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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

2ND WORLD CONFERENCE - TICAP - 2E CONFÉRENCE MONDIALE


FRANÇAIS À SUIVRE



The complete report of the TICAP 2nd World Conference is now available at the link below. The C.A.G.E. executives, who were unfortunately unable to attend this year but nevertheless participated during the question period through a live blog, extend on behalf of themselves and their members, sincere congratulations and thanks to the speakers and the delegates who represented their respective countries.

ARE GUESTS WELCOME? PROHIBITION AND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY A Celebration of the Life and Work of Gian Turci

Le rapport complet de la 2e Conférence mondiale du TICAP peut être lu au lien ci-haut. Les officiers de C.A.G.E. qui n’ont malheureusement pas été en mesure d’assister à la conférence cette année mais qui ont quand même participé par l'entremise d'un blogue en temps réel pendant la période des questions, transmettent des sincères félicitations et remerciements aux conférenciers et délégués de divers pays présents et ce, autant de leur part que de la part de tous les membres de C.A.G.E.


De gauche à droite / From left to right: Wiel Maessen, Patrick Basham, Christopher Snowdon, Michael Marlow, Maryetta Ables, Gawain Towler

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

SECOND HAND JUNK FOOD


No, this has nothing to do with junk food leftovers from the night before. It pertains to the fumes emitted by the cooking of unhealthy foods according to a study conducted in Minnesota and presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

With a stroke of the pen, the ad nauseam anti-smoker industry’s argument that the main thing that distinguishes tobacco smoke from other unhealthy habits is that it is shared with innocent by-standers, has henceforth become null and void.

Brace yourselves grilled and fried food lovers, because this study makes you an inconsiderate, irresponsible and selfish second class citizen. Health oriented citizens who have chosen not to partake in the dangerous habit of eating unhealthy foods now fall victims to your selfish desire to eat a hamburger, fried chicken or French fries at their local eatery which emits carcinogens and other air pollutants because of their hazardous way of cooking. As a matter of fact, after having read this study, a few eateries felt compelled to change their ways towards more responsible cooking. However, if they don’t all adopt voluntary measures fast enough as we might expect they won’t, get ready to be labeled as citizens who encourage air pollution, filthy junk food addicts, paid pawns of the fastfood chains and don’t be surprised if your neighbor summons you to stop grilling or frying in your own home.

''As a hungry consumer,(…) you might want to avoid restaurants with particularly strong food smells, as odor indicates the presence of emissions. If you see grease dripping out of outdoor exhaust fans, that's a bad sign, too. The good news is that advances in ventilation are coming.''

What’s this about advances in ventilation? If the state of the art ventilation that already exists is not good enough for SHS, it won't be good enough for second hand junk food emissions either. Get ready to eat plenty of boiled or steamed food, including your meat if you're still allowed to consume any.

Noone can say that we didn't warn you that that's exactly where we would be heading the day we allowed public health to dictate our daily lives on the basis of junk science!

Fatty Food Fumes Could Be Dangerous

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

LA PROHIBITION ENGENDRE LA VIOLENCE


Pour évaluer les résultats de l’étude qui nous parvient de la Colombie Britannique à l’effet que la prohibition engendre la violence, nul besoin d’un doctorat en criminologie ou sociologie. Nous n’avons qu’à tirer des leçons des expériences passées.

La prohibition de l’alcool aux E.U. a causé une augmentation des crimes et des homicides et ceci est très bien documenté dans les livres d’histoire. D'ailleurs le bon sens nous dicte qu’il ne peut y en être autrement. Tant qu’il y aura une demande pour des substances psychotropes, il s’y trouvera toujours quelqu’un qui se fera un ‘’devoir’’ de les fournir et il y aura toujours une guerre féroce pour acquérir le contrôle de ce marché illicite. Les Hells Angels ont été éliminé au Québec, est-ce que ceci a enrayé la drogue pour autant ? Non, ceci a seulement causé une réorganisation du marché avec les conséquences que nous avons décrit dans notre article du 11 mai 2009 que vous pouvez lire
ici.

Il est grand temps que nos élus se déterrent la tête du sable et légalisent certaines substances comme la marijuana. Non seulement il y aura diminution de violence mais cela désengorgerait nos prisons pour y accueillir les vrais criminels tout en permettant de fournir des substances de qualité moins douteuses que celles qui circulent dans la rue, à ceux qui vont en consommer peu importe qu’elles soient légales ou pas.

Moins de drogue, plus de violence?

Monday, 22 March 2010

LE TABAGISME EN HAUSSE EN FRANCE


À l’instar d'un nombre de pays qui ont vu leur taux de tabagisme augmenter depuis les lois anti-tabac répressives, la France a connu une hausse du nombre de cigarettes consommées ce qui est en soi un échec pitoyable de la part des anti-tabagistes. Non seulement ont-ils bouleversé les mœurs et l’économie mais ils ont dépensé des millions en fonds publics pour des lois vouées à l’échec dès le départ. Ce n’est pas comme si nous ne les avions pas prévenus!


La bonne nouvelle cependant est que les français ont massivement arrêté de croire aux produits pharmaceutiques presque complètement inefficaces pour l’arrêt du tabac. En effet les ventes pour ces produits ont diminué de 46% pour les patchs et de 29% pour le Champix, médicament déclaré dangereux par les autorités sanitaires tel que la FDA. Il ne reste plus qu’à espérer que les pharmas cessent de promouvoir ces produits, sous le mensonger prétexte qu’ils fonctionnent, pour que l’on puisse sagement retourner aux bonnes méthodes qui ont fait leurs preuves en ce qui a trait à l’arrêt du tabac, soit l’éducation et la force de la volonté des gens.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

PROPOSED LEGISLATION FOR MORE PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY IN THE CHARITY SECTOR


As we learned from the Globe and Mail article linked below, Albina Guarnieri, Liberal MP, is proposing legislation that would require that every registered Canadian charity discloses the yearly salary of its five highest-paid employees for public scrutiny. The proposed legislation would also give the National Revenue Minister full power to de-register a charity at its discretion, if any of the charity’s employees are found to earn more than $250,000 per year.

It is not very often that we agree with more government control but in this particular case, it is clear that such legislation is not only warranted but long past due. In fact, although we think that this would be a good first step toward exercising some control over charitable organizations that abuse public donations and tax payer money, we feel that the legislation does not go far enough.

Let us be very clear: we all would like to believe that most charitable organizations do a marvelous job at the community and/or at the international level. However, because too many individuals who run organizations have abused the public trust and naïveté and used their charity status to make themselves lucrative careers at the tax payer’s expense, we think that the rules should be even more stringent. Bonuses, traveling expenses, fancy dinners, conventions at luxurious hotels throughout the world, car allowances and other such benefits, should not only be separately reported for each executive and high-paid employee, but scrutinized with a magnifying glass by the Minister of Revenue. Furthermore, organizations that operate under the duality of non-profit and charity status and entertain incestuous relationships with sister organizations to circumvent lobbying laws and confuse the revenues and expenditures, should be very carefully audited and immediately de-registered for any serious irregularities.

C.A.G.E., through some devoted volunteers, is presently coordinating the research and preparation of a very detailed report concerning two such organizations that have abused the charitable status of one to further the objectives of the other. When the report is finalized, it will be presented to MP’s first and then released to the media.

We are also convinced that non-profit corporations that benefit from a tax exempt status should be transparent to the public under the same rules as apply to charitable organizations. There is very little information available to the public when it comes to non-profit corporations. It is all too easy for such organizations to camouflage their high revenues by distributing them in the form of salaries, bonuses and other expenses and benefits to their directors and employees in order to show a net zero balance.

The Globe and Mail article informs us that there are 85,000 registered charities in Canada. It is admittedly a very important sector of our economy! Even if only some of them abuse the system, not only does it do great injustice to the taxpayers but also to the very causes they claim to embrace and those who donate so generously. In this case, more stringent government control and oversight is clearly warranted, but much broader public transparency would be the best defense against abuse of the public trust.

OUR FRIENDS AT THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION FOUNDATION TAKING UP THE CAUSE OF IRVIN LEROUX IN HIS ACTIONS AGAINST THE CANADIAN REVENUE AGENCY

We could not be more proud to be supporters of the CCF than we are at the present time. As you read the ordeal of Mr. Leroux, you might ask yourself, as we do regularly, what gives an elected government, in a free and democratic country, the right to completely destroy a person's life, wealth and well being, for no other reason than its own bumbling, inexcusable bureaucratic negligence.

At C.A.G.E., we have chosen to speak up against and highlight examples of government "encroachment" into our private lives and autonomy by relatively small, incremental steps. The case of Irvin Leroux is not so much one of encroachment, but the result of an uncaring and overly powerful agency that is appallingly arrogant and uncaring in its treatment of the very people whom "the State" is expected to serve. This arrogance is the result of a politico-economic climate wherein very few people can afford to mount a significant challenge against the State, even when the challengers are manifestly in the right.

CRA targets taxpayer – CCF takes up the defence

Irvin Leroux claims compensation from CRA for destroying his business and livelihood Federal government applies to dismiss court action before it even comes to trial
Wednesday March 24 hearing in Prince George, in the Supreme Court of B.C.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) today announced that it has taken on the case of Irvin Leroux, whose court action against Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) faces a dismissal application in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Wednesday March 24, 2010.

Irvin Leroux was a typical Canadian who expected his dealings with government to be handled conscientiously, with respect and fairness. Back in the 1990s, he was developing a small residential subdivision and running a successful RV park and campground in northern B.C.

In late 1996, Mr. Leroux gave the CRA complete access to his records, leaving them alone in his home to conduct their audit while he went off to work. CRA took all the documents, and then lost or shredded them, but still went on to assess Mr. Leroux for almost $1,000,000 in GST, income tax, penalties and interest. > > After years of fighting in tax court, Leroux was vindicated. The case was settled in 2005 with the CRA agreeing that he had actually overpaid his taxes, and providing a small refund.> > But meanwhile, even as the case wended its way through the labyrinth of tax court, the CRA had been turning the screws, taking enforcement proceedings to collect the money “owed” to them. At one point they withheld almost $38,000 in GST refund money due to him, even though they knew he didn’t owe it and that he was falling behind in mortgage payments as a result.

That “refund hold” was just the start of his problems. Lawyers and accountants had to be paid, too. Leroux’s cash flow was choked off irreparably. Lenders started foreclosing on mortgages. The real estate—appraised in 2002 for $3.4 million—was disposed of for only one-third of that value. The secured creditors got paid, but Leroux still owes some $300,000 to friends and family. While he once expected to retire comfortably, he is now impoverished, living on meager pension income. The years of stress have given him a hernia and still leave him tossing and turning every night, awaking in a sweat from recurrent nightmares in which he finds himself homeless and digging for food in trash cans.

Based on discussions held between his MP Dick Harris and the former National Revenue Minister Carol Skelton, Mr. Leroux commenced a court action against CRA in November of 2006, expecting the CRA would negotiate a fair settlement out of court. Mr. Leroux`s statement of claim seeks damages for public misfeasance and negligence, plus a declaration that the CRA has violated his constitutional right to security of the person.> > But the government’s lawyers have now brought a complicated motion to get the action dismissed before trial, undoubtedly aware that Leroux’s war chest for legal fees—raised by donations from sympathetic fellow taxpayers—must be approaching exhaustion.

The federal government’s motion to dismiss the action will be heard at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday March 24, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, 250 George Street, in Prince George.

For more information on this case, read
Irvin Leroux's Story.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

LIVE BROADCAST TICAP 2ND CONFERENCE / COUVERTURE EN DIRECTE DE LA 2E CONFÉRENCE MONDIALE TICAP



The
2nd International Conference Against Prohibition will take place on Monday March 15th at the Hague, Netherlands
You can follow the conference live by clicking on the following title:

ARE GUESTS WELCOME - PROHIBITION AND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

La 2e Conférence internationale contre la prohibition aura lieu à La Haye, Pays Bas, lundi le 15 mars. Vous pouvez suivre la conférence en temps réel en cliquant sur le titre plus haut.

Friday, 12 March 2010

WHERE OUR TAX MONEY GOES DURING DIFFICULT TIMES


On October 2009, while many Canadians were hard hit by the global recession and were struggling to make the payments on their homes and put food on the table for their families, Health Canada granted 656 666$ to the Non-Smokers' Rights Association for use in ‘’a coordinated national approach to help address the supposedly significant tobacco control issue of contraband. The project also seeks to encourage smoke-free multi-unit dwellings through education and outreach to housing providers and tenants associations as well as the general public.’’

A lot of precious taxpayer money wasted on attempting for the umpteenth time to find miracle solutions to a contraband problem that can be resolved overnight simply by lowering the tobacco taxes to reasonable levels. A lot of money wasted on an extremist lobby group that wants to deprive citizens of their privacy in their own homes. The NSRA will probably once again attempt to befool Canadian citizens by claiming that they’re not lobbying governments towards legislating smoking in our homes, but in fact they are seeking to obtain the exact same results by lobbying housing providers and tenants associations to ban smoking in apartments and condos. Whether through government legislation or ‘’voluntary’’ rules housing providers would have made under the pressure of these radicals, the objectives and the result would be that smokers end up being denied housing.

Isn’t it time that our government realized that the NSRA is presently doing more harm than good to society and costing us far more in public funds than they are saving us. It is past time for the mission, tactics and "raison d'être" of the NSRA are reexamined in a far more critical light.