"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday 28 February 2015

Is English Our First Language ?

The new addition to Aurora Family Leisure Complex is opening today.

Facebook has a cheery picture from the Mayor of three Councillors in the gymnasium in sports gear  holding basket balls. It was likely taken earlier in the week.

It's certainly a good time for something bright and shiny new when everyone is so tired of the long hard winter that isn't over yet.

There were no invitations to the opening. Probably because the red ribbon and cake cutting was in October before the election . Architects, contractors, press and all relevant  officials were on hand to receive plaudits for success of the project.

The celebration was held at the time the project was supposed to be completed.

But completion  is five months late and cost is more than twenty-five- per-cent above awarded contract price.

It's no small thing.

It's not clear how but it seems plans approved were deficient. A structural component at a million dollar  extra cost had to be added after the contract was awarded and construction was underway. It swallowed up the  contingency fund and another $400.thousand beside.

Last December the new Council were informed another $650,000  was required or work would stop.  The project would be abandoned unfinished.

Consternation  was expressed at the Council table. New councillors reported  community dis-satisfaction  with progress and their own  displeasure at being presented with an ultimatum. Pay up or else.

In terms of explanation,  silence was deafening.The Mayor and  Deputy who regularly sing from the same hymm sheet, on this occasion, had nothing to trill about.

At  Tuesday's meeting, Councillor Mrakas presented a resolution directing staff  to include a clause in all future contracts designed to compel completion on schedule.

The motion was not debated.

The motion begs the question.

How did it happen the AFLC project five months late in completion?

Why did cost mushroom to more than twenty five per cent of the contract price awarded?

Where  facts asuggest competence or efficiency?

Is there a separate understanding of  the word accountability ?

Friday 27 February 2015

Guest Post

GAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "Time Goes By In A Flash": 

It was just announced that Canada's inflation rate for January was up by only one percent from January of last year. This was a huge deviation from the expected one and one half percent that economists had forecast.

The culprit of the moment is the fall in gas prices, and related fossil fuel items.

Low inflation could lead to deflation, where prices and costs decline, and eventually even salaries and wages.

How to fight deflation? Look at Japan for over 20 years and they haven't overcome deflation.

Most western industrialized countries are trying to keep deflation at bay by central bankers reducing interest rates. This is supposed to entice companies into borrowing to invest in new plants, thereby 
creating new jobs. We have been living with these for six years.

But this is not happening. Corporate profits are at record highs as a result of severe cost cutting, sometimes even as a result of staff layoffs.

Apple recently borrowed $5 billion for five years at an interest rate of 0.7%. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate treasuries, often borrowed, even though not needed, simply because the cost was so low.

There are now half a dozen European countries, including Germany, that are charging customers to keep their money in the bank; a so called negative interest rate.

But I don't see any of this reflected in our community, where this week's Auroran features an article that says the property tax rate for 2015 is now down to a proposed 5.66%. This follows fine tuning the Central York Fire Services request that would have seen a tax increase of 6.1%.

How is it that the country's inflation rate of 1%, and a great concern at that, can exist simultaneously with Aurora property tax payers who are looking at more than five times that?

Municipal government is obviously too expensive and its managers, both staff and elected members, are simply not doing everything necessary to contain costs, even if some services have to suffer.

Instead of monotonous discussion about clear garbage bags, why not cut collection days by fifty percent, or some similar service reduction.

By all means, explain it to the people, but then just go ahead and do it, and they might actually say thank you
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 February 2015 at 21:32

Time Goes By In A Flash

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Saga Of Melting Snow. Now You See It. Now You ...": 

In his annual State of the Town address last week, Mayor Dawe's opening remarks 
"Taking risks - calculated risks - is an integral component of success."
This may be true if all the research has been expertly done. 

On the snow storage project, lacking even the most basic common sense, it would have been cancelled before huge amounts of taxpayer money were squandered.

Who was or who were responsible?

Does anyone know? Does anyone care?

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 February 2015 at 13:59

The project was a carry-over from the previous term. It kept coming back and being deferred. The  final vote was taken at the 
same time approval was given for the Joint Facility. 

Councillor Humphreys was absent. But mr. Constable had been 
brought  on board in time to safeguard the vote for the facility. 

He voted against the snow treatment facility which had reached a million dollars by that time. It was that vote that killed the project. 

The Mayor supported the project from beginning to end. 
Someone just commented we are only three months in to the term 
and three years until the next election. 

We have three new Councillors and Councillor Thompson.The latter may have realised his alliances in the last term were not particularly advantageous. 

The three new councillors acquitted themselves very well in their first campaign.They should be nurtured and encouraged. 

Stupidity Is The Coin Of The Realm

Christopher Watts has left a new comment on your post "Bathurst Tells The Story": 

"It's not indifference we see at election times. It's a severe malaise. Like a fever, it my have to run its course."

Brilliant quote Evelyn, but what if what we are seeing is not a fever but the return of terminal stupidity? 

Running its course seems to be the motto of the antivaxer movement when what we really need in out politicians is for them to muster the courage to roll up their sleeves and take a shot of common sense. 

Posted by Christopher Watts to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 February 2015 at 10:15

I know nothing about the antivaxer movement.

Nor do I know what is meant by " the return of terminal stupidity.

What would encourage our local politicians "to roll up their sleeves and take a shot at common sense ? " 

Lack of success in the last election ? But that's not what happened. 

I was the champion of common sense. I was the one defeated. 

Mayor Dawe apparently confided to a colleague after his first election, he only wanted  two terms in the Mayor's  office. 

Now the second term is secure, we  are watching his successor, Councillor John Abel  being lined up to occupy the office next term.

Like....dividing the spoils. 

Now let's see how comfortable the rest  of Council is being clumsily shifted in that direction. 

It's the ultimate triumph of stupidity.

Bathurst Tells The Story

An elaborate accoustic fence  is being constructed to enclose the former Glenway golf course  on Bathurst Street in Newmarket. Obviously by the developer.

Further  south, in Aurora ,a decorator wood fence has been constructed on the same side of  Bathurst to enclose  back yards of subdivision.homes. It rises and dips with the contours of the land. In some places it disappears  below  the road level and serves no useful purpose whatsoever. Not even decorative.,

It was built by the Region. No expense spared. Trees were cut down. New trees planted.

Aurora originally  required lot lines be thirty yards back from  the.road  easement to maintain the ambiance of   countryside. No doubt the Region will be responsible to  maintain that fence forever and a day.

I believe $2 million tax dollars were spent. Regional staff  are said to be extremely accommodating to regional  council members. From the way it happened I doubt the fence was a capital item in any long term forecast.

It would not therefore be in any calculation of development charges.

Homeowners gifted with the fence had complained they bought homes when Bathurst Street was a country road with little traffic aand expected it to stay that way. Since they came ,traffic increased  dramatically and they were entitled to protection.

And so it came to be. At the expense of the rest of us. No principles apply. 

I doubt we should look for principles other than purely political in any Regional decision. Out of sight.out of mind.

Any more than we expect them  at the Provincial or Municipal or Federal levels of government.

The similarities are outstanding.

It's not indifference we see at election times. It's  a severe malaise. Like a fever ,it my have to run its

Thursday 26 February 2015

The Saga Of Melting Snow. Now You See It. Now You Dont

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Perception Is The Reality": 

Ah, 20:10. Do try to enjoy the bright days and the fact that no one here appears to be agitating for some scheme to treat our snow. I have to wonder how many, if any, municipalities bought into that region initiative. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 23 February 2015 at 20:5

It was not a regional initiative. It was a copy cat from Richmond Hill. 

A new  budget item in 2006 was an environmental engineer at a cost of  $100.thousand a year to start off. It costs  $30 thou.to equip a new staff, plus space.The recommendation came from  the citizens environmental advisory committee.

I asked the function. .  "Identifying  environmental initiatives "  was the answer 

Each year thereafter I asked for  initiatives identified. 

The question would  be greeted with bemused but knowing glances around the table.

Subsequently $750,000. appeared in the capital budget for a treatment facility for "stored " snow.

By the next year $167,000 had been spent for a design of  a treatment facility. Approval  was sought  to build the facility.

Snow from a few central streets is dumped on a permeable parking lot that wasn't used in winter. The previous dump  is now the community gardens site. It just sat there minding its own business until it melts in the spring.

Now staff were ready to proceed to the next step of calling bids for a facility to remove salt from the melting snow. It involved paving the parking lot creating a runnels for the melt to dlow into the
"Treatment " facility.

My first thought was that parking lot is a permeable surface. Melt would filter through.The lot is
on the edge of  the Lambert Wilson ravine.Why is treatment needed? second thought :  salt can't be removed from water.  Third, where there is salt, there can be no snow.

Salt is contra-indicated.

Conclusion  :what kind of a cockamamie scheme is this?

Then  they said it wasn't really about removing salt. Pathogens were the problem. They come from animal excrement.

The unlikelihood of dogs squatting at the side of Yonge Street to relieve themselves in the snow was
pointed out . That explanation was not used again.

A Regional official  was brought in to inform Council the snow dump was on the well head protection
area.  The treatment was needed to protect the water supply.

So, why not just move the dump I said or buy e quip net to melt the snow where it falls.

Approval was withheld  but neither was the project rejected. Instead the price went up to $850,000.

Accommodation for the treatment facility was included in the plans for the new Joint Facility for parks and works department.

As luck would have it ,the price of that boondoggle rose to $26 million from $14 million.

Finally the snow melt treatment facility was eliminated.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Sex Complicates Things

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sex In The Classroom": 

You are clearly in the dark ages on sexuallity.Get with  the times or at least close to it 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 February 2015 at 14:01


O.K. So we are going to talk about sex.

The comment may be correct. I may be in the dark ages.

The question for him to consider is how many of us are. 

I have no inclination to tell another adult how they should live their lives. We can't know each other's experience. 

I believe marriage is essentially a legal contract. Whoever wishes to make a legal contract has a right to do so.

If someone dear to me informed me he was a homosexual, I would love him no less. I would not consider it glad tidings. I would be concerned about problems he might encounter.

 Child-rearing has never been easy. We do our best but I doubt many feel their best was good enough

Nurturing matters. Protection from harm is part of it. Knowing who they are with. What influence they are exposed to.is all part and parcel  It's hard.

Surrendering parental authority to guide character to a government institution is not going to be an easy sell.

Sex is more than  momentary satisfaction . It is part of a healthy relationship. And self-respect.

Take those two components out of the equation. What do you have left?

Sex In The Classroom

Do we have an opinion about the province's sex education curriculum. ? I think yes.

Are we going to engage in the discussion?  Maybe not.

The exchange between Barrie MLA John  MacNaughton and Premier Wynne makes for an interesting start.

Mr MacNaughton,leadership candidate for Conservatives ,said something about the government,
"Eapecially Kathleen Wynne" should not be .........

City line reporter Cynthia Mulligan asked the MLA directly if that was a shot at the Premier because she is lesbian.

Mr. McNaughton said  "Of course not".

But if it.wasn't,what was it ? Why did he say it? And why did he back off?

The Premier on the other hand decided to call Mr.McNaughton out on his comment.

In the legislative assembly  He was asked to explain:

"Is it because I am a woman ...is it because I am a mother...Is it because I have a Masters Degree in Education....is it because I have served as Minister of Education . Mr. Speaker" she asked.

She  did not ask . " Is it because I am lesbian?"

Both  members are equally aware of  what they were talking about.

Both tip-toed delicately all around it.

I think it may be the sticking point of the sex education curriculum.

Are.we  going  to teach children in the classroom that homosexuality is an acceptable life style?

Are parents prepared to  go that far?

I believe it's past time to accept that children are sexual beings and society needs  to have a conversation about how to teach them  what they need to know for their own protection.

The issue is huge. If parents don't do it, plenty of others are willing and apparently have filled the vacuum with stuff parents are not willing to live with.

If  sexually transmitted disease amongst children, particularly girls, is the crisis pushing this curriculum forward ,parents need to know and deal with it now.

I have read or heard about that  aspect but not extensively.

If anal sex and oral sex are the root of the problem  that's a question of hygiene and God  knows what other health scourge might develop.,

The awful consequence of the practices  is surely sufficient and natural argument against them.

To say nothing of the need  to respect one's own body.

Teaching children how to do it safely is ass backwards in my judgement.Pardon the pun .

It's not likely to gain acceptance. And neither it should.

Furthermore if parents are not the ones to teach their children, why would teachers do it better.?

Are they not parents also?

What  kind of a mine field is being set up for teachers ?

Tuesday 24 February 2015

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Jackie Robinson, first black baseball player in the national league.

Any time there's a gap in posts, you can be sure there are three or four drafts that didn't get published.

If the ideas expressed are  too depressing ,I am not inclined to share . Everybody has  stuffto cope with.

I am working on Heather to write a blog about the ongoing story of having a  baby, a boy,now a man like Adam in the family. We didn't have social media when he was born. He will soon be thirty years old.

Adam is Heather and Andy's first born. Two brothers and a sister  followed so he has always been there as older brother.

When  brother Aaron was about twelve he  had to teach a teacher. An assigned  essay was  handed in. The  teacher took it upon herself to make a correction. Teacher  learned something from  student
that day.

Aaron has many fine qualities I  particularly admire.

This journey has been on-going learning experience for all of ua. Adam has been our teacher.
He continues  to amaze and entertain .The day he was born he contradicted  conventional wisdom
and has been doing it ever since.

But social media allows so much to be shared. Many new parents do not know what to expect and
social supports provided is often informed by text books.Themselves  limited by the mindset of an author without the experience of a family.

As parents, Heather and Andy have quietly, steadily and persistently worked to make a difference in the lives of their children. They kept the faith and pioneered. They found hope, encouragement and success all along the way.

It may not be the same everywhere .  The experience needs to be shared for the greatest benefit

Adam's thirtieth birthday is at the end of May.

A good time to launch a  Blog

Monday 23 February 2015

Perception Is The Reality

The sky is blue,sun reflection on the snow is blinding.

Grand-daughter Vanessa has e-mailed flights are booked for July 14th to August 4th.

Meghan went back to University yesterday. Her first year is almost over and she managed fine. She  is up to the challenge.

Stephanie is driving home from Peterboruogh but the roads should be dry and visibility good.

Ninth great-grand-daughter has made her appearance. All is well.A second set of three sisters is established.

It's still  bone chilling cold. I am no more inclined to go out for the sake of going  out. At least  I awake earlier and rise easier in the morning  Better  than snuggling in for another  hour under the duvet. 

Readers note,I am  consciously counting blessings.It is essential this Monday morning.

Beyond the family, the weekend was both worrisome and wearisome. 

Saturday's one-on-one interview between Premier Kathleen Wynne  and Peter Mansbridge to justify nefarious Liberal activities in the Sudbury by-election was an insult to intelligence.

Sunday's defence by Liberal Chair of the Standing Commitee of Inquiry into cancellation of
construction  contracts at a cost exceeding  a billion dollars was equally appalling. A  peurile attempt to justify  the unbelievable caprice of  past leader Dalton McGuinty.

It seems everything learned has been unlearned.

It's not enough for things to be right, they must appear to  be right.

Saturday 21 February 2015

A Special Announcement.

Cecily Lydia Buck has arrived safely and is about an hour more than one day old. Already her perfectly beautifully formed  little face is familiar to dozens and dozens of family and friends and. her welcome is all encompassing.
Her sisters have claimed ownership and because Isla and Maeva are two and one year old, They will not  recall a time when she was not a member of the family.
She is ninth in the third  generation of my family in Canada .
This is a singular occasion.


Silence Is Golden

Comments of  Toronto 's. Mayor  and Councillors on thebudget  have been  interesting. Particularly  reference to the impact on taxpayers.

Staff are conspicuous in their absence.

Unlike Aurora. Opening statement on Thev budget  was delivered by  CAO. Neil Garabe

A hundred people  responding to an on- line invitation had it dubbed "Citizens Budget"

The main u request was to spend less on culture.

Manager of Communications  MIchael Kemp noted difficulty interpreting  because programming is provided by the Town and  the Culture Centre. Programs provided  by the town are not money grabbers. Revenues are derived.

Mr. Kemp's difficulty clearly derived from lack  of knowing whereoff he spoke.

Mr Elliott, Chief Financial Officer , was quoted the  "input" proved  "we are on the  right track"

Nary a word was heard from the Mayor or any Aurora  Councllor of  impact on taxpayers .

Never  a dicky bird quoted on  these or any aspect of the town budget.

Like silence on the failure to apply  within deadline for funding available  from the feds for severe winter storm damage from last year .

Mum's  the word on the barn we bought  for half a million dollars from the feds that turns out to have been a pig in a poke.

Structure  and site are contaminated. Cost of remediation unknown.

A comment has informed us the Mayor and two councillors went to Markham to see clear bags collected at the roadside to satisfy themselves the program was viable.

It explains how things were done in the last term. The close knit relationship with staff.
Exclusionary practice towards Council.

It's one way to ensure things get done with least public discussion.

It's just not what we are in the habit of thinking of as participatory democracy.

Friday 20 February 2015

The Tip Tip Tipping Point

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Extreme Contrast": 

21:20 Ever think this might be smoke and mirrors.They know about the registered dump site on the moraine, in our Town, but have stayed silent.They want to look like they care about the enviornment.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 20 February 2015 at 11:28


I am not sure who "they" are. The dump referred to  is probably the one closed more than forty years ago.

It was probably opened eighty years ago.  Long  before  there was a Region  Planning Department, before geological studies were undertaken and the Oak Fidges Moraine identified. That happened in the seventies.

It  took the Province forty years to  pass the Oak Ridges  Moraine Act, a long and arduous process . Not made  easier at the end by the nincompoopery brigade who arrived at the end and  leaped nimbly on to the bandwagon.

They claimed  discovery of the moraine for themselves like they had just climbed Mount Everest
and planted a flag.

Ever since they have been claiming beautitude  status as opposed to all the other villains who keep silent about a dump closed for years and constantly monitored.

Toronto's garbage is being trucked to London.. A  daily cavalcade of  diesel  trucks trundle down the 401 spewing out black exhaust from tiny chimney's with  asshat lids above the drivers' heads contributing mightily  to the grey pall of pollution that hovers over the city  and creeps ever further north into York Region.

It can be seen resting like a blanket over  entire the metropolis.iT used to be just over the highways.Yet no-one complains

Regions of York and Durham have invested mega millions in an incinerator to burn garbage produced by the denizens of the north.

Now proposed are see through garbage bags to prevent undesirable waste from reaching the incinerator. IF it does, the private company contracted to operate,the public facility can refuse to accept it.

We don't know if that has happened.

It has not been reported.

All we know is that from reporting initial phenomenal success of garbage separation and the green bin program ,we are suddenly advised of the need to examine the contents of garbage bags.

It looks  to me like we have reached the tipping point.

The program requires  public co-operation

By my reading, that is not going to happen.

The natives are restless ,Bwana

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Extreme Contrast

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Meandering Down Memory Lane": 

We have to house them and others of their ilk because we not longer have the death penalty. And we no longer have the death penalty because so many mistakes were made in the past that resulted in innocent deaths . It is a circuitous argument but we really do have to continue to warehouse our monsters. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 February 2015 at 15:38


It's a long time since I was an immigrant. Brits then had voting rights from moment of entry.
Citizenship was a simple matter of application for a Brit. On the other hand, certain qualifications for landed immigrant status applied

Good health and character were a requirement. A criminal record would automatically negate an application.

A significant change occurred in the Trudeau years. Brits had to go through the same process for citizenship as people from outside the Commonwealth.

I recall,maybe forty years ago, a news account  of a man being deported to Britain. He was brought to Canada as an infant. The story involved a finding of guilt in a criminal offence.He had no ties to the U.K. and was desperate to stay in the only place he had ever known as home but he was not a citizen and back he went.
It wasn't  the worst fate. Many Canadians opted to stay in the U.K. after the war. As British subjects they had the right to vote and live and work in the U.K. Just as Brits had in various Commonwealth Member countries.

A number of years ago a fellow named Enoch Powell picked up a lot of public support for change.

Last time I was at London Airport, I felt like a stranger.
I have wondered about records of criminality in places with vastly different values reflected in  their laws and sentiment and culture.
How easy can it be to determine acceptability,as a landed immigrant to Canada? What would differentiate individuals who wanted to escape barbaric medieval practice and prejudice for a better life for their children from those determined to maintain the oppression in Canada, outside the laws of Canada?

How well does a national policy of multi-culturism serve Canada?

At the week-end, Stephanie and a friend went swimming in a Richmond Hill aquatic facility.
A family, mother, father and children were enjoying the pool. Father and kids wearing regular swimwear. Mother wearing a Burka in the pool.

Stephanie's friend, third generation removed from myself, had an immediate and strong negative reaction that surprised both.

Although the battle for women's rights was before her time, Stephanie's friend was suddenly concious of how hard it had been.
So well accustomed is she to visible minorities, minorities are no longer visible.

Until the incongruous sight of a woman in a swimming pool hiding behind a garment designed for the purpose.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Meandering Down Memory Lane": 

"Does the Oath of Allegiance required for Citizenship mean something or nothing?" It did for my parents when they immigrated here in 1964. Where bunnies at Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving even some Christmas customs were all a little odd, but embraced happily. One of their happiest memories was the day they became citizens. They remember what they wore and that it was a beautiful sunny spring day. They had their picture taken that day and it has been in a frame on a wall ever since. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 18 February 2015 at 09:22

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Meandering Down Memory Lane

The Ten Commandments:1

Thou shalt love the Lord,Thy God withThy whole heart and thy whole soul.; thou shalt  not worship false gods
Thou shalt keep the sabbath holy
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself .
Honour  thy father  and thy mother.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy  neighbour
Thy shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods.

To my recollection that's how I learned them all those years ago. I can't answer for the  text. It was being taught to five year olds.

Religion was first lesson of the day from first day of school, It wasn't read of course..
It was learned by repetition.  As time went by meaning was expanded.

By the age of  seven and "use of reason " ,ability to discern good and evil, was  assumed and therefore  capability of SIN was established.  Sacraments of Penance  and Communion became the practice.

The sacraments and tenets of our religion, Faith Hope and Charity were known to us.

I got on to this tack wondering  why any religion would have rules to make women invisible ?

I read something in a missal (prayer book) once that wasn't taught in class. Giving birth was
walking through the valley of death and women's punishment for original sin. Eve made
Adam  eat the Apple.

 That was the biggie that got the pair of them cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Well ye know ...Much can be said that can also be left unsaid.

Despite what is said, we can  reasonably contend the Ten Commandments are  the principles of  common law, the basic principle of civil law in the U.K., Canada and  United  States of America and  for all intents and purposes, any Christian Society.

It means  common understanding of law and order in western and some eastern society is based on Christian principles.

As noted in a comment, four people are in Canadian prisons for murdering four female family members according to their understanding of rules to live by.

They are being housed at a cost of a million dollars a year or thereabouts to Canadian taxpayers.

Does the Oath of Allegiance required for Citizenship mean something or nothing?

Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not bear false witness agajnst they neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet they neighbour's wife
Thou shalt not covet they neighbour's goods.

To the best of my recollection , the Ten Commandments were the first lesson in region Al those many years ago.

Monday 16 February 2015

"Aye ..there's the rub ". "This conscience doth make cowards off" us all"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Canada Deserves Better": 

Canada does deserve better...unfortunately only one third of the people believe that.  

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 February 2015 at 13:55


Aye.  There 's the rub.

Canadian  politics have been functioning on  pure artifice for several decades now.

Since  Paul Martin was left with the sponsorship scandals and paid the ultimate penalty.

Or since the Progressive Conservative Party  of Canada  was taken over by the religious right -wing
from Alberta.

Maybe further back to  P.E.Trudeau. We gazed at our navels and debated ad nauseum whether Canadian Culture existed.

The leaders decided not and in the race to win immigrant votes  promptly declared open sesame and
a multi-culture society.

Country Canada surrendered without a single shot being fired.

All the cultures of the world  rushed in to fill the void created by our leaders to accommodate them.

Candidates were no longer nominated  from the grass roots. They were parachuted in and  appointed by party big-wigs to ensure  the visibility of  the highly visible.

There were other changes as well. Women  and girls were murdered by male family members; husbands, fathers,brothers.cousins.

Bombs were planted in planes leaving Vancouver airport. Hundreds of travellers returning  to visit
families were blown to pieces and scattered into oblivion.Nothing but a baby shoe or a favourite little
doll or blanky left to identify the victims.

Men wearing turbans were prosecuted in Canadian courts.

A former cabinet minister was brought back from a patronage post in Italy to face the music for the  sponsorship scandals.

A Mayor of London  Ontario, refused to resign  is office despite evidence he  paid for his son's wedding with a government cheque drawn against the department  he headed as Minister of the

More recently still  a woman and  girl child were spotted in a news clip going to a service for the mother and two sons viciously  murdered by a violent husband. He was out of jail on bail despite
being  in jail for  brutal assault of  his wife.

The victim was an exceptional human being  who obtained  two degrees while  nurturing   two sons  despite living in appalling circumstance.

The mother and daughter clambering over snow piles to honor the victim were wearing  great clumsy Canadian winter boots with straps flapping and puffy winter jackets over long cloaround their ankles
and heads wrapped in fabric.

The interviewee  a Muslim spokesperson vowed murder was not what  Muslim faith is about.
If it's not ,why does it happen regularly ? Why do Muslim women and little girls wrap themselves
from head to foot in cloth and cover ghemselves with tent-like garments when they are out and about.

Three  murdered young girls and a young aunt were found in a car submerged in a lock near Peterborough. They wanted to wear western clothing. Their father and brother are in jail for their murder .

How many more Muslim women and girls will be murdered before it becomes the norm in our culture?

How much corruption does it take for a country's culture to be corrupted?

Sunday 15 February 2015

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Canada Deserves Better": 

Sometimes one simply shouldn't check the Canadian news on-line.

Let's begin with a story in both the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail, from Andy Blatchford of The Canadian Press datelined Ottawa, dated February 15.


"The big-ticket military mission to fetch fugitive Luka Rocco Magnotta from Germany in 2012 was ordered by a senior Conservative cabinet minister who considered it a matter of "national interest," The Canadian Press has learned.

In June 2012, the Air Force made a $376,128 decision to dispatch one of its largest aircraft to collect the accused killer in Berlin, where local police had collared him to end an international manhunt that made global headlines.

After Magnotta's conviction, National Defence released more than 1,700 pages of emails documenting the cost of repatriation, the debate over options and the scramble to which him home after he agreed to extradition, lest he change his mind.

The messages, obtained under the Access to Information Act, also offer a rare look behind the curtain at the government's efforts to keep details of the "sensitive" mission out of the public spotlight.

Peter MacKay, defence minister at the time, ordered then-general Walt Natynczyk to lend a hand "as soon as possible" after Montreal police asked for federal help"

I won't quote anymore but would point out that the story mentions other same-model aircraft (CC-150) have been configured to accommodate the prime minister, the Governor General and members of the Royal Family.

There's a lot more information in the CP story so go look for it. Makes me want to puke.

And then The Globe and Mail has an article by Roy MacGregor headed OTTAWA'S TRIBUTE TO THE CANADIAN FLAG IS EMBARRASSING

Today is the 50th anniversary of our flag. Did anyone know that? Did anyone know that the "federal government has allocated a mere $50,000 to celebrate the flag's birthday. That's less than 15% of what WE PAID to bring an ultimately convicted murderer and butcher back from Germany on the say-so of the minister of defence.

You know, it's high time that we had all government documents out in the open so we can have a forensic audit of all its SCREW-UPS. And in the meantime the entire governing party, and especially the Cabinet and its head should spend some solitary time in confinement, prior to their trials for running an humungous PONZI SCHEME with our money 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 February 2015 at 22:15

Canada Deserves Better

Twelve comments to the last post. That's not bad for a small circle on a freezing cold Saturday night.
The one that discounted the rumour came from Ottawa. It claimed to know for sure Mrs. Harper is not living in Chateau Laurier because of walking past the hotel every morning and never seeing the lady.

Several people didn't care as long as the arrangement wasn't  costing tax dollars.

No surprise noted. Considering my reaction, that seemed odd. I think we may take it the rumour had spread farther afield than the Capital. The chances the PMO was not aware of the chatter are remote.

Modern politicians  do tend to showcase families. What action might have been expected from the PMO when the rumour became extant For most people and for some time previous, there's nothing extraordinary about a marriage ending and a new relationship.

In politics it's an occupational hazard.

So, no reason to pretend it hadn't happened and that could be the argument to prove it didn't.
On the other hand, rumours are like wild fire. If it isn't put out it spreads until it  finally it reaches sleepy little hollows like Aurora.

A dignified public statement  one way or t'other was called for.

But that's not the style of this PMO. Last week we learned from a local editorial of a media photographer being handcuffed for shouting a question at the Prime Minister against the rules of engagement laid down by  PMO  POWA!!!!!!!!

That degree of control suggests things the common people are not entitled to know.

I remember a night during the FLQ crisis. Hundreds  of Quebecers were taken into custody.
Prime Minister Trudeau was asked if he was  prepared to proclaim the War Measures Act.
He said without cracking a smile. " Just watch me "

The media made Pierre Elliott Trudeau into something he was not. Then expected to share the giddy romance of it. When he made it clear he did not appreciate their presence in every aspect of his life  the  relationship turned sour.Oh Yes. Dear MeYes . It was a bitter ending.

But I digress .

I think,whether or not the Prime Minister's marriage to Fair Laureen is over is not a matter of national significance. Details are not ours to know.
But rumour is unseemly.
Blowing smoke to deflect attention does the opposite.
Skulking around the country, popping up in unexpected places, handcuffing media and dictating the message inspires neither trust nor confidence.
It generates foreboding.
It is reminiscent of  a  form of government opposite to  democracy; fascism .

Saturday 14 February 2015

At Least The Message Should Be Straight

When  Robyn casually mentioned  Mrs Harper is in a lesbian relationship, I was stunned.

 Robyn ,in her early twenties ,was not engaging in salacious gossip. Homosexuality is not an issue to her generation The Honorable Kathleen Wynn's relationship is most prominent

The Blog  had received a comment the Harpers are not to-gether.Not sure I published it.

On Friday I  read a Globe editorial recommended in another comment.

A news story about Oregon Governor Kitzhaber having to resign because of questionable financial dealings  by his fiancee caught my attention.,He will be replaced by Kate Brown,currently Oregon Secretary of State . The story noted  Ms Brown will be the first openly bi-sexual Governor ever in the History of America. None have been elected to office.

The bi-sexuality bit seemed oddly irrelevant but it was included in The Globe story.

I called Robyn this morning to ask how she came by the Harper story. She couldn't remember.

So I went to Wikipedia and asked the question point blank.

The Greeks had The Oracle .We have Wikipedia.

Apparently in 2010. a story was submitted  by Norman Spektor to the Globe about the Prime Minister
and his wife being together for an hour long Christmas interview with Lloyd Robertson and Robert Fife while they are understood to be livimg  apart. It was entitled Lost Opportunity.

The story was pulled by The Globe and Mail.Then published on  Spektator's Report  from whence it sallied over to The Reeves Report a political and environmental web site

So..now you know what I know.

Apparently the rumour has been out there since  before the last election that Ms Harper lives at Chateau Laurier and is in a relationship with a female R.C.M.P. Officer.

The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper with gravitas
They could logically argue right to privacy for public figures.
But y'know, I think there really  needs to be consistency.

If it's O.K. to refer to the sexual proclivity of an American Governor why is it not O.K. for a Canadian public figure

And in this enlightened age why should it be hidden .Isn't that the very opposite of what it's all about
these days?

Friday 13 February 2015

It's Not That Complicated

KA-NON has left a new comment on your post "INCOMPREHENSIBLE INOMPETENCE": 

"Poople (sic) bringing in revenue to pay the exorbitant increases in costs of particular government service are shamelessly short-changed"

Evelyn, are you arguing that the (government monopoly) LCBO store managers should be paid more based on their (exclusive) sales amounts, on the premise that their efforts create the funding for other 
Social Services.
Posted by KA-NON to  Our Town and Its Business at 13 February 2015 at 15:23


Welcome back Ka-non. I have missed you.

No, I am not making such a convoluted argument.,I am simply saying people  who work for the government should be treated fairly by their government. 

For purely political advantage. this government and others ,have catered  solely and shamelessly to associations with the greatest clout and visibility at the expense of all others.

Public service employees .should be treated equally. They are not.

As a consequence, in certain sectors government is brought into disrepute.

People lose respect  for the principle of public integrity.

When that's gone...what's left.

How hard it is to win  back? Can it be done?


Home Care nurses are on strike. They have no contract.

The last three year contract froze salaries for the first two years and gave a. 2.75 % increase in the third year. You can't chisel a contact much cheaper than that.

Directors by contrast were very much more generously compensated.

Two, years without an increase  in wages and increase in cost-of -living meant a reduction in
compensation. 2.75% in the third year did not  represent catch up let  allne keep up.

Recipients of the program are also short changed by reduction in minutes of setvice provided.

The program allows people in need of care  to receive it at home. It saves the government billions of dollars in institutional care and is  a hundred times more preferable .

But the sick,and the elderly are not visible in their homes. Hardly a dot on  the radar screen.

Liquor Control Board preovides the government with  billions of dollars annually  to finance  hospital and other services. The government says how much they need. And that's what they get.

Store managers wages  have been frozen for six years. They are worse off  to-day than six years ago..

Liberals have been in charge all that time.

Hospital Directors, Education  Directors,  Policce, Firefighters  and sundry others are the new millionaires of our society.

While their compensation takes  gigantic is tribes.  Less and less is available for social housing, home care for sick and elderly.

People bringing in revenue to pay exorbitant  increases in costs of particular government service
are shamelessly short-changed in  compensation.

One might argue it's all about politics. One would not be partially correct.

It is  all about a lack of political skill coupled with  a total lack of leadership.

It's the difference between then and now.

A Day Like Any Other...Yet Not

We  passed through Perth three weeks ago on the way to Dwyer Hill. A place outside Richmond which is outside Perth.

Dwyer Hill doesn't have a population figure because it's  not so much a place as an  area. Our destination was St Claire's Catholic Church in  Dwyer Hill, congregation between sixty- five and seventy families.

On that day, it seemed everyone was present to celebrate the life of Tom Brown who was born and raised among them.

Tom was married to  Susan my neice and father  to Cindy and Kristopher .

Susan  and Tom had been together for twenty years. She waited a long time to find the right man.

Their lives were recently blessed with Zoe,a six month old carbon copy of her mother Cindy.
Tom was re-living the  joy of daily life with Zoe and her mother.

Then  suddenly he was gone.

No warning. No goodbye. He sat down at table to enjoy a coffee and never had  the first swallow.

The church that day was full of light. Statues of  all the familiar saints were in situ. Plus  one other.

St Patrick was larger than all the rest, clad in full bishop regalia complete with  Staff.

Stations  of the Cross were framed pictures on the walls. Affluence was conspicuous in its absence.

The parish priest was not far short of retirement.. I often think it must be hard to think of something original  to comfort each grieving family after thirty or fortty years in the business.

He told of going  to the funeral of a friend's son, younger than Tom  who died after a long and terrible battle. He needed fresh inspiration and to hear how another priest might find the words .

He came up with an image of Tom arriving at the Gate, being asked for documentation to prove right of entry, producing his Certificate of Baptism and being ushered right on through.

I am paraphrasing.

My children ,Sue's cousins ,were present and three grandchildren,none of them children. We occupied a pew and dared not meet each other's eyes.

We had a good visit in the parish hall.

With tears streaming, Sue  took the stage and raised her arm in a toast (in single malt) "to Tom, a
Hell of a Lover "

The women  of the parish spread a nice table. The brownies had just the right moistness with
walnuts. Date squares, lemon slices, lemon loaf and banana loaf were all to hand

Andy brought a supply of single malt for anyone who felt the need. We drank it in a single swallow
out of small paper butter cups. We hugged and talked and shared the moment and when all was said, left  for the  long drive home , feeling glad to have been in Dwyer Hill on that wintry Saturday afternoon.

We drove back as we went on Highway 7.
Andy and Heaher seldom out of sight in their vehicle.
Theresa  driving mine.
Stephanie in the back seat exchanging texts with Heather and Robin.

The brothers took the 401. We were home first.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "So Many Questions ..So Few Answers": 

Money and wealth never hurt anyone seeking elected office. I'm not sure if we have a ceiling on what an individual candidate can spend in his/her riding. Nor am I sure if there is a limit on what political parties can spend.

Until recently there were certain limits in the Unites States but these were struck down by the Supreme Court.

According to a September, 2012, article in the New York Times, Barak Obama and the Democratic Party raised $1072.6 and spent $985.7, both million of dollars. The opponent Republican candidate and party raised $992.5 and apparently spent it all.

Successful New York three-time mayor Michael Bloomberg spent over $100 million in his last campaign, Senatorial candidates in the U.S. have spent many multiple millions of dollars seeking an election victory - California seems like a popular state for these people.

What does this tell us? Money talks and it talks BIG.

In a speech in the House of Commons Winston Churchill said: "Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those others forms that have been tried from time to time." 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 12 February 2015 at 14:06   

So Many Questions ..So Few Answers

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Horns Of A Dilemma":
Maybe not. If they just let the system run its course, Adams will be unable to find a riding & everyone will move on to the next mess. It is not as if Harper were running a clean ship with his most recent cabinet shuffle. He has his hands full too.
Since when have the main party leaders allowed the system to run its course

Not since it was decided more women and ethnic groups had. to be represented in places of power and authority.

How is that accomplished ? 

What  did Justin Trudeau trade?

Well, you know ...in politics...nudge nudge,wink,wink.

I went into Wikipedia yesterday to check status of Senators Duffy and Wallen. 
  Senator Wallen earned $1million in stock options through being appointed to a number of boards after being appointed to the Senate. 

Senator Hab ,also caught up in the expense scandal ,retired and
 took up his Senate pension of $122, 000 a year. 

It made me think of something read when Belinda  was a candidate for leadership of the Reform Party after it swallowed up the Conservative Party. kind of like  The Tea Party and
The Republican Party in the States .

Two former Conservative Premiers of Ontario were Board members of Magna I.  They supported Belinda's bid though as far as anyone knew, the candidate  had no experience whatsoever in politics. 

What do we know of what it costs to become Leader  of a political party.? 

Are there  limits to spending? Do financial statements have to be filed with an elections officer? Where does the money come from?

What do we know of  nomination to be candidate of a riding. Of course it helps if no-one else wants it. Then it's a slam dunk.

But can it be bought? If a candidate can pay for memberships to be given away and they  represent votes ,does that mean a nomination can be bought and sold.

It's not how things used to be. In fact a candidate buying and giving away memberships to acquire votes would have been a scandal at one time. Now it seems to be an accepted practice.

As innocent as selling Girl Guide cookies.

So, if a candidate can buy nomination in a safe Conservative or Liberal seat and has  sufficient
resources to do the same in a  leadership contes

Is it  conceivable a person or group could buy their way into the Prime Minister's office?

If a Prime Minister can arrange campaign style events ,here, there and everywhere on some pretext or other when an election has not yet been called...is that taking unfair advantage?

If the youth vote of a Party can choose a Leader who might become Prime Minister and do what

Justin Trudeau did on Monday morning.

Just how well does this system serve ?

Eve Adam's partner was a high placed operative in the Conservative party. Could he use insider information to undermine the Conservative candidate in the riding of their choice.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

The Horns Of A Dilemma

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Who Can You Believe .?": 

Wow!..Suspended for lying...Now if we can only get that to happen with politicians. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 11 February 2015 at 08:09

"If you can't say anything nice about a person, don't say anything at all."   A  homily from childhood
delivered  by people not neccessarily being very  nice.Teachers and elders and sundry other adults.

It's amazing how the intelligence of children is undervalued. Experts claim children learn more in their  first three years  of life than all the rest. I  believe that's true. They  are like sponges. They absorb details.

If they don't understand immediately, they store away for future reference.

I  long ago replaced  the childhood  homily ; if you can't say what you believe to be true, don't say anything  at all.

It was like that yesterday. Watching Eve Adams take a seat  at a table beside Justin Trudeau and listening to the pair read  on cue what  they obviously .believed would convince viewers of  their superior moral principles was, at one and the same time, nauseating and worrisome.

I did not want to say anything yesterday.

What if they're right. We have seen it before . Enough people willing to swallow bilge in an election  and not enough politicians with sufficient integrity to make a difference.

Conservatives or Liberals.

Last week's Auroran carried a photo of a grinning trio of Harper Party Jokers at another  table with York Region Police Chief.

They were  at  YRP headquarters . Text attached  indicated the Prime Minister was glad to be in the command centre venue speaking to "lawmakers"

But something  was out of sinc. A link was missing .I read the story twice.

The police are not lawmakers, One might reasonably expect the Head Honcho of All Lawmakers  in Canada to understand that .

York Region's Police Department is a local institution not Federal.

The Federal  Government has  a National Security vastly -underutilized facility in Aurora. Why was the Intrepid Englishman Armouries not used for whatever was  the  occasion?

Who gave permission to use the police headquarters.
When and how did it happen without public awareness?
Were secret meetings held to firm up arrangements?
Finally what was the occasion? Was it just another contrived photo opportunity using local public
resources to conduct a campaign event?

I  turned to The Aurora Banner hoping for a clue

There was no picture. No text. Only an editorial.

It seems Harper's Party has been managing  the message for some time.

The National Press Gallery have refused to attend press conferences which do not permit journalists to ask questions. One photographer has been taken away and handcuffed for shouting a question to the Prime Minister against the rules.

Number One Son Stephen visited yesterday. We talked about this. He reads the Gobe and Mail.

Told me something I had not heard  before about the Prime Minister. He is said to be a right-wing  Fundamentalist  Christian .
It would explain a lot.

Monday 9 February 2015

Something Nice And Heartwarming

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Who Can You Believe .?":

Good Samaritans do exist, right today and here in Aurora.

I had pulled over in front of the old post office building where there are two mailboxes that still work.

The snow plows had done a good job and the snow was well over two feet up onto the sidewalk.

I took a couple of runs at clearing the obstacle but each time slid back to the street.

Suddenly there were three or four honks and I looked back to see a pick-up truck with a plow mounted in the front.

A tall young man jumped out of the truck and asked if I was trying to mail some letters at the mail box? I said yes. He took them and jumped easily over the snow and banged them into the mailbox.

I thanked him very much.

His parting words: "Some day the person needing help is going to be me and I hope that someone like myself comes along."

We shook hands and off he went. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 9 February 2015 at 14:22

Sunday 8 February 2015

Who Can You Believe .?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The View Is A Bit Scrambled":

Your blog is making me dizzy.

Perhaps you could take a couple of days off and catch up on all the television you must be missing.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 7 February 2015 at 


If the blog makes you dizzy that calls for a decision in your own interest. 

I watch the  TV channel that gives news headlines. Then I decide what to follow. 

I think those who heard Brian Williams tell a story on late night comedy about being on a helicopter  hit by a missile might have guessed it was a tall tale.

To-night, I heard  an instructor of journalism at Scarborough U of T. solemnly state on CP 24  how serious for society if people could no longer believe people who deliver the news.

i had a hard time believing he said that.

People don't believe  their President, Prime Minister, Premier or the Mayors of their towns and cities.

They have the right  to vote but they don't because there are no valid choices.

Why should  the crisis be about  personable, good-looking, smooth-tongued ,well tailored and styled
 individuals  who look good on camera  read  news from cards and get paid $12 million a year.

We have a crisis of confidence alright.  Brought about by an affluent society almost completely lacking in conscience.

By special interest groups with the greatest clout taking the biggest bite of the apple.They control everything,in their path.

Devil take the hindmost.

Brian Wiliams did lots of things on Letterman's show not in keeping with his pontificate image If it
didn't suit the purpose of his station bosses ,it would  no doubt have been prohibited in his contract

Saturday 7 February 2015

The View Is A Bit Scrambled

I am more familiar  with Brian Williams as a guest on Letterman than as news Anchor . That 's not saying a lot.

It seemed he enjoyed playing an opposite  role of raconteur; a story teller adding and embellishing
as he spins the yarn. He was  entertaining in a show increasingly lacking in wit.  It can't be easy churning that stuff out five days a week

So now Rosie O'Donnel says  he's a liar and Tom Brokaw says  acording to the Gospel of St.John, he ought to  be fired from his $12 million a year gig as an Icon.

Big Bill O'Reilly has something negative to say about Rosie O' Donnel.

Tom Brokaw was a guest on Letterman a while ago. He struck a negative knell although
Letterman appeared to enjoy the conversation.

I went into Facebook this morning looking for pictures and videos of my grandchildren and great  grandchildren. A little video of two-year old Isla holding  one year old Maeva 's hands, helping little sister to walk has entertained me since day before yesterday.

Robyn and Adam and Adam's friend Brent are in photos enjoying the sun in Fort Myers.

Kari Chung is getting excited about  an upcoming trip with to the U.K. Kari went to school in
Hong Kong. After Hong Kong was returned to China, Kari and  school friends scattered  all over. They have reached the marrying age and attend each others's weddings as good friends should.
The one upcoming is in Finland but there's a stopover in London. Today's insert was seventeen great walks in Llndon. I took them all.

This morning Isla and Maeva  and Grandson Myles are at Fresh Co, in Cambridge  wearing green plastic hats and having something to do with potatoes and a food bank. Mary is busy with the camera. A new sibling is due any minute and Mary, a nurse  in the Home Care program is on strike and has to attend union meetings .

I don't know how Facebook took me into all the troubles and problems experienced by American  media celebrities.

 Rosie O'Donnel's legendary wit has escaped me since her fracas with Tom Suleck  about the NRA.
She has been through  two marriages and a near fatal heart attack since.

Big Bill O'Reilly has a product to sell and  sells it well in his market.

I had drops in my eyes yesterday for certain measurement to be taken. Couldn't see for a while.

Didn't care much for that experience.All I could do was look at pictures and not even that very well.