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When you hear the names “Halliburton” and “Blackwater,” do you break out in a cold sweat? Then you’re probably too high-strung to hear about the Serco Group. Based in the United Kingdom, Serco is the epitome of the worldwide transnational corporation. When the words “globalization” and “shadow government” appear in dictionaries, pictures of the Serco logo should appear next to the entries. What’s that? You say you haven’t heard of Serco? That’s okay. You’re not alone. The Guardian called Serco “probably the biggest company you’ve never heard of.”

Serco currently provides examination services to the Province of Ontario for the Graduated Driver Licensing program and the Ontario Security Guard Testing Program. Serco holds a 10-year, $114 million contract with the Province of Ontario to operate the province’s DriveTest driver examination centres. These tests include vision, road, and knowledge tests for all persons seeking to become a licensed automobile driver in the province. Not to mention issuing the licenses and creating the databases

Serco also supplies electronic tagging devices for offenders and asylum seekers. In Britain, Serco runs several prisons, a Young Offenders Institution and a Secure Training Centre. It also operates two Immigration Removal Centres. Serco is also responsible for the contracted-out court escort services in the south-east area (formerly a role undertaken by HM Prison Service). In addition, Serco runs Hünfeld Prison in Hesse, Germany. In Australia Serco runs Acacia Prison in Western Australia and Borallon Correctional Facility in Queensland as well as the national contract for immigration detention centres, including Christmas Island and the Villawood detention centre in Sydney. In Auckland, New Zealand Serco runs the Mt Eden remand prison and in March 2012 was awarded the contract to build and operate a 960 bed prison at Wiri. The Serco Group operates all seven of Australia’s immigration detention centers.

Serco holds defence contracts worldwide including the UK Government’s first modern outsourced contract for the maintenance of the UK Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales. Serco also manages the Atomic Weapons Establishment responsible for the design, manufacture and support of warheads for the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons program. In fact, Serco is in charge of all the UK’s nuclear stockpile from development to decommissioning.

Serco’s holding don’t stop there; they control half of London’s traffic signals and red light cameras, all of Dublin’s, much of the healthcare in the UK, 58 air traffic control facilities and all the state schools in the English towns of Bradford, Walsall and Stoke-on-Trent. In July 2013 Serco was awarded a $1.25 billion contract to manage the Obamacare website. Not bad for a company established in 1929 as a small subsidiary of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) that converted British cinemas from silent film to talkie operations.

The question is do you trust such a massive, powerful and secret organization with all your personal information? Well if you want to drive you have no choice!

In December of 2013 Your Ward News received concrete proof that the Ministry of Transportation was using facial recognition software to biometrically identify each and every single person who has ever applied for a driver’s license in Ontario. This was done without most driver’s knowledge or consent. Using computers to map the faces of all drivers proved to be just as effective as a fingerprint or DNA test. Guess which company helped to create Big Brother’s newest toy since the beginning? For  almost 15 years the Serco Group has been developing and improving facial recognition systems and developing gigantic databases of private information. Halton Regional Police last month were able to use the system to nab a wanted man on the lam for 13 years. The man successfully lived under a false identity for years, but it was when he applied for a driver’s license using his fake name a facial recognition scan came up with a different story.

Imagine a scenario where you’re walking down the street or attending a sports event or shopping at a mall, and your photo is taken by one of several CCTVs, identified, tagged and matched against the driver’s license database of facial templates, without your knowledge or consent. This is an affront to privacy that should not be tolerated.

You may wonder why you never herd of the Serco Group nor the fact they manage the entire driver licensing service on behalf of the province of Ontario. Other then a very friendly and biased 2006 interview Jane Martinson of the Guardian did with Serco’s chief Christopher Hyman (who resigned a few months ago after overcharging government customers) and what is presented in Serco’s own media releases, major media does not want you to know. Forget all the Bilderberg & Illuminati conspiracy theories, Serco is the real boogeyman and it is terrifying how massive their reach and secret their powers.

Astoundingly there was little negative objection to Serco’s contract to the Ministry of Transportation. In fact there was the only critical comment on the entire internet about the deal not published in a Serco or Ontario Government press release, and not used by unions to attack privatization as a whole.

A video entitled “Dirty Serco” regarding the Ontario drivers licensing facilities was uploaded by a user to YouTube. The video was yanked from YouTube and my further attempts to contact the poster via various means including emails, phone calls and chat proved unsuccessful. Your Ward News is currently the only outlet in  Ontario covering all the shady details of the Serco Group.

In September 2013, Serco was accused of extensive sexual abuse cover-ups of immigrants at Yarls Wood prison in Bedfordshire, England at the same time Ireland rejected a tender by Serco when the company was found to be involved in a series of multi-billion pound mortgage frauds in Britain.

A Serco employee revealed that the company had falsified 252 reports to the National Health Service regarding Serco health services in Cornwall after giving countless patients in their care infected blood and causing severe kidney damage.

Serco has a secretive history of authoritarian mismanagement with controlling interests in dozens of diverse sectors and these are the people the Ontario government decided to hand over your privacy too, all done without much of a whimper from the media?

Stand up and take notice!

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CBC Liberals

The 1991 Broadcasting Act states that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression, contribute to shared national consciousness and identity and reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada. To cover their mandate the CBC directly owns and controls 35 television channels and 90 radio stations, not to mention their own record label and major real estate in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The CBC was the only television network broadcasting in Canada until the creation of CTV in 1960, even then large parts of Canada did not receive CTV service until the late 1960s or early 1970s. The CBC also had the only national radio network. The CBC claims it’s cultural impact is significant. Yet that was just because many Canadians had no choice for their information and entertainment for generations except the state owned broadcaster.

Among its revenue sources the CBC receives $946 million in its annual funding from the federal government, as well as $60 million in “one-time” supplementary funding for programming. However, this supplementary funding has been repeated annually for a number of years. This combined total is just over a billion dollars annually and is a source of heated debate.

CBC’s funding differs from that of the public broadcasters of many European nations, which collect a licence fee, or those in the United States, such as PBS and NPR, which receive some public funding but rely to a large extent on voluntary contributions from individual viewers and listeners. An Abacus poll from August 2011 showed that approximately one out of two Canadians would like to see the CBC’s funding switched to the PBS/NPR model, while one out of three Canadians want Parliament to sell off or privatize the CBC. This independent survey flies in the face of the CBC’s own in house research claiming 92% of Canadians consider the CBC an essential service which they use to justify their continuously desperate need for more tax dollars.

The decline in CBC viewership can be attributed to popularity of private television networks’ rebroadcast of affordable American programming with substituted Canadian advertising. American programs attract much higher audiences then do most of the costly made-in-Canada boring programming that is a CBC specialty. The CBC desperately needs to attract viewers, so much so they did not consider it a waste of taxpayer money to take out full-page ads in several major newspapers claiming that 2.2 million Canadians watched their coverage of the 2006 election. Yet this was a lie, and an expensive one at that. CTV was number one, after proving there was a CBC audience of only 1.2 million.

Pollster Frank Graves adviser to the Liberal Party of Canada, and party donor is the CBC’s go to guy. Graves directs the public opinion research projects on behalf of the CBC and also appeared on a number of CBC television programs relating to politics. CBC President Hubert Lacroix commissioned a study to determine whether its news and programming was biased towards the Liberal Party, the methodology of CBC’s in house study was not reported and unsurprisingly found no political bias.

Then in March 2011, Macleans Magazine, the National Post, and the Toronto Sun ran articles surrounding the clear Liberal bias of CBC’s “Vote Compass”, an online tool where users were asked 30 questions to which they could answer “agree”, “strongly agree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”, or “neither agree nor disagree”. Queens University Professor Kathy Brock used the questionnaire several times, alternating between answering all of the questions as “agree”, “strongly agree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”, and “neither agree nor disagree”. On each result, the survey suggests to vote for the Liberal Party of Canada.

The CBC was successfully sued for libel over an episode of The Fifth Estate that featured two Ontario doctors. Dr. Martin Myers asked for an apology plus $25,000, while Dr. Frans Leenen asked for an apology plus $10,000 out of court, but the CBC decided to use tax dollars to hire several lawyers and fight.

Dr. Myers was awarded $200,000, plus interest and costs, while Dr. Leenen won $950,000, plus interest and costs that totalled over $2 million, a record for Canadian libel. The CBC has no libel insurance, so taxpayers flipped the bill. Both judges ruled that the journalists had twisted the facts and acted with malice, with one writing in his decision “In order to portray [these doctors] in the role of the ‘bad guy’ and in order to disparage their views, the CBC took an eminent research scientist, whom they knew to be a person of high integrity and reputation, and presented him as a devious, dishonest, bumbling fool in order to advance the story line. This was sensational journalism of the worst sort and should serve as an embarrassment to this so-called ‘flagship’ investigative program.”

In the world of instant News availability for Canadians from a variety of sources, including the internet why do we need a Government owned, taxpayer funded, Liberal biased expensive CBC? The CBC can be successfully privatized to an array of small independent broadcasters and radio stations who can better serve Canadians with programming they actually want without endlessly draining public funds. An analysis done by Google last year showed that more Canadian content has been uploaded to YouTube since it was launched in 2005 than has been created by CBC since the 1950s.

The billions of dollars earned from the privatization of the CBC could help pay down our debt and the $83,000,000 sucked from tax payers every single month could be redirected to our critical Health Care needs, perhaps even adding dental coverage for Canadians. The CBC’s biased approach to news and information content – a failure of Journalism 101 – continues to represent only the left wing despite taxing every Canadian and every cable and satellite user across Canada.

There really is no reason for the government to own a broadcaster in the 500-channel universe. If Stephen Harper wants to leave his mark on Canada, sell the CBC. Not to major corporate broadcasters who will endlessly blast the same pandering nonsense, but to independent small businesses. Leave it up to viewership and a free economy to decide what works and what fails, instead of endless dumping money into a proven failure. Take the government out of a line of business it has no right to be in, thought control and social engineering.