Chief Theresa Spence hasn't eaten in over 11 days. The weather has taken a big turn for the worse and her tent home on Victoria Island is far from ideal. With Christmas week upon us, there is a real danger that the war room gamers in the Prime Minister's office will think they can simply wait this one out. It would be a terrible miscalculation. Make no mistake, as Ottawa shuts down for the holidays, this hunger strike is entering a very volatile and high stakes phase.
The notorious online "snooping" bill, C-30, looks like it may be coming back for round two. Earlier this year, the government rolled out legislation to enhance police powers in the cyber age. Bill C-30 would allow police to gather telecommunications service provider (TSP) subscriber data of cell phone and Internet users without warrants. As well, the legislation would force Telecoms to create back-door spy channels into their networks to aid security agencies in keeping tabs on online criminals (and potentially ordinary citizens).
Public transit is on the chopping block in Northeastern Ontario. On September 28th, the McGuinty Liberals are planning on silencing the whistle of the Northlander passenger train once and for all. With the train service killed, they will then move to sell off public bus service and freight operations as quickly as possible. Thrown into this fire sale will be valuable public telecommunications infrastructure that has connected many isolated communities with cellphones and Internet.
The government says this is about providing northerners with better options for transportation. No one's buying it. The dismantling of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission will have a profound impact on the northeast part of the Province.