There’s a lot of really hard hitting news stuff that I attempt to tone down, but this is one of those cases where I can’t. I received an email from the Azaav.org team and I’ll post it up in it’s entirety here.
The CRTC could make us all pay for American-style right-wing media as part of our cable packages — unless we stop them.
Quebecor created a “Fox News North” to model the kind of hate-filled propaganda with which Fox News has poisoned U.S. politics. The channel is run by PM Harper’s former top aide and so far it doesn’t have enough of an audience to survive. But now it’s applying to the CRTC to be forcibly added to all of our basic cable packages!
The CRTC has the power to stop this crazy plan and they are accepting public comments right now. Let’s let them know that Canadians don’t want “Fox News North”. When we reach 50,000 comments, we’ll have enough broad support to hire a crack legal team to help present our case in front of the CRTC. Click below to join and send this to everyone you know:
In 2010, tens of thousands of us banded together and stopped “Fox News North” from getting a similar deal — even contributing to Harper’s aide, Kory Teneycke, resigning as head of the network! But then, the network sneakily hired him back and now they are launching a similar application, hoping we won’t speak up while they try and recoop their $17 million in losses from our pockets!
Fox News fuels hate. While constantly claiming to be “fair” and “balanced”, it allows hysterical anchors like Glenn Beck to compare President Obama to “Hitler”. Bill O’Reilly, another anchor, has threatened to boycott Canada, and Anne Coulter says Canada is lucky the US allows it to “exist on the same continent.” The network has calculatingly spawned the tea party movement in the US, a mobilisation of the fringe right with members who threaten violence upon its opponents and wear guns to political rallies.
This is a fight for the soul of Canadian democracy. Our media is not perfect, but a ‘news’ network that slavishly serves a political agenda through mass manipulation and fear threatens the fabric of our democratic society.
Canadians don’t like watching “Fox News North”, which is why they are losing millions and need a sweet government deal to survive. But we can stop them, and stop the CRTC from taking money from our pockets to pay for right-wing news. Click below to send a message and help us build a big enough call to bring a legal team in to hammer home our best arguments:
“Fox News North” threatens to make the country we love look more like the U.S. Thankfully, the CRTC and their public comment process stands in the way — let’s use this chance to be heard and stop “Fox News North” for good.
Jeremy, Ari, Emma, Ricken, Mélanie, Laryn and the entire Avaaz team
Hating the Jew, hating the ‘gypsy’ (National Post)
As losses mount, Sun turns to CRTC (Globe and Mail)
Sun News Network viewership lags on first anniversary, controversies continue (Canadian Press)
Sun Media breaches Code of Ethics (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council – CBSC)
Investigation into alleged racist comments against blacks (CBSC)
Warning: This column contains scary Sun News scenes unsuitable for some readers (Globe and Mail)
I don’t talk about guns much unless it happens to coincide with the weapons that my two characters in Black Mask & Pale Rider carry around. But I do have an opinion on guns and gun control.
I know a lot of you may sit back and say “yeah, but you’re from Canada, and you Canadians are a bunch of pacifists”. While part of that may be true, Canadians are more likely to own a gun, whether it be a rifle or a hand gun, than Americans are. On average, per capita, Canadians own more guns than Americans. I honestly don’t have issues with guns as a tool to be used, and this most likely comes from the fact that I grew up on a farm where we had a .22 Winchester rifle. It’s an old gun, my grandfather bought it in Iroquois, Ontario, and subsequently smuggled it across the border not once, but twice to get it back to his farm north east of Ardath, Saskatchewan (he was courting my grandma at the time, that’s another story for another time). We used that gun to get rid of pests; coyotes with mange, skunks, tom cats that were wild and even getting rid of unwanted cats that were on our farm.
Just an aside, I love cats, but we had a lot, and sadly no one wanted to give them a home when we wanted to give them away, so we had no choice. A bullet was far more quick and less stressful to the animal than what some of our neighbours did, which included but was not limited to, placing the cats in a box and hooking it up to a car muffler or putting them in a sack with rocks and dropping it into a slough where they’d drown.
Back on track with guns.
Several years ago, over ten now, the Canadian government introduced the Long Gun Registry. I’m not familiar with the specifics, but I do recall the two sides of the issue regarding registry of long guns which included rifles of various caliber. People in major centers like Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Hamilton, Toronto and Vancouver were in favour of it, and I believe there was a large amount of support from people in places like Winnipeg and Regina. Meanwhile, in rural areas, like Outlook, Saskatchewan (and most of Alberta because they like to be different for some reason) we didn’t see rifles as weapons, but as tools. The tools are explained above.
I personally don’t like guns, and while I say that I’d love to have a museum piece of a Colt .45 long barrel or a Smith and Wesson Army .32. Mostly because those are the guns that my aforementioned characters in Black Mask & Pale Rider use. I’d even love to own a flintlock or a muzzle loader. Mostly because they’d be classed as museum pieces, and the firing pins would be removed. In other words, they’d be useless as a weapon and more suited as an art piece or antique. Even though I’d like to own those guns, I still hate guns, and that comes from an incident when I was 13 and involved the very same .22 Winchester we owned. Let’s just say that something happened that I still live with to this day. No one was hurt, but because I looked down the barrel and later realized it was loaded I still get a visual of the barrel when I close my eyes. It’s very unnerving.
Sitting here in Canada, and watching the glass house that is the United States, we get to see all their news at a break neck speed, thanks in part to the Intertubes. When Newtown happened, we knew about it immediately. Every time a politician talks about guns and gun control, we hear about it. And a lot of the time, the Constitution, and in particular the Second Amendment are brought up. That there are those who have every right to own an assault rifle because the Founding Fathers said it was okay. Let’s take a closer look at that. When the Founding Fathers wrote and signed the Constitution, which included the Second Amendment (which was adopted in 1791), the most powerful fire arm of the time was probably a muzzle loader. Higher than that and you’re looking at a cannon. There were no assault rifles, no semi-automatic handguns, no uzis. Nothing that could be fired without loading it again. Muzzle loaders and flintlocks. The type of weapon that a heavy jacket could stop the bullet of. That was the deadliest hand held weapon of it’s time. And expensive, so not everyone could afford one.
I’ll bypass my usual argument that at the time the Second Amendment was written, the Founding Fathers were most likely talking about an armed militia that could be called upon to defend the borders of the state or nation. That can be assumed by this wording:
As passed by the Congress:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
However, in 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court deemed the interpretation meant for the individual right to carry a firearm. There are States that allow for conceal and carry, but to be honest, knowing that I walk into store or coffee shop or restaurant and know that there are people in there with guns, it doesn’t make me feel protected. It makes me feel very nervous and fearful. Because what happens if one of those citizens with a weapon decides to draw it in the event of a so called emergency. Police officers I can deal with, because they’re supposed to be fully trained to handle a gun, assess a situation and keep the public safety in mind. A private citizen I don’t give as much credit.
But again, it may be because I’m Canadian and I’m considered a pacifist. But facts don’t lie. I also live in a country where the number of deaths related to hand guns or long guns is thousands less than our neighbours to the south.
May you live in interesting times ~reported to be an ancient Chinese curse, first English use was by Fredrick R. Coudert in a letter to Sir Austen Chamberlain, who informed Coudert that the saying “we live in an interesting age” was similar to an ancient Chinese curse. This letter was written in 1936. Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen was also informed in 1936 before he left England for China that the Chinese had this curse. While this was brought to light in the English speaking world, there is no evidence in China that this is indeed a curse used on one’s enemy.
It’s an interesting phrase and one that seems to be steeped in myth and used widely in Western popular culture, as the phrase has shown up in everything from Terry Pratchet’s Discworld to Star Trek: Voyage to Magnum P.I. But it’s very apt in some ways.
We are living in interesting times. It’s not just 2012, it’s been something that’s been happening for the past 10 years. I find it similar in some regard to the revolutions that have taken place where people have risen up and thrown out an oppressive government. That we’ve seen with such things as the Arab Spring. Oh, and just a note, Occupy Wall Street was not the United States version of the Arab Spring. That was against corporations. If you want to find a western comparison to the Arab Spring, look no further than First Nations Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike as she demands a meeting with Stephen Harper over the conditions at Attawapiskat. Attawapiskat isn’t alone. There are other First Nation reserve that are dealing with intolerable, third world like conditions. But we’re enlightened in Canada, and we don’t like to see that we’re treating Canadian citizens in such a manner. So we don’t hear about it until it gets to the point where Spence has taken things into her own hands.
She’s not alone, as she’s received support from First Nation people not only across Canada, but across North America. It’s created a series of Idle No More rallies from every corner of Canada, and even places in the United States. And Harper’s refusal to meet with Spence puts a huge black mark on the earlier apology that the Canadian government made to First Nation people. Naturally, detractors are saying that Spence’s hunger strike isn’t as bad as all that, as many believe she’s being fed and even drinking Boost, which is classed as a meal replacement. Others say that the books for Attawapiskat should be opened, obviously thinking that there has been nefarious dealings by the tribal council that has gone to the mistreatment of their own people.
All of Spence’s detractors are using age old racism as a part of their argument. But, I’m sure they have “Indian friends”, so they can’t be racist now can they.
Hopefully, in this new year, there will be some sort of meeting held and things can move forward to ensure that First Nation people across Canada are treated with the utmost respect and as equal citizens. Because currently they are not being treated as such by this government.
Two more years until the next election. Two more years, and maybe, just maybe, the Conservative Party of Canada can go the way of the dinosaurs they actually are.
- Attawapiskat’s Theresa Spence ‘quite weak’ as she meets MPs (thestar.com)
- Community worries for Theresa Spence as hunger strike enters Week 3 (thestar.com)
- MPs meet hunger-striking Attawapiskat chief, health concerns mount (ctvnews.ca)
- Weakening Attawapiskat Chief Spence issues ‘call to arms’ (climate-connections.org)
Remembrance Day has come and gone in Canada (as has Veteran’s Day in the States), but this was something interesting that I was wanting to post up that appeared in the November 8th issue of the Outlook, the weekly newspaper I work at.
From The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, 2002
Monday, December 2
During the Second World War, Jennifer Stanley was a child who was a patient in a little cottage hospital in Lincolnshire.
On the wall opposite her bed, someone with an offbeat sense of humour had hung Jennifer’s gas mask. She was very ill; she wouldn’t eat; and she didn’t seem to be interested in anything, until one morning a little dove flew through the window and landed on the gas mask. Then it popped inside. Later, the dove flew out of the window again and vanished.
Every morning for three weeks the dove returned to the gas mask, and Jennifer, with something to hold her attention, began to perk up. Three dove’s eggs were found inside that gas mask a couple of weeks later.
That dove had unwittingly used the ugly symbol of war as a cradle for new life – and in the process had helped a little girl back to health and happiness.
I don’t like that.
Sure, the weather might be in the single negative numbers, but there’s a large chance of snow. I guess this is perfect writing weather. If I didn’t have to go outside. Which I do at two points this weekend. Well, three really.
Two hockey games to go to, one tonight and one Sunday night. There’s also Remembrance Day services to attend on Sunday. The hockey games I volunteer for, the service is mostly due to my job. Getting photos and doing a short write up for next week’s paper.
But outside of that, there’s lots of time for writing. And seeing how I managed to get 9,000 words in last Sunday, I’m gunning to get in 9,000 words on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Because Monday’s a holiday due to Remembrance day falling on Sunday. So hopefully by Tuesday morning I’ll have 44,000 words in my novel, and it won’t even be the middle of the month yet. Have to see how it goes this weekend.
It’s interesting to listen to the radio and hear different top 40 and chart toppers on different stations. In my car, I listen to Rock 102 FM in Saskatoon. Only because my CD player is broken (with a Within Temptation CD stuck inside it), and I don’t have the ability to play mp3s on it. At least not right now.
But I’ve noticed something when certain songs play. Like this morning there was a Theory Of A Deaman tune playing and a lot of the lyrics were bleeped out (or it was the radio edit). Instead of playing the song, so as to save most from hearing Theory Of A Deadman (which is akin to hearing Nickleback), I’ll list the lyrics.
How come I never get laid, nice guys always lose.
How could she have another headache
There’s always some kind of excuse
I still hate my job, my boss is a dick
“I don’t get paid nearly enough
To put up with all of his shit”
I hate my job, all of my rich friends
I hate everyone to the bitter end.
Nothing turns out right, there’s no end in sight
I hate my life!
I hate that I can’t tell when a girl’s underage,
You know, I tell her she’s a nice piece of ass,
Then her daddy punches me in the face
So if you’re pissed like me
Bitches, here is what you gotta do
Put your middle fingers up in the air
Go on and say fuck you
That’s the uncensored version, with the areas that are censored highlighted in bold. It’s pretty safe to say that there’s a lot in there that’s really not often heard on the air on commercial radio. When I worked in radio, this song wouldn’t even have been considered. After all, it was hugely controversial to play the edited version of Alanis Morissette’s You Outta Know on the air. And then, there’s the Tragically Hip.
I think they get a pass, but not sure why. Their songs aren’t really controversial, but they do have a serious message, and often times tell a story. But they also don’t hold back when they want to drop and F-Bomb.
The lyrics in this one are “you said you didn’t give a fuck about hockey i never saw someone say that before”. While the F-Bomb is pretty subtle in the song, it’s still there, unedited. And that’s not the only Hip song to get a pass while sneaking in the F-Bomb. There’s several others that have snuck into commercial radio unedited from anything profain (though, to be honest, an F-Bomb is a lot less profain than some things). And while I love the Hip, their songs quite possibly aren’t the most recognizable throughout the world, which may be a problem with our Canadian identity (which I honestly don’t see as a problem). Or, maybe the Hip have put in a subliminal message that goes something like this:
Love each other, Love your neighbour, Love your country, Be good to everyone, Don’t be a dick, and say fuck once in a while
From Ian Morrison of Friends of the CBC:
I have just received the following note from my friend, Margaret Atwood.
Margaret and her team have developed a new way for artists and creators everywhere – including Canadian fiction and non-fiction writers, musicians, graphic novelists and others — to reach out to new audiences here and around the globe with webcast events, personal connections, and individual signing possibilities. It’s called www.fanado.com.
This project offers an important new way for the world-class art of Canadian creators to find and reach new audiences. I have supported this important project. I invite you to consider supporting it too by visiting www.indiegogo.com/fanado.
For a project like this to work, there must be a groundswell, and a wide base of support – just as for public broadcasting, of which Margaret is a steadfast supporter.
Writing projects, fiction and non-fiction, writers, musicians, graphic novelists and more! This might also be a great opportunity for women creators in Canada to showcase their work as well.
- Margaret Atwood joins story-sharing website Wattpad (guardian.co.uk)
- Margaret Atwood starts raising funds for Fanado (teleread.com)
- Margaret Atwood joins Toronto-based writing site Wattpad (business.financialpost.com)
- Margaret Attwood joins the Wattpad community (teleread.com)
The Hip have a new album. Entitled And Now For Plan A, the first single is At Transformation. Familiar stylings of the Hip’s sound that’s finished off with the poetic lyrics of Gord Downey. Here’s a listen.
Week one of the Canadian Football League starts up around the Canada Day long weekend. While we had thunder storms a lightning here today, it didn’t put a damper on festivities nor did it stop the opening of the CFL season, which began Friday night. The winners in week one were B.C., Edmonton, Calgary and the team I’ve been rooting for since I was a kid, Saskatchewan Roughriders.
This is the 100th Grey Cup, and as always it seems to hold a greater connection for Canadians than even hockey.
The rain from earlier.
Amazingly enough, by the time this video finished uploading, the rain had stopped, the wind had died down a bit, and the thunder and lightning wasn’t nearly as ominous. Such is the way of weather in Saskatchewan. Just wait an hour and it’ll change drastically.
We’ve seen the recent food price protests in Nunavut, where some families are trying desperately to budget each month. They’ll pay a little over 100 dollars for a case of water. What’s the rest of the country look like as far as food prices go? MSN Money put the list together from statistics and surveys collected by Stats Canada.
The prairie provinces come in as some of the best in the country.
The cheapest place to buy food is Saskatchewan, where families spend 9.1% of the yearly income on groceries and meals out. Yearly budgets average $6,344, and of that 24% is spent on meals out at restaurants.
Next, Albertans budget 9.2% of their annual income on groceries. While they spend over $85,000 on consumer goods (the most in the country), they only spend $7,570 per year on food.
Ontario comes in next with only 9.5% of annual budgets spent on food, spending $7,284 to fill up the fridge, but of that, $1,645 is spent eating out at diners and eateries.
Manitoba comes in at number four as the annual food budget is 9.8%. The average Manitoba household spends $6,,520 annually.
So those are the top four, with Ontario breaking up the prairies by sneaking in at third. What about the highest places? Unsurprisingly, the territories have some of the most expensive places to budget for food. The Yukon is not one of those (though, families do set aside 10.5% of their annual budget for food). The Northwest Territories is the best of the most expensive, with annual household budgets for food sitting at 11.5%, spending $9,500 a year on food. And that’s only because household spending in the Northwest Territories is on of the highest in the country (total consumer spending is almost $83,000 per year).
Prince Edward Island comes in next, where the annual food budget is 11.8% of the total household budget. While spending $6,720 per year on food may not seem like much, that’s because total consumer spending in the island province sits around $56,000 per year.
Quebec, like P.E.I., doesn’t really spend a lot on food per year (only $7,215 per year), but again, the annual budget has 12% of it set aside for food. Consumer spending in Quebec sits at just over $60,000 per year.
The list has gradually moved up and up, going from 9.1% to 12%, but the highest food budget in Canada takes a massive jump. With no surprise, it happens to be Nunavut, where families have to budget 17.5% of their annual income just for food. Households spend just over $84,000 per year on consumer goods (second highest in Canada, Alberta spends the most); of that, over $14,000 is spent on food. This is more than double what families in Saskatchewan have to pay for food each year.
One has to begin to ask themselves, why? Why is a place like the Northwest Territories, geographically located in a similar situation to Nunavut, paying less for food annually? A great deal less as a matter of fact.
- Alberta a land of wealth, longevity and educational attainment: think-tank (blogs.calgaryherald.com)
- More Nunavut food price protests planned today (cbc.ca)
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be? (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
They were called the Indian Head Rockets, a team in the Negro League of the 1950s. Indian Head is a small farming community east of Regina, Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, one might think hockey is king here. But you may find the sport fourth or even fifth on the list of activities most popular in the province. Football, baseball, curling; those three sports have solid following in the province of Saskatchewan. Football comes from over 100 years of the Green and White, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the only professional team of any sport here. Curling can be attributed to such greats as the late Sandra Schmirler of Biggar, Ed Lukowich, Stefanie Lawton and Rick Folk. And then there’s baseball.
Terry Puhl (former Houston Astro), Aldon Jay “Lefty” Wilkie, Terry Donahue (who played with the All American Girls Baseball League), and Ralph Stanley Buxton are just a few of the names that trace back to Saskatchewan with professional baseball. For a time, however, we had the Indian Head Rockets, one of several teams that played in the Negro League. The players who were part of that 1950s team still remember Indian Head. Some went onto the Big Leagues, playing for the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals and other teams in the Majors.
It’s said the story of the Indian Head Rockets would make a great movie. Read more on the Rockets at the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.
“I was scouted, but it didn’t happen. I was drafted for the Korean War and the teams I guess forgot about me. No regrets. Canada was a tremendous experience. Indian Head was the most enjoyable time of my life.” ~Willie Reed, former player with the Indian Head Rockets
This is something that we hear a lot, both in Canada and the United States. How immigrants are crossing the border to take away our coveted jobs, denying Canadians or Americans (or better put, White Folk) a decent paying (ha!) job.
This morning, while delivering papers to the different retail outlets in the town where I work, I learned something in a very short conversation when the owner of the local convenience store said he needed an ad to be placed in the paper for Help Wanted. Now, we’re a small town, we have three convenience stores, two of which are gas bars, one does auto repair, and the third rents movies. None of them are a 7-11 or Macs Convenience store brand. The one where I had this conversation about putting an ad in the paper for Help Wanted happens to be called the D&E. It’s run by a very nice Chinese fellow and his wife. He owns the store, he bought it, he runs it, and he also hires people to work for him. He also happens to be my next door neighbour in my apartment complex.
But he mentioned that the ad, which previously ran in the paper and was smaller, didn’t garner any phone calls. I said, we can run it for four weeks, and if there’s anything during that time we can go from there. He agreed, but added, if there still isn’t anything, he’d be forced to go to the immigration office and bring people in to work.
There’s reality, taking a swift kick to the gonads of life.
This convenience store isn’t the only place that has to do this. There’s a major potato planting and processing facility in Outlook that does a great deal of business in Western Canada. When harvest time comes around, they need people to come in and assist with everything from tractor operation, to sorting, to bagging. They advertise for this help in every major newspaper and agriculture periodical across Canada. So right there, they have a potential of hitting at least half of the 35 million people who live in Canada. But here’s the kicker. Every year they are forced to contact the Mexican Consulate and search for workers to come up to Outlook, Saskatchewan and work.
Immigrants aren’t stealing our jobs. Canadians and Americans find some jobs so far beneath them that they just don’t want to do them. Or, they are too lazy, because I know there’s people in this town where I live who could work at some of those jobs. $9.50 an hour is better than nothing.
So again, immigrants are not taking our jobs.
This is one of many vignettes by the National Film Board of Canada from the early 1970s. This one focused on an animal of particular interest to me, the swift fox.
Switching things up a bit from current writing (because I can do that, and I’ve hit a brick wall… again) as I think about other stories and things I’d like to write (and even make a comic book about, whether in print or a web comic).
Dragonforce has pretty much had the kind of music that I equate to one set of characters I’ve worked on, and featured here in the past. You might know it, if you’ve read Flag On My Backpack. It’s the series about a young woman from Montreal who becomes a costumed superhero by the name of Canadienne. Basically wraps herself in the flag, inspired by the actions of her father during the October Crisis of 1970. On top of that, she happens to be the lead guitarist of an indie Montreal speed metal band called Blanc Noir. Formed while they were still in junior high school, they stuck together with the intent to make music, have fun and share their experiences together. This lasted for a while, and during that time they added a couple of different band members.
The line up now consists of Yves Manderville (lead vocals, keyboards) and Jacqueline Manderville (second lead guitar, mandoline) both of whom are of Haitian ancestry, Michelle Villineuve (percussion) the happy goth of the group, Dominique Turgeon (first lead guitar, bagpipes) who happens to be the super hero of the group as she is the one who dresses in the flag and stops crime, and now there is Raven Running Cloud (bass, classical guitar, six string) who is originally from the Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan, but moved with her father to Montreal when he accepted a position to teach Native American Studies at McGill. Raven is also the second super hero of the group, calling herself Grey Kestrel.
It’s a story that I’ll definitely come back to again, and while I’d really hope that the idea was picked up in comic form, I actually don’t want either of the big two taking it up. I’ve really be disillusioned with DC Comics and Marvel Comics as of late (more so DC than Marvel). There is a comic company that could do a title like Flag On My Backpack some justice, though.
Very interesting report from Al Jazeera about the Crow First Nations gathering, where they begged the question if it would actually do any for Aboriginal people or if it was just a great photo op for the Harper Government.
It’s my favourite kind of Easter Egg!
I got a space ship!
Seriously, though, I loved the old Kinder eggs and the different toys they had. Somewhere in my box oh stuff that I’ve been hauling around with me for the past 22 years from place to place, I might still have the old Kinder Kats. Cats dressed in Egyptian themed garb. I’ll have to look around for them.
Dear friends. Today is a sad, and humbling day. Yet at the same time, we should look not to the past with sorrow, but use it to step boldly into the future. Today, we have lost a true, dear friend.
The Canadian Penny was with us always. He was that little spark that reminded us there are small things in life, and sometimes, there are small prices. Penny, as he was often called, with the proud image of the Queen on one side, a bold and beautiful maple leaf on the other, was a symbol that we never quite forgot. Still, while the penny was always there for us, there times that we weren’t always there for the penny.
We could always see Penny, sitting there in a handful of change. Penny was always easy to differentiate from Dime and Nickle, often which Dime being mistaken for Nickle and vice versa. And sometimes, Nickle was mistaken for Quarter. But not Penny. Penny was bronzed and different, something you could see and know without studying closely. You could spot it from the corner of your eye and say with pride and confidence “That is a Penny!”.
But that day is coming to an end. The Canadian Mint will no longer bring life to these hardy and noble pieces of currency. With the passing of the penny, so too will pass on such memorable things as “Penny for your thoughts” or “A penny or a pound” and “A penny saved is a penny earned” plus “penny pinchers”. One can only think, what does this spell for Penny’s family. What must Dime be thinking, and will the phrase “stop on a dime” follow suit?
Penny, you were the last thing I wanted to see leave this world. I would have much preferred that pocket lint left before you. You, Penny, after all, were something I enjoyed pulling out of my pocket far more than lint.
Though your time with us is short, dear Penny, know that you will be missed. Yet, I believe that while you will no longer be produced, no longer have love and tenderness etched into the two sides you so lovingly display, that you will not be gone forever. For you will continue to gather in places like old peanut butter jars, the tops of bedroom dressers, that spot next to the keys on the fridge and even between the cushions on the couch.
Penny, oh penny, you will be missed.
In today’s Budget, the Harper government has broken itselection promise and cut the CBC’s budget by 10% - this is $115 million!
This will require CBC to cut hundreds of staff, including some of the most famous personalities from flagship TV and Radio shows, thereby incurring heavy separation costs, putting further downward pressure on programming.
We were expecting something like this, but it’s shocking when you consider the impact of these cuts:
- The death of Radio 2
- Reduced depth, quality, diversity and distinctiveness of CBC News
- CBC Radio will be less relevant to Canadians
- Canadian bureaus in major cities around the world will be closed
- Further reductions to cultural programs
- CBC Television will look a lot more like private-sector commercial channels
The Table below (Budget 2012, page 269) shows how CBC has been singled out for cuts in the “Heritage Portfolio”, where other cultural institutions, such as the Canada Council and the National Gallery have been spared:
We are not going to take this lying down!
Now we have to mobilize CBC’s supporters – 8 out of 10 Canadians – to hold Stephen Harper’s government to account in the years leading to the next election, when the impact of what Harper has done today will be painfully obvious.
Thanks for standing with us as we move forward with this fight for Canadian culture and democracy! You will hear from us again soon.
Rather than a unified government voice to prepare Canadians for deep budget cuts, in recent days we have been hearing mixed messages from the Harper government. One day a government spokesperson declares cutting deeply is the budget goal only to be contradicted the next by a cabinet minister stating that the budget will be moderate. Meanwhile, the government is reporting that revenues are up while the deficit is down.
This is extremely rare, given the Prime Minister’s well known mania for control and message discipline.
Beset by the whiff of a robo-scandal, is it possible the Prime Minister is backing away from budget measures he knows will be controversial?
With all the tens of thousands of calls, letters and email messages from supporters of public broadcasting in the past few months, you can be sure the Prime Minister knows CBC cuts would be unpopular and controversial in the extreme.
Now is the time for one final push to defend our CBC before the March 29th budget.
We have commissioned Nanos Research to conduct a survey of Canadians about CBC funding. Early results are in and they show strong support for the government keeping its promise to maintain or increase support for the CBC. This is a very promising result that will send a strong message to the Harper government.
This public opinion survey and related communications will cost $30,000.
I urge you to join me in making a generous investment to help us raise this amount, because in this dynamic political environment, it could make all the difference.
It’s crunch time. This is the moment to drive home the message that cutting the CBC would be like poking a stick into a hornets’ nest.
Your contribution will help us leave no stone unturned as we fight to make sure the Prime Minister knows that citizens want his government to keep his government’s CBC promise.
- CBC downsizing is a key goal for the Conservatives (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
From Friends of the CBC:
We have learned that the Conservatives’ proposed budget targets the CBC for severe cuts. The cuts, which could be the equivalent of most of the cost of producing CBC radio, will damage our news and culture, while cutting local coverage in the countless places where the CBC is the main media presence.
The CBC keeps Canada connected. Like the railroads that knit our country together, the CBC provides a common thread for all Canadians living across our massive and diverse country. We can build on this tradition for a new era.
This budget is a moment of crisis for Canadian public media. Tens of thousands of Canadians, led by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, have already spoken out to support fair treatment in the budget, and now it’s time for us to add our voices to their call. If we work together in one last push, we can show this government that the political cost of targeting the CBC is just too high.
Click here to send a message to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and key Conservative MPs that you want them to keep Canada connected, not make severe cuts to the CBC:
Good public media is important for our democracy and our culture. Last month, we started a campaign to “Reimagine the CBC” for a new era. The ideas are from the heart, distinctly Canadian, and often inspiring.
We can help the CBC become better for everyone, but not if excessive budget cuts destroy this opportunity. We have one last chance before the budget to show this government that there will be major political costs for targeting the CBC.
We will deliver your messages to the constituency offices of key Conservative MPs next week to show them that Canadians in their ridings, and from all around the country, want to keep Canada connected and stop severe cuts to the CBC.
Thanks for everything you make possible.
With hope and respect,
Matthew, Jamie, Anna, Emma, Adam, Gracen, Ryan on behalf of the Leadnow team and volunteers.
- CBC downsizing is a key goal for the Conservatives (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Defend the CBC (dennislewycky.ca)
Over the course of the last week, an interesting topic has circulated in the city of Saskatoon. Saskatoon has had a history of upstart sporting leagues dropping franchises into the city, and some have been successful (for a time) while others have been complete failures. The list is quite long and starts way back in the 1970s when Bill Hunter, hockey aficionado and promoter, bought the St. Louis Blues and tried moving them to Saskatoon. At the time the NHL board of governors voted against the move.
Since then there’s been the Continental Hockey League that never got off the ground. Basketball has come into the city in the form of the Saskatoon Slam, Saskatchewan Storm and the Saskatchewan Hawks. Baseball even made an appearance here, as several semi pro leagues tried starting up, all the while the Saskatoon Yellowjackets kept plugging away.
Now, the city, along with management of the Credit Union Centre which is home to the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, are trying to attract another league into the city. But this league is different than the others. While the others have all been male dominated sports, this is a female “sport”. Though many don’t want it, and others say why do we need it when we already have a proper women’s football team.
This “sport” is the Lingerie Football League. Women’s football where the players wear revealing uniforms and pads along with hockey helmets (not football helmets) with full face shields. Members of the Affiinity Credit Union, which has naming rights of the arena where the LFL team would play, are not happy.
There’s out cry that it’s nothing more than the sexualization and objectification of women. And I tend to agree with that side of things. Canadian University Press has already stated that this is the sexualization of violence, because football is, as Chris Schultz from TSN says, controlled and violent chaos.
Meanwhile, Saskatoon already has a women’s football team, and are champions of the 2011 Women’s Western Canadian Football League. The league consists of 7 teams, and other cities across the west are interested in starting teams. There has even been interest in Eastern Canada for an eastern league, and winners of east and west would play in a national championship game. To date, the teams include the afforementioned Valkyries, the Regina Riot, the Manitoba Fearless, the Winnipeg Wolf Pack, the Calgary Rage, the Lethbridge Steel, and the Edmonton Storm.
The Saskatoon Valkyries are a legitimate football team. They play full contact, observe the rules of the Canadian game (110 yard long fields, 65 yards wide, 12 players per side, three downs) and have a lot of fun doing it too. Maybe in the future development of women’s football programs can be looked at like the development of women’s hockey. Who knows, maybe in a few years there might be a women’s version of Canadian Inter-university Sport’s Vanier Cup.
But right now, any steps forward in progression thanks to groups like the Women’s Western Football League will only get set back thanks to groups like the Lingerie Football League.
- LFL comes to Credit Union Centre (cucsk.wordpress.com)
News reports have just revealed that callers supporting Harper likely misled thousands of voters in the last election. But we can undo this fraud, if investigators now work to find the truth of what really happened.
Last election, voters in as many as 45 ridings received misleading and fraudulent phone calls telling us to go to fake polling stations. New media reports show that this orchestrated attack on our democracy might have worked — flipping seats to benefit the Conservative party and giving them a majority in Parliament. Elections Canada and the RCMP are, thus far, limiting their investigation to one riding and the members of one political party — if we raise a massive public outcry they will be forced to expand their investigation to third parties and to dig into fraud across the country.
At minimum, our public officials should review all robocall contracts for election day, and we can make them dig deep in every implicated riding. Click below to demand Elections Canada and the RCMP act now to protect our democracy, then forward to everyone:
On election day – May 2, 2011 – Canadians were inundated with dishonest phone calls saying that voting stations had been moved, then directing voters to a wrong location. Some of these callers even posed as Elections Canada officials. We need get to the truth and to do that we need Elections Canada and the RCMP to expand their investigation and ask the courts to reveal all calling companies’ orders for election day calls. These calls were likely so widespread that they could have actually changed the outcome of many close races!
We already know that Guelph was targeted by misleading calls and that this was part of a complex and pre-meditated plan. Some of the calls used a number tied to a disposable “burner” phone paid for in cash and registered to a Mr. Pierre Poutine on Separatist St., Quebec. A conservative staffer working on the campaign in Guelph has already resigned and if Elections Canada and the RCMP expand their investigation we can get to the truth and confirm full responsibility for all the election day fraud, in all 45 implicated ridings and beyond.
Our government was elected under suspect circumstances rife with reports of voter fraud — but we can get to the truth. Click below to tell Elections Canada and the RCMP to expand their investigation:
Millions of Avaaz members rallied together to win anti-corruption laws in Brazil and in India and now Canadian citizens can come together to rescue our democracy. We can’t let governments steal elections and if we take action today we can win back our democracy.
Emma, Ari, Ricken, Laryn, Melanie and the rest of the Avaaz team
- Does Elections Canada have the clout to enforce laws? (thestar.com)
- Elections Canada probes suspect election calls in second riding: report (news.nationalpost.com)
- Independent watchdog says Canada’s 2011 elections may have been corrupt (boingboing.net)
- Conservatives had ‘absolutely’ no role in robocall affair: Harper (vancouversun.com)
- Robo-call probe may expand to Thunder Bay call centre (thestar.com)
- Robocalls probe centres on disposable ‘burner’ cellphone linked to black ops in Guelph riding (news.nationalpost.com)
- ‘We’ll have to call Gomery’: Opposition turns up heat on Harper as robocalls scandal intensifies (news.nationalpost.com)
- “Pierre Poutine” fingered in Elections Canada robo-call probe (thestar.com)
- Meet the prime suspect in the robocalls scandal – ‘Pierre Poutine’ (calgaryherald.com)
- Young Tory staffer who resigned amid robocalls scandal denies involvement (news.nationalpost.com)
Go to the above link to view the conversation. It starts off with really uniformed, racist garbage.
It got me thinking about a conversation I had last night. All the news we (meaning, here in this part of Canada) hear about are the drug cartels and the killings and things like that. There is another side to the story. Mexico isn’t a haven of blood thirsty cutthroats, anymore than the United States is. I know people who live in Canada who think that way about the United States, and for a time, thanks to stereotyping, so did I.
The people I talked to about this last night, however, pointed to the fact that sometimes people who get into trouble in Mexico do so because they did something dumb. They flipped somebody off, got drunk and started a fight, walked into the wrong section of town. Which, when you think about it, is no different than anything in the area we (meaning those who live in West Central Saskatchewan) happen to live in. Would you go down a dark alleyway at midnight on 20th Street in Saskatoon? Probably not, because certain sections of 20th are pretty rough. And while they aren’t necessarily tourist areas, if someone out of country happened to do such a thing, get attacked, and then return home, would have a negative story to tell. Have this happen enough, and the negativity grows.
Same thing with Mexico. While I have never been to Mexico, I’m sure there are very nice areas of the country, just as there are more than likely very bad areas of the country. Probably no different than down in the States or up here in Canada. Or any country, for that matter.
Part of that is a problem with the media, where we are only given one kind of view of a country. For instance, a massive stereotype about the Middle East is it’s filled with camels, nomads, sand and oil. The latter being often cited as the only good thing in the Middle East. Obvious, Dubai must be this mythical place that really doesn’t exist in the Middle East (/sarcasm). Most likely, a lot of those countries look at us in the same manner.
As far as ESL, I’ve known several people who have come to Canada who have taken English as a Second Language. It is not, as the original rant in the link states, English “is” a Second Language. It’s teach people English as “their” second language so they can communicate with people much easier. Because, a lot of times those individuals who emigrate from other countries to Canada (or the States) will end up running a business, which means they will be creating jobs.
Now, I know there’s a lot more information that needs to be explored, but it’s something we have to actively do. Bottom line, don’t spout off on a rant without knowing some important facts first.