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It's been a while since I went off on a rant.....

Consider Bill C-30, the you can " stand with us or with the child pornographers" Act that fails to actually mention predators or pornography anywhere in the act besides the title.

The cynics amongst us might guess that this is probably because that renaming effort from the original " Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act" is a crass marketing schtick to allow Conservative to accuse anyone voting against this bill of voting against protecting children.

The cynics, of course, would be correct.

But besides that usual level of legislative slime, shall we take a brief moment and point out just how dangerous this act is? I won't even add any commentary to the relevant sections. You read along with me and you see if you can figure out what this means for you.

Start off with this one basic assumption: you have a wireless router provided by your ISP in your home.


Here we go:

2. (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

telecommunications data

telecommunications data means data relating to the telecommunications functions of dialling, routing, addressing or signalling that identifies or purports to identify the origin, type, direction, date, time, duration, size, destination or termination of a telecommunication generated or received by means of a telecommunications facility or the type of telecommunications service used. It also means any transmission data that may be obtained under subsection 492.2(1) of the Criminal Code.

telecommunications facility

telecommunications facility means any facility, apparatus or other thing that is used for telecommunications or for any operation directly connected with telecommunications.

telecommunications service

telecommunications service means a service, or a feature of a service, that is provided by means of telecommunications facilities, whether the provider owns, leases or has any other interest in or right respecting the telecommunications facilities and any related equipment used to provide the service.

telecommunications service provider

telecommunications service provider means a person that, independently or as part of a group or association, provides telecommunications services.

3. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that telecommunications service providers have the capability to enable national security and law enforcement agencies to exercise their authority to intercept communications and to require telecommunications service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.


33. (1) The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act.

(2) An inspector is to receive a certificate attesting to their designation and must, on request, present the certificate to any person appearing to be in charge of any place that the inspector enters under subsection 34(1).

34. (1) An inspector may, for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act, enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies.
(2) The inspector may, for that purpose,
(a) examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing;
(b) examine or test or cause to be tested any telecommunications facility or transmission apparatus or related equipment found in the place;
(c) use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system;
(d) reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying; or
(e) use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place.

(3) The owner or person in charge of the place and every person in the place must give all assistance that is reasonably required to enable the inspector to perform their functions under this section and must provide any documents or information, and access to any data, that are reasonably required for that purpose.
(4) The inspector may be accompanied by any other person that they believe is necessary to help them perform their functions under this section.

35. (1) If the place referred to in subsection 34(1) is a dwelling-house, the inspector may enter it without the occupant’s consent only under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (2).
(2) On ex parte application, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorizing the inspector to enter a dwelling-house, subject to any conditions specified in the warrant, if the justice is satisfied by information on oath that
(a) the dwelling-house is a place referred to in subsection 34(1);
(b) entry to the dwelling-house is necessary for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act; and
(c) entry was refused by the occupant or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be refused by, or that consent to entry cannot be obtained from, the occupant.

So, if you have a wireless router, you are providing a operations directly related to telecommunications. This, by definition, means that you provide a telecom service which makes you a telecommunications service provider because this designation holds "whether the provider owns, leases or has any other interest in or right respecting the telecommunications facilities and any related equipment used to provide the service."

As such, anyone (or class of anyones) designated an Inspector (like, oh, say a cop) is granted complete and full access to "examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing" in your house. If you refuse entry, it is an automatic warrant to do that search as the only test is a refusal to grant entry and a desire to verify your compliance with keeping records of all of the users of your telecommunications service.

Personal Side Note to Vic: Look Vic buddy, here's one simple thought. When you can't even sell you bill to Captain Wetsuit, and it is Stockwell F*cking Day who comes across as sounding sensible on the issue... just give it up already.

Personal Side Note to the opposition parties: Look, its obvious at this point that this government is simply going to quash every debate and refuse any ammendment to any bill that you ever propose. They are convinced that they are right, that they are perfect, and that any indication that they might not be perfect is a sign of weakness. So there is just no point any more. And you should make that your point. If they want to be childish, well it's time to serve up a steaming pile or TAT to those TITs. How do we do that? By making our own childish point. I propose that, for the month of April, all you do is request that each and every clause in each new bill that hits the floor of the House of Commons be ammended to add the following words at the end of the clause: "in your pants". Remember how hilarious that game was when you were... ohhh.... 10 or so? Have at it mateys! Propose each change as one ammendment, and get up and read it out to the House. "Mr Speaker? I am proposing that clause 13 of Bill C-30 be ammended to read '(3) In deciding whether to make an order, the Minister must take into account the public interest in national security and law enforcement and the commercial interests of the telecommunications service provider as well as any other matter that the Minister considers relevant.... in your pants'"

If they are gonna act like schoolyard bullies, we might as well act like the class clown. After all, at least people like the class clown.

It is always awkward getting introduced to The Family. You know things are getting serious when that happens - when you are propped up on display for all of your new partner's loved ones to pass judgement on.

I suppose, in that regard, the manner in which I met Stephanie's family took the pressure off. Nobody really gave a damn about getting to know me that day. Why would they?

Because, you see, I met them all on the day that Steph's brother Peter buried his wife.

The church was packed to overflowing that day, a testament to Peter's character and the loyalty that he instills in others. And I say that without still knowing him all that well. He is such a shy guy, and he retired very much into his grief for a long time therafter - devoting his time and energy into raising funds for cancer research in her honour.

So it was a grand feeling to meet a new woman in his life at Steph's mom's funeral. To know that he had someone there to be with him this time in his grief. And when the wedding invitation arrived, we couldn't have been happier.

The wedding was a bit rushed and held in her home town as his fiance Christine's father was ailing and she wanted him to be there. Saddly, his health did not allow him to attend, but there was a steady flow of his family running back and forth to his home to update him with pictures and have him as involved in the day as possible.

The fact that her home town is a small community that is also the homestead of a good-sized chunk of my own family was nice too. The place where my great-great grandfather immigrated to from Scotland and made his mark, ending his life's work with 17 years of service to his country as a Senator (Liberal, naturally).

Yeah... you can see where I get my dashing good looks from! ;)


Not to mention my hairline. Don't think Steph would let me go for the beard though....

Still, it was a nice weekend away, and an opportunity to share in happiness at the end of a year whice has been largely preoccupied with funerals. A welcome break, and I wish them both a long and happy life together.

And yeah, I took a few pictures....

The Happy Couple



The girls

The Happy Couple

After all, the number of days you will find Jake and I in suits and Holly actually in a dress are few and far between!

I am, it has been noted, an argumentative SOB sometimes. I'm pretty good at it too, and have a fair history of out-jousting others to have my way selected when decisions have to be made at work.

Being argumentative is not exactly the worlds most endearing quality. Being good at it, no doubt, makes it all the more frustrating. I'm sure my wife would agree with that assessment anyway.

While I can't blame anyone but myself for my temperment, I can point to one person for developing my skill. Along with Mr. Milne who enriched my life with music and Mother Adams who taught me to appreciate art, there was only one other teacher from Nepean High School who really left a mark.

GRANT, William Downie
retired teacher, Rideau and Nepean High Schools, Neuchatel Junior College, and Lida College, China
December 20, 1934 - November 20, 2011
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland's beautiful capital, in the depths of the Great Depression, Bill lived most of his young life within its orbit. The only child of John and Agnes Grant, he was brought up in the pleasant East Lothian village of Pencaitland, home of Glenkinchie single malt whisky. His father operated a market garden, growing fruit and vegetables in that fertile countryside between the Lammermoor Hills and the sea. As a boy, his holidays were spent working in the fields or on holiday in the Scottish Borders or on the Firth of Clyde in Hellensburgh. Primary school education at the small, one hundred pupil Pencaitland Public School during the dark days of World War Two, led, in 1957, to attendance at the famous George Watson's College in Edinburgh, followed by Bill reading History at Edinburgh University.

Upon graduation, in 1957, he was selected to serve in the British Colonial Office, which still governed colonies all over Africa. After a year's training course at Jesus College, Cambridge, he sailed for South Africa aboard the "Capetown Castle", thence by train to Northern Rhodesia (now, Zambia) where he served as a District Officer in remote outposts like Mwinilunga, and Kasempa, taking a small part in Kipling's "dominion over palm and pine". Returning to Scotland in 1961, as the Empire declined, (through no fault of his, he stated), he found a new field in teaching, but after four years in High Schools there, he tried his luck in Canada. A two-year interlude in Perth, Ontario, led him to Ottawa, where, after almost ten years at Rideau High School, he found his perfect niche at Nepean High School in 1979, remaining there, happily, until retirement, as he thought, in 1996. At Nepean he took up debate coaching, which brought him in touch with many extraordinarily talented, articulate and witty students who won virtually every competition open to them, including the coveted McGill Trophy.

In 1997, Bill went to teach English at a Canadian College in Hainan Island, China, a tropical but impoverished paradise. He spent one school year there enjoying new experiences including being detained for allegedly spying on a Chinese Naval Dockyard and honing his bargaining skills in Mandarin, for the purchase of scotch. Bill next taught History and Economics at Neuchâtel Junior College, a Canadian school in Switzerland. He was accompanied by Jinny Slyfield, whom he had recently married, after a whirlwind 11 year courtship, in a simple, but beautiful ceremony in the garden of friends, Audrey and David Bergin. Both Jinny and he were captivated by the beauty of Switzerland's countryside and villages and the vitality of its traditional festivals, and were sad to leave in September, 2,000 after spending 2 years there. Jinny and Bill then concentrated on the upkeep of their house and garden, overlooking Windsor Park, Ottawa, continuing to travel at home and abroad and enjoying classes, walking the dog, friends, reading and each other's company. A perfect match. Bill would like to be remembered as one who believed strongly in public education and was convinced that History would enrich your life. A compliment by one NJC student in her yearbook might well serve as an epitaph. "To Mr. Grant, thank you for returning my love of History."

Bill is survived by his wife, Jinny, whom he loved, cherished and sometimes, obeyed, and by his daughters, Liesa and Roslyn and son, Steven and by Grandchildren, Tristan, Melissa, Olivia, Sophie and Avery, as well as Richard and Jessica, Jinny's Grandchildren, all of whom, he cared for very deeply. Friends are invited to attend a service in memory in the Sacred Space at The Beechwood Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2011. A time of refreshment and fellowship will follow. Donations to the Brain Tumor Research Centre Montreal Neurological Institute 3801 University Street, Suite 109 Montreal, QC H3A 2B4.

Mother Adams passed earlier this year, although Mr. Milne is still with us. A distinguished English gentleman in the truest sense of the word whose sense of propriety often hid the ribald sense of humour that had got him on as a backup singer on Peter Sellar's Goon Show in the 50s before he emigrated to Canada, and whose connections got us our gig backing up Moe Koffman on the CBC's summer jazz series in '82.

This whole "getting older" thing really sucks.

Not Forgotten

I took a different tack this year, avoiding the crowds of downtown for Remembrance Day with the made-for-TV event at the War Memorial all properly cordoned off to keep the spectators as far from the important people as possible.

Instead, I went out to the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood, where they hold a much more intimate affair geared to those actively serving and their families.

with my cousin's husband currently in Kandahar it seemed the right place to be, and to my mind far more aptly captured the proper sense of the day.

A sense of loss, of thanks, and of pride at the sacrifice of those who have had to give their all in far-off lands so that we might have the country that we have today.


Victim of battle

Lest We Forget

Paying Respects

I've finally, after talking about it for months... years .... decades... been working hard to overcome my inate shyness and jam my camera in people's faces in public. For years I saw things I wanted to shoot and couldn't lift the camera. Now, I force myself to.

And, surprise surprise, thus far the sky hasn't fallen, people haven't generally been confrontational, and I've started to get a bit more comfortable with the whole process. It still feels weird though....

Free Tibet


Free tibet

Occupy Halloween

And, after back-to-back protests on the Hill of the Sikhs still looking for some accountability for the '84 massacre. and the Tibetans wanting China out of this country, I have come to the inescapable conculsion that us Euro-derived North Americans need to step it up in the "colourfull" department.

The Sikhs especially know how to plan a protest - complete with wheeling up a complete mobile kitchen onto the fron lawn of Parliament from which the most wonderfull aromas of safron and various curries emanated.

Yes, I had seconds - plus a wonderfull chat with the old man in the B&W protest to try and understand the precepts of Sikhism a bit better. There are so many cultures in this world, and every time I learn a bit more about one - it is like learning to see the world in a new way. Plus, without understaning you cannot have empathy for others. At best, you can have sympathy - which is not exactly the same thing.

Please - help fight Hobophobia

It's one hell of a disease that causes willful blindness in far too many of our fellow citizens.

Yeah, I know - I haven't been around much. Nothin' much going on. Well, 'cept Jake hitting full-bore puberty. All of a sudden he needs to be fashionable. And uncommunicative. And surly. And... well, it seems girls suddenly have a purpose.

Or was that boobs.

One or the other....

Death is my copilot...

The little miss certainly knows how to embrace the Halloween spirit...

Morning giggles

We have a strict vacation rule - no electronics until after supper (rainy day exceptions may apply). Forces them to actually remember how to play and have fun without staring at a monitor.

Back soon!

Haliburton Sunrise

I went up to the Hill on Wednesday to pay my respects. After all, he led the party that my Grandfather helped form so many years ago. Never seen so orange a memorial...

Layton Memorial

Lineup was a bit too long for me to be able to wait for though..

Viewing lineup

Still, I ran into Stephen Harper. I think.


All that aside, while Jack and I wouldn't have agreed on many things politically, I always respected his energy, his integrity, and his life-long commitment to public service. We need more like him in politics.

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