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Dealing With A Loonie

November 13, 2007 @ 08:25

Here's another indication of the mind set of Canadian commerce when it comes to gouging the shit out of us.

Toronto city councilor Howard Moscoe proposed that all Toronto parking meters be adjusted to reject American coins now that the Canadian dollar is above par.

Moscoe claims there is a glut of American coins being dumped into the economy and it could cost the city millions.

As it turns out nothing will be done because the cost of adjusting meters would far exceed any savings.

But it begs for this question to be asked. What about the 30 previous years when American coins were worth more than Canadian coins?

Were any adjustments proposed. Were any rebates given? Did Moscoe give a crap then?

You know the answer.

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Disrespectful

November 12, 2007 @ 08:51

There a thousands of federal government employees disrespecting Remembrance Day today.

They get the day off because Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday this year that means they get credit for the "holiday" today.

Years ago in Ontario a lot more people used to get Remembrance Day as a "holiday" but it was plain for all to see that it was being abused. Few paid any regard to the true meaning or spirit of the day off so it was rolled back.

But they didn't go far enough. It should have been eliminated for everyone.

But short of that, rather than tangling with a bunch of coddled and overly protected government employees, at the very least they should have eliminated the "loo day" option on Remembrance Day.

If it falls on Saturday or Sunday, tough luck, it's not like Christmas or Canada Day or Labour Day that are statutory holidays and can be banked for further use if they don't fall on convenient days.

Remembrance Day is a whole other ball of wax that shouldn't be viewed or regarded as just another holiday. It's a question of respect and to my mind all respect is lost when you take another day in its place.

Even if it did become a statutory holiday like all the others we enjoy in a year, I still don't think the "loo-day" option should apply.

Remembrance Day is Remembrance Day.

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Priceless Hero

November 9, 2007 @ 08:46

If you have a Canadian $10 bill, look at the back right side of the bill and you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial.

His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at the age of 90. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War.

Born in England, he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg.

* He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. Enroute to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire.
* Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk.
* Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in north Africa and Italy.
* Enroute his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck.
* In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel.
* Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital.
* They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.
* After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county.

At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa. One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him.

"He had no idea he would be on the bill," his daughter said.

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Money Madness

November 8, 2007 @ 10:06

My wife and I were watching Oprah the other night and her guest was the show's medical expert Dr. Oz.

He was talking about the aging process and the steps old bastards like me and the wife can take to slow it down. He's just released a new book with another doctor named Michael F. Roizen called "You Staying Young" so of course my wife wanted to buy it.

Funny little place this Canada. Delyse went to our local Chapters and found the book, and like most Canadians lately, she immediately flipped it over to check the price difference.

Wow. $19.99 in the United States but $29.99 in Canada. Crazy eh, our dollar is worth roughly sever percent more than the American dollar, but Chapters wants roughly 30 percent more in Canadian dollars than they want in American dollars.

Delyse brought it to their attention but it fell on deaf ears. The attendant at Chapters basically said that's the price and there's nothing they could do about it.

Then my sweet wife had an idea. Having just been in the States on the weekend she still has some American money in her purse so she offered to pay the American price in American dollars.

The person at Chapters giggled and said no, but she could pay the Canadian price in American dollars, but not having a calculator at hand, and not being totally aware of the exchange rate at that precise moment my wife decided to do what I'm sure most Canadians are doing these days, she decided not to buy it.

She left for Detroit on business this morning and will buy the book there. With the exchange it will cost her $18.60.

* on-line this morning Chapters had reduced this book to $16.49 in Canada, but the person at Chapters did not offer this information on Tuesday evening.


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More Money Madness

November 8, 2007 @ 10:05

I heard a report on the radio this morning that left me scratching my head. A "left wing think tank" (that was the description in the story) has determined that the poor in Canada are carrying more of the tax burden than the rich.

A study over the past 15 years reveals that the top one percent of Canada's income earners is paying an average of 30.4 percent in income tax, while the bottom ten percent is paying 30.7.

From that point I agree, it's unfair. As far as I'm concerned, both should be paying the same but that's the extent of it.

I've always wondered why it should be any different, but here are those in our society who think the so called rich should pay an even higher percentage.

Actually they do, so I'm not quite sure how this "think tank" arrived at its figure.

In Canada, the more you make the higher tax bracket you enter and that's why anyone in Canada who makes over 69 thousand dollars is elevated into the 50 percent tax bracket, unbelievably that's considered affluent in this country.

But forget all those numbers. I'd rather address those people who honestly think those at the upper end of our income scale should be taxed even more than they are now.

These complainers often use the term "fair share." Everyone should pay their fair share.

Well answer me this. If someone who makes 100 thousand dollars a year pays 30 thousand dollars in tax, and someone who makes 50 thousand a year pays 15 thousand, how is that not fair?

Forget about the percentages and the tax brackets, the person who makes twice as much money pays twice as much tax how can it be any fairer than that?

The idea of a flat tax in Canada has been floated for years but it's always met with resistance because for some twisted reason there are too many people who claim it's not fair to the working poor.

What isn't fair is penalizing success and achievement.

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Stafford Smyth And Zerbisias

November 7, 2007 @ 09:52

There were three things in the local media over the past couple days that I recommend you read or listen to.

First of all, get a lot of what Antonia Zerbisias wrote in today's Toronto Star. There's no doubt she belongs at the Star with this spin on Stephen Harper's GST cut. It's amazing how some people expect the government to look after everything, including mopping up behind those who do a shitty job of running their lives.

Second. Read Mike Stafford's blog from yesterday. As usual Mike puts an issue into clear cut perspective.

And finally, listen to Dick Smyth's commentary from yesterday on am 640 Toronto Radio. He nails it with Dalton.

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Here We Go Again

November 6, 2007 @ 09:22

It was just three weeks ago that the voters of Ontario overwhelmingly rejected segregated schools but here we are with the issue on the table again.

I could hardly believe it this morning when I woke up to the story of the Toronto school board considering "Africentric" schools again.

I wonder how John Tory feels this morning. His proposal for funding religious schools in Toronto caused him a humiliating defeat in the provincial election and he was pounded nowhere more than in the city of Toronto.

But today we find out that some whacked out Toronto school trustees are bending to the demands of some in the black community who think they're kids are failing in class because they don't learn enough about African culture and that's why drop out rates are so high.

The world is going crazy.

Donna Harrow is a community worker and she's in cahoots with parent Angela Wilson, they'd like to see an "African-centred alternative school" from junior kindergarten to Grade 8 that would have more black teachers, black mentors, more focus on students' heritage and more parent involvement.

"For us, it's important to try something else," said Harrow. "Many parents from the Islands or from Africa, they've actually gone through an Africentric way of teaching" back home which includes using mentors from the community.

"It's building up students' self-esteem by showing them that there are other black people in the neighbourhood who are successful, who are doing well and who will care for them in a supportive manner."

In other words, as the system sits nobody cares about black kids. Black kids are failing because of the system, because of the teachers and because of the curriculum.

And the accusations go further than that. George Dei is a sociology professor and he's convinced our schools are failing black kids.

"Black students tell us that teachers often give up on them so easily; they don't treat them as serious students," said Dei.

Can you believe it? How's that for a cop out.

Once again it's everybody else's fault and it looks like the city is about to buckle under and give-in to another minority group. Further meetings are planned to discuss the issue.

There's only one thing about this issue that makes any sense and it's admission that more parent involvement is needed. That's really the only adjustment that needs to be made when it comes to the education of black kids or any kid for that matter. Parents have to take on more responsibility and stop looking for someone else to blame.

Schools for black kids represent segregation and segregation has no place in Canada.

Look at it this way. In Brampton there are lots of classrooms with only one or two white kids in rooms filled with East Indians.

Can you imagine if the parents of those white kids demanded their own schools? Can you imagine how fast the shit would hit the fan?

How are schools for black kids any different?


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Have A Heart

November 5, 2007 @ 10:02

Here we go again. We're supposed to feel bad for another one of those wonderful sons and fathers who just happened to have a wrap sheet longer than your arm.

In 1992 O'Neil Grant was deported from Canada to Jamaica for assault with a weapon and possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.

He appealed in 1993 and it was stayed for five years. But during the time he was charged as an accomplice in Vivi Leimonis murder at Just Desserts in Yorkville in 1994.

He was acquitted in the Just Desserts case, more on a technicality than anything else, but was deported anyway because he failed to follow the rules regarding his initial deportation order.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Grant was murdered in Jamaica last week at a bus station. Police believe he was targeted.

Now his mother, wife and three children who live here, want his body returned to his "beloved" Canada so he can be buried, but there's some question of the legality of it, and who will pay for it.

If you listen to Grant's wife and mother he's nothing more than a victim who loved Canada and loved his three children, but that tends to fall on deaf ears now-a-days because we get the same story about every thug who ends up dead.

They were actually wonderful people who were in the process of turning their lives around and they had plans to become a nuclear physicist, a brain surgeon or an astronaut.

There are those who maintain we should follow the rule of the law. If there are no provisions for a "deported" body to return to Canada then it should not be allowed.

But in this case, I feel a bit of compassion. I say let the guy return.

It's not like we have to worry about him committing any more crimes.


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More Good Stuff

November 5, 2007 @ 10:01

I've told FreddieP.ca readers many times over the past couple of years what a fan I am of Mike Stafford's

Stafford is the mid-morning host at am 640 Toronto Radio and as part of that gig he maintains a blog on the 640 website called Stafford's Irish Stew.

If you look to the right of this website you will see the logo for his blog and if you click on it you can read what he has to say on any given day.

On Friday, Mike wrote a good piece on a current issue that is being handled in the typical Canadian way, by a woman who is reacting for no other reason than to justify her existence.

Please take the time to read Mike's posting, and make sure you go there every day for things of similar interest and quality.

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Bottom Line

November 2, 2007 @ 10:41

My house was full of women last night and this morning. My wife and a few of her friends got together for an evening of food and laughs and then got up this morning and headed for Buffalo.

A buck-five dollar and cross border prices were too much for them to resist this close to Christmas so they loaded up the car and head for Cheektowaga with the intention of staying there for 48 hours.

Forty-eight hours gives you an exemption of four hundred dollars and in Buffalo, using the loonie that goes a long way in biting into your Christmas list.

As they left part of me felt a little guilty thinking of them driving past so many Canadian malls on their way to a foreign country, but it was quickly wiped away as I thought about something I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

It's the era of bottom line baby. It's why so many companies don't think twice about laying people off these days. It's why so many companies give the two people the job of three now-a-days. It's why full time people are reduced to part-time people so corporations can avoid paying benefits.

Its bottom line baby and it should apply to all including the Patterson family.

We sat down and did the math, much like highly paid executives would and we determined that spending four hundred dollars in Buffalo would be better for our bottom line than buying the same amount of merchandise in Canada.

It may sound cold and calculated and fly in the face of being a good Canadian, but we've been conditioned over the past few years by those who run our economy.

Bottom line. That's all that matters.

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