2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

Beyond The Book Lecture: John Gormley – #UofR 2014

Gormley at UofR

I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to get wrapped up in a talk radio show while at a front-desk job. I wouldn’t want to start talking to myself, at the radio, for the whole Library to hear.

John Gormley

Idle No More showed up and disrupted his lecture. After Campus Security showed up, the three noisy protesters relented and were escorted off campus (I was told later by an employee at the University). Others who supported the protest stayed behind to ask difficult questions of Gormley. He dodged the last one completely, refusing to opine why we need and should accept polluted rivers in our prosperous province.

I got a few interviews from opposing perspectives, after his talk. They’re at the end of the video (visible after YouTube processes it).
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Nahlah Ayed in Regina for Minifie Lecture at #UofR

She was crunched for time in writing a speech, something she’s not used to doing either, so she wrote a diary of her recent coverage in Ukraine and made it interesting by giving the back story to reporting in a region that could break out into open war. She grew up in Winnipeg. One questioner at the end noted it was nice to be able to see her smile, since her job doesn’t permit it as she’s reporting from tense situations overseas.

Nahlah Ayed

She bemoaned the lack of coverage of South America in North America, and dodged the question if there were stories she’d pushed for not covered. The pictured painted was one of needing to leave news uncovered because of deadlines to file. Places had to go unseen because there’s only one reporter, one team from the CBC there. The schedule is tight, and deadlines are pushed to extremes. Social media adds another pressure, but may be essential to reach a new audience.

I think it’s too bad there’s a culture of media censorship not talked about in Canada, where some stories are shunned and journalists are not able to speak of which ones without facing retribution from their distribution owners and editors.

Overall the talk was a success, even though she’d not finished writing it on the plane to Regina. Foreign correspondents probably deliver their best material under an impossible deadline, anyway.

Nahlah Ayed and John Klein

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First Nations Get $0.3M for Solar Research #skpoli

The Conservative government generously gave First Nations in Saskatchewan enough grant money to build one impressively sized solar array that could power a half dozen homes.

Ontario is going with $5,000M.

SaskPower gave 10 times the recent federal contribution, to the UofR to research how to put CO2 underground so more oil can be pumped out of the Weyburn area.

Lockheed manufactures illegal weapons, and is part of the F-35 dud stealth bomber boondoggle.

Solar is not “concentrated” in SK as explained in the article, we just have more sun hitting the ground throughout the year than most of Canada. There’s no magnifying glass aimed at Regina or Estevan, fortunately.

$300K is better than a kick in the teeth, I suppose. It’s to be used on little demonstration projects. It’s 2013, and Germany has already done a country-wide demonstration project that we can wholesale adopt here in Saskatchewan. Let’s get on with it already.

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Defending WikiLeaks and Whistleblowers

1:08:38 SFU History grad, Sean Tucker of Business Administration, “I don’t know if we need a Whistleblower policy on campus or something”.

An academic has their priorities askew if they don’t protect whistleblowing, even while its result is not directly in the immediate favour of their organization. Protecting the right to speak and hear the truth, is an important aspect of a functioning democracy and a transparent academic institution.

1:16:16 I speak my mind. I’d rather the University offer WikiLeaks server space, if there’s any sort of policy on whistle-blowing.

TD;CSR. OMG No Way!

2012 was a strong year for TD, despite ongoing economic challenges and market volatility. Our total adjusted earnings were more than $7 billion dollars — up more than $600 million, or about 10 per cent, from 2011.

-Colleen Johnston, Group Head and Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group

Through a generous contribution of $350,000, TD Bank Group is helping Aboriginal students at the University of Regina realize their educational potential.

$350,000 / $7,000,000,000 = 0.005%

Thank-you to TD Bank, generously sharing the wealth of their outstanding profits from oil and gas.
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Kevin Page at Journalism School and #UofR

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, now a professor at the UofO, was a guest at the UofR’s J-School, then CCPA sponsored lecture on Thursday night. I live-tweeted the events, hashtag #PBOPage. Here are recordings of his evening talk.

Kevin Page and Saskboy