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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ashley Madison hotbed uncovered in Ottawa



   Canada column for Sunday, Aug. 23/15

   THE CANADIAN REPORT
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Canada’s capital, Ottawa, appears to be the hotbed in the country for members of the Ashley Madison cheating website.
   The distinction of being the infidelity capital of Canada with 189,000 users, or nearly one in five people living there, was determined through analysis of leaked data.
   The Canadian Press newswire search found some of the Toronto-based company’s users made credit-card transactions from computers attached to the Department of National Defense and the House of Commons.
   It reported that one Member of Parliament was registered by name and hundreds associated with the Canadian Armed Forces, other departments and agencies, including justice, public works, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Mounties.
   The website’s slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair” and is marketed to facilitate extramarital affairs.
   Avid Life Media, the parent company of AshleyMadison.com, is facing a Canadian class action lawsuit for a breach of sensitive user information.
   The suit, launched by an Ottawa widower alleges, the privacy of thousands of Canadians was compromised with the leak of personal information.
   Hackers released the full names, street addresses and partial credit card numbers of 1.2 million customers who had paid for the dating service.
   The news media so far in Canada has not been publishing any of the names.

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   The socialist New Democratic Party (NDP) has narrowly widened its lead in public opinion polls for the Oct. 19 federal election.
   An Abacus Data survey has the NDP in the lead nationally with 35 percent, followed by the Conservatives at 29 percent, Liberals with 26 percent and the Green Party, 5.8 percent.
   Pollsters suggest it’s not yet known what impact, if any, the ongoing fraud trial of suspended Sen. Mike Duffy will have on Stephen Harper’s campaign.
   Harper said he was unaware of any arrangements to have Duffy’s contested expense claims of $90,000 paid by Nigel Wright, his former chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s office.

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   News in brief:
   - Canadian women’s wear retailer Laura’s Shoppe Inc. will close 20 stores by Sept. 13 and seek rent reductions on 26 others as it restructures to cut costs. It’s not known how many of the company’s 2,300 employees will lose their jobs at the chain’s 162 locations including Laura, Laura Petites and Laura Plus brands and the Melanie Lyne banner. The company, found in Montreal in 1930, has filed for creditor protection.
   - The annual pace of inflation climbed to 1.3 percent last month mostly due to the higher cost of food and most consumer items. Statistics Canada said food costs jumped 3.2 percent from a year ago led by meat prices, up 6.1 percent, with beef leading at 17.2-percent more.

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   Facts and figures:
   The Canadian dollar slipped on Friday to 75.91 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.3173 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is 0.50 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Markets are lower with the Toronto Stock Exchange index at 13,495 points and the TSX Venture index 538 points.
   The average price of gas is lower at a national average of $1.15 a liter or $4.37 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Aug. 19) 8, 12, 25, 38, 45 and 48; bonus 39. (Aug. 15) 5, 11, 20, 26, 29 and 36; bonus 49. Lotto Max: (Aug. 14) 1, 15, 17, 25, 34, 40 and 41; bonus 38.

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   Regional briefs:
   - Energy giant Kinder Morgan said an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline would add $18.2 billion to Canada's gross domestic product over 20 years, benefit First Nations and reduce environmental harm. The company’s submission to the National Energy Board said the $5.4-billion project is a safe and viable option to transport Alberta’s oil sands diluted bitumen to British Columbia’s coast for shipping.
   - Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has outlined a plan to make taxi cabs safer for drivers and passengers. The details include provisions for electronic payments in all taxis, installation of cameras, a distinctive image for all vehicles, GPS and panic buttons. He also wants a dress code for cabbies and more ecological or “green” taxis.

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Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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