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news

Prentice Calls Out Telcos, Khadr Lawyers Call Out Feds, Rev. Jackson Calls Out Obama

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Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice has demanded a meeting with the honchos from Bell and Telus so they can explain to him exactly why they decided to charge their pay-per-use users 15¢ per received text message, calling the decision “ill thought-out.” Canadian technology users are consequently planning to demand a meeting with Minister Prentice to ask him to explain ACTA and Bill C-61, calling them “ill thought-out.”
Recently released documents have revealed that Canadian officials heard allegations of torture and knew that Omar Khadr was being subjected to sleep-deprivation techniques in order to make him “more amenable and willing to talk,” even though they publicly maintained that he was being treated humanely at Guantànamo Bay. This happened in all the way back in 2003, though. Surely we can expect the current government to intervene on Khadr’s behalf? Surprisingly, no way in hell.
The family of Tony Greco, the man killed in the recent road rage incident on the 401, have issued a plea for an end to road rage. Torontoist would like to wholeheartedly second that request, and while we’re asking we would also like to call for an end to racism, sexism, homophobia, animal cruelty, poverty, bad customer service, and turnips.
Ontario is implementing a recycling program that will require producers and importers to start paying fees on televisions and computers. The Star noted: “Whether the cost of the fees is passed on to consumers, and for how long, remains to be seen.” Meanwhile, importers and producers facing the new fee said, “Hey, when we pass this cost onto consumers, can we add some sort of ‘processing fee’ as well? Because that would be awesome.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson is in some hot water over recent comments he made about Barack Obama, saying Obama was “talking down to black people.” The New York Times was too classy to mention the more inflammatory comments made by Jackson about Obama, and Torontoist is also very classy, so we won’t…um, okay, we’ll tell you. Jesse Jackson was captured on a “hot mic” saying, “I wanna cut his nuts off.” Keep in mind, friends, that Jesse Jackson is a supporter of Barack Obama, and he like, totally apologized or whatever.
Photo by beembag from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Comments

  • rocketeer

    re: the recycling program
    I accidentally caught a portion of whichever guy does CFRB during the morning commute’s show and he exclaimed (to roughly paraphrase) that he might consider burying his trash in his basement because it’s just getting so hard to throw things away. Because, you know, heaven forbid people consider things like disposal when buying something.

  • Astin

    Jim Prentice must be so happy something has come up to distract people and make him look like a good guy instead of a corporate whore.
    As for Jackson’s Obama comments – reminds me of a TV Funhouse bit where Obama kept redirecting Jackson and Sharpton to remote locations every time they tried to help him. Brilliant bit of commentary on how useless those two are as supporters.

  • David Topping

    The “more damaging” comments that Bill O’Reilly said that FOX had on tape but wouldn’t air (which, of course, they’re now being pressured to air because you can’t be like “I’ve got a secret!” and then refuse to tell people the secret) are allegedly Sharpton calling Obama a nigger (and I assume not affectionately?). Ugh.

  • x_the_x

    re: “Jim Prentice must be so happy something has come up to distract people and make him look like a good guy instead of a corporate whore.”
    There is not much sophistication in your comment, but this government has always been more main street than Bay Street.
    I’d expect if you asked him, Prentice would espouse a strong belief in government intervention in the economy. In any event, this is consistent with the government’s strategy to bluster on populist consumer issues. Its virturally identical to Flaherty’s bank bating and demanding meetings with Bank CEOs of a year and a half ago.
    It doesn’t really amount to much. If I were a telco exec, I’d be happy to meet with Prentice and listen to his views on my pricing strategy, then remind him that he runs a cabinet portfolio and not a large market cap business. Or I might come armed with an presentation of how I would run the Ministry and feign suprise when I was told it was none of my business. In the end this just undermines the regulatory regime that is already in place to review this sort of activity in favour of giving the minister profile.

  • PickleToes

    We should feel good that Jesse Jackson was caught doing this. It helps to discredit him and the industry that tries to look for racism against blacks around every corner.

  • Ben

    The recycling surcharge is long overdue.

  • rek

    Anyone who thinks the recycling fee won’t be coming out of consumers’ wallets is obviously new to Earth. Welcome, Martians! I am the wallet inspector, I just want to make sure your money hasn’t expired.

  • x_the_x

    If there is one lesson from Econ 101 that everyone should be forced to memorize, its that the incidence of a tax (or surcharge, or fee, or whatever you want to call it) does not detemine who bears its burden. Its fashionable on the left to decry the “passing on” of these fees levied on businesses on consumers, which statement amounts to economic illiteracy.
    Of course consumers will bear a portion of the burden of the charge (and why shouldn’t they? they are the ones buying the products). The portion abosorbed by the producer will depend on the surcharges impact on demand.

  • panko

    Hey, Maneesh, so what if Greco family’s plea was a bit naive? It was an honest, despaired plea nonetheless but somehow you chose to mock it. What kind of a-hole journalism school is this? You’re trying to be something: funny, clever, whimsical but it doesn’t work and it makes you look arrogant and silly.

  • rek

    I was wondering when the road rage joke would draw in the overly sensitive. It’s not a Torontoist news rundown until someone cries.

  • Astin

    “… but this government has always been more main street than Bay Street.
    I’d expect if you asked him, Prentice would espouse a strong belief in government intervention in the economy.”
    Yah, they ignore Bay Street and look straight to the US. Please take a look at Bill C-61 and ACTA before defending Prentice and this government as being more “main street”.
    Prentice has refused to pubically discuss C-61, has hung up the phone when interviewed into a corner about it, and lied constantly to the public when forced to answer questions. He’s been embarrassed in the house by other members who seem to know about his bill than he does. He’s also gone against this administration’s promise that any treaty accession bills would be open to public consultation. This whole thing was done in private with the only discussion being with US media labels and industry reps who have no interest in the public good. It’s opposed by rightsholders, teachers, librarians, legal experts, citizen’s rights groups, and just about every average joe that’s learned about it.
    I stand by my statement about Prentice. Just like the previous industry ministers, he’s been bought by US record labels and cowtows to their wants. I don’t know what else to call someone who sells themselves and tosses aside any morals or responsibility.

  • Maneesh Mohindra

    Panko: It was never my intention to mock the family of Mr. Greco, and I really didn’t think it would be interpreted as such. I honestly would like to see an end to road rage incidents. If you didn’t like the joke, I can’t help you but I thought it was clear that I was trying to get at the “as long as we’re wishing…” angle. Maybe we should start using emoticons.

  • x_the_x

    You thought my post was a defence? To be clear, I am anti-pointless pandering.
    There is so much silly rhetoric and hyperbole in the rest of your post that I can’t even begin to respond. Needless to say that I think your theory that the industry minister is some sort of mole working on the inside to promote US interests is a bit farfetched. And to be bought, I would have thought there would have had to be payment of some kind. Are you alleging that too?
    While I am at it, the left always asails any agreement that is negotiated with another country on the basis of the discussion being “private” or “secret”. This is profoundly stupid. Next time you need to negotiate an agreement with someone, I invite you to discuss you negotiating strategy in the media and invite anyone who can be arsed to join you at the table, especially those with an agenda contrary to your negotiating position. See how well that goes.

  • Astin

    It sure sounded like one, at least for everything BUT the pandering.
    Next time I’m a minister for an entire section of a DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, I’ll be sure to do that. There’s a HUGE difference between negotiating a contract in business and a treaty for a nation, especially one that criminalizes currently legal activities and curbs freedom. There’s also the minor point that it’s in terms of international treaties and the government PROMISED any such bills would be open for public consultation and debate.
    Plus, he hasn’t just omitted the public and the “left”, but the artists who created these works, the educators and researchers who use it, the industries that rely on it, and everyone BUT the major media corporations, so please, what negotiating position is he even standing on? He threw the public a bone or two with his revisions, but they’re superceded by the fine print. When pressed, he gives empty answers and rhetoric like “the market will decide.”

  • rek

    The right always makes ridiculous generalizations…

  • x_the_x

    (1) “It sure sounded like one, at least for everything BUT the pandering.”
    Read it again. Labelling Prentice as a government interventionist wasn’t meant to be complimentary, it was in response to your screed in which he was named a “corporate whore”. The same guy who used the Investment Canada Act foreign takeover review provisions to kill a deal – the only Industry Minister ever to do so – is afraid of Hollywood and in bed with the big media lobby? I find your reasoning questionable. It is entirely possible that the Minister has good faith reasons from holding views different than your own, but you dismissed that in favour of a conspiracy.
    (2) “Next time I’m a minister for an entire section of a DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, I’ll be sure to do that.”
    Your theory of democracy is curious. Its a representative democracy not a government by plebescite. You may be unhappy that the government has been given a mandate (I might be too), but there is nothing undemocratic about pursuing treaties within that mandate.

  • xprincex

    Does nobody really care about the fact that Canada is behind (or ahead) pretty much every other country in the world when it comes to the cost of wireless communications? Today in Metro it was said that there are 45 million txt messages sent in Canada daily. In UK this number is around 150 million and in the Philippines (!) the number is over 200 million. Text is cheap, convenient, low bandiwidth way of communication that, as it seems, local phone companies are determined to avoid. WTF?! And what’s up with paying for incoming calls?

  • x_the_x
  • rek

    xprincex: SMS piggybacks on the phone network signaling protocol, which is why it’s restricted to 140 8-bit characters (160 7-bit) because that’s the carrying capacity of the “ping”. It literally costs nothing to permit communication this way (though there are some negligible costs when it comes to storing messages that can’t be delivered). Why would phone companies want us texting, which is not at all bandwidth intensive and therefore cheap, when we could be sending pictures and video and voice packets back and forth at 25¢/minute?