International News Desk – At Home: Alberta bars may be allowed to collect personal data – In Foreign News: Economic slump means Americans are staying put

International News Desk – At Home: Alberta bars may be allowed to collect personal data – In Foreign News: Economic slump means Americans are staying put

At Home: Alberta bars may be allowed to collect personal data

A proposed amendment to Alberta’s Gaming and Liquor Act could allow nightclub owners to collect names, ages, and photos of patrons. Bill 42 is designed to crack down on problem patrons and keep organized crime out of the province’s bars.

As the CBC reports, the legislation ?would also give police power to kick gangsters out of bars.?

If the bill is passed, bars and nightclubs will be given the right to collect personal information and share it with other establishments.

Clubs would be required to follow the privacy commissioner’s guidelines, but sharing the information between bar owners is expected to prevent troublesome patrons from simply moving from bar to bar and creating the same problems.

The move is a welcome one, according to one Calgary nightclub owner. Paul Vickers, who runs several bars and lounges in the city, told reporters ?The nightclub owners in all cities in Alberta really want that, and I believe it is a major deterrent to keep out organized crime and problems like this.?

Some nightclub owners were already scanning patrons? driver’s licenses in 2008, although Alberta’s privacy commissioner ordered at least one bar to halt the practice.

In Foreign News: Economic slump means Americans are staying put

Spring is usually the time when sold signs appear on lawns and moving vans are impossible to find, but Americans are staying put in record numbers. According to The New York Times, the US Census Bureau reports that the number of Americans who changed residences from March 2007 to March 2008 hit the lowest rate since 1962.

Moving rates have been falling for the past four years and the 2007 ? 2008 period saw a drop of 17.7 per cent. The American Moving and Storage Association expects the first quarter of 2009 to be even worse.

While the troubled economy may have contributed to Americans? inability to change residences (either to pursue employment or move up in the housing market), the lack of mobility itself is also cause for concern. With fewer people relocating, moving companies and related businesses are feeling the pinch.

The current overall mobility rates have set a post World War II record low, and inter-state moves fell the most, to ?half the rate recorded at the beginning of this decade.?

It isn’t only domestic moves that are down: overseas immigration to the US has fallen to its lowest rate in more than a decade. Just over 1.1 million overseas foreigners arrived during the past year, the lowest number since 1995.

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