When it’s not bad news, it’s bad news

I’ve held off on posting while I’ve been super busy and sick, including a big rant on the media, but here’s an edited version in the meantime, because nothing else is close to ready.

I recently noticed an article announcing new condominium laws in Ontario, and referring to a situation where a bunch of men had managed to make their way onto multiple condominium boards, even though they didn’t live or own property in any of them, and then scam money through awarding contracts to parties where they had conflicts of interest. The article talks about tough new laws for condominium management that address this. As someone who used to work in Consumer Protection and had to answer questions about situations like this all the time, the misinformation bugs me. It’s been a problem (less so  with condominiums, where it’s mostly an issue of volume and limited recourse) in actually addressing issues. The passage that stood out is the following:

Under the new laws, directors must also disclose to boards if they have conflicts of interest regarding the corporation and its business contracts.

While the laws have been updated (but aren’t in force just yet), this situation is already addressed in the old law (Condominium Act 1998, s. 40 & 41).

40.(1) A director of a corporation who has, directly or indirectly, an interest in a contract or transaction to which the corporation is a party or a proposed contract or transaction to which the corporation will be a party, shall disclose in writing to the corporation the nature and extent of the interest.

That’s pretty clear, and wasn’t solved by the new legislation. It also doesn’t really help anyone facing a misbehaving board situation now. Small details matter.

The other kind of news that really gets me is the kind that talks up how great Canada / Justin Trudeau is compared to USA / Trump. Articles like this one in the New York Times, or the recent Rolling Stone feature.  Why? Because there’s not a ton of difference, much as we’d like to talk about how much better than the USA we are. Because the last Canadian government under Harper behaved like an efficient Trump-led government might have – dismantling every protection in sight, wasting money left right and centre, and Trudeau has pretty blatantly failed to live up to campaign promises (some would say lied). While this originally turned into a massive rant, I’m just going to point you to a response article that touches on this pretty well.

Now back to trying to get rid of my summer cold and reading more Looming Low.

Signal Boost:

A few crowdfunds of interest:

 

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