Monday, November 30, 2009

Get the Vaccine

There are still a lot more Quebecers to vaccinate against the Influenza A H1N1. This is not good news. Getting the vaccine not only protects you, it also protects others. By allowing yourself to be inoculated, you're protecting anyone you have an interaction with. This gives the virus nowhere to go. It means that it will just end up dying instead of us being killed. If you don't want to protect yourself, think of all the people you love who you want to be protected. Getting vaccinated is very important for everyone. There are very short lines at these CSSS, so there it's very fast. Personally, the whole process took 30 minutes at Alexis Nihon Plaza.

At vaccination centres in the former Allancroft School in Beaconsfield and Cavendish Mall in Côte St. Luc Saturday there were no long lines or mad rush for the vaccine, or for appointment coupons. People were generally in and out within 45 minutes.
At Allancroft, some people were able to walk in without appointment coupons late Saturday morning and get vaccines without waiting at all.
Bolduc said at his morning news conference that 33 per cent of Quebecers had received the vaccine by Friday night. Restrictions on who can get the vaccine will have been lifted in all regions of Quebec by Monday.
“I had no hesitation about getting the vaccine,” said Radu Vintila of Île Bizard, who visited the Allancroft facility just before noon. “I have a scientific background and I believe in medicine.”
Victoria de Takacsy’s two children had already been vaccinated but they accompanied her to Allancroft for her shot.
“It took no time at all, I had my coupon, it was 30 minutes,” said deTakacsy.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/thirds+Quebecers+left+vaccinate/2280837/story.html






Canadian Election Not Likely

Are you one of the few Canadians that are worried about another election? An election will probably not happened now, or even a while from now. A new poll by Ekos shows that the conservative party are 2% below the last poll which puts them at 35.7%. The Liberals are at 27.1% so the Tory's just lost their 10% lead. If Harper wants a fall of government he will need the other party's to vote no on a bill he presents. If Stephen presents a bill he will need the Liberals the Bloc and the NDP to vote no.The Liberals will pass the bill because there way behind in the polls. The Bloc will pass the bill because they are still stuck down at around 37% (in Quebec), and would probably have the same amount of seats and lose a little in its vote share. The NDP will also allow the bill to pass because they are still down in the polls. Why would Jack Layton call an election if he will not only lose seats but may lose his power in parliament if Stephen Harper gets a majority out of his lose of seats? According to this, all three parties will probably vote to pass the bill, and Stephen needs all three of them to vote no, and the only party that would want an election are the Green party because they are 5.3% higher than they were in 2008.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Humane society investagation continues

Trow was arrested last Thursday on allegations of animal cruelty. Mr trow already denies any wrong doing and has said that he has never been unkind to an animal in his life.Although photos of dozens of animals on the globe and mail beg to differ(I must advise that some of the pictures on the the article that says photos are very disturbing). The OSPCA has also charged multiple other employees for animal abuse. I think that this incidence is completely a loss for all animal lovers in not only Toronto but all over the world, so I say why not have surprise inspections so the animals can be safe.

 “I’ve never been unkind to an animal in my life,” Mr Trow said. That discovery “sent a chill right down my spine,” said Kevin Strooband, an OSPCA officer with 19 years of experience. “This is unbelievable. I’m still reeling ... This is a house of horrors.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/mummified-cat-found-in-humane-society-ceiling/article1379941/

Five Earths Needed

Humans are using the resource equivalent to five earths. We are using our resources at an alarming rate. We must cut down on consumption. The easiest way to do this is by cutting down on our carbon footprint. It's much better to take public transport rather than the car. The future must be saved!
Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report issued Tuesday.
As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs, said the report by Global Footprint Network, an international think tank.
"We are demanding nature's services -- using resources and creating CO2 emissions -- at a rate 44 percent faster than what nature can regenerate and reabsorb," the document said.
"That means it takes the Earth just under 18 months to produce the ecological services humanity needs in one year," it said.
And if humankind continues to use natural resources and produce waste at the current rate, "we will require the resources of two planets to meet our demands by the early 2030s," a gluttonous level of ecological spending that may cause major ecosystem collapse, the report said.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Mankind+using+Earth+resources+alarming+rate/2260547/story.html

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Metro is not Madness

The Montreal Metro is a reliable system. Analyst Richard Anderson compared them to transit systems around the world. Our metro rivaled closely to the modern Asian subways. Our fleet is very old. The newest metro car is almost 30 years old! This good reliability can only be due to the great maintenance crews of the STM. I thank all of them for their excellent work.
"These métros here have a lot of incidents. These métros are not reliable," Anderson said yesterday, nodding to the highest columns on the left-hand side of a bar chart calculating the number of service interruptions of five minutes or more logged by more than two dozen of the world's subway systems.
"These are predominantly European and North American métros.
 "These guys down here," he said, referring to columns on the right so short they barely poked above the chart's baseline, "are predominantly modern and Asian métros."
In comparison with its North American and European peers, the Société de transport de Montréal's service reliability ranked very high, Anderson said.
The STM records about 12 stoppages per every million kilometres travelled annually. Given that the most breakdown-prone métro system recorded 315, it's an achievement worth showing off.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/daily-commuter/Analyst+hails+métro+reliable+service/2267136/story.html

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Infiltration of Humane Society

Can you believe that a man who is president of the Humane Society in Toronto abused animals? Tim Trow is accused of animal cruelty and if found guilty could get a 2000$ fine and serve 6 month in jail. The Ontario branch of the SPCA has launched an investigation in this and have seen that some of the animals in the cages are in poor condition. I think that the SPCA should carry out random surprise investigations in "Humane Societies." This would keep the presidents alert and make sure that they don't abuse the animals.
Christopher Avery, a Bay Street criminal lawyer representing the OSPCA, said Mr. Trow's own dog, Bandit, attacked a police officer during the arrest on Thursday. It was pepper sprayed.
He also outlined the poor conditions of a number of animals.
"[OSPCA] officer [Kevin] Strooband recalled one animal in particular. He came in and lifted a cat and its skin came off in his hands," Mr. Avery told reporters outside the THS building.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-humane-society-officials-arrested-charged-with-cruelty-to-animals/article1378385/

Attending Copenhagen

Now I've learned that not only does Stephen Harper want to kill Copenhagen, he doesn't want to go there.
Harper has said he would make the trek to Copenhagen only if other major leaders also attend and has designated Environment Minister Jim Prentice to lead the Canadian delegation.
"I have always been clear, if there is a meeting of all major leaders involving climate change, I will of course attend," Harper said during question period. "I would just note that President Obama has not confirmed his attendance at the leaders' meeting in Copenhagen. In fact, I have discussed the matter with him directly."

Why would he only go there if "all major leaders involving climate change" are there? We have a responsibility to protect our future. Obviously, Stephen Harper was just making an excuse not to go to Copenhagen. This is not the time to make excuses. We have to be truthful with ourselves. We must act fast on climate change and our government is just barring the way.


Reducing emissions in Quebec

Jean Charest has announced our goal of cutting emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. This is a good move on behalf of the Quebec government. We are the only province which has a good plan for the environment. It's not perfect, but it's better than Alberta. It's also better than Harper's plan. His plan is 20% lower than 2006 emissions by 2020. I hope that we will achieve Quebec's goal. I can't see any way though, of us completing Harper's goal at this rate.
"We believe it is very important for us to lead on this issue because Quebec will live with the consequences of climate change more rapidly and more drastically than other jurisdictions because we are a northern province," Charest said. "Our children and grandchildren expect us to make the right decisions."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/11/23/charest-ghg-targets.html

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Record high GHG

The emission of greenhouse gases in the world has reached a record high. Thanks to the World Meteorological  Organization, accurate records have been kept since 1958. Numbers don't lie. They say that the emissions have kept rising in the 50 years from 1958 to 2008. They also found that the more gases are being released into the atmosphere each and every year. Not only do these gases help global warming, but they also pollute the air we breathe. This translates into respiratory problems or diseases (Influenza A H1N1), smog days and basically, a shorter life. We must stop this horrible pollution.
Levels of greenhouse gases, believed to be responsible for global warming, have been rising every year since detailed records started being kept in 1958, the World Meteorological Organization said.
It follows a trend of rising emissions that began with the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, the agency said.
The report comes as the European Union urged the United States and China on Monday to set targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions at next month's climate conference in Copenhagen. The European Union said delays by those countries were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/23/greenhouse-gases-023.html

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Delay in notifying Red Cross

Canadian military officials delayed notifying the Red Cross about the transfer of prisoners over to the Afghan police. This is the RED CROSS. Why can't we trust them? The Red Cross helps people and doesn't hurt anyone. If our government can't help others stop torture, then can we trust our government to keep tabs on prisoners?
The documents appear to back up the testimony of Richard Colvin, a former Canadian diplomat in Afghanistan who said he delivered repeated warnings that prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities were being tortured.

Colvin said Canada's detainee system was flawed and the process in which federal government officials notified the International Red Cross of its prisoner transfers took days, weeks and — in some cases — up to two months.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/23/detainees-afghanistan.html

Monday, November 23, 2009

Barack Obama approval

According to a new poll in the u.s barack obama has a 49% approval rating. This might not seem horrible, but this is the first time that barack obama approval rating went lower than 50%. Why? you may ask . The answer is simple. First the unemployment for this month in the U.S. is 10.2%. Second Obama's health care bill which some people think it will pass but the real frustration against Obama is that it is taking to much time to pass this bill, and other issues are not being looked at at all like same-sex mariage and the people who care about this issue are now being ingnored. so simply the reason for this is taht the economy is coming back but the number 10.2% is not so reassuring. Meanwhile, Obama's bill is taking to long to pass while being more than 1000 pages, which makes people think if Obama is similar to other politicians, unlike he portrayed himself in the campaign.

New Author

Hello I am a new author and I would just like to mention what I would be talking about swine flu, Barack Obama , U.S. health care, the environment and other major news that can come along the way.

Closed-door environmental discussions

Jim Prentice, Canada's environment minister has closed the doors on environmental discussions. There is no public input into what appears at his meetings, nor do we know what is going on. I agree with this article by Matt Price on the fact that this is an important time in climate decisions. We need to lower emissions now. And it's a shame that our government isn't doing a good job.
The tragedy here is that this will be perhaps the most significant piece of economic and environmental policy in the history of the country. It will either chart the course for Canada to be a leader in the next industrial revolution as the world economy decarbonizes, or it will fall short and leave Canada in its current last-place position in this regard behind our competitors. All Canadians alive today and their offspring have a massive stake in this initiative, and they are being shut out.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Ottawa+cutting+public+input+into+climate+change+policy/2126254/story.html

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Canada+doing+part+fight+climate+change+minister/2118449/story.html

US Healthcare

Public healthcare is non-existent in the US. They have to pay for doctor appointments or get health insurance to pay their fees. We're lucky in Canada to have such a good system. It's far from perfect, but imagine having to pay to stay alive. In Canada, we don't have to pay for this basic necessity. However, in the US many people are skeptical  about President Obama's reform to healthcare. Luckily, his bill has succeeded in going past the hurdle in the Senate.
Democrats united Saturday night to narrowly push historic health-care legislation past a key U.S. Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama.
The 60-39 vote cleared the way for a bruising, full-scale debate beginning after the American Thanksgiving weekend. The legislation, which is designed to extend coverage to roughly 31 million who lack it, would crack down on insurance company practices that deny or dilute benefits and curtail the growth of spending on medical care nationally.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opposition to Torture must be Absolute

The Gazette has had an editorial in which the editor states that Canada's opposition to Torture must be absolute. I agree with this editorial. There have been European countries that are actively monitoring the prisoners in the jails. Even Canadian diplomat, Richard Colvin, was told to stop writing about the situation in Afghanistan. Why can't our government make sure that prisoners aren't being tortured. Then, we wonder why Taliban support is steady and why the residents don't want to cooperate with our troops. We should help the population instead of burdening it.
Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan face not only an intractable Taliban opposition but also a non-combatant population that might want to trust foreign troops, but has its doubts. The last thing Canadians need, then, is for the population to view our troops as callously complicit in the torture of innocent civilians.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/opposition+torture+must+absolute/2243748/story.html

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tories reject Torture Inquiry

The Conservatives have rejected a call for an inquiry into torture in Afghan prisons. They say that there has been no proof that the detainees were tortured. Of course there is not. It has been stated that the Canadian Forces don't keep tags on their prisoners after they're handed over to the Afghan police. Therefore, it is impossible to know whether they were tortured or not. A full public inquiry would be good for this situation. If we find that that there has been cover-ups, then we oust Stephen Harper. If we find out that there has been torture, then we stop it. It's a win-win case.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said Canada's reputation as a champion of human rights has been hurt by the notion that prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities were tortured and that the government might have tried to cover it up.
"I believe the pressure for a full public inquiry is going to grow.… We have to clear the air here. Get to the bottom of it and find out whether we are dealing with a coverup," he told CBC News.
"We certainly have to take the appropriate actions to deal with Canada's reputation, which right now is taking a tumble."
During his testimony, Colvin said Canada did not monitor detainee conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind "walls of secrecy."
http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2009/11/19/afghanistan-torture-colvin-inquiry.html

Biohunger

Biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol can cause world hunger. By using food crops, ethanol depletes the world's food production. They are also much less efficient than gasoline. Corn ethanol, solves none of our goals by indirectly raising the prices agricultural products and of meat.



First of all, ethanol is less efficient than gasoline. You get less mileage on it than a regular gas-burning car. It pollutes the environment indirectly. To produce ethanol requires more energy than producing oil. That translates into more emissions.

Most important, is world hunger. Ethanol is produced from food sources such as corn and sugarcane. This leaves less for the world to eat. And less for the farmers to feed to their livestock. That means that food prices would rise and stop us form helping those in need. The only economy would be if we would be able to make fuels from grass or wood chips, which is years away.

Most ethanol supporters say that ethanol can reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Well there has been a study which has discovered that even if we transform ALL of America's corn into ethanol, they would still have to buy from the Middle East.



The planet can produce enough food to feed all of its people a European diet several times over, but the global food crisis persists due in a large part to such misplaced government priorities as the push for biofuels, a Netherlands-based doctor of economics said in Saskatoon Wednesday.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/environment/Biofuel+push+leads+world+hunger+economist+says/2238202/story.html



Obviously, ethanol solves none of our problems. It will only show promise once we discover how to transform grass of wood into this fuel. We should not subsidize nor support it.

Copenhagen: Canadians Ashamed

A poll has discovered that roughly 75% of Canadians are ashamed of Canada's status of pact-blockers. Canada has been known since Stephen Harper came to power, as a US style environmental treaty destroyer. This is to be ashamed. While Germany cut down on emissions, Canada passed laws that supposedly cut down on emissions. We don't have any good goals. Our goal is to cut emissions 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. Though, at this rate, it looks like we might not even make that objective. Even in Alberta, 65% of people are ashamed that we aren't showing leadership on this issue.
Even in Alberta, 65 per cent of respondents agreed with a statement that “it's embarrassing that we are not doing more to curb emissions.” Support for the view favouring more action was highest in Quebec, at 86 per cent.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadians-chagrined-over-status-as-climate-change-dawdlers/article1372296/

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tremblay's gamble with Bergeron

Tremblay has named Bergeron to the city's executive committee. He is responsible for urban planning. This is a great move on Tremblay's behalf. It draws the council together and lets the opposition help in the organisation of the city. In my opinion, this will help make Montreal a better place. Bergeron is a professor in urban planning. He disagrees with Tremblay on many issues such as Ste-Catherine street but he will help balance the committee. He wants less cars and much more green space. Hopefully, Bergeron will get his way most of the time. Tremblay can still vote him down whenever he wants.
That Bergeron has this file does not, of course, mean that his views will always prevail. The other members of the executive committee can vote him down. But it's instructive to look at his past positions on issues that the committee will have to deal with in the months and years ahead.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Tremblay+takes+quite+gamble+promoting+Bergeron/2239065/story.html

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local TV Matters

Most of you have probably heard about "Local TV Matters." The big cable companies get to carry these local television channels for free. Normally, only a number of people who don't have cable would be able to get these for free. That number includes me. I don't have cable, satellite or any illegal kind of television. Just plain old antenna. Those cable companies are charging you for free channels while they don't even pay a cent to the local broadcasters such as CBC. They're laughing all the way to the boardroom. But you can stop them from ripping you off. Go to localtvmatters.ca, and put your name on the list. Make those cable companies pay. You have a choice: you can control the cable companies, or let the companies control you.
"Since deregulation, consumers have been hit with fee hike after fee hike," said Paul Sparks, CTVglobemedia's executive vice-president of corporate affairs. "It's clear that consumers don't want their bill to increase and we agree."

All Afghan Detainees likely Tortured

Even I thought that the Harper government was going to do better than this. Canada has been known for our zero-tolerance of torture. However, during Harper's reign, torture has increased. Torture is not a joke. It scars those prisoners for the rest of their lives. Physically and mentally. If Stephen Harper wants the population of Afghanistan to cooperate with the Canadian Forces, maybe he should force the Forces to keep an eye on the torture of prisoners. Imagine what would happen to us if Stephen Harper increased the military presence in our cities like he said he wanted to.

Harper said a Conservative government would increase underwater and aerial surveillance and enlarge the navy, army, and air force presence.
This was said in 2005, before the 2006 election. This proves that if he gets a majority, he'll increase the size of the military.

All detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials and many of the prisoners were innocent, says a former senior diplomat with Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
Appearing before a House of Commons committee Wednesday, Richard Colvin blasted the detainees policies of Canada and compared them with the policies of the British and the Netherlands.
The detainees were captured by Canadian soldiers then handed over to the Afghan intelligence service, called the NDS.
Colvin said Canada was taking six times as many detainees as British troops and 20 times as many as the Dutch.
He said unlike the British and Dutch, Canada did not monitor their conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind "walls of secrecy."
"As I learned more about our detainee practices, I came to a conclusion they were contrary to Canada's values, contrary to Canada's interests, contrary to Canada's official policies and also contrary to international law. That is, they were un-Canadian, counterproductive and probably illegal.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/18/diplomat-afghan-detainees.html

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Metro Cars

The STM has written a contract out to the Bombardier-Alstom consortium for making new metro cars. These are supposed to be in service in 2013. However, the Gazette states that the price and the number of cars bought has augmented.
The original $1.2-billion price tag from consortium Bombardier/Alstom to renew Montreal’s métro-car fleet has soared, perhaps to $2 billion, and the original 342 cars required has at least more than doubled to 765 and perhaps tripled to 1,000.

However, if you do the math, if the number of cars has doubled, so should the price. That means that the 765 cars that the Gazette says is now going to be in the contract, is at a cheaper price. Normally, the 765 cars would be at a price of 2.4 billion. The Gazette says that the price is at 2 million. Let's save the 4 million dollars and take this deal. Our metro would benefit from having more cars. Let's renew our system.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/daily-commuter/Métro+fleet+price+soars/2203729/story.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good for Denmark

Copenhagen is almost dead. But it may not be a total waste. However, there is one country willing to stand up for what is right. Denmark's saying that countries must bring pledges to Copenhagen. The Copenhagen treaty shouldn't be a little nothing. It should help us find the way to a treaty made soon. Germany says it will push for more ambitious goals. Germany is an example of an environmentally-friendly nation. It makes about 44% of the world's electricity from wind and use solar power too. They have a good low-emission energy consumption. This is what Canada should be and it can be. Harper just won't do it. Neither will Alberta. We shouldn't procrastinate on this.


The agreement "should be concrete and binding on countries committing to reach targets," he said.

Germany 'will push for more ambitious goals'

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the summit would be high on her new cabinet's agenda.

"We will make it very clear that we will push for more ambitious goals at Copenhagen," said Merkel who will be among more than 40 heads of government attending the final sessions of the Dec. 7-18 conference.


Shock Wave

Three earthquakes hit the B.C. coast this morning. They were a magnitude of 6.6, 3 and 5.7 on the Richter scale. No tsunami has been seen or is expected. Hopefully, we are ready for the big tremor that can come to B.C. at any given moment. Scientists think it can be in a second, a minute or even in ten years. But this one's overdue. I don't know much about preparations in B.C. but I hope those people will survive everything. Click here to read and see a documentary on this mega earthquake.

Stephane Mazzotti of the Geological Survey of Canada called the quake and its aftershocks a major event, but not all that unusual.

"It's not very surprising actually. That particular area of the southern end of the Queen Charlottes is very active when it comes to earthquakes, and it has moderate to large seismic activity on a quite regular basis," said Mazzotti.'
 http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/11/17/bc-north-coast-earthquake.html

The crack in the ocean floor from Cape Mendocino, California to central Vancouver Island is nearly identical to the subduction zone that ruptured off Sumatra, which led to the tsunami that killed approximately 230,000 people. The Pacific Northwest can expect a nearly identical earthquake. Five major cities (Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Portland and Sacramento) plus hundreds of small towns along a thousand kilometres of coastline will be heavily damaged. The first tsunami waves will hit the beach twenty minutes later.

But Shock Wave is not just another "doomsday flick." It's the story of people on the front lines of science, engineering and emergency planning who, along with thousands of volunteers, are finding ways to help our communities survive the next rupture.

High Speed Rail Canada

High speed rail (HSR) would be good for Canada. We are already lagging behind  many other developed countries which already have HSR. Japan's had their Shinkansen's since the 1960's and France has had the TGV since 1981. If these two nations and a good chunk of Europe already have HSR, why shouldn't Canada. It will help to decrease emissions and decrease travel times. In some countries, the total travel time between the origin and destination has proved to be faster than airplanes.



HSR creates less emissions. Since it is run completely on electricity, it does not consume any fuel. Combine that with Quebec's hydroelectricity and you have a much more environmentally-friendly train. Instead of the old Via Rail diesel train chugging along the tracks, we would have a high speed train which would zoom by.

Polls show that most Canadians would support HSR. They say that they want it because it will reduce carbon emissions, create more jobs and reduce the number of cars on the road. This is exactly what high speed trains do. Right now, driving to Toronto would take only a bit longer than taking the train and buying a ticket costs more than a tank of gas. However, HSR would add the benefit of going 360 km/h, which would make the voyage a whole lot faster. In Spain, there are train lines which are very competitive with airlines.





http://highspeedrail.ca/
http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/Vast+majority+Canadians+support+high+speed+trains/2210416/story.html

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bloody Oil

I have come across an article which states that the tar sands in Alberta not only destroy the environment, they cause cancer. Meanwhile, the Harper government is only letting the tar sands expand. I'm glad these three women are going to try to partially stop the exploitation of this bloody oil.
"British companies and investors … are driving this project, which is contaminating our land, food, water, air and forests and pushing wildlife out of our traditional territories," Deranger said.

"It is causing rare forms of cancer in our communities, which is why we call it 'bloody oil.' These companies are complicit in the biggest environmental crime on the planet and yet very few people in the U.K. even know that it's happening."
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/11/15/edmonton-women-tour-uk-oilsands-awareness.html

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Treaty Delayed

Many world leaders now want the Copenhagen treaty to be delayed until 2010. This is crazy. We need a binding deal so we can all lower our emissions. Instead of procrastinating on making a good deal, we should just get it over with. Climate change is here. Nevertheless, many leaders think that a climate deal can be put off for later. We need to get it done now.

The aim of the summit is to set ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gases, but also to raise funds to help poor countries tackle global warming.

However, negotiations have been bogged down, with developing nations accusing the rich world of failing to set themselves deep enough 2020 goals for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/World+leaders+back+delay+final+climate+deal/2225840/story.html

Apple the most profitable cellphone maker

Apple is now officially the most profitable cellphone maker in the world. It has passed Nokia this year. I'm not surprised. Since the release of the iPhone, I knew Apple was going to succeed. It is not on the same level as on the other phones. The iPhone can do so much more than any other phone and has many cool features. The only thing holding it back was the initial package price with Rogers. But now, Bell and Telus are going to put the iPhone into its stores. This will increase the competition to get the consumer. Because of this future ease in prices, the iPhone will continue to grow more and more.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/11/11/apple-nokia-cellphones1111.html

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Blame Game

OK world leaders, let's play the blame game. Harper: We can't reduce our emissions until the emerging countries like China does. Canada is one of the countries blocking an environmental agreement. Harper's solution is to play the blame game. he says that the emerging countries have to agree to an agreement too. Why can't we all do our own part to combat rising emissions. I'm sure that Canada will be one of the countries blocking a fair and binding climate treaty in Copenhagen in December. Canada should reduce emissions instead of blaming other countries.
Emerging economies already contribute close to half of all global emissions, and that proportion will rise to two-thirds in the future, he told reporters.
"If we don't control those, whatever we do in the developed world will have no impact on climate change," Harper said.

What we do will help stop climate change. Everything helps. If we reduce emissions, other countries will feel the need to reduce emissions too.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/11/14/apec-summit.html

Challenging Hand Washing and Sanitizer

Usually, nobody would think of not washing hands. But now there's someone who thinks we can go back to the 19th century and not wash our hands. This picture displays the effectiveness of washing hands. Section A is without washing hands, sector B is with washing hands and sector C is with alcohol. For the article, click here.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Legroom Fee

Air Canada has introduced a fee. This time, it's a legroom fee. These include emergency window and end-of-section seats. They have already introduced fuel surcharges and many other fees. This is obviously a money grab. I quote from CBC

"What's next: a breathing fee?" an Ottawa-based commenter using the name LABMAN wrote in an earlier version of this story on cbcnews.ca.
Canada's largest airline is attempting to find $500 million in additional revenue and cost savings as part of its effort to improve profitability. It wasn't immediately clear how much money Air Canada expects to raise from the new fees.
http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/11/13/consumer-air-canada-leg-room.html

Windsor Station Redevelopment

As you all have heard, Windsor Station might be redeveloped into a bigger complex. This is good for everyone. This will put more public transit, make it easier to access the trains and in all, generate more passengers for public transport. Apartments are also included in this renovation. This would allow the residents to go places without polluting; by walking. I support this renovation.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Next+stop+Windsor+Station/2212568/story.html

Turcot Trouble

Everyone in Montreal knows about the Turcot interchange. It's the big crumbling jumble of elevated roads which connects a few highways. The Quebec government has proposed to rebuild the interchange. However, their plan is not going to help our sustainable development in Montreal. It will allow for 25 000 more cars to travel on the highway per day. They don't include strong public transport plans. We need public transport to save the environment and to rid our city of the notorious smog. Every year when the smog appears, a few people die from it. It pollutes the air we breathe every second of every day. Hopefully, the provincial government will modify their plans to let public transport expand and to protect our air. The car should not be a priority.
Turcot interchange


Public Transit in Columbia
File:Estacionelevada.jpg

Thursday, November 12, 2009

H1N1 Flu Exaggerated

In the poll, conducted exclusively for CBC News, Canadians were asked their opinion of the public level of concern over the risks associated with the virus.
Fifty-three per cent said the level of concern about swine flu is exaggerated, considering the real risks involved with the virus. Thirty-seven per cent said the concern was consistent with the level of risk, and 10 per cent said the level of risk was understated.

The risks of the flu are not exaggerated. Seemingly healthy people have died with this disease. The vaccine is to stop the spread of the disease. The more people get it, the less the disease will spread. The less the disease spreads, the less people get sick. Then, less people die. I do have to agree that the media has over-covered the H1N1 flu.

Inoculating the garbage

Everyone throughout Canada knows about the terrible gaffe of our government. Our vaccinations were scheduled much later than many other countries even though most experts say that it is too late for inoculations. Many other mistakes were committed, especially on the priority list. Health care workers were one of the first on the list, but what about their families? The family could contaminate the health worker's stuff which they bring to work and indirectly hurt his or her colleagues or patients. Seniors over 65 are also one of the last on the list. They are one of the most vulnerable groups of residents. Another issue is the throwing out factor. After inoculating patients in long term care, any extra vaccines are thrown out. They are not able to be stored for later use.  They cannot be used on any other people. Why are we wasting perfectly good vaccines when we could be using them on other people? The people responsible are saying that we don't have enough vaccines and that's why people are being turned away. However, we do have enough stock of vaccine, in the garbage!

Everyone knows that children are where all sicknesses spread. They go to school every day for eight hours. They touch everything there. Right after, they touch their faces. Then they get sick with H1N1. They bring the disease home, and contaminate their families. That is how it spreads. However, our government has chosen to  vaccinate the children last. This eases the spread of the disease throughout the whole community. We must get ready for the aftershock of this mistake.

For one example of using the vaccine click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Projet Montréal: the best choice

I support Projet Montréal. They have the best policies, the best leader and the best projects of all the parties. Gérald Tremblay  is not corrupt, but his underlings are. He should have payed more attention to his colleagues doings. So we cannot trust him to be constantly vigilant in city hall. Louise Harel is a sovereigntist but that is not why she's not to be supported. She was the one who masterminded the "une île, une ville" mergers. Mergers can be good, but only if they are handled in the right way. And she still believes that the mergers were good for the island. She hasn't learned from her mistakes. Projet Montréal has the best environmental policies and the best for Montreal. His public transit plan includes reducing the number of cars on the road and making the streets more friendly to bicycles and pedestrians. This usually helps tourism. More tourists mean more business and that is good for the city. His plan also includes an extensive tram project which also increases tourism. He would like to make the public transit users get much better service. Public transport would be much more comfortable than what it is now. Therefore, more car users would be attracted to it as it has been proved in many other cities. This would reduce emissions moving us closer to a cleaner environment. If Stephen Harper won't save the environment, then Projet Montréal will.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Shot towards Gun Freedom

The Conservatives have recently repealed parts of the gun registry. Their excuse is that hunters have to pay to keep this registry going when they use their guns only for hunting. Guns are dangerous machines. They are built to kill. If hunters want to use these dangerous weapons, then they should be required to pay for the shots. In Canada there are about 100 gun murders each year. In the US, there are about 10,000 gun murders each year. Even proportionately, the US has more gun murders than Canada. In Canada, there is a gun registry. In the US, guns are much more easily accessed. What would happen if we had no gun registry? We would probably have more gun murders and more gun rampages. The Conservatives are making a bad move on this issue. This is not good for our country. This needs to be rerepealed.

Stéphane Dion: not an idiot

Now that Ignatieff's numbers are down in the polls, we can think about whether Stéphane Dion was really such a bad leader. Ignatieff's platform is much closer to the Conservative's. That's why they have to use the personal attack to ruin his support. One example of this is ignatieff.me. I'm surprised that Canadian politicians have stooped to this level. But wait. The Conservatives also attacked Stéphane Dion personally besides demonizing his carbon tax. Why? I guess it's because he had such good ideas. Carbon taxes actually achieve the same goal as cap and trade systems. But it's cheaper and easier to instate a carbon tax. So maybe Stéphane Dion was a good leader and it was just the Conservative's attack ads which ruined him. As for the "Do you think it's easy to make priorities?"  It takes a learning experience in politics. Jean Charest had to learn how to go from federal politics to provincial politics. He didn't have success right from the start, nor should we expect Stéphane Dion to succeed from the beginning. It's human nature to learn from our mistakes and I bet that Stéphane Dion learned form his. Therefore, I think that Stéphane Dion was a great leader.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Montreal's much needed Tramway

Montreal needs a tram. Many people will disagree with this statement but it's true. Some of the reasons not to build a tramway include "It interferes with my car," and "More buses will do the same job." However, the tramway is in many ways better than buses. Also, the car should not be a priority at this time with the need to protect our environment.

Trams pollute way less than buses especially in Quebec. Buses burn gasoline to turn their wheels. However, trams use electricity to move and in Quebec, clean hydroelectricity. Using electricity also means less noise compared with the loud motor of buses.

More importantly, trams have a higher capacity than buses. More cars can be coupled to form a kind of "double tram" during peak hours and uncoupled during the calm hours. They wouldn't need an extra driver like buses would. In general, trams have a bigger capacity than buses. This could help us especially on Côte-de-neiges and Parc avenue. The 535 special rush hour bus line is at full capacity. No more increase in service is possible. The bus arrives every minute at its stops. Most times it is packed. A tram could solve this problem by doubling up with another tram.

For all car users, the tram would be better than reserved bus lanes. Tram right-of-ways are narrower than those of buses. That's because they need less clearance as they follow a fixed track. Therefore, car users will keep more or less the same space on streets already equipped with reserved bus lanes.

Research has shown that former car users represent 30-40% of tram customers. This would translate into less congestion on the road and less car emissions. This is because tramways are most often associated with a good image. I would go as far to say that there would be less graffiti on trams than in buses because of this better image.

Tramways ensure greater rider comfort than buses. Bus drivers in Montreal constantly speed, juggling the passengers around. I can't blame them; everyone disobeys the speed limit in Montreal. However, for rail-based vehicles, obeying the speed limit is brought to a whole new level.  Unlike bus drivers, the central control system for trams will always know if their drivers are speeding, therefore ensuring the safety and comfort of the passengers.File:Paris-tramway.jpg

Trams' multiple doors allow for a smaller loading time. Instead of just loading in the front like buses, trams allow people to enter through its many doorways from the front to the back. That allows the trams to leave the station faster which lowers the time of travel.File:KasselKoenigsplatzStrassenbahn2477.jpg

This is not a new idea. Many European and American cities have embraced the tram. Their buisnesses and ridership bloomed like never before. Such cities include: Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Barcelona, Adelaide (Australia) and many more. This could help Montreal just as it helped those cities.

The visual pollution of wires has been solved by Bombardier's PRIMOVE system. Their technology allows electricity to be transmitted through the ground to the tram. This has been used for many years in the transportation of different parts in factories. It is completely safe to anyone walking on the tracks. It is not safe however if you're underneath the tram for any reason. For more information click here.

Obviously, tramways are the solution for Montreal's transit problems. They will allow more capacity, more comfort and less pollution. The visual pollution of wires can be solved with Bombardier's PRIMOVE technology. Trams are our great public transport future.