Mar 31, 2024
David Akin's Roundup
Clippings of #cdnpoli, #media, and #tech content aimed at those with an interest in Canadian politics and policy. And sometimes Canadian postage stamps.
Freeland highlights pharmacare commitment as part of pre-budget promotion
The Canadian government addressed pharmacare on Saturday as part of their pre-budget, cross country tour of announcements targeting younger citizens. The first phase of the pharmacare plan involves providing contraception and diabetes medication to Canadians in need, with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland confirming it will be included in the liberal budget. [Global National]
Chris Varcoe: “If you put 100 economists in a room, they’re not going to agree on very much,” said University of Alberta energy economist Andrew Leach, who signed the letter. “If you ask them what’s the most cost-effective way to attack greenhouse gas emissions, almost all of them will say carbon pricing.” [Calgary Herald] 
The Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association wants the federal government to explore new tracks for Ukrainians apply for permanent residency as a special visa program expires. [Global]

Network analysis reveals extensive and deepening board interlocks and joint memberships between these think tanks and the fossil fuel industry, other policy-planning organizations within and beyond Canada, and academic institutions. Consistent with and rooted in network ties, Atlas members produce a large and growing volume of climate-related content, including content that denies the reality and impacts of climate change, promotes and defends the fossil fuel sector, and opposes climate policy and action. Atlas affiliates are argued to be at the core of a reactionary segment of Canada's elite policy-planning network opposed to virtually all forms of climate action, while the frames and campaigns they deploy are seen as a force obstructing progress on climate change. [Canadian Review of Sociology]

Steve Schafer, vice-president of the Langley-Aldergrove Constituency Association, has put his name forward following the announcement earlier this week that Mike Murray will seek the nomination for the new riding. [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

From the Provinces
'Part of the history': Rivals for Alberta NDP leadership torn on federal party ties
"I believe that our ties to the federal NDP are remnants of a party that wasn't confident, a party that wasn't grown up yet, that relied on big brother to look after us," Nenshi said. "Now this party is confident and a modern force and I don't think we need that anymore." [Global]
Ukraine's critical infrastructure targeted in Russian overnight attack
Russia attacked Ukraine with drones and missiles overnight on March 31, damaging infrastructure facilities and killing at least one person. [Kyiv Independent]

No explanation was given immediately for the latest changes in the Ukraine president's wide-reaching personnel shakeup over recent months. [Global]

Indian opposition parties united on Sunday to protest against the arrest of a prominent leader weeks before a national election, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party of rigging the vote and harassing them with large tax demands. [Reuters]

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WhatsApp’s scale dwarfs nearly every social network and messaging app out there. In 2020, WhatsApp announced it had more than two billion users around the world. It’s bigger than iMessage (1.3 billion users), TikTok (1 billion), Telegram (800 million), Snap (400 million) and Signal (40 million.) It stands head and shoulders above fellow Meta platform Instagram, which captures around 1.4 billion users. The only thing bigger than WhatsApp is Facebook itself, with more than three billion users . [EndGadget]

CrowdTangle helps researchers track disinformation, but Meta will close it down before the US election. The tool's cofounder, Brandon Silverman, says it's time to force companies to share data. [Wired]

Science and Tech

OpenAI has revealed its Voice Generation model, which can generate new audio using someone’s voice based on just a short clip. [The Verge]

Issued this day ...
… in 2014: Sc #2708 Plate Block of 4: Insect — Definitive: Monarch Butterfly. Design: Keith Martin