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Public Works and Government Services Canada has awarded a $25,000 contract to a BC firm in return for a controversial service -- the design of urban camouflage specifically suited to Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.
The contract requirements are as follows:
The Department of National Defence, Defence Research and
Development Canada - Suffield, (DRDC-S), AB, has a requirement to develop a Canadian Urban Environment Pattern (CUEPAT) based on the unique requirements of Canada's three major metropolitan areas, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The current CBR individual protective equipment (IPE) used by the Canadian military is provided in a woodland or desert camouflage. A camouflage suited to the Canadian urban environment is required when the milatary (sic) operates in urban terrain.
Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp, pride of Maple Ridge, BC, was the only firm invited to bid on the contract. The company has designed camouflage patterns for countries including Israel, Iraq and Malaysia.
I just posted an article about yesterday's launch of the federal government's copyright consultations at the Vancouver Media Cooperative.
Something that didn't quite fit into the story, but that keeps nagging at me, is the website that the feds launched yesterday. The site supposedly has the intention of promoting this process.
I say supposedly for a number of reasons:
•the site itself is horrid to look at, harking back to the dying days of Web 1.0.
•the site does not appear to be linked to or from any other Government of Canada pages, including the Consulting with Canadians page.
•the site was launched yesterday, so existing traffic is nil. Though it does have a date stamp on the bottom which reads Date Modified: 2007-11-14
•the site lacks essential details, and yesterday's press release was posted as a blog entry.
The ministers responsible (Tony Clement/Industry, James Moore/Heritage) seem to think that opening a Twitter account is enough to propel the consultations into the wider consciouness.
When I asked them about this at yesterday's press conference in Vancouver, Clement responded that he hoped the consultation process would "go viral." Guess he hasn't seen the website.
For what it's worth, the second round table is currently under way in Calgary.
Picture 1: We attend a meeting of Vancouver's Anti-Poverty Committee, and give a brief presentation about the Media Co-op. People express a desire to contribute financially to the project but it is fairly clear that what we'd like more than anything from a group like the APC (who struggles with funding, like many other activist groups), is based on what they are directly working on: ideas for coverage of the 2010 Olympics, information on poverty in Vancouver, articles for the site.
Picture 2: Next, the VMC posse rolled into an Olympics Resistance Network (ORN) meeting in the DTES. After giving a run-down of Media Co-op goings-on, people broke out their laptops for a tech session of sorts; those who needed computer help got it.
Picture 3: Dave Dickson. An ex-police officer with the Vancouver Police Force. He was the Police's one and only "Downtown Eastside Liaison" for many years, and also acted as their "Native Liaison." He was one of a special team which investigated the Pickton case. Of many of the city's sex-workers, he says he has known them since they were in pre-school. According to him, although this is questionable, he has built up a trust with many in the neighborhood over the years, and now spends his time doing outreach with women on the streets. On the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Dickson maintains that the police have never treated anybody differently based on their race; they have been abusive, sure, but not based on race. As kind and fatherly as he is, I find something integral left to be desired.
The Vancouver Media Co-op held a meeting several days ago for folks who are interested in helping with organizing, promoting events, and covering stories. About 7 or so amazingly solid folks showed up to our meeting on the back balcony of Spartacus Books. People threw around some great story ideas, agreed to taking on specific tasks (ie postering and flyering), planned a group trip to Sutikalh, talked about the structure and purpose of the co-op, as well as its goals, and shared contact information. It was an impressive tone-setter to say the least.
The bulk of Media Co-op work so far has consisted of talking to or emailing people, getting contact info for other people, talking to them, setting up meetings, and then talking some more. Several meetings with a diverse cross-section of folks linked to media production, cooperatives, and unions have been arranged and are slowly filling up the VMC calendar.
Picture 1: A demonstrator at a women's housing march put on by local group Power of Women (POW). The march was a dignified expression of anger at the government for authorizing mass evictions in poorer areas of the city (most notably the downtown eastside), as well as destroying potential social housing sites in favour of making way for the Olympic Games in 2010. Aboriginal people comprise about 3 per cent of BC's population yet make up over 32 per cent of the homeless population. Aboriginal women are particularly vulnerable to losing their homes.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.