A comprehensive article (below), excellent info.

ASIDE:

  • Biotech stocks have been plummeting.   Wall Street Journal.  The biotech ETF has dropped 23% since peaking in late February.   Attributed to being “oversold”.

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/04/15/biotech-stocks-take-out-key-technical-level-as-plummet-continues/

  • The next March Against Monsanto (MAM) is May 24, 2014.   Is there one in your community?  I have added a couple of new Canadian MAM’s:

List of March Against Monsanto (MAM), No to GMO, & GE Free Groups, emphasis on Canada)

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Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and ‘Natural’ Food Fight

http://www.nationofchange.org/monsanto-and-big-food-losing-gmo-and-natural-food-fight-1397741911

 

After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country, are on the verge of a monumental victory—mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods and a ban on the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed H.112 by a vote of 28-2, following up on the passage of a similar bill in the Vermont House last year. The legislation, which requires all GMO foods sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016, will now pass through a House/Senate conference committee before landing on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk, for final approval.

Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically [engineered, and deceptively labeled as “natural” or “all natural”;] while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago, “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”

Proof of this “skull and crossbones” effect is evident in the European Union, where mandatory labeling, in effect since 1997, has all but driven genetically engineered foods and crops off the market. The only significant remaining GMOs in Europe today are imported grains (corn, soy, canola, cotton seed) primarily from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. These grains are used for animal feed, hidden from public view by the fact that meat, dairy and eggs derived from animals fed GMOs do not yet have to be labeled in the EU.

Given the imminent passage of the Vermont legislation and the growing strength of America’s anti-GMO and pro-organic Movement, the Gene Giants—Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Bayer, BASF, and Syngenta—and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), representing Big Food, find themselves in a difficult position. Early polls indicate that Oregon voters will likely pass a ballot initiative on Nov. 4, 2014, to require mandatory labeling of GMOs in Oregon. Meanwhile, momentum for labeling continues to gather speed in other states as well.

Connecticut and Maine have already passed GMO labeling laws, but these laws contain “trigger” clauses, which prevent them from going into effect until other states mandate labeling as well. Vermont’s law does not contain a “trigger” clause. As soon as the governor signs it, it will have the force of law.

Divisions Between Big Food and the Gene Giants

Given what appears to be the inevitable victory of the consumer Right-to-know Movement, some of the U.S.’s largest food companies have quietly begun distancing themselves from Monsanto and the genetic engineering lobby. General Mills, Post Foods, Chipotle, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and others have begun to make changes in their supply chains in order to eliminate GMOs in some or all of their products. Several hundred companies have enrolled in the Non-GMO Project so they can credibly market their products as GMO-free.

At least 30 members (10 percent of the total membership) of the GMA who contributed money to defeat Proposition 37 in California in November 2012, have held back on making further contributions to stop labeling initiatives in other states. Among the apparent defectors in the GMA ranks are: Mars, Unilever, Smithfield, Heinz, Sara Lee, Dole, Wrigley, and Mead Johnson.  Under pressure from the Organic Consumers Association, Dr. Anthony Weil’s natural health and supplements company, Weil Lifestyle, pulled out of the GMA.

Meanwhile a number of the Gene Giants themselves, including Monsanto, appear to be slowly decreasing their investments in gene-spliced GMOs, while increasing their investments in more traditional, and less controversial, cross-breeding and hybrid seed sales.  Still, don’t expect the Gene Giants to give up on the GMO seeds and crops already in production, especially Roundup Ready and Bt-spliced crops, nor those in the pipeline such as 2,4-D “Agent Orange” and Dicamba-resistant corn and soybeans, GE rice, and “RNA interference” crops such as non-browning apples, and fast-growing genetically engineered trees.

America’s giant food companies and their chemical industry allies understand the threat posed by truthful labeling of GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, growth promoters and toxic chemicals. They understand full well that the GMO monocrops and factory farms that dominate U.S. agriculture not only pose serious health and environmental hazards, but represent a significant public relations liability as well.

This is why the food and GE giants are threatening to sue Vermont and any other state that dares to pass a GMO labeling bill, even though industry lawyers have no doubt informed them that they are unlikely to win in federal court.

This is also why corporate agribusiness is supporting “Ag Gag” state laws making it a crime to photograph or film on factory farms. Why they’re lobbying for state laws that take away the rights of counties and local communities to regulate agricultural practices. And why they’re supporting secret international trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that will, among other provisions, enable multinational corporations to sue and eliminate state and local laws on matters such as GMOs, food safety, and country of origin labeling.

The bottom line is this: Corporate America’s current “business-as-usual” strategies are incompatible with consumers’ right to know, and communities’ and states’ rights to legislate.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, Safeway, Del Monte, Nestlé, Unilever, ConAgra, Wal-Mart, and every food manufacturer with GMO-tainted brands, understand they’re not going to be able to label their products as “produced with genetic engineering,” or drop the use of the term “natural” on GMO-tainted products, only in Vermont, while refusing to do so in other states and international markets. This is why their powerful front group, the GMA, is frantically working in Washington, D.C. to lobby the FDA and the Congress to take away the right of states to require genetically engineered foods and food ingredients to be labeled, and to allow them to continue to label and advertise genetically engineered and chemically-laced foods as “natural” or “all natural.”

 

Industry’s Last Chance: Indentured Politicians

 

Conspiring with the GMA, Monsanto’s minions from both the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress, led by the notorious Koch brothers mouthpiece, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), introduced in early April in the House a GMA-scripted bill to outlaw mandatory state GMO labels and allow the continued use of “natural” or “all natural” product labels on a wide range of Frankenfoods and beverages.

The GMA’s federal offensive to prop up the dangerous and evermore unpopular technology of transgenic foods comes on the heels of two high-profile ballot initiative battles in California (2012), and Washington State (2013), where GMA members were forced to spend almost $70 million to narrowly defeat GMO labeling forces. The 15 largest contributors to stop GMO labeling in California and Washington include the following GMA members:

(1) Monsanto: $13,487,350

2) Dupont: $9,280,159

(3) Pepsico: $4,837,966

(4) Coca-Cola: $3,210,851

(5) Nestlé: $2,989,806

(6) Bayer CropScience: $2,591,654

(7) Dow Agrosciences: $2,591,654

(4) Kraft Foods (Mondolez International) $2,391,835

(8) BASF Plant Science: $2,500,000

(9) Kraft Foods (now in part Mondolez International) $2,391,835

(10) General Mills: $2,099,570

(11) ConAgra Foods: $2,004,951

(12) Syngenta: $2,000,000

(13) Kellogg’s: $1,112,749

(14) Campbell Soup: $982,888

(15) Smucker Company: $904,977

 

The Fire Next Time

These “dirty tricks,” “dirty money” ballot initiative victories in California and Washington now ring hollow.  If Congress or the FDA, prompted by these same companies, dare to stomp on states’ rights to require GMO labels on GMO food, if they dare to repress the rights of millions of consumers to know whether or not their food is genetically engineered, they run the very real risk of detonating an even larger and more vociferous grassroots rebellion, including massive boycotts and a concerted effort to throw “Monsanto’s Minions” out of Congress. The widespread furor last year over the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act,” surreptitiously appended to the Appropriations Bill, and then, after massive uproar, subsequently removed, is but a partial foreshadowing of the turmoil yet to come.

Likewise Congress or the FDA should think twice before legally sanctioning the patently outrageous practice of allowing companies to continue to label or advertise GMO or chemically tainted food as “natural” or “all natural.”

Given the fact that 80-90 percent of American consumers want genetically engineered foods to be labeled, as indicated by numerous polls over the last 10 years, and given the fact that it is obviously unethical and fraudulent to label or advertise GMO or heavily chemically processed foods as “natural,” even the FDA has so far declined to come to the rescue of Monsanto and Big Food. In the face of 65 so far largely successful national class-action lawsuits against food companies accused of fraudulently labeling their GMO or chemically-laced brands as “natural, ”Big Food’s lawyers have asked the FDA to come to their aid. But so far, the FDA has declined to throw gasoline on the fire.

It’s clear why “profit at any cost” big business wants to keep consumers in the dark. They want to maximize their profits. The consumer, the environment, the climate be damned. But let’s review, for the record, why truthful food labeling is so important to us, the overwhelming majority of the people, and to future generations.

Here are three major, indeed life-or-death, issues that drive America’s new anti-GMO and pro-organic food Movement:

(1)     There is mounting, and indeed alarming, scientific evidence that genetically engineered foods and crops, and the toxic pesticides, chemicals, and genetic constructs that accompany them, are hazardous. GMOs pose a mortal threat, not only to human and animal health, but also to the environment, biodiversity, the survival of small-scale family farms, and climate stability.

(2)     Genetically engineered crops are the technological cornerstone and ideological rationale for our dominant, out-of-control system of industrial agriculture, factory farms, and highly processed junk food. America’s industrial food and farming system is literally destroying public health, the environment, soil fertility and climate stability. As we educate, boycott and mobilize, as we label and drive GMOs off the market, we simultaneously rip the mask off Big Food and chemical corporations, which will ultimately undermine industrial agriculture and speed up the “Great Transition” to a food and farming system that is organic, sustainable and climate stabilizing.

(3)     Fraudulent “natural” labels confuse consumers and hold back the growth of true organic alternatives.   Consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” or “all natural”and those nutritionally and environmentally superior products that are “certified organic.” Recent polls indicate that many health and green-minded consumers remain confused about the qualitative difference between products labeled or advertised as “natural,” versus those labeled as organic. Many believe that “natural” means “almost organic,” or that a natural product is even better than organic. Thanks to growing consumer awareness, and four decades of hard work, the organic community has built up a $35-billion “certified organic” food and products sector that prohibits the use of genetic engineering, irradiation, toxic pesticides, sewage sludge and chemical fertilizers. As impressive as this $35-billion Organic Alternative is, it remains overshadowed by the $80 billion in annual spending by consumers on products marketed as “natural.” Get rid of fraudulent “natural” labels on GMO and chemically tainted products, and organic sales will skyrocket.

With the passage of the Vermont GMO labeling law, after 20 years of struggle, it’s time to celebrate our common victory. But as we all know, the battle for a new food and farming system, and a sustainable future has just begun.

ABOUT Ronnie Cummins

Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association.

 

 

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/HEALTH/CALL+CURB+TESTS+SCANS+WISE/9747503/STORY.HTML

CMA call to curb tests, scans wise
By Mark Lemstra, Health Issues

What is going on with the Canadian Medical Association? It used to be an advocacy group that simply demanded spending more money on health care, but now the CMA is promoting evidencebased practices.

On April 3, the association began a campaign, called Choosing Wisely Canada, to reduce unnecessary medical tests and procedures. It is based on a similar campaign launched in the United States in 2011. The Canadian program is funded by the CMA, the University of Toronto and the Ontario government.

Nine national medical organizations were consulted to help determine the diagnostics and interventions being overused. To date, there are 40 tests and procedures listed on the organization’s website, with more to come.

Let’s take one step back at this point and remember what the CMA did in July 2013, when it released a report titled What Makes Us Sick. It was based on comprehensive national consultations and a review of the literature. The CMA report concluded that social factors predict at least 50 per cent of all health outcomes.

The association recommended an action plan to eliminate poverty: that Canada consider a guaranteed annual income to alleviate poverty, and that governments invest more in affordable housing, food security and early childhood development. The CMA concluded that without addressing the social determinants of health, the demands on the reactive health care system will be unsustainable. Although none of this is new, it was refreshing to hear the powerful CMA advocate for evidence-based practices.

The problem is finding a source of money for new proactive social investments. With health care consuming nearly 50 cents of every tax dollar raised in every province, the solution must come from savings in the reactive health-care system.

This is where the latest report from the CMA is so meaningful and helpful. If doctors themselves begin to identify unnecessary tests and procedures, this will save money and free up money for social interventions.

Choosing Wisely Canada’s website advocates for doing fewer imaging tests for low back pain, fewer bone density tests, fewer colonoscopies, reducing the number of electrocardiograms, fewer imaging tests for headaches, less antibiotic use to treat sinusitis, and so on. A common sense descriptor is required in each case, but the overall conclusion is that it is fairly easy to identify and reduce unnecessary tests and procedures.

For example, the group explains that although low back pain can be bothersome, an X-ray, CT scan or MRI isn’t usually necessary because most cases resolve themselves without treatment. As well, more investigation results in more treatment and delayed recovery. It cites evidence that back pain sufferers who receive imaging tests are eight times more likely to get surgery, with no improvement in recovery.

The tests also come with risks that include high exposure to radiation for instance, of the testicles and ovaries, and concern that tests will uncover non-harmful spinal abnormalities that will lead to even more unnecessary tests and procedures.

To be fair, the CMA did not come up with the idea of reducing medical intervention on its own.

In February 2012, facing a $16 billion budget deficit due mostly to the $45 billion spent on health care, the Ontario government released a report by its Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services. It recommended paying doctors for health outcomes achieved, not for the number of patients seen or tests or procedures performed.

As well, the commission recommended freezing the salaries of doctors and moving 70 per cent of them to salaries instead of fee for service reimbursement. In plain language, doctors had to evolve or have drastic measures imposed on them. Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty likely said it best when he concluded in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: “There will be a time when the Ministry of Health is the only ministry we can afford to have – and we still won’t be able to afford the Ministry of Health.”

Regardless of the motivation, the CMA is being incredibly helpful by leading a process in which doctors and patients begin to receive less medical intervention. In a world of long waiting lists, it makes sense to prioritize necessary intervention by removing unnecessary services from the list. Equally important, this will allow governments to invest in social programs that promote health.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

With many organizations now putting out lengthy lists of “good news stories” I have the impression of a rapidly mobilizing, empowered citizenry.

It’s like spring has arrived; there is new life shooting up everywhere around us!   I selected just a few examples.

Can’t celebrate if we don’t know about them!

 

1.     2014-04-17   Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and ‘Natural’ Food Fight

2.     Pulitzer Vindicates:  Snowden Journalists Win Top Honor

Guardian and Washington Post each honored with Pulitzer for Public Service

Note:   I added a “sub-category” for Snowden and Greenwald under the category (right-hand sidebar) Solidarity with the Warriors.   A click on the sub-category will generate a list of the various postings related to Snowden and Greenwald.

Including this:  2014-03-24     He likes Snowden, but he doesn’t like Assange?  Input and response.

3.      You no doubt heard that the citizens of Kitimat voted AGAINST the Northern Gateway Pipeline!   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/kitimat-b-c-votes-no-to-northern-gateway-in-plebiscite-1.2607877

4.      Rippling waves from Kitimat:   citizens going to collect signatures to force a referendum in B.C. on the pipeline?     Northern Gateway B.C.-Wide Vote Should Be Next: Group   http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/13/kitimat-plebiscite-northern-gateway_n_5140878.html

5.      2014-04-01    Robert F Kennedy Jr in Vancouver:    Canada used to be our moral paradigm    Worth your time, not long, and besides, Robt Kennedy is one of my heroes!

6.       2014-04-17   Canadian Medical Assoc shows signs of intelligence.  THEY call for change!

7.      2014-04-03  Waves of Nationwide Action Planned at Key Historic Moment   

8.      2014-03-18   Did Canadians win the battle to stop purchase of F-35 Stealth bombers? (Lockheed Martin) 

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/14-6

Guardian and Washington Post each honored with Pulitzer for Public Service

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Pulitzer three_1

Ewen MacAskill, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong to meet NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on June 10, 2013. (Photo by Laura Poitras)

 

The Washington Post and the Guardian/US were both awarded one of journalism’s top honors on Monday—the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service— for their separate but related reporting on the NSA’s widespread surveillance documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill from the Guardian and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman sent shock waves across the globe for their reporting on the leaks—eliciting responses from citizens and governments alike and spurring a new era of backlash against government intrusion.

Following news of the honor, Snowden released a statement thanking the Pulitzer committee for recognizing those involved in the NSA reporting. He wrote:

Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

 

The Pulitzer committee awarded the prize to the publications for their “revelation[s] of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency,” specifying that the Guardian, “through aggressive reporting,” helped “to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.” They credited the Post for their “authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”

The Guardian team broke the first report on the NSA’s collection of Verizon phone records and Gellman, with help from Poitras, reported on the wide-ranging surveillance program known as “PRISM.” In addition to Greenwald, Poitras, MacAskill and Gellman—who are primarily credited for the NSA revelations—a number of other reporters working at the publications also contributed to the reporting that followed.

Following the announcement, many hailed the selection as a vindication of the actions of both the journalists and the whistleblower, a number of whom have been threatened for their work and are forced to remain in exile for fear of persecution by the U.S. government.

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 Kevin Gosztola@kgosztola

If Guardian/WaPo produced “public service journalism” w/ NSA documents, does mean Snowden’s whistleblowing was public service? #Pulitzers

12:21 PM – 14 Apr 2014

81 Retweets    39 favorites

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Ewen MacAskill        ✔@ewenmacaskill

Guardian staff raise toast to Edward Snowden after Pulitzer announced.  Editor notes that prize for “public service”.

12:31 PM – 14 Apr 2014

100 Retweets    41 favorites

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“The stories that came out of this completely changed the agenda on the discussion on privacy and the NSA,” David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, said prior to the announcement. “There’s an enormous public good in that, and it’s yet to be proven at all that somehow did great damage to national security.”

“I can’t imagine a more appropriate choice for a Pulitzer Prize,” New York University media studies professor Mark Miller told AFP. Miller said that the winning team of reporters did what “American journalists are supposed to do, which is serve the public interest by shedding a bright light on egregious abuse of power by the government.”

“The real journalistic heroes in this country tend to be the mavericks, the eccentrics, those who dare to report stories that are often dismissed derisively as ‘conspiracy theory,’” Miller continued.

On Friday, Poitras and Greenwald returned to the U.S. for the first time since breaking the NSA stories to accept the prestigious George Polk Award for national security reporting.

During his acceptance speech for the George Polk award, Greenwald discussed the intimidation that both whistleblowers and journalists face.

“The only way to deal with threats,” he said, “is to just do the reporting as aggressively, if not more so, than you would absent those threats.”

_____________________

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

 

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READER  COMMENTS:

This is all for the good, but I can’t help but notice how Julian Assange has been edited completely out of all these discussions about Greenwald, Snowden, Poitras, et al, when he was in fact the man who got the ball rolling to embolden the rest.

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rosemariejackowski> Klovis •7 hours ago

Thanks for reminding us of that important fact.

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Sue> Klovis •4 hours ago

Yes, what’s that about? I was listening to a writer’s podcast here in Australia a few days ago. They made passing reference to Julian Assange in a way that showed they were a little embarrassed by him. Granted, they didn’t seem particularly politically tuned in, and Assange may have tarnished his own image with his failed political party at the last election, but to me he is a bit of a hero.

I hope to one day be celebrating Assange Day, when we’re far enough away from this mess and the fear that it silently engenders to realise how brave the people who helped to call us out of the shit were.

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Chrysippus> Sue •3 hours ago

More than a bit of hero, I’d say. If Bill Clinton can get his hat blocked in the Oval Office, surely Julian’s reputation is immune to minor peccadillos.

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norskmann> Klovis •4 hours ago

Fascinating that Chelsea Manning was relegated to the sidelines as well… most notably by some who are being honored with the Pulitzer….

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Chris Jonsson> norskmann •3 hours ago

See my comment above about Chelsea Manning. She deserves our recognition.

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Larry D> Chris Jonsson •41 minutes ago

Yes, Assange, Manning, surely share the glory with Snowden as people who’ve sacrificed much – too much – in defense of the world’s public.

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Arby> Klovis •2 hours ago

I don’t know whether it means anything, but I for one won’t ever forget Julian and others languishing different sorts of jails. They are adding up.

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Note:

 

From: Colin, Jennifer OCEO
Sent: April-14-14 1:15 PM
To: Sandra Finley
Cc: PeterCEN2 Rosenthal; VictorGRN Lau; RobertGRN Cosbey; Gardner, Nancy PSC; Elections Info OCEO
Subject: RE: Question re Election Deposits.

 

Dear Ms. Finley,

In December 2013, The Election Amendment Act, 2013 was passed and I am pleased to inform you that one of the legislative changes made to The Election Act, 1996 has to do with the refunding of candidate deposits.

The refunding of candidate deposits is now based on each candidate’s compliance with section 261 (candidate’s election expenses return) rather than the number of votes received.  Section 47 of the Act, which addresses the handling and forfeiture of candidate deposits, now reads as follows:

The most current version of The Elections Act, 1996 is available in its entirety on our website at http://www.elections.sk.ca/publications/the-election-act-1996/ .

Additional Elections Saskatchewan reports and publications are also available on our website at http://www.elections.sk.ca/publications/reports/.

 

I trust that this addresses your concerns with respect to election deposits.  However, if you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Jennifer Colin, CMA, CIA
Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Corporate Services and Electoral Finance
Elections Saskatchewan
1702 Park Street
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4N 6B2
Ph: (306)    787   4061

Cell: (306)    520   4705

 

From: Sandra Finley
Sent: April-05-14 2:10 PM
To: Elections Info OCEO
Cc: Nadon, Brent OCEO; PeterCEN2 Rosenthal; VictorGRN Lau; RobertGRN Cosbey
Subject: Question re Election Deposits.

TO:

Michael Boda, D.Phil., Ph.D.

Chief Electoral Officer

Province of Saskatchewan

 

Dear Michael Boda,

 

Prior to finalizing a decision to initiate legal action against the Govt of Sask,

Will you please forward a copy of, or link to the spring 2013  Report of the Chief Electoral Officer to the Sask Legislature?

Also, I will be appreciative of information regarding the Government’s intentions or lack thereof, regarding Election Deposits,  should you have any.

The main points in the six-year endeavour to get the Govt of Sask to abide by the court rulings regarding Election Deposits are appended, FYI.

 

Many thanks for your consideration

And best wishes,

Sandra Finley

On behalf of the Green Party of Sask.

 

On Mon, 17 Jun 2013, Peter Rosenthal wrote (to the AG of Sask):

> I was able to open the attachment; thanks.

> The letter attached is undated; when was it written?

> It states that the Chief Electoral Officer’s Report will be tabled in

> the spring; does that mean within a week from now?

> May I request that you email me a copy of (or a link to) the Chief

> Electoral Officer’s Report when it is tabled?

(No reply from the AG)

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BRIEF HISTORY

Efforts to resolve the illegality of election deposits in Saskatchewan:

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1.        Dec  2007:   The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) respectfully approached the Govt to resolve the issue.  Action  was initiated more than six years ago.

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2.        APRIL 30, 2009:  Elections Sask recommends to the Govt to change the legislation on election deposits:

(from http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=2678)

From Elections Saskatchewan, cover letter addressed to Saskatchewan Legislature, Speaker Don Toth, dated April 30, 2009. The enclosed “Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Volume III, Recommendations for Changes toThe Elections Act 1996, Twenth-sixth Provincial General Election, November 7, 2007

Page 34: “2. Handling and Forfeiture of Deposits [Section 47]  

If challenged in court, Saskatchewan’s nomination deposit, that is contingent upon the election outcome,would likely be found to violate Charter rights and therefore should be changed.…. ”

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3.      Sept  2012:  the GPS engaged lawyer Peter Rosenthal (Toronto) who had previously argued (with success) the illegality of election deposits levied by the Federal Government, and in a second court case,  the illegality of election deposits collected by the Province of Ontario.   (The Govt of PEI subsequently addressed the issue of Election Deposits voluntarily.)

Lawyer Rosenthal began correspondence with the Attorney General of Sask.

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4.      AUG 22, 2013, Peter Rosenthal:

Your AG wrote me again, saying that, as a result of the Chief

Electoral Officer’s recommendation and our letter, they will

“consider it.” I think we could wait and see rather than getting into

the expense of actually starting legal action. What do you think?

Peter

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APRIL 14, 2014   EMAIL TO OTHER PROVINCIAL GREEN PARTIES
RE:  Election Deposits, constitutionality

From: Sandra Finley
Sent: April-14-14 5:46 PM
To: Mayo McDonough
cc: ‘info  at   greenpartyofalberta.ca’; ‘info  at   greenpartynb.ca’; ‘yukongreenparty  at   gmail.com’; ‘Alex.Tyrrell at   pvq.qc.ca’; ‘ken.mcmurray  at   pvq.qc.ca’; ‘Stephanie.Stevenson   at   PVQ.qc.ca’; Olivier Kolmel (olivier.kolmel   at   partivert.ca)
Subject: FW: Just in Case. BC/Quebec do not refund Election Deposits?

 

cc’d: Alberta, N.B., Yukon, Quebec Greens

Sent from Party websites: N.S. and Manitoba Greens

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Hi Mayo (B.C. Greens),

 

At one time I knew which provinces still did not refund Election Deposits.

Just in case BC is one of them, you may be interested:

 

Lawyer Peter Rosenthal successfully argued the unconstitutionality

-    Federally

-    Province of Ontario

of Election laws by which deposits are forfeited.

 

PEI then voluntarily changed its law on election deposits.

Saskatchewan –  I just received word that the Sask Elections Act has been amended to bring it into conformance with the Court rulings (it took us 6 years to get the Amendment!).

Other Provinces:  the last time I looked, the other Provinces still had unconstitutional Election Deposit laws.

Alberta Greens had started the effort to get the Amendments;  I don’t know what became of that.

 

The COST, for example, to provincial Greens in Saskatchewan:

  • $100.00 per candidate
  • 63 candidates  (used to be 58)

all of it forfeited every Election.

 

With the Amendments, as long as the Election Expense Returns are in on time, all of the deposit money is refunded.

The documentation of GP Sask communications to the provincial Attorney General are on my blog;  they can be used as templates by other provincial Green Parties, if needed.

Please get in touch if there are questions I might be able to answer.

Cheers!

Sandra Finley

 

RE  Election Deposits:

Recent – - http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=12819  

Start of the documentation:  http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=2678

From:  Bennett
Sent: March-24-14
To: Sandy Finley
Subject: Snowden, et al

 

I am a great admirer of Snowden amd will listen to his presentation, likely tomorrow if all goes well (and it may not go well at all)

I have been harping on this privacy issue for a long time but people don;t seem aware or, perhaps, don’t care.

I don’t like this Assange fellow at all..he broke some rules that should never been broken

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From: Sandra Finley
Sent: March-25-14
To:  Bennett
Subject: RE: Snowden, et al

 

I’m happy we agree on Snowden!

Snowden went to Assange for help.

I think they used Assange’s experience to figure out a way for Snowden to escape the clutches of the Americans.  Didn’t end up in a prison cell like Assange in the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

I think it’s pretty clear that the Military/”Security” people in the U.S.  who were outraged when Manning got the video of the American helicopter gunning down innocent people in the street, including the Reuters journalist,  into media hands – - along with other “secret” and “confidential” stuff,  there was a campaign to discredit Assange in whatever way they could.   That’s part of what Assange suffers from – - manipulated people to create bad press.

You know what they did to whistle-blower Bradley (Clelsea) Manning behind closed doors.  Pretty unconscionable – as well as being illegal.  They are brutish people.

Assange was right to do whatever he could to save himself from extradition to Sweden.   The Swedes would have handed him over to the Americans.  At the time, I googled the current Government in Sweden – they’re in the pockets of the American “security forces”, just like Harper is.

There is a lot more that the world would not know about if Assange had been extradited and received the fate of Manning (or worse, because Assange is not an American citizen).   I wonder if Snowden would have been able to do what he’s done, if not for Assange.

Assange figured out how to make appearances at events and for media discussions, all from inside the Ecuadorean Embassy, while under heavy surveillance.   I think that Snowden’s attendance at a TED Talk is an extension of that.   Assange is a teacher.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-revenue-agency-shuts-online-services-over-security-concerns/article17892916/

BILL CURRY and TU THANH HA

OTTAWA and TORONTO — The Globe and Mail

 

A major cybersecurity flaw that exposes encrypted information to hackers has forced the Canada Revenue Agency to shut down its filing system and push back the deadline for online returns.

The flaw, which is known as Heartbleed and affects systems that are designed to protect sensitive information, has major websites around the world rushing to patch a hole that leaves users’ passwords vulnerable to exploitation.

The CRA shut down its online services on Tuesday evening, just three weeks before the April 30 tax deadline, and is not planning to restore public access until at least the weekend. For taxpayers, the penalty-free deadline will be pushed back for as long as the shutdown.

The CRA said the move was considered precautionary, because there is no evidence of a breach.

Heartbleed, however, is particularly vexing to security experts because it allows hackers to slip in and out of the Internet’s most deeply encrypted systems without leaving a trace. The flaw had gone undetected for more than two years, until it was revealed this week.

So far, computer experts have found no proof that anyone has exploited the flaw to steal information. But given that hundreds of thousands of web servers use the technology affected by Heartbleed, the risk is massive.

“It’s all about potential,” said Gerry Egan, senior director of product management at Symantec. He said that many large sites, including banks, use the vulnerable software.

Many popular websites – including Yahoo and Tumblr – confirmed they were affected and are implementing a fix. A statement posted by staff of Tumblr, a blog-sharing site, put the situation in clear terms.

“We have no evidence of any breach and, like most networks, our team took immediate action to fix the issue. But this still means that the little lock icon (HTTPS) we all trusted to keep our passwords, personal e-mails, and credit cards safe, was actually making all that private information accessible to anyone who knew about the exploit,” they said. “This might be a good day to call in sick and take some time to change your passwords everywhere – especially your high-security services like e-mail, file storage, and banking, which may have been compromised by this bug.”

Canadian banks and credit unions said Wednesday that their online banking sites were not affected. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, where Americans must file their taxes by April 15, also said it was not affected by the bug.

Mr. Egan said most large companies and websites have the resources to quickly fix the bug, but the greater problem lies in smaller sites that don’t get around to fixing it. If a user employs the same log-in information for one of those sites as they do for their online banking account, for example, their security could be compromised regardless of what the bank’s IT department does.

“Imagine you had a master key for your front door, your car, your office,” said Mr. Egan. “It’s really convenient, but if you lose the key and someone finds it, now you’re in trouble.”

Other federal departments in Canada were reviewing whether they should take specific measures in response to the bug.

Numerous respected experts in cybersecurity stressed that Heartbleed should not be taken lightly.

“ ‘Catastrophic’ is the right word. On a scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11,” wrote Bruce Schneier, an author and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, on his blog.

The federal government is likely going through its inventory of servers to decide which websites need to be dealt with first, said cybersecurity expert Raymond Vankrimpen. “They’ve obviously identified this CRA website as a critical one to take offline. But I have no doubt that there are other government websites that use SSL technology,” said Mr. Vankrimpen, a partner at the financial advisory firm Richter.

“They’re probably triaging everything.”

The Heartbleed bug affects a common cryptographic program called OpenSSL, and specifically how OpenSSL is used in combination with a communication protocol called the RFC6520 heartbeat.

The Ontario government confirmed that it uses OpenSSL, but it said it has not found that any information is at risk of getting hacked as a result of Heartbleed.

“As of right now, we have not seen any data, personal information or servers compromised as a result of the software flaw that has affected the federal government,” said Jenna Mannone, a spokeswoman for Government Services Minister John Milloy, whose ministry oversees the collection of information for such things as health cards and drivers’ licences.

The online services affected by the temporary CRA shutdown include EFILE, NETFILE and My Account, which taxpayers would normally access to track their refund or check their RRSP limit.

 

With reports from Omar El Akkad

Robert F Kennedy Jr  is a “warrior” in the public interest.   We have followed some of his work.   Now this:

 

Lois writes:

Robert Kennedy frames some of the problems we are facing here in Canada:

  • The environment and democracy are interlinked
  • You can’t have corporations running our country as they do not want the same things as Canadians want

http://commonsensecanadian.ca/VIDEO-detail/robert-f-kennedy-jr-canada-used-moral-paradigm/

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Past postings related to Kennedy:

2010-12-06 Excellent Video of Interview with Robt F Kennedy Jr re thimerasol in increased infant vaccinations and dramatic rise in autism

(Has a link to earlier posting.)

Somewhere there are postings from his visit to Alberta related to WATER.

I had the great good fortune to hear Robert F Kennedy speak in Saskatoon.  The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) brought him in as a guest speaker for a water conference.  At that time, he addressed our accounting models which allow corporations to pass off costs to the public to pay for.

Note:  to work backward through the details of the six-year effort,  click on  http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=9927. 

 

From: Sandra Finley
Sent: April-05-14 1:10 PM
To: ‘info@elections.sk.ca’
Cc: Brent Nadon OCEO; Peter Rosenthal; Victor Lau GPS; Robert Cosbey GPS
Subject: Question re Election Deposits.

TO:

Michael Boda, D.Phil., Ph.D.

Chief Electoral Officer

Province of Saskatchewan

 

Dear Michael Boda,

Prior to finalizing a decision to initiate legal action against the Govt of Sask,

Will you please forward a copy of, or link to the spring 2013  Report of the Chief Electoral Officer to the Sask Legislature?

Also, I will be appreciative of information regarding the Government’s intentions or lack thereof, regarding Election Deposits,  should you have any.

The main points in the six-year endeavour to get the Govt of Sask to abide by the court rulings regarding Election Deposits are appended, FYI.

Many thanks for your consideration

And best wishes,

Sandra Finley

On behalf of the Green Party of Sask.

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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013, Peter Rosenthal wrote (to the AG of Sask):

> I was able to open the attachment; thanks.

> The letter attached is undated; when was it written?

> It states that the Chief Electoral Officer’s Report will be tabled in

> the spring; does that mean within a week from now?

> May I request that you email me a copy of (or a link to) the Chief

> Electoral Officer’s Report when it is tabled?

(No reply from the AG)

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BRIEF HISTORY

Efforts to resolve the illegality of election deposits in Saskatchewan:

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1.    Dec  2007:   The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) respectfully approached the Govt to resolve the issue.  Action  was initiated more than six years ago.  

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2.     APRIL 30, 2009:  Elections Sask recommends to the Govt to change the legislation on election deposits:

(from http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=2678) 

From Elections Saskatchewan, cover letter addressed to Saskatchewan Legislature, Speaker Don Toth, dated April 30, 2009. The enclosed “Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Volume III, Recommendations for Changes to The Elections Act 1996, Twenth-sixth Provincial General Election, November 7, 2007

Page 34: “2. Handling and Forfeiture of Deposits [Section 47]  

If challenged in court, Saskatchewan’s nomination deposit, that is contingent upon the election outcome, would likely be found to violate Charter rights and therefore should be changed. …. ”

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3.    Sept  2012:  the GPS engaged lawyer Peter Rosenthal (Toronto) who had previously argued (with success) the illegality of election deposits levied by the Federal Government, and in a second court case,  the illegality of election deposits collected by the Province of Ontario.   (The Govt of PEI subsequently addressed the issue of Election Deposits voluntarily.)

Lawyer Rosenthal began correspondence with the Attorney General of Sask.

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4.    AUG 22, 2013, Peter Rosenthal:

Your AG wrote me again, saying that, as a result of the Chief Electoral Officer’s recommendation and our letter, they will  “consider it.” I think we could wait and see rather than getting into the expense of actually starting legal action. What do you think?

Peter

The waves of mobilization underway are incredible!

This is American based.  Just a small sampling.  Most of them are new to me.

I have particular interest in Reset The Net  (you’ll see it below) because it’s related to the Edward Snowden leaks and thereby to Lockheed Martin’s participation in Statistics Canada.

Excerpts from

http://www.nationofchange.org/waves-nationwide-actions-planned-key-historic-moment-1396532177

 

Tim DeChristopher, March 3, 2011 after being convicted of falsely bidding on oil and gas leases to fight climate change. Video here.

(INSERT:  DeChristopher was released from prison in April 2013.  He is a hero - did a creative and BOLD action.  The video is short,  worth watching.  His story. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_DeChristopher.)

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. . .    The current social movement that has roots which run more than a decade deep and had a nationwide “Take Off” with the wave of occupy encampments that rose up, coast-to-coast together.

Of course, like all waves, the encampment wave receded but that did not signal the end of the popular movement, it signaled another stage.  Since the encampment stage we have seen a wide array of movement actions.

(INSERT:  In Canada, Occupy was followed by Idle No More, followed by March Against Monsanto.  And everything in between that you can imagine.   Young people mobilized under Occupy, First Nations mobilized under Idle No More, Mothers mobilized under March Against Monsanto.  The groups become empowered, they share information, they learn that the issues run deep, they join the larger whole.)

Some like   Occupy Sandy   took the occupy name in their mutual aid for victims of the massive storm Sandy as well as for their efforts in building a new economy in the affected communities. Others like   Strike Debt,  which came directly out of Occupy, took another name but continued to fight for the same values, challenging the debt-based economy. Some, like  Fight For 15  and   Our Walmart/ForRespect, arose after Occupy but fight for the same values of an equitable economy where workers can live in dignity, not in poverty and many involved in Occupy joined in.  And, the movement against extreme energy extraction and climate justice rose up, as seen in the campaigns against hydro-fracking, tar sands, mountain top removal, uranium mining and off-shore oil. These are a few examples of many of the waves of resistance that continue.

Popular Resistance   grew out of many conversations and meetings with people in the Occupy movement from across the country as well as people involved in other social justice campaigns.

From its first announcement we have supported the #WaveOfAction and encouraged participation.

the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit, an education and direct action campaign beginning this spring with “10 days to change course.”

Reset the Net, seeks to restore privacy to the Internet by our own actions rather than waiting for the government, which seems to put the security state ahead of our privacy. People are taking action now to push Internet providers to provide privacy.

Second, is a campaign against the abuses of international finance, particularly by the World Bank, Our Land Our Business. The IMF and World Bank have their spring meeting on April 7 to 13 in Washington, DC and actions are being urged around the world during that time period.

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