Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada 150 Week: Canada Day Eve


"If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken."                              - Sir John A. Macdonald

A former doctor in New York opened fire at the hospital where he once worked before killing himself:

The gunman who opened fire on a Bronx hospital, fatally shooting one person and injuring six others before apparently killing himself, was a doctor who once worked there, authorities said.

The shooter has been identified as Dr. Henry Bello, a former family physician at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. The circumstances under which his employment ended were not immediately clear. Belle reportedly arrived at the hospital wearing a white lab coat that concealed a rifle.

Watch the train wreck:

The NDP will form a minority government in British Columbia after the Liberals were defeated Thursday in a non-confidence vote in the legislature, sending them to the Opposition benches for the first time in 16 years. 

Good times, good times.

People voted for this:

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ monthly “Business Barometer” – a random survey of the organization’s members – shows a 10-point drop measuring the mood of small businesses since the Liberals’ announcement in late May. CFIB vice-president and chief economist Ted Mallett said that not since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which started the 2008 recession, has there been such a large drop.

“We’ve never seen a reaction this large to a policy announcement,” he said. “It blindsided businesses significantly. So, this is the initial reaction. There’s no way that they would have been able to fully form how they were going to be able to respond to this kind of change.”

Ontario’s survey results stand in sharp contrast to the rest of the country. The June survey shows that Ontario dragged down the survey by five points overall – from 66 to 60.9 reporting optimism. 

Ontario’s index dropped from 68 points in May to 58 in June.

In late May, Premier Kathleen Wynne promised sweeping changes to labour laws that would benefit millions of workers, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, ensuring equal pay for part-time employees and increasing vacation entitlements.

The minimum wage increase will be phased-in gradually. It will rise with inflation, as scheduled, from $11.40 currently to $11.60 in October. Then, the government plans to bump it up to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and $15 the following year.

Mallett said while the random survey of its members rarely moves so dramatically, this policy has clearly struck a nerve with small business owners.

“It does fundamentally change the cost structure of many businesses,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of thinking to do over the next couple of months to work out how this goes.”

And this:

Ontario wasted $1 billion worth of clean electricity in 2016, according to the province’s professional engineers.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, a non-partisan body, which represents the province’s engineers, says it has crunched government hydro numbers from 2016 and they show that 7.6 terawatt-hours of clean hydro went down the drain that year. That’s equal to the amount required to power 760,000 homes – or $1 billion worth of electricity – said the group’s past president Paul Acchione.

“This represents a 58% increase in the amount of clean electricity that Ontario wasted in 2015 which was 4.8 terawatt hours,” he said. “All while the province continues to export more than two-million homes’ worth of electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions for a price less than it costs to produce.”

Acchione said the province is wasting the power through a practice called “curtailment.” It means that when the province’s hydro generators produce power consumers don’t need, and it can’t be exported, they have to dump it.

God, he's a wiener:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he delivered a message of respect and reconciliation Friday to indigenous activists who have set up a demonstration teepee on Parliament Hill ahead of Canada Day celebrations.

What a sanctimonious, virtue-signalling twit.


But sources suggest that the new governor-general will not be indigenous after all — because a candidate emerged who was “too spectacular to say no to.”

I'm sure.

The problem with "diversity":

There is no doubt that diversity is a good thing, but it doesn’t operate as a definitional virtue of our country. Furthermore, the current highlighting of diversity also carries with it rather too easily a self-congratulatory ambiance, being in fact the very kind of “patriotic” boasting that we proudly boast we do not boast of. “No flag-wavers we, like those Americans … but are we ever tolerant!”

Nor is diversity singularly a Canadian social virtue. Other countries are diverse too, their citizens just as virtuously open to others as we are. Neither being Canadian born, nor by virtue of acquired Canadian citizenship, does some peculiar alchemy invest us with an inherently superior tolerance to that of, say, Chinese, American or African heritage or citizenship.

It may be a pleasurable paradox that all we have in common is our differences, but it cannot survive any translation into reality. No country, no nation, is founded on the differences it contains. And so it is with Canada 150, years after its birth in Confederation. Celebrating our differences doesn’t really mean very much, aside, again, from the facile moral uplift the slogan offers, unless it proceeds from a common, shared and unified understanding of ourselves as a nation.

It is easy to utter shallow, unimportant inanities to pad one's ego but it is far more difficult to reflect on one's self to know what is true. Any country can be diverse but what country can claim shared ideas and values that are truly believed? Canadians may think themselves "multicultural" but, in fact, are no more delighting in "diversity" than their next bowl of pho. How many of them adhere to things that cause them to think, speak and act as they do for the social and cultural benefit of an entire country?

I don't know why anyone would think that Trudeau cares about a Canadian imprisoned in Chinese-backed North Korea:

Since the family called out for more help from Trudeau a week ago, the only thing they have heard is silence.

“We think the only person who can help get a message to North Korea is Prime Minister Trudeau,” said Noh.

It would be great if Trudeau would say something about this case – perhaps at Canada Day 150 on Parliament Hill Saturday.

Maybe even Bono and The Edge could lend their celebrity.

Something is needed, because for far too long, there has been nothing.


President Donald Trump on Friday denounced the “reckless and brutal” regime in North Korea and demanded that Pyongyang choose “a better path” to de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula over its nuclear weapons program.

That must have really chapped Moon.

But not enduring as, let's say, Christians in Iraq who have been crucified:

When about a hundred Arab Christians recently attended the small church at Ein Qiniye in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, it was a turnout not often seen there.

Few Christians remain on the Israeli-held part of the strategic plateau northeast of the Sea of Galilee, where Christians believe Jesus walked on water.

Only two isolated Christian families still live there, according to the families themselves and a researcher on the Golan Heights.

As the Islamic persecution of Palestinian Christians has increased, their percentage of the Palestinian population has dwindled from 10% in 1940 to 1.4% in 2000.

Way to spin the news there, Agence France-Press. 

And now, Canada in 1867:

In 1867, 79% of the people living in Canada were born in Canada. These 2,616,063 people were called “Natives of British America.” As for the rest of the population, nearly 1 million Canadians were of French origin, while the remainder were of English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish and “Foreign” origins. 

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