Posted in Canada, current events, lorieb.wordpress.com, Ottawa

Visit the Canadian Tulip Festival, virtually

Our Canadian Tulip Festival, an annual event here in Ottawa since 1953, is a true harbinger of spring. Thousands of tulips, in every colour imaginable, line the flower beds stretching along the Rideau Canal, the same canal, by the way, that becomes the world largest skating rink in the winter, but I digress. Back to the tulip festival…

The Canadian Tulip Festival was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians immediately following the Second World War as a symbol of international friendship. The Festival preserves the memorable role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, as well as commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in Canada.

This year, thanks to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, a virtual tour of the tulips is available. There is an advantage to these restrictions; those of you who live too far away to visit the splendor of these tulips in person can peruse this international symbol of friendship and peace from your own home.

This past week, with Ontario taking baby steps to reopen their economy, we were granted permission to walk along the paths to view the tulips in person. That is as long as we are practicing social distancing and not loitering in large groups.

If the Covid police are out, as I’m sure they will be, it might be less stressful to watch the video…Enjoy!

Photo Credit to Jackie Heslop, Kanata Ontario.

Posted in Canada, current events, health and wellness, lorieb.wordpress.com

Canadian healthcare and Shirley Douglas

With the recent death of actress, activist and lobbyist Shirley Douglas, AKA Kiefer Sutherland’s mom, I am reminded of just how fortunate we are to have our public healthcare system.  What’s the connection? Our socialist healthcare system was founded by Tommy Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and federal NDP leader, Shirley’s father and Kiefer’s grandfather.

canadian healthcare
credit to George Pimentel/Getty Images

During the 2011 federal election, as a spokesperson of the Canadian Health Coalition, Shirley Douglas offered this advice:

“Let us never forget that the federal government is the guardian and enforcer of the five principles of the Canada Health Act: universality, accessibility, portability, comprehensiveness and public administration” 

When we are faced with a health crisis like the one we are in the midst of, we Canadians should be especially appreciative of the passion and commitment Shirley Douglas and her father displayed for their vision for public healthcare.

While we Canadians are appreciative, citizens from countries without such a public healthcare system are probably quite envious.

 

feature photo (top of page) credit to Pexels

 

 

Posted in Canada, current events, health and wellness, lorieb.wordpress.com

Do as I Say, not as I do

Is anyone else annoyed that Justin Trudeau is spending Easter weekend at his cottage in Quebec with his wife, children, mother and staff?

The rest of us, however, have been implored to practice social distancing. To stay away from anyone that does not live with us, especially those over the age of 70,  restrict travel to essential trips, stay away from our cottages, avoid congregating in groups of more than five, and limit trips across the Ontario/Quebec border to essential ones.

With his weekend jaunt, Trudeau has broken all the rules he has imposed on us.  He crossed the Ontario/Quebec border, went to his cottage, and is spending time with those not in his immediate family, including his 71 year old mother.

In the meantime, most of us are complying to the social distancing rules. You can see it in the deserted roadways, parking lots, and parks, as well as the direction arrows and other limitations in the grocery stores.  Chats with neighbours are from the ends of our respective driveways.  Socializing with friends and family is achieved through Zoom “meetings” or Facebook video chats.  Our evening walks are eerie, like walking through a ghost town.  Not that I have experienced a ghost town, but I can imagine.

Our three sons and 4 grandchildren do not live with us so we have only seen them on videos or from a distance of 6 feet for almost a month now. This has been very confusing for the grandchildren as they don’t understand why they cannot visit, play with, snuggle and hug this Grandma or their other grandparents. We have resisted taking trips to our cottage, located in a remote area of Ontario.  We have limited our exposure to others by reducing grocery shopping to once a week and forgoing other shopping altogether.  Even my 60th birthday was regulated by social distancing rules.

Like most other residents of Canada, we have been following these recommendations AS  REQUESTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT, yet our leader is not practicing social distancing. Instead he is playing “Do as I Say and not as I do.”

This is not a good way to lead a country through turbulent times, especially if you expect us to follow the rules.

 

JT
Credit to the Toronto Sun

 

Photo credit from feature image (top of page) to Markus Spiske and Pexels

Posted in Canada, health and wellness, lorieb.wordpress.com

Made in Canada

When the dust settles, we must plan ahead to ensure we are better prepared for a health and economic disaster like the one we are currently dealing with.  Hopefully the powers that be in our country are realizing that we must manufacture more at home, with incentives to produce and buy local.  Dependent on the kindness and generosity of others is not recommended when the chips are on the table, and the world is reeling.  Unfortunately, discovering who you can and cannot rely on for help is often a bitter pill to swallow.

This may seem like a drastic statement, coming from someone like me who tends to support and see the best in others regardless of who they are and where they live.  Self preservation takes over at some point though, especially when we are seeing acts of greed and unsanitary practices that are adversely affecting the whole world.

Everyone knows COVID-19 started in the wet markets of China. The disgustingly unsanitary practice of selling “fresh” meat on the streets has to stop.  If you agree, please sign this petition.  How many viruses are we going to let take over the world before something is done to prevent them at their source?

What can we do at the grass roots level?  We can start by paying more attention to the origin of items we purchase.  From food to clothing to PPE (personal protective equipment) to household items, our Canadian standards for all of these things are much stricter, something we take for granted.

Do your due diligence, look for the made in Canada labels!  You could not miss the label on the stainless steel set of pots and pans I recently purchased.  Sometimes though, you have to look a bit harder, but all products (for import and export) must be labelled with their origin.  Not “packaged by,” or “assembled in”, but “product of” or “made in.”  Even products sold online have their “country of origin” listed, somewhere.  You can even google the information.  For example, recently I looked up “canned mushrooms made in Canada” and found out they are available at some Canadian Tire stores and my local Canadian Super Store.

This COVID-19 virus should be a wake-up call heard around the world. From a Canadian standpoint, our economy should be able to rely on us manufacturing and consuming Canadian products as much as possible.  You should have the same concerns about supporting your local and federal economy where ever you live.  Globally, the health of all of us may depend on it.

 

 

 

Posted in Canada, current events, health and wellness, lorieb.wordpress.com

Understanding Social Distancing, Isolation, Quarantine, Flattening the Curve and More

In light of the COVID-19 virus running rampant through the world, we must heed the advice of experts to separate fact and necessity from fiction and inconvenience.

Isolation vs Quarantine

This definition comes from CDC (Center for Disease Control):

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

CDC

Simply put, isolation and quarantine are similar in their goal of limiting the spread of disease, but isolation is generally reserved for those already known to be sick (showing symptoms).

Social Distancing

Social distancing means reducing contact with others by staying away from large groups of people. The goal is to reduce the opportunity for spreading of a disease. This includes sporting events, parties, conferences, meetings, church, movie theatres, parades, festivals, and public transit. In other words, anywhere people congregate. Social distancing means maintaining at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone else, so no hugging, kissing, hand shaking etc. If that buffer cannot be maintained, don’t put yourself in that situation; it’s common sense really.

Flattening the Curve

Social distancing has also been referred to as “flattening the curve” meaning slowing the exponential (growing rapidly) phase of a disease. This is a statistical method plotting the number of cases against a time frame. As this picture shows, flattening the curve helps reduce the burden on our health care system.

wikimedia commons

Epidemic, Endemic and Pandemic

An epidemic refers to a sudden outbreak of disease that attacks many people at the same time. This type of disease may spread through one or several communities. Chickenpox is a good example of an epidemic.

Endemic refers to a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. Malaria and Ebola are examples of endemic diseases.

A pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread throughout several countries and continents around the world. Because most countries in the world now have positive cases of COV-19, it is referred to as a pandemic. SARS was also a pandemic.

Immunosuppressed, Immunocompromised or Immunodeficient

Immunosuppressed, immunocompromised and immunodeficient are used interchangeably, especially when referring to those most at risk from COVID-19. All three terms mean the immune system is weak, reducing its ability to fight infections and diseases. They refer to an immune system that is inefficient or cannot react properly. Suppressed, compromised or deficient immune systems can be the result of the deliberate use of drugs to treat cancer patients, or to prepare patients for organ or bone marrow transplants. HIV, lymphoma and autoimmune diseases also cause immune system suppression as can conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, genetic disorders, old age and even pregnancy.

picture credit to YouTube

Conclusions

  • If you are returning to Canada from other countries (including the USA) with no symptoms, you have been requested to quarantine yourself for 14 days to monitor your health (symptoms). This is to ensure you do not expose others to the COVID-19 virus you may have been exposed to. This means you must not go to grocery stores, banks, church or anywhere else other people will be.
  • If you have or begin to show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) upon or after your return to Canada, contact Public Health who will arrange for testing.
  • If you test as positive, or continue to show symptoms although tested as negative, you must isolate yourself from others, including those within your household. Use a separate bathroom and bedroom. Have others do the shopping, cooking, clean up, etc. If you live alone, contact a family member, neighbour or friend to leave provisions on your doorstep. Public Health will advise you when you are no longer contagious.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you are advised to quarantine yourself as above. If you begin to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, call Public Health to arrange testing and begin self- isolation.
  • If you are immunosuppressed, you should practice social distancing and good judgement. Stay away from anyone with a cough or cold. There is still much the experts don’t know yet about COVID-19, so it is much better to be safe than sorry.
  • Even if none of the above apply to you, it has been recommended that those of us living in the Ottawa area work from home if possible and not go out to public places that are non-essential (shopping, visiting friends, etc) to limit exposure to other people. Health officials suspect there are as many as one thousand cases (not yet confirmed) in the Ottawa area.
  • You can, however, go outside, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and boost your immune system at the same time! Walking, running, cross country skiing, etc.

If you are facing the crisis of COVID-19 in a country other than Canada, your country will have its own guidelines and recommendations, but I bet they are quite similar, as our common goal is to eradicate this pandemic. Please get the facts from your experts and act accordingly.

Credit to feature image (top of page) goes to Meme Creator

Posted in Canada, current events, lorieb.wordpress.com, mental health

Megxit Means More Royal Sightings in Canada

Megxit, the exit of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from Great Britain, means we Canadians will be seeing more of the young(ish) royal couple. We Canadians do love our royals, at least most of us do. Some of us are thrilled and proud of the fact Harry and Meghan have chosen Canada as refuge from their fishbowl (AKA royal lifestyle), others not so much.

Speculation has been frantic this past week, since the (for now) Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they wish to “step back” from their royal duties. After a family meeting, the Queen announced she has given the couple permission to move to Canada part time. What they will do here is still up for speculation.

megxit
Duke and Duchess of Sussex

What choice did she have, really? Like any concerned parent, she worries about her grandson and wants the best for him. The signs have been there for a while now, long before Meghan even came on the scene, how severely affected Harry was by the tragic loss of his beloved Mum when he was just twelve years old. Most people are greatly affected by the loss of their mom at any age. It would be horrible for a child to go through a similar loss, but the fact that Harry’s (and William’s) every move has been on display since he was born would only add to the trauma. Every tear, smile and action scrutinized and photographed for everyone to judge. Is it any wonder he doesn’t want that lifestyle for his wife and son?

Critics are blaming Meghan for disrupting the royal family by influencing and controlling a more naïve Harry. I believe however, that he was influenced more by his mother’s choice of charitable work when she was alive and even more so by the cause of her untimely death. Harry said so himself how “every flash of a camera brings it all back” last summer in an interview in Africa. He saw (and lived through) his mother’s anguish for years, with the good, the bad and the downright ugly press coverage omnipresent for all to see.

In his early twenties, Harry joined the military, spending ten years serving his country, including two tours in Afghanistan. Some analysts believe those years were to find a sense of accomplishment and purpose in his life, prompted by the fragile state of his mental health.

Whatever the reason for Megxit, the fact that Harry is (perhaps downgraded to was) only sixth in line to the throne (behind his father, brother, two nephews and one niece) doesn’t make a potential abdication a big deal. To us at least. His grandmother would feel differently of course.

The Queen’s latest announcement has created a whole new frenzy and the media are running with it. What will they do in Canada? Will they still be Duke and Duchess of Sussex? Will Harry become our next Governor General? Will Meghan return to acting or perhaps take up directing? Will they live in British Columbia, where they celebrated Christmas and New Years, or Toronto where Meghan lived for years and where the couple met? What are the Canadian rules and laws to be considered? (immigration, working visas etc) Stay tuned for more details.

Rumours have it Justin Trudeau has already told the Queen that Canadians would pay for the couple’s security when they are on Canadian soil. I think the Canadian taxpayers might have something to say about that, in fact I saw a petition to that tune going around Facebook already. Surely the couple’s new quest for financial independence will include paying their own security bills, unless the Queen ticks off her own taxpayers by requesting that the couple’s security expenses will continue to be covered by Scotland Yard. Even when they are living in Canada!

The fact that the younger couples, especially Harry and Meghan, William and Kate, have added a much needed boost of vitality and popularity to the aging monarchy in Britain cannot be denied. I admit I am a sucker for a good love story, and I have always loved Prince Harry, Prince William and their beautiful, kind mother. Hopefully Megxit is merely the next chapter in Harry and Meghan’s love story and not a more sinister warning of impending heartbreak for Harry in the form of another royal scandal as the haters believe.

Perhaps Megxit will boost a waning interest in the monarchy here in Canada. We could certainly use their positive energy, compassion for those less privileged, love of nature etc., etc., etc.,

Posted in Canada, current events, lorieb.wordpress.com

SNC Lavalin executive gets 8.5 year prison sentence

I read this article from the Canadian Press with interest today as many points cited by judge Cournoyer were ones my husband and I made at a recent dinner party with friends.

Although bribery of foreign public officials is sometimes seen as a necessary step in obtaining contracts in some countries,” Cournoyer said, that does not justify Bebawi’s conduct.

All Canadian companies and their executives are required to comply with Canadian laws prohibiting the fraud and corruption of public officials,” he continued. “Canada is a state of law. Its laws must be respected

the Canadian Press

Last month a jury found the (former) head of SNC-Lavalin’s construction division guilty on charges of paying kickbacks to foreign officials while trying to secure contracts for the company. These shady dealings began way back in the late 90s. Bribery deals included those made with the son of (late) Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Not to mention the millions of dollars Bebawi kept for himself. Bebawi was also accused of attempting to coerce (with money of course) an employee to change his testimony to avoid prosecution.

SNC Lavelin executive
Sami Bebawi, former SNC Lavalin Exec. gets 8.5 years

The debate at this dinner party was whether or not the actions of the senior executives of SNC Lavalin were acceptable business dealings. The argument (from a business man, recently retired from a government position) was that this kind of business happens all the time. His argument was that to be competitive Canadian executives have to use such tactics.

Our argument was that Canadian laws are instated for a reason and should be adhered to. If we want to be respected globally we should never pursue such fraudulent, dishonest and disrespectful actions. To do so only lowers Canada and Canadians to the lower level of many third world countries that flaunt their lawlessness.

Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately as the discussion was getting heated) we were outnumbered in our convictions, so the conversation turned to other topics.

Although 8.5 years in prison seems like a light punishment to me, I was glad to see our personal convictions echoed in this judgement.

Posted in Canada, lorieb.com, sports

Don Cherry, racism, and freedom of speech

Anyone in Canada and hockey lovers elsewhere in the world know who Don Cherry is.  By now you have probably heard that he was fired from his Coaches’ Corner role in Hockey Night in Canada by Sportsnet for his comments during last Saturday night’s NHL game.

The rant went like this…“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

don cherry

Many people found the comments discriminatory, divisive, racist and over the top.  Even though he never said the word “immigrants” that’s who it was assumed he was referring to.  To me, the people offended by the so called racist remarks are the worst racists.  If Cherry had backtracked, confessing to merely defending veterans and what they stand for, his rant might have been swallowed more smoothly.  Instead he stuck by his words.

Others (those with thicker skin who are harder to offend) feel that he was indeed just defending veterans and voicing his opinion.  We do live in a nation where freedom of speech is accepted don’t we? Don Cherry has always been (on and off the show) supportive of veterans, even visiting them overseas.  Although his cohort Ron McLean gave a thumbs up at the end of Cherry’s rant, McLean was quick to apologize when the complaints started piling in, some say throwing Cherry under the bus.

We should remember too that Don Cherry is 85 years old.  It is not unfathomable that Canadians (and others around the world) of that era might be more sensitive to the sacrifices veterans made (and current soldiers continue to make) for their country.

At almost 60 years of age I have vague memories of older relatives and heard stories of ancestors that were directly affected by war.  My children and grandchildren don’t though.  We try to explain the horrific times, especially around Remembrance Day, but I have to admit the memories are just not there and so hard to envision. That doesn’t mean we don’t wear a poppy every November or don’t respect those that have “paid the price” as Don Cherry said.  That’s because I was taught otherwise, from my parents who (like Cherry) do/did have the memories.  Some people never had that respect instilled into them.

Although speaking his mind is Cherry’s claim to fame, especially in the hockey world, it appears that these days (especially in some media, CBC in particular) you have to choose your words very carefully.  He has been reprimanded for his choice of words many times recently, although some claim that was his charm on Coach’s Corner.  Once again I think that goes with advanced age.  The older we get the less we care what others think of us and our opinions. Unless we need the paycheck. In that case we turn the thumbs up to thumbs down and apologize to those we (possibly may have) offended.

The fact that he never apologized for the wording of this rant was his (final) downfall. After all, one politician in particular has been (well) known to make insensitive, foolish, politically incorrect errors in judgement. But he gets away with it because he apologizes (charmingly and sheepishly) when called on his actions, regardless of how he really feels. Don Cherry does not have the acting skills necessary to do that. Nor does he care to or should he have to!

So much for freedom of speech!

 

Please check out my other blog called Gardens4u about all things garden related. And my business website with the same name.

 

Posted in Canada, lorieb.com, politics

Alberta appeals to Ontario and Quebec

I saw this on Facebook this morning and thought it was quite well written, explaining the importance of the energy sector in Alberta and Canada in general.

On the eve of our Canadian Federal Election, I feel it is prudent to share with our fellow Canadians in the East how pivotal this election is for our Country. I recognize a strong disconnect between the regions and believe I have a responsibility to share our feelings, perceptions, and fears with the men and women of these provinces.  It is no secret that the election is decided before the first vote is counted in Manitoba. 199 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons are held by your two provinces. Your votes decide our election. This is why I am appealing to you. The fate of Canada and our incredible province of Alberta rests in your hands.  We’ve had a rough couple years out here. Since 2015 unemployment has soared, the price of our most valued resource has plummeted, and our access to foreign and domestic markets has been blocked by federal Liberals. While this industry thrives south of the border in the US, Canada’s energy sector has been plunged into a ‘Legislated Recession’ thanks in part to the cancellation of 2 crucial pipelines and the poorly handled expansion of a third. These projects are crucial, allowing access to foreign and domestic markets and closing the gap between the price of Canada’s oil and the oil produced elsewhere in the world. The newly passed Bill C-69 makes new interprovincial projects nearly impossible to complete, and Bill C-48 restricts domestic tanker traffic on Canada’s West coast, while US tanker traffic navigates the same waters unimpeded. We’ve been put in a box, and the lid is slowly closing. Our Federal Liberal government is the architect of this disaster.  You may ask why this should matter to you? It is simply a matter of economics. According to the Alberta government and World Bank websites, Alberta’s economy accounts for 20% of our Nation’s GDP. In this province of 4.7 million, it means that 11% of Canada’s population produces 20% of our GDP. From 2000-2014, we contributed $200 Billion to equalization, all of it travelling East. On its own, Alberta is the 7th strongest economy on the planet. We’re the core of this country’s economic engine. We’re being told our money is OK, but the oil, our largest economic driver is not. Hell, we can’t even wear our T-shirts on Parliament Hill.  Alberta’s oil is Canada’s oil, and there are a few facts I would like to share with you about it. We are at the forefront of the sector’s clean technology and everyone in this country should be proud of this industry and the highest environmental standards in the world. During this election I’m sure you’ve heard about O&G subsidies and how everyone intends on stopping them, so I feel it is important to break that down. Last year, there were $1.4 Billion dollars given to clean tech by our government. O&G received 75% of that. Rightfully so. That money has been used to increase efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of production significantly.  A recent study showed that if every country around the world produced their resources to the same standard as Canada, the carbon intensity of production would drop 26% worldwide. Suncor, Canada’s largest producer, just announced a co-gen project that will reduce their carbon footprint by a further 30%, and we’ve championed cutting-edge carbon capture and storage technology. We would love to displace dirty foreign oil in the East, but we are told there is no social acceptability for a pipeline. We would love to know why there is social acceptability for Saudi tankers in your waters, but none for us? Last I checked, Saudi didn’t contribute to equalization.  The environment has been a big topic in this election, and there have been some strong assertions from the parties, some of which may be a little out of reach. 30% reduction in GHG, 60% reduction in GHG. The backbone of these reductions focuses on shutting Alberta’s economy down. There seems to be a huge target on Alberta’s back, and little red dots are starting to dance around the bullseye.  Canada contributes1.6% to the world’s total GHG emissions. China contributes 27.2%, US 14.6%. A 30-60% reduction in Canada equates to a 1.8-3.6% reduction in China and a 3.5-7 % reduction in the US. Al Gore once said that CO2 knows no borders, so rather than shut down the economic engine of our nation, why wouldn’t we export the clean energy and technology to the countries that need it the most, boosting our economy and helping everyone on this planet reach these targets? What we do as Canadians to reduce emissions means nothing on the grand world scale. It is these heavy emitting countries that could benefit from Canada’s LNG to replace coal, and clean tech to further drive down emissions. It’s a win-win-win for Canada, the environment, and our economy. The Conservatives have proposed this and it has been highly criticized as ‘not enough’. This is the most viable solution and environmental policy for everyone in this country, and it doesn’t include plunging the entire country into debt and recession. It is ironic that the one country (US) that pulled out of the Paris Agreement has made the most progress reaching that agreement’s targets. How? By doing exactly what the Conservatives have proposed to help us and other nations achieve: transitioning coal to significantly cleaner natural gas power generation.  -There is another sentiment out here that likely resonates with our fellow Canadians from Quebec. If you asked the average Albertan if they would support separation 2 years ago, you’d be laughed at. Today it is no laughing matter. At the time of the provincial election only a few months ago, it was estimated that 50% of Albertans were open to separation. A poll of 6000+ Albertans only a week ago yielded the same results. We’ve been beaten into submission by the federal Liberals, and we continue to get kicked. Terms like ‘Western Alienation’, ‘Republic of Alberta’ and ‘Wexit’ have become very common. All too often you see ‘Liberal on Oct 21, Separatist on Oct 22’. This movement is real. I mean, REAL. If another Liberal government is elected, even worse a Liberal minority with the Green or NDP propping it up, Alberta’s energy sector will just board up the windows and go elsewhere. It will be crippling for the entire nation. It is ALREADY crippling for Alberta. We can’t take any more of this. We are the victims of a current Legislated Recession and it will only get worse. Half of us want to leave now. More will want to leave if we continue to be exploited for our revenue and vilified for our industry.  Alberta separation would be a crushing blow to this country and its economy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Albertans are resilient, wholesome, hard-working people that have been happy to help our fellow Canadian citizens maintain a high standard of living. We’re only asking for reciprocation. We don’t want hand-outs, tax revenue, or power. We want the right and ability to do what we’ve been doing all along, without having fellow Canadians standing in our way. We’re a part of the solution, not the problem.  Fellow Canadians, please consider this when casting your ballot. There’s a lot at stake for everyone. There is a fragility in this nation that could be fractured with stroke of a pen, and the power rests firmly in the hands of your provinces. Vote wisely. Vote Canadian. 

Signed, Alberta

I was at a dinner party this past weekend where the topic of discussion turned (unfortunately) to the bitter and controversial political battle our country is embroiled in.  The guests and hosts of this evening are all good friends, so it was especially frustrating to see the discord amongst them when discussing our political leaders, parties and platforms.  Thank heavens our campaign only lasts 40 days!

The most disturbing comment (for me) was someone defending the SNC Lavalin issue as “that’s the way business is done.  To be competitive globally, Canadian companies have to do anything they can to get contracts.  Everyone does it”   Yet, conversely, when it was pointed out (as does the letter writer above) that Canada contributes very little to the world’s carbon emissions this same person said “well, we have to set an example to the rest of the world”

I am all about setting a good example, but think we should be consistent.  Ethical business practices, effective climate change solutions and compassion for our fellow Canadians.  The reason this country is so wonderful is because of its diversity, not just in the people, but the assets and resources each province contributes to the nation.

As I said before, get out and vote, but do your research first and vote responsibly!

Posted in Canada, lorieb.com, politics

Post Debate Discussion and Opinions

I had an interesting (and very telling) post debate discussion with my youngest son (22 years old) this morning.  He asked me whether the federal debate changed my opinion of the political leaders we have to choose a prime minister from.

My own post debate opinion?  If you are interested in personality, I thought Singh (NDP) was the “winner” last night. He was charming, funny and an eloquent speaker (no ums or aws), but weak (sometimes even evasive) on the primary issues.  Unfortunately (for Singh) nice and charming does not necessarily make a good leader, at least not a leader of a country as diverse and large as Canada.

Scheer (Conservative) had to repeat himself often as was often talked over by either Trudeau (Liberal and current PM) or May (Green), although he did a fair share of it himself.  Not a good look for any of them.  The other two, Bernier (People’s Party) and Blanchet (Bloc Quebecois), were/are only interested in Quebec.  Their presence was distracting in my opinion for a federal election debate. I don’t think they should be included in these circumstances.

My son’s opinion?  “The debt our country is faced with is not really a problem.”  I believe (with a sick feeling in my stomach) this is a typical response from his age group.  They are more interested in the “perks” that might be promised or taken away.  This opinion was spoken like an uninformed youngster who does not (yet) pay for his own:

  • mortgage
  • taxes
  • car loan
  • groceries
  • insurance (except for his own car)
  • expenses for children
  • education
  • etc, etc, etc

Maybe that’s why I was so impressed with a youngster the same age as this son.  Chris Kitchen’s wrote an article at Queen’s University on why Canada’s oil and gas reserves would and should be beneficial to our economy.

We (my husband and I) have tried, over and over (in many heated discussions) to get this youngest son to acknowledge that living in growing debt is never a good thing, especially a staggering debt like the one our nation is faced with.  We feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall.  Are we bad parents because he does not understand this concept?  I keep telling him he will understand in ten years (hopefully less), but he refuses to think that far ahead, let alone plan for it.  In our defence, this son does pay for his own cell phone and clothes as well as car insurance, gas and repairs .  Oh, and LCBO and Uber tabs.

Thankfully, our two older sons, both with mortgages, car payments, and children of their own, get it.  There is only five years difference between our second and third son, so it appears (to me) that it’s not a full generation, but just a demographic, that don’t get it.  At least this theory is apparent in my family.  I have heard from many others that their much older children have the same myopic outlook.

Did you watch the debate?  What are your post debate conclusions, thoughts, opinions?