Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thoreau's Radicalism and the Fight Against the Fossil-Fuel Industry

On a clear and seasonably cold Sunday morning in March, I made my way through the streets of an old neighborhood in Worcester, Massachusetts, and entered a large, converted brick building from some other century. Inside, in a cavernous room with worn floors and south-facing windows lit by the sun, a group of seventy or more young climate activists—mostly college students and recent graduates from the Boston area, along with a few veterans of the Occupy and global justice movements—were gathering for a full day and night of final preparations before carrying out a dramatic peaceful protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. The company building the pipeline, TransCanada Corporation, has its US Northeast office down the road in Westborough, and there, the next morning, twenty-five of these activists—accompanied by more than eighty others, young and old—would be arrested for conscientious, nonviolent civil disobedience.

Doug Ford: Showers For Cyclists Will 'Turn In To Nothing But A Bathhouse'

Doug Ford, Toronto city councillor and older brother to Mayor Rob Ford, landed himself in hot water Friday when he said that proposed showers in Nathan Phillips Square would "turn in to nothing but a bathhouse."

He followed up that comment by saying "there would be hanky panky" at the public showers designed for cyclists who commute to the square and City Hall. He also asked whether there would be "towel boys" at the facility.

Duffy, Harb and Brazeau should be expelled from the Senate

Bev Oda, Stephen Harper’s one-time Minister for International Co-operation, was hounded from office after she ordered  a $16 glass of orange juice while staying at the Savoy Hotel in London, and then tried to write off both the juice and the luxury hotel room — as well as a $1,000-a-day limousine — as expenses.

Oda sought to defend herself, arguing that she was on official business at the time, but the hue and cry was too great and she stepped down just before an anticipated cabinet shuffle in which she was all but certain to be demoted or fired.

More money for government ads in budget supplement

The Conservative government is putting another $20 million into advertising its programs, including $12 million to advertise its push to develop and export Canadian resources, according to budget documents tabled in the House of Commons today.

The supplementary estimates update the first set of spending estimates, which were tabled before the March 21 federal budget.

Don't bring parents here for welfare, Kenney says

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced new criteria for sponsoring parents and grandparents to come to Canada today that are aimed at ensuring elderly immigrants don't end up on welfare or in social housing.

The changes are part of "phase 2" of the government's overhaul of the family reunification category of immigration. New applications for the program have been on hold since 2011 in order to cut down on a massive backlog that resulted in wait times of eight years.

Diane Finley seeks market solution to deeply-rooted social problems

The private sector will supply the cash. The non-profit sector will provide the ideas and deliver the programs. The government will “harness the power of social finance.”

That, in a nutshell, is Human Resources Minister Diane Finley’s formula for tackling Canada’s most deeply entrenched social challenges: chronic poverty youth unemployment, homelessness, aboriginal despair.

Here’s where the world’s oldest ‘cute cat’ video will be saved forever

The current Information Age that will largely define the 21st-century economy began in the 1990s with the rallying cry: “Information wants to be free!”

Yet today, increasing amounts of information are slipping behind paywalls, including one to be created by the Toronto Star’s online edition this year. A corollary to Francis Bacon’s aphorism that “Knowledge is power” is that someone will try to charge you for it.

Experimental Lakes Area research facility in Ontario finds new manager

The scientific community can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

The Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development will likely take over management of the Experimental Lakes Area, a world-renowned freshwater research station that was controversially closed by the federal government.

“I’m delighted. . . It’s an incredibly important step forward,” said Scott Vaughan, the institute’s president. “It’s a good day for science.”

Why is the Canadian government afraid of Omar Khadr speaking?

About a week ago, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews overruled a decision made by the warden of Millhaven Institution, also known as Guantanamo North, and refused an interview request by the Canadian Press to speak with Omar Khadr over the phone.

This refusal was justified by the Minister's office because of security concerns.

I am still trying to figure out how speaking on the phone from a maximum security prison can pose a threat to Canadians. Does it insinuate that Khadr will speak in encrypted messages to the journalist and to some shadowy accomplices? Or does it mean the interview poses a threat to the intelligence of people?

Canada's treatment of aboriginal people faces global scrutiny

Canada's record on how it treats aboriginal people will be under global scrutiny within the next year.

The federal government is allowing three human rights groups — including two from the United Nations — to make visits where they will look at living conditions in aboriginal communities, including access to clean water, housing and education.

tephen Harper, thanks for the career advice

In case you hadn’t noticed, the federal government seems to have taken on the role of high-school guidance counsellor the past few weeks.

If you are a student or a potential student, looking for advice on what type of further education to pursue, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been offering all kinds of helpful tips.

Santa Claus on Harper government’s media monitoring watch list

Not even Santa Claus can escape the eagle eye of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, iPolitics has learned.

Documents tabled in the House of Commons earlier this week reveal that “letters addressed to Santa Claus” is listed among the hundreds of search terms Canada’s Privy Council is spending tax dollars to monitor – right between Leona Aglukkaq and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Offshore Tax Havens Booming Under Tories: Report

Only 44 Canadians have been convicted of offences related to offshore tax havens since the Harper government came to power — a period during which the amount of Canadian money held in the largest offshore havens is estimated to have doubled.

According to documents from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), tabled in parliament Thursday, 44 taxpayers were convicted of crimes related to offshore accounts between April 1, 2006, and March 31, 2012.

Fast Food Strike Wave Spreads to Detroit

Hundreds of Detroit fast food workers plan to walk off the job beginning at 6 AM today, making the motor city the fourth in five weeks to see such strikes. Organizers expect participants from at least 60 stores, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, Little Caesar’s, and Popeye’s locations. Like this week’s strike in St. Louis, and last month’s in New York and Chicago, today’s work stoppage is backed by a local coalition including the Service Employees International Union, and the participants are demanding a raise to $15 an hour and the chance to form a union without intimidation.

Gender Wage Gap Causes Typical Woman To Miss Out On $443,360: Analysis

It's still a man's world. And to make a man's amount of money over her career, the typical working women would have to put in an extra decade of work.

The typical full-time working woman stands to miss out on $443,360 over 40 years because of the gender wage gap, according to an April report from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). That means a woman would have to work 12 years longer then her male counterpart just to break even.

Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Have Raked In $102 Billion In Subsidies Since 2009: Report

America's biggest banks want you to believe that they get no special advantage, no subsidies, from being too big to fail. And yet people keep finding evidence of those subsidies.

The latest is World Bank economist Deniz Anginer, in a study for Bloomberg Markets magazine. Anginer estimates that the six biggest U.S. banks have saved $82 billion in borrowing costs since 2009 because investors believe the government will never let them fail and thus don't charge as much to lend them money as they do smaller banks. The report will be published in the June issue of the magazine.

Mark Pocan, Gay Democratic Congressman, Secures Congressional ID Card For Spouse

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), an openly gay representative, made history on Capitol Hill Thursday when he announced that he'd been able to secure a congressional ID for his spouse.

The Wisconsin Gazette reported that Philip Frank, whom Pocan married in Canada in 2006, had gotten a new ID officially labeling him a congressional spouse. The title gives him access to certain areas of the Capitol and allows him to attend congressional delegations with his spouse, among other privileges.

The Facts Are In and Paul Ryan Is Wrong

Changes in the way we think about the world are not “news” in the classic sense — they occur gradually, without discrete events to signal them. But they matter. Two such developments have come together recently, both reported in the New York Times. The first is the collapse of intellectual support for the notion that immediate austerity can boost economic growth. The second is a growing consensus that health-care-cost inflation is slowing for deep structural reasons, rather than having undergone a mere temporary dip from the recession. These trends have something in common: They blow to smithereens the intellectual foundations of the Obama-era Republican policy agenda.

Jamie Dimon Should Remain Chairman And CEO: JPMorgan Board

NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) - Two ranking JPMorgan Chase & Co directors issued a letter to shareholders on Friday arguing against recommendations by proxy advisory firms to split the duties of Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon and vote against some directors.

The board is unanimous in its view that it is best for Dimon to hold both roles and that the current governance structure "is working effectively," according to the letter signed by presiding director Lee Raymond and William Weldon, who is chairman of the corporate governance and nominating committee.

The letter warned that a vote against current directors or to split the CEO and chairman roles "could be disruptive to the company and is not in shareholders' best interests."

Original Article
Author: Reuters

Texas Explosion Criminal Investigation Launched By Law Enforcement Officials

WACO, Texas -- Texas law enforcement officials on Friday launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident.

The announcement came the same day federal agents said they found bomb-making materials belonging to a paramedic who helped evacuate residents the night of the explosion. Bryce Reed was arrested early Friday on a charge of possessing a destructive device, but law enforcement officials said they had not linked the charge to the April 17 fire and blast at West Fertilizer Co.

Nazi Book Burnings Anniversary: Why Does It Mean So Much To Burn A Book?

"Where they burn books, eventually they will burn people."

Today marks 80 years since the mass burnings of books written by Jewish, communist and pacifist authors across university towns in Germany.

Tahrir Square youth leader arrested in Cairo

A leader of one of the youth movements behind Egypt's 2011 uprising has been detained by security forces, officials have told reporters.

Ahmed Maher, co-founder of the pivotal April 6 movement, was held at Cairo airport "based on the orders of the general security department at the interior ministry", a security official told the AFP news agency.

The US government might be the biggest hacker in the world

The United States government is investing tens of millions of dollars each year on offensive hacking operations in order to exploit vulnerabilities in the computers of its adversaries, Reuters reports.

According to an in-depth article published Friday by journalist Joseph Menn, the US and its Department of Defense contractors are increasingly pursuing efforts to hack the computers of foreign competitors, in turn exposing a rarely discussed aspect of the nation’s clandestine cyber operations.

Scientists offer to explain climate change to resource minister Joe Oliver

Joe Oliver needs help.

So believe a group of eminent Canadian scientists and they are offering their services to help the federal minister of natural resources understand the scientific data behind climate change and energy development.

“We are at a critical moment,” says the letter. “In the words of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, ‘each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted commits us to further change and greater risks.’ The longer we delay the transition to low-carbon economy, the more drastic, disruptive and costly that transition will be.”

The Gang of Eight’s Immigration Fight

The long-awaited immigration-reform bill written by the haplessly named Gang of Eight in the United States Senate got buried this week, not unexpectedly, by a great mudslide of amendments—more than three hundred, at last count. The bill was eight hundred and forty-four pages to begin with. Some of the amendments were sensible and humane—Senator Patrick Leahy’s suggestion that the legislation include same-sex marriage in its definition of family, for instance. Many were malicious. Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, proposed that anyone who had ever lived illegally in the U.S. be barred for life from U.S. citizenship. The primary purpose of this overhaul, of course, is to offer the eleven million people believed to be living here illegally the chance to become legal—to give those who qualify a “pathway to citizenship.”

Sallie Mae Profit Boosts College Endowments And Pension Funds As Students Pay More

University endowments and teachers’ pension funds are among big investors in Sallie Mae, the private lender that has been generating enormous profits thanks to soaring student debt and the climbing cost of education, a Huffington Post review of financial documents has revealed.

The previously unreported investments mean that education professionals are able to profit twice off the same student: first by hiking the cost of tuition, then through dividends and higher valuations on their holdings in Sallie Mae, the largest student lender and loan servicer in the country, which profits by charging relatively high interest rates on its loans and not refinancing high-rate loans after students graduate and get well-paying jobs.

Time to End the Tax Havens

In recent weeks, citizens in many countries suffering from government budget cutbacks have been learning more and more about one of the biggest and most dangerous scams in the world: the global web of tax havens that U.S. and European politicians and bankers have nurtured over the years. The only real purpose of these havens is to facilitate tax evasion, money laundering, bribery, and lack of accountability for environmental and social calamities inflicted by international companies.

North Korean Nuclear Weapons Matter Of When, Not If, Experts Say

SEOUL, South Korea — For 20 years, fears about North Korea's headlong pursuit of nuclear bombs have been deflected by admonishments not to overestimate an impoverished dictatorship prone to bragging and tantrums.

Not anymore.

After three nuclear tests of apparently increasing power and a long-range rocket launch that puts it a big step closer to having a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead to American shores, many believe that in a matter of years – as little as five, maybe, though the timeframe is debated – Pyongyang will have a very scary nuclear arsenal.

Via Rail ID Checks Could Be Coming, Says General Manager

OTTAWA - Via Rail says it is contemplating whether to ask all of its travellers for identification as it considers ways to buttress security in the wake of an alleged terrorist plot to derail one of its passenger trains.

It is not current routine practice for rail staff to ask passengers to show ID, Marc Beaulieu, Via's regional general manager for eastern Canada, told the House of Commons public safety committee.

Burnishing Harper’s image with other people’s money

Governments like to put their best spin forward. They employ communications directors, writers, strategists and ad agencies to craft a positive image of the state’s business. They feed MPs lines so they don’t veer off track, they refuse interviews that could prove unflattering, they grant better access to journalists deemed ‘friendly’ than to those who are ‘unfriendly’.

They make every effort to control the story, so voters believe their version rather than those of their opponents and critics.

Harper criticized for ignoring West Coast ‘outcry’ to reopen Kitsilano rescue station

OTTAWA — The federal government, reportedly poised to reverse a decision to close a marine rescue station in Quebec City due to public pressure, should also listen to West Coast complaints and bring back the Kitsilano rescue station, the New Democratic Party argued Thursday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is ignoring B.C. public complaints while Conservative MPs in the Lower Mainland have “gone silent,” Fin Donnelly, MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody, argued during question period.

“Why will they not listen to their local communities and reopen the station?”

What about an Environmental Bill of Rights?

There are some fundamental principles that Canadians have come to hold so dear that they are protected by law. Canadian law protects the right to a fair trial, equal treatment before and under the law, and the right to life, liberty and security of the person. These are principles that bind our nation. They are principles we have enshrined in our constitution.

But there is one important principle that British Columbians value that is neither protected by law nor enshrined in the constitution. This is the principle that every person has the right to clean air, water, and access to nature -- a right to a healthy environment.

Ghost Issue? Health Care and the Aged

We have been surprised, to say the least, at the lack of public discourse around health care during this election period. As a top-of-mind issue for British Columbians, you'd think it would be as central as the always large and looming economy. So what are the burning issues in health care, and how do the party platforms stack up? Here's our take, with a particular focus on seniors.

The challenge:

When we talk about "health care" we're talking about a large and complex system that includes three major areas: primary care (family doctors and health centres), acute care (hospitals and emergency services), and home and community based care (services for seniors and others who require support in their homes, communities or residential facilities). There are also issues related to technology, drugs, education and training, funding models, integration across different parts of the system, patient rights, privatization... and more.

Where's the Vision for Clean Green Jobs?

There was a time when the British Columbia Liberal Party had some vision for how the government might reshape the provincial economy to provide good jobs and benefit the environment, said Mark Jaccard, a professor of environmental economics at Simon Fraser University.

"Prior to Christy Clark, Gordon Campbell did contact me from time to time," said Jaccard in a phone interview from Washington, DC where he was attending a meeting. "Green jobs from reducing greenhouse gasses in our province were something BC Liberals talked a lot about. She has changed the discourse."

Hitting the reset button on a tired government

Two years into their first majority mandate, it's clear the Conservatives not only need to push the reset button, but that Prime Minister Stephen Harper intends to do so around the time spring slides into summer.

Political staffers are being told to remain in Ottawa for the final two weeks of June when Harper is expected to shuffle his cabinet, moving out a number of old-guard ministers in favour of younger MPs who are felt to have shown their worth as parliamentary secretaries and committee chairs.

Man claims assault by officer who fined him $365 for climbing tree without permit

Dylan Deziel visits Bellevue Square Park in the heart of Kensington Market just about every day and has climbed nearly every tree there.

But last week he says his habit of languidly lounging on the branches of an Austrian pine escalated to a broken collarbone from an alleged assault by a police officer and a $365 ticket for climbing a tree without a permit.

Israeli justice minister pledges to end gender segregation

JERUSALEM — Back-of-the-bus seating for women on public transport in Israel will be outlawed soon, its justice minister said on Thursday, pledging sweeping legislation to stop Jewish religious zealots trying to enforce gender segregation in many spheres of life.

The issue is at the heart of a long and emotional struggle between Israel’s secular majority and an ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority over lifestyle in the Jewish state.

A weak Senate response to its expense scandal undermines the trust of Canadians

Any Canadian hoping to see serious reforms or criminal charges in the wake of the Senate’s housing and expense scandal is sure to be disappointed by the Red Chamber’s tepid response.

The Senate’s standing committee on internal economy Thursday recommended no further penalty, beyond returning the money they took, for three senators who had made inappropriate housing allowance claims. The committee also recommended dispensing with the traditional honour system in handling accounts.

Death of the salesmen

I’ve been trying to watch Mr. Selfridge, a British TV series about the American who created a legendary department store in London during the Downton Abbey era. Mr. S is played by Jeremy Piven who, believe me, was more riveting as Ari the obnoxious agent in Entourage.

I persevere since I’ve got a stake in salesfolk. My dad and his two brothers sold dresses at the corner of Spadina and Adelaide for 46 years — wholesale not retail, as the sign in the window said. They were agents for Montreal factories. My brother and I viewed them as the Marx brothers of the dress business. Now the Darling Building is a heritage site with new media startups and galleries. Darling Lunch downstairs, where the shmata guys conspired, is a Dollarama.

Nietzsche’s Marginal Children: On Friedrich Hayek

In the last half-century of American politics, conservatism has hardened around the defense of economic privilege and rule. Whether it’s the libertarianism of the GOP or the neoliberalism of the Democrats, that defense has enabled an upward redistribution of rights and a downward redistribution of duties. The 1 percent possesses more than wealth and political influence; it wields direct and personal power over men and women. Capital governs labor, telling workers what to say, how to vote and when to pee. It has all the substance of noblesse and none of the style of oblige. That many of its most vocal defenders believe Barack Obama to be their mortal enemy—a socialist, no less—is a testament less to the reality about which they speak than to the resonance of the vocabulary they deploy.

McDonald's Franchise Allegedly Tampered With Time Sheets To Cut Worker Pay

After toiling away at an upstate New York McDonald's for months, Jeffrey Schuyler says he was "hurt" once he discovered his employer was altering time sheets in an alleged attempt to cut his pay.

Schuyler, who said he made $13 per hour working at the Syracuse McDonald’s, claims in a new lawsuit that his bosses doctored his time sheets so that he wouldn’t be paid for the time he worked beyond his 8-hour shift. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the restaurant didn’t pay Schuyler and other employees who worked during their 30-minute lunch break, as mandated by law.

Fisheries Department reaches deal with think tank to save freshwater research facility

OTTAWA — Some federal scientists working at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans may soon gain new freedom to control their research and speak in public, under a tentative deal announced Thursday to transfer management of a world-renowned freshwater research facility that opened in 1968.

The arrangement would transfer the management of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a research site made up of dozens of lakes near Kenora in northwestern Ontario, to a Manitoba-based think tank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Who cares about growing inequality in Harper's Canada? The Finance Committee gets an earful!

A lot happens in Parliament, aside from the theatre of Question Period and the now ritualized scrums that follow in the lobby of the House.

Some of it is sublime; some, ridiculous.

Some of it is enlightening; some, mind-numbing.

And most of it happens far from the gaze of the media or the public.

The Foster Care Discussion BC Politicians Ignore

So far in this election campaign, politicians from across the spectrum have failed to make foster care and child protection -- two major government services -- a central talking point. Many of the up to 100,000 British Columbians involved in the system have not made the same mistake. See this report on what's at stake.

The Tyee Solutions Society contacted three insiders to chew over what those who want to run the province and the $270-million child protection system should be talking about.

Tories turning House Finance Committee hearings on budget bill into a ‘sham,’ says NDP

PARLIAMENT HILL—The Conservatives have turned House of Commons committee hearings on the government’s controversial budget bill into a “sham,” the NDP says.

The bill implementing the government’s March 21 budget would give Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) and his Cabinet new powers to interfere in collective bargaining and, the opposition now says, possibly even hiring and firing at the CBC and other Crown corporations.

Cancellation of Ontario gas plants pales in comparison to nuclear repair costs

Concerned about the costs of the cancelled Ontario gas plants? Prepare to be shocked.

On March 16, the Toronto Star reported that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission had decided to give the go-ahead for repairs to the Darlington nuclear station 70 kilometres east of Toronto.

How much that job will really cost is anyone’s guess but Ontario’s energy ministry estimated in 2010 that the repair bill would be $6 billion to $10 billion.

Ashley Smith inquest: Prison nurse says psychiatrist ordered ‘chemical restraints’

Breaking down in tears at a coroner’s inquest Thursday, a nurse who gave Ashley Smith four injections of powerful drugs in one day — including antipsychotics — testified she was simply trying to assist the troubled teen.

The nurse, Melanie Boucher, administered the medications on July 22, 2007, while Smith was an inmate in the Joliette prison in Quebec, the inquest has heard.

Does Michigan's Emergency-Manager Law Disenfranchise Black Citizens?

In Michigan, emergency skews black.

State-appointed emergency managers currently run Detroit along with five other Michigan cities and three school districts. While the cities under emergency management together contain just nine percent of Michigan's population, they contain, notably, about half of the state's African-American residents.

Inquiries into 50 military suicides remain incomplete

The Canadian Forces still has not completed inquiries into 50 suicides among military members, some from as far back as five years ago.

The military has boards of inquiries under way into the 50 deaths, including four from 2008 and seven from 2009.

Seven boards are still underway for suicides in 2010 and 20 for 2011. The 2011 inquiries include the suicide of corporals in Ottawa and Petawawa.

Wall Street is back

FOR a few tense weeks in 2008, as investment-bank executives huddled behind the imposing doors of the New York Federal Reserve, Wall Street seemed to be collapsing around them. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch collapsed into the arms of Bank of America. American International Group (AIG) and Citigroup had to be bailed out and the rot seemed to be spreading. Hank Paulson, the treasury secretary at the time, recalled in his memoir that: “Lose Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would be next in line—if they fell the financial system might vaporise.”

Passport service moving out of Foreign Affairs department

OTTAWA — The federal government is shifting responsibility for passport services to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in July – a move that’s raising more questions than it answers.

This week the government said it considers this a “sensible move, in line with the duties CIC already performs, such as determining Canadian citizenship.”

According to the government, Passport Canada’s information technology system is “nearing the end of its lifespan” and Citizenship and Immigration’s current system “has the capacity and security features” needed for a cost-effective transition to online applications.

Offshore tax-evasion probe to give feds access to Canadian information

OTTAWA — The federal government says it will get access to relevant Canadian information stemming from a sweeping offshore tax-evasion investigation being conducted by the United Kingdom, United States and Australia.

The three countries announced an investigation Thursday into offshore trusts and companies — in tax havens such as Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Cook Islands — that were used to “conceal assets by wealthy individuals and companies.”

Annual anti-abortion march draws thousands to Ottawa

OTTAWA – More than 10,000 people joined the 16th annual anti-abortion March for Life on Parliament Hill Thursday, with several Conservative MPs adding their support to the throng.  A small group of pro-choice advocates staged counter-demonstrations.

“We stand up for the rights of women and girls, we stand up for the rights of life,” B.C. MP Mark Warawa said in a brief speech about gendercide, the killing of females including aborting a fetus based on its sex. A man in the crowd shouted “We love you, Mark” as the Tory backbencher spoke.

Canada Wireless Customer Satisfaction Survey: J.D. Power Says Prices Spiking

Canadians saw their cellphone bills jump by an average of more than 13 per cent in the past year, according to a survey from J.D. Power & Associates.

The survey also found Koodo Mobile has the highest level of customer satisfaction among Canadian wireless carriers, followed by Virgin Mobile in second place.

At the bottom of the list? Rogers Wireless, which has the distinction of having the lowest customer satisfaction ranking.