Monday, September 01, 2014

"Luk's toast!"

Up next .....

The metamorphosis of Minister Dufus from "Helicopter Pete"to "Contract Pete" .....

"That's Minister Dufus to you!"

Good Day Readers:

Ever notice how these days Peter MacKay can't seem to get through a week without saying or doing something stupid? His stupidity will cost the Conservatives dearly come next election.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Ex-MaKay Aid Jay Paxton won contract

Former staffer landed communications gig with security forum 3-months after departure

Brett Bundale Halifax City Hall
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Press Secretary Jay Paxton, right, with former Defence Minister Peter MacKay as he is questioned by media on Afghanistan after caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (The Canadian Press)

Another former Peter MacKay staffer appears to be benefiting from a multi-million dollar federal grant awarded to a Washington, D.C., organization.

Jay Paxton was communications director in the office of the minister of national defence under MacKay from 2010 to 2013, and press secretary for the Department of National Defence before that.

Paxton served as MacKay’s spokesman and often travelled with the defence minister, including to Nova Scotia in November 2012 to attend the Halifax International Security Forum, according to Paxton’s travel expenses.

The non-profit organization is based in the United States but the annual conference is held in Halifax.

Paxton left the federal defence minster’s office in June 2013, about two months before MacKay was shuffled to the Justice Department.

By October 2013, Paxton’s name appeared as the communications contact on a news release issued by the Halifax International Security Forum — one year after he travelled to the conference with MacKay and only three months after leaving his federal post.

Upon leaving the minister’s office, Paxton launched his own Ottawa-based public relations firm PAX Strategies.

On his firm’s website, the Halifax International Security Forum is listed under “clients and partners.”

In an interview Wednesday, Paxton said he submitted a competitive bid on a contract to provide communications for the security forum and emerged as the winning bidder.

“I started a company and I bid on a contract to provide communications solutions for the 2013 Halifax forum and I was successful with that bid,” he said from Ottawa.

“I had one contract with them and that was to deliver communications solutions for the 2013 forum,” Paxton said. “I put together a professional, experienced, non-partisan team to deliver that contract.”

Paxton declined to say how much the contract was worth, noting that it was “a competitive process that was put forward so we don’t publicly discuss those fees.”

While he acknowledged that his former role working for MacKay gave him a “solid understanding” of the security forum, he said his bid and the communications solutions he provided were non-partisan.

Joseph Hall, vice-president of the Halifax International Security Forum, said Paxton submitted the most comprehensive, competitive, high-value bid.

He said Paxton offered an expertise on the event and the local media market that other bidders, which were American, did not.

“He had the capacity to put a Canadian team together that could work with us,” Hall said. “We looked at the value for money, the ability to deliver the product and their special knowledge,” and Paxton was the strongest candidate, he said.

Furthermore, Paxton had approached the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner before submitting a bid, both Hall and Paxton said. Hall said given Paxton was cleared by the ethics commissioner, “there was no further question that it was patronage.”

Sherry Perreault, a director with the office of the Ethics Commissioner, said in an email that the office’s investigations are confidential. But she added that individuals who have lodged or been the subject of a complaint are not bound by the same confidentiality rules.

Meanwhile, ahead of last year’s conference MacKay announced that the federal government had renewed its funding for the security forum, despite the Washington, D.C., organization’s failure to make the event self-sufficient as outlined in a 2010 funding agreement.

Ottawa committed $9.8 million, through the Defence Department and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, for the non-profit to continuing organizing the conference through to 2018.

On Tuesday the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released documents obtained through the federal Access to Information and Privacy Act. The documents raised questions about another former MacKay staffer, Peter Van Praagh.

The former senior policy adviser in the Department of Foreign Affairs under MacKay is now president of the Halifax International Security Forum. In 2010, the federal government earmarked $9.96 million for the conference and stipulated in its contract that Van Praagh would be project manager of the Halifax event.

Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director of the taxpayers group, said there’s a troubling pattern of behaviour at the Halifax International Security Forum

“This organization has already received millions from taxpayers and we deserve to know who the Halifax security forum employs, how much they’re paid and who they have service contracts with,” he said. “If the Halifax Security Forum wants to get taxpayers money, they should be accountable for it.”

About the Author
BRETT BUNDALE HALIFAX CITY HALL

E-Mail: bbundale@herald.ca
Twitter: @CH_bbundale

The Mother of all passive-aggressive devices?

Good Day Readers:

You have to wonder if or when "knee defenders" will be banned? What would Canadian authorities do if a passenger were found to have them while going through security? Better yet, what would a flight attendant do if a passenger complained of a knee defender? Do airlines even have a policy?

Taking it one step farther, What if a confrontational altercation broke out and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing a la those two, sexy, little, stupid foxes in Toronto recently who are facing multiple charges plus the $50,000 cost of the unscheduled landing. Is the knee defender or both passengers at fault? Does the airline bear any responsibility? "Paging a lawyer! Paging a lawyer!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
'Knee defender' causing chaos on flights

Long-legged passengers are fighting back against legroom invaders with perhaps the most passive-aggressive product ever invented

By Bill Gardner
Friday, August 29, 2014

The gadget to end legroom wars on planes - or perhaps not. (Photo:gadgetduck.com)

They were invented to ease the stress of air travel by helping taller passengers to fly in comfort.

But a new device called the knee defender – designed to prevent people leaning back in their seats – has sparked a vicious new row over the right to recline.

Now, dozens of the gadgets are believed to be on their way to the UK after worldwide sales spiralled in recent days.

And passengers may have to get used to finding their seat sabotaged by the traveller behind after the industry safety watchdog said it had no power to ban the products from flights.

The knee defender clips onto the lowered table and prevents the flier in front from tilting their seat.

Although it looks innocuous, its effects can be explosive. Last Sunday, a US flight had to be diverted when a fight broke out between two passengers over its use. A man had attached a knee defender to his table to make sure he had space to work on his laptop. When a woman in front tried to recline, he refused to remove it, even when flight crew intervened.

The woman became so upset that she threw a glass of water over him, and the row prompted the pilot of the four-hour flight between Newark and Denver to make an emergency landing in Chicago.

On Wednesday evening, another battle over legroom forced a US passenger jet to turn back.

The American Airlines flight from Miami to Paris was diverted after the clash between Edmond Alexandre, a 61-year-old Frenchman, and a passenger in front who was attempting to recline their seat.

Air marshals on board intervened when Mr Alexandre allegedly grabbed the arm of a flight attendant who was trying to help. The plane was diverted to Boston, where Mr Alexandre was charged with "interfering with a flight crew".

Despite its potential to cause conflict, sales of the knee defender have rocketed, with many buyers believed to be in the UK.

On Tuesday, its website crashed as travellers flocked to buy the gadget for $21.95 (£13) plus delivery charges.

To keep tempers from fraying, the knee defender even comes with a ‘courtesy card’ which explains to the passenger in front that their knees will be banged if the flier's seat is reclined.

Part of the card reads: “I realize that this may be an inconvenience. If so, I hope you will complain to the airline.

"Thank you for your understanding.”

British Airways (BA) said it would continue to offer customers reclining seats because many requested them. It has not yet specifically banned knee defenders on its aircraft.

But budget airlines including Monarch Airlines, easyJet and Ryanair all have non-reclining seats for their short-haul flights.

Launching its new, non-reclining seats in May, Monarch said its customer feedback indicated that reclining seats were “deemed unnecessary and a bone of contention on short-haul flights”.

Many of America’s largest airlines have already banned the knee defender, as have carriers such as the Australian firm Qantas.

Others, such as Singapore Airlines, have said they will review their policies after this week’s airborne arguments.

The Civil Aviation Authority said it had not heard of the knee defender being used in Britain yet and said its use was up to the discretion of individual airlines.It was created by Ira Goldman, a 6ft 4in businessman from Washington DC, who wanted to help other tall travellers fed up with being “bashed in the knees over and over again”.

A former aide to U.S. Senator Pete Wilson, Mr Goldman has said sales of his product have spiralled, but not so far that he can yet afford to travel first class.

He said: “Either your knees will be the stopping device or you use two bits of plastic to defend them.

"I was the kid who says, 'The emperor's not wearing any clothes.

He's naked.”The issue prompted Telegraph Travel readers to air their views this week. An online poll attracted more than 18,000 votes, with almost 70 per cent of readers – 12,632 people – in favour of banning reclining seats on planes.

Related Articles

How to win at passive-aggressive warfare 27 August 2014

Forget the Knee Defender - I want a mobile phone jammer... 27 August 2014

Plane diverted after reclining seat row 26 August 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Harper re-election campaign last seen heading south to the toilet!


Politicians caught stealing your tax dollars!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Got a bad case of greasy Tories in your toilet eh? Drown the little buggers ..... Flush! ..... Jeezus, that felt good!"


Friday, August 29, 2014

So you want to protest ..... eh?

Rule Number One: Avoid the hooligans

Good Day Readers:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a privately funded think tank based mostly in San Francisco (a bit in Washington D.C.) made up essentially of lawyers who constantly challenge government and corporations in the courts if it believes they are unfairly and illegimately violating citizen rights and privacy. To date it has won several landmark cases.

While this article focuses on the American experience there are a lot of parallels to the Canadian legislation. Just remember if you feel the need to protest obey all laws and follow the instructions of police officers. If they misbehave they will be the ones who look like bozos in court. Problem is, of course, while you may be engaged in peaceful demonstration the police could be acting like hooligans - sometimes it's hard to distinguish the protesters from the hooligans.

Never place yourself in a position to get arrested, charged and convicted otherwise it will haunt you for a lot of years. Civil disobedience is still the best course of action.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Cell phone guide for U S protesters, updated, updated 2014 edition

By Eva Galperin/Parker Higgins
Friday, August 15, 2014

With major protests in the news again, we decided it's time to update our cell phone guide for protestors. A lot has changed since we last published this report in 2011, for better and for worse. On the one hand, we've learned more about the massive volume of law enforcement requests for cell phone—ranging from location information to actual content—and widespread use of dedicated cell phone surveillance technologies. On the other hand, strong Supreme Court opinions have eliminated any ambiguity about the unconstitutionality of warrantless searches of phones incident to arrest, and a growing national consensus says location data, too, is private.

Protesters want to be able to communicate, to document the protests, and to share photos and video with the world. So they'll be carrying phones, and they'll face a complex set of considerations about the privacy of the data those phones hold. We hope this guide can help answer some questions about how to best protect that data, and what rights protesters have in the face of police demands.

Before The Protest

Think carefully about what's on your phone. When we last visited this question, law enforcement in many states were arguing that they could search the contents of a phone incident to arrest without a warrant. Today, thanks to the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Riley v. California, that's no longer the case. Still, if you can avoid carrying sensitive data, you don't have to worry about it getting pulled off the phone. That can include photos, your address book, application data, and more. If you don't need it for the protest, consider removing it for the duration.

If you have access to a temporary phone with only the essentials, that might be a better option. Modern smartphones record all sorts of data, and there may be overlooked sources of sensitive information.

Password protect your phone. Password protection can guard your phone from casual searches, but it can still be circumvented by law enforcement or other sophisticated adversaries.

Start using encrypted communications channels. Text messages, as a rule, can be read and stored by your phone company or by surveillance equipment in the area. If you and your friends can get comfortable with encrypted communications channels in advance, that can keep prying eyes off your texts while they're in transit.

Direct messages through social media may be encrypted while in transit, but can be subject to subpoenas from law enforcement. You may wish to explore end-to-end encrypted options, like Whisper Systems' TextSecure,1 Guardian Project's mobile IM software ChatSecure, or the mobile version of Cryptocat, or Whisper Systems' RedPhone ( for Android) or Signal (for iOS) for voice calls, which only store the contents of your communications in an encrypted, unreadable form.

End-to-end encryption does not protect your meta-data. In other words, using end-to-end encrypted communications will keep law enforcement from being able to read the contents of your messages, but they will still be able to see who you're talking to and when you're talking to them.

At The Protest

Keep control of your phone. You may wish to keep the phone on you at all times, or hand it over to a trusted friend if you are engaging in action that you think might lead to your arrest. In any case, you can set the lock screen to turn on quickly, so that if you do lose control of your phone, nobody else gets access easily.

Take pictures and video of the scene. As the ACLU says in a recent Know Your Rights guide, "Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right." Unfortunately, that doesn't stop law enforcement officers from occasionally demanding that protesters stop doing exactly that.

If you're planning to document the protest, you should read the whole guide ahead of time. There are special considerations for videotaping, too, so make sure to brush up on that if you plan to be recording video.

Finally, you may wish to explore options that upload directly to another server. Livestreaming sites, and even social media services, can make sure photos and videos get online before law enforcement officers have a chance to delete them.
Help, I'm being arrested!

You have a right to remain silent—about your phone and anything else. If questioned by police, you can politely but firmly decline to answer and ask to speak to your attorney.

If the police ask to see your phone, tell them you do not consent to the search of your device. Again, since the Supreme Court's decision in Riley, there is little question that officers need a warrant to access the contents of your phone incident to arrest, though they may be able to seize the phone and get a warrant later.

As we said in the last guide, if the police ask for the password to your electronic device you can politely refuse to provide it and ask to speak to your lawyer. Every arrest situation is different, and you will need an attorney to help you sort through your particular circumstance. Note that just because the police cannot compel you to give up your password, that doesn’t mean that they can’t pressure you. The police may detain you and you may go to jail rather than being immediately released if they think you’re refusing to be cooperative. You will need to decide whether to comply.
OK, now how do I get my phone back?

If your phone or electronic device was seized, and is not promptly returned when you are released, you can file a motion with the court to have your property returned. If the police believe that evidence of a crime is on your electronic device, including in your photos or videos, the police can keep it as evidence. They may also attempt to make you forfeit your electronic device, but you can challenge that in court.

Increasingly, we keep our most sensitive communications and personal information on our cell phones. We carry in our pockets these devices that can tremendously enhance our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights, but which also carry serious privacy risks. We hope that with these tips in mind, you can take the necessary precautions with your digital technology.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jump Marc Jump while you still recognize Tim Hortons!

Big payday could await Tim Hortons CEO

Jacqueline Nelson
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Investors in Tim Hortons Inc. have seen some hefty returns since news of a tie-up with Burger King was announced this week. But even better payouts could be ahead for some stakeholders.

Ever since reports of a possible merger first surfaced Sunday night, shares of Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Tim Hortons have been surging. Tim Hortons’ share price jumped 29 per cent by the time the $12.5-billion takeover was announced Tuesday, soaring from $68.87 last Friday to $88.71 at the close Tuesday on the TSX.

That has proven profitable for some of the company’s biggest shareholders.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, which holds a 6.8-per-cent stake in the company through various funds, made more than $177.2-million between Friday and Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada pocketed $162.3-million in the same time through its funds and asset manager Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd. gained $129.8-million.

Another big winner is Tim Hortons’ chief executive officer, Marc Caira.

Mr. Caira took over as the chain’s CEO last year, but the Burger King takeover bid has already proven to be lucrative for him with more to come, if he decides to leave.

He already stands to make approximately $7.4-million on stock options that the company has granted him since his July, 2013, arrival, based on Tuesday’s closing price.

Tim Hortons has also awarded Mr. Caira more than 33,000 restricted shares worth nearly $3-million at Tuesday’s price, according to the coffee chain’s proxy circular and other and documents.

And there could be another payoff looming.

Like most companies, Tim Hortons has a “change-in-control” policy that triggers payments to senior executives who might get tossed out by the new owners within two years. Under Tim Hortons’ policy, the payments are made if an executive is fired by the new owner but the money can also be paid if he or she resigns for “good reason.” Among the factors considered good reason are a change in the executive’s status, duties or responsibilities. Put simply, if “in his or her reasonable judgment, the change is not a promotion.”

Under the terms of the proposed takeover, Mr. Caira will take on the role of vice-chairman of the new merged entity and serve as a director. But he will cede the CEO position to Burger King’s chief executive Daniel Schwartz, who will run the combined company.

But if he does decide to leave and is eligible for change-in-control payments, he’d be in line for a lump-sum payment of $3.82-million within 10 days, $1-million from a short-term incentive plan payout, plus the profit on his stock options, according to the company’s most recent management circular. All told, Mr. Caira could walk away with more than $15-million.

Other top Tim Hortons executives could also be poised for multimillion-dollar payouts, according to the circular, should they leave as a result of the takeover.

Right now, Burger King and Tim Hortons say they are looking at both businesses for additional executives in the new global company structure, and some changes will be announced when the deal closes.

Fast food and the proposed takeover have also been good to hedge fund giant Bill Ackman and his firm, Pershing Square Capital Management LP, which is the second-largest investor in Burger King with a 10.9-per-cent stake. The silver-haired billionaire’s interest in the burger joint went from about $1-billion (U.S.) on Friday night to $1.2-billion by the time markets closed on Tuesday.

Mr. Ackman first invested in Burger King in 2012 as part of a deal that brought the chain back to the public markets in an offering that started trading at $15 a share. Now the shares are worth about $30 on the New York Stock Exchange.

There is another winner too; the majority owners of the new company, Brazilian private equity group 3G Capital Inc. That firm’s initial investment in Burger King has already paid off handsomely. The investor group bought the struggling restaurant chain in 2010 for $4-billion. After taking the company public, 3G retained 70 per cent of the shares – a stake now worth about $7.7-billion. 3G will own 51 per cent of the merged Burger King and Tim Hortons.

The group could further benefit financially from the way the transaction has been structured. Under the proposed deal, 3G will convert its stake in Burger King into units in a new TSX-listed limited partnership. Those units must be held for one year before being converted into common shares in the new company. Many experts say that structure may mean the units would not immediately be subject to capital gains taxes. Just one more benefit in a deal that has already proven beneficial to so many.

With files from freelance writer David Milstead.
Follow Jacqueline Nelson on Twitter: @j2nelson


Dr. Al-Qaeda

'Lady al-Qaeda': The American-educated PhD the Islamic State desperately wants freed

By Terrence McCoy
Thursday, August 28, 2014

This undated file photo released by the FBI shows terror suspect Aafia Siddiqui. (AP Photo/FBI)

Amid the kidnappings, the demands for riches and the executions, a name of controversy and conspiracy has reemerged: Aafia Siddiqui. Once called the “most wanted woman in the world,” she is now more widely known as “Lady al-Qaeda.” And Islamic State leaders wants their lady back.

They want her back so badly, jihadists said they would have traded James Foley for Siddiqui, who’s in U S prison. They said they would have traded Bowe Bergdahl for her. They said they would trade a 26-year-old American woman, kidnapped one year ago, for her.

“You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,” the Islamic State wrote James Foley’s family a week before his execution. “We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.”

Then on Tuesday, the Islamic State said it wanted to exchange the 26-year-old American woman for $6.6 million — and Siddiqui, who was convicted in 2010 of attempting to murder Americans and sentenced to 86 years in federal prison.

“The terror group has sent a laundry list of demands for the release of foreigners, starting with money but also prisoner swaps, including the liberation of Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist,” the New York Times reported.

The repeated demands for Siddiqui’s release revives one of the oddest tales to emerge out of the war on terror. At its center is an enigmatic and extremely educated mother who apparently cast off a comfortable, successful professional life in pursuit of terrorism.

Anti-American protests in Pakistan after a U S court verdict to detain Aafia Siddiqui in 2010. Fauzia Siddiqui, the sister of U S - trained Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, is seen on the lower left. (Clockwise from top left: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images, Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images, AP Photo/Shakil Adil, Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

Since her 2010 conviction, her legend has, if anything, grown. Protests in Pakistan over her detention have fueled a broader online movementdedicated to proving she was tortured by U.S. soldiers and then wrongfully convicted.

To this day, the same questions that haunted Siddiqui at the time of her trial remain. Why would this mother, who spent a decade studying at the most prestigious U S universities, scribble plans detailing a “mass casualty attack” on the Empire State Building? Was she a terrorist mastermind or a victim of an over-aggressive war on terror?

And what does the Islamic State, years after her conviction, want with her now? “We are aware of at least one entity in the Defense Department that has developed possible options to trade Siddiqui,” a spokesman for Representative Duncan Hunter (Republican-California), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, told Foreign Policy.

Siddiqui’s story begins in Karachi, where she was born in 1972. According to a Guardian profile, education and faith came first in her family — as did professional ambition. Her father was an English-trained doctor. Her mother was a pal of former Pakistani president and general Zia ul-Haq. Her brother became a Houston architect. Her sister was a neurologist.

And then there was Aafia. Precocious, brilliant Aafia. She got such good grades as a kid that she was admitted to MIT and later went on to earn a PhD from Brandeis University, writing her dissertation on the “effects imitation has on perceptual learning and memory,” according to a forensic psychological profile prepared in connection with her trial. Soon after, at the age of 23, she married a young Pakistani doctor in an arranged marriage, a union that produced three children.

In this undated photo provided by the law firm Whitfield, Sharp and Sharp, Aafia Siddiqui is shown after her graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (AP Photo/Family Photo via Whitfield, Sharp and Sharp)

It was a tumultuous pairing. “There is evidence that this relationship was very abusive,” wrote L. Thomas Kucharski of John Jay College in his psychological report. “Her husband admitted to only one incident of domestic violence … but former professors at Brandeis have [seen] bruises on her face, suggesting substantially more abuse.”

Then the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center happened. It appeared not only to precipitate the collapse of her marriage but stirred a profound change in Siddiqui. She excelled in her studies, at home, and when organizing charitable activities. But anger simmered. “Following the attacks of 9/11, Dr. Siddiqui informed her husband that she wished to return to Pakistan,” the psychological report stated. “One of the reasons given at that time was that she believed … Americans were intending to abduct Muslim children and were converting them to Christianity…. It represents a very paranoid idea,” said the report, which described her as delusional.

She soon divorced and resettled in Pakistan with her kids. Though her family denied it, she then reportedly married a nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the Guantanamo detainee said to be a mastermind of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001.

Shortly thereafter, she disappeared for five years for reasons that remain uncertain. The Pakistani doctor claimed she had been kidnapped by U S personnel, imprisoned and tortured for five years. The U S government, however, denied that, saying she was really “the most wanted woman in the world,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times. She posed a “clear and present danger to the U S,” one high-ranking American official said.

The narrative clarified on July 18, 2008, when Afghan authorities captured her carrying handwritten notes detailing a “mass casualty attack” on several New York City spots.

Siddique in a February 3, 2010 courtroom sketch in New York City in this still image taken from video footage on January 18, 2013. (Reuters/Reuters Television)

U S officers were invited to question her and were ushered into a room without being told by their Afghan hosts that Siddiqui was “unsecured” behind a curtain that divided the room, according to an FBI criminal complaint. She grabbed an Army officer’s M-4 rifle that was on the floor next to the curtain and screamed, “Allah Akbar!” and, in English, “Get the f— out of here!” the complaint said. She opened fire, but missed the officers, who returned fire and hit her twice in the abdomen.

Two years later, following her recovery, she was convicted in Manhattan federal court of the attempted murder and assault on Americans for that attack and sentenced to 86 years in prison. She’s currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas and slated for release on August 6, 2083. And there, most perhaps believed would be where Siddiqui’s story ended.

But the Islamic State wants otherwise. It wants Lady al-Qaeda back.


Terrence McCoy is a foreign affairs writer at the Washington Post. He served in the U S Peace Corps in Cambodia and studied international politics at Columbia University.

Sexy, little foxes you're going to jail ..... bye, bye for you!


Cuba-bound Sunwing plane escorted back to Toronto by two fighter jets after passenger 'disturbance'

Katrina Clarke
@KatrinaAClarke

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lilla Ratmanski, left, and Milana Muzikante were charged with endangering the safety of an airplane after causing a Sunwing flight to turn back to Toronto en route to Cuba August 27, 2014. (Social Media Photos)

Police arrested two female passengers who allegedly drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes and got into a physical confrontation on a plane Wednesday evening, forcing the flight to divert back to Toronto.

Peel Regional Police arrested two women at Pearson International Airport when the flight landed around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, said police. The women are in their mid-twenties and from the GTA, said police.

The Sunwing plane was en route to Cuba from Toronto when the two unruly passengers disrupted the flight, Sunwing spokes woman Janine Chapman said in a statement.

"It is reported that the passengers consumed a significant part of their duty free alcohol purchase in the and lit a cigarette, triggering the smoke detector alarm" Ms. Chapman said. "These passengers proceeded to get into a physical altercation with each other and made a threat against the aircraft, which was considered non-credible given their condition."

The flight took off from Toronto around 4:30 p.m. she said.

Peel Regional Police ✔ @PeelPoliceMediaFollow

Three further charges for two women taken from Sunwing flight. Mischief Over, Mischief Endangering Life and Utter Threats.

7:45 AM - 28 Aug 2014

Lilia Ratmanski, 25, of Whitby, Ontario and Milana Muzikante, 26, of Vaughan, Ontario have each been charged with smoking on board an aircraft and endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Endangering an aircraft carries a maximum sentence of life in prison under the Criminal Code. Police later added three more charges including mischief and uttering death threats.

The incident also prompted the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to send two Canadian military fighter jets to escort the aircraft back to Toronto.

NORAD received an alert at around 6:40 p.m., when the plane was over South Carolina, about a pilot requesting assistance, said a NORAD representative.

“The pilot decided to turn the aircraft around. According to the information, he made that decision … due to the disturbance on board and we were asked to go and escort the aircraft,” said Major Julie Roberge, a spokesperson with NORAD.

NORAD, the bi-national organization that provides airspace control for the United States and Canada, dispatched two Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 fighter jets from Bagotville, Quebec to escort the plane back to Toronto.

The jets were dispatched as a “precautionary measure,” according to a NORAD press release.

NORAD jets were dispatched to escort a Sunwing jet back to Toronto on Wednesday as a "precautionary move." (Handout/Sunwing Airlines)

Police were still going through witness statements from passengers Wednesday evening, but the two women “obviously” caused a security concern, said Peel police Constable George Tudos.

“They uttered comments that were concerning to passengers and to the pilot,” he said.

Major Roberge said it is “regular business” for NORAD to escort airplanes in Canadian or American airspace that experience passenger disturbances.

Sunwing say it’s “very apologetic for the inconvenience experienced by our customers and thankful to our flight crew for their efforts to safely manage the situation,” said Ms. Chapman.

The entire plane erupted in cheers when they were taken off

Peel police Constable Thomas Ruttan said police arrested the women on the plane without incident when it landed.

“The entire plane erupted in cheers when they were taken off,” said Peel police Constable Thomas Ruttan. “As you can well imagine. These people are going on their vacation.”

This is the second time in two months when a passenger disturbance forced a Sunwing plane to turn back to Toronto.

In July, Peel police arrested 25-year-old Ali Shahi of Mississauga after his Panama-bound plane was forced to redirect back to Toronto. Mr. Shahi allegedly made a direct threat against the aircraft.

Ms. Ratmanski and Ms. Muzikante are scheduled to appear at a Brampton, Ontario courthouse Thursday for a bail hearing.

Simple Stephen still doesn't get it ..... duhhhhh .....


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonder if Judge Mary Jane Mowat has ever heard of this fellow?

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert A. Dewar

Good Day Readers:

While reaching this article found something interesting. Justice Marianne Rivoalen has been appointed Acting Associate Chief Justice (Family Division) Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench although no date for the appointment was listed. She was appointed to the Bench in February of 2005.

This means taxpayers are now funding two Family Division Associate Chief Justices one operative the other not.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Rape conviction statistics won't improve 'until women stop getting drunk' days retired female judge

Comments come three years after Judge Mary Jane Mowat told a teacher convicted of child porn offences that she wouldn't criticize him for being attracted to children.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat who has criticized women rape victims for getting drunk and being unable to recall what happened to them.

By Alice Philipson and agencies
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rape conviction statistics will not improve “until women stop getting drunk”, a retiring judge has said, as she is criticised by women's rights campaigners for her "potentially very harmful" remarks.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat, 66, who worked at Oxford Crown Court until earlier this month, said it was difficult to secure convictions when women could not be sure what had happened because they had drunk too much.

She said juries were faced with an impossible task when a case came down to one person's word against another.

The retired judge told an Oxford newspaper: "I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk.

"It is inevitable that it is one person's word against another, and the burden of proof is that you have to be sure before you convict.

Reladed
"I'm not saying it is right to rape a drunken woman and I'm not saying for a moment that it's allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman."But juries are in a position where they've got a woman who says: 'I was absolutely off my head, I can't really remember what I was doing, I can't remember what I said, I can't remember if I consented or not but I know I wouldn't have done.'

"When a jury is faced with something like that, how are they supposed to react?"Katie Russell, from Rape Crisis England, described her comments as "potentially very harmful."

She said: "The point that she and other influential people within the criminal justice system should be making clearly and publicly is that if a woman is incapacitated through drink or drugs then she is not capable of giving her consent."And the legal responsibility is on the defendant to evidence how they sought and received that consent, not on the survivor to recall every detail of events.

"It is important to remember that currently only an estimated 15% of all those who are raped choose to report to the police."

The comments come three years after Mrs Mowat was condemned for telling a teacher convicted of child pornography offences that she would not criticise him for being attracted to children.

David Armstrong, 63, a supply teacher, escaped with a suspended sentence after admitting possessing 4,500 indecent images of children.Judge Mowat told him: "I don't criticise you for being a teacher who's attracted to children."Many teachers are but they keep their urges under control both when it comes to children and when it comes to images of children."

Will this man still be smiling when Warren Buffet and the boys at 3G Capital get finished with him?

Tim Hortons Chief Executive Officer Marc Caira

Economist Warren Buffet Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Berkshire Hathaway

Good Day Readers:

Had to smile wryly when Dianne Buckner subbing for Amanda Lang of The Lang & O'Leary Exchange The Lang Exchange sat down with Mr. Caira in an Ontario Tim Hortons. To hear him tell it the Burger King-Tim Hortons deal was a match made in heaven. Well read on, Sir, hope you have a golden parachute under the former regime.


The Big winners? Warren Buffet and his buddies at Brazilian-based 3 G Capital.

Be sure to listen to Matt Miller's interview with investment analyst/specialist Erik Schatzker who discusses the deal and how Warren Buffet really operates. Unfortunately, CyberSmokeBlog could not find the embed code so you'll have to go to the original article. It's well, well worth a watch and listen.to appreciate what's really going on!

Jeezus, can you imagine had Birkshire Hathaway - 3G Capital been running the federal government instead of Stephen Harper there'd be half the employees, no deficit budgets, no national debt and your taxes would be a lot lower!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
3G will make fat disappear at doughnut chain Tim Hortons

By David Welch and Jonathan Levin
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Now that 3G Capital’s Burger King Worldwide Inc. has struck a deal to buy doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc., the Canadian company can expect to get lean. Really lean.

Brazilian private-equity firm 3G insists that executives at its businesses follow the investment group’s parsimonious practices. If its management of Burger King and HJ Heinz Co. is a guide, Tim Hortons will see jobs cut, offices made more Spartan and posh corporate travel disappear.

The hard-nosed strategy has delivered results. Since acquiring Burger King in 2010, 3G’s team has tripled the company’s profit margin to 61 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, thanks to cost-cutting and selling stores to franchisees. 3G’s latest deal will create the world’s third-largest fast-food chain by merging with Canada’s biggest seller of coffee and doughnuts.

Related

Burger King in Talks to Buy Canadian Chain Tim Hortons
Ackman’s Pershing Square Makes $249 Million on Burger King

“These guys will change consumer goods and food service forever and other CEOs know it,” said Ken Harris, managing partner at Chicago-based Cadent Consulting Group. “They are going to go in and streamline everything as fast as possible.”

The firm’s Brazilian founders - led by the trio of Jorge Paulo Lemann, Carlos da Veiga Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles -- have been working together for at least four decades, during which their combined fortunes have soared to $46.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Lemann, Brazil’s richest man, is worth $24.9 billion.

Burger King today said it will acquire Tim Hortons for about C$12.5 billion ($11.4 billion) in cash and stock.

Spending Limits

At Heinz, which 3G and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought last year, employees were restricted to spending $15 a month on office supplies and told they couldn’t use mini-refrigerators to save on electricity, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. 3G limits printing to 200 pages a month per employee and restricts color pages to “customer-facing purposes.”

3G also cut several hundred jobs at the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters, including 11 senior executives, and grounded corporate jets.

At Burger King, 3G did away with comfortable offices that top executives and their secretaries had enjoyed, which people at Burger King called Mahogany Row. Executives now sit in a bare-bones, open-plan office. 3G also ended an annual $1 million bash at a chateau beside an Italian lake held by the Europe, Middle East, and Africa division.

Stark Approach

Burger King employees were instructed to use Microsoft Corp.’s Skype to make long-distance calls instead of running up a mobile-phone bill. They were also urged to scan documents and e-mail them rather than use FedEx Corp.’s services.

While Burger King’s U.S. sales are sluggish, it has expanded outside North America and profits are soaring. There’s room for similar improvements at Tim Hortons, where the same margin stood at 25 percent last year, compared with 50 percent at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. Under 3G’s ownership, Burger King added 153 new restaurants outside of North America just in the second quarter.

When 3G took over Anheuser-Busch, which it acquired by folding it into the Belgian brewer InBev to form Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in 2008, executives were told they’d no longer get free cases of beer.

3G’s lean philosophy isn’t for everyone. When the firm bought Heinz, it offered buyouts to all managers in case people didn’t like their stark approach. 3G hires its managers young and teaches them zero-based budgeting. Instead of starting with last year’s budget as a baseline for the next year’s spending, managers start from scratch.

3G’s hiring philosophy is PSD, which stands for “poor, smart, deep desire to get rich.” The average executive at Burger King is 39, according to Cadent’s Harris.

When Tim Horton’s managers meet their new overlords at 3G, “They will have no idea what hit them,” Harris said.

A spokesman for 3G and Burger King declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Welch in New York at dwelch12@bloomberg.net; Jonathan Levin in Sao Paulo at jlevin20@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Larry Reibstein, Elizabeth Wollman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Mr. Creel, why is Canadian Pacific Railroad being such nasty, miserable little peckerheads?"

Keith Creel, President
Good Day Readers:

You have to wonder what this lad will have to say publicly next time Canadian Pacific is involved in a derailment and spill of one of its many trains crisscrossing the country carrying hazardous materials as will surely happen? If he doesn't already perhaps he should try growing a garden to appreciate the joy it brings people.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Vancouver gardens railroaded by mean tactics

CP Rail removes plots, pressuring the city to pay more for its private land

Bill Tieleman
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Arbutus community gardens once a peaceful place. (Photo: MLA David Eby website)

Canadian Pacific Railway is just plain mean, destroying people's harmless gardens in order to pressure Vancouver to buy its railway line land.

Last week, the company began tearing out the plots tended by local gardeners along its disused line, which will eventually include near Burrard and West 6th.

The garden removals began after CP Rail rejected an offer from the City to buy the land for $20 million, calling it unfair. The company then said the plots had to be removed to make way for train traffic, even though it has sent a single locomotive down the track since 2001.

Let me say that I respect private property rights, and I believe the CP Rail corridor must be retained as a potential future transportation line, not for housing development.

What I don't respect is the deliberate devastation of up to 350 permitted community gardens along an 11-kilometre ribbon of land through the city. The company reportedly wants $100 million for the land.

Free from unreasonable search and seizure ..... eh? A reasonable expectation of privacy ..... eh? Think again!

Beware the DHL delivery guy next time he comes bearing a "gift!"

Good Day Readers:

This is a most interesting case for a couple reasons:

(1) The Constitution Act and Charter provisions notwithstanding demonstrate the fragility of your privacy rights

(2) To preserve at least a modicum of these rights why didn't the court in its infinite wisdom not rule that although the search was illegal the evidence was admissible?

What would have happened had the package's recipient for whatever reason(s) refused to accept delivery? Would he have been arrested and charged on the spot (by police hiding in the bushes) had the delivery guy dropped it at his feet and departed?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk



Courier case shows limits to Canadian privacy

Man arrested after package he received was found to contain drugs

Michael Geist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After a package to be couriered was found to contain drugs, police arranged for a 'controlled delivery' to the recipient who, was arrested after accepting and opining it. (Package photo via Shutterstock)

Canadian privacy law has long been reliant on the principle of "reasonable expectation of privacy." The principle is particularly important with respect to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is grounded in a reasonable expectation of privacy in a free and democratic society.

The reasonable expectation of privacy standard provides a useful starting point for analysis, but the danger is that privacy rights can seemingly be lost with little more than a contractual provision indicating that the user has no privacy. Indeed, if privacy rights can disappear based on a sentence in a contract that few take the time to read (much less assess whether they are comfortable with), those rights stand on very shaky ground.

The limits of the reasonable expectation of privacy standard emerged in a recent British Columbia Court of Appeal case involving the search of a courier package that contained illegal drugs. The court rejected claims of an illegal search, concluding that the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy despite the fact that he had no commercial relationship with the courier company and had never agreed to, or even viewed, the terms of the contract.

The case, Regina. versus Godbout, involved the shipment of courier package from Calgary to Vancouver. The package looked from the outside like a child's toy, but the customer service worker at the courier company was uncomfortable with the manner of the sender and decided to open the package, revealing both a toy and two bricks of drugs. The police were contacted and after confirming the contents, arranged for a "controlled delivery" to Godbout, who was arrested after accepting and opening the package.

Should recipients be punished?

With strong evidence of illegal drugs, the only legal issue in the case was whether the opening, search, and seizure of the package was consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court concluded that it was on the grounds that Godbout had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The basis for that conclusion stemmed from the courier company's contractual terms, which explicitly provided that "without notice, DHL may, at its sole discretion, open and inspect any shipment and its contents at any time. Customs authorities, or other governmental authorities, may also open and inspect any shipment and its contents at any time."

That may sound clear-cut, but the problem is that Godbout was not a party to the contract. The sender may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy given the contractual terms, but should those terms also extend to the recipient who had not read or consented to them?

The court concluded that they should, ruling "the fact that the appellant may not have known of the terms of shipment does not make his subjective expectation objectively reasonable."

Conclusion: Don't expect much privacy

The court seems to think that people know that courier packages are subject to inspection and therefore they should not expect any privacy in those packages. Yet it is difficult to reconcile an express acknowledgement that Godbout did not know the terms of the contract with the conclusion that he was nevertheless bound by them, particularly since this was a domestic shipment that would not typically involve customs agents or other authorities.

More broadly, the decision suggests that Canadians can lose their constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure on the basis of contractual terms to which they are not even a party. The court could have attempted to preserve privacy rights by concluding that the search was illegal but that the evidence was still admissible. By upholding the legality of the search, however, it provided a troubling reminder about how Canadians should not expect much when it comes to the reasonable expectation of privacy standard.