Earlier this week, I blogged about an analysis by Samara of MPs' websites. While the Toronto-based organization found some bright spots, including the sites of local MPs Hedy Fry, Libby Davies, and John Weston, it concluded that MPs tend to "perform poorly at offering ways for Canadians to engage with politics or have input on decisions and policy".
The good news is Samara has put together a list of ways that MPs and other elected politicians can improve their sites. These tips are found in the following infographic:
If you look at politicians' websites as much as I do, you know that they are often devoid of up-to-date information and interactive features. Indeed, some politicians only seem to refresh their sites around election time.
Samara, a Toronto-based organization that aims to improve political participation in Canada, visited MPs' sites in August and September in order to see if our elected federal politicians are taking advantage of the web's potential. Unsurprisingly, many are not.
The group used a 14-point checklist to grade the sites. Here's Samara's overall findings:
Welcome back to Caption the Political Photo. It's really been too long.
This image from the B.C. government's Flickr stream shows Christy Clark spending some quality time with a panda in Chengdu, China. The premier is currently on a trade mission to Asia, promoting the province's natural gas industry.
Check out this short video for financial journalist and author Linda McQuaig, the federal NDP candidate in Toronto Centre.
The ad bubbles with excitement, thanks in part to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's showmanship.
It stands in vivid contrast to the B.C. NDP's rather bland television ads in the recent provincial election.
Toronto Centre was previously held by Liberal leader Bob Rae.
Another financial journalist and author, Chrystia Freeland, is running for the Liberals in the November 25 by-election.
Both candidates have made rising inequality the centrepiece of their campaigns. And both have written books on the topic.
Because not enough has been said about Hogtown mayor Rob Ford, here's Rick Mercer's rant (from the CBC's Rick Mercer Report) about Ford's viral sensation status.
For some odd reason, it looks highly unlikley that Ford will ever catch up to Reykjavik's Jon Gnarr, the coolest mayor in the world.
But at least Ford—the gift that keeps on giving even when you don't want him to—is keeping latenight TV hosts employed.
And if you missed it, here's the Saturday Night Live skit aboot Ford, eh?
"CapU without art?" So read one of the protest signs that greeted Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk when he emerged recently from a meeting at Capilano University.
As the video shows, art students and faculty asked Virk questions about cuts to Capilano's studio art and textile arts programs. Virk told students that he wanted them to "become productive taxpayers when they graduate".
These days, it costs $15.50 per passenger and $51.25 per vehicle to ride the ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. But soon B.C. Ferries passengers who are feeling lucky may have the chance to win back the cost of their fares (or lose their life savings).
That's right, the B.C. government is considering turning the province's ferries into floating casinos. The news came in the form of a press release today (November 18) that also describes various ferry service cuts. The release states:
A massive crowd turned up today at Science World to express opposition to Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
Many who attended brought signs telling Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Christy Clark what they think of the project.
If the federal Joint Review Panel gives it the green light, the pipeline would ship oil from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat. From there, about 200 tankers per year would travel through Queen Charlotte Sound and along the Great Bear Rainforest to take the petroleum to foreign export markets.
Below, you can see what some of the demonstrators think of that idea. (Click photos to enlarge.)
The photo above features Stephen Harper's wife Laureen accepting applause from her husband and John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
This came after the Harpers were named honorary fellows of the society, which publishes Canadian Geographic magazine.
Not everyone is so enamoured with the organization, though.
The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition has launched a petition objecting to the Royal Canadian Geographic Society's partnership with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on the "Energy IQ" project in classrooms across Canada.