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Jim Goss
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Toronto-based J. Goss + Associates is known and trusted by many of Canada's top journalists. J. Goss + Associates media relations services: - strategic counsel - message development - identifying target journalists and news organizations - briefing spokespe...
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Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Internet, phone bills in Canada too high, says consumer study
Peter Nowak for CBC News, Mar 23, 2015 

Canadians are spending between $100 and $212 a month per household on communications services, according to the report issued Monday by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), an Ottawa-based consumer advocacy group. While all Canadians are feeling the pinch, low-income households are getting particularly hard hit by the cost. These households account for between 8 and 15 per cent of the population, depending on the measure, and an average of 7.6 per cent of their total annual expenditures is going to communications, exceeding spending on clothing, health-care and education.

The study, titled No Consumer Left Behind, suggests five courses of action:

The federal government should amend the Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Radiocommunications Acts to include “affordability” under universal service obligations

Affordability in such cases should be calculated against other relevant expenditures to ensure Canadians don’t have to cut spending on other essentials

The requirements should respect consumer control over expenses and choice of services as much as possible

Any government policy or regulatory initiatives for low-income consumers should be designed with affordability in mind

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should conduct yearly research on the affordability of the four major services: landline, cellphone, internet and television
#cdntech  
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The recent announcement of a new Commission for ONTC is a positive step in the tortuously, long process of turning around government direction. We have come a long way from the March 2012 announcement of total liquidation to creating a sustainable corporation, able to deliver and define its value to the region.

The make-up of the Commission has been expanded to include Northerners who appear to be well suited to understanding how the company can fit into government policy and return to making a positive contribution.  However, that contribution should not be limited to dumping cash into the provincial coffers.  As the Auditor General noted in her report, "there may well be socio-economic benefits to justify subsidizing the ONTC".
The recent announcement of a new Commission for ONTC is a positive step in the tortuously, long process of turning around government direction. We have come a long way from the March 2012 announcement of total liquidation to ...
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Humanity’s Saving Grace by Alex Binkley
Book Review by J. Goss
Humanity’s Saving Grace is Alex Binkley’s first novel. It’s an optimistic space sci-fi. In 2037 our planet is a mess with wars and environmental calamities aplenty. 
The Beings have planned the operation very carefully. From their gigantic galaxy ship hidden behind Jupiter, so as not to scare us, the advanced life forms enlist the support of pre-selected earthlings to ease the trauma of first contact. 
Being leader Humbaw has warned the ruling council how jumpy we Terrans can be. They don’t want us hurting ourselves. The Beings need our help. 
Binkley creates worlds populated by Tons, Renegades, Corens and the Nameless. The book has got battle scenes, backroom politics and romance. There’s even a tiny glimpse of heaven.
I liked Humanity’s Saving Grace. It’s a good read.

Disclosure: My media relations work led to an acquaintance with the author when he was the Ottawa bureau transportation reporter for the Canadian Press. I liked his writing then. I like it even more now and look forward to his next novel.

#scifi #syfy #evolution #fiction #sciencefiction #aliens 


Humanity’s Saving Grace, by Alex Binkley
Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780986787997
Publisher: Loose Cannon Press
Publication date: 2/8/2014
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/humanitys-saving-grace-alex-binkley/1117193679?ean=9780986787997
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http://www.piac.ca/telecom/reduction_in_telecom_complaints_due_to_wireless_code_not_wireless_companies_efforts/

For immediate release
November 4, 2014

Reduction in Telecom Complaints due to Wireless Code, not wireless companies’ efforts
Systemic problem with non-disclosure and misleading terms also must be addressed

 OTTAWA – The reduction in telecommunications complaints reported by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) is largely due to the effect of the Wireless Code and not the actions of the various telecommunications providers, cautioned today the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

PIAC noted that a careful reading of the CCTS Annual Report 2013-14 shows that of the 17% overall reduction in complaints, more than half of the reduction is directly due to three changes made by the Wireless Code: 

• Roaming charges complaints dropped from 721 in 2012-13 to 527 in 2013-14 (nearly a 27% drop in this category);
• Early cancellation fees complaints dropped from 1,490 in 2012-13 to 1,144 in 2013-14 (a 23% drop in this category); and
• 30-day cancellation policy complaints dropped from 1,835 in 2012-13 to only 1,167 in 2013-14 (a more than 36% drop in this category).

“The Wireless Code put a cap on roaming and data overage fees, regulated and capped early cancellation fees, and outlawed the extra 30 day charge” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “The wireless carriers should not claim they are better actors – they were made to behave by the Code.”

PIAC further notes the CCTS Annual Report shows a disturbing increase in wireless companies for complaints about “non-disclosure/misleading terms” which are “generally situations in which customers complain that they did not receive full, complete and accurate information” about key terms, prices, what was in a plan and extra service fees. This was the second year of over 70% growth of this type of complaint, making it now the second largest category behind billing errors.

“There is evidently a systemic issue in the wireless industry with non-disclosure of terms and conditions to consumers,” noted Jonathan Bishop, PIAC’s Research Analyst. “We expect the CRTC to address this problem with stringent monitoring of the Wireless Code and otherwise.”

For more information please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director/General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 7B7
(613) 562-4002×25
(613) 447-8125 (cell)
jlawford@piac.ca

or
Jonathan Bishop
Research & Parliamentary Analyst
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002×23
jbishop@piac.ca
http://www.piac.ca
The reduction in telecommunications complaints reported by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) is largely due to the effect of the Wireless Code and not the actions of the various telecommunications providers, cautioned today the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
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Canada to end fees for paper bills
Even tech geeks like Cory McNutt from Android Headlines concede the value of paper bills. McNutt writes, "I have to admit that I miss getting a paper bill to remind me that I owe somebody money."  

The new #cdnpoli   legislation applies only to the telecommunications sector. PIAC, the Ottawa consumer lawyers who are spearheading the initiative, is now asking the government to ban paper bill fees in the banking sector.
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#toronto   Transit Commission:  TTC Subway signaling
This Steve Munro post  begins with a short history #cdnpoli  

The Yonge line opened 61 years ago on March 30, 1954, and its signals were quite straightforward given the simplicity of the line as it then was from Eglinton to Union. or most of the route, train detection and spacing was handled by a “fixed block” system:

The line is divided up into “blocks” defined by sections of track that are electrically isolated from each other. Of the two running rails, one provides the ground return for the electrical power, while the other is used to detect the presence of a train. If there is a train in a block, it provides a link between the rails, and the signal rail is grounded.

Blocks can vary in length and, generally speaking, longer blocks are used where trains will move at higher speeds.

At locations where speed control is important, signals can be timed so that they do not clear if an approaching train is operating too quickly.

Read more at stevemunro.ca
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Who is Canada’s Top Amateur Pilot?
Who is Canada’s Top Amateur Pilot? The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition tells the tale Delta, British Columbia, August 18-22 J. Goss + Associates is a proud supporter of the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition. Amateur pilots aspiring to a career in avia...
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Are Canadian Civil Liberties under attack?
Two top law professors raise serious concerns over new legislation before Parliament #cdnpoli  

BILL C-51 BACKGROUNDER #5: OVERSIGHT AND REVIEW: TURNING ACCOUNTABILITY GAPS INTO CANYONS?
Canada’s system of national security “oversight” is imperfect. Its system of national security “review” is frayed, perhaps to the breaking point. The government’s antiterrorism law, bill C-51, will accelerate this pattern. Without a serious course correction, we risk the prospect of avertible security service scandals. ...

Craig Forcese is a law professor teaching national security law at the University of Ottawa and a participant in the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society.

Kent Roach teaches at the University of Toronto law faculty and worked with both the Arar and Air India commissions.
Canada’s system of national security “oversight” is imperfect. Its system of national security “review” is frayed, perhaps to the breaking point. The government’s antiterrorism law, bill C-51, will...
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J. Goss + Associates assists the Public Interest Advocacy Centre with its media relations program including buying commercial newswire space. PIAC media release. Canadian consumers poorly protected in the #payments   area 

A joint statement by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Union des consommateurs, Option consommateurs
OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Union des consommateurs and Option consommateurs today united to denounce the current weakness of supervision of financial issues, banking and payments from the point of view of consumer protection. The consumer groups issued the following statement:
Despite recent announcements by the federal government, consumers remain poorly protected in the payments area. They will continue to pay too much, they will still incur undue risk if they are victims of error or fraud and they will still find it hard to be heard as the federal government proceeds with its reforms.
Canadian consumers now send or receive more than half of their payments in electronic form.[1] Depending on whether the transaction is a pre-authorized debit, a PIN-less transaction or a credit card payment, for instance, the rules purporting to protect consumers will differ, will be inadequate and, most of the time, will be unfamiliar to consumers, to merchants, and even to the financial institution staff. And this confusion is likely to hurt consumers most. Even though we have repeatedly called the federal government's attention to this situation, it has yet to announce any measure that would improve consumer protection.
Credit card-related fees in Canada remain amongst the highest in the world. However, the Minister of Finance's recent announcement that a voluntary mechanism would be implemented in order to reduce those fees [2] likely will not benefit consumers; credit card issuers' anti-competitive practices [3] will stay in place and consumers will neither benefit from perceptible price reductions or more equitable choices.
Government also tabled recently Bill C-43, part of which modifies the Canadian Payments Act, a statute which among other things governs the Canadian Payments Association (CPA). CPA has a key role to play in the Canadian payment systems and we are happy to see its structure modernized, despite the fact that it is done through Bill C-43; however, the federal government should have gone further by clarifying that CPA's core mission is not to serve financial institutions, but to meet the needs of all payment service users, insisting on the role it could play in consumer protection.

Its enthusiastic promises having raised great expectations, we were disappointed that the federal government made no announcement regarding the implementation of a payments regulatory framework which would ensure all users, consumers included, could be heard, even though the Task Force for the Payments System Review created by Minister Flaherty in 2010 recommended establishing such a mechanism in early 2012.[4]

Finally, Canadian consumers continue to wait for a comprehensive Financial Consumer Code to regulate federally-regulated financial institutions' banking and related relations with their customers – a promise made in the 2013 Budget.
We therefore invite the federal government to address as soon as possible the problems consumers experience regarding payments and to respond in a full, effective and coherent way – after consulting adequately with consumers- so that Canadian consumers may be "confident that they are protected by a high-quality regulatory framework that puts their interests first", as the Minister of Finance promised in the Economic Action Plan associated with his 2014 Budget.
[1] Canadian Payments Association. Examining Canadian Payment Methods and Trends. Ottawa, October 2012. 15 p. Document available online at: http://cdnpay.ca/imis15/pdf/pdfs_publications/examining_canadian_payment_report_2012.pdf
[2] See Department of Finance, "Minister of Finance issues statement on voluntary VISA and MasterCard proposals," November 4, 2014. Online: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-157-eng.asp 
[3] See: The Commissioner of Competition v. Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated, 2013 Comp. Trib. 10, at para. 389. Online: http://www.ct-tc.gc.ca/ 
[4] The Task Force's report and other documents supporting its recommendations can be found online at: http://paymentsystemreview.ca/index.php/papers/moving-canada-into-the-digital-age/index.html
SOURCE Public Interest Advocacy Centre
For further information:
John Lawford, Executive Director, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7B7, (613) 562-4002×25, (613) 447-8125 (cell), jlawford@piac.ca; Philippe Viel, Responsable des communications, Union des consommateurs, 514 521-6820 poste 257, 514 743-0419, pviel@uniondesconsommateurs.ca; Lisanne Blanchette, Avocate et conseillère budgétaire, 514 598-7288 poste 245, 514 777-6133, lblanchette@option-consommateurs.org

Transmitted At: 2014-11-10 13:28 http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2014/10/c4130.html
A joint statement by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Union des consommateurs, Option consommateurs. OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Union des consommateurs and Option consommateurs today united to denounce the current weakness of supervision of financial ...
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Toronto Star's Antonia Zerbisias last days of work -  #BeenRapedNeverReported ! 
Almost 8 million people see tweets, with countless women sharing their own stories of being raped, and why they never reported it.
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New book by +Peter Nowak  : Humans 3.O
Advancements in robotics, neuroscience, and genetics are propelling us into a new epoch. #cdntech  
My book Humans 3:0: The Upgrading of a the Species has a swanky new cover.
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  • J. Goss + Associates
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President of J. Goss + Associates.
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J. Goss + Associates is a Toronto-based strategic communications group. 

Jim Goss is well-versed in the Canadian transportation, telecommunications and media industries. 

J. Goss + Associates clients include leading unions, associations, safety advocates and progressive businesses. We help people tell their stories. Strategically.

News.  Ads. Reports. Events. Art. 

For results contact J. Goss + Associates.

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Jim Goss's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
New Commission should have New Mandate
northernontariopoliticalissues.blogspot.com

The recent announcement of a new Commission for ONTC is a positive step in the tortuously, long process of turning around government directi

Twitter conversation about unreported rape goes global | Toronto Star
www.thestar.com

Almost 8 million people see tweets, with countless women sharing their own stories of being raped, and why they never reported it.

Welcome to the New MichaelGeist.ca - Michael Geist
www.michaelgeist.ca

Welcome to the new look MichaelGeist.ca. Months in the making, the site is new in just about every way: a new cleaner, more colourful design

Andrea Horwath
www.ontariondp.ca

Sign up for Andrea's A-Team - spread the word on Twitter.

Government agencies requested telecom users’ data more than 1 million ti...
www.thestar.com

The telecom industry responds to more than 1.19 million requests for government access a year.

Paul Langan CBC Interview Talks Kitchener to Toronto High Speed Rail
www.highspeedrailcanada.com

http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/The%2BMorning%2BEdition%2B-%2BK-W/ID/2449649566/

David George-Cosh - Google+
plus.google.com

Works at Dow Jones & Company. Journalist. I specialize in technology. I write about other things too.

Government’s digital strategy leaves Canada stuck in the slow lane - fai...
openmedia.ca

April 4, 2014 – The government’s long-awaited new digital strategy announced this morning will disappoint Canadians who had been hoping for

PIAC | Consumer Group Calls for Increased Scrutiny of Loyalty Programs
www.piac.ca

Consumers need more protection in their loyalty programs, according to a report released today by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

Canadian border guard bullies CBC Radio host | This is That with Pat Kel...
www.cbc.ca

After suggesting that Canadian Border Service Agents have a tendency to be unfriendly, host Peter Oldring found himself on the receiving end

Payphones on the way out? CRTC to consider the effects | Montreal Gazette
blogs.montrealgazette.com

The Commission's consultation is flawed: homeless people and those on low incomes don't have time or access to fill out an online form.

Bell’s open letter threatens job cuts, but asks for sympathy | Montreal ...
blogs.montrealgazette.com

It’s hard to feel badly for the financial situation of a company that’s able to take out a two-page spread to advertise its position against

Call J. Goss for media relations, strategies, monitoring and media metrics
jgossblog.blogspot.com

J. Goss + Associates helps clients work with news professionals. Toronto-based J. Goss + Associates is known and trusted by many of Canada's

Bell-Astral takeover would give Bell millions of your dollars
openmedia.ca

Last year telecom giant Bell unleashed a new $3.4B plan to take control of Astral Media, one of Canada’s largest media companies. Canada alr

Demand Choice
openmedia.ca

Big Telecom is about to make cell phones more expensive - We can stop them now.

Media Release, Canada's top amateur pilots to get job interviews with Ai...
jgossblog.blogspot.com

(Ottawa April 19, 2013) -- Capt. Rick Allen, Senior Director Flight Operations at Air Canada, today confirmed job interviews will be given t

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
www.youtube.com

Share your videos with friends, family, and the world

CRTC chairman von Finkenstein out by January
www.canada.com

The search is officially on for the next chairperson of Canada's broadcast regulator as watchdog Konrad von Finckenstein will not receive a

Canadian TV & Telecom Times
paper.li

Canadian TV & Telecom Times, by Greg O'Brien: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.