January 16, 2009


Pardon my schadenfreude

Global News has uncovered a serious problem with the Liberals' "Do Not Call" program, passed in 2005:
Thousands of Canadians tell us that signing up for the list has left their phones ringing off the hook. Home phones and for the first time, cellphones, are being bombarded with sales pitches.

The "Do Not Call" list is managed by Canada's telecommunications regulator, the CRTC. The list has to be given to the telemarketers so they know who not to call. But a Global News investigation shows it's easy for anyone to get their hands on the list and use it for the wrong reasons.

It took Global News less than 10 minutes on the CRTC's website to register as a telemarketer using fake information and a $50 service fee. The fee gave us access to the list for the 416 area code and 600,000 numbers.

It is so easy to access that offshore telemarketers are believed to be using it as a database of people to call. They can get away with it because they're not bound by Canadian laws.

I probably shouldn't say this, but... Hah! That's what happens when people decide that they need the power of the state (and a new government bureaucracy) to protect them from minor annoyances.

Personally, I'll stick to my tried-and-true method for getting rid of telemarketers:
Them: "Hello, I'm calling to offer you a low-interest credit card--"
Me: "Sorry, I'm not interested." *click*
No government intervention required.

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July 31, 2008


U cant b serious

If there's anything dumber than having to pay for incoming text messages, it's the government trying to regulate the issue:
In the wake of growing consumer frustration over Canadian cellphone prices, the government is issuing veiled warnings to providers that increased regulation of the industry may be on the way.

Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who earlier this month criticized Bell Canada Inc. and Telus Corp. for proposing to charge customers for incoming text messages, told reporters after a caucus meeting Thursday that cellphone providers are walking a fine line.

"We don't have a heavy regulatory burden on the cellular industry," he said. "That's something that we have tried to maintain in Canada. At the end of the day, consumers do need to be protected. I've made these points publicly and privately with [Bell CEO] Mr. Cope as well."

Yes, because free texts are a basic human right which the government needs to step in to protect. (Don't laugh, I'm sure it'll get read into the Charter eventually...)

Why, oh why, did Maxime Bernier have to get shuffled out of Industry?

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December 31, 2007


Who the hell gave unelected bureaucrats the power to ban stuff?

Seriously, wtf.

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August 14, 2007


Question for my Quebec director of civil status readers

If a married man wants to adopt his wife's last name, will he be allowed?


June 12, 2007


C'mon, ban smoking. All the cool provinces are doing it!

So it seems the Alberta PCs, led by the Minister of Statism, have decided to ban smoking on certain types of private property. They're also going to ban tobacco displays in retail stores, ostensibly to keep kids from starting to smoke. (Raise your hand if you or someone you know started smoking simply from seeing pictures in a store. Anyone? Anyone?)

Hancock also reveals some blatant scientific ignorance with the statement "no amount of smoke is safe". No matter how deadly a substance is, there's always a level below which it has no effect.

Speaking as a life-long non-smoker, this disgusts me. If you don't like restaurants and bars with smoky air, then just don't go there. Patronize those establishments which are (voluntarily) smoke-free, and you'll encourage other businesses to (voluntarily) do the same. It's incredibly arrogant to go around demanding that the government force other people to conform to your preferred ambiance.

I'm especially disappointed by how many conservatives sign on for stuff like this. For example, Diane Colley-Urquhart is supposed to be the leading right-winger on Calgary's city council, yet she not only supported, but actually spearheaded the move to push Calgary's smoking ban up by a year.

(Update: I forgot to mention how the Calgary Sun, another allegedly conservative publication, rejoiced at the news and claimed that this meant the PCs were finally showing some "backbone". Given that the anti-smoking lobby is at least ten times more powerful than the pro-smoking one, I'd say that it shows a complete lack thereof.)

Actions like this make me hope that the Alberta PCs end up losing today's by-election in Calgary-Elbow. If the "Conservatives" are just as statist as the Liberals, what's the point?

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October 18, 2006


Folks, it's Tuesday night; time for Headlines

Globe and Mail headline:
Trusts cost $1.1-billion in lost tax

Non-statist version of same headline:
Trusts save Canadians from $1.1-billion in government theft

(This libertarian moment was brought to you by The Invisible Hand.)

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