As the Trump administration enters its third week, it appears the first substantive action by the Trump administration on trade may be looming.1 Loud whisperings are that overdue anti-dumping tariffs against Canadian softwood lumber are set to be restored.
The core of the dispute is over the fact that low administratively determined stumpage fees charged by the Canadian government for harvesting timber are a de facto subsidy for timber production. The arrangement leads to cushy long term land tenure arrangements where Canadian lumber producers get to enjoy cheap trees and multi generational harvests for a pittance. By contrast the right to harvest timber in the United States is sold at market determined prices.
Beyond the market impact tariffs would have, they would create a substantial point of leverage in a future effort to renegotiate NAFTA.
The Great Again : North Edition made an entirely expected about-face this week when The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) announced that the next Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) will eschew their recently implemented online exam in favour of the tried and true paper format (archived). Citing a "cyberattack" during their October 20th online trial as the primary cause of the technological regression, there's no word on when EQAO will meaningfully stand behind their Q in the digital world.
Sorry for your lead.
Reports are emerging that Roger Ver has been denied a travel visa to Canada sparing Canadians from Roger VER-ification. Roger VER-ified reasons cited for the visa's denial include his travel history, limited employment prospects in his home country, and his personal assets1 with respect to his financial status.
Coinbase has announced that it will no longer be servicing Canadian customers after August 1, 2016. Canadian fiat interface Vogogo abruptly decided to shut down it's service, leaving Coinbase no way to hawk it's imitation Bitcoin to users located there. Current users have been given a deadline of July 29th to convert their Canadian dollars to Bitcoin, or withdraw to a bank account. Users who fail to do so will be subject to account suspension, leaving remaining users in the scheme forced to pay exorbitant fees to recover their finds. Coinbase notably supported the failed XTCoin and ClassicCoin coup attempts which both failed like their Canadian fiat interface Vogogo. Sorry for your loss.
The Quebec "Liberal" party left web accessible cameras in the office configured with the default password inviting all comers to observe all manner of discussions at their headquarters. Who needs security of confidentiality? Information wants to be free.
The Florida Sun-Sentinial reports that a Canadian man was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for swindling seniors out of nearly $1 million in funds, some of which were converted to Bitcoin in an attempt to make hiding them easier.(archived). Stephan Moskwyn pled guilty to a money laundering charge at a federal courthouse in Miami. The scheme involved social engineering tactics on Seniors and vulnerable people, often requesting the person send Bitcoin or Moneypaks to assist a relative in financial trouble. Moskwyn was arrested in a Miami International Airport terminal in October of 2015.
A search revealed no Mr. Moskwyn in The Most Serene Republic's Web of Trust.
This week United States Secret Service operative Shaun Bridges was sentenced to 71 months in prison for his theft from the Silk Road, the exact amount sought by the prosecution. Back in October more interesting Silk Road thief Carl Mark Force IV received 78 months in prison while prosecutors requested he received 87. Meanwhile last week the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation managed to have a Canadian citizen arrested in Thailand for consulting on the design of a website which happened to be used as a drug marketplace by others. The arrest of a Canadian in Thailand is consistent with the severe clinical depersonalization revealed by the United States Government's consistent pattern of having foreign nationals in still other foreign countries arrested with the aim of prosecuting them in the United States.
The Montreal Gazette reports (archived) that a local Bitcoin expo being promoted by a group referring to itself as the "Bitcoin Embassy" has been postponed due to a lack of sponsors. Many Bitcoin related ventures which lavishly threw around sponsorship money in the name of "promoting Bitcoin" in the past have been forced to cut back to focus on their business. The expo was scheduled to run from August 21st to 23rd. The Bitcoin Embassy self reports as having been founded in 2013.
Erwin Speckert was sentenced to three years of prison after a money laundering conviction derived from his arrest while boarding a Greyhound bus with $1.3 million Canadian Dollars in his backpack. Speckert plead guilty back in October and the sentence was arranged this week through agreement between the prosecution and defense lawyers. Speckert had requested his security screening be done in private due to the sensitivity and value of his backpack's contents and after he was assured by the private security officer who screened him that taking that much cash on him was kosher, the private security officer phoned police who assert Speckert consented to a second search conducted by them. Police further assert that Speckert was determined by their investigation to be working as a courier for "illegal gaming" operators. Speckert throughout his time consenting to security searches at the bus station asserted he intended to purchase real estate and was conveying cash in this manner as he reasonably did not trust banks.
The Brantford Expositor reports that Vault of Satoshi still has a number of customers whose funds have not been returned, even though Vault of Satoshi ceased operations back in February. Expositor reported Susan Gamble along with general allegations against Vault of Satoshi's operators present the story of a customer, Scott Campbell: Continue reading