Tag Archive | Canada

Ontario give Doctors no Choice but to Refer Patients for Assisted Death*

Ontario give Doctors no Choice but to Refer Patients for Assisted Death*

MPP Jeff Yurek proposes a conscience rights amendment for Ontario physicians

 

By Lianne Laurence

A Liberal-dominated committee has refused to add conscience rights protection to Ontario’s bill regulating euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The finance and economic affairs committee voted down Progressive Conservative health critic Jeff Yurek’s proposed conscience rights amendments to Bill 84 on Tuesday.

The Liberal move leaves conscientiously objecting doctors with no protection against a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s policy forcing them to give patients requesting euthanasia an “effective referral” — that is, to a willing and accessible colleague for the purposes of accomplishing the act.

The CPSO policy also forces doctors to effectively refer patients who request “medical services” as abortion or abortifacient contraception.

Doctors who refuse can be disciplined by CPSO and could lose their license to practise.

“We were very disappointed,” says Larry Worthen, spokesperson for the Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience.

“We met with various politicians that were involved and we described for them the ways that people could access medical assistance in dying without affecting conscience rights and yet they still voted to not include the conscience amendment,” he told LifeSiteNews.

The Coalition for Conscience had also launched a massive lobbying campaign for conscience rights in Bill 84, and 25,000 people sent letters to MPPs, Worthen said.

Moreover, 31 of the 42 oral presentations to the committee also asked for a conscience right amendment to the bill, he said. That doesn’t include the written submissions to the committee.

The Liberal refusal to protect conscience rights will cost them, says Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

“This is a crucial item,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Liberal backbenchers are going to find it awfully hard to get elected in the next election if they don’t start supporting conscience rights and issues that matter to doctors and people in Ontario.”

Liberal intransigence on this point is a bit surprising to Monte McNaughton, the first MPP to speak up for conscience rights at Queen’s Park.

“Ontario’s still the only jurisdiction in the world that is moving forward with effective referral protocol,” the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex told LifeSiteNews.

“You would think the government would look to other jurisdictions on how they protected conscience rights.”

Moreover, conscience rights protection has widespread support, he pointed out.

“I’ve raised this a number of times in the House, introduced petitions signed by thousands of concerned people right across Ontario,” McNaughton said, adding that there are

“a number of organizations and individual doctors who have been raising this for months now.”

That includes the Ontario Medical Association, which sent representatives to meet with McNaughton and other MPPs, and is “on the record wanting the government to move away from effective referral protocol and to ensure that conscience rights are protected.”

The OMA appeared before the the committee urging it adopt conscience rights protection, as did the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, and Cardinal Thomas Collins, who spoke on behalf of the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience.

The Concerned Ontario Doctors, which represents 20,000 physicians, also came out backing conscience rights at an April 11 press conference.

But the “Wynne government is determined to move forward with this globally unprecedented effective referral protocol,” McNaughton said.

In doing so, the Liberals are

stripping a basic freedom from these doctors and health care practitioners, that is freedom of conscience.”

Worthen said the committee passed an amendment to set up a care coordination service, which is patient-accessed and connects a patient seeking euthanasia with a doctor who is willing to kill him or her.

However, “until the requirement for effective referral is struck down that doesn’t really help us in terms of protecting conscience,” he said.

The Coalition is now focused on the legal challenge to the CPSO policy that will be heard in Ontario’s divisional court June 13 to 15 in Toronto.

Five Christian doctors and three groups are arguing that the CPSO policy violates a physician’s Charter protected rights of religion and conscience.

The doctors are co-plaintiffs with the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, Canadian Physicians for Life, and the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies

The Liberal government is intervening on behalf of the CPSO.

Meanwhile, MPP Yurek (Elgin-Middlesex-London) will table a private member’s bill on conscience rights on May 11.

Yurek’s amendments to Bill 84 would have protected doctors from civil liability and discipline by the CPSO.

Those amendments clarified that doctors with conscientious objections would not block patients’ access to euthanasia.

The amendments clarified that objecting doctors would provide, on request, information “about services that can provide access” to euthanasia; patient medical records, and would communicate “to the appropriate person in authority a patient’s request for a complete transfer of care so that the person in authority can facilitate the transfer.”

Worthen told the Catholic Register that the Coalition for Conscience backed Yurek’s amendments, which provided access to euthanasia “without negatively affecting conscience rights.”

“It’s important that people realize that we’re not trying to block patients from accessing this,” he told the Register. “What we’re trying to do is not be morally implicated in their decision.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Sex Abuse Victim Allowed Euthanasia as mental health problems Considered ‘INCURABLE’*

When Euthanasia Crosses the Line into Murder*

Canada’s Surgeons Harvesting Organs from Euthanised Patients*

VIDEO: Bioethics, Eugenics and the “after-birth abortion” of newborns

 

Canadian Company to Construct Brazil’s Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine—in the Heart of the Amazon*

A Canadian Company to Construct Brazil’s Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine—in the Heart of the Amazon*

Belo Sun’s Volta Grande Gold Project will source water from the Xingu River, some 20 km south of the Belo Monte Dam. Photo: Fred Almeida/Wikimedia

 

A Canadian company is planning to build the soon-to-be largest open-pit gold mine in Brazil, located in the heart of the Amazon forest on the banks of the Xingu River. Brazilian activists, NGOs and advocacy groups, however, are waging a legal battle over the land.

Belo Sun Mining Corp., which is headquartered in Toronto, is behind the Volta Grande Gold Project, which plans to extract 600 tons of gold over the course of 12 years. The mine will generate toxic waste two-fold the volume of Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf mountain. A community of 300 families, who live off the land in Vila da Ressaca, Galo and Ouro Verde villages, will have to be relocated should the project go forward.

The company, which began researching the area in 2008, secured permission in early February from the Pará state government to begin construction, but on February 22 a state court suspended that permission for 180 days by upholding a suit filed by Pará’s public defender’s office.

In the ruling, judge Álvaro José da Silva Souza says he will refer the case to the federal public prosecutor’s office to conduct an investigation into whether the company engaged in land grabbing when it purchased federal public lands. The lands in question, Vila da Ressaca, Galo and Ouro Verde, make up an area called Ituna, which was destined in the 1980s by the federal government for the use of rural people in the context of agrarian reform.

The ruling also states that in the last three years, from the issuing of a preliminary permit in 2014 and up through the recent granting of a construction permit, the company did nothing to relocate the affected riverland peoples in a dignified way.

“I understand it to be completely absurd and unjustifiable that currently the families are still at the mercy of their own luck,” the judge’s decision reads.

The ruling gave the company 180 days to devise a plan to relocate the families and requires the company in the meantime to ensure the families’ access to the lands in question.

The location of the proposed mine has already been severely affected by an unrelated development project, the Belo Monte hydropower dam, which started its testing phase in late 2015. The dam has reduced the water flow of a 100-kilometre stretch of the Xingu River by 80%, in addition to having killed off fish, worsened water quality and drastically changed the way of life of many indigenous and riverland populations since its construction began in 2011.

Environmental fears surround the Belo Sun’s gold-mining project, given the recent tragedy near Mariana in the state of Minas Gerais. In November 2015, a dam burst at a mine belonging to Samarco — a joint venture of mining companies BHP and Vale — and poured billions of liters of waste in the Doce River, killing 19 people and leaving 700 homeless.

A technical note issued by Belo Sun in 2012, which addressed concerns brought about in a public hearing, was conducted by the same engineer who had attested to the safety of the Mariana dam four months before it burst. In November 2016, he, along with 20 other executives, was indicted for homicide by a federal court.

Consultations of indigenous communities

The indigenous communities directly affected by the Volta Grande Gold Project have not been consulted as is provided for in the 169 Convention of the International Labor Organization, of which Brazil is a signatory.

Six days after the issuing of the construction permit in early February, the mining company published on its website, only in English, a detailed exploration plan that encompasses 120 kilometres throughout the Xingu River. If the company were to implement the plan, at least four officially designated Indigenous Lands (Terras Indígenas) would be affected: Paquiçamba, of the Juruna people; Ituna/Itata, where isolated indigenous peoples live; Arara da Volta Grande, of the Arara; and Trincheira Bacajá, of the Xicrin peoples. Brazilian legislation states that constructions permits in this area should be done at the federal level (rather than by Pará state government) because it directly affects indigenous lands.

Belo Sun published on their website a map with their planned activities, without showing the adjacent indigenous lands. Instituto Socioambiental produced this map that does.

 

As of now, there hasn’t been any consultation of the peoples that could be impacted if the project moves forward.

“From the way it is on the map, it looks like there are no indigenous peoples there. For Belo Sun there is no one there,” says Mukuka Xicrin, a leader of the Xincrin people.

The permit granted by Pará state in February also bypassed a motion issued by Brazil’s public authority on indigenous matters (the National Indigenous Foundation, or FUNAI), which demands reassessment of the impact on indigenous peoples and considers a study presented by Belo Sun to be insufficient.

Both federal and state public defender’s offices filed a suit to halt the permit, with the latter’s suit being upheld by the state court. The federal prosecutor’s office also filed a motion directed at Pará’s environmental agency recommending against the permit. The prosecutor’s office had already filed two other suits against the project in the past.

Source*

Related Topics:

Brazil vs. the Indigenous Fight against the Belo Monte Dam*

Amazon Groups Fight U.S. Call for Forced Contact with Remote Tribes*

Amazonian Elders Conclude Completion of First Indigenous Medical Encyclopaedia*

The Sahara and the Amazon, a Tale of Interdependence*

Murder in the Amazon

Brazil Signing Away Our Amazonian Legacy

Brazil: Corporations Continue to Seize Indigenous Lands and Hire Hit Men to Murder Residents

Brazil’s Coup Government Moves to Scrap Environmental Regulations*

Washington Rape of Brazil Begins*

Brazil Just Approved 20-Year Spending Freeze to Punish the Poor*

Canada’s Surgeons Harvesting Organs from Euthanised Patients*

Canada’s Surgeons Harvesting Organs from Euthanised Patients*

By Michael Cook

Taking advantage of the country’s new law, Canadian transplant surgeons have harvested organs from dozens of euthanasia patients. According to the National Post, 26 people in Ontario who died by lethal injection have donated tissue or organs. This involved mostly corneas, skin, heart valves, bones and tendons.

The National Post’s report only covered Ontario. Bioethicists, Transplant Quebec and an ethics committee of the Quebec government in Quebec argued last year that euthanasia could be a good source of organs, so it is quite possible that similar procedures have been carried out in that province as well.

“If we accept people can make decisions to end life, and we accept the idea of cardiac death being sufficient for organ donation, this should be acceptable,” Dr James Downar, of Dying with Dignity Canada, told the Post, to allay fears that patients could be pressured into donating organs.

Oddly enough, this is a topic which did not emerge in discussions about euthanasia before the Supreme Court legalised it in 2015. An influential report by a Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel did not even mention it, for instance, nor the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter vs Canada.

Coordinating organ transplants with euthanised donors has been going on for several years in Belgium and the Netherlands. About 40 cases in the two countries have been reported. Last year Dutch physicians at the Maastricht University Medical Center and the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam published a multidisciplinary manual for the complex procedure.

A recent article in the Impact Ethics blog by Professor Jennifer A. Chandler, of the University of Ottawa, pointed out that combining organ donation with euthanasia could lead to some tricky issues in ethics, law and conscientious objection:

  • What if a patient seeks euthanasia to direct his donation to a family member? The potential for abuse is obvious.
  • What if a next-of-kin is asked to approve organ donation after a person has been euthanised but has left no instructions?
  • What if the transplant surgeon has a conscientious objection to the procedure? Should he be forced to do it?
  • What if a recipient objects to receiving an organ from a euthanised patient?

Source*

Related Topics:

Israelis Trafficking in Syrian Children’s Body Organs*

Parents Pressured into Donating Organs of their 4 Month Old Baby After Receiving 7 Vaccine Doses*

New French Law Turns All Citizens into Automatic Organ Donors*

18,000 Syrian Children Victim to Organ Harvesting

Egypt Busts Int’l Organ Trafficking Network*

Africans Found Butchered Organs Removed In Egypt*

Some Refugees Are Being Sold For Organs*

Rape and Organ Theft in Turkish Refugee Camps*

Man Killed 27 People after Transplanted with the Heart of a Serial Killer*

Keystone XL Foes Brace for Battle*

Keystone XL pipeline segments Credit:Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Keystone XL Foes Brace for Battle

 

President Donald Trump approves permit for Keystone XL Pipeline across Canadian border re-igniting opposition

President Donald Trump’s approval of the cross-border permit that would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be laid across the 49th Parallel eliminates the hurdle that stopped it in 2015. But other obstacles have cropped up in the meantime, and opponents of the TransCanada project in both the U.S. and Canada are joining forces to fight the pipeline—led by Indigenous Peoples.

“Today, the fight to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline begins anew—and Donald Trump should expect far greater resistance than ever before,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

“Indigenous people are rising up and fighting like our lives, sovereignty, and climate depend on it—because they do. Over and over again, we’ve seen Trump choose the profits of his billionaire friends over our sovereign, treaty and human rights. It shows a clear disregard of our tribal rights to consent and self-determination, and it is unacceptable in this day and age.”

Trump had signed executive orders and memoranda days after taking office that were designed to move forward both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Soon afterward the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave Energy Transfer Partners the last permit it needed to drill under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. And on Friday March 24, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon signed a permit for TransCanada “to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil,” according to a State Department press release. (Newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, had recused himself from the decision, according to McClatchy newswire.)

“Today we begin to make things right,” Trump said on Friday March 24, according to The New York Times.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said the approval would do anything but. Chairman David Archambault II decried the Keystone XL approval and vowed that the tribe would fight it as vociferously as it had stood ground against DAPL.

“Once again, the treaty lands of the Great Sioux Nation are threatened by Keystone—a perilous pipeline,” Archambault said in a statement.

“President Trump has described the proposed pipeline as ‘the greatest technology known to man or woman.’ If that is the case, then I would encourage him to do some research and look at the number of oil spills we’ve experienced throughout this country, the levels of water pollution, and the science behind climate change. This is not the way of the future.”

The $8 billion pipeline is slated to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of viscous bitumen from the Alberta Oil Sands in Canada, to the U.S. and eventually to the Gulf Coast for likely export. Given the need to reduce fossil fuel extraction and consumption, Obama in 2015 declared it was not in the best interests of the United States.

The project has been hit with resistance in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Governments should be supporting action to fight climate change and support Indigenous rights, not trying to ram through projects like the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,” said Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart in a statement from the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, a consortium of 122 First Nations and tribes on both sides of the border.

“Indigenous peoples across the continent will stand together to protect our rights and our traditional territories.”

The indigenous groups oppose expansion of the Alberta oil sands in general and has been working to block passage of various pipeline and rail projects to transport crude from that region.

Trump’s actions do not ensure that the pipeline will be built. It lacks permits in key areas, and some of its existing permits have expired elsewhere, meaning the company will have to reapply. And opponents such as Bold Nebraska, where the route remains unapproved, plan to step up their game.

“TransCanada still has no state permit or approved route in Nebraska,” Bold Nebraska said in a statement. “The Nebraska Public Service Commission just launched an 8-12 month review of their pipeline route permit application. The process includes public hearings and formal ‘intervenor’ proceedings that will take legal, Treaty and water experts.”

Also standing between TransCanada and approval “is the core group of brave farmers and ranchers, who for seven years have refused to give in to TransCanada’s threats of using eminent domain for their private gain,” Bold Nebraska said.

“Landowners have fought the TransCanada’s attempts to seize their land against their will and continue to fight this abuse of eminent domain for private gain in the courts.”

With exemptions to Trump’s stated requirement that Keystone XL be made with U.S. instead of foreign steel, plus the minimal number of jobs that would be created, are not engendering much faith in the project’s necessity.

“The Trump Administration’s review of this toxic pipeline was tainted from the beginning, leaving no doubt that Trump would try to force this pipeline through regardless of the consequences it would have on the communities it touches, or on our climate,” Goldtooth said. “We’ve stopped the toxic Keystone XL Pipeline once, and we will do it again. Indigenous nations stand united not just here in the U.S. but around the world. This fight is not over, it is just beginning.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Two Major Pipelines Spill the Same Week Trump Advances KXL, DAPL*

Trump Signing Executive Order Forcing Continuation of DAPL and Keystone XL*

Canada Forcing the Indigenous to Give Up their Land*

Native Tribes in U.S. and Canada Sign Treaty Again Opposing Oil Pipelines*

In Alaska, Indigenous Voices Raised in the Struggle Between Life and Oil*

 

Canadian First Nations Battle Pipelines on Ground, in Court*

Canadian First Nations Battle Pipelines on Ground, in Court*

Indigenous leaders gather on Lelu island where the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation has set up camp to protest the construction of the Petronas LNG terminal. | Photo: Skeena Watershed Coalition

 

Salmon — an important source of food and culture for the Gitxsan First Nation — will be in danger.

The Gitxsan First Nation in Canada is blocking oil pipeline construction on two fronts, blocking construction of one on their territory and launching four lawsuits against another one that they argue would endanger its salmon, rest on an improper consent process and violate their fishing rights.

The Luutkudziiwus house of the Gitxsan Nation has been occupying a part of their territory since 2014 to prevent the construction of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline, which they say did not consult the right people before approving the project.

Meanwhile, the US$36 billion Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility has been hit with four judicial reviews, including by the Gitanyow and Gitwilgyoots First Nations, to challenge the federal government’s approval of the project.

The site of the planned off-loading terminal has already been evaluated and deemed unsuitable for development, and it would threaten the Skeena watershed, which holds the second-largest salmon run, according to DeSmog Blog.Salmon — an important source of food and culture for the Gitxsan First Nation — will be in danger.

“If we do not have Lelu island, if we do not have the eelgrass, our salmon will not survive,”  Yvonne Lattie, one of the plaintiffs in the judicial review and member of the Gitxsan First Nation told DeSmog Blog.

“Lelu island is vital in the survival of the salmon and in the survival of the aboriginal people that live on the Skeena.”

They argue that since it’s their territory,

We have the right and ability to manage our own rights and resources, and they’re going to have to recognize that,” said Wright.

The First Nations have launched fundraisers and ran an event last week to cover legal fees, while the companies behind the pipeline have even been subsidized by the Canadian government., The Sierra Club will soon release a study on how the government of British Columbia has reduced corporate tax rates for LNG, bolstering the Gitxsan analysis of the interests behind the pipeline despite the limited economic gains it will bring.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Annual March Demand Justice for Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada*

Canada Forcing the Indigenous to Give Up their Land*

First Nations in Canada and U.S. Sign Treaty Opposing Pipelines*

A Ruling that Highlights Indigenous Love of the Land and Canada’s Destruction of It*

Canada’s Bishops blast Trudeau: $650M Global Abortion Fund as ‘cultural imperialism,’ ‘exploits women’*

Canada’s Bishops blast Trudeau: $650M Global Abortion Fund as ‘cultural imperialism,’ ‘exploits women’*

Canada’s Bishops blast Trudeau: $650M Global Abortion Fund as ‘cultural imperialism,’ ‘exploits women’*

Prime Minister Trudeau announcing $650 million commitment to increase global access to abortion

 

By Lianne Laurence

Canada’s Catholic bishops have slammed Justin Trudeau and his Liberals for their $650 million commitment to increase global access to abortion as “a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism” that “exploits women.”

And they castigated the Catholic prime minister for a “policy and vision” that is in “conflict” with the Catholic Church’s teaching “to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.”

On International Women’s Day, Trudeau announced his Liberal government will spend $650 million over three years to “address gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.”

But in an open letter to Trudeau released Friday, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) pointed to a government media background document. It stated that “a major part of the funding will be toward removing ‘judicial and legal barriers to the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights’.”

The bishops also cited a March 17 Globe and Mail article reporting a federal official had confirmed “these barriers include the anti-abortion laws in many countries.”

“Such a policy is a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism and an attempt to impose misplaced but so-called Canadian ‘values’ on other nations and people,” wrote the bishops.

“It exploits women when they are most in need of care and support, and tragically subverts true prenatal health care,” read the letter signed by CCCB president Bishop John Crosby of Hamilton.

“It negates our country’s laudable efforts to welcome refugees and offer protection to the world’s homeless, when the youngest of human lives will instead be exterminated and the most vulnerable of human beings discarded as unwanted human tissue,” the bishops wrote.

The bishops concluded their letter by telling Trudeau:

“Your policy and vision, contrary to the fundamental ethic of protecting the most vulnerable and assisting the weakest, are in conflict with the principles instinctively shared by the majority of the world’s population and consistently upheld by the Catholic Church: to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.”

Campaign Life Coalition vice president Jeff Gunnarson lauded the forceful statement.

“The bishops have courageously exposed Trudeau’s so-called feminism for what it really is: an exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable women,” Gunnarson said.

“They also implicitly reveal Trudeau’s arrogance by rebuking his ‘Western cultural imperialism’,” he added.

“Trudeau is convinced he knows what’s best for women around the world, and so he doesn’t even bother to ask women in developing countries what they need and want,” Gunnarson said. “He’s using Canadian tax dollars to underwrite a global culture of death.”

“I hope and pray that Trudeau, who has said in the past that his Catholic faith is important to him, will listen to his bishops,” he added.

“We urge all people of good will, especially now that it’s Lent, to pray and fast daily for the conversion of our prime minister, who seems obsessed with abortion, and for the conversion of his Liberal minions.”

According to Trudeau, women around world the world “are denied legal control over their bodies and reproductive health.”

And that is “why we will continue to place gender equality and rights, and the empowerment of women and girls, at the heart of our international development work,” he said Wednesday when announcing the fund.

The Global Affairs backgrounder details what Canada’s $650 million global “sexual and reproductive health and rights” investment will pay for:

  • comprehensive sexuality education;
  • reproductive health services;
  • family planning services, including contraception;
  • safe and legal abortion services and post-abortion care;
  • preventing and managing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections;
  • preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence, including the prevention of harmful practices such as child and early forced marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting, and the provision of psycho-social services for survivors;
  • training health care professionals in the provision of sexual and reproductive health-care services and family planning;
  • advocacy activities of women’s, youth, Indigenous and LGBTI civil society groups;
  • addressing social norms that limit women’s and adolescents’ control over their bodies and reproductive decision-making; and
  • removing judicial and legal barriers to the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights

The Liberal “sexual and reproductive health and rights investment will contribute to the attainment of the U.N.’s sustainable development goal 3.7,” it states.

That goal is to ensure “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning and information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs by 2030.”

The Canadian bishops’ open letter to Trudeau can be read here.

Source*

Related Topics:

African Woman Schools U.N. Delegate on Why Pushing Abortion is ‘neo-colonialism’*

VIDEO: Bioethics, Eugenics and the “after-birth abortion” of newborns

European Parliament Abortion Campaign Seeks to Indoctrinate Children*

New U.S. Law Lets Families Sue Doctors to Prevent Dismemberment Abortions*

Trump to end Obama Funding of Foreign Abortions by Sunday, Claims Report*

Abortions Banned in Russian City for 1 Day in memory of Biblical ‘massacre of innocents’*

Abortion Survivor to Congress – ‘I was Born Alive after Being Burned in My Mother’s Womb’*

‘This baby won’t stop breathing!’: Abortionist Strangled Baby Born Alive While Nurses Stood and Watched*

Poland Debates Banning Abortion After Live Baby Cries Itself to Death*

Canada’s Telecom made $37mn Last Year Charging to Unlock Cellphones*

Canada’s Telecom made $37mn Last Year Charging to Unlock Cellphones*

By Sophia Harris

Canadian telecoms made a total of $37.7 million last year by charging customers to unlock their cellphones. That’s a whopping 75% jump in this source of revenue compared to 2014.

Telecoms often order locked phones from manufacturers that are programmed to work only with their service. Then they charge a fee — typically $50 — to unlock the phone if a customer wants to switch providers.

The charge is unpopular with consumers. It has even been referred to it as a ‘ransom fee.’

The unlocking revenue total was provided by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. The CRTC said it could not confirm the exact number of providers in the tally, other than to say, it was “up to seven.”

It also wouldn’t provide company names or the breakdown from each one. That’s because the wireless carriers argued that releasing their unlocking revenues publicly would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

CBC News did confirm that the $37.7 million total included Bell, Rogers and Telus, which own a lion’s share of the Canadian wireless market.

Unlocking charge described as ‘hostage fee’

The CRTC is looking into the issue of unlocking fees following much criticism about the fairness of the charge.

The controversial fee was a hot topic at a CRTC hearing last month. Consumer groups argued customers shouldn’t be dinged for the service — especially if they’ve paid off their phone.

“You should be able to unlock it [for free] at the very least once you’ve paid off the device. You own it,” says John Lawford, executive director with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa.

He also points out that it’s the provider who supplies the locked phone in the first place, and then charges the consumer to undo the process.

“Who’s the author of whose misfortune here?” says Lawford.

The CRTC also invited the public to comment online during the hearing. Many took the opportunity to gripe about the charge.

“Now after paying for the phones we are held ransom to unlock them to go to another provider. Totally ridiculous,” stated one person.

“Excuse me, but I own the phone.”

“That’s called a ‘Ransom Fee’ or ‘Hostage Fee’ in any other business,” wrote another individual.

“It is unbelievable how the government allows these companies to extort money like this!”

Keep them from straying

“I think the CRTC wanted to see if it was a money grab,” Toronto consumer advocate Dennis Hogarth says of why the commission compiled the revenue data.

But Hogarth believes the fee is less about a cash grab and more about providers trying to prevent customers from straying.

“It’s a major demotivating factor in having people move their plans from one provider to another,” says Hogarth, vice president of the Consumers Council of Canada.

But many providers, including Bell, Rogers and Telus, stand by their unlocking fees.

The big three each charge $50 for the service. During the CRTC hearing, Telus and Bell argued that phones need to be locked in the first place to stop third party dealers from reselling coveted models, like the latest iPhone, overseas.

“We want them to stay in the country which they were intended for, ” said Claire Gillies, Bell Mobility’s vice president of marketing.

Bell and Rogers also said that locked phones help protect them against consumers walking away from their contracts. That’s because customers must wait 90 days for a provider to unlock their phone — time that a provider can use to establish that a customer is legitimate and paying the bills.

Bell, Rogers, and Telus also warned that if they didn’t charge an unlocking fee for the few customers who want it done, the cost would have to be passed on to everyone.

“We think it’s a lot more appropriate that people who actually have their device unlocked bear the cost of the unlocking,” said Howard Slawner, vice president of regulatory telecom at Rogers.

‘Toxic revenue’

However, upstart Freedom Mobile — formerly Wind — isn’t onside. It wants the CRTC to get rid of unlocking fees.

During the hearing, Freedom’s vice president of regulatory relations Ed Antecol called unlocking charges “toxic revenue” because “it’s revenue that we earn that basically angers and displeases customers.”

Banning the charge could benefit a smaller provider like Freedom by making it easier for customers to switch from more established players.

Freedom charges customers $30 for unlocking and says it can’t afford to drop the fee unless its competitors do so as well.

Freedom Mobile wants the CRTC to eliminate unblocking fees. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

 

The provider also argued a locked phone doesn’t deter hucksters or fraudsters. That’s because people can bypass the provider and get their phone unlocked by numerous cellular-related businesses that also offer the service.

“A customer can go to … your local computer shop or whatever and get that phone unlocked anyway and perhaps in a dangerous way,” said Antecol.

Stop locking phones?

As for concerns about paying for other customers’ unlocking services, Freedom argues the solution is simple — don’t lock phones.

In its final submission to the CRTC, the company said that device locking is an optional feature offered by cellphone manufacturers. So Freedom recommended that the commission mandate that telecoms only provide unlocked phones to customers.

“If all phones are sold unlocked, all costs incurred by carriers that are currently associated with unlocking fees will disappear,” stated Freedom.

The CRTC is currently reviewing Canada’s Wireless Code, which also covers unlocking rules.

It will have to weigh not only the contradictory arguments from providers, but also arguments from consumers.

Consumers appear united on their stance on unlocking fees.

“This is gouging at its worst,” said one cellphone customer in response to CRTC’s invitation to comment.

Source*

Related Topics:

Is Your Cellphone Tapped!

How Wi-Fi Will Be Used to Erase Civil Liberties*

Canada Parliament Committee Calls for “Protection of Vulnerable Groups” from Wi-fi*

The Cell Phone is in Its 40th Year. Meet the Black Man Dr. Henry Sampson Who Played a Key Role in Its Invention*

Conscientious Scientists Make an Int’l Appeal on the Wide-scale Problem of Wi-fi*