think any other country can say that leaders and ordinary people enjoy such mutual trust. This is the main reason for Bhutan’s success.”

While bhutan might be culturally unique, its experience offers several lessons for affluent nations.

First, hope that you are lucky and your country’s leaders are thoroughly engaged. Bhutan had trusted, smart, and hands-on direction from its king, whose moral authority carries great weight. He explicitly told government leaders that even one death from COVID-19 would be too much for a small nation that regards itself as a family, pressed officials for detailed plans covering every possible pandemic scenario, and made multiple trips to the front lines, encouraging health workers, volunteers, and others. His crucial role also sidetracked any political gamesmanship; in Bhutan, the opposition in Parliament joined forces with the ruling party.

Second, invest in preparedness. Bhutan set up a health emergency operations center and a WHO emergency operations center in 2018, and had also invested in medical camp kit tents, initially thinking they would be deployed in disaster-relief zones; the tents were repurposed to screen and treat patients with respiratory symptoms. In 2019, the country upgraded its Royal Centre for Disease Control lab, equipping it to handle not only new and deadly influenza viruses on the horizon, but also SARS-CoV-2. Most presciently, in November 2019, the WHO and Bhutan’s health ministry staged a simulation at the country’s international airport. The scenario: a passenger arriving from abroad with a suspected infection caused by a new strain of coronavirus. All these measures reflect what Bitton sees as a dynamic, system-wide self-awareness. “You could call it humility; you could call it curiosity,” he said. “It’s this idea of, wow, we have a lot to learn.”

Third, act fast and buy time. “The countries that responded early and before the virus got entrenched—in particular, before it got to the vulnerable populations—seem to all have done better,” Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me. Bhutan’s system of community-based primary care had sowed the concept of prevention, and its free universal health care and testing meant that logistics and supply chains were already in place.

Fourth, draw on existing strengths. When Bhutan added five more PCR machines to its testing stock, up from just one, it needed people to collect samples from the field and operate the devices. So it shifted technicians from livestock-health and food-safety programs, and trained university students. When it became clear that one ICU physician was not enough, it instructed other doctors and nurses in clinical management of respiratory infections and WHO protocols. “This is the lesson from Bhutan,” Rui Paulo de Jesus, its WHO country representative, told me. “Utilize the resources you have.”

Finally, make it possible for people to actually follow public-health guidance by providing economic and social support to those who need to quarantine or isolate. Nuzzo calls these “wraparound services.” But Tenzing Lamsang, an investigative journalist and editor of The Bhutanese, believes the term doesn’t do justice to Bhutan’s deeper policy impulses. “Bhutan’s approach as a Buddhist country, a country that values Gross National Happiness, is different from a typical technocratic approach,” he told me, noting that its pandemic plan covered “all aspects of well-being.”

Other countries illustrate many of these approaches. Senegal acted early, barring international arrivals and imposing regional travel restrictions, enforcing curfews and business closures, and launching an economic and social resilience program to make up for lost income among the poor; after barely skirting the 2014–16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it also bolstered staffing for an emergency operations center and conducted mock drills. Rwanda blanketed the country with random testing and contact tracing, relying on the same lab technologies used for tracking HIV cases. Vietnam declared an epidemic on February 1, 2020, and deployed its provincial governments to swiftly detect infections, close nonessential businesses, enforce social distancing, and monitor border crossings.

There are certainly plenty of caveats around the idea of trying to replicate Bhutan’s values or transplant its strategies. As Nuzzo pointed out, political systems vary significantly, and one nation’s assumptions might not thrive on alien terrain. Moreover, coronavirus transmission can take wild turns. And until Bhutanese are vaccinated, the kingdom will need to play a flawless game of containment. “As Buddhists,” a Kuensel editorial in September reflected, “we learn that this reality changes every moment.”

For now, though, Bhutan has helped define pandemic resilience. “What I learned from Bhutan is that the health sector alone cannot do much to protect people’s health,” de Jesus told me. Lamsang agreed. Pandemic resilience, he said, came from “things that we don’t count normally, like your social capital and the willingness of society to come together for the common good.”

It is tempting to dismiss Bhutan or other small, communitarian countries as irrelevant models for the United States. To be sure, Bhutan is no paradise. It has its share of quarantine dodgers and anti-vaxxers, “maskholes” and “covidiots,” all duly called out on social media. And like every other nation, when this crisis is over, it will have to reckon with long-standing problems—issues including youth unemployment and the effects of climate change.

But its victory, at least so far, in staving off the worst of the pandemic might give Bhutan the confidence and drive it needs to tackle these other challenges—and on its own terms. After all, that’s another aspect of resilience: moving forward when the crisis has passed.

MADELINE DREXLER is a Boston-based journalist and a visiting scientist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She is the author of Emerging Epidemics: The Menace of New Infections and has written extensively in recent years about Bhutan.

Feb 062021
 

Honourable Chrystia Freeland and Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,

RE:  Request for “Pre-budget” input

“Same old” won’t work.

Your request for input is a component of a Communications Strategy.

As long as you persist with the teachings of the MBA and other “business” strategies,  you are undermining democracy.

 

When you inhale your own gas, and that of those fed the same diet, you come to think that it smells pretty sweet.

Rest assured,  the rest of us are not so enthralled.

It is a high sign of disrespect for our intelligence that you proffer, yet again,  a request for “input” as something other than what it is:  Communications Strategy from the legions of Communications Consultants you employ.  Because of the Intent and the way it is therefore delivered, it is not democratic process.

I’ve seen this show way too many times in Canada.  I know the outcome, short term and long term.

An enlarging mass of others are tuning in.  I think you know that.  But you do not like to know it, because of the implications for the vested interests.  When critical mass comes about,  the Canadian ideals of “Peace, Order, and Good Governance” go out the window.  (Well, the latter has already gone out the window, IMHO.)

Levels of corruption is the measure by which “good governance” is judged. (SNC Lavalin, Wee – – does not matter which party is in power,  it is systemic and it’s in the Canadian bureaucracy; also others of our “democratic” institutions.)

Firmly-entrenched Financial and “Influential” interests are back-seat drivers to Government.  They are REAL beneficiaries.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Finley

Jan 242021
 

QUESTION:  Can Water issues be used to help understand the difference between terms like Revolution, Coup, Insurrection, Insurgents, Counter-Insurgency, Up-rising?

these are political terms, they are not legal or technical terms, they are used and abused in the media and used interchangeably . 

I don’t think the meanings/distinctions are clear.

  • In some situations the term used revolves around whether Corporate America (Corporate Canada) has financial or strategic investments in the country, and whether those interests are threatened.
  • WHO? needs to be overthrown – –  or the opposite, to protect “our” financial interests – –  in the country?  . . . Is it the Government or the People in the Streets?
  • WHO? defines for our Government and media who the “Bad Guys” and “Good Guys” are.  Terms perceived to be more pejorative are for the “Bad Guys”.  (Terms like “environmentalist”, “advocate”, “activist”, “protestor” become “Bad Guys” worthy of RCMP Surveillance, Police and tear gas when they threaten the rule of the Corporatocracy and its minions.

__________________________________________________________________________

  Water networks involving thousands of people across Canada have worked to restore protection for Water for decades.

4 points at the bottom speak to the obstacles to success, why the water won’t be protected. 

________________________________________________________________________________

When decades of needed and legitimate citizen effort run parallel to steadily worsening systemic problems,

the land has been sown and steadily fertilized for Revolution by citizens.  (Protection of Water is far from the only issue.)

We conclude that the Government has abdicated its assigned role  to protect that upon which we all, humans and other life forms, are dependent for health and ultimately for survival.

The Government has also abdicated its assigned role of guarding our ideal of “peace, order, and good governance” in Canada.  Or so it seems to me.

Eventually, the natives realize, in spite of the rhetoric, which way the money is flowing (the ever-widening income gap);  the water is not being protected.

We talk and we get restless (ref:  common sense).  We Protest, we Occupy and we Idle No More.  For how long?

When/if citizen action looks like it might result in actual protection of Water (e.g. stop the export-for-profit),  there is push-back from corporate and government players, those who want the money, “the economic development”).  They fight to maintain the power and control they have over Water, whether to sell it, pollute it as a cost-saving measure, or exploit it in other ways.

Democratic government is replaced by corporate or fascist government.

Steadily worsening systemic problems, corporatist values

Lead to

Mobilization of citizens, non-violent resistance.

Outcomes?

The Montebello experience

The G-20 experience in Toronto  . . .

There is a nuanced line between Revolution and InsurgencyInsurrection is  defined as an act or instance of rising in revolt,  rebellion or resistance against  civil authority or an established government.

Sometimes, words have different meanings and emotional content, depending on where they originated.

We know “Revolution” as what happened in France, and in the United States.

But Canada was loyal to the British Commonwealth.  We upheld the Colonial Power that the American Revolution was against.  I would bet that the word “revolution” does not carry the same emotional content for Canadians as for Americans.

AND THEN,  if you look at French Canada and English Canada:  as example,  St Jean Baptiste Day is scarcely known in English Canada.  Whereas, the emotional content of the word in Quebec is fiery.  Obviously,  the “We” that upheld the Colonial Power during the American Revolution does not include the Quebecois.  A few, sure.

There was active fighting and funding by Canadians, on the side of the Americans.  And anti-Government emigration to the US from Canada.

On the other hand, over time, American textbooks, media and immigration have transported American sentiments into Canada.  Canadians end up with the confusion created by the same word, from different origins.  Is it a Revolution, Coup, Insurrection, Insurgents, Counter-Insurgency, Up-rising . . . or what?

(Another example:  the word “table” in the context of meetings has opposite meaning in The USA and The UK.  Canada has large influence from both places. Canadians use the same word, but do not usually know that it can mean two different things, depending on which culture you were most influenced by.  Hence confusion over “to table …”.)

FURTHER: 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________

CANADA WATER AGENCY

4 points speak to the obstacles to success,

why water should be, but won’t be protected. 

 

  1. HEALTH and WATER QUALITY are inextricably connected.

True PREVENTION of disease is the goal.  Early identification is not the same as prevention.  Prevention comes with REMOVAL OF CAUSE.

The strong Laws & Regs to keep poisonous pollutants out of Canadian water supplies are a thing of the past;  over time they have been gutted.  To serve economic interests.

  1. Establish informed expectations about any proposed Canada Water Agency.
  • Typically, the economic interests in water, trump the need to protect it, at our peril.
  • Typically, “agencies” of Government in Canada are a way to loosen democratic oversight and control.  There is far less transparency and accountability.
  • Typically,  “agencies” are run by un-elected officials who have a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or equivalent.  They have been TRAINED & CREDENTIALED, in a specious mindset.
  1. The Federal Govt has well-resourced and funded programmes to expand the export of water from Canada.  Water export is seen as a tool of economic development.  Lots of money to be made.  Even if export-for-profit and government revenue were desirable,  water export creates VERY FEW jobs.  It moves water out of “the commons” into the private sector.  Quislings sell out the public interest.
  1. Just before Christmas, the CME Group, the New York-based market operator that takes its name from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, began trading water futures.For the first time, Wall Street traders are now able to take a stake in the future value of water, the way they have with other agricultural and mineral commodities. So far, the water contracts being bought and sold are limited to five water districts in drought-prone California, representing a tiny fraction of the water actually used in the state. But the idea of water as something to be bought and sold by Wall Street speculators does not necessarily sit well with those who study the economics of this resource in Canada. “I find it quite disturbing,” said Jim Warren, Regina-based scholar and author of Defying Palliser: Stories of Resilience from the Driest Region of the Canadian Prairies. “I mean it’s upsetting, especially since, you know, the world will be watching and others will be thinking it’s the way to go.” Read more analysis of water trading:  http://newsletters.cbc.ca/c/1F7Ks4WF0FDfJgom1noffLIuG

 

Sep 242020
 

For consideration.

There is a large factor to be considered:   Corruption.

How much money the Cameco executives, for example, are making.

Provinces like Saskatchewan do not have laws against Corporate contributions to political parties.

How much influence Anne McLellan, one of the “Good ol’ boys” in Liberal circles,  has.

She’s on the Board of Cameco.   Since her retirement from politics, and now sitting on a number of corporate boards, she’s raking in a lot.  From Cameco ALONE, in the million dollar range.

Why was she attractive to the Cameco Board?   – – maybe her INFLUENCE in the Liberal Party?

You may recall that the Uranium Producers in the World formed an alliance with respect to Climate Change.  They (Canada) AGREED to an agenda to promote Nuclear as green solution to Climate Change.   Russia is partner,  Australia, too, I think.  Countries with uranium – – the U.S.?  I don’t know.   Anyhow, that was the Canadian position at the Bonn Germany Round of international negotiations  (incorrectly identified as the Copenhagan round by a parliamentary secretary).

It will not have changed, because too many people are making too much money through public subsidization.  Look at the corporate history – – WHO has invested in the development of SMR’s?   Universities (green-washing).  Westinghouse. Big corporates.  (I haven’t updated my info base.)

Seamus O’Regan got hammered for the interview, through the online Comments.  HOWEVER, dropping the word re nuke from the Throne Speech would have been a REACTION to the hammering.  That does not mean they are not pursuing nuclear.  They simply move it out of the public spotlight.  Carry on under-ground, so to speak.

The NATURAL RESOURCES MINISTERS from various provinces, I don’t know if all,  have been commandeered for the job of promoting nuclear.  They form a cohesive unit with support staff.  Their JOB is to SELL NATURAL RESOURCES.   There is a large divide between Departments of Environment and Natural Resources.

Anyhow,  documentation below.  I am very sorry – – I don’t have time to edit.   Skim it,  you’ll get the idea.  If corruption is not addressed in our actions,  we are “bleating sheep”.

Bless you all and thank-you all.   /Sandra

EXCERPTED FROM:

2019-05-25 Input to Govt, Bill C-69 will exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment.Jul202019

TO:  Govt of Canada,  Impact Assessment Regulations (link not valid),  Consultation on the proposed Project List

Bill C-69 will exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment.

The elephant in the room is CORRUPTION.   You have to deal with it.

It did not make sense that the Liberal Govt would throw weight behind nuclear energy as a response to climate change (2018).    If you know the cross-Canada history in the last decade of the nuclear/uranium industry, no political party would champion nuclear.

When things don’t make sense, try “follow the money”.  Cameco, nuclear/uranium)

From 2013 to 2014 Key Executive Compensation rose by 43% (from $10 million to $15 million), at a time when their share value had been in uninterrupted decline since February, 2011.   . . .

Today’s (2018) share value is down by 80% over its June 2007 high.

And the CRA is after it:  through off-shoring  The uranium producer estimates it has avoided declaring $4.9-billion in Canadian income, saving it $1.4-billion in taxes, over the last 10 years.

WHY?  would  Bill C-69 want to exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment?  

It’s explained in an email I sent to Minister McKenna, posted on my blog (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20712  ).   Please go to the posting for the first part of the email.

SECOND HALF OF THE EMAIL (the corruption):    

When a population fights a reactor because it will enslave them to very expensive electricity, at the cost of investing in alternatives, and

then turns around to fight the transportation of (the industry’s estimate in 2009, more now) 20,000 truckloads of accumulated high level radioactive waste, you may, as I did, come to view the nuclear industry as a Ponzi scheme.  Someone gets left holding the bag, at the end.   “Someone” is the good old, not-yet-angry-enough citizen.

It’s pretty simple:   a business needs a revenue stream to cover its costs.  The industry has old reactors in Ontario;  billions of dollars are being spent to extend their lives.   Costs go onto electricity bills.

The last “new” reactor began construction in July 1985,  more than three decades ago.

No new reactors means no new revenue streams to replace the old ones.

BUT,  simultaneously, the industry has (by its own estimates in 2009, more now) upwards of $24 billion for the cost of building a Repository for its accumulated waste.  That estimate does not include the cost of transporting all the waste to the site. (Some years ago, the industry was required to start putting money into a fund to address those eventual costs.  It has so far collected a small portion of the necessary money.)

There’s the Ponzi:

Without new reactors they don’t have a replacement revenue stream.  So, dwindling cash in-flow.  Large out-flows.  How are they going to pay the cost of accumulated waste disposal, an estimated $30 billion dollars?   What are the existing debt-loads?  There are contaminated sites to be cleaned up, at large expense.  There isn’t one insurance company willing to sell insurance to them.    A new reactor requires capital investment.  But investors don’t line up when the potential for returns looks lousy.

No new reactors?  . . . in a Ponzi, the last guy to buy in (Ontario?) ends up footing the bill.   Most of the other provinces have said. “It’s not going to be us.”

UNLESS  . . .  unless the industry has access to the public purse to foot the bills, they’re hooped.  Seems to me.

The Liberals appear to be gambling that they can use spin doctors and count on ignorant voters.  I don’t think we are that gullible.

(The first part of the letter to Minister McKenna (at (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20712  ) has

  1. the record, by province, of “It’s not going to be us.”  And
  2. sources for the following “Big push” by the Govt )

So WHY the big push, by the Trudeau Government, to commit Canada to nuclear reactors and to have other countries adopt them as a (false) answer to climate change?   . . .   follow the money.

When I read the words of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr’s parliamentary secretary,

we have ensured that nuclear energy will have its place,

I went to Cameco’s website.  (If you don’t know Cameco, see Wikipedia)

Who are the current Executive and Board members?    https://www.cameco.com/about/board-of-directors 

 No longer:  Nancy Hopkins, Saskatoon corporate lawyer who had been on the Cameco Board since 1992, had Cameco shares and options worth $1,001,871 in 2008;  $1,843,273 in 2009.

The fight over the North Sask River reactor was in 2009.  As mentioned, the reactor was defeated.  Not good news for Cameco’s share value.

The Fukishima nuclear reactor disaster was in March 2011, seven years ago.  Cameco shares fell, but had been falling.  The high was in mid-June, 2007,  $59.46 per share.  The next high, mid-Feb 2011, $41.34.   Down to $18.41 by the end of 2011;  no recovery – – trading around $12.00  in mid-March, 2018.   Today’s share value is down by 80% over its June 2007 high.

If Nancy did not unload her shares, the value of her portfolio investment in Cameco has plummeted.  The same is true for other Executive members of Cameco.  But investment in Cameco shares is only part of the money.

What does the compensation look like for Cameco Executives?  What’s at stake for them, or for the aspiring executives to succeed them, if the industry can’t bring new reactors on-stream?  It will be compensation + perks + share value + intangibles of being on the Board (influence, connections).

(Ref, chart from:  (link no longer valid)

 

Key Executive Compensation

    2012

10,234,004

    2013

10,497,424

    2014

15,062,235

     2015

14,617,837

     2016

14,446,905

Timothy S. Gitzel/President and Chief Executive Officer 4,772,534 4,720,325 5,099,097 5,917,347 5,924,134

 

Grant E. Isaac/Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer 1,818,511 1,760,075 2,791,418 2,076,531 2,558,113

 

Robert Steane/Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer 2,396,780 2,223,135 2,591,850 3,370,965 2,624,740

 

Alice Wong/Senior Vice-President and Chief Corporate Officer 1,246,179 1,172,529 2,198,320 1,552,552 1,679,768

 

Sean Quinn/Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary 621,360 2,381,550 1,700,442 1,660,150

 

These people are in the 1%, having been given access to a public resource, once owned by a Crown Corporation.   From 2013 to 2014 Key Executive Compensation rose by 43% (from $10 million to $15 million), at a time when their share value had been in uninterrupted decline since February, 2011.   And just after more hot water from the CRA .)

Grant Isaac was into his fourth year with Cameco (Chief Financial Officer), Nancy Hopkins, corporate lawyer, her 21st year on the Board, when the CRA went after Cameco, over offshore shell companies:

The uranium producer estimates it has avoided declaring $4.9-billion in Canadian income, saving it $1.4-billion in taxes, over the last 10 years.

2013-05-01   Cameco’s $800-million tax battle, Globe & Mail   (posted on my blog)

(Update:  2017-08-17 Cameco wins PROCEDURAL victory in offshore ‘transfer pricing’ tax battle, (not the end of the case)  Financial Post)

Citizens were pretty pissed.  We pay taxes, they don’t.  That’s not all.  Intolerable conflicts-of-interest:

Nancy served as a Director on the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan from 2005-2013, serving as the Chair of the Board in the last three years. Nancy also sat on the Board of Cameco Corporation (CCO on the TSX; CCJ on the NYSE) for 24 years, and, in that time, chaired the Compensation Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Governance Committee. (search www.mcdougallgauley.com for full bio)

During Nancy’s time as Chair of the University Board of Governors, the Provincial Government of Brad Wall transferred between $30 and $47 million to the University EAR-MARKED for the nuclear industry.    (Mar 02, 2011 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-spending-30m-on-nuclear-research-centre-1.987996 .  Nancy did not protect University autonomy by insisting that public funding of the University has to be “no strings attached”.  Further:

Grant Isaac was Dean of the Edwards School of Business at the U of S.   In July, 2009, Cameco Corp hired him; in 2011 he became Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.   In January 2013, Grant was appointed by the Government to the Board of Governors of the University.

(I met with Grant when he was still Dean of the Business School, to understand whether what is taught in Economics classes is still the same as it was when I was a student there, (1967-71).   Grossly deficient economic indicators, GDP, the ability of corporations to offload costs to the public to pay, etc..   The answer was “yes”.   Grant put it this way:   “If there was a way to change it, it would have been done by now.”   So, no problem teaching junk to students.   That was in 2008 when the faculty was still on strike.  Grant went to Cameco in summer 2009.  Would he have been selected if he had been active in seeking changes to a flawed economic system that is taking the planet to the brink?

(INSERT, UPDATE:  OTHER universities ARE doing something:   2018-03-21     Hallelujah! GDAE Textbooks for Economics Courses (Tufts University)

There are no laws in Saskatchewan to prohibit corporate (or union) donations to political parties.  (FEDERAL Law prohibits it.  I don’t know how many Provincial Govts prohibit corporate donations.)

In  2009, the President of the University, Peter McKinnon, was hosted at Cameco’s fly-in fishing lodge,  Yalowega Lake, in northern Saskatchewan.   The Lodge has its own gourmet chef.   https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/follow-the-yellowcake-road.

McKinnon (who was dean of the Law School, before becoming President of the U) attacked those who challenged Nancy Hopkins’ conflict-of-interest (heavily invested in Cameco, Chair of the U Board of Governors, involved in decisions re allocation of university priorities and Government funding for the nuclear industry).  He angrily declared that there was no conflict-of-interest.

So,  WHO ELSE is on the Board?  And does it have any bearing on my question:

WHY the big push, by the Trudeau Government, to commit Canada to nuclear reactors?  It doesn’t make sense – – the level of resistance right across the country is high, and known.   The last “new” reactor began construction 30+ years ago.   To go into international negotiations and try to foist nuclear energy on other countries, when your own citizens won’t tolerate it, only undermines the integrity of Canadian business.    What’s up? 

Anne McLellan?   She was brought onto the Cameco Board in 2006.  You may recall Anne – – for years, the only federal Liberal elected in the West (Edmonton).   Served 4 terms.  She was Federal Minister of Justice, of Health, of Natural Resources, Deputy Prime Minister, , ,  under Paul Martin and Jean Chretien.

A Liberal of influence.  Was awarded an Order of Canada.   After politics she went on corporate boards.   She earns a million dollars a year from her Cameco board work alone.  I assume there’s a reason why she was called to the Board of Cameco.

On February 11, 2016, as Natural Resources Minister, Carr purchased seven tickets to a NHL game featuring the Winnipeg Jets versus the Boston Bruins. His guests included the energy ministers . . . .

Carr represents the riding of Winnipeg South Centre,   https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Jim-Carr(89059).

Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, from Cobourg, represents the Ontario riding of  Northumberland—Peterborough South

Her speech to the Canadian Nuclear Association on February 22, 2018:

. . .meeting again in Copenhagen in May (mistake – not the Copenhapen round, the Bonn Germany meetings) and we have ensured that nuclear energy will have its place in a broad, high-level discussion on a global transition to a low-carbon economy,”

Jerri Rudd,  “spokesperson for Natural Resources Canada”,  “Nuclear energy is an important part of Canada’s current clean energy basket and will continue to play a key role in achieving the country’s low-carbon future.”

Who is Kim Rudd?  see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerri_Southcott    

 

Anyhow, there you go.   When I followed the money, on the thing that didn’t make sense to me – – if I know the list of provinces that have fought against nuclear and won – – the extent of the dedicated “no to nuclear“  (for good sound economic reasons – – as a tax-payer and consumer, I’m getting screwed), surely the Liberal Party knows the same.   I conclude it is not the interests of Canadians that are being served.   Yet again.   Corruption trumps.

For your consideration, Minister McKenna.

For your sake, for the sake of  Tax-payers’ wallets, for the sake of democracy and integrity, I wish it was otherwise.

Best regards,  Sandra Finley

= = = = = =

Bill C-69 will exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment.   For whose benefit? 

The elephant in the room is CORRUPTION.   You have to deal with it.

= = = = = =

ALSO A PART OF “CORRUPTION”.  

Real-life examples of the propaganda you will receive from the industry.    From a presentation by the industry to the American National Academy of Science (NAS), in Saskatoon. The state of Virginia was under petition to lift its 30-year moratorium on uranium/nuclear.  The NAS came to Saskatchewan to collect information on first-hand experience with uranium/nuclear.

I sent the documentation of the propaganda, in support of what Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee was saying.

2018-04-23 Nuclear: In support of Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee, email to CBC (The Current).    http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20981

= = = = = =

Corruption is a serious issue in Canada.   There are million-dollar salaries and perks to keep in place.  Some MP’s are very well rewarded upon retirement, for Good Service to Industry.  Bill C-69, no Impact Assessment for nuclear?  Ya gotta be kidding.

Submitted, with hope of a vote for the Public Interest.

Sandra Finley

 

 

Sep 222020
 

From: Sandra Finley
To: ‘victoria@cbc.ca’

Hi Gregor and crew,

John Horgan is setting a fine example.

He’s teaching an important lesson to young people.

How the Real World works.

 

The Law applies to you and to me.

We will be fined or sent to jail for serious transgressions.

And maybe just for small ones.

 

If you get yourself elected

The Law?  . . . does not apply to you

Responsibility to lead by example?

Why?

Teach Democracy to the young?

Why?

It’s clear enough that People Forget.

George Orwell described it well in Animal Farm

Zombie citizens.  Meek media.

Maybe a few mumblings.

Excerpted from my blog:

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RULE OF LAW

The rule of law means that the law is above everyone and it applies to everyone. Whether governors or governed, rulers or ruled, no one is above the law, no one is exempted from the law, and no one can grant exemption to the application of the law.

The rules must apply to those who lay them down and those who apply them – that is, to the government as well as the governed.  Nobody has the power to grant exceptions.

All persons, regardless of wealth, social status, or the political power wielded by them, are to be treated the same before the law.

We are in big trouble if the laws do not apply to those who govern.

Many of us do not appreciate the significance of  The Rule of Law.  We take it for granted.

We don’t stop to think what it would be like if we DO NOT HAVE the rule of law.

We don’t stop to think about WHAT UNDERMINES the rule of law? . . .  If people see that the law applies to them, but not to rich people, they grow to hold the law in disdain.

Unequal application of the law breaks down the rule of law.  The response then, of those who govern, is to invoke martial law, a police state, because people become unruly.

People comply with the law if they see that is it fair and equally applied.  You can have a measure of PEACE in the community if the Rule of Law is upheld.

People must, of course, KNOW WHAT THE LAW IS, if the rule of law is to be upheld.

We are in big trouble if we are ignorant, because then we are disempowered and at the mercy of people who are not to be trusted.

We do not have the luxury of being ignorant, and we do not have the luxury of being complacent.

– – – – –

A more complete package would include Hannah Arendt’s understanding of THE BANALITY OF EVIL.   No one “intended” the outcome.  It happens over time through the humdrum.  “Banal” is an almost obsolete word.  It needs to be resurrected!  Along with knowledge of how Democracy works.

Banal – – so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

/Sandra Finley

Sep 082020
 

Hey!  Some good news.    /Sandra

Kim writes:

This Greenpeace test to detect GM crops is an important breakthrough that should help keep Bayer/Monsanto and other ag biotech companies in check.

htt ZZ  ps://ww ZZ w.green ZZ  peace  ZZ dot org/  ZZ  eu-unit/issues/nature-food/4102/  ZZ  first-open-source-detection-test-for-a-gene-edited-gm-crop-2/   

(SORRY!  To view the posting, copy the URL and then remove the spaces and ZZ’s.  Replace “dot” with an actual dot.   I hope this will be a temporary measure. I still experience inability to make postings accessible.  I post but you can’t view.  I am treading lightly with URL’s until things are stabilized.  URL’s  seemed to be a trigger for throwing things off.     /S)

 

Aug 232020
 

From: Sandra Finley
To: thesundayedition  cbc.ca; Melanie Simms
Subject: re Secrets about Salaries. Cultural taboos. Subversion.

Dear Kevin Sylvester and Melanie Simms,

(I was raised in small-c conservative rural farm culture; graduated from a College of Commerce a long time ago.  I did not intend to become an activist, a subversive as you name it.  An obvious need emerged, also a long time ago.)

Cultural taboos.  Subversion.  (Secrets about Salaries.)   In response to your discussion.

Cultural taboos protect the interests of those who benefit from the wealth of a country and its workers.

Interesting – your discussion stopped short of questioning, for example, the salaries of the executive class.

Re covid discussions about who gets paid and who doesn’t, who contributes and who doesn’t:   I have not heard or seen anything about the class of people who offshore their money to avoid taxation.   We are not, as proclaimed, “All in this together”.

Why does the discussion have the cheek to climb up the ladder into the lower ranks of management and administration (the courtiers?) and then stop short.  Maybe a plexiglass ceiling?   Maybe out of deference:  we worship money?   The more you have, the more timid we are in your presence?

Speaking to the subversive action, the revolutionary:  our tongues are more free, our actions less inhibited, the less fearful we are.   Timidity doesn’t work.

Two anecdotes that might be helpful to your deliberations.  I will spare you more.

  1. I used the example of an imperilled water supply to ask Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul why, when the public needs “educated persons of influence” (water scientists in this case) to speak up on an important public issue, the public is lucky to find one scientist who will open their mouth.  This was in the University city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Lots of government and university water scientists.  Used to be home to the National Water Research Institute.

Ralston Saul said (not his precise words) the educated class have worked hard to get to where they are.  They have entered the class of The Respectables.

The taboo in Canada, respectable people do not speak out in public or protest in the streets, was reinforced during Stephen Harper’s 2010 G-20 and G-8 meetings.  Protestors were rounded up and thrown in jail in numbers never before seen in Canada, quite brutally, without cause.  Most were detained to be released the next day without charge.  Creates Fear.  Keeps mouths shut.  Public money flowed into Conservative constituencies.  Corruption.  The bill to Canadians was close to a billion dollars for the few-days G-20, G-8 summit.  Who benefitted? 

 

  1. A single-parent cousin of mine worked for a ScotiaBank branch in Calgary.  She complained that it was month-end and she had to work overtime, breaking a visit we’d planned.  I replied with the bright-side:  she’d be paid time-and-a half.   She said no.

Later I phoned ScotiaBank headquarters (Toronto) and asked how it was that they could pay the CEO $3.5 million, while denying overtime pay to the frontline workers who made it possible for the CEO to be grossly overpaid?  The reply was oh no, we have rules – – the overtime has to be paid.  My reply:  you know that branch managers work their way up the corporate ladder according to the performance data of the branch.   There’s a built-in incentive not to pay overtime.

Well, it “has to” be — “the CEO will be seen as inferior if he is not paid in line with the salaries of the other CEOs in the banking industry.”  Bull-shit.

Women whose families are financially dependent on them are the majority workers.  Who among them is going to stand up and speak out if they aren’t paid fairly?  Fear of losing the job, and chances for promotion. // Ambition (branch manager) trumps ethical.  // Systemic problems are not addressed.  Common sense evaporates, conveniently.

Who benefits?   The branch manager, the CEO, the investors.  Often the investors include large pension funds, for example of teachers’ unions. All are Beneficiaries of the wealth that comes from unfair treatment (exploitation) of the women – – a resource of the country.

So what about that subversion? . . . Yes, fight the taboos.  Open up.  Ask your questions about salaries.  How much do you get paid?  Timidity doesn’t work.  Eat some spinach (Pop-Eye).  Put some iron in your spine.

Thanks for the programme.

/Sandra Finley

Aug 202020
 

Glen Assoun was wrongfully convicted of murder.  He spent close to 17 years in prison.  The podcast Dead Wrong is a careful and troubling documentation of the miscarriage of justice.

I speak to one aspect of the remedy.  I am afraid it will not be considered, even though it is one root of the problem.

Tim Bousquet and his colleagues at the Halifax Examiner created the podcast.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

From: Sandra Finley  (some edits)
Subject: re wrongfully convicted. Podcast Dead Wrong

Hello Tim Bousquet,

I have mailed a cheque to the Halifax Examiner today.

Prompted by podcast re Brenda Way’s murder & the wrongful conviction of Glen Assoun.

After hearing on today’s episode (CBC, The Current, 2020-08-20) the names of judges on the Appeal panel, I am impelled to write.   Three points:

  • I want your journalism to help bring about change.
  • However, If a major root of a problem is not effectively eradicated, the remedies will be a bandaid that PERMITS the situation.   Typically in Canada our remedies are bandaids.
  • In general, not only in justice, a major root problem in Apparent Incompetence, that in the end leaves us with corrupted institutions is old friends and long term relationships.  We are human beings.

In the specific “for example”, Suzanne Hood, the judge who presided over the murder trial, and Jill Hamilton, one of 3 justices on the NS Court of Appeal panel are well-known to each other, for more than 40 years.  They can’t help but be friends, I would think.  They are both good, competent, community-minded people;  40 years in the same community (Hfx-Dartmouth);  shared values; the same career paths, many of the same friends, acquaintances and life experiences.  They probably know something of how personal challenges (trials and tribulations that are part of people’s lives) have been handled.  That’s the stuff of which our Beliefs about a person are formed.

The phrase they did not hear (the innocence of Glen Assoun) was repeated in the podcast.

Yes, that is to be expectedPeople Do Not Hear What They Do Not Want to Hear.  Simple as that.   Brain research using the most powerful of MRIs shows what happens when information that confronts our “deeply held beliefs” enters our heads;  it is routed to circumvent rational processing.  We literally do not hear challenging information – – in one ear and out the other, as the old adage says.   Do you want to hear that persons well-known to you, respected, that the system you want to believe in – – you are part of it, has delivered a wrongful conviction?  No.  You are predisposed to support and have confidence that the persons you know would have done good work.  Arguably, they COULD not hear 

(If I personally know a person, it is more difficult  to do something that is openly critical of them.  Easier if I don’t know them.)

One major root of the problem –why  justice was not delivered:

The legal community in N.S., and in Canada is relatively small.  Most lawyers, prosecutors, judges, profs, the directors and players in various legal-related institutions, many Politicians, are graduates of the same 24 law schools.  Many relationships in the tightly-knit legal community go back to student days.  Their grapevines pulsate through strands inter-woven across the country.   Those grapevines predate electronic communications by a couple of centuries.  It is an old boys n’ girls network.  Participants form strong bonds.

There is a reason why the justice system in Canada is static, relatively unchanging in the face of need for substantial overhaul.  Not even repeated blunt demands for change from former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, had much effect.   No, the system is not going to change itself dramatically.  There are too many strong bonds amongst the players, rooted in the status quo.  In too many cases they cannot hear, let alone deliver.  It may be impossible just because they are human beings.

The STRUCTURE has to be re-configured, in order for justice to claim its place.   The natural bonds in the existing structure have to be neutralized.  There is some movement along those lines, but not enough, and not timely.

I remember Hannah Arendt’s phrase from the Adolf Eichmann trial (1961) and her subsequent book – – the banality of evil.    It is not evil in the beginning.  It just has the potential to become evil.  It is well-documented that in Germany, in the lead-up to WW2 the justice system was among the first to capitulate, to become collaborative (enablers) by issuing decisions that wrongfully convicted.   (I am not suggesting that this statement applies to the justice system in Canada today.)

We are repelled by what happened in Nazi Germany.  But Arendt came away with understanding.  Your podcast Dead Wrong in its depth provides a base for attempting to gain better understanding.

In this example, the decisions to convict, to uphold the conviction under appeal, and to deny appeal to the highest court, enabled the evil that was happening on streets in Halifax-Dartmouth to continue, unchecked.  And,  people in our institutions were not held to account.  Not until today.  Holding to account  is the job of the media and citizen.  We too enabled the evil that was happening on streets in Halifax-Dartmouth AND elsewhere in Canada, as we know well from “murdered and missing”.  Too many people did not care enough about the lives of the prostitutes, what’s happening in the streets, to stand up and speak out.

The police, the prosecutors, the judges, did not INTEND to be collaborators with the evil on the street, nor did we;  the opposite would be true.  Such is the banality of evil.  The everyday gets in the way.

I want remedies for Canadian institutions to include built-in safeguards, firewalls, to protect and promote the integrity of OPERATIONS.  No more bandaids.

Because it is natural for human beings to bond with each other (a good thing and a bad thing), the Justice System cannot be entrusted to a cohort of law school graduates, as it is today.  They did not hear, they can not hear, they will not hear – – in too many cases (not in all cases).  Not because they are bad or incompetent or uncaring.  Isolated and insulated, maybe.  Although I think that if a judge has presided over many trials, they will likely have been well exposed to sad, tragic, dysfunctional lives.

I am thankful for your fine JOURNALISM!  Real and needed stuff.

/Sandra Finley