In the quest to build a better battery

Friday, 14 December, 2018

I’ve always love and curious about battery technologies. CBC News has this interesting news article, “In the quest to build a better battery, a Canadian is energizing the field“. Will see how things pan out in the coming years with Canadian Don Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at MIT. (Prof. Sadoway “did both his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto, receiving his PhD in 1977”.)

2012 Ted Talk Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

2015 World Economic Forum, Unlocking Renewables | Donald Sadoway

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Sad 2018 #HumanRightsDay #MichealKovrig #MichaelSpavor #MengWanzhou #Huawei

Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Dec 23, 2018 update: Global TV News, (with video) “Canada’s ambassadors urging allies to push for release of Canadians detained in China: Freeland

Dec 21, 2018 Global Affairs Canada Official statement: “Canada deeply concerned by arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China

Dec 21, 2018 update: CBC News, “U.S. , UK, EU] joins Freeland in condemning ‘arbitrary detention’ of Canadians and calls for ‘immediate release’

UK Gardian, “Canada demands China immediately release citizens detained in ‘retaliation’ arrests – US, UK and EU express support, after two Canadians held in seeming retaliation for arrest of Huawei executive

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I’m sorry to say 2018 #HumanRightsDay (Dec 10th) was a sad day when former Canadian diplomat Micheal Kovrig (update: and Mr. Michael Spavor) were detained in China with no reason given. (China taking Mr. Kovrig as “hostage” over the arrest of Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou?!) Where is due process? Where is rule of law? I understand he served as political lead on Prime Minster Trudeau’s visit to Hong Kong in September 2016, so on a personal note, I feel sorry for Consul General Mr. Jeff Nankivell and others in HK that Mr. Kovrig might have worked with in preparation of that 2016 visit.

How “lucky” Canadians must be to be stuck between two superpowers fighting a trade war? One superpower has a president that locks up human rights lawyers (including blind human rights lawyer) and makes dissidents “disappear”. The other superpower has a president who clearly sees himself above the law and has no idea of what “judicial independence” means. Even his former secretary of state recently said in public, “the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law.”

If there is #TeachableMoment in all this mess, it is that one must try to respect the rule of law, due process, and judicial independence. Even now it seems we really got used by both sides to fight their beeping trade war!
P.S. Incidentally, Trump/US government has imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum using Section 232 of U.S. trade law claiming our steel and aluminum are “threats to American national security”.

P.P.S. Former Canadian Amb. to China Mr. Guy Saint-Jacques has this to say:

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This sentence (from a CBC News report) kinda highlights the difference between Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s case and the trumped up detention of Mr. Michael Kovrig (currently on an unpaid leave of absence from the Canadian embassy): “China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied knowledge of the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, as Chinese citizens rejoiced over a Canadian court’s decision to release a top Huawei Technologies executive on bail.Read the rest of this entry »


It’s not just what you stand for, it’s what you stand up for. – New Quote I Love

Wednesday, 7 November, 2018

I’m adding a new quote to my long list of Quotes I Love.

“It’s not just what you stand for, it’s what you stand up for.” – Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella (1946- )2017 Commencement speech at Brandeis University

Rosalie Abella – 2017 Commencement speech at Brandeis University


‘Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World’: The 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture by The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin

Friday, 26 October, 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

On Friday 19 October 2018, The Rt Hon. Beverley McLachlin delivered the 2018 Sir David Williams Lecture entitled “Where Are We Going? Reflections on the Rule of Law in a Dangerous World“. (more info: downloadable audiophotos)

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018

Sir David Williams Lecture 2018


Interview with Advocate Dr. Lukacs re Bill C-49 (aka passenger rights bill) senate hearing

Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

Here is my video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, to talk about his Senate hearing presentation (with Q&A) yesterday re Bill C-49 (the so called air passengers rights bill). Dr. Lukacs’ senate presentation and Q&As portion starts at around the 10:36:17am mark of the video.

Minister of Transport Hon. Marc Garneau (@MarcGarneau) is expected to testify again in front of the Senate committee next week to address some of the concerns. Dr. Lukacs hope the minister will be “asked some very tough questions about the air passenger rights issues“. Dr. Lukacs sees “no reason why tarmac delay should be more than 90 minutes“; “no reason why passengers should not be getting compensation for delays caused by the airlines’ own maintenance issues“; “no reason why third party complains by public interest advocates advocating for public interest should be barred“.

Interview with Advocate Dr. Lukacs re Bill C-49 (aka passenger rights bill) senate hearing

Dr. Lukacs and his Air Passenger Rights group have been more effectively using social media (Twitter: @AirPassRightsCA, Facebook page: AirPassengerRights, website: AirPassengerRights.ca) in raising Air Passenger Rights issues. In one recent tweet, a video clip of Minister Garneau was shown (see below) where he stated in his senate hearing testimony he has “never ever said that the Bill of Passenger Rights is contained in the legislation” and then followed by Hon. Garneau saying, in a House of Commons CPAC video clip, “and on top of that we’re providing a Passenger Bill of Rights“.

In the above tweet, the one click weblink bill-c49.ca directs people to a AirPassengerRights.ca web page with a quick and easy way to send a letter of complain to senators expressing their concerns re Bill C-49.

By the way, Leslie MacKinnon of iPolitics has done a really good report “Advocate raises alarm about more tarmac delays caused by air passengers rights bill” and is worth a read to understand the issues with background stories & news.


Passenger Rights Advocate interview re Supreme Court of Nova Scotia appeal of Air Canada denied boarding Small Claim Court case

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Here is my video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, re Supreme Court of Nova Scotia appeal of Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia decision (Paine et al. v. Air Canada – SCCH No. 460569).

Dr Gabor Lukacs interview re Supreme Court of N.S. appeal of Small Claims Court decision

Ref: Jan 15th, 2018 CBC News report of this story “Judge reserves decision in Air Canada case involving compensation for missed flight – ‘Air Canada cannot avoid its obligation to pay,’ says passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs


The catch CBC & CTV missed: Loblaws $25 “gift” card/hush money for bread price-fixing

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018

The following three news reports cover various aspect of the Loblaws $25 “gift” card but missed an important catch that I want to discuss in this article.

  1. CBC News, “Loblaws $25 gift card registration now open, but there’s a catch – Signing up for gift card doesn’t preclude participating in class actions, but any payout would be deducted
  2. CTV News, “The catch: What Loblaw wants for its $25 gift card
  3. Huffington Post, “Take Loblaw’s Hush Money, But Don’t Keep Quiet – The bread price-fixing scheme is a moment when the curtain is pulled back and we get a peek into how things really work.

In short, the “catch” as others and CBC reported, “Signing up for gift card (and getting that $25) doesn’t preclude participating in class actions, but any payout would be deducted“.

The catch that is missed at least by CBC, CTV, and even Huffington Post is that as millions of Canadian adults apply for the gift cards is the “Retention and Cross-border Transfer” clause in the “Program Privacy Policy“. The “missed catch” is why should millions of Canadians subject our private and confidential information including

a) Full name
b) Date of Birth
c) Address
d) Home phone number,
e) Mobile phone number, and
f) email address

to courts of foreign countries including El Salvador or other random countries we don’t even know! When we are talking about millions of Canadians’ private and confidential data potentially being “stored, accessed, or used in a country outside of Canada “!! Why shouldn’t our data be treated with more care/respect and be stored in Canada and Canada alone?!

Don’t trust my words blindly. Visit the “Program Privacy Policy” link on the registration page, you will see (emphasis added):

“Program Privacy Policy
[…]
5. Retention and Cross-border Transfer
Personal Information may be stored, accessed, or used in a country outside of Canada by Loblaw, the Program Administrator, Blackhawk and/ or Peoples, or by service providers engaged by any of them, for any of the purposes identified in Section 4 above including the United States and El Salvador. Where Personal Information is located outside of Canada, it is subject to the laws of that jurisdiction which may differ from those in your jurisdiction and any Personal Information transferred to another jurisdiction will be subject to law enforcement and national security authorities in that jurisdiction.”

Canadians may want to question and challenge Loblaws’ Program Privacy Policy. by calling Loblaws and ask them directly or even ask our elected MPs and try to hold our government and the Competition Bureau accountable.

20180109 Loblaws price-fixing - program_privacy_policy - Screen Shot

Loblaws price-fixing – program_privacy_policy – Screen Shot

P.S. The Huffington Post, “Take Loblaw’s Hush Money, But Don’t Keep Quiet” raised some good points. (emphasis added) Read the rest of this entry »


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