While I do not really understand why the Globe and Mail chose to use “Voice Over IP” as an example of how Canada’s 911 system is in bad shape, it’s pretty bad everywhere. I think their article under values how successful our landline based systems are, as well as the technology behind it. However, the article makes a good point as to how the wireless system is messed up:
When it comes to locating calls, Canada is dangerously behind the times. Despite the proliferation of GPS-equipped cellphones, the ability to locate callers using GPS does not exist here.
To make matters worse, much of the technology needed to solve the problem is manufactured here, then exported to the United States where it is purchased by the major wireless carriers. Gatineau-based SolaCom Inc., a company that designs such equipment, has contracts in eight U.S. states.
What’s really bad is how the wireless providers do not want to pay for the upgrades to make GPS based 911 calls work. The wireless providers claim there is no profit in paying for such a system, even though they charge us system access fees, and even a 911 access fee. The article makes this observation:
An internal Industry Canada document indicates the government was advised that the money is “retained as additional revenue” by the wireless companies.
Can the government please force the wireless providers to pay to have this system implemented with the 911 access fees they already collected? Or can the government at least collect these fees from the wireless providers who are doing nothing with them?
The United States government forced wireless providers to implement a GPS based 911 system, and now they have such a system that has saved lives.
Just when everyone thought the Feds were running out of economic ammunition, they’ve pulled another move no one expected. The Feds today have announced a 3.0% interest rate cut, putting the current interest rate at -3.25%.
When asked to explain what a negative interest rate means to the economy, Julio Fantigo from the Federal Reserve offered this explanation:
With the current economy in such a bad state, we at the Federal Reserve felt that we should do more to help the economy. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to get Americans to spend more, more, and even more. So essentially we will be paying people to borrow money.
The solution to all short sighted problems, is more short sightedness.
This is pretty funny to watch in retrospect:
It makes you think long and hard about how the media analyzes information.
Are sub-prime mortgages really bad? I don’t live in a major centre like the GTA where a little bungalow can cost more than 500,000, so I did not at first understand the need for these high risk mortgages. But when someone explained to me how it is next to impossible for him to buy a home, it started to make more sense.
The obvious problem is “high risk,” which becomes extreme danger when the economy tanks. However, if everything is good, the would sub-prime, 40 year mortgages be alright?
Or maybe the problem is just that in some places, housing just costs too much, and is a problem when you have other parts of the country where housing is cheap. Would this then suggest that we have some kind of economical imbalance where too much of our economy is built around these major centres? Perhaps we need to find programs to encourage business development to spread out into other areas of the country, intead of having everything in the Torontos and Calgaries of the country.
If the Conservatives manage to put together a budget that the coalition parties like, and one they endorse, does that mean the coalition failed? And should the coalition parties then endorse Stephen Harper’s budget and leadership, what does that mean politically?
This is a strange question to ask yourself in Canadian politics. Should this happen, the Conservatives deliver an amazing budget, what happens next? Does this help the conservatives gain political points so that they can get a majority government next election? I think they would gain quite a bit of popularity in such a case, unless perhaps their concessions anger western Canada. But if that should happen, who is western Canada going to turn to, the Liberals? They’ll probably stick with the conservatives beliving that giving them a majority will correct the course of the party. Unless of course Preston Manning gets so upset and decides to restart the Reform Party.
So it seems, the best move for the conservatives at this point is to please the coalition as much as possible and when their confidence. It’s the only way to bring the rest of Canada on board, and the most logical way to win a majority.
So the question is, what then is the best move for the coalition parties, do not support the budget no matter how good it is?
Harper: Thank you Mr. Ignatieff for making it out to the meeting today. I know it would have been hard for you to get here, what with the transit strike and all.
Ignatieff: No problem. It wasn’t that bad, except Jack offered me a ride and he wouldn’t stop singing Hanah Montana songs.
Harper: I know, especially when he tried to sing True Friend, and kept begging you to join in.
Ignatieff: Ya, I was about ready to hit him with a copy of the Citi… hey, how did you know about that?
Harper: It’s not important. What is important is the business I would like to discuss with you today. I have a solution to this whole fiscal update fiasco. A coalition.
Ignatieff: A coalition? Been there, done that… Helped me get my job a lot faster.
Harper: No, no… not one controlled by the evil separatists. I’m talking about a Conservative – Liberal coalition.
Ignatieff: A Conservative – Liberal coalition?
Harper: Why not? Canadians have never been interested in politics in years! We have to keep the suspense going.
Ignatieff: That is true. A good story needs to keep it’s readers engaged. I just finished reading the Twilight Series, and a coalition seemed to work well for the vampires and werevolves.
Well, Stephen Harper is going to appoint 18 members to the senate in order to fill all vacancies. Do be honest, this announcement doesn’t really make sense (and I’m not talking from a political power perspective):
“We remain committed to Senate reform, which means elections for senators. [But] as long as the Senate exists in its present form, Senate vacancies should be filled by a government that Canadians elected, not a government that Canadians rejected.”
So we believe in an elected senate, so we’re going to appoint unelected senators, because we were an elected government.
Seems a politician will do anything when it comes to power, so whatever the other person said is wrong until they switch sides of the house.
Anyway, here are my picks for the senate:
- Don Cherry
- Margaret Atwood
- The two people from What Not To Wear (okay, so they’re not canadian, but they’re pretty insightful)
- Tom Cruise (I heard he spent time in Ottawa as a child from CBC’s Q)
- Keifer Sutherland (Jack Bauer will keep Tom in line)