Friday, July 04, 2014

I hate Platform as a Service

I sit here today at work and listen to someone describe "Platform as a Service" to me.  It rubs me as badly as "Data as a Service" or any other *aaS acronym.  Why?

The OASIS Reference Model for SOA, the base standard for Service Oriented Architecture, describes the facets of a service in an abstract manner.  Part of the core service model is the "data model" associated with a service.  This data can be anything.  It may represent data that empowers a platform, software or any other item.

The service model itself is agnostic to what the data represents.  This is because the service should not care what the data is.  The services only job is to facilitate its consumption.  The proliferation of *aaS acronyms must stop unless we are planning to have Everything-as-a-Service or EaaS.

Stop it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Perspective on the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

If you are a business operating within Canadian borders and you are involved in sending electronic messages to your customers, you must take the time to read the following advice. There are actions that you MUST undertake prior to the new law coming into effect on July 1. 

A quick overview of Canada’s new Commercial Electronic Message (CEM) legislation. 

Canada has recently adopted a new anti-spam legislation. The law is described in detail on this page (http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home). This new law goes into effect July 1, 2014.

We have prepared this brief overview of the new legislation as a service to readers and also as a public service to help those who seek an understanding of the new legislation. This article is not meant to be a substitution for proper legal advice and if you have any questions about the legal nature of this legislation, it is your responsibility to contact a legal professional.

What is the Anti-spam legislation? 

Canada’s new Anti-Spam law was passed in December, 2010 and comes into effect July 1, 2014. The CRTC has published final regulations related to Canada's anti-spam legislation. A copy of the regulations can be found on the CRTC website. The name of the law is the Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-183. 

The Regulations prescribe the form and certain information to be included in commercial electronic messages (CEMs), and requests for consent with respect to the sending of CEMs, the alteration of transmission data in electronic messages, and the installation of computer programs.

The Regulations also define SPAM as “any electronic message” – text, sound, voice, image – sent to an electronic address for the purpose of encouraging participation in a commercial activity. It includes email, but also texts, tweets and instant messages.

It is not clear to Technoracle how Twitter or Facebook posts will be interpreted as spam.

How does it affect Canadians? 

All Canadian citizens or companies with a presence in Canada that send electronic messages as described above are subject to the laws starting July 1, 2014.

What is defined as “SPAM” under the new legislation?

Without diving into the specific text of the legislation, SPAM is defined as any Commercial Electronic Message (CEM) sent to an electronic address without consent of the recipient.

What are the legal remedies and penalties for violations?

Fines of up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for corporations are possible. Additionally, the law will also allow those affected by a contravention of the law (such as getting spammed) to launch an action in court against those who have violated the law. Once into force, the private right of action will allow an applicant to seek actual and statutory damages.

Who will enforce it? 

There are three federal agencies that will enforce the new legislation. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada will be responsible for enforcement.

What does the regulation specifically prescribe? 

First and foremost, the Regulations prohibit sending Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) unless the recipient has given express consent, or falls into a category where there is implied consent or one of the exemptions applies. It also prescribes the form and certain information to be included in commercial electronic messages (CEMs), and requests for consent with respect to the sending of CEMs, the alteration of transmission data in electronic messages, and the installation of computer programs. Most importantly, an unsubscribe mechanism must be in place that allows any recipient to unsubscribe and stop receiving any further CEMs.

What constitutes express consent?

The recipient has to opt-in, not opt-out. The request must be clearly identified. A pre-checked opt-in box or an unchecked opt-out box will not do. The recipient must take a positive step to opt-in. Silence does not mean consent. The onus to prove consent is on the sender.

NOTE: Technoracle has a Consent Module (an HTML5 module) that can link an individual to an express consent event.  The entire transaction is hash-tied to you can prove later that your customer opted in.  If you wish to get an overview of this technology, it is available from duane (AT) technoracle (hyphen) systems.com.

What are the other requirements for getting express consent?

  • Explain the purpose for the request. 
  • Name the person or organization, or on whose behalf, you are seeking consent. 
  • Give your name, mailing address and phone number, email or website address. 
  • Provide an unsubscribe option which is readily performed and will take effect within 10 days. 
Are there any exceptions where consent is not required?

There are certain conditions that provides for exemptions under the new law. Briefly, these are:


  • If consent of the recipient can be implied 
  • For communications that are within the domain of a business 
  • Where there is an existing business relationships and/or the CEM is relevant to the recipient’s role, function or duties. 
  • If the electronic messages is sent in response to a direct request for information. 
  • To enforce a legal right or obligation. 
  • If it relates to an existing transaction. 
  • If you are a customer inquiring about a business activity. 


Is there a time limit on consent? 


  • Express consent does not expire but can be withdrawn. 
  • Implied consent often depends on a specific relationship between the parties and therefore ends when that relationship ends. It can also be withdrawn at any time. If you are relying on this, it would be a good idea to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. 
  • CEMs to which an exception applies may only be sent within the time limits set out in the Act.  
These vary depending upon the type and nature of the communication.

What qualifies as an ‘existing business relationship’? 

Recipients are considered as having an existing business relationship for purposes of the legislation, if the recipient of the communication has:

  • Bought or leased goods or services from you within the past twenty four months; and/or 
  • Made an inquiry about a contract, purchase or other financial transaction within the past 6 months.
When may consent be implied?

Some message recipients have an implied consent to receive messages. The exact nature of this consent has not been interpreted within the courts and individuals relying on this exception are urged to seek legal advice. Consent may be implied, as defined within the legislation, where the recipient is:

  • an individual with whom the sender has a personal or family relationship; and/or
  • the recipient is an individual or entity engaged in a commercial activity and the CEM is solely related to that activity. 
  • the recipient has conspicuously published an email address or given you one and the CEM is relevant to the recipient’s business role (the ‘publication’ exception); and/or 
  • the recipient has disclosed his or her electronic address to you, has not indicated any wish not to receive unsolicited CEMs and the CEM is relevant to the recipient’s business role (the ‘business card’ exception). 


In all the above cases, if the recipient requests that you not send further messages, such requests supersede any implied consent and consent will have been deemed as withdrawn on a permanent basis or until the recipient sends communications to the contrary.

Are any non-business relationships exempted? 

The following situations may be considered exempt, as long as the recipient has not expressed a communication that you stop sending them messages.
  • if the recipient has made a donation or gift or volunteered or been a member of your club, association or voluntary organization within the past 2 years; or 
  • if the CEM is sent by or on behalf of a registered charity and the message is primarily for raising funds for the charity.


Any other notable exceptions?

You can send a CEM to someone who has been referred to you by a third party, provided the third party has a family, personal or business relationship with both you and the recipient.

What do I need to do before July 1, 2014?

If you are a customer of Technoracle, you are entitled to a free consultation for thirty minutes to ask any other questions. Customers also may have their consent-linking module installed on their website for an introductory price before July 1.

NOTE: Remember that Technoracle Advanced Systems Inc. is not a firm practicing law in the Province of British Columbia and is not a substitute for any legal opinions you should seek if you have outstanding questions. All the information provided hereinafter is strictly provided as a non-legal practitioner perspective and our interpretation of the new legislation.

We use two local law firms that we recommend:

- Venture Law Corporation (contact Alixe Cormick)
- Boughton Law Corporation (Contact Claudia Losie)

Without limiting the generalities of the foregoing,  Technoracle would advise that any persons or other entities engaged in the dissemination of electronic communications to review the following:


  • Review your current internal practices and guidelines for sending CEMs and which ones will comply with CASL. Ensure that any staff involved with these activities is informed of the changes and has a chance to ask any questions they might have to clarify their understanding. 
  • For all existing email lists, you should assess whether or not you have valid consent, either express or implied, from any recipients. If you do not, it is recommended that you refrain from sending further emails until you can obtain such consent. 
  • If you don’t have consent, decide if you fall within one of the exception, and when they lapse. You should set reminders to ensure you comply with the time constraints on any limitations. 
  • Decide whether you should try to get an express consent, which remains valid until withdrawn, before July 1, 2014. 
  • Make sure your form of consent meets the requirements. If you require help with this, Technoracle or Hot Tomali can set up the proper email channels and forms of email that comply with the legislation. 
  • Ensure that your policies and procedures are in compliance. Once more, we are here to assist you with compliance and can configure your email marketing to meet the requirements. To find out more, contact duane at technoracle-systems dot com.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Mayoral Candidate puts forth new transportation plan!

In a surprise move, Olympic Bob-sledder Kaillie Humphries has put her hat in to the next Vancouver Civic elections as a mayoral candidate.  Capitalizing on her brilliant performance in the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics, where she and fellow Canadian brakeman Heather Moyse won the Gold medal, she has announced she will enter politics in her newly adopted home city of Vancouver.  She will run as an independent in the next municipal elections.

As she opened her announcement speech with an emotional statement, she quickly alluded to her desire to serve the people of Vancouver by taking a new approach to regional transportation.

Building on the notion of bike lanes being prevalent in the region, her plan introduced a relatively new form of transportation;  Rocket powered Bobsled.   The idea has been discussed in many areas of the country from Ottawa to Calgary yet it is a new idea for most Vancouver residents.  Bobsled tracks would be built beside existing bike lanes to provide space for bobsledders to practice their sport while alleviating traffic on main corridors.   The City of Vancouver has already endorsed the idea stating it solidly believes that building the bobsled corridors will entice many people to get out of their cars and into bobsleds.

Early prototype of Rocket powered sled testing in Burnaby, BC


Seen above, a prototype of a rocket powered bobsled is both eco-friendly and provides a very cost effective and comfortable transportation medium.  The initial transit corridors are meant to co-exist with the bike routes used, starting primarily in the downtown core.  City of Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs, Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment, has noted that the plan will reduce stress on our congested streets and provides a new way to commute that will attract hundreds of new users.  He expects many of the current cycling population will also move over to the newer and more environmentally friendly form of transportation.  He stressed that the pilot will involve some street modifications to provide for the snow making machinery on the Hornby Street route.

Map of first Rocket-powered Bobsled Routes (Courtesy City of Vancouver)
Kaillie announced her plan to the delight of many however some in the audience were not as supportive of the plan.  One resident noted that building more alternative vehicle infrastructure comes at the cost of automotive freedom.  Despite alarming statistics on global warming and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, some still feel it is an inalienable right to use automobiles.  To react to the comment, a spokesperson for the City of Vancouver responded "Boyahh! Who's your daddy?".

Construction of the new lanes is expected to begin almost immediately after the next municipal election.  The lanes should be open by late fall 2014.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I am seeking .NET, PHP Developers and Project Managers

My new agency is growing fast. The side effect of producing many successful ad campaigns is that the underlying technical infrastructure to handle the extra traffic has to be increased. Many of our clients are seeing a growth in both new opportunities and new functionality. This has fueled a recruiting drive for us. We need to fill these positions now.

 We require the positions outlined below.  Above and beyond the skills required, we seek people who understand the dynamics of working in a fast paced, creative environment. Experience in handling multiple clients and projects at the same time while being focused on delivering high quality work on a consistent based is our desire. If you can juggle flaming chainsaws while riding a unicycle backwards over an open pit of hungry sharks (with or without frigging laser beams), then this is the agency you will love. We work hard and play harder.

To respond, please go to the web page at http://www.hottomali.com/contact/job-postings and fill out the job application form for the position you like.

 Note: To fast forward your .NET position application:




Position #0145 - .NET Developer Required

We are looking for a skilled .NET Developer to join the Hot Tomali team. This is a highly technical position and you need to have a minimum of 3 years working full time in .NET development. Must be familiar with the following technologies:

Primary Skills: Expert .NET SOAP based Web Services Sitefinity (accreditation is a bonus) C# programming and basic architecture skills Integration and Database skills

Min 3 years: Github, NodeJS, Angular, HTML5

 Read the full post and apply at http://www.hottomali.com/contact/job-postings/.net-developer-required-position-0145


Position # 0144 - PHP Developer

A Senior / Experienced PHP programmer is required for our team. Successful candidates must have at least five years experience developing production web applications in PHP, including Content Management Systems (i.e. WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and version control systems (i.e. GitHub). Hardware or sever side administration experience is an asset. A University degree in computer programming is a minimum requirement.

Primary Skills: Expert: PHP 5+, jQuery 1.8+, CSS3, HTML5, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Angular and NodeJS.

Min. 3 yrs (production): Symfonic, Code Igniter, Smarty. Working knowledge: Github, Subversion, NetBeans 

Read the full post and apply at http://www.hottomali.com/contact/job-postings/php-developer-position-144 


Position #0143 - Project Manager 

We require a skilled Project Manager to bridge the Hot Tomali team to it’s functional requirements and manage progress. You will bring your solid agency track record managing integrated marketing programs including website builds, online and offline advertising campaigns, and internal development projects. You will be the very valuable conduit between our client services team and our internal resources and contractors, taking responsibility for delivering excellence in every task we undertake with our clients.

Primary Skills: Project Management Experience Agile Development Microsoft Project of other Project Software

2+ years of online or advertising agency project management experience Proven experience in directing production teams to keep them on budget and schedule while continually motivating them to create valuable solutions for our clients 

Read the full post and apply at http://www.hottomali.com/contact/job-postings/project-manager-position-0143

Friday, February 07, 2014

RACI and Natural Language

There are many patterns for communication modelling how real world collaboration works is sometimes difficult.  One of the hardest things for a human being to do is to think about how they think. When we talk to people and start a conversation, they naturally do a few subtle things that are missing from email. This is how a conversation in person usually goes:

Person1: Hello. (introduction if necessary)
Person2: Hello
P1: I wanted to talk to you today to get your input into our current marketing campaign. I am responsible for making the final approval.
P2: sure
P1: Specifically, by Friday I have to launch the new campaign and we still don’t have a final logo chosen.
P2: So how can I help
P1: If you have time, I’d like it if you could review the choices and provide input on your favourites and why
P2: No problem. When do you need it by?
P1: Is tomorrow ok? It should take 5-10 minutes

Note that P1 has relayed the exact same model as RACI here.  Person 1 have stated a project, a deadline and more importantly has informed Person 2 of exactly what they are expected to do with the information.  There is a lot of subtlety going on here.  So why is email ineffective for the same purpose?  Simple, both speaker and listener do not share a context of the collaboration.  A lot of very subtle communication is done via body language.   In real time communication, a person can detect if the other does not seem to have the information by noting inquisitive looks or blank stares and fill in the blank.

The email version of the above is:

***********
Dear P2:

Check these design out and let me know what you think. We have to launch friday.

P1
**********

This gets lost in the inbox of course. The natural flow of language will be important to observe as we launch. One hypothesis is that email is relatively inefficient at conveying knowledge since it is often an asynchronous exchange and messages that arrive can be easily taken out of context. This, of course, is well known.

So how does RACI help?  Even if using RACI does nothing more than simply structure the roles for people, it provides that context around the communication and collaboration thread.  Individuals are empowered with the information of why they are being included in the collaboration.

RACI matrix software can also help structure this communication in a manner that is unambiguous and has the capability to facilitate decisions being made in a timely manner.  RACI is a good model.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hacking the Enterprise – Collaborative Intelligence

In this first blog post about Hacking the Enterprise, we will to introduce the concept behind the Whispr platform we are working on.  The concept of hacking the enterprise is about unlocking the knowledge within your human capital and building highly efficient communications models to allow you to make decisions and get business done.    The value of roles, clearly defined lines of communication and process is becoming universally recognized as the single most important factor in building effective teams.   It seems almost illogical that such a quintessential component of an enterprises’ success has been long neglected yet nothing much has changed with respect to the way people work together in the last four decades.   To understand more about Hacking the Enterprise and optimizing the effectiveness, we have to look back to 2001.

Research started to look at the failures of effective team communications after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 when an internal audit of communications and knowledge sharing was spearheaded by psychologists who sought to understand where the intelligence community could have done better.   The Harvard based team was led by the late Richard Hackman and they approached the work with a question of what made certain intelligence units functionally effective while others were not.

Richard’s team interviewed, observed, surveyed and watched hundreds of individuals operating across sixty four different intelligence organizations.  By watching them up close, he learned how most are viewed as solo or individual contributors yet have to function within the greater collective by collaborating with their colleagues.    Throughout all this research, the team identified a comprehensive list of factors and models that seemed to be factor’s in the cohesiveness and effectiveness of groups.  Within the context of the intelligence community, these groups can sometimes be ad hoc and survive only to address a very specific decision.  Cultural, regulatory and other factors cannot always be accounted for within this context however there were some startling revelations that had a much broader applicability of use.





Graphic courtesy Julian Partridge (via Flickr – CC License)

While the work is summarized in a book aptly named Collaborative Intelligence (http://www.amazon.com/Collaborative-Intelligence-Using-Problems-Business/dp/1605099902 ) Richard’s team noted that the critical factor wasn’t as simple as just having a set of static team members, a clearly defined vision statement nor was it singularly due to human endearments or egos.   It turned out that the single strongest predictor of group effectiveness was the amount of help that analysts gave to each other.

As with most enterprises, the highest-performing teams place a great emphasis on collaborating, coaching, teaching, and consulting with colleagues.   Those who shared little resources and did not effectively communicate with their colleagues for enhanced problem solving embodied the anti-pattern of this success.  Hacking the enterprise is a conceptual hack embracing the collective pattern of good collaboration to facilitate these good patterns.  Much like a set of synaptic relays making connections to each other for the first time in a small child’s brain, hacking the enterprise is about bridging gaps in knowledge and communication.

Individuals and enterprises benefit the most when they freely contribute their knowledge and skills to others and do so with clearly defined roles.   Whispr is build on that premise and facilitates the hacking the enterprise mentality by allowing ad hoc teams to create powerful, focused task forces to solve specific problems and preserving that knowledge.

So what is the call to action? Whispr is a platform that allows distributed teams to set up decisions (“Whisprs”) and add contributors based on the roles defined in a RACI Matrix.   Whispr is open for a very limited time for alpha testing at http://whis.pr.   If you have a decision to make and have a distributed team, this is the perfect tool for hacking your enterprise.   You can signup at http://whis.pr/signup. Those who come in now can use it for free for a limited time.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Great Video on RACI and ITIL

ITIL is a Registered Trade Mark of the Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom and other countries. ITIL is an acronym that stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL itself is a familiar territory for any RACI practitioners.

The RACI matrix is similar to the ITIL Process Map in the manner it provides a summary of roles and levels of responsibility in IT Systems management processes. The video below is a very good creation that documents the consistencies and similarities between the approaches.

For more information about the ITIL Responsibilities Matrix, check out the link below: http://en.it-processmaps.com/products/itil-raci-matrix.html

IT Process Maps YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/itprocessmaps

Monday, February 03, 2014

Decision Analysis

Making decisions is something that RACI and DACI help with, yet provide very little in terms of electronically searchable knowledge.  Many RACI practitioners believe the true value of using RACI is in making the decision.  An equal or perhaps greater value might be inherent in the searchable database of knowledge resulting from using a RACI platform for decision management like Whispr.  Past decisions can yield a wealth of valuable knowledge.

Let’s look at an example to help understand the value.  Imagine a small development shop that regularly helps out a company with their IT needs.  During the course of operations, the company listens to the suggestions of the development shop and as a result, embraces a specific technology platform or programming language for a product or service offering.  This has happened in real life many times over.

Over time, development of the IT goes well but eventually the small development shop does out of business.  The larger company now has a lot of IT investment but very little knowledge about why things were done a certain way.  Since the smaller development shop no longer exists, there is no one left to answer important questions.

A new IT development shop comes in to help the larger company.  During the course of their familiarization process, they become aware that there are several choices that have been made and ask why.  Without any knowledge preservation, they have no way to perform a comprehensive analysis of the past decisions and have no idea of the reasons for various decisions.

Decision Analysis is facilitated by keeping an archive of your decisions, the context in which they were made and the knowledge of who helped drive the decisions and for what reasons.

This is just one minor example of how analysis of past decisions can be a valuable part of your enterprises future.

Monday, December 30, 2013

RACI Definition and Software

While many people who are interested in RACI, there is literally no definitive source of knowledge on this topic.  Unlike SOA, which has the OASIS SOA Reference Model RACI has no normative definition.  This blog post will help explain why and how this can be mitigated.

This blog is not trying to become that authority however, we will continue to share what we know as it evolves.  Think about this as a point of reference.  You can use it as a common resource to explain your own definition of RACI or DACI.  If you disagree with some of the content on this site, at least you have a point of common reference to start with to explain how your definition varies.  We also encourage your interaction by leaving comments to help the community change it’s thinking  This pattern can be best described as a reference model requirements process.

In order to define RACI, there are really a few different components.  In no certain order, here are the concepts.

1. The Roles – RAC is a role assignment matrix.  the roles are used within a process of problem solving (ie – decision making).  A normative definition of roles would be an integral part of any RACI definition.

2. The RACI process – when solving processes, there are specific methodologies and processes that may emerge as best practices.  We have our ideas but invite others to help define this. Much like UML as a two dimensional syntax and a methodology (even Rational Rose makes this distinction with the Rose Unified Process or RUP), RACI has a process and methodology that make it much more useful.

3. Specifications and constraints for software – RACI does not have a normative specification.  Most commercial off the shelf (COTS) software is developed based on a specification.  Sometimes this is done as a reference implementation of a specification.  Compliancy experts usually go through a formal specification and look for IETF RFC 2119 keywords such as “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” and use these words to create formal constraints and test conditions that any compliant software must be capable of supporting. Since RACI does not have that level of granularity defined, commercial and enterprise RACI software for RACI such as Whispr, do not have the luxury of that level of speciosity, the authors had to develop their software based on their perceptions.

4. The cardinality of the roles and the rules governing how they are assigned.  For example, can a “Consulted” party also assume the role of Approver?  This is not specified.  Over the next few months, we will attempt to share our experiences of trying this different ways.  Again, our ways are not correct, we will just share them with you via this blog.

5. The nuances and effects based on the size of the problem tackled. It has already become apparent that the use of RACI is much different when trying to account for a decision in a 10 person company with 3 people making the decisions than a 5,000 person enterprise with 3,000 contributors.

6. Best practices and implementation notes.  As with any standard or idea, there are associated best practices that emerge as practitioners learn from their experiences.

To be transparent  we, the writers of this blog, have developed our own software for RACI named Whispr.  We are not trying to push our software in this blog, rather trying to help others discover the benefits of RACI and allow all RACI consultants to advertise their services on this forum.  The reason we developed the RACI software is that we noticed after leaving a consulting gig for RACI, customers tended to fall back into their old patterns.  The software, Whispr, helped keep them in their practice on a daily basis.

While we will write about Whispr, we will also offer to write up information about any other RACI or DACI software that exists.  This blog is not our exclusive forum to promote what we have done, rather an independent forum for all RACI and DACI practitioners to share their experiences and wares in this area.

After all, business as usual is no longer an option as email inboxes continue to grow while productivity flails.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Appointment: Regional Policy Ambassador, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

It is with great honour I accept the position of Regional Policy Ambassador for the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA). The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) is the collective voice of Canada’s geothermal energy industry. As a non-profit industry association,
CanGEA represents the interests of member companies with the primary goal of unlocking the country’s tremendous geothermal energy potential.

Geothermal energy can provide competitively priced, renewable, around-the-clock energy to the Canadian and U.S. markets and be a part of the solution to growing concerns about securing sustainable, cost-effective energy sources. My appointment has also attracted a key endorsement from Mr. Robert Bectel, the CTO of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Here is the full text of the release:

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
info@cangea.ca
www.cangea.ca

 CanGEA expands its geographic presence with several key appointments Calgary, Canada (December 18, 2013) – The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), is pleased to announce the appointment of three talented individuals to its ranks. These appointments will increase CanGEA’s capacity and expand its influence, as it endeavours to raise awareness about Canada’s vast geothermal resources. CanGEA will draw on the talent of the appointees to garner support from all stakeholders, as a means of invigorating both geothermal policy and market development. Ultimately, the aim is to initiate an era of geothermal prospecting activity throughout Canada.

CanGEA is pleased to add the talent, experience and drive of Duane Nickull, Milan Seres, and Grant Van Hal to the CanGEA team. Mr. Nickull was appointed as the Regional Policy Ambassador for British Columbia and Milan Seres was named the Regional Policy Ambassador for Ontario. Finally, Grant Van Hal is CanGEA’s Policy Advisor and works out of CanGEA’s main office in Calgary.

These appointments are not being made to individuals in need of additional professional responsibilities or employment, but to individuals who see the existence of latent potential and have a desire to be instrumental in the development of this potential. It is for this reason they have offered part of their time to help launch Canada’s geothermal industry.

Mr. Nickull is a technology entrepreneur who has successfully built several technology companies and is now focusing his efforts on promoting and making renewable energy projects a reality in British Columbia, Canada. Mr. Nickull recently worked on the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), a federation of data services providing data to support geothermal energy development. He provided his technical expertise on the informatics systems of NGDS. Today he is appreciative of the opportunity to be able to utilize this experience as a means to promote geothermal energy at a much grander scale.

According to Mr. Robert Bectel, Chief Technology Officer and Sr. Policy Advisor to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, at the US Department of Energy: “Duane provided that optimal mix of deep knowledge, rich experience and fiery passion – a rare combination in any field of endeavor – towards developing the world’s first national level geothermal data system built on a federation of data services” and “His contributions were invaluable to the overall progress of the project and we look forward to working with him as he works on new renewable energy projects in his new position with CanGEA”

After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School, Milan Seres began his legal career with General Motors before starting his own practice. In addition to the practice of law, Mr. Seres is the founder and managing director of Praxis Dialectic, a sustainable development consulting company. Work in this area includes the development of sustainability reports and conducting due diligence in relation to emerging green technologies and practices. The above mentioned knowledge augments previous experience gained with CanGEA as part of the Ontario and Eastern Canada Policy Committee when he played a role in the development of CanGEA’s Ontario focussed policy position. After practising law for several years, Mr. Van Hal returned to university to obtain a Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development. During this time he focused his research on legal frameworks applicable to geothermal energy. The resulting paper is due to be published by the Canadian Institute of Resource Law in early 2014. Mr. Van Hal has taken on a leading role in CanGEA’s policy development and is heading CanGEA’s government engagement efforts.

When the North American continent was forged nature’s forces gave no consideration to the arbitrary political boundaries that man would one day impose on the continent. Despite this fact, Canada produces 0 MW of electricity from the vast geothermal resources stored under our feet, while the United States (including Alaska) and Mexico are respectively the largest and the 4th largest producers of geothermal power in the world. According to Alison Thompson, the Chair of CanGEA, “We are still in need of support from thought leaders who can exert their influence within Canada, as a means of kindling a domestic industry with boundless potential.” She adds that she would like to see, “Additional political and business leaders step forward”.

Wow, feeling = humbled….

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Magic Bullet for Increasing Retail Sales

While I am still bringing Teamwise.co to market, I have been quietly collaborating with another platform focused on increasing retail sales by providing training for Point of Sales (PoS) staff.  There are many platforms around that can provide online training however Cheddar Labs is quite different in that it highly motivates retail sales staff to partake in training modules.  When the retail staff become more familiar with the products they are representing to customers, an increase in sales follows.  The platform has been so successful that ROI is achieved within weeks.  

Cheddar Labs is a win-win-win scenario.  The brand owners win by increasing loyalty amongst those who sell their brands.   The problem with the entire supply chain disintermediation is that a large gap exists for knowledge transfers.  Cheddar Labs provides a valuable service in terms of putting brand owners and stakeholders in direct contact with the Point of Sales (PoS) staff.   From the 4 years of statistical data acquired, the average retail employee sold an average of 1.9 more units per 8 hour shift for one brand surveyed.  Given the cost to train that employee was less than ten dollars, the ROI was immediate to the brand owner.  More importantly however, the brand owner created another advocate for their brands.   That new advocate statistically will sell more of a product they are familiar with themselves hence the brand owner has acquired another trained sales staff member for mere dollars.

The training programs are not hard to deliver.  While Cheddar Labs has a powerful platform in terms of content delivery, the real intellectual property rests within the motivational component whereby the PoS staff are highly motivated to take the training.  The graph below shows actual training tests taken per month.   



The brands provide their product training materials to Cheddar Labs.  From that material, several modules are built to educate retail staff on the products.    After taking the training, each retail staff members is then given the opportunity to take tests to prove they have retained knowledge.  In exchange for taking the training and tests, the brand owners reward the retail staff with incentives such as discounted goods.   This provides a high degree of motivation for each retail worker to take the training.

Each employee who takes a test becomes more knowledgable about the product or brand they received training on and are more likely to sell more of that product in a competitive environment.  When surveyed, over 81% of the retail sales staff contacted felt that they sold more of the brand they were trained on.  That is a fact that brand owners can take to the bank.

I am seeking five to ten brands to test the new version of the Cheddar Labs platform on.   If you are a marketing professional and have a brand or product that is sold in a retail environment and requires knowledgable sales staff, please ping me at duane at nickull dot net.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Necessary

As a long time computer geek having stature amongst my friends as the techie within our group, I often get pinged for opinions about everything from which smart phone to buy to how much memory people require.  Occasionally, I get the highly contentious questions too like "Should the USA put Eric Snowden in jail for life?".  Some even advocate harsher measures for Snowden.  I saw this cartoon today which made me want to write a bit more about this subject.

For those of you not in the know, Eric Snowden  is an American computer specialist who worked for the CIA and the NSA and recently leaked details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.  I cannot speak for him but if I was faced with the knowledge he had, I might recognize that the general public might believe they have a right to know.   Coming to this decision, Eric Snowden made a lot of very secret information available to the press.   The full details on his actions are available here.   His motive, while noble and an earnest attempt to do what he perceived as good, have to be understood in context of the good that comes out of fact we have systems like this in place.  One only has to look back as recently as April 15 of this year to see that such systems may provide an immense benefit to society as well.

For the record, I am a Libertarian.  I don't want anyone to think I am fine with a government that can randomly start spying on me and fishing for data to see if I match any profiles that might be deemed anti-social.  I do see the advantages of such systems however when fast decisions have to be made following an incident like the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th, that we have the data and connections to other data to quickly bring the culprits to justice.   Within moments of identifying the first bomber, these systems can correlate magnitudes of data and find those people connected to Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  The graph-like relationship to many of the people they interacted with has likely been the subject of great  discussions in various government offices.   What types of questions would have law enforcement tried to comprehend on that day?

- was the bomber(s) alone or are they acting is an alliance with some larger group?
- if they are part of a larger group or movement, who else is in that group(s)?
- are there any other event(s) planned for the near future?
- if there are, which one of the people they have been in contact with is likely to perform it?
- who else has read the same articles on the online Al-quida magazine as the brother?
- etc...

Knowing the answers to these questions allowed the police and other officials to understand who was involved, where to find them, who else they talked to and more.  Quite simply stated, the faster these questions can be answered, the greater the public knows they are not at risk (or potentially know if they are at risk).

Now comes the big question.  At what point do you trade some of you personal rights to privacy to be able to bring a swift end to things like the Boston bombings?

Each and every person will probably have their own answer.  To me, I just wanted to write this blog post to illustrate that the question of personal privacy is not as black and white and some make it.   I encourage each reader to ponder the right to personal privacy balanced with the need to share information to avoid events like 9/11 and Boston.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tesla Scores Again

Tesla Motors is a company we are following here at Technoracle.  Partly we are interested in many of the advanced systems being developed and their potential for standards work on things like battery replacement stations but we are also car enthusiasts and Tesla's just keep amazing us.

Tesla now has something new to be proud of.  In addition to having several enviable performance stats (the Tesla S model can be delivered with over 400 Horsepower), independent testing by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the company a 5-star safety rating, not just overall, but in every subcategory.

While its five-star score across the board has been attained by other vehicles, the ratings given to Tesla's Model S in individual categories are higher than any other vehicle.



One of our dreams is to start up a new venture and be the first to have a battery replacement station in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Decision Management - the Last Frontier of Enterprise Architecture

Last week I wrapped up an immense 18 month consulting gig on a very large enterprise project in the field of renewable energy.  During the course of the project I was privileged to be able to work with some of the world's top scientists and policy/decision makers around clean and renewable energy.   We worked earnestly since March 2012 on this project and if all goes according to plan, it will have a very positive effect in at least two places that will benefit the people on this planet.

The first place is the actual energy self sufficiency with clean and renewable energy options.   If successful, the project will lead to an increased efficiency in the geothermal energy prospecting workflow, increasing the accuracy of predicting critical aspects like heat-flow as well as providing geothermal prospectors with the data they need to make decisions on whether or not to proceed to develop a commercial energy conversion station.    Up until now, most of this data has been help in disparate data systems, in non-standardized dat formats and not even cataloged properly.  The result was not only were prospectors not getting data, they were not even aware of the fact the data existed.

In order to determine if a particular site is viable for commercial production, a myriad of information items needs to be present from well Bottom Hole temperature (BHT), heat-flow, material composition, thermal-dynamic properties of various compounds, pressure, permeability, depth, surface land use, legal status of land, existing leases, development permit availability, access, proximity to electrical grid, proximity to points of usage etc. and more.  Even physical assets like drill core samples provide value within this process.  To understand it in more detail, please take a read of this publication I co-authored for Stanford's geothermal energy workshop earlier this year at https://pangea.stanford.edu/ERE/pdf/IGAstandard/SGW/2013/Anderson.pdf.



All of this data and a variety of surrounding processes all feed data into a decision process.  The end result of the that process is a DECISION!  That decision, along with the data that carries the context in which the decision was made, encapsulates a vast array of knowledge.  That knowledge is power that has the capability to change the future of our planet by reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions!

The second end result of our 18 month involvement is the emergence of a new platform for decision making.  While working with many of the smartest minds in their respective fields, we made the simplest of observations that has lead to the launch of a new platform.   The epiphany was that we are only 40 years after production of the first personal computers, less than10 year since the first smart phone, around 5 years after the development of the first tablets there is a simply truth.

           "Despite decades of technological improvements, 
               no one has any more knowledge of why or how 
      specific decisions were made than they did a century ago!"

Quite simply, we all make decisions, but often neglect to recall why we made when of document the criteria and context around it.  During our early days working on the above project, we were asked to review where a project was.  We knew what decisions had been made, some of them we knew how supported the decisions and even when but in almost every case, there was no archive trail about why. All the knowledge and value in the conversations leading up to making the decisions were lost.   That turns out to be a huge amount of knowledge in most cases.

Prior to the engagement, we (my colleagues and friends Moshe Silverstein and Matt MacKenzie) has been building a management platform around making complex decisions.  The insights this and other projects gave us have allowed us to fine tune the core platform engine and build peripheral technologies like forms engines and more around the platform.   The platform (Teamwise) is now open for the public to try out for 30 days as a free trial at Teamwise.co.

So why would you use Teamwise?

Have you ever felt like you are drowning in email?  If you are, it is possible that a lot of it is caused by the fact you are involved in many decisions and that there is a clack of clarity around each decision process.  Many of us (myself one of the worst culprits), send out emails by "replying to all" to share our great ideas.  Why are we sharing our ideas?  It is likely we are trying to influence an outcome.  That is a decision process and Teamwise forces it's users to focus the decision process in a way that structures the process much more efficiently.  

Do you attend meetings you feel you provided no value at?  this is possibly caused by someone else including you in a decision process that has not been properly framed or structured.  Teamwise forces the decision manager to take responsibility and assign roles to each person involved in the decision.  Teamwise uses DACI/RACI, two industry standard models that streamline the decision process.  Teamwise is the first commercially available software to support RACI and DACI.  It is not important for you to understand why or what they are, just know that Teamwise helps alleviate the symptoms stated above.

Are you using forms to enforce compliance with regulations?  Each instance of this is literally a decision process.  Everytime you administer a test to check for compliancy, you are in face making a decision that YOU are responsible for in most cases.  Teamwise allows you to capture why you made the decision you did and why it was the right decision.  Here is a simple flowchart we are working on for one of our enterprise customers.



In the case above, the decision process driver needs to keep hundreds of his contacts regularly starting the decision processes by themselves.  This lower his workload substantially during the days while actually ensuring a high percentage of his customers are adhering to the proper decision process themselves (as opposed to manual initialization).  In addition, Teamwise also pre-populates many of the form fields saving each participant a lot of work each and every month.

Teamwise is a clear winner here as it lowers costs, ensures better compliance with regulations and keeps accurate records of why decisions were made, hence protecting all involved.

These are just three situations where you would want to use Teamwise.  Anywhere you are making decisions, Teamwise can help.  Give it a try today and tell them "Duane sent you".








Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Founder Dating - taking a few too many liberties?

I had reluctantly joined up with Founder Dating and found the site to be generally likeable.  I was a bit suspicious of something I could not quantify but if forced to describe, would tend to call "over pushy".

Recently, I noticed a sneaky little trick where it is now requesting access to my LinkedIn account to be able to do all sorts of things, most disturbingly to "send emails and invitations to connect as me".   I am refusing to submit to this and find it a dangerous precedent.  Companies like Founder Dating need to take a step back to respect people's wishes.  I have sent mine.



If you get a message like this, my advice is to not accept this and let the company know this is bad form.  Allowing them to send message and invites as you is a very big privilege and given their aggressive behaviour, I may quit over this.   I am hoping this is just an error and will be fixed quickly so I can rejoin in with many conversations I was having.

If the company responds I will post the update here.  If there are no updates here it means my plea has fallen on deaf ears.



Friday, July 19, 2013

Cheddar Labs Retail Training Community Officially Launched




Vancouver-based integrated communications agency Hot Tomali has launched an online retail training community called Cheddar Labs (www.cheddarlabs.com). This website rewards retail sales associates with prizes and branded SWAG in exchange for training on the products they sell. The program is free to sales associates, and is funded by brands and product manufacturers.

Over 10,000 retail sales associates have already joined, and the community is growing quickly. These site members represent almost 4,000 store locations in North America and more than 85 retailers, including Best Buy, Future Shop, Apple Store, Target, Staples, and Walmart.

“Cheddar Labs is a powerful marketing channel for brands,” said Thomas Stringham, Hot Tomali's Founder & Creative Director. “Manufacturers now have a direct line of communication with the retail associates on the front line. Electronic Arts already has training hosted on Cheddar Labs, and several other innovative retail brands currently have labs in development.”

A survey of Cheddar Labs users found that sales associates are highly motivated to learn more about the products they sell. Survey highlights include the following:
  • 95% of sales associates feel that Cheddar Labs increases their product knowledge.
  • 81% of sales associates feel that Cheddar Labs helps them sell more products.
  • 99% of users report telling their colleagues about Cheddar Labs.

“It's an adaptive solution that's designed to effectively train any vertical market, including technology, apparel, food and beverage, automotive, and healthcare,” said Thomas Stringham. “Our administrative tools make creating and updating content easy, so that marketing and communications teams and their agencies can manage materials directly.”

***
Winner of Ad Age’s 2010 International Small Agency of the Year award, Hot Tomali is an integrated communications agency guided by ideas — not mediums. Every project is approached individually to tailor innovative and thought-provoking communications that are specific to their client’s audience. To learn more about these services and to view Hot Tomali’s online portfolio, visit www.hottomali.com.








Friday, April 19, 2013

Hacking the Enterprise - Collaborative Intelligence

In this first blog post about Hacking the Enterprise, we will to introduce the concept behind the Whispr platform we are working on.  The concept of hacking the enterprise is about unlocking the knowledge within your human capital and building highly efficient communications models to allow you to make decisions and get business done.    The value of roles, clearly defined lines of communication and process is becoming universally recognized as the single most important factor in building effective teams.   It seems almost illogical that such a quintessential component of an enterprises’ success has been long neglected yet nothing much has changed with respect to the way people work together in the last four decades.   To understand more about Hacking the Enterprise and optimizing the effectiveness, we have to look back to 2001.  

Research started to look at the failures of effective team communications after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 when an internal audit of communications and knowledge sharing was spearheaded by psychologists who sought to understand where the intelligence community could have done better.   The Harvard based team was led by the late Richard Hackman and they approached the work with a question of what made certain intelligence units functionally effective while others were not.

Richard’s team interviewed, observed, surveyed and watched hundreds of individuals operating across sixty four different intelligence organizations.  By watching them up close, he learned how most are viewed as solo or individual contributors yet have to function within the greater collective by collaborating with their colleagues.    Throughout all this research, the team identified a comprehensive list of factors and models that seemed to be factor’s in the cohesiveness and effectiveness of groups.  Within the context of the intelligence community, these groups can sometimes be ad hoc and survive only to address a very specific decision.  Cultural, regulatory and other factors cannot always be accounted for within this context however there were some startling revelations that had a much broader applicability of use.

Graphic courtesy Julian Partridge (via Flickr - CC License)


While the work is summarized in a book aptly named Collaborative Intelligence (http://www.amazon.com/Collaborative-Intelligence-Using-Problems-Business/dp/1605099902 ) Richard’s team noted that the critical factor wasn’t as simple as just having a set of static team members, a clearly defined vision statement nor was it singularly due to human endearments or egos.   It turned out that the single strongest predictor of group effectiveness was the amount of help that analysts gave to each other.

As with most enterprises, the highest-performing teams place a great emphasis on collaborating, coaching, teaching, and consulting with colleagues.   Those who shared little resources and did not effectively communicate with their colleagues for enhanced problem solving embodied the anti-pattern of this success.  Hacking the enterprise is a conceptual hack embracing the collective pattern of good collaboration to facilitate these good patterns.  Much like a set of synaptic relays making connections to each other for the first time in a small child’s brain, hacking the enterprise is about bridging gaps in knowledge and communication.

Individuals and enterprises benefit the most when they freely contribute their knowledge and skills to others and do so with clearly defined roles.   Whispr is build on that premise and facilitates the hacking the enterprise mentality by allowing ad hoc teams to create powerful, focused task forces to solve specific problems and preserving that knowledge.

So what is the call to action? Whispr is a platform that allows distributed teams to set up decisions ("Whisprs") and add contributors based on the roles defined in a RACI Matrix.   Whispr is open for a very limited time for alpha testing at http://whis.pr.   If you have a decision to make and have a distributed team, this is the perfect tool for hacking your enterprise.   You can signup at http://whis.pr/signup. Those who come in now can use it for free for a limited time.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Next Vancouver GraphDB User Group

We have a rare opportunity to get Peter Neubauer, a founder of Neo4J, to come back to Vancouver and do a hand on meetup to lead us through getting Neo4J set up and installed.  As the organizer, I would like to solicit input on this via the Whispr form below (Whispr is powered by Neo4J).


select the next time and place of our meetup.  We also 

Monday, April 01, 2013

Finally! Concrete Proof of Global Warming!




I have been working with many environmentalist groups and trying to get absolute proof global warming is real.  This week, the proof came to me from an unlikely source.  One of my friends told me about a guy who bought a house and now has tropical fruit growing in Vancouver's east side. He literally bought it a few years ago and had these nice tropical trees growing in the front yard.  Twenty years ago you could not grow palms in Vancouver but as our winters have become more milder, this has changed.

The absolute stunner came this month when we discovered two fully grown pineapples on the tree.  Pineapples are usually not produced except in strange circumstances when winter temperatures do not get colder than 6 degrees Celsius and we get spring temperatures of 20 degrees by February.   This year, this has happened and his tree is now producing Pineapples.

20130327_181154

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Carbon Tax Inneffective?

I am an environmentalist.  I like BC and want to help change the world through smarter conservation of energy and better programs to reduce energy consumption.  One thing that I found today deeply disturbs me.  It turns out that the Carbon Tax is nothing more than a money grab.  The math behind the alleged 4.5% reduction between 2007 and 2010 does not account for the general economy shrinking.  In fact, the 2012 liberal budget in British Columbia actually concluded that GHG's are on the rise and we will produce more.


Carbon tax – as announced in Budget 2008, the carbon tax rate per tonne of CO2- equivalent will increase by $5 each year to $30 per tonne by July 1, 2012. The forecast assumes that purchased volumes of natural gas will grow by 2.0 per cent annually, while consumption of gasoline is expected to remain constant. Revenue is expected to increase in line with these higher rates and assumed volume growth. 
So in short, the Carbon Tax needs to be scrapped.  It needs to be replaced with effective programs to actually reduce green house gas emissions and other forms of energy (a mantra I have been chanting for decades now thank you).  The current Carbon Tax only adds costs to everything we buy and puts our businesses at a disadvantage in a global economy.

Time for some common sense.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Neo4J User Group Meetup - Vancouver

On Feb 25, 2013, the Vancouver Graph Database User Group will host a meetup.  This is an incredible opportunity to hear Neo Technology's Pernilla Lindh provide an overview and introduction for Neo4J. Pernilla is a Community Manager with Neo Technologies, the company behind Neo4J, the world's most popular graph database. Pernilla self describes herself as "An Hippie-Information Architect who works with graph databases, will save the world through technology and open data" which will resonate well with Vancouver Culture.



The second speaker will be Duane Nickull who will provide a simple overview of how to get started with Neo4J and then provide an overview of Whispr. Whis.pr is a Decision Management and Analysis platform supporting RACI/DACI models that is built on Neo4J and the reasons why Neo4J was chosen will be illustrated.

The event will be held Monday, Feb 25 7:00 PM  at Hootsuite Headquarters, 5 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

Links: 
Pernilla - http://ttsweden2012.com/neo-technology 
Duane Nickull - http://technoracle.blogspot.com
Whispr - http://whis.pr
Neo4J - http://www.neo4j.org/
Hootsuite - http://hootsuite.com/

Thursday, February 14, 2013

BC Conservative Party


I am a BC Conservative Party member.  That is correct.  Moi!  Why did I choose this party over the Liberals and the NDP?  Simple.  I read their mandate and it makes sense for British Columbia.  I also respect the people they are running in the next Provincial election.  The  BC Conservative Party's guiding principles are easy to believe in.

The Party is founded on and will be guided in its policy formation by the following principles:

1. A belief in clearly defined public policies and programs that are affordable, 
effective and accountable to the people.   To me transparency in government is something that I stand for.  Any politician must be accountable to the public.

2. The BC Conservative Party believe in managing with the highest standards of integrity and transparency.  Again, an extension of the first principle, integrity in government must be absolute.  When you enter politics, you must accept from day one that you will make choices that offend some.  To be guided by an attempt to please everyone is ill-conceived.  As soon as pandering begins, integrity ends.  How do I know anything about integrity?  It started when I was very young and a family friend who was a politician influenced my parents.  He influenced the lives of my great Uncle Olaf Turnbull, who himself was an MLA in Saskatchewan for the Canadian Commonwealth Federation or CCF.  This family friend became the Saskatchewan CCF's leader and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961. His government was the first democratic socialist government in North America, and it introduced the continent's first single payer, universal health care program.   He did this with integrity and conviction.  This was done before I was born but we heard stories of the man who had a dream, a vision and would not let public influence sway him from that dream.   That man was named Tommy Douglas.   He later was named The greatest Canadian by a CBC television program in 2004.  Here he is with my mother around 1970 (left), a photo of himself he gave to my late grandfather and a letter on the right he wrote to my grandmother expressing his grief that Russ had passed.  He also spoke very highly of my late grandfather, another man, like my father, of integrity beyond reproach.




3. British Columbians are entitled to full knowledge of services rendered.  Again, full transparency in government is a right of those who pay for it (you and I).

4. The BC Conservative Party believe in the rights and responsibilities of all British Columbians and that governments at all levels are in place to serve and respect all individuals and their families, including freedom from unnecessary laws and regulations.  A belief that government is fundamentally in existence to serve the people is paramount to the parties mandate.  Part of that mandate is to respect the rights of the individual.

5.  Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) should be empowered to best represent the interests of their Constituents.

6. A belief in restructuring the taxation system to maximize benefits for the greatest
number of BC citizens.

7. A belief in a competitive free enterprise system as the basis for prosperity and growth.
protection and management of our environment and natural resources to optimize
benefits now and into the future.  I am an environmentalist and the BC Conservatives are committed to the protection and management of our environment.  Nobody in their right mind would want to destroy our province's beauty.