Journalist (specializing in technology, business and entertainment). Politics and media junkie. Music scout. Storyteller. Read more at the bio page linked in the menu below.
Also, don't forget to visit my profiles at various social media websites. Add me, follow me, e-mail me (email@example.com). I love the interaction. The full list of social media profiles is available below at Links.
It’s been a little while since I have posted recent radio stories of mine. Here’s a few more since I last updated this blog:
October is National Pizza Month! Pizza just happens to be my favourite food, so of course I did a fun radio story about it.
I also spoke with Pizza Pizza about its Slices for Smiles campaign, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Great cause.
Give it a listen:
European trade agreement removes tariffs, raises concerns
(Oct. 18, 2013 for Humber News)
Canada and Europe announced plans Friday for the largest trade agreement in Canadian history, according to the federal government.
The Canadian Government and European Union have announced the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in a joint-news conference.
“In scope, this agreement is by far the most ambitious trade partnership that Canada has ever negotiated,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at the conference in Brussels. “Not just goods, but also services, labour mobility, investment, procurement (including subnational procurement) and many regulatory matters.”
The free trade agreement means Canadian businesses will have access to a half-billion new customers, said Harper.
Both Harper and European Commission president Jose Manual Barroso signed a tentative deal in Brussels shortly before their official announcement.
But the provisions of the trade deal have not been made public yet. Harper remained vague in his talking points during his speech.
“When this agreement is enforced, businesses that provide technical services in fields such as engineering, construction, architecture and many others will have unprecedented access to the European market,” Harper said.
“Equally important, Canadian families will have greater access to European goods at a lower cost as 98 per cent of tariffs, both ways, will be removed immediately upon implementation of this agreement.”
Dairy a major concern for Canadian producers
Not everyone is excited about the new free trade agreement with Europe.
Specifically, cheese manufacturers said they are concerned Canada would lose its small, artisan and local cheese makers.
“This deal would displace our local products with subsidized cheeses from EU and risk our small businesses being shut down or put out of business,” said the Dairy Farmers of Canada in a written statement.
“It would take income from Canadian dairy farmers and their communities and give it to the European industry.”
But the federal government said any loss revenue for Canadian cheese producers will be minimal and temporary. Harper said this specific sector “will be the subject of compensation by the Canadian government.”
Strain on Canada’s water supply
The new free trade agreement is going to further hurt Canada’s water supply, which is already strained by multiple agriculture sectors, according to the Council of Canadians.
“To protect our precious watersheds, what we need is more sustainable and local food production, not massive new trade deals that will strain our water sources beyond their capacity,” said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, in a statement.
“Beef producers can now export close to 70,000 tonnes of beef to Europe and an undisclosed but higher amount of pork. Meat production is highly water intensive. It takes over 15 million litres of water to produce one tonne of beef.”
Part of our heritage
The federal government’s selling point for the agreement is that trading is a major foundation for Canada and part of our heritage.
“We’ve always been a trading nation, from Aboriginal times to the days of French and British traders who first laid the foundations of our modern economy,” Harper said.
“Today, one in five jobs in Canada is tied to trade. Our trade is equivalent to 60 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.”
The federal government has also posted their own list of CETA benefits.
The final deal will now begin a legal review process, the federal government said. The deal is also pending the support of Canadian provinces and European countries.
Both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have publicly said that they will not comment on the CETA until the full text has been released.
Though I have been busy with various text articles in both print and online publications, I thought I would share a few audio stories I have done recently for radio. A little newsy meets a little fun:
More to come, in the not too distant future…
Much has changed for the independent musician in the last fifteen years. The cost to create a professional sounding record has dropped dramatically, meanwhile the advent of the internet and social media has snowballed into a marketing platform with easy distribution and funding methods. The formula for success has shifted from whom you know and what your record label decides to do with you to what you know and how you act upon it.
Thom Daugherty, who has been in the musical spotlight for well over a decade, says an independent musician can now have a final product that is produced, recorded, mixed, mastered and sound competitive with major label releases for a little less than $30,000.
“That is really exciting to me,” says Daugherty. “To know that an artist can invest $30,000 into the making of their album and they only need to sell roughly 3,000 copies before they are in the black on their investment.”
Daugherty first joined the Brit-meets-blues rock band The Elms in 2001 shortly after they signed with EMI/Sparrow Records. With multiple albums and years of touring, The Elms moved to Universal Records South before releasing an independent album where they had more creative control. When The Elms disbanded in 2010, Daugherty became the touring guitarist for popular country music group The Band Perry for two years.
Daugherty has experienced firsthand the many changes that have taken place in the music scene, especially in the recording process. “Instead of needing a budget of $500,000 to record an album — guaranteeing you need a label to bankroll the project — you can now record your own album for about $5,000 in your own basement,” Daugherty says. “It might not sound the greatest, but it is a great starting point.”
Back in 2005, I was forced to take “JoshMcConnell.net” since someone else had the coveted “.com” domain. I was bummed, but moved on. The good news, however, is that I was finally able to take over JoshMcConnell.com in November 2010 and now I’m finally putting it to use.
Despite using Tumblr off and on since its creation in 2007, I have decided to use it as the foundation for my new online home. A site is only as good as its number of users and now the users are actually flocking over to Tumblr. So it only makes sense to give it the spotlight. It may not be as robust as I would like, but thankfully I can still do some HTML tweaking to the layout. Besides, this is only a temporary home until post-grad is finished when I can create a more elaborate website.
Until then, JoshMcConnell.com is mainly a hub to all of my social media profiles as well as a place to occasionally share some of my thoughts. Hope you dig it.