Blogs list

Ashley Fitzpatrick - Of Rock & Sea

Fragments on Fracking - The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project aside, hydraulic fracturing - fracking - is a topic that would be difficult to escape on the Natural Resources beat. Even outgoing premier Tom Marshall is reading up on the topic these days, as mentioned in a recent 20 Questions special interview. The province currently has a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing in the onshore hunt for oil. It was announced in November 2013. In August 2014, Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley said there would be an independent panel created, tasked with a review of the use of hydraulic fracturing in the province. Dalley has referred to an internal review already completed. Of course, I asked for the report under the province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. On Friday, I received a response. Please note that the formal reports associated with the internal review on fracking have not been provided as they will soon be made public, was the reply. Under the Act, a record or part of a record that is to be published or released to the public within 45 days after the applicant's request is received can be withheld. Fair enough. I was not the only one to request the report. Mike Connors at NTV news has reported he is looking for the same. I doubt he’s the only other. And so- I expect it won't be long now. Meanwhile, the provincial government has provided slides from a presentation that was given to the minister on the subject of fracking, on…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick September 22, 2014

Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

Being Schooled by CRA Isn’t So Bad...True Story. - In the span of a week, I’ve had two clients in my office seeking financial advice on going back to school. Both are currently employed in well-paying and – by all accounts – “fulfilling” careers. One is seeking additional certification in his chosen field. The other is looking to follow her dreams. Both of them need money to make it happen. The Good News If you have an RRSP, Revenue Canada will let you borrow up to $20,000 from it interest and tax free (no, that’s not a typo) to help fund your post-secondary aspirations. If you don’t have any money (or very little) in your own RRSP, your spouse or common law partner can borrow from theirs to help pay your back to school bills. You can also take a little from your own as well as your spouse’s (with their permission, of course…there are forms to fill out…this is still the government we’re talking about) or you could both decide to withdraw at the same time and go all “Old School“ on the system. That was such a great movie. But I digress. This little known gem is called the Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) and for “mature” students, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It Gets Better It really does. You can withdraw a total of $20,000 ($10,000 per calendar year) each time you use the Lifelong Learning Program. That’s right. You can use the LLP more than once in your lifetime. In fact, you can use this program as often as…

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Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott September 25, 2014
Photo : Telegram Photographers June 26, 2014

James McLeod - Briefing Note

ATIPPA review submission - On Thursday morning, I'll be presenting to the ATIPPA review committee chaired by former premier Clyde Wells, along with retired journalist Doug Letto and former federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. I’ve already provided a written submission to the committee, and my presentation will cover the same ground. I’ve already written for the newspaper about why I feel it’s important to make a presentation to the committee, and the inherent conflict that presents as a working journalist. You can read that article here. In the interest of full disclosure, I just wanted to post my full written submission in this space, so that people can form their own opinions. You can also watch the live stream of the commission hearings at this website: http://parcnl.ca/webcast. I’ll be presenting at around 9:30 a.m. If you miss it, it looks like the videos are being archived so you can watch at your leisure. Anyway, here’s my full submission. If you’ve got any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me by e-mailing jmcleod@thetelegram.com or leaving a comment on this post.   ATIPPA Statutory Review Submission By James Mcleod The Telegram   My experience with the ATIPPA system is primarily as a user. My job is to report on government and politics in Newfoundland and Labrador. To do that, I need reliable information about what government is doing. In theory, the most reliable source of information about government activities is the records within government which document day-to-day government operations — what happened, what information was available…

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Photo : James McLeod June 25, 2014

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

Herald in Hot Water - The Herald has landed itself in a cauldron of scalding hot water, over its publication of a rather detestable letter in its August 3-9 edition. The letter, written by Matt Barber, a far-right extremist in the United States, is as mean and intolerant as Christianity can be. It’s the kind of thing you see shared on Tea Party web sites in the United States. Indeed, it’s as if someone trolled a hook through the depths of the Internet, pulled up something ugly and slapped it on the pages of The Herald. If you want to read the text, here’s a link: http://barbwire.com/2014/07/19/coming-christian-revolt/ Western Pride in Corner Brook has filed a human rights complaint with the police about the letter and LGBTQ activist Pamela Sheaves has indicated that she plans to do the same, while St. John’s Pride issued a letter saying they will not pursue legal remedies at this time, planning instead to “work closely with the Herald and the media at large to establish a forthcoming LBGTQ Style Guide for Journalists.” I am an atheist so the column offends me on a number of levels – especially Barber’s accusation that the “secular left” is at war Christianity. I don’t agree with this. I think secular society in the western world is quite tolerant of various religious beliefs. If anything, it’s Christianity that has a hard time with changing societal mores. And that’s the whole point of Barber’s letter: the suggestion that Christianity is under attack. This paragraph pretty much captures the gist of it:…

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Photo : Geoff Meeker August 09, 2014