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Dan Belhassen - Can Elections Canada Enforce the No-Transmission Law Any Longer?

Changing technology means everything changes – including the impact of legislation on communication.

We’re going to see a great example of this during the coming election on May 2nd. Searching Twitter for the prominent hashtag #elxn2011, you’ll find a mix of debate coverage, campaigning, and a growing dispute over whether or not Canadians should be talking about election results in tweets and Facebook status updates – especially before the polls are closed on the day of the election.

Under the Elections Act, transmitting the results of poling in one electoral district, to any person in another district which has not yet closed, is illegal. This particular provision – Section 329 – was intended to keep voters from being influenced, during a time when newspaper and radio were the dominant means of information transmission across time zones.

Does this law still make sense in the age of social media? Even if spreading the word about a local political win on Twitter or Facebook breaks the letter of the law, the broad adoption of social media might make the enforcement of that law impractical.

I was honoured to be called on by CTV for their coverage of this issue – the changing landscape of communications affects everyone in our country, from students to businesses.

No matter how you believe social media should interact with the electoral process – on May 2nd, get out and vote.

One week from today, the Manitoba Quality Network kicks off its Excellence Conference with an opening keynote from Canada’s leading social media visionary Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image.

I've been hooked on Mitch's work since Susan introduced me to his blog years ago. Through his blog and podcast, and most recently his book, Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch delivers his great experience and wisdom in a practical, inviting way, encouraging businesses and individuals to move themselves forward alongside the changing media landscape. To say we’re excited to be sponsoring the event – and covering the entire conference with the Modern Earth Tweet Team – would be an understatement!

The Excellence Conference will feature more than 20 speakers from a broad range of industries, organized in four streams; Leadership, Quality, Wellness, and Board Governance.

Two plenary sessions are also scheduled; a mid-day panel on Exploring Social Media Practices - our own Dan Belhassen will be one of the panelists - will be hosted by CTV’s Gord Leclerc. The closing plenary will be delivered by author Dr Dan Rosin at day’s end, focusing on how to maintain balance in our lives while adopting new system s and tools.

Learn more about Mitch Joel on the Twist Image website.

Register for the Excellence Conference on the QNet website.

Be sure to follow #qnet2011 on Twitter from 8am through 5pm May 4th to catch the action and join the conversation!


I had the opportunity last week to attend the BCHRMA conference in lovely Vancouver British Columbia. I had a great time, introducing the “left coast’ to the features and benefits of the SmarterU elearning system, www.smarteru.com and was able to participate in the Speaker’s Corner” component of the conference – giving a 20 minute presentation on the benefits that online training can bring to the HR industry.

One of the other speakers was Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian venture capitalist and co-host of Dragon’s Den on CBC. It was quite interesting to hear him expand on some of his ideas and philosophies like “greed is good” and “all that matters is money.”

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in BC, and look forward to reconnecting to some of the business contacts I made there – thanks to the BCHRMA for their great Pacific hospitality.



Last Sunday and Monday, I was exhibiting and promoting SmarterU at the Canadian Franchise Association show in Niagara Falls.  Around 500 delegates from Canadian franchise systems were in attendance – the largest ever CFA show in fact.

The show was, in a word – excellent.  I had the opportunity to speak to many large franchisors.They all really liked what SmarterU offers – many commented on the value of its “simplicity”.  

We've seen a lot of interest from the franchise world in SmarterU's online learning solutions because it's so easy to set up and use - keeping a wide range of employees in diverse locations up to date on the latest products and services is essential to a franchise's success - and SmarterU helps them do just that!


Tags SmarterU 

I had a great time at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce After-Business Mixer last night. It was held at 4Play Sports Bar on Portage, so had a very casual high energy feel to it – very lively with a great mix of new and familiar faces. We had a draw box where people could enter to win a free Social Media consulting package – a $299 value – and the lucky winner was Manny Santos of West Alexander Technologies.

Social media is the hot topic these days, and more and more businesses are integrating it into their marketing mix. We can help. If your business needs some coaching on how to best use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to build your business connections, call us & book one of our Social Media Consulting sessions. We can focus on one platform, like “just Facebook” or do a comprehensive strategy plan with you that also includes blogging for business. Let us know what you need!

Modern Earth tries to get out to all the Winnipeg Chamber events; being active in the Chamber gives us a chance to meet so many other Winnipeg businesses to learn what they do, and how we can help. Hope to see you at the next Chapter Lunch or after business mixer.