Fast, Efficient Feds

February 12, 2014

canada-passportOK, OK, credit where credit is due.   I went to renew my Canadian passport this morning down at Sinclair Centre.  Got there about 10:00am and the waiting room was pretty full. Thank goodness I bought a book, I said to myself.

But I was in the reception queue for no more than five minutes, and then waited just forty minutes to see an agent.  During that forty minutes another 140+ people came into reception, but the room never became crowded as those already waiting were dealt with.  At the agent’s desk, I was in and out in just five minutes and I’ll have my new passport in a couple of weeks.  That’s pretty darned efficient, I think.

I came back to the Drive and went to my usual pharmacy for a prescription refill.  It was essentially empty, but I still had to wait forty minutes because the pharmacist on duty was more interested in fixing his Telus bill on the phone than he was in pushing my order through.

The Feds win this particular comparison hands down.


Olympic Corruption and the CBC

February 12, 2014


I have never been keen on the Olympic movement, especially in the last couple of decades when it has become nothing but a corrupt money-producing extravaganza paid for by taxpayers and consumers alike.  I would much prefer to promote each sport’s world championship; events that focus on the athletes and can be staged by almost any city without bankruptcy.

There are many problems with the Sochi Games, the not least of which are human rights violations, workers’ rights issues, and the mind-blowing scale of corruption that means that these Games will cost more than all other Winter Games in history — combined! But Blayne Haggart, assistant professor of political science at Brock, has brought our attention to the damage these Games have done to the CBC brand.

As the official Canadian broadcaster of the Sochi Games, the CBC agreed to stop streaming all of its Radio 1 programming outside of Canada. All of it – not just its live Olympics coverage. Anyone outside the country (including Canadian expats) who tunes in hears the following:

“Between February 6th and 23rd, CBC Radio 1 live streams will only be available to Canadian audiences due to Olympic rights restrictions. However, our listeners outside Canada can still hear the favourite shows on demand by visiting, or by downloading the CBC Radio app and following the links to their favourite programs.”

The CBC is being a bit misleading in that last sentence. Because their newscasts contain reports about the Olympics, they’ve stopped producing news podcasts for the duration of the games.

Let that sink in for a moment. The CBC has effectively turned over decisions about how its news and entire Radio 1 network will be distributed to the International Olympic Committee, which controls the rights to the Olympics.

That is simply appalling.