Northern Gateway pipeline recommended, with conditions

untitledA review panel has recommended the Canadian federal government approve Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project. The approval has 209 conditions however, such as developing a marine mammal protection plan and researching heavy oil cleanup.

The Panel had this to say in its report:

“After weighing the evidence, we concluded that Canada and Canadians would be better off with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project.”

It took 180 days of hearings in 21 communities in Alberta and British Columbia for the recommendation to come through. The final decision, however, rests with the federal government, which has 180 days to decide. The government can approve or deny the application, but cannot change the conditions put forward by the panel. However, it can request the National Energy Board to change the conditions.


Target stores hit by data breach affecting 40 million cards

432px-Target_logo.svgTarget says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach linked to recent purchases in its U.S. stores between November 27th and December 15th. This of course includes Black Friday shopping, which started on November 28th.

The retailer didn’t specify which exact stores were affected. It wasn’t clear whether their online stores were affected.

Target said the breach may be continuing so those who made purchases between those dates and found unauthorized transactions on their debit and credit cards should call them at 866-852-8680.

Target has 1,797 U.S. stores and 124 in Canada.

News, Opinion

The CRTC Needs Some Teeth

crtcThe CRTC (aka the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is currently “looking into” the wholesale rates Canadian companies charge for roaming in its ongoing investigation into why Canadian roaming rates are so high.

Apparently, the Big Three (Telus, Rogers and Bell) are trying to charge higher rates to the small, new entrant companies (such as Wind) than they charge to U.S. wireless companies. This is a ploy to kill local competition, the longtime dream of Robellus.

The problem is, the CRTC is a toothless organization run by company hacks, beholden to the shareholders and not to the Canadian public. So this is a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” We’ve heard this all before and little is ever done. Robellus owns them all.

Canada pays some of the highest cell rates in the world and if the CRTC were serious, they’d look into the costs themselves, not just roaming fees. I am currently paying $86 a month for 1gb of data, unlimited texts and phone calls and I’m tired of being ripped off but have little choice to switch, as they all collude in charging the same prices. The lack of competition is hurting us and it’s about time the CRTC got off its knees and began to change the cellular landscape once and for all instead of being Robellus lackeys.

Some underdeveloped countries have much better rates than we do. It’s a sham, and it must end but first we need an organization that has some teeth. The only way we will see better rates is to have true competition, something the CRTC doesn’t give a damn about.