Canada At A Glance: AM
Winnipeg, November 9/12 CNS, Nov 09, 2012 (Commodity News Service Canada, Inc. via COMTEX) --
The following is a quick
glimpse of the news making the headlines in Canada.
CELLPHONE COMPANIES TO REFUSE SERVICE FOR STOLEN DEVICES
OTTAWA - Canadians may soon be better protected against
cellphone theft, with the association representing wireless
companies preparing to deny service to phones registered as
Starting Sept. 30, 2013, cellphone customers will be able to
register a stolen phone. Canadian companies will then refuse to
provide service to a cellphone with a device identifier
registered as lost or stolen.
"This new device verification process, which will deny
service to any device that is on the GSMA blacklist, is designed
to help eliminate the black market for stolen devices in Canada
and abroad," said Bernard Lord, head of the Canadian Wireless
There are no plans to charge consumers for the service, Lord
says, although it's likely to cost the industry $20 million.
"I guess we have to consider this as a cost of doing
business and making sure that we're doing what's right for
consumers across the country," Lord said.
The plan comes as the CRTC is consulting consumers on a new
code of conduct for cellphone companies.
It will be up to customers to immediately report a lost or
stolen phone to have their device deactivated, the industry
group's news release says. Once the device has been reported, the
service provider can then add the device to the blacklist. All
instances of personal theft should of course be reported to local
law enforcement as well.
The US is implementing the same plan in November 2013, and
is considering legislation to make it a crime to tamper with a
device identifier. Australia and the U.K. have already adopted
laws to make tampering with device identifiers a crime.
The registry will apply to all GSM, HSPA and LTE phones that
are sold now or any smartphone currently sold in Canada. (CBC
CANADA'S NEW PLASTIC $20 BILLS NW IN CIRCULATION
OTTAWA - The polymer bill is set to be issued less than a
week before Remembrance Day, and pays tribute to the
contributions and sacrifices of Canadian military men and women.
The back of the bill features the Canadian National Vimy
P.O.V.: Is Canada's new $20 bill too "pornographic"
On Tuesday, the new bill will get its official launch at the
Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Hon. Steven Blaney, the minister
of veterans affairs, and David Houghton, president of the Vimy
Foundation, are expected to attend the ceremony.
The $20 bill is the country's most widely used bank note.
The Bank of Canada began issuing polymer money a year ago,
starting with the $100 bill in November and followed with the $50
note in March. The polymer notes are more secure and durable than
earlier bills, according to the bank's website, which says they
"are easy to check and hard to counterfeit."
New plastic $5 and $10 notes are scheduled to be issued by
the end of 2013. (The Canadian Press)
DISABLED VETERANS, WIDOWS SLAM HARPER GOVERNMENT
OTTAWA Disabled veterans and military widows are
unleashing a broadside of frustration against the Harper
government just before Remembrance Day, saying they're feeling
abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
They have gathered on Parliament Hill to paint a stark
picture of bureaucratic indifference and red tape that flies in
the face of reassurances from the government, which says the care
of military families is a top priority.
Few of the government's touted programs meant to help combat
veterans find civilian jobs actually help the disabled,
complained retired master corporal Dave Desjardins, who is
paralyzed from the waist down.
Desjardins said he was proud to serve his country.
"What I'm not proud of, however, is how our government
officials and senior military leadership can look directly into
the camera (and) speak to the Canadian public about honouring our
veterans at this time of year with implied conviction when
they've clearly turned their back on us and continue to
demonstrate (that) on a daily basis," said Desjardins.
He challenged Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney to
look him in the eye "and tell me you really care."
The government recently threw its weight behind a so-called
"helmets-to-hardhats" program, which aids ex-soldiers get into
the construction industry a wonderful resource for someone
without physical limitations, said Desjardins.
A number of officials "in expensive suits" are on the record
as saying there are a number of opportunities for disabled
veterans, but Desjardins said many of the head hunters
discriminate in favour of officers, leaving non-commissioned
members out in the cold.
"I'm here to ask those suits one simple question: Show me.
Show me where those opportunities and jobs are and I'm not just
asking for myself, Im also asking for the hundreds of other
disabled veterans across Canada."
Tracy Kerr, wife of a triple amputee who fought in
Afghanistan, said she and her family have battled for years to
get basic needs, such as a lift to get her husband in and out of
"I've travelled seven hours to speak to the public about how
we're struggling," said Kerr, from Sudbury, Ont., her eyes
filling with tears as she spoke.
"I just want a quality of life, happiness for my family and
when we make requests for his needs, to get them."
Jackie Girouard, whose husband was killed by a roadside bomb
in Kandahar in 2006, said the families of many soldiers are
denied access to the veterans independence program, which helps
with yard work and light housekeeping.
She said policies which set time limits on accepting
assistance, such as two years for education and job retraining,
are insensitive and unrealistic.
"I was with my husband for 31 years, and I make no apologies
for how long it took to me to get this far without my husband,"
"They could've said to me: 'Jackie, take your time and when
you're ready come see us and we'll work together to help you
achieve you and your family's goals.' Those words alone would
have demonstrated to me that you care. Those words would have
demonstrated to me that you understood and it was not just about
money or policies."
Ex-soldiers say much of the dissatisfaction can be traced
back to the 2006 New Veterans Charter, which overhauled the way
ex-soldiers are compensated.
For many of the wounded, the government has moved away from
a pension-for-life system into a workers compensation-style
lump-sum payment, a process that is now the subject of a
class-action lawsuit. (National Post)
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