In Consideration of Inconsideration

Posted: 26/10/2016 9:10:15 AM

It has been suggested, on occasion, that I lack patience. So I decided to devote the time needed to improve myself. Well five minutes this morning in a Tim Hortons I realized I don’t lack patience at all. My problem is I live in a city, as do the vast majority of Canadians. My problem is I share my city with a tiny minority of people who are completely oblivious to anyone else around them. And by ‘around them’ I mean they don’t care about anyone behind them in a lineup.

You cannot avoid lineups in the big city. But how is it that there are people who walk among us who do not understand that when you’re in a lineup, you’re supposed to figure out what you want to order before you get to the counter. It’s a coffee shop, you know what you drink, order it, you’re not choosing your university major.

Inevitably these people are the ‘exact change’ people. You know who they are. It comes to $1.75, they’ve got a toonie, but they don’t want to use the toonie. They want to pay with exact change. The hell with everyone behind them in the lineup, all they’ve got to do to pay is stop everything, bend over, pick up their purse or their back pack, put it on the counter, open the zipper, reach inside, root around, no, no, wrong compartment, close that zipper, open the next one, reach in, got it, got it, oh no hang on, it’s another smaller purse or wallet with lots of little compartments, one of which is for the nickel; they find the nickels slowly, slowly count out the nickels, not enough nickels. Hang on, they’ve got a quarter somewhere else. And these people, they always look back and smile at the rest of us in the line as if we’re enjoying this as much as they are.

People of the city — we are in this together. Yes, patience is a virtue and so is not acting like you’re the only person on the planet. If you find yourself at the front of the line, keep it moving, because tomorrow, guaranteed, you’ll be at the back.


The Elite

Posted: 19/10/2016 9:32:21 AM

The problem with this country, in a nut shell, is the elites. This problem has nothing to do with money, this is all about attitude. And another thing, the elites, they are not just a menace, they are the last group of people in society you can attack and get away with it. And it works.

Look at Kellie Leitch. She is now the front runner for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, in part, because she has the courage to attack the elites. Not just the elites in the Liberals and the NDP and under her bed, but the elites in her own party. Apparently they are everywhere. It’s a good strategy.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that certain political movements do very well when they can blame all of life’s problem on an identifiable group. And in the old days you could just pick a minority and have at ‘em. You can’t do that any more. If you just start attacking willy-nilly the Jews, the gays, the people in wheelchairs, even people with university degrees, they will stand up, they will fight back.

Nobody identifies as an elite, so no one will fight back. Nobody wants to wear that.  I have been called every name in the book.  I really don’t care. If someone called me elite, I’d be all defensive. I’d be like, “you can’t call me elite I grew up with a goat as a lawn mower. I was taught that good manners means don’t slurp when you’re drinking the juice out of the tin of Vienna sausages.”

So no more. If you hear someone blaming the elites, you just swap out that word for whatever group you’re a member of. That’s all you need to know. Calling someone an elite is nothing but an empty insult from an empty mind.


The Cost of Doing Business

Posted: 12/10/2016 9:19:15 AM

Recently a small township in Ontario by the name of Centre Wellington tried to buy a well. Because as a growing municipality they wanted access to clean, safe drinking water into the future. Why anyone would be worried about such a thing, I have no idea, but hey it’s a free country. Anyway long story short it didn’t work out. They didn’t get their well. They didn’t get their well because they were outbid by Nestlé, a giant multinational. And now Nestlé can suck all the water they want out of that well and put it in little plastic bottles and sell it to people who need the water in order to live. 

Now let’s be clear, companies like Nestlé, they can’t just take water for free. No, this is a great natural resource, that belongs to we the people. They have to pay for the privilege. How much do they pay? Well, they pay three dollars and seventy one cents for every million litres of water they take. I’m just going to repeat that because you might be  thinking, well, that can’t be right. They pay three dollars and seventy one cents for every million litres of water they take. 

The amount of water these companies suck out of Canada every single day is staggering; we are talking trillions of litres of water every day. These are numbers you can’t even begin to get your head around unless you’re on the spectrum. 

Canada is one of the greatest countries on earth; we have 1/5 of the world’s fresh water supply. Every Canadian should have access to clean water out of a tap or a hose. But the multinationals? They should pay through the nose. Let’s tell Nestlé and the entire industry, we may be a free country, our water is not.


An Ill Wind Blows from the South

Posted: 05/10/2016 9:31:10 AM

At this point there have been millions of articles written about the US presidential election. My guess is half of them include the phrase ‘reality TV’ and I understand the comparison. But in order for a reality TV show to work it has to be, at its core, fundamentally vulgar. Or as it’s referred to now — Trump-like. 

The US election is not reality TV. The great thing about reality TV is if you don’t want to watch, you don’t have to watch. Believe it or not there are people among us that can’t pick a Kardashian out of a police line-up. At least from the front. But we can’t just decide to not watch a US election. In fact, as Canadians we should pay very, very close attention.  Not so we can feel superior but as a cautionary tale. 

In Canada we have three major political parties; two of those parties have no leaders. The fact that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee in the states, that will have a huge impact on those races right here in Canada.  Look at the NDP. The party of Douglas. The party of Layton? Nobody even wants the job. They are just sitting there waiting for a hostile takeover. Literally, someone shows up with a few bucks, a name and the will to live? The party could be theirs.  

And the Tories, well the opposite is true. They could have well over a dozen people on stage for their first leadership debate.  The Republicans, they had 16. What happened? The outrageous one, the one that played the race card and the fear card? Donald Trump was the last one standing. And it’s pretty obvious that some Tories right up here have been paying very close attention to that strategy. 

So to the membership of the NDP and the Conservatives. When choosing your leader, remember it is an ill wind that blows from the south. What happened down there can happen here.  Don’t let it.


Conditional Costs

Posted: 30/03/2016 8:19:28 AM

When I read the story of Felipe Montoya in the Globe and Mail, I knew something was not right. It wasn’t a big story. It was, in fact, a small story. It was a page five story and yet it did not pass the smell test.

Felipe came to Canada four years ago from Costa Rica with his wife and two kids. The man is highly educated. He is now a full-time, tenured professor at York University. He’s got a big job, he pays taxes. The perfect citizen.

But this is where the story becomes hard to believe. According to the Globe and Mail, the Government of Canada has said Felipe and his family cannot stay in Canada; they cannot become permanent residents because his son has Down syndrome. Okay, this is where I thought this story cannot be true. I mean I know Canada is not perfect but surely to God we are not throwing children out of the country because they have Down syndrome.

Well apparently that is exactly what we are doing. Apparently there is a war on kids with Down syndrome that I was completely unaware of. The government's position is because the kid has Down syndrome he could potentially, maybe, become a burden on the system.

Really? We’re going to predict that now? What's next? We’re gonna say that family can't come in because that kid in grade eight just failed his math test or that one’s got a funny foot?

There are absolutely no guarantees in this life when it comes to predicting who will contribute what to society. Some dude with Down syndrome working at Loblaws contributes a hell of a lot more than some of the guys I went to high school with—people I am proud to call my friends and fellow Canadians.

I was so hoping this story was untrue. I was wrong. Here's hoping that our new Government, with its sunny ways, sees the error of its ways.

My Canada includes an extra chromosome.