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February 26, 2014

Bob Barker fails to convince Ontario to ban the Spring bear hunt

Bob Barker (TV host from The Price is Right) has tried and failed to convince the Ontario government not to bring back the Spring bear hunt, which the province cancelled in 1999 during declining bear numbers.

But now the bears are back and they're becoming a nuisance.

It costs the province time and money to hire game wardens to shoot and kill nuisance bears that are threatening the human population and thus Fall and Spring bear hunts allows Ontario hunters to kill bears and keep the bear population at a manageable level.

It is normally rare for black bears to attack humans (80% of bear attacks in North America are from grizzlies), but since bears fight for territory and when the population of bears explodes they end up encroaching on towns and city suburbs more - wandering in to find food in the same manner that raccoons do.

In the past the city has made new laws and spent $35-million on alternative approaches to nuisance bears, encouraging people to avoid leaving food or garbage in places where bears can get at it, but such approaches have had no success in lowering bear attacks on humans.

Currently northern Ontario has a bear hunting season that runs from mid-August into October, but with rising bear numbers and increasing bear attacks on humans it is clear that the bear population needs to be culled.

Fatal bear attacks in Ontario have been on the rise since the 1980s due to the careful balance between human populations and fluctuating bear populations.

Since the Spring bear hunt was cancelled in 1999 the black bear population in Northern Ontario has grown so numerous that the bears are now migrating south into more populated regions - and bear attacks have risen significantly because of this.

Bringing back the Spring bear hunt will allow hunters to kill more bears preemptively - which will ultimately save the province time and money by not having to send police officers or game wardens to deal with problem bears - and it will save human lives. It was really only a matter of time before the Spring bear hunt had to be brought back to safeguard territorial bears from traveling too far south.

But saving human lives is not enough for vegetarians and animal rights groups like PETA who want all hunting abolished (which would cost the province millions by having to hire people full time to kill nuisance bears on a constant basis). PETA is promoting the abolition of hunting (not just bears, but all animals), and also eliminating the farming of livestock (cows, chickens, pigs, etc)... as such their views are considered to be very controversial since most people in North America enjoy bacon and eggs on a regular basis.

"I feel deep concern about any animal mistreatment any place in the world, and this is in one of my favourite places, Canada, and I want to try to do something about it to protect these bear cubs," says Bob Barker in an interview from his home in Hollywood, California.

Barker says it is "barbaric" to let bear cubs starve to death after their mothers are lured from the den by bait and then killed by bear hunters. "You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize you’re murdering every cub," says Bob Barker. "I urge every Canadian who knows anything about this to step up to the plate and take a swing for the cubs."

But what Barker fails to understand is that hunting in Ontario is governed by hunting tags - which are released for males and females of the species - and stiff fines for killing the wrong type of bear. This means the government can release X amount of male bear tags and X amount of female bear tags. And while sometimes a female might be killed instead of a male (for whatever reason), it allows the ministry to more accurately control the culling of bears.

And while that is true that bear cubs will starve during the Spring bear hunt, it is also true that reducing the population of bear cubs will sharply reduce bear populations in a hurry. Thus Ontario may only need 1 or 2 years of Spring bear hunts before the bear population has reached more manageable levels.

The good news is that most hunters also eat their kills - including bears, which tastes very gamey but is very high in protein. Ethical hunters believe in always eating their kills and feel very strongly about it.

There is even a huge variety of black bear cooking videos on YouTube. Like the two videos below:






Ontario Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti has disputed Bob Barker’s claims about cubs being left to starve to death during a spring bear hunt. "I have a ton of respect for Mr. Bob Barker, but I’m not sure where he’s getting his facts on this issue, and that’s not in fact the case at all," he said.

As mentioned above, the ministry releases way more hunting tags for male bears than for females. Furthermore the new Spring bear hunt will be limited to only 8 of 95 wildlife areas this Spring in a pilot project to see if the province can curb bear populations in regions that are closest to civilization - and therefore reducing the number of emergency calls and instances where police are forced to shoot nuisance bears.

"I’m not sure if Mr. Barker is aware that eight other provinces in Canada and all territories have full province-wide or territory-wide spring bear hunts," says Orazietti. "This is a much smaller, targeted approach to deal with really what’s become a public safety issue."

Furthermore the Ontario bear hunt will be non-profit and limited to local hunters only. That means no trophy hunters coming in from the USA or overseas to hunt bears. It will be limited only to local bear hunters.

Barker called the Spring bear hunt "unethical" and "legislated cruelty" and said it doesn’t matter that Ontario is trying only a small scale pilot project. To him all hunting is wrong and unethical.

"Whether it’s an experiment or it’s going to last for 30 years, it is just totally unacceptable in today’s society," he said. "I just can’t understand how they can possibly do this."

Could it be because it is the most effective way of curbing the bear population?

That is line of thought being promoted by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which has urged the public to make sure "big city animal rights extremists" don’t derail the pilot project for a Spring bear hunt.

"While the partial reinstatement of a hunt is a positive step, we believe that all of bear country deserves to experience the benefits of a spring hunt," says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in a statement.

Hunting is also a tricky activity to get into. It is usually passed from father to son (most hunters are male, despite what you might see on the Hunger Games). To become a hunter in Ontario you must first complete the Ontario Hunter Education Course plus get either your H1 (firearms) or H2 (bowhunting) Outdoors Card, plus enter a lottery to get hunting tags (of which there is a limited number and randomly distributed). As such hunting is an activity that in recent decades has been on the decline as the population shifts to a more urban society.

Last year a black bear wandered into a Northern Ontario town on Halloween, a night when small children were walking around with bags full of candy. Fortunately police responded before anyone was injured or killed.

"We’ve had over 50 resolutions from municipalities wanting to opt in to this pilot program, and that certainly speaks to the sense of urgency that communities have in northern Ontario in terms of dealing with this," says Orazietti.

"We have young kids in schools who can’t go out for recess because bears are in their playground," he said. "Teachers are wearing bear whistles to call the students back into the safety of the school."

Such unsafe conditions has parents up in arms, demanding that the province deal with the nuisance bears.

A Spring bear hunt to cull the number of bears is the logical solution.

If the number of nuisance bear reports drops dramatically in those 8 regions it will be a sign that the Spring bear hunt is working.

"I think the most important thing we need to do now is to ensure that the proposed pilot project has the desired effect, including a reduced number of 911 calls," says Orazietti.

February 20, 2014

Canadian women's hockey - why is it not televised more often???

This post has been moved to CardioTrek.ca:

Canadian women's hockey - Why is it not televised more often???

Russia loses the Olympics

Russia has lost the Olympics.

Why?

Let us count the ways.

#1. Russia lost a key hockey game against Finland and won't even get a single men's medal in hockey. By Russian standards if you don't get gold in men's hockey then you LOSE THE OLYMPICS. That is Russia's own measurement of success.

#2. Pussy Riot has embarrassed the Russian government by pointing out Russia's many human rights violations. (And to make matters worse the Russians sent cossacks to attack Pussy Riot in the street, and it was all caught on video.)



#3. The Russian gay community has embarrassed the Russian government due to Russia's crackdown against gay rights.

#4. Toilets. Apparently Russians don't know how to install a toilet in many of the unfinished hotels built in Sochi.

#5. Russia hasn't been winning as many medals as they want to. They aren't even in the top 3.

#6. Terrorist threats that never materialized has scared away many of the would-be tourists. The Sochi Olympics is a financial boondoggle.

#7. Russian construction companies owned by the Russian mafia pocketed a lot of the money that was to be used for building hotels/etc. As a result this financial boondoggle has embarrassed Vladimir Putin with the lack of financial oversight.

#8. A French newspaper accused the Russian and American judges on colluding together to keep other countries out of the gold and silver couples figure skating competition. The allegation was not proven, but it had a ring of truth to it.

#9. Political unrest in Ukraine is overshadowing the Olympics. The unrest is due to Russis trying to put economic pressure on Ukraine to not form stronger ties countries in the European Union.

Conclusions

The 2014 Sochi Olympics has shone a bright light on Russia's government corruption and Vladimir Putin's despotism.

Oh and Russians apparently suck at hockey.

February 18, 2014

Harper government asks for help rewriting Canada's prostitution laws

The Harper government wants to hear from the Canadian public about how to rewrite the nation's prostitution laws that were struck down by the Supreme Court late last year - why? Because they don't know how to write a new law to replace the old laws which were struck down, a new law which would not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and not be struck down immediately for violating the charter.

In a December 20th 2013 ruling, the high court unanimously struck down laws against street soliciting, living on the avails of prostitution and keeping a brothel.

Since then the Harper government has been searching for a solution that will make his government look good on paper, but won't violate civil rights.

So instead they are turning to the Canadian public for their ideas and holding a month-long, online consultation period on the Justice Canada website. The consultation began yesterday (Monday February the 17th) and runs to March 17th 2014 (St Patrick's Day).

What is funny is the percentage of male Conservative MPs in the Harper government who regularly use prostitutes as sexual aides, both when they are on the road and lonely, and also when they are closer to home and having marital problems.

In other words we are talking about the kind of people who cheat on their spouses, but because they are politicians and don't want to have any messy affair they use prostitutes because they are more discreet. (It is a well known fact politicians use prostitutes more than the average person.)

A 1998 poll suggested 7% of Canadian men have paid for sex at least once in their life. The % for male politicians is unknown, but we know it is significantly higher - likely around 25% - because politicians value discreetness.

But at the same time, because it is the Harper government, they have to at least pretend that they are against prostitution even though they and many of their colleagues use prostitutes regularly. It is all about optics and what the public sees.

“Our government is concerned about the significant harms that flow from prostitution to communities, those engaged in prostitution and other vulnerable persons,” said Justice Minister Peter MacKay in a release.

Oh really? What harms would that be? Husbands that stray from the marriage bed would still stray from the marriage bed even if they could not find a prostitute. They would find a mistress, a servant, a willing woman of somekind - and that would cause more messy affairs in the media.

If MacKay is referring to STDs we should remind him that prostitutes are more paranoid about STDs than any other profession. They are not taking risks in that respect.

Or maybe MacKay is referring to the "moral decay of society" by the mere presence of prostitutes? (As if they are to blame for society's woes, as opposed to being a product of those woes.)

"Doing nothing is not an option," says MacKay. "We are therefore asking Canadians right across the country to provide their input through an online consultation to ensure a legislative response to prostitution that reflects our country’s values."

So here is a solution for Peter MacKay.

TEACH FEMINISM + GENDER STUDIES IN HIGH SCHOOLS.

Don't bother with trying to eradicate prostitution, governments have been trying to do that for millenia with absolutely no success.

But if you teach feminism + gender studies in high schools, make it part of the curriculum, then you will be raising young women who see themselves as more valuable to society than a $300 per hour mistress for wealthy men.

But lets face it, asking the Conservative government to promote feminism is like asking a Republican to promote gay rights. It just isn't going to happen.

Another solution would be to make Johns (the men who go to prostitutes) illegal (as opposed to solicitation, which is still illegal). But that would probably get half the Conservative Party arrested in police sting operations, along with many of their big donors.

Prostitution is a whole big can of worms. It has religious issues, feminist issues, legal issues, public health issues, civil rights issues, economic issues. The government is not going to solve this with any quick fix.

Long term promotion of feminism in schools, designed to bolster the self-esteems of young women, would over time eventually eradicate much of domestic prostitution - which leads us to the problem of imports, women who are brought into Canada for the sole purpose of working in Canada's sex trade in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Calgary and Edmonton are apparently the two biggest importers of sex workers, because of all the oil company executives there who want exotic women.


February 6, 2014

Deco Labels - Rob Ford and Doug Ford's Inherited Business Empire

Last year, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford raised quite a few eyebrows last year by declaring on the radio that the best gift to get a woman is money.

"Women love money. Give ‘em a couple thousand bucks and they are happy," he said on radio in December 2013.

Councillor Doug Ford concurred with his brother. "Well, all my girls love money. So do men. Everyone loves money," Doug said with a laugh.

The Ford brothers, who consistently like to portray themselves as "regular folks" and "working class" to voters, are actually worth millions from their company, Deco Labels, which they inherited from their wealthy father. Their exact worth is unknown, since Deco Labels is a privately-owned company and isn't on the stock market, but the Fords own many different properties (multiple homes in the GTA, Florida condos, Muskoka cottages, etc) and the company has annual revenues in the $20 to $40 million range.

Deco Labels was founded in 1962 by Douglas B. Ford and was originally a small label and tag manufacturing company. It is now one of North America’s leading label and tag manufacturing and sales companies - which makes it one of the biggest in the industry globally.

The company doesn't just operate in Canada any more either, it also has factories in Chicago USA.

And it is a very long list of companies that Deco Labels provides labels and tags for. Chances are likely you have multiple products in your home that have a label from Deco Labels on it.


However we should also note that Rob Ford and Doug Ford have never had a hand in running the company, but they also love to toot their own horns when it comes to claiming that they are successful businessmen.

When in truth neither one of them has ever started and owned a successful business (unless you count Doug Ford's drug dealing business during the 1980s), they have been riding on their father's coattails and the wealth generated from a business they don't even manage themselves. Rob Ford did try to start a business years ago, but it was a financial flop so he quit and decided to become a city councillor.

And it is a good thing too. In the world of business, Rob Ford and Doug Ford would have offended a potential big client and lost their business thanks to their "foot-in-mouth syndrome".

Take this comment from Doug Ford he made yesterday:

"I don’t agree with his comments. Since he’s part of the 1%, and he’s part of the establishment and he’s part of the elites, and the 1%, that’s his theory of being successful."

He is talking about former Ontario PC leader John Tory, but he might as well be talking about himself. Doug Ford is a 1 percenter himself. He is "part of the establishment". He has never worked a "working class" job in his entire life.

And then there is Rob Ford and Doug Ford's insistence they are trying to make things better for working class Torontonians. But in reality what they have done is make things better for 1 percenters like themselves, while raising taxes on everyone else through their own fiscal incompetence.

It is no wonder the Ford brothers went into politics. They are trying to be bigger than their father, who was a hugely successful businessman, and thus try to promote themselves as such. But neither of them has so much as a diploma in business, let alone a business degree or MBA. Neither of them has managed a successful business themselves. They keep trying to live up to their father's greatness, but they're both incompetent when it comes to managing money. They just waste it.

And now Doug Ford wants to run for leader of the Ontario PC party (which is why he is bashing everything John Tory says, who is also considering running for mayor of Toronto). He will be an even bigger financial wreck than his brother is. He might not stick his foot in his mouth as much as Rob Ford does, but he is no more competent when it comes to money.


Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion releases video on Gays in Sochi

The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion has released a video promoting LGBT rights with respect to Olympic athletes, a public condemnation of Russia's anti gay laws.

Gay and lesbian rights have become centre stage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - largely because of Russia's new draconian communist era laws which have brought gay bashing back to the forefront of Russian politics.

Russia's new laws include:

1. Prohibiting pro gay demonstrations in the streets, such as gay pride parades, public protests, etc.

2. Anyone who shares / publicly promotes "homosexual propaganda" will suffer a fine of roughly $17,000 USD - which is so loosely written it includes men or women kissing in public.

3. Promoting "homosexual propaganda" in any manner which could be seen by children. (Because according to Putin, children might become gay if they see, hear or read anything removely gay.)


The video by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion is making waves across Canadian and international media, making it clear that while Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to take Russia back into the dark ages by limiting freedom of speech, freedom of expression and even the freedom to love.


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