Oct 19

Which Toronto City Councillors Spent The Most Taxpayer Money On Their Personal Websites?

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City Council Big Spenders: Joe Mihevc, Shelley Carroll & Janet Davis

One of the most interesting resources published on the City of Toronto’s website is a detailed listing of councillor’s expense reports. Councillors are given a fixed annual budget each year ($30,815.40 in 2014), details of their spending (and reciepts) can be found at this link.

The data can’t be downloaded in spreadsheet form, and it can be time consuming to look through all of the reports, but there’s a lot of interesting information to explore. A wise old audit partner once told me the quickest way to judge a person’s character is by auditing their expense reports- following his advice, I began digging to see what I could discover.

The one red flag that immediately jumped-out for me was how city councillors are individually responsible for contracting their own ward’s websites. It’s an classic example of technology mismanagement- not only are councillors forced to reinvent the wheel with each website (it would be more effective to use a shared template), but there were wild variations in how much each councillor paid to create them. Today we’ll explore who was careful with taxpayer’s money, and who wasn’t.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/19/which-toronto-city-councillors-spent-the-most-taxpayer-money-on-their-personal-websites/

Oct 19

TIDES Canada’s Joel Solomon Organizes In California With RCMP Designated Extremists

Joel Solomon- the lighting is purely coincidental...

Hollyhocker Joel Solomon- the lighting is purely coincidental…

On Friday Jorge Barrera of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) released one of the most fascinating stories I’ve read in months. His article RCMP tracked movements of Indigenous activist from ‘extremist’ group discussed an access to information request filed by Carleton University criminology instructor Jeffrey Monaghan that confirms much of this website’s research into Canada’s growing problem with environmental extremists.

APTN reports that the documents (which they neglected to release, tsk tsk) came from the RCMP’s Suspicious Incidents Report database and that they detailed how police have been tracking the movements of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), including a 2010 incident where one IEN member was recorded visiting the Unist’ot’en camp in northern BC. And, according to APTN, the documents indicate the RCMP have designated the IEN as “extremists”.

But while it may be validating and useful to learn that the RCMP understand the dangers of the IEN, none of this is new information- readers of this site are already familiar with the extremist rants and nefarious networks of IEN’s Canadian leader Clayton Thomas-Muller. There was however some exciting new information, a list of organizations the RCMP identified as “involved persons”. So, what’s the connection with Joel Solomon of TIDES Canada? They converged this weekend at conference in San Rafael, California.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/19/breaking-tides-canadas-joel-solomon-organizes-with-rcmp-designated-extremists-in-california/

Oct 17

CBC Story On “Birdwatchers” CRA Political Activity Warning Reads Like Partisan Propaganda (Feat. Dean Beeby)

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Considering his name, you’d think the author was with the BBC…

There’s been a lot of talk about the Canada Revenue Agency’s enforcement of charity regulations the past few weeks. The media chatter got started when the CRA decided to audit several (questionable) charities- the bovine excrement meter has been at red ever since.

Yesterday, right when it appeared that the bullshit couldn’t get any deeper, the CBC published a scare story that achieved new heights of poor journalism. The story, titled Revenue Canada targets birdwatchers for political activity, follows a similar pattern- starting by framing the charity as an innocent victim, then chastising the government for enforcing the rules.

The problem is, it’s all bullshit- and it only took five minutes of research to disprove…

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/17/cbc-story-on-bird-watchers-cra-political-activity-warning-is-an-embarrassing-failure-feat-dean-beeby/

Oct 16

BC Charity Caught Promoting Political Party (Feat. Hollyhock, VISION Vancouver)

Hollyhock, a New Age retreat with more fake Pulitzer's than any other...

Hollyhock, a New Age retreat with more fake Pulitzer’s than any other…

Update: Since this article was written, Hollyhock has now deleted the tweet from their account- interesting…

In January, 2012 I had the pleasure of staying at Hollyhock, a charity owned training resort on Cortes Island BC; one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Hollyhock is a contentious place; some view it as (literally) magical, others see a dark side. My month there was dual purpose- both to get some rest and relaxation, and to try and dig through the myths.

What I’ve learned since then has astounded me, the stench of corruption is hard to miss. Hollyhock is both a New Age and activist training centre- their organizers and teaching staff has included not one, but two fake Pulitzer Prize nominees. Other instructors have included a white plastic shaman selling “indigenous knowledge” for $525 per head. I’ve read complaints to the local government about the polution coming from their septic tank system. But more important, there are many indications Hollyhock may be breaking CRA rules for partisan political support.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has a close relationship with the charity, and was once on the board at Hollyhock Farms Ltd. Hollyhock’s main supporter TIDES Canada is also close to the mayor- their leadership have personally contributed to Robertson’s campaigns, TIDES USA raised the property value of the mayor’s Cortes Island home by purchasing 150 acres next-door. But, until yesterday, there has been no smoking gun about Hollyhock’s political activities.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/16/registered-charity-flagrantly-promotes-political-party-feat-hollyhock-vision-vancouver/

Oct 14

Bad Heroin: Gregor Robertson & Vancouver Police’s Inaction Is Killing People (And how to save lives…)

Ashlie

Ashligh Gough could have been saved…

On November 5th, 2011, a man was found passed-out, overdosed, in one of Occupy Vancouver’s tented areas- that’s how we learned there was bad heroin in town. One would think, with a recent near death in the camp, that we’d have been flooded with people from the city and harm reduction services offering to help- you’d be wrong though, what I learned the next day is that learned Vancouver’s harm reduction services are a deadly (bad) joke.

Despite multiple attempts to contact mayor Gregor Robertson’s office, and half a day trying to organize outreach services, we only got two things the next day- supplies for taking hard drugs, and the death of a vibrant young woman. Ashleigh Gough’s body was discovered in one of the dents in the middle of a D.O.A. concert. It was just a few minutes after Hollyhock (and alleged Greenpeace) co-founder and Pulitzer cheat Rex Weyler wrongly proclaimed her death was unrelated to the camp (it was unlikely she’d have been alone in a tent otherwise).

One would think, three years later, that the city would have come up with a new tactic for dealing with the problem by now- but nothing has visibly changed. Vancouver Police announced a “rash” of overdoses from bad heroin this week- and at least one more dead body. The situation has got to the point where we’re sacrificing the Ashleigh Gough’s of the world- with an election on, there’s no better time to re-evaluate and look for better solutions.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/14/bad-heroin-gregor-robertson-vancouver-polices-inaction-is-killing-people-and-how-to-save-lives/

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