Jun 25

Transit Union Funded AstroTurfers Get Their Spin On With A Dodgy Petition! (Feat. TTCRiders)

TTCRiders can't stop deceiving the public...

TTCRiders can’t stop deceiving the public…

Three weeks ago I had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at one of Toronto’s most deceptive NGOs. The TTCRiders puts great effort into making themselves look like a genuine grassroots passenger’s advocacy group. But look down past the surface and you’ll see a blatant conflict-of-interest – the “passenger’s union” has become captive to the money and causes favoured by the ATU driver’s union.

Depending on who their leaders are talking to, the TTCRiders are either a legitimate grassroots organization representing over 1.8 million transit users, an activist group backed by 10,000 enthusiastic supporters- or (the truth) a gang of 120 grassroots impersonators originating from the labour and climate change movements.

Tired of the same old deceptive tactics, the old dogs running the TTCriders tried a new trick on Friday. Their new tactic was a real laugh riot- as fraudulent as it was grossly inept. It also raises an interesting question- did their leaders decide to fudge 200 signatures out of desperation to make themselves appear less insignificant, or are they so pathological they simply couldn’t resist the temptation?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/06/25/transit-union-funded-astroturfers-get-their-spin-on-with-a-dodgy-petition-feat-ttcriders/

Jun 23

Anti-Canada Extremists Arrested After Queens Park Chemical Attack Hoax (Feat. Syed Hussan)

Just rolled up a van and were free to spill

Just rolled up a van and were free to spill

Shortly after 10am this morning a group of protesters rolled-up in front of Queens Park and simulated a chemical spill in the name of the people of the Grassy Narrows First Nation. The group’s eco-terror simulation had all the trademarks of No One Is Illegal’s anti-Canada extremists; like Jaggi Singh’s Teddy Bear Catapult at the 2001 Summit of the Americas, when his close allies at Black Lives Matter Toronto set up a potentially large bonfire in front of Toronto Police Headquarters, or when BLMTo and #OccupyINAC protesters recently left a mysterious liquid in front of Kathleen Wynne’s house.

NoII leader Syed Hussan was an accessory to today’s attack. His primary duty was to act as their spokesperson, but he also waved around a banner behind a Toronto police officer who was addressing the media. Reports are that six people were arrested, it’s uncertain if Hussan was, probably not.

The protest was over new allegations that Ontario’s government hasn’t done enough to deal with mercury poisoning at the Grassy Narrows First Nation. There’s no evidence and haven’t been any statements indicating any of the people who were arrested came from the community, or whether a majority of the people in the community agree with this action taken in their name. NoII has an unfortunate history appropriating native voices for labour backed radicalization campaigns.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/06/23/anti-canada-extremists-arrested-after-simulated-chemical-spill-at-queens-park-feat-syed-hussan/

Jun 21

A Curious Peek Into The RCMP Led CFSEU Anti-Gang Unit In Surrey, BC

Periscope is an app that makes it almost too easy to broadcast live videos from Android and IOS phones. I often use it when covering protests, it’s come in very useful when ethically challenged activists try to make up stories I’m doing anything but quietly filming. I’ve also used it to ask hard questions of Jane Fonda, 350.org leader Bill McKibben, and former Ontario Federation of Labour leader Sid Ryan.

One of the more interesting features of the app is how it alerts users about people’s first attempt broadcasting a livestream. Sometimes all you get is a fish tank, I used three teddy bears for mine. But other times it offers an interesting peek into the lives and work environments of the people who are trying it out. Then, of course, there are the “oh shit” moments where people accidentally learn the power of social media.

The RCMP’s Surrey BC Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit had one of those moments today, testing out Periscope from what appears to be their office. The short video features a young woman lounging on an office chair looking disinterested browsing her own mobile phone, quickly followed by a man realizing people are watching. It’s a curious seeming environment, not what one would expect at such an important law enforcement office.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/06/21/a-curious-peek-into-the-rcmp-led-cfseu-anti-gang-unit-in-surrey-bc/

Jun 01

Transit Union Funded Astroturfers Interrupt TTC Board Meeting (Feat. TTCRiders, ATU)

TTCRiders' Herman Rosenfeld addresses the crowd

TTCRiders’ Herman Rosenfeld addresses the crowd at City Hall

Back in the beginning of May, our elected representatives at Toronto City Hall got into a heated debate about tracking lobbyists. The city has a halfway decent system for tracking corporate lobbyists, it could definitely benefit from having more detail, but it’s easy to use and offers visibility into who’s trying to exert influence. That said, there’s a significant gap in reporting requirements- voters have almost zero visibility into the lobbying efforts of unions and NGOs.

Clr. Denzil Minnan-Wong introduced a motion that day calling for city staff to review implementing requirements for tracking the lobbying activities of unions and NGOs. Cllr. Paul Ainslie called the idea “ludicrous”, Cllr. Gord Perks used the word “absurd”, Clr. Mike Layton complained that “these organizations don’t have the resources” to log into a city website and spend the couple minutes it takes to make an entry. In the end, council watered down the request and removed NGOs.

Compromise is important in city governance, but in this case, city council made a trade-off that’s guaranteed to fail. Unions and NGOs have a long history of working together as a team and funding each other’s initiatives- businesses use AstroTurf NGOs this way too. Yesterday I travelled to City Hall to see a live example of the former, an NGO claiming to represent TTC riders at large. But not all is as it appears on the surface, most of their supporters represent special interests- including the union representing TTC staff.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/06/01/transit-union-funded-astroturfers-interrupt-ttc-board-meeting-feat-ttcriders-atu/

May 28

Interactive Chart: Are Canadian Cannabis Growers Building An Enron Style Bubble?

On Thursday afternoon, officers from the Toronto Police Service swept into 43 marijuana dispensaries in a massive raid on both sides of the city. The cops arrested 90 people, issuing a total of 257 charges. About $160,000 in cash was confiscated and a few hundred kilograms of cannabis-based products- including marijuana, resin, oil, chocolate, cookies, and candy.

Investment analyst Aaron Salz, an expert in the Canadian cannabis industry, was quoted saying “there’s definitely some effort” by licensed growers to get the police to shut down their unlicensed competitors. Curiously, the raids were conducted on the very same day industry leaders gathered for their annual Canadian Cannabis Business Conference in downtown Toronto.

Licensed growers have an impressive list of politically connected executives; including a board member of the Liberal Party of Canada, a former Ontario Liberal cabinet member who worked on a radio show with mayor John Tory, and a former director of the Young Liberals of Canada. Was it only a coincidence that Thursday’s raids were perfectly timed for the largest Bay St industry event of the year?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/05/28/interactive-chart-are-canadian-cannabis-growers-building-an-enron-style-bubble/

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