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Posts Tagged ‘commentary’

COVID-19 Canada: Promises of Money and The Path Takes Before You Get It

In Canadian politics, COVID-19, Epidemic on March 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm

From Justin Trudeau’s Announcement to Actual People’s Bank Accounts in Canada

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Here’s the lowdown, with linked sources and the simplest explanation possible.

Since the coronavirus began to take hold in Canada, the government has been meeting and trying very hard to sort out a plan for slowing the spread of the virus.

Just as Italy’s numbers began to skyrocket, Sophie Trudeau tested positive for the virus. As recommended by health officials, she, her husband Justin and their children went into self-isolation at home.

Sophie’s husband Justin Trudeau, is the Prime Minister of Canada and affectionately known as JT. He went to work from home along with many other Canadians. During this time, he held almost daily pressers from his front porch. We have all seen him out there regularly addressing Canadians through the media. He’s been saying a lot of stuff about the virus and social distancing. As things started to escalate, he spoke of travel restrictions and urged Canadians to return home and self-isolate. He offered them money they could access through email if they found themselves stranded away from home. He eventually, closed the Candian borders including the border between the U.S. and Canada.

These pressers were peppered with money announcements and government jargon and a special thank you to the children of Canada for trusting in science and helping their parents work from home.  All very nice.

JT announced a huge economic aid package for businesses and individuals over several days in the past couple of weeks. It included billions in federal guarantees on loans through the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) with a specific 50 billion earmarked for small and medium-sized businesses.

With that announcement, the Government had hoped to encourage as many companies to keep employees on the payroll and allow them to work from home or wait until work can begin after the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.

People were laid off anyway.  No one has received any of this promised money yet.

Then they announced a plan to get money to Canadians through the Employment Insurance system. Anyone with enough hours to qualify should simply apply and those who have been working but do not qualify would be able to get E.I anyway.

500,000 Canadians applied for E.I. in the first week and the system is now overloaded. Money that Canadians can use is still delayed.

The Government spoke directly with banks regarding mortgages and then announced that they had negotiated with the 6 big banks in Canada and got them to agree to mortgage deferrals up to 6 months for homeowners.  The idea being, that if homeowners didn’t have to make the mortgage payments, they wouldn’t need to get rent from tenants until the crisis was over.

Of course, banks fucked it by tying in very unfavourable conditions. Homeowners quickly discovered that the banks would only defer the principal amounts, everyone would still need to pay the interest portion and then at the end of the deferral period, would be required to make larger payments. Very few takers on that one.

The Government of Canada is trying to get money to Canadians before April 1. They tried to pass a bill yesterday that would have given new temporary powers to the government to make decisions during the COVID-19 Crisis.  On March 24, it did not pass unanimously as needed. Some MPs claimed the Liberals were trying to take advantage of the crisis.

There are 3 main takeaways from that bill.

  1. The Government would have been able to make quick spending decisions.
  2. The Government could make very quick decisions on borrowing
  3. The Government could make quick decisions on taxes.

It would have allowed them to bypass parliamentary procedures for certain decisions. Questions would be put to committee instead of 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings all with debates and a vote to send it up to be put on the Senate agenda. Depending on what it is and how it goes, that process can take weeks, months or years start to finish. The new powers were to remain in place until March 2021.

The government MPs stayed all night to debate the new bill again and did come to an agreement first thing in the morning.

Under the new version of the agreement, the government’s emergency powers will remain in place until September 2020 instead of March 2021.

Here’s what it looks like for Canadians:

  1. $2000/month for Canadians who are off work, due to the COVID-19.
  2. A temporary boost to Canada Child Benefits.
  3. Up to $900 biweekly for workers who don’t qualify for E.I., or are self-employed. Through the CRA.
  4. A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.
  5. Double resources for the homeless.
  6. Tax filing extension to June 1 and deferred tax payments.
  7. $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.

As soon as the bill passed the House this morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau spoke to a Senate Committee of the Whole.

The way this is went down is a perfect example of why the government needs this bill so badly during this time of unprecedented crisis. Remember, this is as fast as it can possibly happen. I listened to the broadcast so you don’t have to.

Morneau presents the bill and speaks to it and says individuals need money in the next hours to buy groceries etc.

Here are some highlights of this morning’s questions from senators.

Senator: Will the Government of Canada pressure airlines to give refunds for travel because many had trips planned and then had to cancel them. He went on at length about airline websites and the drop-down menu of options such as ‘cancel my trip’, ‘travel at a later date’ and because it was easier, many chose ‘travel at a later date’. Those people received an airline travel voucher instead of money. Wouldn’t it be better for the Canadian Government to speak to those airlines and convince them to turn those travel vouchers into a refund and put the money back onto people’s cards?

Morneau didn’t really answer that one, because truly how would he and it’s a pretty stupid question. It sounded like this guy had a trip planned and had to take a travel voucher. No one feels sorry for you.

Senator: Canadian banks are wealthy and healthy. Blah, blah blah blah Canadian banks are great.

No real answer to that either. Like, OK, buddy. That’s great. Thanks.

Senator: Will the government of Canada provide money to the oil and gas sector? Why did the Government choose to use the Employment Insurance system because it is the worst approach because so many Canadians are not on the registry and now the system is overloaded? Why didn’t we subsidize wages instead?

Morneau had already said this bill is to subsidize small and medium-sized businesses. The government is not worried as much about big companies who have existing relationships and available credit with their banks.

Senator: Why doesn’t the government want to fund thousands of companies to keep people on the payroll as opposed to funding millions of Canadians? It would be so much easier. Then the employer/employee relationships could be maintained.

Morneau disagrees. Says the government wants to send money directly to Canadians – no need to break employer/employee relationship. His government wants to offer benefits directly to people. He goes on to say it is ‘important for people to receive direct benefits’.

Senator: I’ve been speaking to accountants and they have been issuing work cessation statements. That breaks the relationship due to layoffs.

Morneau answers him saying we changed our approach if employees find themselves with no income, they have access and it is not necessary to be laid off.

Senator Pate asks what steps will the government take to ensure a Guaranteed                     Livable Anual Income.

Morneau responds that there are lots of gaps, that’s why this bill is to address that and make sure we get money to people who are impacted by this crisis.  Guaranteed Annual Income is a separate issue that needs debate. Says he is talking about ‘right now.’ There is no time because Canadians need money for food and rent in the short term. April 1 is around the corner. We need to deal with it right now, not be dragged into a debate about Guaranteed Annual Income. It will have to wait until later. Right now, we are seeking extensive powers because of where we’re at.

Senator: Has the gov’t considered using CRA system to direct deposit into people’s bank accounts?

Morneau: We are trying to use CRA system and others to direct deposit. 70% of Canadians have direct deposit already, but some people will still need cheques. We are trying to get things done that are urgent while people are being asked to stay home.

After a mere 2 hours of questions, the bill passed the Senate. That was only possible because the Senate suspended all other business to deal with the COVID-19 bailout bill. It now awaits Royal Assent.

Royal Assent has been given. All systems go.

 

 

 

 

India Keeps COVID-19 Numbers Low

In COVID-19, Epidemic, Flatten The Curve, Social Distancing, Uncategorized, World Health on March 22, 2020 at 12:22 pm

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India continues to report only a small number of COVID-19 cases. Interesting because the population of India is over 1.3 billion. Has anyone ever seen a picture from anywhere in India that didn’t show huge crowds of people? Their population alone dictates that their numbers should be a lot higher.

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Would you be shocked to learn India is performing fewer COVID-19 tests than any other country in Asia, if not the entire world?

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India’s policy has been only to test travellers who have visited COVID-19 affected countries. If a patient is ill with coronavirus symptoms, as long as they hadn’t been outside the country in the previous few weeks, it is still only considered a “suspect case”.  Even in cases where a patient is on a ventilator,  and on their deathbed, they are not isolated and there are no special protocols.  Doctors are losing it.

People who have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not presented symptoms are having their hands stamped with a government seal indicating that they are under quarantine. Personally, I don’t think it’s really doing anything other than freaking people out.

India’s attitude seems to be No Test = No Covid-19.

The Government of India website does have information on how to slow the spread of the virus, but it’s all quite odd.

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Then there is also this video with a cheerful little theme song, put out on youtube by the Government of India.

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Even with the Government of India posting such sobering  <insert eyeroll here> information online, citizens at large are responding to the outbreak in a variety of ways.  On one hand, you still have people sharing non-sensical cures and preventions like garlic water or hosting cow urine drinking events.

Thank whatever God you want for a team of PHD Students out of India who have been using actual science to look for solutions. They created a brand new and less invasive test for the COVID-19 virus, that is better, cheaper and faster than the current one.

On Thursday, March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a curfew starting at 7 am Sunday, March 22. Problem; it ends at 9 pm the same day.

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Delhi, has a slightly longer curfew that will start Monday, March 23 and last until March 31.

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Even so, the Government is handing out meals to large groups of people. So much for social distancing.

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While some areas have been locked down, others have not. The lockdowns are only in place for one week. The Indian Government has cancelled all visas. Existing visas have all been suspended. Yet, according to a Union Home Ministry notification, those visas have been extended. That mixed message has led to foreigners being kicked out of their accommodations and unable to leave the country.

Simultaneously, India is welcoming planeloads of ex-pats back into the country from places like Italy.

Some, (I would guess many)  in India are hoping that Modi’s Janata Curfew is just a trial run for a national lockdown to at least try and slow the spread the COVID-19 a little bit. Like something. Please.

As the rest of the world reacts to COVID-19 and the number of cases climbs day after day, many countries have closed borders and imposed various self-quarantine and social distancing rules. Everyone is looking hopefully at China since they made the claim that they have defeated COVID-19 after laying the hammer down.

Then we all shift our gaze to Italy and Spain allowing us a glimpse into our own futures. India should peer into that same crystal ball.

 

UPDATE March 24, 2020

India has announced a sudden and total lockdown of the entire country. President Modi said in a press conference today “If we are not able to manage this pandemic in the next 21 days, the country and your family will be setback by 21 years”.  Only the very essential businesses will remain open and interstate transit is suspended.

 

 

 

Say it Don’t Spray it

In COVID-19, Epidemic, Flatten The Curve, Social Distancing on March 21, 2020 at 4:45 pm

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A handy guide for social distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic so you can avoid getting it or giving it to others.

We all need to do our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. If you don’t believe that yet, please click this link. If you are already convinced, then read on to learn all the ways this virus is spread so you can be careful and do your best to avoid getting it.

The predictions are dire for all of us. Scientists are saying they expect 60% of the world’s population will contract COVID-19 and at least 45 million people will die

Hospitals do not have room to treat 60% of the population at the same time. If the numbers keep increasing at the rate they are now, the death toll will be much, much higher in just a few short weeks. We all need to do our best to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Covid-19 is super contagious. The list of ways it can spread is ever-growing. Scientists all over the world are working on this. Countless doctors and nurses around the world treating patients with COVID-19 in hospitals everywhere. New information is hitting the internet at an unprecedented rate. I’ve gathered what we know so far to save weeks of catching up for you.

This is how it spreads:

Coughing – someone who has the virus coughs and an invisible droplet of their saliva lands on you, or lands on something that you touch. Like your clothes, a doorknob, an Interac pin pad, a can of soup, a pole on the subway or bus or streetcar, a toy, anything.

Sneezing – someone who has the virus sneezes and an invisible droplet of their saliva lands on you, or lands on something that you touch. Like your car door handle, an elevator button, a door, a piece of paper, a shopping cart, literally anything.

Touching other people – Stay 6 feet away from each other. Touching doesn’t always mean reaching out with your hand and poking someone with your finger. Maybe you brushed past some asshole on the street who wouldn’t move to one side because he thinks he’s more important than you and you shouldn’t be using what he considers to be his personal sidewalk. Maybe, that guy has the virus and doesn’t even know it because he’s one of the lucky ones with no symptoms.

Touching a surface that someone with the virus has touched before you got there. Although, there is new evidence that the virus can be tucked inside a single live skin cell that falls off of someone who walks by and that virus can stay active for days.

Strands of hair that get left behind. Let’s pretend you didn’t cancel that hair appointment. At the salon, there is generally lots of hair on the floor from previous clients. Yes, it all gets swept up over and over again, but it’s there. You see it. COVID-19 can live on a strand of hair and the person who touches that hair is at risk of catching the virus. Yep. It might be you as a client, but more likely, it will be you or someone like you who passes the virus to your hairdresser.

Breathing. Yes, some scientists are saying they have seen evidence that COVID-19 is airborne and can stay in the air for up to 3 hours.

download-1     Not many of us walk around with a microscope in our purse to check every surface before we lean on it or touch it. So to be on the safe side, practise social distancing.

Stand six feet or 2 meters away from the person nearest you in line, on the bus, at the mall, at the food court. Maybe just wait for the next elevator.

Don’t touch anything! Super hard to do. that would mean you couldn’t open the door or press the elevator button or anything. Wash your hands as soon as you can. Wash them with soap and for a good 20 seconds or so. Sing a song if you must.

Don’t let anything or anyone touch you when you are out of your home. It’s another tough one. Guaranteed some jerk will brush past you on the sidewalk. change your clothes and wash, wash, wash.

Wipe things down whenever you can. If you have a pack of disinfectant wipes, then use them. Wipe your doorknob, your doorbell, your car door handles, anything you think needs it. Wipe off the things you pick up at the store too.

Don’t visit your friends. Don’t visit your family. No playdates, no dating, no coffee klatch’s, no book club, no kickboxing class, nothing. You don’t have to cut them off entirely. Call them, text them, facetime, whatever. Just not in person.

You could be one of those who have the COVID-19, don’t realize it and are infecting other people. If you are lucky and get the virus and don’t get sick, as you walk around and touch things, you shed tiny skin cells, maybe a strand of hair or you sneeze. Whatever you do, you are leaving invisible DNA molecules behind on bus seats, doorknobs, shopping bags, a package you pick up at a store and then put back, a glass your drink came in, anything.

Scientists tell us that live virus cells are in these invisible, tiny DNA bits everywhere and that the virus somehow manages to stay alive up to 6 days to infect the next unsuspecting person who comes along after you. That unsuspecting person may just be the one who gets the full wrath of this virus/immune response lottery.

What are the symptoms? Fever, a dry cough and difficulty breathing are the big ones that health authorities are looking for. There are less serious symptoms like headache and sore throat, but so far those people are not being given tests.

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Wave Bye Bye To The Nice People

In Canadian politics on March 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

We’ve all heard the news. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has fallen.

5 years of absolute bullshit….

Contempt of Parliament. Historical and shocking. (maybe he’ll go to jail and he can play piano there…)

Vote of non confidence and they’re out.

It’s about time. and I LOVE that Fox News refered to Conservative MPs as “Harper’s underlings. Astounding.

Let’s go to the polls fuckers. Game on.

No Virginia -part deux

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers on November 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

One of the more public disasters that occurred was an all candidates forum hosted by an NDP affiliated group called the Point Douglas Residents Committee.

First, let’s give you, the reader, a bit of background on this group. They have received some media attention over the past couple of years for their valiant attempts to wrest their neighbourhood from the grip of local criminal gangs. Including a very nice visit from the Governor General.

Point Douglas is known as one of the more neglected areas of Winnipeg. As such, lots of poverty and heartache up and down every street. I remember when I drove a school bus for Winnipeg 1, we had to bus all the kids to school regardless of the short walk due to all the available dangers.

In an effort to capitalize on the neverending drama of such a high crime neighbourhood, the NDP parachuted in agent provocateur, Sel Burrows. He started the Point Douglas Residents Committee and used it to set up a volunteer run anti-crime thingy called “Powerline”. The idea is that if you see a crime, or have a suspicious neighbour, you call one of the volunteers from the Powerline. Then that person calls the next person and so on and so forth until someone finally calls Sel Burrows. Then he makes a few calls of his own and eventually, the suspicious neighbour is evicted from their home and Point Douglas is saved.

We figured it would probably make sense for Jenny to at least meet this Sel Burrows. So she hopped in her shiny new Cadillac and went to pick Sel up at his house in Point Douglas. Sel, sporting a black eye (no doubt a result of some heroic Powerline activities) recommended a local restaurant and that’s where they went. As soon as they walked in, the owners smiled and said, “Jenny!”. During this coffee date, Sel told Jenny that he grew up in the affluent River Heights area and became heavily involved with the NDP during his University days and has been some kind of NDP operative ever since. Jenny told him that while it was very noble of him to be slumming in the Point, he should keep in mind that she had spent a good chunk of her childhood there and that she was not slumming because it was her hood. Anyway, at the end, Sel said “you’ll get no trouble from me”. And we didn’t.

By the time the civic election rolled around, the PDRC had an internal mutiny and Sel stepped down for whatever reason. As a result, the PDRC was under the control of several locals who all refer to themselves as chairs, co-chairs or directors of this organization. Messy.

In the summertime on one of the multitude of doorknocking adventures, Jenny happened to meet a woman Roanna Hepburn, who also claimed to be the chair of the PDRC. That day, Roanna was very friendly and said that she was so impressed with Jenny that she would do whatever it took to get her elected. Wow! Thanks! That’s so sweet!

After Jenny made her debut on live radio with Marty Gold, we ran into Roanna again at the Park Dedication ceremony at Norquay Community Centre. Roanna asked her about the comment Jenny had made on Marty’s show about Sam Katz winning her vote by default. Jenny and Roanna talked about this and shortly after, we received a written quote from Rowena to use along with a picture of the two of them together for our pink brochure. This doesn’t matter yet, but it will become important later on. (trust me)

The day that we sent the brochure to press, we received a panic phone call from Roanna. She apologized up and down, but said she was too scared to publicly endorse Jenny due the the NDP affiliation of her group, the PDRC. We assured her that we understood perfectly and stopped the presses. No hard feelings.

Back to our story.

Over the course of the summer of 2010, there were many rumours swirling around that the PDRC was planning a public debate of some kind. At one point a message was left at our office from someone named Chris at the PDRC. We mistakenly thought that it was a man named Chris DeSouza, who had been in to our office before and had told us that he had at one time been part of the PDRC. At any rate, I returned the call, but got a machine and left a message. I called back several times, but never did connect with anyone at that office, so around mid-September, we emailed them a request for an invitation to their event. When no one got back to us, we dropped it and made no further plans to attend.

Until…

On September 27th, there was an ad in the Winnipeg Free Press and we had gotten word that the event was to be some kind of staged attack on Jenny’s background and credibility. So quite naturally, we fired off an email to them expressing how insulted we were at not being invited to their so-called “All Candidate’s Forum”. (which I cc’d to all the press) Someone named Chris Mc Carville, director of the PDRC, then hit “reply all” and sent us back a nasty, all caps response assuring us and the media that they would inform the voters of Mynarski “exactly” why Jenny was “too scared” to be there.

We went and so did all the press.

A kind of hush fell over the room when we entered. Awkward.

Having not received an invitation to participate, Jenny sat in the audience with the team. Roanna came over and insisted that Jenny take a place at the head table next to Ross Eadie.

Since there were not enough microphones, everyone had to share. So when it was Ross’s turn, Jenny tried to assist him with showing him where the mic was. He is blind after all and Jenny is very nice. Ross pushed it away, and said he didn’t need it. Then he stood up and rather yelled instead. Much classier.

Ross carried on in this manner throughout the event, waving his arms about and spitting as he yelled passionately about voting for “JUDY WASYLYCIA_LEIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
and what have you. Even while he was quietly waiting to speak, Ross’s legs were going a mile a minute. Very fidgetey. He reminded me of “Crazy Legs” from SCTV.

Poor Jenny kept moving her chair further and further away from him so as not to get hit by Ross. All in all, this was a pretty hostile environment if you had to be Jenny. Luckily, the PDRC turned out to be a bunch of sissies and chickened out of discrediting or attacking for the most part.

Ms. Martin came over and introduced herself to me and my sister during this break. She said that she had just been assigned by her boss, Bartley Kives, to cover Mynarski Ward that very day and was not familiar with all the details and wondered if we would be free to meet with her in the next few days. Of course we agreed.

It got pretty boring, so most of the reporters went home at the intermission, leaving Melissa Martin of the Winnipeg Free Press as the lone reporter covering the second half of the forum. For awhile, it was so boring, that Jenny focused her efforts on trying to catch a tiny fly that kept buzzing around.

Eventually, it got exciting again. Ross Eadie, felt that it would be smart to stand up and interrupt another candidate very loudly. At that point, the moderator made several attempts to get Mr. Eadie to stop ‘talking’ and sit down. Mr.Eadie carried on at the top of his lungs about how difficult it was to find donors to mount his campaign and that he was receiving financial support from the NDP. At that point the moderator, mild mannered Rob Galston stormed out of the room. It was all too much.

I can tell you that I was not the only audience member who was both shocked and stunned. According to the election rules for the City of Winnipeg, receiving financial support from a political party is totally illegal. A public statement like that would surely spark an investigation with a lot of bad press and spell the demise of the Ross Eadie for Council campaign.

We raced home to tell the husbands all about our adventures and have a couple victory drinks. Cheers.

No Virginia; There Is No Santa Claus – part 1

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers, Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

As most of you already know, I was recently involved in running my sister Jenny’s campaign for public office. More specifically, for City Councillor of Mynarski Ward here in Winnipeg. For the most part it was a lot of fun. We were generously supported by so many people. We met local voters with interesting stories and we tried to be helpful whenever we could. We built a small but powerful team of volunteers and we can never do enough to thank them.

However, one or two things that happened may have changed my view of the Canadian political arena for good. For starters, I had been warned by Conservatives about something called “THE NDP MACHINE”. Oooh. Scary! They told us scandalous stories of their cheatey tactics and unscrupulous behaviour, but I took no heed. Everyone knows Conservatives are all liars anyway. I would never listen to what they had to say. So there.

My opinion of the NDP (up until now) had been based in part, on the epic story of Mr. Tommy Douglas and the good T.V news reputation of one Ed Broadbent. Besides, I have met some NDPers personally, and they were very nice to me. Polite and everything. Who in their right mind could accuse the sweet boyscout like NDP of anything other than being the good guys? Yeah sure, they are sometimes badly dressed and rarely seem to get decent haircuts, but some kind of evil “MACHINE”? Well, I guess there was that Svend Robinson incident. You know, the shoplifting. But, come on! That’s hardly a “MACHINE”. It’s only one guy!

This “NDP MACHINE” they speak of, perhaps it is not the actual “people”, but a mind control device operated by some nefarious super-villian who has infiltrated their ranks? Maybe. Seems likely. The Anti-Douglas?

Throughout the campaign we heard from voters who had felt they had been affected by the “NDP MACHINE” and voters who were being pressured by their unions to vote for the NDP. We met countless new immigrants who told us (some with tears in their eyes) that they had been forced to allow an NDP sign in their yard or there would be “trouble” from the government. (What? What kind of trouble?) Surely, this is pure speculation.

I know, that as a former union member myself, I received a few calls from unions and the Labour Council instructing me who to vote for, but who listens to what their union has to say in these modern times? Anyone?

One lady, who happens to be disabled, called us crying after a brick came flying through her living room window. Well, that is pretty mean. That could definitely be the work of a super-villian with a “MACHINE”. Sure. Like a potato gun, but for bricks.

When we got to her house, she was a puddley mess and she told us that the man who she saw throw the brick, had condemned her for having a “Jenny” sign in her front yard and yelled to her that he was a “personal friend” of Ross Eadie’s. Huh? Legbreaker tactics? No…that’s still only one guy. (well, we’re up to 2 at this point, possibly a few more, but still, doesn’t amount to a hill o’beans) Anyway, she wound up calling all the different candidates to ask for signs so that she couldn’t be accused of favouring any one over any other. Solved.

Let’s pretend that all of those people overreacted. Yes, let’s.

Also, unbelievable but true, was the situation we ran into with Canada Post. Since we had a limited number of bodies on our election team, we made the fateful decision to have our brochures delivered by Canada Post. Even though it was very expensive, we decided that it would be money well spent. We felt that this was the most efficient way to ensure that every household in the ward had an introduction to our candidate. Again, we were warned by certain members of the Conservative Party, that Canada Post was not to be trusted with political mail. They are part of the “MACHINE”!
Woooooo! The “NDP MACHINE”!

“Hogwash!” we said.

We mailed our leaflets and carried on with the business of electioneering, knocking on door after door in neighbourhood after neighbourhood.

We soon found that very few households had received our mailer. It seemed like entire areas had not had it delivered. Too many to ignore.

Odd. Geez. We mailed it…

On one such street, Redwood Avenue, we happened upon a mailman who we stopped. We showed him the bright pink mailer and asked him if he had seen it or remembered delivering it. He told us that he had seen it at the depot, but it had never made it to his mailbox and he had not delivered it. When we pressed him for more details, he told us that it was most likely delivered, but by another mailman “on a day when he was away sick”. Hmmm. Could it be that he was….(heee)….lying?

A while later, in another neighbourhood, Jenny asked another mailman if he had been the one to deliver the mail during the week that our mailer was scheduled to be delivered. He said that he had and in fact, had delivered the mail every single day that week. So, she showed him the pink brochure. The mailman abruptly changed his mind about having worked that week and decided that he had “been on holidays”.

Then a former Canada Post employee informed us that for the 25 years that she had been a sorter, it was always common practice to delay delivery of all non-NDP political mail. No! That can’t be true! Oh how naive we had been! Such blind faith!

She went on to describe to us how it was done. (I’ll save those details in case I am called to testify in court) She also told us that often, they would “accidentally” deliver political flyers to the wrong ridings. Or deliver them long after the election. Then she gently mocked us for thinking that our brochure would be delivered by Canada Post when we were running such an obviously non-NDP affiliated campaign. After all, Canada Post employees are all part of a very NDP friendly and powerful union.

“But it’s the Queen’s mail!

At that point we began to think that the evil Stephen Harper may have had good reason (for once) when he threatened to dismantle and privatize Canada Post. They do appear to be controlled by the “NDP MACHINE”. Perhaps Svend Robinson really is behind this so-called “MACHINE”, well, then you know, there’s no telling how far he’d go or what he’s really capable of. After all, he is a known shoplifter.

So, we thought about it for a bit, had a heated debate amongst the team and then we called the PMO to tell on them.

Surprisingly, we did get some action from that phone call. That action trickled right on down to the Canada Post outlet in Winnipeg on Mountain Avenue pretty quickly. Wow. Not bad.

When the post office did call us back, all they offered was a discount of $100.00 on our next mail out. Pfft. Lame.

Screw them, we sent Daddy. As expected, Daddy explained things to them very carefully and very loudly. He talked about the legalities and how much he wanted to call the RCMP and the probable loss of their jobs and possible jail time and everything else they could look forward to. Our next mailer was delivered to every single house in the whole ward and all on the same day. Nice.

Moral of the story, never send a Conservative Prime Minister to do the job of an angry father.

To be continued…

Joe Clark; Where Are You?

In Canadian politics, Uncategorized on January 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

As Stephen Pants-On-Fire Harper uses the Conservative Party name to tear Canada apart at the seams, I am waiting for Joe Clark to step into the ring. When the Reform Alliance stole the Conservative name in 2004, Joe Clark gained new respect from many of us by walking away.

You have to admit, it was pretty shocking.

When asked about the coming election at that time, Joe had said better “the devil we know”. Meaning, he’d rather vote for Paul Martin and the Liberals, than risk the future of Canada on an untrustworthy man with questionable ties.

Yeesh….

Couldn’t have been more right about that. The last year alone, which Harper has labeled a “success” (too funny), Canadians have seen unprecedented abuses of power by him and his officials. If you even know just a little bit about Canadian politics, that’s fairly incredible. I mean we did suffer under a decade of Mulroney government. Hell, the Trudeau years were no picnic here in the west!

Clark later refused to back off and suck it up, unlike one Mr. Brian Sissy-Boy Mulroney, who did just that when he smiled for the camera at a dinner with Mr. Harper some time later.

Gutsy. Very Canadian of you Sir.

So, the Right Honorable Joe Clark has not bowed down to Mr. Harper. Impressive, yes. Is that perhaps the explanation for this perfectly timed piece of news that talks about secret deals between Joe Clark and President Carter?

Isn’t this just another instance of the pot calling the kettle black?

Seriously, it has become common knowledge that tantrumy “King” Stephen insists on controlling the press in Canada. These days, all statements and questions are filtered through the Office of the Prime Minister.

Smooth move Steve, but we still don’t like you and we don’t have to listen to you or your bullshit. By the way, we aren’t going to let the prorogation issue die, so forget it.

To come forward against Harper now, Joe Clark will have to risk being discredited over some 30 year old CIA conspiracy. Nerves of steel will definitely be required.

That being said, where are you Sir? Your country needs you. Canada needs you to come forward and speak out against the Conservative Reform Alliance (Party), one more time.

Send The Bailiffs To 24 Sussex Dr.

In bitching, Canadian politics on January 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Time to move Steve and Laureen. Pack up the kids and the cats and get yourselves a bus ticket back to Calgary Southwest. The people of Canada want you to move. You are not the sort of tenants we want living in our Prime Minister’s residence. Thank you and goodbye.

“If Ottawa Giveth, Then Ottawa Can Taketh Away”

In Canadian politics, Uncategorized on January 12, 2010 at 6:54 pm

With Harper finally poised to go down in flames, I keep thinking about how stunned I was when this guy got elected. Nobody will admit to having voted for him, except for one lone in-law.

Then he got re-elected! I was amazed until I found out that particular election had the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history.

Oh my.

Next time we have a election, don’t forget to vote because Harper is what happens when you don’t and Mr. Harper is so silly, isn’t he?

He sure is. In a recent spoonfed interview with Business News Network, I couldn’t help notice that he very carefully separated government from parliament. Hmmm. Unusual. For a politician, he doesn’t seem to have much respect for politics. Wait there’s more…

He went on about the “important work” to be done by his government as opposed to parliament where they “play games”. Right.

I really liked the part when he said that our deficits are high “because opposition demands more spending all the time”. Oh, so none of this is his fault because everyone is picking on him. Poor little guy.

So, Stephen Harper would have us believe that he is not a bully anymore, he’s an innocent victim. Of course!

When asked for his take on the article about proroguing parliament in the Economist, Harper stated that “we are at zero risk for damaging our reputation”.

Well, I guess our reputation is not at very much risk, but his has most certainly suffered some damage. In fact, a recent headline in the Economist accuses Harper of rewriting “the rules of his country’s politics to weaken legislative scrutiny”. Love it. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Maybe this means that me and the rest of my country will not have to suffer much longer under a whack-job Prime Minister that I voted against in the first place.

How I Saved 15 Bucks At The Calgary Airport

In bitching, Calgary on November 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

If you’ve taken an airplane anywhere in the last 6 or 7 years, then you know all about the new security measures. I remember the first time I saw airport security confiscating all the make-up, lotion and lighters from unsuspecting travelers and throwing it all into huge rubbermaid bins. Pretty funny.

Shortly after that fiasco, someone decided that it would be just as secure to give everyone a ziplock bag instead. I think those must be some special bombproof ziplocks, right?

So this time, I was very careful to safely store all of my girly products in the ziplock bag as instructed. I made sure all my pockets were empty, and went through.

Excuse me, is this your purse?

Yes.

We need to search it.

Awesome. Delayed because I had stupidly placed the ziplock security bag inside the purse.

On the way back, I was extremely careful not to make that mistake again. I de-packed my purse and emptied my pockets and made sure to leave the ziplock bag near the purse, but not in the purse.

Security was backed up for miles and my carry on items were really starting to weigh me down and I was getting crankier by the second.

Finally, my turn.

I put my purse and ziplock bag in the tray with my other bag beside it and started to walk through the beepy thing.

Remove your jacket.

Why? I don’t want to and my pockets are empty.

Fine.

I took off my jacket and jammed it into the tray. I walked through the whatever machine and I beeped. Shit.

Have a seat.

?

We need your shoes.

?

They x-ray my shoes and perform a thorough search of my socks. All the while, I am being mocked by the 2 guys behind me. Great. Totally humiliating, but just hurry up and get it over with.

And then…

Excuse me, is this your purse?

Yes.

We need to search it.

Good Lord, why this time? I was so careful!!!

What’s this?

It’s my purse screwdriver. I need it in case something gets broken. Duh.

They took it. Whatever, let’s just go.

Now I am in a shitty mood and my shoulder hurts from holding these stupid bags for too long.

As I meander along, I see the coolest thing ever. A bag that squishes up super small, but when you unfold it, it’s nice and big, but not too big, and it has pop out wheels. Only 15 bucks. Mint!

Excuse me, what does this one look like opened up?

Nodding her head, she says yes, grinning from ear to ear and not understanding a word of English. Then she wanders off.

Um, OK. That’s fine. I probably don’t really need it that bad anyway. I’ll just carry this stuff.