Ontario Scalper Bill Debate

The proposed law to regulate ticket scalping and the use of bots is being debated for the last time today in the Ontario Provincial Legislature. But apparently, some ticket companies are complaining that the proposed 50% above ticket value cap will simply drive scalpers to other sites.

As an event ticket purchaser, I can reassure them that I will never go out of my way to find more expensive tickets. And quite frankly I would distrust these rather shady scalpers, as would anyone else, especially if they sold their tickets on unregulated, questionable sites.

I suspect that most of these tickets would be fake so where’s the argument against the 50% cap, really? How exactly would legitimate sites profit by selling these fake tickets?

Steps need to be taken against the utter nonsense that’s happening. And this is simply the first step.

New Parliamentary Session Starts Today

Parliament will be in session today and many bills are scheduled to be introduced by the last scheduled sitting day in December, including two re-introduced bills that consumers should be made aware of.

Both should be of concern to Canadian consumers as they are scheduled to be re-introduced with little to no changes, possibly resulting in a loss in the ability to make private copies from copy protected recordings, loss of privacy when it comes to the internet and higher subscription fees for internet access.

Lawful Access – Consumer Unfriendly

The Conservative Government wishes to re-introduce legislation enabling law enforcement to access online communications without a warrant.

They believe that this would help them combat terrorism and crime. But unfortunately they may rely on internet providers to retain information on their behalf, which could be costly for the consumer because the internet providers would require more equipment and personel to do so.

In searching for illicit activity online our internet providers will be required to store vast amounts of information and these extra expendatures will be passed down to their subscribers.

According to a 2002 Statistics Canada report, law enforcement are hindered by the use of pseunomyms, anonymous remailers, dial-up connections and public wi-fi.

One can only imagine how much information would be required to keep track of suspects that use “public Internet stations in airports, bus depots, libraries, cyber-caf├ęs and convenience stores” alone, examples mentioned in the report.

Anyone using any of the above mentioned services would have their information catalogued and accessible for cross referencing and analysis, which is not only a burden on resources at the internet providers but may result in a violation of our privacy laws according to the Office Of The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada.

In an October 27th, 2009 letter to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, the Privacy Commissioner stated :

“Though isolated anecdotes abound, and extreme incidents are generally referred to, no systematic case has yet been made that demonstrates a need to circumvent the current legal regime for judicial authorization to obtain personal information. Before all else, law enforcement and national security authorities need to explain how the current provisions on judicial warrants do not meet their needs.”

The aforementioned 2002 Statistics Canada report may claim a lack of standard in cybercrime statistics, possibly resulting in a lack of classification or reporting of these crimes. But crime in Canada is down according to this June 2011 Statistics Canada report.

These costly, potentially insecure systems, are not required. Law enforcement has managed quite well with the current regulations, even with their limited manpower, and the flood of information will probably overwhelm them requiring costly automation.

This is, in my opinion, not the way to go. And this is why i’ve signed the following Openmedia.ca petition :

Please sign the above petition and contact your local Member of Parliament about this issue as soon as possible, preferably before September 19th. Thank you.

Postal Update : Back To Work Legislation Passes

Bill C-6, the “Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act“, has passed Parliament. 158 members votes for the bill whilst 113 voted against the bill.

Postal Update : Back To Work Legislation Tabled

Back to work legislation has just been tabled in Parliament. Additional details can be found at the following :

Canada Post Updates / Canadian Union Of Postal Workers

Postal Strike Information

It appears that the Conservative government is planning of tabling back to work legislation to end the postal strike that started today.

Canada Post had decided to lock out their employees and now mail service to and from the urban centers has stopped.

Mail is no longer being accepted, collected or distributed in most Canadian cities except for select government issued cheques. But some smaller communities may still recieve mail because their postal services are handled by the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, thought it should be noted that they will not accept mail from customers.

Canada Post‘s e-Post site is still up and running so you can get your bills from that service or online directly from the businesses you deal with.

BTW, some retailers do offer alternative shipping methods to their Canadian customers.

The following Canadian retailers offer an option to ship to their local stores :


The following Canadian retailers offer courier shipping :

chapters.indigo.ca (Greater Toronto Area)
Sony Style Canada (Major Cities/By Appointment)
Tigerdirect.ca – FREE SHIPPING* on selected PC Deals at TigerDirect!

Amazon.ca has stated that alternative shipping methods will be made available. But delays in regards to sellers that use Canada Post are to be expected.

It should be noted that Amazon.com do offer courier service regularily to Canadians.

They use DHS Global Mail for Standard and Expedited Shipping, and UPS or DHL for Priority Shipping. BUT shipments valued above $20 Canadian may incur importation fees, which in this case would be administed by the courier, in addition to the standard duties and taxes.

International shipments valued at less than $20 are not subject to duties, taxes or importation fees because of the Low Value Shipment (LVS) process at the Canadian Border Services Agency, with some restrictions.

Additional information in regards to the possible alternatives will be added to this blog entry a.s.a.p. You can also keep track of the strike using these two links :

Canada Post Updates / Canadian Union Of Postal Workers