Bharat’s pocket scraps you own a pipeline! edition

Ottawa fails to find new buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The federal government is set to become the official owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after failing to quickly flip the project to another private-sector buyer. Pipeline owner Kinder Morgan had been working with the government to identify another buyer before July 22.

It’s official. You own a pipeline! Thanks Trudeau.

Read Ottawa fails to find new buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

Grieving mother orca whale carried her dead calf for more than 24 hours

The grieving mother of an orca whale has continued to carry her dead newborn around on her back for two days, something researchers say is common among cetaceans.

I cried when I heard about this yesterday, we’re killing this beautiful extended family by our actions and, now, with our pipeline ownership, it gets worse.

Read Grieving mother orca whale carried her dead calf for more than 24 hours

The unmuzzling of Canadian charities

One of the concerns about modernizing Canada’s charitable law has been that it could open the floodgates to more groups becoming charities.
But experts say that concern is misplaced. “The definition of what constitutes a charity has not changed, but the ruling recognizes that charities should be free to engage in whatever activities their volunteer-led boards deem most effective in order to achieve their charitable purpose as accepted and enforced by the CRA,” said MacDonald

I had this question last week, about whether the charity ruling would impact who registered as a charity. Question answered, for now.

Read The unmuzzling of Canadian charities

Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

Portugal took a daring stand: In 2015, it cast aside the harshest austerity measures its European creditors had imposed, igniting a virtuous cycle that put its economy back on a path to growth. The country reversed cuts to wages, pensions and social security, and offered incentives to businesses.

I found this to be an interesting read. “Austerity” means reducing government spending that helps the poor/middle class while maintain all tax benefits/subsidies/other structures that help the rich. So, no surprise that it does not work most of the time. Glad Portugal decided to try a more obvious solution: Give money to the people that need it most.

Read Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

Stop Playing Public Hearing Bingo

If you’re a civic-minded nerd like me, you’ve probably been to a lot of public meetings: planning commission meetings, city council meetings, advisory board meetings, board of adjustment meetings, neighborhood meetings, town hall meetings… After a while, you start to notice a pattern.

Ha! I don’t go to public hearings much any more, but man, these are so true!

Read Stop Playing Public Hearing Bingo

Pave Over the Subway? Cities Face Tough Bets on Driverless Cars

Highways today can carry about 2,000 cars per lane per hour. Autonomous vehicles might quadruple that. The best rail systems can carry more than 50,000 passengers per lane per hour. They move the most people, using the least space. No technology can overcome that geometry

More like cities are being lobbied to make rich people richer by negating basic arithmetic. I was very irritated with this article because it waited 24 paragraphs to throw up the basic maths I’ve blockquoted above. A perfectly optimized driverless fleet will require >5 times the space of a properly designed mass transit system. Most cities don’t have that kind of space. Why did we need to listen to venture capitalists bloviating for 20 paragraphs before this basic bit of information was shared? Have journalists forgotten how to write inverse pyramid?

Read Pave Over the Subway? Cities Face Tough Bets on Driverless Cars

How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

 They were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.

The rich, they’re not like us! Seriously, when a 35% marginal tax rate on incomes way above what one needs to live beautifully is considered excessive, this is what happens. Bring back the 90% tax rates so there’s a sense that more of us are in this together! But, I fear it’s too late. Money has no borders, and rich people have none either. What to do?

Read How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

What Feminists Can Do for Boys

From social media campaigns to after-school equality clubs, feminism has birthed dozens of online and real-life spaces where girls can find alternatives to the sexist status quo. But boys and young men who are struggling have no equivalent culture.

I struggled with this article because much of it rang true. We all need affirmation, community and good role models regardless of gender. But, this work of shifting boys’ social education needs to be done by men.

Read What Feminists Can Do for Boys

I spent my 20s working with Toronto youth, and today’s gun violence conversations feel like déja vu

I wish they’d also told us that the government loves setting up consultations and town halls which rarely do more than waste our time. I wish they’d told us that the recommendations and demands that we put forward would almost never get implemented. I wish they’d told us that the grant applications we spent countless hours working on were set up for social service, not social transformation. I wish they’d told us that the funding parameters would only allow us to make an impact on a case-by-case basis. We faced strict limitations: projects had to be completed on three-to-five-year maximum timelines, and our funds could only be used to rent space, meaning we’d never own a venue. There were limitations on our political engagement. Working this way, we could never change things structurally or systemically.

God this is a heartbreaking read.

Read I spent my 20s working with Toronto youth, and today’s gun violence conversations feel like déja vu

‘Mom of the year’: Photographer captures images of mama duck with 76 babies

Photographer Brent Cizek said he “couldn’t have asked for a better photo opportunity” than a lone mama duck on a Minnesota lake with more than 70 ducklings trailing behind her.

As a parent in need of childcare, I found the child/staff ratio of >70 to be a bit excessive, get some help merganser!

Read ‘Mom of the year’: Photographer captures images of mama duck with 76 babies

Tweets

Some necessary context and balance around the general judgmental, panicked coverage of tent cities in #yyj , #nanaimo and other places. https://t.co/E1ajraWiRK— Bharat (@oliveridley) July 23, 2018

Andre Picard, The @globeandmail health/columnist makes excellent health/wellbeing arguments for greatly expanding safe bicycling in Canada metros. Direct application to #yyj #yyjbike https://t.co/bkhf1H6Zbf — Bharat (@oliveridley) July 24, 2018

Hi @jjhorgan @clairetrevena @AJWVictoriaBC Need to make sure ride hailing and taxi drivers make a living wage after expenses. Here is what NYC is looking at. https://t.co/c5EsV5bTH8 — Richard Campbell (@wrychrd) July 24, 2018

Provincial government thanks the rest of Canada for buying $4.5 billion pipeline by complaining about equalization https://t.co/E6UuXrjpOJ via @TheBeaverton, so on point… #cdnpoli — Bharat (@oliveridley) July 25, 2018

The @CCPA_BC website has some good information on BC’s proportional representation options, and what they mean ahead of the October referendum #bcpoli #pr4bc https://t.co/0eaMOGuI3V— Bharat (@oliveridley) July 25, 2018

Canada’s human rights tribunal slams door on visa status job discrimination. This is big, and long overdue! https://t.co/cLi2C9DPD1 #Cdnimm— Bharat (@oliveridley) July 27, 2018

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