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Quick Hits, Volume IV
21/05/2004
  • The Supreme Court has ruled in the Percy Schmeiser-Monsanto case. They found against him. The implication is that if you patent a gene for a plant, you own the rights to the offspring of that plant. However, since lower courts did not believe Schmeiser when he claimed original seed must have blown into his property (before he replanted seed -- the violation he was sued about), there may still be doubt about whether or not Monsanto would own the seed if one of their plants grew on your farm without your intent. Anyway, I don't tend to agree with the court. If a biological process replicates your patented genes, that's just nature taking its course.
  • There continues to be a lot of new talk about the Green Party. Despite praise for the collaborative policy-creating process they used on their site, I find it hard to interpret. After some digging I found a PDF version of their 2004 election platform, which is a lot more clear.
  • I've found the Liberals' official press release about their Toronto waterfront announcement. I don't understand how they can be anything but embarrased. They are trying to make hey over a $125-million promise, and their own press release makes it clear that they have only delivered $11.9-million of the previous $500-million announcement. This new event is neither a cheque nor a promise of new money -- it is just a promise to someday fulfill a portion of an old unfulflled promise. Go away!
  • Royson James' critique of the waterfront announcement mentions a funny protestor's sign. And I agree -- Paul Martin should dissolve the Toronto Pork Authority.
  • Today I was trying to get a better sense of exactly what it is that the Government of Canada does. I thought it would be educational to review a detailed statement of what things the feds spend our money on. However, looking at all the online info about the 2004 budget -- among other things, I downloaded and reviewed the 300+ page document -- I can't find this information. If you can help, please leave a comment.

Have a good weekend.


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