2. DOC UNDER FIRE FOR ABUSING WELFARE REQUESTS: A Toronto doctor involved with the anti-poverty movement is accused of signing paperwork so that patients can get extra welfare money for food for medical problems they may or may not have. The doctor, Roland Wong, admits he's bending the rules but not breaking them. Some quotes from the good doctor:
"The first question always asked is, are these people scamming the system? I would say 'no.' When [former premier Mike] Harris came in, they reduced all benefits by 25 per cent ... rather than dismissing them as scammers, help them if you can."
"Poverty is pervasive, and we know that poverty is the major determinant of health. Given that, can we just let it go on?"
"You realize this whole thing is brought against me by politicians - not patients.
You know what, I don't care if he is scamming the system. Scam away. This guy's my hero for 2009. (Globe and Mail)
3. RENTERS EVICTED IN WINTER: Saying they want to send a clear signal to landlords, the Fire Commissioner evicted the tenants of a Halifax Street apartment building. The building was apparently not up to fire safety codes -- not by a long shot -- and for everybody's safety, the tenants had to get out. Now the tenants are being put up in a motel by Social Services and are being forced to find new places to live in the midst of a brutal cold snap while Regina's vacancy rate is still punishingly low. Way to stick it to the... erm... landlords there. (Leader Post)
4. BRITS TAX BANK BONUSES: In a pre-budget document the UK government is rolling out a one-off "super tax" of fifty per cent on bonuses over 25,000 pounds. (Globe and Mail)
5. WHAT? FIVE POINTS IN AND NO CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE NEWS: Still too fucking angry to type about anything climate-change related. According to Murray Dobbin, Harper was caught out earlier this year pledging to derail any climate deal but it hasn't been reported in the media anywhere (but by Murray Dobbin, of course). Climate deniers are holding a counter summit and continuing to flog the email scandal horse. And as far as George Monbiot is concerned, all these denier's efforts to dupe the public about climate change are working. On a slightly happier note, at least the White House realizes the whole email scandal is silly. (DeSmogBlog and Guardian)
UPDATE: In case you were worried, the temp's gone up a smidge and my pipes have thawed. I'm still not going the hell outside.