May 30, 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.
Your newsletter curator is paddling around Algonquin Park today and tomorrow and is off the grid. This edition was prepared late Wednesday. And here will not be an edition on Friday. Look for the return of The Roundup on Saturday. Thanks for reading! 
As online hate rises, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon wants Canadians to be nicer on the web
In an exclusive interview with Global News, Governor General Mary Simon is urging Canadians to show more respect online -- and says a lack of it has affected her personally. [Global]
The security and intelligence community is of the consensus view that political foreign interference is a significant threat to Canada, and that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a major perpetrator of this threat at all levels of government. Nonetheless, the present review of how intelligence related to PRC political foreign interference was disseminated from 2018 to 2023 (a period covering the last two federal elections) indicates that there were significant disagreements between constituent components of that community, both within and across organizations, as to whether, when, and how to share what they knew. [National Security and Intelligence Review Agency]

Market concentration, higher prices and a mounting tally of customer complaints are fuelling a Competition Bureau study into Canada's airline industry. [Global]
From the Provinces
John Michael McGrath: The issue that’s been most toxic for this government is the province’s suffocating housing crisis — and that crisis is only getting worse. [TVO]

Does Mexican presidential front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum want to make circumcision compulsory and close a revered Catholic church?Sheinbaum, the granddaughter of Jewish migrants, has faced unfounded rumors that she wants to make circumcision mandatory and turn the Basilica of Guadalupe into a museum. [AFP]

In the lead up to the European Parliament election, rising Russian disinformation threatens to sway voters. No matter the election result, the EU should take coordinated and assertive action. [European Council of Foreign Relations]

Whatever the cause, the pattern is clear: Pro-Palestinian protests are overwhelmingly an elite college phenomenon. [Washington Monthly]

The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj, western Iran, has sentenced journalist Zina Modares Gorji to a combined 21 years in prison for her advocacy of women's rights. [Radio Free Europe]

Bill C-18, the Online News Act, is best known for two things: the government’s bad bet that Meta was bluffing when it said it would block news links in response to a system that mandated payments for links (news links have now been blocked for 10 months in Canada) and its attempt to salvage the legislation by striking a deal with Google worth $100 million annually. The Google deal has receded into the background, but the behind the scenes there is an intense battle over who will be selected to administer and allocate the annual $100 million. The outcome - which will be decided by Google by June 17th - will have enormous implications for Canadian media for years to come since it is anticipated that Google and the selected collective will negotiate a five year deal worth $500 million. Sources say that two proposals have emerged: a big media consortium led by News Media Canada (NMC), the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), and the CBC, pitted against a proposal spearheaded by a group of independent and digital publishers and broadcasters that is promising a more transparent and equitable governance approach. [Michael Geist Blog]

Can u spare $5 a month for this newsletter? Click now!
Science and Tech

While thousands of planets have been discovered around other stars, relatively little is known about them. A NASA catalog featuring 126 exotic, newly discovered worlds includes detailed measurements that allow for comparisons with our own solar system. The catalog details a fascinating mix of planet types beyond our solar system, from rare worlds with extreme environments to ones that could possibly support life. [University of California, Riverside]

Our findings reveal that AI systems emit between 130 and 1500 times less CO2e per page of text generated compared to human writers, while AI illustration systems emit between 310 and 2900 times less CO2e per image than their human counterparts. Emissions analyses do not account for social impacts such as professional displacement, legality, and rebound effects. In addition, AI is not a substitute for all human tasks. Nevertheless, at present, the use of AI holds the potential to carry out several major activities at much lower emission levels than can humans. [Nature]

The Calendar
  • 0815 ET: 430  Wellington Building - Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) | Meeting 116 - Bill C-322
  • 0845 ET: 125-B  West Block - Official Languages (LANG) | Meeting 103 - Committee Business
  • 1100 ET: 425  Wellington Building - Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) | Meeting 106 - Agriculture Min Lawrence MacAulay testifies on FY25 Main Estimates. 
  • 1100 ET: 430  Wellington Building - Health (HESA) | Meeting 119 - Opioid Epidemic and Toxic Drug Crisis in Canada; Women's Health
  • 1100 ET: 410  Wellington Building - Science and Research (SRSR) | Meeting 89 - Science and Research in Canada's Arctic in Relation to Climate Change; Integration of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Science 
  • 1100 ET: 125-B  West Block - Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TRAN) | Meeting 118 - Competition Act and Air Travel in Northern, Rural, and Remote Communities of Canada 
  • 1530 ET: 410 Wellington - International Trade (CIIT) | Meeting 109 - 2026 CUSMA Review
  • 1530 ET: 330 Wellington - Status of Women (FEWO) | Meeting 112 - Drafting report
  • 1530 ET: 315  Wellington Building - Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO) | Meeting 113 - Population Sustainability of Yukon Salmon Stocks
  • 1530 ET: 415  Wellington Building - Public Accounts (PACP) | Meeting 126 - Report 1, ArriveCAN, of the 2024 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada 

Issued this day ...
… in 2003: Scott #1986: Canada’s Volunteer Firefighters. Design: François Dallaire.