Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Choosing each other

Immigration is like a marriage.

The potential immigrant chooses Canada and applies to become a citizen (the proposal). Canada accepts the proposal and after some time and paperwork, welcomes the new immigrant as a citizen (the wedding). There's even a ceremony where an oath is sworn. It is a covenant . . . a promise . . . a two sided promise. I, the immigrant promise to uphold the laws of the land and we, Canada promise to ensure your rights.

Divorces happen.

Covenants can be broken.

A Canadian is not a Canadian when he has broken the covenant.

That covenant is with US. All of us. It is a promise to the people, not to the government and when someone CHOOSES to renounce US, it seems entirely appropriate that we should have the right to renounce THEM.

While it might not seem fair that a homegrown terrorist can't be deported, I'm grateful that those who have opted to remain dual citizens must keep their promises or be booted.

It might seem simplistic. It is. You chose us. Then you turned on us. In whose rationale are we bound and obligated to your sorry ass?


Sunday, February 22, 2015

On the niqab

I live in Scarborough where a lot of women wear hijab*** or the niqab. Hijabs*** don't bother me. The niqab forces me to look away. It says the wearer doesn't want to meet me, has no interest in the world outside of her culture. I respect that-- their business. That might not be the message she is trying to send but it's the one I'm receiving as a Canadian raised in Toronto during the 70's.

That said, I'm in a pretty heavy twitter argument over whether Harper's response to the niqab is right. I'm actually being mistaken for a Liberal. Should a woman in our free society be allowed to cover her face during the oath of citizenship. Harper says no. I believe he's wrong.

I believe the person taking the oath is ID'd prior to the oath-taking and the choice to cover her face during the oath taking (if based on religious or cultural tradition) should be respected. Who am I to say it goes against Canadian culture? My schooling told me that our culture was whatever we said it was... well ... we said we were pluralistic, we embraced multiculturalism ... Would we say 'no' to a kilt or a sari? A turban or a kirpan? The covering of the face by some Muslim women, except in the presence of their immediate families, seems foreign or strange.... but we invited them... we said come: keep your traditions so long as they are non-violent and don't infringe on the rights of others .... and now we want to say "EXCEPT" ... except Muslim women who choose a niqab.

This is not about oppression. If you are against the niqab because it symbolizes the forced submission of women ... then be against the niqab but you can't pick and choose and say it's fine for women to be subjected to oppression every day except when they are swearing an oath of citizenship.

If it is the garb of oppression, then be like France and get rid of it altogether... don't be wishy-washy and pretend we are enlightening anyone when in fact we are just subjecting them to OUR will instead of the will of their husband or culture ... either way they are not free, so why the moral indignation?

In the end we non-Muslims will never know the dynamic within families where this is the norm, but since many of our families are also messed up in so many different ways... are we really going to get in the way of people exercising their freedoms?

The niqab is not honour killings, it isn't FGM -- it isn't any of our business. If we are going to pick and choose the cultural or religious traditions of our immigrants, it should be in matters that affect the public or their potential safety. A woman wearing a niqab is disconcerting.... to us. Maybe women walking down the street topless is disconcerting to them but by law, we can. But the niqab is not, as some on my twitter feed have suggested, equivalent to chains or KKK robes.

If I was a Canadian, born to a culture where the niqab was expected or acceptable, and I was told that in order to be allowed to swear the oath of citizenship in our free country, my mother was stripped of her choice and her dignity and forced to submit to the will of the government, I might not think this was such a free country after all. I might in fact, choose a niqab as a form of political protest. By pushing back when people test the limits of our willingness to accommodate, we risk alienating the very people we hope will learn to embrace our values of inclusiveness, acceptance, understanding, diversity. It's a lose-lose and Harper should re-think his position.

*** Edited -- originally read burqa, Was corrected by commenters. I actually meant hijab.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Toronto Pylon Service

Can someone explain why, whenever there is construction, or stop light maintenance, at least one police officer, if not two, are needed to hover around the workers, chat a little, wear the neon vest and do nothing police-like?

I see it all the time, all over the city. For over week in York Region, on Yonge just north of Steeles, every weekday morning there has been at least one, sometimes two YRP cruisers on the west side of the street, acting as pylons (although there are traffic cones available and being used) while a Bell Canada service van is parked and the worker goes about his business.

Seriously... we talk about police budgets... who pays for this? Is Bell paying for their worker to be 'protected' for now seven weekdays? The first day I saw them I thought the poor guy had been pulled over in his work van. Now |I see that these police officers have been assigned to sit in their car and.... what exactly? Insanity.

Then, just a few minutes ago at Neilson and Ellesmere, workers are adjusting the traffic lights and two cops in glowing vests are standing chatting. The lights are working. No one is directing traffic. They're all standing on a sidewalk where the electrical box is. Who's paying for their 'services'?

This is a regular occurrence on just about every road construction site. Surely there is a more cost-effective way to have done whatever 'job' the police in question are supposed to be doing. I'd have taken pictures, but in each instance I've been driving and I'm not inclined to whip out my cell phone.

I haven't been paying much attention to the mayoral race, perhaps this is an issue that has been or should be addressed.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Liberal Confusion re: Nomination Process

According to the Toronto Star and other publications, Justin Trudeau says people seeking a Liberal nomination will be subject to questioning regarding conscience issues, and if they aren't in line with party thinking, they will be excluded from running in 2015:
Trudeau says that while the Liberal party has always tried to appeal across a broad range of the political spectrum when it comes to economics, he does not believe it’s too much to ask MPs to embrace the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is, in fact, part of the screening process for new candidates.
“We check on a number of issues: how do you feel about the Charter of Rights and freedoms, how do you feel about same-sex marriage, how do you feel about pro-choice, where are you on that?” Trudeau said.
“And we make sure that the people who are stepping forward are consistent with the Liberal Party as it is now, as it stands under my leadership and under the feedback we’re getting from Canadians across the country.”
This morning I had a twitter conversation with Gerard Butts, a close policy advisor of Trudeau's, who seemed to be unaware of this fact. He stated on Twitter that it is not what a person believes that matters, it's how they will vote on the issue in Parliament.

Although Butts has been active on Twitter since I posed the question to him (twice) about whether potential nominees could declare themselves pro-choice and still be allowed to run for nomination or serve as an MP in the Liberal Party, *crickets*.

Butts' original Tweet tagged the National  Post:
The has also been told, repeatedly, that the policy applies to votes in Parliament, not personal belief, but has ignored that.
So it seems clear in his opinion, that under this new Liberal edict, that a person may follow their conscience (in their private lives) so long as they are aware they must vote along party lines if it ever comes to a vote. When asked directly if that was the case, he simply ignored the question. I guess he isn't as sure as he seemed to be.

Perhaps Gerard Butts believed the question had been asked and answered, but when his position is at odds with that of the Liberal leader, the Liberal position is about as clear as mud.

Regardless, I believe abortion is a conscience, not a rights issue and that people should not have to check their brains at the door of the House of Commons. Some people do that anyway.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blatant Self Promotion

My book is finally published on kindle and kobo. It's a fiction. It's got politics, betrayal, love, fast cars, hockey and LOADS of Canadiana . . .  If you're at all interested, here are the links:

Kobo Edition                                                                                                      Kindle Edition

Maybe now it's finished and published, I'll find more time to post . . . but I feel like I've got another book in me.


Monday, February 04, 2013

So . . . I wrote a book


Anyone out there in Blogging Toryland with experience epublishing, specifically for Kindle? Since investigating Kindle, I've learned Kobo also does the epublishing thing, and there may be other ways to go ... unfortunately, the only copy of my book was uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing shortly before my computer died and I have no idea how to pull it off the site to rework it for some other publishing format.

So.... if anyone has any tips to offer, that would be great. The book has been sitting there for a year, waiting to go, but in my typical fashion, I keep putting off clicking the *publish* button. Fear of failure? Dunno.

Thank you in advance.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Please tax banks and corporations

he OFL is brilliantly yammering for *fair* taxation.

That's gonna fix all of our problems.

Seriously. It will make Ontario the utopia it ought to be.

No.... listen . . . The rich will pay more taxes and the poor will be spared. Surely the banks won't pass their higher taxes onto us via hefty hikes in service fees and user fees .... no way corporations would be possessed to raise prices to defray the cost of their new higher taxes .... and of course, the government will lower little people taxes and everyone love each other and world peace.



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Anyone hiring? Lol

For four years, I've worked at a crappy, physically demanding, minimum wage job with no room for advancement, no prospect for more responsibility or more money . . . so, in December I applied for another job. It's a union job, government actually, same kind of thing as what I've been doing, only part-time and overnights. Not exactly what I want to be doing forever, but as with all government jobs, it would mean pay hike after six months and then get first crack at the opportunity to post out to grander things.

The day of the interview I was required to fill out an application. It said that I must put the name and contact information of my direct supervisor or my application would not be considered, but there was a box you could check that said *don't contact my present employer*.

The interview and testing went well. I know this, because a week ago Thursday, my present supervisor told me that the HR department at this government department called her to ask her opinion of me and my work. Ooops. So much for the box I checked. Anyway, my boss was none-too-pleased . . . I know this because my job is a five day/week job. During slow periods, occasionally a person will be put *on-call* meaning they needn't come in. It goes in a rotation so that no one person loses too much pay. My partner and I were on-call in December so we wouldn't be due for another off day until May or June this year. I was put on-call the Monday following my supervisor being asked to provide a reference. My partner was not. There are still other people who've yet to have an on-call day, and yet I was told it wasn't punishment. Right.

The fellow from the the government later called me and said he was having difficulty getting a hold of my other references, could I supply the phone numbers again or perhaps new references. It took me until Tuesday to provide two more references. I left their names and numbers on his voice mail. So far, these new references haven't heard from the HR guy. Neither have I, so I'm supposing I took too long, wasn't a fit ... whatever.

So, I came home from work on Thursday and was ill. I won't go into details, suffice to say, I don't call in sick often or unnecessarily, but Friday, I felt compelled to. My company doesn't have *sick days*. We lose a substantial amount of money if we miss a day, more than just a day's pay . . . we lose our driving bonus for the whole week and another allowance that is dependent on perfect attendance. Needless to say, as the sole provider in a household of six, I don't take this sort of thing lightly. My job requires that I drive up to 140 km/day and provide services in people's homes. Some of my clients are elderly and/or in frail health. Beyond my own feeling horrible and questioning how safe it would be for me to drive, I believed it unfair to go into customers' homes and possibly infect them. I suppose my boss must've figured I was going on a job interview . . . because suddenly I've been put on call this coming Monday.

I write this just to point out to those who will ask why people stay under-employed, this is why . . . sometimes it's just easier to stay where you are because trying to climb out just knocks you down. Hoping for better has now put my crappy job in jeopardy and obviously it wasn't worth it.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anyone else wonder . . .

. . . why they built all those crazy bike paths complete with traffic signals all through Toronto and presumably throughout surrounding areas?

When I first saw the paving begin in hydro fields in my area, I thought it was some stupid project started by the previous city council. Then . . . I noticed the signs *Action Plan* . . . which reads to me *government sponsored make-work project* and I realized it was the federal government . . . the supposedly CONSERVATIVE government of Canada.

I'm sure there must be some literature spelling out the great reasons for doing this . . . even if I could be bothered, I doubt there would be a good enough reason to have carved a multitude of adjoining bike paths which will likely be little-used and benefit no one.

Weird. I don't get it.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Warren Kinsella a closet conservative

It's true!

How else do you explain that the study he writes about that determined that whiny, insecure, narrow-minded, thin-skinned little kids grow up to be whiny, insecure, narrow-minded, thin-skinned, politically conservative adults. Kinsella MUST be a conservative -- he fits that description to a 'T'.

Warren manages to act all smug and self-righteous just like a true liberal . . . he even gets all giggly and tingly when he thinks he's done a *gotcha* just like liberals do. He's all bitter about his team's losses, picking at the scabs, looking for blame all over the place and all negative about any idea that doesn't emanate from his side in a way that would make any liberal proud. He mocks and ridicules those who are not in line with his world view, like any card carrying Liberal would.

Nope. It appears that study he cites must be skewed. Warren Kinsella is a liberal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Get 'em while they're young

When did kids stop being kids, and become nothing but future workers?

A new study says all children should be *entitled to early education from the age of two.*

Entitled -- all children ARE entitled to early education from the age of two. All parents are ALLOWED to place their children in Montessori nursery schools, daycares that provide more than just diaper changes and snacks . . . the choice exists already . . . so, what then, is the study suggesting?

The study says that children would benefit because their graduation levels, future earnings and health would be better. And lucky mothers would be able to enter the workforce faster, which would benefit the economy. From the Canadian Press article (title link):
The study said more children are involved in early education than ever before.

However, it noted the split between oversight and delivery still requires too many parents to piece together arrangements to cover their work schedules.

"The results are stressful for children and parents alike, but also negate the wonderful payback that comes from delivering early education in a way that simultaneously supports children's learning and their parents' work," it said.

*Simultaneously supports children's learning and their parents' work.*

What about bonding? What about family life? What about just being a kid?

This study is worrying because it's just sinister enough to spark all the enlightened lefties out there who already think the state is a better parent than parents.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

If they can't get it one way . .

The City of Toronto will get it another.

Has anyone else had this happen?

A relative received a NOTICE OF VIOLATION from the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards based on the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 548, Littering & Dumping of refuse.

Here is the response from my relative:

On April 18, 2011 we received a notice from the city saying that *the owner of land failed to clean and clear refuse that has been thrown, placed, dumped or deposited, including, but not limited to; All household waste, trash brush, boxes, furniture and any other item or thing that appears to have been discarded or abandoned.*

The letter said that if we did not comply, we would be charged $94 dollars per hour for the removal of the *waste* ... which, although we have no way of knowing for sure because of the non-specific nature of the letter, all we could assume it meant the tree limbs in our back yard which had been cut down in the fall, but which, because of the weather, had not been cut into smaller segments and taken to the curb. There was also an old freezer in our side yard. On the date of the letter it had been there just over a week and we were simply waiting for garbage day to put it out.

It took my daughter and son-in law about an hour to cut and bundle the branches and take them to the curb. The freezer went to the curb on our regular garbage day. This was all completed within the allotted time-frame of six days.

Then in June, inspector ___________ came to the door. She seemed to have no issues with the state of our home. She left without giving us notice of a fine or fee of any sort.

Now, here it is November, and on the 3rd we received an Inspection Fee Invoice of ...get this ... $94 + HST for a total of $106.22 for an inspection of our property by the city on June 6th.

I am a pensioner who asked a family member to help to rectify a situation that was going to cost me $94 if was not cleared up . . . and now you're charging me $94 + tax for a young woman in shorts and flip-flops to come to my door and have a five minute look around and find nothing wrong because I complied with the city's order.

Frankly, we don't even know for sure that anyone from the city came around in April to see the offending trees limbs in the first place. We believe our backyard neighbours, who put their house on the market in May, called the city to complain in order to ensure the view from their yard would be favourable for a sale --- You are not charging us for having inspected in April and no one from the city came to the door in April, and the *waste* in question was in a high wooden fenced yard behind the house. Because of this, we believe that that the city took the complaint at face value without an inspection. That would mean that if the complaint was an illegitimate nuisance complaint by a spiteful neighbour, we would have been charged for the June 6th compliance inspection anyway.

Either way, being charged in inspection fee in the exact same amount as the city would have charged to clear up the limbs and move the freezer, is excessive, unfair and absurd.

My son in-law telephoned your office on November 6, the day we received this notice. We were told that someone from the city would call us back about this matter the following day. To date, we have not received a call.

I am angry, frustrated and do not believe that this fee is justifiable, especially considering the so-called *inspection* took less time than it's taken to type this email and the inspector found that if there had been an issue, it was resolved. The city was unable to collect a fine, so now they are imposing a fee. This is wrong. How many people have you done this to? How many people have felt compelled to pay the inspection fee without question its validity?

I would appreciate an immediate response as I have waited in vain for two weeks for a reply to my son in-law's call. Your invoice indicates that if I fail to pay this in full by December 2, I will be charged 1.25 percent interest each thirty days and after 90 days, the amount will be transferred to my property tax bill and a further $50 will be added to the bill.

Does this practise by the city seem fair and reasonable? Just wondering.


Negative 3rd party ads didn't buy an election

In today's Toronto Sun, John Snobelen writes:
But the Working Families ads go beyond the normal limits. The nasty (why are teacher unions, of all people, always so nasty?) ads we all endured during this election were not intended to make a point or raise a policy. They were designed to kneecap Hudak. The unions did the heavy lifting for the Liberals during the campaign.
I'll say it one more time. Hudak's campaign managers *kneecapped* Hudak.

Blame unions, 3rd party spending, blame all you want. Hudak deserved to lose that election because he never said what he would do differently or how he would do it. If people are going to vote for *change* they want to see plans, not platitudes. We didn't get that. We got vitriolic ads from the PC campaign, we got promises to keep some of the most contentious, expensive, stupid Liberal programs (all day kindergarten) and not much else.

I'd love to say the union ads pushed Hudak over the edge because I think their form of propoganda is wrong . . . but Hudak crashed and burned all on his own. If the ads had been effective at all, I think we'd have seen a Liberal majority.

So long as conservatives look outside their ranks for people and things to blame for this major disappointment, they will never find a positive way to move forward . . . the best defence is not always a good offence . . . sometimes, it's just having a plan and executing it. The PC Party had a plan, or so they said. They failed to execute. Their fault. Now . . . pick up what's left and move on.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sanity prevails

When the verdict came down, I couldn't believe it--- Melissa Lewis carried a knife in her purse as she rode in the back seat of the car her victim was driving --- and she stabbed him to death.

The woman brought a knife in her purse. Who carries a knife in their purse? And who, while sitting in the back seat of a car, feels so threatened by the person driving, that they reach into their purse, grab the knife they just happened to bring along, and thrust the knife into the driver's neck?

How on earth could she have believed she was in imminent danger, even if her victim, the driver of the car, WAS reaching for a gun? How does a jury acquit that person of murder and say that the killing was *justifiable*.

If you feel that threatened by a person, maybe your shouldn't be in a car with them ... instead Melissa Lewis figured she'd just bring along a knife and get rid of the threat forever. If she'd been a man, I don't think she'd have been acquitted no matter HOW threatening the victim might have been in the past or seemed at the time.

Justice should be the same regardless of gender. Thankfully, the Crown is appealing.