Budget 2017: Subsidizing The Phase Out Of Meat In Canada

It was announced in the 2017 Federal budget that there would be millions in spending for so-called “superclusters“. These are just areas of research. One of those was Agri-Foods, which turned out to just be ways to get rid of meat altogether.

At the time of writing this, there are several projects on the go, including:

Strangely, there don’t seem to be many — or any — initiatives to get Canadians into farming, raising animals for food. It’s almost as if things are going in a different direction.

Clusters—dense areas of business activity that contain large and small companies, post-secondary institutions and specialized talent and infrastructure—energize economies and act as engines of growth. They create jobs, encourage knowledge sharing, drive business specialization and help to attract “anchor” companies from around the world. Successful clusters like the ones in Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tel Aviv and the Toronto-Waterloo corridor contribute significantly to both regional and national economies.

Budget 2017 proposes to invest up to $950 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to be provided on a competitive basis in support of a small number of business-led innovation “superclusters” that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth.

The competition will launch in 2017 and focus on superclusters that enhance Canada’s global competitiveness by focusing on highly innovative industries such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, health/bio-sciences and clean resources, as well as infrastructure and transportation.

This is from page 79 of the 2017 budget. So, this wasn’t just some spur of the moment idea. It’s been in the works for a long time. The goal is apparently to generate at least $25 billion per year from sales in plant based foods and materials, according to the 2022-2023 Annual Report from Protein Industries Canada.

It’s fair to assume that production will only ramp up as far as the plant based industry goes. Again, there’s little to no enthusiasm to increase meat production.

Other “superclusters” include: digital technology, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and oceans (presumably a climate initiative).

On the issue of intellectual property, the following is stated:

“The IP strategy sets out how each Supercluster will strike a balance between providing its members with access to project-generated IP, while protecting the commercial interests of individual project partners, including small-and-medium-sized businesses. This encourages more collaboration and innovation, leading to good commercial outcomes.”

In other words, Canadians are paying to subsidize companies that will keep at least a portion of the IP that they create. It would be interesting to know how exactly this balance would be struck.

Also, this program is open to foreign companies, provided they do at least some business in Canada. However, there aren’t any minimum requirements stated.

And what other money has been handed out lately?

The Alfalfa Inc. Sep 14, 2018 Insecticidal Plant-Based Product $200,997.00
Gfi Brands Inc. Nov 16, 2021 High Nutrition Plant Based Foods $375,018.00
Ingredion Aug 12, 2019 Plant-Based Ingredient Markets $2,145,000.00
Innovation Virentia Inc. Sep 14, 2018 Insecticidal Plant-Based Product $200,997.00
Jewish CC Montreal Aug 9, 2019 Global Certification For Plant-Based Products $819,638.00
Konscious Foods Canada Nov 18, 2021 Plant-Based Seafood Products $36,000.00
Novagevity Inc. Apr 1, 2020 Plant Based Meal Replacement $78,805.00
Novagevity Inc. Dec 22, 2021 Plant Based Beverage $200,311.00
Rps Biologiques Inc. Oct 26, 2021 Plant-Based Fish Meal Additive $23,360.00
Spiderwort Inc. Oct 11, 2021 Plant-Based Fish Fillet $280,000.00
UBC Mar 1, 2022 Pea Proteins, Plant-Based Foods $142,946.00
Vivus Pets Inc. Jan 18, 2022 Gluten Free Plant Based Dog Food $50,000.00

Are we noticing a pattern here?

There are, of course, plenty of eco-nuts who claim that meat must be done away with in order to prevent global warming. It’s almost as if there are different excuses and lies being promoted to drastically change human behaviour. More on that another time.

For some extra reading, here is the last piece on cricket production and subsidies being handed out by the Federal Government.

(1) https://www.proteinindustriescanada.ca/news/how-a-plant-based-seafood-alternative-is-helping-canada-reduce-its-carbon-footprint
(2) https://www.proteinindustriescanada.ca/news/increasing-plant-based-food-and-beverage-options-through-oat-ingredient-innovation
(3) https://www.proteinindustriescanada.ca/news/strategically-increasing-eastern-canadas-processing-capacity
(4) https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/innovation-superclusters-initiative/en/frequently-asked-questions
(5) https://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/budget-2017-en.pdf
(6) Canada Budget 2017 Superclusters
(7) https://www.proteinindustriescanada.ca/uploads/Corporate-Plan-2022-23.pdf
(8) https://search.open.canada.ca/grants/
(9) https://canucklaw.ca/cricket-production-subsidies-aspire-food-group/

Kelvin Zero: Developing Digital Biometric ID With Public Money

Publication number: 20210083872
Abstract: Provided herein is a system, device, method, and subnetwork for performing a secure blockchain transaction of a digital asset. The system includes a terminal for generating the blockchain transaction, the terminal configured to operate in a first mode and a second mode, and a switch connector for preventing the terminal from operating in the first mode and the second mode simultaneously. When the terminal is in the first mode, the terminal is connected via a network to a system provider server, the system provider server in communication with a plurality of blockchain devices. When the terminal is in the second mode, the terminal is in communication with a cold storage device. The cold storage device is configured to store a private key for signing the blockchain transaction. The terminal is configured to sign the blockchain transaction on the cold storage device using the private key.
Type: Application
Filed: March 27, 2019
Publication date: March 18, 2021
Inventors: Philippe Desmarais, Thierry St-Jacques Gagnon

The above is a description of a patent to make electronic transfers more secure, and less vulnerable to outside attacks. It outlines a number of security features for identity verification, and to ensure the money gets to its intended targets.

Philippe Desmarais, Thierry St-Jacques Gagnon are the co-Founders of Kelvin Zero. In 2019, they filed a patent application for a blockchain application for digital asset transfers. While this is interesting, this hasn’t really been all their efforts, as the company has been subsidized by taxpayer money. The National Research Council has been handing out grants to fund this kind of technology.

Desmarais is also a Board Member at IX Investing. The name is also a curious one, as many readers will be familiar with the Desmarais Family, who owns Power Corporation and most Canadian politicians.

The Federal Lobbying Registry provides some information on the money that had been given out during the period of the lobbying and solicitation. Other databases have overlapping results.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 2020 $41,359
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) 2020 $23,375
Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada 2020 $20,000
Information Technology Association of Canada 2020 $32,500
Investissement Québec 2020 $63,364
National Research Council (NRC) 2020 $178,720

Kelvin Zero has been lobbying for the last while in order to secure taxpayer funding for its various initiatives. This is hardly surprising. The grants handed out in 2021 should be publicly available soon.

Bruce Hartley is also an interesting choice to use as the lobbyist. He spent a decade working for Jean Chretien. He was also one of the lobbyist (along with William Pristanski) which got SNC Lavalin their deferred prosecution.

Apr. 1, 2020 Innovation Assistance Program $81,312
Jun. 25, 2020 Innovation Assistance Program $97,408
Oct. 12, 2020 European GVC/MNE access support $30,000
Dec. 20, 2020 Innovation Assistance Program $70,449
Apr. 12, 2021 Digital Biometric ID Card $180,000

Kelvin Zero received several grants from the Federal Government in the last few years. This is information available from Open Search Canada. Perhaps the most interesting of which was the Biometric ID Program.

This project will help Kelvin Zero develop the technology behind its biometric access card system, MULTI-PASSTM. MULTI-PASS is a global, unique digital wallet that organizations and their users can use to process secure data, identity, and access validations over near-field communication (NFC) technology.

Kelvin also describes their project as a way to “validate identity without ever accessing it”. The stated rationale is that if the identity isn’t accessed, then it’s not at risk for being compromised. The company is also working on developing a “universal digital wallet”.

Kelvin is also part of the Thales Accelerate Partner Network. According to records from the Canada Revenue Agency, Thales Digital Solutions has been receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

(1) https://kzero.com/en/team
(2) https://patents.justia.com/inventor/philippe-desmarais
(3) https://www.ix-investments.com/our-board/philippe-desmarais/
(4) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=367360&regId=905576#regStart
(5) https://www.linkedin.com/in/philippe-desmarais-b695a3126/
(6) https://search.open.canada.ca/en/gc/
(7) https://kzero.com/en/news/kelvin-zero-selected-for-a-biometric-card-r-d-project
(8) https://kzero.com/en/what-we-do
(9) https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/hacc/cews/srch/pub/bscSrch

The Myocarditis Foundation, And Donations From Financially Interested Parties

It’s a narrative seen all too often lately: heart problems and death among young and healthy people is common. There’s nothing too alarming. Well, is that really the case? Are things this straightforward, or is something obvious not being discussed?

On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with an organization whose purpose is to bring public awareness to common health problems. There are certainly many of them. The Myocarditis Foundation is just one of these groups.

Upon digging a little deeper, there are questions about this group, and what its interests really are. In particular, it’s curious where their financing comes from, and what they leave out of the conversation. But first, a bit of backstory:

Regeneron was one of the companies in 2020 who was vying to get a cure onto the market for this so-called “Covid-19”. They ultimately got Regen-CoV (casirivimab and imdevimab) emergency use authorization with the FDA. This obviously wasn’t full approval, but allowed the products to be distributed. Regen-CoV has some interesting side effects, to put it mildly.

The story gets more interesting. Regeneron has many products either in testing, or already on the market. One such case is a partnership with Sanofi on a cancer drug. Another drug was something called Arcalyst, which was to be repurposed by a company called Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals. This essentially amounts to taking a commerical drug, and finding an entirely new purpose for it.

In its information for investors, Kiniksa explains how this happened to come about. They are quite open that this is someone else’s creation.

Rilonacept was discovered and developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Regeneron) and is approved by the FDA under the brand name ARCALYST® for the treatment of CAPS. Kiniksa licensed rilonacept from Regeneron in 2017 for evaluation in diseases believed to be mediated by both IL-1α and IL-1β, including recurrent pericarditis. The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to rilonacept for recurrent pericarditis in 2019. Based on the Phase 3 RHAPSODY data announced today, the Biologic License Application (BLA) for CAPS will transfer to Kiniksa, and the company plans to submit an sBLA with the FDA in recurrent pericarditis later this year. Upon receipt of FDA approval for rilonacept in recurrent pericarditis, Kiniksa would assume the sales and distribution of rilonacept for the approved indications in the United States and will evenly split profits on sales with Regeneron.

Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2015 in Bermuda. Despite being a “new” company, there were able to raise $80 million relatively quickly. Over the next year, they would obtain the exclusive rights to rilonacept. 2018, they were able to raise $170.7 million with their IPO, or initial public offering. 2019, the FDA conferred “Breakthrough Therapy” designation on them and they went into Stage 2 testing. All of this is pretty impressive for a company that seemingly came out of nowhere.

June 29, 2020 Kiniksa announced the Phase 3 testing for its drug to combat recurring pericarditis. What a coincidence that they would soon have such a growing market for their product.

March 18, 2021, Kiniksa received FDA approval for its product. Proprietary name is Arcalyst, and the established name is Rilonacept. “Treatment of recurrent pericarditis (RP) and reduction in risk of recurrence in adults and children 12 years and older.” Interesting how this product came along just in time for the wave of heart problems that would ensue.

[1] Regeneron is involved in conducting research into various cures for Covid-19. Of course, so are many others.
[2] Kiniksa takes an existing product from Regeneron. It’s used as a cure for pericarditis, the scale of which is likely made much worse by Covid-19 vaccines.

Problem. Reaction. Solution.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the Myocarditis Foundation? It turns out that Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals is one of their major donors. In their Spring 2021 newsletter, the Foundation celebrates the revelation of Kiniksa’s approval for recurring pericarditis with the FDA.

It’s curious that the other corporate donors are insurance companies. Just a thought, but perhaps there is some larger effort to limit liability of businesses everywhere.

A cynic may wonder if the Myocarditis Foundation’s focus on heart damage from Covid-19 is a way to boost business for Kiniksa, and to deflect attention from the long term effects of these vaccines. With so much money at stake, it’s hard to write off any possibility.

Looking through the tweets and publications of the Myocarditis Foundation, they never seem to address the elephant in the room: how many recent cases of heart problems are caused by these vaccines?

(1) https://twitter.com/myocarditisfndn/status/1461721312087486470
(2) https://www.regeneron.com/covid19
(3) Regeneron’s COVID-19 Response Efforts
(4) https://www.regencov.com/
(5) https://www.pharmalive.com/regeneron-and-sanofi-collaboration-receives-third-fda-drug-approval/
(6) https://www.kiniksa.com/about
(7) https://www.kiniksa.com/diseases
(8) https://investors.kiniksa.com/news-releases/news-release-details/kiniksa-announces-positive-data-phase-3-trial-rilonacept/
(9) Kiniksa Announces Positive Data from Phase 3 Trial of Rilonacept in Recurrent
(10) https://www.fda.gov/media/97001/download
(11) Corrected 20210930_ ANNUAL_Breakthrough_Approvals
(12) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/
(13) https://twitter.com/myocarditisfndn
(14) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/supporters/corporate-donors/
(15) Corporate Charitable Giving – Myocarditis Foundation
(16) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-Financial-Summary.pdf
(17) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/newsletter/
(18) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Spring-21-Newsletter.pdf
(19) Myocarditis Foundation Spring-21-Newsletter
(20) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/research-and-grants/research-and-grant-program/
(21) https://www.iscmf.org/
(22) https://www.iscmf.org/covidregistry

(A) Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences Foundation Funded By Big Pharma
(B) Canadian Pharmacists Association: Subsidies While They Lobby Against You
(C) CDN Immunization Research Network Funded By Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi
(D) B.C. Pharmacy Association Funded By Drug Companies
(E) U.S. Council On Patient Safety: Women’s Health
(F) Emergent BioSolutions Lobbying All Federal Parties
(G) British Fertility Society Funded By Pharmaceutical Companies
(H) American College Health Foundation Is Funded By Big Pharma-and-insurance/

TSCE #9(F)(2): 2021 Parliamentary Hearings On Pornhub, CSAM, Digital Fingerprinting, Databases

When the issues of internet privacy and child protection intersect, sorting things out can be fairly tricky. It was only a decade ago when “Conservative” Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, decided that having basic protections of browsing history amounted to coddling pedophiles. Nonetheless, these concerns don’t go away just because someone else is now in office.

Now, it’s the group Pornhub that is under the public spotlight. It is just one such site owned by MindGeek. The porno empire of MindGeek includes (but isn’t limited to):

  • Pornhub
  • RedTube
  • YouPorn
  • Brazzers
  • Digital Playground
  • Men.com
  • Reality Kings
  • Sean Cody
  • WhyNotBi.com

Allegations have come up that actual sexual abuse as been published on this site, as well as revenge porn, and videos featuring minors. All of that is illegal. As for the hearings:

The above videos are clipped from the this hearing. The transcript of that day’s hearing is available here.

From January to June 2021, there were Parliamentary hearings held in Ottawa based on what was happened with Pornhub. It turned out that a very large amount of their content involved non-consenting parties, or minors, or both. After an outrage in December 2020, and threatened with the loss of payment processors like Visa and Mastercard, there was some serious damage control.

To be clear, the whole pornography uploading industry is disgusting. This is especially true as it’s fairly easy to allow content of minors to be included, and non-consensual content as well. That being said, the hearings were interesting, but for additional reasons.

One notable topic was the level of software available to scan images and videos, to implement “digital fingerprinting”, and to collaborate with other social media sites. Furthermore, Mindgeek explained they knew exactly who is uploading to their site, and where it’s happening from.

(February 5, 2021, 13:05)
We are also working to ensure that once content is removed, it can never make its way back to our platform or to any platform. The revictimization of individuals when their content is re-uploaded causes profound injury that we are working fiercely to prevent. We are attacking this problem in two ways. First, our people are trained to remove such material upon request. Second, we digitally fingerprint any content removed from our website so that it cannot be re-uploaded to our own platform.
For the last two years, we have been building a tool called “SafeGuard” to help fight the distribution of non-consensual intimate images. As I sit before you today, I am pleased to report that this month we will be implementing SafeGuard for all videos uploaded to Pornhub. We will offer SafeGuard for free to our non-adult peers, including Facebook, YouTube and Reddit. We are optimistic that all major social media platforms will implement SafeGuard and contribute to its fingerprint database. Such co-operation will be a major step to limit the spread of non-consensual material on the Internet.

(February 5, 2021, 13:10)
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
How do you know?
Mr. Feras Antoon:
It’s because every single piece of content is viewed by our human moderators. Number two, it goes through software that we have licensed from YouTube, like CSAI Match, and from Microsoft, like PhotoDNA for pictures. It goes through a software called Vobile.
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
But then why, for example, do Pornhub’s terms of service say, “we sometimes review Content submitted or contributed by users”?
Mr. David Tassillo (Chief Operating Officer, Entreprise MindGeek Canada):
Mrs. Stubbs, I would like to add to what Feras mentioned.
I’m not too sure where it says that in the terms of service, but I can guarantee you that every piece of content, before it’s actually made available on the website, goes through several different filters, some of which my colleague made reference to.
Depending on whether it comes up as a photo or as a video, we go through different pieces of software that would compare it to known active cases of CSAM, so we’ll actually do a hash check. We actually don’t send the content itself over; they create a digital key per se that’s compared to a known active database. After that, it’s compared to the other piece of software that Feras mentioned, Vobile, which is a fingerprinting software by which anyone can have their content fingerprinted. Any time MindGeek would find the piece of infringing content, we’d add it to that database to prevent the re-upload.
Once it passes the software queue…. If anything fails at the software level, it automatically doesn’t make it up to the site. Once that piece has gone through, we move over to the human moderation section. The human moderators will watch each one of the videos, and if they deem that the video passes, it will be—

Essentially, all of the material, whether uploaded or not, will become part of a huge database. Who will have access to it, and for what reasons could content be released?

And software is used, including stuff provided by YouTube and Microsoft. Will they have access to it? Can the material be stored somewhere else?

The Adult Industry Laborers and Artists Association wrote to Parliament, essentially arguing that the porn industry was better at regulating itself than the Government. Also, it was a large sector of the economy which people relied on to provide for their families.

The Sex Workers of Winnipeg Action Coalition actually wrote to Parliament advising AGAINST mandatory identification for using and uploading onto such sites. They argue that it’s too easy to compile and save the data to be used to nefarious purposes (and cite Clearview AI). In terms of material uploaded without consent, they actually have a point.

The Free Speech Coalition wrote to the hearing and recommended working with sites like Pornhub. They claim that illicit material will just be shared elsewhere if this were shut down.

In MindGeek’s written submissions, they spelled out — at least broadly — the technical tools they had to combat illicit material and keep it from being shared:

Our human moderators are supported by a growing suite of technical tools, which fall into two broad categories: those that detect previously identified CSAM and non-consensual content using a fingerprint technology and those that use artificial intelligence to detect unreported CSAM content.

MindGeek’s fingerprinting tools rely on a unique digital fingerprint to match a video or photograph to those already identified in a database of banned content. These tools include YouTube’s CASI Match, Microsoft’s Photo DNA, Vobile’s MediaWise, and MindGeek’s own SafeGuard. All items caught by these tools as CSAM or non-consensual are immediately blocked from the website and handled by our second level review team.

That’s quite the list of electronic tools. And keep in mind, Pornhub knows exactly who the people are uploading to their site. How exactly would this artificial intelligence work, and what would it be programmed to look for?

The Parliamentary Report has also been issued on this subject. Now, this smut shouldn’t be around at all. However, if it can’t be removed, these are some decent recommendations to help the problem somewhat.

Recommendation 1 concerning liability
That the Government of Canada explore means to hold online platforms liable for any failure to prevent the upload of, or ensure the timely deletion of child sexual abuse material, content depicting non-consensual activity, and any other content uploaded without the knowledge or consent of all parties, including enacting a duty of care, along with financial penalties for non-compliance or failure to fulfil a required duty of care.

Recommendation 2 concerning the duty to verify age and consent
That the Government of Canada mandate that content-hosting platforms operating in Canada require affirmation from all persons depicted in pornographic content, before it can be uploaded, that they are 18 years old or older and that they consent to its distribution, and that it consult with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with respect to the implementation of such obligation.

Recommendation 3 concerning consultation
That the Government of Canada consult with survivors, child advocacy centres, victim support agencies, law enforcement, web platforms and sex workers prior to enacting any legislation or regulations relating to the protection of privacy and reputation on online platforms.

Recommendation 4 concerning section 3 of the Mandatory Reporting Act
That the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the provinces, amend section 3 of An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service to make the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre the designated law enforcement agency for the purpose of reporting under that section and that it ensure that the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre has the resources it needs to investigate the increased referrals of child sexual abuse materials

Recommendation 5 concerning reporting obligations
That the Government of Canada invest resources to ensure the compliance of access providers, content providers and Internet content hosting services with their reporting obligations under An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service through education and awareness initiatives.

Recommendation 6 concerning section 11 of the Mandatory Reporting Act
That the Government of Canada consider amending section 11 of An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service to extend the period of time to commence prosecution for an offence under this Act.

Recommendation 7 regarding compliance under the Mandatory Reporting Act
That the Government of Canada call upon the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police services to ensure the compliance of Internet service providers, as defined in An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, with their reporting obligations under that Act, and that compliance be absolute with no means for providers to opt out

Recommendation 8 concerning requirements for uploaders of content
That the Government of Canada set requirements for uploaders of content to provide proof of valid consent of all persons depicted and that the new regulations include penalties severe enough to act as an effective deterrent.

Recommendation 9 regarding pornographic content and age verification
That the Government of Canada develop clear regulations that require Internet service providers, as defined in An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, to utilize a robust process for age verification of all individuals in uploaded pornographic content, including content generated by individuals, studios or contract partners.

Recommendation 10 concerning proactive enforcement of Canadian laws
That the Government of Canada proactively enforce all Canadian laws regarding child sexual abuse material and the posting of non-consensual material and that in particular, it enforce section 3 of An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service by requiring all Internet service providers, as defined in the Act, to report child sexual abuse material directly to an officer, constable or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace.

Recommendation 11 concerning accessible mechanisms for the removal of online content
That the Government of Canada develop accessible mechanisms that ensure that Canadians victimized by the posting of an image or video online without their consent on sites like Pornhub have the right to have that content removed immediately and to be given the benefit of the doubt with respect to the non-consensual nature of the content, and that the Government of Canada provide all the necessary resources required to put in place these accessible mechanisms.

Recommendation 12 concerning a potential new pattern of sexual violence
That the Government of Canada work with key stakeholder groups such as Canadian sexual assault centres, women’s rights organizations and representatives from LGBTQ2 communities to determine if the posting of non-consensual material depicting sexual violence on sites like Pornhub is reflective of, and contributing to, a new pattern of sexual violence, and that it report its findings, including recommendations for further action, to Parliament.

Recommendation 13 concerning the accountability of websites regarding the downloading and re-uploading of pornographic content
That the Government of Canada hold accountable websites that allow the downloading and re-uploading of pornographic content that erases the identity of the source material, thereby preventing authorities from assessing those accountable for the material.

Recommendation 14 concerning a new legal framework to impose certain obligations on Internet service providers hosting pornographic content
That the Government of Canada create a legal framework that would compel Internet service providers that host pornographic content to:
• implement and use available tools to combat the flagrant and relentless re-uploading of illegal content;
• hire, train and effectively supervise staff to carry out moderation and content removal tasks at an appropriate scale;
maintain detailed records of user reports and responses that can be audited by authorities;
• be legally accountable for content moderation and removal decisions and the harm to individuals that results when efforts are inadequate; and
• build in and design features that prioritize the best interests and privacy rights of children and vulnerable adults

Admittedly, these are some good proposals. Will anything come of these hearings when the next Parliament sits? I guess we will have to wait and see in the new session.

Again, this is not defend this disgusting industry. However, even with safeguards, there are still plenty of children and non-consenting people who are victimized here. It’s not much of a consolation to say that “it will just go elsewhere” if these sites are shut down.

Even for young adults, what happens in 5 or 10 years when they grow up and realize they’ve made a serious mistake? How easy (or possible) will it be to get this information scrubbed?

(1) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/ETHI/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=11088039
(2) https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/ETHI/meeting-19/evidence
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/432/ETHI/Reports/RP11148202/ethirp03/ethirp03-e.pdf
(4) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Adult Gender Equality LEAF
(5) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Adult Industry Labourers
(6) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Christian Legal Fellowship
(7) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Free Speech
(8) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings MindGeek
(9) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Non State Torture
(10) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Ntl Center For Exploitation
(11) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Stop Exploitation
(12) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Winnipeg Sex Workers
(13) Pornhub Parliamentary Hearings Your Brain On Porn
(14) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/10/pornhub-mastercard-visa-rape-child-abuse-images
(15) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MindGeek

Bill C-11: CPC National Secretary Lobbied For Big Pharma To Get Easier Access To Your Medical Data

Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, is currently before Parliament. At the time of writing this, it has still only undergone the first reading. Some of the more disturbing sections of it were covered previously.

Contrary to what the name may imply, “Digital Charter” doesn’t refer to antiviolence activity, spawned by the Christchurch psy-op. Instead, this is an end run around privacy as we know it.

This piece will focus on big pharma getting its hands on Canadians’ medical information. If this were to pass, then potentially all of this, minus your name and address, would be available to anyone will to purchase it.

What’s particularly disturbing is that one of the people pushing for this is Amber Ruddy, the Secretary of the National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada. She’s also CURRENTLY an employee at Counsel Public Affairs, the lobbying firm, and has Emergent BioSolutions, the company making the AstraZeneca vaccines, as a client.

A November 23, 2020 press release by the Federal Government summarized what it expected to accomplish with Bill C-11. Very interestingly, there will be new exceptions to requiring consent in order to obtain personal information.

CPPA will also promote responsible innovation by reducing regulatory burden. A new exception to consent will address standard business practices; a new regime to clarify how organizations are to handle de-identified personal information, and another new exception to consent to allow organizations to disclose personal information for socially beneficial purposes, such as public health research, for example.

There is nothing ambiguous about this. Public health research could be considered a “socially beneficial purpose” and your records handed over. But in fairness, this has probably been happening for a long time already. This Bill would make it a specifically permitted reason.

Among other things, Ruddy (and her colleagues) wanted to make it easier for drug companies to access “anonymized health data”. What this would mean is that your medical records could be send off to third parties, with the only caveat being that your personal information is removed.

Items like date of birth (showing age), and postal code (showing region) would likely still be included. As would the details of your visits, procedures, medications, and dates performed. Keep in mind, even anonymized accounts can be re-identified based on just a few clues.

Search “GlaxoSmithKline” and “Digital Charter”, it shows 35 registrations over the last few years, including Ruddy.

Transfer to service provider
19 An organization may transfer an individual’s personal information to a service provider without their knowledge or consent.
De-identification of personal information
20 An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent to de-identify the information.
Research and development
21 An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent for the organization’s internal research and development purposes, if the information is de-identified before it is used.

Public Interest
Individual’s interest
29 (1) An organization may collect an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if the collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way.
(2) An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if the information was collected under subsection (1).

Statistical or scholarly study or research
35 An organization may disclose an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if
(a) the disclosure is made for statistical purposes or for scholarly study or research purposes and those purposes cannot be achieved without disclosing the information;
(b) it is impracticable to obtain consent; and
(c) the organization informs the Commissioner of the disclosure before the information is disclosed.

Socially beneficial purposes
39 (1) An organization may disclose an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if
(a) the personal information is de-identified before the disclosure is made;
(b) the disclosure is made to
(i) a government institution or part of a government institution in Canada,
(ii) a health care institution, post-secondary educational institution or public library in Canada,
(iii) any organization that is mandated, under a federal or provincial law or by contract with a government institution or part of a government institution in Canada, to carry out a socially beneficial purpose, or
(iv) any other prescribed entity; and
(c) the disclosure is made for a socially beneficial purpose.
Definition of socially beneficial purpose
(2) For the purpose of this section, socially beneficial purpose means a purpose related to health, the provision or improvement of public amenities or infrastructure, the protection of the environment or any other prescribed purpose.

The entire Bill is quite long, but those are a few points. While claiming that this legislation gives members of the public wide control over their information, it lays out ways that same private info can be shared with 3rd parties, without the knowledge or consent of that person.

It’s interesting that Conservatives pretend to care about free speech and Bill C-10, but are silent about the erosion of privacy with Bill C-11. Have to wonder if their Secretary is the reason for this.

This is hardly the first such privacy intrusion has been brought forward. A decade ago, Vic Toews gaslighted Canadians who opposed warrantless seizures of their internet data as “standing with the child pornographers”. Seems not much has changed.

For more on Emergent BioSolutions, and other lobbying, check the links below. It’s quite the cesspit, and Ruddy is up to her neck in it.

(1) https://www.conservative.ca/
(2) https://www.conservative.ca/team-member/amber-ruddy/
(3) https://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&billId=10950130
(4) https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-11/first-reading#ID0E0XB0BA
(5) https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/062.nsf/eng/00120.html
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=367534&regId=908352
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch?V_SEARCH.command=navigate&time=1624013972454
(8) https://canucklaw.ca/bill-c-11-digital-charter-implementation-act-of-canada/

CV #25(E): Canadian Government Seeking Bids For “Biometric Vaccine Passports” System Creation

Where it started: Vaccine passports are just a ridiculous conspiracy theory. Stop with the tin foil hat nonsense.
Where it’s going: We need a company to develop vaccine passport system, and an authority to manage it.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has an urgent need to secure the services of a global organization (the “Contractor”) with knowledge of and expertise in biometrics. The Agency requires this organization to assist with the immediate establishment of an Office of Biometrics and Identity Management and to work with the Agency in researching, planning for and rapidly developing a strategy and roadmap related to the use of Digital solutions enabled by supporting technologies in biometrics, in response to the COVID 19 situation and other operational priorities. The Contractor will bring knowledge, capabilities, and experience to support CBSA’s urgent need to establish a biometric strategy, biometric foundation and ultimately a Biometrics Authority (Centre of Excellence). Specifically, the “contractor” will assist the CBSA with the development of a comprehensive approach and plan to manage, evolve and adapt in using biometrics to deliver the mission of the agency while considering our interrelationship and joint ventures with other federal government departments and agencies and our international partners.

Also, what is the “Office of Biometrics and Identity Management” that this refers to? Who will run it? Who will have access to this data? Will the information be used for commercial or research purposes. There are of course similar questions concerning this “Biometrics Authority”.

Come to think of it: the Privacy Commissioners’ joint statement doesn’t exactly discourage the creation of vaccine passports.

At its essence, a vaccine passport presumes that individuals will be required or requested to disclose personal health information – their vaccine/immunity status – in exchange for goods, services and/or access to certain premises or locations. While this may offer substantial public benefit, it is an encroachment on civil liberties that should be taken only after careful consideration. This statement focuses on the privacy considerations.

Vaccine passports must be developed and implemented in compliance with applicable privacy laws. They should also incorporate privacy best practices in order to achieve the highest level of privacy protection commensurate with the sensitivity of the personal health information that will be collected, used or disclosed.

For businesses and other entities that are subject to private sector privacy laws and are considering some form of vaccine passport, the clearest authority under which to proceed would be a newly enacted public health order or law requiring the presentation of a vaccine passport to enter a premises or receive a service. Absent such order or law, i.e. relying on existing privacy legislation, consent may provide sufficient authority if it meets all of the following conditions, which must be applied contextually given the specifics of the vaccine passport and its implementation:

Can we now expect some new order or law to give businesses the power to refuse people entry based on not sharing this information? And what guarantees do we have that this will not be abused or shared anyway? There are safeguards (on paper at least), but what are those actually worth?

The Vaccine Credential Initiative, which includes Microsoft, seems poised to push such a global version. This should surprise no one at this point. A cynic might wonder if the whole thing was planned.

(1) https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-21-00958775
(2) https://buyandsell.gc.ca/cds/public/2021/06/07/c375d34f163718ff11b06433e7b68d71/1000357607_-_npp_eng.pdf
(3) Vaccine Passport Notice Of Proposed Procurement
(4) https://priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/speeches/2021/s-d_20210519/
(5) https://vci.org/