In case you missed it, Kergin’s got you covered: Things you probably didn’t see happening around you last week

Brendan Kergin, News Editor  Ω

Global

*Durban. Normally just another foreign city. However, for the next two weeks, it’s front-and-centre in the climate change debate.
With most countries agreeing that humans are responsible for some of the current climate changes and this should be dealt with, the Durban negotiations will try to pick up from the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen agreements.
With Canada looking to save face, these talks should be part of the public discourse before New Years. Start talking!

*The European Commission, a section of the European Union, is looking at how Facebook collects data on people.
There are concerns about how the social network site is collecting and exploiting what it knows about its users.
While the ruling wouldn’t immediately affect Canadian users, it could have a ripple effect on Facebook’s finances and online privacy in general.

National

*Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that marijuana will not be decriminalized while he is in power.
This announcement came in Vancouver where four former mayors of that city have endorsed the idea that taxation and regulation would be a better course of action than continued criminalization.
Putting pot in the hands of organized crime in a country that smokes its fair share provides shady folks working for dangerous organizations a regular income.
The point being made is that legalizing weed would financially cripple gangs while also taking away a major reason for many of their battles.

*Despite budget cuts and popular opinion suggesting that libraries are a thing of the past, recent statistics suggest library usage in Canada is up.
While many other government-run/funded organizations have issues staying up with current trends and technologies, one of the reasons it seems library use is up is due to a multitude of alternatives to books.
CDs, DVDs, e-books and many other easily shared media things are drawing people back to the quietest place in town.

Provincial

*A law was upheld in the BC Supreme Court this week. While this normally isn’t the biggest news, the ruling kept in place Canada’s polygamy law.
It’s an awkward law because while it violates the concept of freedom of religion, it is justified due to the alleged harm caused by the polygamy practiced in Bountiful, BC.
A precarious position, this is likely going to continue up the court system. Also caught in the crossfire are other types of polygamous relationships and other legally questionable religious practises.

*Your political voice may be digitized. BC’s Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer is recommending the province test out online voting in an effort to increase participation.
You remember that voting thing last week? Kamloops had about 30% voter turnout. The lowest participation came from the 18-24 year-olds. That’s TRU’s main demographic.
Thanks to this apathy, alternative methods are being looked at to increase participation in democracy. However, critics worry about hacking, bugs and other technology-based issues.

Local

*City council is being torn apart in letters to the editor for something they almost did.
To be fair, that almost thing was more than a little daft.
A motion was put forth to ask to slash $1 billion of the CBC’s $1.2 billion subsidy to go towards water management.
Not only is CBC trying to open a station here and asking for councils support, the CBC is not at all part of municipal jurisdiction. Fans of the national broadcaster have unleashed a bit of public forum fury – an for good reason.

*The raid and closure of the Canadian Safe Cannabis Society (CSCS) has led some to worry about the safety of those seeking legal, medicinal marijuana in Kamloops.
While there are those legally permitted to buy pot for medical issues, the supply of legal weed is often limited.
Compassion societies such as the CSCS work as a go-between in a grey legal area, supplying cannabis products when legal programs fail.
Because they fill a gap in the medical system, courts often allow them to continue their work despite breaking the law.
With the closure of the CSCS store in Kamloops, those seeking a legal remedy may be forced to find alternative sources — sources which often include or at least facilitate ties to organized crime.