Advocacy, Facebook

My #PersonalResponsibility and #Facebook

Hey folks, let’s take a step back on this controversial topic and situation.  I believe strongly in our right to access, privacy and openness, so do I believe even more strongly in our personal responsibilities for our lives, access to the world around us and to safeguarding our privacy.  Who among us didn’t know that our data shared on Facebook wasn’t ours once we turned it over?  How many posts and email messages have you all seen that make some sort of statement aimed at Facebook telling them that even though we’ve posted our photos, life stories and the like on Facebook they have no right to use said postings.  Really?  Think about this for a minute.


Here is the link to the original story on CBC to which I am responding.


Facebook provides 2.9 billion people around the world a free platform through which we can share with our friends and family members what’s alive in us, and it allows companies, organizations and media outlets to post what they’re up to and offering their services and goods to us, the consumer.  So, based on the fact that it’s free to us, and they still manage to make billions of dollars each year by selling advertising, what did you actually think was going on?  Did they actually steal your info and share it with others, or did you willingly type all that private info in your profile, post all those interesting things about yourself, click Like on all those ideas you resonate with, click Sad on all those posts that saddened you and comment on the posts you both agreed with and ranted against?  Ladies and gents, each time you did any of this you were providing data points they can use to target advertising and articles of interest.  For some that’s creepy, and yet I find that to be just right in my world.  I don’t ever see advertising for Ford trucks, Honda Fits or chain saws, however see all manner of technology, environmental, self-help, health and political stuff that perfectly fits with my particular interests.  I also don’t get bombarded with Right Wing Fake News, because Facebook has seen through my interactions that I am interested in reading that which leans to the Left.  BTW, Twitter knows a lot about you, as does your credit card company, bank, drug store and any other organization with whom you have shared your private info, and if you look at what they’ve communicated to you they too are targeting you according to what you have shared.


So, when you set up your profile and actually shared your birthdate, work history, music and movie preferences and all the other specifics about yourself that others could see on this very public platform, how did it equate that your privacy was to be maintained, let alone desired.  I know some who have not signed up for Facebook, and they’re the folks I know who are truly interested in remaining private.  The rest of us, well we’re open to sharing or we wouldn’t be there either.  I know people who don’t share anything but their name, a fake birthdate and an irrelevant email address in their own attempts to fool the statistics, yet remain able to participate on Facebook for those things they are comfortable and willing to engage with.


Here’s what the article says, “It’s estimated the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada was improperly used…”. Did Facebook do anything wrong?  In my opinion they didn’t, although they should perhaps have made it more difficult for companies like the one in this quoted piece to sell my info if they had any notion of keeping us safe from ourselves:

“That Facebook app, called “This is Your Digital Life,” was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also — thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions — data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.”


So, those 270,000 people who received some minor bit of remuneration for taking the quiz from an app they downloaded from Facebook were fooled into it, or they didn’t bother to read the details of what they were participating in?  Either way, I don’t see that anybody coerced them into it, and that the info was sold to political parties and/or corporations isn’t a surprise to me.  After all, if we’re getting Facebook for free and they’re making millions we have to be able to connect those dots.


I think many of us will now go back into our Facebook profiles to set a few more limits on what will be shared and with whom, and I dare say I’ll become a public lire where FB is concerned.  Stay tuned, you’ll now be wishing me a happy birthday on Christmas Day from now on, and you’ll have to guess as to the year I was born.  Hey, 39 was a good age so I think that’ll be my age from now on.  As for all those jobs I said I held in the past, wait until you see what my work history will be on Facebook.  All of a sudden I will have been an Astronaut. Brain Surgeon and a Catholic Priest.  What do those things have in common?  Nothing, however I can’t wait to see how it affects the advertising I’ll receive going forward.  I’m anticipating receiving flight promotions, advertising for really good knives, and offerings of buckets of Holy Water.  After all, I’ve said repeatedly on Facebook that we should protect our water from unscrupulous corporations Hell-bent on dirtying it, fracking with it or selling it to people who have access to good drinking water already.


At any rate, I won’t be disconnecting from Facebook, and I’ll be operating differently from now on.  All those apps I use on my iPhone and computer where I log in through Facebook will no longer be used in that way, and just in case, I will be changing my Facebook password soon in order to force me to disconnect those third party apps when I use them again.


I do find it ironic that the Facebook Founder is being asked to appear in front of the American Congress to answer for his wrong-doings, and the NRA and those who sell asault rifles to Americans get a pass on answering for their actions.  It’s a weird world we live in folks.  JMO.




More Guns, Less Drugs

I remain amazed at the thought process that leads to a society bent on adding more guns as a remedy to gun violence, while still believing that by closely monitoring Doctors, borders and our neighbourhood drug dealers they’ll be able to reduce the number and amounts of drugs on our streets.  In my opinion neither of those proposed strategies will fix either of the problems.  I believe there are far too many guns in America, so adding some to the hands of teachers is ridiculous, and I believe addiction won’t be solved by removing drugs from our streets.  Other countries in the world have resolved, or at least dramatically reduced the impacts of these two problems in many places, and we will only solve them in our Cities and Towns if we pay attention to those successes.  More guns to solve a gun violence problem, and fewer drugs to resolve addictions issues haven’t worked to date, and the notion that it’ll start to work any time soon is crazy thinking.


Facebook: Divorce or Reconciliation?

Please all, what’s the big hype all about?  I’ve freely given my private information to an American Corporation and I’m surprised they’ve used it for their benefit?  Really, WTF?  I heard that some in the USA are calling for a Senate investigation into Facebook’s business practices, and with the other side of their mouths they’re planning to equip school teachers with guns.  Why on Earth is anyone incensed at what seems to be a normal corporate business practice and quite OK with more guns being proposed for a society already riddled with them?


Quoted text:

There’s no need to quit Facebook – just start lying; Worried about exposing your data, but don’t want to delete your account? Here’s a crazy idea that just might work To delete or not to delete, that is the question Facebook users are now asking while weighing the pros and cons of breaking up with the social-media giant.


For any other product, this would be a cinch. If you have a pair of shoes that always give you blisters, they quickly get mothballed. You don’t keep stumbling around town in agony. You realize the shoes are a bad fit and you move on.

But the fact millions of users can’t bring themselves to erase their Facebook accounts shows just how deeply this behemoth has wormed its way into our lives.

Facebook is hurting us and we don’t care. When a company such as Cambridge Analytica is able to secretly harvest personal data from 50 million FB users, my first thoughts should be: “Wow, I need to protect my privacy. I need to escape this cesspool of fake news. I need to flee the mind-control marketing and ads that are often targeted with such eerie precision, it’s as



if Mark Zuckerberg was hiding behind my couch and heard my wife say we need to steam the carpets. I need to get out before I become a stooge in a future Russian propaganda campaign that tricks me into believing my neighbour is a satanist or Justin Trudeau is the greatest prime minister ever. I need to be free.”

But what I actually think is, “I can’t delete my Facebook!”


That right there is the FB Paradox. It’s why the new #DeleteFacebook movement, however noble, will never reach critical mass.

Maybe we were fools to voluntarily surrender our data in the first place.

Maybe we should have realized sharing personal details with a global corporation was a terrible idea.

But the truth is, it’s too late now. I can’t quit you, Facebook, not when leaving feels like abandoning family and friends.

How will I keep tabs on distant relatives with whom there are no other established lines of contact? What am I supposed to do – pick up aphone and call? How will I see the photos of nieces at Disney or learn a former colleague is off to a new adventure in the Middle East? How will I know when someone I haven’t seen since Grade 11 is poking me?

How will I add a smile emoji when my dad accidentally wishes someone a happy birthday by writing on his own wall?

So instead of “to delete or not to delete,” is there a third option?

I believe the answer here is a resounding “maybe.”


Now, look. I’m no tech expert. I won’t pretend to grasp Facebook’s proprietary algorithms, or even know what “proprietary algorithms” means.

But if the central fear is that Facebook is now treating our data like a rented mule, what if we changed the rules? What if we corrupted our own data to make it useless?

Stay with me. What if you tinkered with your settings and monkeyed with your birthday, your sex, your city, your job, your relationship status? What if you started “Liking” stories you hated and clicked on ads for products you’d never buy? What if you fictionalized your digital existence until the Real You and the Facebook You became strangers?

If you did that, your data would be worthless.

Which would make it priceless.


Granted, this may be confusing to those on the periphery of your friends’


I mean, if I suddenly tell the world I am actually a Caucasian lesbian senior who lives in Albuquerque and volunteers with the NRA, my inbox is sure to clog up with a few baffled messages. But for the people who really know us – the inner circle nobody wants to lose – this act of personal disruption would be obvious.

Our loved ones would know this was just a clever ruse to throw off any evil and faceless data miners who may be inclined to aggregate and weaponize our info in the years ahead.

“Why did you just say you’re now single?” my wife will ask.

“I did it,” I will reply, “to protect you!”

Ultimately, this is all about managing the FB Paradox.


On Monday, despite the ongoing scandal, the Angus Reid Institute released a survey that found only 10 per cent of Canadian FB users plan to delete their accounts.

But 73 per cent want to “make at least some change to how” they interact online.

I can think of no better way to change than to don a disguise. Go nuts and turn into someone else. Do it for the peace of mind.

As always, Facebook only knows what you tell it.


Vinay Menon

– End of Article –



BC Government Job Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities: 2018-19 Work-Able Graduate Internship Program

Hello everyone


You are receiving this email notification to let you know that the 2018-19 Work-Able: Graduate Internship Program for recent post-secondary graduates who self-identify as having a disability is now posted on the BC Public Service Employment site. Please pass along this exciting opportunity to your networks.


PLEASE NOTE: On March 26, 2018, the current Recruitment Management System (RMS) was replaced with a more modern system. The same Work-Able posting is posted from:

  • March 1 – March 19, 2018; AND
  • March 26 to April 30, 2018.


The only difference is the Requisition # and the link to the posting.


Applicants do not need apply to the two different postings.


Information on Work-Able on MyHR:

Work-Able Graduate Internship Program


Work-Able Job posting link:

Work-Able Job Posting


Timelines for Work-Able:

  • March 5, 2018 – April 30, 2018: One posting for all intern positions
  • May – August 2018: Screening and assessment
  • September 2018 – August 2019: Interns hired for paid twelve month internship

Thank you,


Note : If you no longer wish to be included on this bcc email distribution list, please email me and I will remove your email.



Nadia Valckx, Accessibility and Work-Able Program Assistant

Executive Development and Diversity | Talent Management Division

BC Public Service Agency | Suite 100 – 940 Blanshard Street

Victoria BC | V8W 2H2 | Cell: 250-508-2459


Phone: 250.952.6000 | Toll Free 1.877.277.0772





AEBC 2018 AGM and Conference, Saturday Evening Boat Cruise and Dinner, April 28, 2018


Saturday April 28 2018

You are invited to come on a wonderful boat cruise with members of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.  Please email if you are interested in attending and paying for the boat cruise and Betty Nobel will assist you with payment either by credit card or paypal.  Registrations must be received by April 10, 2018 at the latest.  We have the boat all to ourselves!  Family and friends are welcome.  We have room for 100 people.


Vancouver Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours

#150 – 810 Quayside Drive

New Westminster, BC V3M 6B9

(604) 525-4465


This three-hour river boat dinner cruise will be an experience you will remember for a long time to come.

Meal includes: AAA Alberta Roast Beef Striploin, Roast Chicken, Vegetable Lasagna, Roast Nugget Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Garden Salad, Warmed dinner rolls, Coffee and Tea, Dessert Squares and Cakes. (We can accommodate allergies and food restrictions if we are aware in advance)


Relax and dine for an evening on the river. Featuring a 3-course dinner freshly prepared on board using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Invite the family or bring out your friends! Perfect for any occasion from anniversaries, birthdays and work outings!

Included in the Cruise

3-hour cruise on the Fraser River along the waterfront of New Westminster Includes a Starter Salad, your choice of Entrée and Dessert Special menus for Children (12 & under) Refreshments available for purchase from our Galley Bar. M.V Native

Our 100-passenger Paddlewheeler is an authentic replica of the paddlewheelers, or sternwheelers that plied the Fraser River in British Columbia from the late 1850s until the 1920s. Carrying everyone from pioneers, fur traders, gold rush miners, freight and livestock as well as family passengers from the communities along the Fraser River, these working boats were vital connections between B.C. communities in the early days of this province. The M.V. Native is very safe boat, fully certified by Transport Canada.





BC Government Internships Now Available: The 2018-19 Work-Able: Graduate Internship Program for recent post-secondary graduates who self-identify as having a disability

Hello everyone


You are receiving this email notification to let you know that the 2018-19 Work-Able: Graduate Internship Program for recent post-secondary graduates who self-identify as having a disability is now posted on the BC Public Service Employment site. Please pass along this exciting opportunity to your networks.


PLEASE NOTE: On March 26, 2018, the current Recruitment Management System (RMS) will be replaced with a more modern system. The same Work-Able posting will be posted from:

  • March 1 – March 19, 2018; AND
  • March 26 to April 30, 2018.


The only difference is the Requisition # and the link to the posting.


Applicants do not need apply to the two different postings. Those of you on this bcc will receive another email with the new Requisition # and link to the posting on March 26, 2018.


Information on Work-Able on MyHR:

Work-Able Graduate Internship Program


Work-Able Job posting link:

Work-Able Job Posting


Timelines for Work-Able:

  • March 5, 2018 – April 30, 2018: One posting for all intern positions
  • May – August 2018: Screening and assessment
  • September 2018 – August 2019: Interns hired for paid twelve month internship

Thank you.



Odette Dantzer, Accessibility and Work-Able Program Lead

Diversity and Inclusion Branch | Talent Management Division

BC Public Service Agency | Suite 100 – 940 Blanshard Street

Victoria BC | V8W 2H2 | Cell: 250-507-9256


Phone: 250.952.6000 | Toll Free 1.877.277.0772



Advocacy, Independent Living

Fellow Canadians with Disabilities, Please Support the Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 10:46 AM
The Honourable [] said:
Support the Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act

(French Follows / Le Français suit)

To Whom It May Concern,

Groups like yours work hard to maximize opportunities for people with disabilities. Yet sometimes, government seems to stand in the way. As you know, when people with disabilities start earning income, they not only pay taxes, but also face sharp clawbacks of their income, medication, housing, and other supports — meaning they can lose more than they gain from getting a job, earning a raise, or working more hours.

It is a story Linda Chamberlain knows all too well: “After three decades of battling schizophrenia and homelessness and poverty, Chamberlain finally got a job,” wrote former Toronto Star reporter Catherine Porter. As a reward, the government boosted Linda’s rent almost 500% and cut her disability payment, making her $260 per month poorer because she got a job. So she had to quit her job and remain poor.

She is not alone. “According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, there were over 650,000 disabled individuals aged 15 to 64 who were not in the labour force at the time of the survey and either used to work or indicated they were capable of working. Of these, roughly 94,000 reported that if they were employed, they felt that they would lose additional support. About 82,300 individuals reported that they expected their income to drop if they worked,” according to Statistics Canada.

The Bill
The Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act would allow workers with disabilities to gain more in wages than they lose in clawbacks and taxation. It does this through three steps:

The bill would require that Finance Canada calculate how much people with disabilities in each province lose in taxes and benefit clawbacks as a result of each additional $1,000 of income earned up to $30,000. Calculations of the clawbacks would include lost benefits like income assistance, housing, medications, and so forth, and would use publicly available tax and benefit rules, not any person’s private tax and benefit information.

2. Action If the calculation finds that people with disabilities are losing more than they gain due to clawbacks, the Finance Minister would have to consider changes to the Working Income Tax Benefit Disability Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension, or any federal tax measure that would ensure people with disabilities always benefit from their work.

If the Minister deemed that provincial taxes and clawbacks were the cause of the problem, he would consult with the province to remedy it.

3. Enforcement The Opportunity Act would attach another condition to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act requiring provinces to arrange their taxes and transfers so that people with disabilities never lose more than they gain from working.

This bill will only pass with the help of respected organizations like yours. So, if you agree that governments should reward rather than punish the work of people with disabilities, please add your voice to the Opportunity Act.

Here are three things you can do to help pass the bill:

Please encourage your local Members of Parliament to vote for the Opportunity Act. And ask your friends, family, and supporters to do the same.
Use #OpportunityAct on social media when endorsing and discussing the bill.
Please email my office a few sentences endorsing the bill that we can use for social media and other communications that will build momentum towards its passage. You can email

Thank you for your help. Together, we can empower Canadians with disabilities to get ahead through their talents and work — because, as Dr. Martin Luther King put it, “all labour has dignity.”

I ask for your organization’s support to make this bill law.


Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P.

Madame, Monsieur,

Les groupes comme le vôtre travaillent fort pour optimiser les possibilités offertes aux personnes handicapées. Pourtant, le gouvernement semble parfois leur mettre des bâtons dans les roues. Comme vous le savez, lorsque les personnes handicapées commencent à gagner un revenu, non seulement elles paient de l’impôt, mais elles doivent aussi faire face à une forte récupération de leur revenu, des mesures de soutien pour les médicaments, le logement et autres. Cela signifie qu’elles peuvent perdre plus qu’elles ne gagnent à décrocher un emploi, à obtenir une augmentation de salaire ou à travailler plus d’heures.

Cette situation, Linda Chamberlain la connaît très bien. « Après s’être débattue pendant 30 ans contre des problèmes de schizophrénie, d’itinérance et de pauvreté, Mme Chamberlain a enfin décroché un emploi1 », écrit Catherine Porter, ancienne journaliste du Toronto Star. Pour la récompenser, le gouvernement a augmenté son loyer de presque 500 % et a coupé sa prestation d’invalidité. Au final, elle avait donc 260 $ de moins dans ses poches chaque mois, parce qu’elle travaillait2. Elle n’avait donc aucun autre choix que de quitter son emploi et de continuer de vivre dans la pauvreté.

La situation de Linda n’a rien d’unique. « Selon l’Enquête canadienne sur l’incapacité réalisée en 2012 par Statistique Canada, plus de 650 000 personnes handicapées de 15 à 64 ans qui ne participaient pas au marché du travail au moment de l’enquête ont indiqué qu’elles avaient déjà travaillé ou étaient capables de le faire. Environ 94 000 d’entre elles étaient d’avis qu’elles perdraient une partie de leur soutien additionnel si elles travaillaient, et environ 82 300 personnes étaient d’avis que leur revenu baisserait3 ».

Le projet de loi
La Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées vise à garantir aux travailleurs ayant une incapacité qu’ils ne perdront jamais plus en prestations et en impôts que ce qu’ils gagnent grâce à leur travail. Pour ce faire, le projet de loi propose trois étapes.
Le projet de loi obligerait Finances Canada à calculer le montant que les personnes handicapées dans chaque province perdent en impôts et en récupération de leurs prestations pour chaque tranche supplémentaire de 1 000 $ de revenu de travail qu’elles gagnent, jusqu’à concurrence de 30 000 $. Le calcul des dispositions de récupération comprendrait les pertes de prestations comme celles liées à l’aide sociale, au logement, aux médicaments et ainsi de suite. Pour faire ces calculs, le Ministère utiliserait des renseignements publics au sujet de l’admissibilité aux prestations et des règles fiscales plutôt que des renseignements personnels ou privés sur l’impôt et les prestations d’une personne.

Si le calcul confirmait que les personnes handicapées perdent plus qu’elles ne gagnent en raison des récupérations, le ministre des Finances devrait évaluer s’il serait opportun de modifier le supplément pour les personnes handicapées de la Prestation fiscale pour revenu de travail, les prestations d’invalidité du Régime de pensions du Canada ou toute autre mesure fiscale fédérale pour s’assurer que les personnes handicapées profitent toujours de leur travail.

Si le ministre jugeait que les impôts et les dispositions de récupération provinciaux sont à l’origine du problème, il consulterait la province pour tenter de remédier à la situation.

La Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées assujettirait à une autre condition la Loi sur les arrangements fiscaux entre le gouvernement fédéral et les provinces : elle exigerait des provinces qu’elles gèrent leurs impôts et leurs transferts de manière à éviter que les personnes handicapées aient plus à perdre qu’à gagner de leur travail.

Ce projet de loi ne sera adopté qu’avec l’aide d’organismes respectés comme le vôtre. Donc, si vous croyez que les gouvernements devraient récompenser plutôt que punir le travail des personnes handicapées, faites entendre votre voix dans le cadre de la Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées.

Voici trois choses que vous pouvez faire pour contribuer à l’adoption du projet de loi :

Veuillez encourager vos députés locaux à voter pour la Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées. Et demandez à vos amis, à votre famille et à vos partisans de faire de même.
Utilisez le mot-clic #OpportunityAct sur les médias sociaux pour appuyer le projet de loi et en discuter.
Veuillez faire parvenir par courriel à mon bureau quelques phrases appuyant le projet de loi que nous pouvons utiliser dans les médias sociaux et d’autres communications et qui donneront un élan en faveur de son adoption. Écrivez à
Je vous remercie de votre aide. Ensemble, nous pouvons donner aux Canadiens handicapés les moyens de progresser grâce à leurs talents et à leur travail. Car, comme l’a dit Martin Luther King, « tout travail a de la dignité ».

Je demande l’appui de votre organisation pour que ce projet de loi soit adopté.

Agréez, Madame, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées.

L’honorable Pierre Poilievre, C.P., député