DAVE AGAR

Tuesday February 4th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 2/4/2014 7:42:00 AM

Murder?

It would appear that a domestic incident may have sparked a murder in Toronto last evening around 7 o'clock.

Typically by now we would have much of the outline of what police had but for reasons, not yet explained, police are staying very quiet about this, so far.

We know that the Homicide Squad is looking into the death of a person at the Howard Johnson Inn on Metropolitan Road in the 401-Warden area.

Rob Ford

It would appear that Toronto Police are not yet ready to file criminal charges in their investigation of Mayor Rob Ford or anyone in his office.

The lead Detective, Sergeant Gary Giroux told CP-24 the investigation is still very active, it is moving forward and he still has a complete investigative team in place.

"There's nothing I comment on in relation to any pending charges or arrests, but the investigation is very active and in my opinion there is still a lot of work to be done."

This is the bluntest statement yet from police that Rob Ford is the target of their investigation which led to charges against the Mayor's friend, Sandro Lisi.

Smartphones

As pressure builds on provincial politicians to take tougher action against people who use their smartphones while driving, some new research showing just how tough it might be to change attitudes.

Harris Decima has done some polling showing that on average, Canadians check their smartphones 6 times an hour...more than 1-hundred times a day...on average.

Another recent survey found that 4 in 10 smartphone owners say that if they accidentally left their phone at home in the morning they would turn around, go back and get it.

It is time Queen's Park took a much tougher line on driving and texting. I can't tell you how many times I have been stopped at a red light and as I look in my rear-view mirror the driver behind me is coasting up....paying almost no attention to driving and looking at an incoming text or worse, texting. It's only a matter of time before someone slams into the back of my car because they were distracted by texting.

It might even be time for Ottawa to get involved and order auto makers or smartphone makers to install devices which automatically put smartphones into the equivalent of airplane mode when a vehicle engine is on. We already have GPS units that you cannot add to when the vehicle is in motion so it cannot be that difficult.

Online snooping

As people spend more time online, new data show American spy agencies are digging deeper into behaviour on the Internet.

Yahoo says that in just a 6-month period it complied with government requests for information on more than 40-thousand accounts.

In that same 24-week span, Google provided information on 9-to-10-thousand of its customer accounts.

Microsoft...15 to 16-thousand.

Facebook 5 to 6-thousand accounts.

In Ottawa yesterday Prime Minister Stephen Harper's national security advisor Stephen Rigby and the chief of Communications Security Establishment Canada, John Forster are flatly denying reports that government agencies have been spying on Canadians...insisting only foreigners are ever targeted.

Forster denied a CBC report that his agency spied on Canadians by intercepting their Internet traffic over public wifi at a Canadian airport.

"Meta data in terms of a foreign signals intelligence agency is pretty essential. We wouldn't be able to find or locate our foreign targets without it. It also helps us to make sure that we are not targeting Canadian private communications."

Elections Canada

The Harper Government is to table new legislation today called the "Fair Elections Act."

Among other things the government wants to end "vouching"...so that if a person going to vote doesn't bring the proper ID, no longer could another voter vouch for that individual at the polling station. You'd just have to go home and get the right ID and come back or don't vote.

The legislation is also expected to increase the amount individual Canadians can contribute to political parties. The current limit is 12-hundred dollars. No hint yet about the new limit but I can tell you this, if you are not on the email list of one or more political parties, my guess is you soon will be and the deluge of emails from the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats will ramp up sharply as they beg for money.

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  1. jeff posted on 02/04/2014 08:13 AM
    Completely agree about texting and driving. Just for fun I look over at the car beside me at red lights. I would say at least 80% of the time they are checking a device/texting/etc. And, a LOT of them don't react to the green lights. So, even while the car isn't in active motion it is distracting and causes delays. I drove with my sister one time and I called her out of this behaviour and she got pissed at me and said "I am not driving" ! People need an attitude adjustment. When you are driving, drive!
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