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/

May 25

SOA Air Pollution: Statistics Prove Olive Oil Is Dirtier Than Alberta Bitumen!

It's the end of the world as we know it! (not)

It’s the end of the world as we know it! (not)

Back in February 2012, the Federal and Alberta government’s Environment ministries announced a “world class” joint initiative to monitor the environmental impact of the Alberta Oilsands. The program was allocated $50 million per year to monitor the water, air, and animal habitats- funding was provided with money obtained from the Oilsands industry.

In August and September 2013, scientists from the federal Environment Ministry filled a plane filled with “sophisticated scientific instruments” and collected air quality data on 20 separate four-hour flights. The CBC reported that they “followed plumes of pollution from the oilsands as they headed downwind,” collecting data as air particulate turned into Secondary Organic Aerosols (SOAs)- pollutants created by a chemical reaction when floating particles interact with sunlight.

Almost three years later, the ministry finally published their results this week in the scientific journal Nature. Canadian journalists, unable to resist the temptation of a good Oilsands scare story, jumped on the report quicker than Elizabeth May on a bottle of extra strength Nyquil. The Globe and Mail warned that Oilsands dust is a “leading source” of air pollution, the CBC called it “huge”. But what the media didn’t tell their readers is that, from the perspective of SOA emissions, there’s a much dirtier oil on the market- and it’s proudly displayed on supermarket shelves across the country!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/05/25/soa-air-pollution-is-olive-oil-dirtier-than-alberta-oilsands-bitumen/

May 02

May Day 2016: 2 Cops Assaulted, Black Lives Matter Call Arresting Cops Racists (Feat. Yusra Khogali)

May Day Toronto: Clueless is as clueless does

May Day Toronto: Fashionable millennials with unfashionable ideology…

Every May 1st militant extremists from OCAP and No One Is Illegal organize a May Day march through downtown Toronto. The marches feature most of the same people we see at most labour movement led protests, each year a guest of honour gets to sit on the back of a rented truck, take charge of the mic, and agitate the crowd. This year’s honoree was the now infamous Yusra Khogali of Black Lives Matter Toronto.

It was a rainy Sunday, not a great day for a parade. Between the inclement weather and dwindling support since the days of Occupy Toronto, the crowd was smaller this year- last year there were about 1500, 3,000 the year before, yesterday only about 500 participants. Curiously, it seems that none of the major unions backed the protest this year- could it be they’re starting to get afraid of the public knowing they support this crowd?

May Day is often an occasion for violence and there was no shortage of that in Montreal, where masked thugs got into a street fight with the police and smashed-up windows. Vancouver was rather tame this year, no reports of arrests or calls for violence like we’ve seen  in the past. Toronto’s march was tame at first, but all hell broke loose after a bystander senselessly assaulted two cops. And, of course, Khogali accused the arresting officers of being racists.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/05/02/may-day-2015-cop-assaulted-black-lives-matter-call-arrest-racist-feat-yusra-khogali/

Apr 23

#BLMTO Unmasked Pt II: Ex-Con Offers Decision Making Class For Black Panther Themed Daycare


Note: Click here to read Part I

This summer Toronto parents will have the unique opportunity to send their kids to Black Lives Matter Toronto’s Freedom School, a three-week summer daycare for children aged 4-10. The school intends to provide students with “political education,” teaching kids about “Black Canadian and diasporic history”, and engaging them in “political resistance to anti-Black racism and state violence through a trans-feminist lens.”

Organizers claim that they designed the program “to support children and families living and growing in a reality of witnessing police violence.” The school is free of charge, kids will get free snacks and lunch, and there will be free transportation to and from their homes. Field trips will include visits to the Black Farmers Market, Nashama Water Park, and the Six Nations reserve near Brantford.

It’s sounds like attractive proposition on the surface, particularly for low-income parents worrying how they’ll cover childcare costs during the summer break. That said people who are considering sending their kids should beware, offers that sound too good to be true usually are. To be fair, families whose goal is to raise anti-social “fuck the police” anarcho-kids will be thrilled with the program and staff- those who want well-adjusted offspring without criminal records might want to look for other opportunities.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/04/23/blmto-unmasked-pt-2-ex-con-offers-decision-making-class-for-black-panther-theme-daycare/

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