Law

An international effort is being made today to fight back against internet surveillance. If you wish to take part, I suggest doing so by downloading a version of the GNU Privacy Guard for your operating system, in order to encrypt your emails. Gpg4Win is for Windows, while GPGTools is for Mac OS. Downloading the TOR […]

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I have written a number of times before about the unsustainable nature of global fisheries and the sorts of policies that might help combat that. Marine protected areas have an important role to play in that effort. They constitute sanctuaries in which fish are protected from the hugely destructive fishing technology that is now deployed. […]

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Yakuza operate much more openly than their counterparts in other countries. Crime syndicates have offices registered with local public-safety commissions. Membership is not in itself a crime. The biggest and richest group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, shelters behind a high-walled compound in a grand neighbourhood of Kobe. See also: Yakuza Also: “These lesser [sokaiya] cousins of the […]

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Much of this seems applicable to the movement to keep climate change under control by shifting away from fossil fuels: Any serious answer, to borrow the well-known phrase from William Faulkner that then-Senator Obama used in his remarkable speech on race during his 2008 campaign for the presidency, must begin with the recognition that “the […]

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There are still tickets available for both of tomorrow’s screenings of the climate change documentary “Do the Math” at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto. Along with the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Adria Vasil. If you know anyone in Toronto who is environmentally inclined or concerned […]

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But what was the state of Canadian democracy in 1921? Women (other than those with relations in the military) were only permitted to vote in federal elections that very year, and in Quebec would not get the vote for another generation. Aboriginal Canadians were only allowed to vote if they legally renounced their Aboriginal status; […]

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Donald Savoie’s 1999 book is the single-best account I have read of the functioning of Canada’s federal government. It focuses on the growth of the strength of ‘the centre’ of government over the previous thirty years, meaning the prime minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Privy Council Office, Department of Finance, and Treasury Board Secretariat. It discusses […]

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Environmental Defence has issued a new report, explaining why Canada’s oil sands expansion policies risk more than cancelling out efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions in other areas: “Emissions from the tar sands are projected to double from 2010 levels by 2020, cancelling out all other efforts across the country to reduce emissions and sending […]

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In Chapter 2 it is suggested that even if politicians are inclined to shirk their environmental responsibilities, they could be undermined by zealous bureaucrats in ministries or departments of the environment. The picture that emerges from Chapters 3 through 6, however, is one of conscientious bureaucrats severely constrained by limited administrative resources and political support. […]

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While not denying the existence of either constitutional limitations or resistance from at least some of the provinces, I argue that the explanation for federal and provincial roles in environmental protection is not complete without considering governments’ electoral incentives to extend or defend their jurisdiction over the environment in the first place. Environmental protection typically […]

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