Rest Well, Bon Jack: Jack Layton 18/7/1950 – 22/8/2011

It was announced this morning that Jack Layton, the leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament and leader of the New Democrat Party of Canada, nearly lifelong politician and champion of what many would call socialist causes, has died at the age of 61. Having successfully battled back from prostate cancer, many hoped that he would be able to overcome this second, unspecified cancer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Jack leaves behind a wife and children in mourning, a party in shock and disarray, and a legacy that many wouldn’t consider unless they consider the man himself a little more carefully. There may not be another of his kind for some time.
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Deadly Export

Would you live in a house insulated with asbestos?

I sure as hell wouldn’t. But, the official position of the Canadian government, past and present, is to support the asbestos industry and claim that asbestos can be perfectly safe if handled correctly. Of course, this is because Canada exports asbestos to poorer countries where safety isn’t the primary factor in choosing the dangerous product as a building material. It’s a longstanding piece of shameful, willful ignorance in the service of monetary gain.

The current government has gone so far as to threaten Michaela Keyserlingk, the widow of an asbestos victim and an outspoken critic of Canada’s policies on asbestos export. Keyserlingk has a website in which she tells the story of her husband’s death due to an asbestos-related cancer and gives information about asbestos and Canada’s role in the industry. She also has an active banner ad campaign that features the symbol of the Conservative Party of Canada, and that’s the rub; the Conservatives are upset that their logo is being used without permission, and are threatening to sue Keyserlingk if she doesn’t cease using it immediately.

I’m trying to figure out what’s more shameful: telling the world that asbestos isn’t really all that bad (because we want to make money off of it,) or threatening to sue a woman who’s activism is motivated by the fact her husband died from a disease related to this “safe” product.
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YouTube Eyes Wide Shut, Please…

An STO representative is incensed and wants regulations to change to forbid passengers on the Quebec public bus system from filming video while on their buses after an STO driver became a YouTube sensation when a rider recorded him steering with his knees and filling out paperwork while driving. The driver was reprimanded, though not fired, but STO wants to stop passengers from filming and riding because they feel it is inappropriate. Apparently, the driver’s privacy has been infringed.

If he had pancaked a SmartCar while filling out his paperwork and jockeying several tons of bus with his knees, I wonder if his privacy would be as big a concern to STO?
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