Friday, March 01, 2013

Bill 115 - Not about the teachers!

I'm a retiree, (no, not a retired teacher, either) and really have no dog in this hunt anymore. That being said, I am somewhat bewildered at the response of the majority of people I read in the media and on social media like Twitter. 90% of those I read seem to believe that the teachers and their respective unions are responsible for the state of affairs found in Ontario schools today.

YOUR government(s) has spent the last 50 years cutting and gouging the entire system from the ground up. (Obviously not from the top down!) Revamping their school boards, cutting exercise programs, and generally reducing every "non-curricular" activity from YOUR schools.
A room where little automatons gather each day to be filled with whatever current propaganda YOUR government has instituted for the year is what YOU wanted. At least that is what you voted for, no? As YOUR government slashed Gym, PhysEd, music and other activities in order to save costs, YOU allowed school boards to build themselves into institutions sucking up huge quantities of cash. YOUR votes over the past 50 years or so have given YOU the situation that you now find yourselves and your children.

Some of you claim that you understand how teachers feel when their rights are being quashed underfoot BUT (gotta love a word that puts everything before it in a bath of BS!) you want THEM to fix the problem. YOU want the teachers to correct everything the system has wrought by "volunteering" their free time to babysit YOUR kids. YOU think teachers should make up for 50+ years of cuts to programs, that YOU voted for?

Here's an idea. If 10% of YOU blaming the teachers for this got off YOUR collective asses and volunteered at YOUR individual schools, there would be more extracurriculars than kids!
Or here's another idea, instead of blaming bargaining rights for the issues in schools, how about getting your head out of YOUR collectives asses and ask YOUR government to explain (and repay) the monies spent for things like Ehealth, Orange, LHIN's, hopscotching Gas plants, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc..

Want a really great idea? How about getting off YOUR fat ass and voting? How many of you sitting out there bitchin' and moaning about how the teachers are screwing your kids, never bother to vote at all? Tell YOUR government that you will no longer accept their boondoggles. That they must concentrate on what we need our governments to do. Education, Health Care, water, infrastructure, etc., you know, basics that everyone should be provided in a country as rich as Canada. Everything else is just window dressing and the costs for those things should be borne by those who want them.
When you have woken up, you will realize that it is not the teachers who are doing harm to YOUR children, it's YOUR government cutting down to the bone in order to continue filling the trough they feed at!

Any teacher who is able to bring themselves to "volunteer" more of THEIR time to YOUR children, has my support. I envy and appreciate their character. Any teacher who does not wish to "volunteer" anymore has my empathy and I will stand behind them longer than any of today's politicians.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

European Job Fair?

Watching the news lately about how poorly Europe is making out. Austerity programs are gutting many countries like Greece, Spain, Ireland and more.  Young people in these countries face unemployment rates as high as 55%! Here in Canada meanwhile, our youth unemployment runs about 15%. Europe is in real trouble, their future looks pretty bleak indeed.
Guess what Harper and company are doing? They are bringing in the unemployed from Europe! Yup, bring in youth from other countries and help them with their unemployment! Spend your money to import workers from countries where there is no work and chew up jobs here. Thousands of people every year!
Wonder why your kids can't get jobs? No need to wonder anymore. Our government is giving the jobs to foreigners! From BC miners to local bartenders, no job is safe. Harper is giving them special exceptions to take your child's' job. I'm pretty sure his kids will find work. This is his plan to bring back prosperity to Canada? Sounds more like a plan to share the austerity programs being spread across Europe. 

Steve-o, please tell us what your reasoning is here.
Are immigrant workers cheaper? Do they work harder?
How much do these workers cost the Canadian taxpayer?
Do they contribute to CPP?
If we need skilled workers in Canada, I would like to think our government would first do everything in their power to provide Canadians with the necessary training/education. Our unemployed deserve a better fate than to be beaten down by their own government.
Why isn't your government providing more training for our youth, instead of importing workers?
If you continue to bring in workers from around the world, what jobs will be left for Canadian youth?
If our youth don't get jobs in their futures, how soon will those austerity programs creeping across Europe be foisted on the Canadian public? Or is that the plan all along?

Tell your masters to stop this madness. The World Bank, The Bilderberg Group, Just who are you working for?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Planes and Copters, Oh my!

One of the ideas floating around right now is what the Conservatives are calling "Buy Canadian". They want to ensure that Canadian companies are getting a big enough piece of the military spending. Of course this will mean subsidies, lots of subsidies. Giving money to corporations who are already sucking on that teat won't create any more jobs here. What we need is a military purchasing strategy that is in the best interests of Canada.

Here's a better idea, let's bring back the A.V. Roe Arrow! There was a time when Canada had the people and the will to build our own jet plane. Let's build another. There would be many benefits, not the least of which is that the money would stay here in Canada.

For the military types this plane could include all of the features they are after. Build what you want into it. Every conceivable toy a warrior could want, just add it to the list. We have the ability to engineer another great aeroplane.

Same thing could go for any new helicopters we need. Probably work for submarines as well, we know we can build them. Pretty much had to (re)build the ones we have now! In the last 20 years we could have built a dozen different helicopters while various political parties bickered over how and or what to replace those Sea King Copters we have with. Designed, engineered and built! Plus those old birds would have been replaced by now.

I think many will find fault with this, but I have another reason to suggest this route for our military endeavors. Personally I don't believe we should be using weapons made by other countries to kill people in other countries. Think about it, if you want to take your country to war, shouldn't you use your own weapons?

I believe that if we want supersonic jets we should build our own. If we need new helicopters we need to build our own. And if we want new submarines we should be building our own.

The only problem I can see is that yet another Conservative government would sell us out again and shut it down once it was finished!

Thanks for taking the time!


Monday, February 04, 2013

Universal Education?

The only way that any country including Canada can expect to continue to compete in the "world economy" (sic) would to be to allow our children the opportunity to take their education as far as they are able. Every single child in Canada should have the right to a complete education as far as they want/need.

A person should be allowed to pursue whatever profession they feel capable of working in. Money or position should not be barriers to education. Easy to suggest, hard to implement! Where will we find the resources to pay for such an inclusive program? How can Canadians pay for this?

How about corporations chipping in? After all, beyond the individual being educated (and their family), who benefits most from the education that we pay for today?
How about service for your country? After high school, a few years of service (in any number of formats) could pay for an equal number of years of education. As well as providing financially, a few years of service would provide the student experience, discipline and a bit of maturity. None of which would harm any 18 year old I've ever known!

This does not necessarily mean that everyone need join the Armed Forces. Service to Canada can be performed in many ways, how about a Canadian form of the "Peace Corp"? There is much to be done here in Canada, to improve the lives of Canadians. All of this "service" has a value. Some of this "value" could be used to provide those persons with their education.

How about charging more for foreign students? How about reducing public debt? How about a few cents added to gasoline sales, cigarettes, booze? How about legalizing cannabis and taxing the hell out of it? The savings from policing costs alone would pay for universal education! Course, you would need to keep our governments dirty little fingers away from any new income, because once they see the cash they go into a fever trying to think of new ways to waste it.

How many ways can you see to provide our children with a proper education? I really like the idea of corporations repaying society for the education we provide to their employees. I am also intrigued with the idea of providing service to Canada in return for an education. Seems like a win win to me!

In order to provide what should be a right in today's world, any of the ideas above could be used. I know there are plenty more where they came from. What do you think? Any ideas of your own? All we need is the willpower to do what is best for your children. And of course, a government not in the pockets of corporations and the 1%!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Governance & Omnibus Bills

Our Canadian government is broken.

Our representatives believe they are in power to better themselves rather than the majority of Canadians. We elect them and they immediately start working at their own agendas or the next election. It matters not what their constituents voted them in for, nor what they promised during the election.

The Harper Government has spent it's entire mandate working for the betterment of corporations and the 1%. Omnibus bills have become commonplace during his tenure. The only reason for this type of law making is to hide or obfuscate pork barrel politics. Most of our elected representatives have not read all of these bills carefully. Most don't even know what they are really voting on. They cannot possibly spend the time necessary to research and define a position on all the issues in each Omnibus bill. That is why the government pushes them through! (Trust me, just vote for it!)  Does anyone out there know exactly what bills were included in the last two Omnibus bills?  Go ahead, try to find out what all is included in any of those bills. (Hint:  NOT!)

Omnibus bills in Canada are supposed to be used for related issues. Our government uses some pretty loose definitions of "related". For instance, anything can be related to the "budget". Anything they do is related to "government". That basically negates the rule regarding "related issues" doesn't it?

Bill C-38 is an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures. The "other measures" in the title should itself indicate that those issues were not related to the budget. A cursory look at the Bill indicates that those other measures were not. Part 3 contains certain measures related to responsible resource development. The only budget that involves is those of corporations trying to duck their environmental responsibilities. (OH! Now, I see the relationship!)

This blog started out with a general complaint and I got stuck on the Omnibus bills. I guess we'll have to visit the other issues, of which there are many, in other posts.

Thanks for your time,


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the Canadian Economy

It's only my opinion but I believe our current economic policies are unsustainable.

Capitalism has perverted our democracy. Too much power has been ceded to the rich. Lobbyists run the country instead of the politicians we elect. Our rights are sold out to powers outside Canada.

Our government follows the Bilderberg Group (Too many Canadian politicians have attended their meetings) who propose a world government ruled of course by the rich. Why this is not treason escapes me.

The rich have lobbied their way to lower taxes than you and I pay. They now insist we lower the safety net we as Canadians have built through years of hard work. The rich believe their contributions to be of greater worth than our labour. I disagree. Why is money (interest & stocks) taxed at a lower rate than labour?

You want fair taxation? We need to drop all the special deductions and exceptions from the tax code.
Only a completely open, progressive tax system will provide the tax base required to relieve the debt burden presently crippling our economy.

Given all the taxes imposed on us in Canada, federal, provincial, gas, liquor,  property taxes & HST, most of us are paying close to or over 50% of our initial incomes. Don't forget to add in your costs for health care (free health care right?), bogus environmental charges,  license fees, excise taxes, EI & CPP.

Given the above I have to wonder where all the money is. If everyone is paying that much there is no way we should be in a deficit situation! So who is not paying their share? I know I have, throughout  my working life. Now in retirement, all I see is the government trying to reduce my pension, increase my taxes and reduce our benefits.

I'm no economist (thank god) so I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think there are ways and means for Canada to continue to allow for the safety net we pride ourselves in providing the less fortunate in our society. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why are we in Mali?

Corporate Welfare in Mali

Canada has invested a billion dollars in development dollars since 1962.
The following companies / organizations have or have had investments in Mali.

Canada's International Development Bank
Hydro Quebec International
Transelec /Common inc
Lambert Somec
Dessau Associates
Sulzer Canada
Barrick Gold
Etruscan Resources
Goldbelt Resources Ltd.
Canada Pension Plan

Since 2006, instructors from Canada's Department of National Defence and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre have provided training there, in concert with Mali, France and other European partners.

Here's a fact about the money we "give" to countries like this:
Over 65% of funding is stipulated for the procurement of Canadian goods and services. That would seem to make these disbursements really for the betterment of those companies receiving the contracts.

With our economy hurting as much as it is, I don't think more corporate welfare is in our best interests. The Harper government wants to cut our social programs in order to continue to provide more gifts to corporations. Apparently our government is willing to put Canadians at risk in order to perpetuate this gifting.

The present government of Mali is a Military Junta who took power only in December of 2012.
This military coup followed one from January of 2012.

Personally, I don't want to support any military junta in any way, and I don't believe that protecting corporate welfare is in the best interest of Canadians.

(Information garnered from Wikipedia)