Freedom of Information in Canada

Since it was devised in the 1980s, Canada’s Freedom of Information law has not been significantly updated or reformed to reflect the needs of the data revolution. On the heels of the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s freedom of the press act last week, TVO’s The Agenda looks at the state of FOI law in Canada.

Joy as China shelves plans to dam ‘angry river’

Environmentalists celebrate as Beijing appears to abandon plans to build mega dams on its Grand Canyon of the East. Although dam-building isn’t off the table in other parts of China, activists say Beijing is deterred in this case by growing concern for the environment, the wisdom of dam construction in areas of high seismicity and – most importantly – the economics of large-scale dams that no longer make financial sense in a slowing Chinese economy, in combination with the scale of difficulty in transmitting electricity from remote regions to the rest of the country.

U.N. finally apologizes for cholera in Haiti … but omits one point

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “sorry” last week for the organization’s role in Haiti’s deadly cholera outbreak, called a “half-apology” by some for omitting to mention the likely source of that outbreak: Nepalese UN peacekeepers. Ban Ki-moon’s statement nevertheless marks the first time the organization has publicly acknowledged its role in the spread of the cholera epidemic in Haiti that killed at least 10,000 people after the 2010 earthquake.

Lawyer Xia Lin will be sentenced on September 22, and it will have nothing to do with the law

As we all know now, Xia Lin, a 46-year-old lawyer whose clients have included dissident artist Ai Weiwei and free speech champion Pu Zhiqiang, was sentenced to jail for 12 years — a verdict meant as both payback and warning to China’s human rights lawyers. Legal activist and scholar, Guo Yushan, penned this essay in the lead up to Xia’s sentencing reflecting on the price paid by Xia, himself and his colleagues for work that has been described elsewhere as “all that is hopeful and optimistic about China”.

Peter Kent: It’s ‘concerning’ Trudeau’s office won’t criticize China

“China uses the death penalty universally, there is no due process, white-collar criminals and others of non-capital crimes are regularly put to death, one way or another, sometimes by neglect, sometimes by torture, mistreatment, by organ harvesting. And in other cases, it is a formal execution… We don’t understand why they are bothering to discuss, or talk, or negotiate at all.” ~ Conservative critic Peter Kent

Trudeau playing part as China’s patsy

“Justin Trudeau’s recent statements about considering an extradition treaty with China, a military dictatorship that executes more ‘criminals’ than any other country, and hoping to get a free trade deal with China to double trade by 2025 are both troubling.” Once again, he is showing poor judgment when it comes to China and has done so before. Bill Tieleman for The Tyee.