Sunday, November 15, 2009
MUST WATCH is an appropriate heading for this series. We could use some changes in Canada too!
Monday, November 09, 2009
I have been invited to place 20-30 paintings at the
GREY NUN’S HOSPITAL
Lower level by the auditorium.
OCTOBER 8, 2009 to January 31, 2010
I hope you will drop by when you are in the area.
Because of my deep concern for
Public health care, seniors, agriculture, & education, a percentage all sales will be donated to support Dr Swann, leader of the official opposition, And his Liberal leadership.
DARLENE NATALIA KONDUC
Friday, November 06, 2009
Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan work together to cut red tape for commercial trucking industry
Regina... The Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Regina to help truckers and shippers move goods more efficiently and safely in western Canada.
The memorandum will help harmonize policies and regulations for commercial vehicle operations, reduce barriers between the two provinces, and address safety regulations. This includes specific items such as special permits, vehicle weights and dimensions, cooperative enforcement activities, national safety code issues and research.
“Transportation is fundamental to supporting Alberta’s economy and we are committed to seeing that regulations don’t impede the economic competitiveness of either province,” said Luke Ouellette, Alberta Minister of Transportation. “This memorandum of understanding supports highway safety and the reduction of barriers to interprovincial transportation.”
“For Saskatchewan’s export-based economy, this means businesses will be more competitive in reaching inter-provincial, national and worldwide markets,” Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure Minister Jim Reiter said. “Our two governments are acting to reduce red tape and enhance our business climate to continue to grow our provincial economies.”
“The trucking industry is pleased to see this spirit of co-operation to allow us to move more seamlessly between the two provinces and to literally help us keep the economy moving,” Saskatchewan Trucking Association President Glen Ertell said.
“From a trucking industry perspective this is good news because it highlights all the work that has been done on transportation between Alberta and Saskatchewan over the years to benefit the economy,” said Richard Warnock, President of the Alberta Motor Transport Association.
Key issues in the MOU include:
- the harmonization of special permit conditions for turnpike doubles (a semi with two long trailers);
- the harmonization of special permit conditions for oversize and overweight indivisible loads;
- the harmonization of the maximum gross vehicle weight for B-trains (a semi with two trailers);
- the establishment of an inter-provincial heavy haul/high clearance corridor;
- the harmonization of special permit conditions for the movement of manufactured homes;
- the harmonization of regulation and permit conditions based on the National Safety Code;
- co-operative commercial vehicle enforcement activities and facilities; and
- a joint research and pilot project to address common concerns with wide-based super single tires.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
We've got the 8th highest average connection speed (although we'd need to make it 2.5 times faster to get in the top 5). The really interesting part of the graph is the prices. The dollar figure underneath the speed rank is the price in USD for 1Mbps. We're paying double the price for our bandwidth that the US is, and 10x what Sweden is.
You'll notice that almost all European nations are charging less than we are. The main difference? Most EU countries consider internet access to be a utility like power or gas, and the governments invest heavily in upgrading infrastructure. France has gone as far to say it considers broadband internet access to be a basic right for all of it's citizens, and put it's money where it's mouth is.
Cellphone infrastructure graphs look almost identical, with Canada paying 2 or 3 times more than the US on average. Recently the CRTC auctioned off another commercial radio spectrum for use in wireless communication. The range was purchased by an international company called Globalive for $442 million. My understanding was that the money was placed into general government coffers instead of being used to improve nationwide data infrastructure.
The best part, is that the CRTC (acting on a complaint from Bell and Telus) ruled that Globalive didn't have enough Canadian ownership, so they are not going to be allowed to act as a telecom in Canada. The end result: $442 million was removed from the Telecom industry with no benefit to research or abundance, and we still only have 3 telecoms which continue to gouge us on price. Good thing the CRTC is on our side, eh?
The CRTC has also failed to defend Net Neutrality principles (essentially, every packet is worth the same as every other packet).
Net neutrality is important because without legislation supporting it, ISP's can throttle certain kinds of traffic (peer-to-peer, video streaming, etc.) as well as block access to certain websites (such as when Telus blocked access to their Union's website during the strike), or allow large corporations to pay for 'priority' traffic.
Priority traffic would mean that access to a news site like Fox News, or CNN would run at full speed, while small blogs would be throttled much slower or not be available at all, depending on which tiered package the consumer bought. The NDP and Liberals have both submitted bills for Net Neutrality which died on the floor following the dissolution of the 39th parliament by Harper.
Long story short, welcome to Canada! Home of the slow growing, expensive, aging, and unfair telecom giants!