Archive for the ‘Op-Ed’ Category

Ottawa 2010 Election: Improved Mayoral Candidate List

September 19th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

The City of Ottawa recently announced their candidate information page for the upcoming 2010 Municipal Elections, and, as I mentioned on twitter, the information provided is a little lacking,

It’s 2010 & the Ottawa election candidates page lists their phone, fax, & email but not website. Yeesh.

For those of us comfortable with the internet, I’ve compiled an improved list of the Mayoral Candidates to add a website, Twitter, and Facebook Pages links wherever I could find them.  I’ve also omitted the Fax number from the original City of Ottawa page.

Nominated Candidates for the 2010 Elections


Name Website Twitter1 Facebook Page1 Email Phone
Cesar Belo None None 613-601-8882
Idris Ben-Tahir None None None None 613-234-0707
Clive Doucet @CliveDoucet

Followers: 355
Following: 26
Tweets: 261

Clive Doucet

Likes: 211 613-798-1010
Joseph Furtenbacher None None 613-237-6446
Robert G. Gauthier None None 613-276-8788
Andrew Haydon @VoteHaydon

Followers: 7
Following: 4
Tweets: 17

Andy Haydon2 None
Robert Larter None None None None 613-617-4477
Robin Lawrance None None None 613-680-3178
Vincent Libweshya www.wix.…102010 @freshhjones

Followers: 57
Following: 193
Tweets: 177

Vincent M. Libweshya2 613-614-7815
Fraser Liscumb None None None None
Daniel Joseph Lyrette None None None None 613-262-9969
Mike Maguire None Mike For Mayor (Group)

Members: 79 / 613-277-4829
Larry O’Brien @larryobrien2010

Followers: 269
Following: 208
Tweets: 56

Larry O’Brien

Likes: 190 None
Julio Pita None None None None Fax Only: 613-748-7322
Sean Ryan None Sean Ryan For Mayor Of Ottawa (Group)

Members: 78 613-220-2968
Michael St. Arnaud None None None 613-276-4212
Jane Scharf @janescharf

Followers: 21
Following: 24
Tweets: 35

None 613-884-9065
Charlie Taylor @mayorcharlie

Followers: 123
Following: 192
Tweets: 128

Charlie Taylor for Mayor (Group)

Members: 236 613-521-8213
Jim Watson @jimwatsonottawa

Followers: 1,592
Following: 982
Tweets: 1,314

Jim Watson

Likes: 1,248 613-835-2400
Samuel Wright @sam4mayor

Followers: 19
Following: 39
Tweets: 6

Sam Wright

Likes: 252 None
  1. Values as of Sept. 19, 2010
  2. This is actually a link to a Facebook profile, but since it’s linked from the candidate’s website I’ve included it.

Have a correction to the above information? Let me know in the comments below.

You should follow me on twitter here.

5 Podcasts Worth Listening To

December 15th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Podcasts!I wrote up this list for a friend yesterday and I figured maybe it was worth sharing with the world at large. While a number of these are video podcasts, I usually listen to these while riding a crowded bus into and home from work each day, so even the video ones often get consumed in audio-only mode from my pocket.

  • Buzz Out Loud – A daily tech discussion show. A great way to stay up to date with current topics in tech. Usually pretty easily digestible at around 45 minutes. WebsiteiTunes direct-link
  • Co-op – A weekly gaming review video podcast. Really good, but not very audio-only friendly (lots of video clips from the games they’re reviewing), so skip this one if you’re looking for something to listen to while driving. WebsiteiTunes direct-link
  • The Totally Rad Show – A weekly video podcast. Three dudes talk about movies, video games, tv shows, comics, pop-culture, etc. The kind of show I wish I was hosting. Works pretty well in audio-only format as well. WebsiteiTunes direct-link
  • Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show – A weekly video podcast.  Kevin Pollak interviewing people in entertainment. Each episode runs pretty long (1.5-2hrs) but they’re almost always interesting and often really funny. Also works great in audio-only format. Website (don’t bother with the website though, it’s terrible) & iTunes direct-link
  • ROFL – A weekly video podcast. Standup comedy cut down to one joke (presumably the best of the set?) from comedians all over the US. Also works great in audio-only mode. Website & iTunes direct-link

I’ve got more… but these will do for now. Do you subscribe to any podcasts? If so, which ones? And if not, why not?

The Twitter Divide

January 18th, 2009 at 11:17 am

Twitter LogoI use Twitter. I enjoy using Twitter.  I created a Twitter account because it was constantly being discussed and dissected on several podcasts to which I am subscribed (I’m looking at you This Week In Tech).  I’ve noticed, though, that my Twitter experience differs from both the experiences discussed on these shows, and what I can observe following various people.

The differentiating factor appears to be notoriety.  Twitterers who have some level of notoriety, often due to some level of fame (even in a niche community like some podcasts) have a much easier time gaining followers on the service.  The more followers you obtain the more the service changes from a micro-blog to a social experience.

The stories that intrigued me the most about Twitter were about instant-gatherings (where one Twitterer might post “I’m going to such-and-such a place, anyone else want to go?”), or the ability to get responses to questions almost instantaneously (John Hodgman, @hodgman, often throws questions out to what he has come to refer as the “Hive Mind“). These experiences simply aren’t possible without a high number of followers, and often even more than that, a high number of followers within geographic proximity (for questions like “Where’s the best X in Y“).

My approach to following people on Twitter is to be selective rather than promiscuous. I don’t want to just blindly follow every user I find in the hopes of getting a follow-back from the user and increasing the number of followers I have. I only want to follow the tweets of people of which I have some common interest. Furthermore, very very few people I know in person or at work use the service (less than 5 people so far). So for me, of little notoriety, my rate of follower count increase will be quite low.

All this being said, I return to my second statement: I enjoy using Twitter. Its just that what I’m getting out of Twitter doesn’t match what some of it’s biggest proponents describe.


iOptOut Improves the Lame-Duck Canadian Do-Not-Call Registry System

April 8th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

The internet to the rescue…

The [Canadian do-not-call] registry is scheduled to take effect in mid-2008, yet many Canadians may be disappointed to learn about the exemption of a wide range of organizations (registered charities, business with prior relationships, political parties, survey companies, and newspapers)… However, organizations must remove numbers from their lists if specifically requested to do so… iOptOut [allows] Canadians to create and manage a personal do-not-call list… where you can opt-out of further contact from exempt organizations… [by sending] an email notification to each organization on your behalf requesting that your name, email address and phone number(s) be removed from their active marketing lists.


Michael Geist – Because the Hollywood Lobby Isnt Strong Enough

June 10th, 2007 at 11:25 am

Wow. Just a couple weeks after the movie industry strong-armed Canada into introducing an act to crack down on movie recording with camcorders (which similar laws, incidentally, haven’t stopped the US from becoming the largest source of camcorded movies), comes this…

Don Bell, a Liberal MP, yesterday introduced Bill C-453, the Canadian Motion Picture Secretariat Act. The bill would create a new government-backed secretariat, comprised of industry officials, to provide the House of Commons with reports every six months on potential legislative reforms to support the industry.

Read More (

Update: Just to be clear, the Brent in the comments section of the above link is not me.

Hey Ralph, can I get me some?

February 2nd, 2006 at 7:49 pm

Ralph Klein

A Brantford, Ont., man who says he has never worked or lived in Alberta received a cheque from the Alberta government as part of its prosperity payout.

Brian Clegg also says he won’t cash the $400 cheque, which he received in the mail on Wednesday, but will hold onto it as a keepsake.

The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation says it’s another reason Albertans would have been better off with a tax cut than the rebate, nicknamed Ralphbucks after Premier Ralph Klein.

Read More (

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NDP Supporter uses deception to drive traffic to NDP Website

December 10th, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Police departments in several Canadian cities expressed surprise Friday that websites with similar names to their sites are taking people straight to the New Democratic Party’s main website.

“Oh boy, this is not good,” Sgt. Kelly Dennison of the Winnipeg Police Service said after typing into his web browser and getting the NDP site.

The same thing happens if users type,,, and All the traffic is directed to

Porn sites and other less reputable internet companies have been using this technique for nearly as long as the web has existed, but the odd turn of events here is that it appears thats it’s not event he NDP party who’s doing it, but rather a BC Resident.

The domain names for and the rest are registered to B.C. resident David Bedford.

According to NDP spokesman Ian Capstick, Bedford is an NDP supporter who’s trying to help. The party has asked him to provide a list of domain names that are redirecting traffic to the NDP page, but hasn’t got a response back yet, he said.

Perhaps he was inpsired by Rick Mercer’s handling of

Read More: CBC Toronto: Police names send web users on political detour

What 2% Means

December 4th, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Conservative leader, and Canadian Prime Minister hopeful Stephen Harper proposes to cut the GST by 2% over the next two years,

Earlier in the day, Harper announced he would lower the seven per cent goods and services tax by one percentage point immediately and by another point within five years if he becomes prime minister after the Jan. 23 vote. [ CBC News: Economists dump on Harper’s GST-lowering plan ]

So what does that mean to Canadian voters? Let’s take a second here to do the math. The Conservatives are describing this tax cut in the following way:

The real choice is between tax relief for some Canadians and tax relief for all: tax relief you can see versus tax relief you never see. “This will be a tax cut that you will see every time you shop, tax relief that you experience, a tax break that no politician will be able to take away without you noticing,” said Mr. Harper. [ Stephen Harper to cut the GST to five per cent ]

Let’s take a second here to see what this actually means. The impact has been described as about $400 yearly for a family earning $60,000 a year. Mathematically, 400/60000 is 0.6%. Lets look at this from another angle… $400/12 months = $33.33, $33.33 / 30 days in a month = $1.11/day. That’s right, Stephen Harper is proposing to eliminate $4.5 billion from Government so he can buy you cup of coffee every morning (and not that fancy $2 Second Cup Coffee either, not even $1.35 Tim Hortons (at least in Ontario) coffee).

A cup of coffee a day is not worth more to me than having $4.5 billion with which the Government can use to support health-care, education, etc. See, this is one of those times where math is useful in the ‘real world’.

Rick Mercer gets interweby

June 24th, 2005 at 8:35 am

Rick Mercer (previously of This Hour has 22 Minutes and Monday Report, now Rick Mercer’s Report) has apparently started up a blog. So far the entries have been every bit as sharp as his television bits, so this is great. Out of the 5 posts he’s made so far, my favourite is a tie between “Holy crap! They moved me to Tuesdays.” and “Jason Kenney: Marxist Leninist.

So the show will now be called “The Rick Mercer Report.” I was going to go with “Rick Mercer’s Tuesday Report” but I don’t have the money to order new t-shirts at Christmas when they move us to Wednesday afternoon. Keep The Audience Guessing is our motto.

Read More

Tony G

May 19th, 2005 at 11:15 am

Tony G is my coworker. He’s got an unspellable last name. He’s also a very good and humourous writer. But no one knows this yet. Check out his blog. Do it. Jerks.

I don’t remember much from the fall, and even less afterward, but here is what I’ve been able to put together:

When I fell, I reached out for something – anything – to brace against, but our shower doesn’t have any soap dishes or towel racks. I grabbed the shower curtain and pulled down with me. As my head ricocheted off the tiles I hit my knee against the lip of the shower, I rotated out onto the floor where I laid, wrapped in a moldy shower curtain, staring at the hallucinated stars on the ceiling.