Long Term Care is Doug Ford’s Walkerton

Remember back to the previous Tory government here in Ontario? They were a scrappy bunch intent on reforming government through privatisation. Why should government do it, when we can just pay someone to do it for us instead? This line of thinking ended up in one of the most tragic cases of government failure in Ontario history. Namely the Walkerton crisis.

In the end, Premier Mike Harris ended up resigning his position rather than face re-election by the public over the apparent failures of his privatisation priorities.

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The race for social media is on…

So as it turns out the repercussions of Jan 6th are more widespread than first anticipated. The violent attempted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol has made many question, how did this happen. While the people who were responsible are being identified, there is blame also being pointed towards institutions in society. Namely, the tech and social media giants out there.

And they are aware of the situation as well. Notably, the race by Google and Apple to pull down the right wing platform Parler. Followed by the move by Amazon to pull it’s hosting of the platform. More interesting is the fact that a judge has agreed with Amazon. This isn’t a fight over free speech, but rather a disagreement between private entities. It is telling to find that in recent months, all the social media platforms have discovered they’ve had the ability all along to police activity on their platforms.

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Biden is elected, and some uncomfortable truths need to be discussed in Canada

Yesterday was a great day for many Americans and fans of democracy around the world. I am of course describing the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States. After four years of Trump, a return the sanity and reasonable discourse from the Oval Office is very much welcomed. There is one person though who is definitely not happy about this. Jason Kenney.

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Words Matter, Actions Even More

The love affair between mainstream political parties on the right and the far right causes may finally be coming to an end. I say may be, because it has been a long standing relationship for sometime now. The attempted insurrection on Jan 6th, in Washington D.C. served as a wake up call to conservative political movements world wide. The attempt to foster a reliable base of hardcore right wing supporters seems to have backfired. This base is quickly being revealed to be comprised of conspiracy theorists, racist organizations and other ne’er do wells. Clearly the kind of company mainstream conservative political parties no longer wish to cozy up to.

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No matter what, Hallmark is NOT essential…

I wrote previously about how the essentials of this pandemic are highly subjective. Check it out here.

To underscore the point, see this:

While I can appreciate the importance the arts industry is to the economic well being of the province, I question the necessity for yet another Hallmark christmas movie being filmed in Hamilton.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Clarity on essential work isn’t there. And in that void, people will continue on their business as usual. It’s hard to take the Premier seriously when he says for us all to stay at home, and yet a Hallmark movie needs to be filmed for the 2021 christmas season.

In this second wave what’s essential?

A list of FAQ’s from the Premier’s office on the Stay at Home Order

So here we are in the midst of another stay at home order from the provincial government. Apparently our numbers warrant this drastic action. So be it.

There are differences from the previous lockdown we had roughly this time last year. The first time we went into lockdown, the government issued a definitive list of what and what was not essential services. What businesses could justify staying open.

If you look above, this time it’s more of a wish washy, if you feel you’re essential then you’re essential attitude. Why this murky grey zone? The provincial conservative government, is returning to a tried and true tropism of conservatism. The rural parts of the province are so different and unique from those effete liberal elites in Toronto.

Only, I can’t for the life of me see what is so uniquely essential for Timmins that isn’t essential for Toronto. Or vice versa. In fact would that be a great litmus test to determine what is truly essential or not? What can you not live without in Toronto and Timmins? Grocery stores, hardware and building supply stores, pharmacies, gas stations etc would clearly make the list. Restaurants would be included in that list as well. Outside of that, what else would be considered essential to live?

Of course, since we are in lockdown all services would be restricted to curbside pick up, or take out. But we’ve all been doing that for so long it’s not anything shocking by now. By not putting definitions in their orders, we’re just leaving everything open to interpretation. And isn’t that how we got into this predicament in the first place?

An Interesting Point of View on the Matters of Free Speech and Social Media

Found this on Twitter this morning:

Definitely some interesting points to debate. I do believe that Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg of the world need to step up better. Adhere to their own guidelines that have been posted for all to participate in. Donald Trump’s take down should’ve happened years ago. His behaviour on Twitter and Facebook definitely violated their terms of service.

I hope that a lesson has been learned by both companies that trying to twist their own rules around to permit violators of their platform’s rules to stay on is a futile gesture. Only time will tell.

All it took was a coup attempt…

Well he’s finally gone from social media:

It’s frustrating that all it took was a coup attempt from his followers, initiated by him. The fact that Donald Trump will no longer be allowed to stir up division and hatred online is a good thing regardless. Unfortunately the right wing news echo chamber still exists. I suspect a few of them will still go to him for quotes or some perspective bit. At least until another demagogue comes along.

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America…

In case you were under a rock all day yesterday, the American Capitol building was overrun by terrorist and insurrectionists. You can see the coverage here:

I posted earlier this week about how Trump will be a thorn in the side of America for years to come. I didn’t think I’d be proven wrong this early after writing it.

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The Internet needs to be more than a privilege

Yesterday, if you had a kid in school in the Halton, Niagara and southern Ontario region you were faced with wide spread disruptions to your online experience.

There has been a number of times personally during this pandemic that it’s become painful that internet access in this country is very much an embarassment. Living in the 905 region of Ontario, it is thought that we would have fast and effective broadband internet. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that that is painfully not true.

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